Many of us on the Cool Mom Eats team have made the leap to CSA memberships this year, since COVID-19 has limited our access to farmer’s markets in town. And sometimes we get some ingredients that we aren’t used to cooking with — which can be fun!
But also, a little work.
So, I wanted to share some delicious recipes to make with the veggies in your August CSA box that might not be in your ordinary weekly grocery haul. Of course, each CSA is a little different, but typically you’ll see veggies in August like beans, carrots, peppers, corn, fresh tomatoes (heirloom if you’re lucky), and tons of leafy greens.
What to do with fresh beans
Of course, you can always just steam some fresh beans and serve them as a side at dinner, but there are other creative ways to use them too! I love adding green beans to fried rice or sugar snap peas to stir fry. Fresh shelled peas are perfect in pasta or potato salad. If you’re not sure what to do with fava beans, try this sautéed shrimp and fava bean pasta at Serving Dumplings. Or make this smooth fava bean dip from Where Is My Food to stash in the fridge, then bring out to serve with pita bread or chips for snacks.
What to do with fresh carrots
My kids like to pull fresh carrots from the garden, brush them off, and eat them right then and there. But there are a lot more options, if you can actually make it to your kitchen without eating them.
You can pickle carrots quickly and easily wiith this recipe at Randa Nutrition. Spiral them to add to your bowls for dinner — from Asian-inspired rice bowls to veggie-rich summer quinoa bowls. Add them to your juice or smoothie blend, like this Crimson Sunset drink recipe at Moon Crumb.
And, of course, don’t forget carrot cake! I’m loving this carrot apple snack cake at Minimalist Baker right now which taste extra delicious with those fresh carrots from your garden or an August CSA box
What to do with fresh bell peppers
I slice fresh bell peppers up to add to stir fry or fajitas, or I’ll chop them to brighten a fresh homemade salsa. Diced peppers are great in an omelette for breakfast with other veggies, spinach, goat cheese, you name it. Or just a slice them up to dip in hummus, or let the kids crunch away with some ranch dressing. It’s pretty endless.
If you want to make peppers the focus of your dinner, though, this stuffed pepper recipe at Salt & Lavender is a kid-friendly option I love. You can blister some on the grill to add to your burgers, like this recipe Mediterranean Black Bean Burger recipe at Our Happy Mess. Or think sauces to change up your flavor profiles for a weeknight meals: you can make a delicious red pepper sauce for your seafood at The Cozy Apron.
What to do with fresh corn
If I’m not serving corn straight from the grill, I like to switch it up with this Mexican Street Corn recipe at My Latina Table…or make a street-corn inspired salad, like this one at Pass Me Some Tasty.
This Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder at Halfbaked Harvest is a great comfort food recipe that still has a summery flavor to it.
And don’t forget salads! A grilled peach, tomato and corn salad at Cherry On My Sundae is an incredible side dish to accompany nearly any fish or meat seared on the grill, or as a vegetarian dinner all on its own.
What to make with fresh tomatoes
Hooray – this is the month tomatoes are at their peak! I know they are technically a fruit, but go with me here.
My kids just like to pop tomatoes in their mouths like candy, but I do try to save a few from our August haul to make this savory tomato pie at House of Nash Eats for an easy summer lunch.
I can’t resist a caprese salad when the tomatoes are perfectly ripe, or you can really showcase those gorgeous tomatoes beautifully with a perfect bruschetta recipe, like this one at Cooking on the Ranch. Or roast tomatoes to get their full flavor: these baked tomatoes Provencal at Vanilla Bean Cuisine look incredible. Then again, PK’s Kitchen Equations has a simple roasted tomato soup that you can’t go wrong with in summer. And hey… gazpacho recipes galore! Chilled soups keep so well in the fridge I can eat them all week.
What to make with fresh August greens
If you’re getting tired of boring lettuce salads, there are so many other ways to use your greens deliciously this summer. To start, we always toss some in our smoothies in the morning. The kids don’t even notice the taste, but it gives us loads of vitamins.
If you’re making homemade homemade marinara sauce for spaghetti or lasagna, just throw a handful of greens there before you blend it up for some extra goodness — it’s also a good way to freshen up jarred sauce is in a pinch.