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How to Eat Your Box! (Week of 8/26/18)

Pluots

STORE: ripe pluots in the refrigerator for up to three days.

PREP: If stored in the refrigerator, remove your pluots before eating and let them return to room temperature. They taste much better this way. Rinse and leave whole, slice into wedges or cut into chunks.

USE: These sweet Dapple Dandy Pluots can be eaten out of hand, as a fresh topping for yogurt, dehydrated into dried pluots or made into jam. You can also experiment by substituting them for plums in recipes (after all, they are the delicious hybrid of the plum x apricot).

Cauliflower

Containing unique antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and protect against several diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, cauliflower is also very easy to add your diet. It’s tasty, easy to prepare and can replace high-carb foods in recipes. Cauliflower can be chopped up and added to salad or soup, roasted in the oven, tossed in a stir fry, boiled and pureed as a stand-in for mashed potatoes or to make a creamy soup, baked into a pizza crust as a flourless alternative, or simply eaten raw. You don’t even have to cut it up. Try baking it whole by simply cutting off the leaves and stem so it can sit upright, baste in olive oil, salt and spices of your choice, and bake on a cookie sheet or cast iron skillet at 450° for about 45-60 minutes or until a knife can be inserted easily. Because of its mild flavor, cauliflower goes well in spicy dishes or curries as it soaks up all the other flavors

 

Eggplant

Larger globe eggplants should be peeled and salted before cooking. To peel, use a small knife or peeler and cut off the skin in stripes, leaving some of the peel still intact to help hold its shape when cooking. Then cut into slices or cubes. The most important step is to “sweat” the eggplant. This helps in getting the best flavor and consistency (helps it not be bitter). Do this by tossing in a generous amount of salt and leaving in a colander for about an hour, then squeeze dry. Rinse well under cold water and completely dry by squeezing them between a towel. To cook you can grill, bake or sauté.

 

Featured Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Roasted Eggplant, Caramelized Onion, and Pine Nuts

The eggplant soaks up lots of flavor from the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and the caramelized onions add a touch of sweetness. Toss it all together with chewy quinoa and you’ve got a satisfying whole-grain salad to enjoy!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

For the quinoa:

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa, or about 3 cups cooked

1 bay leaf

1 dried red chile pepper, optional

1 teaspoon minced hot green chile such as serrano, optional

3/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, or more as needed

3/4 teaspoon dried mint, preferably spearmint, optional

For the salad:

1 1/2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced (less than 1/4 inch)

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup loosely packed torn fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar

1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts

Instructions

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425°F.

To prepare the quinoa, add the water, quinoa, bay leaf, and dried chile to a 2-quart heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the grain is tender with a slight chew, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and chile, drain if needed, and transfer to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the minced chile, Aleppo pepper, and dried mint and toss to combine.

Meanwhile, to make the salad, place the eggplant and the onion on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, sprinkle with the salt, and combine well, using your hands. If you don’t mind the extra dish, it’s a bit easier to toss everything in a large bowl.

Roast the mixture until the eggplant pieces have softened and are browned in spots, and the onion slices have caramelized, turning them once with a spatula in between, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and immediately sprinkle the vegetables with 1/4 cup of the fresh mint and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the vinegar. Toss well with a spatula — this will soften the mint leaves and take the sting out of the vinegar.

To finish, add the warm eggplant mixture to the quinoa. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar and toss to combine. Season with salt and vinegar to taste. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup mint and the pine nuts and serve.

 

Recipe adapted from thekitchn.com

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How to Eat Your Box (Week of 5/20/18)

tomatoes roasted

Tomatoes:

Store tomatoes in a single layer at room temperature and away from direct light. Refrigerate only after cutting, as refrigeration makes tomatoes lose their flavor. Slicing tomatoes are great to eat raw, fried (quarter first), or broiled; they are great paired with a little olive oil and salt, herbs such as basil and cilantro, and fresh cheeses such as mozzarella and ricotta. And yes, you can totally freeze those extra tomatoes for fresh flavor all year (slice first). According to studies done at Cornell University, cooking tomatoes actually increases the lycopene content that can be absorbed in the body as well as the total antioxidant activity.
Sheet Pan Roasted Veggies: Try roasting slices of tomatoes along with the cauliflower, mini peppers, and garlic from this week’s box with a little olive oil, sea salt & pepper in a sheet pan at 375 for 35-40 minutes until your crisp veggies are al dente (roast cauliflower for 20 minutes before adding the rest of the veggies so they all finish at the same time).

