2016 CSA Series- Week 4

2016 CSA Series- Week 4

Woah. Jokes over. Turn back the calendar. How it is August already?!?!

Life has been a little on the hectic side. We’ve been painting the new house in full force (since June really, but we’ve been going HAM lately). That leaves little time for blogging! 🙂 But I’m trying to snap lots of pics to share our mini reno were doing.

*side note* picking paint colors is a unique form of torture I was not aware of until now…..

Focus…. ok, since the last CSA(community supported agriculture) post I’ve also gone to my CSA farm to meet my farmers and have a tour around the farm. It was a beautiful day, it’s a beautiful farm, and I can’t wait to share more about that and pictures of it soon!

Now, this week is jam packed with goodies. ❤

Here’s what we got in box# 4:20160720_173827Some pretty standard items so not too hard to identify but because it’s fun: CSA Week 4

Sometimes it takes a while for me to find something interesting and fun to do with the veggies but I’m pretty happy with what we did this time around.

Cabbage: I have the perfect thing I want to do with this but time got the best of me and then I got another one in my next box so I’m going to do a double batch and share it with you next time! Stay tuned 🙂

Broccoli: Honey Lemon Chicken Rice Bowls So albeit, while this might not be the most exciting thing to do with the broccoli itself this dish as a whole is fun. The broccoli was so fresh and delicious I’m sort of happy we just steamed it and go to enjoy the full blown flavor by itself. These Honey Lemon Chicken Rice Bowls are a breeze to whip up and also make great leftovers for work too!Honey Lemon Chicken Bowl 2Honey Lemon Chicken & Broccoli Bowls CSA RecipeHoney Lemon Chicken Bowl 1

You can reduce your sauce down as much as you ‘d like. The honey gets it very sticky and sugary so you can get a pretty thick sauce if you’d like. But it’s all up to you and what you like 🙂 The longer you simmer the thicker it will get (don’t forget it will thicken up even more when off the heat).

Pickling Cucumbers & Onion: Easy Refrigerator Pickles2THIS recipe is my favorite pickle recipe in the WORLD. It’s so easy and so delicious. A tab bit sweeter than the average recipe but I love it. I usually eat way more than my fair share of these in one sitting.

Zucchini/Summer Squash:  Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Zucchini bread? Pretty tasty. Zucchini cookies? Amazing and world changing.

I adapted a recipe I found and added flax and chia seeds for added nutrition. There’s also a surprising amount of zucchini in here too! They’re cookies but they also pack a healthy punch! And important step in the instructions is to squeeze the zucchini dry (or as dry as you can) this will help keep your cookies from being a soggy mess. 🙂  I used both zucchini and summer squash in this recipe as you can see from all the beautiful green and yellow flecks below (Go Pack Go 🙂 ).

Zucchini Cookies 1Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies CSA RecipeZucchini Cookies 2

Cauliflower & Swiss Chard: Riced Cauliflower & Swiss Chard Spaghetti These pictures didn’t turn out that great. Apparently I was shaky mc shakes this day and all of them have a little blur, sorry about that! This was a off the whim creation and has a great summery lemon taste along with being packed with TONS of veggies; the swiss chard reduces in size greatly and the cauliflower rice is so fine you wouldn’t know you’re eating a plate of veggies too 🙂 Riced Cauliflower & Chard Spaghetti 1Riced Cauliflower & Swiss Chard Spaghetti CSA RecipeRiced Cauliflower & Chard Spaghetti 2My hubs thought all the little riced cauliflower peices were garlic. ha! I DO love garlic but that would be extreme even for me. But as you can see from this close up, this recipe is a terrific way to get an extra serving of vegetables into a pasta dish. It’s virtually undetectable. Riced Cauliflower & Chard Spaghetti 3

Lettuce, Onions, & Cucumbers: Cucumber & Blueberry Summer Salad What would a week in summer be without a salad?! Very similar to our berry salad from last week, but still different enough and delicious! Quick Cucumber Salad (2)Cucumber Blueberry Summer Salad CSA Recipe

More Cucumbers: I had quite the supply of cukes laying around. I got a ton in the box and my in-laws gave some to me too. I made my go to bbq dish for a group of people we had over at the house and it was a big hit, not to mention a great way to use up a seemingly never ending supply of cucumbers. Oh and the best part? It take like 5 minutes to make. win.win.win.Quick Cucumber Salad (1)5 minute cucumber salad CSA Recipe

