|Just look at this lettuce, picked the same day we got our box|
Before we started buying a box of produce a week from some local organic farmers, our idea of vegetable consumption was to pick up some frozen peas and maybe some iceberg lettuce at the grocery store. Note that I didn't say anything about eating them. They just hung around, peas in the freezer (they are supposed to last forever, aren't they?); and the lettuce down inside the Invisible Vegetable Drawer until I cleaned out the fridge and tossed the moldy remains away a few weeks later.
Ah, that was then, and this is now. Every Friday afternoon for the last few months, we've been taking a lovely ride through orchards and fields down to Mesilla to pick up our box of produce from farmers Charley and Emily. Now this is real food--it's beautiful, it's produced locally (for the most part), it's grown organically, and it tastes delicious.
Until I tried this stuff, I thought that carrots were supposed to taste kind of soapy, which is the way supermarket carrots taste to me. Who knew?
The trick is to keep up with it all. This week's box contained apples, valencia oranges, carrots, garlic, snap peas, lettuce; red, yellow, and green onions; mixed stir-fry greens, chard, tangerines, and turnip greens.
Here's how I've learned to deal with it all--I divide everything up right away. Fruits get separated--fruits to eat out of hand and citrus to juice (we just can't keep up with all the grapefruits, oranges, and tangerines otherwise).
I sort all those vegetables for roasting, steaming (Freshly washed and still wet greens go into a covered casserole in the microwave for 4 - 5 minutes--foolproof method, and it never burns!), stir-fry, salads, and some to eat raw. I roast a big pan full right away (my recipe is here), and eat those for lunches all during the week. We have salads almost every day, and build menus around the rest of the vegetables rather than the way we used to cook, with the menus built around meat. Last week I chopped up bok choy and added it to my recipe for potstickers, and they were outstanding!
|Beautiful vegetables ready to roast: Sweet potatoes, red and green onions, colored peppers, carrots|