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Ramen made Right

One of the most common questions overheard on distribution nights is “Do you have any ideas of what to do with (insert new or abundant veggie here)?” In response it has been proposed that we put together a cook book. The suggestion is currently in the ‘percolating idea’ stage and we would love to hear from you.

The start of our CSA season may seem so far away, but it is never to soon to start collecting recipes! Here are a few we’ve tried:

Yogurt Apple Summer Squash Muffins

Creamy Kale & Kielbasa Soup

Italian Plum Cake

Marrakesh Vegetable Curry

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Butternut Squash Baked Risotto

Do you have a recipe you can’t wait to make? Please share!

Spring has sprung and garden planning is in full gear. Though this winter was full of snowy days, I was still able to see and feel spring at the table and during mealtime. By saving last year’s bountiful crop of tomatoes, I was able to make soup, chili, pasta sauce and even a delicious beef stew.

From my small garden I canned 10 pints of tomatoes. With my new membership to the Ozone Park CSA I hope to can even more this year. Canning is easy and doesn’t require a lot of expensive equipment. If canning isn’t for you, then freeze your produce. Most importantly, don’t let anything go to waste.

For canning you do need to purchase lids and jars, which can be bought at Target, Wal-Mart or even some supermarkets. You need a large pot for the water bath and then a small area to store your canned produce. You will sterilize the lids and jars; prepare the produce and the place the sealed jars into a large pot of boiling water.

The Ball canning guide is the best source for canning recipes both for beginner and experts alike. They have simple recipes with easy to follow instructions. Below is an easy one for canning whole tomatoes that I followed last year. So I was able to enjoy tomatoes all winter long!

RAW-PACKED TOMATOES WITH NO ADDED LIQUID

Canned tomatoes

You will need:

– 3 lb whole, halved or quartered tomatoes per quart jar
– Bottled lemon juice or citric acid
– Salt, optional
– (32 oz) quart or (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

Directions:

1.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) WASH tomatoes. Dip in boiling water 30 to 60 seconds or until skins start to loosen and crack. Immediately dip in cold water. Slip off skins. Remove cores and any bruised or discolored portions. Leave whole, halve or quarter.
3.) ADD 2 Tbsp bottled lemon juice or 1/2 tsp citric acid to each hot quart jar. Add 1 Tbsp bottled lemon juice or 1/4 tsp citric acid to each hot pint jar.
4.) PACK raw tomatoes into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Press tomatoes into the jar until the spaces between them fill with juice leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon salt to each quart jar, 1/2 teaspoon to each pint jar, if desired. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding tomatoes. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
5.) PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner for 85 minutes for both pints and quarts, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool.

Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Enjoy!

— Wende

Originally posted in Care 2 by Melissa Breyer

I’m the first to admit that the term “superfood” gets thrown around a lot in media and marketing, but that doesn’t mean we should turn our backs on the bursting-with-nourishment, lovely, potent, and delicious foods that fall under the moniker. Especially when these foods are known to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and, while we’re at it, put you in a better mood.

Although some people have run rampant with the term and have made a mint by promoting the “miraculous! fountain-of-youth! death-defying!” benefits of superfoods, I hope that there won’t be a backlash against good, old-fashioned, super nutrient-exuberant food. As I’ve said before, I’m a crusader for most edibles in their pure forms–and the majority of them are superfoods in my book. There are few whole foods from the plant world that don’t have some health-boosting element to brag about–so how to decide what to eat? That’s why I like to think about (and eat) superfoods by season. (…)

1. Artichokes
2. Asparagus
3. Avocado
4. Blueberries
5. Fava Beans
6. Fresh Figs
7. Leeks
8. Oregano and other fresh herbs
9. Spinach
10. Strawberries

Click on each to find what makes it a superfood and how to use it.

If you are like me, then you are still not sure what to do with all the Jerusalem Artichokes we have been getting since late in the summer CSA season. For the most part I have just been adding a couple of them to anything I make with a variety of root veggies as well as dicing them to top tossed salads. This is an effective, tasty and very slow way to consume them. I highly recommend it to anyone who is attempting to savor their share for as long as possible. If you are like me at this point – searching for a way to gobble them down ASAP – then let me suggest this bastardized version of a recipe from Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman

Ingredients:
– However many Jerusalem Artichokes you want to use up (I did about 1lb)
– A liberal splash of Olive Oil
– A couple cloves of garlic minced
– Zest of half a lemon
– A sprig of basil torn up (I used about 6 leaves from some I had frozen)
– Sea Salt to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450
2. Scrub the artichokes then dice them into pieces (I made them about 1″)
3. In a large bowl mix oil, garlic, lemon & basil. Toss in the chokes and make sure they are coated
4. Put in a baking pan single layer
5. Bake about 20 min shaking/stirring occasionally (don’t brush your arm on the oven door when you do this. It hurts!)
6. Sprinkle with a bit of salt & serve up hot

Alternate Plan – In the original recipe the garlic, lemon & basil are blended together in a mini food processor then added about half way through the baking time. I suspect that it would give the dish a little more of a zip.

