Monthly Archives: December 2011

Local Sake Now Available!

Texas-made sake is a bit surprising, no?

Texas Sake Co. is not only the first sake producer in Texas; they’re also using organic Texas rice, making this brew the first organic alcohol made in Texas.

Texas Sake Co. produces 2 types of sake:

Nigori Cloud Junmai – Pictured on the left, above. This coarsely filtered sake, also known as “cloudy,”  is creamy and smooth with coconut & cider flavors.

Tokubetsu Junmai – Pictured on the right, above, is clear and pure, with rich apple and pear flavors.


**Please note due to TABC regulations, we can only deliver alcohol to Travis Country residents. Sorry!

Local Box Meal Plan 12/26- 12/30


There are lots and lots of greens coming in this week’s Local Box– perfect for salads, stir-fries and other healthy meals to offset all the rich foods we ate over the holiday weekend. I am particularly pleased to see how large and crunchy the lettuce and mustard greens are this week. Each of those will easily yield enough for a main dish for two people.

Here’s what’s coming in the Local Box:

  • Mustard Greens – Lund Produce
  • Baby Spinach Bag – My Father’s Farm
  • Kale – My Father’s Farm
  • Red Leaf, Romaine, Green Leaf or Bibb Lettuce – Fruitful Hill Farms
  • Grapefruit – G&S Groves
  • Meyer Lemon – G&S Groves
  • Yellow Onion – Engel Farms
  • Butternut Squash – Gundermann Acres
  • Sweet Potato – Gundermann Acres
  • Watermelon Radish – Fruitful Hill Farm

Here’s what I’m planning to make with the bounty:

Meal one: Massaged kale salad with mangos, pepitas, and lemon vinaigrette. I have never encountered a salad recipe where you “massage” the kale to tenderize it, but I can see how that might work well to improve the texture.  Instead of the mango that recipe calls for, I’ll  cube and roast a butternut squash. The sweetness from the squash should work really well with the meyer lemon vinaigrette and pepitas in the original recipe.

Meal two: The lettuce in this week’s box is HUGE and crunchy– perfect for pairing with sliced watermelon radish and this creamy onion salad dressing in a quick salad. Steamed sweet potatoes sprinkled with salt and meyer lemon juice will make an easy side dish.

Meal three: Some people enjoy mustard greens in salad, but I find their flavor better suited for Indian cuisine, as in this recipe for Chickpea Dal with Mustard Greens. I’ll make a double portion of rice for this meal, and save half for meal four.

Meal four: Chicken and grapefruit stir-fry with rice. This recipe uses a whole grapefruit, and it tastes great. Use half a yellow onion, chopped, in place of the scallions, and the bag of baby spinach instead of snow peas.

Happy Hollandaise from Greenling!

Image courtesy Heifer International

It’s holiday thyme here at Greenling, and we’re celebrating by giving back in Central Texas, and around the world. Thanks to your generosity, our Buy One Give One organic turkey promotion was a tremendous success.

This week, we delivered a truckload of organic turkeys, stuffing, green beans, corn, and cranberry sauce to Brown Santa of Travis County. The warehouse elves at Brown Santa eagerly accepted our delivery, and gave us a tour of the gifts, clothes, and other items they have been collecting for families in need. Brown Santa will be delivering holiday dinners, toys, and other assistance to thousands of families in Central Texas today.

Families across the world, too, will benefit from the generosity of Greenling customers. By adding a small donation to their regular grocery orders, Greenling customers donated over $500 to Heifer International this year. Heifer International is one of our favorite charities, because it breaks the cycle of poverty by teaching poor families how to obtain sustainable sources of food and income.

Heifer International will use Greenling’s donation to send a heifer to a family in an impoverished area of the world. A good dairy cow can produce four gallons of milk a day – enough for a family to drink and share with neighbors. Milk protein helps transform sick, malnourished children into healthy boys and girls. The sale of surplus milk earns money for school fees, medicine, clothing and home improvements.

Thank you for making local and organic food part of your family’s celebrations this holiday season. We treasure all the holiday cards, photos, recipes and stories about local goodness you’ve shared with us this year.

With your support, our mission to fix the food system, support local sustainable producers and make real food available to everyone gets closer and closer to becoming a reality.

Organic Entertaining for under $10 per person, including wine

Image by CJ Martin. Licensed for commercial reuse by Creative Commons.

Serving local and organic food to holiday guests  can sound like an expensive proposition, especially when you factor in the cost of multiple trips to the farmer’s market or grocery store to find everything that you need.

With the convenience and cost-savings of Greenling, you can entertain a holiday party of eight for under $10 per person, including wine. Our menu uses local and organic ingredients that you’ll be proud to serve, without breaking the bank.

Coincidentally, all the recipes in our menu are gluten-free except for the baguette. If your guests are Celiac, consider serving instead this local gluten-free focaccia bread from our friends at Wildwood Bakery.

Menu (serves 8):

Parmesan Crisps
Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Main Course
Mixed Green Salad with Garlic Honey Vinaigrette
Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup
Sweetish Hill Baguette with Garlic Herb Butter

Wine Poached Apples with Honey Whipped Cream

The menu costs were calculated using Greenling’s current prices and include all the pantry items you’ll need for the dinner except salt and pepper.

