This week’s recipe was created and submitted by our very own Susan O’Connor, in Everett. Despite not being fond of zucchini or pear, there she was with both in her Box of Good. Combining her creative juices and some orange juice for the dressing, she whipped up this delicious mixture of colors, perfectly balancing the tension between salad items and fruit items. I tested it out on my in-laws last week (always a risky move!), but it was an immediate hit. The dressing really completes the whole thing.
Simply prep all your ingredients and toss them with the dressing/spices in a large bowl. Toss and mix very well since this will help to distribute the flavors and infuse the chard with flavor.
You can serve right away or chill in the fridge for up to 12 hours in advance before serving. Any longer and your chard will begin to get a bit soft. Serve raw and chilled. Top it! For the “star” tree topper, simply toast any slice of bread and using either your knife (free-hand) or a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out a toast star to top the tree salad.
2 LB sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾” pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup snipped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped green onions
¼ cup snipped fresh rosemary
⅓ cup pomegranate arils
In a medium saucepan combine the water and barley. Bring to a boil. Stir in wild rice; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 40 minutes or until tender. Drain off any excess water.
Meanwhile, place a 15×10-inch baking pan in oven. Preheat oven to 450°F.
In a large bowl combine sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, ½ tablespoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Carefully spread potatoes in heated pan. Roast 25 minutes or until tender and brown, stirring once after 10 minutes.
In a serving dish combine wild rice mixture, sweet potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add parsley, green onions and rosemary; toss to combine. Sprinkle with pomegranate arils.
To make the quinoa, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the green onions (the oil might splatter!) and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the dark green parts wilt but do not turn brown, about 2 minutes. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grains start to crackle and turn dry, about 3 minutes. Add the water, the currants, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, finely grate the zest of the lemon until you have 1 teaspoonful, and then squeeze the lemon until you have 2 tablespoons juice.
To finish, remove the pan from the heat. Stir the zucchini, lemon juice and zest, 2 tablespoons of the sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons of the dill, and the pepper into the quinoa. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes.
Transfer the quinoa to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons each of sesame seeds and dill, and serve.
“Christmas Coronary.” It sounds festive, doesn’t it? Like something you’d hear in a holiday movie. Unfortunately … no. The term was coined by doctors who noticed a disturbing pattern: Heart attacks and heart-related problems peaking every year over the winter holiday season — specifically on Christmas, the day after Christmas and on New Year’s Day. Of course, health emergencies at this time of year seem to stick out more in our minds — the dad who had a heart attack just after the family dinner or the grandfather who experienced severe chest pain after shoveling snow. But it’s more than just anecdotal. Studies show that the number of heart attacks increases by over 30% in the winter. This number holds true for all ages (young people can manifest as having dangerous heart rhythms) and genders.
What’s behind this increase? These six stressors specifically surrounding the holidays put us at greater risk:
Cold temperatures. Cold weather causes your blood vessels to constrict in your arms and legs, making your heart work harder. It can also cause the blood vessels to your heart to spasm, temporarily depriving the heart of oxygen.
Overexertion. Even those who are sedentary during the rest of the year may increase their physical activity over the holidays — shoveling snow, trudging through snowdrifts or going sledding with the kids. Suddenly becoming active in the cold weather causes a spike in demand on your heart. In addition, the mere act of lifting a heavy snow shovel increases your blood pressure, which makes someone with heart disease even more at risk of having a heart attack.
Nonstop food feasts.A study from Switzerland showed that in the winter, people had higher blood pressure and cholesterol — the very factors that drive a heart attack.
What to do: I know—the parties, family gatherings and treats are half the fun! And we all need a little fun. You can still enjoy the festivities, albeit with some caveats. Give yourself some boundaries—for example, you’ll only eat two pieces of mom’s special fudge or one piece of apple pie. Or maybe you’ll allow yourself to indulge at one party, but not the other. I try to keep my nutrition in check on weekdays and then allow myself to cheat a little on the weekend. That works for me, but everyone is different so try some strategies to see what works for you.
Alcohol. Holiday spirits can lead to “Holiday Heart Syndrome” if you’re not careful. I remember last holiday season taking care of a 34-year-old guy who had come home for the holidays, gone out with his friends and noticed that his heart was suddenly racing. His heart rate was 180 when EMS brought him in. It took hydration and medications to stabilize his heart rate.
Ignoring symptoms. It’s a common excuse: “All the family is here right now” or “I don’t want to spend Christmas Eve in the ER” or “I have 30 guests coming this evening.” Health problems never come at convenient times, and the holidays make those surprises seem even more inconvenient.
Catching a bug.‘Tisthe season for gifts, family — and the flu. A disease like the flu can put excess pressure on your heart — especially if you already have heart problems — increasing the risk of a heart attack.
With a little extra caution, you can enjoy the holidays while staying your healthiest.
