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2011 CSA, Fall 2011 CSA, farm fun, greens galore, newsletters, recipes

The Word on our 2011 Fall CSA


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Ben’s Produce offers vegetables, strawberries & flowers of the highest quality and taste in the Triangle. Our mission is to strive for healthier people, community, agriculture and planet by growing and sharing the best tasting food we can. Our farming practices may surpass organic guidelines but we choose not to be certified because we are confident the quality and taste of our produce, as well as our direct relationship with you, speak to our commitment to healthy food and holistic agriculture. 2011 will be our second year farming as Ben’s Produce, though we have been farming with family and friends for many years.

CSA is a mutually beneficial relationship between us. By making a seasonal investment in our farm with a CSA share, you become a seasonal farm member who shares the rewards and risks of the harvest season with us, your farmers. Your investment allows us to afford annual start-up costs, to pay ourselves fair wages, and to share the many risks in growing food. In return, we provide you and your family with abundant, fresh, healthy and local food. Our food not only tastes better and lasts longer, it’s also helps us all nourish local agriculture, economy and environment.  Taste the difference!
Is CSA right for your family?
It is good to be aware of the rewards and challenges involved in CSA. If you and your family want to explore the wonderful tastes of our farm-fresh food by eating it straight from your CSA pickup bag or transformed in a delightful dish you cooked, CSA is for you! If you want to expand your taste-bud horizons and strengthen your skills at cooking and preparing fresh food, CSA is for you! If you want to be surprised with new vegetables, CSA is for you! If you want to eat healthily and enjoy eating, CSA is for you!

Please understand that nature’s abundance varies. What you receive is based on our harvest schedule which is subject to the weather, pests, disease and a large myriad of influences. Some weeks your CSA share may be less than the retail farmers market value we try to maintain. However, we usually provide more bounty than you could buy at market value. If you find yourself with too many items, do not despair, share the bounty with others! .

Members Receive:

  • About two grocery bags of at least 7-10 seasonal organic vegetables and herbs (more for large shares).
  • A weekly newsletter with produce information, cooking and storage tips, recipes and segments about life on and off the farm. 
  • Exclusive access to an online recipe-sharing site. 

Members Also Enjoy: 

  • Convenient pick up locations and times throughout the week. 
  • Adds ons including, bread, cheese, coffee, tea, pork, chicken, lamb and beef. 
  • Access  to our farm for volunteering, exploring and relaxing. 
  • Invitations to on-farm events, such as our second annual OktoberFEAST. 
  • New friends who share your interest in good food and good farming.

How It Works
Join Ben’s Produce CSA by purchasing a CSA share at the beginning of the season. You then visit the pickup site of your choosing to pack your own vegetables from the harvest table. We will post a guide at the stand explaining what each share contains that week. The Fall 2011 CSA harvest season runs for 10 weeks from  early October through December.

Pickup Sites: We have three weekly CSA pickup sites – 

Raleigh Five Points CSA – Tuesday evenings from 4:30pm to 6:30pm, 1911 Bernard St., Raleigh 27608. 

Please consider signing up with the Raleigh Five Points CSA Yahoo Group through the link above, to access information regarding the pickup site and opportunities to support the other farmers who attend as well as local food events and information.

The Farm, Wednesday evenings from 4pm to 7pm, 1000 McLemore Rd., Clayton 27520

Western Wake Farmers Market, Saturday morning from 8am to 12pm at the1225 Morrisville Carpenter Rd, Cary 27519.

Sharing with others: If you choose to split a share with family or friends, please let us know on your registration so we may avoid confusion.  
Flexibility: We know you may miss pickup for many reasons. We prefer 24 hours notice, if possible. You may send friends or family in your place to pickup if you wish. Missed pickup is forfeit of that weeks share but we will try to make other accommodations if possible.

Communication: Our main mode of communication is email. We will send all members weekly emails usually a day or two before pickup. Our emails are meant as pickup reminders and usually include farm updates, a list of that weeks veggies, a link to our latest blog entry and any notifications regarding pickup. Our blog functions as our farm newsletter that includes farm news, anecdotes, reflections, recipes, photographs and more.

 COLLABORATIVE CSA ADD ONS
We offer our collaborative CSA service to bring you the best food from farmers and producers who attend Western Wake Farmer’s Market with us. We will send you an email detailing this service after you sign up for our Fall CSA. We strongly urge patronizing these folks if you pick up at market instead of using this service. 
  •        Fickle Creek Farm, Efland NC – Pork, Chicken, Lamb
  •       Smith Angus Farm, Snow Camp NC – Angus Beef 
  •      Funderburk & Pate, Meadow NC – Bread & Baked Goods made with their own grain
  •        Hillsborough Cheese Co., Hillsborough NC – Cheese
  •        Muddy Dog Coffee, Morrisville NC – Coffee, Tea, Grits

Vegetable Availability
October:  Scallions, Bok Choi, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard, Napa Cabbage, Tatsoi, Beets, Carrots, Daikon, Radish, Turnip, Arugula, Chard, Fennel, Lettuce, Spinach, Peas, Herbs
November: Scallions, Bok Choi, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard, Napa Cabbage, Tatsoi, Beets, Carrots, Daikon, Radish, Turnip, Arugula, Chard, Fennel, Lettuce, Spinach, Herbs
December: Scallions, Bok Choi, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard, Tatsoi, Beets, Carrots, Daikon, Radish, Turnip, Arugula, Chard, Fennel, Lettuce, Spinach, Herbs

  
Pricing
Small Share – $125
Our Small Share is the same size as the Regular Share but is distributed every 2 weeks instead of every week.

