Budget Minded Organics

What’s For Dinner – Organic and Vegetarian

Budget Minded OrganicsSince becoming customers of a local organic produce delivery service called Kula Fields, my husband and I have been eating a lot more fruits and vegetables. 

It’s awesome!

I started using Kula Fields after finally getting fed up with trying to buy organic produce at the store.

Here on Maui, our grocery store options are somewhat limited.  And finding fresh, local organic produce can be a challenge.

Have you ever gone to the store to get organic produce only to find that the store either doesn’t carry organic produce or what they have is not what you want or it’s old or it’s one of the Dirty Dozen and it’s not available organically?

Well, not anymore.

With Kula Fields, the food is guaranteed to have been picked from 24-48 hours prior to delivery.

That’s pretty fresh.  And the produce is grown either organically or sustainably.

We also have the option to include organic eggs and dairy products delivered in the produce box as well.

Eating in Season

With a local delivery service, I also know that I am eating what is in season.

This makes it fun and I’m motivated to come up with recipes for produce that I wouldn’t normally buy at the store.

Sometimes I get stuff like bok choy, fennel, eggplant and once I got a strange, yummy fruit that to this day I still haven’t figured out what it was.  :)

With all this produce, there really is only one great recipe source that will turn any vegetable or fruit into something wonderful and delicious.

Vegetarian Times

My husband, Frank, got me hooked on Vegetarian Times when we first met 15 years ago.  Today, we have a regular yearly magazine subscription, and I subscribe to several of their newsletters on the Internet.

So far, every recipe we’ve tried from Veg Times is amazing.

Below are some of the ones we tried this past week and some old reliables that we simply can’t get enough of.

Budget Minded OrganicsSweet Potato Masala and Egg Mile-Highs

Serves 4, Preparation Time:  30 minutes or less

We just had this for breakfast.  It says it serves four, but Frank and I ate all of it.  :)

1 sweet potato, peeled and shredded

5 large eggs, divided

¼ tsp. coriander, divided

¼ tsp. cumin, divided

5 Tbs. vegetable oil, divided

1 cup organic crushed tomatoes with roasted onion & garlic*

2 Tbs. lime juice

1 cup arugula (If you don’t have arugula, any salad greens will do just fine!)

  1. Combine sweet potato, 1 egg, 1/8 tsp. coriander, and 1/8 tsp. cumin in bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  2. Heat 3 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Scoop 1/3 cup sweet potato mixture into pan for each of 4 pancakes. Flatten gently with spatula; cook 5 minutes per side. Set aside; keep warm.
  3. Wipe out pan, and add 1 Tbs. oil and remaining 1/8 tsp. coriander and 1/8 tsp. cumin. Stir 10 seconds over medium-high heat, add crushed tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes. Transfer to small bowl, and stir in lime juice.
  4. Wipe out pan, add remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and fry remaining 4 eggs sunny side up or over easy. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  5. To serve: place 1 sweet potato pancake on each of 4 plates, top with 1 egg, 1/4 cup sauce, and 1/4 cup arugula.

Vegetarian Times, September 2013 p.68

Greens and Quinoa Pie

Budget Minded OrganicsThis is another winner from Vegetarian Times.

Serves 6

½ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

1 large bunch chicory (1 to 1 ¼ lb.), cut into bite-sized pieces (bottom 1 ½ inches of hard stems removed)

1 head romaine lettuce, shredded  (Note:  I didn’t have either chicory or romaine when I made this, so I used kale and spinach.  I think any greens combo will work.)

3 Tbs. olive oil, divided

2 medium onions, thinly sliced (2 cups)

2 green onions, thinly sliced (¼ cup)

¼ cup chopped fresh dill

¼ cup crumbled feta cheese, preferably Greek (1 oz.)

¼ cup grated aged goat cheese or Swiss cheese (1 oz.)  (We are cutting back on our dairy intake, so we just sprinkled a little cheese on top!)

3 eggs, lightly beaten

  1. Place quinoa in small saucepan, and toast over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until almost dry. Add 1 cup water, and season with salt, if desired. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to large bowl.
  2. Heat large pot over medium heat. Add chicory, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until wilted, stirring frequently or tossing with tongs. Add romaine, and wilt 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer greens to strainer, and squeeze out excess moisture. Transfer to cutting board, and chop into small pieces. Stir greens into quinoa.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, and sauté 10 minutes, or until browned. Add cooked onions, green onions, dill, feta cheese, and goat cheese to quinoa mixture. Stir in eggs; season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. Pour 1 Tbs. oil into 9-inch pie pan, and place in oven. Heat 5 minutes, or until oil is hot. Swirl oil to coat bottom of pan, then spread quinoa mixture in pan with spatula. Bake 20 minutes. Drizzle pie with remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and bake 20 to 30 minutes more, or until golden brown.

 Vegetarian Times, March 2010 p.51

Roasted Green Beans with Walnuts and Rosemary

Whenever we get green beans from Kula Fields, this is how I prepare them.  In fact, this is the best green bean recipe ever.  YUM!

Serves 6, 30 minutes or fewer

  • 1 ¼ lb. green beans, trimmed (5 cups)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 ½ Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Toss all ingredients in bowl; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spread on rimmed baking sheet. Roast 15 to 17 minutes, or until beans are tender and browned in spots, stirring occasionally.

Vegetarian Times, November 2011 p.39

Peach and Kale Salad with Maple Miso Vinaigrette

I couldn’t finish this article without sharing this recipe from Rawmazing.  I discovered this great resource for raw food recipes while doing other recipe searches.

This salad was so yummy, that when I brought it to work for lunch, I had cooks from our restaurant asking me for the recipe.

Makes 2 large salads or 4 medium salads, and because its kale, it will even keep in the refrigerator for lunch the next day.

1 large bunch kale

2 peaches, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Budget Minded OrganicsVinaigrette

2 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup

2 tablespoons olive oil (cold pressed)

1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons light miso (white or yellow)

Himalayan salt and pepper

Remove stems from kale and tear into bite-sized pieces. Place in large bowl.

Prepare vinaigrette by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Pour vinaigrette over kale and give it a really good massage. The idea here is to massage the dressing into the leaves and break down the leaves a bit. This step is crucial.

Toss with peaches and pecans.

My Thoughts and Resources

It’s tough to eat good food, especially good organic food, while on a budget.

Setting up a produce delivery service for my family is a smart choice:

  • The produce is always fresh.
  • The produce box always has favorites like lettuce and tomatoes, yet offers changes each time providing variety.
  • The fruits and vegetables are in season.
  • I am supporting local, sustainable and organic farmers.

With just the two of us to cook for, I receive a produce box twice a month for 100.00 for the month, including a dozen organic eggs with each order.

For me, I feel I am getting the highest quality food for the money.

Interested in finding a local produce delivery service in your area?  Check out the following resources:

  1. Local Harvest – Use their website to find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area,  where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
  2. In California, check out Farm Fresh To You.
  3. Full Circle delivers organic produce to Washington, Idaho, Alaska and the San Francisco Bay Area.
  4. Greenling offers organic produce delivery service to Central Texas, Houston and the Dallas/Ft. Worth areas.
  5. Suburban Organics services Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.  “We find the freshest seasonal, 100% organic produce, match it to your personal preferences, and create a custom box just for you.”
  6. Also in New Jersey and New York is Urban Organic.   For the past 10 years, Urban Organic has become the country’s largest home delivery service of organic produce and groceries.
  7. Door-to-Door Organics services parts of the Midwest that include Michigan, Colorado, Chicago and Kansas City.
  8. The Green Polka Dot Box provides a national produce delivery service.


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