We will be picking up our 5th CSA basket of the season today. Already we’ve gotten to experience a few new items, mixed with an abundance of old favorites. Last week’s newbie was snow peas. I know many of you have probably been eating snow peas since the dawn of time but we have not (the occasional pea pod in our Chinese take-out does not count). This was our first time to prepare them at home and I promise, it will not be the last. Those things are delicious!
Last summer, we made the mistake of signing up for two CSA programs, thinking that we would eat what we could and freeze the rest for the winter. Along that same line, we shopped the Farmer’s Market weekly and visited countless local farm stands. AND we grew a garden with 32 tomato plants! We had so much food that we had to buy a second freezer. But when winter rolled around, we found it hard to get to the freezer foods because we were knee deep in rescued foods too.
When both of our freezers became packed, we starting contemplating moving items to my mom’s house. Then one morning in the middle of January, the insanity of it all settled in. We’re not prepping for a zombie apocalypse. We aren’t feeding a family of 10. We don’t live in a place that gets 8 feet of snow and we aren’t 50 miles from the nearest town. We live next door to a Walmart for Pete’s sake! In short, we weren’t going to starve to death if we didn’t have food in the freezer. We soon realized that without some concerted effort, there was just no way the two of us were going to plow through our back stock before this summer. Let’s just say, February and March were the “squash and okra” months at our house.
This year we made some adjustments. We sold our older freezer. We signed up for one small CSA basket and we planted a very small garden – 8 tomato plants, 4 squash, 7 pepper plants, and a short row of cow peas and green beans. That leaves plenty of room for weekly visits to the market and farm stands. Our overall goal though – to eat 100% of what we receive in our basket (or buy at the market) each week. No freezing. We do plan to can and freeze a reasonable amount of produce for winter but we’ve decided to see what our garden yields before buying anything extra.
Our small garden:
To make the most of our basket contents, we’ve been trying some new recipes:
Snow peas with squash and pepper
You can serve this as a side dish or atop of bowl of brown rice for a complete meal. The recipe is easy – 1-2 squash (cubed), 1 pepper sliced in strips, and a pound of snow peas (washed and trimmed). Saute in avocado oil until the squash is tender. Season with salt and pepper (or your favorite seasoning).
Angie makes an amazing quick homemade pizza crust using this recipe but any pizza crust will work. We topped ours with onions, bell peppers, spinach, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 minutes and enjoy!
I was searching for “what to do with an avocado you forgot you had” when I came across this recipe. It has absolutely nothing to do with an avocado but Google obviously thought it was something I needed to try. Thanks, Google! I made a few adaptations to the recipe though. I left out the cheese and instead of half and half, I just added more water. I also subbed in trattole noodles for the cheese tortellini. While it may seem like I was avoiding the use of dairy, in reality, I just didn’t want to go to the store. The soup was great.
When in doubt, we make a salad. This one contains green and red leaf lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, broccoli and radish sprouts, and a boiled egg. Everything except the vinaigrette dressing came from our basket or the Saturday market.
So far, so good on our goal. We haven’t stuck anything in the freezer to avoid cooking it and we are eating 90% of our basket items in the week they were received. Of course, the real test will be the next two weeks when Angie is in Texas and it’s just me and the basket. Hopefully we don’t get a dozen squash!
What are some of your favorite recipes for seasonal fruits and veggies?
Food Waste Update
- Wasted Food this week: 1 ounces
- Total Wasted Food in 2018: 51 ounces
- Rescued Food this week: 93 US pounds
- Total Food Rescued this year: 279.02 US pounds
Keep up with our food finds in real time by viewing our Food Find Gallery.