Simply Fresh–Week 10–A Food Week in the Life of a CSA Blogger

Every CSA season we seem to encounter those weeks, typically in mid august, where the offerings in the CSA don’t change that much, and some items seem to have been around forever, like cucumbers, zucchini, and eggplant. At these times I typically take a different tactic than highlighting one particular vegetable (partly because I have pretty much already done them all already).

One thing folks have found interesting in the past, if not actually helpful, is posts in which I detail how I have used my particular share in the previous week. So I thought I would do this again in this week’s post.  Keep in mind that I have a full share, so that is a lot of produce to use.

Hopefully, my approach to my week’s yield can help stimulate your own creativity in case you are starting to run out of your own ideas. I have included recipes or links to recipes where I have them.

Here is what my week looked like:

Quick pickles

served at Tanglewood along with a cheese and fruit platter

  •             Cucumber Dill Quick Pickles (Click here)
  •             Eggplant Pickles (see last week’s post for recipe (Click here)
  •             Indian Spiced Zucchini and Summer Squash Pickles (click here)

Basic Marinara Sauce with Hidden Veggies

Canned pureed tomatoes with shredded zucchini and summer squash, fresh onion, celery, and carrots (leftover from an older distribution), cooked and pureed and seasoned lightly with Italian spices (see recipe below)

Simply Fresh--Week 10--A Week in the Life of a CSA Blogger
This recipe is great for kids. They don't notice the veggies and the sweetness in the vegetables tames the acidity of the sauce, decreasing the need for added sugar.
  • - 1 large onion, minced
  • - half large zucchini and/or summer squash shredded
  • - 1 large carrot, shredded
  • - 2 celery rib, small diced
  • - 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • - 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • - 3 28 oz can crushed tomatoes w/ puree, or 10 cups fresh
  • - 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, zucchini, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are soft and have given up a lot of moisture. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Turn vegetables out into crockpot insert.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes and Italian seasonin to vegetables in crockpot insert. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Remove insert and allow to cool somewhat. Carefully puree in batches in blender (be careful because mixture will be hot. Be sure to remove steam escape cover on blender but cover with a folded paper towel or a dish cloth while pureeing to avoid splatters). Sauce can be chilled and reheated for later use, or frozen
This marinara can be made in a regular pot on the stove. Simmer mixture for 1-2 hours before cooling and pureeing it.


Baked Eggplant Parmigiana

One to two globe eggplants sliced into 1/3-1/2″ slices, dredged in egg and seasoned breadcrumbs, and then baked on a rack set over a baking sheet at 400 degrees until eggplant is soft inside and crisp on the outside.  Eggplant slices are then layered with basic marinara, mozzarella, and Parmesan and baked again at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes covered, and then 15 minutes uncovered. Served over zucchini and summer squash “zoodles”

Baba Ganouj

Two globe eggplants lightly smoked and pureed with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and ground cumin. Served with cucumber and zucchini slices. but also good with pita or crackers.

Baba Ganouj


– 2 medium eggplants
– 2 large cloves garlic
– 3 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
– 1/4 cup tahini
– 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
– 1/2 teaspoon cumin
– 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


1. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Brush all over with olive oil. Preheat grill. Soak smoke chips in water for 20 minutes. Drain. Place woodchips on piece of heavy duty foil. Fold up edges to make an open topped container. Place wood chips and eggplants on grill grate over medium heat. Grill, covered, turning eggplants every 5 minutes, until charred and very soft. Remove eggplants and let cool. Discard cooled wood chips and foil container.

2. Scoop cooled eggplant flesh away from skin and place flesh in blender or food processor. Add garlic, salt, cumin, tahini and lemon juice and process until very smooth. Taste for salt and lemon juice level. Chill until ready to serve, at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days. Serve at room temperature drizzled with olive oil and topped with chopped parsley.

Mediterranean Lamb and Baby Eggplant Ragu over “Zoodles”

Ground lamb and chopped baby eggplant cooked in leftover marinara with minced onion and added spices of ground cinnamon, cumin, and coriander. Served over zucchini and summer squash “zoodles”

Bison Chili with Green Peppers and Fresh Tomatoes

Ground bison, onion and chopped green peppers along with pinto and kidney beans simmered in an ancho chile puree and chopped tomatoes.

