I love that there is a variety of produce in each bin and it’s not always the same thing each week. It forces me to get creative with my cooking and try items that I would normally pass right by in the grocery store. ~ Kim Dresdner
Today, we’d like to introduce you to Kim Dresdner, who is a part of our West Richardson location. Kim is an urban planner and marathon runner. She blogs at Healthy Living In the City where she loves to share about life in the Big D, healthy recipes, and what’s in her produce share!
Kim, tell us what inspired you to become a part of Urban Acres.
When I was in graduate school at the University of Michigan, I belonged to the co-op in Ann Arbor. I really enjoyed the variety of produce that was available at that store, but there wasn’t any bi-weekly produce pick-up like Urban Acres. When I moved to Dallas, I was excited about joining Urban Acres to get the same great produce selection that was available at the Ann Arbor co-op and I’ve really enjoyed the bi-weekly pick-ups, especially since Dallas is so large in comparison to Ann Arbor and I don’t live close to the Urban Acres store. It’s a great way to make the wonderful organic produce available right in my own neck of the woods!
When and why did you decide to start eating real, wholesome food?
Growing up, my mom always cooked with fresh ingredients and I think that love for cooking with real, wholesome foods was passed down to me. I guess I was spoiled with home-cooked meals with fresh ingredients as a kid!
What is your favorite part about the “co-op style” produce?
I love that there is a variety of produce in each bin and it’s not always the same thing each week. It forces me to get creative with my cooking and try items that I would normally pass right by in the grocery store.
What is your favorite fruit? Favorite veggie? Why?
Ooh, that’s a tough one! Mango is probably my favorite fruit. I love the juicy sweetness of it. It’s a great summer treat. Over the years, blueberries have become a favorite because of their nutritional value. If I’m given an option of a fruit-flavored item, like a smoothie, I tend to pick blueberry for that very reason. As for my favorite veggie, I don’t know if I can pick just one! It’s seasonal. In the spring time, asparagus is my favorite. Summer would definitely be corn and tomatoes, and fall and winter would be butternut squash and kale. I tend to cook a lot with those ingredients seasonally because they are so fresh and at their peak of flavor. Can you tell I’m not very decisive?
Do you have any produce tips for our other members?
Yeah! I am very particular about the ripeness of bananas and I usually don’t eat them fast enough to enjoy them at just the right point, so I’ve learned a trick over the years: slice the banana in half and peel it, then wrap it in plastic wrap or place in a plastic baggie and freeze. They turn into little banana popsicles that make a great low calorie treat!
Please share your current favorite “real food recipe” with us.
Sure. My fiancé Nick and I love stuffed peppers. We are always on the hunt for new recipes, but so far this is our favorite that we’ve come across.
Stuffed Peppers Santa Cruz Style
Modified from Recipes From A Kitchen Garden by Renee Shepherd & Fran Raboff
Makes 4 Servings
2 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
1 cup brown rice
4 large yellow and/or red bell peppers
2 Italian turkey sausages, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
2 to 3 heaping tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
1 small can of mild green chile
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring 2 cups of the chicken stock to a boil and add the rice. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 50 minutes or according to the package.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and remove core and seeds. Reserve the tops with the stems removed for later in the recipe. Cook in boiling salted water for 3 minutes to blanch. Remove from water and turn upside-down to drain.
4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, break up the sausage into small pieces. Saute until lightly browned. Remove sausage and set aside.
5. Dice the remaining reserved pepper tops. Add the diced pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and onions to the skillet and sauté until the onion is translucent. Stir n rice, sausage, chile, celery seed, lemon juice, cilantro, and reserved 1/2 chicken stock. Cook until thoroughly heated and liquid is absorbed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Stuff peppers with rice mixture. Arrange them side by side in a baking dish. Sprinkle tops with Parmesan cheese. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water around the peppers. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.