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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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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Super Simple Refrigerator Pickles

Simple Refrigerator Pickles

3HEYOOOO. It’s the weekend! This week I am sharing with you one of my FAVORITE things in the entire world.

Refrigerator pickles.

These babies are so good and fresh and crisp and all around, better than your average pickle!

1I know it’s a little late and past prime cucumber season but if you have some stragglers laying around or even save this for next year, you have to try this recipe!!

It’s a great first timer canning recipe because it really eases you into the process (i.e. you aren’t 100% true canning as these need to be refrigerated buttttt it’s a good start for newbies).
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See how easy it is?!?! And they’re so good.
I may orrrr may not have eaten an entire jar by myself over the course of a week. You’ll be hooked.
2You can cut the cucumber however you want. I’ve done all cut the long way, all cut into little rounds, and this year a mix of both!!!
4Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! We are off to a wedding today. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous!! (78 and sunny!) and then tomorrow depending how much we indulge tonight ( 😉 ) we’ll hopefully get outside and enjoy the last of this beautiful late summer weather!!
xoxo
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Mushroom Kale Masala {Vegan, Gluten & Dairy Free}

Mushroom Kale Masala

1My beloved readers! It’s been 2+ whole months since I have posted anything! So sad. The reason for my absence, for those of you who don’t know, I got married! June 27th! And then went on a honeymoon and before the wedding was very stressed and busy with wedding details. We I did most of the wedding planning and SO many DIY projects that it left very little time (or brain power 🙂 ) to post here.

But I’m back! 🙂
The wedding was all we hoped for and more. It was perfect. To us. So perfect. We loved it all. Check out a few pictures on our *amazing* photographers site. It’s just a little sneak peak our current struggle is deciding which pictures to print out of the 700+ beautiful options.
And the honeymoon– ahhhhhhhh don’t get me started on how amazing that was. We spent 12 days in Italy (half our time in Tuscany and half our time on the Amalfi Coast) and we literally had to drag ourselves to the airport when it was time to leave. We fell in love and are already planning our next trip back. (More to come on this later 🙂 )
BUT the first thing I have to share with you is this KILLER/BOMB DIGGITY recipe. Prepare to drool. Like go get a napkin.
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 This vegan, gluten, and dairy free recipe is one of those few clean eating meals I feel spoiled eating. How can something so healthy taste so good!? I actually made this a while ago and now looking at the pictures again and seeing how easy it is, I need to make it again soon!! I hope that you guys enjoy this as much as we did.
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So here it is:ALWAYSSUMMER (3)*NOTES*
You could add more almond or coconut milk to make this creamier.
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Thanks for checking out the blog! I’m so happy to be back and sharing with you!!
If you give this a try come back and tell me if you liked it! Hope you have a great weekend!!
xoxo
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Better Than Takeout Beef & Broccoli

Better Than Takeout Beef & Broccoli

Hi my lovelies!

I have had my share of cheap, delicious, questionable ingredients, Chinese take-out. In college that was my ultimate hang over remedy. Nothing like Sundays filled with headaches, Chinese, and the Green Bay Packers. Buttttttt those days were quite a while ago and since then I’ve (as you know) put a huge effort in to live a healthier life than back then. Somedays though, the craving for the old favorite strikes. So I’ve come up with this healthified version of my favorite and I have to say it tastes EVEN BETTER! You could so easily add way more or different veggies and it would be amazing. Yummmmmm I need to make this again.

One quick note: coming up within the next couple weeks I’m going to be hosting my very first GIVEAWAY on the blog!! I’m really excited about it and can’t wait to share more with you all in the next coming weeks! Make sure to check back often so you don’t miss your chance to win!

Now back to the fooood!

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I even have take out chopsticks to make the whole “experience” 🙂

Ingredients:
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp oil of your choice
1/2 lbs flank steak, sliced into thin strips
1/2 c low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour of your choice (I used almond flour)
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp oil of your choice
2 heads broccoli, cut into pieces
3 or 4 small sweet peppers, cut into strips

Instructions:

1. Whisk together the baking soda, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, water, and oil in a large bowl. Toss the steak with the marinade to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, flour and vinegar until smooth. Set aside.

3. In a large wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat until shimmering. Add broccoli and saute 3 minutes, stirring often. Transfer broccoli to a plate. I like my broccoli to still be crunchy but if you don’t like that- cook for a little longer.

4. Reduce heat to medium-high. Carefully add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the marinated meat and half of the sauce mixture and saute for 3- 4 minutes, stirring often, until the meat is cooked through. Stir in the broccoli that you had set aside, the pepper strips, and the remaining sauce. Saute 1 minute more to heat it all through. Serve over rice and fall in love!

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So simple and delish! Give it a try and let me know what you think! As always thanks for stopping by the blog and come back soon to make sure you enter for your chance to win the giveaway!

xoxo

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