Cucumber Chips & Lettuce Soup


Cucumber Chips? Lettuce Soup?

None of these dishes would have been found in my home before I joined an organic veggie co-op. For $25 each week I receive a large bag of organic vegetables. The co-op works to buy fruits and vegetables that are seasonal and locally grown. What this means is that I can wind up with 8 cucumbers sitting in my fridge one week and another week be presented with a vegetable I’ve never laid eyes on before.

it’s challenged me to be a more creative and flexible with my meal planning. Some truly delicious creations have arisen from having far too much of one type of food at any given time.

Let’s begin with cucumbers. You see, I like cucumbers – but I don’t love them. This summer has seemingly been the Year of the Cucumber here in sunny Florida. First I made Sweet Chili Cucumber Pickles for our Memorial Day party. But that hardly made a dent in them. And let’s face it, one can only eat so many pickles before your tummy turns from all that vinegar. And so the search began, what else could I do with them? A brilliant moment with our dehydrator brought us Cucumber Chips: simply lay on your dehydrator, sprinkle with your seasoning of choice and dry overnight. Viola!

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Let me tell you these suckers pop down like potato chips. They’re fantastic and preserved. I don’t have to eat them all before they rot!

Then came the romaine lettuce. I had so much lettuce I knew I’d never finish it all in salad and sandwiches. A combination of several lettuce soup recipes online led to this amazing creation. Delicious, delicate and a tasty 90 calorie bowl. The nuts and bolts of this recipe comes down to sautéed onion and garlic, followed by 8 or 10 cups of romaine lettuce, some fresh parsley, chicken stock, evaporated milk and a good strong dose of coriander. It froze well and is even better leftover.

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Eating locally grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables has totally revolutionized the way I cook and eat. It’s unpredictable what we’ll find in our veggie bag from week to week, but my culinary skills are growing by leaps and bounds. Wonder what will be on my plate this week?