Wednesday, August 20, 2014

2014 CSA Week 16

Friends,

This is the last week of the csa and I'm a very sad girl! I am very appreciative, however, of all the love and hard work the Waterstrat family has put into making this the best experience for us eating plenty of nutritious food throughout the season!

I'm sure we will continue to hear from Ford and Amanda throughout the fall. Let them know if you are interested in the naturally raised beef and pork.

In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
sweet corn shucked or with husks in the coolest part of the fridge enjoy as soon as possible
green beans dry, unwashed in the fridge 3-4 days
squash and zucchini unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
tomatoes room temperature several days
basil store in an unclosed container in fridge, or snip off bottom of stalks and immerse in water 1-2 weeks
garlic unwashed in fridge up to 1 week
bell peppers unwashed in fridge 2-3 weeks

For my last blog of the season, and since I've written about all of these items in previous blogs, I thought I would take a peak at memory lane and some of Amanda's thoughts and recipes she posted throughout the years. She has such a warm and inviting way of writing which makes you feel like you are sitting at her kitchen table chatting over a cup of coffee like long-time friends.

Excerpts from 2012

Tomatoes
In keeping with the theme of quick, simple preparations, I’ll encourage you to try yet another roasted vegetable recipe – garlic roasted tomatoes.
This one is taken from the September 2007 issue of Everyday Food and can also be found online.
 
Garlic-Roasted Tomatoes
from September 2007 Everyday Food
4 large tomatoes cored and halved crosswise.
2 Tbsp butter, cut into 8 thin slices
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400oF.
Place tomato halves, cut side up, on a large, rimmed baking sheet.
Dividing evenly, top with butter and garlic; season with salt and pepper.
Bake until tomatoes are tender, 40-45 minutes.

Green Peppers
If your home is like ours this time of year, you might be scrambling around after dinner assembling lunches for work or school on the following day. I find that I am much less likely to snack on convenience foods if I pack plenty of healthy snacks. If you’re short on time but want a tasty, crunchy side dish with your lunch, slice some raw peppers into long strips and use them to dip into hummus, soft goat cheese, or your favorite spread. They’re such a nice treat on a busy afternoon!

Basil
The days of summer, and summer herbs like basil, are numbered. This realization always hits me hardest when school resumes, which happened to me this week. It seems like the excitement of the first days of school give way to fall parties, Halloween, and then, in the blink of an eye, Thanksgiving and Christmas have arrived. My thoughts are beginning to turn toward that season. It’s time to stock up on dried/preserved basil. If you haven’t already dried some of those aromatic leaves, be sure to save at least a few stems to hang upside down in your kitchen to dry. It will smell so nice as it dries and you’ll be left with crunchy leaves you can sprinkle into small pieces just right for seasoning winter dishes.


Excerpts from 2013

This week our dear friend and CSA member Tifany, shared a wonderful recipe that uses both tomatoes and corn. It’s quick, simple and received a lot of great reviews online! You can find the recipe at this link: Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes & Corn. Thanks Tifany!

Familiar Favorites

 Tomato Corn Pie that combines several of my favorite summer harvest vegetables and herbs.
You’ll find more familiar favorites in your share this week. I’d like to encourage you to try this recipe from the link above.


I made a few changes to accommodate my tastes and it turned out great! For starters, I like making a piecrust with 1/3 cornmeal for added texture and flavor. I just took my favorite biscuit recipe, reduced the quantity and replaced 1/3 of the flour with cornmeal. I pressed the dough nice and flat so it wouldn’t be “fluffy” like a biscuit but it was still heartier than a typical piecrust. Yum! I also omitted the top layer of crust in favor of a deep dish pizza feel with the thick cornmeal biscuit crust. I didn't peel or blanch the tomatoes but I did squeeze out some of the extra juice. By the way, if you’re like me, perhaps you think the mayo in this recipe sounds disgusting (I’m not a mayo fan) but I have to say that the combination of lemon mayo and cheese forms a gooey crust makes this dish AMAZING. I’ve grown to enjoy this recipe so much that I actually made THREE pies the last time I whipped this up! …and not ONE bite was wasted.


Roasted Tomato Bean Dip
Yet another hummus!


2 medium-large tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
freshly ground black pepper, dried oregano, and salt (optional)
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice)
10-12 large leaves fresh basil
salt, to taste (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the tomatoes into 1/2-inch slices and place them in a large, oiled (or silicon) baking dish in a single layer. Sprinkle each slice with garlic, using only half of the garlic. Add a sprinkling of black pepper, oregano, and salt to the top of each slice. (You can also add olive oil, but I resisted the temptation.)

Place in the oven for about 30 minutes, until tomatoes are totally cooked but are not burning. Remove from oven to cool (or use warm and then chill the dip after preparing).

Place the remaining garlic into the food processor along with the chickpeas, vinegar, and roasted tomatoes. Blend well. Add the basil leaves and salt, if you like, and blend again. Serve chilled with vegetables or crackers for dipping. Also makes a good sandwich spread or salad dressing.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 30 minute(s) Number of servings (yield): 4
Nutrition (per serving): 125 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1.2g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 273.1mg sodium, 334.5mg potassium, 24.4g carbohydrates, 4.8g fiber, 1.8g sugar, 5.2g protein, 3.6 points.