Bok Choy:

This Asian vegetable is in a class all on its own. It has a delicate and almost foam-like texture but can be quite versatile. Try sautéing in a little olive oil and freshly minced garlic or follow the recipe below. I recently discovered that baby bok choy has a nice flavor without being cooked at all (not sure why I didn’t try it this sooner!) Plus, it has a wonderfully crunchy texture, which I love! So, if you’re not a fan of the squishier consistency of cooked bok choy, try tossing it into a salad with other salad veggies (try using diced apple and raisons in this one!). Then top with your favorite dressing (a ginger vinaigrette works great) or try making your own! You could simply mix olive oil and vinegar with a little mustard (my go to), or try something a little fancier by blending ½ cup of soy, hemp, or almond milk, ½ cup cashews or ¼ cup cashew butter, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard.

Cauliflower:

It’s incredible how versatile this vegetable can be. Soaking up and blending with whatever flavors surround it, cauliflower fits right in just about anywhere. But cauliflower doesn’t have to go with anything. It’s great all on its own! Simply break it up into small pieces, toss in some olive oil and garlic salt, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 400° for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Cutting out grains? Try this cauliflower pizza crust.

Sugar Snap Peas:

The sweetness of these crunchy veggie lies in their shell. Unlike shelling peas, sugar snap peas are best enjoyed fresh, shell and all. Simply “snap” off the stem bit, and you’re good to go. Great just on their own, they also go well on top of salad, in with pasta, sautéed (lightly) with any Asian-inspired dish or casseroles. Use within 5 days for best flavor and freshness.

Featured Recipe: Grilled Mongolian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Light yet filling. A delicious, gluten-free meal for those busy weeknights! Makes 8 wraps.

Ingredients:

1 lb. Chicken Breasts

1 large Onion, cubed

0.5 lb. mini Bell Peppers, julienned

1 Baby Bok Choy, roughly cut (1.5-inch pieces or so)

½ cup Sugar Snap Peas cut into 1.5-inch strips

1 teaspoon minced fresh Garlic

½ teaspoon grated fresh Ginger

½ teaspoon Crushed Red Chili Flakes

Salt to taste

3 tablespoon Olive oil or Coconut oil for cooking

1 teaspoon Coconut butter

Mongolian or Barbeque sauce (optional)

Organic Tamarind Soy Sauce (optional)

Cooked Rice as a side, or Lettuce leaves

Instructions:

Wash and cut veggies. Wash chicken thoroughly under cold water, pat dry, cut into cubes.

Heat and grease a frying pan or wok. Cook chicken on the hot pan until fully cooked and browned. This will take ~10 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.

Heat olive oil in a pan (can use the same pan), add ginger and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add peas, bok choy, and onions and cook for a minute. Add bell peppers and cook until the veggies are al-dente (vegetables should be crisp tender) (NOTE: you may need to add more oil, or, try chicken broth if they look dry). Stir in the coconut butter and a dash of soy sauce or other favorite sauce if using. Mix together chicken and veggies. Add salt, chili flakes and mix it well.

Serving suggestions: enjoy over a bed of brown rice or white rice. Or, spoon the chicken filling into the center of lettuce leaves—serve immediately before the leaves start to wilt.

 

Recipe adapted from www.ruchiskitchen.com

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 10/29/17)

Radishes:

Radishes are a just a great vegetable to have around. Packed with nutrients these little red globes make a great addition to your daily eats. Add them as a topping to your salad, tacos, or as a side to Asian or Mexican cuisine! I recently started wondering about those fancy shaped radish slices that came with my meal at Thai restaurants. They had a definite vinegar flavor to them and that’s when I discovered pickled radishes! They are great and so simple to make! Just let your radishes (thinly sliced) soak in about 2 cups of red or white vinegar with a teaspoon of sugar and salt.  You can also add onions or garlic cloves, peppercorns and chilies for even more flavor. You can let this sit in the fridge overnight or for a whole month if you want.

