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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 12/25/16)

How to Eat your BOX

 

Bananas

It was not until recent years that I discovered the magic of frozen bananas! Peel, break them into pieces and place in a zip-lock bag and store them in the freezer. Next time you’re making a smoothie, use them instead of ice, add a dollop of nut butter, a couple of dates, almond milk and sip away! Reduce the amount of milk in your smoothie and you have instant soft-serve ice cream. Add cocoa powder and now you have chocolate soft-serve ice cream!

 

Red Bell Peppers

We eat red bell peppers almost every week (within season). We love them raw, stuffed and baked, or in stir fry’s. A household favorite, fried rice: 3-4 eggs scrambled (set aside), chop 1 red bell pepper, 1 onion and mushrooms or any veggies you have available. In a hot pan, add a splash of sesame oil along with your veggies and sauté for a few minutes until cooked. Then add cooked rice, eggs, salt, pepper and 1 tsp of honey (shhh… this is my secret!). Sprinkle with chopped green onions and serve!

 

Yellow Onions

Most of my dishes start with onions! Our go-to soup during the week is “Sopa a la Minuta” or what we call “The Soup”. My husband likes it so much, he learned how to make it himself! Sauté 1 finely chopped onion in a little bit of olive oil until golden brown. Add 2 cloves minced garlic. Add 1 ground meat of your choice and cook until brown. Add 1.5 cups of diced tomatoes. 2 tbs oregano, and cook until tomato turns darker in color. Add salt and pepper. Taste. Add 6 cups beef broth and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Add 2 diced potatoes. Boil until potatoes are tender. Rectify seasoning and dinner is ready!

 

With love and gratitude,

Sara Balcazar-Greene (aka. Peruvian Chick)

Peruvian Food Ambassador

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Blog Post(Week of 12/25/16)

Resolving Not To Resolve

I recently came across the concept of Bio-individuality: that each person has unique food and lifestyle needs. Even though I’m still learning and determining where I stand on the subject, I am intrigued by the concept; that there’s no one-size-fits-all diet – each person is a unique individual with individualized nutritional requirements. Personal differences in anatomy, metabolism, body composition and cell structure all influence your overall health and the foods that make you feel your best.

I am a firm believer that if we listen to our bodies, we will know what we need to eat. It’s the brain that makes mistakes. When we get stuck in dietary dogma, we tend to not listen to what our body really needs. As we age, our bodies require different foods, vitamins and minerals. Different cultures eat differently, and different geolocations require different nutrition. But even though each one of us have specific needs, most diets around the world (if not all of them), have the same basic recommendations at their core:

Eat whole foods and use the colors of the rainbow as your guide. This ensures a natural diversity of vitamins and minerals.

Crowd out the bad food, with good food. Eat vegetables and healthy sources of grains, protein and GOOD fats (avocados, coconut oil and salmon oil). By getting the actual nutrients your body needs, you feel more satisfied… and cravings lessen.

Avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, also known as trans-fats. The oil is made by forcing hydrogen gas under extreme heat and pressure into vegetable oil. This creates a moist, fatty substance which is inexpensive and placed into many cakes, cookies, cereals, breads and drinks to prolong shelf-life. Our bodies do not know how to break apart this unnatural molecule and it accumulates in the body.

Drink plenty of water, earlier in the day.  It’s like filling up your gas tank, early on. Being well hydrated benefits the skin, the health of the spine and brain, and all the body processes.

Hitting January 2nd is like going from 60 to zero in one day. The mandatory cheer, cooking, visitors, glitz, glitter, toys, a million chores — have drowned out the drumbeats of our normal day-to-day routines for a couple of weeks — then, over, nothing. What now? In the midst of panic, I tend to turn around and immediately start writing my resolutions for the year, the first one: eat healthier, 2. work-out, 3. read more … did you notice the common denominator? They are all vague. By January 15th, I have already lost the napkin where I wrote them down on and back to old habits I go.    This year I have resolved not to resolve. It’s simple, if I eat good, I feel good. If I go for a walk in the morning, I feel more relaxed during the day.

Achieving goals starts with small, daily steps. As you eat better, you begin to feel better. It all starts by being aware of what works best for you and your health, because being the best version of ourselves benefits us and all those that surround us as well.

