Thursday, July 21, 2011

This Saturday - First Time the Youth Leaders Do Harvest on Their Own

We are so very excited because this Saturday is the first day the youth leaders will be running the harvest entirely on their own (Matt and I won't be there).  They are excited as well!  They are going to be superb.  It's a great time to volunteer to help out -- many hands make for light work (or something to that effect).

Enjoy and Matt and I will miss you this weekend!

Basic but Delicious Garden Salad

One of my favorite salads to make could not be any easier.  Just toss  these ingredients:
  • lettuce of your choice (romaine, mixed baby greens, baby spinach, red leaf lettuce, etc.)
  • whatever veggies you have on hand (tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, thinly sliced or chopped fresh summer squash, mushrooms, chopped green onions or thinly sliced red onions, etc.)
  • fresh herbs (I love basil, parsley, and chives -- but any could work and will give you different variety for your salads)
  • olives of choice (kalamata, black, green, etc.)
  • opt.:  cheese of choice (feta, parmasiano reggiano, etc.)
  • opt. (to turn into a meal on its own):  beans (kidney, garbanzo, black, etc.) or meat
  • a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and good/fresh balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste (I like to use Himlayan sea salt and coarse ground black pepper -- I also sometimes add Costco's organic no salt seasoning)
Voila!  Dinner is done lickety split, oh so healthy, and delicious (it's the fresh herbs that really make the salad).

What to Do with Patty Pan Squash

Here are some ideas of what to do with those adorable flower-shaped patty pan squash you receive each week:

You can of course chop them and include them in any dish you would normally use zucchini or yellow squash (all the summer squash are interchangeable in any recipe that calls for them).

Saute or Add Fresh to Quinoa, Brown Rice, or Pasta:

I like to dice mine in 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces (using the Vidalia Onion chopper is my favorite, actually my son's favorite, thing to do).  I then include them in quinoa, brown rice, or pasta dishes with some good extra virgin olive oil (Costco's garlic extra virgin olive oil is delicious! -- or Sigona's has some wonderful different varieties of olive oil also), other veggies (tomatoes, peppers, green onions, and/or zucchini or yellow squash), fresh herbs (basil, parsley, chives, and/or cilantro), salt and pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime, olives of your choice, and some feta or grated parmagiano reggiano cheese.

You don't even have to saute the veggies when they are cut this size -- just add them to warm brown rice, quinoa, or pasta and eat up.  Delicious!  You can also do this but use your favorite salad dressing and it's great too.

Baked Patty Pan Slices with Fresh Herbs:

You can also slice the patty pan (or any other summer squash) into 1/4 inch slices, drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake at 350 degrees until fork tender (15-30 min., depending on how many you use).  Toss with some chopped basil (or other fresh herbs) and eat up!

Baked Whole, Stuffed Patty Pan Squash:

Another option is to steam the patty pan squash whole in 1 inch of water for 10 min. or until the stem can be pierced by a fork with little resistance.  Then, cut the stem off and scoop out the squash (a melon baller works well).

You can then make a stuffing of your choice of flavor to add the reserved squash to, re-stuff the patty pan squash, and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 min. (again, depends on how many you do).  It makes a beautiful dish to serve guests.

For the stuffing, you can use a bacon, sauteed onion, bread crumb, parmesan cheese mixture with the reserved squash or experiment and find your own favorite.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spaghetti Squash and Sauteed Vegetables

Baked spaghetti squash strands can serve in the place of spaghetti noodles for any recipe that you would use those noodles for.  You can toss them with marinara sauce or good extra virgin olive oil with feta or grated parmagiano reggiano (or your cheese of choice) and sauteed vegetables, olives, and chopped fresh herbs (basil, oregano, parsley, or any combination) with a squeeze of fresh lemon, if you'd like

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise
and seeded
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup diced squash (zucchini, yellow, etc.) and diced red bell pepper

1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (or your cheese of choice
3 Tbsp. sliced black olives (or your olives of choice)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (variation:  parsley, chives, etc.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 min. in the preheated oven or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic in hot pan for 30 seconds. Add onion and saute until tender (3 or so min.). Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm (30 seconds or so).
4. Use a fork or large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in a med. bowl. Toss with the sauteed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Serve warm.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Our Bags - a work in progress

We are gradually working out the particulars for the weekly bags of veggies (e.g., size, type of bags, etc.).  Right now, those receiving bags of veggies are getting a bunch of extra veggies in their bags as we share our bumper crop. 

