Keeping It Fresh — Savor the flavors

Ever since starting my Boston Organics deliveries back up, I feel like I have been more involved with my boxes than ever before. Whether it means making changes to the service because of my personal taste preferences, travel schedule, or challenging myself to try something new — I love the flexibility that is allowed!

Since I’m trying to cut back on my sugar intake, I’ve already bumped up my vegetable ratio in the box, but that isn’t all it takes to satisfy my different taste preferences. So now it’s time for me to experiment more with combining my vegetables with fruits to find that perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors. This week, I even managed to take advantage of the Grocery Add-ons service — allowing me to add everything from some extra vegetables to spices to coffee beans to snacks to my order. I don’t use this all the time because I have a weird obsession with being able to pick these items out in person, but once in a while it comes in handy. Like when I leave my shopping list at home on the kitchen table…

The savory:

The sweet:

The extras:

  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • 2 local chocolate treats — I had a hard time deciding what to send to my “Foodie Penpal” this month, so figured it was better to be prepared. I’m sure I can think of something to do with the one I don’t send… Yum…

It’s really so convenient being able to add certain random staples and treats — this isn’t the first time I’ve been saved from making a trip back to the store to get something I forgot from my shopping list. The only decision I’m weighing now is whether or not I make the leap to the “all vegetable” box. While I won’t let the fruit go to waste, I’m not grabbing fruit as my go-to snack anymore. Instead, I’m eating more vegetables, nuts, and homemade popcorn. Luckily, I have another 10 days to decide.

A couple of new things I tried from the last box:

  • Rutabaga — I didn’t come up with any crazy recipe, but instead opted to simply chop the rutabaga up and roast it. While it was a little sweeter than the turnips I have grown to love, it was a perfect along with some baked lemon-herb chicken for a light and healthy dinner.
  • Blood oranges and pea shoots — these were my two favorite, “novelty” items in my last box. And who would have known they would go so well together on top of salads?! Can’t wait until these make a seasonal comeback!

What recipe would you recommend that uses some of both the vegetables and fruits from this Boston Organics box? Please describe or link to your favorite recipes or tips in the comments below!


Keeping It Fresh — More Vegetables, Please!

A new Boston Organics box is here and I working up a whole new list of things to make with this week’s treats. Now that we have had a taste of that early spring weather, some of my favorite vegetables are making an earlier appearance than normal (*cough* kale *cough*) — no complaints here! But this got me thinking — instead of my usual half-and-half delivery, how about changing it up to a mix of 2/3 vegetables and 1/3 fruit?

That is one of my favorite parts about my delivery, as long as I make my delivery changes by noon the day before my delivery — the Boston Organics team will make it happen. This includes changing my veggie to fruit ratio and updating my “no list” — sorry, I still don’t eat peas or lima beans and even I have a limit as to how many potatoes and onions I can use in a two week period.

So while I didn’t get the kale I was keeping my fingers crossed for — I still ended up with a nice selection of vegetables to keep me cooking, and eating, light over the next couple of weeks.

The vegetables:

  • 1 bunch chard
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 package pea shoots — a first for me!
  • 1 package white mushrooms
  • 2 packages carrots
  • 2 black radishes — so happy I can give Shulie’s Indian-Inspired Black Radish Salad another try!
  • 1 rutabaga — hmmmmm, what’ll I do with this?

The fruit:

  • 3 apples
  • 3 bananas
  • 3 blood oranges — so excited for these, I absolutely love them in salads and smoothies
  • 2 kiwis

This was a great change of pace for me. Believe it or not, I was starting to feel overwhelmed by all of the fruit. I was starting to get worried my crisper drawer was going to launch a rebellion. All of this aside, my last box gave me a lot of snack options — including a personal favorite, celery stalks with peanut butter (and maybe some nutella) — and fresh fruit for smoothies. Not one bit went to waste, and I did get to try out some new recipes.

A couple of new dishes that I tried:

  • Sautéed chard with garlic and lemon — this is a new favorite dinner side dish
  • Braised dandelion greens with pancetta — pancetta, my favorite kind of bacon, makes everything better. So much that I can eat this in a bowl like ice cream.

What would you make with any, or all, of the treats I got in this week’s Boston Organics box? Please link to your favorite recipes or tips in the comments below!

Keeping It Fresh — Bring on the Greens!

A new Boston Organics box is here and I have a whole new batch of cooking opportunities ahead. This week’s box was right in line with the St. Patrick’s Day spirit that is around just about every corner you can turn in my neighborhood — brimming with green. All sorts of great treats, but not as challenging as some previous weeks.

