This week my food taught me a (very important) lesson and surprised my taste buds. I read the last few pages of a good book, jammed to new tunes and continued to enjoy the fruits of summer! A few of those favorite things:
1. CSA Mustard greens
It’s been a long time since a green, or any “spicy” food, has shocked my system. Thanks to Good Life Farm I have now tasted, prepped and cooked Mustard Greens – in that order. But, our first date was awkward.
Tell me: at first glance, what does this look like?
Answer: Kale!….anyone else? If not, I’ll gladly admit defeat. It wouldn’t be the first time this week, and it certainly won’t be the last in this vegetable-guessing game of life.
I was all set to sauté “kale” with my dinner on Tuesday night. The oil was heating, and I started tearing the large leaves into smaller pieces. I popped a stem in my mouth for some crunchy goodness…..! WHOA.
Mustard! Why does this taste like spicy mustard*?!
Admittedly, the “a ha” moment took a few. Racking my brain, I finally put two-and-two together, realizing what the “mustard seed” comes from. And oh no, this is not kale. This is a mustard green. Slowly, but surely.
Don’t judge a green by its look and feel. It is all ready to surprise you with peppery, spicy goodness.
*Fun fact: I strongly dislike the taste of spicy mustard. I promptly put a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar into this sauté pan, for some added flavor.
Good to Know Nutrition Info: mustard greens are known for their “cholesterol-lowering abilities” as they bind bile acids, are a good source of the phytonutrient glucosinolate (thought to be cancer-preventative), and are an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C, and folate.
2. Cantaloupe – thank you, dear orange cutie, for not surprising me in any way. Rather, your familiar taste and refreshing juiciness was exactly what I needed.
You can find this melon at its peak from June-August – a summer melon that, when cold and ready, will be just what the mouth needs after a hot summer run, day at the pool or whatever has you sweating.
As you may have guessed from its orange hue, it’s an excellent source of vitamin A, and also provides almost 100% of our daily Vitamin C needs in just one cup. If you’re looking for a unique way to enjoy this melon, try this – Polenta Cantaloupe Rice.
3. Langhorne Slim has been on repeat all week. D discovered him a few months ago – if my memory is accurate, this was via New Belgium’s Facebook shout-out – and I’ve been late to the party.
Friends, meet Langhorne (click, and listen):
4. Brown Rice Pasta – In an attempt to branch out and try some new grain options, we picked up a bag of brown rice pasta. Ingredients: organic brown rice, water. Well okay then, that’s nice & simple! I’ll take it.
It looks, cooks and tastes very similar to any whole-wheat pasta variety. The texture is a little bit thicker, which I like.
I made a batch of this pasta on Monday, and have used it as a salad topper (along with many other things – salads don’t get away lightly over here), and in a few dinners with the above-mentioned kale mustard green. Last night, it was topped with steamed broccoli, and a sautéed mixture of chickpeas, sweet potatoes & greens.
5. All the Money in the World by Laura Vanderkam
I’ve referenced this book recently, and just turned the last page on the plane home from San Diego. I’ve already found myself going back through dog-eared pages, highlights and notes taken while reading.
The subtitle reads “What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending” – notice the absence of the word saving? While this practice is referenced in the book, and of course important in the course of life, the main points really focus on how to prioritize your passions, values and experiences to get the most out of what you do spend.
The pages also offer quite a few thought-provoking inquiries into how we spend our time, resources and energy – which, in most cases, involve a few dollars and cents.
I doubt this will be the last time you see a reference to these pages, but it certainly deserved a “favorite!” shout-out. Two thumbs strongly standing, and typing, for this read!
What’s been added to your favorites list this week?