#####

As a final note, I'd like to say that this has been a great experience for me, attempting to fill in with this weekly blog, giving Amanda the time with her family which practically doubled in size with the birth of their twin boys in December. Lets hope Silas and Josiah enjoy working on the farm as much as Finley!
 
Happy healthy eating!
~Nancy

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

2014 CSA Week 15

Greetings friends!

What a wonderful season we are having, with plenty of rain and sunshine to nourish the crops! It's good for the soul, too, especially with the abundance we have to look forward to in our shares!

This week from Sustainable Harvest Farm...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
sage and oregano unwashed, in sealed container or plastic bag, kept in fridge; or, see drying instructions below. 1-2 weeks
squash unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
tomatoes room temperature several days
sweet corn shucked or with husks in the coolest part of the fridge best enjoyed as soon as possible
garlic unwashed in fridge up to 1 week
melons fridge or room temp enjoy as soon as possible


For the sage and oregano in our share and any other herbs, Ford requested I provide some information on how to store and dry herbs. Here's a great article I found on the Harvest to Table website with easy ways to dry herbs, including air drying, dehydrator drying, microwave drying, and oven drying. Rather than repeat it all here, I'll let you take a look and find the method that works best for you. They certainly look pretty hanging in a window, or dry room!

#####

At this point, we are all trying to get creative with what to do with all the zucchini and squash! Here's a fun recipe my friend uses and her kids love it! It's from a Gooseberry Patch Cookbook, "Farmers Market Favorites." You can find this cookbook and others they publish, all which are wonderful, on Amazon here.

Crispy Zucchini Fritters

So tasty served with ranch dressing for dipping.


4 zucchini, thickly shredded
1 t. salt, divided
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
olive oil for frying

Toss zucchini with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a colander and let stand 10 minutes. Drain, pressing out as much liquid as possible. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, remaining salt and pepper until light and frothy. Whisk in zucchini; stir in flour. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls, flattening with the back of spoon. Fry, about 2 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels. Serves 4.

#####

With everyone back to school, and the hint of fall in the air, it's casserole time! One can last two or three days worth of meals, and you can freeze them for later.

I don't know who doesn't love lasagna! Since I'm always trying to limit my intake of starches and carbs, I generally won't order it from a restaurant, or make it at home. Luckily, several years ago, a friend shared a recipe with me that I enjoy making and eating guilt free. Instead of lasagna noodles, it calls for zucchini and squash sliced into long, thin, wide planks. If you can't slice them thin enough, I suggest laying the squash planks on a cookie sheet, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and stick under the broiler for a few minutes, keeping an eye on them, to precook slightly before adding to the dish.

WW's exclusive Low-Carb "Lasagna"


4 (2 lbs.) medium zucchini and/or yellow squash, cut lengthwise into thin slices/planks
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cont. (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
3/4 lb. mozzarella cheese, shredded
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage, cooked, drained (substitute any meat, or go meatless)
1 jar (1 lb. 10 oz.) low-carb marinara sauce, such as Bella Vita Low-Carb Pasta Sauce
Fresh chopped herbs - basil, parsley, oregano, garlic

Heat oven to 350 ° F. Coat 9" x 13" baking pan with cooking spray. Season squash with salt and pepper. Combine ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, fresh chopped herbs, and sausage. Spoon 1/4 cup sauce into bottom of prepared pan. Spread 1/3 squash slices over sauce. Spread 1/3 of the sauce over the squash. Top with 1/2 ricotta cheese mixture. Repeat with remaining zucchini, sauce, ricotta mixture ending with a top layer of zucchini topped with sauce. Cover and bake 40 minutes until heated through. Makes 10 servings. Per serving: 358 cals.; 11 g. total carbs

#####

Continue to enjoy the fresh tomatoes and corn! If you end up with more tomatoes than you can eat or prepare into sauces or meals, you can put the whole tomatoes in the freezer sealed in ziploc bags to be used in a soup or stew later. I remember hearing this tip years ago, and it works!

Bon Appetit!
Nancy

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

2014 CSA Week 14

Greetings!
Well, kids are heading back to school and I've seen Halloween candy in the Dollar General store. BUT, it's still early August and there is plenty of time to enjoy the sun and summer activities, and the harvest is plentiful!

Beautiful bounty from Sustainable Harvest Farm

 In shares this week...


Item How to store it How long will it last?
fennel unwashed in fridge 1 week
squash unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
cabbage unwashed in fridge 2-3 months
tomatoes room temperature several days
corn shucked or with husks in the coolest part of the fridge best enjoyed as soon as possible
green beans dry, unwashed in the fridge 3-4 days
basil store in an unclosed container in fridge, or snip off bottom of stalks and immerse in water 1-2 weeks
melons fridge or room temp enjoy as soon as possible

Here's a wonderful light dish using fennel and cabbage that we will be receiving in our shares. I found this on the blog: http://ohmyveggies.com/fennel-and-cabbage-slaw/

Fennel and Cabbage Slaw

A light, refreshing slaw made with fresh fennel.

