Thursday, January 30, 2014

Good Eats Newsletter - January 29, 2014


Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun; Potatoes; Carrots; Beets; Parsnips; Leeks

And OUT of the bag:
Frozen Corn
Frozen Sweet Peppers

Localvore and Pantry Offerings Include:
Organic Black Beans
Pete's Greens Salsa
Bonnieview Ayreshire Cheese


Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
Mesclun; Potatoes; Parsnips; Leeks

And OUT of the bag:
Frozen Corn

Roots Cellar Share take an ORANGE BAG containing:
Potatoes; Parsnips; Leeks

And OUT of the bag:
Frozen Corn

The spring share is right around the corner!

After this week's delivery there are only 2 more weeks left. 

Sign-up now to reserve  your weekly deliveries of fresh, organic Vermont grown goodness and the localvore staples that the share brings.  This is the most exciting share as all the new veggies become available.

Please visit the Spring Share page for more info.

Last week's pick-up

We had more problems than usual with last week's pick-up.  Several people ended up with the wrong bag and were shorted some veggies as a result. 

Please take extra care in picking up your bag to make sure you have the correct bag type.  If you don't see the correct bag or your name isn't on the list please don't just take what's there.  Email us as soon as possible so we can figure out what happened and correct it.  If someone is picking up your share for you please share these instructions with them and remind them to be careful.

Your careful attention in getting the right items will ensure everyone is getting the correct items and also makes my job easier.

Thanks!  ~Sara

Can you help us spread the word about the spring share?

Do you work in a large office where you could hang some posters?  Or would you be willing to post on your local Front Porch Forum?  We can send you everything you need so please let us know if you can help us out.

Thanks!

A week in the life of a Veggie Only share

What exactly does someone do with all their veggies from week to week?  A few weeks ago I did an experiment with a veggie only share and thought it would be neat to share how I used everything over the week. 

The items in the share were: mesclun, potatoes, carrots, rutabega, yellow onions, pac choi, frozen squash puree, and frozen beans

Wednesday: I partially thawed the squash puree when I got home from picking up my share and included 1/2 cup of the puree into waffle mix.

Thursday: Carrot sticks for lunch, shoot salad for dinner.

Friday:  I made soup for lunch with 1 carrot and 1 onion; roasted potato wedges for dinner.

Saturday: steamed bok choi.

Sunday: I included onions in a chicken dish and also made a rutabaga puff (recipe in newsletter/blog) and steamed green beans for dinner.

Monday: I used the rest of the squash puree to make soup; added in another onion and 2 carrots. 

Tuesday: All out of veggies!  Good thing I get another share tomorrow.

Do you use meal planning or would you like to share any other great ideas for using your share?  Please let us know .

The spring share starts in 3 weeks
Share Period: February 19th thru June 11th, 2014

Join now for 17 weeks of fresh,organic,
Vermont grown goodness and the localvore staples you love.

Spring is an exciting time at Pete's Greens!

Our intention for the spring share is to provide you with something green every week of the share, even through the early still-mid-winter months.  The spring share starts off with deliveries of winter greens from our greenhouses and shoots house, plus lots of root staples like carrots, potatoes, onions, beets and cabbage.  Each week through the early months we also include frozen summer goodies like corn, spinach, sweet peppers, squash, and tomatoes. 

As spring progresses longer daylight hours allow growth to begin again in earnest. By late April harvests of bunched greens and flavorful herbs begin. Baby spinach, arugula, chard, pac choi and various varieties of Asian greens begin to appear in shares.  And in May many more spring vegetables like salad turnips, baby beets, scallions and hardy herbs like parsley and dill make their appearance.  As we near summer we'll have warm season vegetables like basil, spring onions, and European cucumbers, along with tender greens harvested from the field.  This is a exciting time of the share, each week is like Christmas!


The Spring Share is a celebratory share as each new vegetable makes its way from greenhouse and field into your weekly share. 

Experience the difference
eating great local, organic produce can make on your health and well being!

Visit our Spring Share page for more info.


Please visit our delivery page for a listing of Spring Share delivery sites.

Have questions about the Spring share?  Visit our FAQ page or send us an email
.

