We all know we should eat more vegetables, but the practice of actually having organic vegetables as the base of one’s diet is still foreign, or at least hard to put into practice, for many people.
The grocery store is full of beautifully packaged things that entice us to buy them, but don’t actually serve our health. (as opposed to that strange pod, above, that comes from the beautiful flowers, below. This throws some people for a loop.)
Dinners in boxes. Snacks in boxes. Desserts in boxes. Drinks in boxes! With all this distraction, it’s easy to see how we as a culture are pretty far removed from taking raw vegetables and making meals from scratch.
(I will try to not hop up on my soapbox about how much profit is made by companies that sell “food” in boxes with a whole host of ingredients. Revenue before health? This is not a good practice.)
Thus – simple ideas today to help you use real food in your meals. These will not make anyone rich, but they will be healthier for you than anything that comes in a box.
It certainly helps, of course, to have the best, as well as cleanest and healthiest, produce to work with. This is what we try to provide for you. (As an aside, the other night one of our lovely crew members sent us a text message from the produce department of a local grocery store. It went something like this: “This produce looks awful! The okra looks horrible!” Produce does look best when it is most fresh, and we are delighted that s/he now has this perspective. Not many people, these days, are afforded this perspective.)
Tips based on what we do: Just eat these vegetables! As in, straight. Carrots? Just wash, cut, and eat. Or dip in peanut butter or hummus. Or keep a jar of fridge-pickle juice in your fridge and add cut vegetables to it, including carrots.
Bell peppers? Slice and eat. Repeat. Or dip in dressing or hummus. Or cook up with our scallions (onions soon) and use as a topping on everything. Salad. Sandwich. Burger. Wrap.
We love tortillas, but can’t stand the ingredients list on the ones from the grocery store. So we have started making them from this recipe (though note: we think they need a tad more water, and they roll out best when the dough is made 24 hours in advance.) Then we stuff them with some protein (whatever you prefer, though we highly recommend organic versions, and local & grass fed & grass finished and/or pastured if you do meat) plus a ton of veggies. A little cheese or mayo, if that is how you eat, and add tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, etc. Just stuff it!
The mighty eggplant gives some people pause, but just slice it thin (we always skip the salt it and let it rest step) and saute it with the fat of your choice (plus our scallions and squash is our preference) and then use that as a wrap filling, or a sandwich or salad topping, or simply as a side dish. Or if you can handle turning on the oven (we don’t use A/C so the oven is not our best friend right now) then make an eggplant casserole such as the one on our recipe page this week.
This week’s harvest includes:
Chard, Cucumbers (green slicing as well as Salt & Pepper minis), Eggplant (three varieties), Green Beans, Lettuce (green or red), Okra, Peppers (Bell, Padrone, Hungarian Wax, Anaheim, Banana & Jalapeno), Potatoes (red and yukon gold), Salad Mix, Scallions, Summer Squash (Yellow, Green, and White!), Sunflower Bouquets (straight), Tomatoes…and Multigrain Bread.
Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Store. Everyone else: Everything on our tables at the farmers’ markets are available for you to purchase and enjoy. Please do!
We will be at to the South of the James market and Brandermill Green Market this weekend and every weekend this season until they close. Market Share CSA members may place an order for pick up at the farm, SOJ or BGM market, or simply show up at our booth to spend your credit