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Farm Share Week 19 (Oct 11-14, 2017)

Hello everyone! Well I think fall is officially here…and it feels a little shocking after Monday’s heat, but it is October after all. Stephanie is fighting off a bug so this is Jennifer with your weekly produce list and your meal ideas.

With the holiday closure on my shop day this week and a busy work week ahead, we’ve been going vegetarian for the week on most meals. In this vegetarian shepherds pie I used more rutabaga than potatoes in the potato part and the kids didn’t even notice! Plus, I used up leftover carrots and mashed rutabaga from thanksgiving dinner!

Here’s the recipe: https://minimalistbaker.com/?s=vegetarian+shepherds+pie

Half Shares

  • beets
  • carrots
  • spaghetti, butternut or pepper squash
  • Yukon gold potatoes
  • red bell peppers
  • eggplant
  • red kale
  • green Swiss chard
  • grape tomatoes
  • rapini (dark leafy relative of broccoli: try steaming and tossing with soya sauce or in stir fries)

Whole Shares

  • bokchoy
  • rutabaga
  • green bell peppers
  • savoy cabbage
  • red leaf lettuce

Enjoy!

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Farm Share Week 2, 2017

The heat is here! And that means the growth of many items is accelerated. We are harvesting the asparagus and cucumbers every second day now. Any longer and we would risk letting the asparagus get seedy and the cucumbers get too large. With this combo of heat and rain, the strawberries, redcurrants and peas should be ready soon!

New this week we have cucumbers and mint. They happen to be wonderful- together! See below for a couple super simple ways to enjoy this pair.

More farm share members have been joining up these last couple weeks and we have an abundance of veggies to accommodate them- so if you know anyone that would love our csa, feel free to send them our way! Having trouble identifying items in your box? Many items are listed with pictures in our online store. https://zephyrorganics.com/custom-orders/

Half Shares

Whole Shares (same as above with the addition of)

  • leeks
  • 2nd asparagus
  • collard greens (makes an easy low carb, gluten-free wrap!)
  • oregano (savory herb excellent in Italian and Greek foods)
  • turnip greens

Recipes

Cucumber-Mint Water

(makes one 2L pitcher)

Directions.

  1. Fill 2L jug with filtered water. Add 1/3 of a cucumber and 8-10 large leaves of mint to jug. Let sit for a few hours for flavours to mix. Enjoy the refreshing taste!

Refreshing Cucumber Salad

Serves 2-3 as side. Kid-friendly recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1lb cucumber (1 large or 2 smaller)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. chopped mint (I used kitchen scissors- so easy!)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. white vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Peel and chop cucumber and wash and chop mint.
  2. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and mix. Let refrigerate for 1 or more hours. Enjoy!

Rhubarb-Blueberry Syrup

This recipe was born out of necessity when (gasp) we ran out of syrup on pancake day. I have a great gluten, dairy and egg free (and other allergen free) pancake recipe if anyone has been searching for such. This syrup was tasty with pancakes and great with yogurt the next day.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium stalks rhubarb
  • 1 cup blueberries (frozen)
  • 4 tbsp. water
  • 1/2 cup white or coconut sugar (or to taste- I am trying to remember the exact measure)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Directions

  1. Wash and chop rhubarb. Add to small pot with lemon juice, water and sugar.
  2. Heat on med-high until it comes to a boil. Lower heat to med-low and simmer until thickened.
  3. Add blueberries and continue to cook and stir until blueberries are soft and cooked.
  4. Enjoy hot with pancakes or chilled on yogurt!

 

Remember to keep hydrated this week as the temperatures climb!

 

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Farm Share Week 1, 2017!!

It’s finally here! The new season of Farm Share, and I can’t believe all the items that are ready! Whether this is your first or 8th season with us, I hope you taste the local organic difference from the first bite. You’ll notice more leafy greens in the first few boxes, but there will be even more variety available as the weeks go by. This year we have cucumbers nice and early- only enough for the whole share boxes this week, but next week we should have quite a few, especially if we get some heat. As you might have guessed, these are coming from the greenhouse. The leeks are “over-wintered” which means they were planted last year and are ready in spring, kept safe by the blanket of snow. We also have lettuce nice and early, and quite substantial in size. Hope you are ready for some refreshing salads! It’s nice to lighten up our food choices along with the weather, and keep our bodies feeling their best.

