Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mail-Ordered Veggies and Summer Garden Pasta


A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine steered me towards a produce subscription service called Washington's Green Grocer (H/T to Diana). 

If you've never heard of a produce subscription before, here's how it works: You sign up to receive a box of produce, select the box size and the types of produce you would like to receive (Organic, Local, etc.) and how frequently you would like to receive it (weekly, on-demand, etc.). They determine which specific produce will be in each variety of box for a given week and provide you with a list. You then have the opportunity (up until the night before delivery to your area) to remove items which you don't want to receive and replace them with extras of the other produce being offered. You can also order other items at no extra shipping cost (though you must pay extra for the items). The box is then delivered and the rest is up to you.

After snooping around their site for a bit, I figured I could give it a try, and last week I received my first box. I requested an on-demand delivery of their Small -  Mixed box. The mixed box is a combination of local, organic, and other produce, which seemed like a good first order. We received the box on Tisha B'Av, which was not my finest day to be handed a huge box full of food, but they deliver to MD on Tuesdays and that's that.  This box contained corn, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, peaches, plums, blueberries, and green beans. I opted out of bananas, Boston lettuce, and nectarines and got some extras of the aforementioned.

This week, I chose to receive an all-vegetable box because I still had some of that fruit leftover from last week.  This turned out to be...more than I bargained for.

 See that box? Filled to the brim with vegetables?
 Two heads of romaine lettuce...
... 5 of these huge tomatoes (don't worry, that dirt washed right off.)...
 ...4 of those large green peppers...
 ...2 bags of green beans, 5 zucchini, 3 beets, and 6 ears of corn.

Wow. That's a lot of veggies for 2 people in 1 week. At least it is for THESE two people.

So I shared some with my family and then started wracking my brain for recipes.

Which brings us to part 2 of this post.




Garden Veggie Pasta (adapted from SkinnyTaste.com)
Ingredients:
  • 1 box long noodle pasta, like spaghetti, angel hair, fettuccine, etc.
  • 1 Large tomato, diced
  • 1-2 Zucchini (can be in ribbons, like original recipe, or chunks like my lazy method)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion, diced (or 2 shallots, if you've got them)
  • 1/2 C corn kernels (I shaved them off a fresh cob, but I'm sure frozen would work too.)
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • olive oil (or other oil of choice)
  • s&p to taste
  • cheese (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Remember to salt the water.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium to medium-high heat, then add in onions.  Allow to cook for about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add in chopped garlic and mushrooms and saute another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Toss in zucchini, corn and seasoning. Allow another few minutes.
  5. Add in tomatoes and about 1/4-1/2C of the pasta water (depending on how liquidy you want it). Cover and simmer for a few minutes until tomatoes and zucchini are tender.
  6. Toss pasta with veggies and serve topped with Parmesan or mozzarella cheese (or on it's own.)



So far, I've found all of the produce I've received from Green Grocer to be pretty good.  My only complaint is that I'm not looking forward to checking 2 heads of romaine before it goes bad. :-\

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Of Turtles & Elephants, Butterflies & Farms

I don't have a lot of words for this post. Just pictures.