Follow along as we highlight vegetables that we're currently harvesting...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Protein In A Pod!

Just like beans, peas are legumes – and packed with protein. Snow and sugar snap peas have less protein and B vitamins than green peas since they are eaten when their seeds are immature, but are still higher in protein than most green veggies, and have almost twice the calcium and more iron and vitamin C.

Favorite Pea Recipes

Roasted Sugar Snap Peas

1 lb. sugar snap peas, trimmed (about 4 cups)

1 large shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/ 4 cup)

2 teaspoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Toss peas, shallot, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a bowl.  Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast at 475 degrees until the peas are tender and beginning to brown, about 12-14 minutes.  Stir once halfway through.  Serve warm.

Pasta with Peas and Mushrooms

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups fresh peas, shelled

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

12 ounces pasta

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Saute the onion with a dash of salt and pepper in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and peas and cook for about 8 minutes longer.  Toss with cooked pasta, the remaining olive oil, and the cheese, and enjoy!

Kid-Friendly Recipes

Orange Glazed Sugar Snap Peas

2 lbs. sugar snap peas

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon orange rind, grated

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup butter

salt and pepper to taste

Heat orange juice, sugar, orange rind, and cornstarch in a pan and stir until cornstarch is dissolved.  In a separate pan, steam peas until just tender.  Add steamed peas, butter, salt and pepper to the orange mixture.  Stir and heat until sauce thickens.

Potatoes and Peas

1 lb. potatoes, scrubbed and cubed

2 cups sugar snap peas, chopped in halves

2 teaspoons butter

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

Cover potatoes with water and a dash of salt and bring to a boil in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until tender, 5-8 min.  Add peas, cover and cook for 2 min. more.  Drain, add butter, salt and pepper to taste, and mint.  Heat for 1 min, and serve warm.

Preparation Tips:

  • Cut the tips from both ends of the pods of snow peas, and remove the string that runs around sugar snap peas before cooking.
  • To shell green peas, pinch off the stem and pull the string the length of the pod, allowing it to pop open, after which you can push the peas out with your thumb.
  • Snow, sugar snap, and green peas can all be eaten raw; if cooking them, be sure not to cook too long, because they will lose a third or more of their vitamin C content – and their crisp.

Other Ways to Serve Peas:

  • Serve raw alongside carrot and celery sticks with your favorite dip.
  • Add chopped snow or sugar snap peas to salads.
  • Blanch snow or sugar snap peas in an uncovered pot of boiling water and watch carefully – it should only take a few seconds for the pods to turn a bright green from the time that the water returns to a boil.  This method tenderizes the pea pods and brings out their brightest color.
  • Steam green, snow, or sugar snap peas in a 1/2 inch of boiling water and simmer until the peas are bright green and barely crisp-tender; 5-10 minutes for green peas, 1-2 minutes for snow and sugar snap peas.
  • Stir-fry snow or sugar snap peas in sesame oil or vegetable broth and soy sauce with onion and garlic, red bell pepper, carrots, and water chestnuts for 1-2 min.
  • Add cooled, blanched snow or sugar snap peas to cold pasta or vegetable salads and toss with a light vinaigrette.
  • Puree cooked green peas and thin with vegetable broth and a little skim milk for a quick pea soup.  Season to taste with herbs, salt and pepper.

** Peas are a great source of many vitamins and minerals commonly found in vegetables such as Vitamin C and Folacin, and also a good source of lesser known but equally important nutrients such as Niacin, Thiamine, Copper, Phosphorus, and Iron.  So enjoy nature’s candy – in the pod and out!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mother Nature’s Lipstick

These hot pink marvels will dress up any salad or vegetable dish, and make it sweeter, too!  Fresh from the ground they are a whole new vegetable from their canned counterparts, and they even come with greens you can eat!

Favorite Beet Recipes

Roasted Root Vegetables

2 beets, washed

2 red daikon radishes, washed 

2 parsnips, washed

4-5 potatoes, washed 

2 onions, peeled 

2 yams, washed

olive oil 

salt and pepper 

Several sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Chop the vegetables into similarly sized pieces - the smaller the pieces, the less time to cook.  Distribute the veggies into a glass baking dish.  Coat them with olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped rosemary.  Roast the vegetables at 400 degrees, stirring every 20 minutes, for least 45 minutes – until they are soft all the way through.

