Happy Wednesday! Today I’ve got a fun What I Ate Wednesday guest post. Remember Valerie? We first met when she was living and working here in NYC but now she lives in beautiful Hawaii. I love seeing what people eat in other parts of the country so I’m excited to share her day of eats.
Take it away, Valerie!
What I eat has in large part become dictated by what’s in season, which was my intention when I signed up for a local, organic, socially-minded farm’s community supported agriculture (CSA) box. Once a week, I pick up a big box of whatever they happened to harvest that week. It’s always a surprise, which is fun. Sometimes we get food I don’t particularly care for (such as eggplant, which, meh; or fennel, which, ew). Eating local, organic produce has forced me to eat slow, too; this food requires more preparation (cleaning, cutting, chopping, cooking). While I love cooking, it often gets pushed aside when something else (ahem: work) needs to be prioritized. So, the CSA box has been a great way to eliminate the time/effort/energy spent on grocery shopping and meal-planning. Once a week, we get the box, and once we see what we got, go from there. While it’s not always food I love, usually it is. Plus, this way, I eat a much wider variety of produce than I would if I were picking it out myself at the store.
(In this post, I’ve marked foods from the CSA box with an asterisk.)
Ma’o Farms CSA Box of organic local produce ($28/week): Arugula, Curly Kale, Beets, Curry Leaf, Baby Leeks, Tahitian Limes, Meyer Lemons, Mango, Tamarind, Orange .
BREAKFAST: When I’m not enjoying a smoothie, I opt for savory breakfast bowls, which I make with whatever’s in the fridge. This time, there was a scoop of leftover (already cooked) white rice left out on the counter (in a sealed container) overnight. So, I threw that in a bowl, and chopped up some spinach*, cabbage, and green onion*, which I sauteed with soy sauce, a splash of Tabasco, the and the tiniest little sprinkling of sugar (sounds weird, but it balances out the salt and vinegar flavors). At the last minute I added just a sprinkling of frozen peas. While I was whipping up the veggies, I boiled an egg. I love when it comes out perfectly soft, as it did here. The veggies warmed the rice and the egg on top made it breakfast. I also sipped my usual coffee that I drink with cream, almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk, depending on my mood (usually I rotate through those every few weeks, buying whatever’s on sale at the co-op or making my own when I have the time).
LUNCH: I usually end up eating lunch at my desk (I work part-time at a university research center while I’m in graduate school full-time). This means that I bring something along that is easy and fast to microwave—usually this ends up being leftovers from dinner the night before. I also like to bring a little something sweet to satisfy my inevitable post-meal sweet tooth, like a piece of dark chocolate, or a kombucha. On this day I ate sweet potatoes (roasted with coconut oil, fresh lime juice*, salt and pepper) and my boyfriend’s homemade vegetarian saag. Saag is an Indian dish of greens* (he used local, organic spinach from our CSA box) with something else mixed in. Usually, in restaurants, it’s paneer (cheese) but we just used frozen peas from Costco. For “dessert” I had a Dr. Zevia soda, which was a bit of a treat for me. While this might not look like much, it was surprisingly filling.
SNACKS: It’s the best when our CSA box includes fruit. The oranges* are incredibly sweet, and the apple bananas* (smaller, less mushy, and more tart than regular bananas) are the perfect portable snack. I’ll always carry one or two of the apple bananas around with me for snacks on the go. The bowl of what look almost like berries are strawberry guavas (yes, they taste both like strawberries and guavas) that I picked while hiking over the weekend. August through October is guava season in Hawaii, so they are everywhere!
DINNER: My friends have been really busy this summer, so we decided to get together for a potluck dinner and a movie to catch up. My boyfriend and I brought salad (lettuce*, onion*, pine nuts, and sun-dried tomatoes; and homemade salad dressing with olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, bee pollen, salt, and pepper). Two friends brought bread and white wine; another friend made the main dish to complement watching The Godfather II—vegetarian lasagna. Perfect!
Valerie (E-RYT 200) has been teaching yoga and meditation since she her first training in 2014 at North East Power Yoga in Rhode Island. She later completed stråla yoga training with Tara Stiles and is currently enrolled in Yoga Medicine’s 500-hour advanced yoga teacher training with Tiffany Cruikshank. Also a lifelong reader and writer, Valerie is currently finishing her master’s degree in Library & Information Science at the University of Hawai’i. She works at the University’of Hawai’is Cancer Center and in her free time enjoys hiking, traveling, going to the beach, and eating vegetarian food. You can find her online @ValerieBrett.