Regular Share – $200
Our Regular Share is a suitable amount of produce for a small household of 1 to 3 people, or one well eating vegetarian to eat for one week. 
Large Share – $300
Our Large Share is a suitable amount of produce for a large household of 4+ people, or a couple of well-eating vegetarians to eat for one week.
Payment Options
Our CSA is first come, first serve. You must send payment to secure a share. We prefer you send us Full Payment but our Payment Plan of a deposit and consecutive payments are accepted for your flexibility.We will use your CSA share payments to purchase much needed materials for building three high tunnels. These high tunnels cost about $800 a piece and we will construct them ourselves. They will serve as unheated greenhouses and will allow us to provide you with nutritious, wholesome food throughout the year. It will also allow us to provide you with early spring and summer crops. Please consider paying for your CSA share in full as soon as possible, if this is feasible for you. We thank you for your support! 

Full Payment – Enclose a check for the total due.
Payment Plan – Enclose a deposit to secure your share. Please send the amounts listed below 30 days and 60 days after the date of your deposit.

Due Date
Small Share
Regular Share
Large Share
Deposit
$50
$75
$100
30 days
$50
$75
$100
60 days
$25
$50
$100

You can find our Fall 2011 CSA brochure here. Please use the brochure to sign up with us. Please enclose a copy with your information and payment. We hope you will afford us the honor of being your farmers in 2011 and we are looking forward to a great year. We wouldn’t be able to be farmers without you and your support!
Sincerely,
Benjamin Shields & Patricia Parker
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2011 CSA, beet greens, bok choy, cilantro, dill, lettuce, newsletter, recipes, scallions, spinach, strawberries, tatsoi

Week 2, May 2-8 Share Contents


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Hi folks! I have pictures of the share contents for Week 2. To avoid forgetting to take the pictures, I photographed the produce pre-wash, so you’ll notice soil on the veggies. They’ll be nice and clean when you pick them up, of course. But it’s always good to give them another cleaning before you use them. The only thing we don’t wash at the farm are the strawberries, as they should only be washed right before eating them (to maintain their “shelf” life).

I also just printed out this week’s newsletter. You can expect more in this newsletter compared with last week. This week we’ve included Michele McKinley’s description of Farm It Forward, an idea Ben and I approached AHA (Advocates for Health in Action) in February. We’re having our first fundraiser this Sunday at Market Restaurant. For more info on that, please see the preceding post. We’ve also include some basic information (storage and cooking instructions) to help members make good use of your weekly shares. We’ve highlighted bok choy, rainbow chard, lettuce and dill. And finally, Ben wrote a little segment we’re calling “Farmer Musings” to let members know what’s going on here on the farm. We hope you find the newsletters helpful.

Okay, now, for the pictures!

Here’s a regular/small sized share. Everything is pictured here but the chard and the herbs.
Items in this weeks share include: strawberries, bok choy, tatsoi, beets, dill and cilantro, lettuce, spinach and scallions.

This is a green bib, called Nancy.

This is a red romaine, called Marvel the Four Seasons.
A recipe for tofu stuffed lettuce rolls is in the newsletter.

Tatsoi

Bok Choy. The newsletter includes a recipe for Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Cashew Sauce.

Spinach. We like to steam it all and eat it with eggs for breakfast.

These are scallions. The difference between scallions and green onions, is that green onions are basically baby (bulbing) onions, while scallions will not bulb.
Detroit Red Beets (for full shares only – but many more are on the way for all share sizes)

You can steam or saute the beet greens too!

Cilantro and Dill (a recipe for dill and horseradish biscuits is included in the newsletter)

Yummy, yummy strawberries! This variety is called Chandler. 

Here’s Ben about to wash all of the produce. This week I completely forgot to get a picture of the Rainbow Chard, but I think y’all know what it looks like. And if you forgot, you can always check the Week 1 CSA Share post. We included a recipe for Swiss Chard Gratin in the newsletter.

Washing the spinach.

Well, I suppose that’s it for now! If you have any questions or suggestions for how we can make your membership experience better, please feel free to send us email or give us a call.

Also, we would really love it if members would contribute some recipes of your own so we can share them with everyone.

Thanks for stopping by! Ben will see you at the pick ups and at market. I’m MIA for the time being, working on my doctoral exam (prelim) for global sociology. I take the exam Monday, May 16th. After that, you’ll be seeing my face around a whole lot more! Ben told me a lot of folks from market wished me luck – thank you! I can certainly use it!

P.S. If you know folks that are interested in joining a CSA and you are happy with us, please let them know we are still accepting CSA members. We will prorate new members to account for missed pick ups.

bok choy, collards, greens, kale, recipe ideas, recipes, tatsoi, turnips

Glorious Greens! – They sure are pretty, but what do I do with them?


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So, the fall and winter seasons bring us lots of greens and lots of root vegetables. If you don’t know what to do with them – and they’re really quite versatile and easy to put in just about everything – they can pile up on you and make you feel like your bounty is a chore. This is the last thing we want folks to feel about their weekly produce shares, so I’m getting on the ball and getting to some of the recipes I find useful and inspirational. But I do need to let you know, that once you begin on the greens journey, you’ll realize how extremely easy cooking and eating greens can be – and it’s tasty and nutritious too!

