CSA Share Week 1: spinach, cilantro, garlic scapes, spring onion, dried heirloom red beans, red-leaf lettuce, rhubarb (gave away), farm-made sauerkraut (gave away), free-range eggs
Recipes: (1) polenta with topping of spinach/garlic scapes/spring onion/cilantro (also used up 6 eggs), (2) cilantro-lime salsa, (3) spinach/red beans (also used up the rest of the spring onion) served with Indian flatbread, (4) fettuccine carbonara with vegetables (broccoli, crookneck squash, vidalia onion, yellow bell pepper)
Fanaticism, as only a teenager can do: no egg if not hard-boiled, no cheese, no butter, no dessert, no candy, no soda pop, no ice cream, no bread if not whole wheat/whole grain, no rice if not brown, no pre-packaged/frozen foods if not frozen veggies, no takeout . . . . and the list goes on. Of course, she does have some inconsistencies: the oatmeal she has every morning is the brown sugar instant packaged sort (because she saves time by not having to wait longer for the rolled/steel-cut sort), and she downs boxes of crackers (but they’re wheat crackers!) and tortilla chips (but they’re unsalted!) with salsa. There is power is saying No, and she was refusing food with holier-than-thou regularity until we decided that all we were doing was fueling her zealotry.
I enjoy “junk” food; I work out and I run because I want to be able to continue to eat pastries whenever I want. DH and I enjoy treats — the coffee houses, the occasional ice cream stops, the takeout meals. Ever since The Teenager began her campaign of Healthy Eating, she has become something of a pill. The silent (and sometimes not so silent) condemnation of everything Un-Healthy, the “I thought you were trying to lose weight” comments to DH, the constant insistence that she LOVES salads/vegetables . . . . it is all very wearing. She has sucked the joys out of eating — no more jaunts for ice cream “just because,” no more “let’s bike to the coffee shop,” no more sitting down to breakfast on weekends with us because Dad has made one of his famous “a little of everything” breakfasts. Food is not to be enjoyed, it is to be conquered; it represents fuel, with so many calories, so many vitamins, so many nutrients. The Teenager eats with determination.
But because I am a mom, I have accommodated her. We have in fact been eating better for a few weeks now, because The Teenager is right in that we relied far too much on ready meals and takeout dinners. So, three to four times a week, I have been cooking out of Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Didi Emmons’ Vegetarian Planet, Wanda and Giovanna Tornabene’s Sicilian Home Cooking: Family Recipes from Gangivecchio, with forays into Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette’s Simplicity from a Monastery Kitchen and that great standby, Bert Greene’s Greene on Greens. And it has been fun! I never knew there were so many recipes out there using chard! I never knew field greens (read, weeds) could be so tasty when properly braised and spiced!
Last week, we received our first farm-share box of goodies: garlic scapes, spring onion, spinach, rhubarb, farm-made sauerkraut, heirloom Mexican red beans, cilantro, red-leaf lettuce, and free-range eggs. It has been an adventure looking for recipes that incorporate as many of these ingredients as possible, and I have enjoyed all the chopping and dicing (hurrah for Kyocera ceramic knives) and general prep work involved in vegetarian cooking. I have not felt deprived, my GERD has improved to the point that I am no longer on a PPI (which I have been on for 12 years), and, I have my own “holier-than-thou” moment each time I eat vegetarian 🙂