Category: Greens (page 1 of 2)

Recipe: Orzo with Spinach and Garlic

 Trisha and Ryan Belstra have been farm members since our very first season back in 2010, back when we offered a summer CSA, which happened to be the summer Trisha and I were both pregnant with our second child.  Six years later, the Belstra’s are still farm members and our babies are no longer babies but still dear friends. Yay for farming and friendship!

This week Trisha’s sharing an easy weeknight recipe featuring comforting pasta and cooked spinach, although you could easily switch out the spinach for tat soi, radish tops, mustard greens, kale, or arugula for a spicier flavor in this delicious orzo recipe!

Here are the instructions from Trisha’s kitchen:

Hello, fellow farm members!  I’m Trisha Belstra and this is my family: Ryan, Nolan, Norah and Leah.

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We live in DeMotte and couldn’t feel more blessed to have the Perkins family as our friends.  What a delight it’s been to be apart of their farm also.  Fall is my absolute favorite season and being able to come pick up these fresh, beautiful vegetables each week during fall share time just makes it all the better!

I’m excited to share with you a quick comforting dinner or side dish–you get to choose.  There are a few different options with this recipe, which makes it nice depending on what you’re in the mood for.  Let’s get started.

Start by making your orzo according to the package directions.  You can use brown rice noodles for a gluten free version of this dish.  While your orzo is cooking, roughly chop 8 cups of spinach, then set aside.

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Next, roughly chop one to two leeks (white and light green part only) and mince two to three cloves of garlic. If you have a garlic press, you can use that instead of mincing to help speed up this quick dish all the more.

In a wok, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté your garlic and leeks on medium heat for a minute or two.  Add your chopped spinach and sauté for a few more minutes.

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Then add your drained orzo to the mix, pour in another tablespoon or so of olive oil, and season to taste with sea salt.  Stir until warmed. 

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Serve and top with Parmesan cheese to taste.  If you like things spicy like I do, try adding some crushed red pepper flakes too.

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Earlier I mentioned there a couple other options for this dish. Sometimes I add blackened Cajun chicken–just chicken breasts rubbed with Cajun seasoning, then slightly charred on the stovetop.  Or, if you’d like a saucier version, you can prepare an Alfredo sauce on the side.  I usually leave the sauce separate because we prefer the plainer version for lunch leftovers.

Here’s how to make the sauce.  In a medium saucepan melt 6 tablespoons of butter.  Once that is melted whisk in 6 tablespoons of flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  Gradually pour in 4 cups of milk (whole is best but 2% works just fine too).  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring continually for two minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in 2/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.  Pour over your orzo dish if desired.  And again, if you like to heat it up, add some Cajun seasoning to this sauce.  Yu-um.  Our seasoning bottle has been ending up on the dinner table lately.  

I hope you enjoy this warm dish as much as our family does as this cold weather begins! 

Happy Fall, ya’ll! 🙂

 

Spinach with Orzo and Garlic
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 16 oz orzo, brown rice pasta, egg noodles, or rice
  2. 3 T olive oil
  3. 1-2 leeks, white and light green part only, roughly chopped
  4. 2-3 cloves large garlic, minced or pressed
  5. 8 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Cajun or red pepper flakes, optional
  8. Parmesan cheese to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook orzo according to package directions; drain.
  2. Heat a wok over medium heat. Add 1 T olive oil.
  3. Once the oil is hot, saute the garlic and leek for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and saute 2 more minutes.
  5. Add the orzo. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season to taste with sea salt. Stir until warm.
  6. Serve immediately, topping each individual plate with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.
To vary this recipe, try one of these options
  1. Add blackened Cajun chicken.
  2. Add Alfredo sauce.
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/

How to Make a Buddha Bowl

Several years ago, my in-laws Dana and Joan encountered significant health issues.  Joan was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, while Dana continued to struggle with high cholesterol even though he was taking statins and eliminating most fats from his diet.  Instead of diving into even more medication, they decided to make a serious diet change–by going vegan.  They signed up for cooking classes at their local Whole Foods, learned how to eat a balanced vegan diet, and guess what?  Dana’s cholesterol returned to a normal level, and Joan rid herself of the pre-diabetic status.

Was it easy?  Surely not–it’s never easy to change years of eating habits that include meat and milk and cheese and buttercream frosting (okay, I don’t even know if they like buttercream frosting, but I’m just saying I think that might be a hard one for me to give up).  They found a supportive community at Whole Foods, and they learned that with excellent ingredients and several key recipes, eating as vegans was actually quite enjoyable–and delicious.

