How to Eat Healthier and Support your Local Farmer

My latest discovery to help people eat healthier .. local farm fresh produce that’s delivered to your doorstep from April-November.
Eat good, do good, feel good:the produce boxDisclosure: I am partnering with The Produce Box, mentioned in this post. I have received a produce box free of charge. I am reciprocating by writing this blog post to inform my readers of the service (and because I’m passionate about health education).  Opinions are my own.

I hear it all the time, I want to eat healthier.  So today I’m sharing my advice to get it done.  Hint, it involves supporting your local farmer. WIN! WIN! Enroll here and order a Produce Box weekly. Then use it. All of it.

It’s no secret,  a diet high in fruits and vegetable can reduce the risk of disease  and  play an important role in weight management. Yet, Americans are falling short of meeting recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption (5-a-day) and some individuals don’t consume vegetables daily (you know who you are).

Ordering a produce box (North Carolina Residents only) is easy and flexible. There are several box choices; you pick what best  fits your needs. I choose the ‘Sprout’ box because it had so many of my family’s favorite salad making ingredients…

the produce boxThis weeks sprout box included:

2 heads of fresh Romaine Lettuce from the farm of Randy Massey in Castle County, NC

3 pickling cucumbers from Cliff Pilson, Cameron, NC

2 yellow squash from the farm of Randy Massey in Castle County, NC

5 cups organic green beans (or roughly 1 1/2 pounds) from Cottle Farms in Rose Hill, NC

1 pint of blueberries from American Blueberries, Rocky Point, NC

6 ounces blackberries from Sweet Southern AG, in Clinton, NC

The area manager, Robyn, also threw in an extra pint of blueberries and 2 beautiful ripe tomatoes, cause that’s how they roll!

My box was delivered on Thursday and we’ve consumed one head of Romaine lettuce ( in salads), along with 2 cucumbers and 1 tomato. We ‘re going to use the second head of Romaine  lettuce this weekend in  an entree  salad with the yellow squash (shaved), the second tomato, the last cucumber (along with shrimp and corn and a sweet cilantro vinaigrette). The blueberries and blackberries are holding up great (still look fresh) and I will be serving them tonight with a little whipped cream for dessert.

Monday I’ll use the second yellow squash in kabobs. The green beans will get used up on Tuesday in a green bean casserole recipe that was included in my box. (Each Produce Box comes with storage usage tips and recipes that come in handy;  I’m following the advice of storing unwashed green beans in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper where they should keep for up to 7 days.) Wednesday is the next delivery day and a new order of farm fresh fruits and vegetables! Join me in weekly meal planning around the fruits and vegetables in YOUR Produce Box!

Deconstructed Summer Roll with Asian-Inspired Caesar Dressing

 This variation of the classic Caesar salad is just one example of the versatility of Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs, a necessity for all your recipes using raw or gently cooked eggs.Deconstructed Summer Roll with Asian-Inspired Caesar Dressing

Serves (serves 4)     adjust servings

Ingredients

(serves 4)

  • 12 ounces tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup skinless, seedless cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/4 cup diced carrot
  • 2 drops hot sauce, or to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Juice from 2 limes (about 4 Tablespoons)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 whole avocado, divided, chop one half and slice second half
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

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    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size
    Amount Per Serving As Served
    Calories 169kcal Calories from fat 69
    % Daily Value
    Total Fat 8g 12%
    Saturated Fat 1g 5%
    Sodium 455mg 19%
    Carbohydrate 26g 9%
    Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
    Sugars 16g
    Protein 3g

    Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

    Calories 2000
    Total Fat Less than 65g
    Sat Fat Less than 25g
    Cholesterol Less than 300mg
    Sodium Less than 2,400mg
    Total Carbohydrate 300g
    Dietary Fiber 25g

    What’s your go to summer meal? Mine is something grilled atop a big Caesar salad. In my humble opinion, it’s the Caesar dressing (the raw egg yolk in particular) that gives this meal it’s richness  and swagger! Although I have never been squeamish about eating raw eggs, I have been concerned about the risk of Salmonella. Not any more. I use Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs because the natural pasteurization process uses a warm water bath that eliminates the risk of Salmonella in eggs, but does not change the taste or nutritional value. So I can add raw eggs to smoothies and  salad dressings; whip up a no cook mousse; and gently cook scrambled and poached eggs– all with peace of mind.

    So you see,  SafeEggs are versatile. And so is my  classic Caesar salad; today I’m adapting it to something new and different (but keeping the richness and swagger).  That’s how this was born…

    Deconstructed Summer Roll with Asian-Inspired Caesar DressingJust the sight of  this meal says hello summer.  It boasts the flavor and  goodness of a traditional Caesar salad, but with an Asian flare in only  390 calories and a healthy 37 grams of protein. The nutritional value is light & lean, and the taste is BIG and flavorful!

    Deconstructed Summer Shrimp Roll with Asian Inspired Caesar Dressing (serves 4)

    Ingredients

    for the Asian Inspired Caesar Dressing

    • 1/4 cup cooked edamame, shelled
    • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 Davidson's Safest Choice Pasteurized egg yolk
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    For the grilled shrimp

    • 1 pound large wild caught shrimp
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for brushing shrimp
    • Chinese 5 spice
    • 2 lemons, halved

    for the slalad

    • 1 head of romaine lettuce, cleaned and dried
    • 2 ounces thin vermicelli rice noodles, cooked
    • 1/2 cup thinnly slice radicchio
    • 1 cup cooked edamame, shelled

    Instructions

    1. Combine ingredients edamame through wasabi in a blender and process until smooth. Gradually add olive oil to combine. Pour into glass jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
    2. 1. Preheat grill.
    3. 2. Butterfly shrimp by slicing almost through lengthwise, but leave shell on shrimp (this will keep shrimp tender while grilling over high heat).
    4. 3. Brush shrimp with oil and season with Chinese 5 spice. Grill 2 minutes on each side, until shells are pink and shrimp is opaque.
    5. 4. Place lemons on the grill for the last minute. Remove from grill and set aside to serve with salad and  squeeze over shrimp.
    6. Combine chopped romaine, radicchio, and noodles in large bowl. Divide among 4 plates. Top each plate with grilled shrimp and squeeze grilled lemon halves over shrimp. Sprinkle each salad with edamame. Serve immediately with Asian-Inspired Caesar dressing on the side.

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