Category Archives: FRUGAL RAW

EASY CHEAP RAW FOOD- FAST FARE

 

A lot of people ask how they can go raw if they have limited funds, or limited time, or both.  I’m going to talk about kitchen equipment, how to buy food, and, briefly, the mechanics of choosing a raw food diet system to follow.

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT:   The first thing I would suggest is that you consider your knife your best friend. Have a really sharp strong knife.  As I have mentioned before, my first knife was a solid stainless steel Chinese cleaver.  It was dirt cheap and it still works after all these years.

If you can swing it, get a blender – the best cheap one would be a Nutri-Bullet, but my mother, who gave me the NutriBullet swears by her Magic Bullet, which is even cheaper.  With this you can make all those exciting smoothies and juices you have read about.  You can also make sauces and grind soaked nuts.  

You can make a lot of things with just these two things.  

If you really want to get serious (on a budget), get yourself a food processor.  With these three things, you can rule the world  (or, at least, your world).  You can make almost anything that you read about on-line or in books if you have these three things.

To round out your equipment, you would probably like to have 

  • a vegetable peeler to peel vegetables and slice vegetables very thinly 
  • a Mason jar or two or three, to grow sprouts and make fermented foods such as sauerkraut.(Growing your own sprouts is easy, and it is cheaper than buying them, not to mention that you can get more varieties than you will find in the store.  When the quarantine started in March, while others hoarded toilet paper, I ran for the natural market to buy  2 pounds of lentils, because they are cheap and they make never fail sprouts that I find very delicious! — I figured I could survive a famine if I had a steady supply of sprouts! )
  • A spiralizer?  Maybe…This is really a splurge because, if you really want linguine-like slices of vegetables, you can slice them first with a vegetable peeler, then pile up the slices and go back and slice them very thinly with your very sharp knife.  Of course, you do not need to have zucchini pasta at all – I only learned of it about 15 years or so ago, but I had survived for many years before I found out about zucchini noodles.

Do you need a dehydrator? The answer, in a word, is NO.   All recipe books are exciting, and the dehydrator recipes so many books have sound enticing.   A dehydrator is, however,  a major investment (right up there with a high-end juicer), and a space consumer as well.  Amazon has a vast assortment of styles and prices, so, if you have the space and the patience (dehydrating can take up to 10 hours), go for it.  Caveat: for anything other than an Excalibur, be sure to check out the consumer reviews!    Something to think about: can you be home to supervise for 8 hours?  I live in a very small space, and I am not home for most of the day, so I do without dehydrating.  (There are several cookbooks out there which do not have extensive lists of recipes which require dehydration.  I’ll cover that in my next post, about books with simple and classic recipes, most of which have no dehydrated recipes whatsoever.)  

Where to get food cheap(ish):farmers’ market, supermarket, backyard garden, vegetable and fruit stand (in Manhattan, NYC – I’m not sure about your neck of the woods) If you are trying to go organic: farmers’ market (look for the organic sign, or a sign that says they do not use pesticides or chemical fertilizers- the farmer’s market I went to today had a couple of stands that said “un-sprayed”- when I asked, they said “un-sprayed” meant “organic without the certification”), Trader Joe’s, Aldi (Your local supermarket may carry organic, but it may be quite a bit more expensive than regular vegetables) 

GOING RAW:  you can and have the right to choose your own path to going raw:

  • Some choose to start eating raw, say, for breakfast and lunch, and enjoy a cooked dinner
  • Others choose to go raw for several days a week, alternating with days of cooked meals
  • Still other go the dramatic route of all raw right away (this is what I did, but I never thought about it, or even realized it was a thing – I was just a college student on a severe budget)
  • Of course, everything in between.

