Thursday, July 23, 2015

CSA Diary: Of alien vegetables and lasting peas

Eh. So I lied about blogging more about my wonderful CSA baskets.  What can I say? Things have been so hectic at work, at home, and at fun places and times!  Writing kind of took a back seat yet again. But rest assured, the CSA continue to deliver good farm-fresh and exciting vegetables and I continue to feed my Iron Chef alter-ego. Since my last (and, for shame, first) blog entry on CSA, we've gotten more cabbage, swiss chard, lettuce, onion, broccoli, cukes, cukes and more cukes than we can handle! Allow me to share some ideas on how we most enjoyed these CSA vegetables.
Zucchini: Still the most versatile vegetable around.  From stirfry to savory bread and sweet pastries, I won't tire of getting this in my basket.
Regular and Chub Cukes: Mind you, I'm not a pickle fan, and I can only have so much cucumber salad, so I finally decided to buy a zucchini noodle maker and zoodled these cukes away. Wait, "zoodle" is a word, right?  With light peanut dressing, they were absolutely delicious!

Carrots: We got the really skinny ones, so I couldn't zoodle these. They were great chopped and stirfried with the peas though.
English Peas: I found shelling these peas very relaxing to my nerves as I watch my 2 girls jump off the couch in that 'crouching tiger, hidden dragon' kind of ninja jump. Yes, relaxing.  Some folks would say that you can't eat the pods because it's too fibrous, but we've tried it both ways - shelled and nto, and enjoyed both immensely.  My plea to the girls: Give peas a chance.

Red Potatoes: Not everything I cook gets thumbs up all the time.  I had high hopes for these baby reds and made mashed potatoes out of them. FAIL. Totaly. They were too gooey and pasty to be mashed. I salvaged it by making fritters/latkes the following night. The following week when we got them again, I boiled then baked them with cheese. No messing around with these spuds.
Strawberries: This almost didn't make it to the house. It's a good thing I love my family as much as I do. Otherwise, I would have parked somewhere and enjoyed this by myself. So sweet and succulent - unlike the tart and firm ones from the store. BUT, it's even better enjoyed with family. I also finally shared with them the Filipino way of enjoying strawberries. Dip them in powdered milk! Seriously, you gotta try it. The girls loved them this way too. Too bad strawberry season is over. Sniff.
Grape Tomatoes: I will never tire of eating these sweet, 'pop-in-your-mouth' veggie candies.  I broil them for 10 minutes, drizzle with a bit of balsamic vinegar, and serve with a sprinkling of fresh basil leaves. YUM!  Believe me, my youngest hoard these on her plate to everyone's frustration.
Kale: So, you don't like greens, huh? That's what everyone says until they take the first bite of the crunchy, crispy, delicate kale chips. Baked at 350F for 10 mins, this makes for an easy, healthy snack. My kids get excited whenever they hear that we have kale in the house. That's saying a lot since one of them is a self-proclaimed picky eater. By the way, I tried making swiss chard chips and there were no takers.  It didn't really crisp up like kale did.  I'm guessing higher water content?
Kohlrabi: This vegetable is really starting to grow on me. In the beginning, it was fairly intimidating in its alien looks - with things sticking out of it like antennas. But after sauteeing it, I realized it tastes very mild, just like broccoli stalks, but milder even. So, I started cooking with it more, and CSA kept including them in baskets week after week, to my delight. I made stirfry, latkes (with zucchini), and they've even graced double chocolate chip cookies. When prying, picky eaters inquired about the green stuff in their treat, I say it's green apples. Phew.
Tomatoes: Enjoyed as caprese salad so far, but will probably make soup and sauce with the rest.

Beet: TBD - will most likely be roasted.

Sugar Snap Peas: TBD

Raspberries: TBD

More delicious ideas soon!

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