|In winter, this is what $32 buys you. In summer, the box is more plentiful because the fields are fuller. I like how they tell you where EACH ITEM comes from.|
Anyway, a couple people commented on the veggies. "What was that stuff?" Tongue in cheek, I'm sure, but even still I thought it would be nice to plug buying from a CSA (community sponsored agriculture). Marcia's (The Studly Runner) post today, Does this toast your oats?, gave me the kick in the pants to get this up. Reading about all that junk food made my teeth hurt and made me want to sink my teeth into some broccoli!
Veggies. I love them. I sneak them into all my meals. Spinach can be added to everything from pancakes (believe it!) to scrambled eggs to cupcakes (see below).
- The mushrooms and snowpeas from this box got sauteed in some sesame oil with sesame seeds and served up with some lamb and veggie dumplings I got down in Chinatown.
- The new potatoes and leek were cooked and added to some steamed, shredded cabbage and kidney beans to make a "bubble and squeak" veggie patty served up with pancetta.
- Tonight, I lightly sauteed the braising greens and more mushrooms before mixing into an enchilada casserole.
- Apples & pears get sliced up and sprinkled with cinnamon for snacks on the go or eaten with lowfat cottage cheese at work for a mid-afternoon snack.
- Broccoli (and cauliflower) gets steamed then mixed in with scrambled eggs and then wrapped in a tortilla for yummy to-go breakfast as I walk to the train.
- The chard is still in the crisper, likely will add to a pasta & bean salad this weekend.
For moms of kids who don't like veggies, check out Jessica Seinfield's cookbooks - she manages to hide veggies in everything, it's pretty awesome. Spinach in chocolate cupcakes - YES! Fortunately for me, my tot LOVES veggies. However, I know that in 6 months that can all change.
Anyway, we get these beautiful organic veggies delivered right to our door. They don't supply all of our need but I would say about 75% of our veggies come from this box. Once they arrive, I PROCESS them. This means I bathe and dry them, then package them up nicely in the fridge so that when it's time to cook they are ready to go. Free of dirt and whatever residues they may have.
|The soap helps cut any coatings that are applied (more applicable to conventional produce, like wax on apples & such) and the peroxide kills germs. Sometimes I use a dilute solution of bleach.|
I know this is expensive. With two incomes and just one kid (and a house in the not nicest part of town), we can afford it. This is someplace we choose to spend extra money because we want to support local businesses, organic growing practices, etc. Also, I like that we get a nice variety every week. It forces us to be creative in our cooking, use everything up before it goes bad, and makes us strong like Popeye.
Other places we can at least buy organic, if not local, at more affordable prices are Costco and some of the large chain grocers like Safeway & Fred Meyer. Even the Cash & Carry! This weekend I got a container of Earthbound Organic Spring Greens Mix the size of my abdomen for $5. This is enough salad for an army for a week. (Now I'm sick of salad this week and it's only Wednesday. Oh well. Next week it will be something else.) I try to buy when things are in season (and cheaper) and on sale. I'm not afraid to buy IN BULK and then blanche, steam, or cook everything up and freeze in meal size portions. It may seem like a boring Friday night activity, but it's relaxing to me and makes my weekdays so much easier when I can pull fresh stuff out of the freezer.
When we first started getting our produce I wasn't sure what to do with about half of it. The greens? WTH? Romanesco? Rutabega? Rapini? I thought radishes were the only "r" veggie! And who knew that potatoes come in the color PURPLE and taste like candy?
If you are interested in mixing it up, getting jiggy in the kitchen with your veggies, try an internet search on community sponsored agriculture. Check out their websites. Many of them provide recipes on seasonal veggies so that even if you don't decide to pay an arm & a leg for some produce, you can still use their recipes to try something different.
Your taste buds will thank you!