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Farm Share Week 8 (July 25-28, 2018)

Picking blackberries for the fruit shares…so gorgeous!

Hello from the farm,

Hope you are having a wonderful week. We’ve been busy picking all sorts of yummy things as usual (more broccoli, now some cauliflower, and kohlrabi). What do you do with some kohlrabi you say? It’s got a nice crunchy texture and is in the brassica family like broccoli. The taste I find is similar. I peeled and sloced mine as a crudite, and also peeled and grated another one for in some collard green wraps with salmon salad and lettuce. What a satisfying and easy meal it was, and it’s low carb, gluten and dairy free as well.

I am super stoked about Melanie at Sparks Honey’s first harvest of the year with the bees living on our farm. I never knew the taste could vary that much in honey, but seriously, this is the best honey I’ve tasted! Looks like the organic veggie life is agreeing with our 6 legged friends :). If you are dying to know how great it tastes, or want the health benefits of raw local honey, message me and I’ll send a jar with your farm share or pick it up from the farm store. The cost is $15 for 2lbs.

This week I had the immense but slightly painful pleasure of picking blackberries! Those thorns had my by the head and shirt at some points, but they are so worth it! What a treat for me. This was the first time I got to try them freshly picked. Hope you are as jazzed as I am fruit share people.

Watermelom will be ready so soon! They really look gorgeous out there. Maybe 1 more week, and green beans are coming soon too.

Another new item is those pickling cucumbers. We will have them for bulk orders soon, but we thought we’d give you the first taste. No, you do not have to go to great efforts to enjoy pickles. Here’s an easy recipe to savour the fresh pickles for longer.

Now, for your list:

 

Half Shares

  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Snow or sugar snap peas
  • Beets
  • Broccoli, cauliflower or kohlrabi
  • Endive or dandelion greens (curly leafy veg. We recommend them as a cooking green as they are a bitter veg)
  • Collard greens (make amazing raw wraps)
  • Red kale
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Pickling cucumbers

Whole Shares (same as above with…)

  • Carrots
  • Radish
  • Cauliflower or broccoli and kohlrabi
  • Fennel
  • Mint (remember, it’s mojito season!) Try mint syrup with some club soda…yumm
  • Red leaf lettuce

Fruit Shares

  • 2.5lbs bananas
  • 1lb strawberries
  • 1/2 pint locally picked (and organic of course) blackberries
  • 4 grapefruits
  • 1 pineapple

Hope you enjoy the fruits of our labours!

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Feb 20-21, 2018 Winter Shares

This week was an exciting one as all 3 of the farm owners, the owner of farm share (myself), and our littlest sprout were able to take a couple days away at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Niagara Falls. We go to this conference most years, but I especially enjoyed this one. I learned more about Jerusalem artichokes, the funky tubers in your veggie bins this week.

Some fun facts: the are indigenous to North America and one of the first cultivated plants in North America. The First Nations People were already using it in 1605 when it was first recorded by early settlers.

What was even more exciting to discover was that they are rich in inulin, a prebiotic that is stellar for our digestive and immune systems! I’ve learned you can make them into pickles, but for now, a creamy soup is the perfect way to enjoy these tubers.

Here’s a tip from fellow customer, environmentalist, herbalist, and overall awesome person Gloria:

“I made the most delicious sunchoke soup with the first winter veggie delivery. Didn’t peel, only washed well and scrubbed. Added leek, garlic, celery and a half bunch of kale.. Puréed in blender. Very elegant.”

I myself was torn between making butternut squash soup and jerusalem artichoke soup this week, having both items in our shares, so I decided on…both! I was excited to get all these nutrients into my family, from the grown-ups, to the kids, to the baby!

Butternut Squash & Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

After peeling, I slice the butternut squash thickly. The rounded end of the squash will have seeds.
I make about 5 angular cuts to separate the seeds from the flesh, creating cubes as I go.
All the ingredients in the slow cooker, ready to go!

