More Veggies and Fruit

good-food

I  have talked many times before about the whole the Bountiful Baskets Co-op.   We started  months ago, and months later I would have to say it has been one of those things we have done that have really made our lifestyle a little more healthy.  Who would have ever imagined that buying a basket of produce every other week, sight unseen would work.   You pay money and get what you get.   It is almost un-American.   We have all that fresh produce in the refrigerator and it is a challenge to eat it all before it goes to waste.  We eat things we would never have bought at the grocery.

We have incorporated more veggies into every meal we eat.   It has become easy and second nature.  We manage to eat nearly all the veggies that we get in each basket before  the time for our next one arrives.    We have never been fruit eaters and we have made huge strides in that area as well.   We are not yet eating all our fruit yet, but we our progress is more remarkable than we have done with veggies.

Bountiful Baskets works for us because we are open to trying new things.   We are willing to eat anything once, maybe twice.   We also like to try new recipes.  New and more fresh ingredients feed that creative part for both my husband and I.  If you are not open to trying new things that you could end up with baskets full of veggies you may be unwilling to eat and disappointed. I have always managed to be on the wrong week to get Brussel sprouts which I love and husband hates.   Likewise I have always wanted to try fennel and was on the wrong week for that too. But I have learned about collard greens, pomelo, fresh papaya, things I wasn’t willing to spend money on, for a chance.

On top of making us healthier it has also made our pocketbook healthier.   Last Saturday we stopped at the grocery after we picked up our basket as we needed milk.  We decided to do a price check on our our basket.    It was $15 + $1.50 fee=$16.50 total out of pocket.    Out cost at the local grocery for the same items would have been $34.   Boy didn’t we feel good?

A New Challenge Collard Greens

Regular basket for this week.

This week my Bountiful Basket included lots of fun goodies and only one of them may me think hmmmmm.   Collard greens.   I have never made or even tasted them in my entire life to my knowledge.   So I will be searching for a recipe on the net.    My husband said he is sure that Paula Deen has something that will use them with lots of bacon and butter.  Those two fats can make anything yum!

This week I ended up with a “conventional basket” (non organic).   I really feel like I got quite a stash for only $15.  Look at the picture to see how much produce we ended up with.

I am discovering it really is quite a challenge to get all my fruit ate.   Last week my DH had to bring a treat to work and he made a banana cake with a white cake mix.   We still ended up freezing a few mashed banana’s and now we start again.   We did freeze some cauliflower as well.

Tonight we ate a leftovers with homemade Margaritas on the rocks.  So we started already on the limes.   I grilled some mixed veggies as well. So started on basket even on the first day.   Tomorrow  will start menu planning to work on getting meals that utilize as much of our stash as possible.   I am not a honeydew melon eater so will likely share that with others.  Two English cukes is a lot and so will send one of those on as well.    Beyond that even if I am gone for three days lets hope that we can get through this all before we need to decide if we are in or out for the next box.

Let the next two weeks  journey into healthful eating start.

One Week Down – Update on Use of My Bountiful Basket

As promised here is an update on how we are doing with our first “Bountiful Basket.”

  • Chard – half gone.  We had it saute with sweet onions, garlic and finished with a splash of white wine.
  • cauliflower – Cleaned,  but yet to be served
  • green onions – half gone, served as part of a veggie tray
  • carrots (full sized) – on tonight’s dinner menu oven roasted, with a butter, honey and balsamic vinegar glaze
  • iceberg lettuce – half gone, two salads, on sandwiches  and a Mexican meal.
  • Chicory – been in salads, still have plenty left
  • broccolini  – on tonight’s menu as well
  • ginger gold apples – not yet
  • white nectarines – all gone, ate for breakfast.   These were probably the most disappointing in our basket.  They got soft on the outside and stayed hard in the middle.
  • peaches – breakfast food, only 2 left.  Fantastic taste.
  • watermelon – 2/3 gone.  Took it to office pot luck.

Extras:

 case of tomatoes  – 1/2 gone, made fire-roasted salsa, served in salads, and made an Italian grilled veggies one night and a gallon of crock-pot marina sauce.

pepper pack (green and red bells, onions, garlic, dried ancho, and smoked jalapeno (chipolte).   salsa, grilled veggies, veggie tray, salads, only 1/2 of one red and green left, onions, garlic gone, one chipolte left and two anchos left.

I think we are doing pretty good for just the two of us. Both of us agree that this has forced our hand to eat better.  Our meals are more complete.  The idea we are able to eat organic, that is pretty special to us.  We are doing better on the fruit than we thought we would.  I will menu plan the rest of next week and blanch and freeze up what I think  may go to waste.  Am I going to do it again?   You betcha!

New Produce Source

Organic Basket shared by Rachel S @ Bountiful Baskets

I am excited as a friend of mine introduced me to a new produce source.  Bountiful Baskets Co-op.   It is sort of funny because on my last road trip I was asking a co-worker about co-ops.  Suddenly another friend hooks me up with one for food.

This is a buying co-op.  Where members commit and prepay for a  produce basket.  A limited amount of other produce and bread products are also available.   The co-op then purchases in bulk  and has a truck the make the route to distribute the goods.   Local co-op volunteers arrive early, meet the truck and divide up the produce sent for members.  One of the things you do when you join is purchase a basket for the co-op.   This is used to help the volunteers with their task of dividing up produce.   Members show up at a designated time, and pick up their produce.

This week was my first week to participate. I ordered the organic basket.  The photo is what I got.  I am so excited, and looking forward to  fresh produce.   Already my husband and I are talking about how this will give us the impetus to try new veggies.  We also talked about how good we are with eating vegetables, maybe not enough variety, but we do eat lots of them.   We are terrible about eating fruit and with 50% of the basket being fruit it will be a challenge for us to get it all eaten in two weeks.   We have been kicking around ideas on how we might prepare our fruits.

Here is what we got in our organic basket:

  • Chard – which we already eat, and we are planning trying it a couple new ways and with the lamb we are having.
  • cauliflower
  • green onions
  • carrots (full sized)
  • iceberg lettuce (I haven’t had that in ages)
  • Chicory (new one for me)
  • broccolini ( I have had broccoli but never this, internet here I come)
  • ginger gold apples
  • white nectarines
  • peaches
  • watermelon

I also bought a case of tomatoes and a pepper pack (green and red bells, onions, garlic, dried ancho, and smoked jalapenos (chipolte).   I am thinking fresh salsa, and maybe some gazpacho.

I will try to blog about my adventures with this process as I volunteer, get additional baskets, learn to use new veggies and eat more fruit.