The bottom line, the closer we stay to nature, the better. The human body was designed to sustain on whole, GMO-free, organic foods, just as nature intended. The occasional cookie won’t hurt, but getting back to your healthy habits will pay in the long run and let’s face it, isn’t nature amazing? Those bananas right off the tree are sweet as dessert and full of potassium; red bell peppers, a vitamin C powerhouse, so crisp and juicy we can just eat them raw, and the humble onion, your immune’s system bff, that can add flavor to any dish in a matter of minutes.

My final thought on bio-individuality? I believe that as humans we all have the same basic nutritional needs. I agree that different people have different food needs up to a certain point. I think that our health is our greatest barometer. But most importantly, I believe that nature provides us with everything we need to sustain a healthy, vibrant lifestyle!

So, would you join me in resolving not to resolve? Let’s encourage each other to eat better and feel better. To be grateful for what nature has to offer and to protect the very thing that provides us with life!

 

With love and gratitude,

Sara Balcazar-Greene (aka. Peruvian Chick)
Peruvian Food Ambassador
peruvianchick.com
instagram.com/peruvianchick
facebook.com/theperuvianchick

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 12/18/16)

How to Eat your BOX

Yams:

If it were up to me I would put yams/sweet potatoes in the boxes every week! 😉 They make one of my all-time favorite snacks and are also a great side for any meal. I like to slice them into quarter inch rounds or strips (a mandolin comes in handy here), toss them in a little olive oil and any desired seasoning (sage, rosemary, and thyme are great with yams) and bake at 400° for about 30 minutes, until tender. You can also bake them whole. Make sure to thoroughly clean first and pat dry. Prick with a fork and bake for about 40-60 minutes at 425°.

Beets:

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

Pears:

Try adding pears to a salad this week! Cut into wedges or cubes they would make a great addition to this week’s salad mix. For dressing, try mixing a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with a little bit of Dijon mustard and about an eighth cup of maple syrup. Mix together with a wire whisk and beat in an eighth cup of olive or avocado oil. I would probably double the recipe if serving more than 3 people. Can also be topped with Gorgonzola, feta, or goat cheese and pecans (or walnuts).

Mushrooms:

Mushrooms are in a class all their own. Literally, they are quite distinct in nature and classified as their own kingdom, separate from plants and animals. But, they are packed with nutrients and make a great addition to a healthy diet. Mushrooms are good raw on salads or in an array of cooked dishes. You can dice them and sauté with onions as a base for scrambled eggs or stir fry or in soup. They also blend well with ground beef, enhancing the flavor and making the meat go farther. Great for tacos or in pasta.

Parsnips:

Parsnips have an almost peppery sweet flavor to them that comes out nicely when roasted. They make a great addition/alternative to the more traditional baked or sautéed root vegetables! Try these diced into bite size chunks or julienne, drizzled with olive oil and tossed in a bowl with a little salt and cayenne(or other spices). Bake on bottom rack at 450° for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until edges are browned and crispy.

Papayas:

Papayas are ready to eat when they take on a yellow/orange-y color and are slightly soft. Leave on the counter in paper bag for a few days to ripen. The skin looks like it is going bad when ripening, but don’t throw it because it looks bad. Opening a rough-looking papaya often reveals a perfectly good piece of fruit. Once ripe, store in the refrigerator but try to eat within day or two for best flavor. Unripe/green papaya can be eaten it green salads or cooked dishes. After washing this fruit, cut it lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and eat with a spoon. For a little extra zest, squeeze lemon or lime juice on top. Cut papaya into smaller pieces for fruit salad or recipes, but first peel it with a paring knife. You can also use a melon baller to scoop out the fruit of a halved papaya. If you are adding it to a fruit salad, you should do so just before serving as it tends to cause the other fruit to become soft. (Thanks to all those good-for-you enzymes.)

While most people discard the big black seeds, they are actually edible and have a peppery flavor. They can be chewed whole or blended into a creamy salad dressing.

Try a mix of diced papaya, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and ginger together to make a unique salsa that goes great with shrimp, scallops and halibut.

Or try adding papaya to your smoothie. Combine with strawberries and or other fruit and yogurt in a blender. The papaya gives it a wonderfully creamy texture.

