Saturday, September 22, 2012

CSA Meal Planning: End of Summer


By the end of summer, many of us reach a point of exhaustion with summer produce, like peppers and squash. This week I've come up with some new exciting recipes to help alleviate some of the fatigue associated with the last of summer produce.

My CSA box this week contains:
Yellow beans
Yellow bell pepper
Green bell pepper
Sweet gypsy peppers
Shisito peppers
Carrot
Fennel
Broccoli
Rainbow chard
Zucchini
Red cabbage
Bulb garlic
Red onion

Given the heaps of peppers, I'm excited to try a roasted yellow bell pepper (and yellow gypsy pepper) soup with red onion, garlic, thyme, and broth. I have some chipotles en adobo sauce from last week's chipotle sauce for taco night, so I will make a little sauce to drizzle into the soup for an added kick. Whenever I open a can, I keep the rest of the chiles and sauce in the freezer for use in a pinch. For some protein, I'll make a southwestern style quinoa and save some of the plain cooked quinoa for the next night.

For the red gypsy peppers, I recommend stuffing with cumin-scented bulgur, mint, and feta and roasting until tender. Save some left over bulgur and toss with fresh garden herbs, walnut oil, lemon, and walnuts for a refreshing salad. Continuing with a Mediterranean theme, serve with Turkish green beans in olive oil, but use the yellow wax beans in place of green beans.

I haven't posted recipes for my two red cabbage "slaws" yet, but they are my new go to recipes for preparing red cabbage in a raw form! The first is a Thai style red cabbage slaw topped with ground peanuts, cilantro, and scallions. The second is a red cabbage and carrot slaw with a refreshing lemon, sherry vinegar, and Dijon vinaigrette. Both are wonderful and miles away from typical mayo-drenched slaw. Eat for lunch the next day, just be sure to keep the dressing and nuts separate and toss just before eating.

Speaking of raw, I love making zucchini ribbons- simple take a vegetable peeler and shave zucchini into long ribbons. The result is reminscent of wide pasta ribbons, but much healthier. Toss with a fresh garden pesto and you will kick yourself for not trying this before!

This week's lentil and chard soup is a lovely welcome to the first days of autumn; season with toasted cumin seeds, toasted coriander seeds, toasted fennel seeds lemon, and serve with feta. Hands-down the best brown lentil soup I've ever had.

You probably know that my favorite thing to do with broccoli is to roast broccoli with garlic and toss with lemon, lemon zest, and a dusting of parmesan. To make this a complete dinner, serve over polenta and top with a poached egg. Save some of the leftover polenta, toss with diced jalapenos, sauteed red onion, and cheddar cheese and stuff remaining red gypsy peppers.

This week's braised fennel, carrot, and cannellini beans make a wonderful hearty one dish dinner. Perfect for a no-fuss weeknight dinner at the cusp of autumn.

My Indian dinner will be Indian-spiced beans topped with shredded coconut and chana dal with zucchini, served with roti and yogurt.

Our CSA Menu Plan for the week:
Day 1: Roasted yellow and gypsy pepper soup topped with chipotle cream
Quinoa with black beans, green bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, and lime

Day 2: Thai-style red cabbage slaw... shredded red cabbage, carrot, green chili, ginger, garlic, scallions, lime, sesame oil, soy sauce, cilantro, ground peanuts
Quinoa with shaved fennel, parsley, lemon, and fennel fronds

Day 3: Zucchini ribbons with garden pesto... basil, parsley, garlic, and pine nuts
shisito peppers with coarse salt

Day 4: Braised fennel, carrot, red onion, cannellini beans with crusty bread

Days 5: Rainbow chard lentil soup... lentils, Swiss chard, carrots, toasted cumin seed, toasted coriander seeds, toasted fennel seeds, garlic, onion, cilantro garnished with lemon, feta, olive oil
Pickled yellow wax beans

Day 6: Lemon roasted broccoli over polenta topped with poached egg and dusted with parmesan

Day 7: Red cabbage slaw with carrot... shredded red cabbage, carrot, parsley, fennel fronds or dill, lemon, sherry vinegar, Dijon
Bulgur with fresh garden herbs and walnuts... scallions, mint, parsley or cilantro, lemon, walnut oil, walnuts
Roasted red gypsy peppers stuffed with polenta, jalapenos, cheddar

Day 8: Roasted red gypsy peppers stuffed with cumin-scented bulgur, feta, mint, fennel fronds or dill, pine nuts

Day 9: Indian-spiced wax beans with roti and yogurt
Chana dal with zucchini

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