 

Cooked, pureed, and ready to enjoy!Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1   2lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed. (See photo for how I do this)
  • 1lb Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed (I used a Norwex veggie and fruit cloth. A nylon bristle brush also works) and cubed
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cube chicken boullion
  • 3/4 tsp stevia
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup coconut milk (optional) (from the carton or can- your choice)

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients except coconut milk in a slow cooker on high. Cook 4-5 hours.
  2. Transfer to blender or blend with immersion blender, being extra cautious with the hot liquid.
  3. Pour in coconut milk and mix. Enjoy!

In your shares this week:

  • butternut squash 2-4lbs
  • 1.5lbs zucchini
  • 2lbs carrots (Zephyr)
  • 2lbs red beets (Zephyr)
  • 2lbs purple top turnip (Zephyr)
  • 1lbs Jerusalem artichokes (Zephyr)
  • small package Cremini mushrooms (Ontario organic!)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 bunch broccoli or 1 head cauliflower

Fruit

  • 2.5lbs bananas
  • 1 red watermelon
  • 6 apples (Fuji, BC)
  • 4 oranges
  • 4 avocadoes

 

 

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Winter Share Delivery 1 (Nov 14/15 )

Well you’ve got your lovely bunch of vegetables (and maybe fruit too). Could you use some inspiration? Maybe a slightly embarrassing story about my ineptitude and sheer ignorance with avocados?

But first, your veggies and fruit baskets for this week Nov 14/15

Vegetables

  • 4lbs russet potatoes
  • 3lbs yellow onions
  • 1lb brussels sprouts
  • 2lb carrots
  • 2lbs rutabaga
  • 1lb red peppers
  • 1 caraflex (sweet) cabbage
  • 1lb baby bokchoy
  • 1 bunch green kale

Fruits

  • 3 grapefruits
  • 4 avocados
  • 2 pomegranates
  • 3lbs bananas
  • 3lbso apples

 

Well, here come the story and recipes. I was joining this group of farmer ladies for a luncheon, already feeling like a bit of an imposter because many of these women lead their own farms…bottle feed lambs, have kept them in their houses to protect against the cold…know all about livestock and germination and the like, and I married into this gig not knowing a bunch of kale from a head of bok choy. For some reason I thought it was wise to offer to bring the guacamole, a dish I loved but had never made. At least I knew you needed avocados…so I went to the store that same day and brought home my first bag of avocados.

My first challenge was getting into them. I think I used a vegetable peeler which worked ok, managed to wrestle the pits out and then as per the recipe, began to “mash” them. I put all of my might into the mashing and even bent my masher. No results. Then I got out the mixer and gave that a go. Still, nothing was mashed about those avocadoes. Next, I got out the blender and let that sad little thing try to get somewhere, stopping to mix it around. I think at the end I ended up with some half decent guacamole, but let me save you the trouble.

Green skin= not ripe
Rock hard= not ripe (my problem!)
Skin pulling away from insides= too ripe
Blackish skin, a little give or tenderness when lightly felt with your fingers= just right.

Now that I have at least a few hundred avocadoes under my belt, I like to cut mine around the middle, and twist the two halves in opposite direction tovopen. Then I normally cut square shapes right into the half and scoop out. You can also peel away the skin with a properly ripened avocado.

Then, make this pudding!

Avocado Coconut Milk Pudding

Ingredients
-2 – 2 1/2 ripe avocadoes
-3/4 cup pitted dates
-5 bsp. Cocoa powder
-1 1/2 Tbsp. Stevia, or to taste
-1 can full fat coconut milk (go organic if you can. I also like Arroy-D brand because it is free of additives)
-1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
-peel the avocadoes and scoop flesh into blender. Add dates, cocoa powder, coconut milk and vanilla extract and blend on high until texture is smooth and pudding like. Add stevia  to taste for added sweetness (plant based and doesn’t spike your blood sugar)
-enjoy! Add some berries or bananas for a delicious snack or dessert full of fruit and healthy fats.

And for the rutabaga…a few people swapped theirs out this week. I don’t think they’ve given these fries a try! While the dietary fibre, potassium, manganese and vitamin C make these a great choice, they really hold up on the taste end too.

They definitely are more filling then their potato counterparts and ended up with a nice tender crisp texture in the oven.

