Why I Love My CSA

It’s no secret that I love joining my CSA year after year. I’ve been involved in mine for 3 years now, and it is something I look forward to every year. I thought I’d answer some frequently asked questions I get, so you can see if it’s a good fit for you!

What is a CSA?

CSA Stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA allows individuals to have direct access to high quality, fresh produce grown locally by regional farmers. When you become a member of a CSA, you’re purchasing a “share” of vegetables from a regional farmer!

Supporting Local Farmers

CSA’s keep small farms going! Rather than buying less-than-average, shipped from who knows where, produce from your supermarket, you get to meet the farmers and support them and all of their hard work (it is A LOT of work). So while shopping at the farmer’s market or grocery store is great, I truly believe that joining a CSA is even better.

How Does a CSA Operate

I’ve seen them operate mainly in two ways.

  • Pre-Packed: Some CSAs have a pick up location (some even drop-off!) where you go and get the pre-packaged/portioned box of your fresh produce.
  • Farmer Market Style: Others, like mine, give you let’s say 9 out of 12 options to pick from, and you can pick which of the items you want. They also have a pick-your-own area where you can pick herbs and things!
  • Length of Time: So mine runs from June-October (20 weeks), but I imagine they vary based on where you live, and so on. Mine also offers the opportunity to do 10-week or 20-week shares, because it’s often A LOT to do weekly if you are cooking for let’s say 2 people.
  • If you think a CSA is something that may be great for you, I encourage doing some research and finding a CSA that works for you. There may be only one or two to choose from, but if you live in a place where there are options, it is a good idea to take time to look around, because each farm varies in the payments, what you get, what they ask of you, etc.

How It Saves Me Money

While upfront it seems like a large sum (every CSA is a different cost), the amount of produce I get weekly is beyond! By the end of the season at some points, I can take 20 pounds of potatoes and tomatoes (for example)! So while initially you may be like, wow that seems like a lot, when I have compared it to my grocery shopping in the stores, it pays for itself for sure!

Getting Creative in the Kitchen

Another bonus is sometimes you get/can pick unique produce that you wouldn’t often cook with, which can be really fun! Aside from always have fresh food in the fridge, the thought of a fridge-full of produce will encourage creativity. For example, I never used garlic scapes until my CSA and now I love them! AND you can totally get kiddos involved. They think it’s super fun to help in the kitchen, and if you have a CSA where you get to pick, there usually is an entire community for kids! They love going!

Want CSA-inspired recipe ideas? Here are some we’ve done over the years:

It’s Not Always JUST Produce

Mine, and many that I know of, also offer fresh meat, eggs, and cheese/fresh local dairy from local farms available for purchase when you pick up! I absolutely love this. I get my honey, apple cider vinegar, cheese, and eggs there all season long.

Some Things to Consider

  • Some people find it overwhelming to go and then feel pressure to cook/use what they get. So if you loathe cooking (which I hope you don’t), you may not love it.
  • You also might find there’s some waste (or not going to lie, I do, but am working on it). Since they aren’t sprayed with chemicals to preserve the produce, they don’t last as long.
  • Lastly, my CSA does not have fruit (except watermelons and cantaloupes at the end of the season, and sometimes raspberries in the beginning), so you still may have to supplement on top of your CSA.

How to Find a CSA Near You

  • If you Google “CSA NEAR ME” results should pop up with CSA’s in your area!
  • Ask a friend/neighbor/etc. — while the CSA near me search is totally effective, I found mine through neighbors!
  • Local in MA? Here is my CSA that I have been a part of for years, and absolutely LOVE it and highly recommend it. I also happen to know they still have 10 or 20 week shares available! 
  • Also, mine had an orientation which I really loved and recommend attending if yours does too. You can learn about their farming practices, organic, standards they uphold, etc.

So, do you belong to a CSA?!

CSA SHARE

What’s In Season: SPRING EDITION

Spring is here!! Whether it’s still chilly where you live or beginning to warm up, the produce is coming! I always opt for using fresh, local, in-season produce, plus it can often be cheaper, so let’s take a look at the SPRING EDITION of what produce is in season!

Broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, artichokes, all the lettuce greens, asparagus, radishes, peas, parsnips, chives, potatoes, chard, rhubarb, grapefruit, strawberries, and more! It’s a good season!

In the next few weeks on Lexiscleankitchen.com, we’ll be sharing even more recipes to use all of the fabulous produce in abundance this season.

What's In Season In The Spring - Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Get cooking:

Blueberry Chia Jam

Healthy Broccoli Soup

Mediterranean Veggie Fritters

Everything Bagel Topped Cauliflower Rolls

Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

Guacamole

Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Radishes

Indian Spiced Cauliflower with Chicken

Herb Cucumber Salad

Roasted Chicken Buddha Bowls

Spiced Roasted Cauliflower

Potato, Leek, and Chard Frittata

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Happy Spring Cooking!

