Local Box Meal Plan, August 29- September 2nd

Oh, boy! Am I excited about the upcoming weekend. First, it’s the start of college football season and therefore, tailgate season. Second, it’s a long weekend thanks to Labor Day. And finally, it’s the beginning of fall tomato season! Woohoo!!

Lucky for us, there are several natural tomato complements in our Local Box this week–peppers, watermelon, nopales and herbs– making menu planning even easier than usual. Here’s a rundown of the local goodness:

  • Tomatoes – Pedernales Farms 
  • Large Watermelon – Gundermann Acres
  • Nopales (Cactus) – My Father’s Farm
  • Lentil Sprouts – Groovy Greens
  • Pickling Cucumbers- Gundermann Acres
  • Basil Or Other Herb – Gundermann OR Pure Luck
  • Pinto Beans – Just Peachy Farm
  • Limes – G&S Grove
  • Peppers- Engel Farm OR Comanche Oaks
And here’s what’s cooking for the week. 

Meal 1: Egg salad sandwiches with cucumber and basil, Watermelon salad with mint and feta. The best part about this menu is that besides boiling the eggs, there’s no cooking necessary.

Meal 2: I’m planning to set up a Frito-pie buffet during the football game so that folks can help themselves to chili, chips, shredded cheese, diced onions, diced peppers and sour cream. That chili recipe uses tomatoes, fresh pinto beans and peppers from this week’s Local Box.

Meal 3: We’ll atone for our game day sins with a healthy meal of Lentil Sprout Curry and rice. That particular recipe calls for mustard greens, which are in season in Texas during cooler months. A package of frozen chopped spinach or even fresh chopped nopales would make fine substitutes.

Meal 4: Nopales and tomato tacos with corn tortillas, cotija cheese, diced peppers and lime wedges to garnish. If you’re nervous about working with cactus, here’s a great video demonstration of how to clean and prepare nopales.

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