Freshy Fresh from the farm

An afternoon's work picking tomatoes

An afternoon’s work picking tomatoes

I think everyone should be required to volunteer on a farm so they can appreciate where their food comes from and the blood, sweat, and tears that truly go into to the art of growing what we eat.  It was a transformational experience for me that I loved not to mention all that freshy fresh  produce!  I’ve shared in a few posts about volunteering at the farm, Post Apple CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in North East, PA this past growing season and I’ve had a lot of questions from people interested in getting involved this year.   Community Supported Agriculture is a membership that entitles the member to a share of the production of a wide range of fruits and veggies (approx. 70!) produced on the farm during the growing season estimated to begin in June and end no earlier than November (this past year we got deliveries until the week before Thanksgiving).  It is extremely fresh-often picked the day it’s packed so it has a higher nutritional value and a much longer shelf life,  cost-effective (I had sticker shock when I started going back to the grocery store after the season), and it tastes AMAZING!  An unexpected benefit, we saved time and money by not having to go to the grocery store since we already had a freezer full of local meat.  With 370+ members last year and endless volunteer tasks we stayed busy picking, portioning, and packing.  If you’re into canning you can also purchase additional vegetables at wholesale pricing, can’t beat that.  There are four share sizes to choose from, we did a half-share and it was plentiful, with a selection of pick up locations in Erie based on what’s convenient for you.  If you’ve thought about a garden but don’t have the time and space, this is the ticket!  We are still enjoying potatoes and lots of corn, zucchini, beans, and peppers I froze.  Click on any of the links in this post to learn more or click here.

Average mid July Half Share delivery

Average mid July Half Share weekly delivery

Diary of a Detox: Taste Bud Super Powers & Keen-Wah!

Starting my day waking up to hot water with lemon and feeling instantly energized; ending my day in a soothing and relaxing mineral lavender bath soak in my big clawfoot tub was amazing.  I looked forward to both each day, now to nourish myself and my husband with food we enjoyed that was dairy, meat, and gluten-free (and no caffeine or alcohol don’t forget) during the hours in between.  I had a pantry full of protein rich quinoa (Keen-wah, sounds like it should be in cartoon super hero fight scene caption), lentils, and beans (detox gave me a chance to put a dent in the stockpile) and a fridge full of freshy herbs, vegetables, and fruit……let the freshy fresh creations begin!

My favorites from the week were Lentil and Kale Detox Dal, Colorful Quinoa Salad, Guacamole and Pico de Gallo (both homemade), and Thai Basil & Shitake Stir fry.  These were so delicious they will be incorporated into my recipe repertoire.  By the third day of eating this fresh and nourishing way I felt the positive effects of improved digestion, more energy, a feeling of lightness in my gut and my body, brighter complexion, reduced appetite, greater satiation, and the most surprising to me was a heightened sense of taste.  It was like my taste buds had super powers!  Once I experienced these effects and how amazing I felt I knew this detox was a great idea and likely a practice I will repeat.  Honestly I enjoyed these dishes and the others I created so much that I didn’t feel deprived but energized to incorporate more quinoa and lentils in my diet.  My husband was over quinoa and lentils by the end of the week, but that’s ok too.  Give one of these recipes a try, nice way to get acquainted  with quinoa.

Detox Dal

Detox Dal

Detox Dal

1 cup lentils (if you are using dry they will need to be rinsed and soaked overnight)

1/2 c onion, chopped

1-2 clove garlic, minced

1-2 teaspoons coconut oil (alternatively: ghee, safflower or peanut oil)

1 scant teaspoon Garam Masala (or 1 pinch each: turmeric, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, cumin)

1 carrot, quartered and chopped

1 red pepper (any color would work)

1 cup kale, stalks removed, leaves torn into bits

2 cups vegetable broth (I LOVE Rapunzel VeganVegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt & Herbs)

Tamari to taste

Fresh chopped cilantro and scallions to garnish

Prepared Quinoa 

Rinse lentils and drain.  Melt coconut oil over medium heat.  Sprinkle in spices and saute one minute.  Add onion and cook a few minutes until it softens.  Stir in lentils until thoroughly coated.  Add carrot, pepper, kale and cook a moment. Turn heat to high and add vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low.  Cook 20-25 minutes.  Season with Tamari to taste.  Serve over quinoa garnished with fresh chopped cilantro and scallions.

*I don’t measure when I cook, but I did measure the Garam Masala because it is not a spice I use a lot. It is tasty!  I used more veg than listed too, you can eyeball it.  I am a huge fan of cast iron and I am convinced that is what took this dish to the next level (coupled with that amazing veg stock), but you need one of the really big deep skillets.

Fresh & Delish

Fresh & Delish Colorful Quinoa Salad

Colorful Quinoa Salad

Bowl of prepared quinoa (pick a color: red, black, tan.  I used red)

Add:

Handful of halved purple grapes

1 orange, peeled, sectioned, cut

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 orange pepper, seeded and chopped

Handful of fresh chopped cilantro and parsley

Dressing optional & to taste – I used a splash of toasted sesame oil and wild cherry balsamic vinegar

**this salad has amazing flavors with the fresh fruit, veg, and herbs.  Apples and pears would also be good, use what you have.

Freshy Fresh from the farm

An afternoon's work picking tomatoes

An afternoon’s work picking tomatoes

I think everyone should be required to volunteer on a farm so they can appreciate where their food comes from and the blood, sweat, and tears that truly go into to the art of growing what we eat.  It was a transformational experience for me that I loved not to mention all that freshy fresh  produce!  I’ve shared in a few posts about volunteering at the farm, Post Apple CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in North East, PA this past growing season and I’ve had a lot of questions from people interested in getting involved this year.   Community Supported Agriculture is a membership that entitles the member to a share of the production of a wide range of fruits and veggies (approx. 70!) produced on the farm during the growing season estimated to begin in June and end no earlier than November (this past year we got deliveries until the week before Thanksgiving).  It is extremely fresh-often picked the day it’s packed so it has a higher nutritional value and a much longer shelf life,  cost-effective (I had sticker shock when I started going back to the grocery store after the season), and it tastes AMAZING!  An unexpected benefit, we saved time and money by not having to go to the grocery store since we already had a freezer full of local meat.  With 370+ members last year and endless volunteer tasks we stayed busy picking, portioning, and packing.  If you’re into canning you can also purchase additional vegetables at wholesale pricing, can’t beat that.  There are four share sizes to choose from, we did a half-share and it was plentiful, with a selection of pick up locations in Erie based on what’s convenient for you.  If you’ve thought about a garden but don’t have the time and space, this is the ticket!  We are still enjoying potatoes and lots of corn, zucchini, beans, and peppers I froze.  Click on any of the links in this post to learn more or click here.

Average mid July Half Share delivery

Average mid July Half Share weekly delivery