Tag Archives: CSA


The history of Pretty Smart Raw Food Ideas is directly tied to my first venture into CSAs.  Some years back, I saw an announcement for a CSA a couple of blocks from my home, and I signed up right away.  As CSAs often deliver vegetables folks have never seen before, I began to hear people asking what they should do with what they had received in the box.    Me? Being raw, I just went on-line, found out about the vegetable in question, and then started experimenting.  People started asking me for recipes.  I asked the CSA if we couldn’t have a way to publish recipes for the benefit of the members. They poo-poo’d my idea.  My blog was born the next day, with raw recipes for the vegetables I found in my box. 

Now, I have found  a CSA which allows you to casually  join whenever you find out about it, and allows you to pay by the week.  (I have had to leave that first CSA because they require an up front payment which I could not manage).  I’m telling you this because, if you have thought about a CSA, but didn’t sign up for one in the spring (most CSAs require you to sign up before May), there is a CSA that you can still join.

Corbin Hill Food Project is a CSA that works with local farmers to provide low cost organic vegetables and fruit (and other products, as add-ons), mostly in low-income neighborhoods (that doesn’t mean that you can’t join if you are not low-income – it just means that you might have to travel a bit).  The beauty of this CSA is that you can sign up at any time during CSA season (summer to fall), and, if, for any reason, you cannot receive your share the next week (for example: you will be away, or you can’t afford it), you can put your share on hold, simply by notifying them a week in advance.  If you are interested, please visit Corbin Hill Food Project to find the most convenient location for you to receive your share (I’ll be going to the Community Kitchen and Food Pantry on 116th St in Harlem – it’s familiar to me, and I want to support its programs, and, also, the commute there and back home is reasonable, even if it is not right near my home – heck! Fairway, Costco, and Trader Joe’s involve commutes so it is not really that big of a deal). 

The first deliveries are June 18th and June 19th (depending on your chosen location – I’m set to receive my share on Tuesday, the 18th), and the last day to sign up for that week is June 10th. 

Just saying.


10/31/13 CSA SHARE: What they say we will get

POST #983
It is a very good thing that tomorrow is CSA day.  I will be quite hungry by then, I am sure.  I have just come back from vacation, so all there is to eat around here is what I have in the freezer (not much – I am not really big on freezing vegetables), a jar of fermented salsa, and some dehydrated crackers).

Kale – Red, Green or Toscano – 1 bun
Swiss Chard – 1 bun
Beets – 1 bun
Bok Choi – 1 bun
Broccoli – 1 hd
Cauliflower – 2 hds
Carrots – 1 bun
Long Peppers – 7+ pcs

Oh, goody! Lots of things I like. Yumm!

9/26/13 CSA SHARE: What we got, what I took, and what I’m going to do with it

POST #976
Salad Turnips – 1 bun
Baby Bok Choi – 2 pcs
Spinach – 1 lb
Arugula – 1/2 lb                              1 bun turnips
Toscano Kale – 1 bun
Long Red Peppers – 2 pcs
Make-up Item 1 green pepper      2 long red peppers

I know I have said that I am going to use everything in the box, but sometimes (okay, most times) I just can’t.
I am not a real salad girl — I mean, if I am in a restaurant with people, sometimes salad is all there is; and, if I am invited to dinner, and they serve salad, or I am at a meet-up and all there is besides what I brought, is salad I’ll eat it; but, at home, I do not go for salad. You may think this strange for a raw foodist, but that is who I am. I am a lazy chewer. Leaves are work. I avoid them if I can. That’s not to say that I cannot make cool food with leaves – it just means that things that work best in salads and nothing else don’t normally get on my menu.

So, all that said, I sniffed the arugula, and put it aside. I looked in the “trade” box (where we can put what we don’t want and take something someone else didn’t want – I usually go at opening time so I can get good picks from the trade box, but, yesterday, I arrived just before closing time, so the pickings were slim). There was a nice bunch of white turnips with good greens. I grabbed them and put the arugula in the trade box. Then, I looked at that green pepper. I used to like green pepper a lot, but, I much prefer red pepper now. I don’t care which kind: it can be sweet red pepper, it can be spicy red pepper – I don’t care. One small green bell pepper versus two fair-sized long red peppers (sweet)? No question there. Those were the trades.

Now, what am I going to do with the goodies?
KALE: I am going to take a few of the leaves and make a small batch of kale cashew cheeze (I checked before I went, and I still have about 2 C of cashews)
SPINACH: I saw a spinach/cashew mix which was basically my kale/cashew mix and sounded interesting, so I think I’ll take about half of the spinach and make another cashew mix/cheeze
BEETS: These salad beets are fairly large, so I can peel them and then grind them up and add some apple cider vinegar and garlic -Yum! The greens are very nice, so I will make them into marinated greens, adding some onion, garlic, and apple cider vinegar to sweeten them up. I may even add in some red pepper in for more flavor. Since I have two bunches, I may make a small jar of fermented beets.
BOK CHOY: I discovered a new way to deal with bok choy last week (that was the first time I decided to keep the bok choy, if truth be told). I took a bunch to work and tore off the leafy part, rolled it up, and dipped it in cashew/thai curry mayo. That was a nice lunch. I dipped the bok choi ends, too.