One of the recipes they passed on to me from this time is something Whole Foods called “Wellness Bowls o’Goodness”, but I’ve heard them more commonly called Buddha Bowls.  I’m so grateful they shared this with Dan and me, and today I’m going to keep on paying it forward because these bowls are not only TASTY but an excellent way to eat up all those veggies and greens you’re getting in your fall share.

According to the good folks at Whole Foods Market Culinary Education, a Buddha bowl includes your base of cooked whole grains or starch veggies, and toppings in these categories:

  • cooked beans
  • greens (lightly steamed or raw)
  • veggies (roasted, lightly steamed or raw)
  • herbs and spices
  • sauce (such as fresh salsa, hot sauce, salad dressing, tamari, etc.)

For the Buddha bowl pictured in this post, I started by cooking 1 cup of organic brown basmati rice with 1 tsp Real Salt seasoned salt.  I used 1 cup of cooked rice for my bowl and saved the rest for fried rice to be made later in the week.  (Quick note here: I found it easier to season–if necessary–each food as I went along instead of trying to season the whole bowl at the end.) I topped my rice with the following:

  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 cup whole leaf fresh spinach, sauteed for about one minute, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup shiitake mushrooms (grown ourselves–we should have these for sale soon!) sauteed with 2 T sliced leek
  • 1/4 cup watermelon radish, chopped (I was hoping these would be ready for your share this week, but they need a little more time.  We do, however, have daikon radish for you, and that will work just as well!)
  • 1/4 cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • Asian vinaigrette: 2 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp rice vinegar, 1/2 tsp soy sauce, 1 minced garlic clove

I tell you what.  I felt so so good after eating this for lunch.  And really, there are so many possible variations for the Buddha bowl, that you could make this work for any meal of the day.

To wrap this up, I want to return to Dana and Joan’s story.  Soon after those cooking classes at Whole Foods, my in-laws moved from Maine to the Midwest to our little town of DeMotte (yay!).  They discovered that it was hard to keep up a vegan diet here, and they’ve since allowed small amounts of meat and dairy back into their diet.  But they still love their Buddha bowls, and I’m sure they–along with me!–would love to hear your ideas for a tasty bowl of goodness.

Photography: Anne Kingma

 

 

Recipe: Spinach and Swiss Omelette

“Eggs crack. Butter pops in a hot pan. Her father is telling an abridged story of their flight, train stations, fearful crowds, omitting the stop in Evreux, but soon all of Marie-Laure’s attention is absorbed by the smells blooming around her: egg, spinach, melting cheese.

An omelette arrives.  She positions her face over its steam . . . The eggs taste like clouds.  Like spun gold.”

That description, from the beautifully written novel All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, reveals the sound and taste of an omelette from the perspective of the blind protagonist Marie-Laure after she and her father flee Paris at the beginning of World War II.  They arrive starving at the home of a long-last relative, and they are fed one of the most basic, nourishing meals. 

Now while the omelette may be a culinary basic, I’d like to begin with this disclaimer–I’m not French and I’m definitely no Julia Child.  I know, I know, you already knew that, but I’ve followed Child’s directions in The Way to Cook and I still find it quite challenging to make a pretty-looking omelette.   And sometimes you don’t realize this until you’re trying to take a photograph of one for your farm blog.  But that’s okay!  The omelette provides such an easy way to eat your greens that I had to share.

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Begin with the freshest ingredients possible (you’re off to a great start with your Perkins’ Good Earth Farm spinach!). Make sure everything is absolutely, positively ready to go before you begin cooking.  The ingredients listed below are for a 1-serving two-egg omelette, so if you’re making this for more than just yourself, multiply ingredients accordingly.

  • Chop 1 ounce (about 1 cup) spinach.
  • Mince 1 clove Perkins’ Good Earth Farm garlic.
  • Shred 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup ) Swiss cheese.
  • Grind the pepper and sea salt.
  • Break two eggs into a bowl, add a teaspoon of water, and salt and pepper to taste.  Whisk just enough to blend it all together.
  • Cut two tablespoons of butter.

Heat your skillet over medium-high heat.  Child suggests using a no-stick 10-inch frying pan.  Since I don’t have one of those, I used my cast iron skillet, which is kind of awkward and heavy for making an omelette, but it works (sort of).

Heat one tablespoon of butter in the skillet.  Once it begins to bubble, throw in your greens and garlic and cook for about 20 seconds, just until the spinach is wilted.  Spoon the greens and garlic into a bowl and set aside.  (If you’re making this for a group, cook all your spinach and garlic at once.)

With my cast iron skillet, I leave the heat at medium-high.  If using the skillet recommended by Child, she says “to set the pan over highest heat.”  Add another tablespoon of butter, wait for it to bubble (Child–“Watch the butter carefully–when the foam begins to subside and the butter just begins to color”), pour the eggs into the middle of the skillet.