Ben told me that a number of folks were asking about tatsoi and what to do with it, so I’ll begin with it. Those green beauties to the left are tatsoi. Mark Bittman, author of Leafy Greens: An A-to-Z Guide of 30 Types of Greens Plus More Than 120 Delicious Recipes, breaks down the Asian greens (he refers to them as “Chinese cabbages”) (21-22):

Nutritional information: High in beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, some B vitamins, and fiber.  To cook: Heading cabbages can be treated much like green or red cabbage; bok choi can be used like chard. All Chinese cabbages are good in stir-fries and soups; braised, with or without meat; pickled (as in kimchee). Young Chinese cabbages, or the tatsoi variety, are excellent in salads. Substitutes: For bok choi, chard, which is close enough for most purposes; for the heading cabbages, common head cabbage; for tatsoi, young mustard, arugula, or cress.

Now, let me just tell you that you will figure out that you can substiute tatsoi for a lot of other things than Mark suggests above. I think it’s a great substitute for spinach as well. I think the best way to figure out what you’d like to do with your greens is to try them raw and to try them braised with a little salt and pepper. Once you taste them in these two purist forms, you can decide on what types of flavors your palate is comfortable combining them with. Just to give you an idea of how easy it is to eat greens, I’ll tell you what I did for breakfast this morning. First, I chopped up the turnip roots into diced pieces (two bunches worth). I let them simmer on low in a dollop of butter and a sprinkle of salt. As those simmered, I chopped the turnip greens and then added them to the pan. Then I placed a lid over the pan so the veggie juices would help cook the turnip roots and the greens (and it’s always good to salt your greens as you place them in the pan – it helps wilt them and it disperses the salt more evenly when they’re uncooked vs. cooked and bunched). In the meantime, I then chopped up one head of tatsoi and added it to the pan. Like spinach, it takes up a lot of pan space at first but then it wilts down quite a bit. I then put the lid back on the pan (this is a medium-sized typical frying pan – all metal). I then chopped up one head of bok choi. Okay – hold on. So, what’s the count so far? Right now, we have two bunches of turnips, one head of tatsoi, one head of bok choi and a small dollop of butter. That sounds like A LOT of greens, and I suppose it is, but it really all does wilt down to a manageable bunch of greens. Okay, so back to the pan. Basically, I added all of the chopped greens in increments, so they all had time to wilt. Once all the greens were sufficiently wilted, I added 4 whisked eggs into the pan. I then let those eggs cook for about 4 minutes on low. In the meantime, I got out the block of sharp, white cheddar cheese and grated it over the top of the eggs. Finally, I turned the oven on to 350 degrees and placed the entire pan in the oven. I am a terrible omelet maker, so I do my egg omelets, fritata style (it sounds fancy, but it’s really just a lazy person’s omelet as far as I’m concerned). To be honest, I’m not sure how long those eggs were in the oven – somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes. The goal, of course, is to make sure you cooked it long enough to cook the eggs through (unless you like your eggs a bit wet, in which case, I suppose that’s not your goal…). Anyway, you should be able to see whether the eggs are cooked to your liking. If the visuals are uncertain, you can always just poke at them to feel their texture – but don’t burn yourself! Once the dish is cooked to your satisfaction, take it out of the oven and scoop some out, add a little salt and pepper (or any condiments you usually eat with your eggs – I’m a fan of hot sauce, but I know some folks really like ketchup on their eggs) and enjoy! 🙂 Whew! That sure does sounds like a lot of work (and food – but there are not usually any left overs in our house, but when there are we just reheat them for lunch or the following morning’s breakfast) when I look at what I typed, but the whole process takes me less than 20 minutes and I listen to the news on NPR and drink my morning coffee as I cook. I also make the chickens’ breakfasts as I prep our food. They like pretty much every vegetable we chop up and give them (all but eggplant, peppers, and onions), so it’s nice to feed them the things I would normally toss in the compost bin.

Okay, so that’s one idea :). I’ll leave you with some other recipes, written by the experts who aren’t nearly as long winded as myself. These recipes call for particular greens, but you can substitute them for others. I use tatsoi and spinach interchangeably. I even cooked chopped turnips and greens and bok choi and put them in a white sauce lasagna for our CSA potluck/Oktoberfeast. It was a hit and I don’t think anyone realized they were eating something so “exotic” as Asian greens in their lasagna :).

Spinach and Egg Soup (Bittman 1995: 67)
1 pound spinach (I would also use kale, tat soi, beet greens or turnip greens for this recipe – or even a combination of greens)
2 tablespoons butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
5 to 6 cups of good chicken stock (my note: you can certainly substitute vegetable stock)
2 eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1. Steam or parboil the spinach until it wilts. Cool it under cold water, squeeze it dry, and chop.
2. Melt the butter in a 4- to 6-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the spinach, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the stock and bring it to a gentle simmer. Beat the eggs with half the Parmesan and add them to the soup. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are cooked and soup is thick. Serve with break, passing the remaining Parmesan at the table.

Turnip Greens with Potatoes (Bittman 1995: 110)

2 tablespons peanut or vegetable oil (I use sesame oil)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 pound turnip greens
2 small red potatoes, about 1/2 pound, washed well and peeled if desired, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock or water
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teasppon rise or wine vinegar

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it begins to color; add the remaining spice and cook, stirring, until the mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the turnip greens, the potatoes, and the stock or water, stir, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, checking and stirring every 3 or 4 minutes, until the potato is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Raise the heat to high and boil off excess liquid, if any. Season to taste, drizzle with vinegar, and serve immediately.

You can also use collards, cress, dandelions, kale, mizuna, mustard, tatsoi or bok choi. I usually decide on what to use depending on, first, what we have and need to use and second, depending on what I flavors I want in my meal. A lot of times, I just throw all the greens together, since we almost always wind up taking at least a few greens back home from the CSA drop or from market  – even after donating to the Interfaith Food Shuttle.

Well, hopefully I’ve given y’all some ideas for how to start using your greens. If you have favorite things to do with your greens, please feel free to post your recipes or send them my way via e-mail at parker.patricia@gmail.com.

