Summer 2014 CSA: Weeks 4 and 5

Time to talk produce!

I skipped my CSA recap last week because Tim and I slacked a bit on using our week 4 farm share ingredients while we were on our staycation. I mentioned that we made sure to wash and store everything properly so that it wouldn’t go bad while we were away, and last week we focused on trying to combine items from both weeks into our meals.

Our week 4 stash included strawberries, squash, collards, lettuce, purslane, broccoli raab, spring onions, green chard, beets, lemon balm, and cucumbers. Our week 5 stash included lettuce, cabbage, escarole, squash, cucumbers, potatoes, spring onions, garlic scapes, parsley, kale, bok choy, and kohlrabi. I’m pretty sure we also had a few items left over from week 3, and one staff member also forgot to have someone pick up her produce while on vacation, so I snagged a few items from her. It’s been produce overload for sure, but that’s a good thing in my mind.

Summer 2014 CSA Week 4

We used the cucumbers for our 4th of July contribution, the almost Mediterranean chickpea salad I posted last week.

Almost Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

On the last night of our vacation, we threw together a salad to use up the butter lettuce that we had still from a previous week. We topped it with tuna steak from the farmer’s market and added tomato, avocado, and feta. We also used the lemon balm from our farm share to make a homemade salad dressing.

Summer 2014 CSA: Tuna steak salad

For lunches on our first day back to work, we combined the red leaf lettuce and purslane for a salad base. For toppings, we used barley, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, walnuts, and goat cheese. I’ve never heard of purslane before (did you know it’s a weed?!), and it was to die for. I need to find it again.

Summer 2014 CSA: Purslane Salad

Next on the list was tackling our zucchinis and squash. I recently posted this recipe for spiralized raw zucchini salad with edamame and avocado in one of my Friday Favorites, and it was the first thing that came to mind when brainstorming meals. Tim used our mandolin to slice the zucchini really thin, and we added grilled shrimp and feta to round out the meal. .

Summer 2014 CSA: Shrimp zucchini edamame salad

Our second squash/zucchini meal was steak skewers, squash, zucchini, and red onion. We enjoyed the skewers on top of more greens with tomato, grilled garlic scapes, and our last cucumber. I can’t remember if this was our escarole meal or not? I have a hard time differentiating between regular lettuce and escarole.

Summer 2014 CSA: Grilled Steak Kabobs

Our dinner on Thursday and Friday night last week was the grilled version of this chicken and black bean casserole, using farro instead of rice. We also threw in the collards and Swiss chard into this version so they wouldn’t go to waste. And yes, that’s MORE zucchini you see there. It’s peak season for sure!

Summer 2014 CSA: Chicken and black bean casserole

To use up the beets, we made our own version of this roasted beet and chickpea salad.

Summer 2014 CSA: Chickpea and Beet Salad

Unpictured in this post are the scrambled egg breakfasts Tim made for Erica, Chris, and I on Saturday morning before Erica and I left to get our nails done for Slesh’s wedding. We had a ton of eggs to use, and our mix-ins were mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, collards, chard, and spring onions.

When we got home from the wedding, we got creative and grilled some cod, then topped it with a kohlrabi and cabbage slaw. On the side? More chard! It’s so good when simply sautéed with a little garlic. Tim plans to eat the rest of this slaw with some BBQ pulled chicken when I’m away this weekend.

Summer 2014 CSA: Cod with kohlrabi and cabbage slaw

Finally, here’s what I’ve eaten for lunch this week. Lots of simple salads over the past two weeks because we’ve been so busy!

Steak Salad

I won’t lie, we ended up tossing the broccoli rabe this week because we simply don’t like it as much (and it went bad). Our parsley went bad too, but I think we’re doing pretty well considering how much we’ve been away. This week is crazy for me since I’m focusing on party preparations for the weekend, but thankfully Tim is taking care of everything in the kitchen. I’m hoping next week I’ll be able to contribute more (I always feel bad when I don’t), and I think we’ll be pretty caught up by the time next week’s farm share delivery rolls around.

Let’s chat about zucchini and squash! What are your favorite recipes and ways to cook these summer staples?! Also, what do you tend to eat during busy weeks?