Now, for those of you who’ve never made an omelette, I’m just going to quote Child here for a bit, because, really, she explains this so well!

“At once shake and swirl the pan by its handle to distribute the eggs over the surface, then hold it still over heat for 2-3 seconds, to form a film of coagulated egg on the bottom of the pan.”

Quick break.  Here’s where you QUICKLY scatter the spinach, garlic, and Swiss cheese over the eggs.  Back to Child.

“Now, holding the pan by its handle, start jerking it toward you–thus throwing the egg mass against the far edge of the pan.”  (See why this is challenging in a cast-iron skillet?  I need to do more push-ups or planks or something.)  “Keep jerking roughly, gradually tilting the far edge of the pan over the heat as the omelette begins to roll over on itself.  Push any stray egg into the mass with a spatula, if necessary.  When nicely formed at the far edge, bang on the handle close the near edge with your left fist and the omelette will begin to curl at is far edge.”

Child has another set of instructions for getting the omelette onto your plate from the skillet, but I merely lifted it out with a spatula and put it on my plate next to a piece of toast slathered with homemade black-cap jam.  Done and yum.

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Note: If the whole omelette thing isn’t working out for you, no worries.  Simply lower the heat and turn all those ingredients into a delicious plate of scrambled eggs with spinach and Swiss.  Most of all, enjoy!

 

The Vinaigrette

When Dan and I got married, dear friends gave us a wedding gift of a wooden salad bowl and tongs, as well as several favorite salad and vinaigrette recipes.

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Eventually the tongs took on multiple uses, such as a drumstick for banging pots and pans when my boys were toddlers, and sadly, one day the tongs broke.  But we still use that wooden bowl for delicious salads, which, at their very core, consist of fresh greens and a vinaigrette.

The basis for every vinaigrette is three parts oil mixed with one part acid. The acid is usually a vinegar but can also be a citrus juice.  You can make any amount of dressing that you want and add all sorts of good stuff, but if you want the dressing to mix well and taste good, stick to an approximate 3:1 oil/acid ratio.  

How to choose your oil and vinegar?  1) Whatever tastes best to you!  2) Whatever complements your salad toppings. Here’s what I choose from most often:

OILS

  • olive
  • avocado
  • canola
  • sesame (in combination with olive or canola)

VINEGARS/CITRUS

  • balsamic vinegar
  • red wine vinegar
  • white wine vinegar
  • unseasoned rice vinegar
  • lemon juice

Combine your oil and vinegar in a jar or bottle, add a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and shake, shake, shake it! You’ve just made your own salad dressing. 

If you want to get a little more creative, here are some of my favorite ingredients to add, NOT all in the same dressing.

ADDITIONS

If you’ve never made your own dressing before, please don’t let all these lists intimidate you! Think of them as tools for unleashing your creative culinary genius on your next salad.  If you’d like specific recipes, here are a couple combinations I used in the past week.

For the single-serving salad I posted about on Monday, I made this:

Garlic Vinaigrette

  • 1 T avocado oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • one clove minced garlic

On Sunday I made a chopped spinach salad (8 oz spinach) with blue cheese, chopped Paula Red apples, and caramel corn.  (Yes, caramel corn.  What can I say–I ran out of pecans but had just opened a bag of Chicago style popcorn!)  We’ll call this a honey mustard vinaigrette because syrup mustard just doesn’t quite sound right.

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 1 T white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Rogers Golden Syrup (I ran out of honey.  Fortunately I had this cane syrup that, sadly, you can only purchase in Canada.  Thanks to my parents and Canadian relatives for keeping me stocked in this deliciousness!)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Note: My 8-year-old Harper declared this salad delicious and a little sour–I took that as an okay to make it again this week. 🙂

If you don’t use all your vinaigrette at once, it can be stored in the fridge for a week or longer, depending on your ingredients.  Make sure to shake it up again before using to mix together the oil and vinegar.

What’s your favorite vinaigrette?

Photography: Anne Kingma 

The Salad

Let’s talk about the most basic way to eat those leafy greens you’ll find nearly every week in your share: The Salad.

 Fresh greens and root crops make up the bulk of your fall share, and one of the great things about our greens is that they’re almost always harvested the morning of distribution, and if not the morning of, you’re getting them within just a a few days of harvest.  We’re talking serious freshness here, people.  Which makes them perfect for a leafy salad.

If you’re looking for something specific, try these fall salad recipes from the farm blog: Kale Salad with Apples and Figs , Chopped Salad with Asian GreensGreen with Maple Apples and Onions.

