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I joined a CSA this year and have really enjoyed it. Lately there have been a lot of garlic scapes, arugula, TONS of lettuce (not to mention the lettuce that we have growing in our garden…lots of salad lately), radishes, turnips, bok choy and spinach. But yesterday there was a new addition: tot soi. I have no idea what to do with this. I’m guessing you treat it like bok choy or any other green leafy veggie, right? Could I sautee it with the bok choy? I just don’t really know where to go with all these green things I have in my fridge right now. It’s a bit overwhelming.

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Don’t hate me, but I’ve come to realize in the past couple of years that I like New England strawberries more than Louisiana strawberries. I know, I know, everyone down South says that the ones from Hammond, LA are the best, but I’m telling¬† you, you haven’t had these. The “native” (that’s what everyone calls them, I say “local” but whatever) strawberries here are small, deep red, and super sweet. When you bite into them the juice runs down your chin and there’s not a white part to be seen. Maybe I’ve never had the right kind of Louisiana berry, but until I do I’m sticking to my guns. The Massachusetts ones win hands down. I’ve already bought 3 quarts. The one you see above was picked this afternoon by my two year old and I. It was hard to fill the quart because she kept grabbing them from the box and eating them. Next weekend we’re going to a strawberry festival, so there will no doubt be many more consumed.

It’s almost a crime not to just eat them out of hand, or sliced over yogurt and granola or cereal. But, with so many berries I decided to add them to pancakes and muffins. I tried the following recipe and loved it. It’s adapted from Marjorie Standish’s “Perfect Blueberry Muffins” recipe in Cooking Down East, a cookbook specializing in New England recipes (particularly Maine). I used another one of her recipes for my¬† Maine Blueberry Pie post. I just happened to have some Maine blueberries in my freezer, but if you don’t have access to New England fruit like I do, use whatever you can find. They’ll still be good, I promise.

Strawberry & Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from Cooking Down East

2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
1 c. milk
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 well beaten egg
1/4 c. salad oil
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. strawberries
1/2 c. blueberries [You can adjust the ratio of blueberries and strawberries to suit your tastes]

Sift flour, salt, baking powder and sugar together. Beat egg well, add milk. Stir in oil and lemon juice. Add liquid to dry ingredients. Stir in oil and lemon juice. Add liquid to dry ingredients. Stir about 20 seconds. Flour should be all dampened, but mixture should still be lumpy. When just a few patches of flour are left, fold in blueberries, gently. Fill greased muffin tins two-thirds full. Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes.

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I know bean salad isn’t really something to get too excited about, but I think this one is great. It’s perfect for hot summer days when you want protein but just can’t bring yourself to turn on the oven or stove (those of you down South with central air conditioners don’t have that problem). The recipe comes from The Modern Ayurvedic by Amrita Sondhi. While I think it’s interesting, I’m not that into ayurvedic cooking, but I find this book has easy recipes that are both tasty and healthful. This one is great for a picnic or a pot luck supper. I put it on salads with avocado; and usually don’t even need dressing. Enjoy!

Mixed Bean Salad
From The Modern Ayurvedic

1 1/2 c. chickpeas (garbanzo beans) cooked or canned [I use a full can of each kind of bean, which is a bit more, and adjust the ingredients accordingly]
1 1/2 c. black beans, cooked or canned
1 1/2 c. red kidney beans, cooked or canned
1-2 tsp. garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. green onions, chopped
3 tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tsp. fresh green chilies, minced
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar (your choice of vinegar) [I think it’s markedly better with lemon juice]

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve.