Food Lover Goes Vegan: Day 2 of the Juice Cleanse

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Day Two

I woke up today feeling much better than I did yesterday afternoon. The cashew hemp mylk kept me full through the night, but I woke up as hungry as usual this morning.

Mornings always start with booster shots – today was e3 Live (essentially chlorophyll). I used to drink chlorophyll on the reg during my days in Colorado, which brings me to my next point and the question you have probably all been wondering – what brought me to the decision to do a juice cleanse and what are my lifestyle and  eating habits normally like?

Today I am not going to bore you by walking through all of my juices once more. Suffice it to say that there are seven every day (well, six juices and one booster shot in the AM) and some are the same and others are new. I will include descriptions of the new juices at the end of today’s blog, in case you are dying to know the nutritional value of what I am consuming.

Before I digress into my life story though, one quick anecdote on my second juice today. As per yesterday, juice two today is coconut water. Each of the glass bottles comes with a removable label containing nutritional facts, and when I went to pull the label off, I noticed the calorie count (I can’t help it, I’m a girl and my eyes zone in on calories). The label stated that my 16 ounce bottle of coconut water contained 890 CALORIES. Imagine my shock at something with the word “water” on the label claiming to contain 890 calories. I’m going to chalk this error up to the fact that Organic Avenue bottles all of its juices by hand every day, and someone must have placed the wrong label on the bottle (if you are wondering, coconut water contains only 45 calories per 16 ounce serving, according to Organic Avenue’s website).

Anyways, why am I doing a juice cleanse!? If you know me, you know I LOVE food. I am the type of person that spends hours on NYMag, Yelp, etc. searching for the best option for Saturday night dinner. I personally think finding the best restaurants (or secret bars, my other passion) when visitors are in town is more stressful than my 9AM to midnight, 1AM, 2AM or beyond finance job. I am the prime candidate for 4AM pizza. Suffice it to say, I love food. I’ve had my forays into diets in the past, but none of them stuck. Pretty much my entire pledge class attempted the Atkin’s diet for a week sophomore year, but that ended when a) upperclassmen on my field hockey team reamed us out for attempting to diet and play a college sport, b) we all got so moody from lack of food that no one was getting along and c) one unnamed friend was caught asking ‘If these cookies are organic, are they on the Atkin’s diet!?’. At that point, we all pretty much gave up on dieting.

Fast forward to two years out of college. We will ignore the first two for now, since coming from small-town Lexington, VA to the big city of Charlotte (note sarcasm here please), I was more than overwhelmed by going to bars (we had one in Lexington and no one went to it) and the abundance of dining options. So, no healthy eating occurred there.

And then I moved to New York. New Yorkers are a different breed of animal, and I find myself slowly turning into one. In New York, you can find fitness classes ranging from yoga (which is all the craze these days, I myself have been practicing for two years – Namaste) to one of my roommate’s favorites, Kangoo, which involves wearing weighted boots and going through a series of exercises. Name any type of diet or eating plan, and you can have it delivered to your door for a small fee of ~$30 dollars per day. This is New York. We are eclectic.

Anyways, in New York I started working out more (it helps that at my new job we have a gym in our office) and eating healthy during the week. You heard me, during the week…only. I still party on the weekends and obsess over and over-eat at nice restaurants all around New York. But my healthy eating during the week and the extra mileage I was walking in the city each day led to steady weight loss.
And then the holidays arrived in full force. I found myself cheating on my eat-healthy-during-the-week plan more and more. After some self-reflection, I realized that all of my favorite t-shirts were my favorites because they were mediums, instead of the size-small t-shirts I wore earlier in college. So I decided to kick-start a healthier lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong – you will still find me making lavish meal plans for the weekend (I LOVE bottomless brunch). I simply wanted a way to take a step back. I was so sick of nice food after the holidays that I wasn’t even hungry at meal times but would eat anyways. I stopped working out as much. I was toxic.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, when I lived in Colorado, it was much easier to make healthy choices because people there are obsessed with good health. Daily wheatgrass shots and chlorophyll drinks were my jam. New York actually isn’t so different from Colorado – this city is inundated with the same health food freaks. I am using this cleanse as a way to inspire myself to make healthier choices again and get caught up in the fun aspects of healthy eating.

Trust me, meeting a friend at a juice bar can inspire just as much conversation as a regular bar. Yoga is a great group activity. All that being said, my roommates and I already have dinner plans for this Friday night once my cleanse is over – once a foodie, always a foodie.