But this post is less about giving a specific recipe and more about giving you ideas for how to make a salad of whatever you have in the house, Waste-Free-Kitchen-yet-still-super-tasty-style.

The most basic salad is a simple side salad made up of about an ounce of fresh greens and tossed with your favorite dressing.  (Or, if you’re Farmer Dan, just greens.  For real!)

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1/4 oz serving for child / 1 oz serving for adult

We, however, often eat salad as our lunchtime meal, a time when we need more than greens to power through the rest of the day.  In this case, I like to top 2-3 ounces of greens with some combination of the following:

Savory Salad

fresh veggies, chopped or grated (peppers, cucumbers, beets, radishes)

cheese, grated or cubed (cheddar, havarti, pepper jack, mozzarella)

beans (garbanzo, black, kidney, pinto)

meat (usually leftovers from the night before)

hard-boiled egg, chopped

fresh herbs, chopped (thyme, oregano, basil)

tortilla chips, crumbled

dressing (sometimes store-bought; sometimes a quick, homemade-for-one vinaigrette)

Sweet Salad

fresh fruit, chopped or sliced (apples, pears, strawberries, grapes)

cheese (Brie, cheddar, Camembert, blue cheese, gouda)

caramelized onions and garlic

nuts, chopped (pecans, walnuts, almonds)

dressing, like poppyseed or a honey-mustard vinaigrette

Here we go.  I’m going to make a salad here and now out of whatever’s in my fridge, pantry and garden, and show you what I come up with.  Be right back!

This is what I came up with:

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A little bit of this, a little bit of that: pepperoni, cucumbers, hard-boiled egg, brick cheese, green onions, olives, red-wine vinegar/avocado oil/garlic vinaigrette

I used salad greens but you can use any type of green for your base–spinach, kale, mustard greens, tat soi, bok choy, beet greens–any kind of green!  Each one will give your salad a slightly different taste and texture–yay for culinary adventures!

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Later this week we’ll talk more about vinagraittes, the quick-and-easy salad dressing you can make in less than five minutes and that can truly make or break your salad’s flavor.

What are your favorite salad toppings?

Recipe: Greens with Maple Apples and Onions

In the spring and fall, when fresh greens are abundant and delicious, I often eat a salad for a lunch.  I throw a bunch of Perkins’ Good Earth Farm baby lettuce or spinach in a bowl, then search the fridge for toppings.  I know some people aren’t big fans of leftovers, but I’m not one of them.  Leftovers turn my bowl of greens into a meal complete with protein, veggies, fruit, fats, and carbs. 

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For instance.  A few weeks ago, I made Pork Chops with Maple Apples for dinner, a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens’ weeknight cooking features.  Since pork chops are somewhat of a treat in our family, I didn’t have any leftover meat, but I did find surplus maple apples, aka apples sautéed with onions and garlic, then simmered in apple juice, cream, maple syrup and thyme.  I warmed up the apples, placed them on my greens, and topped the salad with toasted almonds for flavor and crunch.  My only disappointment was that I didn’t have enough leftovers for a second bowl.

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While you don’t need to make pork chops to enjoy this salad, you just might want to.  When I first made this, I used my cast iron skillet to cook the pork chops, then used the same skillet—without cleaning it—to cook the apples and onions.  If you want only the salad without the chops, you could use a little bacon fat along with the olive oil to get some pork flavor.

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First, fill four individual bowls or plates with one cup (for a side salad) or two cups (for a main dish) of salad greens and/or baby spinach.  Set aside.

If you’ve made the pork chops, your skillet should be hot and ready to go.  If not, heat it up over medium-high heat and work on your food prep.

Start by coring and slicing two cooking apples; I used Jonathan.  Next, slice a small red onion (or half of a medium-large onion), and mince two cloves of garlic

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Once your skillet’s hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil and wait for it to sizzle.  Add your apples, onions, and garlic to the skillet and cook for just a couple minutes, stirring every now and then.

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Add a quarter cup of apple juice or cider, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the apples are just beginning to soften.  

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While the apples are cooking, mix 1/3 cup whipping cream, one tablespoon of maple syrup, and two teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme (about 5 sprigs).

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Pour this mixture over the apples in the skillet and cook for a couple minutes, until the sauce is heated through and starting to thicken.

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Spoon about a quarter cup of apple mixture over each bowl of greens, then top the salads with a sprinkling of toasted almonds.  Enjoy!

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Note: If you’re making this topping for both pork chops and salad for four, I recommend doubling the recipe.

Scroll down for the printable, and let me know how your salad experience turned out! 

