Well, ladies and gentlemen, I fell off the meal planning wagon. Two weeks ago, I was at my parents’ for most of the week so I had the luxury of eating someone else’s yummy decisions. Then last week, I had golf clinics three nights of the week. Because of some work we are doing in our kitchen (pictures to come!), I threw out our meal planning white board. And with that, any hope of meal planning. I knew I hit a low when I drove through Taco Bell to get a vegetarian crunch wrap for dinner. Crunch wraps were my drunk food of choice in graduate school. As a mid-thirties adult woman I can tell you this: crunch wraps taste better when you are a- drunk, b-hungover, and c- 25 years old. And after that meal, I decided I needed to get back on the meal planning wagon no matter how crazy our week is.

Extra bonus this week: our CSA has started!!! I have been doing a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for 5 years now. I use Harmony Valley and I am so happy with them. If you are in the Madison area, I highly recommend them. They have great produce and it comes ready to eat. We used another CSA and it took us an hour each week just to clean all the produce.

In my years of CSA cooking, I have learned two important lessons:

1- Your meal plan has to be built around your CSA. You are not going to just snack on parsnips or ramps. You need to plan to use them. And be realistic! If you don’t have a lot of time to cook, then find an easy way to incorporate them!

2-Don’t take what you know you won’t eat. Most CSAs offer a Swap Box. You can throw items in there you don’t want and you can also take from it. Rather than let it rot in your fridge, offer it to someone else.

CSA MAY 9

Here is what we got this week:

Asparagus

Spinach

Parsnips

Sorrel

Nettles- I left these in the swap box. I have braved them in the past, but know that I won’t take the time to prepare them this week.

Ramps

Sunchokes

Chives

You will see below how I will incorporate them in our meal plan.

Meal Plan

Ramp Burgers in Lettuce Wraps with Sweet Potato Fries and Homemade Coleslaw: Ramps have stumped me in the past. People get really excited about them. Essentially, they are garlic-y green onions. I haven’t had a clear plan in the past. You have to use them quickly so we will be making them tonight or tomorrow night. This should use one bunch of them (we got two).

Spaghetti Squash “Noodle” Bowls with Meatballs and Marinara, with Spinach and Sorrel Salad. The noodle bowls are a recipe from my latest favorite cookbook, Sheet Pan Suppers. Very excited about this recipe. Essentially, you roast the spaghetti squash and then add marinara, mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, and bake it to make guilt-free comfort food. I have mentioned the cookbook before, but I didn’t mention that Molly Gilbert was a recipe tester for Saveur. She knows her stuff.

Sorrel is a lemon-y green. I like to tear it up and toss it with Spinach. It should go well with the sweetness of the marinara.

Night Out: Manatee-leftovers, Baby G- Jimmy John’s with the sitter.

Slow Cooker Soy Garlic Chicken and Ramps, Sauteed Asparagus and Lemon, Sweet Potato and Sunchoke Mash. I will make this meal when my mom is here so I can spend a little more time preparing the sides.

Night Before Trips: We are going to St. Louis on Friday and I try not to cook before a big trip. We will have either leftovers and/or take out and/or eggs and salsa.

Lunches this week: Beet, Apple, Walnut, Goat Cheese, Spinach, and Sorrel Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette. It’s a craving.  Side note: You can buy a big container of Love Pre-Cooked Organic Beets at Costco and a big vat of crumbled (pasteurized) goat cheese. I love Costco. The sweetness of the beets and apples tones down the bitterness of the sorrel. 

Baking:

Parsnip Cake Oatmeal Cookies: It’s actually a carrot cake oatmeal cookie, but I am going to sub in parsnips (they are the white carrots after all) and probably make a double batch. I know G loves these cookies and they would be great to have on hand. Parsnips are my nemesis. I have a tendency to stockpile them. I am determined to use them every week that we get them this year. I will let you know how the cookies turn out!

 
Cheddar Chive Bread

Cheddar and Chive Bread: This is my favorite start of the CSA season recipe. Baby G doesn’t seem to care for cheddar cheese, but I love it. I am going to be visiting my brother and sister-in-law next week and I suspect they will also love it.

*****

That’s what we are cooking this week. Exciting things are happening in our kitchen. Stay tuned to my Facebook page to see pictures.

What are you cooking this week? Anyone else doing a CSA this year?

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