One of the best ways to keep things fresh and interesting in your meal plan, is to focus on eating fresh, seasonal ingredients. If they can be sourced locally, and you know what your farmers use to grow your veggies or raise your meat, even better right? Here in my little hometown of Oxford, MS we are lucky enough to have a wonderful farmers market for most of the year, and this year I signed up with a local farm (Native Son Farm in Tupelo) for their summer CSA. For those of you new to the CSA concept, basically you pay a set amount for the season and each week you receive a box of amazing, fresh produce, picked from the fields that week. I know that my veggies are safe and the quality is amazing. Best of all, each week the box is slightly different as the season changes, and I usually get something to try that I might not have bought at the store. Each week I’ll be telling you through the summer what I’ve done with some of my CSA share to give you ideas. Even if you can’t get to your local farmers market, these are things you should be seeing in your grocery store too as we go through the summer.
First up this week…. one of my favorites…. fresh strawberries. These. Are. Incredible. To bring out their sweetness and flavor I simply sliced them and added some raspberry balsamic vinegar and left them in a bowl in the fridge. It’s hard not to grab a spoonful every time I open the door of the refrigerator but if that’s curbing my sweet tooth then I figure that’s ok! For lunch today (as I’m really struggling with my sweet tooth after my PiYo workout this morning!) I added some to a jar of chocolate chia pudding I had made yesterday. Recipe below makes 6 servings:
1/2 cup chia seeds
2 cups milk (container count varies depending what milk you use!)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 scoop chocolate shakeology
Mix and pour into 6 containers and leave in fridge to thicken up. That’s eat. Super easy!
Chia seeds are a great source of omega-3s which raise good cholesterol that protests your heart. They’re also rich in antioxidants and provide fiber, iron and calcium, so this sweet treat packs a healthy punch too!
I counted this as 1/2 red (for the shakeology and milk), 1 tsp for the maple syrup, 1 orange (for the chia seeds), and 1/2 a purple for the strawberries I added on top.
Next up from my CSA box this week… a huge bunch of elephant kale. I forgot to take a photo before I cut up the leaves but they are huge, dark green leaves that just shout vitamins to me! This particular type of kale is a little tougher than regular kale so I knew I wanted to soften it somehow. I decided to simmer the chopped up leaves in chicken bone broth (store bought!), and then added sautéed onions and turnips (also from my CSA box!), and 2 baked sweet potatoes (from last week’s box!). I’m always looking for ways to get more bone broth in my diet so although it’s warming up here in Mississippi, I’m hoping this soup puts a pep in my step as I’m on double workouts this week!!! If you haven’t tried bone broth or haven’t read about it’s benefits compared to chicken or beef stock, its rich in protein (a 10oz serving has 9g protein!) and minerals that support the immune system, and contains healing compounds such as collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline. The collagen for example, can help to reduce inflammation heal your gut lining (check out Chalene Johnson’s recent podcasts for why this is so important!!!!). So this doesn’t look particularly delicious, but it is jam packed with nutrition. I’m counting a serving of this as 1 red (bone broth), 1/2 a yellow (sweet potato), 1 green (kale, onions and turnips).
I’ll be getting both of these recipes added to the app this week for y’all! Have fun shopping at your local farmers market and adding seasonal recipes to the app and to your weekly mealplan!