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Family

When I think about Christmas, I think about Jesus, His birth and His life and then I think about my wife and children and our parents and our siblings. Christmas, much like Thanksgiving, draws family together. At least in thought, if not in presence.

At the Farm, times have really changed. We only have four children at home now. I think the last time we had four children at home for a Christmas was 1998 and those original 4 kiddos are all married now! Between 1998 and today the old farmhouse has swelled to capacity and shrunk again. The older married ones have another side of the family to navigate now and have to make choices about where to go and when to come or not. I am thankful for FACETIME!

This year, we were blessed to have had all 9 of our children and their families in for an early Christmas last Sunday. It is a rare day, save a wedding, that the entire clan is able to gather together.

In my mind, I wrestle with the past, present and future. The present is both bitter and sweet, for I know that it will be harder to get on their schedules as life marches on, just as it was for our parents when Joelle and I started our family. But when all of their schedules align, like this Christmas, it is so wonderful!

And one day, Joelle and I will be the great grandparents. And with our strength fading and our love increasing, there will be a parade of progeny that comes by the old farmhouse to visit and extend Christmas wishes. And we will talk about chasing cows, or harvesting lettuce early in the morning so we could go swimming later. Or when this one or that one got their first hit or scored their first goal. And Joelle and I will get to hold another crop of Klesick’s for the first time and beam with pride as our pictures are taken.

Family is the gift that matters most. And it is the same this Christmas as it will be next Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tristan Klesick

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Holiday Delivery Schedule for Weeks of 12/18 and 12/25

Holiday Delivery Schedule for Weeks of 12/18 and 12/25

*Please note that this delivery schedule spans two weeks: the week of Christmas and New Years* 

Our office will be closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve in observance of the holidays. Because of these closures our deliveries for both weeks are scheduled as follows:

For delivery Tuesday:

Tuesday customers and Wednesday customers in Woodinville

For delivery Wednesday:

Wednesday customers and Thursday customers in Lynnwood

For delivery Thursday:

Thursday customers and Friday customers in Marysville and Lake Stevens

For delivery Friday:

Friday customers in Arlington and Monroe and Saturday customers

 

Please remember to let us know if you will need to skip your delivery either of these weeks.

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How to EAT Your BOX! (Week of 12/11/16)

Broccoli:

Broccoli is such an easy vegetable to use. It’s great on salad, in stir-fry and soup, or served by itself as a side dish. We always boiled our broccoli and served it with a little butter and salt. Nowadays I like it best roasted to crispy perfection with garlic and other seasonings. The flavor of broccoli comes out well in the oven. Try tossing chopped broccoli florets with olive oil, salt and garlic slices. Bake at 450° for about 20 minutes, until edges are crispy and the stems are tender. Cutting the florets in half and laying them flat on the baking sheet results in a more caramelized effect. For extra flavor try drizzling with lemon juice or topping with Parmesan cheese.

Eggplant:

I’ve found that the oven is easiest to use when cooking this particular vegetable. Because eggplant soaks up oil like a sponge, cooking in a frying pan with oil can be difficult. Best to use a non-stick pan and cook at a higher heat. Try baking your eggplant separately and then adding it to whatever dish you’re making. Start by dicing your mostly peeled eggplant into bite size pieces. Toss with olive oil and cook on a baking sheet at 425° for about 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve as is or add to pasta, stir-fry, curry, on top of rice, etc)

Or, try making an eggplant tomato bake! Cut your peeled eggplant into ½ inch rounds, arrange on a baking sheet. Top each eggplant round with a slice of tomato. Drizzle with olive oil and season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake at 375° until the cheese begins to brown, about 30-40 minutes. Switch oven to broil and bake for another 5 minutes.

Leeks:

Besides potato leek soup, there are plenty of ways to eat leeks. Used as an onion substitute it makes a great base in just about anything. Cook in a little oil until tender as a base for a sauce, sauté, scrambled eggs, soup, etc. The flavor is milder than an onion so I don’t mind having larger chunks. I like to cut them into quarter inch rounds.