Rutabaga Fries (serves 4 as a side)

Ingredients

-2 lbs rutabaga,  peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick fry shapes
-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
-salt and paprika, liberally sprinkled

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss rutabaga fries in olive oil and spread out on large baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and paprika.

2. Cook about 30 minutes, turning part way for even cooking

Simple Steamed Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients
-1 lb Brussels Sprouts
-1 Tbsp MELT butter alternative
-sprinkle of salt

Directions
1. Put water in the bottom of a sauce pan and place washed brussels sprouts in steaming basket inside.

2. Place lid on. Bring water to boil and cook until slightly tender and bright green. Take off the heat when they seem a little under done as they will continue to cook in the steam. Remove steaming basket and sprouts, pour out water into sink and return sprouts only to pot. Toss in MELT and sprinkle with salt. Serve . (The kids even ate these without drama. Win!)

Enjoy!

 

 

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Farm Share Week 21 (Oct 23-25, 2013)

This is the second-last week of farm share, and the last week for some of you with biweekly boxes. It’s hard to believe another season is over, but admittedly my motivation go harvest out in the fields cools off with my frozen toes. On a warmer note, this week’s bin is just crying out for some good soups. I believe everything in your box would be delightful in one of 3 soup ideas listed below. This week there are some back to back frosts happening, so the fields are pretty much empty now, save a few frost-hardy crops. Delightfully, there are still many different items available and I didn’t have a need to desperately hoard things to have enough for your last few boxes. This time of year I get very possessive of everything grown on the farm that’s in limited quantity. I don’t want to end up giving you 3 types of kale in your box at once, and I won’t need to. Phew!

Perhaps you are eager to pick out your own comfort food staples from the grocery store after a season of creatively cooking the farm-fresh variety we sent your way. For those faced with a limited organic selection (especially in Durham), one of the farm’s owners, Ted has opened up Teddy’s Organic Market in downtown Uxbridge, (www.teddysorganicmarket.com). Those of you from urban areas still wanting home delivery and as much of local produce as you can get through the winter and spring may wish to check out https://toronto.greenearthorganics.com . I have long wanted to create a winter share myself, but desiring to put my best into both home and work life means keeping farm share seasonal for now.

 

Half Shares

  • red swiss chard
  • green kale
  • jerusalem artichokes (not sure about this new tuber? Learn to love it for all the good stuff in it- see a nutrition profile here on this iron and potassium powerhouse http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2456/2 ). Mash it together with mashed potatoes for an easy nutrition boost. No need to peel the skin, just wash well). I’ve even eaten mine in a twist on shepherd’s pie.
  • Buttercup, butternut or delicata squash
  • carrots
  • red beets
  • garlic chives
  • red radish
  • celery
  • green peppers

Whole Share

  • red swiss chard
  • green kale
  • jerusalem artichokes (not sure about this new tuber? Learn to love it for all the good stuff in it- see a nutrition profile here on this iron and potassium powerhouse http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2456/2 ). Mash it together with mashed potatoes for an easy nutrition boost. No need to peel the skin, just wash well). I’ve even eaten mine in a twist on shepherd’s pie.
  • Buttercup, butternut or delicata squash
  • carrots
  • red beets
  • garlic chives
  • red radish
  • celery
  • green peppers
  • red cabbage
  • leeks
  • baby bokchoy
  • eggplant
  • coloured peppers

 

Recipes

This one’s been circulating around facebook and it made me happy to see a recipe with in-season produce! From www.mindbodygreen.com

Harvest Minestrone With Quinoa and Kale

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet onion (or sub one leek- save greens of leek and add later in cooking)
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 3 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil (or enough to cover the bottom of the pot)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh zucchini (sub for chopped radish)
  • 2 cups green beans- cut in 1 in. pieces
  • 1 bell pepper- medium diced
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 28oz cans water
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric (or to taste)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish with parmesan to taste and chopped garlic chives

Directions

1. Place a large stockpot over medium heat heat and add onions, carrot and celery. Cook for about 5 mins or until softened. Add the garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for about 1 min or until garlic begins to colour.