Today is going much better than yesterday. It’s 1:47PM and I don’t feel juiced out yet. I’m loving the tastes of the juices today (my orange juice at lunch was the best OJ I have ever had, and it should be at a retail price of $11.00 for a 16 ounce bottle). I feel refreshed after every juice and I don’t have a stomach ache today. I drank my orange juice (juice three) around 11:30 today, which was a bit earlier than yesterday. I made this adjustment to help avoid the overly full / juiced-out feeling I got around 4:00PM yesterday.

I had to avoid chugging my orange juice (again, Organic Avenue suggests that you sip the juices slowly over a period of time) because I have been looking forward to it since I received today’s menu in my inbox last night. Speaking of orange juice (which everyone knows contains vitamin C and prevents colds), I have not yet come down with the cold I felt coming on yesterday. Fingers crossed, my nutrient rich diet actually defeated the cold. Or perhaps it is as my mother always says, ‘feed the fever and starve (or over-juice, in my case) the cold.’

By the way, this blog is a great distraction when I start to think about how hungry I am. I started to get really hungry between the orange juice and my next juice, ginger lemonade. I thought about drinking the ginger lemonade 30 minutes early, but then I started writing this blog and the half hour passed easily. If you are wondering, I get to have a juice every two hours (except in the AM, coconut water is at 11AM and the next juice is at noon).

The juices generally start out lighter, beginning with the booster shot. After that is coconut water, and then two fruity juices, followed by two veggie juices and then a protein-laden mylk to end the day. It takes me anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to finish a bottle of juice, depending on how much I like it. It’s a nice progression, but I don’t really like the veggie juices (or I didn’t yesterday). We shall see today.

It’s 4:05PM and I’ve just tapped into my first veggie juice for the day – Veggie Vibrance. This one is beet-based, and it tastes way better than the fresh-cut-grass based Green LOVE. I am pretty hungry at this point in the day, unlike yesterday when I was feeling overly full of juice, so I am actually looking forward to the two veggie juices and am hoping they fill me up. I also have a headache that just set in, and I’m guessing it is due to a lack of caffeine. No big deal though – I am more than half way done with my cleanse and I am determined not to interrupt the dispelling of toxins by taking Advil (yes, this is coming out of the mouth of the same girl who had a candy dish of Advil on her coffee table junior year).

Ugh, on to the green juice. It tastes like horse breath and I hate it. At this point in the day, I am hungry, and I am starting to feel bad for myself since work is really stressful and usually meal times are the only enjoyable part of my day. Which just goes to show how I think about food and why I am taking a three day break from it. On my worst day at work ever, I ordered calamari and spaghetti and meatballs. Food as reward. I would really like to reward myself with a healthy body and an active lifestyle – hence this cleanse. I don’t think my love of food will disappear somewhere between now and tomorrow, day three and the last day of this cleanse, but I’m hoping to make more food decisions with my health in mind.
As the day winds down, I find myself repeatedly checking my inbox for tomorrow’s menu. It’s really nice that Organic Avenue changes up the menu each day. The surprise every night adds an element of excitement to my cleanse. Or maybe I have just replaced my usual excitement about dinner with a menu obsession. I am thoroughly enjoying my last juice of the day, coconut mylk, although once again I am concerned about how much longer I have to work tonight. I still have a headache, which I’m hoping will go away tonight while I sleep, but I feel significantly better than yesterday. Once again, the last juice of the day is a tasty treat and I wish I had two – this coconut mylk reminds me of being at the beach!

I’ll sign off here until tomorrow. Stay tuned for my last day on the juice cleanse plus a fourth entry in which Christina will interview me on my experience. As promised, below is a description of the nutritional value of each of the new juices.

New Juice #1 – Orange Juice: I won’t insult your intelligence by listing the health properties of orange juice. Suffice it to say that this one was a tasty addition today.

New Juice #2 – Ginger Lemonade: This one is also delicious. Ginger contains 12+ anti-oxidants and thus aids in the prevention and treatment of a whole host of ailments. Ginger is also an aphrodisiac (oo la la). I have used ginger in the past to treat stomach aches (thanks to my mother) and it also reminds me of one of the aforementioned places I order from every week, Chimi Sushi (I love ginger on my sushi).

