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what this blog is about

It’s about vegetables. About which ones I cooked for lunch. And dinner, too.

And how it tasted. And where the ingredients came from (who grew them?), and how I made it (the recipes!).

And who I ate it with, and what inspired me to possess the vegetable in the first place. (farmers market? CSA box? my vegetable patch? Costco bonanza?)

And what it would taste really good with (menu ideas!). And why you would probably love to make it and eat it!

I hope that my recipes and stories will encourage you to buy vegetables—all sorts! (Local ones, if you can.) Then I want to give you ideas for how to cook them up with gusto and confidence. And I’d love to inspire you to feed these delicious creations to people you love!

I’m passionate about cooking delicious and healthy vegetables! And I’m almost as passionate about encouraging you to cook them, too! Because it’s just NOT THAT HARD, and I know you can do it! And because if you’re cooking loads of fresh, locally-grown (when you can!) vegetables, you’re doing so many things that are good for you, good for your family, good for your community, and even good for your planet!

you.

This is a no-brainer. When you eat veggies, beans, fruits, whole grains and nuts as the main parts of your diet (as opposed to, say, boxed macaroni & cheese or Big Macs & coke), I’m betting you’ll be healthy and feel great! (I do.) Plus, you get to eat all kinds of yummy vegetable dishes, which taste SO GOOD you’re going to go out of your mind with delight! And cooking is fun when you give yourself time and space to do it!

Here’s another benefit: eating veggies is cheap, cheap, cheap… unless you’re loading up on truffle oil or out-of-season Rainer cherries by the cartload or something. I’m way into the farmers market scene (I can show you how to find the bargains there!) and all year 'round, I get boxes of local vegetables through our little Alaskan Community-Supported Agriculture program, Glacier Valley Farm CSA. The amount of nice produce you get in a $35 box is pretty astounding. Also, I buy produce at Costco--but I try to limit my purchases to produce grown in the U.S. It’s hard to beat Costco produce for freshness and price, and I shop there for things we need in addition to the bounty in our two weekly boxes.

family.

If you’re cooking delicious vegetables for yourself, you might as well go ahead and cook them for your spouse or partner, and—what the heck—cook them for your kids! (People tell me my five-year-old is a freak of nature because she loves things like collard greens and roasted turnips.) Even if your kids are skeptical, if they see you snarfing down loads-o-veggies night after night, they’re bound to get the idea that they might just be tasty. It helps if you say things like “Oh, I don’t think you’re going to like this. I’ll just keep this tasty dish all to myself.”

community.

I find that if I’m cooking vegetables that are especially fantastic, I have a hard time not sharing them with other people… so I invite friends over to eat dinner with us! How fun is that? To share a delicious, healthy meal, nice conversation (unless you invite ungrateful losers—don’t do that)… and often you can get them to bring the wine (makes your meal fun AND extra cheap for you! ha!) or else a yummy dessert that you didn’t have to bother with, but it’s still homemade! Pretty soon you’ll have actual friends who you get together with on a regular basis! I know, crazy, in our busy busy world… but cooking great vegetable dishes can make it all possible!

planet.

I won’t go on and on about the benefits of eating low on the food chain, but I do believe in it as a basic way to think about eating and cooking… If you’re getting locally-grown vegetables as much as you can, you’re supporting your local farmers, and you’re conserving fossil fuels!

who is alison?

professional bread baker | CSA business owner | president of the Alaska Farmers Market Association | farmers market promoter | cookbook author | Alaskan | home cook | mom | wife | cross country skier | perennial gardener | reader | runner | tandem bike-rider | knitter | photographer

Not a vegetarian. Not a vegan. I eat gratefully any meal that is prepared for me with love.

I think that a plant-based diet is the healthiest one for me… and it makes me feel good when I eat this way.

When I cook, I cook plant-based meals, with the occasional fish/seafood thrown in. I don’t cook with much dairy or many eggs, for health reasons, but recently ate three bowls of ice cream with hot fudge sauce at a friend’s house. Um… they were prepared with love…?

why lunch?

Indeed. Why lunch, instead of dinner? Most of us think about cooking vegetables for dinner, not lunch. Of course, in an ideal world, you cook great food for dinner and then bring those yummy vegetable leftovers for lunch the next day!

I worked outside the home for many years, including two years after my daughter was born. Every day I’d bring my leftover vegetables to work—soups, salads, stews, side-by-side dishes. But finally I got tired of working out there in the world and quit my job as a natural resources planner for the State of Alaska. My husband and I built a small commercial kitchen attached to our house and opened a whole-grain bread bakery (Rise & Shine Bakery). We sell our bread at the South Anchorage Farmers Market in the summer, and by pre-order in the winter. Dan (my husband) bakes bread with me, and builds furniture, too.

My farmer friend Arthur and I launched the Glacier Valley Farm CSA program because we wanted to offer a year-round local alternative to the Washington-based Full Circle Farm box program. During the winter, we add certified organic produce from Outside to the boxes to augment our Alaskan storage crops of carrots, potatoes, beets, cabbage, celery root, and onions.

Now I spend most of my time at home, sharing my time with my husband and daughter, the bakery, the CSA, the farmers market, and various other things. Which means that almost every day, we three sit down to LUNCH together. A hot lunch if it’s cold, and salads and cold things if it’s warm in the summer. Sometimes it’s leftovers (my favorite), but sometimes I’ve made a dish especially for our lunch. What a gift, to eat lunch together every day.

So this site is named after that special meal that we rarely could share before I changed my career to be at home. But of course the recipes are perfect for dinner, too! Here’s hoping that you have lots of fun cooking loads of glorious vegetables, and that this blog inspires you to share new and delicious, nutritious meals with your loved ones.


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