Around the Farm



Left: Brittany and Kristen labeling bags.
Right: Tim getting ready to bring coolers of frozen goodies back into the freezer.



Storage and Use Tips

Nicola potatoes are golden skinned, golden fleshed potatoes that are truly all purpose. They are great for boiling, mashing or roasting and are plenty waxy enough to make excellent potato salad. Nicolas have a very special attribute among potatoes - they are low on the glycemic index compared to all other varieties. This means they don't cause the blood sugar spike that other varieties may cause, an issue that can wreak havoc with people with insulin resistance. They also have a yummy slightly nutty flavor, enjoy! Store in a cool, dark place to avoid sprouting.

Red beets - make sure to keep beets in fridge until you want to use. I prefer to halve and roast in the oven at 350F. When beets are soft the skins are easily removed. Cool the beets and then dice or slice how you would while preserving the colors of individual beets. Toss in dressing etc when cool or reheat with a meal.  Grated beets are also a great addition to a salad.

Parsnips - contrary to appearances, parsnips are not pale versions of carrots. In fact, they have a nutty-sweet taste and a tender-hearty texture that is entirely distinct. For centuries, parsnips were a more common staple than the potato—and deservedly so. Satisfying, versatile, and highly nutritious, these delicious roots make a terrific base to any meal. Young parsnips don’t need to be peeled. Simply scrub them under running water with a vegetable brush. Peel larger parsnips, and cut out the core if it seems woody. However you slice or chop parsnips, be sure to make all the pieces relatively the same size, ensuring an evenly cooked dish. Refrigerate unwashed parsnips in a loosely wrapped or perforated plastic bag for up to two weeks.

Leeks were once called the poor person's asparagus, but today are cherished for their culinary qualities right along side asparagus. Leeks tend to collect dirt in between the tops of their long leaves. It is important to wash between leaf folds to remove dirt or soak in a water bath and let dirt sink to bottom. Store wrapped in plastic in the fridge. Although the best quality is within the first few days, they can be stored for an extended amount of time in the fridge. Peel outer leaves if damaged and use tender inner stalks.

Frozen corn - this frozen corn you will receive this week is a real treat. Frozen at the peak of freshness, it is still tender and sweet and really fantastic.  This corn is the best frozen corn I have ever tasted!

Frozen Sweet Peppers -  this week large share members will receive a package of our frozen sweet peppers.  Keep them frozen into you are ready to use them.  Frozen peppers tend to not have the same rigidity as fresh peppers but retain all the flavors and yummy summer goodness. They will be delicious sautĂ©ed and thrown onto a pizza, or cooked into lasagna, casseroles, soups, or sauces. 

Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section.  I am sure you will find it useful.


Localvore Lore


This week we have organic Black Beans for you.  Please give your beans a rinse in water and scan for little rocks/stones!  There may be a few.  The black bean has a dense, meaty texture and is very high in protein, which makes it popular in vegetarian dishes. It is an excellent choice for making into soups and chilis as it broth cooks down to a paste like consistency. You can also cook and add to salads, rice or use in a tamale pie. It is common to keep the boiled water of these beans and consume it as a soup with other ingredients for seasoning (known as sopa negra, black soup), as a broth (caldo de frijol, bean broth) or to season or color other dishes.

Here are some of my tricks and instructions for cooking these little black nuggets. Number one, some sort of pre-soak is required to cook beans and will significantly reduce cooking time. Cover with 2 inches of water and soak overnight or for 6-8 hours. Drain and cover with fresh water and simmer until beans are soft, about an hour. In warm conditions, refrigerate black beans while they soak to prevent fermentation. A quick-soak method involves covering beans with water, bring to a boil for 2 minutes and then remove from heat and let sit for 2 hours. Drain, cover with fresh water and simmer until soft, about an hour. The beans may prematurely break up with a quick-soak method. Use the overnight method for dishes where it is essential the beans stay whole, such as salads and relishes. Do not add salt or acidic ingredients such as lemon, vinegar, wine, and tomatoes until the beans are finished or nearly done cooking. Adding earlier can cause the beans to toughen. If additional water is needed during the cooking process, use boiling water rather than cold water. Addition of the herbs known as summer savory and epazote can help reduce the flatulence suffered by many who eat beans.

