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LJWorld.com weblogs Eat Your Vegetables

Bye-Bye Bounty, Week 4: Saving vegetables in more ways than one

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Last week, we were on vacation and missed our regular CSA pickup. That said, we were lucky enough to have a sweet friend pick up our goods for us and save them until we could get them. When we finally got our CSA bag on Tuesday night, what we found in our bag was a great selection of items we’d normally pick out for ourselves, given the choice, including: salad mix, head lettuce, Swiss chard, asparagus, spinach and spring onions.

That CSA pickup was a great way to restock our post-vacation fridge in one fail swoop. However, because of how late we got back on Tuesday, plus our busy weeknight schedule, we were hardly home to cook at all this week. Thus, we had a few leftover items that we couldn’t use until Monday night (as in the night we picked up this week’s CSA goods).

But — and this is just one reason to love local food — because our CSA food didn’t travel very far, it was picked right before our friend went to go get our bag for that week. Thus, it didn’t spend precious time being shipped on a truck or plane before it landed on grocery store shelves. That, my friends, buys the purchaser time to let those veggies sit in the fridge if need be. Normal (shipped) veggies wouldn’t have lasted a week in the fridge like that, especially the delicate greens.

So, this Monday, we were able to steam asparagus and make these great potato pancakes from the Rolling Prairie Cookbook that we discovered last season, using week-old veggies plus all the green onions we received this week (the hubby LOVES his green onions).

As for the stuff we actually managed to use during the week? Well, honestly, when I don’t cook, the easiest way to use the items in our bag is for me to get out the blender and the juicer. Yes, I know this isn’t for everyone and many of you are probably annoyed that I resort to this method so often. But, really, those two kitchen appliances take care of a lot of greens that don’t become salad — keeping them from going to waste. Plus, green smoothies and juice are pretty much the ONLY way I can get my son to eat leafy greens. He’s not an unusual toddler — he’s not going to eat kale salad with mommy. The veggies he likes to eat are the “stand alone” types like carrots, peas, green beans, etc.

So, because I know he’ll eat/drink it, I make a lot of smoothies and juice. As you can see from the pic at the top of this post, that’s pretty effective (that was my drink and he wanted to “share” … but ended up drinking two-thirds of it). So, though I know the idea of drinking your greens is probably weird to many of you, I highly recommend at least trying it.

Often, we make green smoothies, and we did plenty of those this week with the spinach, lettuce and salad greens this past week.

But the recipe I wanted to share this week is a juice. Now, if you don’t have a juicer, you could still make it as a smoothie, just as long as your blender has some “oomf” to it. All you need to do is chop up the ingredients really small. Then, start with 1 to 2 cups water and the greens and blend those up before adding the other ingredients. This will hopefully keep your blender from seizing on you.

If you do have a juicer, this one is quick, easy and uses all these fruits and veggies, including our CSA Swiss chard:

Yep, all those things become simply this:

Springtime Swiss Miss Juice

1 bunch Swiss chard

2 apples

1 bunch celery, trimmed

1 lemon or lime, peeled (or you can squeeze the juice in to finish)

Run all through a juicer.

What’d we get this week? The aforementioned green onions, kale, mushrooms, salad mix, head lettuce and snap peas.

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