Also, please do check out the links at the right side of the page under the heading “labels”. There are a number of recipes and I tried to always label what was used in those recipes, so they’d be easy to search.

basil, eggplant, recipe ideas, recipes, red onions, spaghetti, summer squash, tomatoes

Ben’s Produce Summer Spaghetti


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Ingredients
1 summer squash
1 Japanese eggplant
2 small red onions
3 tomatoes
fresh basil sprigs
1 tablespoon olive oil
8-16 ounces cooked pasta
shredded Parmesan
salt, pepper, garlic (diced)
1 pound ground beef from Smith Angus Farm

Preparation
1. Dice tomatoes. Reserve about half for garnish.
2. Chop, slice or dice remaining vegetables (with peels on).
3. Brown beef with onions and garlic (or just onions and garlic with oil if you’re not using beef).
4. Add vegetables (eggplant first); let cook until tender.
5. Toss sauce and pasta. Add salt, pepper, raw diced tomato and fresh chopped basil as garnish.

ENJOY!

basil, bell peppers, recipe ideas, recipes, summer squash, tomatoes

you say tomato…i say YUM!


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Hi everyone out there in cyberspace (wow – remember when that term was used regularly?!). I hope you’re having a fabulous summer and keeping as cool as you can. We’re still sporting our multi-bandanna stylee and drinking lots and lots of water to keep hydrated. Life is good – and it would be even better if it would only rain! Yesterday I drove from Chattanooga back to Raleigh. The rain followed me the whole way…well, not the whole way – it followed me until about Durham and then it just stopped. We managed to get a few sprinkles but we didn’t get much. The bright side though was that it was our friend Josh’s 4th birthday yesterday and he wanted fireworks to celebrate. The rain would have put a damper on a very cute and funny little boy’s birthday – so I guess we can’t be too upset about its absence ;).

So, I realized I haven’t posted many recipes lately (or posted much all summer actually)…so I’m going to use the rest of this blog for exactly that. Right now we have tomatoes, summer squash, onions, potatoes, purple peppers, cucumbers, basil, and a few melons and eggplant (more of those to come soon). As usual, please feel free to post your own recipes to the comment box below or e-mail them to me at parker.patricia@gmail.com. We would love it if you shared some of your recipes with us!

Okay – moving on…

Here’s a basic summer spaghetti recipe. Our CSA members are receiving a TON of tomatoes this week – and even though they’re amazing all by themselves, I figured some of you might want a little more variety in your lives – especially as you continue to get more and more of them. I found this recipe on a blog called Closet Cooking. You can access the link to the recipe here. It’s easy and tasty – you can’t go wrong. Of course, vary according to taste and what you happen to have in your kitchen/garden.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 serving pasta (cooked)
2 roma tomatoes (chopped)
1 tablespoon basil (chopped)
1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Saute the garlic until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.
3. Turn off the heat.
4. Add the pasta, tomatoes, basil, parsley, salt and pepper and toss to mix.

This one came from Southern Living (here). You can get peaches at the Western Wake Farmer’s Market from Clayton Orchard. This is another simple one – but feels and looks like it came from a fancy schmancy gormet restaurant.

 Ingredients:

  • 1/3  cup  white balsamic vinegar
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 2  tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1  large peach, chopped
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  chopped fresh basil

Preparation:

1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in olive oil. Stir in chopped peach and basil. Serve immediately.

This one calls for tomatoes and squash – it’s a tomato and squash gratin. You can access the original link here.

Ingredients:

5-6 summer squash, sliced thin lengthwise
3-4 large heirloom or large, red tomatoes, sliced thin
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
15-20 whole basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Breadcrumbs
Salt & pepper to taste

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place one layer of sliced squash in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Top with a layer of sliced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and a few basil leaves. Generously drizzle olive oil over all and sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on top. Repeat in the same order until you run out of vegetables. Top layer should be tomatoes.

Add a final toss of Parmesan and a generous coating of breadcrumbs and more olive oil. Bake until everything is soft, bubbly and brown on top (about 30-40 minutes) Serve as a side dish with whatever you’re grilling or with a bean salad or pasta dish for a complete meal.
 This one’s called “Mom’s Summer Squash” and it’s from Simply Recipes. You can access the original posting here.

 Ingredients:
2 lbs squash and/or zucchini, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeds removed, sliced
2 smallish tomatoes or one large tomato, peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
1 clove of garlic, chopped
Olive oil
5 or 6 slices of cheese – jack or cheddar
Basil, either dry or chopped fresh
Salt and pepper

Preparation:  

1 Put onion, garlic, squash, bell pepper into a large saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Put on high heat and brown the vegetables slightly to develop flavor. As you are browning, sprinkle either dried basil or chopped fresh basil on the vegetables. When vegetables are slightly browned, remove from heat, add the slices of cheese, and cover the pan.

2 In a separate stick-free fry pan, put the tomatoes and cook at medium hi heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want to let the juice from the tomatoes evaporate some. After 5 minutes, add the tomatoes to the rest of the vegetables and stir. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4.

This one’s a variation on the classic BLT – it’s a BTB (bacon, tomato and basil). This recipe is from Southern Living and you can access the original posting here

Ingredients

  • 9  slices ready-to-serve bacon, halved
  • 1/2  cup  shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3  cup  mayonnaise
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 9  slices extra-thin white bread slices
  • 3  plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 12  fresh basil leaves

Preparation

1. Heat bacon according to package directions until crisp.
2. Stir together cheese, mayonnaise, and garlic. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly onto 1 side of each bread slice. Layer 3 bread slices, mayonnaise sides up, with 3 bacon slices each. Top bacon evenly with 1 bread slice, tomato slices, and basil. Top each with remaining bread slices, mayonnaise sides down. Cut each sandwich into quarters.

