I hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July weekend! While the weather wasn’t necessarily ideal, there were bouts of sunshine each day that I hope you were all able to enjoy. Now that the 4th of July is behind us, everyone at the farm is busy preparing for farm tours that are coming up this weekend and next. At the same time, we are beginning to harvest more products on a regular basis, and we are just over two weeks away from the first of the Minnesota-grown sweet corn. Summer is definitely kicking into high gear and we must remember it’s a marathon and not a sprint from here on forward.


This week’s share is full of some fun and unique vegetables that you may not cook with on a regular basis. Don’t let the Bok Choy and Swiss Chard scare you away, instead, pick out a recipe that sounds good to you and set aside the time one evening to give it a try! I made sure to include several recipe options for both the Bok Choy and the Swiss Chard, as those are likely the most challenging items for everyone to get through this week….me included. But, I’m taking my own advice and actually setting aside Tuesday afternoon and evening to meal prep almost everything in my box so that I have healthy meals when I’m on the go for the next six days.


Let’s dive in and take a look at what I have planned:


Bok Choy: It may look giant any scary, but definitely give this leafy green a try! A simple Chicken and Bok Choy stir fry is on my menu this week. This is the perfect meal as I can prep it this afternoon and enjoy it for lunch or dinner the next few days. Making Bok Choy as a sidedish is another great option. This Garlicky Bok Choy recipe is perfect alongside chicken, fish, or even on its own.


Swiss Chard: While it’s called Rainbow Chard, you’ll see that the majority of your chard is red. That’s just how it grew this year! Both the stalks and leaves are edible, making it another extremely healthy green. I’m going to rinse my chard, slice it up and make this Sauteed Swiss Chard and White Bean recipe. It’s quick and easy, but will be perfect alongside a protein for lunch or dinner throughout the week.


Broccoli: I’m not a fan of raw broccoli, but if you are, the broccoli in this week’s share is full of flavor! I’ll likely add mine to the Bok Choy and Chicken Stir Fry so I can get in a few extra vegetables. If stir fry isn’t on the menu, you steam the broccoli and enjoy with a little salt and butter or roast it and enjoy it alongside your favorite protein this week.


Lettuce: Wash, dry, and portion into 2-3 containers for salads on the go. I find that if I place the lettuce in a container I can just grab as I head out the door, I am much more likely to eat it! I will save a little bit of the romaine for the first giant BLT of the season. Is there anything better than fresh lettuce AND tomato in the summer?


Slicing Tomatoes: Just smell the tomato….it smells like a REAL tomato! One tomato will be used for BLTs, while the other will be sliced on a salad or two. Please, please, please do not stick your tomatoes in the fridge. Let them ripen a bit on the counter and then enjoy them!


Chub Cucumbers: Enough for a batch or half batch of Grandma Punky’s Refrigerator Pickles if you feel up to it. Truly a summertime staple in my house. Grandma Punky is Farmer Jerry’s mom and when we were growing up, she used to make us a batch each week! It was always a special treat. I’ll likely just enjoy my cucumbers as snacks this week as I’ll be making approximately 25 batches of refrigerator pickles for tours later in the week.


Onions: Sliced and added to a BLT or a burger, these are a special treat in the summertime. One will be sliced and added to my sandwiches and salads, while the other will be diced up and added to the Bok Choy and Chicken Stir Fry. You see….I don’t always follow the exact instructions. If I have extra vegetables on hand, I just toss them in!


Grape Tomatoes: Snacks and salad toppers, these never last long in my house. I did pick up some fresh mozzarella cheese though, so I hope to throw together a quick Caprese salad that I can enjoy one evening this week.


Garlic Scapes: Another round of scapes for everyone’s enjoyment. Another CSA member shared a delicious Scape Pesto recipe, so I think I’m going to give that a try. I likely won’t be able to enjoy the pesto this week as I won’t be home, but I’ll freeze it in an ice cube tray and enjoy it later this summer or on a cold winter day. I’ll likely save a scape or two and add it to some scrambled eggs too for some extra flavor one morning.


There you have it, Week #3! A little prep will go a long way this week! I will be very up front that I will get home after a very long Tuesday in the office, do some meal prep for about an hour or maybe 90 minutes max, and I’ll have almost all my food cooked for the week. I don’t always do all the food prep on Tuesdays, but this week it is the only night I will be home, so if I want to enjoy my share, it is what I have to do. That hour or two in the kitchen after a long day at the farm can often be quite therapeutic though. Have a great week and I look forward to seeing many of you at Farm Tours this coming weekend.