2. Add the zucchini and green beans, season with salt and pepper, add the turmeric, stir and cook for about 3 mins. Add the tomatoes and water, raise heat to high and bring to a boil.

3. Lower the heat to medium-low and allow the soup to gently boil uncovered for 20 mins. Add quinoa and cover for 15 mins. Remove the cover, add kale and canned beans (more water if needed), bring back to a gentle boil and cook for another 5 minutes or until the kale is tender.

  1. Grate the parmesan, add garlic chives and serve (or do in individual servings).

 

Creamy Dairy-Free Jerusalem Artichoke and Leek Soup

An easy and amicable soup that eats a potato soup’s heart out nutrition-wise.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. Chopped garlic
  • 1 medium leek, chopped with greens separated from whites
  • 1 lb. Jerusalem artichokes (scrubbed, not peeled, sliced ¼ in. thick)
  • 3 cups chicken stock (or 2 cups chicken stock and 1 cup plain unsweetened milk alternative)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. Chopped garlic chives

Directions

  1. Melt the oil in a medium-sized saucepan over high heat, add garlic and leek whites and cook until soft, about 2 mins. Add jerusalem artichokes and sautee about 2 mins. Add stock and leeks and simmer until chokes are tender. Add milk substitute (if using) and bring back to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Puree in blender until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve (I never remembered doing this and it tasted fine to me). Keep warm. Sprinkle with chive and serve.

 

Enjoy your last (or almost last) taste of this year’s harvest!

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Farm Share Week 20 (Oct 16-18, 2013)

Well, I think it is officially cold season. Many viruses have been shared among my family and friends but my little family has escaped with a couple days of very mild symptoms. Thinking of the veggies in your farm shares this week- kale, brussels sprouts, bok choy and sweet peppers, it is interesting to note what nutritional superstars they are for their abundance of vitamins and minerals, especially much-needed vitamin C. I see it as a heaven-sent blessing that such veggies would come ready just as the temperatures dip and our immune systems come under fire. So eat up and arm your body to fight off those germs. Also, remember this is no time to cheat on your sleep. Cheat- and you will be caught…by a bug! (Or so my experience warns).

Half Share

  • red or green leaf lettuce (probably the last week- it is still coming out of the fields!
  • Snow or sugar snap peas (totally an unexpected blessing given the frosts we have had)
  • white bok choy
  • black kale (aka dinasaur kale)
  • savoy cabbage
  • brussels sprouts (the jingle-bell like stalks- see below for recipe ideas)

    or jerusalem artichokes

  • rainbow carrots
  • red radish (leaves are edible also)
  • pepper squash
  • 2lb beets

Whole Share

  • red or green leaf lettuce (probably the last week- it is still coming out of the fields!
  • Snow or sugar snap peas (totally an unexpected blessing given the frosts we have had)
  • white bok choy
  • black kale (aka dinasaur kale)
  • savoy cabbage
  • brussels sprouts (the jingle-bell like stalks- see below for recipe ideas)

    or jerusalem artichokes

  • rainbow carrots
  • red radish (leaves are edible also)
  • pepper squash
  • 2lb beets
  • rainbow swiss chard
  • leeks
  • green beans
  • eggplant
  • fennel

Brussels Sprouts- 2 Ways: One may be slightly healthier than the other….hmmm

Can I just recommend not overcooking. I think many of us think we hate them because we`ve only ever eaten them previously frozen and cooked until colourless. They`re actually nice raw.

 

  1. Bacon Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

    One of my staff told me about an idea that had her teenage relatives fighting each other for seconds. She baked them in the oven till tender-crisp, with lightly pre-cooked bacon (1/3 of a pound for an 8×8 dish full) and Parmesan cheese on top.

     

  2. Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad as recommended by fellow farm sharer Petra from www.epicurious.com

    Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp. Minced shallot
  • 1/2 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/8 tsp. Kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 6 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded with a knife
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup almonds, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup finely grated Pecorino

Directions

  1. Combine lemon juice, dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside. Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.
  2. Measure ½ cup oil into a cup. Spoon 1 tbsp. Oil from cup into small skillet; heat oil over med high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir until golden brown in spots, 2 mins. Transfer nuts to paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.
  3. Slowly stir remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with almonds.

