Hooray, Thursday has rolled 'round again and that means two things- we're one day away from a weekend of family time, and secondly, fresh gorgeous produce will be arriving on our doorstep this evening- what a deal!
Knowing that there's an impending new load of veggies, I tend to take a few moments of Thursday to take stock of last week's leftovers. I often use any stragglers in whatever meal I make today, making way for the fresh greens and roots; this week that looks like Straggler Soup- way tastier than it sounds. Anything too sad goes into the compost, where the minor guilt I may feel over leaving it to wilt at the back of the drawer is assuaged by it's positive impact on the soil.
And then the doorbell rings...
My 18 month old is pretty much Streamside’s biggest fan; when that bell rings, announcing the week's goodies are sitting outside, he flies to the front door and dances a jig until we help haul that big brown box into the kitchen. He then 'helps' to unpack every item, exclaiming lovingly over every detail.
Have kids? Know someone who does? Give 'em a vege box- I guarantee hours of entertainment, and really good food. Teach them to appreciate food and source by showing them what real food is- they’re really always watching. Which is why my kid equates pak choi to emeralds, and tries to eat peanut butter straight outta the jar; always watching.
Since bedtime (hopefully) comes around early in this house, I often grab the couple items that can really use a little extra care, i.e. the mesclun mix, and pop it in the fridge. As for the remainder- this time of year our attached garage is chilly enough the rest can sit there perfectly content overnight. Let's call it being wise, rather than lazy. Plus, pulling it out again Friday morning means a whole second round of joy for the kid and me. Win, win.
Potatoes and pumpkins go into a cool, dark spot in the corner of the garage. Carrot and beetroot are popped into a reusable bag and set in the refrigerator. I wrap the coriander roots in damp cloth and then a beeswax wrap, which will keep it fresh in the fridge for a couple weeks. I take note of which items are best used quickly- mesclun, kale, cavolo nero, radish greens, et cetera, and which will last longer- such as turnip, beetroot, carrots, celeriac.
To ensure the more perishable items are used I do my best to prep them ahead of time. For example, I'll rinse the cavolo nero and silverbeet while the sink is blessedly empty, then allow them to dry. When I have a moment I will quickly dice the stems and chop the beautiful leaves, heaping them in containers I can then grab and quickly add to whatever meal I'm making in the coming days. If time allows, I'll often do the same with a head of broccoli or cauli, cleaning it and chopping into ready-to-use florets. Eating well doesn't have to be a huge time investment, but a bit of prep work can definitely help the process.
Snapshot of a few meals we loved based around the vegetable box this week:
-Sauteed cabbage in coconut milk beside coriander rice and curried lentils
-Powered up purple potato salad with cabbage, radish, and a pile of herbs- shades of gorgeous
-Trays of colourful roasted vegetables with a tahini yoghurt sauce
-Baked yams, tossed in spices and olive oil
-Green waffles with handfuls of silverbeet and kale blended into the mix- kid and adult friendly (don’t knock it..)
-Butternut chipotle tacos
-Loaded nachos with allll the vegetables tossed atop, and the most gooey delicious cheese sauce that has not a lick of dairy but a bunch of carrot and potato, liberally bathing the whole thing (honestly epic)
-"Garbage" salad with extra roasted vegetables, leftover millet, toasted seeds and a tangy vinaigrette
-Fresh spicy pico de gallo salsa with red onion, coriander, the very last of the tomatoes and jalapeños- on everything
-Grain bowls with pops of flavour from turmeric pickled daikon
-Apple carrot muffins sweetened with dates for grab-n-go energy on the run
-Pumpkin hummus from leftover chickpeas and roasted pumpkin
-Spelt pasta with sauce from frozen slow roasted summer tomatoes and caramelised onion and garlic
Have questions about how to store, prep or eat a vegetable from your box? Need inspiration for something new to do with the tried-and-true? Made one of the shared recipes? Created something new?Let us know! Message or tag @streamsideorganics and @nakedcakesandwholefoods
Created by Elena Keir of Naked Cakes and Wholefoods