New Juice #3 – Veggie Vibe: Another of Organic Avenue’s veggie mixes (in addition to Green LOVE), Veggie Vibe contains beets. Beets are a powerful cancer-fighting agent, with several studies concluding that beets are highly effective in preventing colon cancer.

New Juice #4 – Coconut Mylk: Coconut mylk contains a lot of the same properties as coconut water – once again, the anti-Friday night. Coconut mylk is an all-natural isotonic beverage and  carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells, raises metabolism, promotes weight loss, boosts the immune system, cleanses the digestive tract, balances your PH and reduces the risk of cancer.

Aloe Vera, Coconut Water and Cashew Hemp Mylk: Day 1 of the Juice Cleanse

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FarmShareTheLove is back this week with a special guest blogger: Melissa Dolan

Melissa, a 7-month New York City resident  is embarking on her first-ever juice cleanse (which seem to be all the rage these days) and we know you’re wondering exactly what it entails. She’s not the first in her office to try a juice cleanse. In fact, more than 15 of the 40 people in her office have tried one in the past couple weeks. The good news is, Melissa has offered to write about it for the next 3 days, chronicling her struggles, successes, and overall feelings (or lack of feelings) about the process.

Melissa has chosen Organic Avenue to supply her with her juice “meals” for the next three days. All of the juices are raw (unheated), organic (no chemicals added), and vegan (no animal by-products). You can read more about the cleanse on their website.

I’ll let Melissa take it from here…

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Day One

I woke up pretty excited today, but by 7:45AM while I was walking Beauregard, I was already starving. After passing McDonald’s and thinking about how that would be my first stop once this cleanse is over, I headed to the 6 train, which is my usual route to work. However, instead of getting off at Grand Central, I went one stop further to 51st street, where I have never ventured before (subway station only, don’t worry, I have been north of 51st street in Manhattan). Who knew there would be a Dunkin Donuts IN THE STATION!? Like I said, I was already starving so I almost turned around.

When I walked into Organic Avenue, the woman behind the counter asked if I had any questions (this is pretty straightforward right? I mean, I just have to drink the juice and resist McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts and I am on my way to a detoxified-cleansified-healthy-life-until-I-break-this-cleanse-with-14-adult-beverages-on-Saturday, right?).

Juice One – Aloe Vera: I couldn’t help thinking about the gel you put on sunburns when I pulled this one out of the box. Expecting it to be the same unnatural green, I was shocked when the juice was crystal clear. Aloe Vera juice detoxifies the body and cleanses the colon (read: I’ll have dia—– in an hour). The juice tastes like a swimming pool, so I kind of like it. I’m already struggling with the no chugging rule.

Annnnnd there went juice one. While typing this blog I just spilled the remaining half glass of my “breakfast” (as if Aloe was supposed to fill me up until 11:00AM) all over my keyboard. I knew I should have chugged this. Maybe I won’t have dia—– after all. Better luck on juice two.

Juice Two – Coconut Water: I have to say, I was dreading this one the most. Other brands of coconut water that I have tried in the past taste like straight up sunscreen, but I find Organic Avenue’s coconut water quite delicious. I already spilled a few drops as I was opening this one up – I have spilled more stuff on myself today – good thing I am still on the clear liquids. Coconut water keeps the body cool and at the proper temperature (just great since I am already freezing in our low-budget heating methods at work) and carries a billion other nutrients that do just about everything you could think of – increase metabolism, boost the immune system, fight viruses, cleanse the digestive tract, increase hydration, control diabetes, fight the flu and prevent STDS – basically coconut water is the anti-Friday night.

Juice Three – Pear Juice: As soon as noon hit, I was in the kitchen for juice number three. I felt pretty full after the coconut water, but I think that was due to the shear amount of liquid in these bottles (16 ounces). By noon I was ready for some real calories given the first two “juices” were basically water. The pear juice tastes the best so far. I think the main purpose of the pear juice is to add a tasty treat to the cleanse – the only health benefit of pear is a healthy dose of fiber. Speaking of fiber, I decided to forgo my usual vitamin regime for the next three days in order to completely detoxify. I also felt a cold coming on yesterday, but decided not to start my usual over-dosing on Mucinex, and see what three days of healthy eating (well, drinking) could do for me instead.