Then there are the “systems”, which are different approaches with rules (80-10-10, or food combining, for example. Food combining, by the way, is probably the oldest raw system, and it still works very well for me. It is about eating things that digest well together together, pretty much.) It seems to me that most raw food recipe books give a long spiel about how to be raw in a healthy way, and some propound specific ways, or systems..To my mind, most which do expound on a system seem to be following the food combining idea as propounded by Ann Wigmore, an early proponent of the raw food lifestyle, T.C. Fry, and Harvey and Marilyn Diamond in Fit for Life, which also led to the 40/30/30 food combining concept propounded by Joyce and Gene Daoust, which is a simplified approach to food combining, and (although their focus is not raw,  is pretty much what I have followed since I decided to take off 100 lbs. 20 years ago (yes, you can get fat on raw if you do not watch your food combining)

 

6/17/14 CSA SHARE: What I got in my new Corbin Hill Food Project CSA Share

POST #1015
I honestly did not know what to expect from Corbin Hill Food Project, my new CSA. I had, correctly, guessed that the distribution would be held in the Community Food Pantry space, but, beyond that, it was anybody’s guess how it would go.

I’d say they are pretty well-organized: going into the building, you have to pass a fierce woman at the desk (she is a food pantry employee, probably used to people trying to do things the wrong way, and she was probably working extra hours that she didn’t want), and be checked off. Then you go downstairs right away (no waiting whatsoever), where you are greeted by greeters, one of whom checks off your name again – she did explain to me that the sign over the peas said 1 and that meant I could take 1 (I felt I was pretty clever to have figured that out moments before she told me — they seem to trust members, to just take their allotment).

There is  a trade box, where you can put something you don’t want in and take something you do want, if you see it there, but, the way the distribution is arranged, I would imagine that most people don’t take anything from the bin if they don’t want it, i.e., they just leave it in the bin (I did find a small bunch of oregano in the share box, to trade my lettuce for, and they let me trade it for a larger bunch from the bin).

At the end of the circuit, there was a nice lady who was preparing rhubarb chutney, and we chatted for a while, while she chopped vegetables and stirred them in the electric frying pan she had there.

So… what we got was pretty much what they had said, except that there were garlic scapes in place of the parsnips. I like parsnips, but I do like garlic scapes quite a bit, so I was not really disappointed.

Here is what we got in the VEGETABLE SHARE:
1 bun Oregano
1 big head Lettuce
2 bun Spinach
1 bun Kale
1 bag Sugar SnapPeas
1 med Kohlrabi
1 bun Garlic Scapes
1 bun Rhubarb (6 2ft long stalks!)

I also got a fruit share, which consisted of a 1 lb box of large, fragrant strawberries, and another bunch of rhubarb! ( I guess I will have to chase down some rhubarb recipes, what with all this rhubarb)

Later, I will post the recipes I plan to prepare with this bounty (actually, I mean to go to the Food Pantry tomorrow afternoon (I am curious as to whether the CHFP CSA donates shares not picked up to the Food Pantry). With luck, I may get some more vegetables to add to the proverbial pot.

06/27/13 CSA SHARE: What we got, what I will do with it, and miscellaneous comments

Here is what we got:
Fennel – 1 bun
Parsley – 1 bun
Red Romaine Lettuce – 1 hd
Green Boston Lettuce – 1 hd traded for kale
Toscano Kale – 1 bun
Baby Carrots – 1 bun
Garlic Scapes – 1 bun

I was kind of surprised because, when I went to trade two things from my box, I was told that there was a rule that each person could only trade one thing for one other thing. That was new to me – I’ve been a member of the CSA from the first year, and the rule has always been you put one thing in and you take one thing out, no limits. So…. I could not trade the lettuce *and* the romaine, and, once I had decided to trade the lettuce, I had to decide between taking the kale or the garlic scapes. I think that new plan is just plain mean, but I am not the people who are running the CSA, and they are they people who get to make the rules as they see fit. I do think that the rules should be published for all to know about, and I will post this thought on the CSA Facebook page (in case anybody watches that or cares what people think)
What will I do with all this?
I got about 4 fennel things (pieces? Fennel bulbs with stalks with some frilly leaf-like things), 1 little bunch of parsley, 1 hd of romaine, 2 bunches of kale, 1 bunch of carrots with greens, and 1 bunch of about 5 garlic scapes.
In addition, they let me take the carrot greens that some people had put into the compost pot.
I’m going to look into fermenting fennel – If I can’t find something interesting, then I’ll just chop it up and find a way to eat it with other vegetables (will let you know)
I will make dill garlic fermented carrots
The kale will go to kale chips – will describe the recipe once I decide
I will chop up the garlic scapes and use them as garlic for something.—maybe the fermented carrots (will let you know)
If I cannot bring myself to eat the romaine, I will dehydrate it along with the carrot greens and add it to my supergreen powder (I’ll let you know)
Things are tight here, right now. The CSA is about the only source of food I have, with my reduction in work hours. I am down about 20 lbs (down to 120 lbs @ 5’9”) living on what I get from the CSA, and what I can manage after my rent and utilities. So, I am svelte (and I do like the way clothes look on me), but wondering where I will go from here. (I’ll let you know more when I know more.)

