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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 1/28/18)

Mizuna Mustard Greens:

You may not have tried Mizuna before, but rest easy, it’s one you’ll be able to use often, and it will be a great addition to your table. It has the peppery taste of arugula with a slight bitter taste (like frisée), and the stems are actually mildly sweet—and yes, eat them too! It’s a mild-tasting green that can be used much like spinach. Try it raw in salads (see recipe below), in your pasta or risotto, atop sandwiches, in soups and stir-frys (add it near the end so it doesn’t overcook), in grain salads and sautéed. Store it like you would most greens, and plan to use within 2-4 days.

Blood Oranges:

With ruby-red to maroon-colored flesh, blood oranges are a surprise when you cut them open; taste-wise, they’re tart-sweet and slightly berry-like.

Storage tips: To keep these ruby gems fresh longer, choose refrigeration over the fruit bowl―they’ll only last only a couple of days at room temperature, but up to two weeks in the fridge.

How to eat them: Blood oranges are best eaten fresh―out of hand, or in salads, salsas, or marmalades. If you’re following a recipe you may be asked to section the fruit. To do so, peel the orange, cut between the white membranes to expose the flesh, and remove the sections (for more juice, squeeze the leftover membranes).

Health benefits: Oranges are rich in antioxidants―vital for healthy cells―including vitamin C, which aids in healing, boosts your immune system, helps your body absorb iron, and even helps reduce the risk of cancer. This citrus fruit is also a good source of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and, like vitamin C, reduce your cancer risk. (To maximize your fiber intake, be sure to eat some of the spongy white pith right under the skin.)

Leeks:

Two words, LEEK SOUP! What could be more comforting this time of year than a warm bowl of potato soup. Potato leek soup is a classic and so easy to make! You simply soften chopped leaks in butter, then add diced potatoes, stock, and herbs, bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are done. You don’t even need to add cream to make this soup creamy, just blend some or all the of the soup to thicken. Simple, delicious, and satisfying. Recipe: www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/potato_leek_soup/

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 size up on the amount.

 

Featured Recipe: Winter Roasted Garlic & Mizuna Green Salad

Bitter greens, sweet roasted garlic & jewels of golden raisins & fresh citrus balance each other in this simple toss. Roasting the garlic in advance will make this dish a lot easier. Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 head garlic, roasted (see instructions)

½ cup plain yogurt

½ tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups mizuna, arugula or other delicate greens

2 Daikon radishes

¼ cup raisins, or cranberries

¼ cup walnuts, crumbled, or toasted sunflower OR pumpkin seeds, optional

Blood orange or Cara Cara orange slices

Instructions:

Roast the garlic: Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the top of the head of garlic off so that the top bit of the cloves are exposed. Wrap in foil or place in a small ceramic baker with a lid. Drizzle on a splash of olive oil and pinch of salt. Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the cloves are soft. To check, press against the head with the back of a spoon—it should easily yield to pressure.

Slice the radishes into thin rounds. Wash, dry, and roughly chop or tear the mizuna.

Squeeze or peel about half of the garlic out of the head. For the original two serving recipe you will want a generous tablespoon of garlic paste, so multiply as needed. Place in a blender or food processor with the yogurt, mustard and white wine vinegar. Whirl around until smooth. Drizzle in the olive oil while blending until consistency is thick and creamy.

Toss with the greens and turnips. Sprinkle on the raisins & walnuts and orange slices. Serve immediately.

 

Adapted from recipe by lillystable.com

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Willpower, continued…

Last week we delved into willpower as more akin to a depletable resource versus the notion that it was more like a muscle that could be strengthened. I think willpower is fascinating to study and learn about.  You could spend hours reading all the research, and I have, but mostly I am looking for how it applies to my daily decision making.

If it is more like a depletable resource and we only have about 15-minutes’ worth of willpower at any given moment, that means I will need to find a different strategy than relying on willpower to make lifestyle changes. And that strategy is called a plan that we default to when temptation is creeping in. We do have some willpower we can muster against wrong foods, thoughts, or our busy schedules, but for most folks, willpower has been pretty wiped out just getting the kids or yourself out the door.

