As a dietitian, you would think that I buy new and different fruits and vegetables every time I go grocery shopping. Nope. Like everyone else, I am comfortable with my routine. I have the same handful of favorites on our weekly menu. Most of the time, these favorites are planned around what’s on sale. Don’t get me wrong, we eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. But, we usually eat them the same five ways, over and over again. Thanks to my husband, we are out of our produce rut. Last fall, he signed up for The Produce Box, and I am the first to admit that it’s the greatest thing we’ve done in a while (although it would have been better if I had signed up for it, right?)
A giant box of seasonal locally-grown fruits and veggies arrive each week (April through November), coupled with recipes and storage tips. We received our first box last September and I had the best time experimenting with new recipes – some of my favorites were Kale chips (which are surprisingly delicious if you can keep from smoking yourself out of the kitchen), grilled sweet potato wedges, roasted red pepper soup, butternut squash soup, squash and tomato casserole, tomato/corn salad, spicy turnip greens and one of the best acorn squash & Granny Smith apple recipes ever. I used butter flavored spray instead of butter and used about half the amount of cheese – Still delicious and lower calorie. You might want to flag this one and save it for next fall when squash is back in season. Yum.
While my husband and I are counting the days until the spring boxes begin again, the kids aren’t as thrilled. They aren’t adventurous with their eating. Like most parents, we have to trick them into trying vegetables they won’t try on their own. And, yes, we’ve been caught before. But sometimes, we get away with it. Last fall, I made mashed potatoes. After the first bite, our daughter looked at me suspiciously and asked ‘Did you put squash in these mashed potatoes? They taste different.’ I could honestly tell both girls with a straight face that there was no squash in the mashed potatoes. Convinced, they both ate the potatoes without flinching. I was being honest. I put TURNIPS, not squash, in the mashed potatoes. And they were delicious.