PIZZA MADE MORE NUTRITIOUS
Sometimes we all get hurried and have to make a quick meal. Gone are the days of a plain store bought pizza. Even if you must start with one, you can change it up by adding a cup of fresh arugula (chop first and toss in lemon, pepper and olive oil), or sliced asparagus, or some fresh tomatoes. The possibilities are endless even if tomatoes are not available year around. We made this pizza using roasted tomatoes which we had in the freezer from late last summer. Nothing goes to waste in our household. Please don’t knock fresh frozen veggies if you’ve never tried them!
The photo on the left pizza stone is before baking. The right photo is the final product! This is the only way I can get Robert to eat arugula!
Or, make your own pizza from scratch. Or just buy shells and add your own pesto and veggies!
Just load the shell as much as you dare with any combination of our fresh & nutritious family-farmed greens or vegetables from squash and zucchini to eggplant!
HANDLING NEW POTATOES
All new potatoes, whether red, white, gold, or salad fingerlings, contain less starch than store bought potatoes and will be heavier in weight due to the moisture content. The tender skin can be rubbed off with a vegetable brush (or your fingers), if you desire. You will discover they have a creamy texture and are wonderful simply steamed and served with a dab of butter and perhaps, grated cheese.
Fingerlings and red potatoes may have somewhat pinkish flesh inside. These varieties are not commonly found in grocery stores precisely because most people like to see a “white flesh” only potato. There is nothing wrong with them and this hue largely disappears as they are cooked—much as purple asparagus, red cabbage and kale lose their vibrant colors when cooked.
Freshly dug potatoes will turn a greenish color when exposed to excessive sunlight due to the fact their skins are quite tender. This happens in the field if they grow too close to the top of the soil. This green color is TOXIC and must be peeled off before eating—the potato flesh beneath is fine. If tender, new potatoes are left in the light, the skin will turn greenish also. Consider all of our potatoes “new” and store them in a cool space and IN THE DARK under a newspaper or in a brown paper bag.
If in a couple of weeks you look into your potato bag and see little whitish or reddish things coming out of the potatoes, do not fear—your potatoes are simply sprouting! Never seen a potato sprout before? The reason is that most potatoes are routinely sprayed with a growth retardant to prevent them from sprouting. But, our potatoes are living food—thus they will sprout! The roots will not hurt the potato or you! Just rub them off with your fingers and prepare them as usual.
Also, please do not store potatoes in the refrigerator! This is the first vegetable for which refrigeration is not necessary. Cold storage causes a natural reaction whereby the starches turn to sugars. You can buy potatoes like this in any grocery store. We want you to taste our potatoes as living food! Simply store your potatoes in a paper bag in a dry, cool, dark place.
This is a gentle reminder . . . our potatoes come from the ground! The ground is wet!! And damp items stored in dark places will grow mold! Unless you are performing a science project, please check you potato bags when you first bring home your CSA Box. We recommend spreading out and air drying the potatoes overnight and then storing them in a dry paper bag. I do all of the CSA Box assembling and will do my best to never pack any “bad” potatoes. If you ever do receive any vegetables of poor quality, please call me immediately so I can replace them!
Meanwhile, please do your part to ensure the quality of your veggies which are harvested daily from the Cane Creek Asparagus & Company Fairview family farm soil and not from a climate and bacteriological controlled warehouse!
Starchy potatoes, like the long, brownish ones called russets have high starch and low water. Starchy potatoes are great for baking and French fries or smashed potatoes. When cooked in water, they tend to get mushy; when baked in an oven, they become crumbly and fluffy.
All-purpose, or chef’s potatoes, like Yukon Golds have medium starch and medium water. All-purpose potatoes are great in stews, soups, mashed potatoes, or for roasting. When cooked, they are at once moist and fluffy: they keep most of their shape in soups and don’t dry out when baked.
Waxy potatoes have low starch and high water. All red potatoes are waxy potatoes; some white or yellow potatoes are waxy potatoes. These potatoes stay firm in liquids and moist when roasted. They are good for stews, roasting, and potato salads.
