Saturday, May 26, 2012

CSA Box: Week 2!

A huge pile of goodies this week!
  • Pea Vine (my dad assures me this is a delicacy)
  • Parsnips (still didn't cook up last week's)
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Potato Onions
  • Rhubarb (YAY! already cooked up into sauce)
  • Asparagus (steamed)
  • French Breakfast Radishes (boiled)
  • Sauté Mix or Spinach (we got spinach)
  • Arugula (allergic)
  • Baby White Turnips (YAY! mild enough to eat raw)
  • Baby Bok Choi (steamed)
  • Garden Herb Pack (I thought this might be dried herbs, but it's actually the live plans in a little plastic planter -- rosemary, oregano, basil, sage, thyme, savory, Italian and curly parsley)
Really excited to tackle this week's veggie cornucopia, starting with rhubarb sauce and steamed aspy!

    Monday, May 14, 2012


    The asparagus from our CSA box sautéed up beautifully with a little extra virgin olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Sometimes I'm glad M doesn't like most vegetables... I ate these all up myself! Even tasted a bit like movie theater popcorn. :)

    Our first CSA box of the season!

    We picked up our very first CSA box on Saturday, and are happy to report that so far we're quite pleased!

    Early in the week, we received a mailing confirming our registration along with details about our pick-up site and the pick-up process. On Friday, we received an electronic newsletter detailing the veggie delights we could expect to pick up on Saturday.

    When morning rolled around, we headed out armed with a wheeled cooler bag my mom had received as a freebie at some point (the farm reuses the shipping boxes). Our pick-up site is conveniently just a few blocks away, and the couple whose garage serves as the pick-up site were super helpful and friendly. We were among the last to show up, but happily packed up our boxful of goodies along with a season calendar and newsletter w/ updates from the farm (and recipe suggestions! very helpful for some of the less common vegetables, like stinging nettles below). This week's box included:

    • Baby Parsnips
    • Sunchokes
    • Chives
    • Green Garlic
    • Potato or Egyptian Walking Onions (we got the latter)
    • Spinach
    • Asparagus
    • French Breakfast Radishes
    • Salad Mix
    • Stinging Nettles
    • Willow (we didn't take this; it's intended as a decorative item)

    Note: If there's anything you don't want, you can leave it in the swap box. And, if there's anything in the swap box that you want, you can take it. Nice!

    So far we've used everything except the parsnips, chives, potatoes, and nettles, and it's only Monday! Guess we needn't have worried about not using everything up...I think the novelty helps us get excited about trying new vegetables or cooking new recipes. And a lot of the vegetables can be eaten raw or very simply dressed, so it hasn't been too much of a strain to prepare.

    Already our diets have improved, and the process has been quite edifying as well -- there was a bit of confusion about the difference between the green garlic and Egyptian walking onions, and more confusion about whether we got potatoes or the Egyptian walking onions, and what sunchokes were, but we got it all sorted out thanks to the helpful hints in the newsletter and a little Google searching.

    I think we'll make mashed potatoes w/ chives and sour cream next, and maybe a nettle frittata. But still brainstorming ideas for what to do with the parsnips and sunchokes.

    PS. Our CSA farm doesn't offer free-range eggs, but they do have grass-fed meats, monthly cheeses, fruit boxes, and coffee.

    Friday, May 11, 2012

    Salmon Soup

    A few weeks ago I dragged in a one-pot cookbook from the library and carefully placed it near M's desk.

    A few weeks went by... I casually mentioned its existence, to which I received a non-committal grunt of acquiescence. 'Yes, I realize the book is there...yes, there are probably some great, simply recipes in there that even I won't mess up..... Yes, I will try one of the recipes some day.'

    Another few weeks... I randomly pointed out a recipe that was sure to be a winner. And finally, after nearly 2 months...we have a pretty tasty product!

    Salmon Soup
    [from The Everything One-Pot Cookbook, 2e]

    4 cups chicken broth
    1 lb fresh or smoked salmon
    1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
    salt to taste
    ground black pepper to taste
    1 bunch fresh spinach, well washed and chopped

    Add broth, salmon, onion, salt, and pepper to a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Add spinach, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes.

    Bon appetit!

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

    Yakisoba Bento Variations

    It's been a while since I lasted posted a bento, though I have put one together every so often this semester. Today's bento features 1/2 a package of pre-prepared/frozen yakisoba (from Costco), grape tomatoes, and a few slices of champagne mango.

    The yakisoba has been really convenient; it tastes good, keeps well, and there are no messy liquids involved. The only drawback is that it's a little oilier than I would prefer. But until I come up with the time to pan-fry my own noodles, these will work just fine! One whole package is 500 calories. Pictured here is a little over half, so I'd say this bento totals around 400 cal.

    And another yakisoba variation (in my favorite bento colors box):