CSA Spectacular: The January Report

Achievement: #11. CSA - Weekly Posts

CSA Spectacular
January was an ambitious month for us in terms of our CSA Cooking. I had a number of evenings off, and I had some great ideas with multi-dish dinners, and so we really went for broke. Here is the wrap-up of our CSA meals that we made in the remainder of January.

2016 CSA Recipes #2
Occasionally (and more in the winter), we get cheese as one of our CSA box items. Since we already get 2 pounds of cheese for each Cheese of the Month delivery, it can be a challenge to use all of it. I got a recipe for cheesy potatoes, and so I used some of our Buttercup Cheese from Hidden Hills Dairy in addition to the mozzarella the recipe called for. (Potatoes and cheese from our CSA.)

2016 CSA Recipes #2
I cut back a bit on the sour cream and olive oil in this recipe for roasted mozzarella potatoes, but otherwise stuck to the directions. The result was a creamy, wonderfully tender potato side dish. If (more like when) I make this again, I think I will add some garlic, but otherwise, it was spot-on.

2016 CSA Recipes #2
Still working through that bag of apples, I made Martha Stewart’s pork chops with apples and onions. (Apples & onions from our CSA, pork chops from Marty’s Market.)

2016 CSA Recipes #2
Together (and with a side salad from the butter lettuce we received in our farm share), this was a great cold weather dinner, and it was pretty easy to coordinate the timing of both dishes in the kitchen.

2016 CSA Recipes #2
Next, I decided to put together some Asian-inspired dishes for dinner one night. I have a go-to recipe when we get watermelon radishes in our CSA: watermelon radish and carrot salad with sesame vinaigrette. Flavorful and easy to whip together. (Carrot and watermelon radishes from our CSA.)

2016 CSA Recipes #2
We had gotten some garlic, onions, and fresh ginger in our CSA as well, so I made another Martha Stewart recipe, basmati rice with onion & ginger. (I used jasmine rice because that’s what I had on hand, but I think they could be used interchangeably for this recipe.)

2016 CSA Recipes #2
Finally, we had a TON of apple butter, so I searched for a recipe that would let it shine. I came up with this citrus-apple butter glazed shrimp recipe from the Tide & Thyme blog.

2016 CSA Recipes #2
Unfortunately, the shrimp was the low point of the meal. I don’t know if I did something wrong in my cooking, but the apple butter sauce was much less like a glaze and much more like a soup. Also, it was SO citrus-y, but cutting it with a hearty serving of soy sauce or tamari really improved the flavor. I did make this on the stove, so perhaps we’ll give it another go on the grill in the summer, because the idea seems great (and we always have an overabundance of apple butter in the house).

2016 CSA Recipes #2
Friends of ours just had a baby the second week of January, and I signed up to do a Meal Train delivery for them. (If you are unfamiliar, it’s where you sign up to cook a meal for the family of the newborn to help take some chores off of their plate.) My mum and I got together and made this vegetarian stuffed cabbage as one of the dishes. (Cabbage, onions, & carrots from our CSA.)

2016 CSA Recipes #2
This turned out great, and made almost more than my little crock pot could handle. (I kept a couple of rolls for myself and husband to try.)

2016 CSA Recipes #2
I also had a nice butternut squash, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make my favorite butternut squash soup recipe for our friends as well. (Squash, carrots, and onion from our CSA; we substituted veggie broth for chicken broth as the new mama is a vegetarian.)

2016 CSA Recipes #2
This makes a HUGE amount of soup, so there was more than enough for us to share and enjoy at home. A perfect lunch is a cup of the butternut squash soup alongside Trader Joe’s brioche toasts topped with goat cheese and Penn’s Corner hot pepper jelly. The goat cheese is from our CSA as well, from River View Dairy.

2016 CSA Recipes #2
In keeping with the ethnic food theme, I decided to make a Spanish dinner that would help me utilize the can of chopped tomatoes we received. I started out with a recipe for Spanish rice. (Tomatoes, carrot, onion, & garlic from our CSA.)

2016 CSA Recipes #2
The result was hearty and fresh, and it heated up great as a leftover.

2016 CSA Recipes #2
With luck, the jar of tomatoes was just enough to stretch between the Spanish rice and an Eating Well recipe for the patatas-bravas-inspired crispy potatoes with spicy tomato sauce. (Tomatoes and garlic from our CSA.)

2016 CSA Recipes #2
These were easy to make and so, so tasty. We packaged the sauce separately for leftovers so the potatoes would stay crispier, and it was excellent for lunch the next day.

2016 CSA Recipes #2
I found directions on a Facebook post somewhere of how to best prepare chuletas fritas (pan fried pork chops), and that completed the three-dish dinner. This was a bit time-intensive, but it was very worth it.

2016 CSA Recipes #2
Finally, we closed out the month with a vegetarian two-parter. First up, we had a whole lot of kale and a handful of beets, so I made a roasted beet salad with kale. Since I only had a few beets, I also added some sweet potatoes that I’d had from an earlier CSA box. I omitted the almonds from the recipe, but I crumbled some of the previously mentioned goat cheese over top, and it was amazing. (Kale, beets, sweet potato, and goat cheese from our CSA.)

2016 CSA Recipes #2
And for the final dish, I took on another ingredient that we get so much of and I can never seem to put to use: dilly beans. I made a dilly bean potato salad from Bon Appétit magazine. This was AMAZING. I don’t even like dilly beans, but it gave the potato salad (which honestly turned out more like chunky mashed potatoes) this dazzling bite. Ours was served without the hardboiled eggs shown, because when I cracked the shells, it turned out that they were soft-boiled and really only very slightly so, so I just left them out. (Potatoes, shallots, eggs, and dilly beans from our CSA.)

2016 CSA Recipes #2
I do like to make vegetarian meals from time to time, and this one was so hearty and flavorful that you didn’t miss meat one bit.

So that’s where we ended January! I’m really proud of our cooking efforts, and our efforts to reduce food waste, as well. We’ll be back with more recipes as February progresses!

3 Comments

Filed under #11, #11-16, cooking, cooking light, CSA

3 Responses to CSA Spectacular: The January Report

  1. Woubbie

    Ooooh, so yummy looking! You can make the squash soup for me anytime you like! I haven’t met a squash I didn’t like!

  2. The high heat of the grill definitely impacts the flavor of the glaze, you need it to caramelize the sugars. Also I like to just brush it with the glaze…not serve the glaze as a sauce. This Apple Butter Pork Tenderloin is fab (http://tideandthyme.com/tangy-apple-butter-pork-tenderloin/), give that a try next time! 🙂

    • steelcityfox

      That’s pretty much what I thought, thank you for the tip! Once it is grilling season, I think we will give it another go, and definitely try that pork tenderloin recipe as well. We get a ton of apple butter, and I can only eat so many English Muffins with it, so I am always looking for new recipes. Thanks for your comment!

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