Peace, Love & Veggies!

~ Angel

Did you know that rutabaga is a cross between turnip and cabbage? They have less than a third of the carbs and less than half of the calories of potatoes. If you’ve never had rutabaga before, you might be wondering what to do with them. I had mine like mashed potatoes—with a little butter and nutmeg. They were yummy.

Here are a few other ideas:

  • Cube, boil and serve rutabaga mixed with cubed, boiled carrots.
  • Make oven-baked rutabaga fries. Slice rutabaga into 1/4″ thick rounds or fries (strips). Toss in olive oil, salt, pepper and put them on a baking sheet. Cook for 12 minutes making sure to turn them. When they are golden brown, take them out. You can sprinkle them with garlic powder or paprika if you like.
  • Peel and cube rutabaga and boil in water. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Add some curry powder and a little brown sugar. Boil, then simmer until tender.
  • Mash boiled rutabaga into your mashed potatoes for a little kick!

Hope you enjoy this tasty little root vegetable.

Jenny

Angel provided the link for this tasty and easy recipe, and couldn’t resist to share it with you. Thanks Angel and Nell!

Originally posted at Nell’s blog

Made this last night, it was scrumptious! My middle child is beginning to be a bit more finicky in his foods, I’m not a short order cook, so he either eats what’s offered or waits till the next meal. He eats soup mostly through a straw and this one he loved! He ate 2 bowls full and even tried using his spoon quite successfully.

Ingredients:
1 stick butter (half of a cup) divided
4 leeks, washed and chopped
1 large onion, chopped fine
3 cups peeled and diced potatoes
7 1/2 cups chicken stock (i used 8 bouillon cubes and 7.5 cups water)
salt and pepper

Melt half of the butter in a large soup pot, add the leeks and onion and cook gently till they are softened but not browned, about 7 minutes or so. Add potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding stock. Cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Remove soup from head and puree completely using a hand blender or traditional blender. Taste and add any necessary salt and pepper (i only added pepper to mine, it was salty enough already). Chop up remaining butter and stir into soup. Serve with fresh crusty bread!

For more tips and recipes, check Nell’s blog

Last week, we got a new kind of squash: Delicata Squash – Also called Peanut squash and Bohemian squash – in case you’re wondering.

This is one of the tastier winter squashes, with creamy pulp that tastes a bit like corn and sweet potatoes. Size may range from 5 to 10 inches in length. The squash can be baked or steamed. The thin skin is also edible.

The delicata squash is actually an heirloom variety, a fairly recent reentry into the culinary world. It was originally introduced by the Peter Henderson Company of New York City in 1894, and was popular through the 1920s. Then it fell into obscurity for about seventy-five years, possibly because of its thinner, more tender skin, which isn’t suited to transportation over thousands of miles and storage over months.

Available year-round – is best late summer through early fall.

From What’s Cooking America website. (Thanks Angel for sending the info!)

Just did a little search for Jerusalem artichoke recipes (aka Sunchoke). Most say that prep should include scrubbing (but not peeling) and either slicing thinly or chopping into one-inch or smaller chunks, then quickly dropping into acidulated water to prevent discoloring. Then use in any number of ways, such as these below:

Many online sources suggest combining with potatoes, then boiling and mashing together with desired seasonings (salt/pepper/garlic, etc). Others say they work well roasted: scrubbed (no need to peel), then tossed with a little oil and placed in a single layer in a baking sheet at 450 for only a few minutes (6-8). Roasting with carrots is also recommended (I still have a good number of those from previous Thursday pick-ups). Another method: fried in a little oil at 350 for a couple of minutes, then served with dip as an appetizer. If very fresh (as ours are today), they’re said to be great grated into salads or as part of a crudite platter. There are also several suggestions for cream soup and sunchoke gratin — heavy on the cream and cheese, of course.

One caveat: chowhound.com warns of a certain gassy aftereffect. This is said to be a by-product of the tuber’s chemical makeup and is prevented with Beano.

Aren’t new foods fun?!

Don’t know what to do with all these peaches? Try this peach muffin recipe.

Original Recipe Yield 16 muffins

Ingredients
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
* 3 eggs, lightly beaten
* 2 cups white sugar
* 2 cups peeled, pitted, and chopped peaches

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease 16 muffin cups.
2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, eggs, and sugar. Stir the oil mixture into the flour mixture just until moist. Fold in the peaches. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups.
3. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Thanks to Catherine for sharing. Happy “peaching” everyone!

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