Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

CSA Inspired Dinner July 24, 2012

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 10:46 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I have been picking up our CSA every Tuesday for eight weeks now.  Karla and I been pretty good about trying to use everything, but we’ve built up too much produce and eggs in our fridge for two people.  I decided it would be a great idea to host a CSA inspired dinner to use up some items and sneak in some girl talk while we’re at it!

I emailed a couple friends of mine with a link to a handy tool my friend Hollice introduced us to called Doodle.  It’s a website that helps you coordinate a date that works for everyone in a group.  All you do is go to www.Doodle.com, click the ‘Schedule an Event’ button and fill out your information.  Then you’re free to choose the possible dates for the event.  You can add the times you are thinking about and the site gives you a link to a poll with all the scheduling options.  It’s super simple to use and helps avoid everyone responding with what they can and can’t do leaving the host to piece together which date will work.

I feel like finding a date that everyone can attend is the hardest part of a get-together.  Once we settled on Monday the 23rd my next agenda was planning the menu.  I collected a lot of good recipes in my decision making, but in the end this is what was served:

Appetizer:  Veggies and Dip *Beets, Broccoli, and Cucumber

Main:  BBQ Chicken & Frittatas *Eggs and Potatoes

Side Dish:  Zucchini/Squash bake *Yellow Squash, and Basil & Coleslaw *Cabbage

Dessert:  Carrot Cake *Carrots and Eggs

 In all, I used 9 different items {I was impressed with myself} from the CSA deliveries.  Along the way I learned that the simpler, the better.  If I made the CDA ingredients the star of the dish, they didn’t need much dressing up.  Below is each item on the menu along with it’s respective recipe.

Veggie Dip

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • Pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients together with a spatula.  This is a super simple recipe and flavor, but I felt it put the vegetables on display.  I cut up broccoli, cucumber, and a yellow pepper {not from the farm}, then I sliced up some beets placed them on a pan sprayed with olive oil and salted them a bit before putting them in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes {flipping them once at the 20 minute mark}.  These came out like potato chips…nice and crisp!

I don’t have a picture or recipe for the chicken or frittatas.  Pretty much just threw those two together.  I seared the chicken on the stove and then put it in a pan with BBQ sauce and baked it for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.  The frittatas I did similar to the mini egg cups I talked about in this post.  Placed a little cheese and a bunch of veggies in a ramekin and added some beaten eggs with a little milk.  Those were in the oven for probably 20 minutes at 350 or until they solidify.

Zucchini Bake <–Original Recipe can be found on Kayln’s Kitchen Blog 

  • 2 medium-sized zucchini, cut in slices or half-moon slices
  • 2 medium-sized yellow squash, cut in slices or half-moon slices
  • 4 T chopped fresh basil
  • 4 T thinly sliced green onion {I upped this from 2 T}
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup shredded cheese {I used a mixed blend}
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan {I used a packaged find grated blend}
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8″x 8″ baking dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. Wash the squash and cut in slices or half-moon slices. Wash basil, dry and finely chop. Wash, dry and slice green onions.  Combine the sliced squash, chopped basil, sliced green onions, dried thyme, garlic powder, and 1/2 cup cheese and stir together until the veggies are coated with cheese and the herbs are well-distributed. Season with salt and black pepper. Put the mixture in the baking dish and bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes.  When the zucchini is nearly cooked through, take the casserole dish out of the oven and sprinkle over the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Put the dish back in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned and zucchini is fully cooked- Serve hot.

Coleslaw: <–Original Recipe can be found on A Southern Fairytale Blog

  • 1 small head of green cabbage {She used bagged stuff, which is simple, but I had this cabbage on hand}
  • 1/4 C white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp spicy mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper (or 1/2 tsp if you don’t like a peppery bite)

Combine the vinegars, sugar, olive oil, spicy mustard, salt and pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle rolling boil, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved.  Place this mixture aside and allow to cool.  Once cooled, pour the vinaigrette over the cabbage and place in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours before serving {I left mine overnight and it was still delish}.

Carrot Cake <–Original Recipe can be found on Martha Stewart

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup packed grated carrots {I added double}
  • 1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 6-cup loaf pan. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in carrots. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn cake out onto a wire rack, and let cool completely.  To make frosting: Using mixer, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until fluffy. Frost top of cooled cake.

I definitely enjoyed trying out some new recipes and can’t wait to find even more in the CSA book Hollice gifted me.  It’s an A to Z encyclopedia of sorts for items commonly found in CSA shares.  It is a great resource and gives information on the item like how to store it, along with recipes to try out.  I’m pretty sure that will come in handy for some of the things we find in our share.  I really did not know what to do with Chard until I read a bit about it in that book.



3 Responses to “CSA Inspired Dinner”

  1. inherchucks Says:

    Everything looks scrumptious! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Come and link up to this week’s CSA Link party…http://inherchucks.com/2012/07/19/whats-in-the-box-35/. Looking forward to having you there!

  2. Tammy Says:

    Your squash bake rocks!

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