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Welcome to May!

May brings us…

More spinach, radish, green onions and a new item: arugula. And mid to late May, asparagus! Those tender little spears are just waiting on a little sunshine and heat to emerge. I wouldn’t be surprised if they come early. It may be a chilly start to May, but the higher temperatures have been making the trees bud early (hel-lo allergy season!) and the plum trees on the farm are already flowering!

It felt good today to be in the soil bunching the arugula, which turned out beautifully. Are you familiar with arugula? It’s definitely got a peppery, nutty flavour which is lovely in salads, on pizza, or even can be cooked in pasta or stir fries. Try this easy salad recipe which incorporates your carrots and the cherry tomatoes in the family sized share. Sliced tomatoes would also be fab. Get the Recipe for Any Time Arugula Salad here.

Mom’s Potato Salad (or something like it 😉

All the other fresh ingredients were just begging to be in potato salad for us. While my husband really does not like potato salad, I have so many fond memories of my mom making up ridiculous amounts of potato salad that we’d eat for days. This is not her official recipes, but is certainly inspired by hers. Hers is the mashed kind with boiled eggs in eat. I simply cannot stand to eat that stuff in a tub you get in the grocery store. It tastes terrible to me. So, if you’ve only ever tried the store bought stuff, you are missing out. I prepared this at lunch for myself and the other farm family ladies and they said it was great! So I won’t let my husband’s dislike of it dissuade me lol. I did however make up a much smaller batch out of 2 leftover roasted potatoes and a wee bit of leftover mashed potatoes. I never reach for leftover potatoes, but in this salad, I certainly will make an exception! I also made this with vegan mayonnaise and duck eggs so my son could enjoy also.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized potatoes, roasted or boiled
  • 2 duck eggs or 3 chicken eggs, soft boiled.
  • 5 radishes, stems removed, washed and chopped, divided
  • 4 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1-2 green onions, washed and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 5 mini dill pickles, diced
  • optional (stalk of celery, diced)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 tsp paprika, divided

Directions

  1. Peel (if not already done) cooked potatoes and mash in a large bowl. Add 4 tbsp. mayonnaise and mix.
  2. Dice duck eggs and mix in salad. Dice radishes, green onions, dill pickles, celery (if you like), garlic and onion powder, salt, pepper and 1/4 tsp. of paprika
  3. Place in serving bowl, sprinkling with paprika. Slice 1 or more radishes and arrange as flower garnish, along with some green onion. Serve! Pairs great with BBQ anything!

Regular Veggie Baskets

  • 3lbs organic russet potatoes (Ontario)
  • 0.4lbs organic spinach (Zephyr)
  • 1 bunch organic radish (Zephyr)
  • 1 bunch organic arugula (Zephyr)
  • 1 bunch organic spring onions (Zephyr)
  • 1lb organic red peppers (Ontario)
  • 1.4lbs organic vine tomatoes (Ontario)
  • 2lbs organic carrots (US)
  • 1 bunch organic broccoli (US/MX)

Large Vegetable Baskets

  • 4lbs organic russet potatoes (Ontario)
  • 0.6lbs organic spinach (Zephyr)
  • 1 bunch organic radish (Zephyr)
  • 1 bunch organic arugula (Zephyr)
  • 1 bunch organic spring onions (Zephyr)
  • 1lb organic red peppers (Ontario)
  • 1.4lbs organic vine tomatoes (Ontario)
  • 2lbs organic carrots (US)
  • 1 bunch organic broccoli (US/MX)
  • 1 pint organic cherry tomatoes (Ontario)
  • 1 head organic celery (US)

Fruit Baskets

  • 1 organic cantaloupe
  • 3 organic red grapefruits
  • 1.5lbs+ organic mandarin oranges
  • 3lbs organic bartlett pears
  • 1/2 pint organic blueberries or alternate item.

Let the fresh foods roll…into your mouths 😉

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A Very Green Lockdown

Dear friends, we are at it again with another lockdown. Thank God for the springtime! Though we have a cool patch this week with some frosty mornings, I think my new favourite passtime is taking walks around my neighbourhood to spy all the new perennials coming to life! I have seen crocus’ and hyacinths, daffodils & Johnny jump-ups, and I bet some of the tulips are already blooming for those of you farther south.

Of course on the farm it’s green all around in the greenhouse, which felt too large to fill before but it quickly filling up. Radish is now being harvested there, so of course we get to enjoy that this week, along with more spinach (2 bunches for you large share members because, is there ever really too much spinach?) We also included green onions for all your savoury dishes and salads, as well as mint to liven things up. I share a simple salad recipe below for the radish and mint, but when in doubt, simply add fresh leaves to your water and let it infuse it with a refreshing taste (and some extra vitamins). Also, just smell it because the smell is incredible!

For those of you that have food sensitivities- you will I’m sure understand how happy I am. We have had my eldest son off of eggs for 5 1/2 years. We finally got the guts to try some of the organically fed duck eggs we sell and so far so good! He got to have egg salad again (with the duck eggs), and I got to make him a birthday cake that actually rose and had a nice light texture…oh happy day for us! One day we’ll try out our own organically fed chicken eggs (who know, with the organic feed these may work just fine for him). So if you have a naturopath and have been missing eggs, you should ask them about trying our duck eggs. I’m totally not able to give you medical advice here, but I can share our positive experience.

Regular Shares

  • 3lbs russet potatoes (Ontario organic)
  • 1.5lbs sweet potatoes (US Organic)
  • 1lb jerusalem artichokes (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 bunch spinach (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 bunch radish (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 bunch mint (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 bunch green onions (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1.4lbs vine tomatoes (Ontario organics)
  • 1 cucumber (Ontario organics)

Family SIzed Shares

  • 3lbs russet potatoes (Ontario organic)
  • 3lbs sweet potatoes (US Organic)
  • 1lb jerusalem artichokes (Zephyr Organics)
  • 2 bunches spinach (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 bunch radish (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 bunch mint (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 bunch green onions (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1.4lbs vine tomatoes (Ontario organics)
  • 1 cucumber (Ontario organics)
  • 2lbs carrots (US organic)

Fruit

  • 1 organic pineapple
  • 5-6 organic valencia oranges
  • 4 organic avocadoes
  • 2 organic mangoes
  • 2lbs organic pears

Recipes

Easy Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells (Serves 5-6)

My husband has been requesting these for a while now. They must have been good because I swear I had not made them in YEARS! I made the recipe pretty closely to the original except I made it a LOT bigger- I have 5 to feed, and had some great lunch time leftovers today with the salad below. The recipe is vegetarian and even my meat-loving husband did not ask where the meat was!

