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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

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Time To Plan

Isn’t it hard to believe that it’s already time to be planning for Thanksgiving? Those of us in the farming and food business have already been planning for this major food holiday, but now it is time to share with you what we are “cooking up” on our end for deliveries. 

Delivery Schedules: 

For the week of Thanksgiving, all deliveries will be happening Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Which means if your normal delivery day is Thursday, Friday or Saturday, your order Thanksgiving week will be before the Holiday. Don’t worry about it now, we will email and communicate the delivery changes well in advance. 

Holiday boxes:  

For the Last 20 years we have been helping families with their Thanksgiving meal planning. This year will be no different, except, we have two ways to order your Thanksgiving items. 

1. You can either order the Holiday Box (with my regular order) or the Holiday Box (replacing my regular order). Either way, the Holiday Box is the same box. But, inevitably, Alaina and the Klesick’s team will be thinking about Holiday box orders that also have your regular boxes still being ordered. Many of you intend to order a holiday box and your regular order and, conversely, many of you intend to only order a holiday box but forget to move your current order out a week. This change in how you order the Holiday Boxes will make it easier on our Klesick’s team to get your order perfect and make sure you get exactly what you ordered. 

2. The Holiday Boxes are available for the weeks of November 11th, 18th, 25th, and December 1st. The Holiday box is a popular box all month. 

3. You can also send a Holiday Donation Box to one of our 10 food banks that we partner with weekly and make this Holiday Season even more nutritious for a family in need. For each donation box purchased, we send out end of year tax receipts. 

4. And as usual, you can order all your Thanksgiving ingredients “a la carte“. 

5. The Holiday Box menu and prices are available below.   

Thank you,

-Tristan 

Farmer/Health Advocate 

Holiday Box Menu:

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Roasted Beet &Citrus Salad

Yield: 6 Servings | Prep Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes | Source: www.healthy-delicious.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound beets
  • 6 cups arugula
  • 2 oranges, segmented
  • 1/4 small red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Heat your oven to 450ºF.
  2. Line a baking dish with foil. Add the beets (trim off any leafy greens), then cover tightly with more foil. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the beets can be easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Let the beets cool to the touch, then peel and cut into a large dice. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Arrange the arugula over a large serving platter. Top with the beets and oranges.
  5. In a measuring cup, combine the onion, oil, vinegar, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
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Kitchen Talk

Joelle and I have a rhythm to our cooking. I love to make food and then she loves to make it taste great! She could never work at Panera or IHOP, where the only ingredients seem to be sodium and sugar.  Joelle has a unique ability to discern what is missing, and how much to add or not. I, on the other hand, tend towards lots of veggies and texture and then leave the final pass to Joelle. 

Speaking of the “Pass,” I have been watching the Netflix show called The Chef’s Line. In this series, there are 4 home cooks who cook against a restaurant’s team of chefs.  Each series features a different culture, and the home cooks are either from that culture, or love to cook that cultures food. I don’t have a significant amount of time to watch shows, but these 22-minute episodes are a nice break to decompress and get inspired at the same time. 

I would never qualify as a home cook on this show, because I love to cook all the cultures from Indian, to Italian, to Vegan (smile), to Mexican. It sort of belies the fact that American cuisine is truly a melting pot of cultures and flavors and, well…there really isn’t any one thing that I gravitate towards. I just love to cook them all and eat it. 

I do gravitate towards simple cooking, and I usually make 6 to 9 loaves of sourdough bread a week. I recently added flour tortillas to my rotation (I hate all that plastic that comes with purchasing flour tortillas). I love to bake sourdough bread. It is an unsophisticated art, where the results vary, and the outcome is always devoured. Last night, I set out my starter and fed it. Then, at 5am, I mix 200 grams of starter with 1000 grams of water and 1200 grams of flour, mix all of them together, let it set for 30 minutes, add 24 grams of salt and mix again. 

Flour is where I do become a local-vore. At our farm we sell Cairnspring Flours, and I exclusively bake with all local flours from Skagit county. I want to see local flours with regional integrity and flavors make a comeback. Cairnspring Mills is the connection to incredible flavor, and locally sourced nutrition. 

But I digress. After shaping bread and heading off to a Volleyball match in Snohomish, I called ahead on our way home and asked Joelle to heat up the oven to 450 degrees so I could bake off a loaf. And, much to my surprise and delight, our evening fire had burned down to coals, and the upper bake oven was at 475 degrees. That is a perfect temperature to bake bread, so I slid another loaf into the fireplace oven and will be taking them out at about the time I finish this newsletter, 45 minutes later. 