Juice Four – Turmeric Tonic: I am exhausted from lack of caffeine. By now I would have had a giant mug of coffee and a Coke Zero. I tried to wean myself from caffeine before starting this cleanse, well sort of. Actually I just cut out my afternoon Coke Zero yesterday. Anyways, this juice tastes like Indian food, no joke. Luckily I like Indian food. Turmeric is a cleansing herb used for digestive disturbances (ie the ones this cleanse will inevitably cause) as well as the treatment of fever, infections, dysentery, arthritis, jaundice and other liver problems. I would like to point out here that I am over half way done with my juices, but in no way am I half way done with my work day. I expect to work until at least 11PM this evening, meaning I have nine more hours of work and only three more juices, with the last one at 8PM. Things are going to get weird.

Juice Five – Carrot Juice: I am stuffed at this point and my stomach hurts. But, carrot juice is one of my favorites at Organic Avenue and I started drinking this particular juice long before this cleanse, so hopefully this will be a tasty treat. I’m hoping to avoid spilling this one since that bright orange color will definitely destroy my pants in a very noticeable way. Anyways, Carrot juice is packed full of minerals and health benefits include prenatal health, eyesight, bones and teeth, liver, nails, skin and hair. At this point in the day (4:00PM), I have a mild fever, which I am told is normal. I’d expect nothing less after stopping my former lifestyle cold-turkey (more on that later, perhaps tomorrow). I’m also really craving food right about now, which is largely attributable to the fact that the admins behind me are planning out five days of lavish food for our annual Vail retreat (principals and above, so don’t be jealous, I don’t get to go).

Juice Six – Green LOVE: I dumped half of the carrot juice down the drain, which I regretted ~20 minutes later because I started to feel hungry. At this point in the day, I’m feeling a little juiced out. I’ll frame it up for you this way – it’s kind of like when you drink too much of one particular alcoholic beverage (think all day pool party where all you have had is vodka tonics with lime) and all you want is to switch to beer. I’m sick of the sweet taste of the juice and really craving some salt about now.

Green LOVE is one of Organic Avenue’s signature juices. From my perspective, it looks like something they drank on Ghostbusters. This juice is packed with greens, pear and lemon and contains my entire daily vegetable requirements. Apparently it’s going to give me a jolt of energy as well. Challenge. I spoke too soon – take me back to the sweet juices please. One sip into this juice. This. Is. My. Everest. It tastes like freshly cut grass.

Juice Seven – Cashew Hemp Mylk: In addition to cleansing, sweating is a really good way to get toxins out of the body. Since I don’t have access to anything as fancy as a steam room or yoga here at work, I sweat it out the old-fashioned way with a 45 minute spinning workout. I surprisingly had enough energy to sprint the last two miles (in true retired-athlete form), so perhaps Green LOVE really did give me a jolt of energy. While I was in the gym, I fantasized about all of my usual Seamless Web orders. For the record, I order dinner from the same four places every single week, and sometimes I order from just one of the four for an entire week straight. Just last week I was complaining about how sick I am of ordering take-out, but here I am missing it after day one.

This cashew hemp mylk is exactly what I need right now. Packed with fatty acids and protein, this is a great post-workout meal and will definitely help me get through the next two hours of work. It tastes absolutely delicious and has a milkshake consistency (I wish I had two). Well, I’m almost through day one of three. So far, while I have intense cravings for food, I feel full and satisfied and have enough energy to get through the day. After this mylk, it’s just water until tomorrow. Wish me luck!

 

Woww, what a week!

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Wow, so we’ve definitely been leaving you all hanging.  Just as the summer has been heating up, we’ve left you all wondering what we’ve been eating…

First of all, it’s been quite a week.  Christina is in Ecuador for work, so I’ve been faring for myself, cooking up an immense amount of tomatoes and corn.  Since we’ve last posted, we’ve continued to try to figure out how to use, mask, and not use corn.  We’ve also gotten some of the most amazing peaches that I’ve ever tasted.  We’ve even gotten little baby eggplants which turned into some really yummy baba ganoush with a little help of some olive oil, garlic, and tahini.

But the real action all started on Tuesday.  Tuesday morning was beautiful, and I left for work a few minutes early, to take an extra long bike ride on the way to work to enjoy the morning.  On the way to work, I day dreamed about all the tomatoes that we would be receiving this week, and semi-worrying about what to do with all of them, since I would be eating solo.  Once I got to work, my tomato day-dream/nightmare was quickly replaced with the crazy work day.  Everyone in my office was working like crazy, when all of a sudden a little before 2:00…rumble rumble… strangely enough the rumbling was not my stomach (which is usually rumbling around 2), but the earthquake.  It was a pretty surreal experience, involving the evacuation of our office, all of us leaving everything behind (including my half eaten lunch, and all of our computers), and my subconscious desire to hold my coworker’s hand (weird, yes).  Anyways, everything was fine, and we ended up getting to leave early for the day. 

