Saturday, June 5, 2010

Organic Harvest Box for June 4, 2010

This week's Organic Harvest Box is as inviting as ever! Nothing says spring (and almost summer!) like a beautiful box of fresh organic produce. Take a look:

Spinach is one of the most versatile and delicious greens out there. It is packed full of Vitamin K, as well as carotenoids like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. A good supply of vitamins B6 and C may help put you in a good mood, as both play vital roles in the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Not convinced yet? Spinach is also an excellent source of folate, known to protect against birth defects, and it also helps prevent cancers of the cervix and lungs. It can also work with vitamin B6 to protect against heart disease.

So there you go! Grab yourself a big spinach salad and dig in.

Salads are still just about my favourite way to eat spinach. Many people are not aware of the vast array of possibilities for spinach salads - they do not have to be dull and boring! I've compiled a great list for you this week, and I urge you to try at least one of these super salads and report back with your results:

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Almonds and Dill

Spinach Salad with Poached Eggs

Wilted Spinach Salad with Chickpeas

Sassa's Spinach Salad

Spinach Salad with Mushroom and Parmesan

Spinach Salad with Bacon and Feta

Really not a salad fanatic like I am??? Toss your spinach into a batch of this Spinach and Basil Pesto or simply turn your greens into a delightful side dish and serve up this Sauteed Spinach.

I get the Kraft Canada magazine in the mail several times a year - they send one out for each season, and there are often a couple recipes I try out of each book. They are free and you can sign up for the service at their web site. This week I tried this Mexicana Chopped Salad and this Peaches and Greens Salad and both were welcome additions to my lunch time routine. I often substitute the prepackaged ingredients for those I make myself at home - especially the Kraft salad dressings as they are often high in sugar. I'm making a few tweaks to this Broccoli Salad this weekend and am taking it to a potluck barbecue.

Blueberries - what can I say? We love them at our house. I've slowly been experimenting with main meal recipes that incorporate blueberries - although often the blueberries get gobbled up as soon as I wash them by three pairs of little tiny hands in my house. However, I'm really hoping to try this Grilled Chicken with Blueberry-Basil Salsa this week. For lighter fare, I like the looks of this Summer Salad with Blueberries or a Chilled Blueberry Soup. And who can say no to a piece of steaming hot Blueberry Coffee Cake or a slice of Blueberry Breakfast Bake?

Fresh spring asparagus is another of our regular favourites. I rarely get to experiment with dark, green stalks because I tend to grill them up on the barbecue, sprinkle them with olive oil, lemon, and salt and pepper, and eat an entire bunch at once. But, just for you, I've gathered together a nice list of asparagus choices for you this week:

Asparagus and Crab Salad

Asparagus and Cucumber Vinaigrette

Asparagus with Mustard-Herb Vinaigrette

Roasted Asparagus with Capers and Lemon

Quinoa with Tofu and Asparagus

Grilled Vegetable Wrap

Looking to try something new with your avocado this week? Guacamole not cuttin' it for you? Why not experiment with these Glazed Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes? For a healthy lunch choice, dig into these Mango Avocado Rolls or serve up this tangy Asian Spinach Salad with Marinated Mushrooms.

Happy organic eating to you all!

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