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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 1/29/17)

This week’ How To Eat Your Box! entry comes from guest writer Ashley Rodriguez, food blogger at Not Without Salt.

Tangelos

Citrus are my personal highlight of winter. They are the sunshine on the plate. In our house citrus rarely makes it beyond the point of peeling then eating. Tangelos specifically are a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo or grapefruit. The taste is prominently tangerine.

Peeled, tangelos are a great addition to smoothies as they offer a bright zing and of course plenty of vitamin c which is vital during these gray months.

Citrus, in nearly any form, is a perfect addition to brighten up a salad. Add citrus segments to winter greens along with avocado and crumbles of salty feta. Drizzle the salad with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Bosc Pears

The recipe I’m sharing today is a version of a salad I enjoyed while on a trip to Lyon, France with my husband. Yeah, I know, I’m jealous of myself after reading that sentence. But the point is, how often does a salad make such an impression that you carry it with you across the country – not physically I mean. You get my point.

The first step in the recipe is to caramelize thick slices of pears. Bosc pears, with their deep flavor, firm texture and rough russeted skin are the perfect candidate for this salad. Bosc pears are crisp and hold their shape well even when baked. They are an ideal candidate for a poached pear or, if you ever have leftover pie dough laying around and I do hope you find yourself in such a predicament at some point in your life. Roll the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness and lay thinly sliced pear over the top, leaving about 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle the pear slices with sugar then bake until the crust is puffed and golden. Serve with loosely whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Don’t be fooled by the Bosc’s rough exterior and firm touch, they are sweeter and more flavorful earlier in the ripening process than most other pears. Their full flavor is best enjoyed before their flesh softens.

Recipe: Caramelized Pear Salad with Goat Cheese Toasts

From Ashley Rodriguez, Not Without Salt

Ingredients:

4 1/2-inch thick slices of baguette

1 garlic clove, peeled

4 ounces goat cheese (chevre, crottin or other soft easy melting cheese), cut into 4 rounds

1/2 pear, sliced

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon butter

4 cups greens, washed and dried

1/3 cup toasted walnut pieces

1/4 cup Shallot Vinaigrette

For the vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 teaspoon honey

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1⁄4 cup / 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

1. Set your oven rack just under the broiler. Turn on the broiler.

2. Place the baguette onto a sheet tray and slide it on the rack. Watch closely as the bread will toast quickly. Just as the bread starts to crisp remove the tray from the oven and rub the crispy, craggily pieces of bread with a garlic clove. Don’t neglect the crust.

3. Set a piece of goat cheese on each slice of bread then place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and soft, and the bread has become even crispier.

For the pears:

1. Melt the butter in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Place the sugar in a small shallow bowl and dip each pear slice into the sugar to coat all sides of the flesh. Set the pears in the skillet and cook without disturbing until the sugar turns golden and caramelizes the sides of the pear, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

2. Remove the pears from the skillet and set aside until you are ready to assemble the salad.

Assemble the salad:

1. Toss the greens in a bowl along with the vinaigrette. Evenly coat the leaves and taste for seasoning.

2. Divide the greens between two bowls then top with the walnuts, caramelized pears and two pieces of the goat cheese toast.

3. Serve immediately.

For the Shallot Vinaigrette:

1. Whisk together the shallot, honey, mustard, and vinegar. Continue to whisk while pouring in the oil.

2. Alternatively, combine all the ingredients in a jar and then shake until combined. Add the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings to your desire.

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Thoughts with Ashley

We’re nearing that point in winter where I find myself in a bit of a cooking lull. Nearing? Okay, we’re there. Spring feels as if it’s starting to show the first signs of arrival through tiny green buds popping up on branches that appeared dead just the day before. The other morning while sitting near the fire drinking my coffee in the almost-dark I heard the sweet melody of a few birds having a conversation. Perhaps I’m imagining these signs but I’ll take them.

The weariness shows up mostly when it’s time to cook dinner. The ingredients start to all look the same; cauliflower, carrots, and all other forms of hard root vegetables that manage to survive the harshness of a winter ground. I miss the frilly leaves of spring greens and the sweet juicy bite of a strawberry. But through this lull, if I’m able to muster enough energy for creativity, I can relish the seemingly limited resources of the season and pull out some very satisfying meals.

