Friday, August 5, 2011

Farm Meals...

I have really been enjoying our CSA this summer.  The variety has been amazing and the flavor of the organic produce we are getting is unbelievable!!  The color is amazing and each week we are introduced to something new grown this season on our farm.  It's been several weeks since I have shown pictures of our weekly bounty so to catch you up, here are some snapshots of what we have been receiving.

Week 4 - Broccoli, green beans, purple cabbage, snow peas, cauliflower, yellow squash, celery, red leaf lettuce, fennel, red and white scallions, green garlic, dinosaur kale, and mint.
Week 5 - red leaf lettuce, salad greens, broccoli, snow peas, green beans, carrots, golden beets, yellow squash, zucchini, garlic, scallions, cauliflower, parsley, and basil.
Week 6 - corn, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, sweet onion, garlic, carrots, yellow squash, cucumber, salad greens, zucchini, parsley, and cilantro.
Week 7 - green beans, carrots, broccoli, nappa cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, banana peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, sweet onion, corn, golden tomatoes, and thyme.

I have been able to make some fabulous meals out of this produce!  For the most part, I have been able to come up with uses for everything...except the cabbage...I'm having a hard time keeping up with the cabbage!!

Here's some of the many dishes we have been eating.  Some are basic meals we all make from time to time but are kicked up a notch by adding fresh herbs, like Naan Pizza and Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs, where I used the basil in the sauce and as a fresh topping!  I love basil.  It is by far my favorite herb. 

I also made Lemon Chicken Pasta and tossed in 1/2 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley.  This was a perfect summer recipe.  It's a very light, refreshing, and flavorful dish for a warm night that can be served hot, at room temperature, or cold the next day for lunch.  For our dinner, we ate it at room temperature.

I also made a basic meatloaf for dinner one night a couple weeks ago when it wasn't too terribly hot out.   This is one of the few meals I make, surprisingly (since it's such an "old school" dish), that the entire family will eat and lick their plates clean.  This time, though, I  used A TON of fresh herbs...basically, everything that was left in the fridge...parsley, basil, rosemary, and thyme...all from the farm (except the thyme).  It was by far the best meatloaf I have ever made...and everyone else agreed.  My oldest daughter kept trying to figure out what was different! 

This isn't the most attractive picture of a meatloaf since it isn't cooked...I forgot to take a picture after it was plated...but you can really see the fresh herbs throughout. I served this with purple potatoes and broccoli (also from the farm!)...

Once we got digging into the greens and veggies things really started to get interesting!  One of our favorite "farm meals" yet this summer has been Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps w/ Peanut Sauce and Curried Cauliflower and Snow Peas served over warm basmati rice.  OH. MY. GOODNESS.  This was such a flavorful dish!!  And there were enough components to it that the kids could customize their lettuce wraps to their liking!  In this one meal I used our red leaf lettuce, cauliflower, snow peas, cilantro, garlic, and scallions...and it was so filling...and healthy!

I'm also a huge advocate for cooking once and having enough to change up and use for future meals.  Not only does this save time for future meal preps, it creates creativity when cooking.  I don't always have an idea of what I'll do with extra food, but if I don't want it to go to waste...then I need to come up with something!  Last week I made a HUGE salad out of our remaining spinach, kohlrabi, and purple cabbage.  A couple of nights later, when we still had half a bowl of salad left, I sauteed the whole thing in a little olive oil, added some apples, maple syrup, and a touch of apple cider vinegar and served it as a side with grilled pork tenderloin.  We also used corn and salad greens from the farm for this meal as well!

I still have pork tenderloin and sauteed cabbage leftover, so to give it a third life I am going to make pulled pork sandwiches with homemade BBQ sauce and top them with the remaining purple cabbage slaw tomorrow.  That will be a perfect Saturday lunch for my hubby!

And last but not least, I made a beautiful pasta salad the other day to put a dent into some of the single veggies that have come in over the past couple weeks.  In this salad is zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper, golden tomatoes, broccoli, yellow peppers, and fresh mozzarella.  I tossed it w/ a Sunflower Salad Vinaigrette using the sunflower oil produced by our farm as well.  This has been an awesome lunch filler and light late night snack.

So as you can see, it seems like A TON of produce.  But it doesn't take much to create a delicious meal using fresh foods or even transform recipes that our mothers and grandmothers have passed down to us that they used to make!  If any of these meals look good to you, or you would like to try one of the recipes I used, send me an email or leave a comment and I will email it to you right away.  And I would love to be inspired by you and what you've been cooking up in your kitchen this summer.  The best way to be successful in nourishing our families with whole foods is to share our success and encourage one another!

No comments: