Wednesday, June 08, 2011

CSA Meals - Week 4

My creativity in the kitchen seemed to have departed with the month of May, at least for the first half of the week.  The produce we received in Week 4 was varied and included some of my favorite vegetables, broccoli and spinach, but I didn't make anything special with them.  The familiar veggies lent themselves to habitual preparations. 

We ate some of the leftover quiche with sauteed spinach for dinner one night, which is one of the most common ways that we eat spinach.  On Thursday I made a salad for lunch using some cucumber, and both the romaine and more bitter curly endive for a nice mix of flavors.  We ate fajitas for dinner, made with garlic scapes, onion, sweet peppers, and leftover grilled chicken.  

Our green side was steamed broccoli - another standard at our house.

After two days of attending festivals (the Greek Fest and Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival), things got a little more interesting.  I made a stir fry with bok choy, squash, and the garlic scapes to eat with some boxed macaroni and cheese.  

I used some of the ingredients I'd purchased for my attempt at fish-fragrant eggplant last year, including dark soy sauce, bean paste with chili, and rice vinegar.  The dish tasted way better than eggplant, and had a spicy, rich flavor while still tasting fresh.  I would definitely use this technique again with different combinations of veggies, and it would be easy to add in meat or seafood and rice to make it a full meal.

I made this Lentil Kohlrabi Salad on Monday evening because I was at a complete loss as to how to use my kohlrabi.  I've eaten it in the past, mostly roasted with root vegetables, but was never really wild about it.  The salad recipe caught my eye because I had almost everything for it at home already, and my friend came over with a loaf of cheese bread to round out our dinner.

After several years of putting sunflower seeds on salad, I got sick of them and no longer keep them in the freezer.  I used a combination of chopped pistachios and peanuts for crunch and to try to mimic the soft nuttiness of sunflower seeds. 

Considering how often I use cumin for Southwest/Mexican food, and sesame oil for Asian food, I was a little hesitant that the combination of the two would result in a pleasurable taste.  Somehow they blend together perfectly, both brightening and enhancing the lentils and kohlrabi.  This is another dish that would be a great meal for a hot summer night and packed lunches on the following day(s).  

I didn't use the remaining lettuce or curly endive, but the Lentil Kohlrabi Salad re-inspired me to stay away from my fallback kitchen habits and continue to try recipes that highlight the fresh produce we're getting.    

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