We also talked about that since we only have limited willpower, it might make more sense to make one lifestyle change and focus on that. If you want to incorporate more veggies and fruits and less packaged foods or convenience meals, that would be a change that could require a lot of energy. Adding going to bed earlier, drinking more water, and going to the gym 3x per week could be a recipe for failure.

All of those areas are important to living happy healthy lives. But if you are not accustomed to doing any of them and they will all be a lifestyle change or a new habit, chances are you will not be able to get traction on any of those goals long term. This is primarily because now you are tackling 3, 4, 5 new habits.  And with a limited amount of willpower to draw upon and considering that you are also using willpower for ordinary decision-making tasks, it might be wiser and more successful to concentrate on winning with one lifestyle change.

Which one is up to you and depends on what area of your life you want to change because if you don’t want to change the area, it won’t matter. Wanting to make a change is necessary to make a change. Something like 180 million Americans are going try and lose weight this year, multiple times. If this is where you find yourself, focus on losing weight through eating more fruits, vegetables, proteins, good carbs, fats and only focus on changing your diet. The more changes you add, the more plans you will have to develop, follow and implement to be successful. Once you are winning with food and it becomes more of a permanent lifestyle change—add in another.

This could be reversed and you could commit to getting stronger by going to the gym. Once that habit is in place tackle another change. It is just really hard to make multiple lifestyle changes at the same time. I encourage you to pick one goal and get after it. Develop a plan and add some accountability and attack the new habit until the old habit surrenders. Then put the next lifestyle change on notice that you are coming after it next!

 

Your Health Advocate and Farmer,

Tristan Klesick

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 1/21/18)

Apples:
Apples are one of those quintessential healthy eating choices! You can dice them up and throw them into your hot cereal with some cinnamon for a fresh take on breakfast, toss them in smoothies, slice them atop green salads to sweeten them up and add texture, dip them in nut butter or yogurt for a snack, roast with savory fall veggies, bake with a topping of your favorite granola…so many ways to enjoy them! And perhaps the best part? Antioxidants and phytochemicals in apples have been linked to help prevent a number of chronic diseases, including: Alzheimer’s, lung cancer, heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes and more. Store unwashed apples in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Be sure to store separately from strong-smelling veggies like onions or garlic, as apples will take on their strong flavors. Good food tip: to ensure you get the best of your will power when it comes to snacking in between meals, ask yourself “Am I hungry enough to eat an apple?” If the answer is yes, eat an apple. If the answer is no…then you’re not hungry. 🙂

Brussels Sprouts:

For oven-cooked Brussels Sprouts: Preheat oven to 425°F. Trim the stem base (don’t take off too much or they simply fall apart) and outer leaves and slices 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. You can just eat them like this but if you want to make them truly amazing, try drizzling with equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a little honey.

Red Cabbage:

Cabbage is a handy 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 make cabbage “shavings” by first cutting the cabbage in half, then simply shaving off pieces from along the edges. Also, if you’re like me and rarely use a whole cabbage in one sitting, keep the cut edges from drying out by rinsing and storing in a sealed plastic bag.

Featured Recipe: Fish or Chicken Tacos

Total time: 17 minutes. Makes 12 tacos.

Ingredients:

1 lb. Salmon, or Tilapia Fillets OR Chicken Tenders

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

12 Corn Tortillas OR Butter Lettuce leaves as wraps

1 Small Red Onion, diced

1 Roma Tomato, diced

1 Anaheim Pepper, finely diced

2 Cloves Garlic, fine

Juice of 1 Lime

¼ Teaspoon Cumin

¼ Teaspoon Coriander

¼ Teaspoon Chili Powder

¼ Head Red Cabbage, thinly sliced

½ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

½ Cup Light Sour Cream

4 Ounces Cotija Cheese, crumbled

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Garnish: 1-2 Radishes sliced, Lime, & Fresh Cilantro

 

Instructions:

Combine onion, tomato, Anaheims, cilantro, garlic, lime, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Taste, and adjust seasoning, erring on the strong side. Add cabbage to salsa mixture, cover, and refrigerate.

