Even with my huge garden, I decided to join a CSA from a local organic farm this year for the extras that I don’t have enough room for or that I can’t get to grow before the squirrels and raccoons steal it from me. (Believe me I am beyond frustrated when it comes to those furry thieves!) Every Monday I help with the CSA drop and see all the smiling, excited faces that rush to the door to collect their bag of goodies. I watch intently as most members dig through their bags and look up completely puzzled and ask “What is this? Or how do I cook and eat this?” So this inspired post is for everyone that has joined a CSA or gone to a farmers market and had no idea what to do with what is staring back you.
Spring is filled with all the good for you greens and root vegetables that usually make it a little harder for us to think up of recipes or different ways to cook or incorporate them into our everyday diet. These yummy veggies are loaded with nutrients, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Dark leafy greens are actually the number one vegetable for fighting and cancer prevention. So load up on them!!
So in my big brown bag of goodies for the past couple of weeks I’ve had Swiss Chard, Curly Kale, Luciano Kale (Italian), Turnips, Squash, Zucchini, Carrots, Radishes, and Spinach. Lets start with Turnips! Turnips seem to baffle a lot of people but they are super simple to cook and since they are a root vegetable they tend to be on the sweet side so they pair well with carrots, beets, and parsnips.If you’re not big on vegetables but want to start incorporating them into your diet, start with the sweeter root vegetables. You can bake them in the oven, just add salt and pepper and any kind of herbs, fresh or dried you like. You can also roast them on the grill in some foil with olive oil. Add them to soups, bake them, or puree them down like mashed potatoes. If you’re looking for a good root vegetable recipe, here is my recipe that was published in “Charleston Home Magazine” in 2009, page 113.
Here come the greens! Swiss Chard, Curly Kale, Luciano Kale, and Spinach. A lot of people are turned off by greens but they can be prepared in so many ways and the benefits are endless. Saute them, add them to soups, make green juice, use them in salads or slaws, even steam them. Mix greens with other vegetables, smother them on top of quinoa, wheat berries, or lentils for a filling and healthy meal. Juicing and including greens in soups can mask the taste if you’re not too fond of them but still want to get all the nutrients and minerals from them. Check out my Green Juice Recipe.
Squash, Zucchini, Carrots add them to salads, soups, roast, bake, saute, grill, mix them together, throw in some onions and garlic, even enjoy them raw! Keep checking back for other seasonal vegetable recipes throughout the summer, fall, and winter. If you have any questions about any vegetables, how to cook them or you want to share your recipes, experiences, or comments. I’d love to hear from you! Eat Local & Happy Cooking!