Okay, next time I say ‘I’ll post tomorrow,’ just know that in the very bizarre reality of my mind, ‘tomorrow’ is more flexible than it is, say, on a calendar. Anyway!
Week 2 brought a lot more greens: green onions and spinach from Nu Way Farm, a head of romaine lettuce from Clarion River Organics, and lettuce from Blue Goose Farm. We got a jar of canned tomatoes from Penn’s Corner itself (still haven’t found a use for that one yet). But my favorite parts of the Week 2 share were clearly the Ivory Lace Cheese from Hidden Hills Dairy, and the Crimini mushrooms from Wild Purveyors.
I put those mushrooms to work early, whipping up an old Bon Appetit recipe for Seared Asian Steak and Mushrooms on Mixed Greens with Ginger Dressing.
The picture looks perfect, but if I went back to remake this recipe, I might do a few things differently. For me, the ginger was a little overpowering (I chose to do fresh, chopped ginger). And the mushrooms, while delicious, seemed to taste too separate from the meat and dressing (that lettuce is from the CSA box too). I thought they tasted more like a side than a part of the dish, if that makes sense. Michael, on the other hand, loved this recipe inside and out. So give it a shot and see what side you come out on 😉
Now THAT’S a good start to a day! Three eggs, 5 ounces of sliced mushrooms (I sauteed those in butter first before adding to the omelette), a couple of green onions, and about an ounce of sliced up Ivory Lace Cheese.
Week 3 brought some exciting goodies! We got more garlic scapes (from a trio of farms: Pucker Brush Farm, Blue Goose, and Crighton’s Farm), bibb lettuce and fennel from Clarion River Organics (I’m SO not a fennel gal, so I haven’t found a home for that just yet), some Swiss chard (which is a type of lettuce and NOT a cheese, as it would sound lol) from Nu Way Farms, and more kale from Blue Goose Farms. But new and exciting this week was a 3-pound bag of russet potatoes from Clarion River Organics, some honey from Bedillion Honey Farm, and Hidden Hills Dairy’s Temptation cheese (believe me, it is VERY tempting).
Week 3 was also the first week of our biweekly flower share! Our beautiful bouquet is from Goose Creek Gardens in Oakdale. I’ll tell you this: there’s just something so refreshing about coming home to a lovely vase of live flowers every day. It brightens the whole house! (And yes, that is Paddington Bear, watching over the flowers.)
I put those russet potatoes to use as a side for a recipe I got from my gym, Club Julian. CJ features two recipes each week, often an ‘instead of that, try this!’ swap for unhealthy food, or a focus on what’s fresh and available for the season. This week’s was a baked chicken with peaches dinner. So mashed potatoes were the perfect side! I also sliced up some of our green onions for the potatoes. This made plenty of leftovers, so we could enjoy it for a few meals!
This week, we started doing The Spark Solution, which is a two-week meal-plan-based diet jumpstart program. I’m a big fan of the SparkPeople website in general, and their recipes are usually pretty delicious. So, the pressure was on to combine the meal plans in the book with what arrived in our CSA share!
For lunches, we made their Curried Tuna Salad Sandwiches. This is a unique take on tuna salad: it features green onions, cucumber, and dried cranberries. We were able to use the green onions from our CSA for this one, as well as some of the lettuce chopped up on the sandwich. This was a quick, easy, make-ahead lunch that will certainly be part of our regular lunch rotation!
I also made another batch of kale chips. While we’re doing the Spark Solution, we can ‘swap out’ certain suggested snack items for other healthy options, depending on what’s in season and available. So, one of our go-to snacks is a serving of kale chips and an ounce of one of our CSA cheeses. This time, our share featured Red Russian Kale, which cooked a little differently than last week’s kale, so our chips were a little crispier, but still yummy!
Almost a full month in, we’re still loving our CSA. And we’re cooking and eating such fresher, healthier meals that we’re both feeling better! Stay tuned for what comes next week: our Week 4 box featured some snow peas and haloumi cheese! YUM! Who else has been loving their CSA share?