Posted on

How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 11/20/16)

Green Beans:

Who hasn’t eaten green bean casserole for Thanksgiving? My family serves this dish every year. It’s tradition. And, along with that tradition comes a long list of canned and processed ingredients, full of sodium and preservatives. Now, I don’t want to spoil your Thanksgiving, especially if you have that one Aunt who always brings this dish – and it will to start a family feud if you say anything – I would rather you enjoy your time with family and not worry about this one day out of the year. However, if you are the chef, I would highly recommend your opting for fresh, healthier ingredients. It will take (a little) more time to prepare, but honestly, your health is worth it. Besides, it tastes way better! Canned, processed foods just don’t taste good to me anymore. I can feel my body objecting when I eat that food because I am not desensitized to it anymore. Once you rid your body of chemicals your brain can function the way it should, and warn you when you’re eating something that is not compatible with your body. I’m not temped to buy junk anymore, because it just doesn’t look appealing to me. This Thanksgiving, why not change up the traditional dish and use those fresh green beans from your box. While you’re at it, opt for your own homemade sauce instead of that can of mushroom soup. You can even make your own version of the French onions that everyone loves. Try one the recipes I’ve linked here and here:

Broccolini:

I love this miniature broccoli/asparagus (though not actually related to asparagus-it just looks this way)! I tend to prefer it over broccoli because it is so easy to cook and requires little prep. Simply cut off the ends (I like to take a good inch or two because the ends can be chewy), toss in some olive oil or lemon juice and throw in the oven. It’s more delicate than its cousin and requires less cook time. I don’t want to tell you how many times I’ve burned this vegetable. :/ Try baking at 425°F for 10-15 minutes until tender. Or, you can add it to a boiling pot of water and let cook for 2-5 minutes, depending on how tender vs crunchy you want. Add to sautéed garlic or onions (and pine nuts if you have them). You can run your broccolini under cold water to stop the cooking process while sautéing, then heat them up again with the garlic.

Spinach Mix:

Spinach is so great in salad. I enjoy adding apple slivers or dried cranberries to mine but the list is endless when it comes to toppings. Try using thinly sliced red onions, carrots, and apples from this week’s box. For dressing, mix apple cider or balsamic vinegar with olive oil and Dijon to taste.

Spinach isn’t just for salad. It is used in cooking just as often or more often than used fresh. If I have something like this mix in my fridge I’ll find myself adding it to just about anything: scrambled eggs, sandwiches, tacos, wraps, pasta, sautés, or even my smoothies.

This recipe comes with an Asian spin. I’m going to have to try to make their dressing!

Brussels Sprouts:

The first time I ever tasted caramelized Brussels sprouts, I was sold! It was at one of the Klesick dinners and out of all the dishes, it stole the show. I don’t think I’d ever tasted such a decedent vegetable in my life! Here’s how to cook them in the oven (they also caramelize well when sautéed!):

Preheat oven to 425°F. Trim off the bottom(don’t take off too much or they simply fall apart) and outer leaves and slices lengthwise. Toss with olive oil(about a tablespoon), salt, pepper, and mix until coated thoroughly. Roast on a baking sheet until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Now, you can just eat them like this but if you want to make them truly amazing try drizzling with equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a little honey. Mix together and add salt to taste. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving so I can serve this dish!

Delicata Squash:

This is one of my favorite winter squash. For one, because it’s so delicious and two, because it’s so easy to prepare! All you have do is slice it and cook it. You don’t even have to worry about the skins because they are tender enough that you can eat them right along with the flesh. They are also a much easier squash to cut than their larger counterparts so you don’t have to feel like you’re going to skewer yourself trying to slice the thing open. There many ways to cook and use this delicate squash: they can be baked, steamed, grilled or sautéed. They make a great side to almost any dish or can be added to pasta, salad, sauté, or stuffed. You can also add the creamy flesh to soup which makes for a thick smooth texture (and a wonderful nutty flavor!). My sister recently steamed up some delicata and added it with tomato soup as the base for her vegetable soup. It was a match made in heaven! It added a wonderful thick creamy texture and the flavor was fantastic.

A fast and simple way to eat Delicata squash is baked. Cut in half lengthwise, remove seed and cut halves crosswise into ½ inch wedges (or skip this step and leave in halves). Toss/slather in some softened-to-melted butter and about ½ tsp of salt. Spread out on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar. Roast in the oven at 425°F for about 25-30 minutes, tossing once or twice, until browned. The seeds can be roasted as well, the same way you would do pumpkin seeds.

Try this recipe with roasted delicata and red onions for a savorier dish.

Anna – Menu Planner