We have 9 people signed up to receive weekly bags of veggies and hope to get up to 20 people for this season.  Hopefully soon, we will be able to reach our goals (spread the word).

Here are some pics of the bags of veggies:
These bags are a definite improvement (visually) from the ones given last week:

Latest News - Harvest Table and Youth Leaders

As part of his Eagle project, Sam made us a beautiful harvest table that is an essential part of our weekly harvesting.  Thank you, Sam!  We absolutely love it!

In other news, we are getting the organization staffed with youth.  So far, we have two youth directors and two youth advisors.  We still need three more youth advisors and eventually some youth staff.  Let us know if you have any ideas for youth who would like to help run the farm (email us at

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Herb-marinated Grilled Vegetables

Makes 6 to 8 serving.

3/4 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
3 zucchini (and/or yellow squash)
2 large onions
1 eggplant

Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl.

Cut bell peppers into large pieces, discarding seeds and membranes. Cut zucchini and onions into large pieces. Slice eggplant into 1/2-inch slices. Add vegetables to marinade; toss to coat. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

Remove vegetables from marinade, reserving marinade. Grill, uncovered, over medium-high heat (350º to 400º) 10 to 12 minutes or until just tender, basting occasionally with reserved marinade. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Coastal Living, MAY 2003

Quinoa and Grilled Zucchini with Avocado Dressing

Serves 4 to 6

This quinoa and grilled zucchini bowl (or platter) is tossed with a pretty, pale green cilantro-flecked avocado dressing. It makes more than you will use for this particular recipe, but it's great to have the extra on hand to add to salads or grilled veggies throughout the rest of the week. If you dislike cilantro feel free to substitute chopped chives. You can even throw in some jalepeno.

1 large avocado, ripe
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 c lightly packed cilantro
1 clove garlic
1/4 c plain yogurt
3/4 c water
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt

3 large eggs

1 large zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch thick coins
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
Couple pinches of fine grain sea salt

2 c quinoa, cooked, room temperature
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
1/4 c goat cheese, crumbled
A bit of chopped cilantro for garnish

Prepare the cilantro-avocado dressing by blending the avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, yogurt, water, and salt in a blender (or us a hand blender). Set aside.

Hard boil the three eggs. Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so - long enough to stop the cooking. Set aside.

While the eggs are cooling start preparing the zucchini by tossing it with olive oil and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Prepare your grill (medium-high heat). If you are worried about the zucchini coins falling through the grill you can thread them onto kabob skewers (stab through the green skin). Grill until zucchini are tender and cooked through, roughly 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and cut each zucchini coin into quarters.

Crack and peel each egg, cut each egg into quarters lengthwise. Assemble the salad by tossing the quinoa with about 2/3 cups of the avocado vinaigrette. Top with the grilled zucchini, pine nuts, eggs, goat cheese, and a bit of chopped cilantro for garnish. I serve this family-style, but you could do individual platings.

Carrot, Dill, & White Bean Salad Recipe

Serves 6 - 8 as a side  

1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp fine grain salt
1/2 c thinly sliced shallots

more olive oil (or ghee) for cooking
2 c sliced carrots, cut 1/4-inch thick on deep bias
3 c cooked white beans
Scant 1/4 c chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or honey)
1/3 c sliced almonds, toasted

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and shallots in a small bowl. Stir and set aside.

In your largest skillet over medium high heat, toss the carrots with a splash of olive oil or a spoonful of ghee. Let them cook in a single layer - they'll give off a bit of water at first. Keep cooking, tossing gently every three or four minutes until the carrots are deeply browned. All told, about twelve minutes.

Add the beans and dill to the skillet and cook for another five minutes, or until the beans are well heated through. If you are using beans that weren't canned, you can allow them to brown a bit as well (just cook a bit longer, and stir less frequently) - they can handle this in a way that most canned beans can't. If you need to add a bit more olive oil to the pan - do so.

Place the contents of the skillet in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with the brown sugar and pour the 3/4 of the lemon-olive oil mixture over the top. Toss gently. Let sit for ten minutes. Toss gently once again, taste and adjust with more salt or sugar or lemon juice if needed to balance the flavors.

