So I’m one month in to my CSA program and it has been fun experimenting and using the herbs and veggies in various recipes. Bonus week 3 I got some gorgeous fresh tulips and daffodils that I tromped through the mud and rain to cut myself, worth it! I have a lot of faux flower arrangement throughout my house but nothing brightens ups a good like colorful spring bouquet. So as with any CSA program you take on a certain amount of risk when subscribing. Which I found out quickly this week, we had some awesome sunny days which caused the cold weather crops to go to seed, meaning they put out flowers = they are done for the season. However, seeing the sunshine and warmth for the first time in a few weeks is worth missing 1 week of veggies. Also, that means the newly planted veggies have two weeks to mature for next weeks box! This week I’m focusing on how I used the veggies in different recipes, since most are repeats of the previous two weeks I’m not adding nutrition benefits, so check last week’s post for that info. Food is medicine!
Week 3 Box
Thyme: health benefits- helps sore throats, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, boosts mood, prevents food poisoning, anti-inflammatory. My husband was sick this week so I made this soup chicken, veggie and lentil soup. I love using my dutch oven to layer flavors as opposed to a Crockpot or Instant pot where you just dump all the ingredients in at once. Soups are so versatile you can pretty much put anything in them and they will taste good. I started this one browning chicken in olive oil with seasonings (garlic powder, pepper, no salt organic seasoning blend). Remove the chicken (do not clean the pan) add fresh ginger, garlic, sorrel, parsley, thyme, turmeric, onion, celery, green bell peppers and saute. Add in carrot, chard stems cook until softened. Add broth or water and chicken, I used homemade bone broth (see my previous post for recipe). Simmer until veggies soften more but not mushy. Add in green onion and chard leaves cook until wilted, add in cooked lentils. Simmer to meld flavors for about 20 minutes and serve. Honestly, whenever I make soup I don’t usually eat it that day because it tastes way better the next day!
Kale: I’ve been using the kale in my lunch salads and morning smoothies but this week I wanted a crunchy snack. Kale Chips! I have made these in the past some successfully others not so much. Trick is low and slow in the oven, I’ve fallen victim to the 350 degree oven and burnt the heck out of these before. So now I take my time and crisp them up at 250 for about 10-15 minutes lightly oiled and salted, making sure not to get preoccupied. Store uncovered on the counter top to keep them crispy. Don’t worry about them going bad, they won’t last long.
Broccolini: Simply roasted at 400 with oil and seasonings until tender, check after 10 minutes it won’t take long with the thinner stalks. I personally don’t like mushy veggies so less is better, also overcooking can deplete the vitamin content. I added some rapini I had left from last week. I love the flavor of these two combined, the broccolini is slightly sweet and the rapini is slightly bitter making a perfect compliment. Bonus the rapini leaves get a little crispy adding some nice crunch. Pair the roasted veggies with any breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Side note: I love these silicone mats to line my baking sheets, I’m trying to get rid of the toxic products in my home slowly but surely ie Aluminum foil.
Spring Onions: I use these in multiple ways throughout the week. They are good in salads, as a garnish, in dips, pretty much any where you want a light onion flavor these are perfect. Atop my cauliflower mash: I roasted 1/2 Costco bag of cauliflower in 400 degree oven with 3 cloves of garlic until tender, transfer to Vitamix this time I added 2 tbsp grass fed ghee (so much better than butter, nutty and delicious) some leftover ricotta cheese, salt and pepper. Blend under smooth and top with spring onions. It doesn’t really matter how much cauliflower you use but roasting in the oven produces a better tasting mash than steaming or microwaving, so take the extra time its worth it!
Rainbow Chard: Normally I would default to romaine leaves for wraps, tacos, burgers, etc. Chard has more nutrient density and a mild flavor so it works equally if not better since the leaves are larger. I made some steak fajitas with onions, pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, and tomatoes. Seasoned with lime juice, oregano, thyme (from CSA box), paprika, chili powder, cumin, pepper, garlic, salt, and a little tomato puree to make a sauce. For my seasoning blend I use 1tbsp paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, 1 tsp, pepper, salt, oregano, 1/2tsp thyme. Season your meat and brown in the skillet, remove and cook veggies until tender add tomato puree and more seasoning blend, you want just enough tomato puree to make a thick sauce and meat back into pan, add fresh lime juice. Taste your food and adjust seasoning accordingly more spice, more smoke, more tang it’s about experimenting.
Stay tuned for more of my CSA recipes, exploring new foods, applications, and healing properties of these amazing vegetables.