THE LOCAVORE’S HANDBOOK

POST #943
I think I bought The Locavore’s Handbook: the Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Local on a Budget,  by Leda Meredith, by accident – I was looking for books by Wildman Steve Brill, and books on foraging in New York City. Nevertheless, I am happy to have it – I inhaled it in one day!

Meredith is a New Yorker, and she mostly gives information as to how to organize one’s life to eat local as much as possible, in order to reduce one’s carbon footprint – that said, she does give hints as to where you might look if you are in another part of the country. (The basics will apply if you live in another country, as well, but you will just have to find your own way to the resources).

I’ll admit that, on differing levels, I knew most of this information (as I said, I bought this book by accident), but Meredith addresses a number of issues which are near and dear to my heart – I live in a tiny New York City apartment, and she suggests storage ideas that I might not have thought of.

Meredith is not a raw foodist, or even a vegetarian, but I think we are all grown up enough that we can read books and get what we need from them. She talks extensively about foraging, community gardening, CSAs, food coops, food preservation (another topic near and dear to my heart) and home organization issues. In my reading, I have gotten quite a few ideas about how I can reorganize my kitchen and apartment to include more storage space.

If you are interested in eating local or organic, and/or if you live in a tiny New York apartment,  and you want to organize a locavore/vegan/raw vegan kitchen, this is the book for you. It’s really good.

WHAT VEGETABLES ARE IN SEASON IN MARCH & APRIL?

POST #903
Here is a quick list of the vegetables in season right now.  You can often save money buying vegetables when they are in season.  If you shop farmers markets,  you may not see these vegetables except when they are in season.

RHUBARB–  Rhubarb has a flavor all its own – it looks sort of like red celery, but it tastes more citrus-y.  The first time I received it in my CSA box, I had no clue what to do with it – all of the recipes I found involved cooking it with a lot of sugar.  Finally, I just cut off a little piece and chewed it to see what would happen.  Lemony flavor!  RHUBARB: Rhubarb has a flavor all its own – it looks sort of like red celery, but it tastes more citrus-y.  I ended up chopping it fine, putting it in the blender, and making a lemonade-like concoction   (I sweetened it that time with some agave syrup).  Since then, I have ground rhubarb and added it to salads, put it in juices and smoothies, and made a “tea” of it, by grinding it up with some hot water.

AVOCADO – You can eat avocado just plain, you can blend it into a smoothie, you can blend it with chocolate and make a mousse, you can chop it and add it to whatever you’re making, or you could just make guacamole.  I often make a wakame (sea vegetable) salad with marinated greens, chopped onion and red bell pepper and tomato, add chopped avocado, and toss all with a little hot sesame oil and apple cider vinegar.

MOREL MUSHROOMS – These cute little mushrooms have a buttery taste.  You can cut them up into your salad, chop them up to add to a sauce, dehydrate them, or whatever your heart leads you to.  The morel season is very short, so get them right away if you see them.

PEAS – Fresh peas are delicious.  You can add them to salads, you can grind them up in the food processor or VitaMix and make a soup; you can even sprout them if your heart leads you there.

