We got our first CSA share for the season from SqueezePenny Farm this weekend, and I was excited! In true spring form, a good majority of our share was comprised of greens (collards, kale, spinach, swiss chard) but there were also some carrots, Thai basil, red leaf lettuce, snow peas, and a big turnip (and probably some other things I’m forgetting about as I write this). We will definitely make use of our bounty this week.
Still following the low-FODMAP diet. So far, not sure if this is really helping. Some symptoms are lessened, but not completely gone. But I’m only one week in – we shall see. If anyone wants to discuss in detail, feel free to email me and we can chat!
In other news, I spent a lot of time out in our flower beds this weekend. We have been in this house for nearly 5 years now, and we’ve made repeated attempts to improve the shrubs, plant various flowers and other things, only to be met with troubles and failures. The existing shrubs were overgrown when we moved in (the previous owners didn’t keep up with things very well), so no matter what we did, they looked shabby. The soil was unimproved, inpenetrable clay (which is typical in this part of Texas) that didn’t drain or provide any nutrients to the plants. When I would try to dig the soil to plant something (much less attempt to till by hand), I could put the shovel in the ground and put all of my weight into it, only to barely make a dent.
So this spring, we employed some help. We had a landscaping company help us remove nearly all of the existing shrubs and till and amend the soil, so there could be hope of planting new life. Meanwhile, I worked to educate myself on what plans would thrive in the heat of our summers and the unpredictability of our winters. (I’m really still a garden newbie) I drew up a basic plan, and this weekend, purchased and planted the entire flower beds. I planted knock-out roses, dwarf yaupon hollies, lamb’s ear, rosemary and lavender, moss rose, pencil hollies, coral honeysuckle, yucca, daylilies, Mexican petunias, and a butterfly bush. The plants all look like such babies now, but I hope that they will grow big and thrive in their new home. I still have a few things to do – mulch, there are a few places where I could add a plant or two, and we’re still debating what to do about the border - but overall, I’m happy and hopeful this new beginning is what our home needed. For now, I’m sporting a lovely sunburn on my shoulders and arms (but not on my neck or face, thanks to the dorky floppy hat I shamelessly wore – and chased down the lawn too many times, as it was really windy yesterday), thanks to my foolish lack of belief that even partially cloudy skies will still make for red skin. Spending this many years on Earth has not necessarily made me smarter!
For those of you who were interested in what was on the menu this week, here it is! Last week we stuck to the menu pretty closely, except that some bursts of last-minute creativity appeared in the kitchen, giving rise to a squash and chard casserole and a cucumber salad. I’ve given myself some wiggle room in this week’s plan as well, hoping similar creativity will show itself at the right time. I did enjoy the casserole from last week so much that I’m hoping to try a zucchini variation – I’ll share if it turns out well!
Breakfast – Breakfast taquitos for the kids and husband, fried egg and sauteed spinach for me
Dinner - Was going to make something, and after 4+ hours of planting stuff in my front flower beds, husband offered to pick up Chipotle. I had a salad – just lettuce, carnitas, and the hot salsa. Topped with chopped tomatoes and red peppers I cut up myself.
Also made hard-boiled eggs, cream of buckwheat, and almond milk for the week
Breakfast: Cream of buckwheat with pecans and cinnamon, hard-boiled egg
Lunch: leftover lamb empanada (from my freezer – I will make again soon and share recipes!), baby carrots, steamed kale, kiwi fruit
Dinner: Creamy pasta shells with chicken, collard greens
Breakfast: Smoothie (half a banana, blueberries, mint, spinach), hard-boiled egg
Lunch: leftover creamy pasta, spinach salad
Dinner: Grilled chicken on salad of red-tip lettuce, radishes, snow peas, carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, red bell pepper
Breakfast: Cream of buckwheat with pecans and banana, hard-boiled egg
Lunch: Salad with half-sandwich on gluten-free “rye” bread (recipe not quite perfect yet, but is based on this one, with the addition of caraway seeds and some other spices)
Dinner: Lamb chops, baked sweet potatoes, zucchini and sun-dried tomato casserole
Breakfast: Same smoothie as Tuesday, hard-boiled egg
Lunch: Chicken or tuna sandwich on “rye”, baby carrots and celery, possibly leftover casserole
Dinner: Fish tacos (tenative – might eat out or random leftovers, since we have errands to do before the holiday weekend)
Breakfast: Cream of buckwheat with blueberries
Lunch: Scrambled eggs and sauteed veggies
Dinner: Pizzas (mine with the quinoa crust) – use up leftover veggies as toppings
What about snacks? I plan on having oranges and blueberries around, as well as nuts, the occasional brown rice cake, and Tanka bars.