The Purple Carrot and the Magic of Veggies

This title may sound a bit like a new chapter in the Harry Potter Series, but I simply wanted to draw attention to this Meal Delivery Service.  In a category that is fast becoming crowded, i have recently been playing with some of the recipes from The Purple Carrot.  In a nutshell, I’m a fan!.  I have tried others such as Blue Apron and Hello Fresh and frankly have not much to do in terms of originality, ease of cooking and,  as important, introducing new and exciting flavors and ingredients.

In my cooking and coaching classes, lots of my clients say that they have trouble coming with new recipes and get tired of cooking the same old, same old dishes.  I can agree with that wholeheartedly and I’m a chef!.  Enter The Purple Carrot and exit Moaning Myrtle.  If you are looking for ways to bring more fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your everyday meals (and as a bonus you want to actually be doing something great and sustainable for the planet to boot!) look no further.  It doesn’t matter whether you are omnivorous, vegetarian, vegan or vegetable-forward (whatever this latest term means! pft!) this one is for muggles and magicians alike.

IMG_8124

Jicama Slaw with Pepitas, Cilantro and Lime

This service has the steady direction of no other than Mark Bittman, originally from the New York Times, a prolific cookbook author in its own right and a deft hand to learn from.  As I followed along the recipes, I pictured him (Expecto Patronus!) standing next to me a little bit more like Harry Potter’s Potion’s Master’s  Professor Severus Snape  with the incredible voice from he-who-must-be-named Alan Rickman, R.I.P. and helping me turn food into some seriously magical concoctions, exploring lots of different spices and learning about cuisines from all over the world and some rather cheeky sorcerer techniques.  Some are great and some  may need a bit more work.  As much as i love them,  flour tortillas will never become crepes no matter what spells are incanted, as one recipe with caramelized mushrooms -heroically- tried to do.  Or when an otherwise delightful pozole soup offered soggy popcorn as a replacement for hominy corn.  Hey, but still i’m all for trying!

As part of the repertoire i received in my subscription, I was delighted to make some spicy mushroom and miso meatballs with rice and carrot noodles, then aim for a pineapple and puffed rice Chaat salad with baked spicy and garlicky tofu fries.  The quality of the ingredients are very good, with a pleasant surprise to find my favorite tofu noodles (yuba) that i had discovered at a farmer’s market in San Francisco on a trip there and that are not that easy to find in NYC. They were fantastic in a Vietnamese soup with pineapple and shallots.  Some of the ingredients are organic, from reputable brands without strange to pronounce ingredients and even some items like canned tomatoes that were low in sodium.  More importantly, the larger share of ingredients are whole, unprocessed foods!

Now i guess you’d be wondering if these are healthy? Well, compared to what? as i like to say to my clients.  You will be way better off than ordering a greasy delivery or eating out and you will definitely get your fill of vegetables, fruits, nuts or seeds and whole grains.  You may not be left wondering, as I often do, with the dubious provenance of fowl, meat, dairy or seafood from other services.  And while their calorie content varies from over 500 calories (great!) to close to 900 sometimes (not so great, Reducio!), I always like to stress that a calorie is not a calorie, and when these come from whole foods, you are already better off.

12814215_854052598056502_52157420798712631_n

Nicoise Salad with Added Veggies

Can you do something else to make them better! Absolutely!  I recommend adding more veggies to the recipe.For example, with a lovely Winter Nicoise Salad i had with a Cashew-Split Pea Spread, I made sure to add grilled asparagus and snow peas on top of the potatoes, green beans, fennel, blood orange and lettuce that the recipe called for.  Thus, you lower the calorie content per serving and at best you just end up having leftovers  for your lunch on the next day!  You could also opt to cut down on the oil required in (many)  of the recipes or leave it out altogether. For the most part, these dishes speak for themselves and are great as they are, like the wonderful jackfruit enfrijoladas with a chayote slaw and coconut sour “crema”.  Yes, please!

 

Go ahead, I summon you (Accio!) to give The Purple Carrot a try and discover your inner magician to create great tasting, nutrient dense food for your friends and family.  Esculentus!

