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Hello New Decade!

This is the time of the year that change seems so possible. For many of us change is going to be absolutely necessary, especially coming off a 5-week dessert binge. And we better get after it, because football parties and Valentine’s day are right around the corner!  

On the brighter side, every day is a new day, and a chance to commit or recommit to a healthy new regime. Exercise, drinking more water, eating more vegetables, Eating less sugar. 

Goals or changes can be broken down into two basic types. There is the “get to” and “have to”. “Get to” are more like increasing a habit you really like. If you like to exercise, adding an extra workout is not a big deal, because you like to exercise. The “have to” goals are when you add exercise, and you rarely, or never, use your treadmill, rowing machine, or gym membership. The “have to” changes are the hardest to start and maintain, but more than likely they are the most important thing you need to work on! 

This comes down to will power. There appears to be a 15-minute reserve of will power. It is not a muscle that you can build up, and that is why it is important to tackle any new “have to” goals one or two at a time. If you add exercise, drinking more water, drinking less sugary drinks, and eating more vegetables to your regime you will definitely be healthier and in relatively short time to boot. Sadly, that will probably give your healthy goals the boot all to soon too. 

If the aforementioned goals were in the “get to” category, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, would we (wink)? We admire people who can train like no tomorrow or are not tempted by dessert, but that doesn’t mean they have more will power, that just means that those areas aren’t triggers. Rest assured, they, too, have their own “have to” goals that are extremely hard for them, they just don’t happen to be the “coveted” exercise or diet related ones. 

The long and the short of all of this is, we all have areas of our lives that need improvement, and most of us have a pretty good idea what areas those are. 

I would like to encourage you to pick one, two at the most, lifestyle change. Lifestyle changes fall into the “have to” category and they are going to require you to say “no” to something and when you say “no” it will drain your will power reserves. The beautiful thing is that once you start to win at that “have to” goal it becomes easier with time and requires less and less of your will power. YEAH! And then you can apply the same technique to another lifestyle change! 

Embrace change and get after that first goal, you know exactly which one to tackle first! 

You got this! 

-Tristan

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Broccolini, Onion, and Potato Soup with Roasted Broccolini

Ingredients:

Soup

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1½ cups broccolini
  • 1 russet potato
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • A few sprinkles ground pepper
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 green onion

Roasted Broccolini

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6-7 stalks broccolini
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • A few sprinkles ground pepper

Instructions: 

  1. Soup: Finely dice the onion into small cubes and chop the garlic into small pieces and put it in a saucepan with a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Turn the heat on medium high (5-6) and sauté the onions and garlic for about 10 minutes, stirring all the time.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the broccolini into small pieces, and peel the potato and cut it in small pieces too. The smaller they are, the faster they’ll cook.
  3. After cooking the onions for 10 minutes, add the broccoli, potatoes, onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, oregano, basil, dill, ginger, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, then add the water, almond milk, wine, extra virgin olive oil and salt.
  4. Stir and cook for about 2 more minutes.
  5. Turn the heat down a notch (4-5) and put the lid on and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop up the green onion into small pieces and a minute before you turn the heat off, add the green onions and stir.
  6. Put everything in a high speed blender and blend until it becomes a thick soup. Add a pinch of herbs (dried oregano, thyme, basil) as garnish and serve with roasted broccolini.
  7. Roasted Broccolini: Preheat oven to 350°F.
  8. Drizzle the olive oil over the broccolini in a small bowl, then add the onion powder, garlic powder, salt and ground pepper.
  9. Massage all the spices and oil thoroughly into the broccolini until everything is evenly coated.
  10. Bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes (may take longer if your oven hasn’t been properly heated up yet).
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Christmas Cheer

This season has been nothing short of a blur. I spent some time rereading some older newsletters. It is like strolling down memory lane. We have been producing this newsletter with a few modifications at best for over two decades. Some of you even have the physical newsletters stored in binders for that long, too.

I know this is true because I ran into a customer the other day and she has been saving them. It serves as reminder to the importance of the written word and fun recipes! I write because I like to write. I love to share – share hope and goodwill to all. I love the message of Christmas and, in some ways, I try to carry the message of hope and goodwill to all throughout the year. For me, every season is a reason to celebrate and make the world a better place. Christmas is an especially amazing season, and so much good is generated.

Think about Giving Tuesday or the myriad of choices to bless those around the globe with clean water, a farm animal, vegetable seeds, health care, education, or a micro loan, etc. We can extend good through our local food banks or serving at shelters for humans or for animals. Each of us has a unique spot to serve those around us and, quite literally, only you know what will impact those in your sphere of influence. 

