Two weeks ago, I received my first delivery from Boston Organics. When I came home and saw my box in the living room, my roommate actually said "I have never seen anyone this excited about produce before." Yes, I am a self-proclaimed dork. 
What is Boston Organics? It's a organic produce delivery service that sources from local New England farms when possible. You basically go online, sign up, fill out a "no-list" of items that you never want to receive, and then they send you a box weekly or biweekly of seasonal produce with some non-seasonal stuff mixed in. Their produce was so fresh. I had a bunch of lettuce that stayed fresh in my fridge for 2.5 weeks! Usually, lettuce that I buy from Whole Foods starts to wilt after about a week - and that's if I am lucky. Also having your groceries delivered to you is super convenient. For those of you in the Boston area, I would definitely recommend trying them out.

The first thing that I made with my produce was a Garlic Basil Mashed Sweet Potato Dish. It was beyond good. Since my oven didn't work, I had to boil the potatoes before mashing them, but you could just as easily roast them first.

 
 
Don't eat anything you aren't willing to kill yourself. - Lorene Lavora

Remember that time I started a blog and then neglected it for weeks on end? Yeah, well that happened. Whoops. Anyway, 2 weekends ago, Ishita came to visit me in Boston (some might call it our second aniversario after Buenos), and we went oyster shucking. Have you ever shucked an oyster? It doesn't just pop open, you gotta put your back into it.

Eating bivalves were actually the thing that convinced me that I should start eating meat again. I had just finished reading Eating Animals* by Jonathan Safran Foer and realized that the dairy and egg industry are one of the worst offenders of animal cruelty and unsustainable farming. Going vegan was simply not an option for me. I weigh 10 pounds. If I went vegan, I would literally disappear - not to mention half (or more) of my diet would consist of grains.

It was around that time that I read this post about eating seafood sustainably on Whole 9. I realized that eating meat didn't have to be a binary decision. Now that I was educated about the agricultural industry, I couldn't just close my eyes and turn around. So I started asking questions and learning the source of where my food was coming from. Is it annoying sometimes? It's not ideal, but it's what works for me.

*If you haven't read Eating Animals, I highly recommend it. It's written more as a story about Foer's investigation into the agricultural industry than a fact based expose, but very informative none the less.
 
 
My first weekend in Boston after the craziness had settled down would have been a lonely one, but thankfully Megha, Simi, and Suniti came to visit me. It was one of the best weekends that I have had in Boston! Well, the only weekend where I haven't been sick or moving or spending most of my time on a bus. Anyway, point being, it was fantastic! We explored the Boston Commons, threw pennies in the reflecting pool at the Symphony, ate cannolis in the North End, and played Boy Meets World drinking games. If that's not your idea of a great weekend, you're not cool, dude.

The best part of the weekend was lunch on Saturday. The girls took me to L'Espalier for my belated birthday dinner. Simi's coworker used to work there and had made reservations for us, so they started us off with a glass of bubbly and served us an extra course! Everything was delicious. I started with this weeks harvest at Apple Street Farm and had a lamb dish for my second course. 

 
 
My last brunch in NYC was at The Fat Radish in the LES with Kriti. I love brunch, but I usually love the concept of brunch more than I love the food at brunch. I usually leave brunch feeling unsatisfied after paying $14 for a sad omelet when I could have made a much better one at home. 

The Fat Radish was the opposite of a sad omelet. The food and the flavors were phenomenal, and the dishes were innovative. I got a cloth bound cheddar and potato cake with market cabbage, bacon, and a poached egg. Actually, the thing that annoys me the most about brunch is that it's always the same dishes on every menu: huevos rancheros, three egg omelet with goat cheese, eggs benedict, blah, blah blah. ATTENTION PEOPLE: goat cheese does not automatically win you points; you have to try a little. The Fat Radish tried a lot, and totally won points in my book.

The Fat Radish is based on a sustainable farm-to-table ethos and lists all of their purveyors on their website. I love when restaurants are transparent like that!
 
 
I've never really believed the weather channel when they say that "a storm's a comin'." In past experiences, it's never been more than a little rain or a few snowflakes. But today, I was literally blown to work. I tried walking, but it was no use since the wind picked me up and carried me there. I guess it doesn't help that I also weigh the same as a twig.

Since I am in Boston, we're not really getting the brunt of the storm (unlike my family and friends in Philly and NYC), but we still got to leave work early! So during my afternoon off, I thought I would take advantage of the storm slowing everything down and post about some sustainable restaurants that I went to during #funemployment (those were the good old days).