 

How Not to Die inspires a Mexican Casserole

how-not-to-dieHello everyone!  I hope you are doing well and staying true to those New Year Resolutions, right?!  Well anyhow, i wanted to share with you a great book i’ve been enjoying: How Not to Die Amazon Link here from Doctor Michael Greger with Gene Stone.  I have followed Dr. Greger at his website Nutrition Facts for many years and he recently published this marvel. It’s a great read that explains in a simple way many of the advantages of adding loads of fruits, veggies and whole grains to your diet.  He discusses a wide range of issues which simply apply to all of us from heart disease to diabetes, different cancers, infections, liver diseases, mental disease and on an on.  He even has very practical ideas on how to structure meals, add key ingredients to your diet, boost your metabolism and your exercise among others. It even includes easy recipes an fun experiments along the way.  And best of all, for those of you eager to go to the original journals and papers with the medical research behind, there is a meticulous bibliography throughout the book.  Thus, inspired by this book, here is a recipe of a delightful Mexican Layered Casserole. It hasn’t been approved by Dr. Greger himself, but I sure hope he would enjoy it!

Healthy Mexican Layered Casserole

This is a great recipe to make at home for friends and family alike.  I am presenting this recipe in an illustration mode, i.e. without exact measurements.  In my cooking classes, i always encourage my students to take the fear out of cooking and just go at it.  It’s the simplest way to get yourself more at ease in the kitchen, keep those stress levels down and the flavor factor up.

Preheat the oven to 300 F.  You will need about 4 to 5 cups of salsa and a large or two (previously baked) sweet potatoes.  Extra points if you make your own salsa to keep it low sodium! (2 large cans of crushed lo sodium tomatoes with diced sauteed -preferably with no oil for a no-oil sautee method, click here– green and red peppers, a jalapeno or two, an onion and 2 cloves of garlic and a whole bunch of cilantro, leaves and stems chopped).  First, spread about 2 cups of the salsa on the bottom of your casserole dish.  Arrange a nice bed of sliced white button mushrooms just to cover the salsa just as in the first picture.  Continue with a nice layer of thinly sliced zucchini and squash as illustrated below.

Continue the layering of ingredients with a blizzard of chopped leafy greens. These can be any combination of spinach, kale and collard greens (stems removed and finely chopped), arugula, beet greens or swiss chard (in Dr. Greger’s parlance, an antioxidant party!).  If you only have one of the greens, it’s also fine but the more the merrier. Follow with a layer of sliced sweet potato (remember this should already be baked previously for faster cooking) and about a cup or two of corn kernels (frozen are fine).

Finally, you should top this with some good ole (fat free) refried beans from a can (or make your own!).  A large casserole dish may need 2 cans which i usually thin with about 1/4 cup of water or more for better spreading.   Once you have poured the beans, finish the casserole by adding the remaining salsa.  Bake for 30 minutes or just until the squashes are soft and the whole thing is a bubbly delicious mess.  Serve with chopped cilantro and green onions on top and perhaps some diced avodado.

Enjoy!

IMG_6949

Meal Delivery Services, Holiday World Tour Dinner

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all good and had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones.  I would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season that is fast approaching (see below for my upcoming International Holiday Dinner for an indulging option!) .  As we all know, these times can be stressful and with plenty of entertaining, it may be hard to maintain a healthy eating regimen (believe me, i know after this weekend!).  If you would like to set up some coaching classes, coaching calls or cooking classes in December, or offer them as a gift to a loved one, please reach out to me directly to set these up. I’d love to help.

MEAL DELIVERY  SERVICES: HEALTHY OR HYPE?