Ingredients

  • 1 box pasta shells
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, stems removed and washed
  • 1 container ricotta cheese, 400g
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 large egg/duck egg
  • 3/4 pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • extra parmesan cheese for serving if desired

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and cook until tender about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Chop and add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 mins.
  4. Transfer the spinach mixture into a large bowl and add ricotta, mozarella, parmesan, egg, salt and pepper. Stir until combined.
  5. Spread about half the sauce in the bottom of a 9″x13″ baking dish.
  6. Stuff cooked shells with spinach cheese mixture and place in single layer on the baking dish.
  7. Top with remaining sauce and bake uncovered about 30-35 minutes or until sauce is bubbling.
  8. Serve with basil and parmesan cheese if desired.

Radish & Mint Salad (serves 2)

This salad was inspired by the simple desire to enjoy what’s in season without lots of time or complicated ingredients. Feel free to tweak as desired with cucumber, feta cheese, green onions, or other greens. You may be surprised to know that radish leaves are good to eat! I enjoy them in salad or on a sandwich to add some greenery and nutrients.

Ingredients

  • bunch radish, washed, tops removed and saved
  • radish tops, washed and dried
  • 6 mint leaves, chopped (Scissors work great or even tearing with your fingers)
  • creamy dressing (I used coleslaw dressing)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Wash and slice radish. Place in smaller mixing bowl and salt as desired. Wash and dry radish leaves (yes, they are good to eat and have a slightly peppery taste). Add radish leaves to bowl.
  2. Wash and chop 6 mint leaves. Add to salad. Add green onions or cucumber if desired. Add in 1-2 tbsp. Salad dressing and a sprinkle of pepper. Toss together and serve immediately. If serving later, hold the dressing until just before.

ENJOY!

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Happy Easter!

Well the warm weather and sunshine has sure helped this long weekend be a special one. We were out giving the bicycles a tune up on our day off and the whole little town of Zephyr was alive with bikers and walkers. I certainly got a workout on the farm by moving all the potted strawberries from various greenhouses into the big one where they can get a regular watering and some nutrients added. A few of them are already flowering…and after flowering comes strawberries! Sure would be nice since berries have been very expensive wholesale lately. Many seeds have already been planted and are coming up in the warm and toasty new greenhouse. Sometimes it’s a little too toasty, so we are working on getting the automatic ventilating roof panels working.

New this week we have green onions- the official onion of salads (potato salad, toss salad, any salad)! It would make a lovely addition to the salad recipe below, though I hadn’t picked them yet when I made it. My nephew helped me pick some green onions. It’s as simple as gripping them carefully right at the bottom and giving them a little wiggle free (that is if the ground is moist enough). And of course, more spinach, because who can get enough of fresh, local spinach, really? Especially when there are no chemicals to worry about.

This week’s boxes are teeming with variety! Though the Ontario organic root veggies ran out early this year, ours and others’ greenhouses have come to our rescue. We have a colourful mix of lighten veggies that will suit sunny days spent outside, like spinach, sweet peppers, tomatoes & cucumbers, all Ontario organic.

Regular Vegetable Shares

  • 4lbs yellow potatoes (Ontario organic)
  • 1 bunch Zephyr Organics Spinach
  • 1 bunch Zephyr Organics green onions
  • 1lb Ontario organic sweet peppers
  • 1lb Ontario organic vine tomatoes
  • 1 Ontario organic cucumber
  • 1 head cauliflower (US/MX Organic)
  • 1 head celery (US Organic)
  • 1 clam cremini mushrooms (Ontario organic)

Large Vegetable Shares

  • 6lbs yellow potatoes (Ontario organic)
  • 1 bunch Zephyr Organics Spinach
  • 1 bunch Zephyr Organics green onions
  • 2lbs Ontario organic sweet peppers
  • 1lb Ontario organic vine tomatoes
  • 1 Ontario organic cucumber
  • 1 head cauliflower (US/MX Organic)
  • 1 head celery (US Organic)
  • 1 clam cremini mushrooms (Ontario organic)
  • 2lbs organic carrots (US organic)

Fruit Shares

  • bag on Ontario organic gala apples
  • 3 organic grapefruit
  • 7 organic valencia oranges
  • 1lb organic green grapes
  • 1.5lbs organic kiwi

Recipe

While spinach can really do into anything: lasagna, spinach dip, smoothies, soups, you name it, I find enjoying it raw is a lovely way to savour the flavour. I find the spinach to be almost sweet this time of year. Don’t forget to wash it well- we have washed it but we are not a salad processing plant so you’ll need to do some more washing at home. The best way to wash it is a good soaking or 2 in a sink or bowl- the sediment loosens and settles to the bottom of the sink.

Spinach, Apple, Almond & Camembert Salad with Raisins and Maple Mustard Dressing

A recipe to give you lasting energy and a nice balance of nutrients and protein, vegetarian friendly and with lots of beautiful textures and colours. This one was born out of…”Oh I would love to try that salad but I don’t have this ingredient or that one.” How many times does that happen to you. Luckily I am your willing guinea pig who is always eager to try something new.

Salad Ingredients

  • A plateful of spinach (for a meal, or divide into 2 for 2 sides)
  • 1.5 gala apples, cored, sliced and cut into chunks (they are much prettier with peels on)
  • 1/4 cup almonds, whole or sliced
  • 1/3 cup Camembert cheese (for a subtle taste or go with feta for a spunkier one)
  • Heaping tablespoon raisins
  • 2 tbsp. chopped green onions or to taste

Dressing Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp. local organic amber maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (Braggs or other “from the mother” vinegar
  • 2-3tsp. mustard of choice or to taste (dijon is perfect here if you don’t mind a little kick)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Remove roots from spinach by cutting them off (I often do this while they are still bunched). Wash spinach by soaking it in a pool of clean water in the sink or a large bowl. Drain and repeat a second time (or even a third for extra gritty spinach). Dry with a salad spinner or pat with clean kitchen towel to absorb moisture. Place on plate(s).
  2. Core and slice apple, cutting each slice into thirds. Divide onto plates on top of spinach. Follow with Camembert cheese, sliced and cut into small chunks, as well as almonds, raisins and green onions, chopped into small rounds.
  3. Measure/eyeball ingredients into a small bowl or mason jar. Stir well or shake (make sure you have the lid on the mason jar well if you shake it). Pour on salad right before serving (it has a thinner consistency- for thicker try honey).

