2016 CSA Series- Week 2

2016 CSA Series- Week 2

CSA SERIES week 2Soooo I’m a day late this week. That’s allowed right? I just got back from vacation on Beaver Island and this week is all messed up anyway (tell me you guys can’t seem to remember what day it is either).

Last night I picked up our CSA box #3 from Small Family CSA Farm! So it’s time to review what we got in the last box, week #2, and what we did with it all!

If you missed the goodies from week #1, check that out here. And here is the delicious spread of what we got in box 2:20160622_175725Do you know what each item is? See below if you’re not sure. 🙂
CSA WEEK 2 BOX

Since I was on vacation I didn’t spend as much time (OK straight up zero time) photographing what we did with each item. I wanted to relax and unwind and while I love blogging, vacation meant a break from that and thinking about it too! So needless to say, this post will be much less extensive and have much less pictures than box 1 (which maybe you like….? Let me know in the comments below.)

Let’s dig right in.

Romaine and Buttercup:
Primarily used the romaine as sandwich lettuce and as a bread alternative for lunch sandwiches and then one night we also made a big salad with dinner. I love romaine for it’s sturdy and crunchy bottom and yet it still has a soft and smooth top but man that butter lettuce is so delicious and such a nice change up. It’s so buttery and smooth and delicious.

Didn’t do anything earth shattering-ly genius with this. We had a homemade pizza and salad night. It was delicious. We filled the salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, salad turnips, and some green onions.

While some might not think lettuce is the most “exciting” thing in a box, it certainly might be the most delicious. ❤

Salad Turnips:
Again, nothing too crazy, these little guys have a really smooth texture and are super delicious raw. We popped a few, sliced, into our salad and I ate a some as a snack too 🙂

Celeriac Root:I loveeeeee celeriac. And for all of those thinking “hey isn’t it a little early for this in the season?”…yes, it is. This is actually left over from winter. I was so excited that I was a little overwhelmed on what to pick to do with it. Soooo as usual when faced with a multitude of options, I freeze up. And actually that’s what I did with the celeriac too. Blanched it and froze it.

What I did was peel it, and cut it up into reasonable sized chunks (like 2-3 inch cubes) then blanched it. Put your chunks in boiling water for about 3 minutes, then place directly into an ice bath. Then place on a baking sheet and freeze for about 30-60 minutes and then pop in a bag or container (the freezing individually on a sheet first, makes sure that the cubes don’t become just one big frozen chunk). That’s it! Now I can just thaw out when I finally decide what delicious thing I want to make!

This is what I want to try, but just maybe when it’s not 90º + outside.

Green Garlic:
One night we made a chicken veggie curry over rice and used a lot of the the box veggies in that. Curry dishes and stir fry’s are some of my favorite ways to use up a lot of veggies and they’re so easy too! The box veggies we used were the green garlic, zucchini, and green onions. We also threw in some broccoli, peppers, and chicken. Perfect quick and healthy dinner!

Kale:
I was that weird kid who loved Kale. I would beg for it for dinner and my favorite way to eat it was steamed/sauted with some balsamic vinegar. One day I learned we had some growing on our farm, I marched right out there and ate it until I had a belly ache. I still love Kale, cooked or raw and everything in between.

A few years ago when Kale chips became a “thing” I thought, omg I have to try those, I will love them!! Then much to my chagrin, I hated them. Seriously couldn’t even eat more than one. They didn’t taste like Kale and there were a weird texture. I was so sad. But everyone seemed to love them and still rave about them. How could this even be possible? I was a real Kale lover.

Then a friend of mine made some while I was at her house and I tasted it and it was really good. I had to give it another try. I researched and researched and came up with a fool proof way to make delicious and extra crispy chips. The main trick I think is to not have the oven too hot and also to make sure you message each leaf with oil, not just drizzle and toss it. Literally you need to make sure that each piece has oil on the whole thing; every nook and cranny. You don’t need a lot of oil to do this, but it just takes time to make sure you touch and coat each piece.

When I saw Kale in our box I knew I had to make Kale chips as the perfect healthy road trip snack for our vacation! My mom, my sister, and I loved them!
Kale Chip#2Kale Chip #1Cripsy Kale Chip RecipeZucchini:
We had one little baby zuch and used it cut in in our curry/stir fry dish.

