Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mustard Greens and B.Good Cookies

Think you can't cut the mustard?

Here are some links that might help to change your mind about the local greens Ferme la Rosée is offering us in your box this week:

Curried Mustard Greens & Garbanzo Beans with Sweet Potatoes

Curried Chicken with Kabocha Squash & Mustard Green

Simple Mustard Greens

Four Easy Ways To Go (Mustard) Green

Mustard Greens and Pumpkin Pasta

Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens

Sauté of Cauliflower and Mustard Greens with Peanuts

North African Chickpea and Kale Soup

Did somebody say COOKIES!

Just to sweeten the deal....we have just introduced B.Good cookies this week to our list of items to "Add to Your Order". You can add a dozen of any of the ten mouth-watering varieties (three gluten-free) to your 'standing order' if you would like to receive them regularly, or to your 'current order' if you would like to give them a try this week. A full list of ingredients will pop up if you double click on any variety online.

For more information on B.Good cookies and the street vendor himself, check out this article at Apt 613!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Organic Harvest Box for September 24, 2010

This week's harvest box is full of fresh, local goodies!

You know Fall is here when a delightful green acorn squash arrives on your doorstep! I adore squash of all types, and acorn squash is a particular favourite in our home. This green winter squash has sweet, yellow-orange flesh and is wonderfully versatile. Soup is a great place to start and you can't beat this Roasted Apple and Acorn Squash Soup - especially if you have a kitchen full of fresh harvest apples lying around. A cold weather favourite of many is Stuffed Acorn Squash, and another autumn pleasure is Baked Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Butter. A wonderful way to truly enjoy an acorn squash's sweet and rich flavour is this Sweet Roasted Acorn Squash.

If you're looking for something new and different for your squash, take a look at this recipe for Creamed Oysters in Acorn Squash - definitely sounds interesting! Also big hits are this Penne with Acorn Squash and Pancetta and Acorn Squash and Sage Mac 'n Cheese. The mac and cheese dish is always a huge hit with kids.

Ready to grab that bag of summer squash and get going? Why not slice up those fresh turnips and toss them into a Summer Turnip Slaw? Or for something with a little bit of kick, serve these Turnip Fries with a main weeknight meal. A cool fall evening begs for a batch of Turnip Soup and for added flavour, serve it with these Carrot and Turnip Buns. Braised Turnips with Mustard Sauce are absolutely delicious and this Potato and Turnip au Gratin is also mouth-watering.

Fall brings forth another harvest of luscious, crisp apples! We currently have dozens in our house, and I'm excited to get down to the business of cooking with them. First off, I suggest you take a look at these ten fantastic apple recipes - I guarantee they will not disappoint. Everyone has their own favourite apple recipes, often tried and true from old family recipe books. Why not challenge yourself to try something new this year? I've compiled a lovely list to get you started.

Grab your best cast iron pan and start working on this Apple Bake - it's not difficult at all and will have everyone coming back for seconds. Enjoy a steaming cup of coffee or tea while you nibble on these Apple Buttermilk Bread or Muffins and you won't regret it. This Vegan Apple Cake is a healthier alternative. These Maple Glazed Baked Apples are chock-full of raisins and brimming with flavour. And who can say no to a heavenly Apple Crepe? Two of my kids' favourites are good old fashioned Apple Crisp and Apple Pie. Topped with fresh whipped cream, of course! And I'm sure I've found the best Crock Pot Applesauce recipe around . . . I've been making this one for the past three years and never have enough to last more than a day or two.

Enjoy your fall harvest box this week!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Organic Harvest Box for September 17, 2010

Here's a quick look inside this week's Organic Harvest Box:

A few years ago I had never seen a piece of fruit with a papery, light-weight covering. And then I was introduced to ground cherries! Ground cherries come from a small shrub similar to the common tomato, and can be grown as an annual or perennial. This tiny round fruit can be eaten raw, used in salads, tossed in desserts, or used as a flavoring. It is also fantastic in jams and jellies. Ground cherries are decadent when dipped in melted chocolate. And did you know they can also be dried and eaten? Yes, they can!

So I set off on a mission to gather some good quality ground cherry recipes for you. At the top of my list: this
Ground Cherry Pie and this Ground Cherry Clafoutis. These small cherries lend themselves well to baking, but sometimes the key is making sure you have enough with which to bake. Another fabulous dessert to try are these Poached Ground Cherries. Fancy a good jam once in a while on your morning toast? Give this Ground Cherry Jam a go and be sure to let me know if you test it out, I'd love to know how it tastes! And I see endless possibilities for this Ground Cherry Sauce.

Like many, I was not a fan of brussels sprouts for a large portion of my life. I can pretty much guarantee that once you taste brussels sprouts cooked properly -
in a suitable recipe - you will thoroughly enjoy them. A good place for you to start is with these Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Simply Recipes. And then I found an even better site to see each how-to step in making Roasted Brussels Sprouts - check it out, it's worth the click! Another simple, but tasty, method in which to try brussels sprouts is Sauteed Brussels Sprouts.

To awaken the true chef inside you (or for hard core foodies) you may want to try Braised Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Apples, Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Shallots and Figs, or this fantastic and delicious Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse.

I was all set to write about leeks this week, but I decided I'd hold off another week or two since I know that more are on the way! So instead, I'm talking cilantro.

Nothing beats fresh cilantro - it is widely used and is a part of many salad and pasta recipes. I tried to gather a few different uses for cilantro this week, recipes you may not have thought of before.