Shopping list:

6 oz. Local Parmesan Cheese
Local Baguette
8 oz. Organic Garlic & Herb Butter
1 Bulb Organic Garlic
1 lb. Local White Mushrooms
1 bunch Local Spinach
1 head Organic Lettuce
1 bunch Organic Arugula
1 Organic Onion
4 lbs. Local or Organic Tomatoes, seconds
6 Organic Apples, seconds
1, 500 ml Bottle Organic Olive Oil
1, 16 oz Bottle Apple Cider Vinegar

1 pint Organic Chicken Stock
1/2 pint Organic Whipping Cream
12 oz bottle Local Honey
2 bottles Natura Merlot Organic Wine

The price per person for the menu above is $9.78, including a glass of wine for each guest. Happy holidays, and thank you for including local and organic food in your family’s celebration!

Wine Poached Apples with Honey Whipped Cream

Image by J. Pescatore. Licensed for commercial reuse under Creative Commons.

The inspiration for this unusual holiday dessert comes from La Cucina Naturale, a wonderful cooking blog that offers recipes made with whole, healthy foods. In her recipe, she poaches chopped apples in red wine and spices, with a touch of honey for sweetness. Our version keeps the apples and adds homemade hone whipped cream as a garnish.

Adding nuts, pumpkin pie spice, or rum would help add another layer of sophistication to our base recipe, but it tastes great as-is. If you can’t find organic or local apples, pears work well in this recipe, too.

Merlot Poached Apples with Honey Whipped Cream (serves 8 )
6-8 organic apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 1/2 cup organic Merlot or other full-bodied red wine
6 tablespoons honey, divided
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Place the apple slices, wine, and three tablespoons of honey in a very small saucepan. The deeper the apples are submerged in the wine, the better. If your pot is too large for the apples to be completely submerged, add a little more wine. Bring the mixture to a boil slowly over medium low heat. Boil uncovered for about 30 minutes, until apples have softend and wine mixture has reduced.

Meanwhile, place whipping cream in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the cream until it begins to stiffen and peaks are beginning to form. Continue to whip the cream, drizzling in three tablespoons of hone, until stiff peaks form.

Serve the poached apples along with some cooking liquid in wine glasses, topping generously with whipped cream.

This dish is part of our Organic Entertaining on a Budget series. A complete menu of recipes is available here.

Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup

Image by Brett L. Licensed for commercial use under Creative Commons.

Tomato soup may not come to mind when you think of winter holiday entertaining, but thanks to the wonder of hydroponics, we’re getting beautiful local tomatoes all season long.

Greenling has a limited number of inexpensive “seconds” tomatoes available each week, which can be a real money-saver if you’re planning to cook tomatoes in bulk. These tomatoes are perfectly fresh and safe to eat; they are discounted because they usually arrive very ripe and might have a few cosmetic blemishes.

Since “seconds” tomatoes arrive so ripe, you might need to cook them immediately so they retain their great flavor. For this soup recipe, you can roast the tomatoes and garlic in advance of actually making the soup, since the cooked tomatoes and garlic will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to make the soup, just pull out the cooked ingredients and proceed with the recipe as written.

Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup (yields 8, 1 1/4-cup servings)

4 pounds tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
5 whole cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons garlic herb butter
4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus extra for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. Add unpeeled garlic cloves to baking sheet. Rub three tablespoons of olive oil on tomatoes and garlic, and then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Cook tomatoes and garlic for one hour. Allow to cool to the touch before peeling garlic and moving forward with recipe.

Heat herbed butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed stock pot. Saute the onion for about 5 minutes, until it has softened. Add honey, tomatoes, garlic, broth, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or puree it in small batches in a conventional blender. Pour soup through a food mill or strainer into a clean pot. Add heavy cream and stir to combine. Gently reheat, if necessary. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of heavy cream and a sprinkling of black pepper before serving.

This dish is part of our Organic Entertaining on a Budget series. A complete menu of recipes is available here.

Mixed Green Salad with Garlic Honey Vinaigrette

When it comes to holiday entertaining, it doesn’t get any easier than mixed greens and vinaigrette. This base recipe is ultra-simple and pared down to keep the budget low, but you can easily make the dish your own by adding chopped fruits, nuts, raw vegetables, or whatever you have available in your pantry.

Substituting three heaping tablespoons of raspberry preserves or orange marmalade for the honey and garlic in this recipe is a simple way to transform the dressing to a fruity vinaigrette. You can use a flavored vinegar to mix things up.

This recipe yields just over a cup of salad dressing– twice the portion than you need for a dinner party of eight. The extra dressing will keep well in a jar or bottle in the refrigerator. Just be sure to allow the dressing to come to room temperature before serving, since the olive oil will thicken when it is cold.

Mixed Green Salad with Garlic Honey Vinaigrette (serves 8)
2 cups loosely packed spinach leaves, stems removed
1 bunch leaf lettuce, stems removed
1 bunch arugula, tough stems removed
3/4 cup organic olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup local honey
2 garlic cloves, pressed into a paste
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Chop the spinach, lettuce, and arugula into bite sized pieces and place them in a large salad bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Toss salad with half of the dressing and serve immediately. Store the remaining dressing for another use.