Photos and Food Styling: Anne Kingma

 

Greens with Maple Apples and Onions
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Ingredients
  1. 4-8 cups salad greens or baby spinach
  2. 1 Tbsp olive oil and/or bacon fat
  3. 2 cooking apples, cored and thinly sliced
  4. 1 small red onion, sliced
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. ¼ cup apple juice
  7. 1/3 cup heavy cream
  8. 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  9. 2 tsp snipped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  10. ½ cup toasted almonds
Instructions
  1. Fill four individual bowls or plates with 1-2 cups of salad greens and/or baby spinach. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil or bacon fat in skillet. Once fat is sizzling, add apples, onion and garlic to skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add apple juice and cook for 4-5 minutes, until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the apples are just beginning to soften.
  4. While apples are cooking, stir together cream, syrup, and thyme. Pour over apples and onions in skillet. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, until the sauce is heated through and beginning to thicken.
  5. Spoon about a ¼ cup apple mixture over each plate of greens. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. If you’re making this topping for both pork chops and salad for four, I recommend doubling the recipe.
Adapted from Pork Chops with Maple Apples
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/

Recipe: White Chili with Leeks, Fall Roots, and Kale

Leeks are a new item in the share this fall, and one of those lovely, sort-of-strange-looking fall veggies that you may or may not find in the grocery store on a given day.  A member of the Allium genus, leeks often play a role similar to that of the onion, but offer a more subtle flavor as they don’t have the sugars that onions do.

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Our hope was to provide a few weeks worth of leeks this fall, but instead we’ll have a small amount for only one week, and here’s why.  This summer, when our leek transplants arrived from our certified organic supplier out east, about three-quarters of the transplants had fallen out of the tray and died in transit.  Our supplier refunded our expenses, but it was too late in the season to plant more.  So, as my 5-year-old would say, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit!”  Really, though, this experience exemplifies what it means to be part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) rather than purchasing your produce from the grocery store or even a farmer’s market.  We—the farm members and farmers—share in the risks and rewards of the farm.  In this case, we take the small number of leeks and divide them equally among members.  Other weeks this fall, we’ve distributed a surplus of spinach and radishes and offered pick-your-own of abundant field greens such as kale, Swiss chard, and collards.

Alright, back to the leeks.  How do you actually use one?  BonAppetit.com presents twelve different ways, and Deborah Madison offers several recipes in her book Vegetable Literacy, including a surprising and refreshing salad, “Young Leeks with Oranges and Pistachios.”  For this week’s recipe, I made a few variations to Bon Appetit’s white chili recipe because it’s fall and nothing says fall to me quite like a steaming bowl of chili paired with a thick slice of cornbread.

A couple notes on prepping the leeks.  First, make sure you thoroughly rinse your leeks—even though we’ve washed them after harvest, they have many layers and may still hide some dirt or sand. 

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Second, most recipes call for using only the white and pale green part of the leek, getting rid of the roots and upper greens.  However, these “throwaway” parts can be used along with or in place of onions to flavor a vegetable stock.  

Whether you decide to eat your leeks raw as a baked potato topping, or gently sautéed and paired with goat cheese, or in this chili recipe below, I hope you enjoy the delicate flavor that the leek offers to your meal.

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Begin by prepping your veggies.  Grab the leeks and cut away the roots and most of the greens, then dice the white and about 1 inch of the pale green part.  Mince four garlic cloves, add these to the leeks and set aside until your other veggies are prepped.

Peel four medium-sized carrots, or, if these carrots are from your share, feel free to skip the peeling stage (I never peel our carrots from the farm).  Then slice them into ½ inch rounds.  Peel three medium or two large parsnips, cut them in half, and chop them into ½ inch pieces.  One more root to go!  Grab five radishes and cut them into quarters (or eighths, depending on their size)—make them about the same size as your chopped carrots and parsnips.  Set this group of veggies to the side.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  When the fats are sizzling, add the leeks and garlic and cook for about five minutes.

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Dice about 2 teaspoons (4 sprigs) of fresh oregano, and measure out 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon chili powder. 

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Add your seasonings, along with two teaspoons of salt, to the pot, and stir for about one minute.  Then add the chopped carrots, parsnips, and radishes, stir well, and cook for five more minutes.

Next, it’s time to add your protein.  Rinse 15 ounces (1 can) of Great Northern beans, then add these to the pot.  Pour in 3 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you’d prefer a vegetarian soup—next time you make this you can use homemade stock flavored with leeks!).  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer, partially cover, and cook for 25 minutes, until the roots are tender and the flavors melded.

