Warm weather is finally here! What a painfully exhausting winter. Now it’s time to celebrate with some delicious fresh vegan food, hooray! I’ve put a lot of thought into this, and I’m confident in my decision that I like cooking summertime vegan food better than wintertime vegan food. Summertime just seems to have so many more options for vegans. There are soooo many simple light crisp options for us during the summer. And, I may also just be fantasizing about my CSA that starting in a few short weeks, swoon.
By the way, if you have not looked into CSAs (community supported agriculture) in your area, then I highly urge you to. Go online and google search CSA + wherever you live, i.e., CSA Pittsburgh. There should be some kind of option that comes up in your search. If not, farmers markets are also a great way to score fresh produce, and support local agriculture. Every CSA is a little different, so put in some research time to narrow down your options. Mine comes once a week. I chose a pick up site that’s close to my apartment. So, every week, for 22 weeks, I’ll receive a box of locally grown fruits and vegetables. Each week will vary depending on what’s in season.
It’s also pretty affordable. Just think about how much you spend on groceries every week. CSAs usually run between $300-500 for the entire season depending on how much food you need to feed your household. My CSA is supposed to have enough food to feed two people. It was about $320, me and my boyfriend split the cost, and now I’ll have fresh produce until the end of October. Amazing.
Another reason why you should consider CSA is that your payment is supporting that particular farm. Your money supports them throughout the growing season, and it’s like you’re rewarded with delicious food. So, you’re helping them out, saving money, you can avoid the hangry people at the grocery store on Saturday mornings, and you’ll probably never go hungry because you’ll have a box loaded with goodies practically delivered to you once a week.
Most CSAs should still be accepting applications for the season, so check it out!
Anyways, back to the sun dried tomato pesto…
This pesto tastes great on many things, crackers, toast, by the spoonful, whatever you want. For this recipe, I chose to mix it into couscous with artichoke hearts and grape tomatoes. It made a nice little snack, side dish, and also meal, because I made so much of it.. whoops.
Sun Dried Tomato Couscous
- 1 cup dried couscous
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- 1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
- 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- Begin by making the pesto. In a food processor combine 1 cup sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped, 1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup basil, 1/4 cup olive oil, and a few dashes of lemon juice. Blend in the food processor until everything is finely chopped, add more olive oil or lemon juice for consistency.
- Cook the couscous. Put cooked couscous in a large bowl, and mix in the olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper. I put the couscous in the refrigerator while I prepped everything else.
- Drain and rinse the quartered artichoke hearts. I like to cut the quarters in half again to create smaller bite sized pieces. Slice the grape tomatoes in half. Chop the parsley.
- Remove the couscous from the refrigerator and mix in everything you just chopped (artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, and parsley).