I grew up with a small garden that my parents tended to every year. Each summer we had fresh veggies right out the back door – carrots, leafy greens, kohlrabi, potatoes, tomatoes and cucumbers. Looking back, I truly took it for granted. The food was fresh, flavorful and we ate all summer from our garden. Where I live now, unfortunately I do not have the space for a garden – but the real reason is that I’m a horrible gardener! I can hardly keep my summer flowers alive, let alone tend to a garden in a respectable way. But I miss so much those fresh, seasonal veggies.
Therefore, the reason I’m trying out a CSA – Community Supported Agriculture program – for the first time this year. The way it works is that early in the spring consumers (members) “invest” in the farm for a “share” of the harvest. According to Pahl’s Market, the farm I participate with, the advantages of joining a CSA are:
“Farmers get to spend time marketing the food early in the year before their 16 hour days in the field begin. They also have the unique opportunity to meet the people who eat the food they grow.
Customers get to eat ultra-fresh food with all the flavor and vitamin benefits. Customers also get exposure to new vegetables and new ways of cooking. CSA members develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learns more about how their food is grown. In addition, members also have the opportunity to visit the farm and share in harvest events.”
I have to admit it has taken some adjustment. For example, I’m such a creature of habit and regularly do my meal planning and grocery shopping at the beginning of the week. So, it caught me off guard when food I hadn’t planned for was coming into the home mid-week (I pick up my share every Wednesday). We don’t find out what produce will be in our share until the night before so I’m practicing some spontaneity and flexibility with my meal planning and cooking habits. And, what a treat it has been! In one of my first boxes, we got kohlrabi. Yum! I don’t think I’ve had this vegetable since I lived at my home in Nebraska – so over 30+ years ago! Not quite sure why I haven’t bought this in the grocery store over the years, but when it’s ready to picked and harvested, that’s what you eat!
So, now my meal planning is at the mercy of what the farmer harvests that week, which brings me to my CSA Summer Veggie Stir Fry. I recently received such a bounty of leafy greens, lovely beets and some gorgeous scallions. Right away I couldn’t wait to make the following recipe.
I have to give credit for this stir fry to Nadia Giordana who demonstrated it on the talk show, “It’s a Woman’s World,” that I was a guest on earlier this week. Her veggies were a little different (based on what was fresh from her garden), but the idea is hers!
CSA Summer Veggie Stir Fry
A fresh, flavorful and nutritious recipe perfect with any of your favorite summer vegetables.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 to 3 cups chopped mixed summer vegetables (pictured in this recipe are red beets, thinly sliced, Tuscan and curly kale, green beans and yellow wax beans – but whatever you have on hand will work!)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
- Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions and garlic and lightly saute (about 1-2 minutes).
- Add beans, beets, and other vegetables that require a longer cooking time, and stir fry approximately 3-4 minutes. Add leafy greens and cook another 1-2 minutes longer.
- Stir in cooked quinoa
- Drizzle in sesame oil and soy sauce and stir until ingredients are combined. If desired, season lightly with salt and pepper – but taste first because it may not need it! Enjoy!