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I count myself a lifestyle blogger however, many of my posts cover deeper subjects including my battles with food, my struggles with the past and body image. I try to be as authentic as possible and I don’t sugar coat how I see things. 

The CSA Box and Recipes

The CSA Box and Recipes

The CSA Box and Recipes

This past spring we signed up for something different, a vegetable delivery! Using something called CSA, which stands for Community Support Agriculture. Our friend, Zack brought it to our attention because it was something he was interested in doing but didn't want to get it on his own. So we decided to do it as a group, splitting it three ways.We got our box through Ridgeland Harvest, choosing the standard box option. Spanning over the next twenty weeks we got a weekly box of some amazing food!

Cost Break Down

20 weeks $575.30 standard box = 28.77 per week = $9.59 per person of veggies

My Thoughts

I want to say the first half was really hard, due to the overwhelming amount of food. We were not prepared and a few things went bad because we just weren't sure what to do with all of it. Then we started to get the hang of things. I have a ton of cucumber, zucchini, and squash in the freezer to use up over the winter, plus pasta sauce, pesto, and cabbage rolls. I've included all the recipes below that we've made. When it's all said and done, at the end of the 20 weeks we are going to miss it. Getting the fresh veggies was big. It made, healthy choices easier, it also made eating out not really an option, because the fridge was always full. I have dozens and dozens of pictures of my salads from my first few weeks, because that was all I did. Now I've gotten creative with cooking them, mixing the veggies with our pasta's and frying them up into different dishes. The best way to see all the yummy food I've made is definitely on snapchat, seriously my snapchat is usually full of food prep and cooking!

The Things We Made

Please note that not all these are full recipes. A lot of them were random things we threw together or found in old cook books and combined from the internet. If I can I will link, but that might not be possible in all situations. Or any situations.

Fried Eggplant

CSA Box

Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch slices Drop into a bowl Add to bowl 2 TBSP olive oil, 1 tsp salt and pepper, mix well Spread out on baking sheet Bake at 400 for 10 minutes flip 10 Enjoy

Rosemary Chicken

I don't have the full recipe, we basically stuffed a 4 pound chicken with rosemary branches, lemon and garlic. Baked it in the oven for an 1 1/2 hours. Then added sliced potatoes and more rosemary. It turned out okay, but wasn't my favorite thing to make. Probably won't do it again.

Cabbage Roles - link

2/3 cup water 1/3 cup uncooked white rice 8 cabbage leaves 1 pound lean ground beef 1/4 cup chopped onion 1 egg, slightly beaten 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Bring a large, wide saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add cabbage leaves and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until softened; drain. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, 1 cup cooked rice, onion, egg, salt and pepper, along with 2 tablespoons of tomato soup. Mix thoroughly. Divide the beef mixture evenly among the cabbage leaves. Roll and secure them with toothpicks or string. In a large skillet over medium heat, place the cabbage rolls and pour the remaining tomato soup over the top. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring and basting with the liquid often.

Zucchini Cake

We made this and we were so proud because we didn't use nuts as none of us like nuts in cake!! Then we bite into it and discovered nuts would have made it perfect and without them it was missing something. Zucchini cake is MOIST, so moist it's crazy.

2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups white sugar 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 4 eggs 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 3 cups grated zucchini 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs and oil, mix well. Fold in the nuts and zucchini until they are evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely before frosting with your favorite frosting.

Strawberry Pie

I also don't have the recipe for this one. But it's basically pie crust, with strawberries. The only thing we did wrong was add 2 cups of white sugar to it. Making for some excessively sugary pie. We all had one piece and that was it. It wasn't a success but lesson learned. strawberries don't need sugar...

Tzatziki Sauce

My recipe is basic and boring. It's all tossed into the food processor and blended until I feel it's done. For the next week we pour it over everything. Meat, veggies, chips. It's yummy and healthy.

CSA Box

2 Cucumbers 1 500 ml Greek Yogurt Dill to taste Garlic to taste

Cole Slaw

Recipe from Zack's Dad, who has spent years perfecting the recipe and you can tell by the end of the recipe it's very much done by feel and taste, but it tastes amazing!! As someone who doesn't usually like cole slaw, I was quite happy with how this turned out and how quickly we ate it up.