Recognizing this is, as they say, the first step. I realize that finding joy in the kitchen again is not just a matter of waiting for the next season – if we spent all our time waiting for joy we’d miss so much of it. Instead I’m setting myself up for success in the kitchen. I wish you could all see what my pantry looked like currently. There are bags of beans and sacks of lentils strewn out all over the floor as they wait their new home in a tidy labeled jar. This cleaner, sleeker pantry will be the start of many wonderful meals. With a stocked pantry and a fridge full of produce anything is possible.

When feeling a bit creatively challenged in the kitchen I love wandering the produce section and grabbing something completely foreign and unknown to me. I’m sure there are times you’ve opened up your box and reached for something that looked more like sea creature than vegetable. I mean have you ever seen a celeriac (celery root)? – they are indeed delicious by the way. I’ve learned so much about food by pushing myself into a little discomfort.

Here’s to happier, joyful and creative cooking!

Ashley Rodriguez

Food Blogger, notwithoutsalt.com

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How To Eat Your BOX! (Week of 1/22/17)

Bananas:

Apart from being a main ingredient in smoothie’s, bananas are great in cooking as well. I started using up my ripe bananas to make flourless pancakes a few years ago. Now it’s my go to when the bananas are a little past their prime. (It’s also a lot easier and quicker than pulling out the old banana bread recipe.) The basic recipe I use has only 3 ingredients: 2 eggs per 1 ½ bananas and 1/8 tsp baking powder. Lightly mash bananas with a fork to make a chunky mixture. Whisk together the eggs and baking powder and mix in with bananas. I also like to add a little vanilla extract and cinnamon or you can experiment with other ingredients. Cook these in a frying pan over medium low heat. Only use about 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake as they can be difficult to manage otherwise. These are best right out of the frying pan with yogurt and berries or spread with peanut butter. Another great way to use up bananas would be to freeze them and make banana ice cream! Simply toss 2 frozen bananas in the food processor with about 2 tablespoons of almond milk and blend until smooth. For more flavor try adding ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, or a tablespoon of coco powder or peanut butter (or both!)

Red Bananas:

Our Harvest and Fruit boxes contain a red banana variety in this week. They are smaller and plumper than yellow bananas but can be eaten the same way. These bananas can be more difficult to tell when ripe because they don’t change color as noticeably, although they do turn a brighter red and lose and any green tones. They should also be slightly tender and not hard when ripe. Place in a paper bag along with an avocado to help with the ripening process.

Cinnamon-Brown Sugar Delicata Squash with Pears

Ingredients:

1 pound delicata squash (about 1 large)

2 Asian pears, sliced

2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp. water

1 Tbsp. light brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon powder

Directions:

Preparation: 20 min Ready In: 35 min Preheat oven to 425°F.

1. Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out the seeds. Cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices. 2. 2. Toss in a large bowl with pears, oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a large baking sheet.

3. Roast the squash and pears until just tender, stirring once or twice, 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Discard all but 2 teaspoons fat from the pan. Over medium heat, stir in water, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the squash and pears; toss to coat.

Easy cleanup: To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you bake.

Recipe adapted from Eatingwell.com

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Above Freezing

About time! Our old farmhouse has a hard time keeping the cold out. There are some places around the floor boards that you can almost hear wind blowing and there is a definite flow of cold air. Normally, I have a good supply of firewood, but…. next year I will be prepared–again!

Last year was a good growing season and I am excited about this one coming up too. I have already placed the lion’s share of my seed and transplant orders for the year. Now all that is left to do is hope my farming calendar lines up with mother nature. True confession: they rarely align, but every spring “hope springs eternal” and this year is no different. Right now, I have enough energy to farm till October. Of course; it is only January!

Vegetable Seeds

Speaking of seeds, there is a whole another segment of farmers who grow nothing but seed crops. Every single vegetable we grow comes from a seed and a farmer has to see that crop through a very long and precarious season. We pretty much use High Mowing Organic Seeds as our supplier. They grow, trial and work with a bunch of really good “seed” farmers who are committed to organic farming. Thankfully, there are seed farmers, or farmers like me would have to expend a bunch more time growing vegetables and vegetables for seed.

