Happy New Year!
Are you sick of hearing about resolutions yet? No? Oh Good ūüėČ I have¬†a few fun¬†posts planned but¬†they weren’t quite ready yet.

So instead I thought I would talk about a few little changes that have made it easier to¬†eat more vegetables and support local farmers. I know it’s only the 14th of January so I have no business claiming I’ve made new healthy¬†habits, but just indulge me a bit OK? I also should disclose that I still eat more than enough chocolate to counteract the added vegetables. I’m working on it.

1. Join a Winter CSA

IMG_2173Although one of my good friends has run¬†an awesome organic farm¬†for the last few years,¬†it was only this year that I participated in their¬†Winter CSA. I wish I hadn’t waited so long! Having fresh greens and vegetables in these cold months is such a treat and makes eating salads and planning vegetarian meals so much easier and more fun. Plus, picking my share up at the¬†market at Mt. Hope Farm gets me out of the house and has become a favorite weekend ritual. With Kelli and Mike’s CSA you can pick out your vegetables ahead of time (instead of getting a random assortment each week) which I think helps a lot with meal planning.

You can visit the Local Harvest website to find a CSA in your area. (Rhode Islanders, I recommend checking Farm Fresh RI)

2. Mason Jar Salads

IMG_2338So now that we have all these fresh greens and veggies to use, I have been trying to have salad for lunch at work. I know I’m very tardy to this party, but I’ve discovered how great Mason Jar Salads are. I would try to bring salads to work before but found it¬†annoying and messy to¬†pack¬†the dressing and any “wet” ingredients separately. ¬†The mason jar salad recipes include ingredients and instructions that allow you to put everything together in one container.¬†I love that you can pack a few¬†ahead of time and they can last for days! This Celery Apple Radish Salad was a¬†favorite, especially when made with beautiful watermelon radishes from Roots Farm.

3. Make Your Own Stock

IMG_2377Add this to the list of things I got weirdly excited about. I finally tried to make my own vegetable stock from scratch. And it was super easy. I just kept a giant Ziploc bag in my freezer and added odds and ends from any vegetables I was using for other meals. When the bag got full, I put them in a pot with some herbs and simmered for about an hour. I usually buy at least one box of stock a week so I am excited to have some homemade.

4. Invest in a Meal Planning Tool

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 2.44.11 PMI’m not proud of this, but grocery shopping and meal planning is stupidly¬†difficult for me. I have such a hard time making decisions and end up spending way too much money because I want to eat healthy, organic things that are fair trade, support healthy rainforests, and empower people in developing countries, etc. etc. I also tend to treat myself to fancy dessert and snack items way too much. There are lots of meal planning tools out there, but I really love Plan to Eat. It’s affordable and as a visual person, I love seeing all of those gorgeous photos from the fancy food blogs I read laid out in nice categories. We’ve already made several new and delicious¬†meals using our local winter veggies.