While the soup is cooking, prep one more veggie—your greens, of course!  Roughly chop about two cups of kale, spinach, radish tops, or whatever green you prefer—I used Lacinato (dinosaur) kale. At the very end of your cooking time, toss the greens in the pot and let cook for a few minutes more.  The last step is to take a little taste and add more salt if needed.

Serve topped with crème fraîche or grated Gruyère.   Enjoy!

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Scroll down for the printable of this recipe.  What veggies do you like to use in your chili?

Photography and Food Styling: Julie Oudman Perkins

White Chili with Leeks, Fall Roots, and Kale
A comforting, seasonal, fall chili.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 Tbsp butter
  3. 2 leeks, white and 1' of pale-green part, diced
  4. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 4 medium carrots, peeled, sliced into ½” rounds
  6. 2 large or 3 medium parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, and chopped into ½” pieces
  7. 5 radishes, quartered
  8. 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  9. 1 tsp cumin
  10. 1 tsp chili powder
  11. 2 tsp salt
  12. 15 oz can Great Northern beans, rinsed
  13. 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  14. 2 cups kale, spinach, or radish tops, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat oil and butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat.
  2. Add leeks and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add oregano, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add carrots, parsnips, and radishes; stir to coat. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add beans and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.
  6. Add kale and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt, to taste.
  7. Serve topped with crème fraîche or grated Gruyère.
Adapted from White Bean Chili with Winter Vegetables by Sarah Dickerman
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/

Recipe: Brown Rice Bowls with Roasted Fall Vegetables

This week farm member Sarah Hamstra shares a recipe that includes three delicious items from your share: radishes with their greens, carrots, and Brussels sprouts.  Thank you, Sarah!

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One of the veggies featured in this recipe is Brussels sprouts, and the timing couldn’t be better.  Brussels sprouts sweeten after exposure to frost, which we experienced here at our farm this weekend for the first time this fall.  Our favorite way to eat these little cabbages is sautéed or roasted, so they work perfectly in this recipe.

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Here are the instructions from Sarah’s kitchen:

Stepping into Julie’s blogging shoes for the week is an intimidating proposition, as a business major who now sells real estate, but I’m up for the challenge! She and I do share a love of food and of cooking, which is part of what originally sparked our friendship. My husband Brian and I have been farm members since 2010—the inaugural year!—and we even have the vintage Good Earth Farm canvas tote to prove it. We have two little girls, Elizabeth and Anneliese, and we make our home in DeMotte.

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Roasted vegetables and I have a love affair. My default way to prep vegetables is to toss with olive oil, maybe add some garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice, and spread on a sheet pan in a hot oven until they’re browned and delicious. Think you don’t like broccoli? Prepare it this way and you’ll be sneaking bites straight off the pan before dinner.

Julie’s recipes last year opened my eyes to thinking about new ways to use the greens in our farm share. Of course, carrots, beets, and radishes all have greens, but for years, I discarded them without giving it a second thought. Last fall, though, I made several amazing frittatas with radish or beet greens. So, when paging through my Real Simple magazine last month, a recipe using radishes and their greens caught my eye and was occasion to immediately text Julie and tell her about it.

The original recipe calls for cremini mushrooms, zucchini, and radishes. My sister and I made this together the first time, and tossed in some peppers we had on hand. When I prepared it for this post, I skipped the zucchini and added carrots and Brussels sprouts. I love recipes like this one that are easily adaptable to what’s in season or what you might already have on hand!

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Start by preparing your rice. Brown rice is better for you and has a slightly nutty, more complex taste. I used brown basmati rice in this recipe. It will take about 35 minutes to cook, so get that started right away.

Preheat the oven to 425. Cut your vegetables into halves or quarters, depending on how large they are.

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Pull out a sheet pan. Toss your chopped vegetables with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Use fresh lemon juice for the best taste – it’s brighter and fresher-tasting than bottled. Top with a little kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

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Roast the veggies for 20-30 minutes or until browned and done to your liking.

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While your vegetables are roasting, you’ll want to prepare the sesame dressing. Toast one tablespoon of sesame seeds in a hot, dry skillet for about 3-5 minutes, until the sesame seeds are lightly browned.  Remove the sesame seeds, and, in the same skillet, toast about ½ cup whole walnuts for about 5-10 minutes.  The recipe calls for chopped walnuts, but wait to chop them until after they’re toasted and cooled. Set them aside.

Whisk together 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, the sesame seeds, and 3 tablespoons each of olive oil and lemon juice.

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Roughly chop your radish greens.

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Directly after chopping the radish greens, gently toss them with the other roasted veggies on the sheet pan. By combining them in this way, fresh out of the oven, the radish greens flash cook without wilting. 

