CSA: Weeks 10-12

So far behind!  And sadly so few pictures for three week’s worth.   Last week I picked up my box on Thursday and just handed it to my parents as I was gone Thursday evening through Monday and wouldn’t have been able to enjoy any of it anyway.  That’s the nice thing about the boxes is it lets you be quite generous!  (Especially with the beans.  I love giving those to my parents…)
Okay, picture time

Week 10 box: Potatoes, tomatoes, squash, beans, cucumbers, blueberries

Pickling cucumbers never did see the inside of a pickle jar, I ended up using them in my salmon salad and on top of pita and hummus and such.  Very tasty!  The tomatoes were also very tempting, and I had those with onions, refried beans and wrapped in corn tortillas for a delicious impromptu Mexican dinner.

Three piece Mexican meal

Week 11 went to my parents, so it’s sort of fitting that the picture turned out barely visible.  Darn the photographer, anyway.  (yeah, I took the picture.)

Week 11 Box: Corn, basil, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, blueberries

But week 12 was mine all mine!  (well… except for the beans, which again went to my parents.)

Corn, lettuce, potatoes, blueberries, beans, squash (hiding under the corn. oops.)

I’ve missed the lettuce in my boxes, very glad to see it return!  But most excited that this week I get the corn for myself!

Baked corn and squash!  I know I’m missing half of the food groups in this picture, but I don’t care, it was still fabulous!  Bake the corn right in the husk, thirty minutes on 350.  Let it cool slightly, then peel back the husk and the corn silk will just fall right off.  Use the husk as the handle and dig in!  The only thing I added was pepper!

Baked sweet corn and delicata squash

Delicata has become my favorite squash, for several reasons.  It tastes absolutely “squashy”!  Which may sound weird but I’m telling you, this is real squash flavor.  Also, the skin is so thin you eat it, so you don’t even have to throw the outsides away.  It also means it’s great for throwing in soup, just chop into bite-sized chunks and toss it in, skin and all.  But it tastes best when baked.  It had to cook about an hour to be done, but the combination was a real ode to fall and makes me look forward to the season changing.

Even now the clouds are piling up outside and the air is much cooler; I really, really hope it rains tonight as it’s been dry for a month or more.  My grass is very brown and crunchy.

However, that is not to say all is lost on my little farm.  Far from it, this weekend I went out and picked a basket of apples and a bowl of blackberries!

Apples and blackberries

The apples are being eaten both fresh and sliced into pies.  The blackberries, however, were put into the most fabulous muffins!

I burnt my fingers picking one out of the muffin pan immediately after taking them out of the oven, the smell was just too much to resist!

Blackberry muffins

The recipe makes one dozen but my pans were quite shallow so instead I got two dozen out of it.  I think if I had used white flour they likely would have risen a bit more, but as it was they were the perfect size for snacking.

And really, small or not, who can resist when you hold up a basket of fresh baked muffins and say “want some?”

Blackberry muffins

Blackberry Muffin Recipe from Cooks.com

3 c. flour, sifted if it is heavy (I always use whole wheat flour so they come out a bit heavier, but I also always weigh out my flour because it tends to ‘settle’.  3 cups of whole wheat flour is 13.5 oz)
1/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt, optional
2 whole large eggs, beaten
1 c. milk
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen blackberry (though I imagine blueberries, raspberries or even strawberries would be just as delicious.  Ooh, I should combine all four!)
(I also added two tablespoons flaxseed.  Because I can.)

Combine first four ingredients, set aside. In a medium bowl, combine next four ingredients until smooth. Pour liquid ingredients into flour mixture; add blackberries, stirring, just until mixed. Divide batter evenly into 12 greased 2 1/2 inch muffin cups. Preheat 400 degrees. Bake 20 minutes or until golden in color. Yield: 1 dozen muffins. 12 servings.

Thank you, as always, to Viva Farms for the amazing veggies.  And if you liked this post, stop by inherchucks’ CSA link party!

Bon Appetite!

CSA: Week 9

Oh.  My.  Goodness it’s been one helluva week!  Working overtime, painting the house, getting ready for the appraiser.  Who has time to go to the grocery store like this!?


Good thing I get my veggies delivered to within two miles of my work and I don’t even have to wait in line at the checkout! (shameless promotion FTW!)

Squash, tomato, cauliflower, beans, blueberries, and basil!