For more on my summer CSA experience:

Summer 2014 CSA: Week 3

Thank you all SO much for all the engagement love yesterday. It’s been a whirlwind! We are feeling very lucky to have such amazing friends and family in our lives. Plus, you guys are just the best blog readers. 🙂

Even though we’ve been off celebrating and enjoying our staycation, we’ve still been keeping busy in the kitchen to make sure we get our money’s worth out of our CSA! Last week’s delivery included strawberries, beets, turnips, red leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, snow peas, baby bok choy, broccoli raab, russian kale, red mustard, kohlrabi, and mint.

CSA Summer 2014: Week 3

One thing I wanted to do right away before tackling last week’s delivery was use up the beet greens from the week before. I hate throwing any food away, including the greens on root vegetables such as radishes and beets. I threw together a beet green pesto to freeze and use later. My lesson learned from making the pesto was that beet greens are naturally peppery. I added way too much pepper on my own, but good thing I have a FIANCE (whoaaaaa) who loves pepper.

Beet green pesto

One of my favorite meals from last week was this Asian style shrimp stir fry. We used the bok choy and snow peas, and sauteed them with shrimp, mushrooms, and a sesame soy sauce. We enjoyed this over a bed of gluten-free rice noodles for multiple meals, and it was DELICIOUS. I would eat this again and again.

Asian style shrimp stir fry with snow peas and bok choy

We used the turnips and the red mustard greens in a farro salad with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a lot of spices. I loved the roasted turnips, but the mustard greens were just a tad too bitter for our liking. I would try this recipe again with a different green next time though. Does anyone have any tips for cooking mustard greens so you can’t taste the bitterness?

Farro salad with roasted turnips and mustard greens

Friday night’s meal definitely stole the show. Tim and I stayed in (probably cause he was having massive panic attacks about Saturday haha), and we whipped up these fish “tacos” in lettuce wraps. We used up a lot of the butter lettuce for the wraps, and Tim grilled up some cod. We topped the fish with a mango kohlrabi salsa, which I thought was such a creative way to use up that kohlrabi. We also ate the tacos with shredded pepper jack cheese and homemade guacamole. I just love taco nights.

Fish lettuce wraps with mango kohlrabi salsa

Also, I may or may not have eaten the leftover mango kohlrabi salsa by the spoonful afterwards. Don’t judge.

Mango kohlrabi salsa

As if the fish taco wraps and the salsa weren’t enough, we decided to kick off our staycation with some blackberry mojitos. That’s how we used up the mint from our CSA. Fun, right? I especially liked drinking my mojitos out of the cute mason jar glass I brought home from my friend Cristin’s bridal shower last week.

Blackberry Mojito

This brings us up to Saturday. Before Tim and I headed to Rockport/Gloucester for the day, we stopped to stroll through a local farmer’s market. I had to laugh when Heaven’s Harvest, the farm we get our CSA deliveries from, was the first table set up where we walked in.

Waltham Farmer's Market: Heaven's Harvest

Tim and I ended up picking up some more strawberries and two huge tomatoes from the Heaven’s Harvest table. We just couldn’t help it! We also left the farmer’s market with some scallops, a tuna steak, a hunk of gouda cheese, and a candle.

Waltham Farmer's Market

The scallops were to die for, and now I want to buy our seafood from the farmer’s market every week. Tim whipped up a red pepper flake and garlic oil glaze, and we enjoyed the scallops with tomatoes over a bed of grilled broccoli raab and grilled lettuce to use up the other CSA greens. We also dressed the greens with a lemon avocado vinaigrette, and we topped it all with some sesame seeds. The only thing I didn’t like about this meal was the broccoli raab. It had too many stems or something. I’m not sure.

Grilled Scallops with Red Pepper Garlic Oil

Finally, last night it was way too hot to actually turn the stove on, so we used up the big tomatoes from the farmer’s market by stuffing them with chickpeas, the kale from last week’s share, and the cucumber from this week’s share. We topped this with a feta dill sauce, which was nice and cool for such a humid night.

Chickpea, Cucumber, and Kale Stuffed Tomatoes

The only ingredients that didn’t get used were the beets and the rest of the butter lettuce from the fish taco wraps. We are planning to use those up this week along with the rest of the week 4 delivery that we picked up from work today before we went kayaking. This week’s share has strawberries, multiple types of squash, collard greens, green leaf lettuce, purslane (new to us!), more broccoli raab (help), spring onions, green chard, more beets, lemon balm (PYSCHED), and cucumbers! Since we’ll be down the Cape for the 4th, we definitely need to do some research on the best ways to store some of it.

