Kitchen Skills: What every CSA member should have in their pantry
When joining a CSA, you might have a little anxiety over the fact that you're giving up some control of your weekly menu plan. It can be overwhelming at first to try to figure out what to cook with all your new ingredients but if you have a pantry stocked with some tried and true staples then you have no reason to fear.
Truthfully, I'm a pretty lazy cook... and cleaner for that matter. The less fuss and dishes the better. Single pan meals are a god send (think stir frys, curries, and stews). I found that once I had a general recipe down that I could tweak it depending on what produce I had available that week. It made life so much easier!
Granted, I still forget to thaw my protein until about five minutes before I want to eat but the rest of the meal comes together in a snap. Which is good, because when I'm hungry patience isn't really my thing...
I'll go into how exactly I use these items in my meals in the next post but here's a starter list so you can begin to take inventory and prep for your upcoming produce shares:
Rice: my new favorite is Basmati, it cooks up way faster than traditional white rice
Quinoa: also a quick cooker
Potatoes: sorry we don't grow these just yet, but if anyone has a local source let me know!
Onions: we do grow green onions but the full fledged bulbs are something I grow in my personal garden
Pasta: Trader Joe's red lentil pasta is the bomb.com
Dried beans and lentils: I've taken to soaking and cooking my own, it takes a bit more forethought but the cost savings is significant
Olive Oil: my go to for salad dressings. Buy AZ local here, sooooo good.
Sunflower Oil: great for higher heat cooking
Vinegar: Versatile in marinades, dressings and stir fry. The kick of acid makes a big difference.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Trader Joe's Everything But The Bagel
Chili Garlic Sauce
Tahini: homemade hummus is super easy and a great way to use up your carrots
If you're looking at this list and thinking, yikes that's expensive, just start by buying a little each grocery trip. While I do tend to go through these ingredients pretty quickly, they do all last a long time even if I don't. Plus, once you taste your amazing new meals you won't want to spend as much eating out!
Which of these ingredients can you not live without?