Harvard Beets

2 cups beets, cooked and chopped

2 cups tart apples, chopped

1/4 to 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon sugar OR 2 tablespoons lemon juice

2-3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Grease a casserole dish.  Mix together the first 5 ingredients and put them into the casserole.  If the apples are very tart, add the sugar.  If they are bland, add the lemon juice.  Dot the beet mixture with butter.  Cover and bake for 1 hour.

Kid-Friendly Recipes

Chocolate Beet Cake

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 cp vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups beets, cooked and pureed

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

powdered sugar for sprinkling

Melt the chocolate chips in a double burner on the stove, and set aside.  Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda, and set aside.  In separate bowl, blend sugar, eggs, and oil.  Beat in the beets, melted chocolate, and vanilla, stirring vigorously.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the beet mixture, mixing well.  Pour into a greased 9x13 inch cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.  Cool in the pan, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and enjoy!

Root Veggie Chips

4-5 medium sized beets

2 sweet potatoes

3-4 potatoes

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

salt to taste

Slice the root vegetables as thinly as possible, with the skin still on.  Spread evenly on baking sheets, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway, until the potatoes are golden brown. 

Preparation Tips:

  • To prevent the beets from loosing their red color and nutrients, do not cut or peel beets before cooking them in liquid, simply scrub and rinse beets well.
  • Beets keep their bright color best if an acid ingredient, such as vinegar or lemon juice, is added during or just after cooking.
  • Beets are related to chard, and the leaves of beets can be eaten in the same ways that chard would be eaten.  Set them aside and cook separately from the beet roots; they will keep in a refrigerator for a couple of days.
  • Sauté, stir-fry, or steam beet greens along with other greens and season to taste with olive oil and garlic, lemon juice, ginger, herbs, and/or salt & pepper.
  • Replace beet greens in any recipe that calls for greens such as chard or kale.

Other Ways to Serve Beets:

  • Baking beets brings out their wetness and locks in their nutrients – but it takes some time.  Wrap beets in foil and bake at 350-400 degrees until tender, 1.5 - 2 hours.  Or, slice to similar thickness as other root vegetables and bake uncovered, drizzled with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper at 350-400 degrees until tender, about 45 minutes – 1 hour. 
  • Boil beets in a pot of boiling water, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size and age of the beets – until the beets are just tender.  Slice cooked beets and sprinkle with lemon or orange juice, pepper and herbs, or top with butter.
  • Steam beets in a vegetable steamer over boiling water for about 40 minutes, until just tender.  Leave the stems attached on tiny beets, and add lemon juice and herbs while steaming.
  • Toss warm cooked beets with a vinaigrette or your favorite dressing.
  • Coat warm or chilled cooked beets with a yogurt and dill sauce.
  • Puree cooked beets to thicken and add natural sweetness to a soup.
  • Add chilled beets to a salad just before serving (so the salad doesn’t turn red).
  • Shred cooked beets into coleslaw.

** Beets are a great source of Vitamin C, Folacin, and Manganese.  So, experiment freely with these colorful and versatile veggies – just don’t forget to wash up after!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Are Those White Beets?

A commonly asked question at the farm stand, those “white beets” are actually turnips.  Their strong, peppery flavor when raw becomes mild and sweet when cooked!

Favorite Turnip Recipes

Turnip and Carrot Casserole

3 large carrots

3 small turnips

2 tablespoons bread crumbs

2 tablespoons butter

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 beaten egg

1/2 cup cream

Boil carrots and turnips together, drain.  Add remaining ingredients.  Put in casserole dish.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Cream of Turnip Soup

2 cups turnips, sliced

1 cup potatoes, sliced

1 small onion, chopped

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

3 cups vegetable broth

1 to 1 1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Melt butter. Add turnips, potatoes and onion.  Cook on medium heat until tender (about 20 minutes).  Sprinkle in flour and blend.  Add broth and stir well.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.  Cool and blend in food processor or blender until smooth. Add milk and salt to taste.

Turnip Slaw

4 cups turnips, shredded

1/4 cup chopped red peppers

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Refrigerate several hours, and serve.

