Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mmmmm......Fresh Veggies and Cookin' In the Kitchen with Zandy


Friday afternoon Alexander (Zandy) and I drove to the Green Earth Institute http://www.greenearthinstitute.org/ to pick up our bi-weekly share of organically grown veggies. This is our fourth year of participating in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and every year I love it more. I love pulling up at the farm and seeing a line of folks ready to fill their canvas bags with all kinds of veggie suprises. There is just something special about seeing others excited about good healthy food and being greeted by name each time by Farmer Steve, the head farmer. This week Alexander and I completely filled two bags with garlic scapes, scallions, brocolli, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi (Sophia's favorite), radicchio, new potatoes, five cucumbers, two huge yellow squash, five huge zucchini and basil. When you get all of these fresh veggies to a warm car, the smells just jump out to you. You can hardly wait to get home and start eating! At every stop light I read through the weekly newsletter figuring out if there are any new recipes I want to try - there is! There is a delicious pesto dip that doesn't require any dairy. I am definitely making that this weekend.

We came home and immediately started preparing dinner. Alexander peeled potatoes while I browned the ground beef and made the gluten/dairy free sauce for our potato casserole all the while hearing stories of video games and a new idea Zandy has to make a metal sword. We put the casserole in the oven and washed the broccoli from CSA so we could put it in the casserole the last 20 minutes. It was delicious!

On Saturday, I made an egg wrap by scrambling three free range eggs and then wrapping it in the Chinese cabbage. For dinner we made quinoa, gluten free fried chicken, and steamed zucchini and yellow squash with the the garlic scapes and onion. Yummy! Then for dessert, Alexander shredded enough zucchini that I could make two loaves of gluten free/dairy free chocolate zucchini bread. This bread is to die for! We are definitely shredding more zucchini this week for more bread and to freeze for later.

To be a part of a CSA is very motivating. I have not come to the point in my life that I am ready to take on a garden, but I love having fresh veggies to feed my family. I feel motivated to try vegetables that I would otherwise not buy at the grocery store and I am surprised at how much we like new things. Who knew that Alexander and I would love chopping up beets and eating them raw? Who knew that Sophia would eat a whole big kohlrabi herself? Who knew that if I stuck with kale I would finally like the taste? What it comes down to, is that when I know the crew of farmers and interns that are working at the Green Earth Institute, I feel a connection to the food that I am eating and I have a hard time wasting it. Not only do I feel like my money is wasted, but I have a harder time knowing their time was wasted for something that is such an awesome gift to us.