Potato, Leek, and Chard Frittata

Frittatas are great for a weekend brunch or for an on-the-go weekday breakfast! Potatoes, leeks, swiss chard, and cherry tomatoes from the CSA or farmer’s market give this frittata bursts of delicious, rustic, fresh flavor!

Potato, Leek, and Chard Frittata

We are back to reality after an amazing trip (you may have seen snippets on Instagram or Snapchat). I can’t wait to recap the trip for you and all that we did! But first, now that we’re home after a week of amazing indulgent meals and cocktails/wine, it’s been tons of light fresh (home-cooked) food, and this frittata has been on the menu non-stop!

I can’t believe the last week of the #summerCSArecipes (use the hashtag when you share a remake on Instagram!) series with Fed and Fit and PaleOMG is here. It’s been an awesome 9 weeks of all things CSA ingredients!

Check out the recipes for Week 1Week 2,  Week 3Week 4Week 5, Week 6, Week 7,  Week 8, and now Week 9!

Potato, Leek, and Chard Frittata

Potato, Leek, and Chard Frittata

Potato, Leek, and Chard Frittata
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Prep Time
8 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
8 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter or avocado oil, more as needed
  2. 1 1/2 cup potatoes, cut into small cubes
  3. 1 leek, finely diced
  4. 1 bunch chard, chopped
  5. Optional: 1/3 to 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  6. 10 large eggs
  7. 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  9. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  10. 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In an oven-safe skillet, heat oil and sauté leeks for 30 seconds. Add in potatoes and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Add in chard and toss until wilted. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.
  4. In a bowl whisk together the eggs. Add in remaining salt, pepper, and paprika.
  5. Pour into skillet and let set for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  6. Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until eggs are set and no longer jiggly.
  7. Slice and serve hot.
Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/
Potato, Leek, and Chard Frittata


Cassy made you Sausage & Cabbage Sheet Pan Dinner

This sausage and cabbage sheet pan dinner recipe is a tribute to cooks everywhere who want to make a delicious meal, have plenty of leftovers, dirty minimal dishes, and would prefer to only spend 10 minutes preparing the ingredients! This Paleo-friendly, balanced sheet pan meal calls for the sausage of your choosing, green cabbage, purple cabbage, and a few redskin potatoes for healthy starch.

14125009_10108733001287294_5616874736087136358_o

Juli made you Fig & Tomato Basil Salad

You may never think of pairing figs and tomatoes together, but with a fresh basil, local honey, and a touch of salt, all the flavors really come together. This is a super easy side dish that can be made in minutes and is super fresh and flavorful!

14184367_10102995963601913_3630064936948487044_nWe hope you loved this series and come back to cook from it time and time again! And if you missed any, here’s what I cooked for each week, and you’ll find Cassy’s and Juli’s in those posts, too!

Week 1: Grilled Fish Bowls with Garlic Scapes and Kale

Week 2: Herb Cucumber Salad

Week 3: Thai Curry Soup

Weel 4: Vietnamese Beef Cabbage Wraps

Week 5: Jicama Kale Salad with Orange Lime Vinaigrette

Week 6: Herb Butter Salmon with Blistered Tomatoes and Green Beans

Week 7: Eggplant Lasagna Rollatini

Week 8: Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde & Salsa Verde Guacamole

Week 9: Potato, Leek, and Chard Frittata

Potato, Leek, and Chard Frittata

Prep Time 8 min Cook Time 25 min Total Time 0:33

Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In an oven-safe skillet, heat oil and sauté leeks for 30 seconds. Add in potatoes and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add in chard and toss until wilted. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.
  • In a bowl whisk together the eggs. Add in remaining salt, pepper, and paprika.
  • Pour into skillet and let set for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until eggs are set and no longer jiggly.
  • Slice and serve hot.
  • Loading nutrition data...
    There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

    Thai Curry Soup

    This Thai Curry Soup is my new favorite! I love all things Thai, and I especially love a filling, super flavorful soup. This dish is packed with so many of your CSA and farmer’s market veggies: Summer Squash, Bok Choy, Snap Peas, Basil, and Cilantro. It’ll be a hit of dinner, and then some with leftovers!

    Thai-curry-soup3

    Week 3 of my CSA summer series with PaleOMG & Fed and Fit is here! There are now 9 recipes in the series and they are SO amazing. Don’t forget to check out week 1 and week 2. I am in love with this series because I get to bring you all sorts of fabulous recipes with all the fresh ingredients from my farm and backyard, and ones that are in abundance for you, too! 