Eggplant: Brushcetta I posted about this in the last box post as well but didn’t have any pictures. So because it’s so freaking delicious, I decided to make it again and share pictures this time! This one was one of the first recipes I put up on the blog back when I first started it. And oh woooowww, looking back how my formatting and photography have changed since then. Needless to say, an updated share was necessary although it’s still as delicious as the first time I made it; it just looks much more presentable now 🙂 eggplant bruschetta 2Roasted Eggplant & Cherry Tomato Bruschetta CSA RecipeEggplant Bruschetta 1

Carrots & Hot Peppers: Roasted Veggie Tacos This was the recipe I was most excited to make. Sort of inspired by my roasted veggie stacked enchiladas , these roasted carrot tacos are a delicious meat free meal for mid week (or any time of week!) If you wanted you could sub sweet potato for the carrots or do a mix, but I wanted the delicious carrots to be the highlight!! Roasted Carrot Tacos 1Spicy Lime Roasted Carrot Tacos CSA RecipeRoated Carrot Tacos 2

Whew another week in the books! 🙂 Hope you enjoyed. Get out there and make the most of the rest of the summer!

What are some of your favorite summer time recipes?!?

xoxo

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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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Beet & Green Bean Salad

Beet & Green Bean Salad

Beet & Green Bean Salad

Ok. TIME OUT. Tell me I’m not the only one..but my life is FLYING by! We moved into our house a little over a month ago and it’s basically been a blur since then. We’ve my husband has been weeding like crazy, we moved our fire pit, spent wayyyy too much of our savings and income at Home Depot, quickly learned how annoying painting trim is, wasted a LOT of time picking out counter stools, oh the list goes on and on and the “to do” list keeps growing.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s exciting and I love it but it can be overwhelming. We are practicing mindfulness, trying to take our time, and doing our best to remember there is no rush.

Needless to say, quick and easy has been the name of our food game in the house lately.

A few weeks ago we went to the 2016 Burgers and Brews event in Middleton, WI and we had a blast! So many delicious and unique burger and beer combos, but the next day I was craving veggies in a very big way.

I’m a big fan of salads for their versatility and simplicity. For me they can be great ‘clean your fridge out’ meals, no rhyme or reason, just throw in all the veggies! 🙂

For this particular salad I had some beets that were waiting to be roasted and used up. So they were the starting point of inspiration. The dressing is one of my go to’s. I first shared it when we made this delicious salad and it’s just been a favorite since then. ❤

Beets are one of my favorite foods, I know people either love em or hate em but this house definitely loveeeeeeees the beets. It’s hard to not love something this beautiful -> A20160605_142016Am I right? So pretty! A20160605_182501Beet & Green Been Salad Recipe20160605_182100

Salads are the ultimate in flexibility so pass on the things you don’t like and add in your favorites, I’d love to hear your favorite salad ingredients and your variations on this one!

Hope you are enjoying life one day at a time and making the most of summer so far! Next weekend we leave for vacation and I can.not.wait. Tune in next week to find out where we’re going!

xoxo

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Beet & Green Bean Salad Pinterest

How to Peel an Avocado- Fast!

How to Peel an Avocado- Fast!

How to peel an AvocadoOk, so Avocados are everywhere right? Avocado toast…avocado pudding….avocado smoothies…avocado hair masks…. it’s crazy! But I love avocados so I don’t mind one bit.

Guacamole is one of my favorite things in the world and avocado toast is getting up there on my list of obsessions too.

The avocado itself is a wonderful little bundle of nutritional awesomeness! It’s technically a fruit and full of over 20 vitamins and nutrients. It’s high in Vitamin K, Potassium(more than bananas!) Vitamin C, Folate, and it’s also high in monounsaturated fat.

Monounsaturated fat are what people are talking about when they say “good” or “healthy” fats! They are proven to help reduce inflammation and there’s  even positive correlation between then and cancer prevention! But one of my favorite things about avocados (and healthy fats in general) is that they’re nutrition boosters! They actually help us absorb the nutrients and vitamins that are in other foods.

Many vitamins and nutrients in our foods are fat soluble which means that they need to be combined with fat in order for our bodies to utilize them and even absorb any of their goodness! These include (but there are many more) vitamins A, D, E and K… along with antioxidants like carotenoids.

So for example if you have a delicious lettuce salad that is full of great vegetables but you top it with a fat free dressing or no dressing at all and just vinegar or lemon juice, many of those nutrients are just passing right through you and you aren’t getting any good stuff from them! Now lets say you add avocado to the salad or an olive oil vinegarette….TADA! You are now able to absorb those fat soluble nutrients and actually reap the benefits of the food you’re eating.

