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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

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 12/24/17)

Yellow Straight Neck Squash:

Use them just like you would zucchini. Yellow squash are most often used as a cooking vegetable but can easily be enjoyed raw. It makes a great salad when sent through the spiralizer and tossed with carrots, cucumber, and snow peas. Like cucumbers, summer squash are good when marinated for a couple hours in the fridge. Simply toss in lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper, cover and let sit in the fridge for a time. Add freshly chopped basil or parsley right before serving.

Bunch Carrots:

Twist the tops off those carrots as soon as they arrive so that they stay nice and crisp in the refrigerator. If you’re reading this, you’ve chosen organically grown carrots, so give yourself a fist bump. 😊 Carrots are so important to get organic because conventionally grown carrots are often a concentrated source of heavy metals, nitrates and pesticides. Eating carrots is a healthy alternative to junk food, and just one carrot can boost your willpower that is in resistance to those processed foods. Consider adding bunch carrots on to your order on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Your body will thank you!

Yams:

Baked yams make one of my all-time favorite snacks. They are also a great added to soups, stir fries, burritos, you name it! Or, just eat them all by themselves as a snack/side dish. I like to dice mine up into small cubes, toss in a little olive oil with a pinch of salt and bake at 425° for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender and edges are browned. Also, very good when sprinkled with cinnamon. Yum!

Featured Recipe: Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables

Loaded with herbs and bursting with flavor. Add them to a hearty grain (rice, quinoa, tempeh, etc.) bowl for optimal nutrition! Serves 6.

Ingredients:

1 lb. potatoes, cut into 1” pieces

2 yellow straight neck squash, cut into 1” pieces

1 onion, cut into 1” pieces

1 bell pepper, cut into 1” pieces

20 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp dried thyme

½ tsp crushed red pepper

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp black pepper

 

Instructions:

  1. In Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Layer potatoes, yellow squash, onions, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, on two medium baking sheets.
  3. Mix olive oil, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, dried thyme, crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper to small bowl. Mix to combine, then drop spoonfuls of seasoned oil over prepped veggies on both baking sheets, use hands to toss and coat.
  4. Roast in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until all vegetables are cooked through, be sure to check the potatoes with a fork for doneness. Remove both pans and stir after 10 minutes of roasting.
  5. Serve as a side or toss in a power/grain bowl.

 

adapted from recipe by lemonsandbasil.com

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Good Food Health Coaching by Klesick’s

It is sure nice to be on this side of the Holiday Season. After New Year’s, life will settle, and things will return to a relatively more normal routine. And as far as I am concerned routine and normal are greatly appreciated!

The new year always brings such fresh optimism and renewed energy, we just need to sustain it, but how? That is the million-dollar question.

Well the answer depends on what the goal is that you are trying to accomplish. If the goal is to lose 5lbs maybe two weeks to a month. If the goal is to lose 50lbs maybe 1-2 years. If the goal is to lose that last 5 lbs., maybe 2 or 3 months!

Maybe your goal is to run a 5k which will require different training than a 10k or a Marathon. But no matter what the goal is, each person has to assess where they are, how attainable the goal is and then develop a plan to accomplish the task. The first hurdle is recognizing that something has to change, and then acting upon that goal. Don’t get stuck in the planning mode; yes, plan to be successful, but don’t be a successful planner!

Let’s talk about what makes achieving a goal successful. First, you need a good goal, that is reachable, but a stretch. Second, the big picture/plan, AKA the final goal. I like to use a business strategy called 4DX. Essentially, you state the goal “from x to y by z”. For example, I want to go from 205 lbs. to 185 lbs. by 3/15/18. Third, implement the plan. If your goal is to lose 20lbs, your plan might look like: eat 3 meals a day, cut out processed sugar, no snacking, drink 3 glasses of water, weigh myself Wednesdays/Sundays. The last part of the plan is probably the most important: accountability! Once you have decided what the goal is, its timeframe, and the plan to win, then you’ll need accountability.

Accountability can take many forms, a life coach, a counselor, a friend, joining a group. I am a big fan of accountability, it just makes reaching a goal that much easier.

Klesick’s is going to offer a group coaching call weekly via a private Facebook group. Our accountability will revolve around good food and incorporating more of it into your diet. The Good Food Coaching will be focused around eating better to feel better and a byproduct of eating better is losing weight. We are going to limit the group to 30 folks. The price for the Good Food Coaching and accountability will be $8/wk. and will run for 3 months. If you would like to join us on this journey, visit this link.

