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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 4/22/18)

Kale:

As a salad, kale keeps well in the fridge, so you can make ahead of time and not worry about it wilting. Kale can be a little tricky because it tends to be a bit tough and sometimes bitter (it gets bitter as it ages, so plan to eat within 5 days).

Tips for making a tasty kale salad: make sure to remove all large ribs and stems (They make a great addition to a stir-fry though!); Chop the leaves small; Sprinkle with salt to cut the bitterness; “Tenderize” the leaves by massaging them with your hands (only takes about half a minute); And lastly, massage in the olive oil or salad dressing. This turns the kale bright green and makes it so it’s evenly covered.

For the dressing, I like to use a combination of vinegar and olive oil. Once you have prepped your kale and worked in the dressing, add your toppings. Try with apple or pear slices. Cashews, almonds and dried cranberries also taste great with this combination!

Radicchio:

You can add to a mixed salad (see recipe below) or opt to savor them alone with the simplest of olive-oil dressings. Or, you can cook radicchio; the tonic bitterness is a good contrast to rich or fatty flavors. Radicchio is good braised, grilled, or in a soup. Store: keep radicchio in a tightly sealed bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.

 

Featured Recipe: Spring Pea, Asparagus, Kale & Quinoa Salad w/Kale Pesto

Finding asparagus and peas in your box of good is a sure sign that it is spring. “The pesto really takes it to the next level and this recipe makes about twice what you will need so feel free to enjoy the next day on your avo toast, breakfast salad w/ fried eggs or on pasta. Mmm all so good.” —caraskitchen.net

 

Ingredients:

FOR THE PESTO

4-6 leaves kale, de-stemmed, chopped

1/4 Cup walnuts or pine nuts

2 garlic cloves

1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil, more for smoother pesto

1 medium lemon, juiced and zested

1/4 Cup cilantro, leaves and stems

Pinches salt & pepper, to taste

FOR THE SALAD

1 Cup (heaping) asparagus chopped in 1-inch pieces

3/4 Cups green peas, fresh or frozen

1/4 Cup mini bell peppers, thinly sliced on an angle

4 Cups salad greens (kale, red leaf lettuce, radicchio)

3 Cups cooked quinoa, rice, or pasta

1/4 Cup cilantro chopped (any fresh spring herb will work like basil or mint)

1 medium lemon, juiced and zested

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 avocado, cut in cubes

Chopped cilantro to garnish

Instructions:

Make the pesto: De-stem kale and put everything into a food processor. Pulse for about 30 seconds. scrap down the sides and continue to pulse 30 more seconds. Scrape down sides again and then turn on high until desired consistency is reached.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Create and ice bath with ice cubes and water, set aside.

Chop asparagus into 1-inch pieces, measure out 1 heaping cup full. Once water is boiling add in the peas and asparagus and blanch. Cook for 2-3 minutes, and once bright green transfer to ice bath using a slotted spoon.

In a large bowl combine your salad greens, lemon zest and juice, oil, quinoa, peppers, red pepper, salt and pepper to taste if desired and toss to evenly coat.

Add in asparagus, peas, avocado cubes and a couple big dollops of pesto. Divide amongst plates. This would be great with fried eggs, salmon or baked tofu.

 

Adapted from recipe by caraskitchen.net

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

Blood Oranges:

With ruby-red to maroon-colored flesh, blood oranges are a surprise when you cut them open; taste-wise, they’re tart-sweet and slightly berry-like.

Storage tips: To keep these ruby gems fresh longer, choose refrigeration over the fruit bowl―they’ll only last only a couple of days at room temperature, but up to two weeks in the fridge.

How to eat them: Blood oranges are best eaten fresh―out of hand, or in salads, salsas, or marmalades. If you’re following a recipe you may be asked to section the fruit. To do so, peel the orange, cut between the white membranes to expose the flesh, and remove the sections (for more juice, squeeze the leftover membranes).