Purple cauliflower.  Purple.  Cauliflower.   Isn’t that just the most amazingly beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?  PURPLE CAULIFLOWER!   I feel like tying a sheet around my neck and running around outside screaming Purple Cauliflower Power!

Is it weird to get this excited over the color of my vegetables?

So I get home and the first thing I do is make food:

Taste the Rainbow

Red tomatoes
Orange carrots
Yellow beans
Green squash/basil
Purple Cauliflower

But Eliza, you cry, what about Blue?!

Matching Dinner.

BLUEBERRIES!  And plates, and cups, and little bowl and chopsticks… (check it, my chopsticks and my plates match!)

So yep, I had the rainbow for dinner last Thursday.  It tasted awesome.

I really like my blue dishes.  Blue is my favorite color, after all.  This meal consisted of my curried vegetable soup from the crockpot.  I don’t remember what all went in it now, but I know it at least had onions, potatoes, broccoli and squash, a can of coconut milk, and lots of hot curry powder.  Nummy.

I should do a post about my dishes.  Some people obsess over food.  I tend to get more excited about the plate!  (or bowl, or whatever.)  Yep, I think I’ll do a dish post at some point.

Oh yes, since I didn’t have pictures of this one last week, here is my cucumber/melon freezer pop.  Very delicious!  Needed perhaps just a hint of lemon… next time I’ll blend in some lemon balm from the garden. 🙂

I love tacos.  I love corn tortillas.  I love eggs.  I love egg tacos on corn tortillas for breakfast!  So I did.  With some lovely tomato slices, jalapeno, and lettuce leaves, and a bit of taco sauce.    And while I love blue, well, red just goes better with faux-Mexican food.

That basil is so lovely!  I need to make stuffed mushrooms so I can smother it with chopped basil, but until I do, I sprinkled it on top of tomato soup instead!  (Yeah, I was lazy, that’s from a can, but hey I’ve been working 11+ hour days and repainting my house, cut me some slack!)

Thank you, Viva Farms, for saving me this week from certain starvation (or at least poor nutrition and inadequate vegetable servings)  What *would* I do without my lovely CSA boxes every week?

And don’t forget to hop over to inherchucks What’s in the Box #39 CSA link party!


CSA: week 8

Salad mix, cucumber, swiss chard, zucchini, blueberries

What a gorgeous box, yet again.  That Swiss chard is so huge I barely know what to do with it!  I ended up chopping two leaves up to put in veggie soup, another might go into stir fry later this week… man that’s big stuff, though!

So when I sat down to do this week’s CSA box, I realized I really sucked at taking picture this week.  In fact, I only took one picture (well, technically two) of CSA-made food this week… so let’s do that first, then I’ll kind of throw convention to the wind and just show you other food I made, too.

So with last week’s fabulous zucchini, I made a batch of baked veggies, one of my favorites.  Added a twist this time, make-shift stuffing and egg noodles.  In retrospect I probably should have added one *or* the other to be more balanced, but it was so fabulous I just don’t care…

Potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, garlic, bread and noddles

I sliced up the heels of my beer bread into crouton-sized chunks and lined the bottom of the dish.  Then I added a thin layer of egg noddles.  Over that I chopped up garlic, onion, mushroom, potato and zucchini, lots of herbs and a bit of beer, and covered the whole thing with foil before baking for about an hour.

The other thing I made from last week’s cucumber and a melon I picked up at the Viva Farms produce stand:

Freezer pops!  Now technically this isn’t strictly accurate since *this* batch isn’t cucumber/melon, it’s apple/mint/lime.  But same idea, and I did make them at the same time so it works, right?

Peel and seed the melon and cucumber, put in a food processor and puree until very, very liquidy, then pour into molds for the freezer.  That’s it!  In this case it was add some fresh picked apples, a few mint leaves and just a hint of lime juice and then same process.  Very refreshing (and not just frozen sugar water!)

Now, that ends the CSA portion of the post so instead I’ll show you some other stuff I made today!

I’ve got an apple tree or three on my property and the yellow ones are well ripe, so last week I picked a whole box-full.  This weekend I had to do something with them before they started going bad so I sliced the bejeesus out of them and borrowed my parent’s crock pot so I could have two going together.  Then I pulled out some getting old peaches we had canned two years ago and made one batch of apple/peach butter and one batch of apple/peach sauce!  The only real difference is how thick it is, so let it cook long enough the sauce will turn into the butter, but I did make them a little different just for variety.

