vegansaurus!

07/15/2011

Oakland CSA Phat Beets Produce is having a party!  »


I’ve been in love with vegetables for years now, but not until I met Phat Beets Produce had I fallen in love with a CSA. Seriously, I wrote them a love letter once. Now you can fall in love too, when you go to their Friendraiser Party at their Dover Street community garden in North Oakland on Saturday, July 16 Friday, July 15 (that’s tomorrow today)!


From 6:30 to 8 p.m. they’ll host a casual, picnic-style hangout complete with vegan appetizers and “mocktails,” which I assume are fancy cocktails without the booze (if that’s a problem, I’ve got one word for you: flask). Feel free to bring eats to share, and take along a blanket to stay for “a family-friendly movie in the park, TBD, which will begin after dark.”

No lie, the goal is to seduce you into signing up for their Beet Box CSA, but that’s for your own good.

Here’s why Phat Beets is special:

  1. Their CSA box is super user-friendly. Back in March, when a certain other produce box was giving me more greens and kiwi than I could fathom eating, Phat Beets gave me really useful stuff, like lemons, potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, oranges, and strawberries. Their mission is to encourage healthy eating, so it makes sense that you don’t need to be an expert to handle their farm box. I love me some six pounds of kohlrabi for three weeks straight, but even more I love me a CSA provider who makes it easy to eat vegetables.
  2. They have a stellar mission. Phat Beets is a “food justice collective” that started with a guerilla produce stand and now runs two small farmer’s markets and an urban garden. “Healthy Food is a Human Right,” says they. “What is lacking is not food, but the political will to fairly distribute food regardless of the recipient’s ability to pay.”
  3. Their farmer’s markets have attitude, are cheap, and in underserved locations. Learn things like bike maintenance and how to make jam at the workshops they hold at one of their little scrappy markets every weekend!
  4. They support small and minority farmers. Instead of sourcing from a single farm, like many CSAs, Phat Beets works with a bunch of farmers, especially those of color or those with tiny little operations, to connect them to a market for their food.
  5. Two of their founding members are vegan caterers.

There are more reasons I love this organization, but don’t take it from me, just GO to the event. You’re welcome.

11/28/2010

Happy ThanksLiving from Danna, who says her second time celebrating it vegan “went off without a hitch thanks to my mom and my guy being the best sous chefs ever! Also, it wouldn’t have been possible without all the amazing veggies from our CSA (waddup Bountiful Blessings Farm!). Clockwise from top we have butternut squash and caramelized onion pot pie with sweet potato biscuit topping; edamame, corn and quinoa salad with watermelon radishes and a jalapeño-lime dressing; mashed potatoes and gravy; homemade butterflake rolls; mom’s spicy broccoli stir-fry; and jalapeño cranberry sauce.” Holy moly, Danna!
She says they also ate vegan spinach and artichoke dip, balsamic glazed grilled veggies, and for dessert, pear cranberry upside-down cake, lemon coconut cream pie, and chef Chloe’s chocolate-pumpkin bread pudding from the New York Times! THREE DESSERTS, you are my kind of people. Happy Thanksgiving, Danna!

Happy ThanksLiving from Danna, who says her second time celebrating it vegan “went off without a hitch thanks to my mom and my guy being the best sous chefs ever! Also, it wouldn’t have been possible without all the amazing veggies from our CSA (waddup Bountiful Blessings Farm!). Clockwise from top we have butternut squash and caramelized onion pot pie with sweet potato biscuit topping; edamame, corn and quinoa salad with watermelon radishes and a jalapeño-lime dressing; mashed potatoes and gravy; homemade butterflake rolls; mom’s spicy broccoli stir-fry; and jalapeño cranberry sauce.” Holy moly, Danna!

She says they also ate vegan spinach and artichoke dip, balsamic glazed grilled veggies, and for dessert, pear cranberry upside-down cake, lemon coconut cream pie, and chef Chloe’s chocolate-pumpkin bread pudding from the New York Times! THREE DESSERTS, you are my kind of people. Happy Thanksgiving, Danna!

11/19/2010

Two Thanksgiving recipes from accidentally vegan Epicurious!  »

If you get a CSA box in the Bay Area, it’s probably currently full of potatoes, leafy greens, apples, carrots and butternut squash. Maybe tomatoes & cilantro, too. And butternut squash. Let us marvel at its beauty.


In a recent search, I turned up not one but two (2!) delicious vegan recipes utilizing almost the whole box of produce, on Epicurious, a site that could also be named “Dairycurious with a Pork Garnish.”

Let me show you it.

Wild and Brown Rice Pilaf with Butternut Squash and Dried Cranberries

  • This one used apple, carrot and lots of butternut squash. 
  • I added pepitas (recommended!)
  • The house still smells of delicious curry.
  • A++

Garbanzo Bean Soup with Saffron!

  • This one used potato, tomatoes, and squash, but I threw in bonus carrots and chard. It worked out well. 
  • The saffron flavor is amazing, I would recommend using more. Yes I know it’s like $1 per strand. Live a little.
  • The spices really elevate this soup from boring vegetable soup to exotic fragrant getaway.
  • A+

These are both perfect for Thanksgiving—the rice dish would make an excellent stuffing alternative.

And, we still have half a butternut squash, despite it being the dominant ingredient in both recipes. I never realized how much fucking squash is in one of those things.

[photo by Vancity Allie]

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