Serve the roasted vegetables over brown rice, drizzled with the sesame-soy dressing and topped with the toasted walnuts. The combination of the brown rice, vegetables, and walnuts made this a really hearty and satisfying meal. I taste-tested this recipe on my sister, my two-year old, and my lovely friend Jolene and it got rave reviews all around. The leftovers also reheated wonderfully for lunch the next day, which is another big plus for me when it comes to quick and healthy meals. Enjoy!

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Photograph and Food Styling: Anne Kingma

Brown Rice Bowls with Roasted Fall Vegetables
A healthy, hearty, satisfying fall meal.
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Ingredients
  1. 1½ cups brown rice
  2. 1 ½-2 cups (6 oz) Brussels sprouts, halved
  3. 4 slender carrots, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  4. 8 radishes with greens, radishes halved and greens chopped
  5. 8 oz mushrooms, halved
  6. 5 tablespoons olive oil
  7. 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  8. Kosher salt and black pepper
  9. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  10. 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  11. ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425° F. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  2. Toss the Brussels sprouts, carrots, mushrooms, and radishes with 2 tablespoons of the oil, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast on a baking sheet until tender and browned in spots, 20 to 25 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from oven and stir in the radish greens.
  3. Whisk together the soy sauce, sesame seeds, and the remaining 3 tablespoons each of lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl.
  4. Serve the roasted vegetables/greens and walnuts over the rice, drizzled with the dressing.
Adapted from Brown Rice Bowls with Roasted Vegetables and Lemon-Soy Dressing by Justin Chapple
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/

Recipe: Spinach Bites

 

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I encountered spinach bites for the first time a couple weeks ago at my foster’s son birthday party, when guest Sarah Oudman brought them as a side dish to share.  They were so good, I asked Sarah to make them again for my son Asher’s birthday party a week later.

One great thing about this recipe is that you can make these little morsels ahead of time, then bake them right before eating.  If you’re taking this dish to a get-together, Sarah suggests putting them in a pre-heated crock-pot for the trip.  Just make sure you don’t forget the corresponding condiments!  She recommends ranch or Caesar dressing, your favorite mustard, her homemade jalapeno-red pepper relish, and—one of my favorites—Thai style chili sauce, which I found in aisle 5 at Rensselaer’s Strack and Van Til.

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First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Next, break out your food processor—or, for little more fun, grab a meat tenderizer and plastic bag.  It’s cracker-crushing time!

After placing about 2/3 package of Wasa light rye crisps (purchased at Tysens in DeMotte) in a freezer-quality gallon bag, I handed over the tenderizer to my boys and let them take turns pounding the crackers.  They had a lot of fun, but—surprise, surprise—we ended up with a hole in the bag and a mess of crumbs on the table.  Another option is to use the food processor (you’ll need it out for the spinach anyway) and involve any small helpers you have around by letting them push the button on the processor.

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Put the crushed crackers in a large mixing bowl, then starting filling your food processor with fresh spinach.  You’ll need about ½ pound (one gallon bag’s worth from your share), so unless you have a ginormous food processor, you should do this part in batches.  Make sure the spinach is finely chopped, then add it to the mixing bowl with the crackers.

Next up are the onion, pepper, and garlic. I used a chef’s knife to chop these because I wanted a little more control of their shape, but you could use a food processor here as well—just don’t get carried away!  Once these veggies are finely chopped, toss them into the mixing bowl with the spinach and crackers.

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Grate about 1/2 cup of fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese, set aside a few tablespoons, and toss the rest in the bowl.  Throw in some seasoned salt and Worcestershire sauce, then stir everything together until the ingredients are well-blended.  Beat three small eggs together, pour into the mixing bowl and, using your hands, mix together really, really well.

You’re almost finished!  Form into 1-inch balls, bigger or smaller, depending on your preference, and place on a baking sheet or preheated stone.  Then sprinkle the tops with the reserved cheese.

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Pop these guys in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops just begin to brown.  I recommend inviting someone over at this point, since your kitchen’s going to smell delicious.  Serve this snack warm (not hot), with sauces on the side.  Enjoy!

