Sunday, October 28, 2012

Roasted Parsnips

Roasted ParsnipsThose "white carrots" in your box this week are parsnips. Probably a very new root vegetable for you all to try. It was new to me too! Like I've said before with root vegetables, when in doubt, roast.

1 1/2 pounds of parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 1/2 inch batons
4 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup of stock - turkey stock, low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable broth (for vegetarian option)
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
4 teaspoons drained, bottled horseradish
1/2 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 Tbsp minced chives
1/2 small garlic clove, minced

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Kale Stir-Fry

I made this stir-fry the other night when I realized that I had a bunch of kale that was starting to get limp along with a pepper that had seen better days. My solution to this is usually to make a stir-fry. This ended up being one of my favorites to make. It's a great side dish for just about anything.

2 cups chopped kale
1/2 sweet onion or 2 shallots
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 small pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder ( I may have used a little more...)
2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
dash of lemon pepper

1. To toast the pine nuts, I just placed them on foil in the toaster oven for 3-5 minutes. Loosely chop kale and slice the mushrooms, onion and pepper. 
2. Heat the olive oil in a wok. Once it's hot, place the sliced onion and pepper in. Stir for a couple of minutes and then add kale and mushrooms. Stir frequently until the onions are browned and the kale has a nice dark color.
3. Serve and enjoy right away!

Savory Buttercup Squash Soup

Roasted Buttercup Squash SoupAt this point, you all should be pros at cutting up hard squashes and throwing them in the oven. I know it takes a lot of trial and error and sharpening lots of knives, but the rewards are oh so sweet. Buttercup squash is the sweetest of the winter squashes. It can even replace sweet potatoes in most recipes. The sweet and creamy flesh of this squash makes the perfect soup.

1 small buttercup squash, about 2 pounds
1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1 scant teaspoon salt
dash black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
4 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper, to taste
shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Guest Post from Crop Share Member Tara Johnston

Hello to all you fellow Nalls Crop Share foodies from the Johnston kitchen! If you’ve
seen a ginger couple roaming about and appropriately squealing with delight over Penny
the Pig, that would be the Mister & I. My ginger locks provide a foray into our guest
post, as my Irish ancestry and the time I spent studying in Ireland instilled in me a love
for Irish cuisine. Most of us tend to think of Irish cuisine as all heavy stews, fried foods
and, of course, potatoes. But the Irish were “locavores” long before it became trendy,
and they create beautiful and incredibly delectable dishes that would remind you of and
rival Provençal cuisine. While it’s not the most figure-friendly or fanciful dish, one
of my favourite traditional Irish dishes is colcannon. It’s essentially creamy, dreamy
mashed potatoes with cabbage and leeks and enough butter to drown a leprechaun. So
when I saw the giant head of cabbage in this week’s crop share, I knew exactly what
was on this week’s menu! Plus, colcannon is traditionally served on Halloween, not
for any spooky significance, but simply because the ingredients are fresh and readily
available this time of year. However, you can choose to leave a small portion out for the
faeries and ghosts to keep in their favour for another year, or even hide small charms in
the colcannon to bid good fortune on those who find them. Then again, I think you’d
be bidding choking upon someone, so maybe just worry about the faeries and ghosts.
There’s also some lore about single gals putting colcannon in a sock, tying it to their
doorknob, and the next man who walks through the door will be their husband. It’s only
crazy if it doesn’t work, right?

Also, due to food allergies, we’re a dairy & egg free household, so you’ll note that the
recipe below has been adapted for a dairy-free version (thus it’s also vegan!), but you can
use any milk or butter of your choosing. Colcannon pairs wonderfully with any entrée
you’d usually pair with standard mashed potatoes. We used ours to accompany a panko
& herb-crusted pork tenderloin, roasted with apples from the crop share.

(Adapted from The New Irish Table by Margaret M. Johnson)
Serves 4 to 6

1 lb cabbage, cored, quartered & chopped (used half of the giant crop share cabbage)

2 lbs boiling potatoes, peeled & cut into 2-inch pieces

1 large leek, including white & green parts, washed & sliced (be sure to trim both ends
and wash very thoroughly as leeks tend to hide lots of dirt in them)

1 cup rice milk (or your preferred milk or unsweetened milk substitute)

½ tsp ground nutmeg

8 Tbsp (1 stick) Earth Balance margarine (or your butter of choice, especially Kerrygold
Butter to be quite Irish), plus 2 more Tbsp cut into small pieces to dot top of colcannon
before serving.

