Mary’s Kitchen: How I’ve Gotten The Most Out Of My CSA

Mary’s Kitchen: How I’ve Gotten The Most Out Of My CSA

Back in June, I received my first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) delivery, or “box”. Every week since then I’ve been making the most out of my CSA bounty.

Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA as most call it, is a fantastic way to share in the harvest from local farms. Basically, you help the farmer by buying a harvest subscription. The fee is usually paid up front for a predetermined set of weeks, during which time the farmer shares their harvest with you. It’s a win-win for everyone! The farmer has a ready sale and you receive fresh, local seasonal foods. Most CSAs are fruits and vegetables, but there are also meat, eggs, cheese or honey programs.

It’s been a GREAT experience! Every week I receive fresh, local organic vegetables. Veggies picked either the night before or that morning. Now that’s fresh!! It’s all seasonal produce, so each time I pick up my share it is a little different than the week before. Most of what I’ve received are veggies that we usually enjoy. But there have been some new varieties for us like white cucumbers, orange tomatoes, Swiss chard and watermelon radishes.

How I've Gotten The Most Out Of My CSA
Making the most out of my CSA with Farm Fresh Three Bean Salad

How I’ve Gotten The Most Out Of My CSA

Oh I’ve been busy! 😀

I’ll admit, some weeks have been a challenge for me to figure out what to do with all the vegetables. But I always seem to find a way to use them all up in a week.

Each week has included different lettuces. That means more green salads for us. In fact the very first week we received a couple different lettuces and some strawberries. So I threw together a salad with slices of those strawberries, added some chopped pecans and made a quick balsamic vinaigrette. Perfect quick side dish! Later salads have included fresh blueberries and local goat cheese.

Speaking of blueberries, I was also able to purchase some in bulk along with my weekly delivery. I bought 2-10 pound boxes!!! I’m a crazy woman, I know 😉 How’d I make the most out of my CSA that time? I froze most of the berries, so I could enjoy them later in the year. A few quick breads were made for the freezer as well. I also created a couple new blueberry recipes – Nuts & Oats Blueberry Muffins made with whole wheat and wheat germ and Overnight Breakfast Steel Cut Oats.

There’s been kale to put in my morning smoothies. I’ve even tried kohlrabi in a smoothie. But wasn’t a big fan of that, so I stuck to eating them raw as a snack.

We had Zoodles! I created a side dish of spiralized zucchini noodles and fresh tomatoes that was absolutely FANTASTIC!! Watch for more zucchini recipes in the near future.

I’ve been eating a lot of sweet corn, which is always a treat! And we’ve been enjoying sauteed snap peas.

Today I tried my hand at making sauerkraut in mason jars with the head of cabbage I received. This is a new kitchen skill for me. Hopefully it turns out. We love sauerkraut, so if this batch is good I’ll be making lots more.

And tonight I’m making Chicken Alfredo with the fresh organic broccoli I received a few days ago, and another side dish of yummy green beans.

It is absolutely fair to say we’ve been eating a lot healthier. Not just because the veggies are certified organic, but because we’ve been better stocked with fresh goodies. I’ve actually been able to double my daily fruit and vegetable servings! Now I’m getting at least 2 servings of fruit and 4 servings of vegetables almost every single day 🙂

You can’t help but to eat healthier when you receive a CSA delivery!

How I've Gotten The Most Out Of My CSA
A delicious vegetarian dinner with zoodles and fish 🙂

What’s Your Favorite Way To Enjoy Fresh Vegetables?

Do you have any vegetable recipes you’d like to share or are looking for? Feel free to reach out to me through the contact form on the right or on my Contact page. I’d be happy to speak with you.

And don’t forget, if you aren’t sure of what you are doing in the kitchen but want to eat healthy, you can sign up for my FREE Cooking Basics how-to-tips! You’ll get an email every week for an entire year. That’s 52 helpful kitchen tips! Everything from how to make the perfect fried egg to different ways to prepare vegetables and how to freeze those fruits & veggies you find at the market 🙂

Enjoy and Be Healthy!

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Why Eat Foods High in Antioxidants?

Why Eat Foods High in Antioxidants?

Why eat foods high in antioxidants? Great question! A little science review first, though. Scientists have found that the body forms unstable oxygen molecules. Free radicals. Every cell produces tens of thousands of them each day. Electrons normally exist in pairs. A free radical is basically an un-paired electron. Because it isn’t normal to for it to… Read More

Mary’s Kitchen: Why I Quit Sugar

Mary’s Kitchen: Why I Quit Sugar

I quit sugar. To be specific, I quit processed sugars, artificial sweeteners and alcohol on October 17th. It’s been a week now and I’m feeling pretty good. The first few days were interesting, I’ll admit. But I think my body has adjusted by now. But before I get into all that, let me explain… Why… Read More

