csa eats: week four

For week four, our bag was alllll green. And yes, that gave me pause. What do I do with all that green?!?! There was cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, green beans, basil, garlic, salad greens and more corn.

We also brought home some fresh beef (that was cheaper than the grocery store!); and because I didn't learn my lesson quite completely last week, we also had some fresh carrots and red potatoes.

Before talking about food, though, I feel compelled to mention my experiment with stevia leaves. They came in our bag in week three, and honestly, the only thing I knew about stevia was that it's used in powder form as a sugar substitute. But what to do with fresh leaves? I was grateful to find this webpage and realized I had the perfect drink to try this technique - iced tea.

I liked it...but my taste buds are too accustomed to sugar. With every sip, my brain cried, "this tastes fake." Nonetheless, I'm glad to have tried it.

First on the menu this week was a summer vegetable lasagna made with items from last week - summer squash and zucchini. This is something I've made before, and I really enjoyed it with the fresh veggies. To appease my meat-and-potatoes husband, I included baked chicken on the side.

With one of those packets of ground beef, Wildcat Guy made simple burgers that we ate with some of last week's fresh corn and some cole slaw (cough*from the store*cough). I could eat this all summer long.

With the garlic and basil, pesto seemed an obvious choice. Granted, I'd never made pesto from scratch, but I really wanted to try it. When it turned out nicely, I definitely had a moment...something akin to Tom Hanks' "I have made fire" from Castaway..."I. Have made pesto."

And what did I do with that pesto, you ask? I slathered it on a whole grain crust and topped it with rotisserie chicken and shredded mozzarella to make a pizza. Mmmm. I am very happy that we had plenty of basil left over, because I definitely want to eat this again.

The salad on the side (with leftover arugula, farm carrots and last week's radishes) was also tasty.

Something I really appreciated about purchasing beef at the Market was the opportunity to learn about the different beef options. Originally, we'd just planned to buy ground beef, but after seeing the list of available roasts, I spent a few minutes talking with one of the women from the farm. It was so nice to have her walk me through the merits of each cut and, even better, to share with me her preferred technique for cooking a roast in the crockpot. I need to experiment with the seasonings, but this roast - which we cooked with farm carrots and the new potatoes left from last week - turned out nicely.

We also - finally! - cooked the beets from two weeks ago. On the recommendation of a friend, we roasted them. Yum. I can't say that I would eat bowls and bowls of them, but the next time they show up in a CSA bag, I won't be so nervous.

And then, to wrap up the week, I turned the kohlrabi from something strange-looking into something we enjoyed eating. It tasted almost like cauliflower, but with the texture of sliced potatoes...odd, but appealing. I would absolutely cook with it again.


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