Recently one of our local grocery chains began a new program called The Carolina Crate.
Similar to a CSA community supported agriculture,
the program allows the customer to select the option that works best for them, pay an upfront fee and then pick up a box of farm fresh produce once a week.
We liked the idea of supporting our local farmers and also receiving an array of freshly picked vegetables and fruit.
We decided to try it for a five week period.
Since there are only two of us, we chose the half crate option.
It's been a fun challenge to see if we can use it up before the next box arrives.
When the first box showed up bearing four green peppers, I was momentarily stumped. I gave up buying green peppers years ago in favor of the red and yellow ones. Soon a thought came to me . . .
~ Stuffed Peppers ~
Something my mom made often when I was growing up.
I made them once in a while as a newlywed, but had sort of forgot all about them.
We had two for dinner and two went into the freezer.
After all these years I have to say they tasted delicious.
I was intrigued by the lettuce with the roots still attached.
Can't get much fresher than that :).
My first thought when I saw it and the heirloom tomatoes ...
Why a BLT, of course.
One night I chopped up the yellow squash, red onions and the tops I had previously sliced off the green peppers. Added some chopped baby bella mushrooms that I had on hand and grilled them all up together. It was a very tasty side dish for dinner one night.
The next day there were just enough of the grilled veggies left to top our pizzas for lunch.
Naan bread crust, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese topped with grilled veggies and a minced garlic clove. Yummy!
The idea for these individual pizzas came from here and it's a good one.
One of the crates contained two beets and several baby cucumbers.
The obvious choice for those seemed to be a Greek salad.
I used up the rest of the lettuce and added red onions and grape tomatoes (also from the crate). It made for another fresh and tasty lunch.
For some reason I never buy or cook beets.
I'm not really sure why because I know they are good for us and I like them.
I think it may have to do with the mess of the beet juice.
After searching the internet, I opted to roast them in a foil packet with a bit of olive oil. It turned out to be a good choice as the skins slipped off easily and were then tossed out with the foil. No mess :).
For the most part the crates have contained vegetables.
Although each week there has been one fruit.
This particular week it was a cantaloupe.
That went nicely with my avocado toast and poached egg one morning.
We have two more weeks of crates to look forward to.
I'm happy to report that only one bunch of kale got away from me.
I've never been a fan of wasting food.
These past few weeks I've been thinking a lot of all that goes into bringing these nutritious vegetables from the farm to our tables.
In this little exercise it was my aim to honor the hard work the farmers put in each and every day.
Show support for your local farmers.
Visiting farmer's markets or signing up for CSA programs are a great way to do that.
Thoughts on healthy eating are constantly changing, but one piece of advice that remains constant seems to be
Eat Your Vegetables.
We've been doing a lot of that this summer and for that we say
Thank You Farmers!