TURNIPS – At this time of year, you can find all sorts of turnip varieties in farmers’ markets.  Turnips have a slightly sweet taste.  I usually grind them up to an applesauce consistency, add apple cider vinegar and my seasoning of choice (usually garlic), and some olive oil for good measure – I either it this as is, or combine it in a salad with sea vegetables and marinated greens. You can also ferment them with a little salt, water, and probiotics (sometimes I add some jalapeno for a kick) I usually add this to sea vegetables as well.  You can also slice the turnip paper-thin and use the slices as the outside for “rawvioli”.

RADISHES – Radishes are on the spicy side.  In supermarkets, you usually see little ones, but in the greenmarkets, sometimes I see rather large radishes, which are close to the size of turnips (when they are that large, I do use them as rawvioli “wrappers”).  You can slice or julienne or grind radishes for inclusion in whatever you are making (I’ve noticed that the spicy-ness disappears if you  put it in hot water for a soup and it gets a kind of turnip-y flavor).  Pickled radish slices, fermented in brine with some probiotic added, is also a popular condiment.

STRAWBERRIES – Oh, la la! Fresh strawberries!  You can combine them with rhubarb for a nice juice (add some agave syrup), you can slice them up on their own, you can make a strawberry pie or strawberry shortcake, or, if you find you are not going to finish them all, you can slice them up and dehydrate them for a yummy snack.  Oh, yes, and you can add them to bananas and agave syrup and make a super smoothie.

SPINACH – Oh, spinach! It is lovely on its own in a salad, perhaps with a bit of onion or tomato, or some sauerkraut.  You can chop it up fine, then squeeze it together into a Japanese-style cube (but why would you want to?), add it to a cashew pate, or blend it into a green drink.

ORANGES – You can just eat an orange plain. You can section it and put it in salads, or combine it into a smoothie or other juice drink.  You can make an Orange Julius or Dreamcicle-flavored drink by blending up oranges with cashews and vanilla. You can make the traditional Southern ambrosia, by cutting up oranges, then tossing them with some coconut flakes (and, if you choose, a little agave)

KIWI – Use kiwi in fruit salads, in smoothies, or desserts. 

LEEKS – First you have to remove the outer layer, halve the leek and wash out the dirt.  After that, you can chop leek up to add to salad, or make a cream of leek soup with cashews and, perhaps, a dash of garlic and salt. You can also include leek in green drinks.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS – I tend to treat Brussels sprouts as baby cabbages. You can chop them up and add them to salads or whatever else, or, as I often do, you can halve or quarter them, and pickle them with salt, water, probiotics, and cayenne or jalapeno, or even dill and garlic!

DANDELION GREENS – Use these in a salad with a little minced garlic, cayenne, and chopped onions.  I often add some wakame (sea vegetable) to the mix.

PINEAPPLE – Yumm! So many things you can do! Blend pineapple with dried coconut and water for a pina colada. Toss pineapple chunks with unsweetened desiccated coconut for a snack.  Add pineapple chunks to smoothies, salads, desserts, or whatever. Or just freeze the pineapple along with some bananas, then make pineapple banana ice cream!  Or… just eat it plain.

CABBAGE – Is cabbage ever out of season?  It has been my basic food for so many years!  Grate cabbage, sprinkle with salt and some seasonings then mash it around until it gets juicy, and you have a basic salad with “self-dressing”.  Add grated cabbage to a sea weed salad, or use it as the base with chopped onion, tomato, red bell pepper, a sprinkle of kelp powder, black pepper or cayenne as you like, a little apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and you have a salad whose leftovers can be turned into a soup tomorrow (this was my basic food in graduate school!)  Then, of course, you can make sauerkraut very easily with some sea salt and probiotics and have a finished product in 3 days – add your sauerkraut to any and everything you make for a new experience. (Flavor your sauerkraut with jalapenos, dill and garlic, garlic, ginger and cayenne, or whatever strikes your fancy, or make it with onion, carrots, or other vegetables).

BROCCOLI – Break up broccoli in for dipping.  Blend broccoli with cashews for a cream of broccoli soup.  Toss flowerets with cashew cheddar cheese and dehydrate for a nifty snack. Pickle broccoli flowerets in brine with dill and garlic.

