Saturday, May 29, 2010

Meal Plan May 31- June 5

Begin dance mix music.

Its CSA time! Its CSA time! Its CSA time!

End obnoxious dance mix music. Thank you for amusing me.

CSA time means not only are we supporting local agriculture, eating organic produce, and weekly getting in touch with the source of our food~ but we have officially embarked on a culinary adventure. I bagged up greens today that I have never laid hands on before.

Here is the nitty gritty folks. A CSA is a Community Supported Agriculture program.  At the start of the growing season we invested money into a local farm. The return on our investment is a weekly pick-up of fresh, organic, locally produced fruits,vegetables, and herbs.

Many CSA's have a full time (weekly pick-up) and part time (bi-monthly pick-up) option. Most likely there is a CSA available in your area. A great source to locate one is the Eat Wild website. CSA's are out there for produce, meat, and dairy too!

Each Thursday I haul the crew out to the farm. We walk around, talk to chickens, take silly pictures, shake hands with the farmer, and fill bags with copious amounts of just picked produce.  On Saturday mornings I get the rest of what I need for my meal planning at the local farmers market.  And, usually there is a weekly pit-stop into our local natural food store for things not available at the CSA or farmer's market. Our meat all comes from local farms, purchased earlier in the year, and stocked in the deep freeze.  We are fortunate enough to be able to purchase local cheese as well.

What this boils down to is that, for me and my crew, the modern grocery store is a place we visit few and far between. At the farms we form a connection to the land, the dirt, the green lush gardens, and the hands that grew our food.  We see it, we taste it, we pick-it, we haul it home knowing exactly where it has come from.  People ask me often, "How in the world do you get your three year old to eat like that?".  They are wondering how I get my three year old to devour raw spinach, ask for a handful of radishes, and eat lettuce right out of the ground.  The answer is simple. He eats that way because, to him, that is food.  And, he is a part of the food experience from start to finish. This connection, and much more, is lost when a box is simply opened and served.

My rule~ if you can not explain to a child how it was made then it might not be food.
Around here, we are trying our darnedest to eat food. Real food. Real good food.  For us that means no imitation, little processing, no extra coloring and preservatives~ just fresh whole foods.  This also means that Momma has a lot of learning to do about vegetables, fruits, fats, sweeteners, grains, and beans.

Oh geesh, I hear the obnoxious dance mix music in my head again. My feet are starting to tap. I can't control it. I am THAT excited about this meal plan. It is entirely based on what we just brought home from two large cotton bags full of delectable greens with the dirt still on them.  I am like a kid in the backseat holding onto a big old thing of bok choy and grinning ear to ear.

Just like this.

My CSA bounty for this week~ Arugula, Radishes as big as your head, Collard greens, Kale, Salad greens, Mint, Bok Choy, and green onions.

Meal Plan (and a few extras):

Monday: Cheese Quesadillas with Arugula and Radish
Tuesday: Spaghetti with Spicy Kale and Garlic 
Wednesday: Beef and Bulgar Pilaf with Mint
Thursday: Jamaican Veggie Patties 
Friday: Lentil and Roasted Greens Soup 
Saturday: (Family Night!) Kale Chips, Cheese sticks, Asian Slaw 

I also wanted to share some breakfast treats with you this week~
Blackberry Millet Pancakes
Coconut French Toast

and my homemade bread recipe~
oh, and a delicious desert idea.....Grilled Raspberry Pear brushetta and Millet Cake with Strawberry Puree! all I can say! Please share your ideas with me too. I need all the help I can get to make the most of my CSA box!

The boys and me out at the farm. For more information on CSA's in your area check into Eat Wild!

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