Always Let Your Veggies Be Your Guide

July 10th, 2013

I feel like we’re hitting our stride with the CSA, now that we’re into the seventh week.  The most obvious sign of this is that I’m getting better at planning meals around the veggies.  At the start – in part because of the preponderance of lettuce – my weekly pickups were just add-ons to my meal planning.  An extra salad here.  Some kale chips there.

That’s fine, but not especially cost-effective.  While a CSA is a good value for what you get, it’s not cheap.  We paid up front the equivalent of $20 per week for those veggies (which are certified organic) and I’ve been trying to dial back our weekly grocery budgets accordingly…with mixed success.

This week, though, it clicked and my meals came together inexpensively around what we got on the farm.  For example:

Home-made pizza (featuring freshly-picked basil) and a stir fry of farm green beans and patty pan squash.  It was my first time cooking a patty pan and I’ll definitely call it a #VeggieWin, though next time I might remove some of the other rind from the larger ones.

Green Beans and Patty Pan

Another night, Indian was the obvious choice.  I chopped up farm fresh cucumbers into a yogurt-dip (raita) which accompanied Butter Chicken and Indian Okra (from the farm).  I was an okra newbie and I learned later that my okra selection wasn’t wise.  I went for big ones when I should have opted for slender.  They were woody and really fibrous.  #VeggieFail.  (Though the flavor was okay and they at least weren’t slimy!)

I brought my famous cole slaw to two different church functions, handily using up the head of cabbage we got this week.

Then there were the Parmesan Squash Quinoa Bites that paired beautifully with some dijon-marinated pork chops I’d stashed in the freezer in an earlier bout of advance cooking.  Those little suckers were delicious, nutritious, and – wait for it – universally applauded by the family.  They were the first thing I’d made out of the CSA that received unanimous approval.  #VeggieWin!  #VeggieWin!

Squash Quinoa Bites

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