Thursday, April 12, 2012

What's in the CSA box

I've recently started getting CSA boxes. CSA—or community sponsored agriculture—is this nifty idea whereby you buy a subscription from a local farm (or in my case, from a local online grocer that buys from local farms) and each week you get a box of veggies that are freshly picked and in season. The subscription ensures that farmers have a regular outlet for their product, and that you are always supplied with lots of fresh veggies. Veggies that are in season and local have a much higher nutritional content than veggies that have been shipped in from out of town. For more on that phenomenon, see my recent article in Austin Fit Magazine.

For me, getting this box every week is like Christmas. Full of pretty colors, interesting new things to try, lots of possibilities for interesting and healthy meals. I originally was a little phobic about whether I'd be able to eat all my veggies within a week, but I have to say I've done pretty well. Which means my body has also done pretty well.

Anyway, I've decided to take a page out of Food Craft and take photos of my CSA box ingredients, along with my ideas for what to do with them. So, without further ado...

Straight from Poteet, Texas, these guys are beautiful, fat, and sweet. Strawberries tend to go bad quickly, so I'm trying to eat them in the next couple of days. So far I've been cutting them up and enjoying them on my morning cereal. I've also dipped one (or two) in the leftover icing from those cupcakes I made the other day.

I will admit, when I first saw this peaking at me in the box, I thought it was kale, and I was really excited. I realized as soon as I pulled it out of the box that it was a head of lettuce, and although that's not as exciting to me as kale, I'll still make some good salads. I also imagine I'll use this for my "Happiness Bowl" from Radiance 4 Life (sadly, this recipe is not posted online, which is really unfortunate for you. You should totally buy this book just for the recipe).
Green Onions
I've never seen green onions quite so fat and delicious as these. I plan to put some of these bad boys in my aforementioned Happiness Bowl, and I am also contemplating making spring rolls (which is a great way to use up a lot of veggies). I also feel like I need to sautée the bulbs and put them in something...again, probably the Happiness Bowl.

Swiss Chard
I've already eaten about half of this, and it's only been two days. How, do you ask? In my green smoothies! I love them, especially after a workout. Easy to consume and a natural energy boost. If I want to get in extra protein after a workout, then I just add a few tablespoons of hemp protein powder.

Here's where I'd love your input. I am not all that crazy about radishes. Perhaps that's because I've never known how to cook and eat them. I've typically had them cut up in salad, and I find them bitter and boring. I remember in my college course, "Business in the French Speaking World," we learned that the French like to eat raw radishes with butter. That's not really an option for me either. So I'd love your suggestions, if you have them.  And if I find a recipe I like, I'll post it here.

Texas Grapefruit
I have an ongoing love affair with this fruit. When I was a kid, the only way I could tolerate grapefruit was with a whole bunch of sugar poured on top. Texas grapefruits, eaten in season, are the sweetest treat around. I could easily eat two in a day (and I have). Needless to say, I was pretty happy to see that there are still some Texas grapefruits to be had. I'll be eating my two grapefruits with my breakfast for the next few days (or for a snack, if the spirit moves me).

A nice big bag o' broccoli accompanied my box this week. I'll probably steam it, sautée it, or try out a recipe from Delicious Vitality that I just found. 
I think the real question here is, "What won't I use this for?" Also, it's kind of cool to see what garlic looks like in its entirety, as opposed to the pristine white bulbs we buy in the grocery store.

Once again, I'll be soliciting your advice on what to do with turnips. I've never cooked them before. I think I've had these before in roasted form, so I'll probably do that again, unless anyone else has other suggestions?

So: There you have it! This week's CSA box from Greenling. If I manage to eat most of this by next week, I'd say I'm doing pretty well. Stay tuned for an update (and hopefully some recipes!)...


  1. Love it! I am excited to read your blog, Court!

  2. Greenling is awesome and I'm likely to be their customer again after a hiatus since Mike's political work is coming up and I'll be solo parenting mostly. It is VERY convenient when your food comes to you with no trip to the grocery. I LOVE you sharing the box! Greenling also is good at sending out suggestions/recipes for what to do with your yummies. I have a suggestion for the broccoli from Buenos Aires Cafe and now I don't make it any other way. Boil water and have a bowl of ice water standing by. Once it's super hot, take tongs and dip the broccoli for about 3-5 sec until it turns bright green, yank it out, and hold it in the ice water about another 3 sec and then, squeeze a little lemon and wha-la!