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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 8/12/18)

Bartlett Pears

These are easy to tell when ripe because they brighten in color (turn from green to yellow in tone) and have a wonderful fragrance. Try adding pears to a salad this week! Cut into wedges or cubes they would make a great addition to this week’s salad mix. For dressing, try mixing a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with a little bit of Dijon mustard and about an eighth cup of maple syrup. Mix together with a wire whisk and beat in an eighth cup of olive or avocado oil. I would probably double the recipe if serving more than 3 people. Can also be topped with gorgonzola, feta, or goat cheese and pecans (or walnuts).

Beets

If you don’t have time to roast or boil beets you can shorten the cook time dramatically by slicing off thin rounds and either sautéing, steaming, or boiling them, just peel them first with a vegetable peeler.

In the cooking world, beets are often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin” for their incredible range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although beets can be cooked in a variety of ways (including as a secret ingredient for deep dark chocolate cake-Google it!), roasting beets is one of the easiest and most delicious. Roasting beets intensifies their flavor, brings out their earthy sweetness, and makes their skin tender and easy to peel off. Roasted beets are particularly delicious in beet salads or just as a complementing side dish.

Kale

We love Apple Kale Salad: (Kale, Apple, Pear, Red Bell Pepper, Green onion, Carrot….)

Kale is just wonderful and it’s so good for you! One great thing about kale as a salad is that it keeps well in the fridge, so you can make ahead of time and not worry about it wilting. Kale can be a little tricky because it tends to be a bit tough and sometimes bitter. Here are a few tips that have helped me. First make sure to remove all large ribs and stems (They make a great addition to a stir-fry though!); Chop the leaves small; Sprinkle with salt to cut the bitterness; “Tenderize” the leaves by massaging them with your hands (only takes about half a minute); And lastly, massage in the olive oil or salad dressing. This turns the kale bright green and makes it so it’s evenly covered.

For the dressing, I like to use a combination of vinegar and olive oil. Once you have prepped your kale and worked in the dressing, add your toppings. Try with apple or pear slices. Cashews, almonds and dried cranberries also taste great with this combination!

Broccoli:

Pass the broccoli! Broccoli contains plant compounds which protect against cancer. Broccoli is great in salad, stir-fry, soup, roasted, steamed, or raw with your favorite veggie dip. Add Broccoli to your next box of good food delivery here.

Featured Recipe: Roasted Broccoli

The high heat with this method causes the broccoli to caramelize making this one of the tastiest ways to prepare and eat broccoli. Leave off the pecorino for a vegan option (try topping with a drizzle of tahini instead). Serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

1 and ½ pounds broccoli crowns (roughly 2 heads)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, pressed

large pinch of dried red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons raw, sliced almonds (with or without skin)

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 – 3 tablespoons freshly grated aged pecorino cheese (leave out for vegan option)

zest of half a lemon

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. If you prefer less crispy florets (or if your oven runs hot), you can reduce the oven temperature by 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit and adjust cooking time as necessary.

Line a sheet pan with parchment. Trim any dry, tough ends of the broccoli crowns, leaving roughly 2-inches of stalk attached. Slice the broccoli into ½-inch-thick steaks, starting in the center of each broccoli crown and working out to the edges, reserving any small or medium florets that fall off for roasting. Slice any large remaining florets in half lengthwise.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, pressed garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add the broccoli steaks and toss gently until evenly coated. Arrange the broccoli, cut-side down, on the lined sheet pan, setting them apart slightly. Sprinkle with salt.

Roast the broccoli for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the broccoli, and sprinkle the almond slices evenly across the sheet pan. Roast for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is evenly caramelized and fork tender, and the almond slices are toasted and golden.