 

Here`s hoping your immune systems are armed and ready for victory!

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Farm Share Week 12 (Aug 21-23, 2014)

Know your farmer: encouraging your kids to eat well and also seeing the value in the food you purchase are both bound to happen in the process. First of all, vegetables are fascinating! There is always something growing in our front field and if you come during store hours, I’m sure Jannette will be sure to let you take a peek. In case there was any doubt we’re organic, you’ll find some weeds too. As for your perspective on the cost of food- that is likely to change as you observe or take part in getting your own hands dirty to harvest some food. It just about kills me to see green onions sell 2 bunches for a dollar, knowing how labour-intensive they are post-harvest (peeling, washing and bunching). The other day, I was checking out tomato sauces in the grocery store because I was wondering why some varieties (ie. Ragu and store brands) sell for only $1.50 while even conventional sauces from other brands like Classico sell for $3.00 plus. Lo and behold, the mystery was solved- all cheap brands that I saw used soy protein (and likely GMO) as filler. Not tomato sauce, but tomato-GMO soy surprise! Funny, it didn’t highlight that feature on the label. So, case in point, growing food costs money, and suspicion should arise if one company is somehow able to provide the same product at half the price. Read the label, or better yet, make your own.

It’s a full basket this week- check below for a gorgeous and flavourful salad idea.

Half Shares

Whole Shares

  • Red beets
  • Bokchoy
  • Field tomatoes
  • Campari tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Watermelon
  • Radicchio (red leafy head with white ribs) or chicory (light green leafy head with white ribs)
  • Savoy cabbage (simple fast idea at http://chinese.food.com/recipe/ginger-garlic-savoy-cabbage-15832 )
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Fennel
  • Parsley
  • Extra lettuce
  • Extra tomato
  • Broccoli, cauliflower or eggplant (sorry, very few broccoli due to crop losses)
  • Green Peppers
  • Sugar snap or snow peas
  • Green Beans

Colourburst Crunch Salad (inspired by recipe from Chatelaine magazine)

 

Trade turkey and cheese for nuts for vegan diets. Serves 1 as entrée.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 leaves romaine lettuce, chopped across rib
  • 3-4 raddichio leaves, sliced thinly across rib
  • 3-4 small Bokchoy leaves, sliced thinly across rib
  • 4-6 slices red beet, thinly sliced and halved or quartered
  • 6 thin slices cucumber
  • 2 slices orange, quartered
  • 1/3 cup cooked turkey pieces
  • ¼ cup finely grated or crumbled feta cheese (if desired)
  • balsamic dressing

Directions

  1. Cut and wash romaine, raddichio and Bokchoy. Dry and arrange on plate.
  2. Arrange beet, cucumber, orange and turkey as artistically as you desire. Sprinkle feta over top. Add drizzle of balsamic dressing and serve as a satisfying entrée.

Remember, read those labels…or better that- eat things without labels .

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Farm Share Week 17 *Thanksgiving!

Cilantro: adds some zing to Mexican, Thai and Indian dishes, along with loads of vitamin C.

First of all, apologies for missing my post last week. My country internet has been making it an extremely slow task.

Your week 16 list was:

Half Share
-cilantro
-assorted tomatoes (*sigh- the last of the tomatoes)
-celery
-romaine
-spinach
-rainbow carrots
-delicatta squash
-watermelon
-coloured sweet peppers
-eggplant

Whole Share
-cilantro
-assorted tomatoes (*sigh- the last of the tomatoes)
-celery
-romaine

-spinach
-rainbow carrots
-delicatta squash
-watermelon
-coloured sweet peppers
-eggplant
-green kale
-green onions or garlic chives
-green leaf lettuce
-leeks

If the cilantro is still sitting in your fridge without any plans of what to do with it, it’s great to jazz up a salad, in a fresh salsa, or in Thai, Mexican or Indian cuisine. I used my whole bunch for cilantro peanut noodles (recipe at www.food.com/recipe/peanut-cilantro-noodles-172604)

