Everyday Inspirations


For several months now a few friends and co-workers have been telling me I need to join a local food co-op, Bountiful Baskets. In case you don't already know, a food co-op is a volunteer-powered food buying cooperative that benefits and strengthens communities. They generally are focused on providing natural, healthy foods that are more affordable to co-op members. The produce found is often locally grown, which both supports local farmers and decreases your footprint on Mother Earth. With Bountiful Baskets, $15 gets you a huge box full of 50% fruits and 50% veggies--may I add in much larger quantities than you could ever buy in most grocery stores. 

When I first heard about it, it sounded totally up my alley. I tried to order a few times and failed miserably because I had the wrong time of day and was going on way too late (luckily my good friend informed me or I may have given up)! Little did I know it was sort of like "stealing" for produce and you have to be on right at 10am when they go live if you live in a popular area like I do. Suddenly I found myself nervous, frantic, and desperate to get my deal, much like the moms of BabySteals I see everyday with my job. I made a quick decision and ordered three baskets--the basic fruit and veggies basket, a tropical basket, and a case of strawberries.
I couldn't be happier with all the fun produce I got. It was so much for the price and now my house is loaded with delicious, healthy food. I am especially excited for the tropical basket (pictured above). It may be snowing outside, but it's a tropical party at my house. Yes, those are vanilla beans in there too. So excited to try some new recipes with them.

Which gets me to the next great part of all of this--you don't know what you're going to get when you purchase. This may not be ideal for certain things, but on an everyday basis the challenge of cooking with a new ingredient you haven't used too much before is so fun! It's sort of like mystery ingredients on Iron Chef. This week: vanilla bean and this mystery...squash? Not entirely sure what it is yet (feel free to enlighten me if you know), but I have several to experiment with now. If nothing else, it looks like Daisy is pretty intrigued. She jumped in the picture and was crying for me to share with her so it must be something good. Should be fun!  

To find a food co-op in your area, click here

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent Steal Network’s positions, strategies or opinions.
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4/9/2011 12:56:07 pm

You are the proud owner of a chayote! Really yummy when grilled/charred, no need to peel. Just cut in half, and grill on both sides. You can also chop it up in a stir fry. Have fun :)

4/9/2011 02:57:05 pm

I received a few chayotes today also and Google's several intriguing recipes today that I may try! Stuffed, baked, sauted..........hoped they are good!

4/9/2011 04:01:58 pm

Thanks for letting me know Elaine! I'm already contemplating some fun ideas with it. Can't wait to try it! I'm sure you have plenty of experience with them living in beautiful Mexico. :)

4/9/2011 11:50:45 pm

A friend shared this recipe for Chayote Rellonos with me, http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/chayotes-relleno-recipe/index.html. This is the one I am definitely going to try!

4/10/2011 01:10:03 am

You have a xuxu! (that's what they call them in Brazil) It is also wonderful in soups and stews, along with carrots and potatoes and such. It doesn't add a lot of flavor, but the texture is great and it's filling.

4/11/2011 12:44:14 am

In Guatemala chayote squash are called guisquil (said whiskill). The variety found there tends to have spiny spikes on them. I was so glad when I finally found a similar version in the U.S. In Guate they eat them most often boiled in chicken broth. I know that doesn't sound really appetizing, but it was one of my favorite veggies when I lived there years ago.


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