Thursday, June 18, 2015

CSA Week 5

This week has been a whirlwind. I'm teaching a block class this summer which basically means I will be insane in about four weeks. It doesn't help that I'm not a morning person, and this class starts at 8 AM. Alas, I shall prevail! Especially since my favorite coffee shop opens at 7:30 giving me enough time to grab a hit of caffeine to help me pretend 8 AM is an excellent time of day.

Needless to say, I'm tired, and thus, my brain is fried. I reviewed some photos of this week's CSA concoctions to help jog my memory... so here we go!

I wasn't kidding about my mind-- it was going down the tubes before teaching started because I was in the middle of prepping for the block class. So I forgot to take a picture of our goodies until after we had already dug into some of them. Thankfully not too many! 

We ended up with another round of garlic scapes (I'm sad that it's our last round until next year), cucumbers, radishes, sweet white turnips, one last round of collards, romaine lettuce, a red lettuce mix, cilantro, and a jar of strawberry rhubarb jam. We also got a dozen eggs and oyster mushrooms as an add on (we do it every fourth week). 

As always, we went to the Farmer's Market, and we picked up a few more items to round out our box: red and white onions, blueberries (a Jeff favorite!), raspberries, sweet potatoes, zucchini, and green beans. I was thrilled that we made it in time for the blueberries because I was hoping to try out a fruit salsa recipe from How Sweet It Is.

Rather than use all blueberries, we did a mix of half raspberries and half blueberries. We also used a little less lime because we didn't feel like running out for another. Plus, we figured the raspberries wouldn't need as much. We also added a jalapeno for a spicy kick and omitted the avocado. I'm not one to sit around and eat chips and salsa (I know. I'm a weirdo.). So the plan for this was to use it to go with some "fish" tacos with the CSA romaine as the "taco." More on the tacos later!

First up: a light dinner including the sweet white turnips. We braised them in honey and butter, and wilted the greens just before all the liquid cooked out. It was a bit sweet for me. It needed some red pepper flakes or a spicy pairing. But this is one of the joys of being in a CSA-- learning and trying and learning from mistakes in case you get a repeat item! We'd had a heavier lunch while out and about so we just steamed some green beans and butter poached the lion's mane mushrooms. I was not pleased with the mushrooms. I don't think I will ever find a mushroom I like. At least I tried it!

On Sunday we made the collards again-- they are just so good! We had some more of the local beans along with potatoes made with a homemade garlic scape and thyme compound butter.

The recipe we used, from The Farm Girl Cooks, called for lemon thyme, but we used plain old thyme since we are more likely to use it again. I wish I had known compound butter was so easy to make-- I'd have been making it along time ago! I also made a bit of raspberry compound butter. For both I used Vegan Buttery Sticks by Earth Balance (always an excellent substitute for vegans or those of that are lactose intolerant, at least in my opinion), and it worked just fine. Great actually. Since it's just Jeff and me, I split both up into smaller servings so I can use them at a later date when I'm craving something other than regular butter.

Finally! The tacos!

As a mostly vegetarian gal (who still remembers what fish is supposed to taste like), our "fish" was pretty on point as a substitute for a white fish. If you'd prefer to use actual white fish, this recipe will work just fine as long as you omit the hearts of palm and Bragg's seasoning, and cook the fish however you would for this type of fish dish. I'm guessing we'd have used a bit of lemon juice, EVOO, and a bit of salt and pepper as the salsa was there to amp up the flavor. The only thing I didn't like was our lack of veggies. But with me starting my new semester along with a few unexpected problems, we just didn't about it until it was too late. I would have added some of the radishes had I been thinking and something to boost the protein level. All in all, a solid meal considering the circumstances.

"Fish" Tacos:
  • 1 can hearts of palm
  • Romaine lettuce (between four and six leaves)
  • 2 small sweet potatoes or 1 large sweet potato
  • Other veggies of your choice
  • Corn tortillas (at least 2)
  • Bragg's Sea Kelp Delight to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • EVOO
  • Fruit Salsa (I recommend adding a jalapeno even if you do all blueberries and keep the avocado)
Now I was the coordinator of this meal rather than the chef as I was at work. I came home about midway through the process. So the order of these steps is a little sketchy to me (sorry!).
  1. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes, and prep any other veggies you plan to use. 
  2. Cut corn tortillas into strips, and coat with EVOO. Bake until crispy, turning them over about half way through the baking time (need the bake time? I can ask Jeff).  
  3.  Sauté veggies with a bit of EVOO, salt, and pepper.
  4. Coat the romaine leaves in EVOO, and either grill them or quickly sauté them in a pan on the stove top.
  5. Prep the hearts of palm-- it should just sort of fall apart into a shredded meat looking appearance-- and cook it in a bit of EVOO and Bragg's Sea Kelp Delight. 
  6. Once everything is done, assemble your tacos and top with the fruit salsa!
We did a few other things this week, but I've got a kitty to snuggle with today! So... until next week!

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