Tag: Thanksgiving

Recipe: Roasted Carrots and Greens

With our last week of this season’s CSA at hand and the holiday season just around the corner, I want to leave you with a simple recipe you could serve at your Thanksgiving dinner.  Or you could just make this tonight because it’s cozy and nourishing and pretty much perfect for a brisk fall night.

Start by placing a rectangular rimmed baking stone in the oven and preheating to 400 F.  If you don’t have a stone, use any rimmed baking sheet.

Next, scrub and trim 2 pounds of carrots (around 18 medium-sized carrots).  Quarter the carrots lengthwise and put them in a large bowl.  I use the Pampered Chef 8-cup batter bowl because it has a lid, which makes the next step easier.  And that next step is tossing those lovely carrot pieces with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  (As tempting as it may be, don’t add extra oil olive or the carrots won’t roast well!)

Place the carrots evenly onto the baking stone and lightly season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes, then flip them, making sure to keep them evenly spaced (none on top of each other).  Roast for 10 more minutes.

While the carrots are roasting, prep the rest of your ingredients.  Chop 1/4 cup walnuts, mince 2 cloves of garlic, and roughly chop 3 cups of arugula/tat soi/mustard greens.  When the carrots are done with their initial roasting,  sprinkle with the garlic and walnuts and roast for 5-7 minutes more, until the nuts are toasted and the garlic tender.

Remove the stone from the oven, fold in the greens, and sprinkle the whole batch of goodness with 1/4 cider vinegar.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy! 

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Roasted Carrots with Greens
A perfect roasted vegetable side for Thanksgiving dinner.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds carrots, scrubbed and trimmed
  2. 1 T olive oil
  3. sea salt, to taste
  4. freshly ground pepper, to taste
  5. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  7. 3 cups arugula, tat soi, and/or mustard greens, stems removed and roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Place rimmed baking stone in oven and preheat to 400 F.
  2. Quarter carrots lengthwise. Place carrots in large bowl and toss with olive oil.
  3. Place carrots on baking sheet, making sure they're evenly spaced. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Roast carrots 20 minutes. Flip them over, then roast for 10 minutes more.
  5. Remove carrots from oven. Sprinkle evenly with garlic and walnuts. Roast 5-7 minutes, until nuts are toasted and garlic is tender.
  6. Remove from oven. Fold in greens, then sprinkle cider vinegar over the carrots.
  7. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens "Roasted Sweets and Greens"
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens "Roasted Sweets and Greens"
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/

A Reflection on Holiday Eating

Every year at Thanksgiving time, we spend a week with Dan’s side of the family.  When I first joined the Perkins’ family 12 years ago, Thanksgiving week involved extremely competitive board games, outdoor adventures, a lot of laughter—and eating tons of food.  My sister-in-law made delicious, home cooked meals each night for dinner, but during the day (and after dinner), we ate whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.  It was vacation after all, you know, the holidays, a time to let go of the daily routine and discipline and just relax.

Our holiday eating habits weren’t reserved solely for Thanksgiving.  I remember one summer vacation in Maine, a few of us adults went to the grocery store, and we took along my baby niece.  Our cart contained a wide variety of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream containers and specialty beer.  Yep, ice cream and beer, that’s all.  I didn’t think too much of it until we got to the register.  The cashier looked at us with these accusing eyes, and I could just hear her thinking, And what are you young gluttons going to feed that baby, huh?  Well, the baby would return back to the house and eat something like pureed sweet potatoes and kale, while the adults consumed their once-a-day healthy, home cooked meal and filled in the rest with Italian sandwiches and cheese bread, brownies and bakery treats, chips and take-out.

As “fun” as this type of eating was, at some point the family began to realize it was not sustainable.  One family member was diagnosed as pre-diabetic.  Another with high cholesterol.  Food allergies came into play.  And as more and more children joined the family, the adults had less and less energy to stay up late playing Settlers of Catan, Carcassone, or whatever new game Dan’s brother introduced to the family.  It wasn’t just lack of sleep affecting our energy levels—it was the food we were eating.

So the menu began to change.  The Perkins’ family dived into one food trend after another, each one a step closer to a healthy perspective.  The first year it was the Schwarzbein Principle, the next, Maker’s Diet.  Then came green smoothies, and, for some, gluten-free.  We haven’t arrived at a 100% clean eating Thanksgiving, but I don’t think that was ever the goal.  We eat healthfully for the most part—oatmeal or eggs for breakfast; salads or sandwiches for lunch; dinners ranging from risotto to shish-ka-bobs to chili, depending on which family’s in charge of the evening meal.  We still enjoy the treats that come with the holiday: pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies; Snowflake Mix; Tazo chai; ice cream; home-brewed beer. 

As we approach Thanksgiving 2014, I’m expecting to eat well again this year, and, in doing so, to feel good.  Good enough to ice skate with my sons and go on crazy, bumpy four-wheeler rides in the bitter cold.  Good enough to play a lengthy game of Heads Up with the whole family and sit in front of the wood-burning stove talking late into the night.  Good enough to sing lullabies to the children and songs of thanksgiving.  Our holiday is still, in many ways, centered on food.  But instead of thoughtless indulging, I feel like we, as family, practice mindful thankfulness for the food we have in such abundance.