Rosemary Pasta in Roasted Garlic Sauce

Serving: 6 as first course or 4 as main course

1 lb spaghetti
4 Tbsp olive oil
1⁄2 c finely chopped onions
6 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
1 c chicken stock
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus 4 to 6 sprigs for garnish
1⁄4 c grated Parmesan cheese, more for the table
Kosher salt to taste
Cracked black pepper to taste

In a large saute pan over low-med heat, saute the onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until deep golden brown (approx. 5-7 minutes). Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.

Add chicken stock and the chopped rosemary. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until reduced by a third, about 6 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large pot, add 3 quarts of water and about 3 tablespoons sea salt or Kosher salt and bring to a full rolling boil. Add the spaghetti, return to a boil and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain in a colander and add the pasta to the sauce in the pan. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the cheese, mix well. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in a large bowl, family style, or place about 1 cup of pasta in a large mug or small bowl. Insert a dinner fork in the center of the pasta and twirl the fork around, holding the mug steady. The pasta will wind up tighter and tighter as you turn. Remove the fork and immediately turn the pasta out onto a dinner plate or shallow bowl. Garnish with extra cheese and rosemary sprigs. 

Roasted Beet and Grapefruit Salad

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 15 min
Serves: 6 servings

6 small beets
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 med ruby red grapefruit
2 oz alfalfa sprouts, trimmed

Salad dressing:
1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
1 med shallot, minced
3 pinches salt
10 grinds black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Thyme leaves from 10 delicate sprigs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Toss whole beets in olive oil and roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until fork tender. Remove beets from oven and let cool 5 minutes before peeling. Slice the beets into eighths.

Remove the peel of the grapefruit with a sharp knife, cutting all the way down to the grapefruit flesh. Then cut the individual grapefruit segments out from their skin, using the supreme technique. Place the grapefruit segments in a bowl. Take the inner grapefruit remains and squeeze whatever juice you can out of it over the top of the grapefruit segments in the bowl.

Make the dressing by mixing together all the dressing ingredients along with all the juice that you can strain from the bowl of grapefruit.

Make a little heap of alfalfa in the middle of the plate. Scatter the cut beets around the plate. Pinch off pieces of the grapefruit segments and scatter them around the plate. Drizzle generously with dressing; top with a couple more grinds black pepper and serve.

Savory Petite Green Beans

¼ c sliced almonds
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 c whole green beans

2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp peeled fresh ginger, minced

3 Tbsp thinly sliced green onions
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Place almonds in small nonstick skillet.  Stir over medium heat until almonds are lightly toasted, about 3-5 minutes.  Do not take your eye off of the almonds (they are so easy to burn).  Increase heat to medium-high, add 1 tsp olive oil and minced garlic, stir until garlic is lightly browned, about 1 minute.  Set aside and cool.

Steam green beans to bright green and crisp tender (approx. 10 min., depending on amount).  Remove from heat, drain in a colander and immediately plunge beans into ice cold water to stop the cooking.  Drain and set aside.

Whisk rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and soy sauce in large bowl to blend.  Add beans and toss to coat.  Add green onions and almond/garlic mix.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Arugula and Romaine Salad with Walnuts and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings 
2 c arugula leaves, washed and trimmed
2 hearts romaine lettuce (or lettuce of choice), coarsely chopped
1 c walnut halves, lightly toasted
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
6 oz, (1 cup) blue cheese crumbles  
Chill salad plates when you begin preparing your entree.
When your entree is almost ready to serve, combine arugula and romaine leaves and separate onto 4 chilled salad plates. Scatter toasted walnuts evenly among the salads. Pour vinegar into a small bowl and whisk in extra-virgin olive oil in a slow stream to combine dressing. Season dressing with salt and pepper, then stir in blue cheese crumbles. Ladle dressing evenly over top of salad plates and serve.   
Recipe by Rachael Ray

Gourmet Green Salad with Citrus Dressing

Serves 4-6

1 clove garlic, pressed
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
5 Tbsp champagne or white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 Tbsp prepared mustard
1 (16 oz) mixed baby greens (or any lettuce of choice)
2 red apples, cored and roughly diced
1 carrot, thinly sliced/julienned or shaved with vegetable peeler
1/2 c walnuts, chopped

Stir together garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, honey and prepared mustard. Chill for at least one hour.

Toss together greens, apples and carrots. Drizzle with dressing and toss.

Sprinkle on walnuts and serve.