The green:

  • 1 bunch chard
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 5 bananas — well they came to me green, which is exactly how I like them
  • 2 kiwis
  • 2 pears

The not-so-green, but still delicious:

  • 3 apples
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 2 oranges
  • 3 tangelos

In case you forgot, my last Boston Organics box left me with a few ingredients I needed some recipe ideas to use up. And you guys did not disappoint. In fact, I was actually hoping a black radish or two would make an appearance in this week’s box.

What I made:

I wish I had gotten photos of these new (well, new to me) dishes — but, alas, they disappeared too quickly. But stay tuned — I’m sure they will make another appearance in my kitchen soon.

What would you make with any, or all, of the above? Please link to your favorite recipes or tips in the comments below!

Keeping It Fresh — Take 1!

What's in the box?!

There’s something about spring being right around the corner that makes me start taking stock of my habits. Particularly in the kitchen.

I rummage through my cabinets and pantry to get an inventory of my existing staples together. I start pouring over any cookbooks that have been left somewhat abandoned over the past several months. I make a wish list of new foods that I want to try and recipes I want to test out. I start researching any vitamins and nutrients that may have been lacking, and come up with new ideas in order to get a bit of a boost as I move forward.

While all of this is great, there is one thing that I have been struggling with over the past year though. And that is letting too much good food go bad. Whether it’s because I overstock my fridge, or I run out of time and inspiration, throwing money in the garbage is not what I consider a good time. And what better place to start getting this in line than with my biweekly Boston Organics delivery box?

So starting with today’s delivery, I am making a commitment to promptly unpack my box of goods and then reach out to my friends here for some help. From recipe ideas to cooking tips, I will need some help with at least one ingredient and I am open to new ideas for most of the others. And of course, I will share my success — or experimentations, in some cases — as I work my way through each box.

This week’s box contained a little bit of the usual, a little bit of the unusual, and a little bit of the usual that I wish I could make a little bit more memorable.

The usual:

  • 3 apples
  • 1 avocado — these always come in handy, particularly considering my obsession with this recipe
  • 4 bananas
  • 1 grapefruit — have you tried broiling a grapefruit with just a touch of honey? No? You’re missing out.
  • 2 kiwis — these could easily get tossed in a salad or my morning yogurt, either way they won’t go to waste
  • 3 oranges
  • 2 lbs red potatoes — considering how close we are to St. Patrick’s Day, it may not be a bad idea to set these aside for another week or so
  • 1 head of green leaf lettuce — I do believe a citrus salad or two may be on the menu soon

The unusual:

  • 2 black radishes — I have absolutely no clue what I’m going to do with these, but I really don’t want them to wind up in the trash
  • 1 package mung bean sprouts — although I am intrigued by the Vegan Bibimbap that Laura whipped up over at Sprint 2 the Table

The usual that I want to make memorable:

  • 1 head of cauliflower — I would love to try my hand at a cauliflower and potato dal, but I have no idea of where to go for a reliable recipe. Can you help a girl out?

What would you make with any, or all, of the above? Please link to your favorite recipes or tips in the comments below!

Water… Infusions

It’s simple. It’s summer, hydration is key. Over the years, I’ve come up with a series of recipes to keep my water fresh, interesting and most importantly – tasty.

The infusions are simple. Fresh, clean herbs or spices and cold, filtered water. Put it in a pitcher and let it “steep” in the fridge for a while. I’ve personally had the best luck with those below.

    ✦ Mint

    ✦ Basil

    ✦ Thyme

    ✦ Ginger – peel into long strips

    ✦ Cinnamon – whole sticks

Key warning – I wouldn’t leave any of the whole, leafy herbs in water for more than a day or so. They will start to brown and get slimy.

The next step is to get creative and start trying some combinations. These are my favorite “mixers”. Play with it, find what works for you, and keep me posted on what you find works well.

    ✦ Cucumber – the English seedless ones, thinly sliced work great

    ✦ Lemon – sliced or in wedges, Meyer lemons tend to be a little bitter sweeter (yes, that is possible)

    ✦ Lime – prepare like the lemons

I personally don’t like to add any sweetener to my infusions – not just to keep the calorie count down, but because I honestly feel that the right combinations are so refreshing without the sweetness, it’s just not necessary. But if you must, I’d suggest sticking to a minimal amount of raw sugar or honey and stir well.

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