Thursday, August 02, 2012

CSA Meals - Week 11

I once participated in a conversation with a group of people, including a vegetarian friend, about why she decided to give up meat and how she went about it. She said something that's stayed with me, which was that her family didn't center their dinners around meat every night. 

It struck me that, despite the fact that I consider myself to be a healthy eater, I normally start planning meals based on the protein rather than the vegetables. Even though I think about my friend's words fairly often, I never made much of an effort to put the idea into practice.

Three or four years have passed since then, and this is the first CSA season in which I'm really noticing a difference in the way I approach cooking and eating. I'm getting better about using our fresh, weekly produce items as building blocks instead of side dishes.

We still had potatoes from Week 10 and ate them thinly sliced, off the grill. Davy always manages to season them perfectly, and they accompanied grilled tile fish and raw green beans.

Wednesday marked a turning point in the summer. I was completely worn out from the heat, and had no desire to make dinner until I saw the cover of my neglected Bon Appetit. August's cover recipe is an open-faced tomato and feta sandwich. I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of it before, but it's a genius way to feature ripe tomatoes. 

I didn't even have to go to the store to make these for dinner now that we have an oregano plant, and Davy and I both loved them. 

The simplicity of this method even allowed me the time to chop a bell pepper and cucumbers from my parents' garden to use throughout the week. For not saving that much time, I certainly felt like I'd accomplished a lot whenever I took out the prepared vegetables.

We used some of them for a chopped salad with tomato, feta, and basil alongside pork nachos, and more the next night in a salad when we ordered pizza.

The weekend highlights were limited to two more rounds of tomato and feta sandwiches, along with leftover grilled potatoes converted into homefries, and a lemony shrimp pasta dish.

On Tuesday, I went home during my lunch break and made a salad with tomatoes, corn, avocado, hard-boiled egg, lime juice, basil and olive oil.

The salad was not only flavorful and refreshing, it also allowed me to clear several items from my fridge before they were past their prime, and not once did the thought of starting with meat cross my mind.

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