I’d like to share my thoughts on these meal delivery cooking services that are becoming ubiquitous.  I have been trying the service from “Plated” for a few weeks as well as “Hello Fresh”.  I was curious to see if there were good healthy options available .  As you know,  my motto is “you don’t have to be wealthy to be healthy” and i thought that these meals can help many people on the hard task to eat more plant-centric dishes.  I’m always in favor of ways to make it easier to cook for people through my cooking and coaching classes with plenty of tips, techniques and advise.  Overall, i found these services a fairly good option for people that don’t have much time to plan and shop in order to cook.
Having measured ingredients from pre-selected menus, with easy to follow instructions and delivered to your door is a win win from my point of view if people can get to cooking instead of ordering takeout with another myriad of services that now offer that (seamless, grubhub etc..).  A trainer i used to have always mentioned that you have already won the bronze medal just by showing up at the gym for a class.  I would say  in a similar way, you get a medal just for showing up at your kitchen ready to cook from real ingredients!  Having said that, I was surprised to see that the calorie portion of these (all vegetarian, some vegan) options i reviewed could easily top the 700 and up calorie range per portion. That is all an improvement when compared to the meat centric dishes!  However, a very easy way to adjust this to a more reasonable level is to cut (or preferably) eliminate the use of oils from the recipe.  Once again, that no-oil sauteeing technique i teach comes in rather handy for most all of the recipes involved.  This allows to cut back anywhere between 150 or more calories per serving, leaving ample room for a nice salad to begin the meal and a piece of fruit as dessert for a really nutrient-dense dinner.  Read: yes, you still have to shop at some point!  Moreover, feel free to further enrich your recipes by adding more vegetables that you may have at hand, something that would continue lowering the calorie count of the meal, and increase the nutrient density of the plate.  As an example, i added broccoli florets to a roasted sweet potatoes with braised greens salad (pictured above).  I could have added  a whole medley of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower florets and as an added benefit, this would even stretch the meal (that was meant to provide 2 servings) to 3 servings:  voila, lunch for tomorrow is ready!
I would have liked the services to have more vegetarian options, and vegan in particular.  I also noted that many of these options tended to provide about a half a block of tofu per person (and a lot of the vegetarian and vegan options almost always had tofu), way over the recommended amount, and clearly based on no other reason than to add “protein” to the dish.  I love tofu, i just see no reason to force feed it in such large amounts!  Again, you can always cut back on the amount added and use it for another recipe.  Finally, as is the case in lots of restaurants, the use of dairy and particularly cheese, is abused big time when making vegetarian options and i would have also liked to see more vegetarian options that had no cheese in it (most of the times i would simply omit the cheese in the recipe, cutting back a hefty amount of calories and fat at the same time).  I will perhaps continue looking for other services (Purple Carrot: I’m watching you!) and see what works and what does not work.  In any case, give it a go if you are curious with some of my suggestions and you

INTERNATIONAL HOLIDAY DINNER CELEBRATIONApples Jamie

Please join me for an International Holiday Dinner Party!. I am partnering with Customs Catering for their 1st Annual Holiday Demo & Dinner Party on Saturday December 12th @ Kitchen Rental NYC located at 306 West 51st Street between 8th and 9th Ave.   Space is limited to 18 guests, so reserve as soon as possible and come with a friend!   I will be making a 3 course menu with dishes from around the world with a first course salad with salmon rillette (spread)  on sourdough bread from France, a hearty “Pastel de Choclo”, a Chilean version of a chicken pot pie with a corn crust on top and an Almond Cake with Mascarpone and Raspberry Pomegranate Compote to represent Italy.  You will also learn how to do the first course through a demo i’ll do!.   Hope to see you there! Link for the tickets below and more information below.

EMAIL CUSTOMSCATERING @ GMAIL.COM TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE TODAY! Please include names and what type of “ticket” (with alcohol or without) SPACE IS LIMITED TO ONLY 18! Please go to PayPal.Me/customscatering to pay $125 p/p for demo and dinner with a cocktail and wine, or $100 p/p for demo and dinner with a mocktail and non-alcoholic sparkling cider. Any questions, please call Mary Reilly at 917-363-9860. Kitchen Rental NYC is located on the ground floor of 306 W. 51 Street between 8th & 9th Avenues. Please arrive on Saturday, December 12, 2015 between 6:30 pm – 7 pm for your welcome cocktail and light bites. The evening will end at 10:30 pm.

Tickets for Dinner on Paypal for customscatering Here!

 

Ginger and Tomato Indian Lentil Soup (Dahl)

Flash Steam OnionsThere are few things as comforting as a starchy spicy soup during the cold winter months.  This is a very simple soup, inspired by the cuisines of India, with minor twists for a healthier, souped-up version if you will chock full of nutrients. On the one hand, I add a few ribs of celery to the mix –an item I love to include on my receipe repertoire in the winter-.  On the other hand, I also eliminate the use of oil for the initial sautee to cut back on fat calories and use a handful of spinach for an extra nutrient boost.  Finally I serve this dish over some steamed baby potatoes.  Often times, people ask me about their concern that dish may be too heavy on the carbs.  My simple answer is that these are the good carbs our body needs, our preferred source of fuel, coming from whole, unprocessed foods. So go ahead, and try this wonderful, fragrant dish that will warm you up and stick to your ribs in the middle of winter.

