food

Buying Local: Week 22

Thank goodness apples keep for a long time because we are overflowing over here. I already gave some away to friends on Saturday and am even considering bringing some in for people at work.

This week is the end of the sweetcorn, which I am kind of happy about because I am corned out. Too much. And we still have some in the freezer…

csa week 10

What We Bought:

  • Green Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Empire and honey crisp apples
  • Arugula
  • Red mustard
  • Yukon Potatoes
  • Kalettes ¬†(Kale sprouts)
  • Sweetcorn
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Apple cider
  • pumpkins (for decorating, not eating)

What We Learned:

  • K pickled his first batch of green beans, we shall see how they taste
  • I think I said this before, but omelets are great ways to use up some produce, paired with some homemade home fries

 

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Buying Local: Week 21

We are in the middle of a CSA box from last weekend, and it is one of the last boxes we will receive. Our CSA ends at the end of October. ūüė¶

Some homemade chili tied us over for most of the zombie jetlag last week and we did not eat at home a couple nights.

Now that we are a week and a half out from vacation, we are fully back in our regular schedules, and getting back to eating regularly and normally. Eating 6 large pretzels over 3 days is not normal (I am looking at you Munich and Oktoberfest).

 

DINNER

Our first real homemade meal back. 

 

What We Bought:

  • From Local Foods
    • Whole chicken
    • Milk
    • Sausages
    • French bread
  • From¬†Nichol’s Farm in Marengo, IL
    • Carrots
    • Broccoli
    • Green beans
    • Mixed Greens

What We Learned:

Buying Local: Week 19 and 8th CSA

This week we had to do a lot of cooking, storing, and preserving of our CSA box. That is because we are going to be out of town (and the country) for the next 10 days. More on that tomorrow.

Once we got home from the farmers market with our box, K got right to work making a pepper sauce and a tomato sauce. We sliced the corn off the cob and froze that for later.

CSA week 8

What We Bought:

  • From our CSA in Marengo, IL
    • Honey Crisp apples
    • Mixed Cherry tomatoes
    • Roma beans
    • Sweet colored peppers
    • Eggplant
    • Korean or tropical melon
    • Mirai Sweetcorn
    • Leek
    • White kennebec¬†potatoes
  • From Local Foods
    • Bread
    • Chicken
    • Sausages
    • Sprecher’s root beer (yum!)
    • A soft pretzel
    • Onion

What We Learned:

  • K is really good at accidentally making tomato soup. He originally was going for making a sauce with all the tomatoes we got, but it ended up being really amazing.
  • There are still some veggies we have to freeze or give away!

Buying Local: Week 18

We are rolling a bit behind this week. We lost some produce due to mold (peaches, eggplant, tomatoes). Going out to eat for two meals over the weekend also did not help and kind of set us back on using produce.

CSA week 7 v2

What We Bought:

  • Hamburger buns from Evanston, IL

What We Learned:

  • Real food can get moldy FAST. Some of my peaches did not even make it 5 days, and some of our tomatoes and peppers had to go straight to the compost bucket.
  • Potatoes and onions should not be stored together. We are a bit tight on kitchen storage so we had both of them in the same drawer. Now we have them separated.
  • You’re not supposed to store cucumbers in the fridge. No wonder they didn’t make it.

Buying Local: Week 17 & 7th CSA

These CSA boxes/bags ARE GETTING HEAVY!

That’s also because we got a melon this week!¬†CSA week 7

What We Bought:

  • Mixed Cherry tomatoes
  • Assorted slicing tomatoes
  • Red Cabbage
  • Shishito Peppers
  • Tropical melon
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Mirai Sweetcorn
  • Kohlrabi
  • Japanese eggplant
  • Zestar apples
  • Peaches from St. Joseph Michigan

 

corn chowder

K’s homemade corn chowder used up some CSA potatoes and corn

 

What We Learned:

  • More about vegetarian cooking. K bought a new cookbook so we could further utilize our boxes instead of relying on vegetables only as sides.
  • Meal planning is so important in order to use what we have available without wasting it.
  • Our compost game is STRONG! The last two months we have overflowed our bucket and had to have extra containers at pick up time.

 

vegetarian cookbook

K’s new cookbook

 

Buying Local: Week 16

We are ALMOST FINISHED WITH AN ENTIRE BOX!!

The cauliflower is on the meal plan for tomorrow, and I eat an apple every day. Now what to do with all those cucumbers?

Sixteen weeks into this journey K has finally figured that we should take a closer look at a more plant-based diet. We shall see where that takes us.

Our CSA box runs through October and it is already time to start thinking about signing up for a fall box that would last through December. It is definitely something to consider!