Transfer the broccoli to a platter, toss gently with the lemon juice and top with the grated pecorino cheese. Garnish with fresh lemon zest. Serve hot or at room temperature (it also tastes great cold). Leftover broccoli can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

 

Recipe adapted from abeautifulplate.com

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 8/27/17)

Bartlett Pears:
Try adding them to a salad this week! Cut into wedges or cubes they would make a great addition to this week’s red leaf lettuce. For dressing, try mixing a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with a little bit of Dijon mustard and about 1/8 cup of maple syrup. Mix together with a wire whisk and beat in an eighth cup of olive or avocado oil. I would probably double the recipe if serving more than 3 people. Can also be topped with gorgonzola, feta, or goat cheese and pecans (or walnuts). Pro tip: The skin of Bartlett pears brightens as it ripens. Bartlett pears are ripe and ready to eat once they change from green to yellow in color. Refrigerate after pears are ripe.
Kale:
Kale is just wonderful and it’s so good for you! One great thing about kale as a salad is that it keeps well in the fridge, so you can make ahead of time and not worry about it wilting. For prep: rinse well upon opening your box, de-stem, and you have it ready for the week! (The stems make a great addition to a stir-fry, or soup stock – don’t toss them!); For a fresh salad: chop the leaves small, sprinkle with salt to cut the bitterness, “tenderize” the leaves by massaging them with your hands (only takes about half a minute). Lastly, massage in your olive oil or salad dressing. This turns the kale bright green and makes it so it is evenly covered. Try topping your salad with fresh apple or pear slices. Cashews, almonds and dried cranberries are also a great addition!

 

 

Kale and Roasted Potato Salad
Hearty roasted potatoes, caramelized shallots and wilted kale makes this salad delicious and satisfying!

Ingredients:
6 cups cubed yellow potatoes (about 1″ cubes)
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 large bunch of kale
2-3 carrots, sliced into 1” pieces
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, to taste
sea salt
black pepper
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine potatoes, carrots, grape seed oil, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a large mixing bowl until veggies are coated and seasoned.
3. Spread coated veggies on baking sheet and cook for 45-50 minutes, turning once or twice to brown evenly. Potatoes are done when browned and crispy.
4. Combine whole grain mustard, extra virgin olive oil, and 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar in a small bowl. Taste and add additional vinegar if desired. Set aside.
5. Caramelize shallots by cooking with 1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium-low heat, for 15-20 minutes or until they’re browned.
6. Prep kale by thoroughly rinsing, chopping off the rough part of the stems and discarding. Slice the kale into 1-2″ strips.
7. When potatoes and carrots are nearly done roasting add garlic and kale to the onions and sauté over medium-low heat. Cook until the kale is thoroughly wilted, stirring often.
8. Combine kale and potatoes in a large serving bowl. Toss in vinaigrette or serve on the side as preferred (this recipe makes more than enough vinaigrette, so dress the salad to your taste). Add additional sea salt to preference. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Adapted from ahouseinthehills.com

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Have You Heard of Turmeric?

If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone! Little did I know, growing up in Peru, that I ate many Peruvian dishes that use turmeric, thanks to our African influence. In its powder form we call it “palillo.” I was over-the-moon ecstatic to find out that Klesick Farms offers fresh turmeric root! Although it’s not in the Klesick boxes this week, it is an amazing product you can add to your future orders. Let’s take a look at this popular ingredient in Indian, Asian and African cuisine. Turmeric is one the most thoroughly researched plants in existence today. Its medicinal properties and components (primarily curcumin) have been the subject of over 5,600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies!

Also known as curcuma, turmeric belongs to the ginger family. It gives curry its peppery taste and characteristic yellow color. Curcuma, which is responsible for turmeric’s yellow color, is also its most active medical component. Studies show that raw turmeric contains higher curcumin content in comparison to its counterpart turmeric powder.

According to studies, turmeric contains components that are both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, making it useful for treating arthritis, inflammatory conditions and possibly cancer. As a strong antioxidant, turmeric is rich with a substance believed to protect body cells from damage caused by oxidation. In promising, but very early research results, curcuma has kept several kinds of cancers from growing or spreading.