It was definitely a weird afternoon, but our veggies were still delivered by Christina’s very awesome coworker (Thanks, thanks, thanks!!!).   I didn’t have my computer, so what else was I supposed to do, but cook and eat.

Sooo I thought what the heck, why not make a putanesca.  It’s quick, easy, and yummy.  My dad always says, “You know what pasta putanesca means….”, and in case you didn’t know, means something that I feel is not appropriate for our PG blog.  It was apparently made back in the day by “ladies of the night”, as we will call them, to serve to their customers after doing their job… anyways, it’s pretty good, and those ladies probably got a bunch of customers who were looking for a good meal.  It’s basically just a spicy tomato sauce with a few other key ingredients.  Hope you like it!

Pasta Putanesca

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of ripe tomatoes
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of capers
  • hot pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan, heat a few table spoons of olive oil, and add the diced onion.  The pan should be pretty wide, not a pot, but more like a deep frying pan.  Surface area is key for cooking the sauce quickly.   After the onions have become translucent, add the garlic and the mushrooms.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes, making sure that the garlic doesn’t burn, and the mushrooms become tender.  Add the red wine, and continue to cook, allowing the wine to reduce.

In the mean time, start chopping the tomatoes, making sure that they’re pretty small.  The skin can stay on, and also keep the seeds and juices.  Add the tomatoes to the pan, stirring everything together.  Add capers, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and allow everything to cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Everything should reduce, and become very fragrant. 

Serve over whole wheat pasta!

Thursday, I was really craving mexican food.  So in order to use the rest of the tomatoes and some of the corn, I made quesadillas.

Pico de Gallo

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 large tomatoes (I used 1 large tomato, and a bunch of little plum tomatoes.)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 an onion, diced into teeny little pieces
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste

Dice the tomatoes into the smallest pieces you can cut.  Add the onion, minced garlic, and jalapeno.  Squeeze the lime juice over the mixture, add salt, and stir everything together. Add the cilantro and mix everything together.

Corn and Portobello Quesadillas

Ingredients:

  • kernels cut from 2 cobs of corn
  • 1 cup of baby bellas
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chipotle seasoning
  • Shredded mexican blend cheese
  • Whole wheat tortillas

In a large skillet, add a few teaspoons of canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan.   Add the onion ann and baby bellas, cooking for about 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.   Once the mushrooms are cooked, add the corn, and the spices.  Cook until the corn is cooked through, and the mixture is fragrant.

In a separate skillet, heat a whole wheat tortilla, coating the tortilla with a layer of the shredded cheese.  Place a few scoops of the corn/mushroom mixture on one side of the tortilla.  Once the cheese is melted, fold the tortilla over the half with the corn, and press down to meld everything together.  Remove from the skillet, and cut into triangles.  Serve with pico de gallo!

Stay tuned for pictures next week upon Christina’s return!

It’s been a while..

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And we’re back!

We took a brief hiatus for a while as we started to hit a wall with our produce.  Not that we weren’t completely loving our veggies and fruits (we did make some really great dishes during our blog-vacation!), we just got a little busy and next thing we knew, it was week 9. Whoops, our bad. 

One thing we realized during our vacation from taking pictures of our dinners and posting them online, was that we weren’t the only ones enjoying the fresh produce delivered to us.  On multiple occasions, we found little friends living and dining in our peaches.  Obviously, worms are a part of nature and are expected to be found on occasion, but it’s still a bit unsettling to bite into a juicy, ripe peach and find half of a worm in the peach you just bit into. 

Anyways, now that we’re over the hump of the early summer veggies, which were great, it’s now corn, squash, peach, and green bean season.  The amount of produce we’ve been receiving is pretty sizeable, and we’ve definitely not been able to finish it each week.  The most difficult veggie to get rid of has been corn.  Corn is great, but corn is kind of a filler food.  Corn is already in practically everything we eat (if you eat processed food, that is. hopefully it hasn’t found its way into other fruits and vegetables yet, but they could some day with all of the genetic modification that goes on in produce these days…) so it’s been a bit hard to justify including a random ear of corn on the side of every meal or adding more corn to our diets.   Corn chowder though, is delicious, so here is a healthy version that I made in order to get rid of 6 ears of corn.