Health benefits: Oranges are rich in antioxidants―vital for healthy cells―including vitamin C, which aids in healing, boosts your immune system, helps your body absorb iron, and even helps reduce the risk of cancer. This citrus fruit is also a good source of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and, like vitamin C, reduce your cancer risk. (To maximize your fiber intake, be sure to eat some of the spongy white pith right under the skin.)

 

 

Mangos:

To peel a mango: using the tip of the mango as a guide, slice the two cheeks of the mango off, cutting around the stone in the center. Then place the edge of the mango against the lip of a glass and slide it down one of the halves, so that you’re using the glass like a giant spoon to scrape the mango from its skin. If your mango is ripe (yields to soft pressure, fragrant), you can get the glass to slide through it and separate the skin with ease. If you want to get the part around the pit, we advise going at it with a paring knife, or if you have a toddler, this will keep them busy for a while. Then, you can eat the half of mango, or, if you’re sharing, slice it up, cut it into cubes, and dump into a bowl, ready to serve!

 

Broccoli:

Baked broccoli is one of my favorite dinner sides. I like it best roasted to crispy perfection with a little garlic, salt and pepper. 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.

Broccoli is also great in salad, stir-fry, soup, or raw with your favorite veggie dip.

 

Green Onions:

Also known as scallions, green onions are milder than regular onions but add a nice pop of flavor and color to almost any dish. They are commonly used as a topping for baked potatoes or salad, but can also be used to liven up your Asian style soups like egg drop or ramen noodle. They are also a great addition to omelets or quiche. You can even grill them whole like spring onions and serve as a side dish with a little lemon, salt & pepper.

 

 

Featured Recipe: Roasted Yams

Serves 4

Ingredients:

 

2 large yams

1 tablespoon honey

1-2 teaspoons crushed red-pepper flakes (or to taste)

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup plain Greek-style yogurt

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, approximately 2 limes

2 green onions, both green and white parts, trimmed and thinly sliced, for garnish

Instructions:

Heat oven to 425. Cut the yams lengthwise into 4 wedges per yam. Put them in a large bowl, and toss them with the honey, ½ tablespoon of the crushed red-pepper flakes, the smoked paprika and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so, tossing once or twice to coat, as the oven heats.

Transfer the yams to a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and then bake until they are deeply caramelized around the edges and soft when pierced with a fork at their thickest part, approximately 30 to 35 minutes.

As the yams roast, combine the yogurt, lime juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl, and whisk to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

When the yams are done, transfer them to a serving platter, drizzle the yogurt over them and garnish with the remaining pepper flakes, the green onions and some flaky sea salt.

 

Adapted from recipe by cooking.nytimes.com

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 9/24/17)

Conference Pears:

As with all new crop pears, these will need to be ripened for 4-7 days before they are ready to eat. Check the neck for ripeness by gently pressing your thumb near the stem end of the pear. When it gives slightly, the pear is ripe.

Leeks:

Besides potato leek soup (recipe below), there are other delicious ways to eat leeks. Used as an onion swap they make a great base in just about anything. Cook in a little oil until tender as a base for a sauce, sauté, scrambled eggs, soup, etc. The flavor is milder than an onion so I don’t mind having larger chunks. I like to cut them into quarter inch rounds. Leeks are cousins to the old, familiar onion, but have a sweeter, more delicate flavor reminiscent of garlic or chives and are delicious no matter how they’re cooked. Additionally, leeks contain generous amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making the vegetable a great addition to a healthy diet. You can cook leeks by poaching them in chicken broth, pan-frying them in a little oil, or boiling them until tender.

Potatoes:

Packed with nutrition, potatoes are among the most popular of all the root vegetables. Low in fat and high in health and beauty-promoting dietary fiber, potatoes are a rich source of B vitamins as well as vitamin C, and vitamin K. Potatoes are an excellent source of healthy, energy-giving complex carbohydrates, and contain good amounts of certain essential minerals like iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, copper and potassium. Be sure to store potatoes in a cool dark place so they don’t develop green spots (from exposure to light) or sprout.

 

Simple Potato Leek Soup

You will be able to make this simple soup in no time flat, and can feel good about filling up your belly with healthful ingredients!

