Tag Archives: CSA

WIAW: Supermarket-less week

21 Aug

Participate in What I ate Wednesday in order to justify a possibly abnormal obsession I have with taking pictures of my food? Don’t mind if I do!!

Yesterday my day centered around picking up our weekly CSA share at the local farm. Seems like a mundane activity for most but I was way too excited. I was also killing two birds with one stone and met the woman I get ground beef from at the farmer’s market to pick up 10lbs of grass fed ground beef for $60. Not a bad deal!

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It was a beautiful summer day on the farm! The farm we have been getting our ground beef from gives it to us frozen. I was anticipating getting some fresh beef from the farm we get our chicken from (a different farm) but he told me his won’t be ready until December. That meant I had to grab more of the frozen stuff which is going to be a pain in the rear to move it all in a month when we move to our new house. But I didn’t want to get stuck in a meat-less situation. We still have one bird in the freezer but it will probably be the last for the year. Did you know that chicken and poultry is supposed to be only eaten in summer because it is a “cooling” meat and beef and other red meats are supposed to be eaten in winter because they are “warming” meats? This was obviously how things were before modern supermarkets and everything was seasonal. I learned that from Joel Salatin. Makes sense!

I hit the local food jackpot with the CSA and farmer’s market in addition to the ground beef! Is it sad that this was the highlight of my day and seriously made me so happy???

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The haul included:

cabbage

zucchini

squash

lettuce

rainbow swiss chard

onions

potatoes

yellow beans

pastured eggs

ground beef

Pastured eggs are to die for. I will never ever go back. They are $3.50 a carton, which seems expensive but you are getting way more nutrition for your dollar. Supermarket eggs are essentially useless and tasteless. I don’t even consider them food, honestly.  The yolks of the eggs we get are indescribable. Rich, creamy, and bright orange.   Plus if you count eggs as a ‘protein’ they’re really rather cheap comparatively. That’s 4 servings of protein for under $4.

Last night for dinner I cooked up leftover butternut squash curry and turned it plus the delicious eggs into a quiche using shredded sweet potatoes as a crust. Beyond delicious. All I did for the crust was shred 3/4 of a huge sweet potato in the food processor, squeeze the water out and mix it with 2 tbsp of lard. I pressed it in the pie pan then pre-baked the crust for twenty minutes. Here is a recipe that I based my crust off of.  Then I put the leftovers in with 6 eggs and poured it into the pan and baked for another 45 minutes. Eating the leftovers for lunch in T minus 21 minutes.

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So delicious! That’s all I have for now. All this local food shopping has made a trip to the supermarket this week unnecessary! I couldn’t be happier! Today I may try to go berry picking to take advantage of summer fruits while they are fresh and cheap to stock in the freezer.

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Call me crazy, and our honeymoon was fun and everything, but this is seriously what I missed when we were at the mercy of an all inclusive resort for our food. Nothing makes me happier than cooking and eating food whose origin I am aware of.

What local food are you taking advantage of?

What do you get in your CSA these days?

WIAW: First CSA Share

19 Jun

WIAW was so fun last week I decided to participate again! I am one excited foodie today. Yesterday started my local farm’s CSA share and I went to pick up the goodies right after school.

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In the mix:

Swiss chard (which I’ve had before and was NASTY…but I’m googling other ways to use it), lettuce and garlic scapes (not sure what these are…I’m assuming the tops of garlic.

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I also came home to an exciting package from my friend who works at a specialty olive oil store:

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Naturally I got right to work to incorporate the CSA share veggies and the olive oil into my dinner!

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Swiss Chard- like I said I’ve had it before when I just sautéed it with garlic and olive oil. It tasted like bitter dirt….ugh. For the salad I made last night I only wanted to use the stalks. So I cut them off and chopped them like celery.

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I’ll save the leaves for later in the week and hopefully they will be edible. Any suggestions?

The salad I made last night was scrumptious:

Baked mustard glazed chicken thighs over lettuce from the share, caramelized onions, the chard stalks, roasted sweet potatoes and avocado. I used the Chipotle olive oil for the sweet potatoes which gave it a nice kick!

