Tag Archives: Meal Planning

Simpaug Farms CSA: Week Nine

Sage

After a week away from home, I’ve been overjoyed to spend two days in the kitchen; we needed to stock up on all of the homemade staples that we used up at the beach! Yesterday we focused on bread, granola, and yogurt, and today has been about trying new things: hazelnut plum shortcakes, a cardamom-rye cake, and a new-to-us cheesy squash casserole.

Irony: this week’s CSA share is the first of the summer that doesn’t contain any squash. Thankfully we had a large patty pan leftover from last week and adapted the casserole for it. Speaking of the share…

What’s In The Week Nine CSA Share

Vegetables

  • Beets, 16 ounces
  • Garlic, 1.5 ounces
  • Green Beans, 16 ounces
  • Miniature Purple Eggplant, 16 ounces
  • Onions (1 red, 1 white), 10.5 ounces
  • Peppers (Bell, Bull Horn, and Hot), 34 ounces
  • Sage, 0.5 ounces
  • Savoy Cabbage, 44 ounces
  • Swiss Chard, 8 ounces
  • Tomatoes (Heirloom, Slicing, Roma, and Cherry), 79 ounces

Other

  • Eggs, 1 dozen

Leftovers and Market Gleanings

We did have a few things left over from last week, and peak local produce is available at our supermarket; we love to support the local farms who can supply grocery stores, so have quite the haul of “additions” this week.

  • Asparagus, 12 ounces
  • Avocado, 1
  • Bananas, 3
  • Blueberries, 48 ounces
  • Butter Lettuce, 8 ounces
  • Carrots, 10 ounces
  • Celery (stalks and leaves), 10 ounces
  • Corn (on the cob), 4 ears
  • Crimini Mushrooms, 8 ounces
  • Green Pepper, 6 ounces
  • Jalapeno Pepper, 2 ounces
  • Lemon, 1
  • Lime, 1
  • Red Plums, 20 ounces
  • Savoy Cabbage, 30 ounces
  • Slicing Cucumber, 8 ounces
  • Strawberries, 35 ounces
  • Yellow Onions, 16 ounces
  • Yellow Peaches, 50 ounces

That’s 30 pounds of produce for two people! Yikes.

What To Make With This Week’s CSA Share

Omelets

My mom taught me a new method for making omelets which I quite enjoy, so we’ve had delicious egg-and-vegetable concoctions for breakfast several mornings in the last week. Any vegetables can become a terrific omelet filling as long as we balance bitter and savory flavors, fill it out with a bit of cheese for structure, and add some acid in a sauce.

Squash Casserole

The patty pan squash and a bit of red onion have become a fabulous-smelling miniature take on a popular online casserole recipe. We substituted stone-ground wheat crackers for butter crackers, jack cheese for cheddar, and salted butter for unsalted butter + salt, and it smells like a perfect accompaniment for charred corn and grilled steak (tonight’s dinner plan).

Eggplant Parmesan

With a fistful of fresh mozzarella in the fridge, a quart of homemade marinara sauce in the freezer, and a box of pasta in the pantry, the eggplant is crying out to become eggplant parm. We’ll be able to add a little heft to the dish by tearing the chard into super fine pieces and sautéeing it as an add-in for the sauce, and making a tomato-pepper-cucumber salad with a zippy dressing to serve alongside.

Burgers and Sides

I am strongly hopeful that the avocado, butter lettuce, and a slicing tomato might turn into the fixings of an excellent made-at-home-on-the-grill burger, alongside some roasted beets and fingerling potatoes dredged in sage, and another glorious coleslaw. I’m not sure what Clay’s plans are for Tuesday’s supper, but that’s my vote!

Pork Chops with Mushrooms

Any chard that isn’t consumed with the eggplant parmesan will be a lovely side dish to pork chops with mushroom sauce – especially if they’re tossed with some cold roasted beets dressed in a citrus vinaigrette.

Yogurt Parfait

The weather has cooled enough that a pre-set yogurt parfait will survive my commute, so on-or-after-the-train breakfasts this week will include fruit + yogurt + granola combinations.

Roasted Pepper Hummus with Crudité

We really enjoy making Alton Brown’s from scratch hummus, and with all of the peppers available, and the nuts stocked in our fridge, we’ll be able to make a well-flavored one. I usually take “last night’s dinner leftovers” as packed lunches during the week, but hummus with fresh veggies is Clay’s go-to summer lunch, so I’m sure he’ll make a large dent in the stock of green beans, carrots, celery, and cherry tomatoes.

Salsa Fresca

With the beautiful salsa spices we have from Penzey’s, I’ll turn the tomato, onion, garlic, hot peppers, and any leftover corn into a fresh salsa.

Blueberry Peach Buckle

The peaches are a little underripe; when they are ready, I’ll make a pair of blueberry peach buckles to share with friends. One will be for dessert with dinner guests on Saturday, and the other will be for the casting team at one of the theater companies Clay works with for their season general auditions on Sunday.

Baked Treats

I’ve spent this afternoon making cakes which will serve for tonight’s dessert with the plums. In addition to that and the buckles we’ll make a loaf of banana bread for breakfast toast at mid-week (when the bananas have ripened), and if we have any other fruit left by Saturday morning I’ll turn all of it into a freeform tart.

