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

Farm Share Week 13 (Aug 28-30, 2013)

Summer returns! Hopefully the rain doesn’t dominate the long weekend and we can squeeze some more sunshine out of summer. The thing I am most excited about this week is honey crisp apples- just for the whole shares for now. They should sweeten up more once we get a good frost, but the trees were bowing under the weight of the apples and some were beginning to fall. This is the best crop I have seen so far and anything seems like abundance after last year. There might be a couple spots on your apples but I picked the best ones for you and did a lot of taste-testing to make sure they would be enjoyed. Apples are near the top of the “dirty dozen” list, a list of the most sprayed fruits and veggies. If you see a little white residue on your apples, it is not a chemical spray- don’t be alarmed. We sprayed the apples with clay to create a physical barrier to the bugs and end up with nicer apples. We tried to get it all off but it just might need another rinse. The honey crisps are my absolute favourite type of apple because of their crispyness- a nice apple to munch as is instead of the softer ones that are ideal for baking. Hope you enjoy. There are more apples to come for you half sharers.

Also, we have some lovely spinach (our spinach crop was not going well at all before now, so I am stoked!) which I’m sure you will enjoy. See below for a recipe that uses 3 of the items below, requires no cooking, and is a crowd-pleaser!

Half Shares

  • field tomatoes

  • campari tomatoes

  • green or burgundy beans

  • green peppers

  • watermelon

  • cucumber

  • red leaf lettuce

  • spinach (woo hoo!)

  • green onions

  • carrots

Whole Shares

  • field tomatoes

  • campari tomatoes

  • green or burgundy beans

  • green peppers

  • watermelon

  • cucumber

  • red leaf lettuce

  • spinach (woo hoo!)

  • green onions

  • carrots

  • saladette tomatoes

  • eggplant

  • red beets

  • chinese cabbage

  • red romaine or green leaf lettuce

  • green kale

  • honey crisp apples

  • garlic chives

Easy Fresh Tomato Salsa

Ingredients

  • 9 campari tomatoes

  • 1 extra small green pepper

  • 1 green onion

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/8 cup fresh cilantro (parsley or basil would also work)

  • 1 ½ tbsp. Fresh lemon or lime juice

  • fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

  • dash cayenne powder

Directions

  1. Dice tomatoes, green pepper and green onion. Mince garlic and finely chop cilantro.

  2. Add dash cayenne, along with freshly ground pepper and salt. Let flavours combine for at least one hour.

  3. Serve with whole grain tortilla chips or as a topping for bruchetta.

 

May you savour healthy, organic foods and the company of family and friends this weekend.

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 .

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.

Image

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.

Farm Share Week 10 (Aug 7-9, 2013)

The strange forecast continues…hopefully it’s warm enough for swimming as many of you are on vacation this week. I find myself praying for a heat wave- something that seems a little crazy. Without the heat and sun, the crops crawl along and grow very slowly. I am sure that summer will make a come-back soon. Eggplants and spagetti squash appear this week for the whole shares and beans are coming to an end. Meanwhile, more tomatoes are turning, but we still are waiting for the explosion of ripe tomatoes. I would love to have a canning party this year as there are always gobs of damaged tomatoes that I cannot bear to see wasted. Does anyone have a tried and true tomato sauce recipe? My tomato “sauce” last year would not have won any awards. It was tasty but runny, runny, runny. One of our workers was suggesting that the tomatoes need to cook for a very long time to thicken. Also this week, the good ‘ol carrots and beets are ready from the fields for all, though the carrots are still skinny. If you scrub them instead of peeling them you’ll end up with more carrot and more nutrients. Don’t forget to enjoy the beet greens wilted or in salad.

Half Shares

  • zucchini

  • cucumber

  • field tomatoes or saladette tomatoes

  • campari tomatoes or radish

  • flat, green or burgundy beans

  • carrots

  • red beets

  • baby bokchoy

  • romaine

  • red leaf lettuce

Whole Shares

  • zucchini

  • cucumber

  • field tomatoes or saladette tomatoes

  • campari tomatoes or radish

  • flat, green or burgundy beans

  • carrots

  • red beets

  • baby bokchoy

  • romaine

  • red leaf lettuce

  • swiss chard

  • sage (herb)

  • strawberries or rhubarb

  • eggplant (regular or chinese)

  • spaghetti squash (great pasta alternative- see recipe below)

  • saladette tomatoes

  • garlic chives (great in dip-see recipe below)

 

I have been looking for nutritious dip recipes for my picky-eating 2 year old. Anyone have a dip idea to share?