Someone else is finally here: we are pleased to announce the arrival of our new son Boaz to the Eng family! We’re all doing well and very much in love with this little guy.

Stephanie will be returning to do the blog in a couple weeks, but for now, I (Jennifer) am here to ring in the new season with you.

Remember, you can get all new posts from us sent to your email inbox as soon as it is posted (Tuesday or Wednesday) each week. Enter your email in the box on the right hand side of this blog page. Now, let’s get to identifying the delicious veggies in your box:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the contents from left to right of the HALF SHARES:

-rhubarb (long red and green thick stalks- try in cake, muffins, or cookies, or simply stew with lemon juice and a little sugar to taste and enjoy with yogurt)

-asparagus (green shoots with purple tips – lightly toss in olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and try them roasted at 400 degrees for 10-15 mins, or get creative with a salad. Also great paired with goat or feta cheese)

-baby bok choy (green leafy vegetable with light green, crunchy head- great in stir fries or enjoy it raw in salad)

-red radish (pinky-red roots with green tops- super in potato and egg salads, toss salad, as a crudité, or roast if you are looking for a milder taste)

-rainbow swiss chard (TOP- pink, white, orange and yellow stalks with green tops- delicious simply wilted with your oil or fat of choice, super chopped up and wilted in pastas, or add some colour to salads)

-green leaf lettuce (the perfect lettuce for salads, burgers and tacos)

-green kale (BOTTOM- bluish-green crunchy leafy green, makes great kale chips, great in soups, folded into mashed potatoes, or massage leaves with olive oil and enjoy in salad)

-leeks (add sweet onion flavour to soups or any savoury dish- especially potato leek, or try in dip

-2nd bunch asparagus

-basil pot (potted herb- keep soil moist and do not refrigerate), adds delicious flavour to salads, pastas, dips, etc.

If you have a WHOLE SHARE, you will receive all the above with the addition of:

-cucumber (super as a crudité or in salad)

-spinach (delicious lightly wilted or raw in salad)

-green onions (chop to add some kick to salads, dips, or onion flavour in cooked foods- also makes a great garnish)

-garlic chives (it may look like grass, but it’s full of yummy garlic flavour- skip the powdered stuff and enjoy the fresh taste, full of vitamin C)

-romaine lettuce (delicious in all different salads, and always a favourite in Caesar salad)

 

CUSTOMER TIP: Or if you have a juicer, anything goes! Experiment and you won’t waste any of the veggie goodness in your box! Apples make a good base for veggie juices if you enjoy a little sweet.

RECIPE IDEAS: Avocado Leek Dip:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/236858/green-avocado-leek-dip/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringContentType=search%20results&clickId=cardslot%203

HUNGRY MAMA SPRING SALAD

I have had quite an appetite lately, and needed something fresh to balance out all those yummy freezer meals, so this was my first attempt at cooking (or food prep) post baby.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

-1 baby bok choy, washed and chopped

-1 bunch of radish tops, washed

-5 radish, thinly sliced

-5 spears asparagus (I had them raw but roasted would be delish)

-4 eggs, scrambled (optional, goat cheese would also be a nice addition)

-fresh parsley leaves, to taste

-half cup greek yogurt

-juice of half lemon

-salt, pepper and dill to taste

Directions

  1. 1. layer ingredients, divided onto 2 plates
  2. 2. Serve on it’s own as a meal, or with soup if you are super hungry.

 

 

ENJOY your veggies! And feel free to comment or email me if you are wondering what to do with an item. Let the adventures begin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For both farm share members and the public, we are open every Friday 12-6 and Saturdays 10-5pm in our cash market.
Some Pictures from our Farm Store at the Open House
New Blackboard and lots of variety at the Open House
Growing from seed can be a challenge- let us get your started with a ready-to go herb garden of parsley, basil, mint, and chives

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter Update & Allergy-Free Comfort Food Recipe

Hi everyone! I (Jennifer) wanted to wake up the blog to provide you with an update from the farm and share a recipe that I think just about everyone will enjoy.