Many people are afraid of fat because they think that it will make them fat (as if that’s the worst thing that could happen to a person) but so so sooo many studies are out there to prove that that is simply not the case. It’s important to make sure you’re eating the right and ideal fats for your body. Stick to mono and poly saturated fats and leave the trans fats on the shelf 🙂

Ok so we can all agree that avocados are delicious and nutritious but what is the best way to prep and peel the damn things? Not that there’s necessarily a “bad” way because as long as you’re getting it into your mouth, how can it be bad? But I have a tried and true way, that is outrageously easy, that many people have said they haven’t seen before so I figured I should share it with the world.

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you did it any other way ❤

Steps to peeling an AvocadoLet’s walk through each step.

Step 1)  

Cut the avocado in half just like you normally would. Use a sharp knife to slice the avocado. Roating the knife, carefully, around the pit using it as an axis then gently pull the two halves apart. The pit should be left in one half of your avocado. 20160521_081415Step 2)

Gently tap your knife into the pit of the avocado(just enough so it “sticks” in a little bit). Rotate the knife and pit in one direction and the avocado flesh in another. The pit should loosen up and you should be able to lift it directly out of the flesh. 20160521_081438Just like this -> Now be careful pulling it off the knife! 🙂
20160521_081449And you should be left with two “pit free” halves of the avocado.
20160521_081512Step 3)

Next cut each half in half- so you are left with quarters. 20160521_081552Step 6)

Now starting at one end (the skinnier of the two usually works better) pull the skin away from the avocado flesh. I should peel off nicely in one piece but if it’s still a little “green” (not ripe) it might come off in pieces. Just peel until it’s all off.
20160521_081613And you’ll be left with a delicious, clean, skin free, hunk of avocado that you can chunk, smash, slice, blend…or do whatever you want to do with!
20160521_081635See, so easy? Do any of you do it the same way? If not, how do you do it? I’d love to hear if you have a trick that works well too! 🙂

xoxo

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2016 CSA Series!

2016 CSA Series

CSA SERIESI’m so excited to kick off another season of participating in a CSA! This year we purchased a share from Small Family Farm out of La Farge, Wisconsin which is very close to my home town. I love being able to support local farmers, especially ones that are virtually in my back yard! And if I’m being 100% honest, their adorable and fun website won me over. Seriously how cute are those illustrated veggies on their site?!?

Now if you’re a little confused about what a CSA is, let’s start with the basics.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is basically a partnership between you, the CSA member, and the farmer(s). CSA members pay the farmers at the beginning of a growing season for a share in that season’s harvest on the farm.  In return you receive a box of weekly (or other pre determined frequency) produce directly from the the farm that is delivered to several designated “dropsites” or sometimes you can choose to pick up at the actual farm too. It’s a great way to support local farms, eat local food, and eat healthier too!

One of my favorite things about CSA’s is the diversity of products. Sure you could have your own garden (I  totally support and encourage this and want my own next year!) but CSA’s are fun because you can get stuff that you’ve never tried before or things that you don’t grow yourself! Last time we did a CSA (see more about the 2014 season here) we got a lot of things we hadn’t tried and I’m excited for what this season will bring!

Because it’s just me and my husband, and summers are so busy with us rarely home on a weekend, we opted to purchase a Every Other Week (EOW) share from our farm. It’s the same big box of delicious goodies but instead of weekly we pick up every other week. This year in addition to a produce box, we will also be receiving a dozen organic free range eggs!

I am lucky enough to have grown up in and live in an area with a huge focus on local organic farms. I have a lot of options to choose from but there are CSA programs all over the country! There are also some great resources to help you find one near you, if you have no clue where to start. fairshare-logo

  • Fair Share CSA Coalition is a great option for my fellow Wisconsinites! They also have a ton of other great information on their site including local events, volunteer opportunities, recipes, and much more!

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  • Local Harvest has information on farms all over the country! They also include some events and farmers market info too.

I love that our farm sends out a newsletter each week to keep members up to date on the growing season, farm life, even farm events sometimes, and of course what’s in our box that week.

My goal for this series to to share what a real CSA experience is like, share new recipes and new ways to use some fun veggies and produce, and hopefully inspire you to either try a CSA or to feel more comfortable with a veggie-centric diet 🙂

Stay tuned for more delicious posts and even a hands on *get your hands dirty* visit to “our” CSA farm later this summer!

Thanks for tagging along and if you have any questions along the way, let me know!!

I’ll be picking up our first box tonight but my farm is awesome and posted a preview of what’s going to be in it this week! unnamed

Can you identify what each item is? Make sure to come back when we share what exactly was in the box and what we did with it all! 🙂

xoxo

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