Local Box Meal Plan: Feb. 21-25

I am so, so excited about getting strawberries this week. What a rare local treat! Here’s the full list, video, and menu plan.

Strawberries – Gunderman Farm
Avocado – G&S Grove
Spinach – Orange Blossom
Planting Onions* – Orange Blossom
Collard Greens – Gunderman Farm
Fennel – J&B Farm
Mushrooms – Kitchen Pride
Bok Choy – Gunderman Farm
Grapefruits – G&S Grove
Meyer Lemons – G&S Grove
Multicolored Carrots – Animal Farm

Strawberry and spinach salad – I like to savor the first strawberries of the season in all their fresh, raw glory, and they have a natural affinity for spinach. Mix sliced strawberries with roughly chopped spinach, thinly sliced carrots (their sweetness goes well with the strawberries), pecans, goat cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette. I like to make the vinaigrette with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a bit of honey.

Fennel salad with lemon – This month’s Cooking Light magazine has an entire section of Meyer lemon recipes – pick one up if you get the chance. This salad would be a great side dish for grilled or broiled fish.

Broiled grapefruit – Makes a lovely breakfast.

Chicken, Mushroom and Bok Choy Soup – The original calls for shiitake mushrooms, but just use what you get. And sub several of the planting onions for the green onions.

Raw collard wraps with avocado – I’ve stumbled across several different recipes for wraps that use raw collard leaves instead of lettuce or tortillas. It’s kind of genius if you think about it. The collards are a lot sturdier than lettuce, and healthier than a tortilla. Rather than point to one recipe or another, I’m just going to make this a California-style wrap, with diced avocado, grilled chicken, crumbled bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese. Use whatever veggie/protein combo you like.

*A note about planting onions: if you want to use these in your garden, just bury the white part and an inch or so of the green part of each onion in rich, organic soil, and go forth. I practice square foot gardening and will be planting 16 of these in one square foot (you’d be surprised how close together you can put many plants). If you’re interested in this method, I recommend checking out the book if you can get your hands on a copy. It’s not the best-written thing, but it’s detailed and has a lot of information. Another good, more general source of gardening info (but for Central Texas specifically) is The Natural Gardener’s information page. I especially like their month-by-month checklists.

-Stephanie

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