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Living Under a Greenhouse and a Prayer

Farm Update

What a busy week it was last week, cleaning and painting to welcome our first worker from Jamaica, the one who’s known my husband for longer than I have! He’s going to be floored when he is all done with his quarantine and is able to come work in the new greenhouse. Some of the things he did by hand, like watering and filling seed trays with dirt, will be automated this year. Don’t you worry, there will be plenty else for him and the family and all the workers this year- there is a never-ending supply of work on the farm. You just have to call it quits at the end of the day and hope you have prioritized what most needed doing, and come back at it the next day.

The kids spent a lot of time helping dad drain the water out of the greenhouse this week. All that snow = a lot of water and mud! We had some muddy clothes but happy kids.

A Look Back

Tuning in to my brother-in-law Thomas’ sermon (he is a pastor in Kemptville, ON), I had a chance to look back a little at the birth of these greenhouses that define much of the landscape on our farm. He recalled spending an entire summer taking apart the greenhouses at the former White Rose property nearby, piece by piece. When I first met the Eng family I could have easily counted on one hand the amount of greenhouses on the property. Everything was done in the field, mostly with the most basic of tools- our hands. Washing the orders happened in a tiny shed. I can once even recall when there was a problem with the water, washing radishes in my tiny backyard right in the town of Zephyr. We’ve given it our all- that’s for sure. We’ve built now over 40 greenhouses (really, hoophouses) and this newest, largest and most sophisticated of the lot so far is just getting to work for the first time this week seeding the first crops of 2021! (Well after spinach, that has already been seeded directly in the ground in the fall). But back to Thomas’ sermon, we’ve done our part to control the conditions in the greenhouses- to protect plants from hail and damaging rains, to keep them warm and thriving- but there is so much beyond our control in farming and that’s where our faith in God has come in. He has protected us, and blessed us. He has taken what we could do and multiplied it and helped us to keep moving forward together- and for that I am so grateful.

So build your greenhouses- be wise, and know that things will happen that you cannot control in this life, but there is someone higher that will help and guide you if you trust in him.

Your Items this Week

This week I find myself incredibly grateful for our greenhouse growers! Our winter storage veggies and those of other organic farmers in the area are just about gone. Never have people cared more about local this year which is amazing. I wondered what the boxes would look like this week but I am excited for them now, mostly because of how our local greenhouses have been able to supply us with a great variety of fresh items despite it still being winter. We have cucumbers this week and tomatoes (still very expensive so just expect 1 this week), but I am most excited for the living lettuces from Slegers Living Organic Greens grown in Strathburn, Ontario. When I ordered them I expected 1 maybe 2 wee little lettuces but was surprised to find 6 or so large seedlings in a nice pot! You can pull the outer leaves off your lettuces and enjoy for salad, while letting the lettuce continue to grow. Transplant these babies into larger containers so they have more space and see how big you can get them! It may be tempting to eat all of it right away, but if you are patient you can end up with a lot of lettuce here! Just keep the soil moist by regular watering (but don’t let the water pool), place them in the sunniest spot INSIDE your house you can (Southern windows are ideal), and watch them grow. Hope you enjoy the process- I know we will at home!

Can you even handle the beauty of these living lettuces from Slegers Living Organic Greens?!

We did borrow some goodies from our US organic friends (sweet potatoes, broccoli and brussels sprouts), and will enjoy the last of the watermelon radish this week! They are really gorgeous thinly sliced or grated in a salad. We have Jerusalem artichokes from our farm this week, which remember make a beautiful Jerusalem artichoke creamy soup, pan fry easily when sliced, and roast up well with other root veggies. Don’t bother peeling- it’s way too much work and the skin is very thin and not bothersome.

Regular Organic Vegetable Shares

  • 4lbs yellow potatoes (Ontario organic)
  • 3lbs yellow onions (Manitoba organic)
  • 1lb jerusalem artichokes (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1lb watermelon radish (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 english cucumber (Ontario organic)
  • 1 green leaf/red leaf living lettuce pot (Slegers Living Organic Greens in Ontario)
  • 1.5lbs sweet potatoes (US organic)
  • 1 bunch broccoli (US organic)

Large Organic Vegetable Shares

  • 6lbs yellow potatoes (Ontario organic)
  • 3lbs yellow onions (Manitoba organic)
  • 1lb jerusalem artichokes (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1lb watermelon radish (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 english cucumber (Ontario organic)
  • 1 green leaf/red leaf living lettuce pot (Slegers Living Organic Greens in Ontario)
  • 1.5lbs sweet potatoes (US organic)
  • 1 bunch broccoli (US organic)
  • 1 large tomato (Canada organic)
  • 1lb brussels sprouts (US organic)

Organic Fruit Shares

  • 6-7 organic fuji or gala apples (BC organic)
  • 5 organic lemons
  • 1.5-2lbs mandarin oranges
  • 2 large organic mangoes
  • 1/2 pint organic blueberries

Recipes

This week was not all filled with victories in the cooking department- I had a little fiasco making chili with my instant pot giving me that dreaded “burn” message, probably because I had not “deglazed” or added some liquid and carefully cleaned out the bottom after browning the ground beef. After an emergency throw-whatever-is-in-the-freezer-in-the-oven moment, and by golly, we had such wonderful chili the next day. I love making chili with the raw beans from Fresh Acres farms but do make sure you deglaze the instant pot and add enough liquid if you use your instant pot! I also learned those little knobs on the lid come off (who knew), and need to be cleaned regularly.

This Sunday dinner had all the Southern comfort cooking vibes! Plus, it was really easy. Roasting does bring out the flavour in most roots, and these yellow potatoes were tha bomb, even with no toppings at all (though a little butter never hurt anything). I made this Broccoli Casserole pretty loosely following this recipe, with a modified version for my son who is dairy free, using goat, cheese, plain goat yogurt and dairy shreds, and he was one happy customer! For the chicken drumsticks I just used Epicure’s Gluten Free Southern Baked Chicken Mix which made things easy to put together. I baked the small ish potatoes in tin foil pierced with a fork and the chicken drums for about 45 mins, and added the broccoli casseroles in the last 15-20 mins. I also lightly steamed the broccoli before adding the cheese sauce to it and baking it.

Have a Sunny Week! Who else is ready to feel some POSITIVE temperatures!?

