An Interview with Shauna

Strawberry Green Salad
Salad with Radishes and Greens

Trent and Shauna Stark moved to Petoskey almost 5 years ago. They feel fortunate to have both found careers in the city that they love. Trent works in business banking and serves on the Board of Freshwater Future. Shauna is a Nurse Practitioner. She also enjoys traveling to third world countries with the University of Michigan-Flint to provide health care and assist with teaching local nurses. Most recently, she traveled to Cambodia. The two also enjoy traveling the world together, learning about new cultures, and of course, sampling the local cuisine of new places. They have been members of Bluestem Farm for 3 years. 

MB) What do you do when you get your CSA box home? How do you get everything in the fridge? Any container system you like best? 

SS) I put greens, radishes, turnips and beets into mesh produce bags and place them in the drawers in the fridge. I also leave things out in the open such as cucumbers, green onions, and zucchini that don't wilt in the refrigerator.

MB) Do you find yourself using up certain vegetables first, and why? What do you end up using last, and why? 

SS) I try to use lettuces and herbs first simply because they don't last as long. If I don't think I will use the beets during the week that I received them, I will cut the greens off and return them to the drawer in the refrigerator. Potatoes and carrots also are a last to be used item because they do not spoil quickly. 

MB) How in the world do you manage cooking with whole foods, given your very busy life? 

SS) I make the time. It is very important to my husband and I that we eat whole foods as part of our daily diet. During weeks where I work multiple 12 hour shifts in a row, even if I only have time to slice a cucumber and throw into a snack bag, I will do that. I also enjoy making large batches of vegetable soup that I can put in smaller containers for transport to work each night. 

I have also found that using the custom order form this summer has helped me tremendously. I appreciated the challenge of finding recipes for every different veggie I would get last year, but this year, that just wasn't feasible. 

Another favorite go-to is hard-boiled eggs. They are such a quick option for getting adequate protein while working long shifts. We eat a lot of eggs in our house and Bluestem farm eggs are fantastic! 

MB) What are some of your go-to recipes for lunch? 

SS) In the summer, tomato and cucumber sandwiches! Just bread, butter, tomato, cucumber, and salt and pepper. Yum! 

MB) What do you tend to make for quick weeknight suppers? 

SS) Bok choi stir fried with kale, olive oil, and zucchini then drizzled with sesame oil and sesame seeds just before finishing (because the sesame oil tends to smoke at high temperatures) is a very easy side that we love.  I will pair it with baked chicken or salmon. 

Another favorite easy side is simply roasted root vegetables. We tend to get a lot in our CSA and they are all excellent roasted! Any combination of carrots, onions, turnips, potatoes, radishes, beets, and cabbage simply need to be sliced and drizzled in olive oil and a simple seasoning (we like salt and pepper or  Mary's green salt) and roasted until golden and tender. 

MB) Do you ever eat vegetables for breakfast? 

We love green onions and pan fried zucchini in eggs with goat cheese. Yum! 

We will also cut up tomatoes and eat with toast (if any are left). 

MB) Are there any recipes you eat all year, no matter what the season? What about recipes you WISH you could eat all year, if seasonality wasn't such a question where we live? 

SS) Again with the tomato and cucumber sandwiches... store bought tomatoes NEVER taste as good as the fresh ones in the summer. My husband and I wish we had great local tomatoes year round. 

MB) Any favorite methods for sneaking vegetables into meals or snacks? 

SS) I love creating new salads with your beautiful produce! We chop everything up on a bed of greens and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It never disappoints! Some salad pictures are below. There are no recipes needed, we just work with whatever we have. 

Big thanks to Shauna and Trent for this week's member contribution! 

Mary BrowerComment