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Local Box Meal Plan, January 16-20

It’s hard to believe we’re getting this Local Box in the middle of winter! I suppose cauliflower, kale, and butternut squash are winter staples, but the rest of the box feels like a big breath of spring.
The cauliflower in this week’s box weighs between 2-4 lbs, plenty for a main dish for four people, or two main dishes for two people. I’m going to use it twice in this week’s menu, and if there is extra, I am going to make Jote’s recipe for sriracha cauliflower as a snack.
Here’s what’s coming in the Local Box:

  • Daikon Bunch with Greens – My Father’s Farm
  • Cauliflower – Hillside Farms
  • Butternut Squash – Gundermann Acres
  • Lime – G&S Groves
  • Oranges – G&S Groves
  • Rutabaga Bunch – Just Peachy Farms
  • Kale – Gundermann Acres
  • Avocados – G&S Groves
  • Green Leaf OR Red Leaf OR Bibb Lettuce – Gundermann Acres
  • Tomatoes – Walnut Creek Organics

Here’s what I’m cooking with the bounty:

Meal one: Lettuce, orange and pecan salad, low carb cauliflower leek soup. Watch out for that soup recipe– it easily serves 12 people! Use the recipe calculator function on the Allrecipes website to scale down the portions for your family. Also, since there haven’t been leeks in the Local Box for weeks now, I will substitute a finely chopped yellow onion for the leeks in that recipe.

Meal two: Cauliflower tomato curry with pita bread and avocado hummus. That avocado hummus tastes great if you use lime juice instead of lemon. When you chill the hummus in the fridge, make sure to put a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the avocado mixture to help keep it from turning brown.

Meal three: Chicken and Rutabaga Stew. I am going to live adventurously and add peeled, chopped daikon radish to this stew. Daikon cooks very much like turnip and other root vegetables, so I think it will fit right in here. This stew tastes great served over bulgar wheat, couscous, or brown rice.

Meal four: We’re doing breakfast for dinner this night, with butternut squash breakfast bowls. Just looking at the pictures of that breakfast bowl makes me crave poached eggs and kale together. YUM!  Roasting the squash for that recipe will take some time, so you can do that step ahead of time if you wish: just peel and dice the squash and bake it at 350 for 30-40 minutes until it is tender. Store it in the fridge until you’re ready to make dinner.

Greenling is Expanding!

We'll be sourcing local items from DFW-area farms, like The Farm at Paul Quinn College.

After growing the local food system in Austin for 6 years, Greenling is going to help our friends up north, too!

We’re setting up shop in DFW and couldn’t be more excited. We’re making friends with all the North Texas local and sustainable producers we can find, and later this month will start delivering their local goodness all over the DFW Metroplex.

We need your help spreading the word to your family and friends in DFW- and we’ll make it worth your while! We’re giving away an iPad2 with a foodie spin – it’s pre-loaded with all kinds of fun food and sustainability apps.

It’s super easy  to enter- everyone who likes our Greenling DFW page on Facebook is entered, plus anyone who enters their zip code and joins our DFW email list gets an extra entry. Finally, you get yet another entry for everyone who joins our email list from your referral! How cool is that?

Mashed Rutabagas

Rutabagas are coming! Rutabagas are coming! We’re expecting a big shipment of these nutritious root vegetables from Just Peachy Farms in Palestine, Texas next week.

Rutabagas are in the brassica family of vegetables, along with turnips, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts.  They’re one of our favorite winter items, since they cook up well in recipes with potatoes, carrots, beef and other hearty fare.

Just Peachy’s rutabagas are small and tender, with a mild flavor. They are still in the ground as we speak, and farmer Billy Moore will be harvesting them for our Local Box over the weekend. In preparation for the harvest, Billy shared with us one of his favorite rutabaga recipes:

Mashed Rutabagas and Onions (serves 4-6)
4-6 cups peeled, diced rutabaga
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook rutabaga and onion in a small amount of boiling salted water until tender. Drain and mash; add butter, salt, and pepper. Mash rutabaga and onions well.