This last week, someone in our office asked us to participate in loading up a good size Rosemary plant with gift cards for cancer patients. Her thoughtfulness generated over $900 dollars of gift cards for the patients and their families to forget the moment and enjoy a moment. Or another person who orders extra produce to cook up and deliver an extra meal to an inbound friend. The ideas to extend hope and goodwill are limitless.

When I see and/or am able to participate even in the smallest acts of kindness, it reminds me that Christmas is meant to be experienced throughout the year- extending hope and goodwill to all.

If you have a moment, please share an act of kindness that you experienced, participated in, or witnessed. It might be the seed that inspires/encourages another to extend hope and goodwill in a similar way to those in their sphere of influence. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family to yours.

-Tristan Klesick

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Red Cabbage and Leek Soup

Yield: 6 Servings | Prep Time: 25 Minutes | Source: www.soscuisine.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 12 cups red cabbage
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger root, grated
  • 1 pinch salt (optional)
  • Ground pepper to taste (optional)
  • ¼ cup creamy soy preparation for cooking (optional)
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the vegetables: Chop the leek, garlic, and cabbage.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and garlic, then sauté 3-4 min until softened. Grate the ginger and add it to the pan. Stir in the curry and cook 1 min with stirring. Lower to heat, then add the cabbage and cook 10 min with occasional stirring.
  3. Pour in the broth, bring it to a boil, cover and simmer until the cabbage is fully cooked, about 15 min. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Take the pan off the heat, let it cool down a few minutes then purée the soup in a blender or food processor. Adjust the seasoning, then ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with soy preparation and chopped scallions, then serve (warm or at room temperature).
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Roasted Radish and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Yield: 6 Servings | Prep Time: 40 Minutes | Source: www.veggieinspired.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb brussels sprouts (trimmed and halved)
  • 1 lb radishes (trimmed and halved)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp pepper (or to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to combine.
  3. Spread out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are starting to brown and crisp up on the edges.
  5. Serve immediately.
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All Is Well

On Thanksgiving I was pondering family. We had an early meal at 1pm. This Thanksgiving was a little different than most. Joelle and Maleah were in Mexico with our church, building a small house for a family in Mexico. Our church builds 5 or so every year in cooperation with the YWAM base in Ensenada. 

Many hands make light work is certainly true on these mini mission trips. The teams can build, paint, and furnish a home in two days. The homes are more akin to a garage with a bedroom attached but, compared to the pallet or makeshift housing the people are used to, they are perfect, and gratefully received. 

Back at the farm, we pieced together a pretty good Thanksgiving meal. Even though Joelle wasn’t here, her planning was evident. Mind you, I am more than willing to cook up a feast at a moment’s notice, but planning is not my strength. Joelle knows when to start the potatoes, yams, stuffing, squash, etc. I know how to make those, but timing is not my expertise, especially when it comes to multiple dishes at one time.  

I love to cook all the side dishes, but I don’t like to cook turkeys. I made this wonderful Acorn Squash, stuffed with wheat berries, mushrooms, onions, and garlic, with a little lemon and some apples and pomegranate. So good, so good.  

But Joelle knows me like no other, and she organized the desserts, drinks, a few sides, a turkey delivered by Emily and Aaron, cooked and ready for the table at 1pm! And bless her heart, she knew that I would want to cook, so I got to do mash potatoes, that squash dish, stir fried veggies (asparagus, brussels sprouts, and carrots), apple sauce, a green salad, and fresh baked rolls.  

At one moment I was thinking to myself, “if Joelle was here, she would know when to start cooking, and when to start warming.” It all came together beautifully, in large part to my amazing wife and the other talented Klesick cooks! 

That saying about many hands make light work was evident as the crew brought the meal, cleaned up, and boxed up all the leftovers, then it was game time. 

The adult children were at the kitchen table playing a card game and laughing, the grandchildren and younger Klesick children were in the “bonus” room playing and laughing, and I was in the living room, holding the newest Klesick grandson, Bazil, all of 6 weeks old. As I sat there holding another generation, I was struck by how precious life is. In one ear I hear the laughter of my other grandchildren, and in the other ear I hear the hearty laughter of my adult children.  

And there I am, looking at a sleeping little baby, who ties us all together. 4 generations gathered under one roof, laughing, sharing, and living life.  

And 5 hours later, our home was quiet. Thankfully, it won’t be long before the next gathering brings us all together to celebrate and enjoy each other again. 

Tristan                                                                                                                             Farmer/Health Advocate                                                           

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Thanksgiving

This is the foodie holiday of foodie holidays. So much energy is going to be invested with planning, shopping, house cleaning, meal prep, and cooking. A few of you will even have 2 or 3 engagements and you might have to eat turkey TWICE! But before I delve into my plan to eat healthy this Thanksgiving, I wanted to extend a HUGE thank you to our box of good community.  