May you keep the holiday spirit in your heart year ‘round, avoid “Holiday Heart Syndrome” and always and forever remain young at heart.
This week we are featuring Delicata Squash and, oh what a crop we have had! This might have been one of the top two or three growing seasons!
I love that…by just eating fruits and vegetables our bodies can get an incredible amount of nutrition and phytochemicals. Delicata and all winter squash are nutritional powerhouses! Low in Calories, low on the Glycemic Index and high in everything important. If Americans would just commit to getting enough daily fiber in their diets from plants, we would avert the looming health crisis of diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, cancer, obesity. Just using the goal of 30grams of fiber a day you would also tap into a plethora of phytochemicals, minerals, and vitamins that also nourish and heal our bodies.
Just look at the nutritional profile for winter squash and this is only 1 cup and only 1 item in your box of good this week. Organic fruits and vegetables are super foods, super healthy and super tasty!
Your Farmer and Health Advocate
DELICATA, APPLE AND GREENS SALAD
1 delicata squash, seeds removed and cut into chunks (½”x1”)
2 small apples, largely diced
1 carrot, grated
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or ½ tsp dried thyme ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups of Lettuce, Spinach, Cabbage or Kale or a mix of all them
The juice of 1 lemon
3 Tablespoons tahini
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup pomegranate seeds
1 avocado, diced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Add cut delicata squash and apple to baking tray (optional – line a large baking dish with parchment paper) and drizzle with Olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, and nutmeg. Use your hands to fully coat squash and apples. Roast for 20 minutes or easily pierced with a knife/fork.
While delicata and apple are roasting, combine lemon juice, tahini, olive oil and maple syrup together. Drizzle the mixture on the salad ingredients (lettuce, cabbage, kales, spinach, carrot, etc) in a large bowl.
Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste. Use your hands to gently work in the liquids into salad mix for a minute or two – a little less for lettuce and a litt
le more for kale and cabbage.
Add pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, and diced avocado to the salad mix. Top with roasted apple and delicata squash and mix once more. Enjoy!
This week we are rolling out some new features that will make shopping with Klesick’s even easier! The primary change is a new reminder email that lets you know what’s coming your way, and also incorporates the option to add to or change your order quickly. Tuesday and Wednesday customers will get the email reminder on Friday’s and will have till Monday Morning at 8am to make changes to your order. Our Thursday, Friday and Saturday customers will receive the same email on Monday Mornings. I am really excited about this new benefit that will make it even easier to eat heathier. Below is a copy of the email that was sent to each of you this week, explaining the changes.
Life is so busy and especially for working families, but no matter what season of life you find yourself in, life can be busy. This week we are introducing a new email/order page that will serve as, both, a reminder about your next order and what’s in it as well as my favorite additional picks for the week. As I talk with other farmers and suppliers, I wanted a way to highlight just a few more produce or grocery items that can be easily added to your deliveries. I think this email will make it even easier to eat healthy!
You will notice that your next order is listed first and then a list of “Tristan’s top picks for the week” follows. The beautiful thing about this list is that it is super easy to add items from this list that are in season and super healthy. And when you choose to add them to your order, the items you pick will only be added to your next delivery and then drop off. Your standing order will remain unchanged. And then when your next delivery is scheduled you will receive another email reminder with my top picks for that week. Of course, you can add any item to arrive weekly or every other week, but for “Tristan’s Top Picks” these will be added to your next delivery only.
Pesto anyone! This week we are featuring beautiful Bulk Basil from Blue Heron Farms in Concrete and you can use our new shopping concept to add the basil to next week’s order.
I am so excited about this change. Making eating healthier simpler and more convenient, what’s not to love about that. I am also excited about the new section “Tristan’s Top Picks for the Week”. The farming and fresh fruits and vegetable world is dynamic and always changing and this section will be devoted to highlighting the seasonal nature of the produce world.
Another change we are going to be devoting space to our newsletter that highlights the phytochemicals and plant compounds that are unique to produce, and this week we are featuring Green Cabbage.
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 40 mins | Servings: 8-10
This soup/stew can be made ahead of time and frozen (or freeze leftovers). In fact, it originally was made just for that purpose. Make it with or without the meat, switch out the beef broth for vegetable broth and it’s vegan! Hearty and super easy. A crowd pleaser on cold nights. You can find the blog post at https://gooddinnermom.com/cabbage-soup
1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
1 cup celery ribs and leaves, chopped
1 pound ground beef
2 15- ounce cans kidney beans, not drained
3 cups chopped or shredded cabbage
3 cups beef broth
2 15- ounce cans stewed tomatoes, not drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh parsley or chives for garnish, optional
In a dutch-oven, add the olive oil and butter and heat to medium until butter has melted. Add onions and celery and begin to cook while you break up the ground beef. You can just break it up in the pot or roll it into small, loose meatballs before adding. Cook the onion, celery and beef mixture over medium heat until the beef just starts to cook on the outside.
