CSA Challenge: Box #6

25 Aug

Here’s what was in the CSA box for week 6. Sorry, there won’t be a video this week. Sheila if off vacationing in beautiful Montana. But we do have pictures, information and recipes for you. Be sure to check past CSA posts for a ton more recipe ideas and info.

First we have the usual suspects, the produce that we’ve already seen this season:

Basil

Tomatoes

Summer Squash

Hot Peppers

New Potatoes

Swiss Chard

Sweet Pepper

Beets
Beets contain powerful nutrients that protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers (especially colon cancer). But they are highly water soluble and temperature sensitive, so you want to make sure that you cook them as lightly as you can to get the health benefits. Their high sugar content gives them a sweet taste. Wrap them tightly in plastic and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. If you stain your hands with beet juice when preparing them, just use some lemon juice to get the color off. 
 

Onion
I’m pretty sure all of us have tasted an onion before, and we know that there is a wide range of different kinds of onions. But maybe you didn’t know how many health benefits they have when included in your diet on a regular basis. All onions contain sulfur compounds which are responsible for cardiovascula 

Aronia Berries
Aronia berries are also commonly known as chokeberries because they have a very sour taste. But they have extremely high antioxidant levels. They are most often used to make wine, jam, syrups, soft spreads and tea.

Chives
Chives are actually the smallest species of edible onion. They also have insect repellant qualities, so if you are going to grow a garden be sure to include these to keep pests away. They are best used fresh, and you can add them to pretty much anything. But they can also but finely chopped and frozen.

Kale
Kale is a very nutrient rich green. It is especially standout in three areas: as an antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory. It is also thought to be cholesterol-lowering (especially when steamed) and helpful with detoxification. Kale has a pungent earthy, bitter, peppery taste. For the most health benefits, sprinkle kale with lemon juice or another acid and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before cooking or eating. Store it in a plastic bag with as much air removed as possible; it should last you up to five days, but the longer you store it, the more bitter it will become.

Eggplant
Eggplant has a unique pleasant bitter taste and a spongy texture. In addition to many vitamins and minerals, it also contains important phytonutrients with antioxidant activity. These phytonutrients are potent free radical scavengers, protecting your cells from damage. They are especially protective to brain cell membranes, and they promote cardiovascular health. You may have thought that eggplants only come in the color purple, but they actually also come in lavender, green, orange and pale yellow. You can eat your eggplant with or without the skin. To tenderize and reduce bitterness, cut up the eggplant and sprinkle it with salt before cooking. Let it rest 30 minutes then rinse the salt off. You can then bake, roast, steam, grill or saute your eggplant. Be sure to poke holes in the skin with a fork to let steam escape during cooking. Store it whole, in a plastic bag in the crisper, not in plastic wrap though, then in can’t breathe and will go bad faster.

Red Cabbage
Red cabbage has added nutritional benefits when compared to the green variety. It has a more hearty flavor and the pigment contains more phytonutrients. It is a standout anti-inflammatory food, preventative for several different types of cancers, regulates the bacterial population in the digestive tract and works to reduce cholesterol. Steam or saute your cabbage for the most health benefits. You should keep your cabbage in a plastic bag in the crisper. It should keep for up to 2 weeks. 

Recipes

Wheatberry Basil Salad
from keepitsimplefoods.com
1 1/2 cups wheatberries
1 ripe tomato, chopped
5 basil leaves, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

To prepare the wheatberries, boil them on the stovetop until tender. Drain and add to a mixing bowl.
Chop the tomato and add to the wheatberries.
Next, add the basil and combine.
In a small bowl, make the dressing. Add the balsamic vinegar.
Pour in the olive oil and whisk vigorously.
Pour over the wheatberry mixture.
Combine until the mixture is well coated.
Add the parmesan cheese and mix well.
Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Tomato and White Bean Toast
From Whole Living
for the bean spread:
2 cups cooked cannellini beans (or 1 16-oz can, rinsed)
1 clove garlic
Juice of half a lemon
Small handful of fresh basil
4 to 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
for the toast:
8 slices whole-grain crusty bread, toasted
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch-thick
4 Tbsp thinly sliced red onion
Chopped fresh basil, for garnish

In a food processor, pulse the beans, garlic, lemon juice, and basil. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil, blending until smooth and creamy. Salt to taste (you’ll need less if you go for canned beans).
Spread toast with a thick layer of bean spread. Top with tomato, red onion, and basil.

