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CSA Box Week 9: Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

Posted 8/14/2018 4:13am by Jenna Untiedt.

Summer is here in full swing and the thought of fall is right around the corner. Days are full as we all are trying to fit in every last summer activity before school starts back up or the fall temperatures begin to arrive. Trips to the cabin, days on the lake, afternoons at the pool, bbqs with family and friends are all starting to fill our last days of August. It is a little scary to think that the MN State Fair starts next week. Where did summer go? Even with the thought of Fall right around the corner, there is plenty of summer left in terms of vegetables. Let’s break down what is in the share this week and what you can do with it all:  

Sweet Corn: Absolutely fantastic flavor. What is summer without sweet corn for dinner at least once a week for dinner? Or more like 3 or 4 nights a week in the Untiedt household. Even if you can’t get to eating all the corn each week, you can cook it, cut it off the cob and freeze it for use in the winter. Frozen corn is great to add to soups, stews, or stir frys in the dead of the winter when sweet corn is nonexistent.

Baby Bok Choy: A new vegetable for many of you, but don’t be afraid. Bok choy is a very tender green that has an extremely mild flavor. I enjoyed the bok choy in a stir fry with mushrooms last night for dinner and it was delicious. Simply wash well, cut the end off about an inch up from the bottom and break away all the leaves. Sautee mushrooms in a pan with some sesame oil, garlic and ginger. Once the mushrooms are soft, add the bok choy leaves along with a tbsp or two of soy sauce and cook until leaves are wilted an soft- about 4 minutes. Great side dish to any meal!

Romano Beans: I don’t like to share these beans when I make them. I prefer to eat them as a meal by themselves and maybe save some for lunch the next day. Whether boiled or sautéed, these have fantastic flavor. Add the shallots and garlic in and you have a restaurant level side dish.

Watermelon: As always, we cannot see inside the melon. If we could, it would be absolutely AMAZING, but we can’t. If it is less than satisfactory, let me know and we will definitely get it replaced next week. Slice in half and eat directly from the shell, or slice into pieces and enjoy throughout the week. These definitely do not last long in my household.

Grape Tomatoes: The ultimate grab and go snack, salad topper, or salad ingredient of their own. If you find yourself backed up on tomatoes from your share or garden, simply throw them in a pot and cook them down to sauce for use later in the season. A little work now goes a long, long ways. Yes, grape tomatoes work as well for sauce making!

Slicing Tomatoes: The weekly BLT sandwich is happening for sure at my house. These past few weeks have been a bit crazy, so I do have a couple of soft tomatoes on my counter-definitely not bad, but not ideal of sandwiches. I will dice them up, throw them in a pot and cook down into a reduced sauce and put into a container for use in chili or hot dishes this winter. A tip: Premeasure how much is in each container you do! It makes it WAY easier come time to use the freezer items.

Zucchini: I made a SUPER easy Unstuffed Pepper hot dish last night that will last my parents all week. The recipe only called for green peppers and onions, but I snuck in both zucchini from the share as well-a great way to get extra vegetables. If hot dish isn’t your jam, try making some zucchini noodles or just slicing the zucchini in half and grilling them. Peppers: So many uses, but one way to use both in one setting is to make the Unstuffed Pepper Recipe I made last night. It is versatile and super easy! Find the recipe here: https://www.rachelcooks.com/2015/11/02/healthy-stuffed-pepper-casserole/   You can even add zucchini and fresh chunks of tomato to make the recipe even better! Give it a try and let us know what you think.  

Onions: Well, the yellow onion can be put into the pepper hot dish! Otherwise, the perfect burger topper or addition to any stir fry for the week. As for the red onion, I am going to try and pickle mine. I follow a ton of food and wellness bloggers on Instagram and pickled red onions are the new thing they are all trying. So, I’m going to try as well so I can enjoy later in the week with my roasted beets!

Beets: Red and Golden for your enjoyment. They may be a bit soft due to the heat, but they are 100% edible and perfectly fine. Personally, I think that roasting them is the way to go. You can then eat them plain or add to a salad. A great grab and go snack for me.  

Strawberries: I am not sure I need to give you ideas on what to do with these as they are usually gone within minutes of getting home. I do recommend eating them within the first 24 hours as they don’t have great shelf life. Enjoy MN berries while you can!  

There you go, week number 9. We are over half way through the season, but honestly, I think the best is yet to come. We are getting to the weeks of the season where there are true arguments in our office about what actually gets to go in the share. Sometimes the box is just too small, but we will make sure you all enjoy the bounty of MN produce that is yet to come.

As a shameless plug, today is Primary Day in Minnesota. Get out and vote! I work on a campaign in my ‘free’ time, so this political season has been interesting to watch unfold. No matter what your views are, it is extremely important to exercise our right to vote.

Have a great week and enjoy your share!