There's a first time for everything and this year we
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Joined a CSA
The notion of buying local and seasonal food becoming more important. Not just what's for dinner, but it's quality as well. Take fruits and veggies. I've always assumed, if I could analyze the nutrients of the strawberry in my grocery cart, it would match up to those found on a food chart.
Not so much. In fact, in more cases than we care to know, not even close
It turns out food is most alive and filled with all of the good stuff, when it's harvested at the peak of ripeness, and begins losing its nutrient value the moment it's picked. The longer the journey from the garden to the dinner table only increases the nutrients that are lost.
What's even worse? The nutritional value of our produce in a world where farming has become big business, run by corporations with large distribution networks, who's bottom line is often driven by profit.
Fruits and veggies are picked, unripe. They're trucked to a central location, or flown to a far away place, then shipped to a warehouse where they're stored until they find their way to the produce section of our local grocery.
Then, the freshest produce is put on the bottom of the pile, or in the case of eggs or dairy, behind the older containers. This way, the store has a better chance of selling the food that arrived first.
We buy this food, put in into a plastic bag, and take it home, where it might sit in the fridge for a few days before it's cooked
Total time = days or weeks
For produce that never fully developed, and has been losing its nutritional value all along its journey to your dinner table
Farmer Julia's Lacewing Acres has won our hearts. This small vegetable farm south of Ledges State Park in Central Iowa, now entering its second year. The share size is perfect for this veggie-loving family of two, with five to eight items/box/week.
Week one – Bok Choy, Salad Mix and/or Head Lettuce, Spinach and/or Pea Shoots, Arugula, Cilantro, Radishes and/or Turnips. I came home with two bags filled with all things green. The kitties were all a buzz as I set them on the counter. My husband opened the fridge and said, “Wow.”
So we ate big salads, used cilantro in dishes like Butternut Black Bean Enchiladas, and munched on crisp radishes just because
The bok choy found its way into this weeknight meal
One that's easy, fresh, and light. The chicken meatballs filled with scallions, ginger, and garlic. I imagine turkey would work nicely as well. Extra meatballs are tucked away in the freezer to use with other meals or as afternoon snacks.
~ Adapted from Bon Appetit
Ginger Chicken Meatballs and Bok Choy
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ¼ lbs ground chicken
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 ½ tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced (plus more for serving)
- 1 ½ cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 bunch bok choy, chopped
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes (more or less, depending on your tolerance for heat)
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, chicken, soy sauce, ginger, scallions. (Note: Be careful not to over mix)
- Scooping out by the tablespoonful, form mixture into 1” diameter meatballs
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a plate
- Combine bok choy and red pepper flakes, along with a pinch each salt and pepper in a skillet, and cook over medium-high heat until the greens are crisp and tender (~ 5 minutes)
- Add the meatballs and broth.
- Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through (~ 5–8 minutes)
- Serve sprinkled with more scallions