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Photos and Food Styling: Anne Kingma

Spinach Bites
A healthy, delicious appetizer or snack.
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Ingredients
  1. 2/3 package Wasa light rye crisps (7 oz – about 20 cracker)
  2. ½ pound (8 oz) spinach greens
  3. 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  4. 1 small bell pepper, chopped (about ½ cup)
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 Tbsp seasoned salt
  7. 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  8. 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
  9. 3 eggs, lightly beaten
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Place crackers in gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Crush into fine crumbs.
  3. Place spinach greens in food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Place chopped greens into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add onion, pepper, garlic, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and all but 3 Tbsp of the cheese to the bowl. Mix until well-blended.
  5. Add beaten eggs to the bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Roll into 1-inch balls. Sprinkle with reserved cheese.
  7. Bake on greased baking sheet or stone for 15-20 minutes or until browned.
  8. Serve warm with condiments (ranch dressing, mustard, sweet chili sauce, etc).
  9. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. If you need these for a party or potluck, you can make the mixture the night before, refrigerate overnight, bake the next morning, and place the bites in a pre-heated crock pot.
  2. These also freeze well. Just pop them into the oven for 10 minutes to warm them up to serve.
Adapted from Taste of Home
Adapted from Taste of Home
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/

Recipe: California Rolls with Radishes and Greens

A couple weeks ago I received this delightful birthday card from my son Harper.

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There’s lot of love in this card!  There’s also soosee, which is a mostly phonetic version of—you may have guessed it—sushi!  While Harper has had actual sushi before, at home I only make California rolls, or sushi made without raw fish, but sushi is A TON more fun to say, especially when you’re seven. 

After receiving this card, I made a couple rounds of California rolls for my little guy, and he proceeded to have them for lunch three times the following week.  I used kale or spinach for Harper’s filling, but you can use any veggie you want.

Before I get into the recipe, I’d like to give the disclaimer that I really know very little about sushi.  I made sushi for the first time at a friend-of-a-friend’s house in Spain in 2005.  I can’t remember the details, but I’m guessing we used bamboo mats and sushi rice and raw fish.  Fast forward ten years, and I’m still making these little rolls, but in my own super-simplified way.  Anyway, I may not know a lot about sushi or California rolls, but I do something about cooking with veggies.  If you’d like advice from an expert, check out this Food and Wine post featuring sushi master Masahuru Morimoto

While you’ll probably have most of the ingredients for California rolls in your house, there’s a good possibility you won’t have a key ingredient sushi-nori, or seaweed wraps. 

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Fortunately, our local grocery store Tysens does carry this ingredient in aisle 2, or you can purchase at least five different highly-rated nori on amazon.  

To begin, set up your work space.  I lay out two nori on a cutting board.  Around the cutting board I arrange the rest of my ingredients: cream cheese, rice, sliced veggies, and a little bowl of water.

Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on the nori, stopping within an or so of the far end.

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Next, dip your fingers in the water (this will keep the rice from sticking to your fingers), and add a layer of rice over the cream cheese.  Most people use seasoned sushi rice, but since I’m often using these rolls as a meal for my child, I like to use organic long-grain brown rice.  In the sushi world, there are probably rules forbidding this type of replacement; fortunately these rules don’t apply in my home.

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Now it’s time for the fun stuff—veggies!  Try any combination that sounds good to you. I’m going use produce from your share this week: radishes, radish greens, green onions, kale, and/or spinach.  Slice the veggies into strips, then line them up in a row on the edge of the nori that’s closest to you. 

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Now, carefully and tightly roll the nori away from you, tucking in the veggies, continuing until the wrap is all rolled up except that empty inch at the end.  Dip your finger in the water, run your finger along the edge of the wrap, and finish rolling.

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Finally, use a sharp knife to slice the roll.  I start from the middle and work my way to the ends.  And because I don’t use a bamboo mat, my ends are often unsightly, so I feel compelled to eat them on the spot instead of waiting until dinner.  Sometimes it’s tough being the cook.

California rolls are commonly served with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.  Dan’s the only one in our family who likes wasabi, so I keep some on hand for him.  None of us are big fans of pickled ginger, but I recommend you at least give it a try once.  And Harper and I prefer simply dipping our California rolls in soy sauce.  What’s your favorite way to eat sushi or California rolls?

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Photography and Food Styling: Anne Kingma

California Rolls with Radishes and Greens
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 sushi-nori sheets
  2. 2-4 ounces cream cheese
  3. 1 cup cooked long-grain brown rice
  4. 1 cup thinly sliced greens or vegetables (radishes, radish greens, green onions, kale, spinach)
Instructions
  1. Lay out nori sheets on a cutting board or kitchen counter.
  2. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on each sheet or nori, leaving one inch of space at the far end of the wrap.
  3. Dip your fingers in water, then spread a layer of rice over the cream cheese.
  4. Line up sliced vegetables or greens on the edge of the nori closest to you.
  5. Roll the nori away from you. Tuck in the vegetables, then continue a firm roll until you reach the empty inch at the end of the sheet. Dip your finger in water, run your fingers along the edge of the wrap, and finish rolling.
  6. Slice with a sharp knife.
  7. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and/or pickled ginger. Enjoy!
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/
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