Tag Archives: CSA

crustless csa quiche

Jay and I are psyched that our CSA farmer is back in business for the summer.  Nothing like a weekly supply of locally grown farm-fresh produce to get you excited about cooking in a kitchenette.  This week included some beets, swish chard and spring onions (among other things) that I thought would be tasty in a quiche.  I found a creative recipe on one of my favorite cooking blogs and changed it up to suit our needs.

Here’s what we used:

5 beets (thinly sliced)

2 tsp of olive oil

green stalks of spring onions (chopped)

1 bunch of Swiss chard, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)

4 eggs

1 cup Greek yogurt

little bit of almond milk

1 ounce of goat cheese

pinch of nutmeg

fresh ground pepper

We greased a pie dish with some vegan butter (it’s what we had) and layered thinly sliced beets to cover the bottom (and sides if you have enough).  We sauteed the chopped onion in olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes before adding 3 handfuls of chopped chard (no stems). While the chard was cooking we mixed the egg, yogurt and a splash of milk.  After the chard wilted a bit (2-3 minutes), we removed it from the heat and added nutmeg and some pepper.  We poured the egg mixture and chard over the beets and then sprinkled goat cheese on top.  Couple of turns of ground pepper, and the quiche was ready to bake at 375F for 30 minutes.

It was delicious.

Note that if your beets are pretty juicy, you can throw them in the oven (already sliced in the pie dish) for 10 minutes while preparing every thing else to dry them out a bit.

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cooking, cuts and crazies

ok.  things we’ve made: cabbage and apples, soup and roasted winter veggies.

for the cabbage i just cut one apple, one head of cabbage, and half an onion and sauteed it in some olive oil, salt and pepper over medium heat.  oh, and i added a dash (and i mean dash) of cumin for some kick and a double dash of cinnamon.  it was yummy, but i cut the crap out of my thumb.  it’s healing.

then i made some soup because i needed to finish off our CSA veggies (it’s hard to use them up when jay is working nights).  i’m not sold on any recipe yet, but i’ll just tell you that i sauteed some peppers (including half a habanero), garlic and onions with some spicy turkey sausage.  i added 4 small potatoes and a turnip, diced, then some chicken stock, and then every other veggie i could find (cabbage, tomato, carrots, green beans) and let it simmer half an hour.  by the time my girlfriend farrell came over with a bottle of wine and jay came home with a loaf of crunchy bread, we were set.  the habanero definitely kicked the spice up a notch. 

today jay and i went to “the lobster place” at chelsea market and we were totally overwhelmed by the types of fish they offer.  we opted for something mostly prepared–the salmon burgers.  yummy.

at home i chopped up some butternut squash, some other kind of short squatty yellow squash, some cauliflower and a little garlic.  i tossed it with some olive oil, sage, little bit of curry and paprika.  i roasted it all on a cookie sheet at 450F for 40 minutes (i probably could have taken the veggies out at 30 minutes, but jay was on a run, so i let them roast a little longer).  the salmon patties were cooked in a skillet over medium heat for five minutes on either side.  easy peasy. 

i’m pretty excited we have local tomatoes that still taste like tomatoes in october, so i sliced that up too.  this meal was special enough to break out the place-mats and napkins boriana and julie gave us for our wedding.  and a bottle of wine from william, aerated with our snazzy wine thingy from anna and laurel.  other than accidentally missing yoga (sorry keith), it was a great night. 

we’re still cookin’.

almost forgot the part about crazies–i was ecstatic when farhan called to say he was visiting a school up here and wanted to crash our living room floor.  oh, how our friends get us through our homesickness!  but towards the end of a great visit, farhan and i were exiting the c-train at 23rd street when some dude in aviators walked up and swung at farhan’s face.  i don’t think farhan dodged the punch, i think the guy just missed… i think maybe he just wanted to scare us?  he definitely scared me.  and the one word that came out of my mouth in that moment was… “GOSH!”  (gosh?  really?)  at which point the guy started yelling at me and threatening to spit in my face.  farhan and i were (and are) totally ok, but like i said, crazy.  it was a total fluke, and i know people that have lived here for years that have never seen such things.  and i know the same could have happened just as easily in charlotte or even little lexington.  nonetheless, jay ordered some pepper spray for me to carry around.  and i will carry it with full knowledge that i’ll likely never have to use it.

so that’s the scoop.  i cooked some veggies, i cut my thumb, i met a crazed dude. 

