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What are you eating?: Making the most of the harvest

Soft-spoken Karen Makar has a desk job with M&T Bank. Her husband, Chris Heeb, is a high-energy guy who has worked at several gyms in Western New York during the last seven years. Five years into their marriage, they’ve decided to forge a business venture together: CrossFit Nickel City, at Virginia and 10th streets.

The Depew residents, both 30, are among the growing number of suburbanites who look to tap into the recent business vibrancy on the West Side. He will handle the fitness; she will handle the books – and continue to lead the way when it comes to family nutrition.

What are the staples of your diet?

What we’ve done the past few years that works really well is a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Every week, we get a huge bag of produce from Porter Farms in Elba, close to Batavia. It’s an organic farm, but we pay much less than if you went to the grocery store and got non-organic produce.

The challenge there is you get what they harvest.

This past week, I got a 3-pound bunch of collard greens, which I probably wouldn’t have gone to the store and bought, but it’s neat because it forces you to try new recipes. Along the way, you find some things that you like. We’ve also been getting a lot of onions and cabbage. We’re still getting some peppers and they’re the best: purple peppers, red Carmen peppers, all kinds of peppers. Also squash.

I try to grow a few things at home but I don’t really have a green thumb. My parents (Bill and Kathy Makar) do, and sometimes I go “grocery shopping” in their garden.

Right now, we’ve been doing a lot of spaghetti squash, so I’ll roast the spaghetti squash and use it like a noodle, and have meatballs and marinara with that. It’s a good way to trick kids or your husband into eating healthier. It’s not a big jump to move from a noodle to a spaghetti squash. During the summer, we have so many extra vegetables because of the CSA that I shred up carrots and zucchini and put that in the meatballs while I’m making them.

– Scott Scanlon

On the Web: Find out more about the new West Side gym at and