Dispatch from the CSA rabbit hole

Well hello there. I hope you’ve had a lovely summer. I’ve continued to cook away in a constant struggle to keep up with all the beautiful goods coming through my kitchen via CSA.

Let’s review what I’ve come up with in the past several weeks.

First: Pickling!

I’m a pickle whore, no joke. My whole life. So it’s been fun to work up some quick pickles with the pickling cucumbers that I’ve received and especially the radishes when I don’t have time or ideas for anything special for them. The radishes are perfect to have on hand for salad fixins.

Next: Pastas! I actually don’t make pasta nearly as much as I used to, but it’s perfect for folding in veggies and pestos. I used radishes I did not pickle for a pasta that included broccoli and pesto courtesy of Vegan Richa. Instead of making the basil pesto called for in her recipe, I used some pesto I had made earlier in the summer – I think the radish top pesto, to match with the radishes. But I also made rainbow chard pesto, so who knows.

I’ve gotten rainbow chard every single week. I can’t imagine how much chard is springing forth from whatever Seattle garden these are coming from. It’s always beautiful and abundant. But chard has been an interesting challenge for me in that I’ve been trying to hide it in dishes that tame its bitterness. So this pasta, from Isa Does It, did the trick with fresh tomato and basil added in.

Carrots! I’ve also gotten several carrots every week. I’m not huge on carrots by themselves and I haven’t been making a lot of vegetable soups that would include carrots, so I’ve taken to making sweet things with them. I’ve made the Vegan With a Vengeance (by Isa) carrot cake muffins a few times, which are delicious. Also from VWV is the carrot cake pancakes, which are on point. Since I’m a lazy morning person, I’ve whipped them up at night for dinner and saved leftovers for future breakfasts. Soooooooo good. Also making my life easier is the grater function on my food processor. I lost my cheese grater and hate grating, anyway. So it’s awesome to crank out a pile of grated carrots (or zucchini, which has also been abundant) and measure that shit out by the cup for muffins and pancakes.

Breakfast for dinner. Boom.

Breakfast for dinner. Boom.

Another special challenge: beets. Look, I’ve never really liked them. So sometimes I hand some beets to my mom, who loves them, but I don’t see her all that often, so I’m left figuring out what to do with them on my own.

My favorite beet preparation: the Isa Does It bistro beet burgers. Still has an earthy, beet-y taste, but it includes lots of other flavors, including tahini (so clever!), and the patties are bulked up with rice and lentils. I also love dressing up the burgers with chipotle mayo (I just stir some adobo sauce from the canned chipotles into Vegenaise) and other veggies from my CSA.

Lately I’ve roasted the beets and whizzed them into smoothies, too.

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Beet burgers with CSA beets, lettuce and pickled cucumbers. Can’t see it but I got some nice chars on the patty from my grill pan.

Then: Just grill it.

I bought skewers just to load them up with things I didn’t have other specific ideas for, like summer squash, zucchini, onion and beautiful cherry tomatoes. And some fresh, unadorned tofu. I then piled the skewers onto a bed of this Budget Bytes lentil salad, warm (which contained CSA carrots and turnips).

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One of my better ideas. I ❤ my grill pan.

Finally: Fries!

I made zucchini fries from Happy Herbivore Light and Lean and figured turnips could be fry-ified, too. I had no other ideas for turnips. I never grew up with them or worked with them in my adult life. And you know what? I liked the turnip fries better! The zucchini fries went soft and floppy (stifle your giggles!), probably from being roasted a bit too long, while the turnips held firm. I dipped them in spicy slurpy marinara sauce (her name for it!) from Isa Does It. What can’t Isa do, really?

Healthy fries - leftovers are good for freezing!

Healthy fries – leftovers are good for freezing!

I got a break from the CSA delivery this past weekend because I was on the Oregon Coast and asked my CSA fairies to hold my share. They asked if I wanted a double share the next week or have my bag donated to the food bank and I asked them to donate. How cool! So I used up a bunch of stuff in a stir fry tonight (if nothing else, throw it all in a pan and stir fry) and am enjoying not feeling too stressed out by all the veggie treasures this week.

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