Ingredients
1/2 medium red cabbage, sliced (about 4 cups)
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
3 green onions, sliced
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
Toss the cabbage, carrots, fennel, and green onions in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients to make a dressing for the slaw. Pour the dressing over the veggies and mix well.
Serve on your favorite veggie burger, sandwich, or taco, or alongside your favorite main dish.

#####

I've enjoyed my usual method of preparing the variety of beautiful veggies we receive from the wonderful Waterstrat family farm, by throwing everything in the wok sauteed with coconut oil, garlic and fresh herbs from my patio container garden. It's easy, yummy, and you just have one pan to clean!
I'm sharing photos from this week's meals I prepared for myself with enough for leftovers:

Meal #1: YUM! Nothing else required to complete this meal!
For my pasta dish below, a tip for easy, quick and minimal cleanup (my M.O.) is to throw the chopped veggies (beans and squash this time) in the boiling water with the pasta and it will all cook together! Then, drain and place everything back in the pot. I then added the corn that I cut off the cob since it would have fallen through the holes of the colander, with some olive oil, a couple tablespoons of pesto I keep in the fridge, keep on low to heat back up, adding a small amount of water if necessary. Scoop it into a dish with the shaved parmesan on top! Voila! It's always hard for me to eat just one bowl!
Meal #2: with pasta, pesto and shaved parmesan


 Enjoy the rest of summer!

~Nancy

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

2014 CSA Week 13

Greetings!

Can you believe it's the end of July already?! Where has this summer gone! There are just a few weeks left of our fabulous CSA from Sustainable Harvest Farm and I've been so grateful for all the hard work Ford, Amanda and Finley have been putting into providing us with their beautiful abundance of fresh, healthy food.


In shares this week... 


Item How to store it How long will it last?
fennel unwashed in fridge 1 week
squash unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
carrots unwashed in fridge 2-3 weeks
tomatoes room temperature several days
corn shucked or with husks in the coolest part of the fridge best enjoyed as soon as possible
green beans dry, unwashed in the fridge 3-4 days
basil store in an unclosed container in fridge, or snip off bottom of stalks and immerse in water 1-2 weeks
melons fridge or room temp enjoy as soon as possible
beets unwashed in fridge 2-3 months

If you're not as sure as I was on what exactly is fennel, you will delight with this recipe from Dishing Up The Dirt that utilizes both beets and fennel.


Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad With Citrus Vinaigrette

Roasting fennel and beets together really brings out a nice sweetness. Enjoy.
Serves 2

PREP TIME  10 mins.
COOK TIME  30 mins.

Ingredients:
2 medium-sized fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced into 1 inch pieces (save the trimmings for another use)
2-3 large beets, cut into 1 inch cubes, save the beet greens and chop them up as well.
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 TBS olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Citrus Vinaigrette
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dijon style mustard
2 TBS lemon juice
2TBS lime juice
1 1/2 TBS fresh orange juice
fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Taste test and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the chopped fennel and beets together. Drizzle with olive oil salt and pepper. Place on a prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven until beets are fork tender and fennel is browned on both sides. About 20 minutes. Toss veggies once halfway through cooking time.
Cook quinoa according to your specific brands instructions. Once quinoa has about 2 minutes left of cooking place chopped beet greens in with the quinoa so they steam up a bit.
Combine roasted veggies with quinoa and beet greens. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy. This tastes great warm, at room temperature, or even chilled.
Use this recipe as a guide. Adjust ingredients and measurements as needed. Always taste test as you go!

#####

Another recipe using corn, squash, tomatoes and basil from The Maker Makes site that sounds delicious and looks beautiful! The basil oil adds a definite tasty twist!

Skillet Corn, Zucchini, and Tomatoes with Basil Oil

Ingredients:

For the Basil Oil
1/2 Cup Basil
2 Tb Olive Oil
Pinch of Salt

For The Skillet Corn
3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
1/2 Small Red Onion (diced)
4-5 Ears of Corn (shaved)
1/4 Small Head of Red Cabbage (thinly sliced)
2 Carrots (chopped)
3 Small Zucchini (diced)
2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
 
Boil a pot of water. Add basil, blanching for 10 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove basil from boiling water and place into a bowl of ice water, pat excess water from basil. In a food processor or blender, blend basil, oil, and salt until smooth. Set Aside.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, about 30 seconds. Add corn, zucchini, carrots, and cabbage. Cook, about 8-10 minutes.
Add tomatoes and vinegar, cook about 6-8 minutes.
Remove vegetables from heat, stir in basil oil, and serve.

Have a great week!
~Nancy

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

2014 CSA Week 12

Greetings!

I hope everyone is finding creative ways of staying cool during these dog days of summer! I love it! I can't get enough of this season, and enjoying wonderful fresh produce!

Ford, Amanda and family are still dealing with recovering from their house fire, so please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

In shares this week...