Peas:
These were so gorgeous and sooooo fresh tasting I honestly ate them as a road trip snack on our way to the island! They would have been good in our curry too, but I hate them all plain 🙂

Strawberries:
There is positively nothing better than fresh strawberries. The flavor and even smell they have is so amazing and power packed that I makes you wonder what the hell those “strawberries” at the store are. Compared to these fresh ones they only have a slight strawberry taste.

I wish I had something awesome to share but we really just ate these like candy. I topped a piece of bread with almond butter and a few of these sliced up one day but other than that, just ate straight out of the pack.

Green Onions:
My sister and I used to eat these bad boys plain. Good ole fashioned Wisconsin supper clubs and salad bars know what I’m talking about! These bad boys with a little cheese spread…mmmmm so good. But we controlled ourselves and put then in our salad and also in our stir fry dish.

Kohlrabi:
I loveeeee Kohlrabi. We had two from our box and I still had one a friend had given me that she had gotten in her CSA but she doesn’t like them. They are so good just to munch on or in a salad. I’ve been seeing a look of cooked Kohlrabi recipes lately and that definitely is on my list of things to try but this time we just cut them up and used them as chips for guacamole. Seriously they maaaybbee better than regular corn tortilla chips.

Dill:
Dill would be great in our delicious fermented asparagus spears from week one or as we were in the middle of Lake Michigan, it would be delicious with some lemon over some fresh whitefish. That whitefish was our intention but in the spirit of honestly, we tried two days in a row to get some whitefish but they didn’t have any! I would have been fine with the Lake Trout but not everyone in the house was up for that. Sadly this dill went mostly unused except for a little in our tuna salad for lunch one day (that was delicious though!).

So there you have it, another week down. I picked up our week 3 box last night and it was seriously PACKED with great stuff. I have so many fun ideas and recipes planned for it. Make sure to subscribe and check back so you don’t miss it! 🙂

xoxo

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2016 CSA Series- Week 1

2016 CSA Series- Week 1

Can’t believe it’s almost time to pick up our next CSA box! If you missed our latest post about how we are participating in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share this year, check it out here.

So since we are about to pick up our next box, it’s about time we share with you what got in our first box and what recipes and fun things we did with each of the items!

So here is the haul we received in week 1:CSA WEEK 1 BoxThink you know what each item is? Let’s take a look:

  • Asparagus
  • Fresh breakfast radishes
  • Buttercup Lettuce
  • Bok Choy or Pac Choi
  • Green Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Rhubarb
  • Herb Pack (Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Sage)
  • Pea Shoots
  • Large bag of Spinach in the middle!

I love that we get such a wide variety of stuff in our boxes! It’s fun to experiment with different ingredients and never feel like you’re “drowning” in something and not sure what to do with it all.

Ok so lets get started! I’ll just list out each ingredient and post what we did

Asparagus I honestly love raw asparagus as a snack and the stuff I got was so skinny and beautiful and tender that I was half tempted just to snack on it. But that’s not very fun to share with all of you so I decided to try fermented “pickled” asparagus spears. If you want to learn more about the benefits of fermented foods and the amazing impact they can have on your health, check out our past post, here.

These asparagus spears are fermented and not pickled. What’s the difference? Pickled foods are preserved in an acidic medium, where fermented foods are preserved in salt water with a starter culture. These are sort of quasi pickled because as you’ll see below I used about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (make sure it says “with the mother” & here’s my favorite brand) to act as my starter.

If you’ve been wanting to dip your toes into fermenting your own foods but are a little hesitant, this the perfect recipe because it’s so simple, you don’t need any special equipment (just make sure to burp your jar occasionally).Fermented Asparagus 2These bad boys are good on their own but probably even better as a garnish in a bloody mary! 🙂Fermented Asparagus Spears RecipeFermented Asparagus 1 Fermented Asparagus 3Radishes & Spinach Confession- I’ve never had cooked radishes before. I have always eaten them cold, preferably with a hefty sprinkle of sea salt too. But when I was researching something out of the norm to do with radishes, I came across this Radish & Spinach Pasta dish that looked too good not to give it a try.