Ingredients:


2-3 large leeks, white and light green parts only

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

Kosher salt

6 medium-to-large potatoes

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or homemade vegetable stock or water)

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Sour cream, for serving (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Slice leeks in half lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons. Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot. Add leeks and garlic and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are softened but not browned, about 10-12 minutes.
  2. While leeks are cooking, fill large bowl halfway with cold water. Peel potatoes, placing each in bowl of water immediately after peeling to prevent browning. Cut each potato in half lengthwise and slice into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons. Drain potato slices and add to pot along with stock and a few generous grinds of pepper. Raise heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until potatoes are very soft, about 20 minutes.
  3. Puree soup with an immersion blender or in batches in standing blender. If you like your soups on the hearty side, you can skip this step, or lightly puree (some pureeing makes for that lovely creamy texture, so don’t skip it completely). Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with parsley and sour cream if desired. Soup reheats well and will keep in refrigerator for up to one week.
Recipe adapted from seriouseats.com

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How to Eat Your BOX! (9/17/2017)

D’Anjou Pears:
The d’Anjou is a truly an all-purpose pear. They are juicy when ripe, and their subtle sweetness hints at a refreshing lemon-lime flavor. Their dense flesh holds up well in heated applications like baking, poaching, roasting, or grilling and they are delicious when sliced fresh in salads or eaten as an out-of-hand snack. The most important thing to know about d’Anjou pears is that they do not change color as they ripen, unlike Bartletts, whose skin color changes to yellow during ripening. Check the neck for ripeness by gently pressing your thumb near the stem end of the pear. When it gives slightly, the pear is ripe.

Fennel:
Known for its crunchy texture and mild anise flavor, fennel is best used within 5 days. Keep fennel bulbs wrapped in the fridge to keep out air that will lessen its flavor. Fennel is wonderful braised, roasted, or grilled where its it brings flavor reminiscent of pine nuts to the table, or, sautéed, or used raw in salads, where it is crunchy and sweet.

Beets:
In the cooking world, beets are often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin” for their incredible range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although beets can be cooked in a variety of ways (including as a secret ingredient for deep dark chocolate cake-Google it!), roasting beets is one of the easiest and most delicious. Roasting beets intensifies their flavor, brings out their earthy sweetness, and makes their skin tender and easy to peel off. Roasted beets are particularly delicious in beet salads or just as a complementing side dish. Check out the recipe below for easy Roasted Beets.

Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad
“The good news: Beets are packed with folate and potassium, and the red ones deliver lots of cancer-fighting antioxidants.” – Food & Wine

Ingredients:

4 beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (~1 1/2 pounds)
2 thyme sprigs or 2 tsp dried
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large fennel bulb with fronds—bulb cut into 1/2-inch wedges, 1 tablespoon chopped fronds
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or balsamic

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F. In a medium baking dish, toss the beets with the thyme, the water and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and cook for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Let cool slightly. Discard the thyme.
2. Meanwhile, in a small baking dish, drizzle the fennel wedges with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until tender and lightly browned.
3. Pour the beet juices into a bowl and whisk in the vinegar. Add the beets, fennel wedges and fronds and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Recipe adapted from: foodandwine.com

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 8/20/17)

Sweet Onions
Sweet onions lack the sulfuric pungency of yellow onions. The best part? They won’t make you cry when you cut them up! This is also why they taste “sweet” – not because they have more sugar than regular onions, but because they lack the Sulphur. Sweet onions are best eaten fresh – cooking them wastes their delicate flavor and you won’t get the “onion-y” flavor that you want with a cooking onion. The mild flavor of these onions makes them perfect for your raw in salads and relishes or chopped as a garnish. If you do cook them, either roast them to caramelize their flavor or make homemade onion rings.
Garnet Yams:
Yams are more nutrient dense than potatoes as they have good amounts of potassium, vitamin B6 and Vitamin C, but you can generally use them in the same way as potatoes. They are delicious baked and loaded with beans, scallions and a bit of cheese. They also make a lovely mash or soup. They have a natural sweetness that pairs nicely with something acidic like lemons or vinegars. As with most vegetables, yams are delicious roasted. Cut into wedges then toss with a little bit of cornstarch and finely grated Parmesan. The cornstarch helps to lock in the moisture so they turn crispy and more fry-like in the oven. Drizzle on a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper then roast in a hot oven 425-450°F for 20 – 30 minutes or until caramelized in parts and tender.