We also partner with High Mowing Seeds and you can order a good selection of seeds from us at our website. These are many of the varieties that I grow on my farm. I have personally picked seed that I feel will grow well in North Puget Sound. You might say they are Farmer Tristan Approved!

Local Milk

Since we are talking about farming…we also carry local milk from Twin Brook Creamery in Lynden. Every community that has thrived did so because there was a transportation system, rivers, rails or oceans for commerce and then good land for growing food. And the kind of food that sustained a community was vegetables, fruit, milk and other livestock. That is why we are so happy to partner with Larry and his family at Twin Brook Creamery. High quality milk, from a local herd, sold locally to our community. If you’re a milk drinker, then give Twin Brook’s milk a try.

At Klesick Farms, we grow only good food, source only good food from other farmers, and deliver only good food.

My name is on every box, every newsletter, every van. Every time a box of good food leaves Stanwood, where I farm, you’re getting our best.

Thank you for trusting Klesick’s with your good food choices.

Tristan Klesick,

Farmer, Health Advocate

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How To Eat Your BOX! (Week of 1/15/17)

Cucumber:

Apart from cucumber salad, cucumbers make a fun and refreshing topping to sandwiches! Whether it’s the traditional open faced cucumber and cream cheese with dill that they serve at showers, diced cucumber with tomato, onions and feta cheese wrapped in a pita bread, or simply sliced cucumber on your average, every day sandwich, I love the added crunch and fresh flavor it adds. Cucumber is also perfect in salsas, grain or pasta salads, egg salads or simply raw as a finger food. I like eating mine with a spritz of lemon and salt.

Zucchini:

I must admit, I didn’t use to like zucchini, However, what I’ve come to realize more and more (as about all produce), is that the problem often isn’t what it is, but how it’s cooked. Now I absolutely love zucchini because I’ve discovered ways I like to eat it. Firstly, I enjoy it raw! Who knew? 🙂 It’s great in salads or as a finger food with dip. I also like adding it to stir fry or making zucchini patties (which are amazing!). The key for me was to shred or “noodle” my zucchini when I cooked it. Chopping it into chunks always yielded the same mushy texture that just didn’t suit me. Whereas if I shredded it, suddenly it was a whole new experience! Make sure not to cook it too long or it might turn to mush. I always add it last to my stir fry or as the noodle to my “spaghetti”. It only needs to cook for about a minute or so. Try experimenting with zucchini this week to find how you like it best!

Cauliflower:

There are so many ways to use this vegetable that I don’t even know where to start. It 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°F. 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. Healthy cauliflower recipes.

Brussels Sprouts:

The first time I ever tasted caramelized Brussels sprouts I was hooked! Below, I show you how I like to roast them in the oven, but they also caramelize well when sautéed!

Preheat oven to 425°F. Trim off the bottoms of the Brussels sprouts (don’t take off too much or they fall apart) and outer leaves and slice lengthwise. Toss with olive oil (about a tablespoon), salt, pepper, and mix until coated thoroughly. Roast on a baking sheet until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes. They can be served as is or for a little extra flavor, try drizzling balsamic vinegar or lemon juice on top. Mix together and add salt to taste.

Celeriac:

Celery root or celeriac is prized for its distinctive flavor which is somewhere between celery and parsley. Although cooked celery root is excellent in soups, stew, and other hot dishes, it can also be enjoyed raw, especially grated and tossed in salads. Raw celery root has an intense flavor that tends to dominate salads, so pair it with other strongly flavored fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, beets, and apples. Before using celery root, peel and soak briefly in water with a little vinegar or lemon juice to prevent cut surfaces from darkening.

Recipe for: Mashed Celeriac

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INSPIRE: Community Be Healthy

Klesick Farm’s first Community Be Healthy event happened at the Lynnwood Convention Center this last Saturday. Thanks to all of you who came out and stopped by to say “hello”. It was a pleasure meeting everyone. We hope everyone left INSPIRED to be healthy!

Almost 30 health promoting organizations joined us to inform and help people on their good health journey. Interesting people. Interesting organizations.

