Thursday, June 28, 2012

CSA Share Week 3

Another scrumptious (as Greysen would call it) week of healthy eating.  We were out of town for a few days, but still managed to get the most from our farm share.  We used everything except for the radishes, beets and turnips, which are on hold for next week when we might have more of them.  These root vegetables keep for a while in the fridge, as long as the greens are snipped off.  

Week 3 bounty:
Photo courtesy of Scotch Hill Farm, Broadhead, WI
Sugar snap snow peas
Oregon Giant snow peas
Spring Onions
Lettuce Mix
Easter Egg Radishes
Beets - Chioggia and Bulls Blood
Hakurai Turnips
Garlic Scapes
Cream cheese from goat milk

Meal #1:  basil, oregano, garlic scapes

This is always a hit at our house.  I used the basil and the oregano to make this batch of pesto and it was just as delicious.  

Basil-Walnut Pesto

2 cups packed basil leaves (approx. 2 oz)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons softened butter (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Place basil, olive oil, walnuts, garlic and salt (if using) in food processor.  Blend until thoroughly combined. Add Parmesan and butter (if using) and blend 5-10 seconds more. Just before serving, add 2 Tbsp of hot pasta water from cooked pasta. Serve over pasta with bread and salad.* Recipe by dahlia at

Meal #2: snow peas (sugar snap and oregon giant), garlic scapes, spring onions
This should have been a hit even with the kids, but somehow they didn't enjoy it.  Maybe it's the heat, because Allen and I certainly enjoyed it.  It tasted just like my mom makes it.  And we thought crumbling the cashews on top would make it fun.  Our picky eaters picked the cashews off and ate the rice.  It was a great use of the peas and I'm already looking forward to eating the leftovers.

Stir-fry/fried rice with Snow Peas and Chicken

8 - 10 ounces snow peas (we used sugar snap and oregon giant)
1-2 tablespoon canola or olive oil
1 tablespoon diced garlic scapes
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 - 2 tablespoons soy sauce, to taste

2 large chicken breasts, but into bite-size pieces
6 servings of cooked brown rice
Rinse the snow peas and trim the ends. Heat the oil in a preheated wok or skillet on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the finely chopped garlic. Stir-fry briefly until it is aromatic, then add the chicken.  Cook until they appear fully cooked on outside, then add snow peas and salt. Stir-fry briefly, then add the soy sauce. Stir-fry for another minute and then add the cooked rice to mix and serve. (Total stir-frying time for snow peas is about 2-3 minutes.)  

Meal #3: goat cheese, lettuce

We had leftover bottom round roast from last week, so I made this to add to the meal. It would probably have paired better with pork, but it was good just the same.
Goat Cheese Apple Walnut Pasta
2 cups ditalini pasta or small elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon butter
1 large apple - peeled, cored and diced
1 cup chicken broth
4 ounces creamy goat cheese
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 pinch cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 8 minutes. Drain and set aside in a large bowl. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in apple; cook and stir until golden around the edges, about 3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and increase heat to medium high and simmer 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in goat cheese, 2 tablespoons at a time, to apple broth mixture, stirring well to incorporate after each addition. Remove from heat. Mix apple and goat cheese mixture with drained pasta until combined. Stir in walnuts, thyme, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.  * Recipe by Chef John at

Meal #4: lettuce, radish/turnip/beet greens
Frozen greens cubes
The greens were washed and I broke off the long rigid stems to toss.  I put the damp greens in a covered pot on a low setting until the cooked down.  Then I put them in the Magic Bullet (added water as needed) and pureed them.  Put spoonfuls into ice cube trays, when frozen I put the cubes in a ziploc bag.  We will use the cubes as needed in sauces, soups or even in scrambled eggs or omelets.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

CSA Share Week 2

Already late on week number two, but I worked all last weekend out of town and had to catch up now!  We have managed to consume or pureed and cube freeze everything but the cream cheese.  We will find a use next week.

