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How To Eat Your BOX! (Week of 6/11/17)

How to cook your box:

Nectarines: You can either eat these smooth-skinned stonefruits crisp and hard like an apple, or set out on the counter to allow to ripen for a day or two if you like them sweeter and soft. Test for ripeness by fragrance and by gently pressing around the stem – it should give to light pressure when ripe. Place in sealed container in the fridge when ripe – if you leave them exposed to the open air in the fridge, they will wrinkle from dehydration. Nectarines, like other stonefruit, ripen from the inside to the outside, so if fruit is soft all over it is more likely overripe. Try nectarines for breakfast paired with yogurt or hot/cold cereal, as a topping to a green salad, and as an ingredient in fruit salads. Nectarines are also great on the grill, but be sure to use slightly less ripe fruit, it will hold up better without breaking apart/juicing. And of course, nectarines bake up fabulously into crisps, pies, and sauces!

Carrots: Twist the tops off those carrots as soon as they arrive so that they stay nice and crisp in the refrigerator. If you’re reading this, you’ve chosen organically grown carrots, so give yourself a fist bump. ? Carrots are so important to get organic because conventionally grown carrots are often a concentrated source of heavy metals, nitrates and pesticides. Eating carrots is a healthy alternative to junk food, and just one carrot can boost your willpower that is in resistance to those processed foods. Consider adding bunch carrots on to your order on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Your body will thank you!

Recipe for Roasted Carrots with Spicy Green Sauce

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard is loaded with vitamins A, K, and C and when consumed raw there are significant amounts of vitamin E and Iron. Besides a being a great green for a quick sauté similar to kale or spinach, swiss chard is great eaten raw. Cut into fine ribbons and tossed in a salad along with a fine mince of their brilliantly colored stems for a bit of crunch.

The frilly leaves are perfect smoothie fodder as their mild flavor is hardly detected when there are frozen berries involved (a must to get our youngest to enjoy her smoothie).

Along with salads, sautés and smoothies the hardy chard stems are perfect for a quick pickle. Make up a simple bring with vinegar, spices a bit of salt and a faint touch of honey then warm over the stove. Turn off the heat then add chard stems. Let them cool in the brine then refrigerate for up to two weeks. Dice them up then add to salads or serve alongside a cheese platter or simple snack on them throughout the day.

Cauliflower

This little vegetable darling is finally getting the spotlight it deserves. It boasts high levels of vitamin C and moderate levels of Vitamins B and K. Really though it’s quite possibly the most delicious vegetable after a good roast in the oven.

Vegetable butchers praise the cauliflower steak. If you think I’m kidding about any part of that last sentence you are mistaken. Cut a cauliflower into thick 1-inch slices. Slather with olive oil then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper then roast in a 400°F oven until tender and the edges are deeply caramelized and even charred in parts. Top with a simple salsa of fresh herbs, lemon, garlic and olive oil. A fried egg on top of that makes a fine dinner or breakfast. Or chop the cauliflower into florets and roast in the same way. Toss with chili flakes, pasta and fresh goat cheese for a simple dinner.

And since I can’t stop talking about tacos today, roasted cauliflower makes a mighty fine taco add in too. Pulverized in a food processor cauliflower resembles the texture of rice or couscous. Baked or even consumed raw you have a lovely vegetable alternative. Check out this recipe for a raw cauliflower tabouli.

Cauliflower Tabouli

Swiss Chard and Caramelized Onion Tacos

from Mexican Everyday, by Rick Bayless

Serves 4

Ingredients:

12 oz. bunch of Swiss chard, thick lower stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch ribbons (10 oz. cleaned

spinach can be used instead)

1 1/2 tbsp. oil, lard or bacon drippings

1 large onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp. red pepper flakes (add more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (water works too)

Salt

12 warm corn tortillas

1 cup (4 ounces) Queso Fresco or other fresh cheese such as feta or goat cheese

Salsa, for serving

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion then cook until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. To the onions add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Stir for about 20 seconds until you are hit with the aroma of the garlic then immediately add the broth or water, ½ teaspoon salt and the greens. Adjust the heat to medium-low then cover the skillet. Cook until the greens are almost tender. For Swiss chard this will be about 5 minutes. Spinach only takes about 2 minutes.

