CSA Spectacular: January 2017

Achievement: #11. Monthly CSA Posts

In our series of monthly Friday installments, we will once again be sharing with you some of the recipes we make from our regular CSA shares.

If you’re a new reader, here are the basic facts about the CSA scene. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. We make an agreement with a farm (or in our case, we go through Penn’s Corner, which is a small conglomeration of farms), and we buy in to the harvest. This means you take the good with the bad right alongside the farmers: if it’s a bumper crop, you’re up to your ears in zucchini. And if the weather isn’t just right, you may have a summer with very few strawberries.

Each week in the spring and summer, and every other week in the fall and winter, we pick up a box at our designated location, come home, and start the meal planning process for the week. January has been a slim month for us because of my work schedule (lots and lots of closing shifts, so no time to cook/eat together). Here are the handful of recipes we made this month!

January CSA Recipes
The goat cheese from Riverview Dairy is delicious on its own (especially with Penn’s Corner Hot Pepper Jelly), but we got a huge amount of it in a short period of time. We had to improvise, and so we found this recipe for cauliflower gratin with goat cheese topping from New York Times Cooking.

January CSA Recipes
Cauliflower is in season right now, and this was a really simple recipe, so you could easily whip it up for a quick weeknight side dish. We used panko instead of breadcrumbs, but it turned out really good. (I also felt like this made WAY more than the 4 servings the recipe promises, because it is truly a hearty side dish. A little goes a long way!)

January CSA Recipes
(Pairing recommendation: a thick pork chop and a green veggie for the second side.)

January CSA Recipes
We had some poblano peppers left, a fresh jar of chopped tomatoes, a bag of onions, and Layla Grace’s therapy dog preschool in the evening, so Crockpot chili was just what we needed!

The recipe is from Betty Crocker (although no, it does not qualify for our chili cook-off Achievement, because I made too many mods. I tweaked the slow-cooker family-favorite chili recipe by subbing black beans for chili beans, adding a diced poblano for some extra heat, and tossing in a can of sweet corn.

January CSA Recipes
The result was a simple, hearty chili that was a lovely leftover for days! And once the chopping is done, it’s truly set-and-forget, so it’s great for a busy night.

Finally, we found ourselves with a huge head of cabbage and very little plans of what to do with it. For me, my Eastern European heritage causes me to see cabbage and instantly think: “DROWN IT IN BUTTER AND ONIONS.” Obviously, that’s not really healthy for you sooooo….

January CSA Recipes
Stir fry. Yes, you can make a really tasty stir fry with cabbage!

January CSA Recipes
This was a sweet-chili stir fry with pork. I tweaked the recipe to keep the calorie count down a bit, decreasing the amount of sweet chili sauce (from 3/4 cup to just under 1/2 cup) and increasing the soy sauce a tiny bit to keep the umami but lower the overall sugars and calories. We also subbed in long grain rice instead of noodles. But it was a yummy weeknight dinner. The chopping takes a bit, but it’s an easy recipe to prepare. You can really adjust the spice and salt level to your liking, so there’s a lot of room for improvisation with this!

Next month, I’m sure there will be more recipes to share. We are trying to make the most of our hearty winter veggies! Anyone have any recipes they would like to share for fall and winter dishes? Comment below!

1 Comment

Filed under #11, #11-17, buy fresh buy local, cooking, CSA, farm

One Response to CSA Spectacular: January 2017

  1. Woubbie

    Stir-fry looks great!

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