Apple/Peach Butter:

Lots and lots of apples, sliced and cored (but left the skin on)
Two quarts of canned peaches, sliced
1/4 cup of sugar for just a touch of added sweetness
a bit of lemon juice (maybe 1-2 tablespoons worth)
a bunch of cinnamon
a little less of nutmeg

Cook for about 14 hours on low.  If too wet, uncover and cook another hour or so on high.  Store in jars and refrigerate.  (unless you’re comfortable doing the canning thing.)

Apple/Peach Sauce

Lots of apples, sliced, cored and skinned
One quart of canned peaches, sliced
(second crock-pot was about half the size so the ingredients got halved as well)
Half cup of water with 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice
Half cup of honey
The last half hour (ish) add a drizzle of vanilla extract.

Cook on high for 8 hours.  Store in jars and refrigerate.  (unless you’re comfortable doing the canning thing.)

The other thing I made was granola bars!  So fabulously good, easy to make, and tasty to eat!

I made a double batch for snacks at work.  I also embellish the heck out of the recipe so I’ll give the original and then my re-work of it:

Original Granola Bar Recipe:

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup butter
3 cups oats

Combine peanut butter, honey and butter in a thick sauce pan on the stove.  Bring to a boil, then cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning the bottom.  Pour the liquid over the oats in a bowl and stir to thoroughly coat.  Then press into a wax-paper lined pan.  Cover with another sheet of wax paper and press firmly to compact as much as possible (I use a can and roll it down).  Chill for a few hours, then remove and cut into bars.

My modified recipe follows the same directions with the following ingredients

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup honey
1/2 cup butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups oats
1 cup puffed kamut wheat cereal
1 cup puffed millet cereal
1 cup whole grain flakes cereal
1/4 cup flax seed
1/4 cup sesame seed
3 tbsp cocoa powder
optional: exchange 1/2 cup of any of the above for dried fruit

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Mix peanut butter, honey and butter as above.  Add vanilla extract immediately after removing from heat and mix well, then pour over dry mixture and prepare as above.

Amazingly good, home made, and no weird unpronounceable ingredients!

Thanks for reading this week!  I promise, I’ll do better next week on getting more pictures.  🙂

For more great links to CSA boxes, recpies and ideas, see In Her Chuck’s link party: What’s in the Box? #38

CSA: Weeks 6 & 7

So I completely missed last week’s CSA update due to home improvements, so I’ll catch up with both in this.

Week 6: fennel, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, radishes, cherries

Week 7: kale, carrots, zucchini, cucumber, blueberries, not pictured: cauliflower

I am very happy to have an end to the peas, at least for the moment.  I got cauliflower in the last box, but I gave it to my mother, who absolutely *loves* cauliflower, as part of my thank-you for helping get my house in shape for the appraiser.   I didn’t think to snap a picture of it before I handed it over, but that’s alright, I’m sure you all know what cauliflower looks like, and it was a fine looking head of it.

Overjoyed at all the berries I’m getting, though.  I *love* berries but because they’re so pricy in the store I rarely let myself indulge in them, so this has been a real treat!

Now I believe I promised last week two weeks ago that I’d make crepes (recipe below), and make crepes I did!  This is a fabulous recipe for them, very light, no sugar, only 315 calories for the *whole batch* (so I always make a pig of myself and eat them all).  Shown here, the stack of 6 with blueberries and cherries and a dollop of fresh whipped cream.  And, of course, who says you can’t drink a glass of sparkly wine with cherries to go along with your crepes?   Even with the extras, still a very health-conscious meal.

crepes with blueberries and cherries; wine with cherries

Now on the other end of the spectrum, I also absolutely adore fried spuds, especially with onions, so spring onions and spuds got fried up in a pan, then add two eggs, some carrot sticks, and a mini ice cream (yes, even being lactose intolerant sometimes I just have to indulge just a bit) and I’ve got a very unbalanced but so tasty dinner!   Hey, we have to do it once in a while…

fried potatoes and onions; eggs with taco sauce; carrots; coffee ice cream

Then we swing back to uber-healthy with the “it’s too hot outside to cook” dinner of a salad with slices of spring onion and sprinkled with flax seeds and a light garlic dressing, with carrot sticks, and radishes:

lettuce with spring onions, carrots, radishes

The last of the veggie soup from the fridge with a salad of fennel and lettuce, toast, cherries and blueberries, and a glass of wine.