 

 

Roasted Garnet Yam and Goat Cheese Salad
Hint: Toss the lettuce, onions, roasted red peppers, with the dressing first, THEN add the goat cheese and roasted yams (fresh out the oven) for the ultimate bite.

Ingredients:
For the sweet potatoes:
2 medium sweet potatoes, in ~1in. cubes
1½ tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
⅛ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
For the salad:
Lettuce, chopped (about 6 cups)
½ Sweet Onion, thinly sliced
4 roasted Red Peppers, sliced
Roasted Garnet Yams, cut into cubes
100-125g goat cheese (plain or herbed, as you like)
For the dressing:
1 tbsp. lemon juice (~half a lemon)
Salt & pepper
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. olive oil

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Spread Garnet yam cubes onto a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil.
3. In a small bowl, combine paprika, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper.
4. Sprinkle spice blend on top of yams and toss with a spatula.
5. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until fork tender and slightly browned (keep an eye on them to avoid burning!). This may take slightly more time depending on your oven.
6. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, salt, pepper, honey, and Dijon. Pour olive oil slowly, while whisking constantly.
7. In a large bowl, toss the baby greens, green onion, and roasted red peppers. Dress to your liking (you don’t have to use all the dressing if you don’t want to)
8. Dish out the salad onto plates or bowls, top with tons of goat cheese and, finally, with the warm roasted Garnet yams.
Adapted from ahintoffaith.com

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 8/13/17)

Beets:

Beets can be cooked just about any way you like. They are great boiled or baked, sautéed or stewed. Usually I cut them into bite size pieces to bake in the oven because I love roasted beets! Simply coat in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 375 °F for about 35 minutes (try adding some parsley when they’re done). But they can just as easily be cooked in a frying pan along with other veggies. The beet greens are great sautéed as well so don’t throw them out! Try cooking the greens in a little olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper on medium heat until bright green – be careful not to over cook. 

Celery:

Popular as a finger food, celery also makes a flavorful addition to soups. Because of their crescent shape, they make a great healthy medium to stuff as a fun and flavorful snack. You can get creative when it comes to what you put on them: Peanut or almond butter is the classic pairing but you can pair celery with just about any snack dipper. Cream cheese makes a good filler, try it mixed with chopped nuts and raisins. Homemade ranch or Hummus also makes a good savory pairing. Celery is also great in salad. It can lend itself to the sweet: using thinly sliced apples, pecans, raisins, yogurt or sour cream, honey and a pinch of cinnamon, or, the savory: with lettuce or spinach, finely chopped onion, olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper.

Herb, Savory:

Savory is an aromatic herb similar in flavor to thyme that works well to season fish and meats as well as vegetables like summer squash, green beans, and tomatoes. It is perhaps best known for flavoring lentils and beans, where it helps with digestion. Savory blends nicely with other spices such as rosemary, basil, oregano, marjoram, and bay leaf. Strip the leaves from the stalk and add towards the end of cooking to best preserve the flavor. This savory was cut at prime while flowering and dried for packing early August.

 

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Who knew that adding this vegetable to a chocolate cake could make it the most moist and delicious cake ever? The beetroot plays up the chocolate but you’ll be hard-pressed to taste it! Ingredients:

3-4 medium beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch chunks*

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups organic whole cane sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon Salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup warm water

1/4 cup safflower oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cover beets with 2 inches water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, about 30 minutes. Drain. Puree beets in a food processor until smooth. (See note, below)
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Add in eggs, water, oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups beet puree (reserve any remaining puree for another use). Whisk until just combined.
  4. Line the bottom of a 9 x 3-inch round cake pan with parchment, and coat pan with spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Turn cake out from pan onto racks, and discard parchment. Let cool completely, right side up.
  5. Trim top of cake using a serrated knife to create a level surface. Transfer cake, cut side down, to a platter. Pour chocolate glaze over the top, and let set, about 30 minutes.

