Monday, June 18, 2018

Week 3: What a great CSA Box!

This week's CSA box provides lots of color and versatility!

5 - tomatoes
1 pound - new red potatoes
1 pound - carrots (with beautiful tops still attached!)
3 large zucchini
1 box sugar snap peas
1 head of cabbage
1 large bunch of yellow beets (with absolutely stunning greens!)
1 bunch of green onions

A Few Notes:

Yellow Beets:

If you've never had yellow beets, do give them a try.  Their taste is mellower than that of traditional red beets.  I have one son who is really not a fan of red beets, but roast yellow beets and he will eat a whole pan of them!  


One of the advantages of this week's box is that the green tops were still on both the carrots and the beets.  I love greens!  Here's a tip:  Generally if you are eating a root vegetable, the green tops that grow above the ground are also edible.  Most folks ignore the greens and simply cut them off and throw them out.  This is a mistake!  The greens contains huge amounts of vitamin K, iron, and more!  Here's an article from Burpee (the seed company) with a list of some of the edible greens and ideas for using them.

Preserving Greens:   

I'll admit it:  a big pile of greens can be a little overwhelming.  If there are more than you can handle before they deform into a slimy mass, then consider freezing them. 

First, you need to know that the freezer will change their texture and you won't want to eat them raw after thawing.  You will want to cook them before eating.  It is possible to simply cut them up and throw them into the freezer.  But, they take up too much freezer space for me in this form.  Instead I wash them well and then throw them into a pan.  Add a little water to the pan and then sweat them down.  They will shrink - a lot!

After they have reduced in size, let them cool and put them into small freezer bags.  I generally put about a cup of cooked greens into each bag.  Flatten and then seal.  Do be sure to label the bag with the name of the greens that you put into the bag.  You've no idea how many "unnamed" bags of greens I have in my freezer.  But, if they are going in soup, I generally don't care what kind they are anyway. 

When you get ready to use them, just take them out of the freezer a few minutes before you need them - 15 minutes will do the trick!  They will be thawed enough to allow you to easily slice through them a few times with a sharp knife to cut them into small, bite-sized pieces for a recipe.  

This Week's Recipes:

1.  Garden Fresh Sushi - Yum!  Here's the link

While discussing this week's CSA box, my 13 year old sous chef and I realized that we have a sushi rolling mat that we have never used.  We decided that sushi rolled up in fresh cabbage leaves was in order.  The recipe will used some of the outer leaves of the cabbage and part of the green onions.  

2.  30 minute Italian sausage, peppers, and potatoes.  - Click here for the recipe.  

This recipe uses plant-based sausage (which you may recall was one of our best buys last week).  But, you could just substitute traditional meat sausage or kielbasa.  For the sake of my husband, who dislikes peppers, I will leave out the peppers and substitute some of the carrots from the CSA box.  I will also use all the potatoes and more of the green onions for this recipe. 

3.  Cabbage salad - I love this summertime treat!  I'll mix together the rest of the cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, and green onions.  Then I concoct a simple vinegar dressing.  Let it marinate for a couple of hours and enjoy!

4.   Easy Baked Zucchini - See this super easy, but delicious recipe here

We love baked zucchini and often have it for supper topped with homemade marinara sauce in the summer.  Add some homemade muffins, fruit, and a salad and call it "supper!" on a hot summer night.  I'll use all the zucchini for a huge batch and roast the beets at the same time while the oven is already turned on.  

5.  Raw sugar snap peas - Yep!  I'm not even cooking these this week.  That past two weeks or so I have used the sugar snap peas in recipes.  But, my kids love raw sugar snap peas.  I will wash these, throw them in a bowl, and they will be gone in about 10 minutes!  If you have a deep burning desire, you can dip them in some sort of dip.  But, really they need no embellishment.

6.  Beet greens -  Raw and cooked.  Spend with Pennies offers this simple and delicious recipe for cooked beet greens

I picked this bunch of beets because I saw that beautiful, perfect mass of green tops sticking out of the top of the CSA bushel basket.  Beet greens are yummy raw in salads.

7.  Beet Greens Pasta with walnuts and parmesan cheese - Elegant and simple!  Paired with a salad and fruit for dessert, I can't wait to make this dish!  Click here for the link from and Edible Mosaic. 

That's it!  Seven recipes using all of the items in this week's CSA box!  

Stay tuned!  I'll post the weekly menu plan soon!

There Are Just a Few Entries for my Book Giveaway!

 If you've not already entered, head over to our contest page!  Click here!  You can read all about my June food budget challenge and enter for the chance to win a copy of  of one of my favorite books, Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half, by Steve and Annette Economides.

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Do all to the glory of God, 


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