Over 900 boxes to 12 different food banks donated by our customers this past year. That is incredible. These donations are powerful and convey hope and help the food bank community extend care into many vulnerable populations. 

Thank You – Thank You – Thank You  

Tristan’s plan to eat a successful Thanksgiving Meal  

This week is one of those food “traps” that will be foisted upon Americans. Yep, Thanksgiving, a time to be thankful will be greeted with a barrage of pies, ice cream, jello, lots of gravy, and, and, and. Just the sheer amount of food will be immense, and the selection on most tables will be enough to feed a family for a week.  Most of us are not going to be in control of how much food gets set on the table, but we can control how much food gets put on our plates.  

To be a successful eater at the Thanksgiving table, I would encourage a few Non-Negotiables.   

  • Choose to eat better so you will feel better and not bloated or stuffed. It is a choice.  
  •  Limit snacking and choose the fruit and veggie snacks.
  •  Plan to eat at the main meal, whether that is lunch or dinner for your family, but be reasonable with your portions.
  •  Just one plate, not one plate at a time. Not heaping (wink, wink). Just one plate, it will be enough food.   
  • Remember, dessert will be coming, so pick none or just one. I know this is a hard one, because there will be lots of selection and a sampling will be tough to turn down.

These simple non-negotiables or guidelines will help anyone enjoy family, friends and the Thanksgiving meal with energy and enthusiasm. Imagine feeling full and thankful this Thanksgiving. That’s my goal! 

Tristan                                                                                                                              Farmer/Health Advocate                                                          

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Roasted Acorn Squash Soup

Yield: 4 Servings | Prep Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes | Source: www.asweetpeachef.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 acorn squashes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 granny smith apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried ginger
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 4 cups vegetable stock

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  3. Lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Place squash, cut-side-down, onto baking sheet. Roast in oven for 45-50 minutes, or until flesh is tender and easily pierced. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  4. Once cool, remove flesh from skin by using a spoon and scooping out the flesh. Discard skin and set flesh aside.
  5. In a large, deep pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add carrots, apple, shallot and onions and sauté until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Once tender, add ginger, sage, cayenne, allspice, squash flesh and vegetable stock. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Remove pot from heat and puree mixture, either with an immersion blender (best thing ever), a blender (in batches) or a food processor.
  7. Once pureed, season with any additional salt or pepper to taste. Garnish with thinly sliced red onion or apples, if desired.
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Classic Stuffed Peppers

Yield: 6 Servings | Prep Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes | Source: www.delish.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. uncooked rice
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 bell peppers, tops and cores removed
  • 1 c. shredded Monterey jack
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a small saucepan, prepare rice according to package instructions. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Cook onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 6 minutes. Drain fat.
  2. Return beef mixture to skillet, then stir in cooked rice and diced tomatoes. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Let simmer until liquid has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.
  3. Place peppers cut side-up in a 9″-x-13″ baking dish and drizzle with oil. Spoon beef mixture into each pepper and top with Monterey jack, then cover baking dish with foil.
  4. Bake until peppers are tender, about 35 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is bubbly, 10 minutes more.
  5. Garnish with parsley before serving.
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Only A Few Weeks Left

We have been adding an extra ordering page for the Thanksgiving holiday. We used to routinely include a flyer with every order and then our customers would return it and we make changes, add-ons or vacation skips. It seems that digital communication streamlined most of that communication, but this year we are bringing it back for the next few weeks.  

You can use the form as an actual honest to goodness old fashioned order form. Fill it out and leave it for your driver to pick up on your next delivery. OLD SCHOOL. Or you could fill it out and call us, also OLD SCHOOL. Or you can fill it out and take a picture and EMAIL it to [email protected]’s.com, Not so OLD SCHOOL, or you could take a picture and IM or DM or…. now we are getting techy. You could even go online and just place the order 😊. We are happy to help you get the freshest food for your holiday table, and whichever way works best for you – Have at it! 

We also use this holiday to partner with you to extend a box of good to the less fortunate in our community through our food bank systems. We support 10 food banks with weekly local boxes of good that are donated by you our customers. We call it Neighbors Helping Neighbors, but at Thanksgiving we design a HOLIDAY DONATION box. It is the same box that you are able to order for your thanksgiving meal, but we sell it for $10 less. This is our way of participating in making the holidays a little better for others. 

If you would like to join us as we continue 22 years of donating Holiday Donation boxes, please fill out the form and get it back to us (using one of the methods mentioned above), and we will do the rest. Actually, we will order, assemble, and deliver the freshest organically grown produce to our local community food banks and THE FOOD BANKS WILL EXTEND YOUR KINDNESS TO THOSE LESS FORTUNATE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON. 

I love local solutions to local problems, and together we have made a difference and are making a difference. 

Thank you, 

-Tristan

Thanksgiving Delivery Schedule

Note your new delivery day