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CSA Week 5: Jenna's Helpful Hints and Tricks

Posted 7/17/2018 4:24am by Jenna Untiedt.

We are back for another week of CSA share ideas. I think I am in recovery mode from farm tours over the weekend, but I am trying to pull myself together to actually cook this week. I am not going to lie, I am just like a lot of you last week was a week that take out was way easier than cooking dinner. This week leads to another weekend of farm tours, but with one under our belts, preparation should be just a tad bit easier.  

Thank you to all who came out for the tours. It was a warm weekend, but I don’t think it was the hottest we have experienced. We hope you learned lots and can share what you learned about local production with others around you. So many people are unaware of where their food comes from or how it is harvested. Every piece of produce on our farm is picked by hand, that is a lot of labor. It is easy for me to get angry when people complain about prices of produce, but I need to remember that very few people visit farms or understand what goes into production. Please, share what you have learned with others.  

Not only do we need to thank you for taking time to visit the farm, but we need to thank all of our employees who put in a lot of extra hours over the weekend. From Paul and Jerry for providing incredible tours to Megan, Stuart, and Sue for making sure food was available for all attendees, it truly does take an incredibly dedicated team to pull off these events. Also to all the people in the background that helped to back up other portions of our jobs, THANK YOU. We hope you all enjoyed your tour, and hope that those who are signed up for this coming weekend enjoy the tours as well!  

Alright, let’s get into what is in the share this week:  

Chub Cukes: Well, refrigerator pickles are a really great option to use up your chubs this week. They are easy to make and great to eat….does it get much better? A little tip, if you make a batch, you can always use a food processor to slice the chubs. This helps to speed up the process. For reference, I was able to make 35 batches for tours in under and hour last week thanks to my food processor!  

Onion: If you don’t add this to your refrigerator pickles, try grilling it in pieces and adding to a burger or even just as a side to the rest of your dinner. They are so incredibly good that you won’t want to miss out. If you don’t plan on using it right away, definitely store in your refrigerator to give it the longest shelf life.  

Zucchini: I think the temperatures are back to a place where I feel like I can turn on my oven again. My favorite thing to do is to simply slice in small rounds, toss in olive oil and a bit of my favorite seasoning (anything truly works), and roast at 400 until soft. These zucchini make a great side dish or truly a main meal if you don’t feel like cooking anything else!  

Kohlrabi: Well, this was by far one of the most talked about vegetables on the tours. So many of you love it, and would never have had it if it weren’t for the CSA. You can pair the kohlrabi and broccoli to make a nice stir fry this week. Or, you can add the kohlrabi to your zucchini when you roast it. Or, just slice and eat raw! So many different options to choose from.

Slicing Cucumbers: These are my favorite pre-dinner snack. By the time I get home at night, sometimes I am so hungry I need something to hold me over until dinner is cooked. Sliced cucumbers with some hummus is always a great snack. You can always add these to your refrigerator pickles as well!   Slicing Tomatoes: Tomato Sandwiches, BLTS, taco toppings, the opportunities are endless. Occasionally, the tomatoes may be a spot when shipped, but they are still edible! Or, if you let it sit on your counter and it develops a spot, it is still edible….don’t let it go to waste. Rarely do we eat #1 tomatoes around the farm, but we take tomatoes from the #2 pile that aren’t saleable….I promise, they are still good.  

Carrots: Snacks, roasted, shredded into the Crunchy Chicken Salad recipe I am including…the opportunities are truly endless. If you roast the carrots, my favorite way is to toss in olive oil, roast and drizzle with a bit of honey you received earlier in the season. They are sweet, crunchy and you will be left wanting more.  

Broccoli: I am pretty sure I tell you each week that I just roast the broccoli until crispy and a bit burnt, but it is truly my favorite way to eat it! I made it again for dinner last night and I only got a couple pieces before Farmer Jerry finished the bowl…..I guess I will have to make my own again later in the week.  

Green Beans: Please remember that each one these beans is picked by hand! It takes a long time to pick green beans and is very labor intensive. As Farmer Jerry said, these aren’t the highest quality because of the extreme heat, but they are still well above what you can find in the grocery store in my opinion. Boiled, raw, or sautéed in a bit of butter and garlic….these are a true summer treat. Enjoy them while they last!  

Cabbage: I definitely fought a bit when Jerry said we were putting two heads of cabbage into the shares this week, but I promise you all, I have a recipe that uses up both of them and will give you dinner and maybe even leftovers for a few days depending on family size. I made a Crunchy Chicken Salad last night and it was delicious. It is quick, easy, and truly delicious. The recipe will be included below. If the salad isn’t your jam, you can always grill the cabbage, make sauerkraut, or make cabbage rolls.  

There you go, hopefully a few ideas to help you through your share this week. I really hope to cook my way through the box today after I leave work. I have the opportunity to take a leadership class one Tuesday morning a month this year, and today is the day. Because my day starts at 2:30am, I am going to work from home after my morning class, hopefully giving me a bit of time to play around with the contents and share with you all online throughout the week!    

Crunchy Chicken Salad:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (you could use a rotisserie chicken instead if you would like)
  • 2 packages of ramen noodles, chicken flavored if you use the packet-not necessary though
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 head green cabbage-sliced thinly
  • 1 head red cabbage-sliced thinly
  • 6 green onions
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 can mandarin oranges (if desired)  

 

  • Dressing
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste (or 2 tsp dried ginger)
  • Salt to taste  

 

1.     Cook chicken, shred and chill.

2.     Turn oven to 400 degrees. Break ramen noodles into small pieces and pour almonds onto cookie sheet. If you want a bit of extra flavor, feel free to sprinkle the noodles and almonds with 1 packet of seasoning from the ramen noodles. I know its not healthy, but boy does chicken ramen noodles take me back to college dorm life. Bake for 7 minutes, stirring half way through so the they don’t burn.

3.     Mix together Dressing contents, set aside.

4.     In a giant bowl, mix together the salad contents, tossing so it is all mixed up. Pour dressing over the top and mix together more with noodles and almonds. Enjoy! Serve cold and soon after mixing.

5.     While it keeps overnight, and is probably better the next day, the noodles get a bit soggy. If you know you are going to have leftovers, save some of the noddle and almond mix in a container and add to the salad the next day.