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butternut stuffed deliciousness

jay went to union square to pick up our CSA goodies today and came back with a colorful array of local produce–hooray!

when he saw we had a bunch of peppers and an onion he decided to pick up some turkey sausage to go with.  i came home from class (after taking my first midterm, yay!) and cracked open my “simply in season” mennonite cookbook that mary carroll introduced me to a couple of years ago.  i turned to the fall recipes and came across a stuffed acorn squash recipe, which was enough to inspire our own creation.  here’s what we did…

cut butternut squash lengthwise and spoon out the guts.

place squash rind up on cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes at 350F.

while squash is cooking, squeeze spicy turkey sausage out of casings and cook over medium-high heat.  before it gets too brown, add onion and red pepper.

take squash out of oven, stuff it, and put it back in oven for 10 minutes at 375F.  note that butternut squash doesn’t leave a lot of room for stuffing–don’t let that slow you down.

while the stuffed squash was baking we blanched some green beans.

and voila!  jay and i couldn’t believe the flavor.  was it the turkey sausage that was so good?  or the squash?  we decided it was the two together–a perfect marriage of deliciousness.

next adventure–i’m thinking some kind of smorgasbord soup.

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neeps and tatties

i wasn’t really sure what to do with turnips until my upstairs neighbor william told me about a scottish dish called “neeps and tatties”… huh?

i looked it up and the simplest recipe i found was actually on an english blog–sure the scots would just love that.  they even reversed the name to tatties and neeps!  so here’s what we did:

take a turnip and some potatoes (we just used what was in our CSA bag o’ produce), chop them into small chunks, add them to water, bring water to a boil and let boil for 15 minutes.  the recipe said to peal the potatoes, but we like our tatties with the skins on. drain the potatoes and turnip well, mash ’em up with a bit ‘o butter.  the recipe called for fresh chives, but jay couldn’t find any, so we used dried chives and marjoram.  fresh stuff next time!

our neeps and tatties were delicious along side some bbq chicken and yellow beans.  the chicken was prepared with bbq sauce from mac’s in charlotte (YUM!) and it turns out jay doesn’t like dark meat… so more for me!!  the yellow beans were also in our CSA bag ‘o produce.  we just blanched them and added some lemon juice.  all that and a glass of wine made for a pretty balanced meal.

and we get to say we made neeps and tatties.

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keepin’ it local in the kitchenette

there’s no question about it: cooking in a kitchenette sucks.  and yet we have all these nifty wedding gift kitchen gadgets, accompanied by notes from friends encouraging us to cook together, and we do enjoy cooking.  i did a search of “how to cook in a small kitchen” or “cooking in nyc” but everything i came across included a full-size fridge and a kitchen you could actually walk into–oh to be so lucky!

so we’re creating our own resource for kitchenette cookers.  we’ll see if it ends up being any help to anyone–at least it will get us out to our local markets and into the “kitchen!”

we ventured over to the green market at union square today.  jay was psyched to discover red jacket orchards from his home in upstate new york, so we bought their apples.  we walked past every stall before stopping for lunch to discuss our plan of action.  we fully intended to get some eggplant, squash, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic… but then jay got distracted by some goat’s milk ice cream (yum) and i got distracted talking to a farmer.  turns out the central valley farm out of asbury, nj has a CSA option that is very city-friendly.

CSA stands for community supported agriculture–and if you don’t already know about it, i encourage you to learn more.  most CSAs i’ve encountered have included so much local farm fresh produce, i would never get around to eating it all.  most CSAs also ask that you pay for the entire season upfront–this is what ensures the farmer that his/her crops will be viable in the coming season.  buyers are like share-holders that keep local farming alive.  but central valley farm has a CSA program that allows us to buy one bag of produce–whatever is fresh off the farm that week–for $20.  and you only pay on the weeks you need it–no up-front commitment.  because jay and i had already bought apples and ice cream, we only had $18 remaining, which the farmer was happy to accept knowing he’d just secured a new weekly (or bi-weekly) patron. 

one thing i like about CSA is that it takes the decision making out of produce-shopping.  i hate making decisions!  instead we just take what’s fresh (this week it’s spaghetti squash, tomato, bell pepper, yellow string beans, potatoes, a turnip and a head of lettuce) and get creative cooking with it.

so tonight’s dinner:

we took the spaghetti squash, cut it in half length-wise, scraped out the pulp and seeds, placed it on a cookie sheet rind-up, and baked it at 375 for 40 minutes. 

jay cut organic chicken thighs into pieces and threw them in a large skillet.  at that point we realized we had no olive oil in the house (gasp!!!) nor did we have onion or garlic–next time we’ll include those ingredients, but you work with what you’ve got.

once the chicken pieces were browned but tender, we turned down the heat and added diced tomatoes and bell pepper, seasoning it with salt, pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes.

we took the squash out of the “oven” (i’ll have to take a picture of our combination microwave/oven sometime) and used a fork to pull the strands of squash from the rind.  we added it to the skillet, mixed it all together and served it up.

it was delicious.  shredded parm kicks it up a notch.

things we learned: we need olive oil, onion and garlic (how have we survived without these essentials for 2 months??)  we also learned that using the drippings from the chicken instead of olive oil added a lot of flavor to the veggies–like cooking rice in chicken broth.  we wished we’d had one more tomato.

it was a yummy, easy, healthy dinner.  it was also jay’s first time to eat spaghetti squash.  he liked it.

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