Kosher salt & ground pepper to taste

In separate saucepans, cook the cabbage and potatoes in boiling water for about 12 to 15
minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain the cabbage and set aside, then drain
the potatoes, return to saucepan and mash. If you’re game for the workout of using a
hand masher, it works great with this recipe as having some chunks of potato give the
colcannon more texture and a more rustic feel. Once potatoes are mashed, fold in your

While your cabbage & potatoes are boiling, in a large sauté pan combine your leeks
and milk. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the leeks are tender.
Sometimes I also like to throw in some diced, fresh chives at this point (There are no hard
and fast colcannon rules, each family has their own preferred ingredients, -- even thick-cut Irish bacon/rashers -- so have fun with it and make it your own!).

Add the leeks & milk, plus 8 Tbsp of margarine/butter to the cabbage & potatoes, mixing well until combined. Add salt & pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and dot the
top of the colcannon with 2 more Tbsp of margarine/butter.

Don’t forget to set out a portion on Halloween for the faeries and ghosts! And whatever
you and they don’t eat in one night, colcannon re-heats wonderfully…just maybe not the
bit you put in the sock.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Using a pumpkin to cook can seem a little bit intimidating. I may be guilty of turning to the Libby's can of pumpkin puree in the past. Follow these simple steps and you'll become an expert at cooking with pumpkin. With these instructions, you can make your pumpkin puree to use for all kinds of recipes and the best part is, you can freeze it too!

2 pie pumpkins

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Simple Roasted Turnips

Root vegetables make me think of winter comfort foods. I think of them in stews, soups and of course as warm sides. My favorite way to cook root vegetables is roasting them. And this fabulous recipes from Taylor Takes A Taste, is the perfect way to enjoy turnips.  You can pair these with just about anything.

1 large or 2 medium sized turnips (peeled)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper

View the rest of the recipe from Taylor Takes A Taste here: Roasted Turnips

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Arugula, Glazed Walnut and Apple Salad

Arugula is hands down my favorite green to use in salads. I love it on pizza too. The natural bite it has to it pairs well with fruit and almost all cheeses. This simple salad is a great side, starter or light lunch. 

5 oz wild arugula
1 apple, pear, or both cored and sliced thinly
1/4 cup store bought glazed walnuts
shaved parmesan or goat cheese crumbles
salt and pepper, to taste

Kind Words From a Crop Share Member

So we just happen to think that our Crop Share program is the bees knees. We love seeing the same faces come every weekend and see their eyes light up when they receive their boxes full of goodies. Well one of our crop share members, Abby Kelly, shared with us how much she is enjoying the program and we just had to share with you all. 

A membership to the chain grocery store netted me a wimpy plastic card, slightly improved prices and the privilege of buying the same imported produce as everyone else.

Then, this summer, I discovered a little market called Nalls Produce. It was a lucky Google result to a desperate search for local, seasonal, affordable produce. On their website I found an invitation to join their crop share program.

Each week, Nalls staff selects from the best fruits and vegetables, sorts them into members’ boxes and then emails us to come collect them. For $160 up front, I receive a good sized box brimming with the farmers’ choicest picks of the season each week for eight weeks.

When I picked up my first box, I couldn’t have been more pleased, and every week it gets better. I have learned what fruits and vegetables are seasonal, not simply what the chain grocery store has shipped in from Timbuktu. Because the produce is often from just around the corner, the apples bite back, the corn spurts in my mouth and the squash is delectable.

I suppose that the vicinity of the produce has something to do with the fairness of the prices. Never before has $20 a week purchased so much food! As a vegetarian, I can eat my weight in fresh foods and with Nalls crop share, I rarely have to go anywhere else.

This summer, I made several batches of my own salsa using corn, tomatoes, onions and peppers from my crop share. I never made the same recipe twice. That was before I discovered the endless list of recipes available on Nalls website. New recipes are added regularly to suit the specific produce in each week’s box. Every single recipe posted has been tested and taste approved.

One day, standing by the eggplants, a gentleman was enthusiastic, “Isn’t this place wonderful? I can’t believe I’ve just found it!” He hadn’t heard of the CSA yet, so I told him about the beauty of the program. It’s like having a personal grocery shopper! By the time we bid farewell, he joined the crop share, too.

I feel like I’ve been adopted into a family. Each week, I pick up my box with my best friend. Usually, we run into people we’ve met the week before, and I’m getting to know the staff by name. Now this is what it feels like to belong!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

This simple side dish fits in with any meal. It works with fish, chicken, pork, tofu, you name it. The best part is, it only requires a handful of ingredients that are already in your pantry.

12 oz green beans, trimmed (make sure they are dry)
2 tsp olive oil
kosher salt + fresh cracked pepper to taste

1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsp shredded parmesan

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza

You can do a lot more with cauliflower than you think. It's a great alternative to use for carb lovers like myself. One of my favorite things to make with it is cauliflower crusted pizza. It's not only delicious, it's good for you. You can get creative with the toppings or just have it plain, it's that good! 

