About two years ago I was reading a lot about CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) Boxes and wondered if they existed in Hawaii. After some research, I found "Just Add Water", in Kailua, on the east or Windward side of the island. I signed up for their weekly box of organic, locally-grown (all islands) produce, getting their single size, gourmet box. The thing about CSA boxes in Hawaii is that you can get them all year long (good) but the lack of seasonality here means you don't get a huge variety of items throughout the year (not so good).
Opening my box each Thursday (this week's pictured above), I can usually expect to see a bag of mixed salad greens--sometimes with a few edible flowers, a head of romaine, a bag of mixed dark leafy greens--usually kale and chard, a couple of bags of sprouts, a bunch of apple bananas, a bag of basil and a couple of avocados. Beets, bok choy, cabbage, pineapple, citrus fruits and papayas are frequent visitors. Then comes the occasional "surprise and delight" items that pop up every so often like a bag of spiny reddish rambutan, sunny yellow lilikoi (passion fruit), little tangerines and tangelos, a daikon radish and sometimes strange fruits like the jabong or pomelo (similar to grapefruit) that I have to take in to work to have someone identify.
The boxes give me access to fresh, local organic produce that lasts much longer and tastes much fresher than the grocery store produce flown in from the mainland or Latin America. It also ensures that I cook with and eat my veggies because you just can't let it go to waste.
Tonight, I still had last weeks avocados to use up so I whipped up some Avocado-Yogurt Spread which is a great alternative to guacamole and good a way to cut some of the fat/calories and pump the protein up a bit. It is great as a sandwich spread in a wrap or a dip for crackers or veggies. I got this recipe from a magazine several years ago and it is a regular staple in my refrigerator.
Avocado Yogurt Spread
1 or 2 ripe avocados mashed
1/2 to 1 cup of non-fat plain Greek yogurt*
1/3 cup of chopped cilantro
juice of two limes
salt and pepper to taste
*I use about the same amount of yogurt as I have avocados. If not using Greek yogurt or you want a thicker spread, drain the yogurt for an hour or two before using.
Mix the first four ingredients together, add salt and pepper to taste. (You can also add Tabasco if you prefer it a bit spicier). Refrigerate for an hour or two before serving.