My family and I had the privilege of travelling to central Florida to meet up with some farms we will be shipping produce to in the summer months, when Florida is just too hot to grow certain crops. Along the way we got to pick oranges right from the trees (which I was so excited about), and visit lots of friends and family in Florida and all over Virginia. Road tripping with the family, even *gasp* without a dvd player, went surprisingly well aside from the extra stops we made for our 4 1/2 year old and 2 1/2 year olds’ smaller bladders. We spent most of our trip visiting with people we wished lived a whole lot closer, and taking in the scenery, city by city. We even took a dip in the chilly Atlantic at Daytona Beach!

Picking oranges with family and friends in Clermont, FL.
Picking oranges with family and friends in Clermont, FL.

We also continued our education and planning efforts (one major thing we like to do this time of year) at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference in Niagara Falls, which is always a great opportunity to learn something and face to face with other growers and people in the agriculture industry.

While on our trip, our son was on an elimination diet of about 12 foods that his body was not processing. What a challenge! Gluten and dairy free seems so simple now by comparison. One of the most difficult foods to avoid was brewer’s yeast, which is in beer of course, but also used for flavour in so many foods including broth and in anything with vinegar (just about all condiments). I know you will tell me to make my own, but I don’t often have whole chickens or bone-on beef to make my own broth, therefore this is something I normally buy in the carton. I could not find a single brand without yeast! I was also instructed to load up my son with extra dark leafy greens.

Enter this soup from “www.gimmesomeoven.com”, which gets much of its flavour from tomatoes, which I was lucky enough to have still frozen from the summer. I managed to pack in a whole bunch of green swiss chard in here. You can also find this recipe on our pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/zephyrfarmshare/ .

Tomato Basil Chicken Stew

Serves 4

IMG_20160219_120319

I wasn’t quite organized enough to have everything defrosted so I put the chicken and tomatoes together as the oven warmed up with a little olive oil, covered with tin foil and baked about an hour and 20 mins at 375 degrees.

IMG_20160219_135213
All cooked and ready to make some scrumptious stew!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 assorted whole tomatoes, roasted
  • 1 (14 oz.) can cannelini beans (I used chickpeas due to a food sensitivity)
  • 1 can water (or as needed)
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 bunch green swiss chard, main stems removed
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil (or dried to taste)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

 

All ingredients in and simmering on the stove
All ingredients in and simmering on the stove

Directions

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Saute for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute or two until fragrant.

Add in remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Use a long spoon to crush the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer partially-covered for 10 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Serve with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

 

 

All served up with some blue cheese for me. Fresh herbs would be lovely too.
All served up with some blue cheese for me. Fresh herbs would be lovely too.

Hope this stew warms you up as we wait for spring and that you are having some adventures of your own.

Jennifer

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Farm Share Week 9- July 29, 2015

Hello from the Farm!

Stephanie is taking a few weeks from the blog as she anticipates the birth of her new baby, so this is Jennifer bringing you the scoop from the farm (and a couple food ideas) this week.

Hello heat wave! It’s been an adventure picking out in the fields in this sweltering weather, and I’ve been so grateful for that sweet time packing the boxes in the ice cool building (not to mention trips to the cooler to grab more items). However, I am thankful that this is great growing weather! Veggies come along in leaps and bounds in this kind of heat. For the whole shares we have some new mid-summer treats like cauliflower, eggplant, and green peppers. I am hoping to get enough cauliflower (or broccoli if I run out) for everyone next week. Grape tomatoes and ground cherries look like they’ll be ready for the eating next week, and the other tomatoes shouldn’t be far behind. I hope you enjoy these last weeks of peas and beans as we trade them for new items.

