Archives

Monthly Archive for: ‘September, 2012’

Farm Share Week 15

Fall is glorious!The colours, the crisp air, and the hearty fall vegetables and soups that are just so satisfying after a nature hike or simply tending the fall garden. There is a certain connectedness I feel to nature as the seasons change, and the thought of being in a climate with steady, predicatable temperatures almost makes me feel sad for those who are not greeted by a whole new climate every few months. No guarantees that I’ll feel the same come February however!

Delicious sugar pie pumkins- Don’t be fooled by the name: they have a low glycemic load and they are good for so much more than pie.

This week we have a true symbol of autumn, the pumpkin. I hope you see it not as an obligation to try to compete with those capable pie makers in your life, but as a challenge to try something new with this tasty and nutritious food.

Simply slice it in half, scoop out the seeds (and keep them to toast and snack on if you wish) and bake the two halves face down at 350 degrees until soft. Scoop the flesh right out of the skin, puree and get creative. One pumpkin will probably yeild multiple recipes.

Pumpkin is a delicious way to amp up pancakes with vitamin E, B6, A & C, iron, folate and fibre (to name a few) and give a delicious flavour twist. Of course cinnamon and pumpkin go together amazingly. Also, consider making some tasty home-made muffins with pumpkin. While baked goods are obviously a treat due to the sugar in them, treating yourself to a homemade muffin means only about 1/3 of the salt, sugar and calories of a similar Tim Hortons muffin. I discovered this through an amazing App called MyFitnessPal which details the nutritional aspects of different food items (both homemade and pre-made) in the context of your nutrition goals. I am not trying to pick on Timmies here, just know that most popular chains tailor their foods toward the tastes of the salt-and-sugar-addicted masses: hence the homemade advantage. If anyone knows a good pumpkin muffin recipe with reduced sugar and high fibre, please share!

How about a hearty pumpkin soup recipe?

Almost Turkish Pumpkin Soup from almostturkish.blogspot.ca

This looks like a good choice for those with a taste for spicy and adventurous foods.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups baked and mashed pumpkin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 1 banana pepper, chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • salt to taste

Directions

1. Heat the oil in big pot and add onion and garlic. After 3-4 minutes, add red cabbage, banana pepper, mustard seeds and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 8-10 minutes.

2. Add paprika, pumpkin puree, vegetable stock, yogurt and spices, and simmer for 1/2 hour. Use a hand blender to make the texture more smoothe if desired. Enjoy!

Traditional Pumpkin Soup from pickyourown.org

This one is simpler and looks like it would have a wider appeal.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups mashed, cooked pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 6 fresh carrots, finely chopped or grated
  • 3 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and dash of pepper
  • 1 pint half and half cream, or milk for lower fat
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 4 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 2 stalks celery

Directions

1. Chop onion and celery and sautee with grated carrots in butter in soup pot until tender.

2. Add remaining ingredients (minus the cream), cover and simmer 10 minutes. (It could be frozen at this point if you wish. You may want to consider pureeing if you like a smoother texture)

3. If eating right away, add cream and heat on medium while stirring.

Serves 6 as an appetizer.

Half Share

  • rainbow carrots
  • green leaf lettuce
  • baby bok choy
  • green beans
  • pumpkin
  • grape tomatoes
  • coloured sheppard and bell peppers
  • radish
  • red cabbage
  • golden beets

Whole Share

  • rainbow carrots
  • green leaf lettuce
  • baby bok choy
  • green beans
  • pumpkin
  • grape tomatoes
  • coloured sheppard and bell peppers
  • radish
  • red cabbage
  • golden beets
  • watermelon
  • red leaf lettuce
  • green onions
  • garlic
  • eggplant
  • saladette or field tomatoes

Farm Share Week 14

Well, it’s a week of brilliant colour, and I think a good part of that can be attributed to the sweet peppers finally taking on their red and yellow hues. We also have the attractively striped delicatta squash, which has a more “potato-like” texture than other types of squash.

