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Last Friday I had coffee with my pastor and left thinking, “I love my life.”  Coffee was great and was out of my usual Friday routine of Happy Hour with my best friends but mostly I was feeling an overwhelming sense of contentment.  For the last few months, much of my free time has been spent thinking about what I want to do with my life.  Although this has been a freeing process, I left coffee thinking that there are arenas that I’m needed.  Yes, I with my flaws, hick ups, and highly introverted nature have giftings that only I can present to the world.

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After coffee I visited for the first time Farm Lot 59 located in Long Beach near Signal Hill, picked up some produce and walked around the farm.  Farm Lot 59 is a non-profit urban farm that grows food and flowers without pesticides, raises hens for pest management, and has bee hives for pollination.  I was delighted to see in rows and raised beds greens, herbs, squash, tomatoes, corn, artichokes and some fruit trees.  With a chicken coup and tales of rabbits getting into the farm, you would never believe that you’re in the city.

Farm Lot 59

Farm Lot 59 participated in the Farm to Table dinner that I attended a month ago.  We had a similar salad at the dinner that was really tasty.   The green onions were delicious and the valencia oranges were so juicy.  I look forward to stopping in again before doing my weekly grocery shopping.

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I decided to make an orange viniagrette dressing with honey and rice vinegar.  I really like the texture that the dressing takes on when the honey and vinegar are mixed.  I added some whole grain dijon mustard to give it a kick and used the juice of one whole orange.

Valencia Orange Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup rice-wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or expeller pressed canola oil
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp whole grain dijon mustard
  • juice of 1 small valencia orange

Directions

  • In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the vinegar and oil.  Add the honey and mix well with a beater.  Add the mustard and orange juice until well combined.

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Mixed Greens Salad with Avocado, Radishes, Red Crimson Onions, Fennel, Goat Cheese, and Pecans

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 2 handfuls of mixed greens such as kale, collard greens, arugula, broccoli rabe, and dandelion greens
  • 2 radishes, sliced
  • 2 red crimson onions (or green), bulb portions only, sliced
  • 1 small fennel root, sliced, plus 2 Tbs fennel leaves
  • 1-2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup pecans

Directions

  • Wash and dry the greens.  Cut up or tear into small pieces.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the greens with 3 Tbs of the prepared dressing and a dash of kosher salt.  Massage the greens for 2 to 3 minutes until they start to soften.
  • Add the radishes, onions, fennel root slices, and goat cheese in small chunks.  Add the pecans and avocado.  Mix well to combine and add extra dressing as needed.
  • Serve with torn pieces of fennel leaves on top.
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