WHITE ASPARAGUS – Use this tender variety for dipping, make cream of asparagus soup with cashews,  add it to salads, or pickle it with garlic and dill.

9/27/12 CSA SHARE: What we got, what I took home, and what I am doing with it

POST #823
Spaghetti Squash – 1-3 pcs…….traded for .5 lb green beans
Green Beans – .5lb
Red Tomatoes – 2 beefsteak
Mixed lettuce leaves – 1 bag…..traded for 3 tomatoes
Carrots – 1 bun
Red onions – 2 tiny
Baby Arugula – 1 bag

  I was the first one to the share distribution, so I looked in the trade box and grabbed the tomatoes and green beans and promised to give back something as soon as I’d opened my box.  Someone was apparently assigned to make sure I did – she stood right in front of me as I opened my box, and didn’t leave until I had taken the bag of lettuce and the squash over to the trade box!  It was nice to have someone to chat with.

 These boxes are getting ever more parsimonious. Oh well!

Once home, I headed straight for the kitchen and pulled out all of my available mason jars, and started to work.  Washed all of the tomatoes – I had 4 that had survived since last week, too—and set them aside.  Washed all of the green beans (that bag of beans from the Chinese supermarket was about only half good – from now I will only buy green beans I can select by the onesies.

 Stood there and topped and tailed all of the green beans, and snapped the longer ones  in half (I can bear to chew for about half a green bean at a time).  This was the most time-consuming chore.  I began to think back to when my cousins and my sister and I used to sit with big bowls on the back porch at Grandmom’s and top and tail huge piles of green  beans.  Although it was a chore, it was still fun because we were together, talking and joking.  At last, I finished with the green beans and stuffed them down into 2 quart jars, along with a good amount of sliced garlic, chopped jalapeno peppers, and dill seed.  Poured on about 2 C of brine mixed with 2 caps of probiotics per jar, and lidded them.  One jar got one of my new re-usable lids (these are kind of weird – the middle part is plastic, the ring is probably rubber, and you have to put your own outside ring).

 I chopped up a large onion, more garlic, and some more jalapenos, and threw them, along with some dry cilantro, lemon juice, 2 caps of probiotic powder, and cumin powder, in the food processor to chop fine.  That done, I chopped up the tomatoes, and put as many as would fit into the food processor and chopped kind of chunky.  Then I emptied the food processor into a large bowl and processed the rest of the tomatoes, and threw them into the bowl and mixed everything very well.  I used my Champion juicer funnel to get everything into a quart jar and a pint jar.  I mashed the tomatoes down as firmly as I could, which brought up a lot of juice. Then, I lidded both, and set them over on the board I have over half the stove top, along with the green beans.

 It took me about 2-1/2 hours to do all of it.

 Along the way, at those moments when my mind strayed from the mindfulness of the job that I was working at maintaining, and I started to think about how my back and shoulders were feeling sore, I started thinking about how you just cannot get this kind of food if you don’t make it yourself.  That kept me going and helped me get back to that mindfulness thing.  Food prep as meditation.

 So, now, it’s all sitting there, waiting.  I will probably open one jar of the beans at 4 days, and leave the other one to 7 days, which will be about the same time that the first jar is empty.  That way I can decide which one tastes better.

I still have some lovely carrots, and I want to do them with garlic and gingner.  Not tonight, though.  I’m done for now.

 I need to get some more mason jars.  I looked on amazon.com, but they wanted @$22.00 for 12 (not too bad with my amazon prime, which gives me free 2-day delivery, but still it is @ $1.50 per jar.  Then I found out that you can order mason jars from Ace Hardware on-line and have them delivered to your local Ace Hardware (if they don’t carry them normally), and they are shopped to the store free. (This is even cheaper than ordering directly from the Ball/Kerr jar company website).  You just have to pick them up.  I’m looking for the Ace Hardware closest to the subway which will give me the most direct route home (12 mason jars are heavy to carry)

 Meanwhile, I’m eating a salad made with chopped baby bok choy, lentil sprouts, chopped wakame (sea weed), hijiki (seaweed), onion, garlic, a little jalapeno pepper, sesame oil, and apple cider vinegar. Yum!

