CSA Wednesdays

CSA - Community Supported Agriculture

For a few years now I've been participating in the CSA program down at Tanaka Farms.  We receive a weekly box jam packed with fresh organic produce.  All the vegetables are grown right there at Tanaka Farms.  Sometimes they supplement the organic fruit from other growers to round out the vegetable heavy box.  They are famous for their sweet juicy strawberries, so during strawberry season we CSAers are usually spoiled.  A year ago I became the CSA coordinator for Maple Village School.  I enjoy creating meals out of what we receive in our box, so I decided to do a weekly recipe email for the families who order the box.  So far it's been great fun and I think they are enjoying it too!

This is what a typical Winter box looks like:

Red leaf lettuce
Huge romaine lettuce
Large bunch of spinach
Bunch of carrots with their green tops (for my green smoothies!)
Bunch of beets (you can cook their greens like you would spinach or mustard greens...don't throw them out!)
Broccoli raab
Box of cherry tomatoes
Box of snap peas (entertains the kids for at least 1/2 an hour!)
2 boxes of strawberries
2 lemons
4 apples

I could barely keep the little one away from those huge yummy stawberries long enough to take the picture!

Here are the recipes I am sharing for this week.

Broccoli raab. A bit more bitter than it’s cousin broccoli. It’s a great side dish prepared simply like this:

1.5 lbs broccoli raab
2 tsp minced garlic
3 Tbs butter
2 Tbs minced fresh parsley (or cilantro since that’s in your box this week!)
2 tsp fresh lemon zest (in the box too!)

(I made this tonight!)
Wash the broccoli raab and discard the tough stems and any yellow leaves. Toss it in a pot and add enough water to cover. Turn on the stove and cook (simmer) until broccoli is tender (10-15 min). While broccoli is cooking, sauté the garlic in the butter over med-low heat. Drain the cooked broccoli and toss with the butter/garlic mixture and add the parsley and lemon zest. Yum!

Over at VeganDad I have made this yummy curry to help use up some of my cilantro.  Check it out here.

Apples!  I enjoy eating them the old school way, but here's something a little more fun.
Try this in the morning as a warming breakfast for you and your little ones. We have this quite often in the Fall/Winter.

4 apples
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup pecans
¼ cup raisins or cranberries
¾ cup boiling water
Cooked oatmeal (you can make the oatmeal while your apples are baking

Preheat oven to 375. Core apples down to the bottom of the apple. In a small bowl combine the pecans, raisins and cinnamon. In a square 8X8 pan place the apples and stuff with the cinnamon mixture. Top each apple with a little pat of butter. Add the boiling water to the pan and pop it in the oven for about 30-35 min until the apples are very tender. Spoon your freshly cooked oatmeal into bowls. Place your apple on top of the oatmeal and then spoon some of the yummy juice from the cooking pan over the apple and oatmeal. Enjoy. My girls always feel like they’re having dessert for breakfast, although there’s no added sugar or anything!
**Frugal tip** If you have leftover rice from dinner last night, prepare a simple rice porridge.  Heat the rice up on the stove and soften it by adding soymilk (or whatever type of milk you drink) and a dash of cinnamon.  Let it simmer until the rice is heated through and the milk has plumped it up.

Here's a shot of my 3rd batch of Kimchi from last week's chinese cabbage.  Did anyone else make some?

As always, let me know what you think of these recipes and share your own too!


  1. Laura, my friend Jenn Bill & I started our blog this week, too. Here is the link: http://csafamilydinners.wordpress.com/

    The posts are hers so far, but I will put some stuff up soon... Yay, lots of new recipes!



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