Cauliflower:

We’re always talking about how versatile this vegetable can be! But cauliflower really is fantastic for soaking up and blending with whatever flavors surround it, fitting right in just about anywhere. But is also great all on its own! Simply break it up into small pieces, toss in some olive oil and garlic salt, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 400° for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

 

Recipe: The Best Cauliflower & Broccolini Cheese

“Cauliflower cheese has always been a big favorite in the Oliver household. It’s such a staple I never thought I could do it better, but this version really has the edge.” -Jamie Oliver

This one’s for the kids (of all ages).

Ingredients:

 

2 cloves of garlic

2-3 TBSP unsalted butter

¼ cup plain flour

2 ½ cups organic milk

1 full bunch broccolini, stems included, cut up (edges trimmed)

2/3 cup mature cheddar cheese

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 slices of ciabatta or whole-grain stale bread

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 TBSP flaked almonds

olive oil

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
  2. Peel and finely slice the garlic and put it into a medium pan on a medium heat with the butter.
  3. When the butter has melted, stir in the flour for a minute to make a paste, then gradually add the milk, whisking as you go, until nice and smooth.
  4. Add the broccolini pieces and simmer for around 15 minutes, or until the broccolini is cooked through and starts to break down, then mash or blitz with a stick blender (adding an extra splash of milk to loosen, if necessary). Grate in half the Cheddar and season to taste.
  5. Arrange the cauliflower in an appropriately sized baking dish, pour over the broccoli white sauce and grate over the remaining Cheddar.
  6. Blitz the bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor, then pulse in the thyme leaves and almonds. Toss with a lug of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, then scatter evenly over the cauliflower cheese.
  7. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden and cooked through, then enjoy!
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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 9/10/17)

Pluots:
These sweet Dapple Dandy Pluots can be eaten out of hand, as a fresh topping for yogurt, dehydrated into dried pluots or made into jam. You can also experiment by substituting them for plums in recipes (after all, they are the delicious hybrid of the plum and apricot). Pluots will continue to ripen once off the tree. Turn them upside down and leave them on the counter away from the sun. When ripe, store them unwrapped in the refrigerator for up to three days. If stored in the refrigerator, remove your pluots before eating and let them return to room temperature. As with cheese – their flavor is best if allowed to warm slightly. Rinse and leave whole, slice into wedges or cut into chunks.

 
Petite Onions:
Most of my dishes start with onions! A great go-to soup during the week is “Sopa a la Minuta” a.k.a. “The Soup”. To make, sauté 1 finely chopped onion in a little bit of olive oil until golden brown. Add 2 cloves minced garlic. Add 1 ground meat of your choice and cook until brown. Add 1.5 cups of diced tomatoes. 2 tbs oregano, and cook until tomato turns darker in color. Add salt and pepper. Taste. Add 6 cups beef broth and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Add 2 diced potatoes. Boil until potatoes are tender. Rectify seasoning and dinner is ready!

 
Cauliflower:
Cauliflower is enjoying its spot in health limelight these days for good reason: not only is it a cancer-fighting veggie, it lends itself as a replacement for starchy carbs, grains, and you name it! There are so many ways to use this vegetable: it can be chopped up and added to salad or soup, roasted in the oven, tossed in a stir fry, boiled and pureed as a stand-in for mashed potatoes or to make a creamy soup, baked into a pizza crust as a flourless alternative, or simply eaten raw. The options are endless! You don’t even have to cut it up. Try baking it whole by simply cutting off the leaves and stem so it can sit upright, baste in olive oil, salt and spices of your choice, and bake on a cookie sheet or cast iron skillet at 450° for about 45-60 minutes or until a knife can be inserted easily. Because of its mild flavor, cauliflower goes well in spicy dishes or curries as it soaks up all the other flavors.

 

 

Recipe: Glazed Petite Onions
Active time: 20 minutes Total time: 45 minutes Serves 6
Ingredients:

2 pounds Klesick’s petite onions
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil
1 tablespoons sugar or maple syrup
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Instructions:
1. Using a paring knife, trim off the ends of each onion and score a light “X” into one cut side. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add onions and cook until outer layers are soft, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain onions and run under cool water until cold enough to handle. Peel onions with your fingers and discard peels.
2. Transfer onions to a large saucepan or high-sided sauté pan and cover with water. Add butter and sweetener. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring and shaking pan occasionally, until onions are completely tender and sauce water has reduced and emulsified with the butter into a glossy glaze, about 25 minutes (if butter looks greasy or broken, add 2 tablespoons of water and shake pan to bring glaze back together). Season to taste with salt. Stir in parsley, and serve.

