Monday, May 20, 2013

Bountiful Baskets Experience

For those of you who aren't familiar, Bountiful Baskets is a non-profit food co-op. It is completely volunteer based, and they ask you to volunteer at least once every 6-8 weeks of participation. That is how the produce ends up so cheap! For more information click HERE. More than likely there is a BB group in your area, as they are all over the nation! If there isn't one, you can even start your own. This week was the first time I had participated and I loved it. I paid $15 for the conventional basket (as opposed to organic) and this is what I got:

1 Honey Dew melon
1 brown lunch-sack full of Fava beans
5 HUGE bananas
7 Roma tomatoes
 2 heads of green lettuce (NOT Iceberg, GREEN!)
5 ears of corn
1 Butternut squash
1 head of Cauliflower
6 Apricots
2 Mangoes
A MASSIVE Sweet potato (4 servings?)

I think that is it...I might have even forgotten something. I started searching for recipes to employ all this fresh produce and found some yummy looking dishes! I am not a huge fan of raw tomato, but I love me some Bruschetta. I found a pretty standard recipe and BAM! Delicious lunch. As far as the squash goes I can't wait to make THIS little baked side dish/dessert. I plan to have a feast of grilled corn one day, and keep it simple there. Chili powder, butter, salt....heaven. I found lots of recipes for the Fava beans but THIS one really struck my fancy. Finally, the two heads of lettuce worried me, since I don't want to eat myself sick of salad before they go bad. I found THIS little gem hiding on the internets. I am the most excited to make it, as I am very fond of soups. They seem to stay good in the fridge forever, and they even freeze well!

I had some of the needed ingredients already in my house, and the only things I have to get from the store to complete all of them is this short list:

1 lemon
Goat cheese
A baguette (I could make this even)
Parmesan cheese
Chicken stock

Tah Dah! I am definitely going to make this a weekly part of my groceries. It is an easy way to save money, it is fun, and it "forces" me to find interesting, new, and healthy recipes. It is worth noting that there are also usually "side items" you can add to your basket, like fresh bread and treats of all sorts. If any of my local friends or neighbors want to hitch up with me and volunteer together sometime (if you choose to get involved) that would be fun! I choose to go to the Plano-Skaggs Elementary School location. 


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