More Than Salads

I picked up a new box on Saturday. We received the largest beets I have ever seen! My husband wasn’t too happy about that! Luckily, my mom, who came over for Mother’s Day, really enjoys beets and I promised to take her half of mine that I cooked and marinated today like I did when I made the Power Up Salad. I am also sharing some with my friend. I love fellow beet lovers! I reserved 2 cups of cooked beets which I pureed. I am going to try my hand at making beet chocolate cake. I keep hearing a lot about it. Time to see what all the hubbub is about.

You can see the giant beets in the picture below. The two dark red beets are what my beets normally look like. Those came with the greens attached. The two top ones came sans greens, but I thought they were interesting enough to deserve their own pic.

The two beets at the top are huge!

Veggie box contents this week:

Strawberries (Not pictured. We had already eaten most of them by the time I assembled the veggies for their photo shoot) 🙂
Celery- It was a very pretty purple/red color near the roots.
Beets- I snip and wash the beet greens to use in salads and other dishes.  
Carrots- snip these greens too to make carrot top pesto
Micro rainbow greens mix
The items in the lower left corner were purchased at the farm stand (zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, a large bunch of mint, and also a large bag of wheatgrass, not pictured).

Veggie box contents

I am linking up with In Her Chucks for her CSA link party. Go check it out if you haven’t already!


It is strawberry season where I live and we have been getting about a pint or so of strawberries in our boxes. We have also been buying extras from the farmstand because they are so beautiful and tantalizing that it is hard to resist them. I was not able to make it out to the Second Saturday Farm Tour to do some bug perusing because my daughter had a soccer game smack dab in the middle of both tour times. However, the farm is hosting a Strawberry Jam this saturday, basically a strawberry u-pick, which I will be attending. I plan to convert our strawberry bounty into delicious jam after the event. I will bring my camera along to the farm to take some pictures of any Veggie Friends who might appear during the strawberry picking. I am going to make time to attend a proper tour so I can do my Veggie Friends update probably some time in June.

We have had quite an abundance of mint lately and my husband and I made some beverages to use it up. My husband made a Strawberry Mojito (he is really good at making mojitos!) and I made a non-alcoholic citrus punch using lemon verbena tea leaves which I also purchased from the farm. They were both very refreshing. I hope you give them a try.

Strawberry Mint Mojito


4 oz. club soda
2 large strawberries plus 1 for garnish
2 pkgs Sugar in the Raw or 1/2 pkg Truvia (We have made them both ways. I prefer the taste of the Truvia as it is very light and granulated enough to help muddle the mint leaves, but I am also used to stevia. If you are not used to the taste of stevia, use sugar or other preferred substitute)
juice from 1/2 a lemon
8 mint leaves
2 oz white rum (We used White Rhum Barbancourt that a friend brought us from a trip to Haiti)

Place sugar or truvia in cocktail shaker. Add the mint leaves. Slice up the 2 strawberries and add. Muddle together with the back of a wooden spoon until the strawberries are broken down a bit. Add lemon juice, rum and fill to top with ice. Shake well and pour into glass over club soda. No need to strain it unless you don’t want the strawberry chunks in your drink. Garnish and drink up!

Lemon Verbena Citrus PunchThis makes a concentrate you can dilute with seltzer water to serve or add seltzer/water all at once in a larger pitcher to serve as is.

Lemon Verbena Citrus Punch

2 cups of lemon verbena tea, cooled (You can brew to your liking using loose tea leaves or bagged tea)
2 cups of brewed mint tea, cooled
1 cup mint simple syrup (I made my own using 1 cup each of water, sugar and fresh mint leaves)
3 lemons
2 grapefruit
handful of mint, torn up
Seltzer water or plain drinking water
Prepare tea, set aside to cool. Juice 2 lemons, and both grapefruits. Slice the remaining lemon into thin slices. Combine in a pitcher (I used a 2 qt.pitcher)- both teas, citrus juice, and simple syrup. Stir to combine- add lemon slices, and torn mint leaves. Refrigerate for a few hours to cool.  Flavors will concentrate as it sits.
To serve: Fill a glass with ice. Fill 1/4-1/2 way with seltzer water then top off with citrus punch. Sweetness can be adjusted to your taste. If you want you can also add water to the pitcher until it suits your taste and refrigerate.You will need a larger pitcher to do this. Fridge space is at a premium at my house so the concentrated version works better for me. 🙂