Thursday, July 24, 2014

CSA Inspiration: Five Delicious Recipes

What would you make with my CSA harvest? I made a dinner, a dessert, and three salads. 

I don't know about you but every time I open my CSA box, I salivate and the wheels start spinning about what to make! Well, honestly, every time I visit the produce aisle that happens as well! I bet that the way I feel about my CSA fruits and veggies is how gardeners feel about their own. Though they probably feel a lot more satisfied because they did it whereas I simply ordered (and supported) several local farmers. Either way, we are voting with our dollar and eating more of the [real] rainbow. I hope to grow my own soon with an aeroponic system but until that becomes a reality, I will continue to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible. I even bridge the gap with 25

When I looked at this box, the first recipe that came to mind was roasted veggies. I mean really, how can you go wrong with roasted veggies? I threw in some salmon that was marinated in a basil 'sauce.' Not pictured was roasted potatoes in the same sauce. I roasted the potatoes separate because they needed more time in the oven. 

Before we go any further, give me a moment to share the recipe for the salmon and veggies.


+ Choice of protein (I chose wild caught salmon)
+ Veggies from your CSA (or your own garden's) (I chose onion, squash, zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes); rinsed and dried (DIY wash here #1)
+ Thai Basil (10 leaves; or use 1 tbs of dried basil (any variety))
+ 1 garlic clove, smashed or 1 tsp of minced garlic
+ 1/2 cup of oil of your choice (I chose EVOO)
+ Couple pinches of salt, divided


1. Let's make the basil 'sauce' first. Prepare the basil leaves - rinse and dry (leave whole). Dice 3 small tomatoes (or 1 large) and smash the garlic then dice. Put all together in the bowl and let it marinate while you prepare the other veggies and salmon. 

2. Now that your 'sauce' is made, you'll prep the potatoes. I used the 3 potatoes in the image above. Pre-heat the oven to 375*. After the potatoes have been cut into 1 inch chunks, lightly salt then toss them with some of the basil sauce (about a tablespoon). Place in the oven uncovered. You will need to make sure to flip the potatoes in 20 minutes for even cooking / browning.

3. While potatoes are cooking, prepare the rest of the veggies: onion, zucchini and squash. Dice into 1 inch chunks like you did with the potatoes. Lightly salt the zucchini and squash to keep from browning.

4. Prepare salmon. Salt. (Salt is used in cooking as it helps bring out the flavors of the food and acts as a natural preservative. If you're concerned about sodium, use sea salt as a little is really needed to achieve the taste and purpose.) Place the salmon in the center of the pan (I used a cake pan) then add the veggies all around it. Pour the basil 'sauce' over all evenly. Save about a tablespoon of the oil for the potatoes as they may dry out during cooking. (You can cook the potatoes covered and they'll turn out softer. I was going for a home fry (crunchy) texture.)

5. Check on the potatoes. Do they need flipping? Has the 'sauce' dried out? Add more as needed. 

6. Place the salmon and veggies uncovered in the oven and cook until the fish flakes with a fork or about 25 minutes. Potatoes will be done at this time too. Remove the basil leaves if you don't want to eat them whole. 

** Making a veggieful salad? Prepare the ingredients to your liking as your food is cooking. **

I was going to add that I crave vegetables in the summer but the more I thought about it, I crave vegetables year 'round. I am a fan of veggies more than fruit but I prefer them prepared not raw (unless they're in a salad). That brings me to the next part. I made a veggieful salad to boot. I didn't have time to make my own vinaigrette (this post is forth coming) so I opted for glass bottled organic vinaigrette. [Salad #1.]

I say that this dinner is a winner not only in that it tasted great but it provided me EIGHT different veggies! There were 4 with the salmon: onions, tomatoes, zucchini, and squash and there were four with the salad: lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, and (not counted twice) tomatoes. 

For dessert, I made parsnip and carrot cake (like this). Parsnips seem to taste best (IMO) in a dessert. They take on a completely different taste (and texture) when baked. So, if you don't like parsnips, you may like them in this dish!

The following day, I made corn on the cob. I don't do anything special with them hence no image. I boiled them in a slightly salted water with a tablespoon of butter. Then I slather them more butter and S&P. That's it! I also used the corn to make a salsa like this one. If we choose to eat corn, learn why we should strive to eat organic only here. [Salad #2.]

Lastly, I made a fruit platter. This is summery isn't it? Strive to eat the [real] rainbow daily! I added more fruits I had on hand. [Salad #3.]

Last note worth mentioning: I recently shared with another family that priorities may need to be shifted if one thinks that real foods are 'expensive.' When families save their money the entire year to go on vacation but yet eat poorly throughout the year, I think we've got our priorities twisted. If given a choice, I'd choose budgeting for real foods than to go on an elaborate vacation. I firmly believe that if you want something, you'll find a way to pay for it. Plus, who knows, you may be able to eat well every day and go on a vacation to enjoy the fruits of your labor. My end point is this: Choose wellness!

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

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  1. I love the salmon and veggies idea!

  2. My husband is a die-hard salmon lover! This looks really tasty. Hopefully, my garden will yield lots of veggies for me to try this....

  3. Thanks so much for sharing these great tips with the Let's Get Real party.

  4. I love my CSA veggies too. I've hardly bought any veggies from the grocery store this summer so far, which is great. I've been supplementing my share with the farmer's market mainly...we go through a ton of veggies here! Thanks for all the wonderful tips!

  5. Hi Jessica,
    When the CSA box arrives it almost feels like Christmas in July! It's so much fun creating healthy and delicious meals with these wonderful, fresh food items so thank you for sharing your delectable recipes with us at the Plant-based Potluck Party. I appreciate it.