And then there were the speakers! Maria Rippo, the Green Smoothie Lady, gave a very practical talk and demonstration on making healthy smoothies. Our own Tristan Klesick also spoke sharing his passion for helping people to eat healthy. Marilyn McKenna, author of Eat Like It Matters, told us her inspiring story on how she lost 120 lbs. and changed her life through healthy eating and Sue from the Alzheimer’s Association helped us understand the importance of healthy eating for brain health.

“Thank you,” people told us, “for putting on the event.” Thank You! It’s our privilege to partner with every one of you in eating healthy.

Community Be Healthy!

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How to Eat Your BOX! (week of 1/8/2017)

Spinach:

Spinach is one of those handy vegetables that can be used raw or cooked. Used in salad, it’s a nice change from the norm. Try using thinly sliced green onions, cucumber, and apples from this week’s box in yours! For dressing, vinaigrettes go well with spinach. I like to mix balsamic vinegar with olive oil but just about any dressing will do. Spinach is used in cooking just as often as it is used fresh. It makes a great addition for scrambled eggs, sandwiches, tacos, wraps, pasta, or sauté. Some like to sauté it up in just a little olive oil and garlic and eat it like Popeye. I even enjoy adding a handful to my smoothies.

Celery:

Celery is a popular finger food as well as a flavorful addition to soups. Because of their shape, they are great for stuffing for a fun and flavorful snack. You can get pretty creative when it comes to what you put on them: Peanut butter is the first thing that comes to mind but you can stuff your celery with just about anything. Cream cheese makes a good filler, try it mixed with chopped nuts and raisins. Celery is also often used in salad. You can go sweet: using thinly sliced apples, pecans, raisins, yogurt or sour cream, honey and a pinch of cinnamon or make it savory with lettuce or spinach, finely chopped onion, olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper.

Green Onions:

Also known as scallions, green onions are milder than regular onions but add a nice pop of flavor and color to almost any dish. They are commonly used as a topping for baked potatoes or on salad. I like adding them to my soup. They add a freshness to Asian style soups like egg drop or ramen noodle soup. They are also a great addition to omelets or quiche. Or, you can even grill them whole like spring onions and eat them all by themselves with a little lemon, salt & pepper.

Green Beans:

Greens beans make a great side for dinner, especially if you sauté them in little olive oil and garlic. To cook more evenly blanch first by adding to a pot of boiling for 2 minutes. Then drain and put in ice water to stop the cooking process. Sauté garlic in olive oil and add green beans, sautéing until lightly seared. Add salt and pepper to taste. Green beans can also be easily baked in the oven like any other vegetable. Simply spread out evenly on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and toss to coat. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Take out after about ten minutes and shake to turn. Sprinkle with some parmesan and serve.

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 vegetable. Try these diced into bite size chunks or julienned, 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.

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Eat Healthy Be Healthy

This Saturday January 14th, Klesick Farms and 30 other healthy minded businesses are going to come together to share about healthy living and healthy healing. INSPIRE: a community be healthy event has been a dream of mine for a while and it is happening this week! Plan to come, learn and leave inspired.

No matter where you are on your health journey, needing to make big changes or nuance it, INSPIRE: a community be healthy event will be the boost you are looking for to start a healthier journey or reinforce your desire to live as healthy as possible. It doesn’t matter where you are on the “scale”, living healthy shouldn’t be complicated. “But it is…” But, it doesn’t have to be. The choice belongs to each of us.

There is also an incredible slate of speakers who have personally and passionately made the life changing decisions to improve their health and quality of life. And they know you can, too!

11:05 Hazel Borden, Alzheimer Association will be sharing about Brain health, the Mediterranean diet and Alzheimers.

1:05 Marilyn Mckenna Author of Eat like it matters…. will talk about her amazing 120lb weight loss journey and how she has kept it off for over a decade.

2:05 Maria Rippo, Author of the The Green Smoothie Challenge will talk about how to add health and vitality to your life with Green Smoothies.

3:05 I will be talking about Organic Farming and the trials of the current food system.

There will also be several mini seminars going on all day long at the various booths. For example, the Manning Family Wellness booth will be offering demonstrations on how to make pesticide free products for your home and how to use essential oils in your kitchen. We have created an Inspire Passport with free prizes like a Rain barrel from the Snohomish Conservation District or a month of FREE produce delivered ($112 value).