Uncover the pan, adjust the heat to medium-high then cook until the juices have reduced significantly and merely glaze the greens. Taste and add salt if you think it needs it.

Serve with the corn tortillas, crumbled fresh cheese and Chipotle salsa.

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How To Eat Your BOX! (Week of 2/26/17)

Carrots

There are so many ways to enjoy carrots! We love them raw, roasted, in stews, or in stir fry’s. One way I make sure to take my daily carrot in take is in my juice. Every morning I grab the basics: cucumber, celery, carrots, apple and lemon. Juice and off we go! Keep a container with shredded carrots and add them to your soups and salads.

 

Tangerines

As you might expect, the best way to eat one is to simply skin it and eat it raw. However, if you are truly interested in getting the most of its nutritional value, save the peel. You see, the highest concentrations of antioxidants are in the pulp and rind. But don’t worry…there are a few simple and tasty ways to prepare the peel. Tangerines and their rinds can be used to add flavor to dishes such as orange chicken. For the more experienced tangerine lover, peels can also be dried out, grated and used as a tangy glaze or a preserve. Grated or powdered orange and tangerine rinds are also used in meat marinades and sauces.

 

Snow Peas

The options are endless: quick steam, add to stir fries, a healthy snack, roast them. My favorite is to add them to a fried rice. Add any left over rice you have to a hot pan, add veggies, sesame oil, scrambled eggs and voilá, dinner is ready!

 

Recipe: Roasted Carrot – Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

3 medium carrots

1 medium onion

3 (14 oz) jars/cans stewed tomatoes

4 ½ cups water

olive oil

salt and pepper

Directions:

Preparation: 5 min Cook: 30 min

  1. Peel and roughly chop 3 medium carrots. Drizzle with olive oil, place in baking sheet and roast at 425 for 20 minutes.
  2. In a separate pot, sauté one medium onion (chopped), add 3 (14oz) jars/cans of stewed tomatoes and 4.5 cups water. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add roasted carrots.
  4. With the help of an immersion blender, *blend until creamy.

Strain (optional) and enjoy! *If using a regular blender, let it cool down and blend in small batches. If the soup is hot, the steam can blow off your blender’s lid.

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Rustic Vegetables

 

INGREDIENTS:
 
– Assorted hard vegetables: KFF beets, carrots, red bell peppers, zucchini, KFF green beans, garlic, etc.
 
– 2 tablespoons Extra Virging Olive Oil
 
– Salt, pepper and dried dill to taste
 
PREPARATION:
Preheat oven to 425. Cut vegetables into bit size pieces, leaving garlic whole. Toss vegetables in oil, salt, pepper and dried dill. Bake in a roasting pan for 20-25 minutes. I covered with foil for the first 15 minutes, then uncovered to let brown in the oven.
 
Recipe source: http://www.thecleaneatingmama.com/2011/06/rustic-vegetables.html
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The Summer “Crunch”

 

Pickles and summer go together like cherries and ice, ice cream and sticky faces, picnics and grass stains, and sweet and tangy relish on a hot-off-the grill burger. Crisp dill-infused spears of zucchini use up the inevitable glut of the loved and loathed summer squash. Blushed tangy purple onions that kick up the juiciest of tacos. Sweet and sour cherries next to creamy cheeses spread over crackers at a grown-up picnic.
 
Notice I didn’t even mention little dimpled cucumbers? Usually when the topic of pickles comes up, dill pickles or bread and butter pickles seem the most pressing choice, but in our house pickles come in all shapes and sizes. I’ve pickled peaches, onions, cherries, strawberries, prunes, zucchini, fennel, carrots and peppers. 
 
My other standard practice in pickling is to skip the water bath. I stick to small batches and store them in the fridge. Refrigerator pickles come together quickly and are a clever way to use up the bountiful produce available this time of year.  
 