Makes about 6 servings

2 cups of red lentil (dahl), rinsed (yellow or green split peas are also an option)
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh lemongrass (if available, optional)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
5 cups vegetable stock, no sodium added, or water
1 onion, diced
4 celery ribs, diced
2 cups crushed canned tomatoes, preferably no salt added
2 kaffir lime leaves (optional, if available or use dried bay leaves instead)
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and lightly chopped
Pinch of red crushed chilies, optional

2 lbs steamed baby potatoes, for serving
Lemon Juice, for serving

Steam sautee diced onion and celery on a medium high heat soup with a few tbsp of stock or water on a pot for a few minutes until lightly brown, stirring from time to time, about 5 minutes.  Add ginger and lemongrass and continue sautéing for a few more minutes.  Add garlic, cumin turmeric and continue cooking for another 3 more minutes until spices are fragrant.  Add crushed tomatoes, stock, red lentils and kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a light simmer and cook uncovered mixing from time to time (the lentils may stick to the bottom of the pan if not stirred).  Continue cooking just until lentils are soft and fully cooked, about 20 minutes. Just before serving, add the spinach leaves, stir well and allow to wilt down for about another minute off the heat.

Serve on bowls over the steamed baby potatoes and garnish with a little bit of lemon juice and some freshly ground pepper or crushed red chilies if desired.

Recipe Repertoire: Holiday Mushroom Chestnut Velouté

5 servings
Chestnut Veloute This recipe is inspired for a healthy holiday celebration and based on the classic French soup called “velouté” or “velvety”.  A few changes are on order to make this delicious soup more nutrient and less calorie dense.  Out goes the use of a roux (a blend of refined flour and some type of fat, usually butter or oil). The chestnuts themselves will give a nice thick consistency without the added calories.  We also substitute the heavy amounts of cream traditionally used by some hearty almond milk instead.  For ease, I use cooked, cryo-vac packed and ready-to-use chestnuts but feel free to use fresh chesnuts, pierced, steamed or roasted and peeled.  A key ingredient in this recipe is dried mushrooms and dried mushroom powder for an aromatic dish that your guests will love.  Finally, a last minute optional addition of a tablespoon of Armagnac liqueur (it is the holidays after all!) per serving raises this soup to celebratory status!

Ingredients

1 oz (28 gr) dried sliced porcini (or a combination of mixed) mushrooms
3 cups of hot water
2 large shallots, peeled and diced
14 oz (400gr) peeled and steamed chestnuts (feel free to peel and roast them if you are using fresh ones).  They can be whole or in pieces.
3 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 cups vegetable stock
10 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems off and rinsed
3/8 oz (12 gr) dried porcini powder or any dried mushroom powder
5 Tbsp Bas Armagnac Liqueur (optional, for serving)

Soak the dried sliced mushrooms in 3 cups of hot water and let stand for about 10 minutes.  Then remove the soaked mushrooms with a slotted spoon, sliced them to bite size pieces and set aside. Strain the remaining soaking liquid through a cheese cloth or fine sieve and set aside, making sure to discard the last ¾ inch of water with dirt and sediment.

To make the soup, heat a medium stock pot over medium heat.  Add a few tablespoons of vegetable stock aIMG_2479nd add the shallots.  Mix with a wooden spoon and steam-saute for a few minutes, until shallots start turning lightly brown and adding stock as needed to avoid sticking, about 7 minutes.  Add the chestnuts and saute for another 6 minutes or so mixing from time to time and adding more stock as needed to avoid sticking.  Add the rest of the vegetable stock, the almond milk and the mushroom powder.  Season lightly with freshly ground pepper and cook over medium to low heat until chestnuts start breaking apart, about 10 minutes.  Place soup mixture on a blender and blend well (add some of the mushroom soaking liquid if needed), in batches if needed and put back into pot.  Add the sliced soaked mushrooms, the shiitake mushrooms and the mushroom soaking liquid. Cook for another 6 minutes to allow flavors to mix together well.  Serve with a Tbsp of liquor per bowl if using.  Bon Appétit!!

