Happy New Year!
Are you sick of hearing about resolutions yet? No? Oh Good 😉 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.