How we eat vegetables. (Fall CSA: week 4)

I’ve had this post simmering for the past few days but, goodness, Momma can’t get a moment to post  Lu has made herself quite comfortable in her new home and as a result, I spend the majority of my day separating the two girls from each other, the younger girl from the dog, and saving the dog from the older girl. My life is a living version of the fox, goose and grain riddle.

Life has been hectic and sometimes that means things like health and nutrition fall to the way side. But one of the many, many great things about having a CSA share is the abundance of fresh produce in the kitchen. That means I have no excuse but to make meals laden with vegetables and I also get a chance to be creative.

Fall CSA Week 4: sweet potatoes, eggplants, radishes, bell pepper, tons of banana peppers, patty pan squash and loads of romaine.

And I’ve been creative, let me tell you. We’ve been getting more or less the same items each week and while they are delicious and of great quality, I’ve had to find new and interesting ways to keep dinner fun.

Last night, at my friend Amie’s suggestion, I tried my hand at ratatouille. Or, as I like to call it, “throw every orphaned vegetable in a pot and simmer.” We aren’t big eggplant fans in this house and ratatouille is the best and healthiest way I’ve found to serve it. I don’t really know what makes a ratatouille just that, but here is what I used:

  • 2 eggplants
  • 2 banana peppers
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 patty pan squash
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • fresh basil

I chopped all that needed chopped and sautéed everything (except for the tomatoes) in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for about 20 minutes. I added the tomatoes and 6 or 7 chopped/ripped basil leaves. Cover and simmer, simmer, simmer. I served it over basmati rice for the gluten-intolerant amongst us (and is apparently lower in arsenic, J noted).

Heaven on B’s little spoon.

I’ve had a few people ask what we’re eating now that we’re gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and light on meat. We’ve been eating a lot of autumn-inspired salads (thanks to our CSA romaine) so I’ll do a post on those soon. Hearty soups have been handy but it’s been hard giving up the homemade crusty breads. We use a lot of vegetable “filler” in our meat items to spread out the meal. When you’re dropping $8 on a pound of beef, you have to find ways to stretch it! For instance, we did tacos with gluten-free shells and added four carrots, a can of black beans and a can of diced tomatoes to the meat mixture and had enough to eat for days. So, eating with these dietary restrictions doesn’t have to be at odds with our lifestyle as selective omnivores.

How do you make a meal stretch? 

I like roasting or smoking a whole chicken on a Sunday and having enough leftovers for several other quick meals.

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