Jan 12, 2013

Delicious Organic Side Dishes

I wouldn't call it a New Year's Resolution, but lately Drew and I have really been trying to feed our family with better quality ingredients, more real foods, less food from boxes or cans.

2 weeks ago, a Groupon came through my email for a local produce co-op, Urban Acres. We were members several years ago before our kids were born, but needless to say, we have grown up since then and have realized that our health and what we put in our bodies is far more important than we ever thought before. We joined, and picked up our first share on Friday.

I have had SO much fun researching veggies that I do not normally use or eat and finding uses for them that would satisfy our tastes. I would not necessarily say that the things I have cooked so far are "diet" foods, but they are delicious ways to add veggies to your menu and introduce more vitamins and minerals naturally.

Here are the first two veggie sides I have made using our local produce share.

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Bacon

1 large bunch of Red or Rainbow Swiss Chard
4 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp olive oil or butter

Wash Chard well and dry with a paper towel or salad spinner. Cut across into 1-2 inch strips. You can choose to use the stems or not. I used some and discarded the rest into my compost pile.
In a large skillet, cook bacon until done the way you like. Add the olive oil and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Put Chard in the skillet and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly to incorporate the bacon and garlic.

So easy and so delicious!

The next recipe puts a delicious twist on your traditional Mashed Potato. In our produce share, we received Diakon Radishes. They look like a large white carrot, but have the taste of a radish.

For this recipe, you will need:
1 medium to large sized Diakon Radish
2 medium potatoes
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp butter
1/8 - 1/4 cup milk, depending on the desired consistency.
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and cube potatoes and radishes and place in a large pot with the garlic. Cover with water and boil until fork tender. I found that the radishes did not get as tender as the potatoes, but the end result was still fabulous.
When cooked, drain the water, add the butter, half the milk and the salt and pepper. Use a potato masher to mash the veggies. Add more milk and stir to get the consistency you like in your mashed potatoes.

Not only am I feeding my family delicious meals, but I have been incredibly impressed by Urban Acres' online organization and their Pinterest board. They have a page for each veggie that you will find in your share with proper ways to prepare for storage and recipes for each. Makes experimenting with new things a cinch!

Stay tuned for more delicious recipes.

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