As we entered Week 5 of our Moon Valley Farm CSA pickups, I realized two things have happened. First, I am not panicking as much about what to do with all the vegetables. And we're eating more cleanly.
Not familiar with the term "clean eating"? Neither was I. It was one of those phrases that I'd never heard before and then suddenly it seemed like everyone was expecting me to understand it. When I filled out some paperwork at the Maryland Fitness Club a few months ago, for example, I was supposed to note how many of my meals each day were "clean."
Last week at Wegman's I bought a copy of Clean Eating magazine, which is produced in Canada. The editors provide a nice, somewhat lengthy definition of "clean eating," which begins: "The soul of clean eating is consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it's a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation." They go on to note that some of the tenets include choosing organic whenever possible, avoiding processed and refined foods, and shopping with a conscience.
The magazine is packed with recipes, and I'm sure I'll use some of them this summer with my CSA veggies. Check it out at cleaneating.com.
Meanwhile, I had a new community-supported agriculture pickup that included kale, beets, carrots, basil, lettuce, zucchini, squash, onions and potatoes. I decided to start with some kale chips that I could snack on while figuring out what to do with everything else.
The Food Network's website has a video showing how to make crispy kale chips. It was ridiculously easy. Basically, tear the kale into pieces. Wash and dry it. Put it on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil on it, salt it, then stick it in a 275-degree oven for 20 minutes.
It was also ridiculously delicious. And clean.
On to dinner. I decided to focus on the zucchini in this week's pick-up. I also realized I had a husband at home who likes to grill and who likes chicken, and so I decided to look for a recipe for some sort of kebab. I found one in Men's Fitness that called for marinating the chicken in lemon, which appealed to me because I happened to have a bunch of lemons. It also called for using basil (from this week's pickup) and garlic (from last week's pickup), and I thought I could also toss in an onion (from this week's pickup).
This was an easy and tasty recipe, and to keep it clean, I used organic skinless, boneless chicken breasts.
Lemon-basil chicken kebabs with zucchini
Makes 4 servings
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
Zest from 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup chopped basil
11/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 orange bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large zucchini, cut in half then cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
6-8 footlong skewers
In a large bowl, combine oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper and basil. Then stir in chicken, pepper, zucchini, tomatoes and onion. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Fire up the grill, and if you are using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for about 30 minutes.
Thread veggies and chicken onto the skewers. Grill about 10 minutes.Copyright © 2015, CT Now