Recipe adapted from: seriouseats.com

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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 5/21/17)

Spinach:

Spinach is one of those handy vegetables that can be used raw or cooked. Used in salad,

it’s a nice change from the norm. Try using thinly sliced green onions, cucumber, and

apples from this week’s box in yours! For dressing, vinaigrettes go well with spinach. I like

to mix balsamic vinegar with olive oil but just about any dressing will do.

Spinach is used in cooking just as often as it is used fresh. It makes a great addition for

scrambled eggs, sandwiches, tacos, wraps, pasta, or sauté. Some like to sauté it up in just

a little olive oil and garlic and eat it like Popeye. I even enjoy adding a handful to my

smoothies.

Cauliflower:

There are so many ways to use this vegetable I don’t even know where to start. They can

be chopped up and added to salad or soup, roasted in the oven, tossed in a stir fry, boiled

and pureed as a stand-in for mashed potatoes or to make a creamy soup, baked into a

pizza crust as a flourless alternative, or simply eaten raw. The options are endless! You

don’t even have to cut it up. Try baking it whole by simply cutting off the leaves and stem

so it can sit upright, baste in olive oil, salt and spices of your choice, and bake on a cookie

sheet or cast iron skillet at 450° for about 45-60 minutes or until a knife can be inserted

easily. Because of its mild flavor, cauliflower goes well in spicy dishes or curries as it soaks

up all the other flavors.

 

 

Recipe: Baked Eggplant

Ingredients:

• 1-2 medium eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch slices (no thinner or they’ll burn)

• 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

• Sea salt and pepper, to taste

• 1/8 cup Italian parsley

Directions:

1. While the oven is preheating to 475-500 degrees Fahrenheit, lay the sliced eggplant

in a single layer on lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush each slice with the olive oil.

2. Press garlic slices into the eggplant and season with the salt and black pepper.

Make sure the garlic is pressed as much as possible into each slice to ensure the

flavor soaks into the slices.

3. Bake the eggplant for 20 to 25 minutes. They should be golden brown. Remove

them from the oven and let them cool.

4. Once they are cool, sprinkle with the parsley, if desired, and serve.

Try adding cherry tomatoes or topping with a slice of tomato. Topping with mozzarella

cheese is also a great addition, either cold, or boiled until melted.

Recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 3/12/17)

Cauliflower:

I’ve said before how versatile this vegetable can be. Soaking up and blending with whatever flavors surround it, cauliflower fits right in just about anywhere. But cauliflower doesn’t have to go with anything. It’s great all on its own! Simply break it up into small pieces, toss in some olive oil and garlic salt, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 400° for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Green Bell Peppers:

The color of a bell pepper depends on what stage it’s at in the ripening process. All bell peppers start out green. A green bell is usually just an immature red bell pepper. Because of this, they are less sweet than a fully ripened pepper. They can be used interchangeably with other bell peppers and seem to keep their crunch a little longer.

Eggplant:

It took me many trial and error attempts to learn how to cook this vegetable. More times than not, I ended up with a gooey mess. That being said, it may be worth spending a little extra time preparing this particular vegetable. The larger globe eggplant should be peeled and salted before cooking. To peel, use a small knife or peeler and cut off the skin in stripes, leaving some of the peel still intact to help hold its shape when cooking. Then cut into slices or cubes. The most important step is to “sweat” the eggplant. This helps in getting the best flavor and consistency. Do this by tossing in a generous amount of salt and leaving in a colander for about an hour. Rinse well under cold water and completely dry by squeezing them between a towel. To cook you can grill, bake or sauté. Sautéing eggplant seems to throw people the most because of how much oil eggplant can soak up. If you’re using globe eggplant, be sure to salt it and squeeze it dry. Also, make sure the oil is very hot. Put the slices/cubes in the pan in one layer. If you crowd the pan, the eggplant will steam instead of fry and won’t cook evenly. Turn often and adjust the heat to avoid burning until the slices are a rich brown color, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

 

 

Recipe: Eggplant & Cauliflower Curry ( Add shrimp or chicken for a non-vegetarian dish)

Ingredients:

1 eggplant, cubed

1 small cauliflower head, cut into florets

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeño, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

4 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped

1 tbsp red thai chili paste

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp ginger, chopped

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp light brown sugar

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 can 14.5 oz light coconut milk

Directions:

Preparation: 10 min Cook time: 30 minutes Total: 40 minutes

Note: wear kitchen gloves when handling the jalapeño pepper, if it gets in contact with sensitive skin/gets under your cuticles it will burn for a couple of hours.?