CSA week 16

What We Bought:

  • Brussel sprouts from Marengo, IL
  • Spring lettuce mix from Marengo, IL
  • Oberweis¬†milk from family farms around IL and WI
  • Turano¬†bread from Berwyn, IL
  • Corn from the Midwest (grocery store was not very specific…)

What We Learned:

  • How to freeze apples, beets, corn, and tomatoes. The apples and beets will be used in smoothies and the tomatoes for sauces.
  • How to blanch¬†tomatoes.
  • K tossed some of the frozen corn into our chicken and bean quesadillas the other night and it was super convenient to have cut up corn on hand.
  • We did end up getting additional corn from the grocery store, but both of us have declared that farmers market corn tastes way better.

Buying Local: Week 15 & 6th CSA

We have really been rolling with our box this week.

K made a tasty veggie ragu Saturday night, then we used the cucumbers in a tangy yogurt sauce Sunday, and we also tried our hand at cooking green beans two different ways.

CSA week 5

We are going to attempt to finally get through an entire box without any of it going to waste. I will keep you updated if we accomplish that. Fingers crossed.

What We Bought:

  • Bell peppers
  • Red thumb potatoes
  • Mix tomatoes
  • Jersey mac and pristine apples
  • Mira sweetcorn
  • Candy onions
  • Newhall Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Assorted cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Jalepenos

    veggie sauce

    veggie ragu sauce

What We Learned:

  • Thank goodness we have compost because we are creating a lot of food waste when we don’t get to something on time.
  • To use up some of the veggies from the previous week and a couple of the new ones, K made a fantastic red vegetable sauce. We ate some and then froze the rest.
  • You can freeze corn! We got 6 ears of corn in our box so we are going to save a few by cutting the kernels off the cob and freezing it for later.

Buying Local: Week 14

CSA week 4 (2)

We have eaten just a bit of everything so far, but haven’t been able to fully get through any produce from last week’s CSA box. I had a couple beet smoothies and made a big batch of roasted veggies to take for lunch this week. For dinner the other night, K made some omelets with a mish mosh of veggies folded inside.

week 14

As usual, I ate most of the fruit from last week, so popped over to the farmers market to get some more this weekend.

What We Bought:

  • Dozen eggs from Benton Harbor, MI
  • Raspberries from Benton Harbor, MI
  • Blueberries from Bangor, MI

What We Learned:

  • We are getting better at incorporating our produce into basically all of our meals. A piece of my breakfast, lunch, and dinner, can easily have something from our box in it.
  • Basically, any vegetable chopped up and added to an omelet is delicious!

Buying Local: Week 13 & 5th CSA

market saturdays

It was a CSA week this past Saturday and we got a pretty amazing box. My bag was exploding with produce as I lugged it home. It had to be the heaviest one yet!

CSA week 4

What We Bought:

  • Boone Green Beans
  • Cappuccino SweetCorn
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Pristine apples
  • Cauliflower
  • Red Beets
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Green Peppers
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Summer Squash
  • White Onions
  • Oberweis¬†milk from family farms around IL and WI
  • Turano¬†bread from Berwyn, IL

What We Learned:

  • K does not like Napa cabbage. We chopped some up for a slaw with our BBQ chicken tacos and after a taste, he promptly refused to ruin his taco with it.
  • Shelling peas is intensive work and that is why they sat in the back of the fridge until they were finally composted.
happy sunfloer

Besides our CSA box, I picked up a vibrant sunflower at the farmer’s market. She’s so pretty.

 

How I Pack My Lunch

Back to the days of packing my lunch for work!

I pretty much never buy lunch and I never did even in my school days when we could purchase “hot lunch.”

 

 

snacktaxi1

Locally produced turkey sandwich

 

Not only does this practice save me money, but it also saves on food packaging and waste. Ziploc bags are never on my shopping list because I use SnackTaxis to hold all my snacks and lunch essentials.

snacktaxi2

I have had them for a number of years and I love them. They are machine washable and I just let them air dry over night. They even stand up to a PB&J with a bit too much jelly. Just wipe it off and toss in the washer!

Their fun designs also can make a boring lunch a little bit more exciting! And my lunches are pretty boring (see the turkey sandwich with just bread and turkey above).

snacktaxi5

My handy lunch bag has also been hanging around since my college days and it too is machine washable. So when I leave something in there just a little too long and it starts to get a bit funky, that can easily be fixed.

snacktaxi6

For foods that cannot go in a SnackTaxi, I just use Pyrex glass containers for everything from yogurt to soup. Yeah, glass is heavy, but whatever, bring on the muscles!

snacktaxi4

Our regular silverware from home comes with me to work when necessary and then I just bring it home every day to pop in the dishwasher. I don’t find it to be any extra work.

snacktaxi3

On top of all the other necessary pieces, I keep a napkin in my drawer at my desk! It definitely comes in handy when I am eating a juicy peach or there is a snack to grab in the break room.

How do you keep your work day lunches package-free?