Posts Tagged 'healthy'

Spicy Cabbage and Jicama Slaw w/ Preserved Lemons

So we got a Jicama in our last order from Bountiful Baskets.  Not something I would usually buy, but something I am familiar with.  I wasn’t in the mood to research a recipe, so I started raiding my fridge, and sharpening knives.  This recipe is 100% original.

Spicy Cabbage and Jicama Slaw w/ Preserved Lemons.

  • 1/2 Green Cabbage
  • 1/2 Red Cabbage
  • 1 Jicama
  • 3 Large Carrots
  • 2 Green Onions
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 2 Quarters Preserved Lemons
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Apple Cider, Rice Wine, Red Wine Vinegar (any combination, I did equal parts
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper (is it really necessary to list this?)

Slice both cabbages thinly.  Peel the jicama, and either cut into thin julienne or use a fine tooth blade on a mandolin slicer.  Do the same for the carrots.  Combine the cabbages, jicama, and carrots in a large bowl, and salt liberally.

Slice the green onions into thin rings.

Cut the jalapeño open, and remove seeds and veins.  If you’re brave, cut a thin slice to taste the jalapeño, to see just how hot it is.  Jalapenos are fickle, some are very hot, others are not.  The only way to know what you’re getting yourself in to, is to taste it.  If you’re not brave, have your wife taste it, like I did.  Dess will eat Pepperoncini out of the jar, and suicide wings by the dozen.  Our pepper was very hot.  I could by the way Dess’ face light up, and the curses she was throwing in my direction.  Based on my scientific method, I decided to use only 1/4 of the pepper.  You need to make your own decision. The pepper should add a burst of heat to the salad, not turn it in to salsa.

Cut the pepper into the thinnest strips you can muster.  Then cut those strips into tiny cubes.

Remove two 1/4’s of a preserved lemon from your jar (for directions on how to make preserved lemons, see my next entry).  Fillet off the flesh of the lemon.  Using a very sharp knife, slice off as much of the pith as possible.  Take the rind, and rinse it under cold water.  This little rind contains a massive amount of salt and lemon flavor.  Again, you want it to be a little burst of flavor, and not a citrus salt lick. Slice the rind into the thinnest strips you can muster.  Then cut those strips into tiny cubes.

Add about a teaspoon of Paprika, 1/2 t Cumin, ground pepper, the green onions, jalapeno and lemon rind to the cabbage mixture.  Add approximately 1/4 cup vinegar(s) and 2-3 tablespoons olive oil.  Toss to combine.  Adjust spices and vinegar to your taste.  I preferred more vinegar, heavier on the rice wine and cider side.

Let the salad marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
I found this to be a great summer salad.  The cabbage and jicama were crisp and refreshing.  The paprika, cumin, and jalapeño added the smallest amount of heat and Mexican flare.  And the preserved lemon gave it these little pockets of fresh and bright citrus notes.  This was a hit with the whole family, and will definitely be made again.

Bountiful Baskets

Last time I mention Bountiful Baskets.  But I thought they deserved their own thread.

Bountiful Baskets is a produce co-op that was started in Arizona. It has since expanded to Arizona, Idaho, Utah, and Washington. If you live in these states and aren’t participating, you’re missing out.

Actual Basket Contents From Site In Phoenix

Here’s how I describe the process.

Bountiful Baskets is a food co-op.  That means, all volunteer drive, no employees, and thus, no overhead.  Tanya and Sally (who run it) collect money from people, and then go buy produce.  That produce is split among those that contributed.  Doesn’t sound that amazing yet, does it?

Well, if I go to the store, carrots cost me $3 a bag.  But, if 10,000 people each contribute $16, that’s $160,000.  You show up to a produce distributor with $160,000 in your pocket, and you get a lot more buying power at lower prices.  So that’s basically it.  You pay $16.50 every other Tuesday (or every Tuesday if you’re really dedicated) and Sally and Tanya combine everyone’s money, and buy truck loads of produce.  On Saturday morning, those trucks head to per-determined meeting places, which are usually parks.  Volunteers arrive, and start to sort and distribute the produce.  From there it’s basic math.  If they t 160 bananas, and there are 20 people at the site, each basket gets 8 bananas.  If there are 300 apples, and 20 people, each basket gets 15 apples.  And so on.  Any remainders (meant both in math, and literally) go split between the volunteers.  Seems fair since they donated an hour to save me some money.

Actual basket contents from BB

Each basket is a bout a 50/50 mix of fruits and veggies (+/- 5%).  An average basket has about $35-50 worth of produce.  Yes, I’ve received up to $50 worth of produce by paying $16.50 for it.  Each basket has a fine assortment of average, and frequently used fruits and veggies (apples, oranges, pears, bananas, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, mushrooms, celery, etc).  Each week there is what I like to call the surprise, or curve ball item.  Kumquats, Persimmon, Guava, Blackberries, Pineapple, Brussels Sprouts.  One thing that makes you go, Hmmm…Never had this before.  Might have to look up a recipe.

Here’s the caveat.  You have no choice in what you get.  Sally and Tanya do all the shopping.  You shop up with a laundry basket, cooler, or re-usable grocery bags and haul it off.  There’s no choice, and no selection.  The draw back to that is, I hate celery.  I get celery a lot.  Other’s don’t care for certain items, that they get.  My mom’s complaint is that she had way to much lettuce after a month of baskets.  The bonus to that system is this.  You have no choice, and therefor need to make no decision.  It’s an easy flat rate system.  Also, you’ll try new things.  Would you ever buy Persimmon?  Probably not.  But did you know they make an amazing bread?  They do.  And we wouldn’t know without Bountiful Baskets.

Here’s another advantage.  We ALWAYS have fruits and veggies in the house.  The kids snack on apples and bananas, instead of Cheese-Its.  I always have a side item to serve with dinner, be it green beans, asparagus, potatoes, etc.  We are eating healthier, every day.  We have fresh fruit for breakfast and lunch, and veggies with dinner.

You could not go to the grocer and buy all this for $15.

For you home caners, this is the best deal going.  Not only do you have a steady supply of fresh produce coming in, but they also offer things in bulk.  It’s not every week…but they’ll offer cases of tomatoes, apples, peaches, cucumbers, citrus, and other stuff.  2 weeks ago I got 50# of cucumbers for an additional $17.50.  This week, I’m getting 20# of tomatoes for $9.50.  It’s an easy and convenient way to get produce for canning and preserving.

On a side note, they also sell bread, cookies, granola, and honey, although I haven’t bought that, as we bake our own bread and cookies.  They also have organic baskets every other week, but they cost more, and that’s not my thing (yet).
Long story short.  Pool your money, get better prices.  Get a ton of random, good quality, produce for $16.50.  Buy when you want, no obligation to continue.  We get it every 2 weeks.  My mom gets one a month.  Others I know get 2 baskets a week (with 7 kids at home).  It’s all up to you.  Their website “opens” on Tuesdays.  You can order between noon Tuesday, and 10pm Wednesday.  The produce is distributed Saturday morning between 0700-0900, depending on your site.  Please try it, at least once.  I think you’ll be hooked.

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