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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Getting creative with CSA

Heather recently posted about all the great things we got in our CSA boxes, so I won't list it all here. But I did want to post of pic of it all for you. I love the idea of doing CSA boxes, plus, it's always a surprise to see what you get. You do have to get creative and plan some meals around your fresh produce so it doesn't go bad, but you're usually getting what is fresh and in season at the moment and that's just what your body needs. The chicken, honey, and cheese were not in the box...they were additional purchases from Farmer Chad. We have really blown through the cheese, though. I'll definitely be buying another block this week.

I used several of my items tonight for our dinner. We started with a simple salad using the lettuces from Farmer Chad, along with the purple sweet peppers. I also topped the salad with sliced apples, candied pecans, chevere cheese with honey (a new find at Trader Joe's), and a homemade maple syrup salad dressing from Rachael Ray. It was definitely a nice departure from my typical tossed salads and the flavors were perfect for this beautiful autumn season we're in.

For dinner, I soaked black beans over night to make black beans and rice inspired by Joy. She puts curry powder in hers, and I have to say, that just takes a typical black beans and rice meal to a whole new level. It's very subtle, but the curry gives it a little bit of a sweetness. I also sauteed some onion, garlic, purple bell peppers, oregano, and white wine vinegar and threw it all into the pot with the black beans and let them all simmer for about an hour. Talk about making the whole house smell divine. While that was simmering, I braised the greens from the CSA box the way Heather does (amazing...thanks for the idea!), and grilled some chicken breasts to top off the black beans and brown rice. Once on the plate, I topped the beans and rice with a little of the cheddar cheese.

It sure feels good to have a full belly of fresh and good for you food. I've been feeling a little under the weather the past couple of days and this was one of those afternoons that I was really leaning towards not cooking. But I'm so tired of eating out and eating junk that I forced myself to get my butt in the kitchen and get to work. It's amazing how cooking can be therapeutic at times. Not only did I pull it off, I'm already feeling better for having eaten well.

I've got a plan for the acorn squash that we got in the box. I'll post about that later.
Now...if I could just get myself to the gym I'd be feeling a whole lot better about life. Unfortunately, that part of my life has really taken a hit since homeschooling. I just have to make the time.

Can't wait to see what we get in out boxes this week!


Scott and Sara said...

This meal looks great! The CSA boxes sound really cool. Enjoy all the fresh food!

Joy said...

That plate looks wonderful. I have been on antibiotics for a few days and feeling icky too. I had a good meal last night and I know just what you mean. I want to try that salad recipe - YUM!