For the past few weeks I have been receiving boxes of fresh produce from my local CSA, or Consumer Supported Agriculture. This service delivers locally grown organic fruits and vegetables to my doorstep once a week. I subscribed to a service like this in the past and found it a challenge to use all of the produce I received. But these days, I have gotten into the groove of planning meals ahead of time so I know that I will be using all of the food I purchase and so nothing goes to waste. Sometimes when people find out that I’m vegan they ask me what I eat. I always find this amusing. Partially because I spend so much time thinking about and preparing food that, to me, it seems obvious! And also because the person asking has no idea how much I would love to talk their ear off about vegan food and once they get me started it’s hard to make me stop.
Answering this question is essentially the reason why I started my blog. I love talking about food! And that’s why I thought it would be fun to take it a step further than just posting recipes and start a new series illustrating, through pictures, exactly what vegans eat. The twist here is that I will also be giving tips on how to cook with the seasons, which is something I’ve been trying to learn how to do and one of the main reasons I signed up for the CSA box delivery service. Hopefully this will help others with ideas for how to use locally grown seasonal produce when planning their meals.
Here’s what I got in my CSA box this week:
Flat Leaf Parsley
Green Bell Pepper
Red Cherry Tomatoes
And how I used everything..
I sautéed up the chard with some yellow onion and garlic, added in some white beans and veggie broth and let it simmer. This paired perfectly with the rice pilaf I made, in which I used a lot of the fresh parsley and white garlic. I added some BBQ tofu and the meal was complete! – hearty and delicious!
I used the mushrooms to make a teriyaki bowl. My original idea was to make sushi rolls which I have done successfully in the past but this night was just NOT working out. So I ended up making a sort of deconstructed sushi bowl. I also made a spicy “tuna” type mixture out of chickpeas, sriracha sauce and liquid smoke. Threw on some cucumbers, carrots, scallions and sesame seeds which are typical ingredients of sushi rolls and it really brought all of the flavors together. Turned out really good even if the sushi rolls didn’t!
When I saw the head of romaine lettuce I pretty much knew right away I would be making a giant salad. My mother in law recently gave me a salad spinner which I was really excited about! I’ve never owned one and my lettuce would always end up soggy after washing. So I was really excited to put my new spinner to use for this recipe. Caesar is my husband’s favorite salad dressing and I’ve created a great vegan version using tahini, a litle miso paste, garlic, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and salt and pepper. I tossed it all together with tomatoes, garbanzo beans and carrots – yum!
With the shisito and green bell peppers I made a huge pot of veggie chili. This is probably the recipe I have been making the longest because my mom used to always make chili and it’s one of my favorites. When I was in high school my sister was a vegetarian and my mom would always make a separate pot of veggie chili for her. A few years later, I had a couple friends who were vegetarian so I would make the veggie version for them. Once I became vegetarian I was already a chili-making pro! I love making huge batches of chili and putting individual servings in the freezer since it thaws really well and is a great meal when I don’t feel like cooking or going to the store. For this batch, I added crumbled tempeh and poured it over a baked sweet potato with avocado and cilantro – SO good!!
Well, there you have it! Do you like to cook according to the seasons? What are your favorite fall recipes? Let me know in the comments.