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How to Eat Your Box! (Week of 8/19/18)

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.

Frisée

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.

Ingredients:

2 medium (about 1 lb.) summer squashes (zucchini, yellow crookneck), sliced thin

1 bell pepper, sliced

2 cups tomatoes cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups frisée, chopped

½ cup green onions, sliced

1 ear fresh corn, off the cob or 1 cup

6” length of cucumber, sliced

2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded or sliced, this would be 3/4 uncooked boneless chicken breast

DRESSING:

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

Instructions:

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.

 

Recipe adapted from anothertablespoon.com

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Spaghetti with Frisée, Oil and Garlic

Spaghetti with Frisée, Oil and Garlic

A fresh take on spaghetti dinner. We add the frisée at the end so that it just wilts as there’s no need to overcook it. Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Kosher salt, to taste, plus 1 teaspoon

1 pound spaghetti pasta

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pinch red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 lemon, zested, optional

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, optional

¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 bunch Frisée loosely chopped

Directions

Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil over high heat, then salt it generously. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally until al dente, tender but not mushy, about 8 minutes.

While the pasta cooks, combine the garlic, olive oil, the 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes in a large skillet and warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic softens and turns golden, about 8 minutes.

Drain the pasta in a colander set in the sink, reserving about a 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and the reserved water to the garlic mixture. Mix well. Add in the cherry tomatoes and frisée. Add the parsley and lemon zest (if using). Adjust seasoning, to taste. Transfer to a large serving bowl or divide amongst 4 to 6 dishes. Serve topped with grated cheese, if desired.

 

Recipe adapted from Spaghetti with Oil and Garlic (Aglio Et Olio) by Food Network Kitchen

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 7/29/18)


plumsPlums

Your plums will continue to ripen once off the tree. Simply leave them on the counter away from the sun. When ripe, store unwrapped in the refrigerator for up to three days. If stored in the refrigerator, remove your plums (same goes for 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 them as a fresh topping for yogurt, dehydrated for fruit snacks or make into jam.

Roma Tomatoes

Store tomatoes in a single layer at room temperature and away from direct light. Refrigerate only after slicing, as refrigeration makes tomatoes lose their flavor. Romas are great for cooking (especially soups and sauces) as they don’t have the seeds and excess water that many other tomatoes tend to come with. You can also eat them raw, roasted, fried, or broiled; they are great paired with a little olive oil and salt, herbs such as basil and cilantro, and fresh cheeses such as mozzarella and ricotta. And yes, you can totally freeze those extra tomatoes for fresh flavor all year (slice first).

Featured Recipe : Niçoise Salad with Frisée

“This salad from the South of France is a meal on its own and you vary endlessly with the ingredients. This one is made with Frisée which adds a slightly bitter touch. A perfect companion to the other ingredients of the Niçoise like green beans, tomatoes and anchovies.” — lovemysalad.com

Check out more great info on Frisee from the front page of this week’s newsletter, HERE.

Ingredients:

1 Frisée lettuce

2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced

3-4 whole green onions, roots removed, sliced into thin rings

0.75 lb. green beans or haricot verts

handful of black olives such as Kalamata

4 hardboiled eggs

2 cans of tuna in oil, drained (feel free change this up: top with smoked or baked salmon instead)

8 anchovy fillets in oil, drained

1 can of artichoke hearts, drained

Instructions:

Put a large pan of salted water on medium high heat. Rinse the green beans and cut of the stem of each bean.

When the water boils add the green beans and cook them just until al dente. Rinse with cold water and let them cool.

Wash and dry the frisée and divide over 4 plates. Cut the tomatoes and eggs in wedges.

Divide onion, cooled green beans, artichoke hearts, olives and eggs over the frisée.

Prepare the dressing by mixing the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and crushed garlic. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and divide the dressing over the salad.

Divide the tuna (or salmon) chunks and anchovy fillets over the plates and serve with a lemon wedge.

