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 Feeding & Nutrition
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Tracy F.

Weekly Healthy Living Series (Week 2) - CSA Farm Boxes & Orzo Recipe

Tracy F. 6 years ago

Hi All

Welcome back to our weekly recipe series.  Each Saturday, we will have a rotating guest expert here to give you nutrition advice, cooking and shopping tips and recipes to help you achieve healthy meals for your family.    Subscribe to our newsletter to be notified each week when the post is up.

This week, we at SoCalMoms are posting about what's worked for us this summer to achieve healthy meals at home as well as our favorite go to recipe right now.    We hope this post is helpful. 

Don't forget we would love to feature some of our moms each month with your practical healthy meal tips so write to us if you want to be featured!

Tracy F.
Tracy F. 6 years ago

#1 best thing we did this summer to focus on healthy meals is subscribe to a local CSA program that delivers us farm fresh boxes of produce each week. 

What is CSA?  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture which has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.


How Does It Work:  a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.


What are the benefits of using a CSA:

  • Eat ultra-fresh food at reasonable prices ($25 per regular size box  or $35 for family size when you order from Savraw)
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking. Savraw publishes recipes each week with their box.
  • It's a great teaching tool with your kids to learn about where their food comes from and all the different varieties of farm fresh foods available to them.  It's exciting for them to help you unpack the box each week and prepare a meal.
  • The produce is so amazing and automatically arrives at your door so you feel bad wasting any of it and are more likely to make those home cooked meals each week.
  • These boxes are also great for those who like to juice. 
  • With many CSAs, you can visit the local farms and develop a relationship with those farms.    Underwood Farms does this for example.
Our Experience with Savraw:  We use Savraw Local Farm Box service for both our own home as well as for Toddler Camp. 

Each week, we receive a family box of mixed fruits and veggies as well as two large fruit only boxes for our camp families.   We have been asked over and over again at camp about the source our delicious fruit - all Savraw!  


At home, we get excited for our Tuesday box delivery and our little one helps to put away all of the contents.  He learns about each fruit and vegetable as we put them away.   We let the contents of the box surprise us and dictate what we make each week which has definitely re-inspired us to enjoying cooking this summer.   

The produce is so fresh and amazing that you can keep it as simple as making a huge salad and grilling your veggies with some olive oil, a little black pepper and salt and then combing with pasta or using them as a side to your favorite protein. 

For those willing to put in a bit more work, we have added below our favorite go to summer recipe right now.   Without any pre-planning, our Savraw box has contained perfect ingredients for this recipe each week.   We mix and match based on what we get and feel like eating that week.  


More About Savraw:  Savraw is a grassroots company that works with local, organic and sustainable farms to provide weekly boxes of fruits and vegetables for sale at pick up locations all over Los Angeles County. With each bundle sold, funds are given to local gardening and biodynamic farming projects, at local schools, community centers, and churches. The majority of Savraw's pick up locations are at schools where children view first-hand organic vegetables and learn to get connected to the source of their food.   Savraw also delivers for a small add on fee. 

Tracy F.
Tracy F. 6 years ago

This recipe is courtesy of Meghan Lyons, MS, mom & nutritionist at Credible Cravings.   Meghan joined us for Toddler Camp and shared a few amazing recipes & nutrition tips with our moms.  

Why We Love It: One of the best things about this recipe is that you can modify or change it up however you want or need and our entire family loves it.    You serve it at room temperature which is also nice when you are chasing after your toddler and aren't able to time everything perfectly for dinner.

 If you try out this recipe let us know what you and your little one thinks!

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables (serves 6)

  • 1 medium sized eggplant, peeled and diced 3/4 in
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 in
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced 1 in
  • 1 red onion peeled and diced 1 in
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/3 good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 pound orzo
  • 4 green onions, minced (white and green parts)
  • 3/4 pound good feta (1/2 in diced)
  • 10-15 basil leaves, finely cut

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss eggplant, bell peppers, onion and garlic with the olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a large baking sheet.   Roast 40 minutes or until browned.

Meanwhile cook orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.  

Add the roasted veggies to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the pan into the pasta bowl.

Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper for the dressing and whisk together.  Pour on the pasta and veggies.  Let cool to room temp, then add green onions, feta and basil before serving.  Enjoy!

Note:  you can enjoy preparing this dish with your choice of veggies if those above don't appeal to you.  Consider diced sweet potato and zucchini.  Grilled chicken or shrimp would also be a nice add.