Corn Chowder

  • 6 ears of corn, uncooked
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 16 oz vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes
  • shredded cheddar cheese

After shucking the corn, use a sharp knife to cut away the kernels from the cob. Run the back of the knife down the cob once the kernels have been cut away to get and additional seeds and starchy juice from the cob, and reserve this in a bowl along with the kernels.

Coat the bottom of a large pot with a thin layer of canola oil (or another unflavored oil), and add the diced onions.  Cook over medium for about 5 minutes until the onions become translucent. Add the red pepper, and cook for another 5 minutes until the peppers become tender.  Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, and corn to the mixture, and cover.  If the soup is too thick at this point, fill the coconut milk can with water and add that too. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat, simmering the soup for about 15-20 minutes. 

After about 20 minutes, serve the soup, topping with cheddar cheese, some red pepper flakes, and oyster crackers!

We don’t have photo evidence of this dish, but it was good and seemed pretty healthy.  Coconut milk is a really good substitute for heavy cream, and is much healthier too. 

Stay tuned for our recipe for Squash and Tofu stir fry and PEACH COBBLER!

In the meantime, here is an interesting article that one of our roommates showed us, called Stop Wasting Food!  If you have a CSA, or have been stocking up on produce from a farmer’s market or grocery store, this article gives you helpful hints about using and preserving produce.

Happy Farmsharing!

Week 5, soooo gooooood……

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Yum.   Things started to heat up during week 5 when we received some pretty awesome produce in the box.   Most people don’t get overly excited by cabbage and beets, but we quickly devised several delicious and easy recipes to try.

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Roasting beets is very simple.  Once you cut the chard off of the beets, make sure to thoroughly clean the beets by soaking them in water and scrubbing them to remove the excess dirt.  On a side note, we wanted to clear the air that  really don’t hate chard that much, we just don’t want to eat it anymore or find ways to turn other parts of vegetables into chard.  I digress.  Preheat your oven to 400, make a little pouch of foil, and place the beets inside with a little olive oil and salt.  Wrap up the beets, and throw them in the oven for about an hour.  Once the beets are cooked, let them cool for a few minutes, and peel off the skin.  The skin comes off very easily, and you can use your hands.  The beet juice will stain your fingers, so you can use gloves to avoid pink fingers, or just rub olive oil on your hands to remove the stain.

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We refrigerated the beets over night, and decided to use them in a salad the next day, using the lettuce from the CSA and goat cheese.  We made a quick vinaigrette out of Muscat Orange Vinegar from Trader Joe’s, a quick squeeze of Dijon mustard, a bit of honey, and some salt and pepper.   The end result was a very light and fresh salad.  Citrus and beets are very complementary, and if you prefer, you could use white wine vinegar and a squeeze of orange juice rather than the orange vinegar.

Broiled Peaches

Broiled peaches are so easy to make, and are the perfect dessert in the summer.  Preheat your broiler.  Cut a peach in half, and remove the pit.  In the space where the pit once was, place a dollop of your favorite jam or jelly.  We’ve tried it with all kinds of jams, including strawberry, blueberry, cherry, and cranberry (featured in the photos).  Acidic fruit jams seem to go the best with the peaches, so any of the above are delicious.   Place the peach halves on a cookie sheet, and put them in the oven for about 5-10 minutes.  Make sure to watch them so that the jam does not burn.  While there in the oven, the jam starts to caramelize, the peach becomes extra juicy and soft, and the flavors meld together in a fantastic way.  Yum.

Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

Fish Taco night was a collaborative effort with all of our roommates, which resulted in an AWESOME meal.  Here is the break down of what we made:

For the Fish:

  • 4 Tilapia fillets
  • The sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper

squeeze the lime juice over the tilapia fillets, and season with salt and pepper.  Rub the sauce from the can of chipotle peppers over the fillets.  Heat a pan on the stove, and add a thin layer of unflavored cooking oil (such as canola) into the pan.  Cook the fish for a few minutes on each side, adding more chipotle sauce as desired.  Set aside.