15 Green Smoothies in 3 Minutes (Raw Family)

#1.  1 Banana, 1 Papaya, 2 leaves Swiss Chard, 2 cups water
#2.  1 bunch Dandelions, 1 Banana, 1 Pear, 1 Mango, 2 cups water
#3.  3 leaves of Romaine Lettuce, ½ an Avocado, ½ Fuji Apple, 1 Banana, 2 cups water
#4.  5 leaves Purple Kale, ½ Orange, ½ Fuji Apple, small piece of Ginger, ½ an Avocado, Orange slices to decorate.
#5.  1 cup frozen Strawberries, 1 Banana, 1 Mango, 2 cups water, 2 leaves Rainbow Chard
#6.  1 large handful of Spinach, 1 Banana, 1 cup frozen Strawberries, 1 Orange, small piece of Ginger, 2 cups water
#7.  1 young Coconut, ½ of a small Pineapple, ½ Pear, 5 Leaves of Romaine Lettuce
#8.  1 cup frozen Raspberries, 5 leaves Red Leaf Lettuce, 1 Red Apple, 1 Green Apple, ½ of a small Pineapple, 2 cups water
#9.  1 large handful of Spinach, ¾ of Orange Bell Pepper, ½ an Avocado, 3 cloves Garlic, 2 Tomatoes, 2 cups of water (Savory Smoothie)
#10.  ½ an Avocado, 2 Tomatoes, pinch of Cayenne Pepper, pinch of Salt, ½ of a Red Onion, 1 bunch Parsley, 1 Orange Bell Pepper, 2 cups water (Savory Smoothie)
#11.  2 Bananas, 3 pieces of Celery, 1 head of Red Leaf Lettuce, 2 cups water
#12.  2 leaves Purple Kale, 2 leaves Collard Greens, 2 Bananas, ½ an Asian Pear, 2 cups water, 1 cup frozen Raspberries
#13.  1 cup frozen Blueberries, ¼ pound Spinach, 1 Orange, 1 cup water
#14.  4 Tomatoes, 1 Red Bell Pepper, 1bunch Basil, ½ an Avocado
#15.  4 leaves Collard Greens, 4 leaves, Purple Kale, 2 Leaves Rainbow Chard, ½ an Asian Pear, ½ Pear, small piece of Ginger, 1 Banana, 1 cup frozen Blueberries, 2 cups water.
Recipes from the video:

Basic Green Smoothie (Green Smoothie Girl)

Makes 8 cups of 100% raw smoothie.

Put 2 1/2 cups filtered water in your turbo blender (a regular blender will work ok--just blend longer).

Optionally, add:
¼ whole lemon, including peel (anti-skin cancer, high in flavanoids)
2-3 Tbsp. fresh, refrigerated flax oil (omega-3 rich oil)
½ tsp. stevia (herbal sweetener) or ¼ c raw, organic agave

Gradually add greens until, briefly pureed, the mixture comes up the 5-cup line (or less if you are “converting”):
¾-1 lb. raw, washed greens, added up to 5 ½ cup line (after blended): spinach, chard, kale, collards
Puree greens mixture for 90 seconds until very smooth.

Gradually add fruit until the container is very full, blend 90 seconds or until smooth:
1-2 bananas
1-2 cups frozen mixed berries
any other fruit to taste: pears, peaches, apples, oranges, apricots, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple

Make a full blender and you’ll have some to drink, and some to share.

Tips:  For beginners and those trying to convert children, consider using LESS greens and MORE fruit (especially berries and bananas) in the beginning, gradually working up to a 50/50 ratio as described here.  With kids, consider using only spinach the first few days, then sneak in chard, collards, and kale, the other mild but excellent greens gradually.  Add other savory or bitter greens only when your family are “experts” in green smoothies!  Add a bit more water if you feel the smoothie is too thick.

Roasted Salmon With Zucchini, Lemon, and Dill

Prep: 20 minutes Total: 35 minutes
Serves 4

Besides flavoring the salmon and zucchini while cooking, the roasted lemon wedges can be squeezed over the fish at the table.

1 1/2 lbs (about 3 medium) zucchini, cut diagonally into 1-inch-thick pieces
2 lemons, quartered, seeds removed
8 sprigs fresh dill
2 Tbsp olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 (about 8 oz each) skinless salmon fillets

Heat broiler, with rack 4 inches from heat. Combine zucchini, lemons, and dill on a large rimmed broiler-proof baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat.

Nestle salmon fillets in the middle of the vegetables.  Season generously with salt and pepper. Broil until vegetables are tender and fish is opaque throughout, 15 to 20 minutes.