Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tomato Chard Pizza

A fellow CSAer and I were talking this week about the beauty of pizza towards the end of the week. A pizza can be anything!

Friday Menu – Tomato Chard Pizza with Peppers and Onions
Farm Share Produce – Chard, Bell Peppers, Onions

Here is my post about pizza and having a CSA. The pizza crust recipe in the post is whole wheat and we just love it!

Last night I used the leftover Tomato Sauce with Chard on the pizza and was able to use up a small amount of bell pepper and onion I still had. Good pizza!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Guesstimate Week 9

Next week’s guesstimate…

Bell Peppers, Cantaloupe, Chard, Eggplant, Green Beans, Hot Peppers, Italia Peppers, Salad Mix, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Cilantro

Fruit – Nectarines or Peaches

Please send any favorites ideas or recipes for these items. I would love to include reader suggestions in my menu planning and on the blog. Contact me through the comments or e-mail me at

Tomato Sauce with Chard

My cousin made this wonderful tomato sauce with chard a few weeks back. I was excited to get Chard in the CSA this week so I could try my hand at it. There is just something about Chard I just love!

Thursday Menu – Penne covered in Tomato Sauce with Chard, Salad (all items local!!!)
Farm Share Produce – Chard, Head Lettuce, Cucumber, Onion, Bell Pepper
Other Local Produce – Sun Gold Tomatoes (garden)

Tomato Sauce with Chard

2 T olive oil
Salt to taste
½ t crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, sliced
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 bunch chard, rough chop
2 T fresh basil, sliced
Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Add garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and let them infuse the oil for about 1 minute or until garlic begins to turn golden. Add onions and caramelize. This should be done on low heat and can take up to 20 or 25 minutes. Add can of tomatoes, chard, and basil. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for up to 2 hours. Simmer at least 20-30 minutes before serving

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thai Ground Meat with Chiles and Basil

I love this dinner! I’ve always just followed the recipe and been very happy. It calls for 3 hot peppers – on this ingredient I’m usually lenient because I use whatever pepper we have around. Last night it was Mariachi Peppers and a long hot pepper. Last night I used ground turkey and didn’t make the coconut rice, but Basmati Brown Rice (get those whole grains, right?). Still an excellent dinner!

Wednesday Menu – Thai Turkey with Chiles and Basil, Corn on the Cob
Farm Share Produce – Mariachi Peppers, Corn on the Cob, Basil
Other Local Produce – Garlic, Hot Pepper

Thai Ground Meat with Chiles and Basil

Corn on the Cob
We tend to be minimalists when it comes to corn on the cob. I husk it, put the cobs in some boiling water that doesn’t even cover the cobs, and let it cook with the cover on for only 5-7 minutes. We barely even put butter, salt or pepper on the corn. I see all these great recipes for fancy butters and cheese for corn on the cob, but I know my husband will just eat it plain old, so I don’t bother.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Week 8 of 2010 - Kabocha Squash!!??!!

It’s one of those fun CSA weeks! We got Kabocha Squash. I’ve already had some questions about how are you going to use that? What is it? I love weeks we get unfamiliar vegetables. See below for info on the Kabocha Squash.

What remains in my fridge…

Green Beans, Onions, Summer Squash, Zucchini

We got this week…

Bell Peppers, Chard, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Head Lettuce, Kabocha Squash, Mariachi Peppers, Sweet Corn, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Basil
Fruit – Peaches

Kabocha Squash
This squash is Japanese in origin and related to the Buttercup Squash. The flesh is dense and dry enough to be flaky. Can be cooked in the following manners…poached, baked, steamed and puréed. It has a shelf life of up to 6 months.
Information from “Produce: Identification, Fabrication, Utilization” by Brad Matthews and Paul Wigsten
Here are some ideas…

Mariachi Peppers
A quick Google search and I found out they are mildly hot chile peppers.

The woman writing "150 day within 150 miles" ( had a great tip about peaches...she went peach picking and learned that once they ripen put them in the fridge to prevent over-ripening.

My Plans…

This Thai Beef dish made with ground meat is a family favorite I discovered when we were getting lots of peppers last year.

I’m going to make a very simple pasta sauce based on this recipe.

Green Beans
Okay, these are getting ahead of me. Time to freeze. Don’t forget this helpful website.

Summer Squash and Zucchini
I never got to this stuffed squash recipe last week.
Here’s a great blog post from The Cooking Channel about Zucchini

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Zucchini Trade - Curried Zucchini Soup for Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread

My friend and I are making a Zucchini trade. She made Curried Zucchini Soup ( ) and I made Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread ( ).

