Monday, April 12, 2010

Greening Lunch and Cooking Under Pressure

Back to produce day again!  On the days I get my organic produce delivery, I work almost nonstop! 

When I get home from the morning kid run, the produce delivery truck is either in my driveway…or not far off.   Sometimes I barely have enough time to gulp down a breakfast and make myself some coffee!

I print the sorting sheets, set up a box or cooler for each customer coming to pick up and get to work.

Sorting usually takes me about two hours, after which I go down the list to call everybody to tell them their box is ready, and then wait for them to come and pick it up!

The customers come in bits and spurts throughout the day…usually as soon as I make a bathroom run or sit down to try and have some lunch! 

Of course I love doing it…I get to meet and chat with so many great health-minded people AND I get first pick at this! DSCF2893This week was so colorful!

I got:

  • Carrots!  They are so bright and smooth looking when they are this fresh!
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Celery bunch
  • Cucumber
  • Romaine
  • Broccolini
  • Green Beans
  • Zucchini
  • Asparagus
  • Sunchokes
  • Kale (Curly Kale)
  • Strawberries
  • Red Pears
  • Grapefruit
  • Pink Lady Apples
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Mangos
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries

Look at the asparagus…it is PURPLE!!!!

So Pretty….

DSCF2894After sorting and a few pickups I was RAVENOUS!  And I was so craving something crunchy and green!!

I didn’t think I had time to make and eat anything so I tried to find the leftover salad in the fridge.  Turns out FabHubs had snagged it for his lunch.

But luck was still with me!  I ended up having a wonderful window of opportunity to make and eat a lunch, AND someone had been scheduled for a leafy add-on to her order but hadn’t ordered it, and didn’t want it…so I was thrilled to buy it!  It was two HUGE Lacinto kale bunches…the tall straight kind.  I had never seen bunches this big!

I couldn’t stop thinking about massaged kale salad, crunchy, green, sweet, and fit the bill perfectly, and I began to work my appetite into quite a frenzy over this! 

All of a sudden I didn’t even want to wait the time it took to make it…I just wanted to eat it! 

But of course I couldn’t get one without the other.  

So I washed, de-stemmed, and tore half a bunch of kale leaves into the big blue bowl and added some minced garlic, honey, walnuts, raisins, and olive oil…and a little S&P, and massaged for ten seven minutes.  By then it looked massaged enough to eat!

On the side I also added a small Hass avocado from last week that needed to be eaten.

OMG this was so green…and sooo good!  I had two big plates of the kale.  IT HIT THE SPOT PERFECTLY!!!!DSCF2895 On the side I also tried this free sample of green tea I  received from Lipton, in this beautiful little reusable storage pouch.  I loved the flavors.DSCF2896 DSCF2897 The rest of the afternoon was a blur…produce pickups, daughter pickups, doctor’s appointment, and getting ready for scout meetings.

And then all of a sudden  I had about half an hour to come up with a quick and yummy dinner before we all scattered in different directions. This is the part of whole food vegetarianism I have found to be really challenging, trying to use all natural unprocessed ingredients and not rely on anything from a box!

Before the vegetarian part it was easy to make some rice, George Foreman a natural chicken breast, and steam some broccoli and call it a meal.  Now the chicken sort of throws things off for me!

But I have to say that I looked in the refrigerator, managed to start throwing some things together, and ultimately AMAZED MYSELF!  This came together pretty quickly and was So Delicious.  So Delicious.  

A keeper!

Found in the fridge (all from last week or prior):

  • Leeks
  • Zukes
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Tofu (yes, I know it is processed…but still!)

Found in pantry:

  • Rice
  • Curry powder
  • Coconut oil
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Raisins
  • Cashews

Quickly I sliced up the tofu and put it on a pan under the broiler to try and get some of the moisture out of it.  I didn’t press…I didn’t marinate.   No time.

I called FabHubs into service to get the rice going for me.  Would have preferred brown rice…but no time!

Then I washed and chopped, sliced and diced.  I heated some coconut oil in the cast iron.  First I sauteed the leeks, garlic, and ginger…then added the carrots since they needed longer to cook…then the zukes, broccoli, and finally the somewhat browned, broiled tofu.

When the veggies were looking sufficiently tender, I sprinkled everything with a TBS of flour for thickening, and an unmeasured but very generous amount of (homemade a few weeks ago) curry powder.   I stirred everything up until I couldn’t see the powder anymore, and then mixed in the can of coconut milk. 

Finally, a few big handfuls of raisins and some cashews…I had a small amount of raw that I used up, and then found a small gift box of roasted…both went in!

The end result…..a huge hit with the family, done in record time, AND a bunch of veggies were used up in the process!DSCF2900

Aaaaaamazing I tell you!

Are you afraid to experiment? 

Or do you find the more you cook the easier it is to invent “have-on-hand” combos without recipes that turn out great??


Trying To Heal said...

duuuuuude! those meals look awesome for being under pressure!!! i wish i had the energy to cook under pressure like you! i get lazy and grab a veg burger!

Ellura said...

lol I don't know how you keep up with your crazy schedule! Thanks for all your encouragment - you are sooo sweet. So I have never had kale but I hear it is wonderful. I will have to look for some...