But onto Week 17, Thanksgiving! I love this holiday, as it always brings my families together and involves an indulgent feast of plenty. As you gather with your family, or even if you don’t, do everything in Thankfullness. Just check out the array of foods before you- we are rich like few other nations in the world. Doing loads of dishes? Be thankful for the family that created the dirty dishes, and the blessing of having so many. Take a walk outside and enjoy the vibrant colours of fall alongside the crispness of the air. I am always enamoured with the way the world is lit up before and after sunset, highlighting everything with a golden glow. Also consider, is there someone who is far from family that will be spending Thanksgiving alone? What’s one more mouth to feed, and I’m sure a new face will enliven the dinner conversation.

Now to your week 17 list:

Half Share
-fresh sage (very delish in stuffing or to season the bird itself)
-pie pumpkin
-rainbow carrots
-carrots (we doubled up this week for your large gatherings)
-romaine lettuce
-black kale (see dressing recipe below)
-leeks
-green cabbage
-celery

Note: I wanted to give everyone squash again, but I ran out of room in the box. Look for some next week.

Whole Share
-fresh sage (very delish in stuffing or to season the bird itself)
-pie pumpkin
-rainbow carrots
-carrots (we doubled up this week for your large gatherings)
-romaine lettuce
-black kale (see dressing recipe below)
-leeks
-green cabbage
-celery
-red kale (see Kale salad recipe below)
-sweet peppers
-eggplant
-oregano or green onions
-spaghetti squash
-hot peppers
 
Dressing With Turkey Sausage, White Beans and Kale (from Fresh Juice Magazine, October 2012)

I got excited about this stuffing recipe with black kale, fresh sage, oregano and celery! Much of your box was inspired by this receipe. Perfect for Thanksgiving.

Ingredients
1 cup uncooked spelt (I’m sure wheat bulgar or quinoa could substitute if you don’t have any)
10 cups cubed day-old whole grain bread
140g thickly sliced pancetta, diced
170g extra lean turkey sausage, casings removed
2 yellow onions, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. each fresh sage and oregano
5 cups coarsely chopped black kale
1 cup sodium reduced chicken broth
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup sodium reduced canned navy beans
1/4 tsp. each sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions
1. In medium saucepan, bring spelt and 4 cups water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, about 25 mins. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, on 2 baking sheets, arrange bread on single layer. Toast at 300 degrees until crisp, about 20 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.
3. Heat large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta; fry, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add sauage and cook, breaking up sausage, until pancetta is crisp and sauage is golden brown, about 5 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer [ancetta and sauage to paper-towel lined bowl to drain. Discard excess fat in skillet.
4. In skillet, stir together onions, celery, garlic, sage and oregano. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 8 mins. Scrape over bread.
5. In skillet, stir together kale and broth. Cook, stirring frequently, until kale is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Scrape over bread mixture.
6. Stir pancetta mixture, spelt, tomatoes and beans into bread mixture. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Scrape into 13×9 inch pan, sprinkle with parmesan and cover with foil.
7. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, uncover and bake until top is crisp and dressing is hot, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Bon appetit!

Psychedelic Kale Salad (from Fresh Juice Magazine, October 2012)

Ingredients
6 to 7 cups chopped red kale
1/3 cup chopped sugar snap peas
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. umami paste
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted.

Directions
1. In large bowl, combine kale, peas and cherries.
2. In seperate bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil and umami paste. Toss with kale mixture to coat.
3. Top with almonds just before serving.

This week, choose to overlook the hangups and headaches and focus on the blessings around you. I bet you won’t have to look far!

Jennifer

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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
Posted on

Farm Share Week 5

Good morning Farm Sharers!