You can also access recipes for tomato pie (amazing!), tomato grits, and my mom’s cucumber salad on this blog (an old posting) here. a;lsdkfj

Alrighty – hope y’all try out some or all of these recipes and enjoy ’em.

As usual, thanks for stopping by!

lightning bugs, recipes, summer squash, zucchini

Summer Breeze


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Most of us are familiar with standard crook neck yellow squash and basic zucchini. These types are what are typically offered at most grocery stores. But take a stroll through any farmer’s market when summer squash is in season, and you’ll realize they come in so many more colors and shapes. In case these different varieties are new to you, I’m going to introduce you to a few different varieties.

This little zucchini is called eight ball.

 This is a yellow zucchini variety called floridor.

This is a patty pan squash called flying saucer.
And here’s another patty pan called star ship.
This one’s called zephyr.
These are just a few of many different kinds of squash. They are not only beautiful, they taste really darn good too!When it comes to eating these different varieties, you can treat them as you would your more typical summer squash. The round and patty pans types just call for different slicing methods – but there are no hard and fast rules about how. I like to cut the patty pans in wedges. You can also stuff patty pans. I like to slice the ball varieties into large circle slices. Others like to chop these into cubes. 

Here’s an awesome stuffed patty pan recipe (but you could use other varieties and you could change up the stuffing) I found on A Veggie Venture‘s website here. It’s an awesome site.You’ll have to follow the link to get to the recipes, but here’s what it looks like (yum!).

Here’s another one from The Veggie Venture site. It’s basic, easy and yummy. You can access the recipe here




Well, it’s time to get back to packing. Ben and I are moving out to the farm in Clayton next week. We’re pumped – but now that the packing has begun, and the move is in transition, it’s starting to feel a little weird leaving. This is where Ben and I first moved and lived together (he from NYC, me from TN). We have awesome neighbors. We love this neighborhood. We love the people. We’re definitely going to miss living here. But we’re also SO looking forward to moving out to the country. And living ON the farm!!! *Sigh* It’s been good here and it’s going to be good there.And I’m really looking forward to seeing lightning bugs blinking whole fields with light. 

See y’all Tuesday at pick up and Saturday at market. Have a great week! (Revision: See y’all Wednesday and Saturday – the trucks are stuck – CSA drop is re-scheduled for Wednesday).

Patricia & Ben
bell peppers, recipes, spinach, sweet potatoes

Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad


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I told a few of you I would share this recipe. I found it in the March 2010 issue of Prevention. We haven’t had a chance to try this recipe yet, but it sounds really yummy and we’re gonna give it a try this weekend.

Here’s what it looks like (YUM!)

The recipe calls for bacon, but I think it would be just as good without it, substituting sunflower seeds (or your favorite nutty topping) instead.

Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad (p. 154)

2 lg sweet potatoes (about 1 1/4 lb), peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
1/4 c olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 thick slices bacon (2 oz total)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 sm red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1/3 c orange juice
1 lb fresh spinach leaves (or you could use our baby tat soi)

1. HEAT oven to 400F. Put sweet potatoes on backing sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, sprinkle with 2/4 teaspoon of the salt, and toss to coat. Roast, turning occasionally, until crisp and brown outside and just tender inside, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven but leave on pan until ready to use.
2. COOK bacon in skillet over medium heat while potatoes raost, turning once or twice, until crisp. Drain on paper towels and pour off fat, leave any darkened bits in pan. Chop bacon. Put pan back over medium heat and add remaining 2 tablespoon oil. When hot, add bell pepper, onion, ginger, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring once or twice, until no longer raw. Stir in cumin and bacon. Stir in organge juice and turn off heat.
3. PUT spinach in large bowl. Add sweet potatoes, warm dressing, and freshly ground black pepper to taste and toss to combine. Taste and add salt if needed.

recipe ideas, recipes, snow, stir fry

More snow!!!


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Hello all,



Not much to report this week. More snow and cold. Winter is here to stay and it looks like we may be delayed planting our carrots and peas…On Friday morning I was at Logan Trading Company buying a packet of cabbage seed and was discussing the weather with a clerk. She told me the store records showed the same date last year, February 12th, had a daily high temperature of 70 F! Daytime highs in the low 40’s and nighttime lows in the low 20’s is colder than usual for February. In the NC Piedmont it is recommended to start planting brassica’s, carrots and peas February 1st! It is way too cold for that, so we’ll have to wait for it to warm up. The year has barely started and the weather is not cooperating. What else could I expect but the weather not to cooperate. It rarely ever does and not for long either. The joys of farming!!! But as Henri Alban-Fournier said, “Life on a farm is a school of patience; you can’t hurry the crops or make an ox in two days.”

This coming Tuesday, February 16th, we plan to have produce pickup at our house, 604 Sasser St., between 4:00 to 7:30 pm. The next NCSU delivery will be Wednesday, February 17th. Remember to have your orders placed by Monday evening.

During these cold winter months, please be aware the weather may postpone our harvest of your produce. In response to this, we may postpone pickups by a day or two. We will provide primary notice of pickup changes via email (especially for those of you who place orders) as well as via blog and online store. Thank you for being flexible with us!

Purchase of vegetables is made through our online store-
http://www.vendio.com/stores/bensproduce.