And suddenly it seems that we’ve made short work of the overwhelming bounty we were struggling to put away a few hours ago!

This garlic is so delicate…

Simpaug Farms CSA: Week One

Three-quarters of today’s haul. 

It’s my favorite day of the summer: open season at our CSA! Earlier this morning I collected the contents of our crate – three cloth sacks full of gorgeous greens, with dirt still on the radishes – and then spent the afternoon cleaning and trimming and drying and storing all of it. Because I’m a crazy person, and that’s what the first day of the season is all about.

My plan is to catalog what we receive each week, and to note our plans for cooking, eating, and preserving it. So, let’s get started.

What’s In This Week’s Share: Week One

Vegetables

  • Broccoli – 16 ounces
    Storage Instructions: Mist the unwashed heads, wrap loosely in paper towels, and refrigerate. Use within 2 to 3 days.
  • Snap Peas – 16 ounces
    Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Use within 5 days.
  • Spicy mixed salad greens – 8 ounces
    Store loosely in a plastic bag in the fridge; use within 5 days
  • Rainbow Chard – 8 ounces
    Store in an air-tight plastic bag with as much air removed as possible, for up to five days
  • Red Leaf Lettuce – 10 ounces
    Line a food storage container with paper towels; separate the leaves and place them in the container, wrap loosely with paper towels, and place in the crisper drawer – check daily to discard any spoiled leaves; will keep for a week
  • Squash – 32 ounces
    Refrigerate in a perforated plastic bag for up to a week
  • Pointed cabbage – 24 ounces
    Store in the crisper drawer for up to a week
  • Kale – 10 ounces
    Wrap in paper towels, store in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator
  • Fennel – one 3.5-oz bulb
    Store in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 10 days
  • French Radishes – 7 ounces
    Top and Tail the radishes, place them in a mason jar of cold water, and store them in the fridge. Change the water daily.
  • Scallions – 5.5 ounces
    Store in a quart-sized mason jar with the white bottoms submerged. Change the water daily, and they will continue to grow.
  • Garlic Scapes – 10
    I store them loose in the crisper drawer and trim the cut ends weekly; they keep for months

Other

  • Eggs – one dozen

What To Make With This Week’s Share

I’ve ordered the list of produce in order of perishability, so that governs how we’ll consume it.

Frozen Stir Fry Mix
This is a super-busy week for Clay, and my parents are in town for the week to work on a big house project. We won’t have a lot of time for big cooking projects, so I’m taking a short-cut and creating two family-sized packages of stir fry vegetables to freeze for easy weeknight dinners for July. They will include:

  • Broccoli
  • Snap Peas
  • Onions and Carrots from the pantry

When it’s time to make the stir-fry, we’ll add in a fresh bell pepper and all of our seasonings, and serve it over rice or noodles.

Chopped and ready for a Mandarin Chicken stir-fry

Salad
I bought a bag of the farm’s spicy mixed greens last week, and we made a splendid salad. We’ll repeat that pattern this week, with the

  • Spicy Mix
  • French Radishes (roasted with carrots then sliced into coins)
  • Yellow Squash (peeled into slender ribbons)
  • Green Pepper and Grape Tomatoes from the market

We’ll mix the fresh veggies with a big batch of creamy Green Goddess dressing made with our homemade yogurt, fresh lemon, and the GG salad mix from Penzey’s. It should yield four servings as a meal or eight as a side.

Radishes in a jar if fresh, cold water.

Pork Tenderloin with Braised Chard and Roasted Fennel
When I think about pork sausage I smell fennel and rich earthy greens, so we’ll create a whole meal around those flavors. We’ll use:

  • A pork tenderloin from the freezer
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Scallions
  • Fennel
  • Garlic Scapes

I’ll chop up one of the scapes and stuff it into deep slashes in the pork, to impart a lovely garlicky flavor during the roasting process. We’ll quarter the fennel bulb and roast it in the same pan with the pork, and braise the chard with a few of the scallions and another of the garlic scapes.

Fennel Bulbs remind me of woven carpets.

Vegetable Lasagna
I made a fabulous vegetable lasagna for Easter that I’d like to reprise – one-third of a box of lasagna noodles in a loaf pan makes a solid meal for four with leftovers. We’ll use:

  • Kale, chopped very finely
  • Scallions, chopped
  • One Garlic Scape, puréed
  • Two Zucchini, sliced into very thin coins
  • Shredded Chicken, Basil Pesto, Tomato Sauce, and a variety of cheeses from our freezer/fridge/pantry.

Coleslaw
Clay’s favorite summer condiment is coleslaw, so he’ll use ingredients from our pantry and a couple of carrots to turn the Pointed Cabbage into his favorite treat. (Then he’ll probably make pulled pork to go along with it.)

Breakfast BLTs
To power us all through a week of construction work at the house, I’m counting on bottomless pots of coffee and tea, and a hearty breakfast to start each day. We’ll make bacon and egg sandwiches on fresh bread, spread with a tomato pesto and topped with the red leaf lettuce for crunch.

And that should take us through the week. Stay tuned for how it goes!