Our first ugly CSA!

While I’ve always been intrigued by CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) the price tag has always been daunting to me. Because I am thrifty. Which is a nice way of saying cheap.

SO. When 412 Food Rescue announced an UGLY CSA for 40% less than your average, beautiful CSA I jumped on that shiz.

I’ve always been happy to see ‘ugly’ food initiatives that utilize food that is perfectly good but most people (or retailers) won’t buy. One person’s ugly food is someone else’s dinner!

We picked ours up in East Liberty at Olive and Marlowe.

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So many boxes of foooooood

So many boxes of foooooood

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I woke up like thiiiiiiiiis, hence the sunglasses and hat

 

Yogi "helped". By looking cute.

Yogi “helped”.

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Here are the goods!

We got a watermelon, tons of peaches, cucumbers, zucchini, and yellow squash. And now the fun part: making some tasty food! Recipes welcome.

Caprese Pasta Salad

Summer is prime pasta salad season. This Italian-esque pasta salad combines everything I love (minus bread): garlic, tomatoes, and cheese. Oof. Plus, it’s incredibly simple to make. I’m not about these 17 step recipes that require me to do things in the kitchen I’m not comfortable with. Baby steps.

Yum!

Yum!

Prep time: 10-15 minutes Cook time: 9-11 minutes Total time: 20-25 minutes Servings: About 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces of uncooked pasta
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella
  • 1 cup of ribboned basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup of balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Push two cloves of garlic through a press and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Put water on for the pasta and cook following the directions on the box.
  3. While your water is heating and your pasta is cooking, cut your tomatoes into fourths, dice your mozzarella, and cut your Basil into ribbons.
  4. In a small bowl, combine garlic, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Whisk together.
  5. Once your pasta is cooked, rinse with cold water and place in a large bowl.
  6. Combine pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and vinaigrette mixture. Mix well.
  7. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Simply Scratch

Tomato Basil Chicken with Spinach and Pasta

In the past few months we’ve been trying to cook more interesting and tasty dinners and this recipe did NOT disappoint!

Tomato Basil Chicken

Makes about 4 servings. We doubled the recipe and cooked it in two batches so we had leftovers for the week, and this makes awesome leftovers!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Italian seasoning, or dried basil. Whatever floats your boat!
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Cups chopped fresh tomatoes (about a pint)
  • 2 Teaspoons minced fresh garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 4 Tablespoons cold butter (half a stick)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped into ribbons
  • 1/2 bag of spinach (around 5 ounces, but feel free to add more!)
  • 1 box of pasta (we used whole wheat)
  • Parmesan cheese

Let’s get cookin!

  1. Put on a pot of water (for the pasta) to boil while you cook the chicken. You’ll need to keep an eye on this pot throughout cooking the chicken so you notice when it’s boiling. When the water does boil, cook the pasta according to the box’s instructions.
  2. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet and let it get hot.
  4. When the oil is hot and your pan is heated, add in the chicken breasts. There should be a lot of sizzling right away; that’s how you know you did it right!
  5. After 4-5 minutes, turn the chicken in the pan and cook for another 4-5 minutes. (You don’t want to overcook the chicken since you’ll be adding the rest of the ingredients while the chicken is still in the heated pan.)
  6. After the second side of the chicken has been cooking for about 4 minutes, add in the tomatoes. Again, there will be a lot of sizzling!
  7. Next, add in the basil, followed by the butter.
  8. Add in the garlic, then spinach, and stir everything together.
  9. Once your chicken is cooked (for our thick chicken breasts it took about 10-12 minutes total to get to 160°F inside), reduce the heat to the lowest setting until your pasta is done cooking (if it isn’t already).
  10. Turn off the heat on the skillet and take the chicken to a cutting board, let it rest for a few minutes, and cut it into whatever size/shape you want. We cubed it. Once you cut the chicken, add it back to the skillet with the sauce.
  11. Add some pasta to a bowl, top with the sauce, and add some Parmesan cheese on top.
  12. EAT!

Recipe adapted from http://menumusings.blogspot.com/2013/04/tomato-basil-chicken.html