Monthly Archives: August 2011

Local Box Meal Plan, August 29- September 2nd

Oh, boy! Am I excited about the upcoming weekend. First, it’s the start of college football season and therefore, tailgate season. Second, it’s a long weekend thanks to Labor Day. And finally, it’s the beginning of fall tomato season! Woohoo!!

Lucky for us, there are several natural tomato complements in our Local Box this week–peppers, watermelon, nopales and herbs– making menu planning even easier than usual. Here’s a rundown of the local goodness:

  • Tomatoes – Pedernales Farms 
  • Large Watermelon – Gundermann Acres
  • Nopales (Cactus) – My Father’s Farm
  • Lentil Sprouts – Groovy Greens
  • Pickling Cucumbers- Gundermann Acres
  • Basil Or Other Herb – Gundermann OR Pure Luck
  • Pinto Beans – Just Peachy Farm
  • Limes – G&S Grove
  • Peppers- Engel Farm OR Comanche Oaks
And here’s what’s cooking for the week. 

Meal 1: Egg salad sandwiches with cucumber and basil, Watermelon salad with mint and feta. The best part about this menu is that besides boiling the eggs, there’s no cooking necessary.

Meal 2: I’m planning to set up a Frito-pie buffet during the football game so that folks can help themselves to chili, chips, shredded cheese, diced onions, diced peppers and sour cream. That chili recipe uses tomatoes, fresh pinto beans and peppers from this week’s Local Box.

Meal 3: We’ll atone for our game day sins with a healthy meal of Lentil Sprout Curry and rice. That particular recipe calls for mustard greens, which are in season in Texas during cooler months. A package of frozen chopped spinach or even fresh chopped nopales would make fine substitutes.

Meal 4: Nopales and tomato tacos with corn tortillas, cotija cheese, diced peppers and lime wedges to garnish. If you’re nervous about working with cactus, here’s a great video demonstration of how to clean and prepare nopales.

Website Improvements, Thanks to You!

Thanks to feedback from our customers, we’ve made some improvements to the Greenling website. It’s now easier to subscribe and unsubscribe from newsletters, add one-time purchases to your basket, and to find out what’s coming in the Local Box, just to mention a few. Check out a rundown of all the improvements here and visit Greenling.com to use the new features.

Meatless Monday: Curried Sprouted Lentils w/ Ginger & Garlic Cilantro Sauce

From TheNourishingGourmet.com

Makes 4-6 servings

If you’re getting a Local Box this week, you’ve already got Sprouted Lentils coming your way! If not, you can add them to your basket individually too– they are nutrient packed and local from Groovy Greens in Blanco, TX.

Make the flavorful raw cilantro sauce while the lentils are cooking. Since it’s Hatch season, try throwing a Hatch Chile in place of the Anaheim for some extra heat.

ng_curriedsprouts

Curried Sprouted Lentils with a Ginger and Garlic Cilantro Sauce

About 3 cups of sprouted lentils and 3 cups of sprouted wheat, or another 3 cups of sprouted lentils (this is measured loosely, i.e. I didn’t press the sprouts down at all)
2 tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups of water

In a large saucepan with a lid, heat oil over medium high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add onions and cook while stirring for about 4 minutes, until the onion is starting to soften. Then add the garlic, curry powder and cloves and cook for about 30 seconds longer and add the water.

Then add the lentils (and optional wheat, if using). Bring to a simmer with the lid on, then lower heat. Steam for 15-20 minutes until soft. If just using lentils, you can steam for even a little less.

Meanwhile, make your cilantro sauce.
1 bunch of cilantro, stemmed and washed
Either half of a large Aneheim pepper or one small one, seeded and cut into chunks
A heaping teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
3 small garlic cloves, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 lemon juiced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until everything is well combined and it’s at the consistency you want.

Serve the curried with lentils with a big spoonful of your cilantro sauce on top and enjoy.

Nopalitos with Tomatoes & Onions

From SimplyRecipes.com

Nopalitos with Tomatoes & Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 lb nopalitos, nopales prickly pear cactus paddles that have been stripped of spines, cleaned, and chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add red onion, garlic, and jalapeño.

Cook for a minute, stirring occasionally, then add the nopalitos. Cook for several more minutes. Then add the chopped tomato. Continue to cook until all vegetables are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 3 to 4.

