Magical Mystery Box! A.k.a How to buy great organic veggies CHEAP!

February 21, 2009 at 3:01 AM 1 comment

One of my dear friends took me to pick up one of Mariquita Farms’ organic, seasonal “Mystery Box”es yesterday. The Mystery Box is a just-picked array of vegetables. The best part is, just like Forrest Gump would say, “you never know whatcha gonna get.”

Ok, I’m about 5’1″ and 112 lbs. This “box” was HUGE!!! It felt like it weighed about half my weight, although it was probably around 20-25 lbs… for $25. I suspect the same quality and amount of vegetables from a supermarket would easily cost $100 or more. Unbelievable deal.

The big task is not going to be cooking it – the big task was actually the heroic act (if I do say so myself) of me trying to fit all those veggies into the fridge. I was chuckling out loud the whole time, trying to snip and shove bits and pieces every which way until it looked like we had trees growing out of our little fridge.

I’ve posted the stunning array of vegetables (from Mariquita’s accompanying newsletter with recipes) at the bottom of the post (because I can’t seem to the get the formatting thing down otherwise – oh well).

Gorgeous, eh? A bit psychadelic too.

Gorgeous, eh? A bit psychadelic too.

So, I’m not kidding when I tell my clients that although I’ve been at this for some time now, I still find a brand new vegetable to try at least once a month (which is what I challenge them to do – at least a couple times a month). Chiogga beets, for example. First of all, look how beautiful they are (photo courtesy of Mariquita’s website):


So, if you live in the SF Bay Area (man, we’re lucky!), check out their web site: I’m sure they’d love to hear from you.

And if you don’t live in the SF Bay Area, don’t despair. Chances are, with the increasing popularity and demand for organics (yes, even despite the economy – yay!), there is a wonderful organic farm near you and you can support their efforts AND get healthier at the same time. So, look for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) service or local farmer’s market near you. CSAs are farms or groups of farms that will ask you to pay a weekly/monthly/per order fee for receiving their fresh-picked goods. Farms will sometimes deliver to one central spot so you can go get the goods (like we did with Mariquita), or sometimes they’ll even deliver to your door and let you pick exactly what you do or don’t want in the box and at what frequency.

Find a CSA near you by going to this web site:

As to what the heck you do with all those veggies? Ohhh, so many options. The farms supply recipes and most of them are super duper easy and so much fun to make. Or, you can find recipes online – hello Google. Or, you can contact me and get some recipes. No excuses. Really.

A big part of why I love my work is seeing the delight my clients experience as they (re)learn how to cook simple, easy, delicious recipes and get addicted to the taste of their own cooking and how gooooooood it makes them feel.

In these days of tightening belts economically (or literally, because you’re hoping to lose that extra weight on purpose) cooking at home is where it’s at. For both reasons.

Cooking at home = save $$$ + lose (excess) weight + get healthy.

Plus a bone-deep sense of accomplishment and satiety. And that’s free!

It’s that simple.


Mariquita’s Mystery List (

French Fingerling Potatoes

Hamburg Parsley

White Carrots

Baby Orange Carrots

Baby Parisian Carrots

Purple Carrots

Watermelon Radishes

Red Turnips

Gold Chard

Little Gem Lettuce


Chioggia Beets

Entry filed under: holistic nutrition, nutrition, recipe. Tags: .

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