Easy Summer Squash Soup Recipe

from http://www.thechiclife.com
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow squash, cut into half moons, about 1/3 inch thick
sprinkle salt/pepper.
1/4 cup chopped onion (I used frozen)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth/stock
1/4 cup frozen corn pieces
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup frozen cooked pinto beans (or 1 can rinsed and drained)
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped, optional
additional salt/pepper, to taste
fresh basil, ripped or chopped, garnish, optional

Pre-heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add extra virgin olive oil, squash, onion, sprinkle of salt/pepper, and saute until onions are translucent and squash are starting to get tender, about 3-5 minutes.
Add broth, corn, and basil and bring to a boil. Add beans and cook until beans are warmed through.
Taste test and add parsley, if using, and add additional salt and/or pepper, as needed. Stir.
Serve and top with fresh basil. Enjoy!

Black bean jalapeno soup
from http://www.spabettie.com
1 tablespoon butter
1 yellow onion
2 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cans black beans, one pureed
2 servings rice (1/2 cup rice + 3/4 cup vegetable broth or water)
3 jalapenos, 2 diced, one sliced for garnish

Chop and dice the celery and the onion.
Sauté celery and onion in butter.
Meanwhile, puree one can of beans and cook the rice.
Add 2 cups vegetable broth to sauté pan, combine with celery and onion.
When warmed, pour into slow cooker with pureed black beans, whole beans, additional 1-2 cups vegetable broth.
Add cooked rice, add 2 jalapenos.
Cook on low setting for several hours.

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Beets
from http://www.thesimplelens.com
8-9 small to medium beets (golden, red, or both)
1 package tempeh
1 bunch Swiss chard (8-10 stems)
1 orange
1.5 tablespoons malt vinegar
5-6 tablespoons maple syrup
olive oil

Trim ends of beets, clean, coat lightly in olive oil and wrap individually in aluminum foil. Place in oven heated to 375 degrees and cook for ~ one hour and 15 minutes.
Remove beets from oven and let cool for a bit until you can handle them without burning your fingers. Once they’ve cooled down, unwrap and using a knife, gently scrape off the skin. Chop beets into quarters (or sixths or eighths – really whatever fraction you feel like).
Prep chard by separating leaves from stems…and then chopping leaves and stems separately. I usually stack the leaves together, then roll them up, and slice into ribbons. Chop the stems into ~1 inch pieces.
Cut tempeh into cubes and place in small pot. Add enough water to cover the tempeh and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for ~ 8 minutes then drain.
While tempeh is cooking, lightly coat a pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally.Add in the cooked tempeh, followed by the beets and chard leaves.
Mix together the malt vinegar and maple syrup and add to the mix. Squeeze the juice from one orange into the pan then reduce heat to just higher than medium low, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes; open occasionally to give it a stir, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

STUFFED SWISS CHARD WITH SWEET PEPPER SALSA
from wwwluculliandelights.com
10 big Swiss Chard leaves
100 ml/0,42 cup rice
50 g/1,75 os smoked pancetta/bacon, diced
the green parts from about 5 fresh onions cut into pieces
1 pinch of ground chili pepper
1 small red bell pepper, really finely chopped
1 fresh onion, really finely chopped
1 tsp parsley, finely chopped
1-2 tblsp tomato sauce
salt
extra-virgin olive oil

Cut off the stems from the leaves before steaming the latter for no more than 2 minutes. Leave them to cool down on a kitchen towel.
Cut the stems in pieces.
Cook the rice and while it is cooking, fry pancetta, onion and and stems slowly with chili pepper until the pancetta is crispy.
Mix the cooked rice with the pancetta & co.
Cut out the part of the stem that is hard on each chard leaf and put a spoonful of rice in the middle of every leaf. Fold and roll them into small parcels.
Mix the chopped pepper, onion and parsley with salt, tomato sauce and olive oil and mix well.
Put the stuffed chard on a plate and spoon the salsa over before serving. Serve the remaining salsa separately.

