Thursday, July 17, 2014

Community and Creativity

This summer we're taking part in our first CSA (community supported agriculture) and receiving organic, heirloom vegetables from PayDirt Farm.

We've had one delivery so far and get our next one tonight, so I figured I better get posting! In our first one we received: spinach (3 varieties: Monstrueux de Viroflay, Nobel Giant & Gigante D'Inverno), radishes (2 varieties: purple plum & long scarlet Cincinnati radish), lettuces (3 varieties: Merlot, Merville de Quatre Saison & Vivian), chard (2 varieties: rainbow & Bright Lights - both colourful chard) and a bunch of onion chives. Just like when we received the CHEP Good Food Box in the past, I find it's always exciting to get items I might not typically purchase and then find recipes to use everything up.

I found lots of great recipes to try and shared some of our lettuces as well. Since we are only 2 adults in our household (which is why we're getting a 1/2 share), I also had to be creative and made a few big batches to freeze so that we can continue to enjoy these vegetables in the future. I made a pot of my New Year's Eve soup with chorizo from Pine View Farms, and a spinach soup from Farmgirl Fare that we now have as lunch leftovers from the freezer. I discovered that I prefer a creamier spinach soup or something more hearty - lesson learned.

I also made a swiss chard with raisins and pine nuts side dish that we enjoyed with grilled parmesan zucchini and shrimp. I 'failed' at feta, red pepper, and spinach quinoa bites in that they became squares as I couldn't get them to hold a bite/ball shape (I added a few bread crumbs, but decided squares would suffice).

I also made a crustless quiche with spinach and mushrooms, I find it's a great supper one night and breakfast the next, and we always have eggs in our fridge, so it's an easy dish for me to throw together and a great way to include more vegetables.

I served a lentil, swiss chard (in place of kale), and barley salad at the lake on the weekend and it was delicious, I will definitely make it again. It was also a great way to use some barley which I often have sitting in the pantry for addition to a soup in the fall/winter.

We enjoyed a variety of salads and sandwich type items with our lettuces and shared the fragrant and flavourful chives with my parents on baked potatoes.

Needless to say, I've been busy in the kitchen (which I love) and I still have lots to share with you. I look forward to posting our upcoming CSA vegetables and how I decide to use them in my kitchen.

Are you gardening, going to a local farmer's market, or participating in a food delivery or CSA program this year? 

Share in the comment section to help others know what's available, what's possible, and what you like to create this time of year.

To your health & happiness!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching