So I don’t know about where you live, but around these parts, there’s a whole lot of farming going on. Everywhere you look there are sheep and goats and pumpkin patches and apple trees and blackberry bushes… there’s enough food being harvested in a 30 mile radius of us to practically feed the entire state of Oregon! Well, maybe not the whole state, but believe me when I say there’s a huge abundance of food. And yet for some reason, everyone around here seems to shop at big chain grocery stores, Wal-marts and Costcos for all their meat, produce and dairy products. I just don’t get it. Is it out of convenience? Because of price? It definitely can’t be due to the quality of the food. One bite out of locally-grown and organic strawberry and you’ll never again purchase a pint of furry, squishy berries they offer at the grocery store. I find it a shame that with the great plentitude of quality food being harvested so close by their homes, people aren’t taking more advantage of the situation. Luckily, mi mama and papa finally came to their senses and realized the bounty of wondrous crops being grown around here, some practically down the road from our house, and signed up for a local CSA.
Now you may be asking, what is a CSA, TeenyLittleSuperChef? Well I’ll tell you. CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” and it is a program where individuals or families can pay a farm up front for the produce that will be grown that year, which helps that particular farm from having to take out a loan to grow for the season. In return, the person or family receives a box every week during that particular season filled with all the fresh produce grown right there on the farm. Some places even have the option of receiving fresh eggs, milk, cheese, meat and honey in their boxes along with the weekly produce. Now how cool is that! There’s so many reasons why joining a CSA is a good idea, including but limited to:
- It keeps fresh produce in the house on a regular basis
- You know exactly where the food is coming from
- Some of the produce are things you wouldn’t normally find in a grocery store, like purple kale
- It’s environmentally-friendly because the produce doesn’t have to be shipped from all over the country in order to get to you, thereby reducing the amount of gasoline used and pollution being released into the air.
- Many other reasons that I don’t have the time to list off right now because I want to move on to my awesome recipe utitlizing some of the wonderful veggies I received in our box yesterday
If you want to find out more information on CSA’s and how to get involved with one in your area, check out this website: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/
Now on to the recipe. Like my picture from the previous post might have alluded to, I did in fact come up with a stir-fry dinner for mi mama and papa that particular evening. And it was pretty darn magical, if I do say so myself. Could have had something to do with the fresh and delicious produce and ingredients involed, or perhaps it was because I am a genius in the arts of culinary expertise. You be the judge.
Veggie-ful Sesame Ginger Stir-Fry
4 tsp safflower oil, divided
3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger root, minced
1 red onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 carrots, cut in thin strips
1 cup sugar snap peas, ends removed
2 small zucchini, chopped
2 cups vegan sausage, tofu, tempeh, chicken breasts etc, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup shredded green cabbage
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame seeds, for garnish
1) Heat 2 tsp safflower oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, onion, bell pepper, carrots, snap peas, and zucchini and saute 5-7 minutes or until veggies are crisp-tender. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
2) Heat remaining 2 tsp oil over medium-high and add meat or meat alternative. Saute until cooked through and chicken (if using) is no longer pink.
3) Add vegetable mixture to wok along with shredded cabbage, sesame oil and soy sauce. Cook 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
4) Garnish with sesame seeds and serve atop a bed of fluffy rice.
So simple, so easy and oh so very tasty. And a great way to use up some of the veggies from the CSA box. Now only about 12 more pounds of produce to go.
Hmmm, now which of these am I going to use tonight?