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Chicken & Pasta with Marinara Sauce and Garlic Green Beans

Ingredients:

For the Pasta:

  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes (optional)
  • 5-8 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 8 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 1⁄8 cup parmesan cheese

For the Green Beans:

  • 1-pound fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped in half
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pinches lemon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions:

For the Pasta:

  1. In large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until it is hot but not smoking.
  2. Add the garlic and onions; sauté until golden– about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add spices and chicken chunks; cook through–about 10 minutes.
  4. Add diced Roma tomatoes to chicken/Marinara sauce.
  5. Simmer while cooking pasta according to package directions.
  6. Toss Marinara sauce gently with cooked pasta; serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
  7. Divide (1/2 cup) between the squash, top with parmesan cheese and bake 10 minutes.

For the Green Beans:

  1. Place green beans into a large skillet and cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beans start to soften, about 5 minutes. Drain water. Add olive oil to green beans; cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Cook and stir garlic with green beans until garlic is tender and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with lemon pepper and salt.
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Servings

How many servings of fruit and vegetables should we eat? Can we group potatoes and sweet potatoes in the vegetable category? I hope so because this is potato Salad week! Grilling and potato salad are going to be highlights for the 4th, and of course, no end to fireworks, especially for rural folk.  

We have just added USDA grass-fed hamburger to our meat offering, joining Sockeye salmon, chicken, tuna and cod. While the grill is still hot, toss on some Walla Walla sweets, zucchini, and red peppers. You can even sear some romaine hearts.  

And now the summer fruit is starting to show up on the menus. Watermelon, nectarines, cherries, berries, grapes… When the seasons change and the different crops make their annual appearance, I get excited. The flavors, the smells, the lack of dishes to wash. Ok the lack of dishes to wash has more to do with being outside and eating more raw foods.  

Nothing like biting into a nectarine or peach and having to take a quick step back because the juice is pouring down your chin 😊. Oh my! The Black splendor plums right now are really good. 

I know some of you are thinking Salsa and Avocados for chips and dips. Salsa and Avocados will definitely, get the recommended fruit and veggie servings moving in the right direction.  Eating healthy, feeding your bodies with good food is more than doable. The challenge is training ourselves to say “yes” to more fruits and veggies, and learning to leave the packaged foods at the grocery store or at Amazon. Easier said than done.  

Our mission from day one: work with local organic farmers and other organic farmers to make eating healthy easier. Connecting the local consumer to the growers. It was important 21 years ago, and I would like to think that it is still important today. 

Enjoy the 4th and enjoy some really good food. 

Be safe, 

-Tristan

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Mango-Tomato Salsa

Yield: 4 Servings | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Source: www.foodandwine.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 roma (or beefsteak) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large mango, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 serrano (or jalapeno) chile, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  • In a bowl, toss together the tomato, mango, onion, chile, cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Season to taste and serve.
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Mango Avocado Spring Rolls

Yield: 8 Servings | Prep Time: 40 minutes | Source: www.101cookbooks.com

Ingredients:

For the Spring Rolls:

  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup cubed avocado
  • 1/3 cup chives thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium mango, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups lettuce (Chopped)
  • Thinly sliced/diced cucumber (For extra crunch!)
  • 2-3 carrots cut into thin matchsticks
  • 8 round rice paper wrappers (8 inches)

For the Sauce:

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium jalapeno (or serrano) chili, deseeded and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 small bunch of scallions, thinly sliced (~8 scallions)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 14-ounce can of coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste

Instructions:

For the Sauce:

  1. In a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic and chili into a paste along with the salt. Alternately, you can use a food processor or blender. Add the oil and the scallions, and smash or chop a bit more. Add the cilantro, pulsing the food processor/blender (if you’re using it) just a few times.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a jar or bowl, and whisk in the coconut milk, then the lemon juice. Taste, and adjust with more salt or lemon juice if needed. Store in a refrigerator for up to a week.

For the Spring Rolls:

  1. Fill a large shallow dish partway with water. Dip a rice paper wrapper into water just until pliable, about 45 seconds (do not soften completely); allow excess water to drip off.
  2. Place wrapper on a flat surface. Place sauce, cucumber, mango, pepper, avocado and lettuce across bottom third of wrapper. Fold in both ends of wrapper; fold bottom side over filling, then roll up tightly. Place on a serving plate, seam side down. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.
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Intense

Last week we had a good “drink” of water from Heaven and that evening we were treated to an intensely rich pink sunset. This world is a beautiful place if we take the time to be still. There is so much to see all around us, so much intricacy, delicacy, and grace. We are blessed.

I have been working with nature for what seems a lifetime, but it wasn’t until I began my organic journey that I realized how small I am in relation to the micro and macro ecosystems I inhabit.

Take the rain we were blessed with last week. We haven’t had meaningful water for a few weeks, but we didn’t have a lot of high temperatures either. When the rain comes, the plants are built to receive it, maximize it, and use it. Plants are amazing collectors of water. A lettuce plant will funnel untold amounts of water into its base and hydrate it leaves and roots, then it will trap the moisture under its canopy and hang on to it to extend its benefit.

The Pea plants are incredible. Their waxy leaves and tendrils shed water almost immediately and almost all of it makes it way to the roots. And as most of you can attest, Klesick Farm peas are especially sweet!

Rain can come at a bad time, too. Thankfully this spring was just hot enough, dry enough, and wet enough to not have a negative impact on our early crops. Even our Strawberries have “weathered” the weather fairly well. For sure they would have appreciated a little more heat, but then the peas and lettuce would have been a little less happy.