Kid-Friendly Recipes

Mashed Turnips

7 medium turnips

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

Peel, wash and quarter turnips.  Boil until tender, about 35-40 minutes, drain.  Place in large mixing bowl and use a fork to break up turnips into smaller pieces.  Add milk and butter, and blend.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese while hot, and serve. 

Turnip Fries

8 medium turnips

1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon ground paprika

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Cut turnips into 2 1/2 x 1/2 inch sticks. In gallon-size sealable plastic bag, combine cheese, onion powder and paprika.  Add turnips; seal bag, squeezing out air; toss to coat turnips.  Empty bag, placing turnips on baking sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until turnips are tender and golden.

Cheesy Turnip Casserole

2 medium turnips, peeled and sliced

6 tablespoons butter

1/4 to 1/2 cup flour

2 cups milk

12-16 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup bread crumbs

Boil turnips until cooked, about 20-30 minutes, drain.  Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour.  Slowly add the milk and stir until mixture thickens; leave the turnips slightly lumpy.  Add the cheese and stir.  Pour mixture into a serving dish and top with the bread crumbs.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Preparation Tips:

  • Store turnips separately from their greens – the leaves will keep for a few days in the fridge, while the roots will keep for a week in the crisper of the fridge.
  • Cooked turnip greens are edible, so save them when cooking the roots separately. 
  • Wash and prepare turnips as you would any other roots; scrub off any dirt, and peel larger turnips if desired.
  • To keep their flavor mild, do not overcook!

Other Ways to Serve Turnips:

  • Grate smaller younger turnips raw into salads as you would with carrots or beets.
  • Stir Fry thinly sliced turnips in olive oil, with onion and garlic, stirring often for 6-7 minutes in a large skillet over medium high heat until they are crisp-tender.
  • Boil whole turnips in a pot of boiling water 20-30 minutes, or until tender.  Uncover the pot occasionally while cooking for a mild flavor.  Sweeten the turnips by adding a little sugar to the water. 
  • Steam whole turnips for 20-25 minutes or cut up turnips for 12-15 minutes.  Serve with salt and pepper and lemon juice.
  • Bake 1/4 inch thick slices in a shallow baking dish at 350 degrees 30-45 minutes, or until tender.  Sliced onions and other root vegetables, garlic, and salt and pepper can be added for savory flavor.  Or sweeten with honey and brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and orange or lemon juice or zest.
  • Mash or puree boiled, steamed or baked turnips and serve like mashed potatoes, either by themselves or combined in equal portions with potatoes.
  • Add turnips to broth soups and stews, or use puree boiled, steamed, or baked turnips in the base of a cream soup. 

** Turnips are a great source of Vitamin C, so enjoy these “white beets,” especially in cold season!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Perfect Winter Bouquet!

Store chard in water in a vase to prolong its shelf life and add color to your kitchen when spring flowers are not blooming yet.

Favorite Chard Recipes

Quinoa Chard Pilaf

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1 cup canned lentils, rinsed

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped

1 quart vegetable broth

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute 5 minutes, until onion is tender. Mix in quinoa, lentils, and mushrooms. Pour in the broth. Cover, and cook 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from heat. Shred chard, and gently mix into the pot. Cover, and allow to sit 5 minutes, or until chard is wilted.

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 small red onion, diced

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately

1/2 cup water or broth

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

salt to taste (optional)

Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add the chard stems and the white wine.  Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted.  Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.

Kid-Friendly Recipe

Cheesy Pasta with Chard

6 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups chopped fresh onions

Washed and coarsely chopped greens  -- about 7 or 8 cups

3/4 pound penne, fusilli, shells, or some comparable short pasta

1/2 to 3/4 lb. feta cheese, crumbled

salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onions in olive oil for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile, put the pasta water up to boil.  Add chopped greens to the  skillet, salt lightly and stir until the greens wilt.  Cover and cook 10-15 min. over a medium to low heat.  Cook the pasta.  Just as it becomes ready, add the crumbled feta cheese to the chard, with heat on low (or off).  When the pasta is done, scoop it out with a strainer, drain it and add it directly to the pot full of sauce.  Mix thoroughly.  Cook the completed dish just slightly over a low heat for a few minutes. Add a small amount of grated cheese, if desired, and some black pepper.