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Getting Close to Greenhouse Time

Happy Monday! It’s not so bad when the temperatures are getting milder. This Wednesday when I deliver, I’m not going to even stress about your veggies and fruits freezing- hooray! Thursday is set to be a little cooler, so please do plan to pick up your fruit and veggies soon after delivery.

The new greenhouse is really coming together. We have walls now, are in process for the roof and electrical. From there we will do heating and irrigation and we can finally begin seeding in there! Looks like the weather is being cooperative. We start seeding when the bitter cold nights warm up into minus single digit lows and we are getting some positive highs and sun! Sun is key, especially since we can add and retain heat to make good growing conditions. We had originally hoped for plexiglass walls but due to the investment being pretty astronomical, we went with 2 layers of plastic instead, with an insulation layer of blown air in between. Did you know air was a good insulator? Here’s a cool experiment if you want to discover more about different insulators that you could do for a good home-schooling lesson.

Savour the Local Items

This week we had to take advantage of a few organic items from the U.S.A. With the lower yields caused mostly by labour shortages and the higher demand for local food that the pandemic brought us, local winter storage crops are running out much faster than in prior years. This will be the last week for beets and they can store quite a few weeks in your fridge so hang onto them a while even if you are sick of beets because they are the last of our crop, and they will do a beautiful job dyeing your Middle Eastern Pickled Turnips!

New Giveaway!

Did you catch the interview with Amanda of Elpida Cafe and Roastery featured in our newsletter? She really inspired us with the difference we can make just drinking our morning cups of coffee when we source from places that truly empower women workers across the globe. We are also introducing a new 1lb bag of their medium nicaragua blend and dark columbia blend for you serious coffee lovers at a great value. To launch this offering and highlight the Elpida roastery we are giving away a free 1/2 bag of coffee! All you have to do is order any of the coffees from Elpida listed on our website and you will be automatically entered to win a free bag for a friend (one entry for each bag purchased)! (or to keep, I won’t judge). This is a small contest with just our winter farm share members so let’s just say your odds are pretty decent of winning. Either way, you’ll end up with some great coffee. Purchase some here.

Your veggies this week:

Regular Organic Winter Vegetable Baskets:

  • 4lbs yellow potatoes (Ontario organic)
  • 2lbs purple top turnip (Zephyr organics)
  • 1.5lbs Zephyr Organics red or golden beets
  • white mushrooms (Ontario organic)
  • 2lbs carrots (Quebec organic)
  • 1 greenhouse tomato (Quebec organic)
  • 1 head celery (U.S. organic)
  • 1 bunch broccoli (U.S. organic)

Large Organic Winter Vegetable Baskets:

  • 6lbs yellow potatoes (Ontario organic)
  • 2lbs purple top turnip (Zephyr organics)
  • 1.5lbs Zephyr Organics red or golden beets
  • white mushrooms (Ontario organic)
  • 2lbs carrots (Quebec organic)
  • 1 greenhouse tomato (Quebec organic)
  • 1 head celery (U.S. organic)
  • 1 bunch broccoli (U.S. organic)
  • 8oz baby spinach (U.S. organic)
  • 1.5lbs sweet potatoes (U.S. organic)

Fruit Shares

  • 1 organic pineapple
  • 1.5lbs organic blood oranges (red inside)
  • 2 organic mangoes
  • 1/2 pint organic blueberries or blackberries
  • 4 organic avocadoes

Middle Eastern Turnip Pickles!

Are you a fan of Middle Eastern food? Shawarma, falafel, tabouleh, hummus…I just can’t get enough and it’s quite nutritious as well. However, the surprisingly awesome thing about a nice Middle Eastern feast is the pickled turnips. With limited effort and a little patience, you could be enjoyed “turnip pickles” in a beautiful pink hue for weeks to come. The great thing is that you likely have most of these ingredients at home (especially after your farm share delivery): 2lbs turnip, 1 small red beet, 1 cup white vinegar, 3 cups water, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 bay leaves, 1/3 cup kosher salt and a glass jar with lid. Totally doable, right? Hope this recipe has you loving your Zephyr Organics turnip, along with the vitamin C, fibre, manganese and potassium that goes with it. Introduce some gut-healing bacteria through pickling it, and you are nourishing your body in all sorts of ways.

Broccoli 2 Ways

Broccoli Mushroom Stir Fry (Easy Vegan Dinner Option from cooktoria.com)

Get dinner on the table fast and feel good with this whole food dinner. Goes great with rice, quinoa or asian noodles or on its own.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed, avocado or olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1lb broccoli florets
  • 10 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds to garnish
  • optional: kick up the protein by topping with some roasted cashews

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, vinegar and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium high. Add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add broccoli, mushrooms and water. Stir fry for 5-7 minutes or until veggies are cooked to your desired doneness.
  4. Add soy sauce mixture and cook for another minute. Top with sesame seeds and/or cashews to serve.

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Bowties

Maybe it was the homemade East Side Marios-inspired dinner I cooked up for my husband on his birthday, but now he’s craving bowtie broccoli, which was one of their classic dishes. This recipe looks super easy and I think I can change up the sauce for my son with goat cheese and vegan mozzarella, and you can bet he will want it for lunch everyday! I like this recipe because it uses a small number of real ingredients. You could also add your mushrooms into this one and they would totally add! Just sautee them in garlic and butter first and they will be bursting with flavour!

I am going to leave you with an Irish blessing. It seems fitting as we have all faced a long year…and it’s only February.

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields and

until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

-Traditional Gaelic blessing
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Frosty but Fabulous

Brrr it’s been so cold, but at least that means if you are lucky enough to be near a pond they may offer some skating! We’re trying to have some fun to chase away those winter blues. Even if it’s a walk, especially at sunrise or sunset (they’ve been so stunning lately), it’s good to get outside, even if it’s brief.

Hello everyone! Today feels frosty but fabulous because I am very grateful to have my kids be able to attend school in person. Don’t worry, York Region and Toronto, you’re next. I care very much about the risk of the virus and want everyone to stay healthy and safe, but I have confidence that our school is taking every precaution to keep our kids safe and learning.

This Valentine’s day will look different for all of us! Without restaurants to take your sweetheart too, ordering take out from a favourite restaurant or cooking up something special from home fits the bill. Apparently doughnut bouquets are a thing now. Would one of those really say I love you to your loved one? I think if I could just make a doughnut my son could eat, that would be a gift. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t had one since the age of 2 due to numerous food sensitivities and he’s coming up on 10 now, so you do the math! I found this recipe I’d love to try for Vegan Gluten Free Baked Doughnuts. Have you ever made your own doughnuts? It sounds like fun.

