Saturday, October 30, 2010

Organic Harvest Box for October 29, 2010

Another Organic Harvest Box arrived on our doorstep this week!  Check out the goodies:

Arugula may look like most other greens out there, but it has a very distinguished and different taste than most.  The leafy green has a rich, peppery taste, and has an exceptionally strong flavour. It can be easily used like most other greens, although it is exceptionally tasty tossed on top of pizza.

For example, this Arugula Pizza is easy and delicious. Or how about White Pizzas with Arugula?  And feel free to use your imagination as arugula is wonderful on many pizzas, especially those using strong-tasting cheeses.  You can also throw some arugula leaves in an Arugula Grilled Cheese and enjoy it with a piping hot bowl of soup. And an Arugula and Orange Salad or Arugula Salad with Honey-Drizzled Peaches make a delightful lunch or light supper.  Want to add an extra bit of tang to your weeknight pasta?  Make this Arugula Pesto and pour it over your favourite pasta noodles.

I've mentioned numerous times before that my favourite way to incorporate zucchini into our meal plan is to bake Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins  - they are easy and fairly healthy, and my kids absolutely adore them. Other "fun" ways to add a little zucchini to your life include making Zucchini Fries, Zucchini Chips, or these yummy Zucchini Cakes. These are not the healthiest choices, but are nice treats in moderation.  Zucchini fits well into regular meals as well, like this Zucchini Ricotta Frittata, and this Zucchini and Onion Teriyaki.
An interesting way to offer a zucchini-inspired meal would be to serve a bowl of  Zucchini Soup with these mouth watering Zucchini Bruschettas.  Your guests would not be disappointed!

I find I cook a lot of yams during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I am always on the look out for new recipes this time of year.  And while I'm not a fan of traditional "candied yams", there are many of you who are.  In my searches I did come up with three fabulous recipes: Orange Candied Sweet Potatoes, Candied Yams with Apples, and good old Candied Yams with Marshmallows.  Yams are always a popular side dish, so why not try Baked Yams or Mango and Almond Yams with one of your main meals?  I also like the look of this Molasses Roasted Yams and Sweet Potatoes Medley, or for something with a little Indian flair, add Curried Yams in Coconut Milk to your next weekend meal!

Enjoy your week and Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Organic Harvest Box for October 22, 2010

It's time for another colourful, local, organic Harvest Box for October!  Take a look:

While there are a variety of different ways to cook baby bok choy, one of the simplest recipes you can find is this one for Easy Garlic Baby Bok Choy  that I stumbled up on via You Tube.  Fast, easy, and delicious.  This can be served as a side dish for almost any meal.  I also like this very basic Bok Choy, and if you scroll down you will find a couple other easy recipes on this page. This Baby Bok Choy Stir Fry makes a fantastic weeknight meal and is not time-consuming at all.  If you prefer a more ethnic taste, try Baby Bok Choy, as a traditional Chinese side dish, or Baby Bok Choy and Garlic in Sweet Chili Sauce.  Another big favourite is Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushroom - a lovely light meal with something for everyone.

Squash is in abundance at this time of year, and their versatility is often overlooked. Why not slice up your butter cup squash and make a delicious Glazed and Roasted Butter Cup Squash?  Or serve up a steaming hot bowl of Butter Cup Squash Soup with some fresh, home-made bread?  Penne Pasts with Roasted Butter Cup Squash is a delectable treat that will tickle your tastebuds and have you coming back to fill your plate a second time.  And if you're keen to use your squash in some non-traditional recipes, what about a Butter Cup Squash Custard?  Sounds absolutely fantastic!  Don't forget to end your meal with a slice of  Butter Cup Squash Coffee Cake . . . 

That large root vegetable in your Harvest Box this week is a celeriac root.  It is a kind of celery, but also a root vegetable and it can be eaten raw or cooked.  It has a celery taste and is often used in soups and stews.  A fine example is this Celeriac and Celery Soup.  Celeriac root is also enjoyed mashed, as in this Mashed Artichokes, Celeriac Root and Potatoes Recipe.  Or it can be sliced thinly and enjoyed as Celeriac Chips!  Other options for your celeriac root include this Celeriac and Carrot Salad, a delightful Celeriac Remoulade, or you can add it to these fragrant Roasted Root Vegetables with Rosemary.

Enjoy your Harvest Box!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Organic Harvest Box for October 15, 2010

Here is our mid-October organic Harvest Box!  It looks fantastic ...

Are you struggling for ways to use your beets?  I tried to find a variety of different recipes this week, so I'm hoping you'll all try something a little out of your comfort zone!   Martha Stewart's Beet Salad with Arugula and Orange is simply fantastic and completely delicious.  Another delicious salad is this Beet and Tomato SaladIf you like roasted beets, give these Roasted Beets with Mini-Yogurt Sauce - they are truly amazing.  And new to me, but looking positively yummy, is this  Creamy Goat Cheese and Beet Green Pasta.

I always enjoy trying new ways of cooking kale, as I'm often pleasantly surprised at how delicious it tastes.  This Crispy Kale and Tofu with Brown Rice is a wonderfully healthy meal that can be enjoyed by your entire family.  Kale is a pleasing addition to a Tuscan Vegetable Soup, which makes a nice light dinner or a satisfying lunch.  Or better yet, try  Black-Eyed Peas with Black Kale and enjoy the essence of this delectable flavour. Another option is Bacon, Tomato And Kale Soup, a rich-tasting soup that will have those enjoying your meal coming back for more!  And if you're looking to appreciate the taste of kale on its own, be sure to give this recipe for Cavolo Nero (Black Kale) a try.