 

*If you don’t have a food processor, leave the beets whole when cooking, then grate beets on your finest-hole cheese grater.

Adapted from marthastewart.com

 

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 6/17/17)

Plums: From sweet to tart, plums are big part of summer fruit in the Pacific Northwest. While great fresh as it or atop yogurt, fruit salads and even green salads (think walnuts, soft goat cheese and arugula), plums also shine when cooked as a sauce along with chicken, pork or duck. Care: Eat ripe plums immediately or put them in the refrigerator (unwashed, not in a sealed bag) for use within five days. When ready to eat, wash and enjoy! To hasten the ripening, leave plums on the counter, out of the sun, in a paper bag with an already-ripe apple or banana. Check daily. Plums are ripe when stem area yields to gentle pressure or is slightly fragrant.

 

Garlic Scapes: Garlic scapes are the beginning of what would be the garlic plant’s flower; if they’re left on the garlic plant, less energy goes towards developing the head of garlic underground. So, by harvesting these scapes, we get an early taste of the garlic to come down the road, and the bulbs can keep developing for a later harvest.

 

You can use scapes just like you would garlic; their flavor is milder, so you get the nice garlic taste without some of the bite. Use them on top of pizza, in pasta, in salsas, and as a replacement for garlic in most other recipes.

 

Featured Recipe: Plum-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Plums boost the tangy-sweet flavor of this quick homemade barbecue sauce, which is finger-lickin’ good on grilled chicken, pork (ribs, especially), and duck. Wait until the meat is almost cooked before brushing on the sauce, so it doesn’t burn. Plus, you get the added benefit of knowing exactly what’s inside your barbeque sauce. It’s a win-win. Makes 1 cup.

 

Ingredients:

 

1 lb. firm-ripe plums (about 4 medium), pitted and quartered

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbs. cider vinegar

1/4 cup honey or brown sugar

1 Tbs. minced garlic

1 tsp. minced seeded canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

 

 

Directions:

 

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a heavy-duty 3-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the plums break down, about 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer until thick, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Purée the sauce in a blender until smooth. Use or cool to room temperature and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

 

Recipe adapted from finecoooking.com

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How To Eat Your BOX! (Week of 11/27/16)

Sugar Pie Pumpkins:

The first time I roasted a pumpkin, I failed to realize that the stringy insides are actually not the part we want to eat. Lucky for me (and you) I’ve come a long way since that first roast.

Sugar Pie Pumpkins are ideal for…you guessed it: pie! They are sweet and have a soft silky texture when roasted.

To roast, preheat your oven to 350°F. Cover a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

Okay, so here’s where I admit that roasting pumpkins or squash often terrifies me. Really it’s just the part where you have to hack it in half. I always fear that I’ll walk away less a finger or two. That’s why I roast the pumpkin whole (or even microwave for a couple of minutes) for 10 minutes before cutting in half. The pumpkin starts to soften so the knife slides through the skin and flesh without much pressure. Let it cool slightly then cut in half and scoop out the stringy bits and seeds. Return the pumpkin to the oven, flesh down, and continue to roast until a fork easily slips through the skin and flesh.

Once cool, peel away the skin using a spoon to help scoop out the soft flesh. Pureé the pumpkin in a blender or food processor then use as you would canned pumpkin.

Breads, muffins, cakes and such are all lovely places for pumpkin pureé to live, but let’s not forget about milkshakes (a scoop of pureé along with organic vanilla ice cream and a bit of pumpkin pie spice) or smoothies (pumpkin pureé mixed with plain yogurt blended with honey or dates along with pumpkin pie spice and perhaps a banana if you’d like).

Or, take your pumpkin down the savory route by combining it with a flavorful stock and a bit of paprika. Warm it up, season and stir in a bit of sour cream or créme fraiche for a rich tang. I like to stir a bit of the pureé into my homemade macaroni and cheese, it adds a bit of rich flavor and nutrition that kids never complain about.