Here’s the lineup this week:

Half Shares

  • carrots
  • zucchini
  • green swiss chard
  • turnip (purple and white root) or radish
  • green beans
  • Chinese cabbage
  • sugar snap or snow peas
  • green leaf lettuce
  • collard greens
  • green kale

Whole Shares: same as above with addition of…

  • baby bok choy
  • green peppers
  • eggplant
  • cauliflower
  • extra peas
  • red leaf lettuce                        Stay Cool this week!
Have you ever tried zucchini as noodles? With a simple spiralizer tool you can sub out the starchy carbs for lean and nutritious zucchini.
Have you ever tried zucchini as noodles? With a simple spiralizer tool you can sub out the starchy carbs for lean and nutritious zucchini.
Sweet but shy kittens entertaining my kids in their own little jungle of tree and vines.
Sweet but shy kittens entertaining my kids in their own little jungle of tree and vines.
Lettuce, peas, radish, roast beef & mayo in a wheat wrap (or use collards for extra health punch). This was even yummier than I expected!
Lettuce, peas, radish, roast beef & mayo in a wheat wrap (or use collards for extra health punch). This was even yummier than I expected!
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Week 2 Farm share June 11-14

I hope you all enjoyed the yummy produce that you got last week in your boxes-I know we have! We enjoyed steaks from the farm (Howards Farm in Newmarket is where we get our meat/fish)with baked potatoes and grilled asparagus-it was a wonderful way to welcome in the warm weather that we had last weekend.

As promised-this weeks recipe is a bit more adventurous than last weeks.  Last night I made pitas  and soup (sauteed onions-mushrooms-jerusalem artichokes in a pan and then added chopped cooked bacon and smoked chicken breast-and lastly throwing in chopped bok choy and spinach) we had it with sour cream and another sauce that we get at costco and a little cheese.
IMG_3136
The receipe I am sharing is a parsnip and carrot soup.  I found it on a lovely blog.  http://www.eatingbirdfood.com/2012/11/amazing-carrot-and-parsnip-soup/

Now I will I couldn’t find miso paste so I had to omit that-I also forgot the shallots and didn’t do the garnish.  Overall it came out pretty well but for me-it had too much cumin-so next go I’ll reduce it by half.

It uses a ton of stuff that you’ll be getting in your box-including fresh sage.

Here is what you can expect to see in your boxes this week-enjoy!

Half Share
-baby bok choy

-asparagus
-basil pots
-green leaf lettuce
-kale
-jerusalem artichokes
-rhubarb
-red leaf lettuce
-radish
-double asparagus
Whole shares: same as above but also with:
-leeks
-parsnips
-big bok choy
-garlic chives

-sage

Amazing Carrot and Parsnip Soup (credit to Brittany Mullins-Eating Bird Food)
IMG_3135

Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped
  • ½ lb. parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cups of vegetable broth or water
  • ⅓ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 3 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon miso paste, dissolved in 1 Tablespoon warm water
  • sea salt, to taste
  • scallions, as garnish
  • 1 ounce gruyere cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot, heat coconut oil on medium heat. Place onion, shallot and garlic into the pot and sauté for about five to seven minutes or until onions are translucent.
  2. Add herbs and spices (thyme, sage, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper and ground pepper) to the pot and stir.
  3. Add chopped carrots, parsnip and quinoa to the pot. Pour in vegetable broth or water. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 20-40 minutes until veggies are tender.
  4. Remove from heat and let stand 3-5 minutes until cooled slightly. Using an immersion blender, blend the contents of the pot until a smooth even consistency is reached. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can blend the soup in your blender in small batches.
  5. Dissolve miso in warm water and stir into the soup. Miso gives the soup a wonderful flavor but if you don’t have miso, simply season the soup with a little sea salt.
  6. Serve immediately garnished with scallions and shredded gruyere cheese. Enjoy!
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Farm Share week one June 4-7, 2014

After a seemingly never ending winter the first week of farm share is here! I hope you all are as excited as I am about the sun shining and the wonderful fruits and veggies that the farm will provide us all again this year for the next 22 weeks 🙂

Last year was my first year as a member of the farm share-and my family and I picked up a weekly half share and decided this year to do a bi-weekly whole share since the produce lasted so long from week to week (I even had some for 4 weeks without issues…what can I say-I am still learning to love beets lol!)

