CSA Ambitions

Back in May, I heard talk about a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) coming to South Lake Tahoe.  I was stoked, as it was something I’d wanted to try, given the reality that I’ll never have my own garden.  So I signed us up for a half-share, figuring that with all the traveling and summer activities, this would be ample for our two person household.

I had grand plans for a CSA blog project, taking photos of the weekly pickup and posting recipes of everything I made.  I was going to be a real foodie, reveling in the quality of locally grown organic produce, and share my Alice Waters-like insights with everyone.

Yeah, well.  Let’s just say there’s a big gaping void between concept and execution, and I fell into it almost immediately.

However, in talking to Stephanie at Sacred Path Farms this week, I was reminded about my earlier ambitions, since she’d asked me about recipes.  So, while my memory may be fading, I’ve tried to document what I’ve made, including the 2 whole photos I’ve taken.  I even included a recipe at the bottom for one of the dishes I’ve made more than once.  But don’t expect much more from me on this, as it’s a long, arduous climb out of the void.

Week One

The highlight was the quinoa with strawberries, fresh salad greens & goat cheese with a simple balsamic vinaigrette.   Other meals included a terrific salad with butter lettuce and a vegan Caesar dressing (minus the nuts) that I topped with roasted radish chips, and a tempeh stir fry with the Chinese cabbage.

Week Two

More salad greens (another sexy butter lettuce) and no Nils meant salads, and finally a veggie saute with millet.  The generous bag of peaches & nectarines were used in a fruit crumble for my family, who’d come up to watch my derby bout.  However, the decadent chocolate ice cream my brother brought up easily trumped the fruit, so it sat untouched until my fruit-dessert loving boyfriend returned.

Week Three

Plums galore, chard, radishes, cabbage, chocolate mint and greens.  I know I did something involving a very easy white miso dressing (equal parts miso & oil, some rice wine vinegar, all blended), but the rest of the week was a blur.  It was hot most of the week, and after derby practice I could only rally for a sandwich a few nights – with some sun tea made with the mint.

Week Four

I used the fresh spinach and blueberries in a salad with goat cheese, bulgur and balsamic vinaigrette (sense a pattern here?), and the chard, radishes and zucchini went into a huge orzo salad.   Which we ate for 3 consecutive nights.

Week Five

The radishes & greens are going into a salad for the picnic at Lake Tahoe’s Shakespeare with the same vegan Caesar dressing.  The chard & dried morels will go great with gnocchi and sausage after whatever big mountain bike adventures we do this weekend. And the blueberries will be savored with the remaining decadent chocolate ice cream gelatogasm.

Quinoa with strawberries, fresh salad greens & goat cheese with a simple balsamic vinaigrette

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water (boiled in a kettle if you can)

1 bunch/bag fresh greens, washed

1 1/2 cups strawberries, washed, hulled & quartered

4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

3 Tbsp. toasted slivered almonds (optional)

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Rinse quinoa according to instructions. I like to toast the quinoa for a few minutes before adding the boiling water, then simmer, covered, for approximately 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

To make the dressing, place vinegar in large bowl, then drizzle oil in slowly, whisking until the dressing is emulsified.  Season to taste.  Toss in greens, strawberries, quinoa and cheese, and serve.  Serve with almonds on top if desired.

3 thoughts on “CSA Ambitions

  1. Inspiring! I completely understand about the desire to blog the CSA experience….on my end as the hostess, I too, have had the intention to post the progress of our food journey….and here it is, week 5, and I only have the time to stay barefoot & sun dreanched in the field to grow the organic love for ya’all! And I do love it! My hopes are still positively affirming my intentions with 15 weeks to go, as your lovely words have captured my heart & taste buds to follow your lead! I will post this mouth watering recipe on our website….thank goodness we have an amazing web master to do the dead or I would not accomplish such a task until the off season:} cheers!

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