I met a new friend this weekend who was raving about the benefits of participating in a weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). She was singing to the choir, of course. I love all my local fruit and veggie options here in North Carolina. If you are not familiar with a CSA model, basically once a week for a set number of weeks, you get a box of produce from a farm (or, like I do here in Charlotte with Know Your Farms – a collection of farms) and then you are tasked with figuring out how best put your veggie assortment to good use!
This is a pleasurable challenge for some, a daunting task for others. My friend said that, for her, the best part about participating in a CSA is that she has completely shifted the focus of her dinner preparation so that she starts with the veggies and works her meal around that as her star ingredient instead of trying to throw veggies in at the last minute to make her meal “balanced.” I completely agree! Did you know that only 4% of our country eats five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day? Those poor, unloved veggies! Our sad, sad arteries! Participating in a CSA is not only good for our farmers and our community, but it is really great for our health.
|Bok choy, Carrots, Sauerkraut, Potatoes, and Sausage … Yum!
Yesterday, I had potatoes, carrots, and bok choy that really needed some love before my next CSA delivery was ready. Slow cooker at the ready, I simply added some sliced Italian sausage from Glenreid Farms, (a family farm located 50 miles from Asheville, NC) and 8 ounces of sauerkraut and presto. Dinner was cooking. It really was that easy. Four veggies plus one meat = delicious.
|The beautiful bottom of the bok choy
5 or 6 small potatoes, slightly peeled and chopped
1 bunch of bok choy, chopped (you can use almost all of it)
2 or 3 carrots, sliced
8 ounces sauerkraut (I like Boar’s Head)
1 pound sausage, sliced
In a large slow cooker, combine the potatoes, sauerkraut, and sausage. Heat on high for 2 to 3 hours. Add the carrots and bok choy and let it cook for an additional hour.
A few notes … I was pressed for time, so my sausage was thawed just enough so that I could slice it. I didn’t brown it – although, if you have time, I recommend you do so. I didn’t start dinner prep until my littlest one went down for a nap and I was rushing out the door to get to carpool but this recipe would work just as well on low for 6 hours or so. Because sauerkraut has so much liquid in it already, you don’t need to add any additional liquid. I like to add the bok choy and the carrots at the end so that they cook a little but still have a little bit of crispness to them.
Serve with … Spicy Brown Mustard. My favorite mustard is locally made here in NC. If you are in North Carolina, you need to find this mustard – The Lusty Monk. So good! It is made in Asheville, but I have picked it up in Charlotte at the Simply Local stand at Atherton Mills Market. Try it!