This weekend, I think I’ll wrap up the kale/cashew cheeze in the bok choi. If I have time, I may make some thin slices of red pepper and add them to the mix.

9/19/13 : WHAT WAS IN THE BOX , WHAT I WENT HOME WITH, and what I will do with it

This is what we got and what I ended up taking home:

Celery root – 2 pcs
Baby bok choi – 1 bun
Scallions – 1 bun……………traded for bok choi
Arugula – ½ lb bag…………traded for 3 red peppers
Zucchini – 1 pc………………got 2 med.small eggplants
Long Red Peppers – 3 pcs
Sweet Potatoes – 1.75 lbs

It was hard for me to decide to take home the eggplant but there was really nothing else to choose except 3 small sweet potatoes, so I bit the bullet.  Now, after researching for only a short time, I wish I had traded something for the eggplants there for trade, as I have found several tasty-looking recipes for fermented eggplant. I am looking forward to making some hot ajvar with the eggplant and red peppers, and some fermented eggplant with garlic.

8/29/13 CSA SHARE- what we got and what I am going to do with it

POST #967
Without my blog, yesterday seems so long ago! I mean it! I’m so happy to be back on-line!

Yellow Potatoes – 1 qt
Scallions – 1 bun
Green Bell Peppers – 2 pcs
Garlic – 1 pc
Tomatoes – 6 lbs
Zucchini – 2 pcs

Somehow, I came away with 3 bunches of scallions and 3 pcs of garlic, and a thing of chard (what do you call a “thing of chard”? Thank heavens for the word “thing”)

I chatted with some interesting ladies at the share distribution (one on the volunteer side of the table, and the other right up next to me, bagging her boxed goodies (I gave her one of my Ziploc bags) Promised to send them some fermenting recipes (should I start a mailing list on these things? I’ll have to look into that!) I expect this weekend is going to be about fermenting – I have some cabbage, all those tomatoes, and, I hope some of last week’s cucumbers have survived)

I decided to keep the potatoes. All of the raw food “experts” are now saying that they are actually eating cooked food. I haven’t done that in a long while (I had the power company cut off the gas a good while back, when the last room-mate left, because I haven’t cooked food in 30 years or so). I do have a rice cooker , a coffee-maker, and a microwave, left by a former room-mate, so I am going to experiment with cooking the potatoes and making a real potato salad (with such raw entries as onions and bell pepper). We’ll see how that goes. (We’re talking: I’m dirt poor right now, and I live off what comes in the box, so, at least, this week, I am going to bend and see what all the hoopla of going off 100% raw is about — okay, folks! I’ve been telling you I am 95% raw, even though I have been 100% raw – this is where that comes in! I am finally going to do something you can point at). I’ll let you know how that goes (I’m feeling kind of sheepish. I mean, how do you cook potatoes without boiling or baking them? I guess I can find the info on the Internet somewhere. Somewhere somebody has put information about how to get boiled-like potatoes in a microwave or a rice cooker — if you know, I’d be grateful if you’d tell me – I’m thinking rice cooker)

So, anyway – I’m going to make a fermented salsa with most, if not all, of the tomatoes. Ferments last longer, and I can combine a fermented salsa with all sorts of things. I am probably going to take one tomato and make a fresh “pasta” with one of the zucchini.

An aside – I am kind of bummed that I won’t be able to go to the September meet-up of “NYC Ferments” – they are doing “fermented fruit” this time, and I was planning to take a fermented squash salsa  (check it out on meetup.com), because I have work that night (yea, work! helps pay the rent)

Stay tuned! I’m back! Yea! (thank you WordPress, and thank you, Lord!)

08/15/13 CSA SHARE: What they said and what we got

What they said and what we got:

Yellow Baby Watermelon –      1 pc 2 tiny baby watermelons
Potatoes OR Green Beans –       1 qt or 1/2 lb. bag green beans
Cucumbers – 5 pcs                      8 cucumbers
Baby Leeks – 1 bun                      1 sm. bun leeks
Red Beets – 1 bun                         X
Tomato – 1 pc                               2 tomatoes, 1 big one, one small one

I kept almost everything this time. After a glance into the “trade box”, since most people had discarded their cucumbers, I decided to trade in my small bunch of leeks for 8 big cucumbers – I can make a couple of my favorite cucumber dishes and also ferment a couple of jars worth.

I was disappointed to not get the beets, as I was looking forward to some beet salad this week. Oh well.
Glad to have the green beans, because I can experiment with my green bean gadget recommended by Raw Nouveau. (I’ll let you know that goes)

All in all — YUMM! Good food to eat this week!

7/18/13 CSA SHARE: What we got and what I did with it

POST #960
Here’s what I found in the box:
Radicchio – 1 sm head – I traded it for a cucumber
Cucumber – 1 pc
Zucchini – 1-2 pcs (that’s down from 3)
Scallions – 1 sm bun
Parsley – 1 bun
Walla Walla Onions – 1 bun

It wasn’t hard at all to use all of the contents of the box in one dish! I just chopped a scallion, sliced some zucchini, chopped some parsley, sliced the cucumber, chopped some onion, and voila! I added some garlic, tomato, and avocado to make it more interesting, and drizzled some thin cashew cheddar cheeze over it as a dressing.