CSA Week 9 07/16

CSA Week 9 07/16

Spring Mix, Spinach, Beets, Carrots, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Turnips, Garlic, Green Beans, Potatoes, Peas, and Swiss Chard.

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CSA Week 9 07/09

CSA Week 9 07/09

Onion, Green Peppers, Turnips, Peas, Zucchini, Spring Mix, Green Beans, Swiss Chard, Kale, and Beets!

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CSA Week 9 07/02

CSA Week 9 07/02

Green Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Zucchini, Turnips, Green Peppers, Spring Mix, Kale, Onions, and Spinach.

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CSA Week 8 06/25

CSA Week 8 06/25

Swiss Chard, Beets, Kale, Spinach, Turnip, Green Onions, and Spring Mix.

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Freeze ahead and CSA update

Freeze Ahead Meals:

Lately, Tom and I have found that we are having a hard time coming up with meals for each week.  Part of this is probably due to the fact that we have often said (and failed to actually do it) that we should (key word should) come up with a master list of recipes/meal ideas.  The other part is that in trying to eat healthy it can sometimes be really hard to come up with meals that are relatively quick to prepare after we’ve been working all day.  So our new solution, which has worked thus far, has been to make meals ahead of time and freeze them.

This week we made two lasagnas, and since we made them both in 13×9 pans they were not only a dinner but lunch for a couple of days as well.  I’m also planning on making a soup and freezing some of it for next week.  We also budget a certain amount out of each of our paychecks and with my checks being the smaller ones we take less out for “food and spending”…so making the freeze ahead meals out of Tom’s paychecks is going to work out really well!

CSA Update:

We have steadily been picking up our CSA every Monday from a local bulk foods pantry.  The volume of veggies we are receiving each week has been steadily increasing and so has the variety.  It’s just really neat to see what we’ll get each week.  We also get to spend a few minutes chatting with this season’s “intern/assistant” about recipes or life in general.

One neat thing we came up with once we started getting beets, because I’m not a huge beet fan, is beet chips.  We basically just sprayed a little olive oil (we bought one of the ones you can fill with your own olive oil) on a baking sheet.  Then we sliced some beets with our mandoline slicer (hopefully I spelled that right!) and arranged them on the sheet.  Then we sprayed them with a little more olive oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper.  We baked them until they started to look like chips, kind of trial and error and it really depends on how thick you slice them.  I know it probably isn’t the most nutrient friendly way to eat beets, but it’s a way to eat beets!

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More CSA goodies!!!

Week 3    (05/21)

Two bags of spring mix… a bag of spinach… and a bag of water cress

 

Week 4    (05/28)

More spring mix… spinach… and water cress

 

Week 5    (06/04)

Spring mix… spinach… water cress… swiss chard… and garlic scape

 

Week 6    (06/11)

Spring mix… spinach… swiss chard… garlic scape… kale… green onion/scallion… and some random unknown “salad greens”

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The CSA Started!

On May 7th our CSA officially started.  We get a weekly newsletter from the farm that we are supporting and we were excited to hear that it was starting so early.  They hope to go as close to Thanksgiving as possible.  We paid $478 for what they refer to as a “Vegetable Lovers” share.  Obviously, starting out this early we’re sure that the price will be more than worth it.

 

Week 1:

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Included:  Miner’s Lettuce, Wild Leeks, Lovage, Spinach, and Watercress

 

Week 2:

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Included:  Spring Mix, Wild Leeks, Watercress, and Spinach.

 

We’ve been pleased so far.  Everything we have received has been very clean, fresh, and tasty!

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Staple Spaghetti and Fresh Sauce

We have a few meals that are staples that we eat at least once a week.  This is definitely one of them.  I’ll do my best to write a “recipe” although it’s sort of one of those recipes that changes from week to week depending on the mood I’m in or what’s in the fridge.

Tonight we used a new kind of pasta that is pictured below.  Apparently it is made out of different veggies!Image

For the sauce tonight I used/did the following:

1.  While you’re cutting up a few onions (however small or big you want) heat up a little bit of olive oil in the pot (we use a dutch oven on the stove top and it works great for this).

2.  Put the onions in the pot and let them brown a little.  I usually add spices at this time too:  garlic and basil (Wegmans has these really cool squeezy tubes of “fresh” garlic and basil), oregano, red pepper flakes (or whatever if you don’t want it to be spicy), salt (we always use the really course sea salt for cooking), parsley, and bay leaves (just don’t eat those).

3.  While this is browning (not burning) chop up the tomatoes (once again however coarse or fine you want–but if you don’t feel like taking the time to chop them up really tiny you can always use a manual potato masher later to squish them!).  I don’t bother to take the seeds or skin out, but if you feel like it go for it.  We use a mix of Kumato and Beefsteak, but I’ve used whatever is in the fridge before too.

4.  Add your tomatoes and give everything a stir, the juice from the tomatoes should help get any bits off of the pot that might have stuck.

5.  Reduce the heat (by a lot!) and just let it cook away.  Sometimes I’ll cover it, sometimes not.  Usually I let it cook for at least 45 minutes.

Pre-cooking:

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Post cooking:

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Why are we doing this…

Tom and I both really enjoy cooking.  I grew up in a house where my mom stayed home and I spent a lot of time with my Grandmother, so I don’t really remember not being able to cook and bake.  Tom could definitely take care of himself before we got together, but I like to think I’ve taught him something!  We primarily cook at home for a few reasons:  the cost of eating out is a lot higher than buying quality ingredients and cooking for yourself at home, and we can cook well enough that sometimes we’re left unimpressed by restaurants after having spent a lot more on a meal than it would have cost for us to make a better version of it at home!  You might think that sounds “snobby”, and we’ve accepted the fact that we’re food snobs.  I mean, we definitely have mac ‘ cheese and hot dog nights or order random take out, but for the most part we’ve found that as much as you might want those things at the moment, they don’t get along with our bodies very well.

Some background on our food “dos” and “don’ts”:

  • We only use Olive Oil.
  • We never buy soda, basically we realized we were “weird” because we only ever have milk and water in the house.
  • We buy things like popcorn you have to make in a popper, versus microwave popcorn.
  • We hardly ever buy jar tomato sauce, I think we did for the first time in six months last week or so.
  • We don’t eat a whole lot of red meat, maybe once a month.
  • We try to eat vegetarian a couple of times a week.
  • We eat lunch at home, except for Fridays.
  • We do not ever eat frozen food (sometimes frozen veggies, but never microwave meals).
  • We grocery shop weekly so by Friday it looks like no one lives at our house, we’ve found this maximizes freshness.
  • We recently paid for a share in a local CSA and we’re totally psyched about seeing how that fits in!
  • We’ve started buying chicken breasts and pork loins in more of bulk quantities and freezing them.
  • We meal plan once a week.
  • We try to cook with spices and flavor!

With all of that said about not eating hardly any red meat blah blah blah, today is our 6 year anniversary and we decided to cook an awesome meal together at home instead of going out.  We made steak, mashed potatoes, steamed asparagus, with a red wine reduction…awesome!  The approximate cost for this meal, for two, was $20.  We probably would have paid at least $25 EACH for it had we gone out and ordered the same thing, and we wouldn’t have had control over what ingredients went in it!

This is the general recipe we used!

The only slight changes we made were the following:

  • We used “perfect portion” sirloin steaks from Wegmans instead of flank steak.
  • We didn’t drain the butter and fat off before we made the reduction, but only because the lean cut we used had hardly any.
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