Thursday, October 16, 2008

CSA Meals - Week 20 and beyond

This post is long overdue, but I'm glad that I've had a little time to reflect on the CSA and try to finish all of the produce from the final weeks. There's still a cute butternut squash and a few delicious sweet potatoes in my kitchen that I'm holding onto until I'm inspired by a recipe (or until Davy's not opposed to sweet orange food anymore).

Some of the meals we had with the remaining vegetables were: pasta with turkey sausage, broccoli rabe, roasted tomatoes, and pesto; grilled mahi mahi, peppers and onions (on the new grill pan!), rice and salsa; tacos with the leftover mahi and peppers; baked sweet potatoes with arugula and roasted chicken from Ellwood Thompson's; Tuscan bean and barley soup; arugula sauteed with roasted tomatoes and white beans eaten with brown rice and a poached egg; baked winter squash filled with cheesy orzo, boiled kale with garlic, onion and bacon.

I guess it's no secret that I'm happy I decided to participate in a CSA. Learning about different vegetables and experimenting with different preparations has certainly had an impact on my cooking and the way I think about buying produce. As disappointed as I was that our share was ending, I'm inspired to continue using ingredients I wouldn't have before and checking out what's locally grown at Ellwood Thompson's.

Whole Foods came to Richmond a few months ago, and I avoided it for several weeks until I found an online coupon for $5 off a $25 or more bill at the store. It was the perfect excuse to walk up and down every aisle and buy things I "needed" for upcoming meals - fresh pasta, a whole chicken, and specialty canned soup to name a few. For a venue that's not gigantic, Whole Foods has a wide variety of produce, prepared foods, and pretty much everything else. It's nice to know that the option is there if I want it, and Ellwood Thompson's is expanding to compete with the chain. Hopefully the bigger version of the natural grocery store will tide me over - at least until the next CSA.

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