Current vegetable availability includes:
baby beets
bok choy
brussels sprouts
cabbage
carrots
Chinese cabbage
collards
scallions
lettuce
sweet potatoes
tatsoi
Vitamin Green (a mild Asian leafy green)

No longer offered:
broccoli
kale
mixed greens
mustard greens
radishes
spinach
swiss chard
turnips

Future winter vegetables may include:
arugula
broccoli raab
mixed baby lettuce & greens
turnips
swiss chard


STIR FRY VEGETABLES WITH WINE

1/4 c. oil (use oil appropriate to stir fry)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 c. Your favorite vegetables
1 c. onions/scallions
1/2 c. dry riesling or rice wine
3 tbsp. soy sauce or to taste

Heat oil in wok or deep fry pan add salt and all vegetables and stir frequently. Add soy sauce and wine; continue to stir and then add water. Stir frequently. Cover 2-3 minutes until vegetables are desired consistency. Serve over rice.

carrots, collards, kale, recipe community, recipe ideas, recipes, spinach, vitamin green

Recipe Sharing Community Forum


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Hi ya’ll! I hope everyone is having a fun and safe Monday afternoon. I am getting quite a bit of work done for classes, but became distracted by the thought of posting this request – which is basically to ask those of you who have made tasty treats with Ben’s Produce to please share your recipes or ideas with us. If you are interested in sharing, please post your recipe/ideas as a comment here or send an e-mail my way (parker.patricia@gmail.com). I will compile the recipes and share them in a blog post. If your recipes come from a source other than youself, please include that as well (if you know it). As usual, thanks for stopping by! We’ll see you all later this week. 
Here’s one from Rachel Ray. Ingredients from Ben’s Produce include: kale and carrots (you can add collards instead of or in addition to the parsnips): 
Mustard-Molasses Chicken One Pot

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 8 pieces bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, quartered lengthwise, then sliced
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-3 1-inch-long sticks, 1/2-inch wide
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 1 small bundle black kale or dinosaur kale, chopped or thinly sliced
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Crusty bread with nuts and raisins or cranberries
Preparation

Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then brown until golden, 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken and add another tablespoon of EVOO to the pan, one turn of the pan.
Add the onion, parsnips and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften a bit, 5-6 minutes. Add the kale to the pot and wilt in, then add the nutmeg.

Whisk the mustard, molasses and stock together in a bowl, then pour over top of the vegetables and settle the chicken back into the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the lid, then remove the chicken and reserve on a plate covered with aluminum foil. Continue simmering the veggies until the liquids are thickened, about 10 minutes.

Serve the chicken and veggies with crusty warm bread.

Source: http://www.rachaelray.com/recipe.php?recipe_id=3129

And here’s one from Southern Cooking that uses collard greens. To make this dish vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth (or vegetable bouillon) for chicken stock and leave out the bacon. Toasted pine nuts might be a good substitute for bacon…

 Collard Green Risotto and Pot Liquor

Ingredients

  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 3  bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1  large onion, chopped
  • 2  garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1  pound  fresh collard greens, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper
  • 3  cups  chicken broth
  • 1/4  cup  molasses
  • 2  tablespoons  butter or margarine
  • Risotto

Preparation

Heat oil in a Dutch oven; add bacon, and cook until crisp. Add onion, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute.
Stir in collard greens, salt, and pepper; sauté over medium heat 5 minutes or until greens wilt. Stir in chicken broth. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook mixture 45 minutes or until greens are tender.
Pour greens mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a container, reserving greens and pot liquor. Whisk molasses and butter into pot liquor.
Stir greens into Risotto.
Place 1 cup Collard Green Risotto in each of 6 bowls. Ladle pot liquor mixture evenly on top. Serve immediately.

Chef Jan Birnbaum, Chef Jan Birnbaum, Southern Living, JUNE 2001

Source: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=258429

This recipe was originally taken from one of the Moosewood cookbooks. If you’re not familiar with these books and you would like to add more veggies into your diet, I strongly suggest checking them out at one of our local bookstores. This recipe calls for spinach, but you could just as likely use tender kale or vitamin green instead.

Sesame Tofu with Spinach (or Vitamin Green)
 

Ingredients

Directions

  1. 1

    Slice the Tofu lengthwise into 4 rectangular slabs, than half each piece to get squares.

  2. 2

    Spread the sesame seeds on a plate. Press all surfaces of each tofu square into the seeds to coat.

  3. 3

    Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat.

  4. 4

    Arrange the tofu in a single layer and cook about 5 minutes Carefully turn and cook 5 minutes on other side.

  5. 5

    Add soy sauce and Tabasco, turn the squares over, and cook another minute. Transfer squares to a plate (leaving stray seeds in the pan).

  6. 6

    Add the oil and garlic to the pan and sauté for about 30 seconds, until golden. Add the still damp rinsed spinach and cook for 1-2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Cook until wilted but still bright green.

  7. 7

    Season to taste with salt & pepper.

  8. 8

    Serve the tofu on top of the spinach.

Source: http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/gallery.php?rid=225814

beet and feta salad, beet rosti with rosemary, recipe ideas, recipes, roasted root veggies, tofu pot pie, vegetarian cabbage rolls, wine and honey-glazed brussel sprouts

Food Glorious Food!