Eco-Vacation Winners!

Congratulations to Greenling customers Becky & Matthew Laswell, who won an all inclusive trip to Playa Viva – a Sustainable Eco-Resort & Turtle Sancturary!

Check out the video above, chronicling our first (failed) attempt to surprise them with their prize.

Not the winner, don’t fret! We had so much fun with this giveaway we’re going to do it again next year- we love you guys that much!

Beware the “US Farmer & Rancher Alliance”

Beware the US Farmer & Rancher Alliance

Sounds like a perfectly legit organization, doesn’t it?

It’s comprised of some of the largest factory farm groups in the country, who are banding together to churn out propaganda about why factory farming isn’t so bad.

They are tired of films like Food Inc. & Farmageddon making them look bad, and are working together to combat the consumer advocacy groups and concerned citizens who insist on pointing out all the pesky pollution, animal cruelty and unsavory food conditions they perpetuate.

Check out this article for more info. If they’re tired of bad PR, we suggest they look internally at their methods rather than forming an alliance to continue lying to the public.

If you want to support a legit farmer’s alliance, check out FARFA. They’re doing some really cool things to support small scale, sustainable producers.

10 Things To Do with Summer Squash

Summer squash are the stuff of legend. Farmers love them because they survive even the hottest Texas summers, and they’re one of the most prolific plants around. Home cooks love them because they’re inexpensive and tasty. The only downside to summer squash season is figuring out what to do with all of it!

Summer Squash

"Summer Squash" by Ayngelina. Available under a creative-commons attribution license. © 2008, Ayngelina.

We’ve got you covered. Check out these cool ideas for how to use the army of zucchini and yellow squash that arrived this week in the Local Box.

1. Grate the squash and use it to cook low-carb hashbrowns. This is so simple: to each cup of grated squash, 1/4 cup grated onion and an egg white. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet and cook the hashbrowns over medium heat just as you would potatoes.

2. While the grater’s out, grab another squash and some gin to make a Zucchini-Tini.

"Martini" by Quinn Dombrowski, available under a creative commons license. © Quinn Dombrowski.

3. Oven baked zucchini chips are kid-friendly and would make a terrific addition to a school lunch box. To make them, slice a zucchini as thin as possible with a mandolin or sharp knife. Toss the slices in a few tablespoons of olive oil and season to taste with salt, pepper, chili powder and paprika. Bake the slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. It will take about two hours on your oven’s lowest setting for the chips to become crispy.

Zucchini Chips

"Zucchini Chips" by Ina Todoran, available under a Creative Commons license. © 2010 Ina Todoran.

4. You don’t really need to cook squash at all to enjoy them. Slice a few squash into 1/4 inch rounds and dip them like chips in Zucchini Hummus.

5. Most people have a favorite zucchini quick bread in their recipe box. This recipe for zucchini bread is unusual because it combines shredded zucchini with a traditional yeast dough, resulting in a perfectly tender cinnamon raisin bread that can be made by hand or in a bread machine.

6. Grilled zucchini is a cheap way to feed a crowd at a Labor Day cookout. Just slice a few summer squash lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices and toss in a bowl with Italian dressing. (About 1/4 cup dressing per squash.) Grill the zucchini slices until they’re tender, about 4 minutes per side.

"Grilled Zucchini" by Another Pint Please, available under a Creative Commons license. © 2009 Another Pint Please.

7. Another recipe for the grill: Grilled Sausage and Apple Stuffed Zucchini. This one would work with yellow squash or zucchini, but I think that acorn squash would be killer with the sweetness of apples. The Asian pears in this week’s Local Box would substituted well for the apples, too.

8. These zucchini dessert squares are like a traditional jam bar, but with a sweetened zucchini filling. You won’t believe it’s zucchini when you eat them– the filling tastes just like apples!

9. While we wait for pumpkins to come into season, try this zucchini pie recipe. I actually love this dish for breakfast. It really does taste like pumpkin pie, and I make it a little healthier by skipping the crust and baking the filling directly in a buttered pie pan or 8-inch square casserole dish.

10. Not a fan of zucchini pie? Elise Bauer’s popular zucchini chocolate cake should do the trick.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

"Chocolate Cake" by A Whisk and A Spoon, available under Creative Commons License.