Adam and I signed up for a CSA at one of our local farms for this summer, to get a half-share (i.e. a cardboard box full) of farm-fresh veggies and greens each week. There isn’t a single vegetable (that we know of) that we don’t both love, so we figured it was a great way to incorporate even more vegetables into our diet, and to support a local farm.
That being said, as I’ve heard is often the way with a CSA, we’ve gotten some veggies I’ve never cooked with or even eaten before. Always up for a challenge and loving an excuse to test out new recipes, I’ve faced the challenge head-on and with enthusiasm. I’ve also been excited to incorporate some veggies we ARE familiar with in new and exciting ways.
So I figured I’d share some successes with the interwebs, knowing that some other people may also think, “What on EARTH do I do with kohlrabi?!?”
I followed this recipe for cashew chicken with bok choy from Foodess to a tee, and it was sublime. We’re not eating a ton of rice on our wedding diet, so I served it over Rice Select Royal Blend instead, which is a super-tasty and healthful mix of brown rice, black lentils, flaxseed, and whole wheat pearl couscous.
Inspired by a few recipes I saw using kohlrabi in a slaw, including this one from Martha Stewart and this one I found on Pinterest from Feasting at Home, I did my own take on a slaw. I used pretty much equal parts (eyeballed) of peeled and julienned kohlrabi, Golden Delicious apple, and cucumber, tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, fresh mint, and a pinch of salt. Let it sit for about five minutes before serving. Delicious! Have already made it twice since starting our CSA! (Also, the second time I made it we didn’t have cucumbers but were drowning in radishes, and those made a very different but equally tasty substitution!)
Until last week, neither Adam or I knew if we even liked beets. Now we LOVE them. Two weeks in a row I’ve simply roasted them inspired by an Ina Garten recipe I found using olive oil, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper. I then tossed them with crumbled goat cheese, the first week eating them just like that, as a side. The second time I made beets I put the beets and goat cheese on top of some fresh lettuces we’d gotten from the farm, and topped it with a salmon cake from the fish guy at the grocery store for a hearty and healthy salad.
I’m always up for trying new greens, and when in doubt, my go-to way to eat leafy greens is in a variation on my favorite pasta dish. I cook up quinoa pasta, lately spaghetti (regular old delicious pasta is also not on the wedding diet!), and while that’s cooking I saute some chicken sausage (sun-dried tomato and basil is my favorite) and a couple of veggies (pretty much any yummy combo can work – one of my favorites is asparagus and mushroom or bell pepper). When everything is cooked I toss it together with some reserved pasta water, feta, and baby spinach. The hot pasta and veggies wilt the spinach beautifully. I tried this method on some dandelion greens we got from the farm, but instead of wilting them in after having read online that they can be kind of woody, I sauteed them with the chicken sausage and veggies. So good!
This was actually tonight’s experiment! I’d never really ventured beyond corned beef with cabbage, but after some internet searches decided to try some stuffed cabbage rolls. Again, Adam is trying not to eat rice, but I stumbled upon this recipe for “skinny” cabbage rolls with turkey and quinoa. The only tweak I would make is, being someone who always buys low-sodium stock, the recipe needed a pinch of salt. But that’s easily remedied! And it’s really, really good – Adam’s already asked me to make it again if we get more cabbage.
Stay tuned for more veggie experiments!