We’ve covered dessert, lunch and dinner, but let’s not forget about breakfast. Stir a bit of pureé into yogurt or oatmeal, sweeten with maple syrup and add a bit of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.

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How to Eat Your Box! (week of 11/6/16)

How to Eat Your Box! (week of 11/6/16)

Get to know: Zucchini!

I must admit, I never used to like zucchini. But I’ve come to realize that often, the problem isn’t what it is, but how it’s cooked! Now, I absolutely love zucchini because I’ve discovered ways I like to eat it. For example, I enjoy eating it raw! Who knew? It’s great in salads or with dip. I also like adding it to stir fry or making zucchini patties (see recipe link below–amazing!). The key for me was to shred or “noodle” my zucchini when I cooked it. Chopping it into chunks always yielded the same mushy texture that just didn’t suit me. Whereas, if I shredded it, suddenly it was a whole new experience. Also, it doesn’t need to cook long. I add it last to my stir fry or as the noodle to my “spaghetti”. Simply stir it in and turn off the stove. Experiment yourself to find how you like it best!

Lettuce-less Salad!

This week’s box may not include lettuce but don’t let that stop you. There are many health benefits to eating salad and it’s such a fun and easy way to get those raw fruits and veggies. Try one of these lettuce-less ideas using this week’s ingredients!

  • Apple Kale Salad: (Kale, Apple, Pear, Red Bell Pepper, Green onion, Carrot….) Recipe here.
  • Kale is just wonderful and it’s so good for you! It keeps well in the fridge, so you can make it ahead of time and not worry about it wilting. Kale can be a little tricky because it tends to be a bit tough and sometimes bitter. Here are a few tips that have helped me: make sure to remove all large ribs and stems (though these can make a great addition to a stir-fry!); chop the leaves small; sprinkle with salt to cut the bitterness; “tenderize” the leaves by massaging them with your hands (only takes about half a minute); and lastly, massage in the olive oil or salad dressing. This turns the kale bright green and makes it so it’s evenly covered. For the dressing, I like to use a combination of vinegar and olive oil. Once you have prepped your kale and worked in the dressing, add your toppings. Try apple or pear slices. Cashews, almonds and dried cranberries also taste great with this combination!
  • Cucumber Salad: Now we’ve probably all had cucumber salad at some point but I still tend to forget that it makes a great main ingredient for salad, not just as a topping. Try marinating thinly sliced cucumber, onion, bell pepper, crushed garlic cloves in a one to one mixture of water and white (or cider) vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for a couple hours. If you leave it overnight the flavors come out even more! Drain and enjoy. Try adding a garnish of freshly chopped parsley or dill.

Roast in the Oven:

  • Rainbow Carrots: Rainbow carrots work wonderfully roasted in the oven because they tend to be skinnier and they have such a beautiful color so they look great too!
  • Acorn Squash: To bake, simply cut in half, remove seeds (save for roasting!), spread butter or coconut oil on the inside of each half, sprinkle with brown sugar, salt, pepper and any other desired spices (try cinnamon and nutmeg, or nutmeg and thyme) and bake for an hour (cut side up!). Oh, and don’t forget the seeds! They are so fun and yummy roasted! Or, try one of these recipes online!
  • Baby Bok Choy: For you Harvest and Vegetable box people Bok choy is on the menu! You can add it to a stir fry or try baking it! Here’s a great recipe I found online: Preheat oven to 450 °F. Toss Bok choy in about a tablespoon of olive oil, one clove of garlic (minced) and salt in a roasting pan. Roast on lowest rack, stirring twice, until wilted and tendercrisp, about 6 minutes. For added flavor, whisk lemon zest and juice of half a lemon, 1 ½ teaspoons tarragon, 1 teaspoon mirin and pepper (to taste) in a small bowl. Drizzle over the roasted Bok choy. Here’s a recipe for roasted baby bok choy.
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How To Eat Your Box! Week of 10/30/16

How to Eat Your BOX!

