Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are getting more and more common. Rather than head to the grocery store for your weekly produce fix, you sign on to support a local farmer for the season and in return you get a fresh box of local, often organic produce each week! CSAs are a great way to reduce your food miles and support the local economy while filling your veggie drawer with healthy eats.
Our CSA basket arrives on Wednesdays, which can make it a little tricky to plan for. Weekends are traditionally when we head to the grocery store to stock our kitchen, so this mid-week arrival sort of throws things off. Some other folks have mentioned a similar challenge with CSA deliveries. Since you don’t know what you’re going to get, it’s tough to plan menus and keep the kitchen stocked properly.
With a little bit of planning and a few key staples, though, it’s easy as pie to get your pantry CSA ready!
Whole Grains and Breads
Keep a variety of grains around the house, so you’ll be able to toss a quick meal together when you need to. Whether your basket is full of summer squash and onions or bunches of celery and carrots, you can saute those harder veggies, toss them with whole grains and sauce, and have a quick, filling meal!
It’s also a good idea to have at least one sort of bread on hand for making sandwiches or wraps. This is a great way to get the most out of lettuces, sprouts, leafy greens, and tomatoes.
Some good grains to keep on hand: quinoa, brown rice, bulgur, Israeli couscous, barley, whole grain bread or tortillas
Most CSA baskets don’t contain much in the way of protein, so having a few options in the pantry can go a long way toward putting meals together. Top off a wrap or salad with something protein-rich to make meals that are nutritious and filling.
Handy proteins: dried or canned beans, tofu, tempeh, hummus, nuts