Item How to store it How long will it last?
kale and chard washed or unwashed in refrigerator 1-2 weeks
squash unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
peppers unwashed in fridge 2-3 weeks
tomatoes room temperature several days
corn shucked or with husks in the coolest part of the fridge best enjoyed as soon as possible
green beans dry, unwashed in the fridge 3-4 days
basil store in an unclosed container in fridge, or snip off bottom of stalks and immerse in water 1-2 weeks
blackberries store in coolest part of fridge 3-5 days

I'm glad to continue to see the large greens of kale and chard. I always feel so healthy eating these, and continue to recommend throwing them in the pan you are using to lightly sautee chopped vegetables in olive or coconut oil, garlic and onion. Or, add to any soups, but I'm not thinking about soups in this heat!

Caprese Salad

I know Amanda has shared this recipe before for caprese salad, one of my favs! Use the fresh tomatoes and basil with thick slices of mozzarella, olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. Try reducing the vinaigrette as in this Caprese Salad recipe from Pioneer Woman, and it will be so awesome! And, so pretty!

Roasted corn in husks on grill

Next, I will share an amazing way to enjoy fresh corn I learned from a friend from Mexico. It is unbelievably delicious! The best way to cook the corn for the flavor is to roast in the shuck on the grill (no presoaking required). Keep turning until the husk is nice and crispy, indicating wonderful roasted corn inside. Be careful taking off the husks! Use towels or pot holders. If you don't have time (or patience), then cook the corn your normal (faster) method. Boil shucked cobs in water for 4 minutes is about just right. Now, put away that butter! Instead, spread mayonnaise on the cob (or if this sounds too decadent use yoghurt, but it won't be nearly as good!), and roll in parmesan cheese. Some add spices like chili powder and lime juice, but I prefer it without.  You'll thank me after trying this!

Corn cobs with mayo and rolled in parmesan


I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

~Nancy




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

2014 CSA Week 11

Greetings fellow CSA members!

I'm back from an enjoyable vacation in the Canadian Rockies. It's a magical place, but I'm so happy to be back to my beautiful Kentucky! I can't help sharing a photo from my trip, TAKEN WITH AN IPHONE! I didn't feel like carting around my heavy camera. It's amazing what these phones can do nowadays!

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada, 7-7-14, 9 p.m.

Before continuing with the blog, I want to send out an earnest request for thoughts and prayers for Ford and Amanda after experiencing a house fire this past weekend. Thank goodness no one was injured, but apparently there was quite a bit of damage. Let's join together in our love for them in prayers for a renovation beyond expectation after this unfortunate set-back. We know, with good grace and fortitude, they will be fine. The support of great family and friends always helps!


Amazingly, In the midst of all this chaos, there is still magnificent produce for our benefit in shares this week.

Here is what will be awaiting us.
I've missed my share of Sustainable Harvest Farm!

Item How to store it How long will it last?
cabbage or broccoli washed or unwashed in refrigerator 1-2 weeks
yellow squash unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
zucchini unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
tomatoes room temperature several days
cucumbers Unwashed in the fridge 1-2 weeks
green beans dry, unwashed in the fridge 3-4 days
blackberries store in coolest part of fridge 3-5 days

OK, I've already admitted my tried and true method of cooking (at least when I'm the only guinea pig) is chopping everything up and throwing in a wok with olive or coconut oil (and lots of garlic). Before I owned a dishwasher, I took pride in my "one pan meals" especially when doing the clean-up. Now that I have a dishwasher, I still hate to use too many dishes or pots. So, this remains my main style of cooking, and is very yummy.

Blackberries!!! Can't wait to add them to my yoghurt, ice cream, and to make my first blackberry cobbler of the season! Check out this recipe from the Pioneer Woman website

But, what do we do with cucumbers???? Even with my imagination, they just don't go with a stir fry (though, I have to admit I never tried it).

After some research and experience, here are some ideas:

Cucumber Water

Have you tried adding slices to a pitcher of iced water? Cucumbers add such a refreshing taste to plain drinking water. Try them in place of lemon slices, or combine the two with some mint! You can add them to your water bottle. There are even detox diets based on drinking cucumber water which, besides the great taste, has great health benefits. It's a staple in all the spas these days.

If you enjoy gin and tonics in the summer, add cuke slices for a more refreshing drink.

Here's a different (and easy!) recipe for an appetizer found on marthastewart.com:

Cucumber-Feta Toasts

Toasted bread spread with feta and topped with sliced cucumber makes a cool and refreshing appetizer.

Ingredients

1/2 baguette
2 teaspoons plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces feta
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 small English cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise

Directions

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450 degrees. Split baguette lengthwise and lightly brush cut sides with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Bake until golden around edges, 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mash together feta, 4 teaspoons oil, and lemon juice with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Spread feta mixture evenly over toasted baguette and top with cucumber. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and a drizzle of oil. Cut into pieces to serve.

#####

And, when in doubt, there are always pickles! Lots of recipes are found on the web. Here's an easy recipe that doesn't require kettle steamers, special jars, or vacuum lids. This is found on myrecipes.com from a 2007 Cooking Light issue.

