CSA Sample Meal Plan (Early Fall 2023)

When I first started buying locally grown vegetables, it was hard for me to figure out how to use all of them. With some practice and patience, I’ve gotten a lot better at it. Today I’d like to walk you through how I plan to use the seasonal produce I received this week.

So many incredible foods are available at this time of year, which makes meal planning a lot more fun. This week we received mushrooms, a red and a yellow onion, 2 small eggplants, a variety of spicy peppers, ten pounds of tomatoes, a bunch of kale, a bunch of celery, a pound of potatoes, a few pounds of peaches, and ten pounds of apples.

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/potatoes-144248/

The first thing I planned to use up were the tomatoes. I sorted through the box of tomatoes and picked out what needed to be used immediately and what could wait a while before being dealt with. We enjoyed the ripe tomato slices on homemade bread with pesto and balsamic vinegar. Next, I made a batch of pico de gallo with more tomatoes, as well as the red onion and spicy peppers. The pico de gallo was added to tofu scramble tacos for breakfasts and black bean tacos for lunches. The rest of the tomatoes, as well as the yellow onion, will be blended into a roasted tomato soup and served with homemade sourdough bread. Yum!

The apples will be enjoyed fresh with peanut butter throughout the week, as well as in an apple cake.

Photo by Anna Nekrashevich: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-close-up-shot-of-an-apple-7214602/

I started thinking about the eggplant next. My plan is to use it to make a side of sauteed eggplant. I’ll pair it with a mixture of whatever else is available to make a platter meal. I’ll likely pair the eggplant with some spiced nuts, homemade naan, kalamata olives, homemade hummus, and any sliced peaches or apples that are left at the end of the week.

Since I plan to make hummus, I thought I would also make some baked chickpeas and add them to the kale for a satisfying massaged kale salad. The mushrooms will be sauteed and eaten alongside the salad.

Photo by Nasty Fotografia: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-of-a-bowl-of-chickpeas-7090131/

Much of the celery will be chopped and frozen for use throughout the winter, but some of it will be used to make vegetable stock and a hearty lentil and potato soup. I don’t have a recipe for this one; I’m just going to clear out my fridge of odds and ends that I think will work well` together. This will be paired with any leftover bread from earlier in the week, but I’ll bake another loaf of bread to go with it, if needed.

Photo by Yonko Kilasi: https://www.pexels.com/photo/overhead-shot-of-lentil-soup-2960581/

Several of these meals will make leftovers, and I can easily mix and match some of the components to make meals feel less repetitive. For instance, When I have hummus, I can make another platter with sauteed nuts topped with a different spice blend, or swap in dates instead of fruit, or serve it with sourdough crackers instead of naan. I could even mix some leftover pesto into my hummus to play with the flavors of both. The possibilities are endless.

I hope this inspires you to explore new flavors, eat seasonally, and enjoy this time of year while it lasts.