My favorite part about summer is cooking with the abundance of fresh and delicious produce. Living in the PNW has it’s perks!
This year I signed up for my first ever CSA box. After researching several different options, I decided to go with the CSA box from Food for Lane County. Supporting any local farm is fantastic, but I felt a special connection to this program and the extent it gives back to the community.
The produce is grown on the Youth Farm, a 5 acre urban educational farm and a work experience site for youth. Each year, a crew of teens works to grow over 100,000 pounds of organic produce! They also receive gardening training, leadership, financial management and nutrition while growing food for FFLC and for the CSA Program and two produce stands.
Pretty awesome, right?
I used to plan meals based on recipes I saw or things that sounded good. I’d then go to the store and pick up the necessary ingredients. Now it’s completely opposite! I see what I have for the week, then I get to be creative. It’s pushed me out of my comfort zone in the best way ever, plus I’m using ingredients I haven’t cooked with before! Kohlrabi anyone??
Here’s what came in my box this week:
Mixed greens, cabbage, basil, cucumber, bok choy, broccoli, radishes, fennel, red leaf lettuce, and kale.
And here’s what I’m cooking:
I can’t wait to turn that massive head of cabbage into sauerkraut! Fermented foods are good for your gut and are a tasty addition to any meal. I try and include foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, sourdough bread, and yogurt in my weekly diet.
Pan-Seared Salmon with Baby Greens and Fennel by Fine Cooking
Fennel is a new one for me. Since it’s going to be really hot this weekend, salads all I’m going to want to eat. Pan-seared salmon won’t heat up the house too much and I can use my fresh greens and fennel. I can’t wait to try this recipe!
Chicken Kale Waldorf Salad by Ambitious Kitchen
I have lots of avocados just begging to get used and some leftover goat cheese. This salad by Ambitious Kitchen looks delicious! I picked up some skirt steak at the market that I’ll use instead of chicken. The perfect way to use up all of that beautiful kale!
Sichuan Bok Choy Tofu Stir-Fry by The Wanderlust Kitchen
Bok choy plus some tofu hiding in the back of my fridge screams stir fry! I don’t usually follow a recipe when I make stir fry because it’s pretty simple, but this recipe by The Wanderlust Kitchen is similar to my method.
Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
Here’s another one of my favorite hot weather foods. I didn’t follow a recipe, but this one is similar. I tossed julienned cucumber, thinly sliced red pepper, basil, cilantro, kale, edamame, and green lentil noodles in peanut sauce. Leftovers for lunch are even tastier!
Lentil Taco Lettuce Wraps by One Green Planet
Since I’ll probably get a little bit tired of salads, these lettuce wraps will be perfect! Also another great hot weather food.
Lemon & Broccoli Pesto Pasta by Ciao Veggie
I have a bunch of leftover pesto in my freezer which will be perfect with fresh broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes. Pasta is another one of those meals where I rarely follow a recipe, but this one by Ciao Veggie looks amazing!P.S. tip on freezing sauces like pesto: put it in an ice cube tray then add it to a baggie so you have little servings that can easily be defrosted.
And don’t forget ice cream!
I recently bought an ice cream maker because ice cream is just so fun to make (and eat!). Since I have lots of overripe bananas, I’ll probably whip up this delicious roasted banana coconut milk ice cream this weekend, too! I can’t wait.Have a great weekend, everyone!
What’s cooking in your kitchen?
Let me know in the comments!