vegetable soup; lettuce with fennel; blueberries and cherries; toast; wine

Another great use for the fennel: salmon salad!  I use 1 can of salmon, 2 oz. veganaise, a spoonful of mustard, and a bunch of chopped fennel, with a bit of fresh pepper.  Half went with me to lunch, the other half stayed home and became a light lunch, paired with beer bread toast, some almond cheese, and a glass of almond milk (at least I’m sure to get enough calcium!)

salmon salad with fennel on toast, topped with almond cheese; almond milk

Yesterday was another ‘too hot to cook’ but also ‘too hot to eat hot food’ day, so I made a kale, cucumber and fennel salad with a touch of lemon juice and fresh ground pepper for dressing, with some blueberries and almond milk.

Fennel, cucumber and kale salad; blueberries; almond milk

And of course, who can resist putting berries in cereal!  I hardly ever eat cereal but it was the quickest thing to make and very light and cool for the heat.

Cereal with blueberries


I know this entry is rather dry but for the pictures.  Too hot and too tired to think of much witty banter.  So instead I shall wax poetic on the greatness of my scale.  No, not my bathroom scale, my kitchen food scale!

Most useful scale I own

This is the best little device I know for helping me with my weight loss.   It lives on my counter where it is used for almost every meal and ingredient, from weighing pasta to veganaise, flour to broccoli, and most things in between.  It’s fabulous for knowing exactly how much you’re eating, but also for ensuring that you don’t over-do the flour in your recipe.  Since I started weighing it out, my baking has improved quite a bit. 🙂

Some people say it’s such a trouble to get it out, clean it off and weigh stuff, which is why I never put it away.  I keep a bowl sitting on it for quick weighing of veggies as I go, and it’s simple to put the can of salmon on the scale and then weigh out in negative oz. how much I’ve removed.  There’s plenty of little tricks to make it easier, but mostly if you just make a point to use it it’ll be second nature in no time and takes hardly any time at all!


Thank you Viva Farms, Growing Washington and Skagit Valley Food Co-op!

Don’t forget to check out inherchucks’ What’s In The Box CSA link party!



1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk

Gently spoon flour into measuring cup and level with the back of a knife. Put flour and salt in a medium bowl and stir with a hand whisk. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add egg. Whisk egg and flour while pouring milk into bowl, stirring well to combine.
The batter should be free of lumps. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Spray an 8-inch nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat skillet on medium high. Add a 1/4 cup of batter to hot skillet and swirl around the pan to cover as much of the bottom of the skillet as possible. As the edges cook, use a spatula to lift the edges of the crepe. After about 1 minute, flip the crepe over and cook for a further 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and start over until the batter is done. This should yield about 6 crepes, so probably serves 2 or 3.

  • Servings Per Recipe: 6
  • Calories per serving: 52.4
  • Total Fat: 1.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 40.9 mg
  • Sodium: 128.8 mg
  • Total Carbs: 7.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.3 g
  • Protein: 2.8 g

CSA: Week 5

Technical difficulties resolved!  Now, on to the food:
This week was brought to me by Viva Farms, the color paisley, and the number Pi.

Lettuce, kale, broccoli, spring onions, peas and blueberries!

So let me break it down, lettuce, blueberries: YAY!  Kale, broccoli, spring onions: DOUBLE YAY! OMG.  Peas… /sigh/

But again, they’re good… for peas.  They’re just… peas.

Okay enough about that.

What did I make?  It’s starting to become a blur.  I’m pretty sure food happened at some point during the last 7 (now 8) days, but if it weren’t for photographic evidence I’m sure I would be skeptical.

Breakfasts consisted of, among other things, 3-berry oatmeal, made with blueberries, cherries and sliced strawberries, hard boiled eggs,

and a decadent 3-egg omelet with sauteed mushrooms, spring onions, garlic and rosemary.  (Don’t ask me why I took the picture in the pan and not on my plate, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t braining that day too well.)

But at least it *tasted* good so I’m not complaining!

Much snacking was had with guacamole, made from avocado, spring onion, garlic, tomato, jalapeno, and lime juice:

And dinners contained one of my favorite home-cooked substitutions: pita pizza!  Crispy crust, creamy fillings, cheesy toppings… so good I burn my mouth every time because I just can’t wait for it to cool!

This one was my garden pita pizza, which is a pita with 1/4 cup of pasta sauce (in this case a low fat vodka sauce), then piled with nummy veggies like onions, baby spinach,  crimini mushrooms, pretty sure I put fennel in this one, … y’know, I’ve actually forgotten what I put in this, I should write it down at the time.  Oh, tomato chunks!  Then covered with shredded cheese and baked until everything is melty!

Made a salmon-melt pita pizza also, which… you can’t really tell the difference from this picture, but trust me, it’s different from the one above:

This one had a base layer of diced tomatoes, then sprinkled with salmon, onion and mushrooms, then a bit of shredded spinach, and topped off with cheese, and again bake until melty.  With a side of broccoli, peas, onions, garlic and mushrooms stir-fried.  I’m out of sake so I used beer instead.  Can’t say I’ll necessarily repeat that, but it wasn’t awful.  It still improved the peas 😉

And then another pasta and stir-fried veggies, with broccoli, peas, onion, garlic and kale this time.  Very good all around.   I cheated a bit on dinner here, though.  You see that glass of milk?  Yeah, that’s dessert, it’s actually white hot chocolate mocha …something.  Very delicious.

This was a hectic week.  I didn’t get a lot of what I wanted accomplished, but I got some other stuff that I hadn’t expected to accomplish done, so it kind of balanced out.  I didn’t make crepes which I dearly wanted to do for the blueberries, I will probably do that by Wednesday for next week’s update.  I also didn’t make blueberry/cherry cake.   That will likely be next weekend.

So look forward next week for some delicious breakfast and dessert recipes!
As always, thank you so much to Viva Farms, Growing Washington and the Skagit Valley Food Co-op for making such fine refrigerator stuffers!

Also: I feel so bad, I keep forgetting to add this to my posts but I’m editing it in now: inherchucks has a CSA link party, so if you CSA, stop by and check her out, leave a link to your blog and see what other CSAers are doing with their stuff!


Pita Pizza:
1 slice of whole wheat arabic pita bread
1/4 cup of your favorite pasta sauce
whatever veggies you love, added liberally
pre-cooked meat if you like of any variety
lots of shreddy cheese on top

bake in an oven or toaster oven for about 10 minutes on about 400 until the cheese is melty and the edges of the pita haven’t burned yet.  Try to let it cool before you burn your mouth biting into it, remembering that it’s going to be very, very hot inside.


CSA: Week 4

Week four with Viva Farms boxes and the stuff just keeps getting better.

This week I had a lot of duplicates again.  More soup, more summer rolls, and more stir frys.  I did eat some of the broccoli and peas raw with some salad dressing as a dip.  The peas really did need the sake, but they weren’t terrible.  Not my favorite veggie ever, but good enough to eat.

On to Thor’s day‘s box (it’s true, look it up.)

spring onions, garlic scapes, snap peas, head lettuce, cherries, raspberries

Okay, so the first thing I had to do this week was learn what the heck garlic scapes *were*!   Once that was determined, I made a delicious fried rice using brown rice, this week’s VF’s garlic scapes, spring onions, and peas, and broccoli and garlic from previous boxes.

fried rice and veggies with berries for dessert

For dessert I had  handful of cherries and a handful of raspberries right away.  Raspberries are my all-time most favorite berry ever!  Of all time!  Possibly my most favorite food!  I am thrilled to have had not just raspberries, but big, juicy delicious berries!

I’ll confess now, I traded half of my new batch of peas to my parents for a delicious bunch of sour pie cherries.   Horray for bartering!

The lettuce had just a hint of bitterness to it that didn’t go well in salads, so instead it got mixed into summer rolls, added to sandwiches and shredded on top of faux-Mexican dish:

Brow rice, refried beans, hot sauce, onion, jalapeno, shredded lettuce, avocado and shredded almond cheese

Threw the brown rice in a dry pan for a bit, just to add a touch of crispness to it.  That’s the bottom layer.  Over that I poured some refried beans, made from the dehydrated mix from the Skagit Valley Co-Op.  This is some of the best I’ve ever tasted, and because you add water, you can make it as thick or as thin as you like, depending on how you’ll use it, too.

Add hot sauce (if you want), chopped VF onions, garlic, and shredded lettuce.   Then I glopped on some avocado mixed with lime juice, and covered the whole mess with shredded pepper-jack almond cheese (if you haven’t noticed yet, I’m lactose intolerant…)

This was a *fabulous* dish that I’ve made about three more times so far.

