Saturday, June 2, 2018

This Week's CSA Box

Spring's Bounty of Goodness!
First let me thank you for joining me for my June Food Budget Challenge! 

 If you've just joined us, check out this post.  I'll be spending just $320 to feed a family of seven for the month of June. 

Enter our June giveaway: 

Don't miss your chance to win a copy of one of my favorite books, Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half, by Steve and Annette Economides.  There aren't too many entries yet, so you have a great chance to win!  Go to this link.  It tells you all about my June Food Budget Challenge and gives details on how to enter the contest. 

My weekly CSA box: the backbone of each week's menu plan.  

When I began my June Food Budget Challenge I told you that we are CSA members.  Some readers inquired about CSAs.  So, let me first begin with a quick explanation.  

What's a CSA?

CSA is short for: Community supported agriculture. CSAs allow you to get the freshest food, eat seasonally, and help support small independent farmers. We've been CSA members of local CSAs for nearly a decade.

In January, you pay for a share of the upcoming harvest. The farmer uses that money to purchase seeds and supplies. The cost varies from one farmer to the next. Our share this year was $600. Then, every single week during the growing season (generally 24-26 weeks) you receive a very generous basket full of fresh produce. There are CSAs in nearly every locale throughout the United States.

If you live locally, we joined the CSA from Garden Spot, an organic farm from Princeville. 

What's In the Box? 

 This week's box definitely smells and feels like spring!  

2 - heads of lettuce
1 - pound of mixed lettuce leaves
2 - small heads of broccoli
2-  bunches of green onions
7-  nice-sized tomatoes
1 - bunch of asparagus
1 - bunch of green garlic
1 - big bunch of beets

A couple of notes:  

The tomatoes: 

Yes, the tomatoes are organic and locally grown in a hoop house!  This is one of  most amazing things that I have witnessed!  If you've never visited a local, small farm with hoop houses, do it!  These structures allow farmers to start plants weeks ahead of the normal season.  It's basically a plastic covered building, allowing sun to permeate the inside, warming the soil and keeping the plants moist and warm.  The tomatoes in the photo were raised in a hoop house, which was heated to 70 degrees at night.  Thus, fresh vine-ripened tomatoes in early June! 

Green garlic: 

If you never tasted green garlic, head to your farmer's market and get some.  It resembles a big scallion.  It is immature garlic with the green tops still attached.  It has a mild garlic flavor.  Both the white ends and the stalks are edible. 

What Am I Going to Do with it?

 Here are the recipes that I plan to make with the produce from the box and what items from the box I will use for each recipe.     

1.  Taco salad:  the heads of lettuce, green onions, green garlic, and tomatoes.  Our filling is black beans, brown rice, and millet mixed with, onions, garlic, and taco seasoning.  We serve it over a bed of greens with optional toppings on the side.  Optional toppings:  cheese, salsa, sour cream, green onions, and tomatoes.  I got a super deal on sour cream at Krogers this week! 

2.  Roasted root vegetables:  the beets, green garlic, and green onions.  Place freshly washed and  cut up beets, carrots, and potatoes on parchment paper.  Sprinkle with some green garlic and green onion tops, rosemary or other herbs.  Roast at 425 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring twice during the cooking time. 

3.  Pasta Primavera:  green onions, asparagus, broccoli, green garlic.  This spring-time dish is SO easy to make and it is incredibly versatile.  I'm using a lot of produce from the CSA box and adding three small yellow squash and one small zucchini that I bought from the farmer's market for $3.00.  Here's a recipe link from Vegetarian Times to get you started.

4.  Fruity rice salad:  green onions, green garlic, tomatoes, salad greens.  Once again, this is very versatile.  It's a sweet/savory treat.  We serve it over salad greens and pass homemade dressing to pour over the top.  Here's a recipe from Taste.  

5.  Minestrone Soup: the remaining green onions, green garlic, tomatoes, broccoli, squash, asparagus, and beet greens will go into a minestrone soup.  I often make this soup to use up vegetable odds and ends.  You can pretty much add what you have and you can't mess it up!  Here is a link from Minimalist Baker.

That's it!  Five dishes, using up every single item from the CSA box!  

On Monday I'll post this week's grocery shopping totals!  
I shopped four different places and spent just HALF of my $80 allotted grocery budget for the week!
 I can't wait to share this week's best buys!
So far, so good!  Keep that encouragement coming my way!  Remember to follow the directions and share your best grocery shopping tip on this post to enter our June giveaway!   Once again, here's the link!

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Do all to the glory of God, 


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