Supermarket TalentiI tend to shy away from gender generalizations, but there’s something about the Y chromosome that is obsessed with Talenti Gelato. Strange men have literally high-fived me in supermarkets when I’ve stood in front of the Talenti door.  I’ve overheard the kind of enthusiasm normally reserved for sporting endeavors unabashedly tossed around in reference to said dairy product. My father has been known to pick up his phone (a rarity alone) and scream into the speaker, “There’s a Talenti sale at West Side Market, three for one!” To which I’ve had to sigh and say, “Thanks Dad, I’m still vegan… but I’ll pass the message along to Evan,” who in turn, bolts to the freezer department several blocks uptown.

The women in my life – proud members of the gender classically stereotyped as enjoying a gallon of ice cream over a good cry (I’ll just mention) – are kind of meh over the stuff, or at least vaguely confused about the incredible enthusiasm of their male partners. They sort of shrug and say, “I don’t know, I’m content enough with a carton of Haagan-Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s, but he just pounds that stuff like it’s crack.”

Whether or not you tend to think Talenti is oppressively sweet (cough – me – cough) or aren’t eating dairy (though there are “sorbettos” available), there’s one positive thing I can conclusively say. Talenti’s containers, while using arguably crazy amounts of wasteful plastic, are stupendously useful for storage.

“It’s so easy to binge on Talenti,” says my male counterpart. “It’s so smooth! If you’re going to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, you’re going to need some serious spoon fortitude.”

Tupperware, be damned.… Really, honey?

Every time Evan conquers an additional pint of gelato, we have yet another saved container we can use to bring leftovers to work in, keep sauces stored in the fridge, or add to our bulk cabinet.  Never to buy Tupperware again.

Upon noticing that today’s post praised Talenti for its contribution to our waste management, Evan looked really hopeful and somewhat bashfully suggested, “They are really great for storage. Maybe we should start getting them by the quart…”

Broccoli Rice and Lentils: All Stocked Up.

Our Bulk Cabinet!

There are numerous reasons why to buy bulk and to stock your shed with goodies, and we love having our cabinets stuffed with dry yummies. It’s a dynamite way to reduce packaging waste and have supplies on hand for when your CSA share gets unruly and you’re short on ideas. There’s limited space in our NYC apartment, but we make it work somehow.

Brown Rice, Lentil & Grain MixWe’ve been getting loads of fabulous veggies as of late (go harvest, go!), and aside from nights where we just cook up a bunch of vegetables and happily munch on those, it’s delightful to have a grainy-stockpile to pair them with.

1 Hard Vegetable + 1 Leafy Green + Aromatics + Grain = Dinner Four out of Five Times a Week.

I recently stumbled on this Brown Rice, Lentil & Grain Mix at Whole Foods, which has proven very useful as a foil for all the vegetables we’ve gotten lately. It’s really tasty and aggressively nutritious. You cook it just like you cook rice, but it has all the wholesome benefits of lentils and grain-variation as well. I think it needs quite a bit of salt and pepper, but some of our favorite meals recently have involved it. Track it down!

It doesn’t matter terribly what you match it with, but here’s one dish we made with things that came in our CSA last week:

CSA Share Bounty

Broccoli Rice and Lentils:

  • Cook the rice and lentil mix as you would normal rice – in a rice cooker or in a pot with water.
  • Saute shallots, garlic, and jalapeño peppers in olive oil.
  • I love broccoli greens, and am shocked to find out people discard the leaves from their broc! If you add them to your aromatics until they get soft they make a stellar addition to a grain dish (or just plain cooked in garlic and olive oil). So chop those up and add them.
  • Boil or steam your broccoli until they’re bright green, and add that in.
  • Combine with rice and lentils once they’re cooked.
  • Add salt and pepper generously.

Aromatics and Jalapeño

Broccoli Leaf Greens

Dinner!And a tip before closing: leftover lentil and rice is a great pleasure in salad with sliced avocado for next-day lunch.

Feast happily, friends.

Stocking Your Shed

Stocking in preparation for your big pile o’ CSA veggies will make your decision-making process considerably easier. Some standard and easy meals for share days are stir-fries, frittatas, pasta dishes, and salads. Bulk items are terrific backdrops for veggies and if you keep a pantry (or likely in New York apartments, a cabinet) stocked with grains, beans, and pastas, cooking from a share can be a cinch. Not to mention bulk items save money and reduce packaging waste. Here’s a list of some things always in our kitchen:

  • beans (black, cannellini, chickpea, kidney, lentil)
  • grains (quinoa, barley, oats, couscous)
  • rice (brown basmati, arborio, wild, short-grained [sticky])
  • nuts (almond, pistachio, peanut)
  • dried fruit (apricot, date, raisin, crystalized ginger)
  • seeds (sunflower, pumpkin)
  • pastas (whole wheat or multi-grain)
  • peanut butter
Bulk up!  Share-inspired recipes to come.