Thursday, March 22, 2012

Organic Harvest Box for March 22, 2012

Welcome back to the Life Organic Blog!!  I am really excited to be writing the blog for Life Organics.  My family has been receiving the Basic Harvest Box for more than year and have enjoyed the variety of produce and the opportunities to try vegetables that I may never have picked up before.  So, I'm not new to Life Organics, but I am new to blogging, so would be happy to have any feedback about style, recipes, and content that you want to give.

Before I get into the ideas for this weeks produce, I wanted to mention that I bought a case of the Camino Fair Trade Organic Mango Juice (did you know they were featured on Episode 2 of The Big Decision on CBC) that Life Organics was offering the last couple of weeks, and my two kids have loved it.  I do recommend to cut the mango juice with water for little kids as it is almost like nectar and very tasty and rich.  This week I ordered a case of Tropical Juice and Limeade and can't wait to try both.  I'm thinking that the Limeade with a bit of tonic, club soda, or sparkling water would've been a great patio drink this week.

When I originally looked at the list for this week's selection all I could think about was grilling, BBQ-ing, and fresh summer salads given our fantastic weather.  Looking at the forecast for the weekend and next week I think that I might still be in the mood for some soups and casseroles.  Tasha and I have had radish discussions over the last couple of weeks, how best to keep them  (trim the leaves, wrap in plastic and refrigerate), what to do when they get soft (immerse them in ice water for an hour before serving), and how to eat them.  I use the Joy of Cooking (Rombauer, Rombauer Becker, and Becker) to look up all sorts of cooking information and was interested to read that radishes were considered an appetite stimulant and that the French had a custom of starting the day with a handful of radishes, eaten with sweet butter.  In our house, we mostly eat our radishes raw, a bright addition to a vegetable tray, or sliced thinly into a salad, but I was interested to find a variety of cooked radish recipes such as, Sauteed Radishes with Watercress or Roasted Radishes. Certainly with the baby lettuce or spinach in this week's box, I think the radishes would be a great addition to your favorite salad recipe.

The other items in the box all inspire a variety of meal ideas.  Our fruit always gets eaten as it is and we've been ordering extra navel oranges because we are finding them so juicy and tasty right now.  The apples could be used for a Baked Apple dessert.  The potatoes could be roasted on the BBQ, boiled, or mashed but for us will probably get used in Leek and Potato Soup, with our leeks from last week.   To take advantage of the early BBQ season I think that we will roast the green beans on the grill (you could add the zucchini with them) in some tin foil with some olive oil, garlic and seasoning.  Or you could do a French Bean Salad with Tarragon and Green Peppercorn from one of my new favorite food websites, Food52.

Lastly, I was happy to see both peppers and zucchini on the list so that I could use it in one of our favorite, kid friendly, regular supper recipes, Chickpea Curry, served over rice or thin egg noodles.

Chickpea Curry 
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely chopped or minced
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. each red or yellow or green pepper, chopped
1/2 c. zucchini, chopped
1 tbsp. each of cumin, ground coriander, and curry powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. canned diced tomatoes, drained
3 c. chickpeas
1 can coconut milk

Saute on med-high heat, onion, garlic and ginger in oil until onions are soft.  Add peppers and zucchini and cook until soft (5-7 min).  Add spices and salt and cook for 2-3 min stirring frequently.  Add coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and chickpeas.  Bring to a boil, turn down heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 min.  

I hope you enjoy my recipes and meal ideas, and I would love to see you comment with your ideas.  Enjoy!

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