Combine yogurt and sour cream in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add in olive oil. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper, and add to pan, cooking until done, about 3 minutes for each side.

Place tortillas in a warm towel and place in a warm 200 oven rack for a minute or two to warm.

Flake the fish fillets, and add 1/3 of each fillet to a tortilla (or lettuce leaves), top with salsa/cabbage mixture, cream sauce, and cotija cheese. Garnish with watermelon radish slices, fresh cilantro, lime wedges and enjoy!

 

Adapted from recipe by thedevilwearsparsley.com

 

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The Chocolate and Radish Experiment

In 1996 Roy Bauermeister developed an experiment to better understand “will power”. For most of us, will power is something to be marshalled, built up like a muscle, or an inner super hero we would call upon to help us overcome a temptation. And for those people who were successful at making lifestyle or diet changes, well, they just had better will power and the rest of us hadn’t conjured up enough will power to say “no” and were consequently, viewed as having weaker will power. Or dare I say, “we were just lazier”.

Dr. Bauermeister and his colleagues designed an experiment that brought in 3 test groups. The first group was invited in to fill out a questionnaire. In the room was fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, hot out of the oven (I already want one of those cookies) and a bowl of radishes. They were instructed to not eat the cookies because they were for another project, but they could eat the radishes. After 15 minutes they were led off to a room to do a geometry equation that was impossible to solve (that part was unbeknownst to them). The second group came in to the room with the cookies and the radishes and they were allowed to eat the cookies, but not the radishes and after they were finished with their questionnaire led off to a different room to solve the same impossible equation. The 3rd and last group entered a room without cookies or radishes, filled out the same questionnaire and attempted to solve the same impossible equation.

The groups that could eat the cookies and didn’t have cookies or radishes persisted for 19 minutes and the ones who had resisted eating the fresh baked chocolate chips only persisted for 8 minutes. Their ability to persevere had been depleted earlier denying those chocolate chips cookies. Basically, the groups that could eat the cookies or had no cookies offered to them were able to persevere twice as long the group that had to exercise their will power to not eat those fresh baked chocolate chip cookies! This was the first experiment that changed the notion that will power was something you just conjured up when needed or built up like a muscle; will power is a depletable resource. And to make matters worse, you only have about 15 minutes of it available at a time. And we use will power for a lot of decision making things, like checking emails, getting the kids to school, to getting on a treadmill, to trying to eat less sugar…the list goes on and on.

I know that I have way more will power at the start of the day, than I do at night, which ironically is the time that I will succumb to a temptation to a snack or “brake” my commitment to lifestyle change or… To make matters more challenging, the brain runs on Glucose (sugar) and when it is feeling tired from all the decision making it begins to demand some fuel, particularly a sugary fuel and it is not concerned about what kind, so even your brain can work against you to make those lifestyle changes.

The solution is more KNOWLEDGE not more WILL POWER. Now that I know that will power can be depleted, the antidote is a plan, a good old-fashioned plan pre-thought-out and put-into-practice plan. If I am craving sugar, I’ll have an apple—not a donut or cliff bar.

Now you have a little knowledge, what is your plan to be successful—eat better, lose weight, run a 5k, or go to bed earlier? Whatever your goal is, you will have to plan for success in advance and not count on will power for success. You can do it, but you will have to have a plan for lasting results.

 

Health Advocate and Farmer,

Tristan

 

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 1/14/2018)

 Cara Cara Navel Oranges:

Their pinkish orange flesh is reminiscent of grapefruit, but their taste is sweeter and softly tropical. It is believed that Cara Cara’s are a result of a Washington navel crossed with the Brazillian Bahia. Subtle tastes of cherry, rose petal and cranberry is enough to brighten a dreary day and make a salad of avocado and feta quite special. Try it!

