This is a guest post by my wonderful friend and supreme editrix, Anja. Enjoy!
Before I even begin, I’ll get my hippy shtuff outta the way. I love ladies who love food. And I love ladies who love writing about food. So *BIG* electronic hugs go out to the incredibly lovely (and perfectly feisty) Rachael for inviting me to contribute to her badass blog Glass of Win while she’s gallivanting across the continent; and just as many hugs stretch across seas to the equally lovely and unendingly inspiring Abigail over at Eating with Abs (the first guest blog I ever did write, shucks!) who also just so happens to be gallivanting herself these days. I mention Abs not just because I have a ginormous whole-earth, plant-based, intuitive-gastronomical crush on all that she touches, but she’s also the one that first hyped me to Farm Fresh to You, which has literally changed my life.
Community Supported Agriculture
Since I’ve already preambled a smidge too much, I’ll keep this quick. Capay Organic’s Farm Fresh to You is a field-to-front-door delivery service. Every Tuesday morning, an enchanting Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box is left on my doorstep. Over 6,000 local family-owned farms participate in Capay Organic’s CSA. And being connected to that many hardworking humans that think sustainable, nutrient-rich produce is as important as I do is the most heartwarming thing I’ve latched onto this year.
What Was in My Box Last Week
The big beauty about the weekly delivery is the surprise of what’s inside. Yes, you get to choose the frequency, variety and size of your FFTY box; yes, you can mark exclusions through the web site; and yes, you can totally check the specifics of what will be in your box each week. But personally, I love the seduction of not knowing, the anticipation of tearing into that box full o’ heaven only to discover the magic that is (or was last week, at least):
• Valencia Oranges (3)
• White Corn (3)
• Luscious Strawberries (1 package)
• Emerald-Green Broccoli (2 bunches)
• Fresh Celery (1 bunch)
• Spicy Cilantro (1 bunch)
• White Baby Turnips (1 bunch)
• Large Bok Choy (1 lb.)
• Bright Green Romaine Lettuce (1 bunch)
• Assorted Potatoes (1 lb.)
• Ruby-Red Rhubarb (.75 lb.)
And with that delightful selection spread before me, the only thing left to do was decide what masterpiece to concoct from those bright, fresh beauties. Now, usually I dig into my own repertoire of recipes, or scour the interwebz for new inspiration, but this time I got hung up on a recipe included in the FFTY newsletter (which feels more like a love letter) tucked between the produce.
Corn and Black Bean Quinoa
Onward towards the main event, my friends. Not only was I pleased as punch that this recipe used so many of the stellar ingredients just gifted to me, but the remainder of the items were already patiently awaiting me on the shelf. It was like kitchen kismet. And so, I got to prepping:
• 1 cup uncooked quinoa
• 1 can black beans, rinsed (or about 1 ½ cups)
• 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
• 2 – 3 ears of corn, cooked and cut from ear
• ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
• 1/3 cup olive oil (I think grape seed oil would be just as tasty)
To cook quinoa: place 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water into a 1 ½ quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Let quinoa cool.
Mix quinoa with corn, bell pepper and cilantro, and toss well. In a separate bowl, soak beans in vinegar.
In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, salt and cumin, while slowly pouring in the olive oil. Combine quinoa mix with the beans and dress the salad. Salt and pepper to taste.
Yields: 6 servings
Lovingly adapted from Farm Fresh to You’s newsletter (5/24/11).
Four Days and Counting
Now, I live with a die-hard omnivore (whom I watched inhale a medium-rare steak just last night). But both he and I have been snacking on this perfect, summery recipe for FOUR DAYS STRAIGHT already. The first night we piled it onto strips of hearty, green romaine lettuce – but since then, we’ve been scooping it straight outta the fridge and into our mouths. The nutty, protein-rich quinoa; those red-wine-vinegar-soaked black beans; the kick of the green bell and cilantro (both of which I entrust to my food processor rather that chopping by hand); and sweet, sweet kernels of juicy white corn; all of it lends to a seasonal salad that I will most certainly be whipping up for picnics and barbeques through Labor Day. Are you drooling yet?
Eat well. Love well. Be well.
Anja pays the bills as a full-time creative director/editor of three local travel magazines, but her real passion is grounded in honing her skills as a (vegan!) domestic goddess. She adores spoiling her partner-in-crime with home-cooked dinners EVERY night, daily hot yoga sessions, cuddling up with her two adopted meows, and bouncing amongst her extended family to soak up as much of them as time allows. Currently trapped in the limbo of concrete and steel that is Downtown Los Angeles, Anja steals any free moment to daydream about life on a farm – or at the very least, on her own small plot of land – surrounded by a few fruit trees, an ample vegetable patch, and a loving little family. You can follow her at twitter.com/anjamarie.