Marlena's Books & Blog

Black Futsu and Green Zebras

Hello lovelies,

You all know about my love for everything seasonal. I don't know what I'd do without my two weekly trips to the farmer's market (Tuesday and Friday), or the organic stand about fifteen minutes from my office. They provide me with absolutely delicious feasts every night at low costs. No dinners feel as nourishing in my body as those that are seasonally grown.

Recently, I've fallen in love with another heirloom squash (like kabocha, also sometimes referred to as Japanese pumpkin...I do love my Asian squashes!). Last year I was all about the Chinese 5 Spiced Kabocha Squash, but since meeting the beautifully funky black futsu (pronounced fut - zoo), I've been hopelessly devoted to it. It has been my go-to starchy vegetable of the changing seasons.

Black futsus are also incredibly easy to prepare. Carefully slice them in half, seed them, and place them in a 350 oven for about 1 hour. I like to cook them with the flesh side down on a baking sheet for about 40 minutes, then flip them over to finish baking. You'll know that futsus are finished when they can be pierced with a fork.

The skin of the futsu will turn a darker brown, but that's OK. I eat the skin of these gorgeous squashes (as I do with acorn squash, which can be cooked in exactly the same way as the black futsu!).

They look like funky, wrinkly pumpkins. Like all winter squashes, they keep well on your counter for a long time, up to six months. Below is my current winter squash collection. I always have my favorites on hand!

Moving on to other heirlooms, one of my favorite salad ingredients: the tomato, is about to be done for the year. Meanwhile I'm scrounging up the last of them.

This summer I have been loving Green Zebra tomatoes. They are sweet, but not super sweet like most tomatoes. They are a bit tangy and incredibly refreshing - of course they are a beautiful addition to any dish! Below is a blurry picture of my dinner salad that was a mix of baby greens, green zebras, raw beets, turnips, carrots, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and stevia. The sun is starting to go down earlier, so if I don't get to snap the pictures before then, my picture quality is compromised.

I spent many years following recipes, spending lots of money on specialty items, and trying to mimic mainstream foods with healthier foods so that I could still feel "normal" dispite having a diet and lifestyle that many find extreme, difficult, and weird.

Interestingly enough, I don't feel that buying mostly local and organic produce is extreme or weird. If it is, that's fine with me, as I find the mainstream approach to life is extreme on the body in a negative sense (breakfast sandwiches, fruit after cooked food, mainstream hormone laden animal products, and packaged snacks with artificial additives and preservatives in them).

My meals are simple, delicious, and beautiful. They cost minimum dollars thanks to my regular trips to the farmer's market. It isn't a coincidence that what is good for the body is good for the planet and easy on the wallet, as well.

Meals like this feel like home to me.

Enjoy your day!


P.S. - If you're interested in "listening" to me holler (sorry, I just get excited) about the importance of deep tissue cleansing, please go to my friend Lauren's site (well, one of her many sites), to read my guest post: Colonic FAQ part 1.
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