Saturday, November 27, 2010

Organic Harvest Box for November 26, 2010

Another Friday, another beautiful Organic Harvest Box arrives on my doorstep!  Check it out:

This week, I felt it was time to revisit the avocado. I love when I see the round, bumpy, greenish-dark skin of an avocado peeking out from inside my Harvest Box.  I do, however, seem to get in a rut and use my avocados for the same things over and over again.  Our family loves avocado chopped on top of a green salad, or sliced thinly in a cheese and tomato sandwich.  To help me broaden my avocado taste buds, I rounded up a variety of different salad recipes this week.  What about a Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Radishes and Cucumbers? A couple other light and easy ones are this Cucumber and Avocado Salad and Mango Salad with Black Beans, Avocado and Mint. Another option with fruit included is this Avocado Mandarine Salad.  If you're interested in trying some protein with your avocado, check out this Grilled Chicken with Avocado Citrus Sauce or this Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa.

Looking to move beyond that plate of celery sticks and see what more those green, tall stalks have to offer?  Celery is most definitely an easy, healthy, low glycemic snack.  Munching on a snack of  Celery with Peanut Butter is a perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up.  But what about a Green Apple, Celery, and Walnut Salad or a Bulgar, Celery, Nectarine Salad as healthy lunch or snack options?  Or serve up a delicious dinner of  Stir Fried Turkey with Celery and Snow Peas and you will see how easy it is to include celery in a meal.  Celery is also fantastic in soups, and two delightful choices are a Raw Creamy Celery Soup or this Chunky Celery Soup.

Although I've written about kale a great deal in the past few months, I still seem to be finding new and interesting recipes on a regular basis.  When I'm short on time, I really love this easy recipe for Sauteed Kale with Garlic and Onion.  It's an easy and quick side dish that is completely healthy.  Around here we love to snack on these Kale Chips that I posted last spring.  This week I came across another recipe for Baked Kale (Chips) and they are also delicious (very similar to the other recipe).  You can also toss your kale into a regular meal, like in this Red Kale and Cheese Omelet, or this luscious Autumn Harvest Soup with Butternut Squash, Kale, and Farro or Brown Rice.  And why not try a Raw Kale Salad for a light meal one evening?  I bet you won't be disappointed!

Until next week, enjoy that organic produce!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Organic Harvest Box for November 19, 2010

Here is a colourful and bright organic Harvest Box for a cold Fall day in November:

Kale - a form of cabbage - is considered to be a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties.  It is also has anti-inflammatory properties.  Is is high in beta carotene, Vitamin K, Vitamin C and calcium. And if all that's not enough to sell you on this leafy veggie, how about the fact that it is believed to be full of anti-cancer chemicals as well?  That's what I thought.  Now go grab that head of kale and get busy cooking!

Kale is lovely in salads, and a delicious one to try is this Kale Salad with Blood Orange and Lemon.  It is also a perfect vegetable to serve cooked, like in this Pasta with Black Kale, Carmelized Onions and Parsnip or Polenta with White Beans and Black Kale. And it is also pretty fantastic in soups, and I recommend trying this delightful Butternut Squash, White Beans and Black Kale Soup or a rich Bacon, Tomato, and Kale Soup.

Finished cooking all that kale?  Then grab that head of cauliflower and serve up a piping hot bowl of Roasted Cauliflower and Poblano Pepper Soup. And while we're talking roasted cauliflower, why not try this Oven-Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Lemon from the culinary expert himself, Emeril Lagasse?  I also like to cook cauliflower with a little Indian flavour, and I came across a few interesting recipes this week.  I love the look of this Cauliflower Sabzi, as well as this simple Curried Cauliflower. And although I had to google "Panch Phoran" because I didn't know what it was (and I eat a lot of Indian food), I'm convinced I'm going to make this Cauliflower Dal with Panch Phoran this week if I get a chance.  A final dish I located on my search was this Pasta with Spicy Cauliflower Sauce- perfect for a light weeknight meal.

Green peppers - versatile and easy to cook in just about anything. Throw them on top of your favourite dough and make yourself a Green Pepper Pizza. Got some chicken lying around?  Toss your peppers into this Shredded Chicken with Green Pepper. Prefer steak?  No problem if you're ready to whip up a Green Pepper Steak.  Other yummy dishes include Green Pepper Masala and Green Pepper Chili - both easy but extremely tasty. And be sure to check out this Green Pepper and Tomato Salad from Rachael Ray as it will leave you coming back for more.

Until next week . . . enjoy your organic cooking!



Saturday, November 6, 2010

Organic Harvest Box for November 5, 2010

This week's Organic Harvest Box is full of colourful and nutritious goodies:

I thought I would revisit the good ole' avocado this week.  I am always interested in new recipes that incorporate avocado, but the truth be told, I love to eat it plain, or to simply add it to a sandwich.  Avocado offers the nutritional benefits of monounsaturated fat, which may help to lower cholesterol.  They are also are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure.  Some people steer clear of avocado because they worry it is too high in fat, but remember that monounsaturated fat is the "good" kind of fat that your body needs.

Avocados are often enjoyed in salads, sandwiches or other cold meals or snacks.  This Avocado and Roasted Corn Salsa is a lovely addition to many meals, including chicken, beef, and even fish.  A light and easy meal can be made from these Avocado Salad Wraps which are free from grain products and are gluten-free.  Other tasty alternatives are this Avocado Beet Pea Shoot Salad or this Mango, Avocado and Arugula Salad. I stumbled upon this recipe for Carrot, Avocado, and Cilantro Soup and am quite intrigued by it.  Also grabbing my eye was this Avocado and Chocolate Shake  - and I'm not sure how feel about this.  A shake?  That you drink?  With avocado in it?  That seems to bring a whole new level to the term "green smoothie" for me.  If you try it, please let me know how you like it!

Spinach is another nutrient-dense food that is full of goodness and so healthy.  I try to include it in our diet whenever we can.  Spinach is lovely to eat both raw or cooked, and one of the simplest recipes I've ever tried is this Sauteed Spinach from the Food Network.  With only a couple of ingredients this is a fast and basic side dish that can be served with any meal.  Also delicious is this Spinach with Feta Dressing, with just the right amount of feta to give this dish some zing.  If you like spinach in your main dish, then I have definitely got some recipes for you!  How about a rich Spinach Bisque Soup?  Or a Spinach and Tofu Paneer?  Nothing beats a traditional vegetarian Spinach Lasagna, and if you enjoy pasta then you must check out this delicious Angel Hair Pasta in Creamy Spinach Sauce.

Still looking for ideas on how to make those beets just a little more exciting?  Well, look no further!  Spice up your menu this week with these Spiced Pickled Beets and and you'll never look at this purple-coloured root vegetable the same again.  Or better yet, why not try a Red Beet Ravioli or Red Beets on Pasta?  Beets are also fantastic in salads, and two great ones are Red Beet, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Salad and Roasted Beet Salad - why not try one this week?