CSA Box

Six cups Shredded cabbage One cup shredded carrot Half cup shredded green or red pepper One large tomato, chopped Half cup to a cup mayonnaise Quarter cup or so cider vinegar (white is OK) Several spoonfuls of sweet pickle relish Tablespoon celery seed (optional) Tablespoon poupon or other yellow mustard Half teaspoon dried dill Salt and pepper to taste Mix the veggies well, then blend the last ingredients listed together into a dressing, and finally mix the dressing and veggies thoroughly. You can add the salt and pepper last a little at a time, to get right balance. Careful not to add too much salt. Can serve immediately but this cole slaw tastes best if refrigerated for at least an hour. To make smaller amount, reduce all by half.

Salsa

Another recipe from Zack's Dad. Seriously need to spend a week cooking with the dude. This salsa was soooo amazing!!

2 large ripe fresh tomatoes chopped, 1/2 large sweet onion (Vidalia) or 4 scallion, chopped; 1 teaspoon fresh garlic finely minced; minced fresh jalapeño pepper to taste (one is about right but remove the seeds and inner membranes); 1/2 teaspoon cumin 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice or 1 tablespoon red wine or cider vinegar; salt and black pepper to taste. Minced red or green bell pepper

This is your basic salsa. You can also add chopped avocado or about a cup of either mango or crushed pineapple if you like, or black beans and/or roasted corn.

Pesto Sauce

Oh pesto, something I thought I hated and turns out I quite enjoy. It also turns out it's really expensive. We made 4 batches and the expensive part was the walnuts. I bought 4 bags of Walnuts and that was $40! Plus the three bottles of oil, at $9 a piece and parmesan containers 4 at $5 each. I'll have totals at the bottom. But next year I don't know if the pesto would be worth it unless I can buy those items in bulk. Which we might do, because we'll have a better idea of how much pesto we'd be making over the summer. We had so much pesto we double this recipe for 4 weeks. Plus used 3 cups of basil for paste sauce.

3 cups fresh basil leaves 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts 4 cloves garlic, peeled 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 cup olive oil salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, blend together basil leaves, nuts, garlic, and cheese. Pour in oil slowly while still mixing. Stir in salt and pepper.

Total approx cost $82 - while it tasted amazing, the cost makes it not worth it.

The CSA Box and Recipes
The CSA Box and Recipes
The CSA Box and Recipes

Making Pasta Sauce

Recipe first - notes after because there's a ton of notes :)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (regular olive oil works fine) 2 pounds tomatoes (seeded and peeled) Freshly ground black pepper 1 medium onion chopped 2-10 cloves of garlic either dried or fresh basil

Originally we were going to try canning, but it was expensive and not worth learning for this year. So we choose to freeze in baggies instead.

Round 1

Made by myself, put all the tomatoes in the food processor, toss it on the stove with fresh garlic, basil, and onion. I forgot about it while making it and so it sat on the stove simmering for 4 hours. Turned out fabulous.

Round 2

Made with Zack, same process except we didn't have fresh basil. We had double the tomatoes so used two pots until it boiled down and we combined them. Did it at a higher heat for 2 hours turned out the best.

Round 3
CSA Box

Made again with Zack, forgot the food processor so I cut all the tomatoes by hand. The spicing was off on this one, but I am not sure if that's because tomatoes are coming to end of season or if we just failed at making the sauce.

One Port Chicken & Potatoes - Link

This was sooo yummy and the best chicken we've had since moving here!

8 chicken thighs 6-8 large potatoes, cut in quarters or halves 5-6 carrots, cut in 1-2 inch pieces 1 onion, cut in quarters 15-20 garlic cloves, whole Kosher salt Black ground pepper 4 tsp ground pepper or 5 cloves garlic, crushed ½ tsp paprika (optional) 3-4 Tbsp olive oil.

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with foil or even better, parchment paper. Thoroughly wash the potatoes & carrots with a scrubber and cut them in smaller pieces. Pat dry with a paper towel. Rinse the chicken under running water & also pat dry with paper towel. Add chicken, potatoes and carrots, onion & garlic to the lined baking dish and sprinkle with salt, ground pepper and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss everything to coat. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Check for doneness, if the potatoes and chicken thighs are soft and easily pierced with the fork they are ready. If the chicken and potatoes have not browned up as much as you would like, turn the broil setting on the oven and broil for 5 minutes. Watch carefully, or they will burn. Remove from the oven and serve right away in the baking dish or transfer to a warm serving plate.

Lastly we made so many amazing salads!

The CSA Box and Recipes
The CSA Box and Recipes
The CSA Box and Recipes
Guest Post - Jenny

Guest Post - Jenny

Emotional Blackmail by Susan Forward, Ph.D.

Emotional Blackmail by Susan Forward, Ph.D.