Cooking with a CSA

   This morning started with a 3 mile recovery run to beat the rain and a loud, screaming request by Braxton that Daddy drop them off at daycare today.  He’s really so sweet to me sometimes!  Fine with me!  I was able to listen to my music instead of Raffi’s “Baby Beluga” for the 234th time.  Just kidding.  I listened to it anyways.  Raffi is awesome.

My Sunday long run was 7 miles at marathon pace.  It was fine and dandy, no complaints.  But I mean, I have to add about 20 miles to that, so I’m just enjoying this while I still can.

Oh, and in Baby news: She is getting a little big for her britches.  She now wants to pull herself up, and is only happy when she gets there.  Forget crawling, she says!  Observe:

Goosie standing

I must preface this “cooking” post by saying that I am zero percent a cook.  The recipes I make are as easy and quick as they come.  But sometimes when we’re busy, to be able to cook homemade, that’s what works!  I am going to try to find at least one new recipe with each pickup to try.

Summer is the best because we can get all of our produce by either picking it, buying it at a farm market, or from our CSA or your own garden (I do wish I had the space and knack and time for my own big garden.  Someday!).  Even Wegmans, ahh Wegmans, sells locally grown food.  A CSA is great because it offers a variety of organic foods that I would never otherwise buy while supporting local farmers.  My goal is always to never let any of it go to waste.

Thursday was our first pickup of the season from Mud Creek Farm in Victor- new owner and new location this year.  I have been sharing the share with my Mom for three years now, so we all go together and it is sweet and wonderful and jolly.  With the long winter this year, the share started later and will run later into the year this time around.  It offered many great veggies already!  As always, our favorite part is the pick-your-own:)

pickup3 pickup4 pickup2 pickup1 pickup

Here is the revolutionary way I plan on using everything up.  Stop at your local farm market or store or your own garden sometime and try out some of these fun things!

Bok Choy, Swiss Chard, Beet Greens, and Garlic Scapes: I literally threw them all into a pot with some olive oil and sautéed them.  Braxton helped me with this!  He LOVES to help me in the kitchen.  I get him a little plastic knife, and he does a really good job, actually.  Now, I definitely won’t say “Oh my son just LOVES his kale…even more than candy!!”  This is not true.  But from my scientific observations, having him involved in the prep gets him interested in the food enough that he’s 20% more apt to at least try it.  This also keeps him happy and busy for about 20 minutes before he starts whipping the veggies around the kitchen at the dog.
cookingDisplaying WP_20140705_007.jpg

Beets: Boil, Peel, add Italian dressing, Eatitup yummm.
Lettuce and Peas: Salad and tacos and just plain.  I like to add the peas to Braxton’s Goldfish snack bowl as an added bonus he usually ignores!
Kohlrabi: Cut it up and eat it raw with hummus.
Parsley, Cilantro, Basil, and Scallions: Just add to things randomly (see, I’m an amazing chef).
Radishes: I do not like them, I have tried to like them, but I can’t.  So Mom took them and she does her thing.

And for one recipe this week- one of my favorite things to make!  We got a lot of kale, so I made quinoa mac and cheese.  I substituted spinach for kale and it was delish! This dish still uses a lot of butter and cheese (which is why it’s so good!), but the quinoa is a cool variation on a classic.  This is truly a really good meal- even Braxton eats it more than 20% of the time!! 🙂  Happy Rainy Monday!!

Quinoa “Kale” Mac and Cheese

quinoa

Ingredients:

  • FOR THE CASSEROLE:
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1-½ cup Whole Milk
  • 2 dashes Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 8 ounces, weight Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 cups Cooked Quinoa (cooked According To Package Instructions)
  • 2 bunches Fresh Baby Spinach
  • FOR THE TOPPING:
  • ½ cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
  • ¾ cups Panko Bread Crumbs

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium saucepan add 3 tablespoons of butter and flour and heat over medium heat. Whisk continuously until a paste forms. Whisk in milk. Increase heat to medium/high and bring to a boil whisking the whole time. Stir in the nutmeg, salt and cheddar cheese. When cheese sauce is smooth remove from heat.

In a large bowl mix together the cooked quinoa, cheese sauce and spinach.

Transfer the mixture into a casserole dish (I used an 8 inch cast iron skillet). Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

In a small bowl mix together the butter and bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

Bake on 350 F until bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and enjoy!

http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2013/01/quinoa-spinach-mac-and-cheese/

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