Okay, so how you can use raw turmeric? I’ve included a recipe (below), but you can also use raw turmeric to:

* Make golden milk: Heat 2 cups light unsweetened coconut milk (or almond milk) with 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger and 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh turmeric and 3-4 black peppercorns. Bring to a simmer and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste (if desired). Great before going to bed!

* Add to curries and rice

* Add to juices and smoothies

* Add to salads and stir fries, and so on…

One newsletter is not long enough to list the many benefits of turmeric. As per how to use it, the list is endless and just limited by your imagination!

Sara Balcazar-Greene (aka. Peruvian Chick)
Peruvian Food Ambassador
peruvianchick.com
instagram.com/peruvianchick
facebook.com/theperuvianchick

 

 

Recipe: Turmeric-Ginger Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

1 2½ to 3-inch piece ginger root

1 3-inch piece turmeric

1 small shallot, peeled

2 small potatoes, diced

2-3 medium cloves garlic

½ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (optional)

Juice of one large lemon

2 tablespoons water

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into approximately ½-inch strips

1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

2 large carrots, shredded

3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1 head of butter lettuce, leaves separated, cleaned and dried

Directions:

1. Using the small holes of a grater, finely grate ginger, turmeric, garlic and shallot into a large glass mixing bowl. Add soy sauce, Sriracha, lemon juice, water and whisk to incorporate.

2. Add chicken strips and toss well to coat with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 30 minutes up to 2 hours in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally to make sure the chicken is coated.

3. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add potatoes until they are cooked half way though. Add chicken and sauté in a single layer; turning pieces with a spatula as they cook. Continue stirring until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and transfer to a serving dish; cover to keep warm. To serve, place 4-5 chicken strips inside a lettuce leaf.

4. Top with approximately ½ tablespoon of shredded carrots and sprinkle with a pinch of cilantro.

 

Know Your Produce: Bartlett Pears

Did you know that Bartlett Pears contain probiotic benefits that support your gut health? New research has found that pears can balance beneficial gut bacteria.

Ripened pears can be used at once or put under refrigeration until you want to use them. Refrigeration will delay further ripening, but will not stop it altogether, giving you adequate time to include fresh pears in your menu planning.

A ripe pear is a sweet pear. A little known fact about the pear is that it is one of the few fruits that does not ripen on the tree. The pear is harvested when it is mature, but not yet ripe, and, if left at room temperature, it slowly reaches a sweet and succulent maturity as it ripens from the inside out.

Place under-ripe pears in a fruit bowl at room temperature near other ripening fruit, like bananas, which naturally give off ethylene and will help speed up the ripening process. And if you find yourself with a few too many overripe pears, blend them into smoothies, soups, sauces and purees!

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Breathe

There is a brief lull in the action coming my way soon. Most of our first plantings are in. Round two for the beans, summer squash, and corn will start in another week. Also, we are seeing blossoms on some of the early sugar snap peas! I am thinking that probably next week we will have a lighter load before we start harvesting lettuce, weeding everywhere, and more plantings.

A few years ago, I planted a new blackberry variety called Black Diamond. This season is its first fruiting and it is way earlier than I expected. I also grow some Doyle blackberries and they come on considerably later than the raspberries, but I am thinking that the Black Diamonds may be earlier than the raspberries—time will tell.

Why did I plant blackberries? Because I like them! And I also like not having to fight with the wild blackberries that engulf a mile of my property line. The Black Diamond is a “thorn less” variety that I can contain, farm, and harvest much more reliably. Harvest is an important consideration. It is hard enough trying to find farm help and it is even harder to find farm help to pick wild blackberries!

Blackberries and raspberries also grow upright and this older 6’ 2” frame of mind appreciates harvesting while standing up. This provides a nice break because practically everything else we grow on our farm is grown and harvested at ground level (e.g., lettuce, strawberries, cucumbers, squash, etc.)

The local season is upon us and local food will be finding its way into your boxes of good food from now on!

Enjoy!

Farmer Tristan

 

 

Recipe: Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved

1 bunch baby spinach, trimmed

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable stock)

1 cup canned chopped tomatoes with juice

2 cups whole wheat couscous, cooked (substitute with rice for gluten free option)

Directions:

1. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat.