Guess who also stays fabulous in the cold-ducks! They have indoor shelter but prefer outside, even dipping into that little “pond” of water for a swim. These are the same ducks that provide us with duck eggs. It’s nice to see someone enjoying the cold!

I am sorry but no doughnuts have been provided in your farm shares…but we can fix you up with some beautiful veggies to make your cold days a little warmer and tastier!

This week we get to enjoy the last of our golden beets for the season. Golden beets have a sweeter, less earthy taste but nutritional profile to red beets, which means a healthy dose of potassium and other nutrients that can lower blood pressure, support a healthy heart, prevent dementia and even improve athletic performance! (Maybe that’s Tom Brady’s secret- just kidding, i have not idea what he eats, but maybe we should find out ;). The point is, beets are pretty awesome, and while you could simply roast or boil them, here is another simple idea to mix it up: Roasted Golden Beets with Apple & Sage . The also juice beautifully, especially combined with some carrots or apples, or can be simply roasted like in this Honey Glazed Lemon Golden Beets . To top it off, the odd one is even shaped like a heart (sometimes the beet grows 2 sets of tops from the one root). If you are lucky you might find one in your bag!

One more simple idea for your rutabaga or really any veggie you are not sure what to do with: take a tip from fellow customer B:

“I tend to keep cooking simple and quick and, as mentioned, use béchamel sauce for a lot of things (approx. 1-2 tbsp margarine, 1-2 tbsp flour, cooked together for a couple of minutes, then add 1 cup or more of milk slowly and continue cooking, adding more milk if needed as it thickens). Add a sprinkling (about 1/2tsp) of grated nutmeg and a bit of salt. Into the sauce I add cooked, chopped spinach, or cubed, cooked turnips, or cooked endive, or pour it over cooked cauliflower. With added shredded old cheddar cheese melted in instead of nutmeg, it also makes a nice sauce for pasta.”

Now for the other items in your shares:

Regular Organic WInter Vegetable Shares

  • 4lbs yellow potatoes (Ontario organic)
  • 2lbs carrots (Quebec organic)
  • hothouse tomatoes (Quebec organic)
  • pint white mushrooms (Ontario organic)
  • 1.5lbs golden beets (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1lb watermelon radish (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 cauliflower (US organic)
  • 1 bunch broccoli (US organic)
  • 1.5lbs rutabaga (Zephyr Organics)

Family Organic Winter Vegetable Shares

  • 6lbs yellow potatoes (Ontario organic)
  • 4lbs carrots (Quebec organic)
  • hothouse tomatoes (Quebec organic)
  • pint white mushrooms (Ontario organic)
  • 1.5lbs golden beets (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1lb watermelon radish (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 cauliflower (US organic)
  • 1 bunch broccoli (US organic)
  • 1.5lbs rutabaga (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 green cabbage (Ontario organic)

Organic Fruit Shares

  • 3 organic red grapefruits
  • 5-6 large organic kiwis USA organic
  • 1/2 pint USA organic blueberries
  • 3lbs BC organic ambrosia apples
  • 5-6 organic navel oranges

Stay bundled, stay safe…and if you are feeling down, cook something new!

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Harvesting in January?!

Never did I ever imagine it! I thought harvesting in December was pretty good, but with our uncharacteristically mild winter, the black kale (and a few red kale) are still looking good! My husband Doug, the farm’s day to day manager says that many varieties of kale are good to -15C! No one said they were still growing at those temperatures, but keeping firm and healthy- that they can do. But why should you care if you are not a farming geek like me? Lol it’s the health benefits, baby! Kale is a powerhouse for delivering cancer-fighting power, especially eaten raw. Just one cup of raw kale will serve you up 200% of your daily vitamin A, 600% of your vitamin K, and over 100% of your daily value of vitamin C, along with being a good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese (see some details here). Hungry yet? If you are not a weirdo like me that snacks on raw kale while harvesting or cooking, however do you get the goodness of this crucifer into you? Lucky for you the flavour is much sweeter this time of year thanks to all the frost.

If you want to get the maximum benefits, try this Black Kale Salad. Not a dairy eater? No worries, this salad is great with nutritional yeast in place of the parmesan, or go fancy and try a vegan parmesan. You might need to go to a natural grocer for this specialty item. I hear Trish at the Bar Cafe in Uxbridge. You could also do almond slices instead of the croutons to make it gluten-free, or just do gluten free croutons. The real plus with this salad is it being yummy for days and not going mushy like lettuce does when dressed. You could prep this salad once and have it handy to complement multiple meals. A key with kale salads is to massage the kale. Sounds weird, but it softens it up and adds the flavour of the dressing to each bite. Another way to enjoy the kale raw is to put a couple leaves in your favourite smoothie. Whip it up good and reap the benefits.

Maybe raw kale seems scary to you (it can actually be quite good). Black kale also cooks up beautifully. Just remove the leaves from the stems and chop them finely, adding them to soups, pastas or stir fries. They add some colour and a fantastic nutrient boost. You can also try this Italian Sausage and Kale Soup with Butternut Squash and Black Garlic. White beans also pair beautifully with kale in soups. I love how the kale keeps a little texture in soup instead of wilting away like spinach.

Looking for hearty soups to fill you up? Lots of ideas here. This one is Baba’s Borscht, which we shared in our last newsletter. You can still see the recipe at this link: http://mailchi.mp/df46b4e2b246/new-year-new-growth .

Another new to you item this week is purple top turnip. The ones we have for you this week grew big and beautiful, which actually makes them quite easy to work with. I simply cut mine in half and peeled the one half, cutting it into cubes. Then I peeled and cut about a pound of potatoes. I boiled them and mashed them together when tender, adding salt, pepper, vegan butter, and a little bit of garlic and coconut milk (you can use regular milk too). The kids enjoyed them as a more familiar menu item. Tip: don’t put in as much milk as you would with all potatoes as the turnip has more moisture of its own.

One more amazing Ontario item from our farm this week is Jerusalem Artichokes. The funny thing is, they are not really an artichoke at all but a tuber from the sunflower family. These roots that look a little like ginger grow all season long and are harvested after they bloom, in November. They are best cooked (easier to digest that way) and make a fabulous Cream of Jerusalem Artichoke Soup Recipe | . Otherwise, you can simply wash and slice them (no need to peel), and sauté them in butter or olive oil with a little garlic in a fry pan. They are tender-crisp when ready. They can also be roasted in the oven mixed with your other root veggies like carrots, beets, turnips, etc.