The day before we leave, Dan and I will harvest fresh spinach and baby salad greens, carrots and beets to share for the Thanksgiving week.  This year, I’m thankful for a family who not only appreciates the nutritious benefits of such veggies, but also truly enjoys eating them.

 

 

 

Recipe: Thanksgiving Salad with Apples, Beets, Brie and Candied Pecans

Believe it or not, we’ve arrived at our final week of fall share distribution! Week Seven of sweet spinach and buttery salad greens, candy carrots and sturdy beets, savory green onions and crisp radishes.

BeetsHead Lettuce 1Gardenjust the carrots166daikon in the ground before harvestIMG_1079cropped-200.jpg

As we approach Thanksgiving, I’d like to share how thankful I am for you, our farm members.  I appreciate your willingness to try new foods (like beets and green smoothies!), for your feedback on recipes, for remembering our goats with sweet treats, for chilly-afternoon conversations, for jars of homemade goodies. It’s truly a pleasure to grow for you.

Farm Member MontageI’d also like to leave you with a recipe you can use as part of your Thanksgiving meal.   We make a variation of this salad for pretty much all of our fall/winter get-togethers, be it an annual friend get-together known locally as Friendsgiving,  a church potluck, or the big Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

This salad packs a punch when it comes to vitamins, fiber, and texture. Let’s dig in and get started with the beets.  (For those of you who still are on the fence about beets, this salad can survive without them!)  We’re going to do the same thing we did in the very first recipe of this series—thinly slice and gently steam the beets.  A few of you have asked about peeling the beets–good question!  I rarely peel mine, but you’re welcome to if you have a texture preference. When the beets are finished steaming, set them aside to cool.

Meanwhile, melt a little butter over medium-high heat in your cast iron skillet or frying pan.  Toss in your pecans, add a little brown sugar, and stir until your pecans are caramelized, about 5 minutes.  Set the pecans on a sheet of wax paper to cool. When you sample one right out of the skillet, try not to burn your mouth (ahem, not that I’ve ever done that before).  If you don’t have time to caramelize your own pecans, you can always substitute a store-bought variety.

Pecans 2

Next, make your dressing.  I made a variation of cider vinaigrette from this Taste of Home salad recipe.  Whisk together apple cider, apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, and oil with a little salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Dressing

Slice the brie into 1/2″ pieces and place in a microwaveable dish. I chose the Président brand for its mild taste and smooth texture. You’re welcome to leave on or cut off the rind according to your preference.

Brie

The prep is almost done! Chop up the apple of your choice–I prefer Honeycrisp or Gala for something sweet or Granny Smith for tartness. Find a bowl appropriate to the size of your gathering, and fill it with a combination of baby spinach, baby salad greens, and/or torn head lettuce.  (If you’re feeling daring, throw in a little mesclun too!)

Right before serving, gently warm the brie in the microwave so it’s just beginning to melt.  Then place about two-thirds of each salad topping–including the warmed brie–on the greens, and toss everything together. The idea is to make sure the last guest to be served still gets the goodies! Lightly drizzle a few tablespoons of dressing over the salad.  Then sprinkle on the remaining toppings and make your salad sparkle with a little more dressing.

You can feel the satisfaction of serving a delicious and nutritious dish to complement your holiday feast.

Plated 3 (From Top)

A few notes:

1) A lot of the salad prep can be completed ahead of time, like the beets, pecans, and dressing.  You can even chop up the apples the day before—just make sure you toss them with lemon juice to keep them from browning.

2) Pour the remaining dressing into a small pitcher or serving dish and place on the holiday table for those who prefer even more flavor.

3) This salad is ripe for variations.  Don’t like brie?  Use gorgonzola, camembert, or a good cheddar.  Instead of apples or beets, try dates or pears.  Choose toppings that make your mouth water!

Leave a comment and let me know about your experience with the Thanksgiving salad!

Photographs and Food Styling: Anne Kingma

Thanksgiving Salad with Apples, Beets, Brie, and Candied Pecans
Serves 6
A delicious and nutritious holiday salad.
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Print
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 cups baby spinach, baby salad greens, head lettuce, and/or mesclun (stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces)
  2. 2 medium size beets, sliced and steamed
  3. 1 apple, chopped
  4. 1 cup candied pecans, homemade or storebought
  5. 4 oz brie, sliced into 1/2” pieces
  6. ¾ cup apple cider
  7. 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  8. 2 tsp honey
  9. 1 tsp mustard
  10. ¼ tsp salt
  11. ¼ tsp pepper
  12. ¼ cup canola oil
Instructions
  1. Place greens into salad bowl.
  2. Gently warm brie slices in the microwave, about 10 seconds or until the brie is just beginning to melt.
  3. Top with two-thirds of the cooled beets, apples, pecans, and warmed brie. Toss toppings into salad.
  4. Pour part of the dressing onto the salad. Toss again.
  5. Top salad with remaining beets, apples, pecans, and brie.
  6. Lightly drizzle a small amount of dressing over the top of the salad.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
  1. A lot of the salad prep can be done ahead of time, like the beets, pecans, and dressing. You can even chop up the apples ahead of time—just make sure you toss them with lemon juice to keep from browning.
  2. Also, consider placing extra dressing on the table for those who prefer more flavor on their salad.
Adapted from Dressing adapted from Taste of Home
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/
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