1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
olive oil (optional)
pizza sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings (I used roasted grape tomatoes with goat cheese and caramelized onions)

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Schuler's Swiss Onion Soup

The Lepine family has shared another great recipe with us along with some photos. This is the ultimate comfort food for chilly nights.

Serves: 12; Preparation Time: 15 minutes; Total Time: 3 Hours

1/2 cup butter
2 lbs. onions, peeled, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsps Hungarian paprika
6 cups, reduced sodium, fat free, canned beef broth or stock
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp celery salt
12 slices French Bread
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
8 oz. dark beer
salt & pepper to taste
12 slices Gruyere cheese

1. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook until the onions are brown, about 30 minutes. Stir regularly.
Sprinkle in the paprika, then add the beef broth or stock and bring to a boil.
2. While the onions are browning, make a roux by whisking the oil and flour in a saucepan. Cook, while whisking, over medium hear until the mixture is browned. 
3. Watch carefully that it does not burn. The roux will develop a popcorn smell first, then slowly turn brown. If the roux burns, toss it and start over.
When the roux is done, stir it into the soup and add the celery salt. Cover and simmer for at least 2 hours. 
4. Shortly befor serving, sprinkle the slices of bread with the parmesan and toast then in the oven. Remove and set aside. 
5. Add the beer to the soup and let it return to serving temperature. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls or serving crocks. Top with a toasted bread slice and a slice of Gruyere. Place the bowls under the broiler for just a bit, watching carefully, until the cheese is melted, bubbly and slightly brown. 

Jack-O-Lantern Sweet Potato Fries

Just because it's almost Halloween, doesn't mean only having sugary treats! These little guys take less than 30 minutes to make and you can get the whole family involved in making them.

2 large sweet potatoes
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1. Peel the skin from both sweet potatoes and slice the tips off.
2. Use a sharp knife to cut a small "V" shape in the center of the sweet potato.
3. Slice the sweet potato in 1/8" thin slices. Use a small sharp knife to "carve" jack-o-lantern faces into each sweet potato.
4. Mix the spices and melted coconut oil in a bowl and brush on both sides of your jack-o-lanterns
4. Place the sweet potato fries on a cookie sheet and bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Guest Post From Crop Share Members

The Lepine family has joined our Crop Share program for the first time and they are loving it! They were kind enough to share one of their recipes with us and the rest of the Crop Share members.

Smashed Roasted Potatoes
Serves: 6-8

2 lb. medium Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes
2 tsp. kosher salt
¼ freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap each potato individually in foil. Place on a
rimmed baking sheet. Bake until tender, 45-60 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Unwrap potatoes and arrange on same baking sheet. Set another rimmed
baking sheet over potatoes, rimmed side up, and press gently to smash potatoes
without breaking them apart. Season with salt and pepper; drizzle with half of the
oil. Carefully turn potatoes to coat.
Preheat over to 500 degrees. Roast potatoes for 15 minutes. Drizzle with
remaining oil, turn to coat, and continue toasting until crispy and golden brown, 25-
30 minutes.

Cinnamon and Honey Spiced Grapefruit

Usually I slice a grapefruit in half, sprinkle some sugar or agave on it and scoop away. I've never even considered putting cinnamon on it! Try this out for a healthy and fragrant breakfast or snack.

Cinnamon and Honey Spiced Grapefruit

1/2 grapefruit
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of cardamom
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg

Click through to view the rest of the recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny:

Broccoli Potato and Bacon Hash

Most recipes call for broccoli florets, they're beautiful and easy to cook, but what about the stem? I usually cut it up into small pieces and give them to my dog so that it doesn't go to waste. Finally a recipe comes along that uses the much ignored stem of the broccoli. 

4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 onion, diced
2 red or white potatoes, cut into 1/2" dice
Stem of 1 head of broccoli, peeled and cut into 1/2" dice (about 1 cup)
salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, finely minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)

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Grilled Island Chicken Lettuce Wraps

To make a good lettuce wrap, you've gotta have the perfect wrapper. That means fresh lettuce. Boston lettuce also known as butter lettuce is the perfect leafy green to load up and roll. This easy recipe makes for a perfect healthy lunch. The apples give it a nice little crunch and the fresh veggies give it a nice balance.

For chicken and marinade:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1-2 lemons)
1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, finely minced

half teaspoon dried oregano
quarter teaspoon salt
quarter teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 chicken breasts

Vegetables for wrap:
Boston lettuce
1 large lemon
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber
large handful of green beans with ends trimmed
1 medium sweet onion
1 pepper
handful of spinach
1 large apple

To view the rest of this recipe, please visit: