For anyone who is still figuring out if the “co-op style produce” is your thing, just try it! It’s amazing having a supplier that you trust and knowing that you are supporting a local business. I do share with my friends if I can’t use everything, but it feels like Christmas every time I get my bin! ~ Alecia Huber
Today, we’d like to introduce you to Alecia Huber from our Uptown location. Alecia is 33-years-old and lives in the Medical District with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bentley. She’s getting married to her wonderful fiancé, Jeremy, at the end of August. “I’m so excited to start this new adventure!” says Alecia. “I’m a chef and I love showing people how to make healthy foods taste great. Of course, it is nice to treat yourself, too. I love entertaining, so most of my produce goes to a girl’s dinner or weeknight dinner with Jeremy. I love trying new things in the kitchen and I don’t think my family or friends are complaining!”
Alecia, what inspired you to become a part of Urban Acres?
My fiancé and I began juicing a year ago and found I was buying so many fruits and veggies that there had to be an easier way. I started researching for co-ops and found Urban Acres. Once we got our first bin, Jeremy said it was the best idea we’ve had since we started dating!
When and why did you decide to start eating real, wholesome food?
As a chef, it’s very common to gain a little weight here and there. I hated fluctuating so much that I decided to make healthy food and exercise part of my lifestyle. I felt there had to be a middle ground between flavorful foods (for my culinary side) and healthy foods. So, I started make small changes like using coconut oil and safflower oil, whole milk dairy products, and pasture fed, grass fed meats. Of course, I treat myself often, but I make the treats myself so I know what’s in it!
What is your favorite part about the “co-op style” produce?
I like the variety of the produce we get. So many times it’s easy to get stuck on the same foods every week, but this way I can change it up! With working, I like to make simple meals at home and this way I always have produce on hand.
What’s your favorite produce tip/trick?
I found it extremely helpful to wrap my greens in the produce drawer. They last so much longer than before!
If/when you do eat out, what is one of your favorite restaurants in Dallas?
Just one?! That’s so hard! I recently fell in love with Sun Down at Granada, but for BBQ I love Lockhart and for burgers I love Maple and Motor (burgers are my weakness!)
Do you grow any food at home? If so, what’s growing in your garden right now?
I don’t grow any foods at home, I’m actually quite bad at it and I live in an apartment. My goal is to one day have a great garden.
What is your favorite fruit? Favorite veggie? Why?
I just love strawberries. I always have! They are great by themselves, in yogurt, in a pie, in a salad!
My favorite veggie is the asparagus. I love the sweet flavor they have and love roasting them with Parmesan cheese!
What would you say to inspire other members who are still trying to figure out this “co-op style produce” thing?
For anyone who is still figuring out if the co-op produce is your thing, just try it! It’s amazing having a supplier that you trust and knowing that you are supporting a local business. I do share with my friends if I can’t use everything, but it feels like Christmas every time I get my bin!
Please share your current favorite “real food recipe” with us.
I’d love to share two recipes I’ve made recently with the local watermelon and figs…
5 cups yellow watermelon, cubed, seeds removed
1 1/2 cups coconut water
1 cup lemon juice
1-2 cups of simple syrup
* you can sub 1/4 cup agave and 1/2 cup water for simple syrup
Puree melon with coconut water in a blender and strain using a fine mesh strainer. Add lemon juice and simple syrup or agave! Enjoy!
* * *
Caramelized Onion, Fig, and Goat Cheese Tart
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp oil (I used coconut)
1 large fig, thinly sliced
1 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 oz goat cheese
2 oz heavy cream or whole milk
1 tsp thyme, minced
Salt and Pepper
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick of cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup to 1/3 cup of ice water
To make the dough:
Using a pastry cutter, your hands, or a food processor combine the flour and salt and mix through. Cut the butter into the flour leaving the butter in pea sizes. Mix in cold water (a tsp in at a time) to form the dough just enough to come together. It should hold it shape when you squeeze it in your hand. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 min.
Roll the dough out into a circle about 1/8″ thick and transfer into a tart pan or any shallow pan (I used 2 mini tart pans for mine). Gently press the dough into the crevices of the pan and remove any excess dough. Chill the pan for 30 min.
Once chilled, pierce the dough with a fork (being careful not to punch all the way through) and partially bake the tart shell at 375 for about 25 min or until it’s golden brown. Remove from oven and reserve.
To make the onions and figs:
Over med-low heat in a pan, heat the oil and saute the onions, add a pinch of salt. Cook the onions until they start to caramelize and get honey brown. Add the figs and brown sugar in with the onions, then stir to combine and let the sugar dissolve. Then add the vinegar and let reduce until vinegar is absorbed into the figs and onions. Cool and reserve.
To make the filling:
Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl to make the custard.
Place the fig and onions at the bottom of the tart shell then pour the custard leaving an 1/4 inch at the top. Bake for 25-30 min or until the custard is set (when you shake the tart, it won’t jiggle). Cool to eat! Goes great with a salad!