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!