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Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Love My Share of Organic Produce

I love bringing home my share of produce from our organic co-op on Thursdays. I want to eat everything tonight while it looks so fresh. When Andrea started the first co-op a few years ago, I was very hesitant to join. I thought it would all go bad before I could use it. I lurked on her yahoogroups for a while. She shared tips on storage and everyone shared serving suggestions. When she needed a sub, Lisa graciously picked up my 1/2 share for me because I couldn't get to Andrea's place. Anything that could be eaten raw that day was. Initially most of the rest went bad. I wasn't cooking then. I didn't know how. My mind was so focused on the practice, I unfortunately ate whatever John picked up. And all the while I craved home cooked food. I knew I didn't feel good, but my kitchen skills were pathetic.

When a hostess formed a groups closer to home, I jumped on the chance and got a full share and a fruit share. This hostess also was making bread and grinding grain. I got that stuff from her, too. I also purchased eggs through the co-op then. This is when I got more involved in my own kitchen. I missed it when her group dismantled.

Now in this Fort Pierce group, I pretty much know what to do with all the produce or know how to store or freeze for later use.

Tonight, I sliced the potatoes and single layer them in my stoneware with grape seed oil and salt and crisp them at 450 degrees. My kids eat these potato chips. They also ate up all the strawberries. They will eat the bananas and citrus. The other veggies might be more challenging to get in my kids.

I sauteed spinach (and onion hat I had) for myself. I often serve it with an omelet or rice. Tonight I kept it simple.

With the tomatoes, (cabbage and lemon from before) I can make a mock stuff cabbage, maybe more accurately called "unstuffed cabbage" (with rice and ground beef). This is an easy sugar-free recipe. If I need to add any more canned tomatoes, its easy to find tomatoes without sugar. If I need to sweeten the sauce agave has worked well before. It might not be Grandma's stuff cabbage, but I can feel good about eating it. At least one son eats this.

With scallions, I was thinking I could make Chinese fried rice. I cook the rice with sesame oil and add Tamari soy sauce for the Chinese flavor. Toss in diced omelet, scallions, pieces of chicken or ground turkey, baby corn, water chestnut. My kids all love Chinese fried rice (I never put scallion in it though...we'll see )Peas would be good too.

I tend to juice the fresh citrus. My sons eat it our of the shell. I like to be neat and drink it. I drink the pulp, so I don't cheat myself out of any fiber.

See... I have learned a lot and have come along way by participating in the organic co-op. When John picks out produce from the places he shops, It just doesn't look that good anymore. I wish I ate like this when I was pregnant!

I am not sure what to do with the Fennel. I put the Mint(?) in the freezer. I also have a bag of Mustard greens a friend gave me from her garden. I sauteed them with onion and they were too bitter for my preference. I need to get some ideas for the Mustard greens I have left over.

11 comments:

Lauren said...

Another great post, Denise! I've wanted to write about our group from a social point of view.

Last night Mike roasted some potatoes, carrots and fennel for dinner it was delicious! For your fennel, it's really easy to roast.

I think I'll put the mint in a cantaloupe and honeydew salad.

Wife to the Rockstar said...

Great post with many great tips. I like the idea of homemade potatoe chips.

You look FABULOUS. So, this new lifestyle change is really paying off. Everytime I see you, you are more beauitful than the last time!

pearly1979 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Permission to Mother said...

Sarah, This is my sisters first winter in Scotia, NY, and she tells me its really hard to get good produce in the winter. She has lived In Seattle for many years and this is a big change for her.

Today, someone very thoughtful brought me in some local Orange Blossom Honey. Honey and apple go really well together... something else I'll be able to get into my kids mouths! Yeah.(Honey and apple is the treat on the Jewish New Year-symbolic of bringing in a sweet new year.)

The honey is from the bee farm on Dunn road in Ft. Pierce if any of you are interested. 461-1667

Anonymous said...

One thing you can do with your mint is to dry it out. I happen to use a dehydrator, but if that is not available, just clean your mint, remove the leaves from the stems and let them dry on a plate. It iwll take a few days, but then I add to my Arabic styled salad.

And all that consists of is...a basic salad. Then you add salt, olive oil, lemon juice (usually 1 lemon) and about 1 Tb of dried mint. Yummo! I could live on this salad and that is the only salad my son eats. Works for me. Love how you are taking control of the food you consume. I like being in control as well.

Permission to Mother said...

Thanks (Danette?) for sharing your mint tips!

Denise

turtlewomyn said...

There is a great recipe for greens in my "Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook" I have been making it with Kale a lot lately. Wash the greens but don't dry (so they steam a bit), heat two tablespoons of sesame oil in a skillet, add the greens, cover and steam until wilted. Season with soy sauce an brown rice vinegar. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top and serve. The soy sauce and vinegar give it a nice sweet taste, perhaps that will cut the bitterness of the mustard greens.

Permission to Mother said...

I appreciate the tips for salads and dressings! I was never big on store-bought dressings, yet, the idea of never having them upset me at first. Now, that I am reading the labels and see how much sugar and high fructose is in salad dressings, it is really appreciated to know how to make my own seasonings. Even the "fresh" dressings at the grocery store are loaded.

Ed said...

Great blog! There’s plenty of useful information and motivation. I’ll definitely be back. Check out my blog at Http://www.realfoodforlife.blogspot.com . I’ve been juicing for years starting with a “Vitamix” in the 70’s to a “Juiceman in the 90’s and love juicing’s benefits. Recently I found a ready to mix "Instafresh" powder that has 30 fruits and berries, 30 super greens and vegetables, 11 nuts, seeds and sprouts all in an easy to mix, delicious, organic concentrate that has 83 Active Enzymes and Minerals and 22 Resilient Living Probiotics. It's absolutely the best raw whole food supplement on the market today. Great for people on the go! And all for just $1 per serving! Now that's juicing for the new millennium! Just read the label and get a sample like I did at Http://www.urilife.com/realfoodforlife/products.html I think you’ll love it! And yes, I still make a fresh carrot, apple, parsley juice cocktail in my home juicer and I freeze the carrot and apple pulp for fresh carrot cake!

Grace and Peace,
Ed
Http://www.urilife.com/realfoodforlife/opportunity.html

Permission to Mother said...

Kristen,

I made the mustard greens with your suggested seasonings. It worked well.

Denise

pearly1979 said...

Sent the sign up form and check for one of the CSA's here in our area yesterday. I can't wait to see how it goes! This will be our first time.

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