“New potatoes” can be any texture or type of potato, as long as the potatoes are harvested when the potato plant is still alive and the potato’s skin is still so thin that it can be rubbed off easily. Nearly all new potatoes behave as if they are waxy; that is, they have a low starch and high water content. New potatoes are best roasted, boiled, or steamed.
It is hard to beat steamed “new potatoes” with a bit of butter, salt, and freshly ground pepper! Your taste buds will appreciate the mild flavors and creamy textures. Add shredded cheese, if you want to jazz them up!
POTATO & VEGETABLE SAUTE
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
Onion, to taste, diced
4 potatoes, steamed slightly then sliced
5 – 6 strips of bacon, diced, if you dare!
Sauté the bacon in a large pan. When crisp, add potatoes, onion, cabbage and carrots. Continue to sauté, tossing frequently, until the vegetables are all fork tender. Add a bit of olive oil to the pan, if necessary.
OPTION: Instead of bell pepper, try carrots.
JAZZY SMASHED POTATOES
2 pounds new potatoes, red or white or half of each!
About 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
1 cup sour cream, to pass at table
Scrub potatoes. Leave the skins on if possible! Cut larger potatoes in half or quarters, leave very small potatoes whole. Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water (or chicken broth or vegetable broth). Bring to a boil and cook potatoes 12 to 15 minutes until fork tender.
Drain the potatoes (reserving the cooking liquid if you used stock), and return them to the hot pot. Smash (do not ‘whip’) the potatoes with the broth of your choice (or using the cooking liquid you reserved). Add one or more of the combinations below to the potatoes and continue to smash. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper to your taste. When serving, top with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
2 – 3 tsp. of prepared horseradish . . . or as much as you desire!
1 to 2 vine ripen tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Leeks & Bacon:
Cut leek in half lengthwise. hop into 1/2-inch pieces. Place leeks in big bowl of water and WASH THOROUGHLY to release all the dirt from them with a good swish, separating all the layers. Drain leeks in a colander. Or, just use a chopped onion.
Put a drizzle of olive oil into a hot skillet over medium high heat. Cook two to four slices of smoky flavored bacon 3 to 5 minutes until it begins to crisp and has rendered most of its fat. Add leeks to the skillet and cook 3 to 5 minutes more until the leeks are tender.
Diced, fresh chives (or freeze dried ones), to taste.
TWICE BAKED ‘SMASHED’ POTATOES
1 lb. boiled or steamed, new potatoes
Toss the slightly cooled, boiled potatoes in virgin olive oil to coat. I recommend doing the smashing of oiled potatoes in a clean kitchen sink! With the palm of your hand slowly, but firmly press down. Don’t break it up too much–just until the outside of the potato skin splits slightly open. pray Pam in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place the potatoes in the dish. Drizzle with more olive oil if too much oil gets rubbed off. Season potatoes with salt, garlic powder, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Bake at 450 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with some cheddar cheese. Use as an appetizer or a side dish.
OPTION: Add sauté onions and or peppers during the last few minutes of baking.
Russet potatoes—think Mr. Potato Head look alike!
Canola oil to coat
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash potatoes thoroughly with a stiff brush and cold running water. Dry, then using a standard fork poke 8 to 12 deep holes all over the potato so that moisture can escape during cooking. Lightly coat the skin with oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and place potatoes directly on rack in the oven.
Bake 1 hour or until skin feels crisp but flesh beneath feels soft. Serve by cutting a slit from end to end.
NOTE: A serving of potato has significant amounts of vitamins and contains more potassium than a banana! Potatoes are high in antioxidant compounds and a good source of dietary fiber.
FRITTATAS are Italian omelets and can contain any variety of ingredients. It is a good way to use small amounts or leftover veggies such as baked potatoes. It can be made the night before and simply reheated the next day, if desired.