Here’s Your Full Veggie and Fruit Lineup for the Week:

Regular Organic Vegetable Shares

  • 4lbs Ontario organic russet potatoes
  • 2lbs Ontario organic rainbow carrots
  • 2lbs Zephyr Organics purple top turnip
  • 1lb Zephyr Organics Jerusalem artichokes
  • 1 Ontario/Zephyr Organics red cabbage
  • 2lbs Manitoba organic red onions
  • 1 Zephyr Organics bunch of black kale
  • 3 US Organic Romaine hearts

Family Sized Organic Vegetable Shares

  • 6lbs Ontario organic russet potatoes
  • 4lbs Ontario organic rainbow carrots
  • 2lbs Zephyr Organics purple top turnip
  • 1lb Zephyr Organics Jerusalem artichokes
  • 1 Ontario/Zephyr Organics red cabbage
  • 2lbs Manitoba organic red onions
  • 1 Zephyr Organics bunch of black kale
  • 3 US Organic Romaine hearts
  • 1 Ontario organic butternut squash

Fruit Shares

  • 3 organic red grapefruits
  • 2lbs giant satsuma mandarin oranges
  • 2lbs BC organic gala apples
  • 2lbs organic anjou pears
  • 1/2 pint organic blackberries

Hope you are inspired to enjoy all the local items the winter season brings us! Have a beautiful week!

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Back into Farm Shares: and the Juggling Begins :)

Happy New Year everyone! I am thankful for the break I had to be with my family and slow the pace down a little.

It sure was a different year this year with all the restrictions in place but I had a precious time with my closest family and we got our white Christmas (and my husband did not have to snow plough on Christmas morning), so I am so grateful for that!

Like us, I am sure many of you are navigating online learning with your kids. I feel like I have a new part-time job, and I know it’s not any easier for teachers. Once we figured out everything at home we had to move it all to the farm because my kids need to go somewhere while I work. Here I’m sending some love and grace out there to you other parents, and any teachers in the bunch, learning to juggle online schooling with your other responsibilities. Also, thank you to our essential workers getting the job done every day in an uncertain time. I salute you!

My favourite gift this year was a google nest given to me by my hubby. I’m sure it can do lots more things, but for now I’m making it play all the tunes that get me singing and dancing instead of getting stuck in ruts. Cleaning the kitchen and cooking up healthy foods has never been so fun!

It made me think of how empowering of a place that the kitchen can be. Yes, I really said that…but the kitchen feels empowering to me because though there is little I can control in the grand scheme of things, I can make simple choices there that help the people around me be healthier and happier. I feel empowered when I choose REAL, organic ingredients to cook with. I feel empowered when I know where my food is coming from. I feel empowered when I can educate my children in the process, or share my kitchen creations with a friend or family member that could use a lift. So, yes, while it might be hard to be the primary food prepper day in and day out, I am enjoying pumping up the music and peeling and chopping my way to better health and meals that bring us together (minus the lipstick and heels).

So, to the boxes! I had a customer tell me he would be interested to know what local items I could come up with in January, and I think you’ll really enjoy what we have to offer this week:

Regular Veggie Shares

  • 4lbs potatoes (Ontario organic)
  • 2lbs rainbow carrots (Ontario organic)
  • 1 green cabbage (Ontario organic)
  • 1 clam cremini mushrooms (Ontario organic)
  • 2lbs yellow Onions (Manitoba organic)
  • 2lbs beets (Zephyr Organics)
  • 2lbs rutabaga (Zephyr Organics)
  • 2lbs parsnips (Ontario Organic)
  • 1 cauliflower (us organic)
  • bag green kale (Zephyr Organics- will use alternate item if needed)

Wow, yes, there are really 10 items in this bin!!! The extra value is because we had an issue with a couple items on your last bin due to the extreme cold, and we 100 percent always want to give you our best! Hope you enjoy.

Large Veggies

  • 6lbs potatoes (Ontario organic)
  • 2lbs rainbow carrots (Ontario organic)
  • 1 green cabbage (Ontario organic)
  • 1 clam cremini mushrooms (Ontario organic)
  • 2lbs yellow Onions (Manitoba organic)
  • 2lbs beets (Zephyr Organics)
  • 2lbs rutabaga (Zephyr Organics)
  • 2lbs parsnips (Ontario Organic)
  • 1 cauliflower (us organic)
  • bag green kale (Zephyr Organics- will use alternate item if needed)
  • 1 clam salad mix (us organic)
  • 1 chinese cabbage or extra carrots)

Fruit Shares (all items certified organic)

  • 2lbs granny smith apples (BC organic)
  • 2lbs navel oranges
  • 5 lemons
  • 1/2 pint raspberries or blackberries
  • 1.5lbs kiwi

Recipes

Cabbage Roll Casserole

This recipe was a hit with the family! Word of advise- make sure you leave lots of time to cook it and check and make sure you have enough liquid in with the meat/rice mixture…I might have had a very had pan to clean after ;). I made it dairy free for my ds by using vegan cheese but otherwise made the recipe the same. I even used chinese cabbage because the savoy I had was not enough.

Here’s the recipe from Small Town Woman: Cabbage Roll Casserole (Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls) (smalltownwoman.com)

Kale Chips!

Not just a snack idea, friends. This was a great way to get my kids to eat the kale at dinnertime without the icky texture. Here’s a recipe for kale chips in the oven: Easy Oven Baked Kale Chips Using Coconut Oil – Vegan & GF (cleaneatingkitchen.com) . I used olive oil, a little apple cider vinegar and my Epicure smoky tomato nutritional yeast topper and they were delish! I had to stop myself from eating them all while the rest of supper cooked.

Morroccan Chickpea Stew

This one was easy enough in my instant pot that I made it for lunch. Even my meat-loving husband enjoyed it and never asked “where’s the meat?”. It would totally make a great dinner too. The spices are just so good. Veggies used included onion, carrot and kale (used in place of spinach). I actually like kale better in soups because it retains a little texture.

Try the easy recipe here: Instant Pot Moroccan Chickpea Stew | Simply Happy Foodie

Bonus Kale Idea: Goes Great on pizza. This pizza with homemade crust was down right indulgent! I started with a whole wheat pizza crust for us and a gluten free vegan one for my son, added tomato paste for the sauce, put some finely chopped kale (from my freezer stash) both below and on top of the cheese, added cheese and sauteed sausage and pepperoni and goat cheese crumbles, and nom nom! The kale on top was my fave because it crisped up like kale chips.

