CSA Inspirations

picadilly farm logo

This spring and summer, I have the pleasure of being part of the Picadilly Farm CSA.  Each week, I get to pick up a box of goodies, grown organically in New Hampshire.  This past Wednesday was my first pickup, and the box was packed with salad greens, radishes, hakurei turnips, cilantro, bok choy, pea tendrils and some lovely red Russian kale. 

I started getting creative from day one - I love the challenge of being presented with ingredients and having to dream up recipes.  I had a rotisserie chicken in the fridge and so we had whole wheat rollups with lettuce, cilantro, chicken, grated sharp cheddar and enchilada sauce.  The next night was steamed tofu with bok choy and pea tendrils over rice, with a sauce made from low-sodium soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, tabasco and chopped cilantro.  It was tasty, and it was pretty:

rice bowl

Saturday night, I sauteed the kale and added spicy Italian chicken sausages, tomatoes and garlic and served that over whole wheat penne with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  Delicious comfort food - and the kale was tender and sweet.

sausage and kale

And last night, it was giant salads.  Red leaf lettuce topped with halved cherry tomatoes, sliced radishes and salad turnips.  I added some buffalo chicken meatballs from Trader Joe's (pretty good and heat 'n' eat to boot!) and this delicious ranch dressing, inspired by a recipe in Eating Well magazine:

1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 T. white wine vinegar
1/2 t. granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 c. chopped fresh chives


Combine all those in a jar and shake it up - preferably a little bit before dinner so that the flavors have some time to mesh . . . it's creamy, tangy and a great compliment to the spicy meatballs and crisp lettuce.  Here's what the final creation looked like:

buffalo chicken salad

 So hearty, and healthy . . . and once you start making your own ranch dressing, you'll never long to go lookin' for that hidden valley again!

Eating veggies this fresh spoils a girl . . . even for premium produce the likes of Whole Foods'.  There is just no substitute.  I'll keep filling you in on what I'm doing, and for even more inspiration, check out this great blog, A Bushel of What

Do you belong to a CSA?  What're you whipping up from your spring share?