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 1

Good morning! Let’s talk vegetables in honor of National Eat Your Veggies Day yesterday.

Last week was the first week of the community supported agriculture program that Tim and I signed up with through the wellness program at work. Aside from the farm fresh eggs, our first delivery on Tuesday included sweet potatoes, asparagus, romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, an awesomely huge tomato, red mustard greens, radishes, oregano, broccoli raab, and scallions.

CSA Delivery 2

Here are some of the meals we made with our goodies!

First we made a chicken and gnocchi skillet with the dandelion greens, radishes, and oregano for dinner on Wednesday and Thursday night.

Chicken and gnocchi skillet with dandelion greens, radishes, and oregano

I don’t think I’ve ever had dandelion greens before, but I liked them cooked down in this dish. Our lesson learned was to cut the stems out because the stems were definitely more bitter than the rest of the leaf. I also liked preparing the radishes in a different way besides just slicing raw in a salad!

Friday nights are often pizza nights in our home, and we were psyched to try our hand at a homemade asparagus pizza.

Asparagus, Mushroom, and Ricotta Pizza

We topped a multigrain crust with the sliced asparagus spears, sliced mushrooms, sliced yellow onion, ricotta, some shredded mozzarella cheese, minced garlic, and some spices. For the win!

Our weekend was full of non-homemade meals, so we didn’t bust into the veggies again until we made lunch for the beginning of the week and dinner on Monday night. For lunch, we went with a tried and true favorite, this grilled sweet potato salad recipe. This used up the sweet potatoes and most of the scallions.

Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad

Finally, Monday was a throw together kind of night, so we used up the head of lettuce and topped it with grilled shrimp and leftover ingredients from our pizza toppings.

Grilled shrimp salad

We also cut up that huge tomato for the salad, and it was delicious. We had some left over, so I sliced it and packed it for a snack at work. Drizzled in a little balsamic with some s&p, it really hit the spot.

Sliced tomatoes

I think we did pretty good for week 1! The only two things that didn’t get used were the broccoli raab and the mustard greens. I’m chalking that up to not having any meals at home on Saturday and Sunday at all.

Yesterday we picked up delivery #2. Is it normal to feel this much excitement about vegetables?

CSA Delivery 2

AND fruit!? These strawberries don’t stand a chance at lasting beyond today.

Strawberries

Possible meals on deck for the next week:

  • Spiced collard greens and ground beef
  • Balsamic chickpea and kale salad
  • Chicken kabobs with a side of farro, bok choy, and radish
  • Beet salad
  • Avocado egg salad to use all those eggs!

–Let’s chat–
Tell me about the eats from your week last week. What was the best meal you made? If you are participating in a summer CSA program, how did you get creative with your produce?
What fruits and vegetables are you loving lately? Did you celebrate Eat Your Vegetables Day?

Have a good one!

Catching Up On Eats

If I had to describe how I’ve eaten and/or felt about food for the past month, some words that come to mind include:

  • Bottomless pit
  • Nom, nom, nom
  • Ravenous
  • Can’t stop, won’t stop

Ever since I went to Chicago in April, I just cannot stop eating ALL THE FOOD. Maybe that bike tour expanded my stomach? With so much going out to eat and social events lately, it’s just been really hard to “be good.” I am still food prepping and eating healthy during the work day, but my snacking at night and splurging on the weekends has gotten a little out of control lately. I’m trying really hard to reign it back in, but it’s been tough!

That said, the food picture roundup below doesn’t really include all my bottomless pit type noshing. Who would really want to see pictures of random slices of cheese, crackers, chocolate chips, and spoonfuls of peanut butter? Instead, here’s a recap of some of the meals I’ve had over the past couple of months. Enjoy!

Breakfasts and Baked Goods

Blueberry pancakes… perfect for a Sunday morning

Blueberry Pancakes

Strawberry ones too

Strawberry Pancakes

Blueberry pumpkin muffin bars, recipe via PaleOMG

Blueberry Pumpkin Muffin Bars

Energy balls

Sarah Fit Get Skinny Again Energy Bites

 

Lunch and Dinners

Lemon quinoa with chicken and artichokes

Lemon Chicken Quinoa with Artichokes

Apple and almond quinoa

Apple and Almond Quinoa

Bulgur salad with edamame and carrots

Bulgur Salad with Edamame and Carrots

Caprese chicken  with garlic spinach

Caprese Chicken

Goat cheese gnocchi

Goat cheese gnocchi

Chicken and black bean casserole, recipe via Six Sisters’ Stuff <—this one has been on repeat in our weekly rotations!

Chicken and black bean casserole

Spaghetti squash and turkey meatballs

Spaghetti squash and turkey meatballs

Slow cooker chicken, turnip, and squash over barley

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

Sweet potato, farro, and veggie casserole

Sweet Potato, Farro, and Veggie Casserole

Hummus crusted chicken with Brussels Sprouts

Hummus Crusted Chicken

Homemade chickpea crust pizza

Chickpea Crust Pizza

Snacks

Kiwi berries – so weird!

Kiwiberry

Homemade pretzels with honey mustard <—thanks, boyfriend!

Homemade pretzels with honey mustard

Restaurants

A little impromptu breakfast date at Cafenation with Miss Ashley

Cafenation

A cup of chili and a salad with shrimp for Papou’s birthday at The Airport Grille

Soup and salad

Another chili and salad meal, this time from The Local in Newton

Chili and Salad The Local

A salad and fish tacos at the Boathouse in Harvard Square

Boathouse Harvard Square

A giant burrito bowl from Chipotle <— this sucker lasted two meals

Chipotle burrito bowl

A little Caprese salad and pizza action at Charcoal Guido’s in Waltham

Charcoal Guidos

And to finish, Tim’s birthday dinner of Asian style small plates at The Blue Dragon. Highly recommend for the food, cocktails, service, and vibe! Great night all around.

Tim's Birthday at Blue Dragon

–Let’s chat–
Do you go through
phases where you just can’t stop snacking? How do you overcome it to get back on track? What’s a delicious meal you’ve eaten lately? Any fun recipes to share? Any recipe post requests?