So here are the items for your local cooking challenge this week:

Half Share
-celery
-coloured sheppard and bell peppers (mostly red & yellow, and a few that are still partially green- don’t fear the novel shape of the sheppard peppers- they are sweet and not hot)
-delicatta squash (yellow and green stripes)
-campari tomatoes
-watermelon
-romaine lettuce
-red leaf lettuce
-rainbow carrots
-green beans
-dill

Whole Share
-celery
-coloured sheppard and bell peppers (mostly red & yellow, and a few that are still partially green- don’t fear the novel shape of the sheppard peppers- they are sweet and not hot)
-delicatta squash (yellow and green stripes)
-campari tomatoes
-watermelon
-romaine lettuce
-red leaf lettuce
-rainbow carrots
-green beans
-dill
-green cabbage
-red swiss chard
-green kale
-eggplant
-garlic chives
-red radish
-field/heirloom tomatoes (heirloom tomatoes can be all different colours and naturally have some gashes on the top)

This week’s veggies with fresh dill dip!

So what to do with this week’s box? Again, veggies and dip would be an excellent choice- here is an example of all the great colours you could use. How about making the fresh dill into some tasty dill dip? Just add to some sour cream, finely chopped and stir along with some onions and garlic. I tried making some with some plain yogurt and a little lemon juice and cream cheese and putting it in the blender but it turned out extremely runny. I still took a pic so the blog would look pretty!

Another idea to incorporate your carrots and celery is chicken pot pie. It’s really not as intimidating as it sounds. I normally just chop up some carrots, celery potatoes and cauliflower (if you happened to save some from before) and mix them with a can of low sodium cream of mushroom soup mix and just enough milk to make it sauce-like. Savory herbs like thyme, rosemary and sage along with good old pepper are delish to add some flavour. I put it all in a greased corningware pot (or multiple little ones) and bake on 375 for about 25 minutes with the lid on. Then I take it out and carefully roll out some pie crust dough (not too sweet) to the size of the container(s) and then pinch the sides closed and poke with holes to let steam escape. It’s about another 25 mins. till the crust is ready (lightly golden and firm but not hard). Here is a simple recipe for the crust- feel free to use your own or even a bought one http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-ever-pie-crust/ . My chicken pot pie recipe may not stay together like the commerical ones, but it sure is tasty. Feel free to comment on suggestions for improvement.

Enjoy the bounty!

-Jennifer

 

Farm Share Week 13

Happy Back to School Everyone!

Ok, maybe it’s happier for the parents sometimes, but I suppose the structure of school makes the freedom of summer all the sweeter for the kids. Here is what will be greeting you on your porch this week:

Half Share
-field tomatoes
-campari tomatoes
-eggplant
-red cabbage
-carrots
-romaine
-red leaf lettuce
-black kale (York and Toronto) and Swiss Chard (Durham and Pickup)
-yellow beans
-green peppers

Whole Share
-field tomatoes
-campari tomatoes
-eggplant
-red cabbage
-carrots
-romaine
-red leaf lettuce
-black kale (York and Toronto) and Swiss Chard (Durham and Pickup)
-yellow beans
-green peppers
-okra
-saladette tomatoes
-beets
-spaghetti squash
-red watermelon

So, what to do with your veggies this week? The peppers are just starting to turn, so we have mostly green peppers with only a few coloured ones. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy them is in fajitas or sweet and sour chicken or pork. Also, green peppers are great for dipping…and may I recommend baba ghanouj (which will find a use for that big and beautiful eggplant as well). Consequently, they are perfect for lunches, along with carrot sticks and mini tomatoes. Consider also how a rather blase sandwich is elevated by a slice of fresh, organic and local tomato and the crunch of fresh lettuce.

You might wonder about apples since it is indeed apple season. Sadly, the warm snap in March followed by the heavy frost has spoiled most of the apple crop. So, likely we will only have enough apples for the whole shares this year. However, it has been a treat to have beans this late in the season and they are looking lovely. We are hoping for another crop of raspberries soon- hopefully they will bear well and we’ll have enough so all can enjoy their sweet-tart deliciousness.

Super Simple Baba Ghanouj (no scouring the grocery store for tahini required)
from www.straightfromthefarm.net

Ingredients
-1 ½ lbs eggplant
-3 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
-1 tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
-1 clove garlic, finely minced (I’m sure you could add more if you are a garlic fanatic!)
-1 tsp. Coarse sea salt

Directions
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees f. Wash and dry eggplant and prick all over with a sharp knife (to let steam escape). Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Lay eggplant (s) on a single layer on the sheet and place in the oven to roast for about 45 minutes or until eggplant is soft and looks deflated.
2.Allow eggplant(s) to cool completely. Cut the stems off and slice lenthwise. With a spoon, scrape out the flesh (like you do for squash) and place in blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend on high until creamy. Serve with raw veggies, pita bread, or as a spread for a sandwich. Makes 1 cup.