Tag Archives: CSA

Radish Dip with Cilantro and Queso Fresco


I find it amazing the way my tastes have changed in the past few months.

Cutting back considerably on sugar and gluten has had a pretty profound impact on the way I eat and the food that I crave. When I used to plan a meal for friends and family, I almost always started with dessert. I could dream up wildly decadent desserts by the dozen. The only thing holding me back was my limited time in the kitchen.

Now, dessert rarely even crosses my mind. I enjoy a sweet treat here and there, but it’s not something I find myself dreaming up while I’m in the shower or out for a walk. It’s left me open to a whole new realm of inspiration when it comes to recipes.

I find myself giving our weekly CSA share a lot more consideration before I write things off as “just a salad” or eat the vegetables just to be done with them. Something as simple as a bag of fresh spinach or a bunch of spring onions will leave me dreaming up a zillion different ways to use them.

Last week’s box included a lovely bunch of fresh radishes. I previously didn’t care much for radishes, but this year I can’t get enough of them. After enjoying them in slaws and salads the past few weeks, I decided that I wanted to make a radish dip for the Mother’s Day picnic we were hosting over the weekend.  I had seen a few recipes online, so I bookmarked one that looked good and added the ingredients to my grocery list – sour cream, feta cheese, and dill. Continue Reading

Grilled Zucchini Caprese Salad

I’ve had a change of heart…. This summer, I am embracing salads.

In the past, salads were just a way to get rid of the plethora of lettuce that fills our CSA box all summer long. And, I’ve never been a fan of lettuce. This year, though, I have realized that salads don’t have to be full of lettuce. I realize that the rest of the world embraced this concept a long time ago. I guess I’m just a bit slow. But, this realization has completely changed the way I’ve been planning meals. Continue Reading

Simple Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce

Most years, I attempt to grow tomatoes in the garden.  In the past, I’ve never had luck with anything but cherry tomatoes.  I’ve been lucky to get one or two ripe tomatoes off of my plants throughout the entire summer.  This year, however, I seem to have developed a knack for tomatoes.  I started heirloom tomato plants from seed in the spring and then moved them outside to a new raised bed that my hubby built for me.  The plants are now about 6 feet tall and full of tomatoes.

For the longest time, none of the tomatoes were ripening. I figured that was just my usual luck wth tomatoes.  But, naturally, after returning home from Yellowdog’s surgery last week (we were out of town for two days), I had about 10 ripe tomatoes on the vines.  And, they keep on coming. Between the heirloom tomatoes and yellow grape tomatoes growing in my garden, along with our two CSAs, I’ve had more than my share of tomatoes in the last week.

Of course, now that I actually have lots of tomatoes, I haven’t had much time to deal with them.  So, I’ve been roasting them to make a simple and easy tomato sauce that works on all sorts of recipes.  The recipe is so simple that I almost didn’t share it.  But, I’ve made it a few times now, and we’ve really enjoyed it (both for a pizza night with friends and on some roasted veggie lasagna).   In fact, I have a batch of tomatoes roasting in the oven as I’m writing this blog post.  This time, I plan to freeze the sauce so that we have plenty left to enjoy throughout the winter.

I’ve included approximate measurements for the recipe, but this is one where you can really just wing it.  There’s no need for exact measurements.  Use whatever tomatoes you have on hand and feel free to throw in extra herbs or other veggies you may have from your garden or CSA.  The great thing about this recipe is that roasting the ingredients brings out great flavors and thickens up the sauce without any work on your part.  Then, just throw it in the blender, and you’re good to go! Continue Reading

Challenge: Crisps, Cobblers, and Fruit Desserts (Kitchen Bootcamp July)

For many of you, summer is now in full swing. That means that fruit season is also in full swing.  I know we’ve been enjoying all of the fresh and local fruit that we’ve been receiving from our fruit CSA so far this summer.  And, there is plenty more to come!

So, when Mardi from eat. live. travel. write. recommended the Crisps, Cobblers, and Other Fruit Desserts chapter (chapter 21) from The New Best Recipe for the July challenge, I was on board right away. Crisps and cobblers happen to be some of my favorite desserts, especially this time of year.

The New Best Recipe includes some great cobbler, crisp, shortcake, and pandowdy recipes (among others!) that serve as a great starting point for this month’s challenge. I especially love that the recipes leave a lot of room for creativity… You can mix up the flavors with whatever fruits are looking good at the farmer’s market.  And, you can dress them up with homemade ice cream, spiked whipped cream, and any dessert sauce you are in the mood for making! Continue Reading

Deep Dish Zucchini and Tomato Pizza

Last week, our CSA box had one tomato in it – the first tomato of the season.  Tomatoes have come a bit early this year (along with many other things) due to the unusually warm spring that we had.  But, i’m not complaining. Each year I wait for the first local tomatoes. You can’t beat the vine-ripened tomatoes that we get from our CSA.

I knew that I had to do something special with the tomato.  Sure, we could have just eaten it on a salad or with some mozzarella and basil.  That would have been delicious.  But, I wanted to make pizza.  I love eating pizza made with fresh slices of tomato instead of tomato sauce. They just taste like summer to me.  I load up our pizzas with whatever fresh veggies I have on hand.  No two pizzas are alike, and I love them that way.

On this particular evening, I opted to make a deep dish pizza in my cast iron skillet. I had leftover pizza dough in the fridge from a few nights before, so I knew that dinner would come together quickly. Along with the tomato, I sliced up some of the zucchini (both green and golden) that were keeping the tomato company in the CSA box earlier that afternoon. Some ricotta cheese and leftover garlic scape pesto brought it all together.

We savored every bite of the pizza, enjoying the first tastes of the summer tomatoes. And, I look forward to many more summer veggie pizzas to come! Continue Reading