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and cook eggplant according to instructions above.

2. To make the curry sauce place all the ingredients from cilantro to turmeric into a blender and pulse until the mixture forms a paste.

3. Add coconut milk and process until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes over medium low heat.

4. Add cauliflower and simmer another 10 minutes, adding eggplant in at the end.

5. Turn off the heat. Serve over rice, with naan bread or as is.

Recipe adapted from OlivesandGarlic.com

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 2/5/17)

Spinach:

The first thing I do when I bring spinach home is to wash it and lay it out on the counter to dry. Don’t put it away sopping wet. This way it will last longer and be ready to use when needed. Another great way to keep spinach longer is to freeze it. If I’m not going to use it fresh, say in a salad, then frozen spinach can be used just as well in cooking or in a smoothie. I love having spinach in my freezer because I know I don’t have to worry about it and it’s available when I need it. When storing in the freezer make sure to wash it first and let dry. Also, cut off any roots and stems you wouldn’t eat and put in an air tight container vs. a bag. This will keep it from getting freezer burned and is also easier to grab and put away.

Cauliflower:

I’m in the midst of a no-grain life style right now so cauliflower is quickly becoming my best friend. [think cauliflower rice, tortillas, meat pie, pizza crust, biscuits, mashed potatoes (yes, I’m cutting back starches too;), etc.] There are a plethora of recipes online for creative ways to use cauliflower. Check out the link below or simply google “creative ways to use cauliflower” 😉 Here’s a site that has some great links for recipe that use cauliflower as an alternative to carbs. http://paleoleap.com/8-creative-cauliflower-substitutions-unhealthy-foods/

Romanesco:

If you’re a math nerd this vegetable is right up your ally. Sometimes called Romanesco broccoli or Roman cauliflower, it resembles a green cauliflower with florets that mimic fractals. You heard me, fractals! If you’ve never heard of this impressive brassica I recommend looking it up. Romanesco cooks/eats the same way a cauliflower would. But, because I would hate for you to chop/puree away the artistic beauty of this thing, I recommend less violent cooking methods. Try cutting it into quarters, basting in a garlicy rub (olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon) and steaming for 4-6 minutes, or baking at 425° for 35-40 minutes. Enjoy!

-Anna Stenberg, Produce Enthusiast

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How To Eat Your BOX! (Week of 1/15/17)

Cucumber:

Apart from cucumber salad, cucumbers make a fun and refreshing topping to sandwiches! Whether it’s the traditional open faced cucumber and cream cheese with dill that they serve at showers, diced cucumber with tomato, onions and feta cheese wrapped in a pita bread, or simply sliced cucumber on your average, every day sandwich, I love the added crunch and fresh flavor it adds. Cucumber is also perfect in salsas, grain or pasta salads, egg salads or simply raw as a finger food. I like eating mine with a spritz of lemon and salt.

Zucchini:

I must admit, I didn’t use to like zucchini, However, what I’ve come to realize more and more (as about all produce), is that the problem often isn’t what it is, but how it’s cooked. Now I absolutely love zucchini because I’ve discovered ways I like to eat it. Firstly, I enjoy it raw! Who knew? 🙂 It’s great in salads or as a finger food with dip. I also like adding it to stir fry or making zucchini patties (which are amazing!). The key for me was to shred or “noodle” my zucchini when I cooked it. Chopping it into chunks always yielded the same mushy texture that just didn’t suit me. Whereas if I shredded it, suddenly it was a whole new experience! Make sure not to cook it too long or it might turn to mush. I always add it last to my stir fry or as the noodle to my “spaghetti”. It only needs to cook for about a minute or so. Try experimenting with zucchini this week to find how you like it best!

Cauliflower:

There are so many ways to use this vegetable that I don’t even know where to start. It can be chopped up and added to salad or soup, roasted in the oven, tossed in a stir fry, boiled and pureed as a stand-in for mashed potatoes or to make a creamy soup, baked into a pizza crust as a flourless alternative, or simply eaten raw. The options are endless! You don’t even have to cut it up. Try baking it whole by simply cutting off the leaves and stem so it can sit upright, baste in olive oil, salt and spices of your choice, and bake on a cookie sheet or cast iron skillet at 450°F. for about 45-60 minutes or until a knife can be inserted easily. Because of its mild flavor, cauliflower goes well in spicy dishes or curries as it soaks up all the other flavors. Healthy cauliflower recipes.