Rounded out the week by making a batch of waffles.  I tried using the bartered-for pie cherries in place of apple sauce, but the waffles really didn’t come out tasting like cherries at all.  They were still very good.  Smoothed the last of the raspberries on top that I hadn’t already eaten and it was a delectable breakfast!

Waffles with mashed raspberries

The rest of the waffles got stacked between sheets of paper towels and into a large freezer bag.  They can be pulled out and broken up to put in a regular toaster or left whole and put in a toaster oven for a great quick breakfast.  SO much healthier and tastier than store-bought!


With the last of the cherries and some strawberries I picked up on clearance (they were soft but still perfectly good!) I made a batch of strawberry-cherry syrup/jam/whatever you want to call it.  Slice up all the fruit, add water and a tablespoon of sugar, boil on the stove till it’s nice and thick!  Tastes great over waffles, toast, ice cream…

Toast and strawberry-cherry… stuff

Well, that’s it for this week.   Thanks to Viva Farms, Growing Washington, and Skagit Valley Co-op for keeping my pantry stocked and my belly full!


Recipes and non-recipes:


1.75 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp Flax Seed
1/2 tsp Salt
2 eggs, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup apple sauce (or really, any fruit pureed to similar consistency)
1 3/4 cup milk

In a large mixing bowl stir flour, baking powder, sugar, flax seeds and salt.
In a small mixing bowl beat egg yolks, almond milk, vanilla and fruit puree.
Add to the flour mixture all at once.
Stir mixture until blended.
In small mixer bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold beaten egg whites into original mixture and do not over mix.
Pour batter onto preheated waffle maker.
They take about 3-5 minutes depending on your waffle maker.
To keep waffles warm while making the batch, turn oven on to 200 and place the cooked waffles on the wire rack.
Makes 5 full-sized waffles.

Fried Rice:

Brow rice with veggies and a splash of soy sauce.  For an option, add mung bean threads.  These soak up any flavor they come in contact with, I absolutely love them!

Faux-Mexican food:

Bed of brown rice, lightly fried.  Cover with refried beans, hot sauce (or mild, or whatever you like) your favorite taco toppings such as chopped onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, and/or jalapeno, cover with shredded lettuce and shredded cheese.

CSA: Week 3

Week three of my first year as a CSA member and could not be happier!  When I peeked in my box upon picking it up, I could hardly wait to get home and start dinner!

CSA Box Week 3

Lettuce, kale, carrots, peas, broccoli and garlic.  I made dinner with every single thing in that box the night I picked it up.  Stir-fry, salad, and a pasta dish and I was so full afterward I had to loosen my pants!

I started by chopping up the kale, taking two large cloves of garlic, slicing the carrots in half lengthwise, and cutting the broccoli down to more bite-sized chunks.  It all went in the pot with a half cup of water, a splash of soy sauce and a generous dousing of sake for a fabulously flavorful and moist veggie dish:

Stir-fry, before cooking

Can I just take a moment to say: I hate peas.  I mean really just can’t stand them.   They don’t agree with my chemistry. I’ve even *tried* to like them, fresh sugar snap peas, and I just couldn’t take the taste.  So when I opened my CSA box and saw  bag of peas I was a little disappointed – not with Viva Farms of course, but with the fact that no matter how much I’ve tried, I just can not stand peas and now I had a whole bag of them!

I suppose I could have just given them to my parents but then I would be cheating a bit on eating everything in my boxes and sharing them with you, so I went ahead and put them in the pan and just hoped I could choke them down with the other veggies.


They were soaked in sake, which may have made the difference, but let me tell you now, ain’t nobody gonna snitch my peas!

I then took that fabulous lettuce and sliced the last of last week’s strawberries on top for an amazing salad combination!

Dinner: pasta with almond cheese, stir-fry, salad with strawberries

I’m trying not to revisit too many dishes so I’ll just mention that the soup from last week got eaten almost every single day until it was gone, multiple salads again, and a few dishes of stir-fry all got made.

A new one this week was my version of the summer roll, which takes spring roll wrappers filled with fresh vegetables and eaten raw dipped in an Asian dipping sauce.  It’s a great, cool way to eat your veggies in summer!

Summer roll veggies

I sliced the last of last week’s radishes, a few leaves of the kale, and this week’s peas and carrots, and lastly some cucumber.  There are lots of videos on youtube about how to soak the spring roll wrapper and use them, but I’ll just say it really is so easy!    Best to do it the same day you’ll eat it but if you want to take them to work for lunch or on a picnic or some such where time is a little more limited, you can make them the night before and refrigerate.