10 Ways to Sneak Fruits & Veggies Into Your Family’s Diet

10 Ways to Sneak Fruits & Veggies Into Your Family’s Diet

Finding 10 ways to sneak fruits and veggies into your family’s diet is not as hard as you may think. We all know by now that we should be eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. But knowing and doing are two different things. Right? Sometimes it is just not easy… Read More

Mary’s Kitchen: San Francisco and Fall Harvest Time

Mary’s Kitchen: San Francisco and Fall Harvest Time

In September I flew out to San Francisco for a long weekend vacation and returned to the start of fall harvest time. It is now October and the harvest is going strong. San Francisco While in the San Francisco area, I of course saw some of the things tourists go to see – Fisherman’s Warf, Golden… Read More

Why Buy Locally (Especially Fruits and Vegetables)

Why Buy Locally (Especially Fruits and Vegetables)

Why buy locally, especially fruits and vegetables? For so many reasons, but here are my top picks! Healthier for you Fruits and vegetables that you purchase locally have been picked when they are ripe and ready. When the nutrients are at their peak. Produce shipped across country is usually picked slightly before maturity so it won’t spoil during… Read More

Mary’s Kitchen: Not Enough Time – Busy In The Kitchen

Mary’s Kitchen: Not Enough Time – Busy In The Kitchen

There just is not enough time in the day! As the summer draws to an end, everything seems to get crazy busy. The last two weeks have been a whirlwind. I’ve been to a couple different markets, brought home some new treats to try and canned some treats to enjoy later. I had the best… Read More

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food: Questions to ask your farmer

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food: Questions to ask your farmer

Teacher always said, “Ask questions”. No question is a dumb question. If we don’t ask, we won’t know. The same applies at farmers’ markets and buying from local farmers. Ask questions. Get to know your farmer and get to know where your food comes from. Most Important Question to Ask Your Farmer or Market Vendor Can I… Read More

Mary’s Kitchen: Blanching & Pickling In-Season Green Beans

Mary’s Kitchen: Blanching & Pickling In-Season Green Beans

Mary’s Kitchen is seeing green beans (and yellow) everywhere! Afterall, July is the season for beans! It’s been a weekend in my kitchen. I picked up 20 pounds of mixed organic beans. I spent all Sunday morning processing them. But before I tell you about that, remember the local organic zucchini I picked up last… Read More

Mary’s Kitchen: My Local Market Shopping and How I Live Healthy

Mary’s Kitchen: My Local Market Shopping and How I Live Healthy

Mary’s Kitchen is a new blog post for me – about how I shop my local markets and use those treats to live healthy. You’ve seen my farmers’ market pictures on FaceBook and Instagram; you’ve read the blog posts about what seasonal produce you can find. You even might have tried some of recipes I… Read More

Enjoy Delicious July Seasonal Foods and Some Fun Facts

Enjoy Delicious July Seasonal Foods and Some Fun Facts

It’s time for July seasonal foods! A new month with more fruits and vegetables in season! That means more fresh deliciousness to pick up at your local market. But instead of talking about their nutritional value… Let’s look at some interesting facts about them! Apricots – One apricot tree can produce fruit for 25 years… Read More

How I Live Sustainably: My Independence Starts in The Kitchen

How I Live Sustainably: My Independence Starts in The Kitchen

How do I live sustainably? Well before I answer that, let’s talk about what SUSTAINABLE means. According to Webster, it means using a product without permanently destroying or depleting it. It can also mean a lifestyle that uses sustainable methods. Okay…so what are “sustainable methods”? Other words to describe SUSTAINABLE are: Green, Renewable, Liveable, Supportable,… Read More

Share Your Local Market Pictures: #LocalMarketHaul

Share Your Local Market Pictures: #LocalMarketHaul

Share your local market pictures! Let’s show off the beautiful, delicious, healthy, organic, naturally grown fruits and veggies. Show us the free-range, pasture-raised, antibiotic-free, non-GMO, meats and eggs we buy or see at the market. Share pictures of your harvest on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram with #LocalMarketHaul! Most everyone loves to take pictures of their food 😀 It’s… Read More

Defining Organic Food Labels – Clarified Rules and Regulations

Defining Organic Food Labels – Clarified Rules and Regulations

There is a lot of confusion out there about organic food labels. According to the USDA (United States Department  of Agriculture) National Organic Program, Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs,… Read More

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month!

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month!

To celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, I went to a local farmers’ market. Well actually…I went because I needed some fresh goodies, but what better way to celebrate food made by Nature than at a market?! While I was there, I overheard a conversation between two women – one apparently was a teacher and… Read More

Explaining the Distinctions Between Organic and Local Foods

Explaining the Distinctions Between Organic and Local Foods

Are you as confused as I am about what’s organic and what local foods are? A couple weekends ago we were visiting friends and my girlfriend confessed to me that she is very confused and frustrated about organic foods. “You too?!” If a package comes from a large industrialized farm, is it still as “organic”… Read More