Stir in the undrained kidney beans, cabbage, stewed tomatoes and all the seasonings. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer at least 30 minutes but up to 1 hour, until the cabbage has softened and the broth has thickened.
Sprinkle individual servings with fresh parsley or chives, if desired.
Serve immediately or if wanting to freeze the soup, allow the soup to cool and then place in freezer-safe containers or gallon freezer bag.
To reheat from frozen: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Reheat to slow boil. Serve!
STORE: ripe pluots in the refrigerator for up to three days.
PREP: If stored in the refrigerator, remove your pluots before eating and let them return to room temperature. They taste much better this way. Rinse and leave whole, slice into wedges or cut into chunks.
USE: These sweet Dapple Dandy Pluots can be eaten out of hand, as a fresh topping for yogurt, dehydrated into dried pluots or made into jam. You can also experiment by substituting them for plums in recipes (after all, they are the delicious hybrid of the plum x apricot).
Containing unique antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and protect against several diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, cauliflower is also very easy to add your diet. It’s tasty, easy to prepare and can replace high-carb foods in recipes. Cauliflower can be chopped up and added to salad or soup, roasted in the oven, tossed in a stir fry, boiled and pureed as a stand-in for mashed potatoes or to make a creamy soup, baked into a pizza crust as a flourless alternative, or simply eaten raw. You don’t even have to cut it up. Try baking it whole by simply cutting off the leaves and stem so it can sit upright, baste in olive oil, salt and spices of your choice, and bake on a cookie sheet or cast iron skillet at 450° for about 45-60 minutes or until a knife can be inserted easily. Because of its mild flavor, cauliflower goes well in spicy dishes or curries as it soaks up all the other flavors
Larger globe eggplants should be peeled and salted before cooking. To peel, use a small knife or peeler and cut off the skin in stripes, leaving some of the peel still intact to help hold its shape when cooking. Then cut into slices or cubes. The most important step is to “sweat” the eggplant. This helps in getting the best flavor and consistency (helps it not be bitter). Do this by tossing in a generous amount of salt and leaving in a colander for about an hour, then squeeze dry. Rinse well under cold water and completely dry by squeezing them between a towel. To cook you can grill, bake or sauté.
Featured Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Roasted Eggplant, Caramelized Onion, and Pine Nuts
The eggplant soaks up lots of flavor from the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and the caramelized onions add a touch of sweetness. Toss it all together with chewy quinoa and you’ve got a satisfying whole-grain salad to enjoy!
Serves 4 to 6
For the quinoa:
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, or about 3 cups cooked
1 bay leaf
1 dried red chile pepper, optional
1 teaspoon minced hot green chile such as serrano, optional
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced (less than 1/4 inch)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup loosely packed torn fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425°F.
To prepare the quinoa, add the water, quinoa, bay leaf, and dried chile to a 2-quart heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the grain is tender with a slight chew, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and chile, drain if needed, and transfer to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the minced chile, Aleppo pepper, and dried mint and toss to combine.
Meanwhile, to make the salad, place the eggplant and the onion on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, sprinkle with the salt, and combine well, using your hands. If you don’t mind the extra dish, it’s a bit easier to toss everything in a large bowl.
Roast the mixture until the eggplant pieces have softened and are browned in spots, and the onion slices have caramelized, turning them once with a spatula in between, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and immediately sprinkle the vegetables with 1/4 cup of the fresh mint and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the vinegar. Toss well with a spatula — this will soften the mint leaves and take the sting out of the vinegar.
To finish, add the warm eggplant mixture to the quinoa. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar and toss to combine. Season with salt and vinegar to taste. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup mint and the pine nuts and serve.
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. See healthline.com for more nutrition information on Apples!
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.
You’ve no doubt seen frisée before, perhaps without realizing it, tucked away inside a mesclun baby greens mix. Also called curly endive, the curly, pale green leaves are frizzy in appearance. 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 bits, or top with a poached or fried egg.
Featured Recipe: Farmer’s Market Salad
This dish combines all of those wonderful summer veggies with a creamy, yet light, dressing that is full of flavor. This version has cooked chicken, but this salad can certainly be served on its own. Likewise, feel free to swap in your favorite vegan dressing if dairy isn’t in your diet. Serves 3-4.
2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded or sliced, this would be 3/4 uncooked boneless chicken breast
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup soy-free mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
If you are starting with uncooked boneless chicken breast, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Brush the chicken with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and roast for 15-20 minutes until cooked though. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees.
Let cool and either slice into thin strips or shred with a fork.
In a large bowl combine the summer squash, bell pepper, tomatoes, frisée, green onions, corn, cucumber, and shredded chicken.
In a small bowl combine the buttermilk, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the salad. Combine well. Serve at once.