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Fresh This Week Tips, Week 11.28.10

Navel Oranges
STORE: Refrigerate for up to two weeks.
PREP:  Peel the orange and remove the white pith, if desired. To section the already peeled fruit, cut away the outer and inner skin to expose the pulp. Then, run a sharp knife along the sides of the dividing membranes to release the sections. Work over a bowl to catch the juices.
For juicing, halve the fruit with the skin on and use an orange juicer.
For orange zest, scrub the outside of the orange with hot water and use a hand grater or vegetable peeler to remove the zest.
USE: Eat your navels as a delicious snack served as wedges, but you can also incorporate them into beverages, vinaigrettes and salads as a sweet and colorful accent.
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STORE: Keep unwashed zucchini in a plastic bag and place in a cool area or inside the refrigerator for up to one week.
PREP: Wash zucchini by gently rubbing them under cool water. Slice off both ends of the zucchini. Cut them into rounds, spears or half moons.
USE: Zucchini is a versatile veggie. It can be grilled, cooked with pasta, stuffed or baked into breads and muffins. Make a healthy stir fry with zucchini and other veggies from this week’s box. Add a touch of butter to a hot skillet and toss in cut zucchini and other veggies of your choice such as carrots, cabbage or even squash (cooked). Season your stir fry to taste. Remove from heat when veggies are still crisp, but tender.
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Red Leaf Lettuce
STORE: Store red leaf lettuce in the crisper of your refrigerator inside a sealed plastic bag. Use within three to five days.
PREP:  Rinse thoroughly to remove dirt and dry the leaves with a paper towel or in a salad spinner. Chop or tear to your preference.
USE: Use chopped lettuce as a base for a salad or the crunch in a sandwich. You can also make some tasty free-range chicken or tofu lettuce wraps.
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STORE: Store radishes wrapped in plastic with the leaves and stems removed in the coldest part of your refrigerator for four to seven days. You can also store them in a tupperware container filled with cold water and they will keep for up to two weeks.
PREP: Rinse radishes under cold water and keep them whole or slice them depending on their purpose.
USE: Radishes are a great, healthy snack and can be used atop salads or sandwiches, in sautées or pickled. Radishes have a refreshing peppery flavor and unbeatable crunch!
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STORE: Store unwashed parsnips in a cool dark place, just as you would carrots. Wrapped in a paper towel and placed in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator, they should last up to 2 weeks, if not longer. Cooked parsnips may be refrigerated and used within 3 days.
PREP: Parsnips need to be peeled. For cooked parsnips, many prefer to boil or steam the washed root and then scrape off the tougher skin to preserve nutritional value.
USE: The parsnip looks like a white, overgrown carrot. It is sweet with a texture like a sweet potato and can be eaten raw or cooked. You may grate them raw in salads, but we think they are best when roasted in the oven, with carrots, or steamed and mashed like potatoes. If adding to soups, wait until the last 5-10 minutes of cooking time so the parsnips don’t become mushy from overcooking. You may also substitute parsnips in most recipes that call for carrots.
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STORE: With the leaf stems removed, kohlrabi can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. Storage life can be extended if placed in sealed plastic bags.
PREP: Wash and peel kohlrabi before using. The bulb can be sliced, cut into quarters, cubes or julienne strips.
USE: These interesting little vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked, and taste a lot like broccoli stems. You can roast, steam or bake them, add them to a salad or curry or even quick pickle them:
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This Christmas, leave the running around to us!

Let us help you get some names checked off your Christmas shopping list this holiday season. Food is just one of those universal gifts that everybody enjoys. Even those people that are just hard to find something for will be pleased with a gift of produce or a food gift basket. Even more, gifts from Klesick Family Farm send the message of care for the recipient (organic), our communities (local), and our environment (sustainable practices). For delivery the week of Christmas, orders need to be received by 12/16.

Produce Gift Boxes

A delivery of healthy organic produce makes a thoughtful gift! You can have us deliver a one-time gift of one of our standard produce boxes or give away a month’s worth of deliveries to be enjoyed throughout the season. We can either make the delivery for you (subject to our delivery area) or we can deliver the box to you so that you can give it away yourself. When placing your order please specify which box you would like to give.

Gift Baskets
All gift baskets come in a decorative 7.5” x 10” x 3.5 “ chocolate scroll print tray and packaged up in a clear cello bag, tied up with a ribbon. Eco-friendly gift card included…just let us know if you want a message sent with your gift!

  • Gift Basket  –  Fruit Medley

Contains a beautiful assortment of fresh organic fruit. A perfect gift idea for the office! Unique and a refreshing change from the usual holiday sweets!

Contains an assortment of the following: Northwest pears*, Granny Smith apples*, Pink Lady Apples*, Ruby Grapefruit, Satsumas, Bananas, and Kiwi.