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Before Ben started farming full-time, there were a TON of foods I’d never tried or cooked. While I’d had beets in my life, I’d always had them straight out of the can. The only way I ever ate them was from the can, with chopped raw onion and vinaigrette dressing. It’s yummy – but I had no idea how much better FRESH beets were. I also had no idea how potent they are – in flavor as much as in color. One of the first good things to know about preparing beets is how to wash them. When you wash them, you want to be delicate with them. If you use a brush, you will puncture the skin and the gorgeous color will bleed. I wash them thoroughly with my hands under running water and that does just fine for me. They’re organic, so I’m not that concerned about cleaning them, I just want them to be dirt free. 
I thought I’d include some of my favorite beet recipes and other recipes I’d like to try soon. Soooooo…here we go with the beets and more! NOTE: As you look over these recipes, by all means, feel free to modify them. One reason Ben is the baker and I’m the dinner cook is because I sort of improv what we have in the fridge with recipes that sound good while Ben actually follows the directions – I’ve never really been good with that – at least not when it comes to cooking :0). Experimenting with food is FUN – I hope these recipes give you some ideas and a happy party in your tummies. 
 
Roasted Beet and Feta Salad
Ingredients:  
6 small beets, scrubbed but unpeeled
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black petter
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 oz arugula
4oz feta cheese, cubed (or crumbled)
2 tbsp chopped mint
For the dressing
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
3 tbsp olive oil
Directions: 
Prepare ahead the roasted beets and dressing can be refrigerated separately for up to 1 day before combining. 
1. Preheat over to 400F (200C). Place the beets in a roasting pan. Add 1/2 cup water and drizzle with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Roast about 1 3/4 hours, or until tender. 
2. Uncover the beets and let cool. Peel and dice the beets (NOTE: peeling beets is more an aesthetic thing than a necessity – I keep the peels on [especially when they are baby beets]). 
3. Whisk the vinegar, mustard and honey together in a small bowl, then whisk in the oil. Combine the beets, onions, and dressing in a bowl and toss. Sprinkle the arugula, feta, and mint over the top. Toss gently, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. 
– Good with grilled lamb or steak, or on its own as a light lunch. 
Variation: Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad. Substitute a firm, crumbly goat cheese for the feta. Scatter the salad with 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds or toasted pine nuts. 
Source: The Illustrated Kitchen Bible: 1,000 Recipes from Around the World
 
Roasted Root Vegetables
Ingredients: 
6-8 baby beets (or 2-3 large beets), cut into bite size pieces
8-12 slender carrots, trimmed and peeled
2-3 small sweet potatoes or 1 large sweet potatoe, chopped into bite size pieces
1 onion, cut into quarters (or eighths – depending on how much you like onion)
1 large parsnip
1 whole head garlic, peeled and separated into cloves (or use less if you don’t like garlic a lot)
 – – – you can also add 1 kohlrabi bulb, 1 celery root

2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, sage, or thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper
olive oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Put all the vegetables and the herb sprigs in a large baking dish. Season well with salt and black pepper, drizzle generously with olive oil, and toss them with your hands to coat them evenly.
Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and cook, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until they are tender and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve the vegetables from their baking dish or transfer them to a platter to accompany a roasted main course.

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/wolfgang-puck/roasted-root-vegetable-medley-recipe/index.html

 
Tofu Pot Pie
Ingredients: 
2-crust pie (bought or homemade); you could also use a frozen bought pie crust unbaked
1 lb tofu, extra firm, diced into pieces
1 large potato (any kind you like – sweet potato would be good)
4-5 chopped carrots (unpeeled is fine)
1 small onion, diced
1 leek, sliced thin
1 cup broccoli florets
salt and pepper to taste
optional: any other vegetables desired! put in what you have (as long as the veggies together make sense). We’ve made pot pie with baby beets before – it was yummy :).
Liquid: 
1/2 cup canola oil (or any you prefer)
1/2 cup water
2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tamari sauce (or Bragg’s)
Directions: 
Mix the vegetables together and place in bottom of pie crust. Combine oil, water, tamari, nutritional yeast and pour over vegetables then put top crust on. 
Back at 375 for 45 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden.
Source: recipe submitted to Community Cuisine: Franklin Community Cooperative’s Cookbook by Faith Dickhaut Kindness

Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls
For the filling: 
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for the dish
1 leek, chopped
4 oz. mushrooms (your favorite), minced
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cups bread crumbs
1 large egg
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
pinch of ground coriander
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 head cabbage (your choice; the bigger the leaves, the bigger the rolls)
2/3 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
Directions: 
1. To make the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the leek, mushrooms, and celery and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until softened. 
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the bread crumbs, egg, parsley, lemon juice, and ground coriander. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Preheat the oven to 325F (160C). Oil a 13x9in (33x23cm) baking dish. Cook the cabbage leaves in boiling water for 2 minutes, until pliable. Drain and rinse under cold water. Pat dry. 
4. Lay each leaf flat and divide the stuffing among the leaves. Roll up each leaf, folding in the sides to enclose the filling in a neat parcel. Place the rolls, seam side down, in the dish. Pour in the stock. Back for 45-55 minutes, until teander. 
5. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the crushed tomatoes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer about 10 minutes, or until lightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper. 
6. Using a slotted spoon, serve the cabbage rolls on diner plates, with the remaining tomato sauce passed on the side. 
Good with crusty bread, sauteed potatoes, or brown rice.
Source: The Illustrated Kitchen Bible: 1,000 Family Recipes from Around the World

Wine and Honey-Glazed Brussel Sprouts
2 points brussel sprouts
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp natural soy sauce (or Bragg’s or tamari – depending on what you have)
2 tbsp margarine (or butter)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
Directions: 
1. Trim the stems from the brussel sprouts and cut and X into the base, about 1/4 inch deep. 
2. In a small bowl, combine the wine, honey and soy sauce and stir together.  
3. Over moderate heat, melt the margarine in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the wine and honey mixture, the water, and the brussel sprouts. Stir together, then cook, covered, at a gentle simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionaly, for another 10 minutes. 
4. Dissolve the cornstarch in a small amount of water. Stir into the saucepan quickly, then cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a covered casserole dish to serve. 
Source: Vegetarian Celebrations: Menus for Holidays and Other Festive Occasions

