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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 6/3/18)

Apricots:

Ripen apricots in a paper bag at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Unripe apricots can be stored at room temperature up to 5 days. Refrigerate ripe apricots in a sealed container up to one week. (Be sure that they are ripened first, as they will not ripen in the refrigerator.)

broccolini

Broccolini:

Broccolini is tender enough to enjoy stems and all. Try tossing chopped broccoli florets with olive oil, salt and seasonings of choice. Bake on a cookie sheet at 450° for about 20 minutes, until edges are crispy, and the stems are tender. For extra flavor, drizzle with lemon juice or top with parmesan cheese. Steaming broccolini, until al-dente is a great non-oil alternative. Broccolini is also great in salad, stir-fry, soup, or raw with your favorite veggie dip.

crimini mushrooms

Crimini Mushrooms:

Great raw on salads but absolutely fabulous when sautéed. There really isn’t a better ingredient around that works just as well in a breakfast, lunch or dinner plate. To sauté, heat oil or butter in a skillet on medium high heat. Clean and slice mushrooms in half inch pieces. When oil is hot add them to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

 

Roasted Yam and Asparagus Lentil Salad (vegan, gluten free)

Hearty and filling, this roasted yam and asparagus lentil salad is great on its own or as a side dish. Lentils add some healthy plant based proteins. Makes 6 servings.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. Yams, cut into quarters

¾ cup lentils

8 oz. bunch of asparagus

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 generous handful chopped spinach or kale

6 sundried tomatoes in oil (roughly chopped)

FOR THE DRESSING:

1 garlic clove, crushed and minced

1/2 tsp of salt

2 tsp wholegrain mustard

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp lemon juice

1 shallot (optional)

2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Instructions:

Toss yams with 3 Tbsp of vegetable oil and place on a tray, in the oven for 40 mins. Assemble dressing ingredients while yams are cooking.

Heat some water in a saucepan. When the water is boiling, add the lentils and cook for 10-15mins until soft (they should still have a bite). When done drain the lentils and set aside in a large salad bowl.

Snap off the tougher ends of the asparagus and discard. Chop the rest of the asparagus in thirds. 10 to 15 mins before the end of the potatoes cooking time, add the asparagus to the oven tray to roast. When all the vegetables are cooked, add them to the lentils. Toss together with the dressing. Leave everything to cool for 5 mins, then add the chopped spinach leaves and sundried tomatoes. Toss again until everything is well mixed together. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Recipe adapted from www.theflexitarian.co.uk

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 11/20/16)

Green Beans:

Who hasn’t eaten green bean casserole for Thanksgiving? My family serves this dish every year. It’s tradition. And, along with that tradition comes a long list of canned and processed ingredients, full of sodium and preservatives. Now, I don’t want to spoil your Thanksgiving, especially if you have that one Aunt who always brings this dish – and it will to start a family feud if you say anything – I would rather you enjoy your time with family and not worry about this one day out of the year. However, if you are the chef, I would highly recommend your opting for fresh, healthier ingredients. It will take (a little) more time to prepare, but honestly, your health is worth it. Besides, it tastes way better! Canned, processed foods just don’t taste good to me anymore. I can feel my body objecting when I eat that food because I am not desensitized to it anymore. Once you rid your body of chemicals your brain can function the way it should, and warn you when you’re eating something that is not compatible with your body. I’m not temped to buy junk anymore, because it just doesn’t look appealing to me. This Thanksgiving, why not change up the traditional dish and use those fresh green beans from your box. While you’re at it, opt for your own homemade sauce instead of that can of mushroom soup. You can even make your own version of the French onions that everyone loves. Try one the recipes I’ve linked here and here:

Broccolini:

I love this miniature broccoli/asparagus (though not actually related to asparagus-it just looks this way)! I tend to prefer it over broccoli because it is so easy to cook and requires little prep. Simply cut off the ends (I like to take a good inch or two because the ends can be chewy), toss in some olive oil or lemon juice and throw in the oven. It’s more delicate than its cousin and requires less cook time. I don’t want to tell you how many times I’ve burned this vegetable. :/ Try baking at 425°F for 10-15 minutes until tender. Or, you can add it to a boiling pot of water and let cook for 2-5 minutes, depending on how tender vs crunchy you want. Add to sautéed garlic or onions (and pine nuts if you have them). You can run your broccolini under cold water to stop the cooking process while sautéing, then heat them up again with the garlic.

Spinach Mix:

Spinach is so great in salad. I enjoy adding apple slivers or dried cranberries to mine but the list is endless when it comes to toppings. Try using thinly sliced red onions, carrots, and apples from this week’s box. For dressing, mix apple cider or balsamic vinegar with olive oil and Dijon to taste.

