January 10, 2012

A Produce Extravaganza

      Happy New Year, blog land! I know I'm a little late but it's always better late than never, right? I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling like I've had a very busy past couple of months.  It feels good to get back to "normal", back in the swing of things, and back to blogging.  I'm sorry to say that my lack of blogging very accurately represents my lack of sewing.  But I realized last night that just because my blog has "quilt" in the title, doesn't mean I can only blog about quilting.  What an amazing realization, right? :) Can you tell my brain cells have been on vacation?
       So what have I been up to in my spare time if I haven't been sewing? I've been juicing, learning about juicing, talking to others about juicing, and completely changing the eating habits of our household.  My husband and I had the chance to watch a few documentaries that really opened our eyes to the importance of eating and/or juicing our veggies. (and fruits... er... fruit).   We realized how much processed food we were putting into our bodies and decided to make some big changes. It's been fun to do this together and we both are enjoying working on our new habits.  We joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) organization recently and just received our first delivery of organic fruit and vegetables last weekend. At 35, I'm a little bit embarrassed about my lack of veggie knowledge outside of the lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, onion and bell pepper world that I have lived in. This lack of knowledge leads me to ask questions such as "What on earth is a rutabaga?"  But I'm so excited about the adventure of figuring out how to prepare the pretty and nutritious things that will arrive in our CSA crate each week.

Here's a photo to show you how much tasty goodness arrived in the crate last weekend

So far we have baked the acorn squash, juiced the spinach, pears and one of the pomegranates and roasted the potatoes and rutabaga.   I looked like a crime scene after dealing with the pomegranate. Next time I will do the process with the pomegranate immersed in water. ;)

This is a "Rutabaga and Potatoes seasoned with Herbs de Provence" picture for your viewing enjoyment

The spinach that arrived in our crate was the very meaty Savoy variety.  I decided that juicing would be the best way to get the full effects of all the great nutrients in the spinach so we went through all of it in two juicing sessions. Last night I made a tasty pineapple, spinach, carrot, apple juice to have with our dinner. 
It turned out looking very green from the spinach but it tasted wonderful. 

My next challenge is a big one.  Collard Greens.  I have never had collard greens. (I can hear the collective gasp from all of the Southern blog readers.)  If you know of an amazing way to prepare collard greens that doesn't involve using meat or cooking the greens for hours until all of their nutrients are gone, please share.  :) I checked online to see what's coming in our crate this weekend and guess what! More collard greens for us. So I really need to get moving or we are going to have a major glut of greens in our fridge. 

After all of this healthy food talk, I thought I would leave you with something unexpected.  Cookies!

On New Year's Eve I turned my kitchen into a test-kitchen and did an experiment with chocolate chip cookies.  The cookie on the left is a store bought pre-made dough cookie. The cookie on the right was made from scratch. I think you can tell which cookie won. And here's a link to the recipe if you want to try them yourself.  Click here for cookies