As summer is winding down I’m noticing all the subtle changes that occur as we head into fall; sprinklings of vibrant reds and golds are appearing in amongst the still mostly green leaves on the trees, the days are getting a little shorter as the sun sets a few minutes earlier each day, there’s a crispness to the morning air and the evenings are a bit cooler.
For me it’s alway a time a of mixed feelings; while I feel a little sad seeing the summer come to an end, there’s also an excitement brewing with the anticipation of a new seasons and the possibilities it will bring!
As the summer is ending, so has our summer CSA adventure. I must say we’ve thoroughly enjoyed participating in it! It was fun to see what would be in our share when we picked it up each Friday, and plan the following week’s meals based on what we received. It really allowed me to get creative and my family enjoyed trying some new produce that we may not typically buy.
I’ve created some new recipes and am happy to share them! The CSA share was filled with what was abundant at the farm each week, all of summer’s seasonal favorites! These recipes showcase the lighter, cooler foods that the body craves during the hot weather.
A typical CSA share contained kale, cucumbers, rainbow chard, summer squash, rainbow carrots, red beets, peas, corn on the cob, apples, white peaches, apricots and onion. What a great variety of vegetables and fruits! Here’s a sample week’s menu using my share along with some other refreshing recipes we enjoyed
Sunday night I used the onion and the white peaches.
We had grilled boneless chicken tenders topped with a white peach salsa (recipe is below) and oven baked onion rings (recipe is in the recipe archives).
White Peach Salsa
3 ripe white peaches
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
Grated lime peel from one line
Fresh lime juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (more or less to taste)
Cut washed & dried peaches, slice in half and remove pit. Slice and cut into 1/2″ chunks. Place in a small glass bowl and add chopped red pepper. Add grated lime peel and cilantro. Toss with fresh lime juice. Serve over grilled chicken, fish, pork or with tortilla chips.
Monday I used the cucumber in a sweet and crunchy cucumber dill salad. Which made a cool, refreshing side dish.
Cucumber Dill Salad
1/3 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 Tbs raw honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
Fresh dill weed
Wash & dry cucumbers. If organic, you don’t need to peel or you may peel portions of the cucumber to make decorative stripes. Slice very thinly (I used a mandolin slicer) and place in a glass bowl.
In a small bowl mix apple cider vinegar, water, sea salt, and whisk in honey, blend until combined and pour over cucumbers. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with chopped fresh dill to taste. Makes 4-6 small side dish servings.
Tuesday I used the carrots, kale and apricots. I had some kale in my green smoothie (recipe is in the Recipe Archive section on the website). I enjoyed some of the rainbow carrots, sliced as a snack, and used the apricots to make a sweet salsa to accompany grilled chicken fajitas.
Apricot and Avocado Salsa
3 small, ripe apricots
1-1 1/2″ slice of avocado
Grated lime from 1 small lime
Fresh lime juice from 1/2 lime
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Slice apricots in half, remove pits and slice into 1/2″ chunks. Place in a small glass bowl.
Remove peel from avocado and slice into 1/2″ chunks. Add to bowl of apricots.
Grate lime peel over bowl and squeeze juice over bowl of apricots & avocado.
Gently toss. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve on chicken fajitas or on gluten-free tortilla chips. Serves 3-4 people.
Wednesday we had grilled chicken with fresh rosemary, sweet peas with a mint infused olive oil and rainbow chard salad with apples & walnuts tossed in a maple apple cider vinaigrette (recipe is in the Recipe Archive section on the website).
Sweet Peas with Mint Infused Olive Oil
2 cups of fresh sweet peas
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
Small bunch of fresh mint
Place olive oil in a small pan, add mint and bring to a low simmer. Let simmer, uncovered for about an hour, until fragrant.
Remove mint and discard. Set infused olive oil aside until ready to use.
Wash peas and place in top portion of a steamer, place about an inch of water in bottom portion of steamer. Put top & bottom of steamer pan together and bring water to a boil. Steam about 10 minutes or until peas are tender (or cook according to your favorite method).
Place cooked peas in olive oil and toss to coat.
Thursday we had grass fed burgers on a bed of lettuce with tomato and a pineapple-carrot-raisin salad.
This is a light, refreshing version of this classic salad.
2 carrots, peeled
2 Tbs raisins
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh pineapple
1-2 Tbs fresh pineapple juice
1 Tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
Sea salt to taste
Shred carrots & place in a glass bowl. Add raisins & pineapple & stir to mix together. Add pineapple juice & lime juice and toss gently to coat. Add sea salt to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve (at least an hour to allow flavors to incorporate). Makes 2 side dish servings.
Friday we had squash fettuccine with gluten-free/dairy-free turkey meatballs and marinara sauce (recipe for meatballs and marinara sauce is on the website.
Saturday was a hot summer day, a perfect day to have chilled cucumber soup!
Chilled Cucumber Mint Soup
This cool and creamy soup was a perfect way to use a couple of fresh cucumbers that were in our CSA share
2 ripe cucumbers, peeled
3/4 cup dairy-free, plain unsweetened yogurt (I used Forgager Cashewgurt cashew milk yogurt)
1/2 cup of fresh mint (or more to taste)
Squeeze of fresh lime
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least an hour. Serving suggestion-serve in small glass bowls which have been placed in the freezer for a pretty presentation and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Makes 3 appetizer servings.
As the seasons change, and the produce of the autumn harvest takes center stage, our bodies begin to naturally crave the warmer foods of the fall that will ground & nourish our bodies to sustain us through the long winter ahead. Keep checking my blog and website for some new and creative recipes using the flavors of the season as well as some fun and festive treats for the upcoming holiday season!