Spinach isn’t just for salad. It is used in cooking just as often or more often than used fresh. If I have something like this mix in my fridge I’ll find myself adding it to just about anything: scrambled eggs, sandwiches, tacos, wraps, pasta, sautés, or even my smoothies.

This recipe comes with an Asian spin. I’m going to have to try to make their dressing!

Brussels Sprouts:

The first time I ever tasted caramelized Brussels sprouts, I was sold! It was at one of the Klesick dinners and out of all the dishes, it stole the show. I don’t think I’d ever tasted such a decedent vegetable in my life! Here’s how to cook them in the oven (they also caramelize well when sautéed!):

Preheat oven to 425°F. Trim off the bottom(don’t take off too much or they simply fall apart) and outer leaves and slices lengthwise. Toss with olive oil(about a tablespoon), salt, pepper, and mix until coated thoroughly. Roast on a baking sheet until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Now, you can just eat them like this but if you want to make them truly amazing try drizzling with equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a little honey. Mix together and add salt to taste. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving so I can serve this dish!

Delicata Squash:

This is one of my favorite winter squash. For one, because it’s so delicious and two, because it’s so easy to prepare! All you have do is slice it and cook it. You don’t even have to worry about the skins because they are tender enough that you can eat them right along with the flesh. They are also a much easier squash to cut than their larger counterparts so you don’t have to feel like you’re going to skewer yourself trying to slice the thing open. There many ways to cook and use this delicate squash: they can be baked, steamed, grilled or sautéed. They make a great side to almost any dish or can be added to pasta, salad, sauté, or stuffed. You can also add the creamy flesh to soup which makes for a thick smooth texture (and a wonderful nutty flavor!). My sister recently steamed up some delicata and added it with tomato soup as the base for her vegetable soup. It was a match made in heaven! It added a wonderful thick creamy texture and the flavor was fantastic.

A fast and simple way to eat Delicata squash is baked. Cut in half lengthwise, remove seed and cut halves crosswise into ½ inch wedges (or skip this step and leave in halves). Toss/slather in some softened-to-melted butter and about ½ tsp of salt. Spread out on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar. Roast in the oven at 425°F for about 25-30 minutes, tossing once or twice, until browned. The seeds can be roasted as well, the same way you would do pumpkin seeds.

Try this recipe with roasted delicata and red onions for a savorier dish.

Anna – Menu Planner

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Baby Broccolini with Tangerine Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Coarse salt

1 bunch baby broccolini, just the ends of the stems trimmed

Zest of ½ a tangerine (about ½ teaspoon)

1/2 cup fresh Murcott tangerine juice

2 shallots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)

Grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

1.   Bring a large pot of salted (about ½ teaspoon salt) water to a boil. Cook broccolini until just tender (12 to 15 minutes). Drain. Transfer to a serving bowl.

2.   Meanwhile, in a small skillet, combine tangerine juice, shallots, vinegar, and pepper flakes, if using. Simmer over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup (3 to 4 minutes).

3.   Spoon sauce over baby broccoli, add the tangerine zest, toss gently.

4.   Serve and sprinkle with optional grated parmesan cheese.

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Fresh This Week Tips 1.18.11

Broccolini

Actually a cross between a broccoli and a Chinese broccoli (gai-lan/kai-lan).

STORE: Treat Broccolini much like you would broccoli, storing unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

PREP: Wash just before us, trim just the ends off if using stems, or trim stems off completely if using raw.

USE: Like most vegetables, they are best when cooked to just to al dente. They will be bright green and still retain a nice snap, especially in the stems. It’s always better in terms of retaining the nutrients anyway. You can use Broccolini in almost any recipe you’d use broccoli in or gai-lan in, but we feel like it’s a shame to cut them up. They’re long and elegant, making a beautiful presentation whole. Simply roast them with a little olive oil, sliced garlic, and sea salt. They are a fantastic side on any plate.

Photos & Tips from: http://www.foodmayhem.com/2010/06/broccolini.html

Zucchini

STORE: Store zucchini in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer four to five days and do not wash until just before you are ready to use it.

USE: A component of ratatouille, zucchini is also good grilled, roasted, steamed, pan-fried, or raw. It also adds a boost to sweet breads and muffins. Zucchini is so versatile! If you haven’t “tried it all” with zucchini, do something different this week and try a new way of preparing them, just for fun!

Image from flickr.com

Kale

STORE: Keep kale unwashed (moisture speeds decay) in a plastic bag in the coldest section of the refrigerator, usually at the back. Because kale contains a lot of water, it doesn’t last long. Use it within 3 days of purchase for the tastiest results. Kale that has been sitting around can develop a strong bitter flavor.

PREP: If the center stalks are thicker than a pencil, remove and discard them before cooking.

USE: Kale is delicious sautéed, in soups, or prepared any way you’d cook spinach.

Image from flickr.com