Spicy Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Salad with Thai Flavors
from http://www.kalynskitchen.com
1 1/2 lbs. Asian eggplant, ends trimmed and cut lengthwise
1 or 2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and cut into lengthwise strips (I cut the zucchini into sixths lengthwise)
(you could also use 2 lbs of eggplant or 2 lbs. of zucchini)
grapeseed or peanut oil for brushing vegetables and grill
salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning vegetables
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup (or more) chopped cilantro, mint, or Thai basil
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
 Dressing Ingredients:
3 T fresh lime juice
1 T + 1 tsp. fish sauce (I like Three Crabs Fish Sauce)
2 tsp. Sriracha Sauce (or less; this was spicy but not unbearable for me)
1 tsp. sugar, Splenda, or Stevia In the Raw Granulated Sweetener (use Splenda or Stevia for South Beach Diet)
2 tsp. grapeseed or peanut oil

Brush grill grates with grapeseed or peanut oil, then preheat grill to medium-high.  Wash and dry eggplant and zucchini, trim ends, and cut into lengthwise strips.  Brush vegetables with oil and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Lay strips on the hot grill, flesh side down and cook about 5-7 minutes or until grill marks appear.  Turn vegetables and cook until that side has nice grill marks, about 5-7 minutes more.  Zucchini may take slightly longer than eggplant, but grill all vegetables until they are nicely charred and cooked through.
As they are done remove the vegetables to a cutting board and let them cool to room temperature.  While veggies cool, whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, Sriracha Sauce, sweetener of your choice, and oil.  When vegetables have cooled, cut them into short crosswise pieces, toss with a few tablespoons of the dressing, and let them marinate while you finish prepping other ingredients.
Slice the green onions into thin strips and chop the cilantro, mint, or Thai basil.  Chop peanuts.  Stir green onions and herbs into the salad and add more dressing until the salad is as wet as you’d like it.  (You may not need all the dressing; save to use as a dipping sauce at the table.)  Serve salad in individual bowls, topped with a few spoonfuls of chopped peanuts.
This kept reasonably well overnight in the fridge, but it was best freshly made.  I think the dressing would be good on many kinds of other grilled vegetables like peppers, onions, sweet potatoes, or winter squash.

Homemade Pizza with Mushrooms, Goat Cheese, Tomatoes, and Kale
from knittybaker.blogspot.com
1/2 recipe Thin Crust Pizza Dough from Williams Sonoma
8 cremini/button mushroom, sliced into 1/4 inch thick
6 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
goat cheese, crumbled
2 stalk of kale, stems removed and cut into large pieces
4 Tbsp olive oil
dried oregano
salt and pepper

 Make the Williams Sonoma pizza crust. You can follow all the steps in the recipe which calls for using the food processor to do all the work. If you don’t have a food processor or too lazy to dirty it up (like me), then dump all the ingredients for the dough in a mixing bowl and mix it by hand or a wet/oiled wooden spatula. Once the dough comes together, knead it for 3 minutes in the bowl or on a floured surface.
After kneading, place the dough in a oiled bowl (I use the same bowl). Place the bowl in a warm place until doubled in size. This takes 1-2 hours.
While the dough is rising, sautee the mushroom. Heat up 2 Tbsp of oil in a pan over medium heat. Dump all the mushroom slices into the pan and sautee slightly, about 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees an hour before baking, with a pizza stone on the lowest rack.
Dust a pizza peel with cornmeal. Place the dough on it and roll out to a 10 inch round (sometimes mine turn out more square or odd-shaped. Doesn’t matter! It tasted good anyway :)) 

With a brush, apply the 2 Tbsp of olive oil all over the dough, stopping about an inch off the end. 
Season with oregano, salt & pepper.
Now you can proceed with decorating your pizza.
Place the mushrooms, goat cheese, tomatoes, and kale all over the pizza.
Slide the pizza onto the stone. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pizza halfway through baking.