2. Add the olive oil and heat.

3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add the chicken and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Remove the chicken and set aside.

5. To the same pan, add the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes.

6. Remove from the pan and set aside.

7. Lower the heat to medium and add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits.

8. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook 3 to 5 minutes.

9. Place the couscous in a serving bowl.

10. Top with the spinach, chicken and balsamic-tomato sauce.

Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s recipe from foodnetwork.com

 

Know Your Produce: Bartlett Pears

Did you know that Bartlett Pears contain probiotic benefits that support your gut health? New research has found that pears can balance beneficial gut bacteria. Check our blog this week for more info on the benefits of pears!

Ripened pears can be used at once or put under refrigeration (35º to 45º F) until you want to use them. Refrigeration will delay further ripening but will not stop it altogether, giving you adequate time to include fresh pears in your menu planning. Remember, pears need to ripen at room temperature, so don’t refrigerate an unripe pear!

A ripe pear is a sweet pear. A little known fact about the pear is that it is one of the few fruits that does not ripen on the tree. The pear is harvested when it is mature, but not yet ripe, and, if left at room temperature, it slowly reaches a sweet and succulent maturity as it ripens from the inside out.

Store: Place under ripe pears in a fruit bowl at room temperature near other ripening fruit like bananas, which naturally give off ethylene and will help speed up the ripening process. And if you find yourself with a few too many overripe pears, blend them into smoothies, soups, sauces and purees!

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Fresh This Week Tips, Week 10.17.10

Spitzenburg Apples
STORE: To store, keep apples as cold as possible in the refrigerator.
PREP: Gently rub the apple as you run warm water over it to clean. Peel and cut your apple into slices or cubes. To prevent apples from browning, brush with a lemon juice-water solution (1 cup water mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice).
USE: This dessert apple is great for cider, apple pies or eating out of hand. It is also rumored to have been a favorite of President Thomas Jefferson!

Bartlett Pears
STORE: Keep pears in a cool, dark place until ripe. To test for ripeness, gently push on the stem. If it gives a little, your pear is ready to eat. Once ripe, pears may be stored in the refrigerator.
PREP: Wash pears in cold water and keep them whole, slice them or chop them.
USE: Bartlett pears are delicious eaten out of hand, but are also great choices for canning or baking.

Beets
STORE: Separate your greens from the beets and keep them in separate plastic bags in the refrigerator. Leave an inch of the greens to prevent flavor loss and bleeding. The beets should last for about a week, but use your greens as soon as possible.
PREP: Scrub your beets and rinse the greens before using.
USE: Beets can be roasted, baked, steamed or eaten raw. The Klesick family loves to boil the beets, quarter them and eat them while they’re still warm with a bit of butter straight out of the pot! Be sure to sauté, steam or braise the tasty greens with a little olive oil and salt.

Cauliflower
STORE: Store cauliflower for up to one week in your crisper covered by a plastic or paper bag.
PREP: Keep whole and chop off ¼ inch off the stem or cut the head into bite-sized florets.
USE: Steam, roast, bake or stir fry cauliflower. Be careful not to overcook!  For a simple, delicious pizza, try this “pizza” with cauliflower crust recommended by a customer (great for those eating gluten free).

Fennel
STORE: Store fresh fennel in the refrigerator crisper. It should keep fresh for about four days, but try to use it as soon as possible for the best flavor.
PREP: Wash your fennel thoroughly to remove all dirt. Don’t be afraid to use all parts of the fennel in cooking: the base, stalks and leaves. The ideal way to slice your fennel is to cut it vertically through the bulb.
USE: Fennel is the unique, crunchy, licorice-tasting vegetable used commonly in Mediterranean cooking. When paired with juicy oranges, the fresh flavor and crisp texture of the fennel really shines. Try this festive Fennel and Orange Salad from kiss my spatula. You can also use fennel leaves as an herbaceous seasoning to entrees or soups.