I hope you’ve been able to enjoy our hot summer outside, perhaps with some day trips to the lake or other summer standby’s. As we get further into summer, new vegetables are becoming ready each week, and the substancial quantities of leafy greens that occupied your box in the early ways are making way for new textures and colours. This week we all get to enjoy some skinny carrots– we just couldn’t wait any longer! Remember, for young carrots, you can get away with a good scrub and skip the peeling altogether. Your new adventurous item this week is fennel. Smell it or taste a leaf and you will see that it tastes like licorice. The good news is, the bulb (white part) is much more mild in flavour. Also, this is the first week for green beans. They too are still thin, but very tasty. I was only able to get enough cucumber and tomatoes for the whole shares this week, but next week there should be tons. See below for some recipe ideas. But first, your list of box contents:

Half Share
-green leaf lettuce
-green zucchini
-raspberries
-snow peas
-green beans
-carrots
-black kale
-fennel
-chinese cabbage
-green onions

Whole Share
-green leaf lettuce
-green zucchini
-raspberries
-snow peas
-green beans
-carrots
-black kale
-fennel
-chinese cabbage
-green onions

-cauliflower
-cucumber
-garlic scapes
-red leaf lettuce
-green swiss chard
-red beets
-mini field tomatoes (simply leave in the sun if some of yours are not fully ripened yet)

Easy Raw Black Kale Salad (Don’t be fooled by the name-One of our customers passed along this recipe & managed to get her 3-year old to gobble kale!)

Kale: anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, lowers cholesterol, fights cancer, and supports the body’s detoxification system. Not bad for a little bunch of greens!

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of black kale, washed and leaves torn into pieces
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2- whole lemon (or to taste)
  • 2-3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • black pepper to taste

Directions
1.massage kale leaves with olive oil.
2. When fully covered, add lemon juice, pepper and nutritional yeast flakes. Toss and serve immediately.

Here is one of Helen, our summer packing staff’s favourites. She also happens to be Greek, so needless to say, she knows a thing or two about good Greek cuisine.

Grecian Delight Casserole Recipe (from www.caloriecount,about.com)

Makes 8 servings

This casserole is a cross between two of my favorite Greek meals, moussaka and pastitsio. For the most traditional flavor, use ground lamb rather than turkey, and use authentic feta cheese made from sheep’s milk. Serve it with Honey-Glazed Carrots., may use lamb or vegetarian ground meat. Helen recommends the beef or turkey and to use more zucchini than this recipe calls for.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 yellow or white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions
1. In a medium saucepan, bring about 4 cups of water to a boil. When the water is boiling rapidly, add the orzo and cook it for 6 – 8 minutes until it is al dente. Drain it.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a large (2-quart) casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray,

3. Heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and onions and cook them until the onions are translucent and the zucchini is tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Stir in the dill and put the vegetable mixture in the casserole. Stir in the cooked orzo.

4. Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet and brown the meat, breaking it up with a spatula. When it is almost browned, add the cinnamon, salt and garlic powder and mix evenly, then add the tomato paste and tomato sauce, and stir it until the mixture is bubbly. Pour the meat mixture over the vegetables and orzo, and top it evenly with the cheese.

5. Cover the casserole tightly and bake it for 20 minutes (alternatively, you can refrigerate it for up to 2 days or freeze it for up to 3 months at this point). (Meanwhile, prepare the carrots, if you are serving them.) Serve it hot, making sure to get some of each of the layers in each serving.

Scramble Flavor Booster: Add ½ tsp. dried oregano to the sautéed vegetables.

Honey Glazed Carrots

To make Honey-Glazed Carrots, heat 1 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 1 lb. of sliced carrots and 1 – 2 tsp. honey, and stir to coat the carrots with the butter and honey. Sauté the carrots, stirring occasionally, for 8 – 10 minutes until they are tender and slightly browned. If the carrots are getting too browned, reduce the heat. Season the carrots with up to 1/8 tsp. salt before serving, if desired.

Green Bean, Mushroom and Fennel Salad (from CanadianLiving.com)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1clove garliccloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1lb small cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 lb green beans , trimmed
  • 1/2 fennel bulb , thinly sliced

Preparation

In large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, dill, garlic, salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and toss to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, halve green beans diagonally. Blanch in saucepan of boiling water until tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and cool in ice bath. Drain well and pat dry with towel.

Add beans and fennel to mushrooms; toss to coat well. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Enjoy your new discoveries this week.

Jennifer