CSA Week 14
Friends, this was not a stellar week for my CSA usage. On veggie pickup day, I managed to leave my memory card at work, so you’ll have to take my word for what we got: amaranth, spey cabbage, Chinese broccoli, arugula, buttercup squash, beets, potatoes, green onions, red and yellow onions, corn, eggplant, jalapeno and bell peppers, radishes and tomatoes.
Also, I was not as creative with our haul as I would have liked to be. There were some healthful but unphotogenic stir-fries, pasta sauces and salads. The most exciting meal that I made was Sunday Football Lunch- do you all do that? Make something special to eat inspired by what you’re watching on TV? I’ve collaborated on Top Chef premiere cookoffs, Lost-inspired island potlucks, and countless World Series and Super Bowl feasts. Sunday’s buffet was some lightened-up football fare; I probably worked off this entire lunch just by yelling at the Patriots’ receivers.
Blue Cheese Dip
4 oz blue cheese of your choosing (Great Hill Blue is my local favorite)
1 cup lowfat plain yogurt
2 T mayonnaise
1 t fresh thyme, or to taste
Salt & Pepper
(Hot sauce or lemon juice)
Crumble the blue cheese into pea-sized bits. Mix with the yogurt and mayonnaise. Season with the fresh thyme, salt and pepper. You can also add hot sauce or lemon juice if you like a more savory dip. Serve alongside cut veggies. Serves 6, generously. Calories (just for dip): 117, Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 4g, Carbs 3g, Protein 6g.
And of course, if you are serving the Blue Cheese and Celery food groups, you need to include the Buffalo group, for a balanced diet. Classic Buffalo wings are made by deep-frying skin-on dark meat, then soaking in a sauce of butter and Frank’s Red Hot. According to Chili’s online menu, their Wings Over Buffalo provide 1330 calories and 26g saturated fat (more than a day’s worth). I lightened the recipe by baking skinless breasts.
4 skinless, boneless breasts
4 T butter
1/2 cup hot sauce (I used Frank’s)
S&P to taste
Melt the butter and blend with the hot sauce. Pour some sauce into a baking dish and lay the breasts down. Pour the rest of the sauce over the breasts and bake at 375º. Turn the breasts and baste with the sauce every 8 minutes. Cooking time may vary based on the size of your breasts (that’s what she said!) so use a meat thermometer to be absolutely sure. Mine took about 30 minutes to reach 180º. Add salt and pepper before serving. Serves 4. Calories 230, Fat 13g, Saturated Fat 8g, Carbohydrates 0g, Protein 27g based on ingredients (but I think the fat content is probably less than calculated as so much of the sauce remains in the pan).
And of course, you can’t watch football without nachos. I compromise by leaving out the meat, going easy on the cheese, and using baked tortilla chips.
Reasonably Healthy Nachos
1 7 oz. bag baked tortilla chips
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can black beans (or 1 1/2 cups)
1T hot sauce
6 oz shredded cheese of your choosing (I prefer Cabot Hunter’s Extra-Sharp cheddar, but you could use Monterey Jack)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2T chopped scallions/2T fresh cilantro/1 fresh lime
Arrange the chips on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 375º. Saute the onion in 2t oil until tender but not browned. Add the beans and stir until heated through. Season with cumin and hot sauce- I start with a couple teaspoons of each, adding more to taste. Distribute the beans on top of the chips, and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with green pepper, tomato, scallion and cilantro, and squeeze a lime over the top if desired. Serves 4. Calories 510, Fat 20g, Saturated Fat 10g, Carbohydrate 62g,Fiber 9g, Protein 29g.