28 May 2011

Eating Seasonally

So as I mentioned a few posts ago, I am now a proud member of community supported agriculture! My friend and I split a weekly "full share", which consists of 12 pounds of freshly grown, seasonally available produce and a dozen fresh eggs. Since then, I have also purchased some new cookbooks which are organized by the seasons- getting ideas for meals is so much simpler now! I just flip to the season I'm in (somewhere between spring and summer) and I can find a slew of recipes based around what's being grown! I even find recipes that utilize more than one vegetable I found in my weekly share.

I also read Mark Bittman's Food Matters in the past week and I feel utterly rejuvenated about my decision to stick with vegetarianism. The book as a whole provides a variety of reasons why overall America should look to change how they eat. Bittman isn't asking that we all become vegetarians or vegans, just that maybe one day a week we give up food. It could not only help our own health, but will impact our deteriorating environment greatly and decrease the rate of global warming! What an idea! The book ends with a slew of amazing recipes for all meals of the day, as well as snacks. Really, if there's one book I could recommend right now, it's to go and find a copy of Food Matters, whether from the library or by spending an afternoon in the bookstore, and just give strong consideration to one of his numerous suggestions.

With this said, after spending the past day dealing with airway representatives and the last 8 hours traveling, I came back home to MA only to cook my parents, my grandmother, and myself a healthful meal reflective of the food books I have read recently. I used what vegetables were in the refrigerator and off of the flavor profiles I could construct around them, and it was a success! Do I know what to call it? No, but I hope with time I'll get better with naming my concoctions..

Lemon and Parsley Whole Wheat Pasta with Veggies
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow or white onion, chopped roughly
  • 8 mushrooms, sliced roughly
  • 3 heads of broccoli crowns, chopped into small florets
  • 1-4 to 1-2 c of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1-2 tbs of butter
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c milk (I used skim and it still added plenty of richness)
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Shredded parmesan (optional)
  • Large pot for boiling water
  • Sauté pan
  1. Heat sauté pan on medium high heat with butter, onions and mushrooms. Allow onions to sweat and mushrooms to cook until aromatic, then turn the heat down to medium low.
  2. Meanwhile, fill the large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add broccoli florets to boiling water and leave there until broccoli is bright green and just barely fork tender (3-4 minutes).
  3. Transfer broccoli to mushroom and onion mixture, but be sure to save the water! There are plenty of nutrients leftover in the water that the pasta can absorb as it cooks.
  4. Boil whole wheat pasta of choice in the leftover water until al dente.
  5. While pasta is boiling, beat together the two eggs with the milk. Save this for later.
  6. Zest the lemon into the vegetables and add half of its juice. Also, season the mixture at this point with a dash of nutmeg (trust me on this one!), salt and pepper to your taste, and with half of the chopped parsley.
  7. When pasta is al dente, toss it with the vegetable mixture. Add the milk and eggs at this point; the heat will cook eggs.
  8. Once the sauce has thickened and is well incorporated (2-3 minutes), top with the remaining parsley and freshly shredded parmesan, if you please.

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