–Let’s chat–
How have you cooked with mustard greens or broccoli raab before? What food pictured in this post looks the best to you? How are you meal planning during the holiday week? What’s your go to dinner choice on hot summer nights?

For more on my summer CSA experience:

Summer 2014 CSA: Week 2

Time to talk produce and yummy eats!

Last week was week 2 of our CSA program at work. Our delivery included beets, red onions, another big tomato, baby bok choy, bunched spinach, collards, lettuce, red russian kale, thyme, and radishes.

CSA Delivery 2

Oh and the best strawberries I’ve ever eaten in my life. No joke.


I must admit that meal planning and food prep is still a little challenging. We used to meal plan, grocery shop, and do the majority of food prepping on Sundays. With our busy summer schedule and the switch to a Tuesday delivery day, it’s hard to prep much on the weekends now. We also don’t receive the newsletter from the farm telling us what we will be getting until Monday late afternoon. Now that I’m not teaching on Tuesday nights, that’s when we’ve been doing our grocery shopping, but I’m starting to adjust to making a couple of grocery trips during the week. It’s just too hard to meal plan for the weekends! We’re still trying to get into a groove.

Here’s how we used up some of our produce last week:

First, I wanted to tackle the collard greens. Have you guys ever seen collard greens?! They are ginormous. Like bigger than my head ginormous.

CSA Delivery 2: Collard Greens

That’s me being a total loser while holding the biggest and smallest items in our delivery. Anyways, I remember bookmarking a recipe for Kenyan braised collard greens and ground beef a long time ago, so we gave it a whirl. I couldn’t believe how much the collards cooked down! We added kidney beans to this recipe, and it was a hit. It had a little kick from all the spices, and it was very filling.

Kenyan Braised Collard Greens and Ground Beef

We enjoyed this dish for dinner Tuesday night and lunch on Wednesday. Pretty, right?

Kenyan Braised Collard Greens and Ground Beef

One of my favorites from the week was this balsamic glazed chickpea and kale salad. This was one of the recipes the farm included in its weekly newsletter, and I had it for lunch on Thursday and then for lunch on the beach again on Saturday.

Balsamic Chickpea and Kale Salad

These chicken skewers with bell pepper and yellow onions lasted us a couple of meals as well.

Chicken Skewers with Farro Salad

The farro salad on the side incorporated the radishes, bok choy, and the leftover scallions from the week before. The farro salad was also perfect for a small dinner on its own when I didn’t feel like cooking anything else.

Farro salad with radishes and baby bok choy

Tim busted out his mandolin that my parents gave him for Christmas to slice the beets into pretty strips. We topped the lettuce from the share with the sliced beets, some of the tomato, chickpeas, avocado, and goat cheese. We also incorporated the thyme into the dressing. This lasted for a couple of meals as well.

Beet Salad

Besides all the produce, we also signed up to receive farm fresh eggs each week. We only signed up for a dozen, but we’ve been getting 18! That’s a lot of eggs we need to use up. We both eat a TON of hard-boiled eggs for protein anyways, and we tend to make a lot of egg sandwiches on the weekends, but since I’m not baking so much in the summer, I don’t think we’ve been using as many. To use up the leftover eggs for lunch this week, we threw together a batch of our avocado egg salad. I love my egg salad best served open-faced on Ezekial bread. Yum.

Avocado Egg Salad

I think we did pretty well, and I’m happy not too much has been going to waste. I think that’s the most common reason people DON’T typically sign up for a CSA program. We didn’t end up using the bunched spinach, but it still has some life to it. I think I’ll use it in smoothies this week since I keep bookmarking smoothie recipes like it’s my job. The only other thing I want to start being better about is not letting some of the vegetable greens go to waste. We had big plans to make pesto out of the radish greens to freeze for later, but we waited too long. They turned yellow last night. Lessons learned!

Yesterday was our week 3 delivery, and we received more strawberries (YES), beets, turnips, lettuce, butter lettuce, peas, baby bok choy, broccoli raab, russian kale, red mustard, kohlrabi, and mint! We brainstormed some cool meals to make last night, but the only thing on my mind right now is putting that mint to use… in homemade mojitos during our staycation week next week! Just gotta get through a couple more work days!

–Let’s chat–
I want to hear about some of your eats lately. What foods have you been loving for summer? Have you had any kitchen lessons learned? What would you have done with the produce I shared? Any ideas for what we can make with our stash this week?
Fellow CSA members, share some of your creations in the comments!

For more on my summer CSA experience: