bite-sized challenge: eat inside the box

August 29, 2010

It’s time for another challenge for VK, and this time we’ll backtrack to the successful outcome we previously skipped on her list:

I know a lot about nutrition, and I make choices about what I eat that reflect my knowledge.

I know of no better way to up your nutrition education and your nutrients (while benefiting the environment to boot!) than signing up for a weekly produce box from your local organic farm. In the US, these are called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), in the UK (where VK lives), they’re known as veg-box schemes.

Many of these farms deliver; in some areas you’ll need to drive to a collection point to pick up your goodies. Either way, the outcome is the same: local, organic food that’s in season. And that means you’re forced to come up with some creative solutions when something like celery root (celeriac) shows up in your box. You’ll find yourself reading that dirt-covered little newsletter that comes with your box for inspiration or finally thumbing through those dust-covered cookbooks you haven’t opened in years.

When I first signed up for a weekly box back in 2006, I was so thrilled with it and what it taught me that I started a small catering business. Every week, I made two vegetarian lunches for two guys at my office. These guys were omnivores, yet they absolutely loved this. I’d make two dishes based on whatever came in the box that week, and I wrote up a little newsletter of my own that explained what was in their lunch and why it was good for them.

I came out of that enterprise learning a whole lot about nutrition…and that catering is a hell of a tough job!

So, VK, your challenge is to sign up for an organic vegetable box and come up with a unique recipe that uses at least half of the contents. Then send me your recipe and photo so I can put it up for all to see. Happy cooking (and learning!)

Search for a CSA in your area in the USA at Local Harvest
If you’re in the UK, try Riverford Organics or Abel & Cole

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