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Posts Tagged ‘community supported agriculture’



poached eggs on kale

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When your refrigerator is stocked with beautiful local greens and farm fresh eggs and you know you’ve got another load coming in a few days, you need to get creative with your meals. I’m eating kale, spinach, collard greens and lettuce in some form at almost every meal. Ah, but I’m not complaining.

I’m a fan of a hearty breakfast for a variety of reasons. If you start your day with a nourishing mix of healthy carbs, good fats and quality protein, your energy levels stay balanced and you don’t crash an hour after eating (you know, the high-impact donut-dive). When you start your day with real food, you think better, feel better and have more energy. And without that creamed-filled donut and mega-grande latte, you probably look better, too. You’re also less likely to gain weight if you eat a nourishing breakfast. All good reasons. If you’re a CSA member and are being bombarded with greens, a hearty breakfast is a good way to chip away at the volume.

Poached eggs on kale
what you need

2 cups organic kale
your choice of whole grain (gluten-free) toast *
pastured, organic eggs *

what you do
Wash kale well and separate stems from leaves. I use both as I like the crunchy ribs as well as the hearty leaves. Cut stems in 1 inch chunks and chop leaves into sections. Place one tablespoon coconut oil (or your oil of choice) in medium-sized skillet over low heat. Add the kale stems and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until slightly tender. Add leaves, stir gently for another 3 or 4 minutes. If the pan is too dry, add a splash of broth.*

While greens are cooking, poach two eggs in a small pan of water and toast your bread. Layer greens on toast, top with poached eggs. Finish off with fresh ground pepper and salt.

* I don’t eat bread very often, but there is nothing better than a poached egg on toast so I keep a loaf of gluten-free teff bread in the freezer. Teff is a powerful little grain; for more information, check here.

* I have a year-round egg share from Grant Farms and can’t imagine eating store-bought eggs. Seriously, there’s a HUGE difference in taste and quality. Plus, I like knowing my eggs come from hens living in style at the bird spa. Check here for detailed information.

* I always have a good-quality home-made or store bought broth in my fridge for sautéing veggies. It’s a healthy way to cook greens and great for making rice.

Here’s a nutrition profile for kale, courtesy of Nutrition Data. It’s good stuff.

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Go forth and eat a hearty green breakfast!
Melissa

lettuce prep & kid-friendly green smoothie

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Yikes!

I mean yippeee!

What do you do with a zillion heads of lettuce (not to mention kale and collard greens)? I picked up week #2 of my Grant Farms CSA delivery last night and am inundated with greens. Ohh, I’m not complaining. Trust me, this is farm-fresh heaven. But I made a promise to myself (and St. Isidoare, the patron saint of farmers) this year to use every last lettuce leaf and not to let any of this fine food end up in my compost pile. We need to start with proper storage.

Washing, drying and storing salad greens
First off, if you’re going to jump on the CSA bandwagon, get yourself a good salad spinner. I love my OXO brand, but it wasn’t cheap (well worth it though). Wash salad greens well. It may take two or three rounds. Save the wash water and use it on your plants. They LOVE murky green water.

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Fill with greens and water. Swish, swish, swish (water plants) and spin dry. Drying is just as important as washing as your dressing won’t adhere to the leaves if they’re wet. Plus, it doesn’t store well if it’s too damp.

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Using either a lightweight kitchen towel or a paper towel, lay the washed and spun-dry lettuce out on the towel and loosely roll it up, burrito style. Place in plastic bag and store in your refrigerator crisper. It should last up to a week or more.

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Healthy, kid-friendly greenish smoothie
Choose a couple of the following fruits (frozen is fine)
• ripe banana; 1/2 cup berries, pineapple or watermelon chunks; pear (be creative)
• 1 carton Redwood Hill Farms vanilla goat yogurt
• 1 cup Grant Farms lettuce (lettuce is great in smoothies)
• coconut water
• dash of cinnamon

* This is a launching pad recipe, add whatever you want. If you want a little protein, add a scoop of chia seeds.

Blend and serve! Adjust amounts depending on the number and size of servings.

Go forth, wash and dry your greens and feed them to your kids in smoothies!
Melissa

parsley, dill and tomato pasta

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Last week’s Grant Farms CSA box included dill and parsley, along with a bunch of other green and red goodies (see past two beet recipes). This post will focus on the herbs. I’ll be brief and spare you the geeky details. I almost promise. However, my enthusiasm for the healing power of food might trump your eye rolling (I have a Mac with spy capabilities, I know when you’re making faces).

Dill — has a clean, faint lemony smell and taste to it; with a hint of anise or fennel. Freezing preserves the flavor better than drying, but either work well. You can freeze dill whole in a plastic bag and cut off little sprigs as needed. Add dill at the end of cooking as it loses its flavor if overcooked (thanks chef Miles). Dill goes well with beets (yeah), cucumber, tomatoes, potatoes, fish and seafood, rice, egg salad, spinach, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, celery root, cabbage, salad dressings.

Nutritional profile of dill
The volatile oils in dill make it a “chemoprotective” herb. It helps neutralize certain carcinogens (cancer causing agents). It’s also a good source of calcium and iron. Calcium? Surprise, surprise.

Parsley – is a bit like dill, but with a tangy hint of pepper. It’s one of the most versatile herbs and is essential to several flavoring mixtures (French bouquet garnis, fines herbes, salsa verde, tabbouleh). It combines well with basil, bay, capers, garlic, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, tarragon and can be used with most vegetables. I love it with tomatoes, rice and fish.

Nutritional profile of parsley
This one’s a nutritional powerhouse. Seriously, don’t take it for granted and don’t leave that parsley garnish on your plate. Eat it! It’s an excellent source of vitamins K, C, and A, is a good source of folate and iron, and its volatile oils put it in the same chemoprotective category as dill.