Once the beans are cooked you can enjoy them right away or freeze them.  I like to cook up a large batch at once, use some that week in dishes or a salad, and freeze the rest in 1 cup  increments.  Then when you need some black beans just pull out a bag, thaw and enjoy!

Pete's Greens Salsa was made in our kitchen this past season with our organic tomatoes, onions and jalapenos, plus cider vinegar, garlic, sugar, oregano, cumin and salt.  It's coming to you frozen so you can enjoy right away or stash in the freezer until you're ready to enjoy. 

Ayreshire cheese is a new cheese from Bonnieview Farm!  This cheese is made with milk from the farms' 15 grass-fed cows. Neil and Kristen Urie are our neighbors who run a 470 acre farm with 170 milking ewes.  This  cheese is buttery and smooth with a slight tang.   


Recipes



Honey-Ginger Carrot and Parsnip Salad Topping
This is a great way to sweeten up a cold season green salad when seasonal salad favorites are not around. The idea is to roast the vegetables in a lemon-honey vinaigrette and serve on top of a green salad with sunflower shoots and whatever else comes to mind.

2 c carrots, diced small
2 c parsnips, diced small
1/4 c ginger, grated
3/4 c olive oil
1/8 c red wine vinegar
1/8 c lemon juice
tsp lemon zest (if you have)
pinch of dill
1/4 c honey, soft
extra honey to drizzle

In a bowl combine carrots, parsnips, ginger and lemon zest. In a small sauce pan, warm on low heat: oil, vinegar, lemon juice, dill and honey and combine well. Pour half of dressing onto chopped vegetables and mix well. Use a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper lay vegetables out evenly. Drizzle with honey and bake in the oven at 375F for 20-30 minutes until they are soft and begin browning. Remove from parchment paper right away and cool. Top green salad with veggie mix and use remaining dressing.


Steamed Parsnips with Sweet Butter Sauce
The parsnip’s humble appearance conceals its luscious taste; it needs very little fuss in order to be sweet and delicious. Simply steamed and topped with just a touch of maple syrup or honey, parsnips are irresistibly good. The tender strips in this recipe can be served whole, sliced, or even mashed. Friend of the Farm.

3 large parsnips, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick strips
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
salt
freshly ground black pepper

 
Place the parsnips in a steamer basket set over 1 1/2 inches boiling water and cover. Steam for 10 to 15 minutes depending on size. Transfer to a serving bowl.

 Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the maple syrup or honey.

Pour the butter mixture over the parsnips. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



Bean Chili with Walnuts & Chocolate, or Chili sin Carne
This bean chili recipe is a little outside the box.  Not only is it very warming but also comforting and spicy. It has the most wonderful flavor from dark chocolate, coffee, red wine and crunchy walnuts. 

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, ghee or coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
1  fresh chili, minced (more if you like it spicy, or leave it out for no spice)
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 package frozen sweet peppers
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and finely chopped
2 large stalks of celery with top greens, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup raw walnuts, very finely chopped
5 cups cooked black beans
2 14oz cans whole plum tomatoes
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup coffee
2 ounces 80% dark chocolate, broken in pieces

For serving
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 lime, quartered
4 corn tortillas, toasted

Start by preparing all vegetables. Heat oil in a large thick-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, cumin, chili, paprika and oregano, and let fry for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spices smells fragrant. Be careful so they don’t burn. Add bell pepper, carrot, parsnip and celery, let cook for another couple of minutes. Add walnuts, beans, tomatoes, water and salt and let cook for 30 minutes more. Now add red wine, coffee and chocolate, stir around carefully and let cook for 5 more minutes. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve in bowls with a dollop of yogurt, fresh cilantro, lime and toasted corn tortilla.


Huevos Rancheros Tacos
What could be better than huevos rancheros folded into a taco?  This is more of a knife and fork taco.  I would also throw in the thawed peppers and some corn. From Cooking Light, May 2013.

