Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Thank You For This Gift

Today an extremely generous neighbor, and fabulous photographer, Diana Lundin,  shared a bounty of fruits and vegetables that she had on hand for a photo shoot.  She kindly shared this gift with me and some other lucky neighbors as she could not use the perishables all herself and she did not want such great food to go to waste.  Here is something special she did with real produce before, check out How to Make a Red Heart.

I hope it is OK to reveal that the wonderful fruits and vegetables came from Melissa's Produce http://www.melissas.com/. I tell you this because this produce was incredible, both in quality and in variety.  There was honeydew, okra, pixie tangerines, chili peppers, baby bok choy, persian cucumbers, spaghetti squash, swiss chard, habanero peppers, yams, mint, chinese long beans, fresh dill, chives, apples, cumquats, ugli fruit, apricots, cabbage, carrots, rutebega, kale, green onions, rutabaga, and so much more!

I was given a variety of these organic delights for my family of food.
Eager to try the fresh ingredients, I quickly formed a dinner around what was in the selection.

The kids had a small taste of the apricot while I prepared the meal. 

Our entire meal came from this practical cornucopia with the exception of the marinara sauce for the spaghetti squash, not pictured.  That came from a party where we won treats for an Oscar related contest, so it was in fact, another gift. 

Our main dish was spaghetti squash cooked by roasting in the oven for 1 hour after piercing the skin with a fork a few times.  When it is done, you scoop out the seeds and then scoop out the strings of squash.  That's it, that is all you have to do.  Spaghetti squash is the secretly easy - special effects wow moment - of food.  This particular squash was big and delicious. The bowl pictured here is from only half of the squash and we even had a bit left over.
Next came the Ugli Fruit and the cumquats.  None of us had ever had Ugli Fruit before.  It peels easily like a large "Cutie" and tastes like a combination of citrus.  There was a tough fibrous bit that none of us ate, but the juice was incredible.  My daughter said it was her favorite fruit in the world and was greatly disappointed that we only had one.

The cumquats were tart and tangy and all were enjoyed.

These Kale chips were made with the most beautiful Kale I have ever seen.  Usually I get the Trader Joe's Kale in a bag, but this stuff was a whole different creature.  I selected 5 large leaves, washed them, dried them, sprayed them with olive oil, and seasoned them with 21 Season Salute from TJ's and a bit of salt.  I was very happy with the outcome.  It was crunchy, healthy, tasty, and let's face it, soooo LA.
Lastly, we had the honey dew.  Again, I only served half of it like the squash, because it was so big.  This honeydew was heavy on both the honey and the dew.  It was incredibly sweet and so juicy, had I had a glass under it while I opened it, I could have made myself a honeydew cocktail.
Look closer.  Doesn't it look great?
My daughter had to be reminded to try some of the other food as she was so in love with the honeydew.  She was not wrong, it may have been the best honeydew I have ever had.

It turned out to be a vegan feast, chock full of fabulous flavors, satisfying in every way.  I do not believe it could be healthier.  If I were counting Weight Watchers Points this meal may have counted up to zero.  Does marinara sauce have points?  What fortune!

In short, Diana is terrific for thinking of her neighbors and not letting this treasure go to waste,
Melissa's is terrific for hiring Diana and providing amazing excellent quality natural food, and G-d is terrific for putting my family in the position to receive this abundance.  I thank you all for this gift.

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