We have a beautiful harvest for our CSA this week! I wanted to share what we got in our basket, and remind you all that this is ORGANIC, LOCAL produce…which when you buy at a farmer’s market or in a store, is twice this price. We pay $20 a week, three weeks in advance, to help support our local farmer so she can invest that money back into the planting…a wonderful cycle.
First, we got a small bag of fresh herbs: basil, oregano, chives and mint. Now with all of these, you can leave them out in the AZ sun for a day or two until they are nice and crisp. Then, grind them down (mortor & pestle, food processor, blender, etc.) into powdered spices! OR you can use them in your dishes. Now, fresh herbs are WAY more potent than dried...you don't need much. Start with one leaf and taste. It's easier to add more than to take away. Second, we got 4-6 carrots. They would be great for dipping, or eating by themselves. They are also fun additions to MANY meals. We use them in my Asian class that's on Tuesday if you'd like to sign up for it. The reason I like this CSA so much is the incredible greens we get. This week it was kale. Don’t know much about kale? No problem! It is particularly rich in beta-carotene (which protects against diseases of the skin) and the carotenoid lutein (which prevents damage to the eyes), with seven times the beta-carotene and ten times the lutein of broccoli and carrots combined! Just one cup of raw kale contains 15% of the recommended daily value of calcium and Vitamin B6, 40% of the magnesium, 180% of the Vitamin A, 200% of the Vitamin C and a whopping 1020% of the Vitamin K and 45% of it's calories are PROTEIN! Now that you know it's a POWERHOUSE of nutrition, I would suggest making a green smoothie out of it (that's the easiest way to eat it). Now it's a mild green, like spinach, but still be careful not to overdo it...work your way up to a couple cups of kale in your smoothies. Also good for smoothies: cabbage. Wait, Haley...it's not very green! That's okay, check this out: It is impressive with high content levels of calcium, iron, iodine, potassium, sulfur, and phosphorus. In the vitamins department, it is loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K and folic acid. This is NOT a mild green...less is more when adding it to smoothies. Feel silly with only 1/2 a cup of cabbage to the whopping 3 cups of fruit? Well, that cabbage is blended and broken down and already half digested...you're getting MUCH more nutrition than if you had simply eaten it straight. :) I'm taking mine to the Asian Night on Tuesday and we'll use it for the lettuce rolls...so we'll do cabbage rolls instead. So yummy! It make a great wrap, good salad additions, and again...it's awesome for smoothies! We also got a huge bag (3-4 pounds) of green beans, 3-5 small red and orange bell peppers, a quart baggie of small sweet peppers, 2-5 small red onions, a huge cucumber (not sure of the variety yet), and a large bulb of garlic (which I will use up quickly!). We also received 3-5 cobs of corn…yum! I remember eating my first cob of fresh raw corn and thinking, “why do we cook these?! They are so sweet and juicy raw!” No wonder we add butter and salt after cooking…we lose all the flavor! I’m excited for the fresh, tree-ripened peaches we got today. Realize that they were picked TODAY…RIPE…unlike the ones at the store picked months ago green. Eat them as soon as you can. J At last, but not least, we got a 4-7 pound watermelon. Some of these are really huge! We also offer a “family” basket that contained items that are easier for the “cooked” family than the “raw” family, like potatoes, eggplant, etc. This week they got sweet potatoes and cage-free/free-range eggs. They just get less greens and didn’t get a watermelon.
Isn’t that a HUGE amount of food?! And organic! And local! Too good to be true! Nah, I love it. I’ve been organizing this CSA for a couple months now and I’ve never been disappointed with my basket. Sure, it doesn’t last me the whole week and I need to supplement with more fruit, but I use the whole thing. And if you have any bad items (once a watermelon was overripe, and the tomatoes doesn’t last too many days), my farmer at Horny Toad Farms will replace it for the following week. J I can’t help it…I love this. Good, inexpensive food? I’m in heaven.
If you get a CSA bag and need specific recipes for any particular thing, please message me. I'll let one or two recipes slide for free. ;) AND, we use four of these ingredients in my Raw ASIAN Night on Tuesday. Speaking of which…
Raw ASIAN Recipe Night SUCCESS!
The first Raw ASIAN Recipe Night was on Saturday and it was incredible! I love making these dishes for myself, but I don’t make them all that often…I have a good variety so I don’t wear out good meals. The day before, I was typing up the recipes for the class and started drooling…so I made my own Lemon Ginger Lettuce Wraps. Okay, I used collard leaves, because they are just way easier to wrap and less messy to eat, and I definitely doubled the garlic. They were SO good.
On Saturday during the RRN, we started with the orange broccoli (my version of orange chicken). The orange sauce is so incredible I had a few people licking their plates afterward. The second dish was relabeled by one of my friends who attended: “Where’s the beef” & Broccoli over “Un-noodles”. Again…delicious, pretty, and filling! When we got to the third dish, people were already starting to complain that they wish they hadn’t eaten dinner beforehand. We finished off the night with the Lemon Ginger Lettuce Wraps. It’s almost an Asian DIY (do it yourself) burrito. You start with this, add some of this, and top with the dressing. Definitely a little messy with lettuce. I’m looking forward to taking my cabbage from my CSA bag and using it instead. Cabbage is already the right shape, so we’ll see how that goes. Yum! I’ll also be using the garlic, the carrots, chives and red onions that night as well. So if you come on Tuesday for the second Raw ASIAN Recipe Night, you’ll be getting fresh, local, organic produce. Oh, and did I mention that I sent several people home with containers of food as well? That’s right…next day’s lunch! Man, maybe I should raise the price of my classes! ;)
About the Blogger
Haley is passionate about Raw Food and how God has used it to heal her. She loves to share what she knows with anyone who is curious, and finds herself talking to everyone around her about her lifestyle.