Recipe Repertoire: The Big Apple

Little did I know that October was National Apple Month!  Growing up in Mexico, I was never a huge fan of apples.  For the most part they tasted mealy and not very sweet.  I wasn’t aware then that that had more to do from drinking highly sugared drinks and processed sweets, raising my threshold of sweet to a level that could never be compared by a whole, unprocessed fruit.  Later on, I also learned that apples used to be bred entirely for ease of transport and with little attention to flavor.  Fortunately, these days we have loads of great tasting apples with different textures, degrees of sweetness and eye appeal.  And as soon as I cleaned my diet from processed and junk foods like sodas and sweeteners, my taste buds came back to taste what is actually naturally good!
As I was reading the latest book by Dr. T. Colin Campbell (WHOLE, Rethinking the Science of Nutrition) I came across a study about the nutrition of an apple and focused on Vitamin C.  It turns out that about half a cup of apples have “only” about 5.7 milligrams of the isolated chemical compound that we know as vitamin C.  However, when they analyzed the impact of the same half a cup of apples (NOT the equivalent in milligrams of a vitamin C in pill form), the vitamin C-like activity in the body was equivalent as 263 times the amount of the isolated chemical.  The magic of apples ones again!
Baked, raw, grated, poached, the humble apple offers an incredible source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber and next to the banana, it iss about the easiest healthy snack to carry around.  Honeycrisp, Fuji, Gala, Jazz, Granny Smith, Empire Apples, however you slice them, these are likely to help you on your way to health. Give them a chance!  Check out below my recipe for a cornbread where you can pour the batter over diced apples before baking to make a scrumptious side for your family gathering or great as part of a healthy brunch.
IMG_2271
Whole Wheat Apple Cornbread
Makes about 12 servings
Try this cornbread that has applesauce and pieces of apples for extra sweetness.  I use soy milk and add some chopped nuts for texture and as a healthy fat.
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup unsweetened soymilk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 cup fresh corn kernels or frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts
2 apples, cored and cut into one inch pieces
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking dish with a non-stick mat and set aside.
Whisk together cornmeal, flour, flaxseed, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients: soymilk, applesauce and honey. Stir honey mixture into cornmeal mixture. Add corn and nuts and stir until combined.
Spread diced apples on the bottom of the baking dish and add cornbread mixture over the apples.  Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Escribano Arequipeño

Rinde para 8 personas como entrada.  Esta es una version de una entrada peruana basada en la saludable papa-originaria de la region andina- pero que no utiliza aceite de oliva para reducir la grasa saturada, reemplazada por aceitunas enteras y picadas que incluyen su fibra y agua.

IMG_21604 papas medianas amarillas o azules, sin pelar y cortadas en cubos de 2 cm
3 tomates, picados
1 pimiento rojo, picado
1 pimiento verde o Amarillo, picado
1 cucharada de chile jalapeño en escabeche, picado
3 cucharadas de perejil picado
4 cucharadas de vinagre de caña
4 cucharadas de aceitunas sin hueso, picadas

Coloque la papa picade en una vaporera (o colador de metal) y cocine al vapor sobre un poco de agua en una cacerola con tapa hasta que la papa esté suave, alrededor de 12 minutos.  Apague el fuego, destape la olla y deje que la papa se enfríe ligeramente.  Mientras tanto, haga el escabeche de los pimientos.  En una sartén coloque el vinagre y los pimientos y cocine a fuego medio lento por unos minutos hasta que los pimientos esten suaves y algo del vinagre se haya evaporado. Apague el fuego y deje enfriar por algunos minutos.

Cuando esté listo para server el Escribano Arequipeño, mezcle en un tazón grande las papas cocidas con los pimientos en vinagre y el resto de los ingredients.  Sazone con un poco del vinagre del chile jalapeño a su gusto.

