Sunday, January 30, 2011

the csa: or in other words, how not picking out my own produce helped me plan meals faster than usual

ok, so, joining a csa is one of those things i've been meaning to get around to for about a year now. and last tuesday i finally remembered to make my bountiful baskets order, and nate brought it home yesterday. what a thing of beauty. we chose to get an organic basket which was ten dollars more ($25) but still a great deal, and in our box we got:
a bunch of spinach
a bag of carrots
some broccolini
a bag of yams
a bag of pink lady apples
some blueberries
a bag of celery
2 red peppers
some haricot vert (green beans)
a really unripe spaghetti squash
grape tomatoes

at first i was like, "whoa. fennel." i've never cooked with fennel before. and i have to admit that i didn't recognize the spaghetti squash as a spaghetti squash until i saw the sticker on it. (i knew it was a squash, ok? i just didn't know what KIND of squash!) after looking at everything i started to feel kind of overwhelmed. but then i decided i paid 25 bucks for this stuff, hence, my goal for the next couple of weeks is to not let any of it go to waste. so i hit my recipe books and the internet and i came up with this menu for the week:
monday: fried rice (to use up leftover rice and ham) with chinese celery salad.
tuesday: tuesday is sometimes taco night around here (partially because it's fun to say, "TACO TUESDAY!" and partially because it was suggested in my new favorite cookbook, the family dinner, which i must post about later.)so we'll have tacos with our leftover meat from last taco tuesday with some black beans or pinto beans mixed in.
wednesday: baked rigatoni with italian sausage and fennel, but instead of using the jarred marinara sauce the recipe calls for, i'm going to make a sauce by roasting the csa grape tomatoes using this recipe. on the side: sauteed broccolini. (i'm so excited because in this one night we'll be using tons of our csa produce! all the fennel, one red pepper, all the grape tomatoes, and all the broccolini.)
thursday: breakfast for dinner, buttermilk pancakes, bacon, and green smoothies (using our csa spinach.)
saturday: invite in-laws, make italian-style meatloaf muffins, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans with bacon and crispy garlic butter, which is a menu completely from rookie-cookie's blog, which i highly recommend (every recipe i've made of her's has turned out great--so maybe i'll make one of her dessert recipes and make it a rookie-cookie night!
sunday: sunday is nate's cooking day, hooray for a night off!

wish me luck! although it's quite simple this is a pretty ambitious menu plan for me considering i haven't been feeling amazing lately. but family dinner and making good quality food for my family is one of my highest priorities lately...maybe i'll tell why in a future post.
what are you making for dinner this week?