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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 17 (Sept 25-27, 2013)

Welcome to fall!

We’ve had a brisk start to the week but some lovely 20-degree highs complete with sunshine are in the forecast. That’s some ideal fall growing weather! It’s also Organic Week, a time to celebrate all things organic. How do you plan to celebrate? With 2 small children, I can’t see myself traveling to a special event, but I think I can use one of the most powerful tools for change in our possession- our wallets. See, we can talk about organics, which is good, but purchasing organics shows that we value ecologically-produced items enough to purchase them, even if it costs us extra. Changing to everything organic may be a daunting task for you, and so it is for most of us. Why not make a small change in the right direction? You are clearly supporting organic by investing in a Farm Share.

What`s next?

Try purchasing something new organically that you have always purchased conventionally before. I find organic yogurt is pretty affordable, for instance. I can buy the Saugeen County brand, a whole litre tub, for $4, or just over. Also, you could ditch some chemical cleaning products. Vinegar really does work so well, and heated and combined with Dawn dish soap it makes a great tub cleaner. Baking soda and water works great on electric stove tops. This is one area where your disdain for chemicals will actually save you money (money that can help you purchase organic food ;). I am dying to try making my own dishwasher pucks or detergent. See this link for a recipe: http://thethriftycouple.com/2013/03/26/homemade-natural-dishwasher-detergent-easy-effective-healthy-and-only-05-per-load/

So, on to the veggie line-up. It`s stunningly colourful this week!

Half

  • rainbow carrots (they`re finally here!)
  • red beets
  • pepper squash
  • red cabbage
  • red radish
  • baby bokchoy
  • red leaf lettuce
  • grape tomatoes (from the greenhouse, all other tomatoes bit the dust with frost)
  • assorted sweet bell and sheppard peppers
  • sweet corn (grown by Kawartha Organics, Mennonite growers in Lindsay. Normally everything is grown by us but this week I was having a tough time getting all the items I needed and we had an abundance of local, organic corn)

Whole

  • rainbow carrots (they`re finally here!)
  • red beets
  • pepper squash
  • red cabbage
  • red radish
  • baby bokchoy
  • red leaf lettuce
  • grape tomatoes (from the greenhouse, all other tomatoes bit the dust with frost)
  • assorted sweet bell and sheppard peppers
  • sweet corn (grown by Kawartha Organics, Mennonite growers in Lindsay. Normally everything is grown by us but this week I was having a tough time getting all the items I needed and we had an abundance of local, organic corn)
  • fennel
  • celery
  • cilantro
  • green leaf lettuce
  • red swiss chard
  • green bell peppers

Recipes:

Are last week`s turnips still hanging out in your fridge? One of the hardworking staff packing your box suggests mashing it with beets to offset the bitter taste.

Turnip-Beet Mash

Directions

1. Roast beets with tops removed for 45 mins in the oven. Remove skins from cooked beets. Meanwhile, remove tops from turnips, clean, peel and chop and boil until tender. Mash beets and turnip together and season to taste. Experiment with different amounts of beet and turnip to see what you like best.

Hope you enjoy this week`s harvest!

 

 

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Farm Share Week 15 (Sept 11-13, 2013)

Phew! So summer’s having a little comeback this week. I hope you are enjoying the sun while we have it.

Half Share

  • Spinach
  • Beefsteak or Campari tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Red beets
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Red or green scallions
  • Green peppers
  • Zucchini (yellow or green)
  • Turnip greens or green kale
  • eggplant

Whole Share

  • Spinach
  • Beefsteak or Campari tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Red beets
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Red or green scallions
  • Green peppers
  • Zucchini (yellow or green)
  • Turnip greens
  • Eggplant
  • Campari tomatoes
  • Black or green kale
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Red sheppard or yellow bell peppers
  • Cantaloupe
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Strawberries or apples
  • Leeks or garlic

 

This week I wanted to give you some ideas of how to use all of your veggies for the week, based on some of the tasty meals I’ve made with our veggies lately. I do not follow any specific diet except for the more veggies and unprocessed foods, the better, but I think most of these ideas could be adapted to vegetarian or gluten-free diets.

