Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Good Eats Weekly Newsletter - April 26, 2017


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

This week your bag contains:
Mesclun Mix, Red Russian Kale (or chard), Adirondack Red Potatoes, Rainbow Carrots, 

And OUT of the Bag:
Frozen Cauliflower
Frozen Sweet Peppers
Basil
Please, only take 1 of each




Half Veggie Members
take a YELLOW BAG containing:
Mesclun Mix, Red Beets, Chard, Rainbow Carrots, Adirondack Red Potatoes, and

And OUT of the Bag:
Frozen Rhubarb




Localvore / Pantry Offerings

All Souls Tortilleria Tortillas
Pete's Greens Salsa
Morningstar Farm Black Beans
Sweet Rowen Farmstead Cheese Curds


Delivery Issues


If there is a shortage at your pick up site and you go home without one of the items you should have received, please email us! We want to know, and we want to fix it for you. Please don't just write it on the check off sheets. Those sheets may not make it back to us and we may miss your note.

Did you know that root vegetables are still very much alive after they have been harvested and entered storage? All winter, our carrots have been storing and sweetening in their cool slumber.

It's that time of year when our storage veggies are winding down and our planting is ramping up. We try to catch any errant vegetables that may not be top notch, but we are not always successful. 

If you ever have produce that is not top quality, please let me know! We will send replacement veggies if something gets by us. 
Pete's Musings

It's been a slow start to the spring - good time to have ample greenhouses! But now it's dried out and we're ready to roll. Our main crop of onions and potatoes will be planted this week; this is earlier than normal as many of the diseases that affect both crops get harder to combat later in the summer.
Cover cropping is about to begin in earnest. These are crops that we grow to improve soil, reduce weed pressure, fix nitrogen from the air (in the case of legumes), or make straw for mulching vegetables or bedding pigs. The cover crop world is complex and diverse with an almost infinite variety of crop mixes and planting dates to achieve a wide variety of goals. So it's very interesting and there is always something more to be learned. 
This year we will be using a lot of mustard for cover crop. There is a special variety of mustard called Caliente that has been bred to be very high in glucosinolates (the compound that makes mustards taste spicy). The plants grow tall and flower and then are chopped finely with a flail mower (right) so that they are in lots of little pieces. Those pieces are immediately incorporated into the soil and then rolled to help seal the soil surface. The gasses are trapped in the soil and are powerful enough that they kill weed seeds (this is our favorite part) and also can help reduce harmful soil nematodes and certain soil diseases. The plants also produce ample organic matter for feeding the soil. We're going to run some trials this year to see how effective this can be at reducing the number of live weed seeds in the soil.
Back to farming! 

~ Pete

Storage and Use Tips 
Mesclun Mix: Lettuce, arugula, and brassica mix comprise this week's mesclun mix. 
Basil (Full shares only): This marvelous herb is a member of the mint family. It is a staple in Mediterranean cooking as well as Thai, Vietnamese, and Laotian. The herb is highly aromatic, or put another way, the oils in basil are highly volatile. Thus, it is best to add the herb near the end of the cooking process so it will retain its maximum essence and flavor. Basil should be kept in a plastic bag or kept stem-down in a glass of water with plastic over the leaves, for about a week with regular water changing. Keep your basil out of extreme cold as it could damage the fragile leaves.
**All the basil for Full Veggie Share members will be in a large plastic bag. Please take 1 bunch if you have a Full Veggie or Localvore share.**
Red Russian Kale (Full shares only): Full share members will receive either rainbow chard or red Russian kale. This kale is straight from our greenhouses and the first harvest! Red Russian kale is a green kale with purple stems, and while these leaves are tender enough to eat raw, cooking adds a sweetness and tenderness that makes these greens just as versatile as chard. Store in your crisper drawer loosely wrapped in plastic.
Chard (Half shares): Rainbow Chard is a delicious nutritious green, high in Vitamins A, K, and C.  The beautifully colored stems are why it's called rainbow chard!  Chard works great as a spinach substitute but needs to be cooked down a bit longer.  It also works well in soups and stews, or sauteed as a side. Store in your crisper drawer loosely wrapped in plastic.