Health benefits: Oranges are rich in antioxidants―vital for healthy cells―including vitamin C, which aids in healing, boosts your immune system, helps your body absorb iron, and even helps reduce the risk of cancer. This citrus fruit is also a good source of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and, like vitamin C, reduce your cancer risk. (To maximize your fiber intake, be sure to eat some of the spongy white pith right under the skin.)

Lettuce/Greens:

The key to keeping greens fresh is to pre-wash, dry and store them. Try to wash your greens the same day that your box of good is delivered. Try to make sure when you’re unpacking your box to set the lettuce and any other greens on the kitchen counter, so you don’t forget to wash them.

First off, fill a large bowl with some cold water and swirl the leaves around to get rid of the excess dirt. When washing kale, de-stem it as you’re washing it. That will save you time when it comes to throwing that kale salad together. Place in salad spinner, give the spinner a whirl, and spin until your greens are dry.

Wrap greens up in a paper towel or clean cotton kitchen cloth. Make sure to wrap the leaves up gently but tightly, a lot like you would a sleeping bag.

Place the wrapped lettuce inside sealed plastic bags and store in your crisper drawer. The lettuce should stay good for about a week to two weeks, though you should always eat ‘em sooner!

Now that you have some freshly washed greens, you can make some amazing salads on the fly. Here’s to eating more greens!

Arugula:

This peppery green is ubiquitous with fresh salads (try it with blue cheese, walnuts and Asian or Bosc pears), but it is also great atop pizzas (add just after you remove them from the oven, and allow to wilt slightly), or to wilt atop a winter soup. Store in the refrigerator and use within 3-4 days to prevent from becoming bitter.

 

 

Featured Recipe:  Power Salad

Total time: under 15 minutes. Serves 2.

Ingredients:

 

1 teaspoon olive oil

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

pinch of salt

Generous handful of fresh butter lettuce leaves, cleaned and gently torn

Generous handful of fresh arugula

1 small handful of thinly sliced chard

1/4 cup diced red pepper

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds or pepitas

1 Cara Cara orange, sliced into segments

2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

4 ounces of sliced grilled chicken

 

Instructions:

  1. Combine In a medium bowl first whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt together. Add the lettuce, arugula, and chard and toss them in the dressing. Top with the red pepper, pumpkin seeds, orange segments, grilled chicken, and feta. Optional, top with a dollop of Hope original hummus.

 

adapted from recipe by girlgonegourmet.com

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Save the Date!

Start your year off right and BE UNSTOPPABLE in 2018!

The NW Mind Body Spirit Connection is returning to the Lynnwood Convention Center on January 20th from 10 am to 4 pm.

Meet the region’s top experts in holistic health and well-being at this fun and interactive day of learning and inspiration. Choose from a variety classes, talks, demos and mini-workshops on topics ranging from organic farming and mindful meals to feng shui, themography and holistic brain health. Explore the exhibitor hall for a chance to sample and view product demonstrations, get a mini-reading or try reflexology or massage!

This year’s event also features a labyrinth installation, chakra fashion show, laughter yoga demo and interactive dream board.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Parking is free! Kids get in free. Bring a friend!

More info: NWMindBodySpirit.com. Get $5 off tickets with the code: KLESICK.

 

Farmer Tristan will be speaking on Lifestyle Changes and the Will Power Gap—Don’t Miss it!

How many times have you started to make changes to only have them sabotaged a few minutes, days or weeks later? Part of the solution to making successful changes is information and the other is understanding will power or the lack thereof. In this class, we will unpack successful strategies to win with food and life. Read more.

Stop by Klesick’s booth at NW Mind Body Spirit

Stop by Klesick’s booth at NW Mind Body Spirit Connection and meet your local produce farmer AND your local dairy farmer! Larry from Twin Brook Creamery will be joining us at this event!

 

P.S. We’ll also be raffling off a box of good, so don’t forget to enter!

 

 

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 1/7/2018)

Blood Oranges:

With ruby-red to maroon-colored flesh, blood oranges are a surprise when you cut them open; taste-wise, they’re tart-sweet and slightly berry-like. Store: To keep these ruby gems fresh longer, choose refrigeration over the fruit bowl―they’ll only last only a couple of days at room temperature, but up to two weeks in the fridge.