Summer rolls

I cut mine in half for ease of handling and dip in a Thai Kitchen dipping sauce (pineapple and chili that day).  So simple, so good, and everyone at your picnic, barbeque or potluck will be convinced you’re a genius in the kitchen!


Well, I think that’s about it this week.  As mentioned, I did a lot of repeats.  If it weren’t for leftovers I would only eat once a week!  I see a lot more stir-fry, soup and summer rolls in my future for the week, but I’ll try to slip in new ideas once in a while to share.
Thanks for reading, and as always, a big thanks to Viva Farms, Growing Washington, and the Skagit Valley Food Co-op for making all these meals possible!




Summer Rolls
spring roll wrappers and whatever veggies you like eating fresh, chopped or sliced very thin and a few leaves of hearty, flavorful greens like kale or spinach.

Soak the rolls per directions (or per youtube videos) and lay out on the cutting board.  Place a layer of greens down just above the bottom edge of the wrapper.  Fill with the sliced veggies.
Wrap like a burrito, folding in the edges to make a fully contained package.
Slice in half and serve fresh with a light dipping sauce.

CSA: Week 2

Hello, and it’s another fabulous week brought to me by my Viva Farms produce box.  This week saw the end of the last box and breaking into the new box:

baby turnips, radishes, tat soi, head lettuce, salad mix, strawberries

Once again, I am absolutely delighted with the contents of the box, and doubly excited that there were more strawberries as I’ve discovered the best summer recipe for strawberries: Chilled Strawberry-Rhubarb Soup.

Don’t let the word ‘soup’ turn you off.  My dad said it was great, “just, don’t call it soup.”  But whatever you want to call it, it was sweet, flavorful, has a creamy texture and is the perfect picnic or summer starter or even great drizzled over shortbread or ice cream.  Give this a try at your Fourth of July barbeque this year!

Chilled Strawberry-Rhubarb Soup

I can’t even begin to describe how fabulous this recipe is.  I didn’t have mint on hand so I improvised and sprinkled a sparing amount of lavender blossoms on top instead.  I’ll have to make it again with mint next time just to see how it tastes!  (Don’t skip the pepper!  Trust me.)

That wasn’t just the only use for the strawberries, of course.  That pint had enough to also enjoy them fresh and, in one case, sliced over oatmeal.

Salad with cheese; oatmeal with strawberries

Of course I made an assortment of salads to take advantage of that lovely lettuce, and it stayed crisp and fresh for the whole week, didn’t even try to go wilty on the outer edges like store-bought will.  This one was lettuce with chunks of almond cheese and sprinkled with basil before it got dressing.

While I was washing up the last of the spinach go in one of my salads, Tucker wanted to get involved and decided to lend a helping hand – er, paw – with the produce.


Tucker gets in on the CSA fun

Tucker trying spinach

Fried egg sandwiches, roasted vegetables, strawberry rhubarb soup, and almond milk.

Another great thing to do with lettuce is top sandwiches.  Fried egg and a few leaves of lettuce on home-made beer bread.  I love beer bread, it has the faint taste of whatever your favorite brew is and it doesn’t need to rise before it goes in the oven, I can have a fresh batch of bread on my table an hour after I get home!

Roasted veggies are a great favorite of mine, a tasty way to use any number of veggies up before they go off in the fridge.  This batch was made with potato, carrot, VF turnips, VF asparagus, jalapeno, leek, garlic, olive oil, pepper, basil.

potato, carrot, VF turnips, VF asparagus, leek, garlic, olive oil, pepper, basil

Today I started a batch of soup.  Softing soup is another great way to keep from wasting veggies, it’s made by taking everything in the fridge that’s starting to go soft but hasn’t actually gone bad yet and whatever else you have on hand you want that sounds good.

Everything in the pot.

Today I added potatoes which were growing eyes and starting to look at me funny; carrots, celery and broccoli that was all sorts of soft and unappetizing; some tomatoes and jalapeno I got for salsa that never quite made it there; half an onion starting to turn; and garlic that was sprouting in the jar.  I added some of Viva Farms’ turnips and the last bit of asparagus that hadn’t been eaten yet, 1 1/2 cups of lentils, and some vegetable broth cubes.

