Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Little Localvores


Welcome to Little Localvores - a weekly series on our family's first experience with a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Every Tuesday all summer long we will receive a supply of fresh produce and local foods through the Good Natured Family Farms CSA. I'll chronicle my attempts to get my toddlers (3 years and 15 months) to eat fresh and local, healthy foods.

Localvore: someone who prefers to eat locally grown/produced food.



This past week's CSA selection was the first we've really been able to enjoy (we left 2 days after the first pick up for Spain and missed week 2 while in Spain). The bag contents are still a surprise - last week I planned a recipe with Swiss Chard and that item didn't show up in our bags as expected.  We're used to surprises and last minute change of plans in the Maniger household, so we just rolled with it and made some other delicious recipes using new potatoes, candy onions, heriloom tomatoes, and yellow squash. Our bags also contained Farm to Market sourdough bread, Ranch cheese nuggets, honey, and sweet-hot dill pickles. Yum!






Izzy has never met a food she didn't like and I had a hard time keeping her from sampling the produce before I could wash/slice/cook it.


The cheese nuggets, both plain and this week's Ranch-flavored, have been a big hit with both kids. They are a great natural snack for little hands. 

Since my primary goal with this CSA is to get my kids to eat and enjoy fresh produce, I thought I'd start with a sure thing. What better way to get kids to eat their veggies than to pile them on pizza!


I loaded a whole grain pizza crust with organic pizza sauce and slices of heirloom tomatoes, yellow squash, and candy onions from our CSA supply. I added ricotta cheese and baked it in the oven at 450F for 15 minutes, crisped it under the broiler for another 2 minutes (I wanted to make this on the grill, but didn't quite manage it this week). And my absolute favorite way to finish off a pizza...  


topped with fresh arugula! I tossed the arugula with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper, and piled it on. I first had fresh arugula on my pizza in southern Italy - magnifico!

We roasted the rest of the candy onions together with the new potatoes for another meal.


We used this recipe, but a simple toss in olive oil, salt and pepper would also do. These were delicious alongside baked trout. We ate late that night (still struggling with the weeknight family dinner) and I was too hungry to take pictures of the entire meal. But take my word for it, it was really good. You can find the recipe for the trout here.

And finally, I threw together a quick salad for lunch with some remaining CSA items, and this last minute dish just might be my favorite from the week.


What do you think, will my Little Localvores eat this salad?

Cannellini, Cucumber & Beet Salad

Ingredients:
1 15 oz can cannellini beans
1/2 GNFF cucumber, chopped
4-5 GNFF pickled beets, chopped
1 5 oz can tuna, drained
1/2 c kalamata olives, chopped
1 1/2 c arugula, coarsley chopped
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl then add to salad. Salt and pepper to taste.

*Note: You may want to adjust the olive oil and vinegar to your taste. I didn't actually measure the amounts when I put this together. I will update the recipe with exact amounts when I make this again. Until then, feel free to improvise!

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Check out the first Little Localvores post here. If you have ever tried a CSA or frequent your local farmer's market, I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions or recipe ideas!

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