Lettuce Wrap Up 2011

In light of our exciting news that Greenling is expanding to Dallas, we thought we’d do some veggie math and evaluate how the past year in Central Texas looked for local food.

Despite a devastating historical drought, our hard-working local farmers thankfully persevered and still managed to dish out thousands of pounds of local goodness for all of us to enjoy. Can we get a woop woop for this amazing group of farmers?

Without further ado, ‘lettuce’ wrap-up 2011:

  • 20,369 Local Boxes were delivered- that’s about 142,583 lbs of local produce on Central Texas tables this year.
  • In addition, we delivered about 20,000 lbs of local produce in addition to what was in the Local Box
  • 54 different local farms provided the local goodness we delivered this year

Animal Farm in Central Texas

  • We estimate that because all of our local growers use sustainable methods, they saved over 150,000 pounds of pesticides NOT used on our food this year!
  • Since you ‘lettuce’ deliver your groceries in our fuel-efficient & sustainably routed trucks, 9,735 gallons of gas were saved on trips to the store.
  • Hundreds of thousands of ladybugs fed through organic pest control methods.
  • 13,800 meals made ridiculously easy and with all local and organic ingredients from our recipe kits.

Our awesome Prep Kitchen Team!

  • Countless food puns brainstormed at Greenling headquarters (only the best ones make it public, you know)

It was a great year and we know 2012 will be even better for local food. Thanks from the bottom of our artichoke hearts for all of your support!

Local Box Meal Plan- January 9-13

Greenling Local Box, January 9-13

Oh boy! There are mustard greens and spinach coming in this week’s Local Box! I have been waiting for this combination of greens all winter to make Sarson Ka Saag, a wonderful and spicy Indian curry, served with roti or naan.

My family usually turns up their nose at mustard greens, but the heat and texture of these spicy greens is just perfect for Indian preparation. We will definitely be having that dish on Wednesday night when our Local Box arrives!

Here’s a list of the Local Box contents:

  • Mustard Greens – Lund Produce
  • Komatsuna/ Mizuna Bag – My Father’s Farm
  • Green OR Red OR Bibb Lettuce – Gundermann Acres
  • Green OR Savoy Cabbage OR Spinach – Gundermann Acres
  • Crimini Mushrooms – Kitchen Pride
  • Mint – My Father’s Farm
  • Green Onion OR Green Garlic OR White Turnips – Animal Farm or Fruitful Hill Farm
  • Tangerine – G&S Groves
  • Yellow Onion – Engel Farms
  • Butternut Squash – Gundermann Acres

Here’s what we’ll be eating the rest of the week:

Meal one: Sarson Ka Saag (Mustard Green Curry) with Naan and jasmine rice. This dish calls for Mustard Greens and Spinach, but you could definitely substitute the Mizuna/Komatsuna for the Spinach if you wish. Chopping the greens very fine, with a food processor if you have one, is key to the creamy consistency that makes this curry sing.

Meal two: We’re only getting 7 or 8 crimini mushrooms in the Local Box, so they’ll definitely need to be paired with something else to make a full dish. I’m going to try this Roasted Butternut Squash with Green Onions and Mushrooms, along with some local, organic link sausage as the main dish.

Meal three: This wilted lettuce salad is to die for, and I think its flavors would really compliment French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. If we don’t eat all the tangerines for snacks during the week, I’ll serve those on the side for dinner.

Meal four: Wok sauteed mizuna with minced chicken. If we get cabbage, I’ll grate the whole thing and cook it along with the mizuna in this recipe, making sure to double the liquid ingredients in the recipe so that there’s plenty of sauce.

Bonus: I can’t figure out a good way to use the mint in any of the dishes above, so I’ll probably use it to make mint ice cubes. Mint ice cubes are super easy, and a great incentive to drink more water during the day!

