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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Turkey Leftover Recipe Roundup

Turkey Leftover Recipe Roundup

ThankYou!Happy Thanksgiving (a day late) everyone! I hope that you enjoyed the day with family and friends or whomever makes you happy!

I love holidays and getting together with family and making and eating great food. I love leftovers and being able to eat the wonderful goodness for days! One thing there’s ALWAYS leftovers of is turkey! I have no problem eating just plan old turkey leftovers but sometimes you want to stretch them out and make a whole other meal with it!

I wanted to do a roundup of my favorite recipes to use up your turkey leftovers from yesterday! If you have a favorite recipe that used chicken, you can totally substitute the turkey in place of the chicken. But here are some of my favorites ones that I put together! Most of them really change the flavors up and are so different from what most people ate yesterday but a few incorporate classic thanksgiving day flavors and help use up some of your other leftovers you have! Please enjoy!!Copy of ALWAYSSUMMER.pngTurkey Pot Pie
Creamy Turkey Casserole
Turkey Cranberry Risotto
Turkey Tamale Pie
Turkey Cranberry BBQ Pizza
Thanksgiving Turkey Pizza
Turkey Pho
Turkey & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Cheesy Turkey Enchiladas
Turkey Tikka Masala

Now some of those recipes call for chicken but as I said turkey would be equally as delicious.

I am so thankful for so many things in my life but one of them is this blog and all of my readers who help keep me motivated and prove that someone is actually reading what I’m saying and making what I’m cooking up 🙂 Thank you!!!!!!!

xoxo669058772380712020613

Gnocchi w/ Browned Butter, Pancetta, & Sage

Gnocchi w/ Browned Butter, Pancetta, & Sage

5Well as you are about to see, this is NOT by any means a low fat recipe. But I assure you it is by EVERY means, delicious.

I mean letzzzz get real. Butter, pancetta, sage, are there flavors more comfy cozy for fall? Nope!

I had a lot of leftover sage from a butternut squash soup (maybe coming to the blog later?) recipe that I had made and needed to use it up. Butter and pancetta sounded like the perfect accompanists for it so I threw them all together and came up with this deliciously rich quick dinner.

Even while eating it Jake said, “Oh man, this is delicious. This isn’t very healthy for me is it?”

But sometimes I think we should just enjoy the flavors and not worry about “healthy” vs. “unhealthy”. Which is exactly what we did. Enjoyed it and savored it and savored it some more.  1ALWAYSSUMMER (1)3

I really love the prepackaged Gnocchi that Cost Plus (World Market) has. It’s cheap, not full of any weird or unpronounceable ingredients and tastes delicious. You can even order it online if you’re not lucky enough to have a store close to you. And I say lucky because I’m convinced that they cannot produce or sell an item I wouldn’t be thrilled to have either in my home, in my stomach or on my body (home decor, food, jewelry/clothes in case you were confused) 🙂 4Pancetta and bacon are very similar. Basically the same except for one small step. Both are usually cured pork belly but while pancetta is done after the curing step, bacon is then smoked afterwards. Typically it’s a cold smoke and it’s never heated, which is why both pancetta and bacon need to be cooked before eaten. (Different from prosciutto which has been cured a little differently and for a much longer period of time and can be eaten without being “cooked”). There’s your food lesson for the day!
2We have our first snow fall in the forecast for this weekend. I suppose can’t be that bent out of shape about it, we’ve had such a mild fall and it’s almost the end of November. Maybe if we get enough this year, I can finally go snow shoeing as we couldn’t last year!

xoxo669058772380712020613

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash

Thai Curry Zoodle Soup

Thai Curry Zoodle Soup

Thai-Chicken-Zoodle-Soup-5You’re probably thinking, wow that’s such a gorgeous picture! You’ve gotten so good at taking crisp, clean, beautiful pictures of your recipes!

But in full disclosure I didn’t take these pics.

Nope.

I wish. I’m working on getting better at staging my food and having more white space in my pictures, but I’m not there yet.

Carolyn at All Day I Dream About Food posted this recipe and I knew I had to make my own version of her soup. But we ate it so quick I didn’t even get to snap a picture! haha. Kidding

I made this soup and made a few small tweaks. I’m sure it wasn’t bad to begin with but I seem to be incapable of following a recipe line for line without putting my own spin on things.  🙂

This is the perfect healthy and delicious soup. I LOVE thai flavors and this is a healthy, low salt, and low sugar way to get it in my mouth PRONTO. And will Fall setting in around us, you gotta try this!

Thai-Chicken-Zoodle-Soup-2

ALWAYSSUMMER (5)So easy right? I really don’t know why I didn’t think about putting zoodles in soup before…? And with just putting the hot broth over the zoodles, they cook perfectly and you don’t end up with a mushy mess.Thai-Chicken-Zoodle-SoupAs stated before. I adapted this recipe from All Day I Dream About Food. You need to go and take a look at her website! Carolyn posts some really great stuff. Like today, she has a new post on Caramelized Onion Pizza. UMMM yes please, I can get into that.

Anyway, to ease some of my guilt on  being lazy and not taking my own pictures for this post, please go take a peak at the great work she’s doing over at her blog!

Thank you all for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I’ll “see” you next week!

xoxoxoxo

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Butternut Squash & Arugula Quiche

Butternut Squash & Arugula Quiche
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HAPPY FRIDAY! 6 words for you. Thank. God. It. Is. The. Weekend.

I had what I’m going to call the longest week EVER at work. But I have a super fun weekend planned. I’m heading to the twin cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) to visit my best friend everrrr. She just moved into her and her husbands first official house and I cannot WAIT to see it and help her celebrate being a homeowner and settle in! 🙂

It’s also my birthday on Saturday! 26! Nuts. But I’m sure we’ll get into some shenanigans like we always do when we’re together. Excited!

But before I head out on my fun filled weekend I had to share what I call “the best thing I think I’ve ever made” with you. (I actually said that when I tasted this). This GORGEOUS and delicious dish can be made for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack time… you name it!

I used crumbled goat cheese as my cheese and it was seriously perfect. I recommend that but as with all of my recipes, use anything you want! It’s all about experimenting and having fun, & I suggest you try with this, pronto.

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Like I said, I used goat cheese and it was to. die. for. Also you can easily make this so quick. Use store bought pie crust (like me) use pre cut up butternut squash(like me) (you can find this in the natural foods frozen section of most stores, otherwise Trader Joes has some!) if you use some of those handy shortcuts you have a wonderful delicious and somewhat healthified dinner in no time at all!

4Like it looks so good. I think I drooled.DSC_9387 copycan’t stop
won’t stop

Do yourself a favor and try this. Then come back and tell how you liked it! oh and MOST importantly, have a wonderful weekend!!!!!

xoxo669058772380712020613