The kids and I polished off half a loaf for dessert last night. It was tasty and had good texture. One concern…why do the chocolate chips always fall to the bottom? Any solutions?

KID TIP: Whenever I bake with zucchini, I peel it and then grate it. It hides the zucchini from the kids. While I miss the visual texture provided by the green peel throughout the bread, but they eat the yummy baked good I just put in front of them.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Grilled Peppers and Lentil Salad

I had never grilled peppers, let them steam, and then peeled off their skins. It was fun and the smell of the peppers while they cooked made me very excited about dinner. The original recipe called for fennel pollen, I ground some fennel seeds in my mortar and pestle. I liked the added flavor the fennel provided, especially since I served it with sausage. I almost used cumin. I think this would add a nice touch of smokiness and compliment the lime and cilantro in the salad. I’ll try that next time.

Sunday Menu – Grilled Peppers and Lentil Salad, Turkey Sausage, Whole Grain Bread
Farm Share Produce – Bell Pepper
Other Local Produce – Bell Pepper, Onion, Scallions

Grilled Peppers and Lentil Salad
Adapted from

3 bell peppers, a variety of color will add to the presentation
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper
1 ½ cups dried lentils
1 small onion, peeled and halved
1 bay leaf
2/3 cup chopped plum tomatoes
½ cup chopped scallions
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup lime juice
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 t ground fennel (or try cumin)

Preheat grill to high heat. Quarter and seed the peppers. Spray with cooking spray and put skin side down on the grill racks for 12 minutes. Place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. Next, discard skins and chop. Add peppers to a medium bowl and salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, rinse and drain lentils. In a large saucepan cover lentils with 3 inches of water. Add the onion and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are just tender. Drain lentils and discard onion and bay leaf.

To the medium bowl of peppers, add lentils, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, and ground fennel. Stir well and salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE: the original recipe calls for ¼ cup of pitted kalamata olives. Thought you might like to know. Recently on FB I commented that I might like to get a cherry pitter, but didn’t want a uni-tasker. Several people pointed out I could pit olives, my best friend informed them I would actually have to like olives for that to be a selling point

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Carrot Cake Ice Cream

Friday Menu – Chard Quesadillas, Carrot Cake Ice Cream

Farm Share Produce – Carrots

Other Local Produce – Chard, Hot Peppers

Chard Quesadillas

I used this same concept, but this time in the oil I sautéed hot peppers and chard. I added a little protein this time with leftover chicken and shrimp. Good, easy Friday night dinner!

Carrot Cake Ice Cream

I used a combination of my oh, so yummy Carrot Cake recipe and the simple ice cream recipe in the booklet that came with my ice cream maker (Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker ICE-20). I’ve never used anything but this simple recipe for a base. It’s really good. It’s consistency is like that of soft serve ice cream. My friend has a base that uses eggs and involves cooking on the stove. Maybe someday I’ll try that…

4-5 carrots, sliced
8 oz. crushed pineapple
2 t cinnamon
½ t allspice
1 t vanilla
1 cup light cream
4 oz. cream cheese
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar

Boil carrots in water for 5-7 minutes until soft. Let cool and then smash with fork.
In a medium boil mix carrots, pineapple, cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla. Add light cream, cream cheese, milk and sugar and mix to combine.
Add to ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Guesstimate Week 8

Next week’s guesstimate…

Carrots, Chard, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Green Beans, Hot Peppers, Peppers, Onions, Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Zucchini, Basil, Cilantro

Fruit – Peaches or Nectarines

Please send any favorites ideas or recipes for these items. I would love to include reader suggestions in my menu planning and on the blog. Contact me through the comments or e-mail me at

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Claremont Salad (light coleslaw), Bengali Style Eggplant

Tuesday Menu – Teriyaki Turkey Burgers, Claremont Salad, Bengali Style Eggplant
Farm Share Produce – Carrot, Cucumber, Eggplant
Other Local Produce – Cabbage, Eggplant, Garlic, Hot Pepper, Onion, Scallions

Teriyaki Turkey Burgers
From Cooking Light June 2000

1 pound ground turkey (original recipe calls for ground round)
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
¼ cup chopped scallions
1 t grated fresh ginger
¼ t black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

Combine ingredients and divide into 4 equal portions. Grill 4 minutes each side.

NOTE: My kids gobble these up if I leave the scallions out of their portion. I love that they are getting introduced to flavors like ginger this way. These are really good with a spicy mustard.

