Vegetable Exit Strategies
Need some quick ideas to finish off this week's CSA veggies? Below are some tried and true recipes for using up your share.
CSA member Chris A. reminded me that the go-to strategy when you have too many vegetables in the fridge is to roast them up, all of them. This helps reduce their size for storage and makes them ready to grab-and-go at dinner time. https://www.treehugger.com/easy-vegetarian-recipes/always-roast-many-vegetables-you-can.html
Sheet Pan Meals
The NY Times Cooking site has an excellent tutorial on building up the perfect sheet pan meals for roasted vegetable deliciousness. https://cooking.nytimes.com/guides/54-how-to-make-a-sheet-pan-dinner
Mason Jar Salads
The Kitchn website has a great how-to on creating salads for on the go eating. https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-pack-the-perfect-salad-in-a-jar-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-192174
Veggie Pancakes (aka Fritters!)
The Kitchn website takes you through the basics of frittering for any vegetables you have on hand. https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-fritters-out-of-any-vegetable-231408
Chris's Basic Frittata
Longtime CSA member Chris A. suggests the humble frittata as a must whenever she needs a quick meal that uses up lots of vegetables.
Here's her recipe:
6-8 eggs, 1/4 cup of dairy, any combination of sauteed veggies you have, a protein if you want it, a little cheese, and bake in a 350 oven for 15-30-ish minutes (check and eat when center if firm-ish, but not hard -- depends on size of pan, heat of oven, how many eggs you use). Some ovens may cook faster, some cook slower. Once I mastered my basic recipe and knew how long it would take in my oven, I was set. In any week and with any veggies, I could always make this work if I was out of other ideas. I start by sauteeing my veggies, pour over the mixture of eggs and dairy, top with cheese and protein if using, and then pop into the oven. One pan -- my 10-inch or 12-inch fry pan is all that gets dirty.
Ready to jump on the green smoothie train but don't know where to start? The Bon Appetit website has a step-by-step recipe formula for creating balanced and tasty smoothies with your vegetables as a key ingredient. https://www.bonappetit.com/drinks/non-alcoholic/article/smoothie-formula-green-kitchen-smoothies
Too many greens suddenly? Make pesto! We love kale & walnut pesto in addition to the traditional basil based blend. Real Simple has a versatile recipe that will help use up any greens in your fridge. https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/universal-pesto-recipe
Vegetable Scrap Broth
Vegetable broth can make a soup or other recipe so much richer and now you can make it yourself. Keep a gallon size freezer bag in your freezer and begin saving your vegetable scraps. Toss in carrot bits, onion peels, celery leaves etc. as you have them. When the bag fills up it's time to make stock. Here's a good tutorial on the easy process of boiling up your own rich veggie goodness: https://ohmyveggies.com/how-to-make-vegetable-broth-with-kitchen-scraps/
Chris A. also suggests quick pickles as an easy option for making lots of different veggies last longer than they would fresh in your fridge.
"For any sliced veggies or greens stems or... They often use carrots or radishes as an example, but nearly any veggie could be substituted (think kohlrabi, fennel, beets, etc.). Most will keep for weeks if not months as long as the veggies remain submerged under the liquid, so it's a good way to "preserve" what you have until you have more time or until later in the week or season. The last recipe shows how you can quickly add your pickled veggies as a flavor component in a salad. Or on a burger. As a side to anything else in the summer."
Have too many vegetables this week? You might need a plan for using them up later. Freezing your vegetables before any signs of spoilage means you'll preserve the bounty for tasty meals later this season or even into the winter. Here are a couple of resources for learning the best ways to prepare and freeze your vegetables.
Don't see your favorite Vegetable Exit Strategy go-to? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add it to inspire other members.