Tuesday, September 11, 2012

CSA Meal Planning: Late Summer Continues

Peppers, peppers, peppers! Pale yellow-green gypsy peppers make their first appearance at the start of summer and by the end of summer, bright red and orange gypsy peppers appear all over SF.  Green bell peppers, shishito peppers, and padron peppers are overflowing by summer's end.

This week, my CSA box contains:

Rainbow Swiss chard
Sweet potatoes
Heirloom tomatoes
Green bell peppers
Shisito peppers
Sweet gypsy peppers
Beets with green tops

Our CSA Menu Plan for the week:
Day 1: Beet greens (and stems) sauteed with caraway seeds and tossed with barley and parmesan

Day 2: Quinoa with lightly sauteed gypsy peppers and green bell pepper and lemon
Spicy sweet potato fries

Days 3 & 4: Broccoli soup with broiled cheddar

Day 5: Roasted eggplant, gypsy peppers, carrots, red onion with chick peas and whole wheat orzo, lemon, parsley
Fried shisito peppers with coarse salt

Day 6: Cumin-scented sweet potato and black bean tacos with chipotle adobo sauce and avocado-lime mash

Days 7 & 8: Indian spiced cauliflower and peas (gobi mutter) with roti and yogurt
Three dal
Sprouted moong bean salad with tomato, jicama, green bell pepper, cilantro, and lemon

Day 9: Chick peas and carrots with tahini dressing infused with cumin, smoked paprika, garlic, and lemon
Fried green tomato topped with chipotle adobo sauce

Day 10: Turkish beets in an herb dressing
Quinoa Swiss chard cakes over smoked mozzarella tomato ragu
I love using all parts of the beet, but beet greens go bad much quicker than beets so often I use the beet greens right away and keep the beets for later use. This time I want to use the beet stems as well as the leafy greens. The stems are tough, much tougher than Swiss chard stems, but if you blanch in salted boiling water for a few minutes, beet stems are just perfect.

For the quinoa with peppers dish, I think a mixed pepper medley will balance the sweetness of the gypsy peppers and the astringency of green bell peppers.

If you have a large head of broccoli with good, healthy stalks, then this broccoli soup is a  must. I've made the soup with broccoli and leeks before, but this time I will sub in a yellow onion for the leeks. I love topping the soup with cheddar and broiling it for a few minutes. It elevates an already deliciously satisfying soup to another level of comfort.

For the tacos, the chipotle adobo sauce does wonders with cumin-scented roasted sweet potato and onions with black beans. Line a tortilla with mashed avocado with lime and salt, top with sweet potatoes and black beans, drizzle with homemade chipotle adobo sauce. Top with queso fresco, or if you can't find any, crumble feta over the tacos. You can also saute Swiss chard with onions, garlic, crushed red pepper and add on top of the sweet potato and black bean layer. If I add the layer of Swiss chard, then I often skip the cheese at it becomes necessary given the already delicious flavor combinations and textures.

We love roasted eggplant around the Plate and Pour kitchen, and this roasted eggplant and pepper orzo dish will be a new experiment for me, with tons of delicious roasted veggies .

For an Indian dinner, I will be sprouting some moong and making cauliflower with peas (or maybe cauliflower with potatoes, or aloo gobi)

The chick pea and carrot with tahini dressing has become a favorite go-to lunch dish for me since the Spring. If you are like me, I think you will quickly incorporate it into your meal planning. I only have one green tomato, but I just have to make (vegan) pan-fried green tomatoes!

For a bit more special and time consuming meal, the menu for day 10 shows beautiful beets in a refreshing herb dressing and a heavenly, savory vegetarian main dish unlike any other.

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