As we've mentioned before, Renee and I split a box of produce each week from a community supported agriculture program at a local farm, the Gathering Together Farm. We pick it up every Sunday at our neighborhood farmers market along with additional fruits and veggies, cheese, eggs, mushrooms, bread (and the list goes on) from other market stalls. This is the second year we've done this, and I feel like I've finally found my food groove. We composted a lot of veggies from our CSA last year because it was a little overwhelming. This summer I've challenged myself to look at the food we have and try to come up with creative meals before heading to the grocery store for back-up.
I'm not a terribly confident cook, but this kind of challenge has ratcheted up my courage a few notches. This week I made two dinners almost entirely from our CSA produce and a few staples I already had on hand. One night I made a frittata. A frittata. I know, it's not earth-shattering, but for me it was new territory. The eggs came from Kookoolan Farms and all the veggies from the CSA. I think the only thing that wasn't local was the Parmesan cheese. The recipe came from Epicurious (love, love, love this site) which I found after searching the terms 'potato eggs.' (I subbed broccoli for the tomatoes.) My husband and I got a tossed salad on the side, and the kids got cantaloupe and blackberries (all organic and local!).
Another night I made a curry recipe from the Oregonian's FoodDay that Renee told me about. It featured eggplant, which had just come in our CSA bin. I'm not a huge eggplant fan, but this curry recipe sounded ideal. I had some coconut milk that I used instead of simmering coconut in water, and I also (surprisingly) had the fish sauce. I added carrots and included some green beans on the side.
Both of these meals were delicious, if I may say so myself. (My daughter had two slices of the fritatta, declaring it 'awesome'.) Best of all was knowing that about 90% of the ingredients came from a 100-mile radius of home. We don't eat like this every day, but when we do we really savor the food. The kids know where it came from, it's healthy, fresh and a joy to prepare.
Also, both of these meals were meatless. After the curry dish my husband asked (somewhat fearfully) whether I was converting our diets to vegetarian, and I assured him I wasn't. But I'm trying to reduce the amount of meat we eat. I haven't missed it.