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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 14 (Sept 4-6, 2013)

Happy back to school everyone! I’m going to keep it brief but meaningful this week.

Half Shares
• Spinach
• Eggplant (or zucchini)
• Buttercup squash
• Grape tomatoes (great for lunches)
• Romaine lettuce
• Mini red romaine lettuce (a bonus item as it’s teeny)
• Carrots
• Parsley (if you are adventurous, you may want to try making tabouleh)
• Chinese cabbage (tasty in stir-fries and soups)
• Raddichio/chicory/turnips/turnip greens
• Cantaloupe/watermelon

Whole Shares
• Spinach
• Eggplant (or zucchini)
• Buttercup squash
• Grape tomatoes (great for lunches)
• Romaine lettuce
• Mini red romaine lettuce (a bonus item as it’s teeny)
• Carrots
• Parsley (if you are adventurous, you may want to try making tabouleh)
• Chinese cabbage (tasty in stir-fries and soups)
• Raddichio/chicory/turnips/turnip greens
• Cantaloupe/watermelon
• Field tomatoes
• Radish
• Red swiss chard
• Rhubarb
• Zucchini
• Green peppers
• Beets

And a few ideas for you….

Stuck with zucchini you don’t know what to do with. Try slicing and using the zucchini instead of crust (could work for eggplant also, though you might want to salt the slices and let them sit to reduce bitterness)

Overwhelmed with another watermelon? It makes wonderful juice or smoothies, or can be paired with feta and fresh mint for a delicious salad.

I’m about to try a spinach, tomato and quinoa frittata tonight. Feel free to add your own recipes in the comments sections.

Jennifer

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Farm Share Week 11 (Aug 14-16, 2013)

A case for seeds

Our society craves conveience and ease, especially with food, and consequently now w e find we must wean ourselves off of those items that go through a lengthy manufacturing process while ending up something entirely different than its original form. It’s no surprise then with something like watermelon, that people don’t want to have to bother with seeds.   Seeds however propagate life. A seedless melon is one incapable of reproducing, like when  the first curious scientist bred a lion and a tiger, which yielded a seeminglImagey healthy but sterile liger. I think part of what makes a plant or animal fully healthy is its ability to reproduce, so I’ll keep the seeds in my watermelon thank you very much! Producing these sterile plants means taking away the ability of the grower to replant the way the amazing cycle was designed and puts all the power in the hands of those ever-popular bioengineering companies, like Monsanto. I think you can see the trouble of the world’s food supply being controlled by corporate giants. So I say, take those seeds and with each one you spit out, spit it in the direction of injustice of our food being controlled by just a few. Ok- off the soap box now.

Half Shares

  • carrots
  • rainbow beets (red & golden)
  • burgundy beans or snow peas
  • cucumber-Tomato
  • spaghetti squash (see recipe from last week)
  • yellow doll melon (yes, the inside should be yellow)
  • dill (may I recommend dill dip- (greek yogurt+finely chopped dill+garlic=tasty dip)
  • field tomatoes (if they look a tad underripe, find a sunny spot on the counter and they will be looking very tempting in an extra couple days)
  • rainbow turnip greens (light green & purpley red- let these spicy greens wake up your salads)
  • green leaf lettuce

Whole Shares

  • carrots
  • rainbow beets (red & golden)
  • burgundy beans
  • cucumber-Tomato
  • spaghetti squash (see recipe from last week)
  • yellow doll melon (yes, the inside should be yellow)
  • dill (may I recommend dill dip- (greek yogurt+finely chopped dill+garlic=tasty dip)
  • field tomatoes (if they look a tad underripe, find a sunny spot on the counter and they will be looking very tempting in an extra couple days)
  • rainbow turnip greens (light green & purpley red- let these spicy greens wake up your salads)
  • green leaf lettuce
  • campari tomatoes
  • grape tomatoes
  • fennel
  • sugar snap peas
  • baby red romaine (that adorable, dark and gorgeous salad green)
  • red kale
  • green peppers
  • green onions

 

Meal-worthy Ratatouille

I made this hearty soup for a weekend meal with tons of veggies. A nice crusty loaf of bread would pair nicely. This should help if still have zucchini and/or eggplant from your last box. I left all skins on the veggies and did not regret it.

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Ingredients

  • 1lb. Pork loin, cut into 1 in. pieces (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 medium zucchini, washed and chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, washed and chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup white cooking wine
  • 1 carton chicken broth
  • ½ tsp. Dried basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. Salt (or to taste)

Directions

  1. Heat butter in large pot and add pork loin. Brown on all sides and add garlic when almost done (2 mins or so).
  2. Add wine, chicken stock and spices and bring to a boil. Add veggies and bring back to a boil. Turn heat down and let it simmer for 40 mins or until veggies are very tender.

Makes great leftovers! This recipe yielded about 7 bowls.

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Farm Share Week 13

Happy Back to School Everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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