I got my first produce box from a CSA on Friday. Unfortunately, our CSAs here in AK don't pick up until June and run relatively short to September. So to supplement my neediness for fresh and organic produce, I picked up a subscription to Full Circle Farms which is out of Washington state. Yeah, I know; Washington is pretty far away, BUT and this is a BIG BUT, when you live in Alaska... most of the produce, especially during the winter, is from the lower 48 and out of country. That is what happens when the ground freezes upwards of a few feet. Not too much can grow in there... hence the reasoning behind our short produce season. Washington, is however, the closest state, so I figured it is better getting organic foods from Washington than getting my apples and tomatoes from Mexico in an unsustainable way.
Being so super stoked, I could hardly sustain myself from digging into my box the second I got to work (which also happens to be the pick-up site). I had to wait an excruciating 5 hours before I could loving toss it into my truck and rip it open at home. The best part about it all was that I had a coupon that the awesome Full Circle peeps dropped off at Turkey Red for $15 off my first purchase. That really was the push that I needed to just go ahead and put in an order, something that I had been wanting to do for quite some time, but just never got around to it.
The deliciousness that was my box included: Klamath Pearl potatoes, red onions, Braeburn apples, Cara Cara oranges, a mango, snow peas, a tomato, a bunch of green kale, a bunch or arugula, a romaine lettuce head, a pack of baby spinach, and four juicy kiwis.
Another thing that is great about Fill Circle's subscription versus the other CSAs that deliver year-round here in AK is that Full Circle is customizable, meaning you have a list of exemptions that they won't ever include in your box and you can also specify items for that week that you don't want or want more of. AND... you can look at their list of green grocers that you can add items to like organic cheeses, butters, jellies, and meats.
I have made a few awesome goodies with the yums that I had in my box. Here is one delish greens recipe that I made the night that I got my box. Boyfriend is a somewhat picky eater and he loved them.
Sauteed Kale: 2 servings
3/4 lb Kale leaves and stems coarsely chopped
1 tbs Olive oil
A garlic clove minced or garlic powder to taste
1/4 cup veggie stock (look for future post of how to make your own) or water
Seasonings to taste
Apple Cider Vinegar
Heat your oil up in a pan on med heat. Add your cloves of garlic (if using) and warm until nice and fragrant. Turn up to high heat adding the kale and your stock. Use a wooden spatula and coat the greens in the liquid. Watch out, it does splatter a little. This is the time to add your garlic powder if you aren't using a clove. Cover and cook on high for about 5 minutes. I uncovered and stirred a few times to make sure nothing was sticking so you can do so if you like. After the long awaited and smell-good wafting 5 minutes, uncover and stir until all the liquid have cooked off. Take off heat element and add your seasonings and vinegar right to the pan and toss to coat. I was raised in the south in which greens are usually smothered in vinegar so you can add as much as you like, if any at all. I added about 1 1/2 tbs, which isn't very much. You can also use red wine or balsamic vinegar if you don't like the pungent flavor of ACV. Serve with a meal loving cooked at home.
I also made some sinfully delicious baked apples:
Baked Apples: serves 2 (sorry no pics, they were eaten waaaaay to quickly)
Guided lovingly by this Vegetarian Times recipe
1 tbs corn starch
Cut your apples in half and scoop out the star in the middle with a big spoon. Add enough water in a baking dish so that the bottom is covered, then sprinkle some of your brown sugar in the bottom and the corn starch, mixing until the starch isn't clumpy. Add your apples, cut side face up. Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar over and in the apples. Dust the apples with cinnamon. Squirt the honey on your apples a few times, making sure to add some in the water mixture. Cover and bake for 10 minutes in an oven set at 400. Then, uncover and bake another 15 minutes. I know, this part is really hard because the apples are smelling so freaking yummy that you want to gobble them down Right.Then. Take the apples out after the 15 minutes and place them in your bowls. Turn off the oven, but put the dish with the juices back in for about 5 minutes. This will thicken the sauce up like caramel. Drizzle the sauce over the apples and add the crumbled walnuts. The above ingredients list has no amounts because you have the choice to make this as healthy or as indulgent as you want. Add as much as your taste is calling. If you look at the recipe, it will give you some guidelines. You will also notice that I used honey instead of maple syrup- I didn't have any not realizing I had used it all in a cookie recipe before it was too late. I also didn't feel the need to use the lemon or the salt and I didn't feel like getting another pan dirty to cook the sauce on the stove. That is why I added the corn starch, to get the sauce thick like caramel without cooking more.
Hope you enjoy!!