Quick Dip Idea: White Bean and Garlic Chive Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 can white beans, drained

  • 2/3 bunch of garlic chives (or whole bunch if desired)

  • 2 tbsp. Lemon juice

  • Enough olive oil to make it blend

  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Drain and rinse white beans. Wash and chop garlic chives. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and serve. Makes a thick funky green-coloured dip, great to dip your cucumber, tomatoes, beans, zucchini or carrots into, or for use as a sandwich spread.

 

Spaghetti Squash Casserole from Squash- A Country Garden Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise with seeds removed

  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 tsp. Dried basil

  • 2 plum tomatoes (or 6 saladettes or 5 camparis), chopped

  • 1 cup cottage cheese

  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella

  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

  • ¼ tsp. Salt

  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

  • 3 tbsp. Seasoned dry bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 13”x9” baking pan and baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place squash, cut side down, on the sheet. Bake for 30 mins, or until tender when pierced with fork.

  2. Meanwhile warm oil in skillet on medium heat and add onion, garlic and basil. Cook for 4-5 mins or until onion is soft. Add tomatoes and cook 3-4 mins or until mixture is dry.

  3. Mix squash, cottage cheese, mozzarella, parsley, salt, and onion mixture. Stir to mix. Pour into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with parmesan and bread crumbs.

  4. Bake for 30 mins, or until bubbly and heated through.

 

Farm Share Week 9 (July 31-Aug 2, 2013)

So much for the simple life! There seems to be such a breadth of knowledge to attain on how vegetables grow, and I am ever a student. Like this week, I came to the unpleasant realization that we had very few tomatoes. Since we had quite a few last week, I thought their abundance was a given, however I learned that there is an innitial burst of ripe tomatoes (a cluster on each plant) when they first start to turn, followed by a lull, and then an explosion of ripened tomatoes where the whole plant’s load turns red at once. It’s encouraging to know that excesses of tomatoes are in our future, even if they are a precious commodity at the moment. The gargantuan zucchini that grew practically before our eyes last week (harvested every 2 days) aee poking along in their growth in the cool and cloudy weather this week. However, an array of colour makes this week’s box exciting again- orange carrots, straight  as soldiers, magenta radishes, purple beans, rainbow chard, red leaf lettuce and of course, contrasting greens make me rejoice in the harvest again.

Plus this week, I had the pleasure of harvesting garlic. Pitchfork in hand, I felt like a conqueror, subduing the field before me, baby in pouch as usual, sleeping soundly. It made me think, spending a few hours volunteering on the farm this summer may be strangely satisfying for you also. Would anyone be interested? You wouldn’t go home empty-handed of course. I find sometimes being in a field harvesting alone is some of the best

 

Half Share

  • carrots

  • burgundy beans (purple when raw, turn green when cooked- fascinate your kids!)

  • green cabbage

  • rainbow swiss chard

  • chicory (this variety can be used like endive, raw in salad or cooked)

  • garlic

  • cucumber

  • red radish

  • red leaf lettuce

  • mini red potatoes

Whole Share

  • carrots

  • burgundy beans (purple when raw, turn green when cooked- fascinate your kids!)

  • green cabbage

  • rainbow swiss chard

  • chicory (this variety can be used like endive, raw in salad or cooked)

  • garlic

  • cucumber

  • red radish

  • red leaf lettuce

  • mini red potatoes

  • red beets

  • campari or beefsteak tomatoes

  • zucchini

  • green leaf lettuce

  • strawberries (not the prettiest but still tasty)

  • grape tomatoes

 

Easy Nutritious Lunch: Cucumber-Tomato Hummus Wraps

Ingredients:

  • flour tortillas

  • any type of tomato, chopped

  • cucumber, skinned and chopped

  • any type of lettuce or greens, torn, washed and dried

  • generous heap of hummus, homemade or store-bought (I made my own without a recipe by using a can of chickpeas, 1 tbsp. lemon juice (or even a tbsp. red wine vinegar if you have no lemon juice), a few cloves of fresh garlic, and enough water to liquify in the blender, and it was delish!

  • Fresh parsley (if desired) – I had some left over in my fridge

Directions:

  1. Wash and chop veggies. Spread hummus on wrap, followed by veggies and parsley and wrap.

  2. Consume with no guilt, knowing you ate low-cal and high-vitamin and taste!

 

I will send you to another blog for the Endive (chicory) Mash and Dutch Meatballs as it is pretty gorgeous in its original glory. Jannette (my mother-in-law and co-owner of the farm, speaks fondly of this dish, and I love how there is no need to cook the chicory or endive (apparently you can sub chicory for endive). Enjoy! http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/endive-mash-and-dutch-meatballs

 

All the best as you wash, prepare and chop to better health!

 

Sincerely,

 

Jennifer (the accidental farmer 😉