Square 1682
17th and Sansom, Philadelphia

My parents took me to Square 1682 in Philly before I left for Argentina. They had been raving about it for weeks and they rarely get that excited about a restaurant, so I knew it was going to be pretty good. I had to agree, the food was truly fantastic. It was also restaurant week, so we did it on the cheap. My mom got a butternut squash soup that was heavenly, and my lamb short ribs were seriously to.die.for. 

Square 1682 is Philadelphia's first LEED-certified green eatery and bar. Chef Guillermo Tellez has a strong commitment to sourcing local, organic, and sustainable ingredients for many of his recipes. He also alters the menu frequently to feature the most seasonal ingredients. The restaurant also uses Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program to source their fish. 

 
 
Do you want the good news or the bad news first? Bad news: I totally abandoned the blog over the past few weeks. Good news: I am back from Argentina, officially all moved in to Boston, and started my new job yesterday! It is so weird to be working and living somewhere so new, but so awesome at the same time.

While I was on #funemployment, I made this awesome Ground Beef and Butternut Squash Casserole (adapted from Health-Bent). Health-Bent makes it as a lasagna, but I wanted to be a little innovative (aka too lazy to cut up the butternut squash into planks) so I just bought the precut stuff from Trader Joes and tossed it in there. 


 
 
I decided I should probably get into sports to get ready for my move to Boston, so I am supposed to be watching the Eagles v Giants game right now. But it seems like I picked the worst game to start, since neither of the teams have gotten past the 50 yard line for most of the first half. Whatever, I'm just going to write this blog post instead.

Before I moved out, Rachel and I got a chance to make these awesome baked plums. They are SO easy and heavenly. I think that if you bake any fruit with honey, it will turn into dessert gold. We ended up topping it with a little bit of yogurt and cinnamon, and it was perfection.

Finally, touchdown Eagles! Maybe they sensed that people (namely me) were getting bored, and decided to finally make some good moves on the field.

 
 
This weekend Rachel and I made a feast to honor our last weekend together in the apartment. We made two of our favorite go-to sides: Curried Cauliflower and Japanese-style Cabbage Salad. We also made a main dish with fish since Rachel is Kosher and I like to know the source of my meat. It usually takes a situation like that for me to cook fish. When I first started the paleo diet, I tried really hard to get into fish, but I just can't. Fish is just overwhelmingly fishy sometimes.

The Japanese-style Cabbage Salad is super easy to make. It doesn't even require any cooking. You just mix some ingredients together and throw in some pre-cut cabbage, and you are good to go! The Curried Cauliflower is delicious and super easy to make, but you have to give the cauliflower sometime to cook down. The Israeli BBQ fish had a very strong tamarind flavor to me. I've never cooked with tamarind before, and it's a very unique flavor.

 
 
Moving is a bitch. Moving to a different city is even more of a bitch. Moving to a different city when your building's management company sucks balls is a serious bitch. As a result, I have spent very little time at the farmers market, and consequently very little time in the kitchen. So when Simi suggested lunch at Casa Mono to get my mind off of the headaches of moving, I was a little too excited. After a semester abroad in Madrid, I have a soft spot in my heart for tapas and Spanish food.

I love Casa Mono; their food is phenomenal. They are on the expensive side, but after the moving ordeals that I have been going through I think I deserve a good meal. Just like Northern Spy Company, Casa Mono features their menu on Real Time Farms, so you can see which farms they source from. They have a whole section of the menu dedicated to dishes made from whole organic animals that are pasture raised on small farms in the Hudson Valley and butchered in-house. They also have some really cool green initiatives, and are a certified two star Green Restaurant. I definitely recommend checking them out.
 
 
Last week, my parents and I went to California to drop off my brother at UCLA (god, they grow up fast). While I was there, I noticed that it seems like Californians don't really need a locavore challenge. For them, eating sustainably isn't part of a 30-day challenge or a slow food movement, it's just life.
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On the way from SFO to Lake Tahoe, my parents decided to take a short pit stop in Napa. Last time I went to Napa to visit Simi, I had absolutely fallen in love with the place. I mean, come on - good food and good wine, what more could a girl ask for? This time we went to the Oxbow Public Market for lunch. It's basically a market place where local artisans and purveyors can sell their crops and/or specialties to the community. They also have a bunch of restaurants and food vendors that source sustainably/locally. The spirit of the market place rests on the fact that all of their tenants "actively support sustainable and organic farming practices, owner-operated businesses, local food producers, and the agricultural community of Napa Valley and surrounding regions." The food was phenomenal and so fresh. Even my dad, who always makes fun of me by saying things like "do you think these bathrooms are organic?" could not get over the sweetness of the tomatoes on his bruschetta. He admitted that they were out of this world.