The Beginning, Part II

As promised, here are a few more tidbits from our first few weeks in CSA-land:

  • Included with our box this week were three big zucchini. I’ve never been a huge fan of zucchini, so this one was a challenge for me. I love zucchini bread, but let’s be honest – that’s pretty far from health food. In an effort to eat more healthfully earlier this spring, I purchased a Spiraletti on a whim.
    • Cons: (1) it’s a little bulky and, (2) the blades are insanely sharp. (I guess that’s only a con if you chop your finger like I did!)
    • Pros: (1) makes veggies into noodles and, (2) entertains your children to the point that they forget they’re eating veggies!

You can use it on squash, potatoes, carrots – pretty much anything that’s not too mushy or too small. I have only had moderate success actually cooking the zucchini noodles (which we refer to as “zoodles”) – it’s tough to sauté them without causing them to release liquid and become mushy. (Yuck.) One option is to eat them raw and just let the heat of whatever sauce you’re using warm them up. I’ll keep experimenting.

  • However, we didn’t end up using the Spiraletti this time around. I wanted something with a little meat, so we tried this recipe: Turkey Stuffed Zucchini Boats. I’ll start by saying that while this isn’t a difficult recipe, it did end up being more time-consuming than I anticipated. (The kids were shoveling this down as fast as they could before swimming lessons, which was not ideal.) I did make some modifications.
    • I used all three zucchini, but I didn’t change the amounts of the other ingredients. I can’t imagine how stuffed these babies would be if I only used two!
    • I used a whole onion instead of half an onion and a shallot.
    • I did not use the 99% fat-free turkey that comes in the refrigerated section – I used the frozen tube of ground turkey. (Cheaper!)
    • I still don’t have any Parmesan (I need to go to the store!) – so I used cheddar. (And more than they called for, because…cheese.)
    • I didn’t have marjoram, so I used thyme.
    • I didn’t wait for the meat mixture to cool before I added the egg. And I added the whole egg (not just the white.)
    • I used plain Panko and seasoned it with some Lawry’s salt.

All that said – they were AMAZING. The kids were raving, Dave was raving – it was a smashing success. If you end up short on time and you can’t commit to baking them for the full 35 minutes, have no fear. I cranked up the heat to 425 degrees and turned on the convection, and they were done in 20. Boom.

  • This isn’t a vegetable, but we’ve also gotten a few cartons of strawberries in our boxes. Normally, this would be a no-brainer. (Just eat them!) Unfortunately, here in West Michigan, we hit a nasty dry spell just as strawberry season was upon us. Thus, the berries were small, seedy, and kind of shrively. (Just sad.) What to do? Well, two things came to mind. One is this Very Berry Cheesecake Salad. The word salad is used very loosely here. This stuff tastes amazing – we brought it to several picnics/potlucks last summer as well. It certainly covers up all of the cosmetic issues with the strawberries. It calls for Cool Whip, but you could easily use actual whipped cream or maybe even Greek yogurt. Second, I threw some of the strawberries in with the last loaf of Rhubarb Streusel Bread. I considered using the sad little berries in smoothies – but they’re so seedy! I already dislike the crunchiness of the seeds in my smoothies, so I think I’ll pass on that.

Any other great ideas for bumper-crop zucchini or semi-dessicated strawberries? Let me know in the comments!

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3 Replies to “The Beginning, Part II”

  1. I grate zucchini into ground beef for tacos, spaghetti, or whatever else I’m using it for. I found a terrific recipe for lasagna rollups that call for shredded zucchini and spinach (pinterest). Also easy cheesy zucchini bake, herbed chicken with orzo and zucchini, frosted zuc brownies. I sent you a bunch of pins, so check your Pinterest

    Liked by 1 person

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