Veggie inspired

We were spoiled the last 6 years in Ithaca, NY with multiple CSA farms (Community Supported Agriculture), u-pick fruit farms, and a top-notch farmer’s market (not to mention the ease with which we could walk or bike most places!).  After moving to Houston this summer, it took some time to feel out the local food scene, but I finally discovered a small co-op that offers weekly shares of local and organic vegetables and we got our second share this week.  I’m so excited! One of my favorite aspects of a CSA is that it forces me to plan meals based on  the chosen-for-you vegetables, although it can take some effort to ensure nothing is wasted.

Last night’s dinner was inspired by the eggplant and pomegranate, two items that I enjoy but rarely pick up on my own.  L “helped” me throw together a simple pizza (homemade dough that I keep ready to go in the freezer, a simple seasoned tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese) that we topped with grilled onion and eggplant.  Eggplant isn’t the prettiest vegetable once it’s cut, and I have limited photography skills, so use your imagination and trust me that it was really good.  🙂

I used the pomegranate juice and seeds in a salad, inspired by a number of online recipes.  We added avocados and toasted sunflower seeds to the greens, and used the pomegranate juice in this yummy dressing:

1/4 c. pomegranate juice

1-2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

My helper who really wanted to taste the raw pizza dough:

In the north, our share would have been over by now, so it feels odd to continue to get fresh food almost year-round.  But I’ll take it!  Do you have a CSA or farmer’s market nearby? What inspires your meal planning?