  • Gift Basket –  Coffee Break*

A special holiday selection, with a sampling of two Camano Island Coffee Roasters’ delicious holiday blends, the Papua New Guinea Coffee is a delightful blend of light, medium, and dark roast beans,  the Midnight Holiday Blend is a special, extra dark roast Brazil. A delicious array of handmade cookies from Renee at the Breadfarm finishes out this charming basket. Perfect to for the coffee lover in your life, or treat the office break room!

Note: coffee is drip grind.

Contains:  1/2 lb. Holiday Blend Papua New Guinea coffee, 1/2  lb. Holiday Blend Midnight Dark  Coffee, 1 Biscotti Sampler 6-pack, 6 oz bag of Cocoa Niblets,  8-pack of Cranberry-Pistachio cookies.

  • Gift Basket  –  Snack Time

Packed full of organic goodies…this one is meant for munching! Tasty snacks, but without the sugar load, so you can feel good about giving this one to families with small kiddos. Note: the candied pepitas are pumpkin seeds tossed with a small amount of organic cane sugar, cayenne and allspice, mild…and addicting!

Contains: 12 oz. bag of CB’s Peanuts*, 8 oz. bag of Pistachios from Terra Firma Farm, 6-oz bag of candied pepitas from Breadfarm*, 24 oz jar of peach –apple nectar, 6.4 oz bag whole wheat crackers from Breadfarm*, and we had to include a 24 oz jar of peanut butter* from the Breadfarm –it’s the best EVER.

* Denotes items grown, and/or produced in the Pacific Northwest

Other Gifts

  • Holiday Cookie Box – $30.00
A variety of Breadfarm’s most popular holiday favorites, including Cocoa Nib shortbread, Lemon Crumiri, Hazelnut Espresso, Almond & Chocolate Biscotti, Cranberry-Pistachio cookies and Double Chocolate Ginger Spice.
  • Holiday Wreath $45

Beautifully handmade wreaths from Sunrise Holly Farm on Camano Island. A combination of several different types of English hollies combined with silver tip holly, cedar sprigs, red berries, and a red bow. A festive treat for yourself or as a gift!

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Know Your Produce: Kohlrabi

Have you ever eaten a kohlrabi? These little sputnik-shaped vegetables come in green or purple, can be eaten raw or cooked, and taste a lot like broccoli stems. The word kohlrabi is German for cabbage turnip (kohl as in cole-slaw, and rübe for turnip) though kohlrabi is more related to cabbage and cauliflower than to root vegetables. We usually eat them raw, just peeled, sliced and added to a salad, but they are also delicious cooked and are often used in Indian cuisine.


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Steamed Zucchini & Cheese

From Marty
5 medium zucchini
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup freshly grated parmesan or Parmigiano cheese
Salt and white pepper to taste

Trim the stems and pip end of the zucchini, then slice them into 1/4-1/8 in. slices.
Cook briefly in lightly salted water, removing them when they are still firm and bright green – almost no child will go for the slimy overcooked version of this dish, but when cooked until just tender, even you will be surprised at the difference!
Drain them well, set aside about 30 seconds and drain again, so your zucchini is not soggy.
Transfer to a serving dish and dot with the butter, follow with a good sprinkling of the grated cheese. Butter and cheese will melt into the squash creating an irresistible dish that even the kids will like.
Salt and pepper to taste.

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Mashed Potatoes & Sunchokes

Sunchokes – 4 medium sized, well washed and scrubbed
Potatoes – 1 lb, well washed and scrubbed cut up into chunks
Cream cheese – 2tbsp
Milk – ¼ cup (or as required)
Butter  – 1tsp
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Place the potatoes & Sunchokes in a medium sized saucepan, add water about 1” above the potatoes. Bring to a boil; turn the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are fork tender.
Drain the potatoes well and place them back in the same hot pot to evaporate any leftover water.
Mash with a potato masher; add milk as you mash for easy handling. Mix in the cream cheese and butter; season with salt and pepper.

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Traditional Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash should be stored in a cool dark place.  Do not refrigerate.  As with all produce items, first wash and scrub outside of squash so that when cutting squash dirt does not get on the flesh.  Be careful when cutting raw squash—use a large, heavy knife, work slowly, gently rocking the knife or the squash while cutting.  With a spoon , scrape all seeds and strings from the center cavity.

1 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Turn acorn squash upside down onto a cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until it begins to soften, approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove squash from the oven and turn onto a plate so that the flesh is facing upwards. Place butter and brown sugar into the squash, and place remaining squash over the other piece. Place squash in a baking dish (so the squash wont slide around too much) while baking.
Place squash in the 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven and bake another 30 minutes.