Fresh parsley, dill and tomato pasta
what you need
4 large tomatoes, diced
3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons Vidalia onions (or green onions), finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey Dijon mustard (I use Annie’s Naturals, it’s gluten-free)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
12 ounces pasta (I use Tinkyada organic brown rice spaghetti style pasta)

what you do
Combine olive oil and honey Dijon mustard in medium sized bowl. Whisk until well blended. Add the rest of the ingredients with the exception of the pasta and the salt and pepper. Blend well and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, add the salt and pepper and toss with prepared hot pasta. Makes about 4 servings. This can also be made into a cold pasta salad.

I had some leftovers, which I refrigerated and served the next night (reheated) over a big plate of the fresh leaf lettuce from the CSA delivery box. It sounds weird, but it was delicious!

Go forth and hug your CSA farmers.
Melissa

deadly serious beet & spinach salad

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The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is the more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.
Jitterbug Perfume — Tom Robbins

Do you ever read something you wish you had written? Something so well-crafted, so simple, yet sublime? That’s how I feel about the above paragraph. I should have written that. I’m the one obsessed with beets, born with an affinity to Rasputin’s favorite vegetable. No one understands beets like I do.

Of course, good writing and a passion for beets are two distinctly different things. Even if I have to let Tom Robbins say it for me, I’m content knowing I’ve chosen the most torrid of all vegetables as my favorite. Trust me, carrots, celery, even burdock root are no match for the wild and impassioned beet.

I love beets.

I belong to Grant Farms CSA program and yesterday was my first delivery of 26 weeks worth of organic vegetables, fruits and farm fresh eggs (I have a year-round egg share). Those of you who have been following this blog know I border on ardently evangelical when it comes to my local farmer friends and their freshly-harvested, seasonal produce.

I opened my CSA box last night and inside I found a bunch of deadly serious beets. Need I say more?

Deadly Serious Beet & Spinach Salad
what you need
1 pound beets
3 – 4 cups spinach leaves
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon agave nectar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pecans, chopped
crumbled goat cheese (I use local Haystack Mountain goat cheese)

what you do
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim beets and save the leaves; please don’t throw them away, they are wonderful (see link below). Scrub the beets and place in a glass baking dish.* Pour about an inch or so of water into the dish and cover with foil. Roast for about 45 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the beets and the “heat” of your oven. Carefully (don’t spill the HOT beet water) remove beets from oven, set aside and let cool. Save the beet water for making smoothies. Seriously, let it cool and store it in a glass jar in the fridge – it makes for wonderfully healthy smoothie juice.

In the meantime, using a small bowl, whisk together diced garlic, shallots, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, agave and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. I usually put the mixture in a glass jar and shake like crazy. Shake, shake, shake your booty.

Once cooled, cut beets into 1/4 inch circular slices. (I never peel beets, I simply trim the stems and leaves and wash and scrub the beet root with a veggie scrubber before I roast or use them.)

Arrange spinach on plates, top with beets, chopped pecans and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with dressing.

* I have a Le Creuset enamel-covered, cast iron French oven with lid that I use for roasting beets. It’s wonderful, but the above method works as well.

Go forth and sizzle with seriousness,
Melissa

P.S. You might also like –
Beet Greens & Brown Rice (good information about beets and the greens and how to use them)
Grant Farms Egg Information (information and nutrition profile of pastured eggs)

I’ll be posting weekly nutrition information and recipes depending on what Andy and the gang put in my big red Grant Farms CSA box each week. Stay tuned and leave a comment if you want ideas, help or information about farm-fresh food. Sign-up for emailed updates so you don’t miss anything.

Grant Farms heads to the mountains

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“It is a shame to be caught up in something that does not make you tremble with joy.”

That quote is from legendary culinary queen, Julia Childs, but the thing I love most about it is that applies to so many aspects of my life. It’s a personal mantra of sorts, from farm-fresh food to outdoor adventure to family and friends. Yes, life should be all about trembling with joy!

I don’t advertise on this blog, but I do advocate healthy living and a huge part of that is a focus on nutrient-dense foods. Because I have celiac disease and want to avoid the pit-falls that often accompany autoimmune conditions, I choose high-quality, organic foods and steer clear of the vitality-zapping junk that makes up the Standard American Diet (very SAD indeed).

Those of you who have been following this blog know I support my farmer friends at Grant Family Farms. I thrive on their organic fruits, veggies and pastured eggs and as a nutrition therapist, I know exactly why. It’s my medicine (lucky me). Nothing like fresh garlic scapes sautéed with summer squash, served with wild rice and a few ounces of wild-caught salmon for a dose of healing flavor. Or fresh, omega-rich eggs that look and taste much better then their store-bought counterparts. There’s no comparison.

So, while I don’t advertise on my blog, I won’t hesitate to encourage you to jump on the “eat healthy and eat local” bandwagon. For those of you in Colorado, please check out Grant Farms as they’re now delivering to the mountain communities. Yippee! From Dillon to Winter Park to Steamboat Springs to Leadville, Fairplay and Buena Vista – Grant Farms will bring organic goodies right to a drop-off location near you. For more information and to sign up, check here.

Okay, so I have ulterior motives. It’s about that tremble with joy thing I started with. Every Tuesday during the 26-week harvest season, I’m inspired by what I find in my big red CSA delivery box. Inspired to play with my food, strengthen my body and nourish my spirit. Food can do that, especially when you know it has been grown with love right up the road from you.

Bottom line? I want my local farmers to be successful! I actually need them to be successful. My health depends on it.

Go forth and hug a farmer – then tremble with joy!
Melissa

Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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