 

Recipe adapted from lovemysalad.com

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A Time to Heal

Last week was the week I decided to fix my knee. I had twisted it around Mother’s Day and had been limping along for a few months between doctor visits and what not. Finally, it became obvious that surgery or limping along for the rest of my days were my two choices. I settled for surgery and had my knee scoped and all cleaned up—hopefully for a good long time, too.

Can I state the obvious? July on the farm is not the best time to slow down and few things slow you down more than a knee surgery. Currently, the Klesick farm team is in full harvest mode, planting mode and playing mode, but I am in CONVALESCING MODE! Not for long! I am already feeling better and gaining mobility.

When to schedule a surgery? That was a surprisingly easy decision. I took the earliest date possible. Around here we say, “Why put off tomorrow, what you can do today!”

So, for the last two weeks I have been running the farm from the “seat of my pants” in a very literal way! I have an awesome team and am grateful for their help.

Frisée

This week we are featuring Frisée and all its health benefits. The Bitter Greens are so foreign to the American taste buds, but so critical to our health. Here is an excerpt from an article by mindbodygreen.com:

Imagine if you could eat something that would help your liver, act as a gentle diuretic to purify your blood, cleanse your system, assist in weight reduction, cleanse your skin, eliminate acne, improve your bowel function, prevent or lower high blood pressure, prevent anemia, lower your serum cholesterol by as much as half, eliminate or drastically reduce acid indigestion and gas buildup by cutting the heaviness of fatty foods, and, at the same time, have no negative side effects and selectively act on only what ails you. 

If I also told you that this wonder food also tasted good in salads, teas, and soups, what would you do to get your hands on this treasure? Well, thankfully you have nature on your side, providing these miracle plants in abundance during spring!

I’m talking about bitter greens. Dark and leafy, some great examples include dandelion, arugula, and kale. In addition to being vitamin-rich (like most greens), bitter greens are exceptionally beneficial for digestion. They have a bold flavor that may take some getting used to, but the health benefits are definitely worth the effort!

Cheers to your Liver’s Health!

Tristan Klesick

Your Farmer and Community Health Activist

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Weather is a Real Factor on the Farm  

In our micro climate, almost all vegetables on our farm do better when planted in May. Of course, there are always a few outliers, like peas or spinach, but for the most part the soil is warmer, the seed beds can be worked without soil compaction and the germination rates are just better for everything especially weeds!

Planting has more to do with soil type and your micro climate. For us we are a hair colder and our soil is “heavier” which means we need some warmth to get a good seedbed before planting. We certainly had a wonderful May, an okay June, and a decent start to July for planting weather. This week you are getting some wonderfully tasty beets from our May planting.

This is also the time I get my first water bills. OUCH! To review weather patterns, all I have to do is look over the previous years’ water bills! And May was hot this year. I am eagerly (not really) anticipating the July/August water bill!

Beets are a great crop to grow as a farmer and home gardener. I sow (plant) about twice as much as I need which allows me to harvest over a longer time frame. This strategy works well for beets because they can be harvested as babies or full size. As a rule, I usually plant about 25% more than needed on all crops, to accommodate for early achievers and laggards. One could say that I farm based on a bell curve!

As I shared last week, we are still planting and still weeding and still harvesting from the crops we planted in May, but June plantings are starting to make an appearance. I saw my first red tomatoes and cukes are setting fruit. We picked our first green peppers last week also!

Next week we are going to be harvesting our first crop of Frisee ever (hopefully). I am trying to time the harvest and since I have never grown it, I am paying ultra-close attention to how it responds to the heat. So far it looks great. If I am successful, I am planning on featuring it with a roasted mushroom salad. YUM!

Eating more fruits and vegetables is an important part of the solution to America’s obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease crisis. Real food, grown as locally as possible and eaten as fresh as possible is a game changer for anyone’s health!

I love what I do. Yes, it is hard work, but providing your family with organically grown foods that make a difference in your health—that motivates me.

Thank you,

Tristan

Your Farmer and Community Health Activist