Monday:

Roasted chicken (legs and wings) and roasted veggies (beets, carrots, potatoes or squash). Roast whole chicken and save the breasts for tomorrow.

Tuesday:

Spinach, chicken, avocado and strawberry salad with mango chipotle dressing. A five-minute meal if you pre-roasted the chicken!

Wednesday:

Eggplant Parmesan with turnip green and beet green salad

Thursday:

Sweet and Sour Chicken (green peppers, carrot, cabbage and scallions)

Friday:

Burgers with tomato (reg or veggie) with savoy cabbage salad (carrot, savoy cabbage)

Saturday:

Fish filets and zucchini fries

Sunday:

Ground chicken chili (green peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, scallion) with cheese, plain yogurt, and scallions to garnish.

 

Hope these ideas get the wheels in your head turning. Here’s a tip if you are overwhelmed with tomatoes. Wash and put in the freezer in a bag, and simply pull out and use in your cooking later. I made a large watermelon and a few very ripe bananas into juice by throwing it all into a blender, doing a quick blend, seeds and all, and simply straining out the seeds and pulp. I also froze some juice for popsicles for my son.

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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 20 (The final week of the season)

I can’t believe it’s the last week of Farm Share! And I also can’t believe we are expecting such heat for this time of year.The forecast is promising 20 degrees with sunshine on Thursday, our last day to harvest and pack your veggies. I couldn’t ask for better.

This fall, I had some curveballs thrown my way with the apples, brussels sprouts, broccoli and celery root all not turning out. But amazingly, we still had abundance and I still had choices of what to put in your boxes for the last week. That’s the beauty of growing a diversity of crops- one failed crop is not the death of us! This is actually a wonderful time of year for the cooler weather crops. The radishes look the best I have ever seen them- apparently you can eat the tops and this might be just the week to try that considering how gorgeous they are. Also, the leafy vegetables and beet tops are happy as can be as their normal pests disappear with the cold nights.

This week I am excited to have chioggia or candy-striped beets for everyone. They are the rock stars of the beet world, with their striking pink and white stripes. Simply stunning in a salad or roasted and sliced to show off their hot colours. This week I tried them raw with some quinoa- and it looked pretty and was amazingly sweet and delicious with the natural taste of the beets.

In your box this week:

Half

-rainbow carrots
-chioggia beets
-pepper squash (from Kawartha Organics- our squash is gone already!)
-jerusalem artichokes (the roots in the mesh bag that look like ginger- see last week’s post)
-red radish (seem to taste mild this week)
-spinach
-baby bok choy
-sweet peppers
-green cabbage
-leeks

Whole

-rainbow carrots
-chioggia beets
-pepper squash (from Kawartha Organics- our squash is gone already!)
-jerusalem artichokes (the roots in the mesh bag that look like ginger- see last week’s post)
-red radish (seem to taste mild this week)
-spinach
-baby bok choy
-sweet peppers
-green cabbage
-leeks
-eggplant
-green onions
-parsnips
-red swiss chard
-regular carrots

Candy Striped Beet Quinoa Salad with Cheese from www.citylifeeats.com (see our facebook page for a picture)
Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups quinoa
4 medium candy striped beets (or a combo of whatever beets you have- I did half golden)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 tbsp. avacado (or olive) oil
1 tbsp. mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup water
3-4 green onions, roots removed
arugula or peppery green to serve
scallion cashew vegan cheese (recipe on their website, I just used cottage cheese although goat cheese would’ve been tastier)

Directions
Cook quinoa according to directions. While hot, add beets, lemon juice, oil, mustard, salt and pepper, water and green onions and mix. Remove from heat and chill in the refridgerator until cool. Serve over arugula or peppery greens with the cheese of your choice!

A final note:

I feel so totally blessed by the abundance of good, clean food I have access to, and sharing it has made it all the richer. Consider the joy it would be to share some homemade soup or that item that you still have plenty of with a neighbour or friend this week. It doesn’t even matter if they are truly needy, because everyone needs to know that someone cares.

