Week 11: Lettuce mix, carrots, red leaf lettuce, pea shoots, chrysanthemum leaves (shungiku), young garlic
Week 12: Lettuce mix, purple carrots, red leaf lettuce, cilantro, rainbow chard, purslane
Two new exciting greens to try these past two weeks, shungiku and purslane. I didn’t get too creative with the purslane I just mixed it into my lunch salad. With the shungiku, I sauteed it with other green veggies for a stirfry, It gave a familiar flavor that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, it was a delicious surprise.
Purslane: good source of fiber, vitamin A, C and trace minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium, copper) contains omega 3’s which has cardiovascular benefits. It also is used for GI and skin disorders, has anti-inflammatory properties, and can improve circulation and vision, due to is vitamin and mineral content.
Shungiku: good source of vitamin A, B6, C and K. Packed with antioxidants, helps with skin issues. as a tea it helps regulate blood pressure and relieve cold symptoms.
A fun use of the red leaf lettuce and cups for a seafood salad that I made, called Campechana. It’s a Mexican dish using shrimp and crab (or other seafood) mixed with tomato juice (Clamato) or I used Trader Joe’s Garden Patch juice because it didn’t have all the preservatives, sugar and MSG like the Clamato does. I made the mistake of buying it without reading the label and as soon as I got home and looked at it I saw ingredient #2 was HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and #3 MSG, in the garbage it went. To the seafood and tomato juice I added celery, cilantro, parsley, cucumber, onion, garlic, jalapeno, and a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, lime juice, salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder. Let is marinate a few hours and serve in lettuce cups or with tortilla chips, topped with avocado.
What I love about the CSA veggies is that unlike store bought, the leafy greens and lettuce stay fresh much longer. Some weeks I find my fridge piling up with lettuce, especially if I am not being consistent with eating salads for lunch or dinner. I paired the rainbow chard with a bunch of purple kale that I got in the discount bin and my favorite health food store (everything is $0.79/lb, major deals), sauteed onions and young garlic in avocado oil with red pepper flakes. What is young garlic? Well the whole thing is edible because the papery skin hasn’t formed yet so you can just chop it up and eat the whole head. HEALTH TIP: garlic has some powerful health benefits such as combating colds, reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, help heavy metal detox and protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s the trick, these superfood compounds need to be released by chopping the garlic and allowing it to activate for a few minutes before cooking. To finish the greens I add a splash of apple cider vinegar to brighten up the flavor.
Summer has officially started which means a greater variety of farmer’s market produce and exciting things to come in my CSA boxes. What I am most looking forward to is fresh tomatoes. I never buy anything other than cherry tomatoes at the grocery store because all the rest have zero flavor. What is the one vegetable or fruit you look forward to eating fresh each summer?