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!

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