Week 2 bounty:
Photo courtesy of Scotch Hill Farm, Broadhead, WI
Sugar snap peas
Bok Choi
Garlic Scapes
Bibb Lettuce
Red Wave Lettuce
Lettuce Mix
Assorted greens
Cream cheese from goat milk

Meal #1: asparagus, garlic scapes, lettuce

Risotto d'asparagi
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (we cut them tiny for tiny mouths)
7 1/2 cups chicken broth 
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups uncooked Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine 
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Place asparagus in a large saucepan; add 1/2 in. of water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Drain and set aside.  In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and maintain at a simmer.  In a large heavy skillet, cook onion in oil over medium heat until tender.  Add rice and stir to coat well; cook 3 minutes longer.  Add wine and cook until absorbed.  Stir in 1 cup simmering broth.  Cook until broth is almost completely absorbed, stirring frequently, then add another cup of simmering broth.  Repeat until only about 1/4 cup of broth remains (discard remaining broth); the process should take about 20 minutes.  Rice should be slightly firm in center and look creamy.  Add asparagus; heat through.  Remove from the heat; add the butter, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.  * Recipe by Stephanie Marchese at

Meal #2: sugar snap peas, garlic scapes, lettuce

We had snap peas, chicken and Trader Joe's whole wheat naan and a salad.  Oh so delicious!
Sugar Snap Peas
Cooked them in a frying pan for approximately two minutes with diced garlic scapes and a bit of soy sauce. Kids both loved them.
Dry Rub for Chicken or Turkey
We had a whole chicken in the freezer, so we put this yummy rub on and grilled it with a beer inside the bird. It was delicious! 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 2 tablespoons chili powder, 2 tablespoons paprika, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (can use more), 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 3 teaspoons mustard powder, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper.  Mix all spice ingredients together. Rub onto chicken (use as much of the rub as desired, use lots or use a little. Cover the chicken then place in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours. Grill as desired.* Recipe by Kittencalskitchen at

Meal #3: basil, garlic scapes, lettuce

Kid-friendly meal - I used some Stellina pasta (tiny stars) and mixed the fresh pesto with it.  The kiddos devoured it like most would mac 'n cheese.  Followed by the salad.  Even the kids have been eating it - they love the fresh lettuce.

Basil-Walnut Pesto
2 cups packed basil leaves (approx. 2 oz)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons softened butter (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Place basil, olive oil, walnuts, garlic and salt (if using) in food processor.  Blend until thoroughly combined. Add Parmesan and butter (if using) and blend 5-10 seconds more. Just before serving, add 2 Tbsp of hot pasta water from cooked pasta. Serve over pasta with bread and salad.* Recipe by dahlia at

Meal #4: radishes, garlic scapes, bok choi
This roast is delicious!  We've made it a number of times and it's always great.  I added chopped bok choi in the last hour, then cooked some brown rice and served the veggies and sauce over the rice.  I think if I did it again, I would saute the bok choi separately to keep it's crispness.

V's Crock Pot Bottom Round Roast
3 lbs boneless bottom round roast
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (didn't have any, so I used mayo)

1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped (also added radishes)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place chopped onion and carrots in bottom of crock pot. Season all sides of the roast liberally with the kosher salt and ground pepper. Place roast on top of onions and carrots, fat side down. Combine mustard, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth and red wine in a separate bowl and pour over roast. Set crock pot to low and cook for 3 hours. After 3 hours, turn the roast onto one side and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the roast on the next side and cook 20 minutes, repeat until the roast has the fat side on the bottom again. Cook for about 2 more hours usually 6 hours total. The roast is done when it shreds easily with a fork. (Cook time can vary depending on size of roast and size of crock pot.) You can remove meat, add a bit of cornstarch to thicken sauce to gravy. Also, mushrooms are a wonderful addition.* Recipe by VLizzle at

Thursday, June 14, 2012

CSA Share Week 1

Here goes!  We are going to try and document our experience this year (our third) with our CSA share. CSA is a Community Supported Agriculture share in a farm. Each week for 20 weeks we receive a brown paper bag filled with an organic bounty of fresh vegetables and occasional fruit from Scotch Hill Farm in Broadhead, WI.

