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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 10/1/2017)

Broccoli:

Baked broccoli is one of my favorite dinner sides. I like it best roasted to crispy perfection with a little garlic, salt and pepper. Try tossing chopped broccoli florets with olive oil, salt and seasonings of choice. Bake on a cookie sheet at 450 °F for about 20 minutes, until edges are crispy and the stems are tender. For extra flavor, drizzle with lemon juice or top with parmesan cheese. Broccoli is also great in salad, stir-fry, soup, or raw with your favorite veggie dip.

 

Celery:

Because of its boat-like shape, celery works great with a filling as a fun and healthy snack. You can get creative when it comes to what you to pair it with. Peanut butter is a common ingredient, but you can stuff your celery with things like cream cheese with chopped nuts and raisins, garlicky chicken spread, or a nut butter with seeds and honey. When making a celery themed salad, you can either go sweet (with thinly sliced apples, pecans, raisins, yogurt or sour cream, honey and a pinch of cinnamon) or savory (adding it to your everyday green salad or making a chicken salad with it).

 

Delicata Squash:

There are many ways to cook and use this squash: they make a great side to almost any dish or can be added to pasta, soups, salad, sautéed, or stuffed. To bake, 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 melted butter or coconut oil and about ½ tsp of salt. Spread out on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven at 425 °F for about 25-30 minutes, tossing once or twice, until browned.

 

 

Savory Quinoa Stuffed Delicata Squash

Easy to make and deliciously sweet and savory! Serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

2 Delicata squash

1/2 C uncooked quinoa

1 C vegetable broth

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil

6 oz. sliced button mushrooms (OR use broccoli florets or even chopped celery if your box doesn’t contain mushrooms)

1/2 C chopped onion

1 clove minced garlic

1/8 tsp rosemary

1/4 tsp thyme

Pinch salt

Pinch black pepper

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 ºF. Meanwhile, cut the Delicata in half and remove the seeds. The seeds can be discarded, but they can also be reserved for roasting, much like pumpkin seeds. Lightly brush olive oil over the insides and outsides of the squash bottoms and tops and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The squash are done when the inner flesh is tender.

2. Once squash are in the oven, make the quinoa. First rinse the quinoa well and then combine in a sauce pan with vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook covered until all of the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms (or broccoli florets) and onion in 1 teaspoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic, rosemary, and thyme to the pan and cook 1 more minute. Season with the salt and pepper. By now the quinoa should be done cooking. Measure 1 cup of cooked quinoa into the skillet with the mushrooms and onion. Stir to evenly combine.

4. Remove the cooked squash from the oven and spoon the quinoa pilaf evenly into each half. Consider garnishing with a little parsley for added color. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from: simpleseasonal.com

 

 

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 8/13/17)

Beets:

Beets can be cooked just about any way you like. They are great boiled or baked, sautéed or stewed. Usually I cut them into bite size pieces to bake in the oven because I love roasted beets! Simply coat in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 375 °F for about 35 minutes (try adding some parsley when they’re done). But they can just as easily be cooked in a frying pan along with other veggies. The beet greens are great sautéed as well so don’t throw them out! Try cooking the greens in a little olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper on medium heat until bright green – be careful not to over cook. 

Celery:

Popular as a finger food, celery also makes a flavorful addition to soups. Because of their crescent shape, they make a great healthy medium to stuff as a fun and flavorful snack. You can get creative when it comes to what you put on them: Peanut or almond butter is the classic pairing but you can pair celery with just about any snack dipper. Cream cheese makes a good filler, try it mixed with chopped nuts and raisins. Homemade ranch or Hummus also makes a good savory pairing. Celery is also great in salad. It can lend itself to the sweet: using thinly sliced apples, pecans, raisins, yogurt or sour cream, honey and a pinch of cinnamon, or, the savory: with lettuce or spinach, finely chopped onion, olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper.

