Friday, May 3, 2013

Food for Spring

Contents of CSA box from March

I've been slightly obsessed with food lately, constantly bookmarking new recipes to try and making sure that we use the contents of our weekly organic CSA box before they go bad in the fridge or pantry. I'm ashamed to say that I allowed the latter to happen far too many times during the winter months (I always waited too long before using the leafy vegetables and I ended up with too many radishes). But I am trying my best this season, especially since, sadly, it looks like our vegetable garden will not be as fruitful this year.

(Regarding our garden: this year, we used heirloom seeds from a company we'd never tried before and planted in late March, but so far only the corn has sprouted. It's possible that the winds and heat here were too harsh for the seeds. My husband started some of the seeds inside the house which seem to be doing well, so we'll try to transplant the seedlings soon. Crossing my fingers that they take, especially the tomato plants. I absolutely LOVE tomatoes in the summer and want to make more homemade marinara sauce.)

Here are a few of the dishes I enjoyed recently and also managed to photograph.

Parmesan frittata from The Elliot Homestead. I managed to fit it all (8 eggs plus filling!) in my cheap but great little 8-inch Lodge cast-iron skillet. This was the perfect opportunity to use the fresh kale and spring onion from my CSA box. I didn't use fresh rosemary or sun-dried tomatoes; instead I used 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning and 3 Tbsp chopped roasted red peppers. Very delicious. The Parmesan cheese was great. I ate it all in a couple of days for breakfast.

Panko-crusted tilapia topped with my own simple tomato-and-onion relish recipe. The fish came from Trader Joe's frozen section. While it was heating in the oven, I diced a quarter of a large yellow onion and chopped one medium vine-ripened tomato. I sauteed the onion until tender, almost caramelized. Then I added the tomato and salt to taste. I cooked them together until the tomato was warmed (I don't like my tomato falling apart), and then I topped the fish with the mixture. Add some chopped fresh Italian parsley if you have any, and lunch is served.

Tomato salad recipe from Martha Stewart. I didn't have beefsteak tomatoes so I used 4 vine-ripened tomatoes instead (I could easily have used 5 or 6 given the amount of dressing). I also used 1 whole small red onion instead of shallots, since marinated red onion is one of my favorite things. I love the dressing on this. This is one refreshing salad. I ate half in one sitting and ate the rest another time (neither my husband nor my son likes raw tomatoes, their loss). This dish would be great to bring to a potluck.

3 Minute Chocolate Paleo Mug Cake from Delighted Momma. Well, mine would have been totally paleo except I added 1-2 Tbsp of milk before nuking in the microwave to make it more moist. Without the extra liquid the mug cake is a little dry/thick. Maybe you could add water, coconut milk, or almond milk instead. Otherwise, it has a very good flavor. This has nothing to do with my CSA box. I just wanted to share because it's dessert, and dessert should always be shared.

Now I just have to focus on all the beets we've been getting. I think I avoid cooking them because they stain so much. I don't have that excuse for carrots, however, and those are also languishing in my fridge. Sigh. Better get cracking on those recipes. Maybe I'll make beet and carrot desserts.

xo, Gladys

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