If you think cooking radishes is weird, STOP IT! It’s delicious and you won’t be sorry. They turn a soft pink color and it sort of enhances their peppery flavor. Plus I mean the recipe also has bacon in it sooooo how can it be bad?CSA WEEK 1 RADISH SPINACH PASTA 1We used the breakfast radishes (ok we ate a few cold too) and the beautiful spinach as well as a few of the shallots from our box. It turned out delicious. Not heavy at all and surprisingly light for it being pasta and all oh, and containing bacon but it really made for a delicious light summer dinner!CSA WEEK 1 RADISH SPINACH PASTA 2Radish & Spinach Pasta RecipeCSA WEEK 1 RADISH SPINACH PASTA 3**Don’t get rid of your radish greens! They are very nutritious and can be used for any number of things. In salads, in smoothies, in stir frys…I happened to be making some homemade chicken bone broth and threw them in there with it. I’m all for being resourceful and reducing waste!

Butter Lettuce Recently I posted about how much I love salads and how they’re the best super fast and healthy dinner for busy weeknights…aaaaand I still think that 🙂 Butter lettuce is so soft and yet crisp and delicious. I think that these would also be PERFECT for a lettuce cup but this time we opted for the traditional salad route. However the salad we made was anything but traditional.CSA WEEK 1 QUINOA BUTTER LETTUCE SALADTopped with quinoa, loaded with veggies and dressed in THE most delicious “creamy” avocado dressing ….. you’ll find it hard to believe it’s “just” a salad!Qunioa Veggie Salad with Avocado Balsamic RecipeThe dressing isn’t pictured above but it truly is amazing.

Bok Choy/Pac Choi & Green Garlic So another confession (you guys are really making me wear my heart on my sleeve today!) when I saw my farm list Pac Choi on the list for the box, I had no idea what it was. And then when I saw the picture I said to myself, wait…that’s BOK CHOY! Well it turns out, from what I was able to conclude, that Bok Choy and Pac Choi are one in the same. Now you know 🙂

I was very tempted to try to grill the pac choi but it was pretty large and I think that might work better with smaller more compact heads. So I settled on a Ginger Stir Fried Bok Choy & Green Garlic over Turmeric Rice. I had been wanting to try a rendition of some turmeric rice I had come across lately but didn’t know what to pair it with. These stir fried greens were perfect with it.CSA WEEK 1 PAC CHOI & Tumeric Rice 1My husband doesn’t really do well with meals that don’t have a lot of protein so I threw some nuts, and seeds on top and we were both happy! I used sliced almonds, pistachios, and some hemp seeds. CSA WEEK 1 BOK CHOY & Tumeric Rice 2Bok Choy Stir Fry with Turmeric Rice Recipeand of course if you’re like me you are addicted to spicy and you top it with chili sauce (& some nutritional yeast 🙂 )CSA WEEK 1 BOK CHOY Tumeric Rice 3Rhubarb I am obsessed with rhubarb. My mom and I have a matching cookbook that is dedicated solely to rhubarb. There’s so much you can do with it! I actually already had some more rhubarb just chilling in my fridge waiting to get used up so when I got some more in by box, it was the motivation to finally make something with it.

A coworker of mine had recently gifted me a hunk of her mint plant and seriously it’s growing like crazy in my pot. So I needed to use some of that bad boy and what better way to do that than with mojitos! And what’s better that regular old mojitos? Rhubarb Mint Mojitos ❤Rhubarb Mint MojitoWe made a rhubarb simple syrup and then put that in some mojitos. But good news is that if mojitos aren’t your thing or drinking alcohol isn’t your thing, the syrup makes a delicious spritzer with just sparkling water as well! These will have their own special post coming soon, but you get sneak peek 🙂
CSA WEEK 1 RHUBARB SIMPLE SYRUPRhubarb Simple Syrup RecipeCSA WEEK 1 RHUBARB MINT MOJITOSUse the syrup as you would in a “normal” mojito. Make sure to check back for the recipe post coming soon!

Pea Shoots If you’ve never tried pea shoots, you need to. They are such a fun ingredient. They taste exactly like freshly shelled peas and yet are a leafy green! I love the way they taste so I didn’t really want to cook them or drown out their taste with other ingredients.

I tried to make cauliflower steaks (big fail people, big fail) and needed a simple salad to go with. I used these to make a Pea Shoot & Arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette and needless to say, it was the highlight of the dinner and we wished there was more of it to drown out our sorrows of the less than delicious cauliflower 😉Pea Shoot & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette RecipeCSA WEEK 1 Pea Shoot Arugula Salad

Shallots CSA WEEK 1 SHALLOTSThese were so adorable, if you are one who agrees food can be adorable.  I mean look at them, they’re so little and cute! We used some in our radish pasta listed above, some in our stir fried bok choy also listed above, and still have some saved to use in the future.