1/2 pound potatoes, thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 TBSP butter
1 small onion, shredded
Sliced zucchini, squash or bell pepper
8-12 eggs, depending on size
Freshly ground pepper
Fresh or dried herbs such as basil, chives, parsley, dill
If the potatoes are raw, boil the slices until they are fork tender. Drain and set aside. If the potatoes are cooked (LEFTOVERS!), simply slice and set aside.
On the stove in an ovenproof pan, cook the onions and the zucchini, squash or bell pepper in the olive oil and Smart Balance for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook another 4 – 5 minutes.
Whisk the eggs as if you were making an omelet. Add herbs to the mix, as desired. Pour the eggs over the onions and potatoes. As the eggs begin to cook, lift up the sides a bit to allow the raw portion to flow to the bottom and slightly cook as well.
Place the plan in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes for the frittata cooks completely and “puffs up.” Remove from the oven and divide into portions. Serve garnished with sliced tomatoes and sour cream.
OPTION: If you are in more of a hurry, and don’t want the “puffed look,’ simply scramble and serve. Or fold over and make into an omelet.
OPTION: Fold the tomatoes into the frittata
OPTION: Add 1 cup of coarsely chopped, loosely packed greens of any kind
OPTION: Add bacon or prosciutto, if desired.
FREEZE MASHED POTATOES??
It works for me! When potatoes start to sprout and “get away from me,” I prepare a heaping pot full of peeled potatoes to mash. I prepare them exactly as I would for serving. For variety, I sometimes I add shredded cheddar cheese to the mix. Then I put potato dollops onto wax paper, cover and freeze. Once they are frozen, I pop them into a zip lock bag. This is a good way to handle leftovers, too.
HOMEMADE POTATO SALAD
6 – 8 medium potatoes, any variety
1/2 cup sweet pickles, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/ 4 cup sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup mayo
3 TBSP Balsamic or rice vinegar (or pickle juice!)
2 TBSP brown mustard
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. celery seed
Freshly ground pepper
In a large pot, cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and cool. Peel potatoes, if desired; cut into chunks. Dice pickles, celery & onion. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour the desired amount of dressing over the other ingredients and mix well. Chill.
OPTION: For a festive look, add 1/2 to 3/4 cup diced, cooked red beets and you will have pretty, pink potato salad. This dressing mix is wonderful on your cabbage coleslaws, too!
OVEN FRIED RUTABAGA
Peel rutabagas with a vegetable peeler. Leave the stem and root as the last to remove so that you will have a “handle” for this peeling process! Slice the peeled rutabaga into strips. Drizzle them with olive oil (plain or any flavor you desire) and add a bit of salt. Place on a nonstick baking sheet, if available. Bake at 425 degrees about 15 minutes until golden brown and fork tender, turning as necessary. Or you can pan roast them on the stove. Sprinkle with a seasoned, specialty salt just before serving, if desired.
ZUCCHINI RIBBONS FOR SALADS & PASTA
After months of eating zucchini, it is time for a change. As a general rule, we harvest our zucchini at about six inches in length. Later in the season, however, we do allow the zucchinis to get larger for making ribbons. We find this easier to do with larger zucchini.
No special kitchen tools are necessary as this can be accomplished by using an ordinary potato peeler! First, remove the skin from as many zucchini as desired. Usually the skin looks rather ugly late in the season and this is why we remove it. These can be either green or yellow zucchini.
Once the skin has been removed, it is time to start making zucchini strips. This is accomplished by bearing down hard on the zucchini with the vegetable peeler in order to make the wide thin strips seen on the left of the above photo. Do this step on all four sides of the zucchini. The seeds should not be an issue. However, once you get to the “core,” it might be easier to use the center for chopping and adding to a salad instead of continuing to strip through the seedy portion.
Then take a large knife and very carefully cut the stacks of wide thin strips into ribbon strips.
All of the above steps can be done the day before, as the zucchini will last for a couple of days without damage. Store in an air-tight container or bag. When ready to serve, place the ribbons on a plate and top with spaghetti sauce if you are using the zucchini as a pasta substitute.