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Holiday Meals

Are you rushing around yet? It’s the season for holiday plans, schedules, trying to find that perfect gift, and entertaining friends and family. It’s also a time of dietary excess, increased stress, and let’s not forget colds and flu. Statistics show that December is the most stressful month of the year. That and the cold weather alone can wreak havoc on a person. Rest assured! There are things you can do to prepare yourself for the holidays and prevent certain discomforts that can accompany this season.

Growing up, in my family, it was considered impolite to not sample food being offered, especially if Grandma made it. We would eat and eat, sometimes having three to four holiday meals in one day! Some of you can no doubt identify with this situation. To help you avoid overeating during the holidays, here are some tips. First, avoid starving yourself early in the day to “save room” for the holiday meal. The easiest way to overeat is to create maximum hunger this way. Small frequent meals are always better. Second, remember to drink plenty of water. This will prevent you from serving and eating a huge portion which you will “have to finish,” since you “don’t want it to go to waste.” Third, decide on a maximum and reasonable portion size for the meal and stick to it. After eating, drink some hot herbal tea to promote relaxation.

With too much good food comes heartburn. To decrease your chance of getting the discomfort and pain of heartburn, start the meal with apple cider vinegar. This helps increase digestive enzymes and break down foods faster. Another way to avoid stomach upset is to use deglycyrrhized licorice (abbreviated DGL). Licorice is an herb that stimulates the cells lining your digestive tract to produce mucus. The mucus, in turn, protects the stomach and esophagus from digestive acid. DGL can help tremendously with heartburn or food-related excess stomach acid or if you have esophageal reflux (backflow of stomach acid). A typical prescription is to chew and swallow two 400mg tablets 10 minutes before each meal to help keep your digestive tract in order. Talk to your ND to find out what’s best for you.

by Rebecca Dirks, N.D.
Associate Physician, NW Center for Optimal Health
Marysville, 360-651-9355
Producer & Co-Host, Healthy Living, KSER FM 90.7

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Reaching Out

So far this year, KFF and our customers have donated a record 500 “boxes of good” to local area food banks! The volunteers at the food banks have expressed again and again how wonderful it is to be able to supply people with fresh produce.

Every Thanksgiving we partner with our customers to donate traditional Holiday Boxes as well. Last year our customers donated 100 Holiday Boxes and this year we’d love to reach a new record here also.

To find out how you can contribute, please read the holiday information on back

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What a Storm!

Like most of you, we really felt the house being buffeted by the wind.  Joelle and I have a date night with one child every Monday night. Last night on the way home it began to rain in earnest.  Once home Andrew went to feed the Labs and I went to feed the horses.  It was quite a thunder and lightning show and the horses were fairly unsettled with all the activity.  I am sure glad that I was feeding them on the other side of their stalls, because every time lightning flashed they would back up, turn around and head out the other side. Then they would calm down and come back in and start munching again.  After I had finished feeding them, it was about the time that the wind and rain came down in torrents. Naturally, I am nowhere near the house, where it is warm and dry!?!?!? Every gutter was overtopping and I said to myself, “I am going to get wet!” Just as I was beginning my dash to the house a huge gust of wind blew the main horse gate wide open.  EEEEK! Change of plans, secure the gate.

So now I am getting drenched, securing the gate and thanking the Lord that the gate blew open while I was still out there! I have chased lots of livestock in my farming career and I, thankfully, only have to imagine trying to find 3 scared, 1 ton, critters in the morning. They could have been hit by cars or cut themselves on a tractor implement or run through neighbors fence. But all that is purely conjecture because the horses were contentedly waiting for breakfast this morning.  Now we can head out to the fields and do some work.


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Winter Pasta

Recipe and image from

4 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 small shallots, peeled
1 small bunch of kale – 1/2 lb / 8 oz, stalks removed, washed well
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup / 2 oz goat cheese, plus more for topping
2 tablespoons + hot pasta water
Fine grain sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Fresh lemon juice – optional
12 oz / 340 g dried penne pasta
Fresh thyme – and thyme flowers

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the boiling water generously, and add the garlic and shallots. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stir in the kale and cook for another ten seconds. Don’t overcook. Working quickly, use a slotted spoon or strainer to fish the greens, garlic, and shallots from the water. Use a food processor to puree the ingredients along with the olive oil and goat cheese. Add a couple tablespoons of hot pasta water if needed to thin things out if needed. Then season with a touch of salt and plenty of black pepper. Taste. Depending on your goat cheese, you might need a little extra acidic oomph if your sauce is a bit flat. If so, add fresh lemon juice a bit at a time until you’re happy with it the sauce. Set aside.
Reheat the pot of water and boil the pasta per package instructions. Drain and toss immediately with the green sauce. Serve topped with a few pinches of fresh thyme, and more crumbled goat cheese.