Veggie Friends update, new box, and beet greens rice pilaf

I’m back and have a new box! I can’t believe our spring break totally threw me off my schedule! luckily I still remembered to take pictures (most of the time). I did a bit of baking, but was having some oven issues. Thankfully, I seemed to have figured them out. I’ll be back to posting regularly and I believe next Friday is Cookie Friday!

I actually have a great little story to share with you guys about my Veggie Friends post. Before I wrote the post I had emailed my CSA provider to ask some information about the local bugs that I might find in their crops.I know farmers are very busy people and I wasn’t really expecting them to reply, so I went ahead and wrote my post just based on my experience. The farm’s general manager actually got back to me a little while later and put me in contact with their Farmer #1, named Ellie, who was very accommodating and gave me plenty of information. They also included my original email in a current blog post with tons of info seen here: If you read their post, you will see they have invited me 🙂 to head down and experience the bugs for myself during their Second Saturday Harvest Tour next month and I intend to do just that! I will do a follow-up post about my Veggie Friends after the tour!

Box contents:
Baby Lettuce Mix
Mixed Beets
Artichokes (We were super excited about these)
Wheatberry Sprouts –Never had these before, but we liked them. I used the recipe for wheatberry salad that came with our box insert (It’s also on their website). It was delicious, but I want to get more ideas to use them more often.

They have the texture of cooked brown rice with a hearty nuttiness. We ate them raw.

This week's box contents. Looks like Spring!

My husband bought additional strawberries and beautiful, fragrant basil!

This week, my beets came with some very abundant, and beautiful beet green tops.

They were so pretty I felt compelled to take their picture.

I have really come to love eating beet greens. I put them in all our salads and they blend in really well with other greens and a nice vinaigrette. For a long time I didn’t even know they were edible until one of the farm stand marketeers told me. She also told me about eating the broccoli greens (which I do now). I cringe to think back at how many times I threw them away! :-0 I’m still working up to eating carrot tops, I can’t really figure out which way to go flavor-wise as they are pretty bitter.

For some reason this week’s beet bunch had more beet greens than usual. It might be because the beets were also a lot bigger. I make rice pilaf often and usually just switch out the herb/veggies I add in. This week as soon as I thought of rice pilaf I knew I was going to make it with beet greens. It was delicious and I loved the little red speckles from the beet greens.

I almost always use my electric rice cooker to make rice. It’s much more practical for me and it keeps the rice warm until I’m ready to serve.

Beet Greens Rice Pilaf

I love the red flecks in the pilaf from the bright red veins in the beet greens.

1-1/2 cups rice (I use Calrose, I like the texture of medium grain rice)
1/4 cup of orzo pasta
2 cups of beet greens, shredded
2 cloves of garlic, minced fine
2-1/2 cups broth (chicken or veggie)
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 Tablespoons butter

Place a medium size skillet over med-low heat and melt butter. Add orzo and stir until slightly browned, this will take about 3 or 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat in butter, add garlic and toast for another 2 minutes. You do not want to let the garlic burn!

Carefully transfer the toasted rice/orzo mixture into an electric rice cooker (or proceed with your usual stove-top steaming method), add the broth and salt and set to cook. Once cooked, remove lid, fluff rice with a fork and very gently fold in the beet greens a handful at a time. Serve.

I served this with a mustard pork tenderloin and a side of marinated beets like the ones I used in my Power-Up Salad. We had a guest for dinner and I kept hearing “This rice is really good!” Success! 🙂