    Thai-curry-soup2

     

    Thai Curry Soup
    Serves 4
    Write a review
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    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    45 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    45 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1 tablespoon avocado oil, coconut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
    2. 2 inch stalk lemongrass (white part), minced
    3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
    4. 1 inch chunk ginger, minced
    5. 1 cup shitake mushrooms
    6. 2-3 medium bok choy, sliced
    7. 1 cup bean sprouts
    8. 1 cup snap peas
    9. 32 ounces chicken broth
    10. 1 13-ounce can coconut milk
    11. 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
    12. 1 lime, juiced
    13. 1 tablespoon curry powder
    14. 3 thai birds eye chilis, chopped
    15. 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
    16. 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
    17. 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
    18. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    19. Pinch red pepper flakes, more to taste
    20. 1 pound shrimp, deveined and peeled
    21. 2 large zucchinis or summer squashes, spiraled (about 13 ounces)
    22. Optional: 1 to 2 cups cooked rice noodles (about 7 ounces uncooked)
    23. Additional basil leaves, for garnish
    24. Additional cilantro leaves, for garnish
    25. Additional lime wedges, for garnish
    26. Additional red pepper flakes, for garnish
    Instructions
    1. In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat and sauté lemongrass, garlic, and ginger for 2 minutes until flagrant.
    2. Add in mushrooms, bok choy, bean sprouts, and snap peas. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until veggies begin to soften.
    3. Add in broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, curry powder, chilis, basil, cilantro, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Mix well and let simmer for 5 minutes.
    4. Add in shrimp and mix until shrimp becomes opaque.
    5. Add in spiralized summer squash or zucchinis, and rice noodles if adding.
    6. Taste and adjust salt and spices as desired. Garnish and serve hot.
    Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

    Thai-curry-soup1

    Thai-curry-soup


     Juli made you Easy Shrimp Skewers with Chard Cilantro Pesto

    Easy Shrimp

    Cassy made you Thai Chard Shrimp Wraps

    Thai Chard Shrimp Wraps 

     

    What is your favorite Thai dish?

    Grilled Fish Bowls with Garlic Scapes and Kale

    These Grilled Fish Bowls with Garlic Scapes and Kale makes for the perfect summer meal in a bowl. Packed with flavor and fabulous ingredients, this dish is packed with everything you need for a delicious and nutritious lunch or dinner.

    Grilled Fish Bowls with Garlic Scapes and Kale

    Last year was my first year of joining a local CSA and frequenting my new town’s farmers markets. I came home week after week with incredible amounts of produce, many of which at a loss of what to do with. (P.S. if you’re looking to save money eating organic, a CSA is an amazing resource). 

    I hate to say it, I wasted a lot last year. I often didn’t use up all of those more unique ingredients. But not this year.

    This year, I’m teaming up with my fabulous friends Juli (from PaleOMG) and Cassy from Fed and Fit to bring you a recipe a week inspired by our CSAs and Farmer’s Market hauls! That’s right. Every week you’ll get THREE delicious recipes to inspire you to cook something new, try a new ingredient, or just enjoy that fresh local produce!

    CSA Week 1Part of my first haul!

    If you’re looking for a CSA in your area, this website is a good resource on how to find one!

    Grilled Fish Bowls with Garlic Scapes and Kale

    Everything is better in a bowl. Seriously! This week let’s use up some kale, garlic scapes, scallions, and cucumber!

    Grilled Fish Bowls with Garlic Scapes and Kale

    Grilled Salmon Bowls with Garlic Scapes and Kale
    Serves 4
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    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    For the fish
    1. 2 teaspoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
    2. 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
    3. 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
    4. 1/2 lemon, juiced
    5. Pinch of fine sea salt
    6. Pinch of back pepper
    7. Pinch of red pepper flakes
    8. 1 1/2 pounds wild salmon filets, or fish of choice
    9. Sesame seeds, for garnish
    For the Kale and Garlic Scapes
    1. 1 tablespoon unsalted grass-fed butter or oil
    2. 4 cups chopped kale
    3. 8 to 10 garlic scapes, diced
    4. Pinch of salt and pepper
    Everything Else
    1. 2 cups cooked white rice (I cook mine in broth for extra flavor)
    2. 1 avocado, sliced
    3. 1 cucumber sliced
    4. 1/3 cup scallions, chopped
    5. Radish slices, for garnish
    6. Optional: Soft-boiled eggs (how-to HERE)
    Instructions
    1. In a bowl whisk together fish marinade ingredients and pour over fish. Let sit for 10 minutes or up to 1 hour.
    2. Cook fish inside: Place broiler on high. Place fish on a lined and greased baking sheet and broil for 7 to 9 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish. Add sesame seeds to garnish.
    3. Cook fish on the grill: Grease grill and heat to medium. Place fish on a sheet of tin foil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until fully cooked to your liking. Add sesame seeds to garnish.
    4. In a skillet heat oil and garlic scapes and sauté until kale is wilted and garlic scapes have softened slightly.
    5. Assemble bowls: Add rice to each bowl. Top with kale mixture, salmon, avocado, cucumber, egg, scallions, and radish slices. Serve and enjoy.
    Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/
    Grilled Fish Bowls with Garlic Scapes and Kale


    Now, let’s see what my fabulous friends made this week!