Preparation Tips:

  • Cooked chard stems are edible, so save them when eating the leaves raw. 
  • To remove stems, hold leaves in half from the bottom, vein-side out, and pull on the bottom of the stem.
  • Cook the stems for a few minutes before adding the leaves to cook in any dish.
  • Remember - chard cooks down considerably from its raw volume!

Other Ways to Serve Chard:

  • Add smaller, younger raw chard leaves to salad.
  • Stir Fry with sesame oil, garlic and soy sauce, stirring often for 4-5 minutes in a large skillet over medium high heat. Serve with brown rice.
  • Sauté in olive oil with onions or garlic until bright green, add salt and pepper. 
  • Steam leaves whole or coarsely chopped in a covered skillet until the leaves are wilted, anywhere from 3-15 minutes depending on leaf age and thickness. Add lemon juice, or salt and pepper.

** Chard is a great source of Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Magnesium, and Manganese.  So eat up – after you’ve enjoyed it as a table centerpiece, of course!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Red, Green, or Curly?

Whether you eat the red, green, or curly kind, kale is packed with vitamins and minerals and can be substituted for any greens in your favorite recipe - or try these out!

Favorite Kale Recipes 

Turkey Garbanzo Bean and Kale Soup with Pasta

16 ounces whole-wheat pasta shells

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound ground turkey

1 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

3 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth

3/4 cup water

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup tomato paste

2 cups roughly chopped kale

salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in the pasta, and return to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 12-15 minutes. Drain well.

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot; add turkey, onion, and garlic. Cook over medium heat until meat browns and onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in sage and rosemary and cook for about 1 minute, do not allow herbs to brown. Pour the broth and water into the pot along with the garbanzo beans and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and add kale. Simmer until kale softens, about 5 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Winter Vegetable Saute

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, diced

1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 pinch salt

1 pinch ground black pepper

1 cup chopped kale

Place oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Melt butter and mix in potatoes, mushrooms, pepper, squash, and shallot. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender.

Add kale on to skillet. Continue cooking 5 minutes, until kale is wilted. 

Kid-Friendly Recipes

Crispy Kale

6-8 cups chopped fresh kale, hard stems removed

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

Place a rack on the lowest shelf of your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread kale out on a sturdy baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Toss to coat completely.  Place on the lowest rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir so that kale can get crispy all over.  Bake another 8 to 12 minutes or until kale is crispy.  It should be just lightly browned and crispy to the touch.  If kale still bends, rather than crackles, when you touch it, it isn't done yet.  Return it to the oven.  Turn down the heat if it is getting too brown.  Continue cooking until crispy.  Remove from oven, and sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately.

Cream of Kale Soup

1 cup chopped onion

3 cups sliced potatoes

8 cups chicken or vegetable stock

8 cups chopped kale or other bunched green

1/2 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper

Sauté the onion in olive oil or butter, add potatoes and stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Add the kale to the broth.  Cook for 10-15 min, or until the greens are tender.  Cool slightly, then purée in a blender or food processor.  Add the cream, reheat and season to taste.

Kale Frittata

1 bunch kale, chopped coarsely

1 clove of garlic, chopped finely

4 tablespoons olive oil

6 eggs

Boil kale for 4 minutes.  Drain.  Rinse with cold water and squeeze out as much water as you can.  Fry garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add the chard and fry for 1 minute.  Season to taste with salt. Turn off heat.  Beat eggs.  Add kale to eggs and mix to separate the kale.  Over medium-low heat, cook 2 tablespoons of olive oil in an omelet style pan.  Stir the egg/kale mixture and pour into the pan.  Cover and cook 5 minutes.

Preheat broiler. Turn heat on eggs/kale down to low and cook another 5 minutes.  Uncover the frying pan and put under the broiler for 2 minutes or until top is set. 

Other Ways to Serve Kale:

**Cut the leaves off of the stems, & cook the stems for a few minutes longer in any recipe**

  • Stir Fry with olive oil, garlic, ginger, lemon, red pepper and soy sauce, stirring often for 4-5 min. in a large skillet over med. high heat. Serve with brown rice.
  • Sauté in olive oil or butter with onions and garlic until wilted, add salt & pepper.
  • Add to your favorite vegetable soups.
  • Add raw kale to frittata.

** Kale is a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, Calcium, Folacin, Manganese, and Potassium.  So enjoy it - red, green, or curly!