Delicata Squash:

This is one of my favorite winter squash. First because it’s so delicious and Second because it’s so easy to prepare! All you have do is cut it in half and throw in the oven. You don’t even need to worry about the skins. Because they are tender enough, you can eat them right along with the flesh. They are also a much easier squash to cut than their larger counterparts so you don’t have to feel like you’re going to skewer yourself trying to slice the thing open. There are many ways to cook and use this squash: they can be baked, steamed, grilled or sautéed. They make a great side to almost any dish or can be added to pasta, salad, sauté, or stuffed. You can also add the creamy flesh to soup which makes for a thick smooth texture (and a wonderful nutty flavor!). My sister recently steamed up some delicata and added it to tomato soup as the base for her vegetable soup. It was a match made in heaven! It added a wonderful thick creamy texture and the flavor was fantastic.

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A Local Fundraiser With Both International and Local Benefits

For the Klesick family and our farm business, being generous is an important core value and our giving tends to follow our connections to the people we know. A few years ago, the Oso mudslide happened and since I have family in Oso, we were able to give more directly to the needs of the community through my local contacts. Then there was the Pateros Fire. Once again we were able to give more directly to those most affected because of our local contacts with some farmers that supply much of the fruit we put in our boxes.

Through each of these tragedies, you, our local customers, partnered with us to make the lives of people you will never meet better. You are a generous bunch! J

And now, we have Hurricane Matthew. A few years ago, some friends from the Stanwood/Camano Island community moved to Haiti to work in an orphanage and at a local medical clinic. When Hurricane Matthew ripped through Haiti more than a few needs surfaced. Haiti is already challenged as a nation and the Hurricane was another blow to an already poor infrastructure.

As a family, we increased our giving to help them meet the local needs in the community they serve, but Maleah, our intrepid 12 y/o, wanted to do more. She reached out to Ryan and Jill Dolan directly and asked what she could to do help. Jill responded:

“Behind our home, up the mountain is the small village of Geffrard, pronounced as Jeffwa. They have one school and it fell down during the hurricane. The students have not had school since the hurricane hit our area on October 4th. There are six classrooms, with a total of 200 students.”

 

With that Maleah leapt into action and here’s how the rest of the story unfolded:

 

A NOTE FROM MALEAH KLESICK

I am partnering with Klesick Farms to raise $500 by the end of this week (12/17). They still need 130 sheets of metal roofing to complete the roof. By partnering with us, together we can help them rebuild their school.

There are two ways to give:

1. You can help by purchasing a Food Bank Box of produce for $28.00. Klesick Farms will deliver the box to the food bank for Christmas and donate $10 to the Rebuild a Roof for a School project.

2. You can donate $5.00 for each sheet of metal roofing. Donate any amount.

Please go to: www.klesickfamilyfarm.com/Haiti and let’s help this community get their kids back to school. All proceeds will go to rebuild the school roof. Any additional monies raised will be used by the Dolan family to operate the orphanage and medical clinic.

 

 

Tristan Klesick

Father of a future Community Activist

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 12/4/16)

photo source: pixabay

Baby Bok Choy:

This Asian vegetable is in a class all on its own. It has a delicate and almost foam like texture and can be quite versatile. Try sautéing in a little olive oil and freshly minced garlic. To add more flavor you can use a combination of lemon and tarragon, or try soy sauce, sesame oil or coconut aminos, sesame seeds and ginger for an Asian spin. Roasting is also a great way to cook bok choy. Look up recipes online or check out the links here and here.

Cauliflower:

There are so many ways to use this vegetable I don’t even know where to start. They can be chopped up and added to salad or soup, roasted in the oven, tossed in a stir fry, boiled and pureed as a stand-in for mashed potatoes or to make a creamy soup, baked into a pizza crust as a flourless alternative, or simply eaten raw. The options are endless! You don’t even have to cut it up. Try baking it whole by simply cutting off the leaves and stem so it can sit upright, baste in olive oil, salt and spices of your choice, and bake on a cookie sheet or cast iron skillet at 450° for about 45-60 minutes or until a knife can be inserted easily. Because of its mild flavor, cauliflower goes well in spicy dishes or curries as it soaks up all the other flavors. Here’s a source for recipes.