Carrots are so versatile, and yet I find myself relying on the same couple of recipes all the time.  My kids are huge carrot eaters, so I make sure to always have peeled, sliced carrots in a sealed container in our fridge so they are easily accessible for a quick snack.  While I've never tried it, I have heard that Creamy Carrot Juice 
is delicious and one hundred per cent good for you. Pickled Carrots???  Never tried them but they do sound intriguing. Creamy Carrot Soup, and many varieties of carrot soup, is fantastic and scrumptious this time of year and are perfect as a side dish or appetizer before dinner.  If you like to serve carrots as a side dish accompanying your main meal (and many people do) be sure to check out  Garlic and Thyme Glazed Carrots , Spicy Braised Carrots, and this Morrocan Carrot SaladIs that sweet tooth calling out your name lately?  Then come forth and satisfy it with this luscious Carrot Cake - you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Did Someone Say Pumpkin???

Take a peek at these amazing pumpkins from Songberry Farm.  If this doesn't scream "October" than I don't know what does! 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Organic Harvest Box for October 8, 2010

It's Thanksgiving weekend up here in Canada, and this week's Harvest Box from Life Organic is full of produce for which to be thankful!

I know Autumn is in full swing when my Harvest Box is full of butternut squash, fresh cranberries, and a pumpkin!

Speaking of butternut squash . . . its deep flavour lends itself well to hot, steaming soups. I'm a big fan of this Spicy Butternut Squash Soup and my entire family adores this Apple and Butternut Squash Soup. Both go well as a light supper with fresh bread or sandwiches, or they make for a tasty, filling lunch. I gathered a few more soup recipes that I haven't tried yet, but am hoping to soon. They include this mouth-watering Butternut Squash Soup with Fontina Cheese Crostini, a Spicy Lentil and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, and this fabulous-looking
Curried Butternut Squash Soup.

You also don't want to miss this Butternut Squash risotto as it makes a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving table. This Butternut Squash Pie (no shell) is also another Thanksgiving favourite, and I don't think you could go wrong pairing your turkey with a side of Glazed Butternut Squash.

Fresh Cranberries! Perfect for a good old fashioned Cranberry Sauce to be enjoyed by one and all. Cranberries pair well with most of the white meats, and I especially like this Chicken with Cranberries, or this Easy Pork Chop Saute with Cranberries. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries is perfect for a holiday weekend, and why not try adorning your Thanksgiving table with these beautiful Sparkling Cranberries? If you've still got a few cranberries lying around after the long weekend, be sure to toss them into these Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies with Coconut and Cranberries. Delicious!

The sugar pie pumpkin that you received is best for cooking or baking, so be sure not to use that one to carve your jack-o-lantern! Instead, try this tasty Sugar Pie Pumpkin Pie and top it with a dollop of whipped cream. Or really "wow" your Thanksgiving guests with a stunning Pumpkin Mousse Trifle. Entirely new to me is this Pumpkin Pie Dip - sounds interesting and I can imagine it is something my kids would love. On the cooking side of things, this Grilled Pumpkin with Rosemary and Sea Salt is absolutely divine. And, this Moroccan Pumpkin and Lentil Soup is on my radar and will hopefully be making an appearance in our home soon. If you're looking for something really different, why not have a go at Pumpkin with Yogurt and Meat Sauce (Habeas Brulee)?

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you all!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Organic Harvest Box for October 1, 2010

Another beautiful Fall organic Harvest Box this week! Full of delicious goodness . . .

Earlier this week Tasha passed on some great recipes for your mustard greens, so be sure to check them out.

And what about that gorgeous head of cabbage? For something with a little flare, why not try this Spiced Red Cabbage? Cabbage lends itself beautifully to salads and slaws, and both this Red Cabbage Salad and Crispy Red Cabbage Salad are definite winners. I also like this Red Cabbage Tomato Slaw. A chilly fall night begs for Red Cabbage Soup, especially nice this time of year. And this Red Cabbage, Green Bean, and Pasta Salad with Yogurt Dressing offers up something a little different. Are you a fan of Pickled Cabbage? Try this recipe out and let us know what you think of it!

Let's talk leeks! I've grown more and more fond of leeks over the past few years, as I have branched out and tried new and tasty recipes. Leeks, part of the onion family, have a mild onion taste but are less bitter than scallions. The part of the leeks that are edible are the bundle of leaf sheaths known as the stem or stalk. After they are cleaned (very carefully!) they can be chopped and added to a variety of recipes.

For example, who could resist this Leek, Ricotta and Lemon Flatbread? Or a Leek and Thyme Tart? Both of these would be perfect for lunch or alongside a hearty soup or stew at dinner. I have tried Roasted Leeks a few times, and they were delicious. And, I found this dish with Fried Leeks with Sweet and Sour Red Pepper and thought it looked quite interesting. Also on my radar was this Leek Pasta - another I have not tried but am interested in tasting.

Leeks are fabulous in soups . . . especially something like this Summer Squash and Leek Puree. But if you're a regular reader of mine, you'll know my family's personal favourite is Potato Leek Soup not the healthiest option, but so rich and delicious a small bowl is like a little taste of heaven! I haven't served it to anyone who didn't fall in love with it - and I make it often.

Moving on to cauliflower. I posted last winter about my success with Simple Roasted Cauliflower, and we still choose that recipe most of the time. Summer picnics and barbecues are a great time to try out this Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad - it packs well and tastes delicious a few hours later. I think these Cauliflower Pakoras with Cilantro Mint Sauce would be a big hit in my house, and I'm also anxious to try Garlicky Braised Cauliflower with Capers. Another healthy choice is this Spring Frittata with Cauliflower and Green Beans. And for those conscious of their weight or trying to cut back on carbs, dishes like these Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower and Green Onion Mash are wonderful alternatives to a heavier, potato-based side dish. And, yes, they really taste amazing!

Enjoy your week . . . and happy tasting!