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Friday, June 17, 2011

Farm Fresh

Hey guys, sorry I've been a bit absent lately. I've been kind of busy and it was another night out tonight - G and I just got back from seeing Midnight in Paris, the new Woody Allen movie. It was a bit of a long day because I've started volunteering at a food pantry on Thursday mornings before work. I actually got my position through Just Food, which is a great, great organization that brings local fresh farm vegetables to urban and underprivileged communities. My job is to be a Veggie Educator, meaning I stand by the selection of vegetables we get each week to talk up the vegetables (yes, fellow vegans, some people will snub fresh vegetables in favor of canned tuna!), describe how to wash, keep, and use the vegetables, and basically answer any other questions that the people coming in might have about them. This was only my second week so I'm still getting a feel for things but I'm really excited about the potential and I'm ridiculously happy to be talking about vegetables and helping other people get fresh food that they might otherwise not have access to.
Anyway, I powered up this morning with vegan yogurt (yes it is under there):

Fresh raspberries, sliced banana, raw wheat germ, Four Fruits jam and pumpkin seeds on top.
I had an Amazing Grass Berry bar as a snack once I got to work at around 12:30, and ran to Whole Foods on my 15 minute lunch, which is all I get on Thursdays with this new schedule (SHEN). I grabbed (literally) some macro sushi (I've talked about it before) and spinach but these also caught my eye:

Does anyone know what those are? I do - only because just this morning, I was handing these out at the food pantry! Any guesses? They are Japanese Salad Turnips, otherwise known as hakurei. They are smaller and sweeter than normal turnips, and much more tender. They can be eaten raw and don't even need to be peeled. I would compare them to radishes, maybe, with less of a bite. Anyway, they are crisp and refreshing and something different. They are also about as pale as I am. I bought these at WF, which may sound ridiculous, but I was looking forward to taking some from the food pantry but would much rather the people who needed them got them. Plus I can afford the 1.99 for a bunch. And if you can, too, and see them, I recommend you give them a try! Check yr local farmer's markets - I'd actually be interested to hear where they're available.
Anyway, when I got home, I quickly made dinner, inspired by the fresh farm vegetables!
I had picked up more rainbow chard at our farmer's market on Wednesday, along with some pea shoots! I made chard wraps with some sliced hakurei on the side.

Wraps stuffed with red pepper, tomato, cucumber, carrot, pea shoots, and some tahini.
So. Are any of you part of a CSA - or even if you aren't - What is the most interesting vegetable you've gotten? What about your local farmer's markets - what is the selection like, or do you even have one? I'm really curious!
The food pantry I work at is church-affiliated and there was a short prayer before the doors opened, and one or two things stuck with me: Bless this bounty, and we wonder at Your goodness. Truly, truly, this earth is good. Let it continue to be so! (Go vegan.)


  1. lol that Veggie Educator job sounds like fun! At my new restaurant job a lot of people ask about certain ingredients and I've discovered that I can talk about, say, rhubarb, all day!

  2. How was the movie?

    I'm always surprised when people can't identify different ordinary veg. I didn't know about your special turnip, though, so maybe I should keep my mouth shut.

  3. What an awesome job you have at the Food Pantry...way to go!
    Just when I think I know most of my veggies...up pops a new one. :o) I got some Easter egg radishes the other day at the farmers market, which were very mild with no bite at all. I've never liked radishes, but these were good. I'll have to try those little turnips if I ever see any around here.

  4. your volunteer gig sounds really cool. you are spreading good information!

  5. I can just imagine coming into the food bank for my free ham and some buttinsky dogooder starts shoving bulbous turnips in my face.

    Nice breakfast bowl.

  6. Kuddos for volunteering and helping to get the vegan message out there!

  7. Dianne, I'm so glad you can nerd out with me here, haha. Where is your new job??

    Jessica, it was pretty good. It was more silly than the philosophical humor I like from Woody Allen, but a good time. Adrien Brody is not in it long enough!

    Michelle, these definitely reminded me of Easter egg radishes, and they lighten up even more when steamed.

    Sara, thanks, it's fun!

    Shen, haha, they didn't seem too put off by the vegetables but they certainly weren't happy when the pantry ran out of frozen chickens and there I was, "But we do have turnips left!" We also had bok choy that day (your kinda place) that people were genuinely excited for.

    Elisabeth, thanks - I'd like to do something special with them but they are good enough on their own.

  8. That sounds like an amazing job! Congrats! I love talking about vegetables too, but most of the time I get so wrapped up in it, I end up personifying them. It's a great way to scare your co-workers, anyhow.

    How was the movie? I've heard great thing!

  9. Woah! Both Jessicas want to know about the movie! Is this some filmic Jessica dimension? Anyway, Jessica (Vegetabull): it was enjoyable. I'm not a huge Owen Wilson fan but he did a good job of not being too Owen Wilson-y. The 1920 Paris stuff was a gas, if not incredibly accurate.


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