Be A Meal Prep Pro
When it comes to meal prep, a little goes a long way.
And, truthfully, it's worth doing that little bit in advance to ensure that you:
Yes, meal prep can save you time.
It sounds obvious right? I just need to wash, portion and decide what I will cook this week. Well, sort of.
While meal planning has a lot to with a successful meal prep, it is also important to ensure that you have key staples on hand at all times.
The first of these staples is where we come in: seasonal vegetables. Seasonal variability tends to keep things fresh, making sure that you try new recipes.
Never tried swiss chard? What a splendid opportunity to learn how to prepare it by throwing it into a green curry, or turning it into a tahini-dip.
And while fresh produce is at the top of the list, another staple consists of having frozen produce on hand. Quick to thaw, things like frozen peas and corn can add a lot of pizzaz to seasonal produce. What's more, you can freeze produce that is in season (hello, this week's basil and lovage into pesto) so that you can enjoy it, lickety-split, all year long.
Other staples that you might want to keep on hand include things like canned tomatoes, complex carbs, oils, and last but not least, condiments and spices.
My trick? I make salads at least once a week, and I try a new recipe at least once a week. These two (easy versus new, and therefore, might take a bit of time to learn) balance each other out.
And you, what is your staple weekly or biweekly dish? Can it include some of our produce? If so, share it to our Shareholders Facebook page for a chance to win a little something extra at drop-off. Those without Facebook can simply email us the recipe.
As the price of supermarket produce climbs, we are often forced to ask ourselves questions like "do I really want to buy two celery hearts for $6.99"?
Having forced myself to adopt a local diet I can attest that I have not bought celery in ages.
There was a 2 year-stint in university where I purchased it biweekly (turns out that pb and celery was exactly what I needed during cram sessions), but since my locavore tendencies kicked in, and celery wasn't typically present at the farmers' market I attended, it was also a no-show in my produce drawer.
But what about those instances where I feel that celery would be a worthy addition? After all, many of my favourite dishes start with a nice mirepoix.
As it turns out, I am fine with forgoing the peanut butter and celery of yonder years since I really only use celery in cooked dishes.
This grossly overlooked herbaceous perennial does exactly what celery does in dishes, which makes total sense given that it is an umbel and closely related to parsley, celery and carrots.
So while only the leaf is palatable raw (the stem is very fibrous, and needs to be finely chopped if left uncooked), the stem gives way more flavour than its humble water-logged celery, and as such, you don't need much of it to add lots of flavour.
A few weeks ago I posted about lovage soup, which I highly recommend, but have fun with it!
Spaghetti sauce, you betcha! Broth is a million times better with lovage. Scrambled eggs, yes please.
So go ahead and swap for celery, and if you really lovage it, plant it in your backyard for yumminess on demand.
Ending with Oregano
Anyone who knows Ryan and I personally will attest to the fact that we expect a lot out of ourselves.
After all, we became farmers with the intent to do better at producing ecologically-sound, nutritious and delicious foods.
While growing nutritious and delicious food seems to happen naturally, environmentally sound food production isn't as easy to obtain.
But there are ways, and it includes using perennials as much as possible. Hence the lovage last week, and the oregano coming in your last spring share this week.
Over the years oregano has become synonymous with spaghetti sauce, but it can be so much more!
As with pretty much any herb, you can turn oregano into pesto. The main benefit to this preparation is that by omitting the parmesan, you can keep fresh herbs in your freezer for the entire year. We sometimes freeze our pesto in ice trays, giving us portion-specific cubes of goodness ready to plop into soups, sauces, chili, or as a spread.
Looking for a reason to get the BBQ fired up? Oregano also happens to pair incredibly well with potatoes, as in this grilled potato salad. Worried about anchovies? I've omitted with splendid results.
But my most favourite way to consume fresh oregano is prepared by my grand-maman Comeau, who bakes said oregano into mouth-watering baguettes, sometimes bringing it over while it is still hot.
Yes, I am lucky.