Have you ever noticed that the birds are always noisiest in early morning? At 5 a.m. this farm is anything but quiet. I believe that is by design, and I believe that the birds’ chirping is music to the “ears” of the plants. It is almost as if when the birds sing, the plant opens its stomata and takes in the dew that has collected all evening. And when the birds go quiet for the day, the plant closes its stomata and traps in the nutrients and moisture to tide itself till the evening. This also coincides with the sunrise, which the plant also uses as a signal to open its stomata. 

Knowing this, we spray a foliar kelp and micronutrient mix in the early mornings or late evenings and, when the plant opens up its stomata, we “bless” it with extra nutrition. When I refer to working with nature, this is one way that we do that.

The balancing act as a farmer can be dicey, especially on a mixed vegetable operation as ours. We have a good start with a few mishaps, but no more than usual, and what we have harvested has been beautiful on the outside and inside. And for me, as a farmer, the real joy comes from feeding your family and my family produce that is, yes beautiful, but most importantly produce that is brimming with flavor and nutrition. 

-Tristan

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Sugar Snap Peas

This is the best tasting crop, and it only lasts for only a few weeks! And we got them earlier than ever to boot! That incredible stretch in March is paying dividends now.  

For some reason, I remember picking peas on June 11th in 1999 when our farm was located in Machias. That is the earliest we have ever harvested this variety. We have tried to have peas for the box of good this early every year, but so much has to go “right” to get an early crop off and this year a dry March, wet April, and hot May was the right mix of weather. Go figure??!?!?!!? But this year, it happened!  

So, it will be Klesick Farm pea season for the next few weeks. You can order extra’s as well. If you love sweet, plump and juicy peas, now is the time to treat yourself! 

-Tristan

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Tacos!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

For the Meat:

  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion (Diced)
  • 1 TBSP Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¾ tsp. Cumin
  • ½ tsp. Dried Oregano
  • ¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Onion Powder
  • ¼ Cup Tomato Paste
  • ¼ Cup Water

Toppings:

  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Radishes
  • Chives
  • Lime
  • Cilantro
  • Tortillas (Corn or Flower)
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Salsa
  • Avocado
  • Sour Cream
  • Cooked Rice (Optional)
  • Beans (Optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook the ground beef fully, drain grease, then add ¼ cup tomato paste and all taco seasonings.
  2. Add in diced onion.
  3. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add to hard or soft shell and add the toppings (plus any more you may like)!
  5. Finish with some chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
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Braised Greens with Tomatoes

Yield: 6 Servings | PrepTime: 30 minutes | Source: www.foodandwine.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large jalapeño, seeded and sliced
  • 2 pounds sturdy greens, such as chard, mustard greens, kale or young collards—stems and inner ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • Any other veggies that catch your eye!
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1-pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Walnuts (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and any other vegetables you might want to use and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the greens, season with salt and pepper and toss to wilt. Stir in the tomatoes, water and vinegar, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, and the tomatoes are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, garnish with chopped walnuts, and serve.
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Soil

Soil is critical to human health! Healthy food comes from healthy soils, and a healthy citizenry comes from healthy food. That means the health of our citizens is tied directly back to the health of our soil. 

And sadly, one doesn’t have to look very far from the farm to see that there is a burgeoning population of unhealthy folks today. In addition, any healthy food that is being grown is converted into a myriad of processed products which, I would contend, have substantially lowered the quality of food. 

And, sadly, sugar, fat, and alcohol are all the rage in the food scene, organic or otherwise. It is called “value added,” but overly processed foods, organic or otherwise, are not the solution to America’s health crisis. 

I am a huge fan of veggies and fruit staying as close to their original, recognizable self as possible. Eating foods grown in soils that are minimally processed is the only viable solution to curb America’s health crisis. Will eating more fruits and veggies, solve every disease problem? NO. But clearly the Standard American Diet (SAD) isn’t curbing anything either and, if anything, it is making us worse off. 

Almost all the treatment is just that, it is focused on treating the ailment instead of changing the underlying cause – poor nutrition. The hard part is that we need to attack these illnesses from a dietary perspective and treat the condition to provide some relief. Eventually, if our food policy could switch to more fruit and veggies and less of the current food system, there would be less need for the expensive and intrusive procedures we default to today. But for now, we mostly have a “treat the condition” model.  

I know that there are educational advocates and government programs encouraging the American population to eat a more balanced diet, all things in moderation. This is America, of course they are going to say that. Our political system guarantees us a diet that can never be healthy, because of lobbyist groups.  

So, the only choice we have to remain healthy or be healthier is to make the choice ourselves. At least for the moment we don’t have to buy “their” food, we can take charge of our health. It is at the fork or spoon where healthy food enters our bodies and, if we put good food on that fork or spoon, our bodies will absolutely put it to healing, nourishing, and cell-building work. 

For 21 years, Klesick Farms has been growing, sourcing, and delivering food that your body will be able to put to good use to nourish itself.  

Thanks for allowing our family to serve yours, 

-Tristan

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Tomato Cucumber and Spinach Salad with Avocado Parsley Dressing

Yield: 2 Servings | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Source: www.cookinglsl.com

Ingredients:

  •  For the dressing:
  •  1 large avocado peeled and cored
  •  1/4 cup parsley
  •  1-2 tbsp chopped dill
  •  1 garlic clove
  •  juice from 1/2 lemon
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  •  black pepper to taste
  •  pinch of cayenne pepper
  •  For the salad:
  •  2 cups baby spinach washed
  •  2 cups chopped tomatoes 
  •  8 mini cucumbers sliced
  •  chopped parsley for garnishing


Instructions:

  1. Place spinach, tomatoes and cucumbers in a bowl.
  2. Add avocado, lemon juice, parsley, dill, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to a blender. Pulse a few times. Slowly add water and pulse to thin the dressing. Pour over the salad. Store dressing in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.