Clean Rainbow Carrots: This week we're putting in some clean baby carrots to your veggie offerings! Typically we send out loose carrots that are pre-washed. These carrots have been lightly brushed to make them bright and tender (which is why they are bagged - to keep them clean). These baby sized carrots are perfect for snacking! They're a great size to munch on for a mid-day or after school snack, or as part of your packed lunch. Because these carrots have been scrubbed clean, they have a slightly shorter shelf life than other carrots. Use within a week for best freshness. Store carrots loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. 

Erick and Alison bagging CSA clean carrots yesterday!

Adirondack Red Potatoes:  Adirondack Red potatoes have a bright red skin and an even more vibrant interior! Use these purplish red potatoes, which do lighten some after cooking, as vibrant home fries for dinner or breakfast. Store in a cool, dry, dark place.​

Frozen Peppers (Full Shares only): Our multi-colored peppers are washed, chopped, bagged and frozen within hours of harvest. Frozen peppers won't be crisp like fresh peppers but retain all the flavor and yummy summer goodness. To use them, simply remove package from the freezer, slice open bag, and then either thaw and add to your dish, or chop just what you need frozen and toss directly into your skillet. If you use the latter method, you can toss unused frozen veggies back into the freezer for later use. 

Need to Skip a Week?

If you're ever not able to pick up your share, please let us know at least one week in advance. We can either skip your share and give you credit, send it the next week, or donate it to the food pantry. It's up to you!

Sorry, we cannot skip a share or change pick-up sites after noon on Monday.

Localvore Lore
It's a week for eating Mexican-style dishes with Vermont ingredients! The corn tortillas come from All Souls Tortilleria in the Mad River Valley (organic corn sourced from New York), the organic black beans from Morningstar Farm and the Sweet Rowen Farmstead Cheese Curds are from Glover, and the salsas (either tomatillo or salsa roja - please only take one) come from our farm in Craftsbury. That's some local collaboration!

        
Store the tortillas in the freezer unless you're going to use them right away. They are made fresh without any preservatives and do not have a super long shelf life when not frozen. Store the black beans in an airtight container and keep dry. The salsa is also frozen. After thawing, use within a week. If the cheese curds stick around for more than a few days, whoa!  

You can click here for more info on preparing dried black beans.


Recipes
You can find more recipes by searching our website and/or our blog

Home Fries
There are two secrets to making great home fries, if you ask me. The first is cooking the onions separately. As potatoes need to cook quite a bit longer than onions, it saves them from become burnt specks by the time the potatoes are ready. The second is more of a shortcut (so you can make them more often because they’re easier!) which is that I reduce the pan-frying time by half cooking them in the microwave first. As the best French fries are twice-cooked, this follows that line of reasoning well, yielding home fries with a soft center and crisp edges.

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 onions, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Seasoning of your choice: Garlic powder or salt work great, as does smoky Spanish paprika or chopped chives

Arrange potatoes in large microwave-safe bowl, top with 1 tablespoon butter, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until edges of potatoes begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes, shaking bowl (without removing plastic) to redistribute potatoes halfway through cooking.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in large regular or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes and pack down with spatula. Cook, without moving, until underside of potatoes is brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn potatoes, pack down again, and continue to cook until well browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring potatoes every few minutes, until crusty and golden on all sides, 9 to 12 minutes. Stir in onion, seasonings of your choice and salt and pepper to taste.

Sauteed Swiss Chard
I like this recipe because it uses the entire chard- stems and all! 