Blood oranges are best eaten fresh―out of hand, or in salads, salsas, or marmalades. If you’re following a recipe you may be asked to section the fruit. To do so, peel the orange, cut between the white membranes to expose the flesh, and remove the sections (for more juice, squeeze the leftover membranes).

Frisée:

You’ve no doubt seen frisée before, perhaps without realizing it, the frizzy green leaves are often tucked away inside a mesclun baby greens mix. Frisée is a variety of chicory, as you’ll be clued in to with the first solo bite: it’s one of those bitters we were talking about in last week’s newsletter. Store: in the fridge for up to five days (rinse first), in plastic or other non-breathable material, so it doesn’t wilt. Use: most often served fresh in salads, try it wilted or sautéed to mellow its bitterness. Frisée pairs well with flavor-packed ingredients and fats: Dress leaves with a warm vinaigrette of roast-chicken pan drippings and sherry or red wine vinegar, toss in browned bits of thick-cut pancetta, ham, or steak tips, or top with a poached or fried egg.

Crimini 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 when adding to tacos or in pasta.

 

Featured Recipe: Frisée-Parsley Salad

1 medium head frisée, trimmed and washed

1/4 cup sweet onion, minced or alternately sliced into very thin rings

1/2 bunch fresh Italian parsley, leaves picked and washed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

 

Combine frisée, onion, and parsley in a medium bowl and toss well.

In a separate small non-metal bowl or pint-size mason jar (works great to store any leftover dressing in if you want to double the batch and have on hand for later), whisk together oil and vinegar, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add dressing to greens and, using clean hands, toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

 

Adapted from a recipe by Chef Traci Des Jardins

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Traceability

Welcome to food safety in the Social Media world. Last week Consumer Reports felt that the FDA was not doing enough to protect consumers from an E. coli outbreak. Their experts felt strongly that the E. coli bacteria came from Romaine lettuce. No one knows if it came from packaged romaine, baby romaine, mixed bags of baby romaine, who distributed it, what farm it came from, etc.

What we do know is that there is anecdotal evidence that Romaine might be a common food eaten by the people who got sick. At that time there had been 17 cases in the United States over a 6-week period. There have been thousands of romaine lettuce heads sold during this time. E. coli is a very serious bacteria and can be deadly and at a minimum make a person very sick.

Romaine lettuce is suspected to be the carrier, but it is not clear if it is the romaine, or water it was washed in/irrigated with, or what region, or farm where the bacteria started from. Traceability is a big part of the solution. But the sheer size of our nation and its population makes tracing outbreaks like this really difficult.

The Centers for Disease Control, FDA, and USDA are all working on it and at this point cannot conclusively answer any of the who, what, when, why and where. Which is why there hasn’t been an official warning or recall yet. That might all change in the next few days, as I am writing this newsletter on Friday.

Here is what I can tell you. I have been a farmer for 20 years and been in the produce business for 25 years. Our fruit and vegetable food system is incredibly safe and during my tenure there has been only 1 vegetable related outbreak that is forever etched in my memory. It was the Spinach E. coli outbreak that sickened 276 people in 2006. They believe the contamination occurred from water in an irrigation ditch used to irrigate the spinach. But even this event took a few weeks to track down the source.

That event created what is now called the Food Safety Modernization Act and placed farm inspections into the hands of the FDA. As an aside, most food recalls are centered around processed foods, meat or packaged fruit and vegetables.

Klesick’s has been delivering fresh produce for over 20 years. We have deep relationships that go back just as long. When and if a food recall were to happen, we can reach out to our suppliers or other farms in a heartbeat. We can go right to the invoices and see where the product came from and, in many cases, we know immediately what field it was grown in. We also know which customers received the item in question and can contact them by email or phone based on the situation and all this can be done within an hour. I hope I never have to do any of this, but I know it can be done.

