Eating in season is the best way to eat fresh fruits and vegetables at the height of their freshness and the height of their cheapness. It’s July and what’s in season are lots of greens and water dense fruits. We got lots of good stuff in our CSA box and I thought I’d feature two produce stars here in case you’ve got a lot of them, too! Here are some ideas for how to use what nature is putting on display.
Bok Choy can be a bit of a mystery to people but it need not be. With crunchy white stalks and slightly spicy green leaves, bok choy is a friendly addition to any salad, adding a clean, crisp flavor. Wash each stem of the bok choy (like you would celery) and trim the ends. Chop it up on the bias with some napa cabbage, carrots and sesame seeds and toss with a chinese style vinaigrette made with toasted sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. It’s also an awesome crunchy addition to a stir fry. The stems take longer to cook than the leaves so just add the leave to your stir fry later and start the stems with things like carrots and celery that take a little longer.
I made it as a side dish with white fish the other day in a sort of Chinese style preparation. Here’s how I made it.
Wash your bok choy stems and dry well. Then chop up the stems and leaves into a about a 1/2 inch dice.
In a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of oil (I used olive but sesame or coconut would work well. A reminder: ALWAYS used extra-virgin or unrefined oils) and add 2 sliced garlic cloves, some grated ginger and a shake of red chili flakes. Once the garlic and ginger become fragrant, about 30 seconds, toss in the bok choy and about a tablespoon of soy sauce and a tablespoon of water.
I don’t eat soy so I use Coconut Aminos, a product I love. It’s made from fermented coconut and tastes and acts exactly like soy sauce with a fraction of the sodium. This is a nice option if you are soy intolerant or would just like to cut some salt.
Cover and cook for about a minute until the white pieces are tender and slightly browned. Toss with a little sprinkle of toasted sesame oil and maybe some toasted sesame seeds and enjoy!
Strawberries are in season and we’re so lucky. Loaded with zinc and vitamin C and sweet as candy, they’re obviously great on their own. Eat them alone for any meal or snack, slice them and add them to salads, top them with fresh, organic cream or a little balsamic vinegar, or add them to your morning cereal or smoothie. If you’ve got lots of strawberries and don’t think you’ll eat them all fresh, freeze them on a cookie sheet and then bag them for the future or bake them into dessert like I did.
We got tons of strawberries and some rhubarb from our farm share.
Rhubarb tastes almost like sweet celery and cuts the sweetness of the strawberries (baking releases a lot of their natural sugar).
I sliced the rhubarb into little pieces and the strawberries in half. I put them into a baking dish with a teeeeeeny sprinkle of coconut palm sugar. Coconut palm sugar is an unrefined sugar that looks like sand. It has a lower glycemic index than table sugar which means it converts into blood glucose a little slower. You could also use maple syrup or honey as a sugar replacement in this recipe.
Then, I made a crumb topping in the food processor. Put a 1/2 cup coconut sugar, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup spelt, gluten free or almond flour and 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter. I chose to make this vegan so I used coconut oil. It was so hot, it had become liquid at room temperature so I stuck it in the fridge until it solidified. You want a solid fat to help make the crumb top bind.
Add a few shakes of cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt. Pulse this mix a few times in the food processor, cover the berries and rhubarb with the topping and pop it in a 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes until it’s all bubbly and brown. We were so excited to eat it, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product until after we dug in!
Do you have any other thoughts or recipes for bok choy and strawberries? Wanna try these and let me know how it turns out? Leave a comment here and share what you’ve got!