Five Ingredient Breakfast Casserole

Happy New Year! It’s the second Meatless Monday of 2012, and we’re continuing our series of super-easy vegetarian recipes for January.

My family loves “breakfast for dinner” once in a while, and this quick and easy breakfast casserole is on heavy rotation at my house.  Leafy greens, local eggs,  and fresh potatoes make this casserole much healthier than your typical cheese-laden hashbrown supper, and it’s very quick to put together.  It makes a ton of leftovers, too– perfect for breakfasts later in the week!

One thing that really helps with all the chopping in this (and most any) vegetarian supper is a food processor. I used both attachments that came with my machine to prepare this dinner, and the whole thing came together in about 10 minutes of hands-on time.

 

Slicing Disk

Chopping Blade

If you don’t have a food processor, plan to add about 10 minutes to the prep time for chopping, whisking, and slicing.

Five Ingredient Breakfast Casserole (serves 18-24)

1 yellow onion
1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (about 5 medium potatoes)
1 bunch tender greens, stems removed
18 eggs
2 cups milk or plain soymilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9×13 casserole dish.

Wash the potatoes and tender greens and pat dry. Peel the onion and chop it into quarters. Chop the potatoes into quarters. Slice the potatoes and onion very thinly by feeding them through a food processor fitted with the slicing disk. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add potatoes and onion to the skillet and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While potatoes and onions are cooking, fit the food processor with the chopping blade and finely chop the greens. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs with the milk. (The chopping blade of the food processor is perfect for this, too, if you have a large enough machine. Watch out, though– overfilling the bowl of the food processor makes a big, egg-y mess.)

Once potatoes and onions are softened, place them in an even layer in the prepared casserole dish. Top with the chopped greens. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the casserole. Bake for 40 minutes, until the middle of the casserole is set and the edges are golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Local Box Meal Plan, Jan. 2-6

Happy New Year! The new year brings lots of first-time cooks to the Local Box Blog, so we’re going to focus on easy recipes in this month’s meal plan. I qualify “easy” recipes as those that take 30 minutes or less of hands-on time to prepare. Easy recipes also use basic pantry items and common kitchen tools– nothing too expensive or tricky to procure.

As always, I’ll include some tips and ideas for making substitutions in the linked recipes. Please leave questions and suggestions in the comments!

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

  • Green Leaf, Red Leaf, or Bibb Lettuce – Gundermann Acres
  • Brussels Sprouts – Hillside Farms
  • Tender Greens Bag – Just Peachy Farm
  • Green Garlic OR Spring Onion Bunch – Fruitful Hill Farm OR Animal Farm
  • Daikon OR Watermelon Radish – Tecolote or Fruitful Hill Farm
  • Oranges – G&S Groves
  • Grapefruit – G&S Groves
  • Sweet Potato – Gundermann Acres
  • Yellow Onion – Engel Farms

Here’s what’s cooking:

Meal one: A big salad made with chopped lettuce, a handful of chopped tender greens, 1/4 cup chopped spring onion tops, a can of chickpeas, and sliced radish. This grapefruit vinaigrette looks easy to make since the grapefruit juice can reduce  while I am chopping vegetables.

Meal two: Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Shallots. Slice the white parts of the green garlic or spring onion and substitute for the shallots in that recipe.

Meal three: I’ll use bacon, which I have on hand, instead of salt pork in this recipe for turnip greens with turnips. I’ll also add one chopped yellow onion during the first step of the recipe. That recipe takes about 90 minutes to prepare, total, but only 20 minutes of that is hands-on time. On the side, I’ll serve orange slices.

Meal four: Pasta with caramelized onions and brussels sprouts. I’m skipping the bacon in this recipe– the meal should cook up fine without it if I use 2 tablespoons of olive oil and no bacon grease to saute the veggies.  I’ll substitute a thinly sliced yellow onion for the shallots in Martha’s recipe.