A sincere thank you to you incredible Farm Share participants that chose to support the farm this year by purchasing a Farm Share and encouraging me by your kind words, enthusiasm and creativity all year. Getting my hands (and everything else) dirty on the farm was well worth it!

Feel free to drop by the farm for a free decorative pumpkin (while supplies last) to get ready for fall/Halloween.

Thank you for loving good, organic food.

Jennifer

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Farm Share Week 18

Three weeks remain and I’ve received numerous emails from customers thinking the season is over. This is understandable, as many grocery stores stop carrying Ontario produce at this point because consmers are used to the local options being phased out in early September. Even things like lettuce are being harvested into early October, although a heavy frost could wipe them out. We are still harvesting carrots, beets and kale and still waiting for the Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips to grow a little before harvesting. The brussels sprouts do not mind the frost at all, so I normally wait until the last weeks to harvest them, when I am grateful for a new item to put in your boes. Even sweet peppers and eggplants are living on happily under a frost cover we put up. So, despite the chill that’s in the air, October is still a busy month for harvesting vegetables.

So what’s on the menu this week?

Half Share
-carrots
-red beets (storage tip: cut off leaves one inch from the beets and store seperately to keep beets fresher longer)
-butternut squash
-baby bok choy
-red radish
-red leaf lettuce
-rainbow swiss chard
-sweet peppers
-green onions
-leeks

Whole Share
-carrots
-red beets
-butternut squash
-baby bok choy
-red radish
-red leaf lettuce
-rainbow swiss chard
-sweet peppers
-green onions
-leeks
-celery
-green leaf lettuce
-garlic bulbs
-spinach
-red cabbage

And for the recipes, now is the time for confort-food. And by comfort food, I don’t mean deep-fried! Some homemade soup is one of the best comfort foods in my opinion. I made a nice potato leek soup which I could have done with more of, with a tweak to the original recipe.

Potato Leek Soup (adapted from simplyrecipes.com)
Nice and creamy without all the fatty cream!

Ingredients
1 bunch leeks including green tops, chopped (the original recipe called for no green tops-what a waste!)
2 tbsp. butter
2 cups water
2 cups chicken, vegetable or beef broth
2 lbs. potatoes (also could use leftover potatoes, just don’t cook for as long)
1-2 tsp. dried italian herbs, or fresh herbs to taste (I used a spice mix but the recipe calls for parsley, thyme and marjoram
salt and pepper (if desired- I think I omitted these altogether)
cayenne pepper to taste (great for your immune system)

Directions
1. Cook leeks in butter in soup pot. Cover and cook on low about 10 mins. Check often and do not brown!
2. Add water, broth and potatoes. Bring to a low simmer and cook 20 minutes or until tender. Spoon about 1/2 of the soup into blender, puree and return to pot. Repeat with other half. Add spices. Serves 4-6 as a side.

Roasted Winter Veggies
My favorite way to prepare beets- makes a colourful side and a great-pleaser.

Ingredients
1 bunch beets, peeled and cut into quarters (for mid-sized beets)
1 bunch carrots, peeled and cut into short carrot sticks
1 large delicatta squash or 1/2 large or 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2 inch cubes, seeds and insides discarded
1 onion or leek, coarsely chopped
4 medium potatoes, chopped into quarters
(Any of these vegetables could be omitted or another root vegetable added, although the more colour the better)
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Salt, pepper and rosemary or other savory spices like thyme, sage, parsley, etc.
1-2 tbsp. olive oil

Directions
1. Wash, peel and chop vegetables and place in baking dish (Corningware is perfect). Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Add olive oil and spices and mix together lightly. Cover and bake about 40 mins or until vegetables are tender (carrots and beets seem to take the longest so check them).

As the variety of vegetables diminishes a little with the cooler weather, it’s a good time to try out new recipes. You never know when you’ll find your next classic!

Thanks for embarking on your local organic food adventure. It’s people like you that have kept agriculture strong in Ontario. I hope it’s been tasty!

-Jennifer

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Farm Share Week 10

Wow- are we half way through the season already?

