Monday, July 08, 2013

Branching Out

I know I've been a little intermittent (funny how a bitsy baby will do that to you...), but while I've been pretty quiet online, I've been loving my CSA at home! I mentioned when we got started that I was hoping it would help us branch out, be more adventurous, and try some new things. So far, so good! Here are a few of the things we've tried:

Back when I first searched for green garlic recipes, I came across this one for a ricotta pasta. I decided it sounded good enough to violate a major rule of hostessing and make it the first time for company. Luckily, I learned the difference between turnips and green garlic the night before our company came, and this turned out great! It's almost an alfredo-like effect. I made it along with this salad, which also got rave reviews by everyone around the table. 

Swiss chard was also a new vegetable. I'd heard of this one, but never used it. I came across this pasta recipe during my quality time with Google, and it was a major hit with Jonny. Can't go wrong with bacon, eh?

And to round out this roundup, who doesn't love a freebie? I love finding that I have everything on hand for a meal without it actually being on my meal plan! Here's what I came up with:

Bacon-wrapped chicken with salad and brown rice risotto.

I had some chicken leftover from our company (I cut up some chicken into our pasta) and bacon leftover from our Swiss chard pasta. I topped our chicken pieces (each one is about 1/4 of a breast piece) with some jarred pesto and wrapped the whole thing in bacon. I baked it on a wire rack over a baking sheet at 350 until the bacon was crispy. Alternatively, you could fry it in a skillet, turning to crisp the bacon on each side.

Brown rice risotto. Worked on this while my chicken was in the oven. I started with this recipe, but altered it based on what I had on hand. Namely, I didn't have any white wine, so I just skipped that step. I also used part parmesan cheese and part feta (along with some heavy cream) to help match flavors with the rest of the meal.

This salad is CSA lettuce and cucumbers, sliced almonds, feta cheese, and more pesto thinned out with some extra olive oil as dressing. I stumbled on this combination accidentally the previous day. I was looking for whatever I had around, and the result was awesome! I decided to recreate it for our dinner.

We had been talking about potentially going out for a date that night, but Jonny decided it would be better for his schedule to go another night. As we were wrapping dinner up at home, he said, "Well, I'm really glad we didn't go out tonight. Because this was all delicious!"

Have you been trying any new foods or recipes lately? Have you been pleasantly surprised by a "freebie" meal on hand?


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