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:

Plu Codes & Two Weeks of Eats


Plu Codes

Before I get into my food pics, I want to share a fun fact that my friend Patrice shared with me yesterday about the plu codes on produce.  You know the number on the little sticker that comes on your apples, oranges, etc.?  I always thought that those numbers were just something I needed to memorize as part of my first job (former Market Basket cashier here), but the plu numbers actually contain a lot of information about what you are going to eat!  I learned that a four digit number means the fruit or vegetable is conventionally grown (with chemical assistance).  Five digit numbers beginning with eight means the produce has been genetically modified.  However, five digit numbers beginning with nine imply the produce is organic.  Who knew!?  For more info on this, Mark’s Daily Apple has a nice blog post that explains it further.

Two Weeks of Eats

I’m behind on my food posting, so today you guys get two week’s worth.  There’s no way I am going to remember the days I ate each, so here’s a picture collage of my blog worthy meals:

Weekly Eats

In order from top to bottom and left to right:

  1. Tim’s dry rub steak with a barley side dish
  2. Kale and beet salad
  3. Chicken drumsticks with a bulgur wheat side dish
  4. Kale salad with steak, tomatoes, radishes, and beans
  5. Swiss chard and white bean gnocchi
  6. Stuffed sweet potatoes, steak, corn on the cob (for Joe’s 30th birthday dinner!)
  7. Steak + same bulgur wheat side dish + heirloom tomatoes
  8. Heirloom tomatoes
  9. Open face veggie sandwich from The Met Bar

Other eats included chicken kabob salads and ice cream from Demo’s in Waltham while catching up with my uncles:


And a delicious Italian dinner from a hidden gem Watertown restaurant, Grappa.  I ordered a pear salad with prosciutto stuffed figs to start, and for my meal I got the rolled eggplant.  Both of these were actually appetizers, but the portions were more than enough!

GrappaOur waitress, Natalie, was the nicest woman ever.  I am pretty sure she owns the restaurant too.  Our service was just impeccable.  She even spilled a tiny drop of red wine on Tim and sent us home with massage amounts of cannolis and tiramasu because she felt so bad about it.  Local readers, a must try hidden gem if you’ve never been!  It’s right on the side street next to Target in Watertown.

Of course all the food I consumed during No Carbs Left Behind Weekend with the girls is blog worthy as well, but I’ll save that for my weekend recap.

On this week’s meal plan:

  • Stuffed acorn squash
  • Butternut squash and spinach salad
  • Mango chutney topped flounder
  • More heirloom tomatoes (love this!)
  • Butternut squash soup
  • Grilled eggplant and chickpea salad
  • Dinner at Seasons 52!  Psyched this restaurant (an Atlanta favorite of my group at work) is opening in Burlington.

Did you guys know the plu code info I shared?  What’s your favorite “hidden gem” restaurant?  Any favorite go to eats lately?  What’s on this week’s meal plan?

Have a great day you guys!

Birthday Week Eats

Birthday week last week was full with lots of yummy things!

We started off the week on Sunday at SOWA Open Market.  You can read about our full experience in this post.

SOWA Open Market

We decided to put some of our SOWA farmer’s market goods to good use on Sunday night when we got home.  We made farro and veggie stuffed pattypan squash for dinner!  This recipe was our own creation, and I’ll be sharing it with you guys later this week.

Farro & Veggie Stuffed Pattypan Squash

For lunch on Monday & Tuesday, I threw together a bunch of random things using the leftover farro mixture from the pattypans.  I forgot how much I *love* edamame.

Farro Salad

For dinner on Monday and Tuesday, we whipped up a batch of grilled nicoise shrimp salad.  We liked it so much the week before that we just had to make it again.

Grilled Shrimp Nicoise Salad

An extra treat on Tuesday included this giant soft pretzel at the Red Sox game!  It’s pretty much impossible to eat healthy at Fenway, but when I’m there and hungry my go to choice is a pretzel.  I just really like them.  They also remind me of the times Katrina and I would go shopping at the Natick Mall and have zero luck.  A huge pretzel from Auntie Anne’s would always cheer us up!

Red Sox Pretzel

Lunch on Wednesday and Thursday was another repeat – southwestern sweet potato salad.  Obsessed.  As much as I hate summer winding down, I am beyond psyched for the amount of meals I can make with pumpkin and sweet potato again.  Woot!

Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad

Wednesday night dinner was pasta style!  Eggplant over wheat noodles with tomato sauce.  I inhaled this after my last CrossFit class!

Eggplant & Pasta

Thursday night dinner was out with Slesh at Playmakers on Moody Street.  We got $3 quesadillas and our first Shipyard Pumpkin Ales of the season.  Normally I like to wait until after Labor Day, but Thursday was chilly and the Shipyard tap was just speaking to us. 😉

Playmakers Quesadilla

Tim and I had the day off on Friday, so we decided to grab sandwiches from Whole Foods and have a little picnic at the Fresh Pond Reservoir before walking the three mile loop.  I got an apricot glazed turkey with arugula and goat cheese on an onion focaccia bread.

Whole Foods Turkey

Friday night before my birthday celebration with friends, Tim and I met Slesh at Four Burger to grab some food.  I got the turkey burger with caramelized onions and mushrooms and gouda, on no bun, with a side salad.  In retrospect, I should have ordered the bun.  Maybe even some fries.  That probably would have helped my severe hangover ailments on Saturday morning!

Four Burger Turkey Burger

My drink of choice on Friday night were Julius Echters.  Don’t mind the recycled picture from another post, but I didn’t snap any brew pics on Friday.

Julius Echter

Because of said beers, on Saturday I couldn’t stop eating junk all day long.  It happens, you guys!  I don’t know how I used to go out ALL the time <— spoken like a true 28 year old.  Anyways, I managed to feel better by dinnertime, thank God!  Tim planned a special dinner for me at Towne Stove and Spirits on Boylston Street.  I’ll recap in my birthday post later on, but my meal was DELICIOUS.  We ordered the ricotta and lemon ravioli for an appetizer, and I ordered the swordfish steak for my meal.  And we split sides of asparagus and roasted mushrooms.  It was to die for!

Towne Stove & Spirits

This week’s meal plan looks like this:

  • Sunday:  Homemade pizza night
  • Monday:  Steak with leftover sides from Towne
  • Tuesday: Salad with barley and fruit
  • Wednesday:  Peach and basil ravioli with seafood
  • Thursday:  Birthday dinner out with my family
  • Friday:  TBD before Ashley & Bret’s wedding eve beach bonfire
  • Saturday:  Wedding dinner!

And for lunches, quinoas and salad with barley and fruit.  Pretty typical.

Questions for you!  Do you usually order food at baseball games?  What’s the best dinner out you’ve had lately?  Anything yummy on the meal plan for this week?

Catch you later, friends!