Being a small farm and small business with long standing relationships with other farmers and suppliers helps us provide the safest and most nutritious organically grown produce to you and your families.

 

Your Farmer and Health Advocate,

Tristan

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 12/31/17)

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, salad or dessert. It can be used in smoothies (try with bananas and avocado), as a topping for granola and yogurt or cereal, or as a decorative and delicious addition to pie or meringue. It makes a great addition to fruit salad or even a green salad if you’re feeling adventurous. And, kiwi makes for a refreshing drink when added to ice water with mint and/or a squeeze of lemon.

 

Radicchio, Treviso:

A favorite of Italians, whom it is believed their cultivation originated with, Treviso radicchio look a bit like purple romaine hearts. Italians almost never use radicchios in a mixed salad, but savor them alone with the simplest of olive-oil dressings. Often, they cook radicchio, turning to varieties like Treviso, that are milder in flavor, since the bitterness of radicchio intensifies with cooking. The tonic bitterness, however, is a good contrast to rich or fatty flavors. Radicchio is good braised, grilled, or in a soup. Store: keep radicchio in a tightly sealed bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.

 

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.

 

Featured Recipe: Roasted Treviso

Cook time: 20 minutes. Serves 2-4.

Ingredients:

 

1 head Treviso

1 to 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil or other cooking oil

Sea salt

1 to 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. While the oven heats, trim the treviso: cut in half lengthwise. Rub or brush the entire treviso halves with oil. Spread across baking sheet, cut side up.
  3. Cook until the edges are wilted, about 12 minutes. Turn over, and roast until tender, another 8 minutes or so.
  4. Remove from oven, sprinkle the cooked cut-side with salt.
  5. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Alternate toppings: parmesan cheese or crumbled blue cheese with or without the balsamic, or, drizzle of rice wine vinegar & hot chile oil, sprinkle with red chile flakes instead of the balsamic.

 

adapted from recipe by thespruce.com

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Bitters for Better Health

Over the next year we are going to be rolling out some new flavors in the Boxes of Good – Bitters! Bitters are a class of vegetables that are nutritional powerhouses. Though fairly common, they rarely show up in the American diet. But now, many of us will get to experience wonderful flavors that fuel our bodies with more vitamins and minerals.

As I have migrated away from sugars (organic or otherwise) I have noticed that my taste buds are drawn to kales, mustards, arugulas, chicories, etc. I am not sure why that is happening, but I do believe that sugar co-opts the brain and creates an overly dependent desire for more sugar. Having lessened sugar’s grip on my taste buds probably has freed my taste buds to enjoy more varied flavors and bitters are definitely on the menu.

This week we are featuring Treviso Radicchio (pronounced Raw-Deke-ee-O), a part of the Chicory family. The Treviso was grown by our friends at Ralph’s Greenhouse in Mt. Vernon.

This dark red leafy “green” is chocked full of vitamins A, C and K, and minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium. Filled with folate and fiber, and low in fat and sodium, these greens are a must for a healthy diet and a healthy digestive system.

Eating bitter food activates taste buds that simultaneously stimulate enzyme production and bile flow, which promotes digestion. The better your food is digested, the more nutrients you’ll absorb from your food. It doesn’t matter what you eat, if you can’t absorb it, it won’t be of much benefit to you. The high fiber content in bitter greens also helps to eliminate waste through the digestive tract.

What’s more, bitter greens also promote natural detoxification of the liver, which regulates cholesterol, balances hormones, detoxifies the blood, and metabolizes fats (Excerpted and slightly modified from MindBodyGreen). I believe that food is the problem causing our health crisis in America and that food is also the solution to our health crisis in America. The choice is ours, but the overwhelming amount of sugar and processed foods in our grocery stores and restaurants makes eating healthy a real challenge.

At Klesick’s we exist as an alternative to the industrial processed food system. With your help we have stood together as a beacon for good food and common sense for the last 20 years, delivering only organic fruits and vegetables – one family, one delivery, one meal and one bite at a time. And I am in for another 20!

 

Farmer and Health Advocate,

Tristan