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Other notable meals and obsessions this week:

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Ummmm don’t buy this if you don’t have the money to support the addiction. Many scoops with a spoon are regularly taken out throughout the day. OMGGG sooo good.

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Taco Lettuce Cups using butter lettuce

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It’s grillin’ season! Zucchinis! Yum

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Practical Paleo Salmon Cakes- they got the picky fiancé approval too! You should make them.

That’s all for this week!

What are your current food obsessions? Ever had coconut butter?

What was the best thing you ate/made this week?

Suggestions for the swiss chard leaves?

How to eat local

2 May

I’ve really been lacking on the blog front these days…..every time I tell myself I will do a post tonight I find some excuse not to….

I wanted to write about something I’ve been trying to make an effort to do lately- buy and eat local food. I’ve been reading this book by Michael Pollan called Omnivore’s Dilemma and it’s basically changed my life. I will do a more in depth book review when I’m finished, but the book is already changing to way I eat and look at food and I haven’t even completed it.

“Don’t you find it odd that people will put more work into choosing their mechanic or house contractor than they will into choosing the person who grows their food?”

Do you think organic is best? Do you think about the impact of the environment on the boxed lettuce from California that “contains 80 calories…[but takes] more than 4,600 calories of fossil fuel energy to make” and ship all over the country. I’m telling you, this book will make you never look at food the same again!

The biggest thing it delves into is the disgusting way that industrial meat is produced. I won’t go into detail here but I’ve read Paleo books and blogs before that harp on the requirement of ‘grass fed beef’ and ‘organic chicken’  however I would always say that was stupid and I could never afford it. Now I know the importance of KNOWING where my food comes from. Buying local is a way to do that. I know exactly what the animals are getting fed (and if antibiotics are used), how they are raised, and where my money goes. But how do you eat straight from the source, especially if you live in a big city?  Here are some ideas I’ve already put into action.

1. Join a CSA

source

CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Basically you own a ‘share’ of a farm and they give you some of their crop weekly. I signed up for what is called an ‘individual share’. I paid $180 dollars and I get to go pick up my veggies every Tuesday. I’m supporting my community and I know exactly how my food is grown and where it comes from. And just because a farm isn’t USDA Certified Organic doesn’t mean it’s not. A lot of farms don’t want to bother with the paperwork and regulations to get certified.

Here’s a website where you can find a CSA farm near you:

CSA 

2. Go to the farmer’s market

This one is easy in every city! I always try to buy produce during the summer from the farmer’s market, again supporting my community instead of workers in Mexico. I can’t wait for my town’s to start- should be coming soon!

3. Eat seasonal

If you are part of the CSA or shopping at the farmer’s market this one’s easy. Food has a bigger environmental impact when you have to ship it across the country. Try as much as you can to eat stuff in season- berries in the spring, zucchini in the summer, squash in the fall, etc. Obviously you can’t do it all the time, but try to do what you can. Here is a more comprehensive list:

http://whole9life.com/2012/01/seasonal/

4.  Find a farmer near you!

This one was easy for me since I live in the boonies and there are farms everywhere. There was actually one down the street from my house. The farmer was super nice and willing to explain everything to us about how the animals are raised. I contacted him through email and drove down the road to pick up some chickens and eggs. I also made an appointment to pick up more chicken on an upcoming slaughter date.

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My eggs and chicken! Yum!

You can use this website to find a farmer near you:

http://www.eatwild.com/

This farm didn’t have beef so I had to search out another one. It was hard to get beef this time of year because slaughters are usually in the fall, but I finally found a farm that had some leftover from last year. The meat is the best quality  meat I have ever tasted and since it’s grass fed, it’s naturally lean.

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And yes, this type of meat and shopping is more expensive. But really- do you spend more on your cable bill a month than you do on the food you put into your body to keep you alive? What are you priorities? I know this type of eating is expensive, but you really have to think about if it’s worth it. I think it is. It’s worth it on the money I may be spending on health care later on in my life. It’s worth it for the lesser impact to the environment, and it’s worth it to benefit my community instead of some huge factory that sends work out of the country.

What’s your take on this way of eating? Worth it or not? Do you buy locally raised meats and produce?

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