Herb PackCSA WEEK 1 HERBSThis might have been my favorite thing in the box! I was so excited to get these goodies. We planted them to let them grow and hopefully (I say hopefully because if you saw my thumbs, they’re black as night) we can use to make various things, maybe they’ll even grow big enough so we can make our favorite chumichurri sauce!

Whew! That’s it! That’s what a week (plus a few days) of food looks like in our house. What do you guys think? What are some of your favorite things to do with the ingredients we got?

Thanks for hanging in there and reading along. Tune in again in two weeks to catch what was in our 2nd box and what we did with it all!

xoxo

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Bibimbap Korean Rice Bowl Featuring Zymbiotics

Bibimbap Korean Rice Bowl Featuring Zymbiotics

Bibimbap Fermented Foods RecipeYesterday we shared a lengthy and wordy post (sorry not sorry) on the topic of fermented foods. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out HERE.

As promised, before we get to the fermented food deliciousness that is in Bibimbap (korean rice bowl) I want to share a little more about a great local Wisconsin company that is embracing and thriving in the fermented foods market.

Zymbiotics is a company out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin that specializes in naturally fermented foods. Jeff who is a UW Madison alum, is an entrepreneur at heart and has started and successfully run several businesses prior to Zymbiotics. Inspired by the calling to help people live healthier happier lives he teamed up with his partner Betty who is a registered holistic nutritionist and a local Wisconsin supplier Mammoth farms run by Ed & Diane and started Zymbiotics. Since its start, it has quickly become a favorite for Wisconsin locals. At first it was available primarily at farmers markets around the area and now you can find it it at a lot of grocery stores around the Milwaukee and Madison area. Here’s a full list of where it’s available. And Jeff has plans in the works to make it available to purchase through their website, so soon you’ll be able to enjoy it from all over the place!! You can check out their website and you can find them on Facebook too.

Currently they offer 4 products. Kimchi, Vegan Kimchi, Ginger Carrots, & Sauerkraut, clever named Zimchi, Vegan Zimchi, Zarrots, and Zauerkraut. Zymbiotics 2They are all delicious but my hands down favorite and the one I keep putting on almost everything is the Ginger Zarrots. You guyyyssss. THEY.ARE.SO.GOOD. Zymbiotics 1If you live anywhere where you can get these, do yourself a solid and pick these up! As you’ll see below, I put them in the Bipimbap bowl and they were the perfect addition.

Zimbiotics are filled with all ingredients you know how to pronounce and can easily identify. Like the carrots for example. 4 ingredients. Can it get any simpler and good for you? Nope. If you’ve never purchased fresh fermented foods before here are my top 3 tips:

  1. Naturally and fresh fermented foods should be kept in the refrigerator. If you don’t find them in the refrigerator section of your grocery store, don’t buy them. Heat kills the bacteria so if it’s a quality product it needs to be kept in a cool environment. Once you purchase your products and bring them home you should also store your products in the fridge until they’re gone.
  2. When opening your product for the first time, open your products over the sink. Fermentation produces gases and carbonation, sometimes those gases can build up within the jar or container which can cause some liquid to bubble or fizz over. It doesn’t happen that often but to be safe and avoid a clean up, just open over the sink. 🙂
  3. When just starting  to eat fermented foods, start slowly. Eat about 3 tablespoons of the food a day. You’ll still reap the benefits and it will give your body time to adjust to the influx of good and healthy bacteria in your gut.

Now to focus on the delicious and outrageously power packed Bibimbap bowl. It has so many flavors that blend together so well. Before the recipe, here’s a tip on rice preparation.

If you want non sticky jasmine style rice it’s SO IMPORTANT to rinse your rice. Not only for non sticky rice but also to reduce the amount of starch you ingest. Rice will turn your rinsing water cloudy like this:Rinsing Rice 1Continue to rinse and stir, rinse and stir your rice until the water is mostly clear, like shown here:
Rinsing Rice 2

It might seem like there’s a lot of stuff you need to make to put this all together but you can use the same pan, and each step is really pretty quick. I know I always say this but this is probably one of the best recipes for you to take your own liberties with. Do what you want. Make the veggies you want. Don’t like mushrooms? Don’t make them. You could caramelize some onions in their place, or anything you want! If you want more protein add in some meat or beans. There are no rules.