On my menu this week I also have instant pot beef stew with potatoes, carrots, rutabaga and parsnips, Roasted sweet garlic chicken and vegetables (used my beets here), chicken and cauliflower casserole with creamy mushroom sauce, and fish with rutabaga fries.

Now it’s your turn. What will you create with your local, organic bounty?

Here are a couple photos of some of our winter fun. Hope you have been getting creative and getting outside 🙂

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Staying Grounded in Tough Times

As I write this, friends, York Region is joining Toronto in a lockdown. This means that most of our Farm Share members are currently in a lockdown, right before the holidays. This is tough, especially for the small business owners. Those that have found a way to make curbside pickup work- please think of them as you plan for the holidays. You could be someone’s Christmas miracle! I hope you have found a way to bless someone. Sometimes unexpected gifts are the best ones. Is there someone you know that is truly alone during this lockdown? They might not have any kids coming over or even a job to go to (seriously, it’s nice to have a way out of the house now and then ;). Even the smallest gift can mean so very much. I am looking forward to having the kids home and doing some simple Christmas baking! I think I’m not the only once since the grocery store was sold out of baking powder! Lucky for me (and maybe you too!), I don’t have to cancel all my baking plans because baking powder can be made at home using 3 simple ingredients. Here’s the recipe. I found the cream of tartar in with the spices at the grocery store. In my experience, the best way to get out of a rut is through gratitude (actually writing it down or taking pictures of things that make you grateful without that leading to an hour on social media as you post it- lol) and looking outward. If you are feeling low or lonely, chances are someone else is in that spot too. Just a simple phone call with a real live human will give you both a boost, provided of course you keep it positive. It could just be simply. “Hey, I was thinking of you. I’m glad we’re friends.” Calls like that are gold! If worse comes to worse and they can’t pick up, you could leave them a little voicemail pick me up. And of course, there are always little gifts…handmade is even better!

This week I tried making cheesecake bites for the first time. I was going to make cheesecake, but had no idea that people use $15 worth of cream cheese to make a whole cheesecake (like 4 bricks…wow!). Since I had only one extra brick of cream cheese, and had no desire to eat a whole cheesecake among the 4 of us who can eat such things, I discovered this Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites Recipe! It would be a great addition to your holiday menu, or just because, and it is sized just right for those smaller gatherings we are expecting this year. Plus, if you have a pumpkin from us that is just not vibing with your winter decor, this is the right time to eat it up. I used a small pumpkin (probably about 2lbs), which yielded me 1 and a half cups pumpkin puree. This left me a whole cup after making the cheesecake which I used the very next day in pancakes. I just added them to this recipe, which I love- it’s a great gluten-free & vegan pancake recipe that always seems to turn out, and the addition of pumpkin and cinnamon (and let’s be honest, a few chocolate chips too), just took it up a notch. Please note, I reduced the coconut milk a little as the pumpkin puree added a moisture of its own (maybe about 1/2 cup less milk). Another note, if you get a big pie pumpkin leaving you more puree than you know what to do with, pour the puree into muffin tins and freeze. Then, run a little hot water over the underside (keeping the pumpkin pucks dry), and they will just pop out and can go right into a ziploc in the freezer for future recipes. Note: you might want to do this over a bowl or clean sink, in case they “pop” out when you least expect it ;).

Get the recipe for Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes here.

I’ve got to follow my own advice here and say a big thank you- you have been such solid supporters of our farm that we have reached capacity yet again. I want to serve everyone up our organic produce and eggs, but the reality is I can’t. I would rather serve a smaller number well than a larger number just so-so. But I am so thankful that on top of the pandemic, lack of childcare and activities, labour shortages, record-breaking pests and high heat and drought, I did not have to chase down customers. You came and you came with gratitude, and I am so very grateful! Please keep us in the loop if there is anything we can do to serve you better. A simple idea I had was to provide a couple extra stocking stuffers/teacher/neighbour gift options. Spark’s Honey Co (right in Mount Albert) makes some beautiful body care products like the Winter Salve (nice rich moisturizing that works well even with sensitive skin) and Peppermint Lip Balm made with their own beeswax. I can take orders up until 4pm tomorrow for delivery, or if you miss the deadline but don’t mind the drive, we can also arrange pick up. Just trying to make your life easier with the in-store shopping coming to a halt for many of you. Don’t forget that coffee is probably the gift teachers most need this year (Am I right!?) and we have some lovely maples syrup, honey and mango preserves as well. Simple email me and send an etransfer to [email protected] if ordered through the website gives you trouble. 🙂

What’s in your bins this week:

Regular Winter Veggie Shares (all items certified organic)

  • 4lbs yellow potatoes (Pennings, Ontario)

2lbs sweet potatoes (Norfolk, Ontario- last of the season!)

1 red or savoy cabbage (Zephyr Organics- last of the season)

  • 2lbs carrots (Pfennings Ontario)

2lbs red beets (Zephyr Organics)

1lb yellow onions (Zephyr/Ontario organic)

1 squash (pepper or pie pumpkin- last of the season)

1lb vine tomatoes (Ontario greenhouse)

1 8oz spring mix (US organic)

Large Veggie Shares (same as above but with the addition of…)

Extra 2lbs potatoes

extra 2lbs carrots

Extra 1lb onions

1 english cucumber (Ontario organic)

Fruit Shares

1 pineapple (Organic)

1 Cantaloupe (Organic)

2lbs clementines (Organic)

2 x 1/2 pint blueberries (organic)

2.5lbs BC organic Gala apples

In conclusion friends, I hope you have a beautiful holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, or Hannukah or just enjoy taking a break with your close family, enjoying the natural wonders (look up to the sky over the next few night to see the Geminids meteor shower and then again on Dec 21st to see Jupiter and Saturn align in the sky and make a “Christmas Star”. These are rare and special events to behold. Lots of neighborhoods have beautiful light displays to drive or walk through. Holiday tunes can boost your moods…baking, especially with a buddy or to give as a gift, getting off social media and making a real live phone call or having a zoom meeting (online video conversation hosting site). Freeze your butt off and make a snowman or sled down a hill. Who cares if you are a grown-up – grown-ups need fun too! We’re not going to be shut in forever folks. We still have much to be grateful for. Help a friend get through this too. We can still have a beautiful Holiday Season together. All we need is love. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Engs and those few brave souls still working on these chilly days!

