Since we started receiving our weekly box of organic and locally grown produce, I have come to adore this time of year. And that is saying a lot. At this point in the year, I am mentally and physically done with summer. The desert heat is trying my patience, it is draining my energy and any twinge of adoration I might feel for this season is attributed to only one thing: food, of course. I may not feel it in the air just yet, but I can see the beginnings of that blessed seasonal transition in the contents of our weekly produce box. Heirloom tomatoes, Asian pears and fresh figs. I absolutely love fresh figs and their appearance in my box is a reassuring sign that yes, autumn will eventually bless us with its presence. And yet, the bounty of beautiful fresh figs in my kitchen provokes that all too familiar question: what to do with this?
What’s in Your Lunchbox?
At the last minute, my hubby and I decided to take a break from the everyday and indulge in (what seems to be turning into an annual thing) an adventure of a different sort…Las Vegas…Star Trek convention. Yes. That’s what I said. And while we were there, we experienced quite a few fun Trekkie moments. But my favorite was this…Teacher got herself a new lunchbox!
What to Do with this: Artichokes and Chickpea Crepes
I have said it before, some of my tastiest and loveliest meals are those that began with the question: What to do with this? This recipe for Chickpea Crepes and Artichoke Aioli was an immediate favorite! It turned out to be a pretty classy dish and it all began with a simple bunch of artichokes from my weekly box of organic bounty.
What to Do with This: Eggplant Parmesan
I love Tuesday afternoons. On Tuesday I always leave work on time. On my way home, I stop to pick up our weekly box of organic produce. I love looking forward to my little organic Tuesday surprise. I never know what I’ll get. And then there’s the extra “add-ons” that my hubby likes to surprise me with…6 bunches of random greens, 25 lb. bag of carrots, bags of raw nuts, dried herbs, raw milk, grass-fed beef…who knows what else? After some good-natured teasing from the ladies about my hubby’s gigantic add-on orders and who’s gonna be cooking it all, I rush home to unload my box. It’s feels like Christmas as I eagerly unwrap the brown paper to reveal this week’s secret prize. There’s always something a little special or unexpected, like watermelon radishes, bright green spiral-tipped cauliflower or heirloom tomatoes. Even a simple head of purple cabbage seems like a work of art.
This is the time of year when I begin to feel the welcomed shift from my hectic springtime schedule to the much more relaxed bustle of spontaneous summertime activities. School is out and the kiddos are off to play for the summer. Year-end teaching tasks and deadlines give way to crafty pursuits and trip planning. The days are getting longer and the temperature is quickly warming up. During this time of year raw veggie meals and cold blender treats are much preferred to cooking over a hot stove! So, I spent my first official summer weekend sleeping late, keeping house and stirring up something sweet to celebrate summer’s arrival.
A Little Less Young
In this household, we do not get older, we simply get a little less young. My hubby is adamant about this. Yesterday was his birthday and it’s always a challenge to come up with gift ideas for this boy. But the one thing he always seems to appreciate is good food. And since he truly is something to celebrate, I thought he deserved some special superfood treatment!
Strawberries and Chamomile
My hubby and I love exploring together, whether it be mountain trails, desert dunes or superfoods. Lately we have been enjoying our time perusing vegan/superfood cookbooks and planning meals together as we make efforts to alkalize, vegefy and up the raw factor in our diets. One of my favorite cookbooks is Superfood Kitchen by Julie Morris. My copy is actually her original edition titled Superfood Cuisine. It’s my comfort book. I feel healthier just looking at the beautiful photos of her superfood creations! So, when her Superfood Smoothies book came out, my thoughtful husband ordered a copy for me right away.
I got this beautiful bunch of crazy chamomile in my produce box a couple weeks ago. It had so much personality, blooms pointing this way and that, like something from a Dr. Seuss book. Sometimes we get things and I think, “Oh! Look at this lovely gift from nature…I have no idea what to do with it!”. I enjoy being creative with my food and I am always looking for new and interesting ways of using new and interesting foods. However, I am ashamed to admit that sometimes those random, out of the ordinary, organics go to waste in this busy household.
This dried berry mix is one of my favorite superfood treats. On their own, they each possess their own unique set of superpowers and together, they make one terrific trio! I love the way the super sweet mulberry contradicts the pucker power of the goldenberry and that mellow goji guy just brings them all together. Goji berries have a permanent (and easily accessible) position on our kitchen counter and we always have a steady supply on hand. The goldenberries…well, they are tart little buggers, so a little goes a long way. They tend to last a while. The mulberries on the other hand, they are like gold in this household! Whoever gets to the bag first strikes it rich. They are gone in a flash and there is no mercy, where those guys are concerned. Unfortunately, it can be pretty pricey to keep a supply on hand, so we do try our best to conserve. I consider it a treat to indulge in an extra bag of these dried white Turkish delights and this weekend I felt like treating myself. Since I had the bag in my possession I decided to make the best of it and prepare an array of superfruit goodies. Superberry Sunday, it is.
Can’t Beet That
When I was a young child I thought a vegetarian was someone who ate a lot of vegetables. I once informed my best friend’s mom that I was a vegetarian. I was baffled, not to mention disappointed, when she announced that she could no longer feed me hot dogs because I was a vegetarian. I was not, in fact, a vegetarian, but we did eat a lot of vegetables in my household. As much as I loved my veggies, there were two things I absolutely hated: spinach and beets.