If you are using the zucchini as a salad, top with pesto, tomatoes, Craisins, nuts, seeds, or whatever you are accustomed to putting on top of your salads. We like liberal use of freshly ground black pepper and organic ground Tumeric for added flavor.
SOUP: CREAM OF ANYTHING SOUP MIX
4 c. powdered milk (I suggest, organic)
1 1/2 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. instant chicken bouillon granules
4 tsp. dried onion flakes
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp basil – crushed dried
1 tsp. pepper
Measure all ingredients into a Ziploc Bag. Shake well, transfer to vacuum seal bag, seal and store up to a year.
To Use: To make 1 can soup, take 1/3 C mix and 1 C water, cook over low/medium heat and stir until thickened.
Variations: Add 1/2 cup + minced or chopped onions, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, cooked shrimp or chicken, or whatever you desire!
As our CSA Members know, I usually do not recommend adding artificial sugars to the sweet potatoes. However, particularly around the holidays, you might find your family expecting to see some sugar and marshmallows on their dish! Here is an interesting twist on traditional sweet potatoes from Dogwood Crafters, Chef Brenda Anders which aired recently on WLOS television.
SWEET POTATO BALLS
4 large sweet potatoes
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp grated orange rind
4-6 Tablespoons orange juice
8 large marshmallows
2 cups flaked coconut – toasted.
1. Wash potatoes; place in a large dutch oven.
2. Cover with water and simmer 30 minutes or until tender. You can also bake the sweet potatoes.
3. Let cook to the touch; peel, mash and measure 4 cups potatoes.
4. Stir in sugar, orange rind and orange juice and mix well.
5. Shape 1/2 cup potato mixture around marshmallow, roll in toasted coconut.
6. Place potato balls in an oblong baking dish and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
SUMMER SQUASH/ZUCCHINI SANDWICH
Wash and shred the available squash and or zucchini. Spread your favorite pesto or cream cheese on two slices of whole grain bread. Layer the veggies with mozzarella cheese—sliced or shredded. (Slivered onion, cuke, pepper, asparagus–all optional!) Cut in half and enjoy!
SUMMER SQUASH WITH PASTA AND CHICKEN
Here is a dish you can make with a small amount of summer squash and zucchini. Of course, it is always good raw on a vegetable dipping platter; or steamed and sat atop a bowl of spaghetti and sauce!
1 (16-ounce) package spiral pasta or other pasta
2 cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups (8-ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese*
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 medium zucchini, sliced length-wise OR green patty pans, sliced into circles
2 medium yellow summer squash, sliced length-wise OR yellow patty pans, sliced
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/8 teaspoon rubbed sage
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat cream and butter in a large saucepan until butter melts. Add cheese; cook and stir until melted. Rinse and drain pasta; add to cheese mixture. Cover and keep warm.
In a skillet over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons oil until onion is softened. Add squash; cook until just fork tender. Add 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste; REMOVE from skillet and keep warm.
Add remaining oil to skillet; cook chicken with herbs and remaining salt until juices run clear. Place pasta on a serving platter; top with chicken and squash.
*Pepper Jack cheese can be substituted for a zestier flavor.
GRILLED SUMMER SQUASH & ZUCCHINI
Wash, trim ends, and slice lengthwise into two to four slices, depending on the original size. (Smaller fruits may be left whole.) You may marinade in a dressing if you want or rub with olive oil. This step is not necessary, but it may keep them from sticking on the grill.
Pre-heat the grill on High and grill the veggies for 7 to 9 minutes, turning halfway through. Do not over cook!
In a large bowl mix together 1/4 cup of olive oil, a couple of TBSP of fresh lemon juice, some of the lemon zest, salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the veggies and your favorite herbs and toss to coat. Letting the mixture set at room temperature for a few minutes before serving intensifies the flavors!
OPTIONS: After grilling, simply serve with butter and grated Parmesan Cheese. Or, sprinkle on a light topping of Mozzarella Cheese for a “melt.”
NOTE: Leftovers are good as a cold salad the next day!