Tonight’s bread will truly embody the definition of hearth baked bread! And, as a side benefit, since all the kiddos are off to bed, the bread has a chance to cool down and last longer than 25 minutes before it is devoured! Okay, as much as I want the bread to last a little longer, it is satisfying when your family is eagerly waiting for several slices of fresh, out of the oven, baked bread!  

Time to go! The timer is beeping! 

-Tristan

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Sweet & Spicy Roasted Squash

Prep Time: 35 Minutes | Source: www.fitmittenkitchen.com

 Ingredients:

  • 2 small carnival squash
  • coconut oil (or avocado, olive)
  • coconut sugar (or brown)
  • cayenne pepper
  • ground cinnamon
  • all spice
  • cashew or almond butter drizzle (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and grease a medium baking sheet with oil. Set aside.
  2. Cut tops and bottom off of squash and slice into rings. Cut out center of each ring to remove seeds. –If your squash is really hard to cut, allow to soften in preheating oven for about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Place rings on greased baking sheet and drizzle with oil, about 1-2 tablespoons. Lightly sprinkle on cayenne pepper (to taste), ground cinnamon, all spice and coconut sugar (about 1/2 tablespoon or so). Use hands to rub everything in and make sure squash is evenly coated.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes before checking and gently flipping over. Sprinkle with more seasoning and sugar if you wish, bake for another 10-20 minutes until soft.
  5. Allow squash to rest/cool on pan before serving. Drizzle with cashew or almond butter if your heart desires. Enjoy!
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I Spoke Too Soon

I should have known that as soon as I mention the word “Flood” last week in my newsletter, we would get a little teaser of what might happen. As of writing this newsletter, the forecasted rain event will cause the rivers to elevate, but not reach flood stage. And to NOAA and the National Weather Service’s credit they have been fairly accurate on their projections.

If it does flood, we will be updating our Instagram and Facebook pages as it unfolds. For me, boring is beautiful! My kids, on the other hand, love it when it floods! Something about no school and watching the river come over the banks. Mind you, we live in a part of the valley where the water rises slowly and, thankfully for us, our home is on a higher piece of ground. 

Let’s switch topics!

This week we are featuring a few items from 3 of my close farming friends. Anne at Blue Heron Farms in Concrete is supplying mustard greens. These will be a mustard mix that will be excellent in soup or stir fry. The beautiful thing about greens is, if you love them, you can’t get enough, and if they aren’t your favorite, adding them to soup helps them disappear, literally, because greens cook down quite a bit. 

We are also buying a Carrots and Green cabbage from Ralph’s Greenhouse. I have been working with Ralph’s Greenhouse for two decades. All of their produce is incredible, and we love to share their bounty with you.

The other farmer isn’t so local, but I have been buying Benzler grapes for just as long as I have been in business. Thomas and his family have been farming for 3 generations, and the fourth is on their way. It is interesting, when you talk with multigenerational farmers, how there is a deep sense of a need to pass on the farm. This week we will be featuring their red grapes and soon it will be their Navel oranges. 

Farming is about feeding people and caring for the land. I have been blessed for the better part of 25 years to be able to grow food, but also connect you to the bounty of others who are just as committed to healthy food as I am!

I am really excited to try the cabbage recipe this week. Roasted veggies are my favorite!

-Tristan

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Mustard Greens

Yield: 4 Servings | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Source: www.simplyrecipes.com

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-pound mustard greens, washed and torn into large pieces
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chicken broth or vegetable broth (vegetarian option)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil

Instructions:

  1. In a large sauté pan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant.
  2. Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted.
  3. Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.
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Roasted Cabbage

Yield: 4 Servings | Prep Time: 40 Minutes | Source: www.allrecipes.com

 Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 pinch garlic powder, or to taste
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 lemons, halved

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Brush both sides of each cabbage wedge with olive oil. Sprinkle garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper over each wedge. Arrange wedges on a baking sheet.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes; flip cabbage and continue roasting until browned and charred in some areas, about 15 minutes more. Squeeze lemon over each wedge.
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Braised Zucchini with Sun Gold Tomatoes & Basil

Yield: 2 Servings | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Source: www.farmhousedelivery.com

 Ingredients:

  • 4 zucchini, washed and sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 c. sun gold cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 small bunch basil, torn or cut into large pieces

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet with high sides or braising pan.  
  2. When it shimmers, add zucchini and cook quickly until browned.  Remove to a bowl and set aside.  
  3. Add a little more olive oil to pan and add garlic. Sauté briefly, 30 seconds-1 minute, then add cherry tomatoes.  
  4. When tomatoes begin to soften and release juices, add zucchini back to pan, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.  
  5. Add basil, toss again, and serve hot or at room temperature.