Sunday, January 19, 2014

What to do with your bounty?

A friend recently turned me on to Bountiful Baskets. It's a co-op that doesn't cost to join, but every other week, you log in and contribute to pick up fresh produce and fruit and other asundry goodies on Saturdays usually.  I had been looking for ways to get back into eating more fresh veggies and fruit again, and usually the produce in the grocery stores has kind of left me flat lately. I've been missing the farmer's markets.

Bountiful Baskets is a great way to get fresh foods at much less than you would spend at the market. You can choose conventional or organic, there are add ons for a bit extra money, things like a juicing basket (which I got this week) that would contain veggies and fruit to juice, Italian veggie basket, fresh baked organic breads, coconut oil, olive oil, and the list goes on.

This week in my regular basket I got pear tomatoes, potatoes, artichokes, avocados, oranges, apples, bananas, celery, romaine lettuce, acorn squash and brussel sprouts. In the juicing basket I ordered I got more celery, beets, kale, more celery, apples, ginger, parsley, carrots, and a pineapple. I am sure I am forgetting things as I filled three huge reusable grocery sacks!

Well, in my humble opinion, there is only so much celery a single person can possibly eat! And these were huge bunches of celery! I love celery, but not enough to eat it everyday. So I had to get creative how to enjoy some of this for supper this evening. Aha moment!

And my Braised Plum Tomatoes and Celery was born.

I served it over brown rice that I had soaked all day, it was delightfully delicious, light and filling. And I am grateful for left overs! I also decided to cook my remaining collard greens for the side.

You might be surprised how good it actually is, and I'm willing to bet the kids would love it too!

Braised Plum Tomatoes and Celery

1 head/bunch of celery, trimmed, washed and cut into 1" pieces.
2 cups plum tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 cup chopped onion
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbl sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tbl coconut oil or olive oil

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic for 30 seconds, add onion and cook till it starts becoming soft. Add tomatoes and parsley and broth. Cook for a couple of minutes then add the remaining ingredients. Cook down until the liquid is halved and tomatoes are soft.
Serve over rice or pasta. and Enjoy!

Now if you want the secret for a perfect pot of brown rice.... I'll share it with you....

1 cup brown rice
1 Tbl whey

Put the rice in a container, add the whey and enough water to cover by an inch. Let it soak 8 hours or even more is fine. Drain the rice and rinse.
In a sauce pot, put in 2 cups water, broth or combo of. Add the rice, and 1 Tbl butter or coconut oil. You can also add cilantro or parsley at this point too. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook 20-25 minutes until the water is absorbed.

That's it, that's all there is to it, and you get the best tasting perfectly cooked rice every time. And in half the cooking time!

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