Make what you and your family love, do it together, eat together, enjoy it, and have fun!Fermented Food Bipimbap 1Fermented Food Bipimbap RecipeFermented Food Bipimbap 8Fermented Food Bipimbap 6Fermented Food Bipimbap 5Fermented Food Bipimbap 4Fermented Food Bipimbap 2This is what happens when you let your hand model (my sweet brother) reap the rewards for his free labor:wp-1459614422112.jpg

xoxo

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*While I did receive free product from Jeff and Zymbiotics I was not monetarily compensation and all opinions here are my own. 

Bipimbap Fermented Foods Pinterest

Healthy Flourless Dark Chocolate Brownies {Gluten & Dairy Free}

Healthy Flourless Dark Chocolate Brownies

{Gluten & Dairy Free}

Healhty Brownie 3You know those annoying “ads” on Facebook that are so misleading? Like the picture of a banana with the title “10 foods that are slowly killing you”. Yeah, you totally know the ones. They’re a buzzkill. Sometimes I’m deceived and click on them and read the craziest things and always wonder…what are these sites that only have that stuff? Who’s making money from this? How is this a real thing? Who writes that stuff? Do people believe this stuff? I probably spend too much time thinking about it to be honest.

What does that have to do with brownies? Ummmm not much.

I think I saw one one time about being addicted to sugar and how sugar is the devil. Totally agree…sort of. Too people people eat too much sugar and sugar is unnecessarily added to so many things. While I struggle um, try really hard um, attempt to keep processed sugars to a minimum in our diet, natural sugars are fair game! Honey, syrup, all fruits, molasses, rapadura, yes please, sign me up.

Inappropriate side note: if you love black and sweet coffee,  honey in coffee is delicious.

Focus. Back to the brownies!  These puppies are made with beans and nuts  (last time made dessert with beans it turned out great too) cocao powder and sweetness from maple syrup. They’re too good to be true! But it is true. +Plus+ if you add chocolate or carob chips you gets extra special gooey spots, which lets face it, just make the world a better place. Healthy Brownie 9Healthy Grain Free Brownie Recipe100% disclosure here…. I’m having a hard time not making these every day and eating them and rationalizing it as healthy for me. So far only the one batch of them, but I can feel another one coming on. I mean c’mon you guys….like, how could you not?Healthy Brownie 11Healthy Brownie 8Healthy Brownie 4Healthy Brownie 7Healthy Brownie 5You’re hungry for them now, right? Make them. You’ll love them. *pinkey swear promise*

xoxo

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Healthy Brownies Pinterest

Creamy Potato Leek Soup

Creamy Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup HeaderIf I’ve said it once (and I totally have), I’ve said it 1,390,423,825 times.I could live off of soup.

Every kind of soup. I’m not even biased, it doesn’t even have to be “soup”, stews and chili’s are equally amazing to me.

Ever since my Vitamix came into my life, I’ve been obsessed with making “creamy” (with no cream) blended soups that are chock-full of nutrients and as easy as literally throwing all the ingredients in a blender and…..blending. It couldn’t get easier. Creamy Potato Leek Soup 4This past week was Saint Patrick’s Day and every year it makes me think of my Irish family heritage. My grandma used to make a delicious potato leek soup and I decided to make a faux creamy version and make it thicker and denser but with the same nostalgic flavor.

Behold this amazingly delicious and a tiny bit spicy original Irish delicacy 😉

As you can see from the pictures you can switch your toppings up. One way is reserving some of the roasted veggies, another is the delicious sautéed mushrooms or you could do both! It’s all good because to be honest the real star is the soup itself. Creamy Potato Leek Soup 2It’s thick and stick to your ribs-y (a made up adjective but you guys feel me, right??) it’s creamy and smooth but yet dairy free (unless you want to use dairy milk).
Creamy Potato Leek Soup 1Creamy Potato Leek Soup RecipeCreamy Potato Leek Soup 3Creamy Potato Leek Soup 5Don’t forget about the ‘schrooms too. They’re good enough to eat alone!
Creamy Potato Leek Soup 6Creamy Potato Leek Soup 8Creamy Potato Leek Soup 7

There’s still a sweet spot in my heart for my grandmas version but this one is hard to beat. You haveeeeee to try it and come back to tell me if you liked it too! 🙂 Enjoy!

xoxo

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Potato Leek Soup Pinterest