The recipe this week is something simple-since it’s my husband’s birthday today and he requested lasagna and garlic bread-neither of which things from the share could help much with.  I decided to make a simple salad-which easily could be adapted to your families tastes (feta cheese-nuts-apples-croutons-etc).

Growing up I wasn’t a big fan of salad-because it was pretty much lettuce and dressing.  Last year was my first experience with bok choy (other than ordering stir fry from the restaurants) and I decided I loved how fresh and crisp and refreshing it was.  So I began throwing it in pretty much everything-our salads included.   This simple salad everything came from the share.  Super exciting I know-but I promise more adventurous recipes as the weeks pass 🙂

One baby bok choy-bottems chopped off (kept the stems but separated them from the leaves just so they are in a more manageable size)
One green onion chopped
Spinach
A few pieces of kale
One radish

Here is what you can look forward to in your boxes this week.

Half Share
  • asparagus
  • rhubarb
  • green onion
  • leeks
  • green kale
  • baby bok choy
  • radishes
  • jerusalem artichokes
  • parsnips
  • spinach or 2nd kale

Whole Share

  • asparagus
  • rhubarb
  • green onion
  • leeks
  • green kale
  • baby bok choy
  • radishes
  • jerusalem artichokes
  • parsnips
  • spinach
  • garlic chives
  • basil pots (please do not refridgerate)
  • turnip (nice and mild)
  • 2nd asparagus
  • 2nd baby bok choy
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Farm Share Week 22 (Oct 30-Nov 1, 2013)

It’s here- the final week of Farm Share, accompanied by a rather conclusive frost. We experienced temperatures of minus 7 with clear skies, which spells doom for almost everything left in the field. Even the peppers and eggplants in the greenhouse hang their leaves in defeat. Two surprising survivors are parsley, which looks great save a few stems closest to the ground, and the carrot tops, which are still firm and green.

Call me crazy, but this heavy frost gives me a sense of relief from the very physical work of work out in the fields, which gets less appealing as the cold temperatures and fewer hours of sunlight discourage your muscles from cooperating. I wonder- do Canadians have a lower economic output in the winter, because between the cold and dark it sure seems like our beds try to keep us a little longer. I think us Canadians are a hardy bunch in that we do carry on. Maybe we just need some peppy music, a strong cup of java, and some hearty, nutritious meals to fuel us!

Half Shares

  • Black kale (remember, it makes a great addition to pastas, soups or eggs, or even raw, massaged with olive oil and tossed with lemon juice, salt, pepper and yeast nutrition flakes- thank you Lyne 😉
  • Baby bokchoy (also stellar in salad or chicken soup)
  • Red swiss chard
  • Pepper squash (see recipe below)
  • Red beets (see recipe below)
  • Carrots
  • Green cabbage
  • Leeks
  • Parsley
  • Jerusalem artichokes (see recipe below)

Whole Shares

  • Black kale (remember, it makes a great addition to pastas, soups or eggs, or even raw, massaged with olive oil and tossed with lemon juice, salt, pepper and yeast nutrition flakes- thank you Lyne 😉
  • Baby bokchoy (also stellar in salad or chicken soup)
  • Red swiss chard
  • Pepper squash (see recipe below)
  • Red beets (see recipe below)
  • Carrots
  • Green cabbage
  • Leeks
  • Parsley
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Honeycrisp apples
  • Garlic chives
  • Red radish
  • Green peppers
  • Celery root (probably the ugliest of veggies, but it is adds great celery flavor to taco meat, soups and stews without overpowering the other flavours)

 

Recipes

 

Dairy-Free Jerusalem Artichoke Shepherd’s Pie (my own concoction, so feel free to modify the quantities at your discretion)

(Can be modified to be vegetarian as well). A good option for helping a meat-and-potatoes family consume embrace Jerusalem artichokes.