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Ingredients

6 cups thinly sliced pickling cucumbers (about 2 pounds) $
2 cups thinly sliced onion $
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Preparation

Place 3 cups cucumber in a medium glass bowl; top with 1 cup onion. Repeat procedure with the remaining 3 cups cucumber and remaining 1 cup onion.
Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan; stir well. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Pour over cucumber mixture; let cool. Cover and chill at least 4 days.
Note: Pickles may be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Enjoy!
~Nancy

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

2014 CSA Week 10


The share for this week is packed with excellent summer produce!  Along with summer favorites like the first sweet corn of the year, tomatoes and zucchini, you will also find fresh lettuce.  We consider this quite a prize because it is more difficult to grow in the summer heat.  This week you have everything you'll need for an outstanding summer salad and more.

I'd like to tell you that I've been "cooking up a storm" in the kitchen and post lots of great photos of our meals, but I'll be honest with you: I'm spending a lot of time making baby food and feeding babies!  (For example, I need to cook about 5 lbs of pears tonight before I go to bed!) Our family meals are very quick and simple this summer and they occur in lots of small steps throughout the course of a day or two - and they almost never involve me remembering to take pictures.  ...so rather than posting an exciting new dish, I'll provide some links to some great recipes I've found online as well as a couple of our old favorites from older posts.  Scroll down for more.

The complete produce list is below along with storage information.  Recipe links with photos are below the table.

ItemHow to store itHow long will it last?
lettucewashed or unwashed in fridge1-2 weeks
squashunwashed in fridge1-2 weeks
zucchiniunwashed in fridge1-2 weeks
cucumbersunwashed in fridge1-2 weeks
tomatoesroom temperatureseveral days
cornshucked (my preference) or husks in tact
in the coldest  area of your fridge (bottom
crisper)
not long, enjoy as soon
as possible for the
sweetest flavor
beets or green
beans
dry, unwashed in frIdge3-4 days for beans,
2-3 MONTHS for beets

Totally AWESOME slideshow of summer recipes from Bon Appetit (be sure to check out the recipe for grilled beets on this one, it's slide 3)
The Pioneer woman's Summer Stir-Fry

Charred tomato corn salsa from Real Simple
Charred Corn and Tomato Salsa



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

2014 CSA Week 9

Greetings!

Is it summer yet?!  :-)

It's that time again when we all look forward to our wonderful produce from Sustainable Harvest Farm!

Just in time for the 4th of July weekend, find some great potluck style recipes below. I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday!

In this week's share, the new items you might find are beets and green beans (my fav!).


Item How to store it How long will it last?
cabbage or broccoli washed or unwashed in refrigerator 1-2 weeks
summer squash unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
zucchini unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
tomatoes room temperature several days
garlic Unwashed in the fridge up to 1 week
green beans or beets dry, unwashed in the fridge 3-4 days

Amanda shares some of their favorite recipes:
Broccoli Apple Salad and their favorite Cabbage Casserole.

I found this wonderful recipe for zucchini gratin on a great vegetarian site, 12tomatoes.com
This is the perfect potluck contribution that people will go nuts over!

Zucchini Gratin

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons butter
4 large zucchini, sliced
4 medium shallots, minced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup cheddar cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Green onions, sliced, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat the oven for 400 degrees F.
Heat a large, deep pot to medium heat and add the butter. Once melted, sauté the shallots and garlic in the butter until the shallots are translucent – about a minute or two.
Add the zucchini, heavy cream, salt, pepper, oregano, and Parmesan cheese. Let the mixture cook on the stovetop for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly. Make sure to keep mixing everything with a spoon while it is cooking.
Then, transfer this mixture to a greased casserole dish (9x13 or a similar size should be plenty big) and mix in most of the cheddar cheese – once everything is blended thoroughly, sprinkle the rest of the cheddar cheese on top.
Bake the gratin for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden-brown. Top with sliced green onions for garnish, if desired.

***********************

And, my favorite potluck item is pasta salad with veggies and herbs. Use anything in season. The dressing sounds like a great one to keep on file! Recipe found here and below.



Lemony Roasted Garlic Pasta (Salad)

Ingredients:
8 oz. pasta (mini bowties, rotini or something small and ‘pasta-salad-like’)
3-4 cups veggies
For the Dressing:
2 heads garlic
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup water (use reserved pasta water)
1 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Tofu, sliced hardboiled eggs, grilled chicken (optional)

This could also be done wrapped in foil on the grill.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°.  Chop veggies into bite-size pieces, if needed.  Spread evenly onto a roasting pan along with 2 heads of garlic.  Drizzle olive oil (approximately 2-3 Tablespoons) evenly over all.  Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes until veggies begin to caramelize.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions and drain, reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta water.

When veggies/garlic are roasted, let cool until garlic is cool enough to handle.  Peel 20 roasted garlic cloves and add them to bowl of food processor.  Add the rest of the dressing ingredients except for water and blend.  Slowly add reserved water until dressing is of desired thickness.

Add cooked veggies to pasta and pour about half the dressing over (or to taste).  Reserve the rest of the dressing for another use.

Serve warm or cold, garnished with chunks of broiled tofu, hardboiled eggs or chicken, if desired.
(optional)

Yummy!


~Nancy



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2014 CSA Week 8

Greetings!

