Sunday, 24 March 2013

Ottawa Good Food Box and New Recipe: Lettuce Wrap Peanut Chicken & Spicy Broccoli

I picked up my very first Ottawa Good Food Box this past Wednesday, and I am very happy with the result. Definitely a great way to welcome the first day of Spring! If you're curious as to what the Ottawa Good Food Box is, they describe themselves as "a non-profit community-based initiative bringing neighbours together to buy a variety of delicious and nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices." I first found out about this initiative when researching local food co-operatives and I thought it would be worth a try. I have been striving to add more fruits and vegetables to my diet and I have also been trying to purchase locally grown items where I can (I've been finding this is a little more difficult during the winter months). The Ottawa Good Food Box states that they "strive to source contents as locally as possible, balancing that with the goal of good value for customers." I ended up ordering the medium sized box for $15.00, however, they also offer small and large boxes, fruit bags, and an organic produce box. If you would like to check them out, you can access their website here

I received the following items:

6 Apples, Sweet Potato, 2 lb carrots, 5 bananas, 2 bok choy, mango, head of lettuce, 3 oranges, small bag of mushrooms, broccoli, and 2 lb bag of yellow onions

All in all I would say this is a great way to supplement your fruit and veggie intake. I found the value and quality of the produce to be better than what I have been buying at the grocery store this time of year (even the fiancé agreed - he remarked how fresh and green the broccoli was as we ate it!). It was also very easy to order (they offer online ordering and payment for select pick-up locations around Ottawa). My only complaint is that the pick-up hours at the location I chose were 10am - 4pm, which interferes with the hours I work. Not too much of a problem though - if I order again I will just choose a location closer to my workplace! 

Here is a simple recipe utilizing the lettuce and broccoli I received in the box:

Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce and Spicy Broccoli


For the Chicken Wraps

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 1/2 tbs soy sauce
1/2 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs vegetable oil
5 lettuce leaves

Place chicken breasts in resealable container or bag with soy sauce and sesame oil. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (I did this in the morning before leaving for work, and cooked the chicken when I returned home).

Once chicken has marinated, remove from container (shake off excess marinade) and cook in sauté pan with 1 tbs vegetable oil on medium heat. Cook each side approximately 3 - 5 minutes, or until no pinkness remains. Place chicken on lettuce leaf, pour over peanut sauce (below), wrap up and enjoy!

For the Peanut Sauce (I used this Martha Stewart recipe)

3 tbs smooth peanut butter
2 tbs fresh lime juice (~1 lime, juiced)
1 tbs Asian style chili-garlic sauce
1 tbs brown sugar (I used dark)

Combine ingredients and in small sauce pan on low heat. Stir regularly until heated. Spoon over chicken.

For the Spicy Broccoli 

2.5 tbs soy sauce
1/2 tbs sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 broccoli crowns, separated into bite size pieces

Combine first four ingredients and set aside. Steam broccoli until desired tenderness is reached (usually 5 - 10 minutes). Pour sauce on top and enjoy!

This ended up being a surprisingly quick and delicious weeknight meal using ingredients I already had around the apartment. Our "wraps" were more like tacos, as it was difficult to wrap the lettuce up around the chicken. I wouldn't change a thing though!

I'm looking forward to sharing some more recipes using the ingredients of my Good Food Box over the next week! Stay tuned!

-Alex (Bean)

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