Brussels Sprouts:

The first time I ever tasted caramelized Brussels sprouts I was hooked! Below, I show you how I like to roast them in the oven, but they also caramelize well when sautéed!

Preheat oven to 425°F. Trim off the bottoms of the Brussels sprouts (don’t take off too much or they fall apart) and outer leaves and slice 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. They can be served as is or for a little extra flavor, try drizzling balsamic vinegar or lemon juice on top. Mix together and add salt to taste.

Celeriac:

Celery root or celeriac is prized for its distinctive flavor which is somewhere between celery and parsley. Although cooked celery root is excellent in soups, stew, and other hot dishes, it can also be enjoyed raw, especially grated and tossed in salads. Raw celery root has an intense flavor that tends to dominate salads, so pair it with other strongly flavored fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, beets, and apples. Before using celery root, peel and soak briefly in water with a little vinegar or lemon juice to prevent cut surfaces from darkening.

Recipe for: Mashed Celeriac

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 12/4/16)

Baby Bok Choy:

This Asian vegetable is in a class all on its own. It has a delicate and almost foam like texture and can be quite versatile. Try sautéing in a little olive oil and freshly minced garlic. To add more flavor you can use a combination of lemon and tarragon, or try soy sauce, sesame oil or coconut aminos, sesame seeds and ginger for an Asian spin. Roasting is also a great way to cook bok choy. Look up recipes online or check out the links here and here.

Cauliflower:

There are so many ways to use this vegetable I don’t even know where to start. They can be chopped up and added to salad or soup, roasted in the oven, tossed in a stir fry, boiled and pureed as a stand-in for mashed potatoes or to make a creamy soup, baked into a pizza crust as a flourless alternative, or simply eaten raw. The options are endless! You don’t even have to cut it up. Try baking it whole by simply cutting off the leaves and stem so it can sit upright, baste in olive oil, salt and spices of your choice, and bake on a cookie sheet or cast iron skillet at 450° for about 45-60 minutes or until a knife can be inserted easily. Because of its mild flavor, cauliflower goes well in spicy dishes or curries as it soaks up all the other flavors. Here’s a source for recipes.

Celery:

I still remember making ants on a log at grandma’s house. Whoever came up with celery sticks filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins is a might more creative than I. Nowadays my favorite way to eat celery is in chicken soup. Chicken and celery were just meant to be together. There’s something about that flavor combo that touches the soul. Try using your celery along with onion, cilantro and cauliflower from this week’s box to make chicken soup!

Cabbage:

What can I say? Cabbage is just a great thing to have around. Don’t let it be that vegetable that sits in the bottom of your refrigerator drawer for months on end. There are endless opportunities to use it up. I’m constantly pulling mine out and adding it to my just about anything. I like to cut mine into little cabbage “shavings”. First cut the cabbage in half, then simply shave off slivers from along the inside edge. I rarely ever use a whole cabbage in one sitting so to keep the cut edges from drying out I make sure to store sealed in a plastic bag or plastic wrap.

Mangos:

Mangos are one of my all-time favorite fruits. They have a unique flavor and creamy texture unlike any other fruit. They also pair well in cooked savory dishes. Mango fried rice is simply amazing. Mangos also are great on salads, stir-fries, or added to sauces or salsa. If you have a dehydrator they are so good dehydrated or made into fruit leather. You can order a whole case and dehydrate them or try freezing to use in smoothies.

Turnips:

Northwest box Only This time of year our NW box comes well stocked in root vegetables. This hearty box is a great way to

experience locally grown food all year round. The turnip reminds me of a mix between a potato and a radish….and maybe a beet. It can be cooked much the same way as a potato, you can even boil them until tender and make mashed turnips! They can be roasted, sautéed, added to soup or even sliced up and eaten raw with a little salt and lemon juice. To season try adding a combo of salt, pepper, and lemon or when baking, toss in coconut oil, salt, pepper, ginger and drizzled in honey(roast at 400° until tender), or mashed you can top with butter, salt, pepper, chives and Parmesan.