Chopped: CSA Edition (Episode 1)

1 Feb


Ever since I joined my CSA I have been reminded of one of my favorite Food Network shows, Chopped.

If you haven’t seen the show, the gist of it is that four chefs compete over three rounds.  Each round, they’re given a box of completely random food items that they have to fashion into an appetizer, main course, or dessert, depending on the round.  They always get random stuff like prunes, animal crackers and cream cheese or peas, peaches and eel.  Seriously.  Those were both actual baskets.  If you haven’t seen their culinary shenanigans, you can watch the show on Hulu.

Luckily, when I bring my CSA basket home and whisper “Chef, open your basket” in my best Ted Allen impression, I’m not encountering anything that terrifying.  I have been introduced to ingredients that I normally wouldn’t cook with, though, and I’d like to share some of the recipes I’ve successfully thrown together with the contents of my produce box (and, of course, I have full access to the pantry).

This week…


Oops… wrong Food Network show.

I’ve wanted to like kale since I was introduced to  it, but every time I prepared it, I just couldn’t love it.  When I was posting on Simply Sunshine, I posted a recipe for kale chips, which I enjoyed okay, but not enough to make on a regular basis.  I’ve been throwing it in eggs and stir fries, but the little bit I add isn’t anywhere near enough to demolish my stash.  This week, after just about giving up on ever loving kale, I saw this comic about kale.  I wanted to love kale just that much, so I created a simple side dish that I dedicate to a person I have never met, but has made me smile: Anne Emond of comiques.

The Damned Kale Recipe Already

About 3/4 bunch of kale, cut into strips
Medium head of broccoli chopped fairly small, stem and all. We got brocholli (according to my CSA, that’s a real thing) in our basket so I used that.
A few almonds, chopped
Half a lime
1T oil for sauteing. I used grape seed oil.
2T soy sauce
3 or 4 mushrooms, chopped. I used the stems of some portobellos I was going to stuff.

Put the kale and broccoli into your preffered container for steaming veggies and begin steaming. After about a minute, squeeze the lime over the veggies, toss a bit, and continue steaming until they are tender.
Put a tablespoon(ish) of oil into a heated pan. Add chopped almonds, mushrooms and steamed veggies. Top with the soy sauce. Mix around a bit in the pan until everything is coated. Cook over high heat for a minute or two just to warm everything up and soften the mushrooms.
Remove from heat and enjoy.

I served this with a braised butternut squash (also courtesy of my CSA).

For more information on my particular CSA, you can visit their website at Morning Song Farm. To join one near you visit



3 Responses to “Chopped: CSA Edition (Episode 1)”

  1. farmer Donna February 2, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Love your blog! Do you think we could figure out how to put a link on my website? I think lots of people would like reading what you have to say; you’re a great writer. I can also link you on my next newsletter.

    Maybe some of your foodies would like to gather for a farm tour? Let me know your thoughts!

    • aprilinautumn February 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

      @Donna Glad you like it! I can email you with more info about collaborating a bit. I know I’m interested in visiting the farm and was excited to see in the last newsletter that you’re planning a group outing.

  2. simplynutritiouskate February 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    haha love the idea of chopped… sometimes when I have ingredients and I dont know what to do w/ them I think of chopped

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