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What to do with your CSA: a Husband Alone

Lindsay was out of town for a few weeks for work. This has happened before. I can fend for myself just fine.

However, this has never happened during the peak harvest season when we have had a CSA. In the past, I could choose to go to the farmer’s market or not, buy however much or little I wanted to, stick to what I was comfortable with, and if all else fails, just order in. Not this time. I had a lot of food thrust upon me whether I liked it or not. If I didn’t cook and eat it, it would go to waste. Although I enjoy the way we eat, Lindsay is generally in the driver’s seat. I had to man up and take control. Lindsay is in charge of our menu planning. I often cook dinner without her help, but she still picks the recipes. Now it was up to me.

I decided that for one week I would track myself and take pictures and write a series of posts on it. Sure, we post a lot, but not every meal that we make, and it’s a lot harder to cook and post at the same time when there is only one person! I was up to the challenge.

Here are the various ingredients that I was given and the five recipes that I used to dig me out from under the CSA. It was like Iron Chef!:

  1. The first thing that knew I had to do was to use up was the eggplant and okra. Neither is on my list of favorites, and both only get worse after a few days (in particular, the okra will get even slimier). My go-to, when left with this combo, is a curry. It makes everything more palatable. The CSA also provided the needed tomatoes and onions:

    Eggplant and Okra Curry

  2. Second, there was a large spaghetti squash left from the prior week that needed to be used, and I received fresh chili peppers in the CSA, so I found this online:

    Roasted Squash with Chile Vinaigrette

  3. Third, I received two new acorn squashes and found this appetizing recipe:

    Acorn Squash with an Herbed Cider Glaze

  4. Fourth, I had a few salads over the course of the week that used up the two heads of lettuce, some of the sweet bell peppers, the heirloom tomatoes (always best in a salad!) and the beets that I received:

    A “Use-the-CSA Salad”

  5. Finally, I was left with a mountain of sweet red bell peppers. For two weeks in a row the CSA gave me pounds of them, and although I used some in the salads I still had a mountain left. Over Skype Lindsay suggested that I make this recipe:

    Spicy Seitan and Peppers

  6. That’s it! I like the way this series came out, so I think I would like to make this a monthly thing during CSA season. Most people ask “what do you do with all that squash? Or eggplant? Or tomatoes? Or whatever… it keeps changing as the calendar marches forward. Maybe once each month we should do a snapshot like this to help others get inspired and avoid throwing away chunks of their CSA…

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