I have seen dried ancho chile peppers at Fresh Market and sometimes at Ocean State Job Lot.  You can also buy them online.  If you can’t find them, or don’t want to bother to, you can use some ancho chile powder (sold at most grocery stores) mixed in with three tablespoon tomato paste and the rest of the chile paste ingredients as a substitute, or you can use other chiles like guajillo.

Bison and Green Pepper Chili


– 4 dried ancho chiles , torn into 3-4 pieces, seeds and inner ribs removed
– 2-3 cups homemade vegetable, beef or chicken broth
– 2 15.5 ounce cans red kidney beans
– 1 15.5 ounce can pinto beans
– 2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
– 2 tablespoons chili powder
– 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, (or 1-2 teaspoons ground cumin)
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano
– 1 teaspoon ground coriander
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 pound ground grass fed bison, (can use any ground meat of choice)
– 1 large onion, minced
– 3 cups chopped green bell pepper
– 2 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped


1. Place chile pieces in a medium saucepan and cover with broth. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and allow chiles to sit for at least 30 minutes to soften. Drain and rinse beans. Stir well to combine. If mixture seems thick, add more broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer. cover and cook for about 30 minutes or until peppers are soft and flavors have blended. If mixture is too runny, simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally to reduce the liquids.

2. In a medium pot or Dutch oven, cook bison meat over medium heat until browned and cooked through. Drain. Return meat to pan and add onion and peppers. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until onions and peppers are almost soft. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have broken down and released their juices.

3. Place chiles and broth in a blender. Add chile powder, cumin seeds, oregano, coriander, garlic and salt. Blend until completely smooth. If mixture is too thick to blend, add more broth.

4. Pour chile mixture over meat mixture in pot and add drained and rinsed beans. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes or until peppers are very soft and flavors have well blended.

Zucchini and Summer Squash Ribbon Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil Vinaigrette

Ribbons were made with a vegetable peeler. Tomatoes were quartered. Vinaigrette was made with lemon juice, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and fresh basil.

Green lettuce salad with a basil vinaigrette (see description above).

Tossed with cherry tomatoes, carrots, and spiralized cucumber

Swiss Chard Smoothie with Cucumber (for 3 breakfasts)

Vanilla protein powder, coconut kefir water (you can use regular coconut water), Swiss chard leaves, 1/3 of a cucumber, ¼ avocado, and 2/3 cup organic frozen wild blueberries.

Purple Protein Smoothie 


– 1 cup coconut kefir, coconut water, yogurt kefir, yogurt, or milk of choice, (if using yogurt, you may also need to add some water or milk)
– 1 scoop vanilla flavored protein powder of choice, preferably organic, sweetened only with stevia
– 1/2 cup diced unpeeled cucumber
– 1/4-1/2 avocado
– large handful greens: spinach, kale, or Swiss chard
– 1/4 sm/md raw or cooked beet , unpeeled, washed well
– 1/2-2/3 cup Organic frozen blueberries
– ice cubes, if desired
– optional add-ins
– 2 teaspoons chia seeds
– 1-2 teaspoon ground flaxseed, (use less until your gut is adjusted to it)
– 1/2-1 teaspoon powefered chlorella
– 1-2 teaspoon spirulina


Place all ingredients in a powerful blender and blend until completely smooth. Drink immediately for highest nutritional benefit.

Summer Squash Hummus

Shredded summer squash (you can also use zucchini) sautéed and then blended in a traditional hummus recipe for a lighter, healthier, creamier hummus.

Summer Squash Hummus


– 2 teaspoons olive oil
– 1 medium summer squash or zucchini, washed and shredded
– 1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
– 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice
– 3 tablespoons tahini
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon paprika, plus more to garnish
– 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add summer squash and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and water has been cooked off, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2. In a food processor or blender, place cooled squash. Add garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, tahini cumin, paprika, salt and 1 tablespoon water. Blend until very smooth. Add more water to reach desired consistency. Place in a shallow bowl. Garnish with parsley and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve with veggies and pita chips.

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