One of the most rewarding (and fun!) parts of being in a CSA is trying new vegetables and new recipes! CSA is a great excuse to experiment with new techniques, and an amazing way to get more variety into your diet.
Our Tried and True Exit Strategies
So don't just stick to old stand by recipes when there's a whole world of cooking to explore. Stay inspired throughout the CSA season by looking outside your own ideas or the cookbooks you've used for years.
Instead, we suggest you:
- Check out our weekly CSA newsletter for recipes
- Find a couple of favorite blogs who use a lot of fresh, seasonal produce. Or, check out our recipes here on the website!
- Treat yourself to a new cookbook or two every CSA season.
Our Favorite Cookbooks and Blogs
- Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden
- Bounty from the Box by Mi Ae Lipe
- The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini
- How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
- From Asapargus to Zucchini by FairShare CSA Coalition
- 101 Cookbooks
- Alexandra's Kitchen
- Dishing up the Dirt
- Half Baked Harvest
- Minimalist Baker
- Naturally Ella
- Smitten Kitchen
- The Leek & The Carrot
- Copy Me That
Trying New Things
One of the best things about being a part of a CSA is the opportunity to try new vegetables you aren't familiar with and experimenting with different combinations of food and flavors. Keep things extra interesting by selecting recipes that aren't the kind of thing you usually would make.
Some of our more experienced CSA members like to intentionally select recipes that are outside their "standard wheelhouse" or that use a common vegetable in a different way. For example, instead of just roasting or grilling summer squash every week, opt for something unique like a squash pie.
Take Inventory and Set Priorities Before the Next CSA Delivery
CSA can feel overwhelming when the vegetables just keep coming. When you're receiving a box week after week, things can really start to pile up.
Before the next week's box arrives, it's really important to take stock of the veggies you still have laying around and try to eat, wash, prep or even freeze those things that you know you likely won't eat within the "fresh window." These techniques will help you feel less overwhelmed when the next box arrives.
Our Favorite Exit Strategies
- Whipping up a stir fry is a great way to use up odds-and-ends before the next box arrives.
- Roast it, or explore the art of the sheet pan meal! Whenever you don't know what to do with the last two vegetables left in your fridge, I urge you to give roasting a try. There is hardly a vegetable that doesn't taste amazing roasted and if you can turn it into a sheet pan meal, all the better! Google "sheet pan meals" if you aren't familiar. It is a serious game changer.
- Whip up some pesto! You can make pesto out of pretty much any green you receive from the farm (basil, kale, collards, spinach, green garlic, scallions, etc) .And if you make too much, it freezes up great!
- Try making green cubes. At our farm, we love green cubes. This is where you take a bunch of blanched greens and puree them together and then put them into ice cube trays. Then add them to sauces or soups as you please.
- Just grill it! When you aren’t sure what to make with something or short on time- toss in some olive oil, salt, and pepper and grill it. Works great for MOST veggies (even some of the more unique ones). Plus who doesn't love the simplicity of a summer dinner alfresco?
- If all else fails... Throw it in the freezer. One of the absolute best ways to deal with produce you don't think you'll get to is utilize that freezer. You would be surprised how many vegetables can go straight into the freezer (no blanching or prep required): kale, spinach, chard, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beets, peas, corn, onions, shredded zucchini. Toss them in freezer bags or freezer-proof containers and get them into the freezer. Or, if you're feeling ambitious you can take things a bit further, If you have too much produce at any given time, chop it up and freeze or prep sauces for freezing so you can lessen your waste!
- Play around with meals that incorporate many veggies. Think quiche, frittata, pizza, pasta, chili, tacos, spring rolls, scrambled eggs, etc.