Cabbage slaw, 2 ways

  • 1/2 a head of cabbage, shredded
  • Four ears of corn, boiled, and roasted on a pan and cut from the cob
  • 1/2 cup of chopped red onion
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Zest from 2 limes
  • Juice from 1 1/2 limes
  • Sour cream
  • 1 chopped chipotle pepper, and sauce

In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, corn, onion, and chopped cilantro.  Divide this mixture in half, and place in separate mixing bowls.  For the creamy slaw, add the zest of 1 lime, the juice of 1/2 a lime, 1/4 cup of sour cream, and 1 chipotle pepper.  Depending on your spice preference, add the sauce from the chipotle pepper.  Pour the sauce over the cabbage mixture and mix thoroughly.  For the lime slaw, add the zest of 1 lime, the juice of 1 lime, a dash of olive oil, and salt.  Pour over the cabbage mixture, and mix thoroughly.

Guac

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • salt

Mash the avocados, and add the cilantro, onion, tomato, and lime juice. Add salt as desired.

Once everything was prepared, everyone made their own fish tacos.  We used whole grain tortillas, and topped the fish with the slaw, guac, pico di gallo, and cheese.  Very yummy and very healthy.  Unfortunately, we have no picture documentation, so you’ll have to trust us on this one.  Things looked and tasted soooooogoooooooood.

The moment I’ve been waiting for…peaches!

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From this week’s CSA Newsletter:

Week 5 CSA boxes include:

  • Lettuce
  • This week’s potted herb: Lemon Balm
  • Cabbage
  • Beets w/ their tops which can be treated like chard
  • Tree fruit (either plums, peaches or apricots)*

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*These first tree fruits are all early blooming varieties which are most at risk of frost damage.  This year the first varieties were affected by seasonal frost our yield hasn’t been what we hoped.  Later varieties coming in July and August are promising higher yields.

A word from the Farmer~

We are well under way with our summer season.  Our tomatoes are knee high and starting to bloom; the squash is beginning to flower and will be here before we know it; and thankfully the corn is finally beginning to show some healthy signs of reaching the old farmer’s goal of knee high by the 4th of July.  With the wet spring, we were concerned about whether the corn was ever going to grow!

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Well this all seems like great news! The best news of all is that the PEACHES have arrived! They aren’t pretty by any means, but I’m anxious to find out how they taste!

I was shocked at how much heavier this week’s box was, compared to last week. I’m going to venture a guess that the head of cabbage they gave us weighs at least 3-4 lbs on its own. The good news is, there are TONS of cabbage recipes that Audrey and I have already found–and the uses seem to be endless from things you’d expect like cabbage soup all the way to things like fajitas with cabbage inside. And I happen to know it’s great for making fish taco cole slaw.

Beet chips: delicious and dangerous

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Beet chips. What can be better than turning yet another veggie into a chip form? (see Kale chips below)…

Beet chips are awesome. And fairly easy to make, as long as you’re careful (I wasn’t). Here’s what the beets looked like once we soaked them in water to get off all the dirt and grime. They’re pretty ugly and scary looking. We also cut off the tops, but then found out you can use them in the same way you use swiss chard. But really that just validated the cutting since I’d be fine if I never see swiss chard again.

I’m going to caution you upfront. This recipe calls for the use of a mandoline which can be your best friend in the kitchen, or your worst enemy.

A mandoline allows you to slice your veggies ultra thin, which is great if you’re trying to make chips, but bad if you’re not careful and end up making your finger into a chip like I did (eww gross I know I’m sorry). The good news is, the mandoline comes with a special attatchement that helps you hold the veggie without getting your hand too close to the blade. I’ll make sure to use it next time.

One more fun fact about beets–their juices are very dark and rich in color–translation–they will stain your clothes and hands. Make sure you aren’t wearing something you care about while slicing the beets.

On to the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh beets, washed and peeled, tops cut off
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Directions:

1. Preheat over to 350. Slice beets into thin slices using a mandoline or sharp knife. The thinner the slices, the crispier your chips will be. [note: I love crispy chips, so we tried to make them as thin as possible]

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange beet slices so they aren’t touching.

3. Drizzle with olive oil, or use spray on olive oil (this stuff is great, they sell it at Trader Joe’s and other grocery stores too). Salt to taste.

4. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, flip the beets over, add more salt if you wish, and bake for another 10 minutes. [note: oven times will vary. I would suggest checking them and when they start to curl on the edges, keep a closer eye. They will burn quickly.]

Voila! You’re chips are ready.