4 6-inch corn tortillas
Cooking spray
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup cooked black beans
2 tsp olive oil
4 eggs
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup pico de gallo or salsa
2 tbsp Mexican crema
1/2 ripe peeled avocado, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro
4 lime wedges

Preheat broiler to high. Arange tortillas on a baking sheet; lightly coat with cooking spray.  Broil 2 minutes; remove pan from oven.  Turn tortillas over and top each with 2 tbsp cheese and 2 tbsp beans.  Broil 1 minute or until cheese melts.  Remove from oven.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Crack eggs into pan and cook for 2 minutes.  Cover and cook 2 more minutes or until whites are set.  Place 1 egg in center of each tortilla and sprinkle with pepper.  Top tacos evenly with pico de gallo, crema, avocado, and cilantro.  Serve with lime.


Sauteed Beet and Potato Hash
This is a great recipe from the Farmer John's cookbook.  I love using the potatoes and beets together.

3 tbsp oil
2 small onions, diced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
2 medium beets, grated (2-3 cups)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large skilled over medium heat.  Add the onions; cook and stir until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the potatoes, beets,thyme and garlic.  Season with salt to taste.  Cook, turning it occassionally, until the potatoes and beets are tender and slightly crispy, 15-20 minutes.

Remove the skillet from heat.  Season generously with pepper and more salt if desired to taste.


Chocolate Beet Cake
Who doesn't love chocolate?  Especially with a healthy twist thrown in?  I tried a similar recipe to this a few weeks ago at my kids' school cafeteria.  It was surprisingly good; I could taste the beets a bit but the kids just thought it was plain chocolate cake.

Oil and flour for preparing the pan
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup mild-flavored vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups pureed cooked beets (3 medium beets)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
powdered sugar, if desired

Preheat the oven to 375.  Lightly coat a 10-cup Bundt or tube pan (or 2 loaf pans) with oil and dust with flour.

Partially fill the bottom of a double boiler with water and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to a simmer.  Put the chocolate and 1/4 cup of the oil in the top of the double boiler.  Heat just until the chocolate melts; remove from heat and stir until well combined. 

Combine the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy.   Slowly beat in the remaining 1/4 cup oil, applesauce, chocolate mixture, beets, and vanilla.

Sift the all-purpose flour and whole-wheat pastry flour into a large bowl.  Stire in the baking soda and salt.  Gently stir the flour mixture into the egg and chocolate mixture just until the flour is mixed in.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.  Carefully remove the cake from the pan and let cool on the rack.  When completely cool, dust with powdered sugar if desired.



Corn Chowder with Spicy Red Pepper Cream
A summer favorite with a spicy edge to warm you up in these cold winter days.


Spicy Red Pepper Cream (make ahead)
1/2 package frozen sweet peppers, thawed
2 tsp medium-hot chile powder or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp oregano leaves
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs heavy cream

For the Chowder
1/2 package frozen corn
1 slice of bacon, chopped (optional)
1/4 c plus 2 Tbs yellow onion, finely chopped
3 Tbs celery, finely chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces
1 1/2 c chicken or vegetable stock (sub water if none)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 c milk

Coarsely chop the pepper. In a blender or mini-processor, puree the pepper with the chile powder, oregano, olive oil and salt. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the cream.  The pepper cream can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.

In a soup pot, cook the bacon over moderate-low heat until slightly crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the potatoes, stock, thyme and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add the milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the corn and simmer until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the chowder into soup bowls and top each with a spoonful of Spicy Red Pepper Cream.


Spoon Bread with Leeks and Corn   

Unsalted butter, for pan
3 large eggs, separated
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup corn, thawed
1-2 leeks, halved lengthwise, and sliced

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 6-cup baking dish. Lightly beat egg yolks; set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring 2 cups of milk, cayenne, and salt to a boil. Sprinkle cornmeal into liquid, stirring constantly, and cook until thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk, baking powder, and egg yolks.

In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Stir 1 large spoonful of whites into cornmeal mixture, then gently fold in remaining whites.

Pour half of the batter into prepared dish. Sprinkle on corn and leeks. Cover with remaining batter. Bake until set and golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Serve immediately.

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