Ingredients

  • 1lb. ground meat or meat substitute
  • ½ lb. celery root
  • ½ cup beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. Montreal steak spice seasoning (garlic, salt and pepper)
  • 1 lb. Jerusalem artichokes, washed
  • ½ lb. potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup or more rice or almond/coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. olive/canola oil
  • 2 cups frozen peas (I cheated on this one)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat meat on medium in medium sized skillet until lightly browned, Add celery root and Montreal steak spice and, add broth and sautee until celery root is soft. Place in bottom of deep casserole dish (I used 8 in. round CorningWare dish that’s about 3 in. deep.)
  2. Meanwhile, boil medium-sized pot with lightly salted water. Wash Jerusalem artichokes (no need to peel), chop coarsely if desired. Peel and cut medium-sized potatoes into quarters. Add Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes to boiling water and cook until tender. Drain and add 1 cup rice milk or more, a dash of salt and pepper and 1 tbsp. oil and mix with hang mixer until desired consistency.
  3. Layer frozen peas over the meat mixture. Then place artichoke mixture overtop and smooth out. Bake uncovered about 30 minutes, until heated through.

 

Roasted Winter Vegetable Medley with Goat Cheese

I brought this one to a pot luck when I was short on time and came home with an empty dish- victory! Maybe this will help me get over my fear of pot-lucks. 😉

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized pepper squash, peeled and chopped into 1-1 ½” cubes
  • 1 bunch of beet roots, peeled and chopped into 1-1 1/2’” cubes
  • Yellow-flesh potatoes, cut into 1-1 1/2” cubes (or sub in carrots or Jerusalem artichokes for those who don’t eat potatoes)
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil (or enough to coat)
  • 150g crumbled goat feta (I used Woolwich Dairy that comes in a brick form)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: fresh parsley to garnish

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel squash and beets. Chop them along with potatoes and place in casserole dish. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with goat feta.
  2. Cover dish (I used a 9×13” glass dish) with tin foil and bake for approximately 1 hour or until veggies are tender when pierced with fork. Enjoy! Makes 6-8 servings.

 

Quick Indian-Style Spinach and Chickpeas

Fellow farm-sharer Keren sent me this recipe. Sounds like the perfect thing to gets some greens into my son. I think I may try it with black kale until we have spinach again.

http://onehungrymama.com/2011/09/recipe-winning-quick-indian-style-spinach-and-chickpeas/

Ingredients

  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, defrosted (scratch that- use fresh or try black kale)
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoons minced (or grated) fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Combine spinach (don’t include any water that’s drained out of the spinach, but you don’t need to squeeze the spinach either) and your preferred broth in a powerful blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Set spinach puree aside.

2. Heat butter in a medium pan over medium-low heat. As soon as it melts, add the ginger (1/2 teaspoon for a more mild ginger flavor; I use 3/4 teaspoon for a stronger flavor) and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garam masala, cumin, coriander and curry powder. Toast the spices for 3-4 minutes, until they are fragrant and take on a deep color. If the garlic begins to brown or the spices darken quickly, lower your heat. This is a gentle process to ensure that your ground spices release their oils and keep from imparting a powdery flavor. (This dish will taste significantly better when made with fresh spices.)

3. Add spinach puree to the pan, along with the lemon juice. Cook for about a minute, to bring the flavors together, then add the chickpeas. Continue cooking until the chickpeas are heated through and all of the watery liquid cooks down leaving a puree (with a consistency like baby food). Add more broth if you end up needing to make adjustments to the consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Suggestion: serve with rice.

*Note: Be sure to mash or puree the chickpeas into the spinach for babies not yet managing larger chunks.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Farm Share customers like you are amazing because they…

  1. Really, truly believe in local, organic food.
  2. Value freshness and taste over cookie-cutter veggies.
  3. Experiment with new varieties and get creative in the kitchen for their good health.
  4. Reduce food waste and the use of fossil fuels and thus have itty, bitty, carbon footprints.
  5. Support Organics for Orphans- an organization which brings self-sufficiency and amazing, nutrient-dense organic foods to some of the most vulnerable people in the most impoverished nations.

http://www.organics4orphans.org/

  1. Remind me with their enthusiasm of why I keep farming and connecting families like yours to our tasty veggies.

So thank you, thank you, thank you. You have eaten your way to a positive change this season. May you be blessed with great health to enjoy your every day with the people you love.

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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!