Herb, Savory:

Savory is an aromatic herb similar in flavor to thyme that works well to season fish and meats as well as vegetables like summer squash, green beans, and tomatoes. It is perhaps best known for flavoring lentils and beans, where it helps with digestion. Savory blends nicely with other spices such as rosemary, basil, oregano, marjoram, and bay leaf. Strip the leaves from the stalk and add towards the end of cooking to best preserve the flavor. This savory was cut at prime while flowering and dried for packing early August.

 

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Who knew that adding this vegetable to a chocolate cake could make it the most moist and delicious cake ever? The beetroot plays up the chocolate but you’ll be hard-pressed to taste it! Ingredients:

3-4 medium beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch chunks*

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups organic whole cane sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon Salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup warm water

1/4 cup safflower oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cover beets with 2 inches water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, about 30 minutes. Drain. Puree beets in a food processor until smooth. (See note, below)
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Add in eggs, water, oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups beet puree (reserve any remaining puree for another use). Whisk until just combined.
  4. Line the bottom of a 9 x 3-inch round cake pan with parchment, and coat pan with spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Turn cake out from pan onto racks, and discard parchment. Let cool completely, right side up.
  5. Trim top of cake using a serrated knife to create a level surface. Transfer cake, cut side down, to a platter. Pour chocolate glaze over the top, and let set, about 30 minutes.

 

*If you don’t have a food processor, leave the beets whole when cooking, then grate beets on your finest-hole cheese grater.

Adapted from marthastewart.com

 

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 4/16/17)

Chives:

Chives are an herb, related to onions and garlic, with long green stems and a mild, not-too-pungent flavor. Chives are typically chopped to be used as a garnish. They can be featured in all sorts of recipes, from baked potatoes to soups, salads, sauces and omelets. They’re frequently mixed with cream cheese to make a savory spread. Chive butter, a compound butter made by blending freshly chopped chives into butter, is frequently served with grilled steaks or roasted poultry.

Celery:

Celery is a popular finger food as well as a flavorful addition to soup or salad. It has a salty taste, and, depending on the variety, may taste very salty. The natural organic sodium in celery is very safe for consumption. In fact, it is essential for the body. Even individuals who are salt-sensitive can safely take the sodium in celery. Because of it’s boat-like shape, celery works great with a filling as a fun and healthy snack. You can get creative when it comes to what to pair it with. Peanut butter is a common ingredient, but you can stuff your celery with things like cream cheese with chopped nuts and raisins, garlicky chicken spread, or a nut butter with seeds and honey. When making a celery themed salad, you can either go sweet (with thinly sliced apples, pecans, raisins, yogurt or sour cream, honey and a pinch of cinnamon) or savory (adding it to your everyday green salad or making a chicken salad with it).

Featured Recipe: Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

1 medium acorn squash

2 teaspoons butter

1 medium apple, cored and finely diced

1⁄4 cup dried cranberries

3 -4 tablespoons orange juice

1⁄4 teaspoon apple pie spice

2 tablespoons pecans, finely chopped

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions:

1. Cut the squash in half; discard seeds.

2. Place the squash cut side down in a microwave safe dish; add 1/2 inch of water.

3. Microwave on high, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender; drain.

4. While the squash is cooking, melt the butter in a non-stick skillet and add the diced apple.

5. Cook, stirring frequently for 2 to 3 minutes, add the orange juice, apple pie spice, cranberries and chopped pecans.

6. Continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the orange juice has evaporated, stir in orange zest.

7. Divide the mixture between the squash halves, drizzle with maple syrup and place under broiler for a few minutes to brown lightly.

Hint: For easier cutting of the squash, place in microwave and microwave on high for 1 minute or until slightly warm.

Recipe adapted from food.com

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How to Eat Your BOX! (week of 1/8/2017)

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.

Celery:

Celery is a popular finger food as well as a flavorful addition to soups. Because of their shape, they are great for stuffing for a fun and flavorful snack. You can get pretty creative when it comes to what you put on them: Peanut butter is the first thing that comes to mind but you can stuff your celery with just about anything. Cream cheese makes a good filler, try it mixed with chopped nuts and raisins. Celery is also often used in salad. You can go sweet: using thinly sliced apples, pecans, raisins, yogurt or sour cream, honey and a pinch of cinnamon or make it savory with lettuce or spinach, finely chopped onion, olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper.