Chokeberry and Kephir Smoothie
from nami-nami.blogspot.com
1 ripe banana, peeled
handful of chokeberries/black aronia berries
250 g (1 cup) kephir
honey or agave nectar, to taste
a squeeze or two of lemon juice

Place banana chunks, berries and kephir into a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. Sweeten with honey or agave nectar, and season with lemon juice.
Serve at once.

Beet, Red Cabbage & Carrot Salad with Seeds, Currants
and Orange Pomegranate Molasses Dressing
from cookandbemerry.com
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1-2 teaspoons cumin seeds, to taste
¼ red cabbage, finely shredded
1 large carrot , grated
1 cooked beet, grated, dried between paper towels
2 cups packed baby spinach leaves, stemmed, finely chopped
¼ cup red onion, ¼-inch dice
¼ cup dried currants
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
Dressing
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Note: To cook beets, trim both ends and rub with olive oil. Roast in 400 degree F oven for one hour. When cool enough to handle, slip off the skins with a paper towel. Chill.
In a medium pan over medium heat, toast all the seeds together until slightly brown, 3-5 minutes. Stir frequently. You will know they are done when the pumpkin seeds start popping.
Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the Dressing ingredients. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the toasted seeds, cabbage, carrot, beet, spinach, red onion, currants and mint.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serve

Zucchini Frittata with Chives
from http://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium), shredded (makes about 4 cups)
¼ teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
½ cup chopped chives
¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon water

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and salt and cook, stirring occasionally until bright green, just starting to brown and the liquid has evaporated, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the zucchini to a plate.
Beat the eggs in a medium bowl with the pepper and nutmeg. Return the skillet to medium-low heat and add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and swirl the pan to coat with oil. Gently pour in the eggs and let cook, gently scraping the egg with a silicone spatula. Fold the cooked part of the egg back and allow runny egg to flow onto the surface of the hot skillet just until the egg starts to set up into a solid mass, 1 to 2 minutes. [The egg will still be runny on top, but continuing to stir would cause it to break into pieces at this point.]
Spread the zucchini mixture over the eggs. Layer on chives and cheddar and continue cooking until the sides of the egg can be pulled back from the skillet with the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes. Lift an edge of the egg back and drizzle 1 tablespoon water between the egg and skillet, cover the skillet and cook until the egg is set up on top and the cheese is melted, 4 to 5 minutes.

Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad
from tastyplan.com
3 medium carrots
2 large beets
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt
pepper
handful of cilantro

To make, clean, peel, and slice carrots and beets. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place vegetables in pan, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and place in serving bowl. Chop cilantro, and add to carrots and beets

White bean salad
from eatlovedrink.com
2 T olive oil
1 T white wine vinegar
2 t Dijon mustard
juice of 1/4 lemon (or 1 t)
1/2 t salt (or more to taste)
1/2 an onion, diced (approx 3/4 c)
3 c (or 2 cans) white beans
2 T fresh herbs, minced (e.g., parsley, thyme, rosemary, mint)

Combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard, lemon and salt in a bowl.  Whisk until emulsified.  Add onions, beans and herbs.  Stir.  Let marinade for 20 minutes before eating.  Keeps 3-4 days.

Boiled New Potatoes with Salsa Verde
From sharemykitchen.com
500 g new potatoes, washed and skins on
half a bunch of parsley
half a cup of mint
half a cup of basil leaves
2 tablespoons of capers
2 spring onions, green parts only, chopped
1/2 lemon, zest and juice only
1 small clove garlic
50 ml olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes in salted water for around 15 minutes or until tender
While the potatoes are cooking, blend the herbs, onion, lemon zest and juice, garlic and oil in a food processor until a chunky sauce is formed. Add the capers and pulse a bit more. Season with salt and pepper.
Drain potatoes and mix with salsa.  

 

 

 

 

 

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