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Last week I tried a couple of new things. I am subscribed to this service called Hungry Harvest that delivers to your home these fruits and vegetables that are not suitable to be sold in the regular grocery store, either because they are ugly, too big, too small or overproduced, and that otherwise would go to waste. At home we call these fruits & veggies “the rescued” (another of my husband’s nickname to things). In any case, this company buys all this unwanted produce and packs it in boxes that are sold and delivered directly to the consumer. They have different sizes (small, medium or large) and types (organic or regular) of boxes – I signed up for a medium regular- and you can choose the frequency of delivery (biweekly in my case). When you sign up you can customize what products you don’t like so they won’t include them in your boxes, and a couple of days before the delivery you receive an email with what’s in the box so you get a chance to make any changes if you like. I usually don’t check it out because I like the surprise factor!

I really like the idea behind this service. I really don’t see the point in throwing away food just because it is not “pretty”. There are millions of people starving in the world, why shouldn’t we eat a not-so-nice carrot?? In addition, Hungry Harvest runs a program in which they sell their produce to local markets and schools in areas of need at a 50% of the price. And they also donate a portion of their produce every week to hunger-solving organizations in their communities. All great ideas worth supporting!!

So far, I’ve been loving my boxes! When I signed up I only marked a couple of items I did not want in my boxes (those I know we don’t use for sure-to be honest, I can’t remember which ones now…), but I intentionally left others that we don’t use because I am not familiar with, in an effort to force myself to try new vegetables, and that’s exactly what happened last week. I got bok choy, which I had never cooked in my life. I looked up online how can it be prepared and I decided to go with a chicken stir fry in the wok. The recipe itself was good, the ginger-soy sauce was very very good (restaurant style!), and we all liked the bok choy (YEY! A new veggie into our meals!), but I learnt that cooking chicken in the wok in my electric stove is not a good idea. The wok did not get enough heat to brown the chicken and it cooked with quite some water (not sure if it was from the chicken itself or the bok choy) that left it with a boiled texture. Next time I’ll do it in my regular pan and it will be great. Nevertheless, I’m happy that we got to try a new vegetable and we all liked it.

The other new thing I tried was the cabbage, potato mash with bacon. This is a version of a typical Catalan dish from a region in the Pyrenees called Trinxat de la Cerdanya. In Spain we don’t use bacon but a cured pork belly similar to the Italian pancetta. I didn’t think about the pancetta when I went grocery shopping and I got bacon instead. I got the one without any flavor or sugar, but it still had that smokey taste. The dish turned out pretty good, but for next time I will use pancetta. And a confession here, I have never had this dish in Spain… this is the first time in my life that I eat it…!

And for the rest of the week, the fish we had on Monday was accompanied by shaved and pan sautéed Brussels sprouts, roasted cauliflower and sautéed mushrooms. And Friday I did not have time to cook so I changed my original plan and stopped by Whole Foods to get a rotisserie chicken that we had with a garden salad and potato chips. A great Friday dinner!

As for the lunch boxes, I tried to accommodate my son’s complaints from last week to the menu, and other than the risotto that came back untouched, the rest was a success. Yippee!!

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Breakfast Cereals w/ milk Brioche w/ jam + Greek yogurt Oatmeal Yogurt w/ granola Power bowl
Lunch box Mushroom & kale risotto Ramen/mac & cheese Empanadas Black beans & rice Minced meat w/ cherry tomatoes & corn
Dinner Mahi mahi/red snapper filet + vegetables + kale salad Chicken stir fry w/ vegetables & brown rice + salad Chickpeas w/ spinach + hard- boiled egg + salad Cabbage, potato & bacon mash + salad Roasted chicken w salad

And as always, breakfast is accompanied by either a piece of fruit or a smoothie.

Lunch boxes always have a serving of raw vegetables (carrots, peppers, cucumber or cherry tomatoes and I alternate between them) and fruit that varies depending on what they had for breakfast.

And the dinner salad it’s usually a green salad with a combination of whatever I have in the fridge: lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, shredded carrots, corn, avocado, sunflower seeds. And dessert is always a fruit



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