Softing Soup: all the goodies in the pot

I usually leave it a broth based soup but today I decided to go experimental and added two cans of coconut milk to give it a bite, then added cumin, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne, nutmeg, and coriander to make a nice spicy curry.

Softing Soup: add coconut milk and water to the rim

After I started it cooking, I dug in this week’s CSA box and got out VF’s tat soi.  Had never heard of it before, but it reminded me of bok choi, a nice hearty green and I decided that would go well in the soup. I’ll add that in about an hour before the cooking is done and let it settle in.  This will make for a great dinner with some of my beer bread!

tat soi


Thank you once again, Viva Farms and Growing Washington, for making this week’s eating fresh and delicious!


I’m not a big fan of recipes for daily use, I tend to go with a more random and spontaneous flair, but once in a while a recipe does come in handy.   Below are the recipes and not-recipes that I used this week.

Chilled Strawberry-Rhubarb Soup


Roasted veggies:
Whatever veggies you like, hearty enough to be roasted, a light drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with herbs and just a touch of salt.
Cover with tinfoil and bake at 375F until the potatoes are done, about an hour depending on how thick you sliced them.


Beer Bread
3 cups (13.5 weight oz) whole wheat flour
3 tbsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
12 oz beer
Optional: whatever else sounds good to you.  I add 1 tbsp flax seeds and 1 tbsp caraway seeds.  You can also sprinkle the top with oats or drizzle with honey for a sweet touch.

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly, then slowly poor in the beer.  Mix until fully blended and pour into a greased bread pan or muffin tin.  Bake at 375F for about 45 minutes for bread, 25 for muffins, depending on your oven.

Tip: It’s better to measure the flour out by weight, it’s more accurate than by volume which can change depending on how densely it’s packed.  It can make the bread too dry.


Softing Soup
Everything in the fridge that’s starting to go soft but hasn’t actually gone bad yet and whatever else you have on hand you want to add until it fills about 1/3 of your slow cooker.  Add 1/2 cup of dry lentils, rice, or 1 can of beans, rinsed.  Add two cubes of broth stock and whatever other herbs and spices you like, then fill up with water and cook on low for 8 hours.  Enjoy.

Community Supported Agriculture

I have embarked upon a new journey this year called Community Supported Agriculture.   Thanks to Viva Farms and Growing Washington, each week I receive fresh, local produce which supports local farms and farmers.

I’m very excited to be part of this.  Inspired by Steff Duschenes at Almanac of Eats, once a week I will be showing off what new items I get in my box and what meals I make from them.  I hope to inspire others to not only take a more active interest in their food but to encourage more home prepared meals, and maybe convince one or two of you that vegetables really can taste good!

I pick up my new boxes on Thursdays, so this will be a short week.  So far this is what I have received: asparagus, spinach, leaf lettuce, baby turnips, radishes, and strawberries.  And for those of who you are wondering, this box set me back less than $15.00.

First Week’s CSA box consisting of: asparagus, leaf lettuce, spinach, baby turnips, radishes, and strawberries

First, let me just say I was absolutely delighted at the quality and *quantity* of every item in this box and my eyes were already sparkling with ideas of what I would do with them.

Friday’s accompanying lunch salad used home grown greens from my own garden coupled with Viva Farms lettuce and radishes, then sprinkled with flax seeds and (eventually) tossed with Annie’s Organic Thousand Island dressing.

Friday’s Lunch Salad

Sunday dinner used a little bit of everything from the box, including strawberries as dessert.  I generally don’t cook by recipe, but if you want to know how I prepared everything, I’ve drafted up roughly what I used and how I made it below.

Sunday Dinner of pasta, sauteed veggies, salad, almond milk, and strawberries.

2 oz. Field Day Penne pasta (cook per directions on package, then drain)
1/2 cup Monte Bene Low Fat Vodka Sauce (add to pasta and return to heat until warm)

Sauteed veggies:
5-6 asparagus spears
2 baby turnips, sliced
3 clumps of spinach
2″ section of leek, sliced lengthwise into strips
1 pat of butter
1/4 tsp of lemon juice
fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup water

Throw it all in a non-stick pan over medium heat and cover, stirring occasionally until cooked.  If veggies start to stick to the bottom of the pan before they’re fully cooked, add a bit more water.

Rinse and tear into bite-sized pieces as much as you want of: lettuce, kale, arugula, endive, mustard greens or whatever else you feel like/have on hand
2 radishes, sliced
1 tbsp tzaziki sauce
fresh ground pepper to taste