Claremont Salad – a light version of coleslaw

NOTE: I followed this recipe pretty closely. I did not use a bell pepper, but substituted in a seeded hot pepper. The recipe calls for a Bermuda onion, I didn’t know what that was. It’s a bulb shaped purple colored onion. I used an onion I got from the farmer’s market.

Bengali Style Eggplant

NOTE: I did not have Japanese style eggplants, but a big fat eggplant and another from my CSA. I just cut the eggplants in quarters and sliced them so the slices were about the same size as a Japanese eggplant would have been and then followed the recipe. I LOVE eggplant!!! It was yummy!

2 items of interest for the local food movement

I just added a favorite food blog, 150 days within 150 miles. A couple in Texas is trying to eat food for 150 days they get from within 150 miles. The current post is about day 21, so I can’t wait to watch their progress.

I also recently heard about two bikers making their way across the country organizing potlucks so they can learn what is happening in communities with the local food movement. Here is their website They seem to currently be in Montana and they started in Vermont, so they are almost finished, but still a great idea with lots of good stories

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Grilled Chicken with Matching Vinaigrette

It works to have Tuesday’s menu always be grilled chicken, salad, and nice crunchy bread. It’s CSA pick up day and we are usually ooh and ahhing over our share, trying to clean and store everything, and get dinner on the table all at the same time, right around 5:30. But I wanted to try and at least make it interesting every once in awhile. Yesterday I found a marinade I had never made and tried making vinaigrette using the same flavors. It was fun and still chaotic.

Tuesday Menu – Australian Grilled Chicken, Salad, Crunchy Dinner Rolls
Farm Share Produce – Bell Peppers, Carrots, Cucumbers, Salad Mix, Basil
Other Local Produce – Garlic, Scallions, Tomatoes (from the garden)

Australian Grilled Chicken
Based on

1 ½ T reduced sodium soy sauce
1 T honey
1-2 t grated fresh ginger
½ T mirin
1/8 t five spice powder
1 clove garlic, grated
1 T olive oil

Mix all ingredients and marinade for up to 2 hours with 3-4 chicken breasts. Grill.

Australian Vinaigrette

½ t grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, grated
2 t sesame oil
2 t lime juice
Pinch red crushed pepper
Pinch salt
1 T soy sauce
1 ½ t whole grain mustard
3 T balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine ingredients.

I just realized the other fun advantage to this menu every Tuesday is the salad allows for a sampling of all the great stuff we just got in our CSA. Last night we got to sample the bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and basil. The salad mix is gone!

Week 7 of 2010

We got…
Bell pepper, Carrots, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Green beans, Onion, Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Basil
Fruit - Peaches

My plans…

Bell Pepper – Grilled Pepper and Lentil Salad

Carrots and Cucumbers – Claremont Salad
We had a grocery store version of this over the weekend. It was a nice light version of coleslaw. I can’t wait to make a homemade version.

Carrots – Carrot Cake Ice Cream
I’m working out a recipe in my head. I can’t wait to try.

Eggplant – Indian Eggplant Cooked in Yogurt

Green Beans – Green Bean Salad with Mustard Crema

Summer Squash and Zucchini – Grilled and Stuffed with Cous Cous, Spinach, and Feta

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dal with Cabbage

Cabbage is one of those vegetables I went into adulthood thinking I didn’t like. That’s the beauty of a CSA, you have to at least try the items you get. My memories of cabbage are dishes like stuffed cabbage, which I still would only eat if that was the only option I was being served. Last night my husband said he still views cabbage as something he generally does not like, but last night’s dinner made it okay. The dal was good, but it could have used a little more of a kick. I’m going to include how I would add kick as an option in the recipe below.

Meatless Monday Menu – Dal with Cabbage, Naan
Local Produce – Cabbage, Onions

Dal with Cabbage
Adapted from

9 oz. lentils, mix of yellow and red
5 ½ cups water
¼ t turmeric
1 14oz. can stewed tomatoes
8 – 10 curry leaves
2 T olive oil
1 ½ t mustard seeds
¼ t ground mustard
1-2 dried chiles (optional)
1 onion, thinly sliced
½ large cabbage, thinly sliced
1-2 T lemon juice
1 ½ t garam masala
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 T fresh cilantro, chopped

Rinse the lentils with hot water. In a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven cover lentils with water and add turmeric. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 20-25 minutes. Lentils should be very soft. Add tomatoes and curry leaves and set aside.

Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a skillet. Add mustard seeds, mustard powder, and dried chile (optional). Put on medium high heat, cover, and wait until you hear the seeds begin to pop. Add the cabbage and onion and cook until wilted.