Get to know: Plantains

If you didn’t get this in your box I would highly recommend adding it to your next delivery!

This versatile fruit is eaten cooked (not raw like its popular cousin, the banana) and can be steamed, boiled, grilled, fried or baked! A common staple in most Latin American countries, plantains are typically served in two different ways; as Tostones or Maduros. The most important distinction between these two recipes is not necessarily the way you cook them, but when you cook them. Tostones are made using green plantains (unripe, starchy) whereas making maduros requires you to wait until they turn completely black (over-ripe). As the plantain ripens, it becomes sweeter and its color changes from green to yellow to black, just like a banana. When the outer skin turns completely black and the inside turns deep yellow and soft, it’s at its sweetest. Look up more recipes online or check out this website for more fun ways to eat plantains!

I usually wait until my plantains ripen to a yellow and blotchy coloring (not completely black). I feel like it’s a happy medium between the starchy potato like texture of a green plantain and the sticky sweetness of a black one. They can be difficult to peel so I like to cut them in half and makes strips length-wise with a knife. I then slice these into half inch “coins” which I fry in some coconut oil until golden brown on both sides. Blot with a paper towel to take off any extra oil, add a little salt and voila! One of my all-time favorite snacks!

Make a Salad! (Romaine lettuce, Carrot, Tomato, Avocado, Cucumber)

I don’t know about you, but I love having salad for lunch! It can be so much more than a side for dinner! Simply top your salad with a protein (salmon or chicken are my favorite), dressing, and you have a complete meal! I prefer to mix my own salad dressing because so many store-bought brands are loaded with sugar and who knows what else. My favorite combination is to mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a dash of pepper and or whatever else piques my interest….mustard is always a good idea. 🙂 Mix your dressing in a separate bowl/cup first to get it just right. Salad items this week include romaine lettuce, carrots, and beefsteak tomatoes as well as avocado and cucumber in some boxes. You could even add some broccoli if you’re feeling extra fancy. I also enjoy putting fruit, nuts, and seeds in my salad….it can be quite the smorgasbord;)

Make a Soup! (Potato and Leek)

Two words: LEEK SOUP! What could be more comforting this time of year than a warm bowl of potato soup? Potato leek soup is a classic and so easy to make! You simply saute chopped leaks in butter until soft, then add diced potatoes, stock, and herbs, bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are done. You don’t even need to add cream to make this soup creamy, just blend some or all the of the soup to thicken. Simple, delicious, and satisfying. Find the recipe here.

Roast your Vegetables! (Broccoli, Carrot, Potato, Leek (If you have any beets and parsnips left over from last week they are fantastic served up this way!)

One of my favorite ways to eat root vegetables is baked in the oven. It’s so easy and such a great way to use up those leftover veggies in your fridge. Simply chop everything into roughly the same size chunks, toss with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, other fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, dill, rosemary, and or sage). Bake at 400 °F for about 45 minutes, stirring once or twice until the vegetables are tender and browned.

Corn on the Cob! (Only in the Harvest and Vegetable boxes this week)

The easiest and most common method to cook your corn is to boil it. Simply put a pot of water on the stove on high, once it starts to boil add your corn (make sure there is enough water to cover). After the water starts boiling again, it’s done! Now, corn is wonderful this way, but, if you’ve ever been to Mexico and happened upon a vendor selling Elotes, you know what you’re missing out on! It takes a little extra work and ingredients but the result is totally worth it! An elote is simply corn that is grilled and typically topped with mayonnaise, cotija cheese or queso fresco, chile powder or hot sauce (my favorite is tapatio), and lime juice.

First set your grill to medium high. Grill corn, rotating until hot and lightly charred all over, about 7-10 minutes. Then add toppings! These can vary depending on your taste. The traditional selection is mayonnaise (Mexican mayo tastes much better;) but you can use butter instead and some people add cilantro. I’ve also seen it where they mix all the topping together and then spread in on their corn that way, but I like to add them in layers. Enjoy!

If you don’t have a grill you can easily cook them in the oven! Here’s one take on it that I liked.