    Cassy made you a delicious Chicken Salad with Snap Pea Radish Slaw!

    Fed-and-Fit-Summer-Chicken-Salad

    Juli made you a Zucchini Pad Thai with Shrimp!

    Pad Thai

    I can’t wait to devour these recipes! Check back every Wednesday for the next two months for recipes to cook through those market and CSA hauls!

    What ingredients are you hoping to see get used in this series?

    Grilled Salmon Bowls with Garlic Scapes and Kale

    Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 0:30

    Ingredients

      For the fish

      For the Kale and Garlic Scapes

      Everything Else

      • 2 cups cooked white rice (I cook mine in broth for extra flavor)
      • 1 avocado, sliced
      • 1 cucumber sliced
      • 1/3 cup scallions, chopped
      • Radish slices, for garnish
      • Optional: Soft-boiled eggs (how-to HERE)

      Directions

    • In a bowl whisk together fish marinade ingredients and pour over fish. Let sit for 10 minutes or up to 1 hour.
    • Cook fish inside: Place broiler on high. Place fish on a lined and greased baking sheet and broil for 7 to 9 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish. Add sesame seeds to garnish.
    • Cook fish on the grill: Grease grill and heat to medium. Place fish on a sheet of tin foil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until fully cooked to your liking. Add sesame seeds to garnish.
    • In a skillet heat oil and garlic scapes and sauté until kale is wilted and garlic scapes have softened slightly.
    • Assemble bowls: Add rice to each bowl. Top with kale mixture, salmon, avocado, cucumber, egg, scallions, and radish slices. Serve and enjoy.
    • Loading nutrition data...
      There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

      Easy Scallop Pasta

      This Zucchini Noodles with Scallops is a super delicious lightened version of scallop pasta using zoodles. This quick weeknight dinner is perfect for summer time. It’s gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30 friendly.

      Zucchini and scallopZucchini Noodles with Scallops

      This year I joined a local CSA and cannot believe it has taken me this long to get involved in one. So many of you ask how to shop and eat clean on a budget, and I highly recommend joining a local CSA to help with your shopping. For the money we spent for the 20 weeks, the amount of produce we get weekly is AMAZING. I am making all the fresh veggies with dinner. And lunch. And breakfast!

      Like this delicious Zucchini Noodles with Scallops!

      Probably one of the easiest, most delicious, light dinners around.

      Perfect for SUMMER!

      Scallop Pasta with noodlesIngredients Needed for Scallop Pasta recipe:

      • Fresh Scallops
      • Butter or oil
      • Garlic
      • Onion
      • Broth (Vegetable or Chicken)
      • Lemon Juice
      • Basil
      • Summer Squash or Zucchini
      • Bacon

      Zucchini noodles with scallops being twisted with a fork

      If you like this seafood recipe, check out these others:

      If you like this zoodle recipe, check out these others:

      Easy Scallop Pasta
      Serves 2
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      Prep Time
      10 min
      Cook Time
      25 min
      Total Time
      35 min
      Prep Time
      10 min
      Cook Time
      25 min
      Total Time
      35 min
      Sauce
      1. 1 lb. fresh scallops
      2. 2 tbsp grass-fed butter
      3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
      4. 1/2 onion, finely chopped
      5. 1 cup Pacific Organic Chicken Bone Stock
      6. 1 tsp fine pink sea salt, more to taste
      7. 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, more to taste
      8. 1/2 lemon, juiced
      9. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
      10. 1 small bunch fresh basil, chopped
      Everything else
      1. 3-4 summer squash or zucchini
      2. 4 strips crispy bacon
      Instructions
      1. Sprinkle salt and pepper over scallops and set aside
      2. Add butter to your skillet and sauté minced garlic and onion for 5-7 minutes, stirring often
      3. Add in scallops and sear for 3 minutes on each side
      4. Once scallops are seared, add in broth, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
      5. Mix to combine, reduce heat, and let simmer for 7-10 minutes, until broth thickens slightly and flavors meld together
      6. Taste, add in basil, and adjust spices as desired
      7. While cooking, make bacon as desired and set aside
      8. Use your spiralizer to spiralize squash
      9. In a skillet heat an additional tbsp of oil or butter and sauté veggie noodles for 5 minutes, tossing often
      10. Place noodles in a bowl, top with scallops and sauce, add additional fresh basil and garnish with bacon
      Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

       

      What is your favorite Summer dinner?