Some of us at our Bootcamp are signed up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) bag that gets delivered each week. It’s a collection of veggies from Wally’s Farm in Hawaii Kai, and it’s full of fresh, local goodness for a fraction of what you’d pay for organic produce from the grocery store. Each week is a little different, but usually consists of some combination of kale, Okinawan spinach, Japanese eggplant, wing beans (crazy caterpillar-looking things!), garlic greens, lemongrass, daikon, turnip greens, guava, green papaya, apple bananas, and more.
Being a part of this CSA definitely helps me to eat more fresh veggies, feel good about supporting our local farmers, and challenges my creativity in the kitchen since I wouldn’t normally purchase many of these exotic veggies in the supermarket on my routine shopping trips.
Our CSA group chatted recently about what creations we have come up with using our bags. Here are 12 creative meal ideas and veggie combos to inspire you to get out of a food rut:
- Japanese Curry – Saute kale, eggplant, daikon, wing beans, and ground turkey in a Japanese Curry sauce.
- Quinoa Veggie Stir Fry – Finely chop wing beans, kale, Okinawan spinach, and other greens then saute them in garlic greens and chives. Stir-fry together with cooked quinoa.
- Easy Minestrone Soup – Combine kale, eggplant, wing beans, garlic greens, and other greens in a pot with veggie broth and water. Stir in one jar of organic spaghetti sauce. You can also add in cooked quinoa or other beans. Top with organic cheese or cheese substitute.
- Guava with Shoyu and Pepper – I’d never heard of this! Our Bootcampers from Hilo on the Big Island all grew up eating this! Can’t wait to try it! They said you can do this with green mango too. You can also substitute tamari, coconut aminos, or Bragg’s aminos for the shoyu.
- Apple Bananas Sauteed in Shoyu and Butter served with Vanilla Ice Cream – This idea came up in a discussion about a dessert they serve at Nobu’s. At the restaurant they top it with a macadamia nut crumble.
- Daikon with Poached Quail Egg and Tobiko – This is my dad’s creative creation! Saute big round slices of daikon in mirin and shoyu sauce (like Japanese Oden). Carefully poach one quail egg per daikon slice in the same sauce. Using a melon baller, scoop out a hole from the center of the daikon slice to place the poached egg. Top with tobiko (flying fish egg) for a beautiful presentation.
- Homemade Pizza with Sauteed Kale and Garlic Greens Topped with Fried Egg – Make a thin crust pizza or buy a store bought pre-made crust (I like the gluten-free pre-made crust from Whole Foods). Top with organic white cheese (red or white sauce optional) and heaps of kale and garlic greens. Fry a couple of eggs on the side (leave the yolks runny!) and place on top just before serving. Egg on pizza is the bomb! Top with sea salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.
- Eggplant Fries – Dip eggplant in egg, pan-fry lightly and serve. Try dipping in homemade Garlic Aioli or a storebought version like Wildwood Garlic Aioli.
- Eggplant Bacon – Great for sandwiches and salads. Post Punk Kitchen has a recipe to try.
- Miso Eggplant – Cut up eggplant in small pieces and fry up eggplant in bit of oil until soft. On the side, make a sauce out of miso, shoyu, sugar (or sugar alternative such as honey, agave, coconut sugar, or stevia). Mix together and enjoy.
- Lemongrass Tea – Cut up lemongrass and steep in hot water. Strain out the lemon grass. You can also add in ginger and honey.
- Tom Yum Soup – This is a great use for lemongrass. Here’s a simple recipe for a 15-minute version from RasaMalaysia.com.
Mmmmmm hungry? Inspired? You can find out more about Community Support Agriculture on the Local Harvest website, or visit a Farmers’ Market near you. What creative creations have you come up with using fresh, local produce? Share with us in the comments!