Combine the vegetables with the lentils and simmer an additional 10-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Stir in lemon juice, garam masala, and salt and pepper. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Green Bean Salad with Spicy Asian Dressing

The basil in the garden is going crazy, so that needed to become pesto. I was all out of nuts of any variety and didn’t like any of the selection at the store, so I made pesto with sunflower seeds. I liked it. I also made a visit to the farmer’s market Sunday morning.

The first pepper is hot. I used that in the green bean salad. The sweet pepper is only in the picture because it is purple. I plan to make some pickles out of the cucumbers with my son who would happily just eat pickles for lunch. And, I can never resist an eggplant – don’t know what I’ll do with it, but I can’t wait!!!

Sunday Menu: – Grilled Salmon with Pesto, Spicy Asian Green Bean Salad, Dinner Rolls
Local Produce: Basil, Green Beans, Hot Pepper

Green Bean Salad with Spicy Asian Dressing
From Everyday Food Issue 70

3-4 handfuls of fresh green beans, trimmed
2 T sunflower seeds
2 T vegetable oil
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 T lemon juice
½ hot pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 ½ t sugar

Boil water in a medium saucepan and blanche green beans for 3 minutes. Remove immediately and rinse in cold water. Place in serving dish and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

Mix oil, vinegar, lemon juice, hot pepper sliced and sugar together. Toss with Green Bean Salad.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Guesstimate Week 7

Next week’s guesstimate…

Carrots, Chard, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Head Lettuce, Peppers or Eggplant, Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Sweet Corn, Zucchini, Cilantro

Fruit - Peaches

Please send any favorite ideas or recipes for these items through the comments or e-mail me at

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Freezing Herbs

Sometime I can’t get through the fresh herbs fast enough. We get at least one fresh herb each week in our CSA, sometimes 3. We also have them growing in our garden and it gets to a point where they need to be used. Freezing herbs is a wonderful way to save them. I love having the bags of fresh herbs in the freezer all winter! Here is what I do.

I chop the herbs and then shove them into the sections of an ice cube tray and pour in a small amount of water.

Once they are frozen, they look like this.

I then put them in a freezer bag and label them. I have a basket in my freezer where I keep them. I like this system because then I can go straight to the basket instead of shuffling through all that stuff in my freezer.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Creamy Corn Soup and Grilled Peaches Dessert

My in-laws and I were at a market that other day that specializes in produce, much of which is local. The best items we got were corn and white peaches, local of course. Both of these items when in season are so good they just take care of themselves, but our eyes were a little bigger than our stomachs buying the first of the season. I needed to do something with the corn and peaches, and luckily my mother-in-law gave me this great cookbook, “Great Food Fast” which is put out by the publishers of Everyday Food. I saw that it was out and I wasn’t much interested, but once I looked through it I was hooked. It is organized by season and the recipes are simple, but look so tasty. I easily found something to make with the corn and peaches. There will be lots more to share from this book in the weeks to come.

Monday Menu: Creamy Corn Soup, Hamburgers and Brats, Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream and Crushed Cookies

Creamy Corn Soup
From “Great Food Fast” by the publishers of Everyday Food
Adapted for portion sizes

8 ears of corn
2 T of butter
Coarse salt

Remove the kernels and puree with accumulated juices in 1 cup of water until chunky.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the corn, butter, 2 cups of water, and 2 t coarse salt until the butter is melted and the corn heated through.

Serve hot with any or all of the following garnishes: lime wedges, crushed tortilla chips, or scallions.

NOTE: I made the soup with corn that had already been boiled. They suggest making it with fresh corn. You can freeze the soup for up to six months. We had it with all three garnishes and loved it.

Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream and Crushed Cookies
Adapted from “Great Food Fast” by the publishers of Everyday Food

4 peaches, halved and pitted
2 T melted butter
Vanilla ice cream
Crushed Cookies

Heat grill to medium low. Brush both sides of the peach with butter. Place peaches on the grill, skin side up. Cook until peaches are charred and softened, 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
Place two peach halves in a bowl. Add two scoops of ice cream and sprinkle with crushed cookies.

NOTE: I grilled the peaches before I grilled anything else for dinner. I put them in a baking dish and covered them. When it was time for dessert, I warmed the halves in the microwave and then added the ice cream and cookies. I used Keebler Sandies for the cookie, but I think sugar or shortbread cookies would work too. The original recipe suggests amaretti cookies.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Guesstimate Week 6

Next week's guesstimate...

