Sunday, October 25, 2009

Harvest Box for October 23

This week's Harvest Box from Life Organic is full of fresh fall fruits and veggies!

I love grape tomatoes and especially enjoy cooking with them. Their flavour gives a burst of taste to many dishes, particularly pasta. I stumbled upon this recipe for Chicken with Grape Tomatoes and Fried Basil and think it looks like a great match - basil+chicken+grape tomatoes must be totally divine. When I'm rushed and looking for a quick and easy side dish, I often slice my grape tomatoes in half, throw them in a bowl and toss them with olive oil and salt and pepper. Ridiculously simple and very flavourful.

Why not try this week's cabbage in a pungent Hot and Sour Cabbage Soup? It promises to be a tasty treat on a cool Fall evening. This Poached Salmon with Sauteed Cabbage looks like another rewarding way to get some mileage out of your cabbage.

I always get excited when I see avocados in the Harvest box. My husband's absolute favourite meal of all time is Cayenne-rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa. It is so fast and so easy and so darn healthy, I try to serve it a couple times a month.

In the mood for something lighter? Why not use your grape tomatoes and avocado in one zestful salad? Try this:

Avocado Tomato Salad

2 Hass Avocados from Mexico, diced small
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons sweet onion, diced small
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt to taste
1 head baby red romaine lettuce, trimmed and left as whole leaves
1 medium head frisee, washed and chopped
1 bunch watercress, washed and chopped
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, gently mix, and season with salt to taste. If preferred, add more cilantro and fresh lime juice to taste.
  2. Refrigerate for thirty minutes prior to serving.
  3. Just before serving, toss salad with romaine, frisee and watercress. Season to taste with salt and fresh black pepper. Serve immediately.
You won't be disappointed - it's a crowd pleaser.

Although I'm not a huge fan of shiitake mushrooms, I found this great resource full of Shiitake Mushroom Recipes - I'm especially excited about the Shiitake and Brie Pizza! I think I'll definitely be trying that this week.

This is definitely the season for acorn squash, so check out the low down on Basic Acorn Squash or serve up a bowl of this Roasted Apple and Acorn Squash Soup, which is absolutely divine served with a loaf of crusty bread or rolls.

In a pickle over how to use your beets? Check out Foodland Ontario's best Beet Recipes and you'll be searching no further.

I often use baby bok choy in some sort of stir fry, and this Baby Bok Choy Stir Fry is simple and fast. (Oh, and yummy too!)

My family loves red peppers, and I came across a few new recipes that we haven't tried. This Grilled Sweet Peppers and Corn looks equally tasty as it does easy, although corn is harder to come by this late in October. This is a new variation of Sweet Red Pepper Soup that I haven't tried before, but my *recipe of the week* is most definitely this Slow Cooker Yam and Red Pepper Soup . My taste buds were tingling just reading the ingredient list and I am sure it promises to deliver a hearty and satisfying meal.

Until next week . . . enjoy your harvest box!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Harvest Box for October 16

Welcome to the new Life Organic Recipe Blog! Check in here each week to find helpful tips and recipes for all the food in your Harvest Box. Not a customer yet? No problem, you can find more information and sign up for delivery service in Ottawa at the Life Organic website.

Life Organic delivers "fresh Harvest boxes filled with delicious seasonal organic fruits and vegetables, and other ethically produced foods straight to your doorstep. They are committed to high quality; source as much as possible from local growers, ensure that farmers receive fair prices for their produce, look after the environment and always strive to keep customers absolutely delighted with friendly and convenient service".

Ready to take a look inside this week's Harvest Box???

That big green leafy stuff is Baby Kale - here are some easy ideas to use for your kale. One of the tastiest and simplest ways to cook kale is to saute it in a frying pan with a bit of oil (add onions or garlic if you like). Kale is full of nutrients and is a fabulous source of vitamins C and A . . . you're doing your body a favour by eating this stuff!

Here is some great information on washing and cooking with leeks. My favourite way to cook leeks is in soup, and you can find a whole slew of leek recipes at This Potato Leek Soup is one of the my family's favourite recipes . . . and is a hearty, warm treat on a cool fall day.

Looking for a new way to use up your squash? I use any type of squash in this Roasted Apple and Acorn Squash Soup. It's rich and filling and incredibly healthy!

I've got this Chilled Squash and Carrot soup on my radar as well. Looks delicious and I can only imagine how decadent the flavours of squash and carrot mixed together will taste.

Although I am usually a little boring when it comes to asparagus (I often just roast or grill the stalks and serve them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper), there are dozens of asparagus recipes I'd like to try out. Here are a few to get you started!

Asparagus and Cashews
Asparagus with Brie
Asparagus Wrapped in Proscuitto
Asparagus with Poached Egg

Although these are more work than I might ever have time for, check out these Shrimp, Pork, and Sugar Snap Pea Spring Rolls! What a unique way to use up your sugar snap peas and this is definitely worth a try if you are having people over and want to completely impress them with your culinary expertise.

My kids don't boast the most impressive palates for veggies, but they are dedicated to their daily bowl of raw carrots. They love them raw, or slightly cooked, alone, or with a side of dip.
But if you're interested in getting a little creative with this week's carrots, try this absolutely to-die-for Carrot Cake, or this Velvety Carrot Soup.

Ready to gobble up those tasty bosc pears in your box? Why not try something completely different this week and add them to a healthy dish of Fresh Pear and Curry Pasta. It's super easy and very delicious!

Be sure to check back next week for new ideas for your weekly Harvest Box.