I'm hoping Ford and Amanda's farm got enough rain this week for "our" veggies!

I was unable to pick up my share last week, so invited a friend to enjoy the fresh veggies over the weekend since I wouldn't be in town until Monday. She had more fun marveling at the assortment, trying to figure out what everything was, and engaged in a colorful dialogue on her Facebook page. She decided to grill it all and from the photo she posted, it looked delicious!
Last week's share picked up by my friend

Here's the finished creation - everything goes on the grill!

In this week's share, the new items you might find are squash, zucchini or cucumbers. Who's ready for oven fried squash? (recipe below)


Item How to store it How long will it last?
cabbage or broccoli washed or unwashed in refrigerator 1-2 weeks
squash or zucchini or cucumbers unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
tomatoes room temperature several days
kohlrabi washed or unwashed in refrigerator 1-2 weeks
Green or purple onions Lightly rinsed, dried, and stored in plastic wrap of fridge container 1-2 weeks
Garlic (bulb) Unwashed in the fridge up to 1 week
Oregano/sage Unwashed in the fridge, in sealed bag ~1-2 weeks

I'll enjoy chopping up the broccoli and cabbage and adding it to the tomatoes, kohlrabi, onions and herbs to a beautiful salad that I will take to work for lunch!

Summer squash is wonderful so many ways. Here's a great way to utilize that corn meal that I still have tucked away in a drawer in my fridge. This recipe and photo are from tastykitchen.com.

Oven “Fried” Parmesan Zucchini Squash

Description
This “fried” squash recipe is really oven baked. You’ll never miss the crispiness of the fried though due to cornmeal, rosemary and Parmesan crisping up together in the oven! Healthy and yummy!

Ingredients
2 whole Eggs, Beaten
1 Tablespoon Milk
½ cups Parmesan Cheese
¼ cups Yellow Corn Meal
1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, Chopped (add the fresh herbs from this week's share!)
½ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Pepper
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil Or Olive Oil Cooking Spray
2 whole Zucchini Sliced In Rounds

Direction:
In one low flat dish or bowl, beat your 2 eggs well.
In another flat low dish or bowl, stir remaining ingredients, except oil.
Slice squash into pieces. Using tongs, dip first in egg, then in breadcrumb mixture, making sure to coat both sides of squash well.
Place on foil-line baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray or brushed with olive oil.
Spray the tops of your squash with baking spray or drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the tops are browned.
Note: addition to recipe – bake at 425º on the top rack of your oven, flipping once half way thru!

Can't wait!
~Nancy


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

2014 CSA Week 7

What a fun time at the farm on Saturday! It was so nice to meet some fellow CSA members and families, spend some time with Ford and Amanda, their parents, and to finally meet Finley and the twins! Fin was the perfect host!

Below are a few photos from the evening, and the link to all of the pictures. You can see how much fun everyone had! https://flic.kr/s/aHsjYj6BBS

Finley and his his Papaw welcomed visitors
The Waterstrats: Amanda, Ford, Finley and twins Silas and Josiah (left and right, I think!)
Everyone enjoyed the walking tour
Feeding the pigs
The kids really had a blast
Plenty of photo opps!
beautiful crops
great refreshments


In this week's share, the new items are cabbage and garlic (the bulb part instead of scapes, which Amanda says is milder in flavor than dried garlic bulbs, and "soooo delicious.")

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Kale and Swiss chard washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 2-5 days
Kohlrabi washed or unwashed in refrigerator 1-2 weeks
Green Onions Lightly rinsed, dried, and stored in plastic wrap of fridge container 1-2 weeks
Tomatoes room temperature several days
Garlic (bulb) Unwashed in the fridge up to 1 week
Oregano Unwashed in the fridge, in sealed bag ~1-2 weeks

Amanda's favorite cabbage recipe is found on an earlier blog here. She also recommends chopping it up with apples, kholrabi, and a sweet dressing along with raisins and nuts for a kind of sweet slaw.

And, thanks to CSA member Brandi Smith for sharing her kholrabi recipe below:

6 Tbsp mayo
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp mustard
1/2 tsp stevia
2 kholrabi peeled and sliced like french fries
2 apples peeled and sliced the same way
salt and pepper

My contribution for a nice vinaigrette utilizing the fresh oregano:

Balsamic Herb Vinaigrette

4 cloves of minced garlic
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon of minced fresh oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon of minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
Whisk everything together and you're done.

Now, let's enjoy!
~Nancy

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

2014 CSA Week 6


I'm so excited to visit the Waterstrats and their farm this Saturday during the Farm Tour! I'll take lots of pictures that I will be able to share in future blogs. It's a wonderful opportunity for CSA members to see where their food is coming from and observe the loving care with which it is tended and harvested. No wonder it tastes so delicious! Hope to make some new friends!

 
In this week's share, you will find an addition of tomatoes (yay!) and garlic scapes. I actually had to look up what a garlic scape is (can you tell I'm not a gardener?), which I've added below the chart with ways to enjoy them.