FINDING CHEAP VEGETABLES

POST #821

I was trying to find this shopping mall, but I failed, and ended up going to the end of the E line and crossing the platform to come back home (I decided against going upstairs and looking around at where I was in the world. I was too dejected about not making it to the shopping mall – bad directions from hopstop.com!).  Since I had to transfer at Jackson Heights, I decided to go upstairs and hit the Chinese supermarket – I’ve been out of the Thai green curry paste which I love for way too long)

It has been a while since I’ve been to Pacific Supermarket. They’ve changed a bit, put fruit outside like an old-style Chinatown market, or like Fairway.  I went on inside, on a mission to just get the curry paste. Ha! They temptingly put the vegetables right across from the door. Chinese vegetables. Stuff you never see.

The vegetables there are probably not organic, but I am fairly certain that they are local, and, so, fresher that what you might find in a supermarket (we have a lot of Chinese farmers in New Jersey, and, possibly, in upstate)  Amazing collection of leaves! (i.e., leaves, you know, like spinach, but different, i.e., salad or marinating possibilities).   The prices there are dirt-cheap — my local supermarket, and, even, Fairway, charge more for green beans right now. I got a pound of green beans for $.59.  I got a pound of baby bok choy for $.79.

Next week, I’ll probably get some cash and go down to the Union Square green-market and get some of those fresh, and, often, organic vegetables, but, meanwhile, there’s something to eat here tonight.

8/17/12 CSA SHARE: What they say we will get

POST #779
What they say we will get:

Arugula – .6 lb bag
Long Green Peppers – 3-4 pieces
Cherry Tomatoes – 1 pint
Red Tomatoes – 4 lb bag
Orange Watermelon – 1 piece

They also say that we will get a bag of peaches.  

CSA DEMOS: My suggestions

POST #760

Here is an exerpt from the post I sent in answer to the CSA’s call for food prep demos.  Let’s see if they go for anything.  If not, well, it would be a volunteer gig anyway, and I would have to supply all the ingredients and equipment…

Based on my previous experiences doing demos, I wrote them and told them I could do these things:

  • beet or turnip salad might be the best/most accessible — lots of people have a food processor. (I learned from a Greek member that she makes beet salad in much the same way, only she cooks the beets).
  •  What I do that is kind of cool is make pasta from raw vegetables (zucchini, carrot, beet — anything that is hard enough to work with the spiralizer)  That is interesting to people because it makes another way to do salad, or a way to have a cool dish in the summer, etc…..(I could suggest where people could get spiralizers– mostly on-line, or in Japanese stores in town)  If I did this one, I would probably make a simple raw tomato sauce to go on it. (BTW, I did this demo as the first demo the CSA ever had — many people were interested, but they thought I was selling the spiralizer.  I now understand how to handle that more effectively)
  •  I could also demonstrate how to make a raw vegan cashew cheeze  pate that is very nice as a tomato stuffing, or on individual tomato slices — this would be a trifle more expensive for me to produce because of the tomatoes. but I could also put it on zucchini or cucumber slices for tasting (I do this one several ways – my favorites are with kale, or with shiitake mushrooms and jalapeno)   It can also be used to make a nice “raw-violi” with thin kohlrabi or beet slices — which I’ve been doing for the past 2 weeks, btw)
  •  I also have a very easy quick recipe for a raw vegan cheddar cheeze that can be used as a dip for raw vegetables, or as a sauce for other food (this uses red bell pepper, lemon, and cashews), 
  •  I could, also do a demo for how to make guaranteed 3-day sauerkraut that doesn’t smell up your kitchen or take up much space.  (I’ve just opened the one I started on Saturday night!)  I would just need to make up some sauerkraut 3 days before the event, and then have the ingredients to show (or not even — I could just explain it)  This demo would not be on-going at all – it would be a one-off – if you are there, you see it, but I will hang around and explain how it is done to late comers, if you like.  