Wishing all of you a wonderful start to the New Year and we will see you in January with more good food conveniently delivered to your door!

 

Farmer and Health Advocate,

Tristan

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

Fuyu Persimmons:

STORE: Store ripe Fuyu persimmons at room temperature for up to three weeks. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to two months. Persimmons are ripe when they turn a dark orange, they will still be fairly firm.

PREP: Prepare ripe persimmons by hulling them (cutting out their top and its attached flesh), slicing, and peeling them—much like you would a tomato. Remove and discard the large black seeds should you encounter them.

USE: Add sliced persimmons to a salad, whip up a smoothie or make a festive persimmon pudding. They are great sliced up and eaten as is, too!

Ginger:

Ginger and wellness go hand in hand. It has been used in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years and is known to help soothe digestive disturbances, alleviate nausea (often used early on in pregnancy), as well as stimulate the circulatory system.

Try it! To make tea, simmer 3/4 teaspoon (0.5 to 1.0 grams) of chopped ginger (you can peel it with a vegetable peeler or paring knife first) in 1 cup of hot water for five minutes in a closed teapot. Feel free to add a little lemon and honey for a winter tonic tea.

Ginger is also great in soup. Pair it with carrots. Fresh ginger, grated or pureed, brings wonderful zest to hot, creamy winter soups. Another great way to enjoy ginger is in stir-fries—almost every stir-fry could use a little grated or even minced ginger to spice things up.

Arugula:

This peppery green is ubiquitous with fresh salads (try it with blue cheese, walnuts and Asian 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. Arugula pesto has its own following too. Store in the refrigerator and use within 3-4 days to prevent from becoming bitter.

 

 

Arugula Salad with Parmigiano Reggiano

This recipe explains how to make a salad that’s on countless Italian restaurant menus. The salad is simple. What makes it so good is the peppery flavor of arugula combined with the nutty, salty flavor of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serves 3.

Ingredients:

 

3 Tbsp lemon juice

4 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

One bunch arugula, washed and chopped

1/2 head leaf lettuce or romaine, washed and chopped into salad-bite sized pieces

1/3 – 1/2 lb. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. In a salad bowl, blend together the lettuce and Arugula.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the lettuce & arugula. Add the grated cheese. Toss lightly and serve.

adapted from recipe by Jennifer Meier

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Love

I think this time of year is a powerful reminder of what was, is, and what can be. All of us find ourselves at different places than we were last year. Some of you have moved and are getting accustomed to new environs, establishing new relationships, and building community. Others have moved back to “home” and are reconnecting, reestablishing old relationships and rebuilding a sense of community.

Some of you are welcoming new family members—a new son in law or daughter in law or maybe a new future prospect for marrying into the family. Others are welcoming new children and introducing them to the wonder and awe that is life and life at Christmas. And a few more of us are welcoming grandchildren to their first Christmas’s.

Like many of you, I find myself experiencing life at warp speed. But one thing that is not lost on me is that I am a year older this Christmas and so are most of the important people who are in my life–except Arlo and Nathan our newest grandsons experiencing Christmas for the first time and joining our other grandchildren Kaden, Hadlee and Grayson. It is going to be a lot of fun around the farm this holiday season.

Joelle and I are in that middle spot. We have grandchildren, and children and older parents. It is a beautiful season in life, but a full one. It makes me think about Grandpa Hank. It has been years since he passed away, but what is forever etched in my memory are his eyes. If there ever was a tinkerer or inventor, it was Grandpa Hank. He built a riding lawnmower that could also be used to split wood and another attachment to mow the hillsides. Good old-fashioned ingenuity!

Funny thing about Grandpa Hank, his great grandson Aaron got the “bug” one day and took two riding lawnmowers and found a way to attach them and make an articulating lawnmower that was steered using pulleys and a winch. In many ways Grandpa Hank still lives and his talents and gifts are passed on, just like each of our talents and gifts will be passed on.

But back to Grandpa Hank’s eyes. As dusk was setting on his earthly life, I would watch his interactions with the family—all those little ones running around, stopping by for a hug or the newest little one landing in his lap. His eyes were always focused and taking in the entire scene. I think he was still a big kid, with an even bigger appreciation for life. The wonder and awe of life was not lost on him.

Love is a gift and is best passed on, but we will have to keep our eyes open to be able to not only share our love, but also to receive love. We can love and be loved because a baby boy born on that Christmas morning first loved us.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and the most blessed of Holiday seasons,

 

Tristan

Farmer, Health Advocate