Now is a good time to pause and think- am I getting everything I can out of my Farm Share? Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help, and I will try to make it happen if possible. Are you struggling to use a certain item? Let me know and I can post some recipes for that particular item.

This week we have watermelon for one and all! Let me assure you that the dark flesh is normal for the variety and the insides are a nice juicy pink like the typical supermarket watermelon. However, our melons get to ripen on the vine, since they don’t have to be harvested before they are ready to get prepared for cross-continental travel. I am sure you will taste the difference! I discoveredsome marvellous tips for selecting a ripe melon from one of our Jamaican workers. Apparently they grow watermelon in Jamaica too, which I think is a little unfair considering they are also able to grow tropical fruits like pineapple. Nonetheless, he introduced me to the “knock test”. While a sizeable yellow spot and more visible pattern emerging on the skin are also clues, giving the melon a knock with your knuckes should produce a hollow sound in a ripe melon, reminiscent of coconuts. I will admit that I may have knocked out a few beats while testing the melons.

Image
Stunning flowers of the okra plant- nice enough for a bouquet!

Here is your list of veggies for this week:

Half Share

  • green beans
  • cucumber
  • saladette tomatoes
  • green leaf lettuce
  • red kale
  • green peppers
  • eggplant
  • watermelon
  • potted bail
  • golden beets

Whole Share

  • green beans
  • cucumber
  • saladette tomatoes
  • green leaf lettuce
  • red kale
  • green peppers
  • eggplant
  • watermelon
  • potted bail
  • golden beets
  • heirloom or field tomatoes
  • okra
  • green swiss chard
  • red leaf lettuce
  • onion chives
  • fennel
  • sugar snap peas

And for the recipes:

Pasta-Less Eggplant Lasagna from www.foodnetwork.ca

Image
Tasty Lasagna minus the pasta!

 

Ingredients

  • large eggplant, very thinly sliced – think Paper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oi
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1- 1½ cups cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package Italian Veggie Ground Round
  • 3 cups Tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 2-2½ cups low fat Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

(Feel free to substitute based on what you have: I used an italian mixed cheese, added Italian seasonings and pepper, and substituted some of the eggplant with zucchini based on what I had in my fridge.)

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown the onions, garlic and Italian ground round. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the ground round is cooked through (about 5 minutes or so).
  2. In the meantime, baste the eggplant slices with olive oil and broil until they are brown around the edges and soft in the center (about 2-3 minutes per side). Remove from oven.
  3. Lower the heat to 350°F/180°C
  4. Layer the “lasagna” in an ovenproof dish as follows:
    • Thin layer of tomato sauce
    • Layer of eggplant slices
    • Thin layer of grated mozzarella
    • All the ground round mixture
    • Thin layer of sauce
    • All the ricotta, evenly spread over the sauce
    • Layer of fresh basil
    • Rest of the eggplant (I saved a few pieces for garnish)
    • More sauce
    • Lots of mozzarella
    • Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes. The top will be golden and it will be bubbling around the edges. Serve with salad.

Beef, Beet and Cabbage Soup from www.yummly.com with some extra veggies.

Image
Beef, beet and cabbage soup. Not the world’s prettiest photo, but it was easy, tasty, and satisfying.

I made this up to use leftover beets and other items in my fridge and have something to eat after a long day on the farm. I heated some fresh crusty buns that I had frozen in the oven, and they tasted like freshly baked bread, which made for a nice accompanyment.  

Ingredients

  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. stewing beef, cut into pieces
  • 1 onion (thinly sliced)
  • 6 small beets cut into quarters
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1-2 cups cabbage, sliced (I used Chinese cabbage)
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup of tomatoes, chopped
  • bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 L of beef broth or veggie broth

Directions

1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the oil and add the beef chunks. Brown about 10 mins. and trasfer to slow cooker.

2. Add onions to pan and cook about 5 minutes. Add to slow cooker with remainder of ingredients.

3. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

4. Come home to a nice, hot, home-cooked meal and serve with fresh bread, or cheat and heat up previously frozen buns in the oven at 380 degrees. Remember to keep a close eye on them to prevent burning!

Hope you have fun experimenting this week!

-Jennifer