ten weeks of veggies...

no image source. anyone have?

This week was my last CSA delivery and as promised, here are my thoughts on joining. The good, the bad and the yummy...

The good:
- I barely had to go to the grocery store during the 10-week session. I bought the staples I needed (olive oil, coconut oil, nut butter...) at the start, then only had to go back when I needed eggs or almond milk or some other perishable. 

- It was so much fun trying new veggies each week. I never knew how to make cabbage soup. Now I do! I never knew what half these less common vegetables even looked like. It was an adventure! (PS I tried okra for the first time and now wondering why they don't call it grosskra?)

- It actually felt like I got a present each week. And I love presents.

Riverview Farms was amazing to work with. They were so prompt with their replies, made it easy to put the box on hold for trips and posted recipes each week with what to make from the box. Super fun.

Riverview also threw in non-veggies items, which I didn't know they'd do. Grains, seasonings and fun surprises.

- I saved money. Mmmhmm. Didn't expect that, did you? I paid a lot up front, but then since I went to the grocery so rarely, I avoided buying random stuff that I didn't need. Looking at you, $20 raw almond butter when I already had some at home...

-I had a lot of extra veggies each week, which I froze and am now using in soups. Also, I have frozen soup to eat this winter. Cha-ching!

The bad:
- It's a lot of food for a one-top. I'd suggest going in with someone and splitting it. Perfect for a pair!

- The box depends entirely on the crop, obviously. So this summer, when it rained a lot, the veggies were repetitive and spoiled quickly. This fall though? They were amazing. Also, Riverview was apologetic and did everything they could to compensate.

no image source. anyone have?

The yummy:
- Mostly everything in the box. Minus the okra and garlic :)

- I have so many pine nuts in my freezer. I can't wait for pesto all the time. 

- There was something romantic about eating straight from the earth - sometimes the veggies still had dirt on them. I loved knowing that if I got carrots in the box, the carrot crops were good. If I received a lot of potatoes and apples, but no spinach? That's all our sweet Georgia earth could give us this week. And that's kind of beautiful, if you ask me. 

In August, I told you I wanted to try new veggies, get creative with my recipes and go to the grocery store less. In December, I can tell you done, done and done.

I'm sad to say goodbye to veggie Christmas, but I guess that just makes it even better that real Christmas is less than a week away!

a confession & a recipe

If you follow me on Pinterest, you might have noticed an influx of sugar-free, grain-free, nearly-everything-free recipes. During the last few weeks I've been doing a food intolerance elimination  diet to figure out what the heck is bothering my stomach so much. It's been a little extreme - during the first week my diet consisted of only veggies and seeds. I'm adding in something each week until I find the culprit. Fortunately, I'm doing it under Robyn's watchful eye, which helps/makes it more fun. 

It has, however, been a little challenging during the holiday season. And a little challenging for my boyfriend (uh yep. there's your confession. told you a lot can change in a year.) to find date spots. 

However, there are so many amazing blogs out there with tons of something-free recipes. 

I recently stumbled upon these GF blueberry muffins on the Lean Green Bean and, since sweet potatoes have been my main staple, decided I needed to try baked goods with them. I thought my zucchini bread was healthy. This is a whole new level. And yet, amazingly tasty. Especially with nut butter piled on top! 

So here you are, your recipe for Three Step, Grain Free, Vegan Sweet Potato Banana Bread, which I made up, but was inspired by Lean Green Bean, so you need not be too scared...

4 mashed bananas 
2 medium-sized mashed sweet potatoes 
4 T olive oil
2 T coconut oil
2 C. coconut flour
1 T baking powder
~1 C. water
1 t. cinnamon 

1. Combine banana, sweet potato, coconut oil and olive oil in a large bowl and mix very well
2. Add coconut flour, baking powder, water and cinnamon and stir until combined. If dough is not moist, add more water. You should reach the consistency of regular dough and coconut oil is very dry, so don't be alarmed if you need more water. 
3. Pour in greased bread pans (I used two) and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. It may not look cooked but test the inside - it is likely done after 25 minutes. 

You might want to know:
- Coconut flour is crazy dense. If you mind that quality in your bread, add more water, oil, or throw in applesauce or an egg. I wish I could have, but applesauce isn't fair game yet. And I was out of eggs and didn't want to go to the store (again) sooo no eggs here.
- This bread isn't very sweet. It is full of fiber and great for breakfast. If you want it to be sweeter, throw in some honey. 
- Feeling crazy? Add nuts! Or chocolate chips! Or blueberries. YUM!

...Or, duh! Top with sunbutter. 

Happy bakes ya crazy animals! 

arugula and basil pesto // recipe

The magical thing about having a CSA is you have veggies all.the.time. I barely even have to go to the grocery! And this week, my box was full, full, most notably with some serious greens. 

Because I can no longer shop in the garden of Howden (aka my uncle's backyard), pesto isn't quite as easy to make. Why they charge so much for basil is really beyond me. 

However, this week my CSA came with both lots of greens AND pine nuts. 

You know what I'm thinking, don't you?

A mixed greens pesto!


Because I don't know what to do with pine nuts other than put them in pesto. 

Here's how it went down:

1/4 c. pine nuts
2 c. arugula, kale, spinach or mixed greens (arugula makes it spicier)
1 and 1/2 c. basil
1/3 c. olive oil (add more if needed)
Salt, pepper to taste
Garlic if you like garlic (not this girl!)

To make
Pour all ingredients in food processor, with pine nuts on bottom
Blend until creamy

And enjoy :)

I put mine over quinoa pasta and it was wonderfullll.

Do y'all like that my recipes are basically always two steps? It's for the kids!

image via

Let's Try This Again: CSA

Do you remember last summer when I told you I joined a CSA then went totally crickets and never mentioned it again?

Right. Here's what happened:
I was all fired up to subscribe for the fall, which begins the first week of August. 
But then I remembered we were moving and the last thing you want to move is tons of produce. In fact I prefer to have completely clean cabinets for a move.
So I missed the August option, but figured I jump in to the next session, ten weeks later. 
But then we got rats. And you definitely don't want to bring precious local produce into a house with rats. We didn't want any food in our house at all, to be exact.

And that CSA sure slipped my mind.

Excuses, excuses. I know. 

But here I am, one year later, to report that yesterday, I really joined the Riverview Farms CSA. Wahoo! I signed up, paid and have my official pickup location for next Wednesday. I'm so excited to eat local Georgia veggies for the next ten weeks. 
I'm hoping:
1. I get more experimental with my meals, instead of buying the same 10 items and eating the same three meals every week. 
2. I go to the grocery store less often.
3. I try new veggies I've never had - or maybe even heard of!

I will, of course, keep you posted. 

And this time, I promise to do it.