This is going to be a healthy Person, Home and Community event and a whole lot of passionate and wonderful people have set aside this Saturday to share their knowledge and help you on your health journey. And I am excited to introduce them to you!

For more information visit www.inspirebehealthy.com. Save the date, bring your family/friends and come, learn and leave inspired!

As an added bonus, when you come to our booth and say, “Hi,” Klesick Farms will give you a $5 credit on your next delivery.

Farmer/health Advocate

Tristan Klesick

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Inspire: A Community Be Healthy Event

Inspire: A Community Be Healthy Event

Coming out of the holidays can be brutal on the waist line and leaving many of us feeling less than stellar.

Is it time for an emotional and/or physical reset? I know that for myself, when I eat mostly fruits and vegetables, I just feel better and have more energy.

On Saturday January 14th, Klesick Farms and 30 other health-minded businesses will come together to share about healthy living and healthy healing. INSPIRE: A Community Be Healthy Event has been a dream of mine for a while. Last May I booked the Lynnwood Convention Center–yes, in May, during the craziness of the local growing season, I carved out some time to put in motion the framework for a health fair.– Looking back, that was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I have met several wonderful people who are passionate about being healthy and helping people be healthy. And I am excited to introduce them to you! There is also an incredible slate of speakers, who have personally and passionately made the life changing decisions to improve their health and quality of life. And they know you can too!

* Hazel Borden, with the Alzheimer Association, will be sharing about brain health, the Mediterranean diet and Alzheimers.

* Marilyn Mckenna, Author of Eat Like It Matters, will talk about her amazing 120lb weight loss journey and how she  has kept it off for over a decade.

* Maria Rippo, Author of The Green Smoothie Challenge, will talk about how to reset/restart your health with Green Smoothies.

Lastly, I will be talking about organic farming and the trials of the current food system. For more information visit www.inspirebehealthy.com.

Mark your calendars, bring your family/friends and come, learn, and leave inspired!

Tristan Klesick

Farmer/Health Advocate

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How to Eat Your BOX! (week of 1/1/2017)

Baby Broccolini:

Broccolini is not a form of baby broccoli but actually a hybrid between broccoli and Chinese kale. It can be cooked much the same way as regular broccoli but is more tender and takes less maintenance. Simply cut off the ends (I like to take a good inch or two because the ends can be tough and chewy), and either bake in the oven or toss in a stir fry. Try sautéing along with chopped garlic in a about a tablespoon of olive oil. Like other vegetables, these are often blanched first, before adding to the frying pan. Do this by adding to boiling water and simmering for about two minute then drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Return your pan to the stove and sautee the garlic, then add the broccolini back in to reheat. To bake, toss in olive oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake at 425°F for 10-15 minutes until tender.

Kiwi:

Kiwi is most commonly eaten as is by cutting in half and spooning out the inside, but it can also make a great addition to breakfast food or dessert. They can be used in smoothies (try with bananas, yogurt and avocado), as a topping for granola and yogurt, or with dessert (I like topping meringue with a little whip and a slice of kiwi). Kiwi can also be added to ice water with mint and lemon for a refreshing drink.

Carnival Squash:

Carnival squash is a hybrid between sweet dumpling and acorn squash. Try roasting your halved carnival squash seasoned with a little butter and brown sugar. It tastes nutty and sweeter than butternut squash but not as dry in texture as kabocha squash. Carnival squash is at its best when roasted which really brings out its flavors, but it can also be steamed or pureed. The seeds can be roasted and eaten just like with other winter squashes. I like its small compact size, which makes it easy to cut through and is great for serving one or two people. They are also great to throw into stews, curries, soups, or even veggie chilis. Use them in any recipe calling for butternut or acorn squash.

Recipe: Carnival Squash with Apples and Thyme

Celeriac:

Celery root or celeriac is prized for it’s distinctive flavor which is somewhere between celery and parsley. Although cooked celery root is excellent in soups, stew, and other hot dishes, it can also be enjoyed raw, especially grated and tossed in salads. Raw celery root has an intense flavor that tends to dominate salads, so pair it with other strongly flavored fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, beets, and apples. Before using celery root, peel and soak briefly in water with a little vinegar or lemon juice to prevent cut surfaces from darkening.

Recipe: Mashed Celeriac