PreSeason Playbook #2: MadLib Meals
Remember MadLibs? I loved these as a kid. They were little stories that had a main theme and structure, like going on a vacation or to the fair, but you got to fill in some of the nouns, verbs, and adjectives. The result was a story that generally made sense, but had some silliness and uniqueness that the average story doesn’t.
One of the best ways to be a good CSA cook, is to learn and practice cooking your own Madlib Meals. In other words, learn a handful of versatile recipes that can handle lots of different kinds of veggies. The structure, for example pesto noodles or fried rice, is the same, but you get to change up the veggie details depending on what comes in your box. The meals will be slightly different, but will generally turn out pleasing.
At our house, one of our favorite MadLib Meals is veggie mac n cheese. In the winter, we eat cheesy noodles with roasted carrots, parsnips, & rutabaga. In the spring, we puree mustards and arugula, cook in with ground meat and serve it over cheesy noodles. In high summer, our cheesy noodles are decorated with loads of zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers. In fall, we try our cheesy noodles with broccoli or roasted squash and kale. The options are endless. And the key is, no matter what – every eater in house will eat cheesy noodles, no matter what else is mixed in with it.
With a little practice, Madlib meals will help you use your veggies in a ___(noun)__________.
Favorite MadLib meals at our house:
- Quiche/Frittatas (aka quiche without the crust)
- Stir-Fry over rice
- Pesto! (pesto can be made with just about any leafy green, nut, and cheese)
- Vegetable Gratin (baked veggies with cream and cheese)
- Veggie & Bean Soup (a good broth will bring just about any combo together!)
- Grilled Vegetables alongside anything
- Veggie Curry over rice
Other great MadLib meals ideas:
- Fried Rice
- Creamy Vegetable Alfredo
- Vegetable Lo-Mein (noodles with veggies and brown sauce)
- Fettucine in light tomato sauce with mixed veggies
- Greens in a Pan with Rice (no matter the green, chop, sautee and eat with egg and side of rice)