Celery:

I still remember making ants on a log at grandma’s house. Whoever came up with celery sticks filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins is a might more creative than I. Nowadays my favorite way to eat celery is in chicken soup. Chicken and celery were just meant to be together. There’s something about that flavor combo that touches the soul. Try using your celery along with onion, cilantro and cauliflower from this week’s box to make chicken soup!

Cabbage:

What can I say? Cabbage is just a great thing to have around. Don’t let it be that vegetable that sits in the bottom of your refrigerator drawer for months on end. There are endless opportunities to use it up. I’m constantly pulling mine out and adding it to my just about anything. I like to cut mine into little cabbage “shavings”. First cut the cabbage in half, then simply shave off slivers from along the inside edge. I rarely ever use a whole cabbage in one sitting so to keep the cut edges from drying out I make sure to store sealed in a plastic bag or plastic wrap.

Mangos:

Mangos are one of my all-time favorite fruits. They have a unique flavor and creamy texture unlike any other fruit. They also pair well in cooked savory dishes. Mango fried rice is simply amazing. Mangos also are great on salads, stir-fries, or added to sauces or salsa. If you have a dehydrator they are so good dehydrated or made into fruit leather. You can order a whole case and dehydrate them or try freezing to use in smoothies.

Turnips:

Northwest box Only This time of year our NW box comes well stocked in root vegetables. This hearty box is a great way to

experience locally grown food all year round. The turnip reminds me of a mix between a potato and a radish….and maybe a beet. It can be cooked much the same way as a potato, you can even boil them until tender and make mashed turnips! They can be roasted, sautéed, added to soup or even sliced up and eaten raw with a little salt and lemon juice. To season try adding a combo of salt, pepper, and lemon or when baking, toss in coconut oil, salt, pepper, ginger and drizzled in honey(roast at 400° until tender), or mashed you can top with butter, salt, pepper, chives and Parmesan.

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Totally Caught Off Guard

Each week I normally log in about 10 – 12 hours of volunteer work on the Sustainable Land Strategy (SLS) forum. The SLS is a non-regulatory group of farmers, tribal and environmental members who were convened by Snohomish County to promote collaboration and build relationships. There are four Farmers and four Environmental members (two Tribal, two Restoration).

Back in 2010, the goal of then Council Member Dave Somers (now County Executive) was to change the adversarial and contentious relationships between Farming and Environmental groups. No small task! A new way of doing business was needed and so with good facilitation, the SLS began the arduous task of bridging damaged relationships and working together.

In 2015 I was asked to join the SLS and in 2016 became the Ag caucus chair. Terry Williams from the Tulalip Tribes serves as the Fish caucus chair. Terry’s years of service in DC and in Snohomish County have laid a path of trust and collaboration to begin this important work.

Every year the 45 Conservation Districts across Washington State have an annual meeting and an awards banquet. This year I had been invited to speak and talk about SLS and the work we are doing in Snohomish County. I had also been invited to stay for lunch. Though I really needed to get back to the farm and my “paying” job, Monte Marti, the Snohomish Conservation District Director, pressed me to stay. I reluctantly relented. About half way through lunch, the proverbial “light bulb” came on. This was an Awards Banquet!

This year, the Vim Wright “Building Bridges” Award was presented to Terry Williams and Tristan Klesick. I did not see that coming. To be mentioned in the same breath with Vim Wright and Terry Williams is an incredible honor.

Vim Wright served both Colorado and Washington and worked tirelessly to build better communities for people and wildlife (especially non-game wildlife). She served on many committees and founded many more. Towards the end of her life she left her imprint on farming and conservation by establishing the Farming and the Environment program and serving on the Washington State Conservation Commission. The words on the award capture her spirit and the goal of the SLS: “We salute and recognize your continuing efforts in support of conservation through collaboration and working tirelessly with traditional agricultural, environmental and tribal communities on conservation projects and helping to develop a better mutual understanding of one another.”

An award is a moment in time, but without lots of people working together, none of it would be possible. My name might be on the plaque, but as I walked up to receive the award I couldn’t help but think of Joelle, our children, the Klesick team, the SLS team, and you, our Klesick customers. This is an award for the entire Klesick Farm Community.

Thank you for believing in Klesick Farms. Together we are doing great things and I look forward to doing more great things tomorrow.

Farmer/Health Advocate

Tristan Klesick