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated, stems chopped and leaves sliced into 1-inch thick strips
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Fill a large bowl with ice water.  Add the chard stems to the boiling water and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the stems to the ice bath and let cool completely.  Drain the stems and set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium skillet.  Add the chard leaves, stirring to coat.  Cover and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally.  Add the chard stems, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Beet, Kale and Carrot Salad

½ cup uncooked quinoa
⅓ silvered almonds or roasted winter squash seeds
1 medium raw beet, peeled
1 medium to large carrot, peeled
2 cups packed green kale, roughly chopeed
1 avocado cubed

--- Vinaigrette ---
3 T apple cider vinegar
2 t lemon juice
2 T sunflower oil or olive oil
2 T maple syrup
1 t dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water.

In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 min.

Remove the quinoa from heat and let it rest, still covered for 5 min.

Uncover pot, drain off an excess liquid and set it aside to cool.

Grate the beet and carrot by hand or with a food processor. Place in a large bowl and add the rest of the salad ingredients.

To prepare the vinaigrette: Whisk together all of the ingredients until emulsified. Drizzle dressing over the mixture and toss to combine.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Rhubarb Dream Bars 

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups finely chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup flaked coconut

In a bowl, combine 1 cup flour and confectioners' sugar. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Pat into a lightly greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for 13-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

In a bowl, combine the sugar and remaining flour. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in rhubarb, walnuts and coconut; pour over crust. Bake 30-35 minutes longer or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Carrot Rhubarb Muffins
makes 12 muffins

2½ cups rolled oats (gluten-free if desired), plus extra for sprinkling if desired
½ cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
4 to 6 spring carrots, unpeeled, roughly chopped
¾ cup raw walnuts (optional)
2 thin stalks rhubarb
Knob of coconut oil, for greasing the tin (or use muffin liners)
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 cup unsweetened applesauce

Measure out 1 1⁄2 cups of the rolled oats and put them in a food processor. Pulse until you have a coarse flour. Put the flour in a large bowl, and add the remaining 1 cup rolled oats and the coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, sea salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir to combine.

Pulse the carrots in the food processor until they are roughly minced. Put the carrots in a medium bowl. Pulse the walnuts a couple of times in the food processor until roughly chopped, and then add them to the carrots. Slice the rhubarb into thin disks and add to the carrots.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a muffin tin with coconut oil (or line it with muffin liners).

Add the maple syrup and applesauce to the oat mixture, and mix just to combine. Then fold in the carrots, rhubarb, and walnuts.

Fill the muffin cups with dollops of the batter; sprinkle with a few rolled oats if desired. Bake in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes, until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before removing from the tin.

Loaded Nachos
Nachos are a perfect meal to modify with what you have on hand. I love the idea of sauteing chard or another green to add to the mix, and serving this with a big heaping green salad (or better yet, combining them into a taco salad!).

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
2 pounds Ground Beef (optional- or sub a non-meat alternative like tofu)
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 can (14-5 Ounce) Beans (or try 1/4 pound dried beans)
1/2 cup Hot Water
Tortilla Chips
Frozen sweet peppers
1-1/2 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
1-1/2 cup Monterey Jack Cheese (or throw on some cheese curds)
6 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1 whole Jalapeno, Diced Finely
1/2 bunch Cilantro Leaves, Chopped
Juice Of 1 Lime
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 whole Avocado (optinoal)
Sour Cream (optional)

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and half the onion. Cook it until starting to soften, then add the ground beef. Cook the meat until it's totally browned, then drain the fat. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add the beans and hot water and stir. Reduce the heat to low and simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

To make the pico de gallo, combine the other half of the onion with the tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir it together and set it aside.

To build the nachos, place a layer of tortilla chips on a platter or plate. Top with a layer of the beef/bean mixture, then all but 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese. Add another layer of chips, another layer of the beef/bean mixture, and the Monterey Jack cheese. Then add on sweet peppesr. Add a final small layer of chips, then a small layer of beef and beans, then a final sprinkling of cheddar. 

Microwave in 45 second increments until the cheese is melted and bubbly. (You may also place the platter into a 325 degree oven if it's heatproof. Just leave it in until the cheese is melted.)

Immediately sprinkle on the diced avocado and plenty of pico de gallo.

Optional: Add dollops of sour cream here and there!
  

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