Monday, August 15, 2011

Farm Meals...

We've flown through week eight and nine of our CSA season.  Our house has been filled with guests, which has given me plenty of opportunities to show off our farm box produce in the meals that I have made for them.  Here's a peak at what we received in our boxes...

Week 8 - Corn, sweet onion, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, garlic, banana peppers, cucumbers, thyme, broccoli, nappa cabbage, sungold tomatoes, eggplant, and kale.

Week 9 - sungold tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, patty pan squash, zucchini, yellow squash, green pepper, beets, eggplant, heirloom tomato, garlic, cucumbers, carrots, sweet onion, and sage

One of the things I was looking forward to making was zucchini bread.  I was hoping for a big huge pile of them as was character of our farm boxes back in MI this time of the season.  But when we only received one more in last week's box, I was bummed.  I had enough zucchini to make one loaf but I wanted to make two.  So I got creative and made one of the loaves with one zucchini and the one lonely patty pan squash we received.  It turned out fantastic and the kids gobbled it up...we gave the first loaf to a family we were making dinner for.  Here's a picture of the loaf made with zucchini and patty pan squash...we ate it with strawberries and a dollop of homemade almond whipped cream...

The abundance of cabbage and cucumbers has been awesome!  My kids love cucumbers so we mostly just sliced them up to eat as snacks with the carrots, peppers, and cauliflower we also received.  But, I also made a wonderful cucumber salad w/ fresh dill to eat for lunch one reminded me of a salad my mother used to make when I was younger...

Cucumber Salad
I was struggling with the amount of cabbage we've been getting.  I wanted to make a coleslaw with some but my husband has a negative attitude towards coleslaw based on childhood experiences of it always being loaded with mayonnaise, which he hates.  With that in mind, I tried a Carrot and Cabbage Slaw recipe I found online that had a dressing made out of white wine vinegar to pair with pulled pork sandwiches.  I served it up and put some on my sandwich, and he followed suit.  Turns out he LOVED it and used the leftovers in a sandwich wrap with the leftover pork the next day!  Hooray for adding new veggies into his diet!

Cabbage and Carrot Slaw

In keeping with my motto of "cook once, eat twice," the pulled pork sandwiches were made from a leftover pork tenderloin we grilled a couple nights before.  In the preparation, I used the banana peppers, scallions, garlic, and cilantro from the farm to flavor the pork while simmering.  I then made a homemade BBQ sauce, pulled the pork and continued simmering for a little while longer in the BBQ sauce...they were so good!

I also made a Chinese Nappa Cabbage Salad with peanuts, chow mien noodles, and black sesame seeds topped with a homemade vinaigrette dressing.  This was a great summer salad too that lasted us a couple days because the cabbage was so huge!

Chinese Nappa Cabbage Salad

I also made a huge pot of Autumn Vegetable favorite soup recipe ever from my favorite cookbook Simply in Season!  It was made almost exclusively from ingredients from our farm box...we used the corn, cabbage, kale, green pepper, onion, tomatoes, garlic and parsley.  This is a great recipe for using up those veggies!!

Autumn Vegetable Soup

Another staple meal I ususally make when visitors are in the house is my "famous" burritos.  It's a great dish that serves a lot of people and I have never had anyone who has not liked them!  This time I was able to use the rest of the banana peppers from the farm in this recipe.  I chopped them up small, sauteed them, and then added to the meat and bean mixture and also simmered them into the tomato sauce that I pour over the top before adding cheese and baking.  We topped them with the shredded lettuce and the rest of the sungold tomatoes from the farm, which were a perfect sweet compliment to the light spice of the peppers throughout!

Burrito prep - sungold tomatoes and banana peppers from the farm, plus lettuce

Burrito Dinner w/ Spanish rice
After all the meals I was able to use cabbage in, I now only have two small heads left which will likely go in another batch of Autumn Vegetable Soup soon to freeze for later in the fall.  The last of the visitors are gone for the summer and school starts next week.  I am looking forward to getting into an even healthier meal and eating routine, minus the sweets, and including things like purple carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and peppers in the kids school lunches.  What a great example they can be to their friends eating fresh veggies from the farm instead of chips, crackers, or empty calorie foods. 

Thanks for all the great feedback, emails, and comments.  As always, if there is a recipe I didn't include that you would like to try, just let me know!  I would be more than happy to share it. 

1 comment:

CJ said...

Cool idea for a blog! I'll be peeking in from time to time for sure.