From Kale Chips to Cranberry Crisps: CSA Season Successes and Fails

I’m always sad to see the end of my Community Shared Agriculture share at the end of the fall.

It’s always fun to try to use up the variety of incredibly fresh organic fruits and veggies in creative ways. This year saw a few successful new recipes – and, of course, a few fails.

My greatest discovery was the homemade popsicle – everything from peaches to kale made their way into these tasty, low-cal treats that the toddler and I can’t get enough of.

Other hits and misses included:

Baba Ghanoush – This did not go over well with anyone, so it was pawned off on our neighbors who claimed to enjoy it. It’s possible that it was not the fault of the recipe, and simply just that we aren’t Baba Ghanoush people.

Ratatouille – A much better use of all that eggplant, I made this dish twice, incorporating spaghetti and butternut squash. I loved it – but my husband and child did not and I was forced to eat many leftovers.

Butternut Squash Puree- another recipe I thoroughly enjoyed, while the rest of the family opted out. On the plus side, I was able to use this side dish as a substitute in my regular zucchini bread recipe for a killer Butternut Squash Bread.

Kale Chips – People swear by these things. They are OK. I wouldn’t kick them out of bed if I was hungry. But nobody else in this house wanted to eat them, so the kale was relegated to another “gift” on the neighbors’ porch. Surprise!

Potato Leek Gratin – Fancy, French, and fattening. A winner for using up weeks of leeks and potatoes.

Broccoli Cole Slaw – Not exclusively organic – this recipe calls for actual packages of 99 cent Ramen noodles. But it’s always a picnic crowd-pleaser and makes use of entire cabbages and dozens of broccoli stems.

Apple Cranberry Crisp – I never knew fresh cranberries were hard and inedibly tart. Fortunately, this super easy recipe turned out a dessert that everyone loved.

What have we learned? My husband and son will eat anything in dessert form. But, sadly, this is the only surefire way to get them to eat their veggies. If mama wants to cook any fancy veggie entrees, she may have to make them in solo portions. 🙁 On the plus side, I have ample ideas to contribute to pot lucks and dinner parties.

This winter we are experimenting with a share from Winter Sun Farms, which offers a five-month regional frozen fruit and vegetable subscription so we can enjoy off-season produce without the guilt of importing from abroad. I just hope our freezer is large enough to make room among all those popsicles!


Half-eaten Cranberry Apple Crisp

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