Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Death of Winter

It took me by surprise this winter when I realized how hard it is to find real, fresh food during the winter time. My co-op is running out of vegetables! And it suddenly dawned on me that most local produce doesn't  grow in the winter.  Uh oh.  Why didn't I realize this before I decided to go on this endeavor of only eating real food? It's making me feel like I really am  stuck on a desert island somewhere. Only replace the tropical desert island with a snowy, wind-gusting campus in the middle of nowhere...
Don't let the pretty, winter wonderland facade fool you.  Indiana winters are a beotch. 

I wish I could just instantly transport myself back to Colorado where there is always fresh produce galore.  In my last post, I talked a lot about contemplating my toenails over winter break.  Well, while contemplating my toenails, all of these thoughts popped into my head that I didn't have time to think about during the semester. During the semester, I was able to keep these thoughts simmering and at bay because I was just so freaking busy to think about anything, but over break they erupted into a roiling boil! I finally had time to sit and deal with these thoughts, and I realized that I need to make a life change to be happier.  So, next year I am moving back to Colorado and transferring to the University of Colorado.  I have been contemplating this choice for a while, but winter break gave me the time that I needed to truly "take inventory" of how happy I am in Indiana, and how happy I am in Colorado.  It was painstakingly obvious that I am more happy in Colorado, and I have decided I need to start allowing my happiness-meter to start making decisions for me.

But while I am here for my last semester, I am trying my best to eat the freshest food that I can.  While it is always nice to receive care packages from my mom with organic peanut butter and chocolate, these can hardly suffice to live off of (unfortunately).  So I have been doing some searching, and I discovered the Granger's Farmer's Market in Granger, Indiana.  They have an online ordering system, with delicious options.  I ordered lettuce from a greenhouse  (thank goodness for greenhouses during the winter), squash, sweet potatoes, ready-made organic hummus, and ready-made chocolate avocado pudding! Just when I thought I would slowly whither away from lack of flavor, variety and freshness in my diet, the world showed me that it is here to help me.  The farmers market even delivered to me when I explained my situation of being a college student without a car.   Thank You Universe!

I have also discovered a simple soup that is hearty and is keeping me warm during this death of winter (If this sounds over-dramatic to you, you try walking a half an hour in the snow to your class on the other side of campus).  It is a bean and sweet potato soup, based off of the My New Roots Blog's Sweet Potato Vichyssoise, which you can find here.

Simple Bean and Sweet Potato Soup  
Serves 2


1. Two sweet potatoes
2. One onion, chopped
3. Three cups water (or vegetable broth)
4.  One cup beans (I used black beans because that is all I had, but white beans would make the soup look prettier)
5.  Juice of one lemon
6. Olive oil, to taste

1.  Cook beans
2.  Scrub the sweet potatoes and chop into chunks
3.  Add beans, sweet potato, onion, and water to pot.  Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are cooked.
4.  Put in blender, and blend until smooth.  Add the lemon juice, and then olive oil,salt, pepper, and possibly cayenne to taste. 

As I side note, I absolutely love my mini crock-pot that allows me to cook my beans during class.