We have a 2.5 year old (who does NOT like most vegetables) and an almost five year old (who loves most veggies). It has been interesting over the past two years learning what works for us and what doesn't.

We eat what we can fresh, but when pickup day rolls around again, we must make room for the new. Last year we began steaming and pureeing some things. We then put it in ice cube trays and freeze. We've made a lot of different sauces with these cubes (pumpkin/squash, greens, various root veggies etc). We add them to pasta, risotto, cous cous...  Things with longer shelf life we keep around, but we don't like to waste a thing.

Week 1 bounty:
Chinese Cabbage
Lettuce Mix
Salad Selects (Mizoma greens)
Freckled Romain (a speckled variety)
Garlic Scapes (early cutting from plant that helps bulbs get bigger; use as you do garlic cloves)

Meal #1: Chinese cabbage and garlic scapes
The kids actually ate this whole meal!

Spicy Bok Choy in Garlic Sauce
1 pound bok choy (replaced with chinese cabbage)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced (replaced with garlic scapes)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce (didn't have, so we omitted)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Trim off the ends of the bok choy and chop, keeping the white parts separate from the green as they will need to cook longer.  Rinse and spin or pat dry.  Set aside.  In a small bowl or cup, stir together the vegetable oil and sesame oil.  In a separate larger bowl, stir together the water, ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and red pepper flakes.  Set this aside.  Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Add the bok choy stems first; stir fry for a few minutes or until the pieces start to turn a pale green.  When stems are almost cooked, add the leaves; cook and stir until leaves are wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and transfer the bok choy to a serving dish.  Pour the sauce into the skillet or wok and set over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes.  Pour over the bok choy and toss lightly to coat.  
* Recipe from by Spyce

  • Ginger glazed mahi mahi
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    salt and pepper, to taste
    2 Tbsp soy sauce
    1 Tbsp maple syrup
    couple squirts of lemon juice
    3 tilapia filets
    Cook filets with oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper for about 2 minutes on each side.  Add maple syrup cook another 2 minutes per side.

    Cous-cous with Cubes Sauce
    Made whole wheat cous-cous with 2 greens and 2 squash cubes (from last year's bounty).

Meal #2: spinach, radish & turnip greens and garlic scapes
"Oscar Pasta" 
This is our own creation that the kids love.  
We steam greens (spinach, radish and turnip greens) and puree them. Usually it's just greens, butter/oil, salt and nutmeg to taste.This time we added some garlic scapes. Put the sauce on pasta.

Hot dogs
We try one meal a week to be just for the kids - all beef natural hot dogs.  This whole meal is always a guaranteed hit.  

Meal #3: radishes, turnips, leeks
Roasted Radishes and Turnips
radishes and turnips, cut into small bite-sizes
Put in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Then sprinkle with seasoning salt of choice. Toss to coat. Spread on a greased jelly roll pan. Place in oven at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Turn vegetables every 10 minutes.

Allen's Best Burgers
1 lb lean burger
He puts a little of each of the following in our Magic Bullet: olive oil, dash of worchestershire sauce, oregano, basil, rosemary, salt and pepper, Lawry's salt (and a special new ingredient - a quarter of an onion, finely diced in our Magic Bullet). Mixed it with the burger and made patties.* Recipe from my husband :)

Pasta with leeks and last year's leftovers
We used 3 cubes of pureed greens, 3 cubes of pumpkin, 2 dashes of homemade salsa and added them to sauteed leeks.  Made a great sauce over our pasta.  The kids devoured it!

**Lettuces and cress have been eaten throughout the week with many meals (including last weeks' leftovers, which we had a lot of hence only 3 meals for 7 days).