Carrots, Chard, Cucumbers, Eggplant or Peppers, Green Beans, Onions, Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Sweet Corn, Zucchini

Fruit - peaches

Please send any favorite ideas or recipes for these items through the comments or e-mail me at

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Week 5 of 2010

We got...
Basil, Beets, Boston Lettuce, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Onions, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Zucchini
Fruit – Peaches

My ideas…

You can make beet chips!

Dan Dan Noodles – can’t wait to try what looks like a refreshing side dish on these hot days!

Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard Pie

Summer Squash and Zucchini
I’ll just throw the summer squash and zucchini together in this dish that pairs them with lemon and thyme. I bet any fresh herb would work, maybe the basil that came this week.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Freezing Broccoli and Kale

I still had broccoli and kale, and more vegetables on the way today. It’s got to be frozen and saved. I’m always happy to have items from the farm stored in the freezer.

I’ve shared this site a couple of times – it is the best! It gives great advice on how to freeze and store all the summer bounty. It’s in my list of links – Freezing Vegetables.

For the broccoli…

I blanched it for 3 minutes. Drained and let it cool. I spread it out on platter to dry and then freeze. Once frozen, I stored it in a freezer bag.

For the kale…

I blanched it for 3 minutes. Drained and let cool. I placed in a freezer bag and then pulled it apart, just so it wasn’t one big clump of a ball. I tried to have it fill the whole bag and lay flat on a drawer in the freezer to freeze.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Guesstimate Week 5

Week 5 Guess

Beets or Carrots, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Head Lettuce, Onions, Salad Mix, Scallions, Summer Squash or Zucchini, Swiss Chard, Basil, Parsley, and maybe Peppers

Fruit Guess


If you have any favorite ideas or recipes for these items I would love to include them in my menu planning. Contact me through the comments or e-mail me at

Friday, July 2, 2010

Roasted Cabbage Wedges

The original recipe calls for fennel seeds. I just did not feel like that tangy, licorice like flavor last night. I pulled out my favorite kitchen reference book “The Flavor Bible” by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. It lists ingredients and what pairs well with them. Bay Leaves and Garlic also go well with Cabbage, so we tried those flavors instead.

Thursday Menu: Roasted Cabbage Wedges, Leftovers
Farm Share Produce: Cabbage

Roasted Cabbage Wedges
Adapted from

½ head cabbage, cut into 4 wedges
2 – 3 T olive oil
2 – 3 t green garlic or garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves, broken in half

Place cabbage wedges on roasting pan. Brush with olive oil. Spread on garlic and place bay leaves on wedges. Roast at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Beets and Beet Greens Salad, Pasta Salad with Shrimp

Wednesday Menu: Pasta Salad with Shrimp, Beets and Beet Greens Salad
Farm Share Produce: Beets and their greens, Scallions, Summer Squash, Zucchini

Beets and Beet Greens Salad
I found it here, in this farm’s current newsletter
They reference, but I couldn’t find it. Here is what I did.

3 medium beets with greens
1 t olive oil
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T rice wine vinegar, or other mild variety
½ t grainy mustard
Pinch of sugar
3 T extra virgin olive oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Trim stalks to ½ inch and wash beets and beet greens. Set beet greens aside.

Tightly seal beets in an aluminum foil pouch. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes. Remove beets and let cool in pouch for 10 minutes. Place in fridge to cool completely.

Meanwhile heat the 1 t of olive oil, then add the garlic and cook 1 – 2 minutes to flavor the oil. Add the beet greens and toss occasionally until wilted, 5-7 minutes.

Mix vinegar, mustard and sugar. Slowly add extra virgin olive oil to make dressing.
Put greens on the serving dish, slice beets and place on top. Dribble with dressing and serve.
Pasta Salad with Shrimp
Adapted from Summer Pasta Salad with Shrimp in Everyday Food Jul/Aug 2010
Interestingly enough, Simply Recipes has a very similar recipe posted today as well.

½ pound farfalle, penne, or fusilli pasta
1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 small summer squash
1 medium zucchini
3 scallions, sliced
1 T lemon juice
½ t crushed red pepper
Salt to taste
½ medium jar of sun dried tomatoes in oil
16 – 18 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a large mixing bowl combine extra virgin olive oil, summer squash, zucchini, scallions, lemon juice, crushed red pepper and salt. Place pasta over the mix after it has cooked. Leave to sit for a minute so the heat can slightly cook the squash and zucchini. Toss after 1-2 minutes.

Place sun dried tomatoes and their oil in a skillet and heat. Add shrimp and toss occasionally until cooked. Toss shrimp and sun dried tomatoes with pasta mixture. Serve.