My recipe in this newsletter uses a mix of summer vegetables: zucchini, carrots and fennel. The spices and herbs can be altered to your desire. In under 20 minutes you’ll have a fridge loaded with fresh pickles. I can’t seem to wait more than a day to start enjoying them, but if you are more patient than I, then a few days bathing in the potent brine will do the vegetables well. 
 
Use these pickles as a bright summer appetizer, alongside a grilled burger or as a healthful snack. Once you’ve discovered the simplicity and delight of fridge pickles, it’s quite possible there will be little room in the refrigerator for anything else. Not a bad problem to have, I’d say.
 
MIXED VEGETABLE FRIDGE PICKLES
 
Ingredients: 
2 zucchini
2 carrots
1 fennel bulb (with fronds attached) 
3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon whole coriander
2 teaspoons fennel seed
2 teaspoons mustard seed
½ teaspoon chili flakes
3 Tablespoon kosher salt, divided
1 ¼ cup water
2 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
¼ cup sugar 
 
Directions:
Cut the zucchini into spears that fit the height of the jars you are using. Place the spears in a bowl with ice water and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of the salt. Submerge the zucchini in the water, weighing them down with a plate. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will keep the spears crisp when pickled.
 
Cut the carrots in the same manner as the zucchini. Slice the fennel in ¼” pieces, reserving the fennel fronds. Set vegetables aside.
In a saucepan combine the remaining ingredients, including the 2 Tablespoons salt. Bring to a simmer then turn off heat.
 
Place the cut vegetables in clean jars. Add a couple pieces of fennel frond to the jar(s).
 
Carefully pour the hot brine over the vegetables until submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least one day. Well-sealed refrigerator pickles will keep for 1 month.
 
*NOTE: While I have never had the experience of making classic cucumber based pickles I do have discerning tastes and have garnered highly opinionated perspectives on a good pickle in which I am happy to share with you. A good pickle is well balanced with a bright vinegar bite, I like a touch of heat and nice balance of salt with a whisper of sweetness. The greatest classic pickle I ever met had all these things plus a satisfying crunch that is hard to find in a homemade pickle. The key was a grape leaf tucked into the jar. Apparently grape leaves have a substance that inhibits the enzymes that soften the pickles. The source of these enzymes is located in the blossom end of the cucumber, so you could simply remove that part and achieve the same affect.
 
Makes one quart.
Inspired by Bon Appetit, August 2011
 
by Ashley Rodriguez
 
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Thanksgiving Holiday Planning

Every year for the Thanksgiving holiday we offer an additional special Holiday Box ($35) full of traditional Thanksgiving meal items for your celebration. Not only can you schedule a Holiday Box to be delivered the week of Thanksgiving, but also the week before and the week after. You can have this box delivered along with your regular order or in place of your regular order. The box menu is as follows (*denotes local):

Holiday Box Menu

Granny Smith Apples, 2 lbs.*

Cranberries, 8 oz.*

Satsumas, 3 lbs.

Breadcubes for Stuffing, 1 lb.*

Celery, 1 bunch

Acorn Squash, 1 ea.*

Green Beans, 1 lb.

Garnet Yams, 2 lbs.

Carrots, 2 lbs.

Yellow Potatoes, 3 lbs.*

Onions, 1 lb.*

Remembering Neighbors in Need

If your celebration includes helping the less fortunate who live in our community, we would like to partner with you by giving you the opportunity to purchase a discounted Holiday Box for $25, to be given to local food banks the week of Thanksgiving. Last year 174 Holiday Boxes were donated and this year we’d love to have a greater impact. The volunteers at the food banks have expressed again and again how wonderful and satisfying it is to be able to supply people with fresh produce. Please call or e-mail us to set up this donation.

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Vegetable Stir Fry

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic scapes, chopped
2 tablespoons peanut sauce
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced green cabbage
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup fresh snap peas
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup sliced tomato
1 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a wok or large heavy skillet. Add garlic and peanut sauce, and stir-fry for 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in broccoli, carrots, cabbage, celery, snap peas, zucchini, tomato, and green onions. Season with salt, and stir-fry for 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together water, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Stir into vegetables, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.