Planning Your Menu Around Your CSA Bag

CSA Bag OE copy

The great thing about a CSA is that you get beautiful, fresh, local veggies.  The difficult part can be getting things you are not used to eating.  Many people eat the same basic 4-5 veggies week after week, regardless of whether they are in season or not.  A CSA turns that on its ear, because each bag contains only what is in season locally, and changes as the seasons change.  If you are used to picking up lettuce, tomatoes, and broccoli at the store, getting a big bag of asparagus, spinach, kale, beets, sweet potatoes, onions, thyme, arugula and parsley can present some challenges!  First of all, how can you eat all that in a week?  Secondly, this is going to require some menu changes!

Asparagus dinner2

baby beets2

sweet potatoesWhen you get your bag home, it is a great idea to wash and spin dry (and store in a big zip lock) your leafy veggies.  Then, take inventory and make a plan.  Here is what I would do with the veggies I listed above, and the specific directions are detailed below the list.

 

 

  1. Make a frittata with the spinach, parsley and onions.  
  2. Make a breakfast hash with the sweet potatoes, onions, thyme and kale.
  3. Roast the rest of the sweet potatoes, along with some beets for dinner.
  4. Wrap one or two of the beets up in tin foil, drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes.  Chill and chop up to top salads.
  5. Make an arugula, beets and goat cheese salad to go with dinner.
  6. Roast a chicken with olive oil, garlic and thyme (some sweet potatoes could get roasted with the chicken if you didn’t use them in #2 or #3).
  7. Toss the asparagus in olive oil and sea salt.  Roast on the grill with a juicy steak.
  8. Chop up any leftover asparagus and put it in a pilaf with onions, parsley, slivered almonds, and Gouda cheese.  

Oh my, we are out of veggies and it has only been three days!  What a yummy week of eating.  

Eat your veggies,

Robin

Fritatta:  Fry out bacon or sausage with onions.  Add the spinach and parsley.  Add 5-6 beaten eggs.  Top with grated cheese.  Bake until set, about 20 min 400 degrees.

Breakfast hash:  Cut sweet potato in small cubes.  Rough chop onions.  Rough chop kale (stems removed).  Remove thyme leaves from the stem.  Fry the cut sweet potatoes and onions in coconut oil (or any other oil you like) until soft.  Add the chopped kale and thyme.  Serve with a couple of fried eggs on top.

Roasted Root Veggies:  Cut root veggies up into similar sized pieces.  I like them about 1 inch square.  Toss with olive oil and add salt and any herbs or spices you like. Spread in one layer on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400 about 20-30 minutes or until beginning to brown.

Arugula/Beet Salad:  Put some arugula in a small bowl or plate.  Add sliced roasted beets.  Add a blob of yummy goat cheese.  Add some walnuts.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Chicken:  Rub an entire chicken (inside and out) with a mixture of olive oil, salt, garlic, and fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or oregano.  Cram a quartered onion in the cavity.  Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until done.

Asparagus and Gouda pilaf: Measure out broth and rice according to rice package directions.  Put the broth on to heat in a saucepan.  In a separate frying pan sauté onions or leeks in plenty of butter.  When translucent, add the dry rice and sauté until beginning to brown.  Add the chopped asparagus, chopped parsley, and slivered almonds.  Mix well and put the mixture into the pot of simmering broth.  Simmer until the liquid is absorbed.  Finish with small chunks of Gouda cheese, sea salt and pepper, and more chopped parsley.  Stir well until everything is mixed, melted, and fluffed.  Serve as a lovely side dish.

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