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Kale and Swiss chard washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 2-5 days
Radishes or turnips washed or unwashed in refrigerator several weeks
Kohlrabi washed or unwashed in refrigerator 1-2 weeks
Green Onions Lightly rinsed, dried, and stored in plastic wrap of fridge container 1-2 weeks
Tomatoes room temperature several days
Garlic Scapes Unwashed, loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge up to 2 weeks

Kale and chard - With the temperatures cooling and the rain this week, a nice Kale Soup is in order. My mom used to make it Portuguese-style. She would keep a pot going on the stove for days, continually adding ingredients almost as fast as we would enjoy bowl after bowl! I grew up in Massachusetts and went to college near New Bedford, which became known as the "Portuguese capital of the world" after immigrants started arriving in the 1800s for the whaling industry. Follow this link for a little history: http://www.whalingmuseum.org/learn/research-topics/cultural-communities. Chourico sausage is key to the flavor, though you can substitute Kielbasa, which my mom would often do. Here's a recipe claiming to be close to authentic: http://easy.betterrecipes.com/portuguese-kale-soup-new-bedford-style.html

Turnips - Did you know they are full of vitamin C? They are also very low calorie!
Kohlrabi - Can be eaten raw or cooked, and taste similar to broccoli stems. Just peel and slice!
Green onions - Chopped in salads, stir fry, or throw some in the soup!
Tomatoes - Amazing! I've been waiting for these since the last one appeared in my share last season! I love them sliced, chopped for salads, and, added to the soup!
Garlic scapes - OK, here's mystery solved! These tender tendrils are the "flower stalks" of hardneck garlic plants, according to About.com. They can be chopped and added to salads, sauteed lightly and served over pasta, mixed with cooking greens, or in any dish complemented by garlic. There's even a recipe for a garlic scape pesto on this site: http://gardening.about.com/od/herbsatoz/a/What-Are-Garlic-Scapes.htm

See you Saturday!
~Nancy

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

2014 CSA Week 5


From the farm to your table this week...



Item How to store it How long will it last?
Kale and Chard washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 2-5 days
Radishes/turnips washed or unwashed in refrigerator several weeks
Broccoli washed or unwashed in refrigerator 1-2 weeks
Lettuce washed & thoroughly dried (my preference) or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Bok Choy washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Green Onions Lightly rinsed, dried, and stored in plastic wrap of fridge container 1-2 weeks
Komatsuna (Asian green similar to Bok Choy - large, dark green leaves) washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks

When I saw the list of this week's produce, I was so excited to see all the ingredients for a luscious spring salad!

Kale and chard can be added to soups, steamed, and sauteed with sliced green onions in olive oil and butter, add seasonings to taste.

I plan to add the cooked kale and chard to a salad with the lettuce, sliced onions, radishes, bok choy, kamatsuna, and chopped broccoli! Yum! Mix a dressing with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper (optional extras: mustard, minced garlic, minced fresh herbs, spoonful of honey or brown sugar.)
This salad has added black sesame seeds and wasabi peas for an extra kick


 Can't wait to pick up my share! ~Nancy

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2014 CSA Week 4


Good morning!
I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Memorial Day holiday weekend!

I'm writing this blog from Massachusetts, where I'm visting family and friends. I grew up outside of Boston, and every year our family made the pilgrimage south to visit family on "the farm," where I now live. You can say that literally "I bought the farm." Though I just have two acres of the original 600, I do live in the historic home place, of which I'm extremely proud.

One of my fondest memories of visiting family in Russell County, is the strawberries that my grandfather grew. It became my favorite food when I cleaned out the supply he put up in the freezer. I still remember the sweet syrupy goodness created from the sugar coated sliced berries. To this day, I can't get enough! Thanks to Ford and family, there is an abundance of these naturally sweet berries continuing into this week's CSA!

In addition, he will have a variety of wonderful greens, and crunchy radishes and kohlrabi.

~ Nancy

In your share this week...


Item How to store it How long will it last?
Strawberries Unwashed in fridge 2-5 days
Radishes washed or unwashed in refrigerator several weeks
Kohlrabi washed or unwashed in refrigerator several weeks
Kale or Swiss Chard washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Bok Choy washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Komatsuna (Asian green similar to Bok Choy - large, dark green leaves) washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks

Strawberries 
In addition to rinsing and eating fresh, sliced in a salad, or sprinkled with sugar (try powdered, too), strawberry jam is another favorite. As usual, I look for the easy recipe and found below from the website http://allrecipes.com/recipe/strawberry-jam/

Easy Strawberry Jam

Ingredients
Original recipe makes 5 cups 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

Directions
In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berry. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C). Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don't bother with processing, and just refrigerate.

Radishes and Kohlrabi are both wonderful just sliced and added to salads.
Kale, Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, and Komatsuna can all be chopped and steamed or sauteed with olive oil (or, my favorite, coconut oil), onions and garlic.

The following is another recipe I discovered and plan to try.