You can read about
cilantro here and check out some interesting recipes - cilantro pesto, cilantro rice, etc. I like the looks of this Tomato and Onion Relish with Cilantro Chutney and think it would compliment a variety of different meals. I've tried this Avocado Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette and it does not disappoint. A decadent Lime Cilantro Butter Sauce is a wonderful topping to many meats or vegetable dishes. I am anxious to try this Thai Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Dipping Sauce because I have a hunch my whole family will enjoy it (my children will eat anything that is associated with any kind of "dipping sauce"). And most interesting recipe of the week? Definitely this Carrot, Avocado and Cilantro Soup - a mix of tastes I had never considered before, in a soup I suspect is out of this world! Until next week, happy organic munching!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Organic Harvest Box for September 10, 2010

Check out this week's Harvest Box from Life Organic:

It's the second week of September and there is a cool breeze in the air in the mornings now! Fall is definitely not far away, and it's almost time to get excited about cooking up some delicious autumn meals. In a last ditch effort to enjoy the last few days/weeks of summer, I'm dedicating this post to fresh salads.

Fresh local tomatoes are perfect this time of year, and plentiful in this area. There are countless numbers of ways to create simple and nutritious tomato salads. For one, this Easy Tomato Salad. Nothing beats the simple and look and taste of a Caprese Salad - mozzarella, tomato and basil never tasted so good. Strong cheeses are a wonderful compliment to tomatoes, and I love this Tomato Blue Cheese Salad. And if you have the time and want to taste something amazing, try this Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten.

My family loves a very basic Tomato and Avocado Salad. It's easy to make - on a large plate, arrange about 2 pounds of assorted tomatoes sliced or halved. Add 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season with coarse salt and ground pepper. A few drops of balsamic vinegar is also delicious!

Ready to grab that luscious green head of broccoli and get busy? There are different styles of Broccoli Salad, from this Tangy Broccoli Salad to this absolutely delicious Broccoli Salad from chef Jamie Oliver. Often a broccoli salad is laden with oils or mayonnaise, making it a less-than-healthy choice, so if you're looking for lighter fare, try this fantastic Broccoli Quinoa Salad and feel no guilt when you eat it.

Is it time for beet salad?? Of course it is! Beets bitter taste lends themselves to a number of different salad choices. Like a fresh Pecan Beet Salad or Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Cashews. Even better is this Mediterranean Beet Salad with Feta. Fancy roasted beets? Check out this Roasted Beet Salad with Barley, Feta and Red Onion or this tangy Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges.

As the evenings get cooler you may feel ready to serve up a Perfect Roast Chicken, which is a wonderful way to use up fresh local carrots, onion, fennel and herbs. This roast chicken recipe from Ina Garten is one of the best out there. It makes a delicious, moist chicken that can serve your family dinner for several nights.

When you are done with your wonderful roast chicken meal, save the chicken carcass and use it to whip up a delicious stock. I use Ina's Chicken Stock recipe, except where she says to use an entire chicken I just use the bones and leftovers from the one I just cooked. You can throw in any veggies you have at home, as you certainly don't need to use the exact ones the recipe calls for. I then like to freeze the stock in ziploc bags so they lay flat in my freezer, leaving more room for other delicious meals!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Organic Harvest Box for September 3, 2010

It's been a quiet summer here on the Life Organic Blog, mostly because I have been away or busy for most of the summer. I'm hoping to get weekly recipes and tips moving again, because I figure it's almost time for fall, and back to school and work for many. Who can't use a few extra tips???

This week's Harvest Box looks fantastic - full of local, organic produce at its best this time of year. We'll be back next week with photos, I ran into some technical difficulties this week.

Red Leaf Lettuce - I love it. For some reason, this is by far my favourite type of lettuce. I love it squished into a thick sandwich, exploding from a giant bowl of salad, or used as a garnish with a delicious fall meal. I serve a green salad with red leaf lettuce almost every night with dinner. I came across this fabulous resource with great tips on how to refrigerate red leaf lettuce , so be sure to check it out! It's very helpful. Also be sure to take a look at this Red Leaf Lettuce Salad. If you're looking for something for the more discerning palate, try this Leaf Lettuce Salad with Goat Cheese Stuffed Pears. Other tasty salad choices include this Red Leaf, Pear, and Walnut Salad or Martha Stewart's Red Leaf Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes. And don't forget that there is really nothing simpler and tastier than a basic leaf lettuce salad with local cucumbers or tomatoes and a little olive oil on top!

Sometimes I am looking for something a little different to try with my chard. I came across this Pasta with Swiss Chard recipe and am looking forward to trying it. Be sure to check out this website with detailed info on Coloured Chards, including storage and uses, plus a delicious recipe for Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Galette. It looks absolutely delicious!

If you're a real foodie, check out this recipe for Grilled Madras Razor Clams with Sautéed Rainbow Chard and Cornish New Potatoes - now that would be impressive to serve for dinner one night. Coloured chard can be served quickly and easily, and doesn't need to be "fancy" to taste great. Try this Swiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts or Curried Rainbow Swiss Chard - they are fast and delicious, and full of nutritional value.

I am sometimes at a loss for what to do with an eggplant - and nothing beats a local, organic eggplant! I enjoy them cooked a variety of ways, but I find my children usually have issues with the texture. What about a good ole' Grilled Eggplant Panini - it makes a healthy lunch or even a nice light dinner with a salad. Barbecue season is still in full swing, so why not try this Grilled Eggplant with Korean Barbecue Sauce? This
Curried Eggplant, Lentil, and Quinoa Burgers with Onion-Pepper Relish also promises not to disappoint. Prefer it baked? Give this Oven-Baked Breaded Eggplant a go and watch everyone gobble it up. And, last but not least, check out this recipe for Broiled Summer Eggplant - which includes three very important eggplant rules that you don't want to miss (including whether or not to refrigerate eggplant - I certainly didn't know I wasn't supposed to keep it in the fridge!).