Green Onions:

Also known as scallions, green onions are milder than regular onions but add a nice pop of flavor and color to almost any dish. They are commonly used as a topping for baked potatoes or on salad. I like adding them to my soup. They add a freshness to Asian style soups like egg drop or ramen noodle soup. They are also a great addition to omelets or quiche. Or, you can even grill them whole like spring onions and eat them all by themselves with a little lemon, salt & pepper.

Green Beans:

Greens beans make a great side for dinner, especially if you sauté them in little olive oil and garlic. To cook more evenly blanch first by adding to a pot of boiling for 2 minutes. Then drain and put in ice water to stop the cooking process. Sauté garlic in olive oil and add green beans, sautéing until lightly seared. Add salt and pepper to taste. Green beans can also be easily baked in the oven like any other vegetable. Simply spread out evenly on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and toss to coat. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Take out after about ten minutes and shake to turn. Sprinkle with some parmesan and serve.

Parsnips:

Parsnips have an almost peppery sweet flavor to them that comes out nicely when roasted. They make a great addition/alternative to the more traditional baked or sautéed root vegetable. Try these diced into bite size chunks or julienned, drizzled with olive oil and tossed in a bowl with a little

salt and cayenne(or other spices). Bake on bottom rack at 450° for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until edges are browned and crispy.

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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.

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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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Fresh This Week Tips – July 19, 2011

FENNEL:

STORE: Store fresh fennel in the refrigerator crisper, where it should keep fresh for about four days. However, it is best to consume fennel soon after purchase since as it ages, it tends to gradually lose its flavor.

USE: The stalks of the fennel can be used for soups, stocks and stews, while the leaves can be used as an herb seasoning. Try using Fennel to make an antipasto salad, with fish, onion soup or add it to a vegetable side like green beans for some extra flavor.

PREP: The three different parts of fennel—the base, stalks and leaves—can all be used in cooking. Cut the stalks away from the bulb at the place where they meet. If you are not going to be using the intact bulb in a recipe, then first cut it in half, remove the base, and then rinse it with water before proceeding to cut it further. The best way to slice it is to do so vertically through the bulb.

RAINBOW CHARD:

STORE: Do not wash rainbow chard before storing it because exposure to water can encourage spoilage. Place chard in a plastic storage bag and wrap the bag tightly around it, squeezing out as much of the air from the bag as possible. Place in refrigerator where it will keep fresh for up to 5 days. If you have large batches of chard, you can also blanch the leaves and then freeze them.

USE: Great in salads, chard can also be cooked. If you’re looking to cook your chard, one of the best ways to bring out the sweetest flavors is by boiling it for at least 3 minutes, but be sure to discard the water once it is fully cooked. This ingredient makes a great addition to many Italian dishes or breakfast frittatas.

PREP: Rinse chard under cold running water. Remove any area of the leaves that may be brown, slimy, or have holes. Stack the leaves and slice into 1-inch slices until you reach the stems. Cut stems into 1/2-inch slices discarding the bottom 1 inch portion.

CELERY:

STORE: To store celery, place it in a sealed container or wrap it in a plastic bag or damp cloth and store it in the refrigerator. If you are storing cut or peeled celery, ensure that it is dry and free from water residue, as this can drain some of its nutrients.

USE: There are many great ways to use celery both as a delicious snack and in a meal. Consider adding chopped celery to your favorite tuna fish or chicken salad recipe or include celery leaves in a salad. Try braising chopped celery, radicchio and onions and serve topped with walnuts and your favorite soft cheese.

PREP: To clean celery cut off the base and leaves, then wash the leaves and stalks under running water. Cut the stalks into pieces of desired length. If the outside of the celery stalk has fibrous strings, remove them by making a thin cut into one end of the stalk and peeling away the fibers.