TAHINI-SOY SAUCE GREENS
Works well with either bok choy or komatsuna

1 head bok choy or bunch komatsuna
1/4 cup tahini
1-3 tablespoon water or lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons soy sauce to taste

Wash and coarsely chop greens. Put stems into a steamer for two minutes; then add the leaves and steam for three to four minutes, until tender-crisp. Drain, pressing lightly to remove excess water. Mix the tahini, water or lemon juice, and soy sauce in a bowl. Pour the sauce over the greens and toss, or by let each person dip pieces of greens into the tahini-soy sauce.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2014 CSA Week 3

Greetings fellow CSA members!
Everything is getting so lush this time of year, as are the gardens at Sustainable Harvest Farm!

Ford and Amanda have informed me there will be slightly different produce in the Thursday and Saturday shares, which I've indicated in the chart below. Enjoy!
~ Nancy

In your share this week…

Item
How to store it
How long will it last?
(Th+Sa) Strawberries
Unwashed in fridge
~2-5 days
(Th+Sa) Salad Radishes
Washed or unwashed in refrigerator
several weeks
(Th) Cornmeal Airtight container (such as a zipper seal bag) in the freezer
months
(Sa) Kale or Swiss Chard
Washed & thoroughly dried (my preference) or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag
~1-2 weeks

I know you've heard that green leafy vegetables are very nutritious. I'm always thrilled when a restaurant will serve a nice mix of greens in the salad, as opposed to iceberg lettuce, which not only doesn't agree with me, but has little to no nutrition. That being said, a favorite recipe of my sister's and mine is not only delicious and fun to eat, but extremely healthy! It's so easy, which is the only way I cook!

This recipe is from a website called "eating RULES," which I think is a catchy title, since I love to eat! Here is the link: http://www.eatingrules.com/2010/08/baked-kale-chips/

Baked Kale Chips
Author: Andrew Wilder
Recipe Type: Snack

Ingredients
2 cups kale leaves
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
several pinches sea salt

Instructions
Wash and dry the kale. Tear or cut the leaves into pieces, cutting out the tough center stem.
Toss the leaves with the olive oil, and then sprinkle on a few pinches of sea salt.
Lay the leaves on a cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes.
Careful, though: If you bake them too briefly they won't get crispy, but go too long and they'll be burned. Check them at 9 minutes, and if they're not crispy yet, give them a couple more minutes and check again. You may need to pull some out sooner than others.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

2014 CSA Week 2

Aurora Scott greets Somerset CSA members with goodies and a smile!
Greetings fellow CSA members!

I know I'm excited for week 2 and the precious goodies awaiting us for pick up!
I'm still enjoying the beautiful strawberries from last week! So good!
Here are the items Ford and Amanda have for us this week with storage information, and ideas for recipes. Enjoy!
Nancy

In your share this week…


Item
How to store it
How long will it last?
Baby Tatsoi (Asian green)
washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag
3-5 days
White cornmeal
Airtight container (such as a zipper seal bag) in the freezer
months
Strawberries
Unwashed in fridge
~2-5 days  (Surely you’ll eat them sooner!)
Mixed herbs:
Oregano and Sage
Unwashed in fridge, in sealed bag or container
~1-2 weeks


Tatsoi has small, spoon-shaped, tender leaves that grow in a rosette atop thin, pale green stems. It’s dark, oval leaves and pale green stems are tender and edible and are excellent chopped and served raw in a salad or lightly sauteed.

Cornmeal can be used to coat your fresh fish before pan frying. I want to experiment dipping cauliflower florets and other veggies in this wonderful full texture meal and bake on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet for a healthy snack. I'll let you know how it comes out.

Strawberries - rinse and eat! Love them in organic vanilla yoghurt! Aren't they just beautiful! This photo was taken after I rinsed them. I feel so special eating them, as if Finley picked them just for me!

Herbs add so much flavor in any dish, and I love having them fresh again after using dried herbs all winter. Here's one I found that uses both the fresh oregano and sage. Sounds yummy! Who doesn't love meatloaf! If you don’t think you’ll have time to use the herbs while they are fresh, you can dry it for short term storage just by hanging it upside down in your kitchen.

Meatloaf with fresh sage and oregano

Recipe found at http://cah4el.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/meatloaf-with-fresh-sage-and-oregano/

2 lb. ground beef* (See note below about naturally raised ground beef available from Ford)
1/2 cup cooked brown rice (or white)
3/4 cup finely chopped onion (less if you like)
1/4 c chopped garlic (or as many cloves as you like)
15 -25 fresh sage leaves or more, chopped
30-60 fresh oregano leaves or more, chopped
1/4 cup hot sauce or tomato ketchup
2 eggs (cage free, if you ask the chickens)
Salt and Pepper

Feel free to substitute to personal taste and preference. Add the onions, garlic, chopped herbs, and 1/2 cup of cooked rice, to the ground beef and mix. (No instructions here. You know how it’s done. Ha! Messy!) Then add the two eggs and almost 1/4 cup of hot sauce or tomato ketchup. Also, salt and pepper to taste. Mix again.

After mixing, put the meat into a loaf pan. Bake in an oven at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Check after an hour for doneness.

*Note: Ford will have ground beef for sale at the Laurel county farmers market on Saturdays and folks can also buy it at the farm or join their meat CSA if you'd like pastured beef/pork.  The meats are grown all naturally and grass fed. Sounds like a no brainer!