The Meal Deal

CSA dew abides community supported agriculture

Back in the olden days, when we first began subscribing to a CSA, we couldn’t identify half the produce in our bag. Every week, the post-pickup conversation went something like this:

Me (pulling out kohlrabi):   What fresh hell is this?
Brad:   ….

At which point, I would place the Martian-looking kohlrabi on the dining room table as a centerpiece, half wondering if it would get up and walk away in the middle of the night.

Now we’re old pros, playing “Name Those Greens” with the best of ’em. And just to make sure I plan meals that incorporate all that fresh veg, I’ve learned to put together the week’s menu on Saturday.

So here’s our schwag from today’s pickup:

— 1 bunch baby beets
— 1.5 lbs. squash
— Stone ground grits
— Collard greens
— 1 lb. green beans
— 1 bunch carrots
— 1 pint strawberries

What to do with all that goodness?

— Strawberry breakfast smoothies
— Leftover steak with roasted beets and sautéed beet greens
— Squash casserole, collard greens, green beans, and cornbread with pepper jelly
Pasta with carrot pesto, honey roasted carrots
— Mozzarella and roasted kohlrabi crostini with crispy lemons (using kohlrabi from last week)

The grits, we’ll keep in the fridge for later. They’ll last for a year.

The steak’ll be Sunday lunch. The rest will make three dinners with leftovers for three lunches.

I often hear folks say they can’t commit to a CSA because it’s too expensive, too much food, or too much of  a time commitment. But we’ve found the opposite to be true. The allotment is worth every penny of the $26 weekly price tag, but not so much that two people can’t easily finish it off and still enjoy a couple of dinners out. In fact, it cut way down on our grocery bill, eliminating trips to the store except for toiletries and dairy products. And the grab-n-go leftovers make morning lunch-packing a snap.

So check out the CSAs in your neighborhood, and give that kohlrabi a shot. Q-36 space modulator not included.

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