Recipe Repertoire: No-oil Apple Marinara

6-13-07 photo by K.Doran for Rob Rich © 2007 robwayne1@aol.com 516-676-3939Just when summer starts about to wrap up in the Northeast and we still have lots of juicy fresh tomatoes and apples start to appear at the farmers market is when I make this delicious marinara sauce variation.  The sweetness of the apples complements greatly the low acidity of the seasonal tomatoes.  Don’t feel afraid to use the traditional onions and garlic in this sauce, plus some hot chilies as well for an extra kick.  Serve with wholewheat pasta and lightly steamed zuchinni, squash and some halved brussel sprouts that also start pouring during the early fall weeks.

Makes about 7 cups

1 yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 cup no added sodium vegetable broth or water
2 tablespoons No Salt Added Italian Seasoning (or a combination of dried oregano and basil)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 heaped tablespoon of no-salt added tomato paste
4 lbs of fresh tomatoes, roughly diced
4 apples (any kind will work), cored and diced (skin peeled if not organic)
3 tablespoons fresh basil, stemmed and chopped
1 dried bay leaf
red crushed chilies (optional)

In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, steam sauté the onion with a tablespoon or tw of water or broth at a time to avoid sticking, stirring frequently until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add water or broth as needed to prevent sticking.  Add the dried herbs.  Add the tomato paste and the minced garlic and continue cooking onion mixture just until it starts to turn a darker yello color, about 5 more minutes.  Add the fresh tomatoes and apples and stir well.  Cover with a lid ajar and bring to a simmer.  Lower heat to medium low and continue cooking for another 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. As sauce begins to thicken, add any remaining broth and season with black pepper to taste. When done, turn off heat and add fresh herbs and crushed red chilies if using, stir and allow to cool.

Serve over whole-wheat pasta with lightly steamed veggies (carrots, zuchinni, squash and halved brussels sprouts) or cool to room temperature and freeze for later use.  Sauce freezes well and may be used just as any marinara sauce.

3 Sweet Reasons to Boost Your Fruit Intake

StrawberriesNutrients! Fruit is an incredibly healthy source of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (including antioxidants).  Choose a variety of colors for a variety of nutrients on your daily fruit choices.  Vitamin pills are a poor substitute for these and some may even prove harmful!

Fiber! The package in “real” fruit – unlike juices- includes lots of intact fiber.  This helps absorb the fructose (or “sugar”) content in the food on a gradual basis so as not to spike your blood glucose levels.  This means you won’t get hunger pangs in between meals.

Hydrate! Lots of fruit also means a natural way to stay sweetly hydrated throughout the day.  Move over expensive Vitamin Waters, Sugary Sportades or processed juices, fruit is the way to go!

Now that’s sweet!

Farm Fresh

CSAI have been a member of a Community Supported Agriculture or CSA in NYC for several years now and I love it.  Often people tell me that it is hard for them to use all their veggies from their share and thus are afraid to commit to a share.  But in my experience, supporting a local farm, in my case the organic Windflower Farm close to Saratoga Springs in upstate NY, is an invaluable learning experience to know more about your food, the time and care it requires and the people behind it.  Each week, the head farmer sends an email newsletter detailing how recent weather trends affect the produce we’ll be receiving—anyone still on the fence about global warming should read these missives from the front line!  And as the vegetables and fruits rotate from June through November you get a quick lesson in seasonality—no apples until Fall, for example.  No “convenience” supermarket store will ever come close to that.  And have I mentioned that it costs under $27 dollars a week? If you’re eating a plant-based diet (or trying to) then signing up for a CSA will give you loads of options—literally.

A picture of what I received last week is above.  And this is what I prepared:  Salad with red leaf lettuce, sliced fresh turnips (raw),  and sliced Asian cucumbers (all with balsamic vinegar).  I then proceeded to sautee the curly Kale, sweet green peppers, onions and the sweet patty pan squashes with some garlic (which I had from the previous week’s share) end garnished it with some leaves fro that thai basil plant I got.  I served all this over brown rice (not included in the share), fed 3 people and had leftovers for the next day for lunch.  We polished off the blueberries for dessert, sweet!  It seems next year, I better sign up for 2 veggie shares so it will last longer!

Bonus: I’m considering a new class where students would come with me on Tuesdays when I pick up the share and then come back to my house to cook whatever we’ve received. Like a CSA Quick Fire Challenge! Let me hear from you if you’re interested!