PEPPER PARMESAN ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE
4 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup mayonnaise of choice
1 – 1 ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 TBSP butter
2 TBSP bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil the zucchini in water until just barely tender—less than 4 minutes! If you leave the tips and ends on whole zucchini, it will prevent them from getting water logged. Drain quickly and submerge into ice water for about 5 minutes. Drain again, slice if boiled whole!
Beat eggs. Add mayo, cheese, onion, green pepper, salt, and pepper. Gently mix in zucchini slices. Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish. Toss bread crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle on the casserole as a topping. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
This recipe makes two quarts and freezes well. Bake about 90 minutes from the frozen state.
For min-meals or kid-sized portions, bake your casseroles in a muffin tin!
SOUR CREAM & CHEDDAR ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE
4 cup diced zucchini and/or summer squash
1 cup sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup butter, divided
1 cup shredded, sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup light sour cream
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup herbed bread crumbs
Over medium-high heat, melt 1/4 cup of butter. Sauté the onion, then add the squash and stir until the squash is coated with the butter. Cover and steam for 3 -4 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the cheddar cheese, sour cream, salt, pepper and egg. Add the squash/onion mixture.
Put the mixture into a greased 9 x 9 casserole dish.
Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of butter and add to the breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle over the squash mixture.
Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven until the topping is golden brown.
This recipe makes two quarts and freezes well. Bake longer when in frozen state.
STUFFED SUMMER PATTY PAN SQUASH OR ZUCCHINI
After washing, I cut off the top and lay it aside. Then I carefully hollow the pulp out of the squash. I chop the pulp and add to the mixture diced onions, tomato, any other leftover veggie I find lurking around. If you use ground meat, be sure to brown the meat before adding it to the veggie mix!
Refill the hollowed out squash and place in a baking dish with some mushroom broth (or whatever you have including tap water!) Sprinkle with pepper and desired seasoning. Put the tops back on if desired, then bake in a 350 degree oven until the squash is fork tender.
Garnish with chopped herbs, if available. This dish will taste even better the second day as the flavors have a chance to mingle more!
Wash, trim ends, and slice lengthwise into four slices. (Smaller ones may be left whole.) You may marinade in a dressing if you want, but this is not necessary.
Grill for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not over cook.
Serve with butter and grated Parmesan Cheese.
Leftovers are good cold as a salad. Heat until a light topping of Mozzarella Cheese melts, if desired
1/2 cup water
1 tsp fresh parsley
1 tsp fresh chives
1 tsp fresh basil
1 tsp fresh dill
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Mince the herbs and set aside. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and put into a large skillet with cut sides up in the 1/2 cup water. Sprinkle the herbs over the zucchini and sprinkle with pepper. Bring water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 4 – 5 minutes until fork tender. Serve.
ZUCCHINI & TOMATO BAKE
Small zucchini, washed and cut into 4 lengthwise slices
18 small tomatoes, sliced to about 1/4-inch thick
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
1/2 tsp. marjoram or dried basil or Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Next arrange zucchini in dish. Cover zucchini with tomato slices. Spray with cook spray, sprinkle with herbs and pepper. Cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese, if desired, before serving.
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 t baking soda
1 1/4 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1 whole banana, mashed
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup plant-based milk
1 t vanilla extract or flavor
1 cup shredded zucchini
Grease muffin pan & set aside. Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, & cinnamon. In another bowl, cream mashed banana with applesauce & sugar. Add in almond milk, vanilla, zucchini & any other optional add-ins you might like such as chocolate chips or chopped walnuts. Stir until evenly combined. Add flour mix to wet mix a little at a time and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan & bake 18-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Into every life a little chocolate must fall from time to time.
NOTE: SUMMER SQUASH ARE THE VARIETIES WITH THIN SKINS AND ARE FILED HERE UNDER “S” FOR SUMMER SQUASH.
NOTE: ZUCCHINI IS A THIN-SKINNED SUMMER SQUASH.
NOTE: WINTER SQUASH ARE THE VARIETIES WITH HARD SHELLS AND ARE FILED UNDER “W” FOR WINTER SQUASH.