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Here comes December!

Can you believe that December is here? Normally I am wishing away November, as it is the greyest month of the whole year, but this year was totally different- we got actual sunshine! Even on Sunday, I forced my kiddos to go outside. “Soak up all the vitamin D while you can!” I told them. Seriously I am so thankful for that little bit of sunshine. Now on the farm we are slowly saying goodbye to all the migrant workers. Only 2 will remain after tomorrow, and we are so happy to send them home healthy to their families. I tell them often, “We could seriously not do this without you!”. Our workers make a huge sacrifice spending a long time away from their homes to earn a good living for their families and feed us Canadians both on our farm and virtually industry-wide. So if you ate today, thank a farmer, yes, but also thank a migrant worker!

Tonight after a busy day preparing your share boxes on the farm, I served tacos (“a-crap-it’s-dinner-time-and-I-haven’t starting-cooking-yet”) favourite around our house. I kept it pretty simple aside from adding some grated celery root to my taco meat mix (I get those extra vitamins in where I can, folks). I find with kids, you never know whether you will have a tweety bird to dinner or a velociraptor. Tonight we had the velociraptor, so my portion wasn’t quite as robust as I would have liked. Enter a good-ol night snack of mango salsa and tortilla chips. We have our own mango salsa made right on the farm with organic mangos. It’s sweet and a little tangy, and you can tickle your sweet and salty tastebuds all at once when you pair it with some tortilla chips!

Being home a little more for me means lots more cooking and baking from scratch! I made up this chicken soup I am calling Rainbow Chicken Soup ’cause check out the beautiful rainbow of in season organic veggies it contains! I used a spent hen (laying hen that’s not laying well anymore) to make the stock and provide the soup with ample meat, but you could simply used leftover chicken bones and add some meat after if you like. I like to keep bones leftover from roast chickens or even chicken legs in the freezer until I have enough to fill my instant pot. It’s nice not to waste the bones as they contain so many nutrients, especially for your gut health, like L-glutamine, which helps repair your intestinal walls! Now aren’t you hungry after hearing that?! lol ok so it sounds weird, but it is good for you friends. Of course this soup gets knocked up about 100 levels with the addition of carrots, celery root, savoy cabbage, watermelon radish and baby bokchoy. See Recipe below.

Your Farm Shares This Week:

Regular Organic Veggie Shares:

  • 4lbs red potatoes (Downey Farms, Ontario organic)
  • 1 bunch or 2lbs organic carrots (Zephyr organic or Pfennings organics, Ontario)
  • 1lb watermelon radish (Zephyr Organics)
  • Brussels sprouts or parsnips (Zephyr Organics/Pfennings)
  • 1 red or savoy cabbage (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 pie pumpkin (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1lb baby bok choy (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 bunch green kale (Zephyr Organics)
  • 2lbs rutabaga (Zephyr Organics) – not as bitter as turnip and works great as oven fries!

Family Sized Boxes Get everything above plus:

  • extra 2lbs potatoes
  • extra bunch or 1lb of carrots
  • 2lbs beets (Zephyr Organics)
  • both brussels sprouts and parsnips

Fruit Shares

  • 1 organic honey dew melon
  • 1 organic pineapple
  • 7 BC organic bartlett or anjou pears
  • 4 organic lemons
  • 1/2 pint organic raspberries

Rainbow Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 spent hen or bones/leftover meat from roast chicken
  • Water to fill instant pot or stock pot to fill line
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (helps release the nutrients from the bones)
  • 1 small-medium red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, scrubbed clean and chopped
  • 1 cup watermelon radish, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup celery root, peeled and chopped
  • 1-1.5 cups savoy cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 head baby bokchoy
  • 1 cup gluten free rotini noodles (or noodle/rice of choice)
  • thyme, salt and pepper to taste
  • bay leaf (optional but adds great flavour)

Directions

  1. Lay chicken/bones in instant pot or stock pot so it lays beneath the fill line (I had to cut mine a little to get it to fit)
  2. Fill pot with water and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar.
  3. Add thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf if using.
  4. Add finely chopped onion and garlic, sauteeing first if you have the time.
  5. Bring water to the boil on your stove or set instant pot to seal and pressure cook for 40 mins. If cooking on the stove, I would at least simmer it for 2 hours before adding other ingredients (the longer the better for getting the nutrients out of the bones.)
  6. Carefully set the instant pot to quick release and wait until safe to open. Add celery root, watermelon radish, carrots and cabbage and pressure cook for 4 mins. If working on stovetop, add all vegetables except baby bok choy and let simmer until tender on stovetop.
  7. Do another careful quick release on the instant pot and when pressure is released, add noodles and baby bokchoy and cook on sautee until noodles are al dente (as per the package directions). I find especially gluten free noodles can continue to cook and get mushy in the hot soup, so cook them until just tender. On stovetop, simply add the noodles and baby bokchoy and cook till al dente.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning, and enjoy! My family is a little cray-cray for garlic naan, so us gluten-eaters have some of that with our soup, and my ds who is gluten-free just had a little toast and butter (note to self, learn how to make vegan, gluten free naan!).

Savoy, Watermelon Radish and Carrot Coleslaw for 3-4

Ingredients

  • 3 cups finely chopped savoy cabbage (I find the savoy doesn’t do as well on the grater so I prefer to chop with a knife)
  • 1 cup grated watermelon radish
  • 1-2 large carrots
  • optional : 1 cup red cabbage
  • dressing: 1/4 cup italian salad dressing, 3 tbsp. mayonnaise, 1 tsp liquid honey, dash of salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Chop the cabbage, grate the watermelon radish and carrots, and add to mixing bowl (If you want to save dishes, pick a container with a lid for easy cleanup of leftovers).
  2. Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl and toss in salad. Goes great with homemade chicken burgers (pictured) or fish. Tip: my kids are not into coleslaw yet- I offered them carrot sticks and watermelon radish sticks to snack on. While I haven’t sold them on the watermelon radish raw yet, I am giving them the chance to try something new and expand their repertoire, so that’s a win in my books :).

Looking for a recipe for those Brussels Sprouts that does not involve bacon? Try this recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Reduction. Even if you don’t have all the ingredients, this post gives you great tips on how to perfectly roast your sprouts, which most foodies will tell you is THE way to enjoy brussels sprouts. Enjoy!.