 the sauerkraut  is also a possibility for a workshop, if you are at all interested in doing workshops.  Such a workshop would take all of 1/2 hour (or more, if you wanted it to be hands-on) – you show what is needed, you show how it’s done, you give ideas for variations, you give a tasting, and send them on their merry way (or more, if you wanted it to be hands-on)  The demo way would be more like a youtube video – here is how you do it.  (Here are the things you need, watch me, here are extra things that you could add, here are variations that you could do, here is what you absolutely really really need for success, here is a taste.)

So, we’ll see if they bite on any of these.  I have already done the beet salad and the spiralized vegetable pasta, but that was a couple of years ago.

 

6/7/12 CSA SHARE: WHAT I ACTUALLY GOT & WHAT I AM GOING TO DO WITH IT

I love it when the CSA is in season. It is so nice to go there and see so many happy people picking up their shares. Sometimes they are even friendly.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to pick up my share (early shares are always slim pickings, and overloaded with lettuce-t kinds of things, but… hey! That’s the way it is — they really really want me to start liking salads.

Yesterday, we got:
Baby Arugula – 1 bag
Romaine Lettuce – 1 head
Boston Lettuce – 1 head
Swiss Chard – 1 bunch
Garlic Scapes – 1 bunch
Japanese Salad Turnips – 1 bunch
STRAWBERRIES!  We got strawberries in the box, and I also got strawberries as my fruit share! Yum! Smoothies!

ARUGULA – I decided to keep it. I’m not overly fond of arugula, but I decided to make a raw version of the Greek beet, arugula, and goat cheese salad (I’ll post it later
ROMAINE – I kept it. I think I’ll make some wraps.
BOSTON LETTUCE – I like this stuff well enough.   I can deal with a salad or two a week.  This is a fairly big head, so I might be having three salads. I like to mix in seaweed (I stalk the Japanese supermarkets for sales on the mixed, or else I just get wakame when it is in the bulk bins at Integral Yoga Foods, my favorite natural foods store) and sauerkraut, along with onion, and, if I have it, some red bell pepper.
SWISS CHARD – I am still not ready to even try to like this stuff.  It is high on my yuck scale. I traded it for more turnips.
GARLIC SCAPES– these look weird, but they are GREEN, and they taste like garlic, so I like them.  I chop them up or grind them in the food processor,  and put them in everything as a garlic (they are a part of one kind of garlic).  These will get chopped or ground and put in salad, or go into pates.  Since I was lucky and got two bunches, I will probably experiment with my next sauerkraut, and put some sliced garlic scapes in there with lots of sliced jalapeno.
JAPANESE SALAD TURNIPS – I have no clue why they call them Japanese Salad Turnips (my Japanese room-mate did not recognize them.  When I was testing a recipe with them, she said she had never seen them before).  So, okay, they are all white, where other turnips have some purple on them. Never mind. They are turnips and they taste like turnips. I grind them in the food processor to almost an applesauce consistency, then add apple cider vinegar, olive olive oil, and any seasonings which strike my fancy (usually garlic, sometimes coriander, sometimes Spike)
STRAWBERRIES – These are going in smoothies. I am not really into eating right now, but I know I need some protein, so I will put these into a hemp or soy protein shake in the morning. I am also thinking of making some strawberry leather in the dehydrator.

So! I have things to do with all these vegetables!  I got into a use- everything -in-the-box a few years ago, when the CSA issued a challenge.  I continued it when my job went south – the CSA box was my food for the week (I’d have maybe $5 more to get other food.  Good I have that experience because I am back there now. Smart people who have full-time work tell me about all the things I should do, like save money, or invest in a 401K, but, when you can barely pay the rent, and you have to think twice about what food to get, and you can’t afford your health insurance and medicine copays on top of all that, well, the CSA is very very important — at least I will not die from malnutrition. I feel so blessed that my CSA has jumped in this year and allowed me to make payments as I can.)