Beet Rosti with Rosemary
(kind of like a beet version of potato pancakes)
Keep the heat moderate — cooking too quickly will burn the sugary outside of the pancake while leaving the inside raw. And don’t forget to wear an apron when you’re grating the beets.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds beets (3 very large or 4 to 6 medium)
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Minced parsley or a few rosemary leaves for garnish
Method
  • 1. Trim beets, and peel them as you would potatoes; grate them in food processor or by hand. Begin preheating 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • 2. Toss grated beets in bowl with rosemary, salt and pepper. Add about half the flour; toss well, add rest of flour, and toss again.
  • 3. Put butter in skillet; heat until it begins to turn nut-brown. Scrape beet mixture into skillet, and press with spatula to form a round. With medium to medium-high heat — the pancake should gently sizzle — cook, shaking pan occasionally, until bottom of cake is nicely crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Slide cake onto a plate, top with another plate, invert the two plates, and return cake to pan. Keep cooking, adjusting heat if necessary, until other side is browned, another 10 minutes or so. Garnish, cut into wedges, and serve hot or at room temperature.

Source: http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/02/recipe-of-the-day-beet-rosti-with-rosemary/

 
Drunken Pasta with Beets and Swiss Chard 
(you could also use kale or collards – collards take a little longer to cook than chard)
Vitamin Greens would work great as a substitute as well and be sure to use the beet greens! They taste SO good :0)

Yields: 4 servings


Ingredients

  • 1 large bottle of red wine or 2 regular size (750 ml) bottles
  • 1 box spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large red beet, peeled and grated on a box grater*
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch of red swiss chard, leaves torn from the tough stem and shredded
  • 1/3 pound ricotta salata cheese, crumbled

Preparation

Place a large pot over high heat and add the wine. Fill the rest of the pot with water about 1/2-3/4 of the way up the sides. Bring to a boil, add some salt and the pasta. Cook pasta until al dente according to the instructions on the box. Reserve 1-2 cups of the cooking liquid when you drain it.
Step While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add the garlic and the grated beet, season with a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Step Add the swiss chard to the pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until it starts to wilt down.
Step Add the drained pasta to the skillet, season with salt and pepper and toss it around to combine. Add some of the reserved pasta water if you like the sauce more loose. Crumble the ricotta salata on top and serve.

Source: http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/recipes/drunken-pasta-with-beets-swiss-chard/

Spinach and Kale Turnovers

In addition to being tasty, kale is a good source of lutein, benefiting eye health, and vitamins A and C. Serve as a side dish with steak or roast chicken, or enjoy two turnovers as a meatless entrée. They are great made ahead and brown-bagged; reheat in a microwave or toaster oven.


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 cups chopped kale (about 1 small bunch)
1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1 (11.3-ounce) can refrigerated dinner roll dough (such as Pillsbury)
Cooking spray
2 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add kale and spinach; sauté 8 minutes or until kale is tender. Stir in pepper, salt, and nutmeg. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in feta.
Separate dough into 8 pieces. Roll each dough piece into a 5-inch circle. Spoon about 1/3 cup kale mixture on half of each circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Fold dough over kale mixture until edges almost meet. Bring bottom edge of dough over top edge; crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim.
Place turnovers on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat turnovers with cooking spray; sprinkle each turnover with about 1 teaspoon Parmesan. Bake at 375° for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving; serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield:  8 servings (serving size: 1 turnover)

CALORIES 184 (27% from fat); FAT 5.5g (sat 2g,mono 1.6g,poly 1.2g); IRON 2.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 7mg; CALCIUM 110mg; CARBOHYDRATE 25.4g; SODIUM 516mg; PROTEIN 8.1g; FIBER 2.7g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2007

Source: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1571423

Vegetarian Potstickers

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped bok choy (or tat soi)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped water chestnuts
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped bamboo shoots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic chives
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package potsticker or gyoza wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons oil for frying the dumplings

Preparation:

Drain the tofu, cut into cubes and mash. Wash and prepare the vegetables. Combine the tofu with the remainder of the ingredients and seasonings.

Lay out one of the gyoza wrappers in front of you. Dip your finger in the water and moisten the edges of the wrapper.

Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper.

Fold the gyoza wrapper over the filling and pinch the edges to seal it shut. (You may want to use a cornstarch/water mixture to make this easier).

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or wok.When oil is ready, carefully add the dumplings and cook on high heat until golden brown (about 1 minute). Without turning the dumplings over, add 1/2 cup of water and cover. Cook for about 1 minute to cook the raw filling and then uncover and continue cooking until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Serve the potstickers with the burnt side on top, with potsticker dipping sauce or soy sauce mixed with minced ginger for dipping.

 

Source: http://chinesefood.about.com/od/vegetarianrecipes/r/vegpotstickers.htm

 
Bok Choi Chicken Soup
This easy Chinese recipe allows you to get all the nutritional benefits of bok choy in a simple, flavorful soup. Feel free to increase the nutritional value by using homemade chicken broth, or adding cooked chicken or raw, peeled shrimp.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 10 leaves bok choy, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, chopped

Preparation:

Bring the chicken broth to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the seasonings (the red pepper flakes, soy sauce, Asian sesame oil), and the chopped garlic.

Add the bok choy. Simmer for up to 10 minutes, until the bok choy leaves turn dark green and are wilted and tender. Serves 4 to 5.

This recipe is submitted by a reader, Linnie Williams.

Source: http://chinesefood.about.com/od/chinesesouprecipes/r/bok-choy-soup.htm