Monday, October 15, 2018

This Week's CSA Box: Greens Season 2.0

Can you identify each green?

  Late fall brings with a resurgence of tasty, nutrient-packed greens!  This week I'll give you some great information along with some recipe ideas.

First, Let's See What We Got in This Week's Box: 

Sweet potatoes - 1 pound
Baking potatoes - 1 pound
Cabbage - 1 medium
Hot peppers - 1 pound
Mixed small Red and Green Peppers - 1 pound
Spaghetti squash - 1 medium
White onions - 2 large
Red Apples - 1 dozen

Radishes - 1 bunch - with greens
Kohlrabi - 2 medium bulbs - with greens
Carrots - 1 nice bunch - with greens
Tatsoi - 1 bag
Kale - 1 bag
Mixed Lettuce - 1 bag
Arugula - 1 bag

 What's so great about greens?!


There's plenty to love about deep green, leafy goodness!  Originating in the Fertile Crescent, kale and collards have been cultivated and eaten for over 2000 years.  The first reference to collards in America occurs in documents circa 1669.  Spinach, likewise, was a farming staple in the South.  Their propensity for quick germination and a short growing period, made greens a staple in Southern cooking.  The commonality of the appearance of greens in African American recipes is irrefutable, even though purists would argue, rightly so, that the terms Southern cooking and Soul Food are not interchangeable.

The nutritional profile of each type of green varies according to its color and variety.  The best rule of thumb is to eat a variety of greens every single week.  Doctors enthusiastically applaud greens with the encouragement that 2 - 3 servings of greens every week will significantly reduce your chances of contracting certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes.

All greens are high in vitamins A and K, potassium, and folate.  Folate, part of the Vitamin B family, helps prevent birth defects, lowers the risk of heart disease, and protects against colon cancer.  Vitamin K reduces inflammation and strengthens your bones.  Greens are low in calories, low in carbohydrates, and boast a low glycemic index score.

Greens Recipes:

Tatsoi:  I wrote an entire post last week on tatsoi and how to use it in recipes.  See this link for the low-down on this Asian green and how to use it both raw and cooked.  




Arugula Pizza:  Definitely among the "spicier" of the greens, I absolutely hated it the first time I tried it.  But, after being willing to give it another "go", I learned to love it.  I actually crave its natural biting green flavor in the middle of winter.  Seriously!  It's great to add to the top of vegetarian pizza. Try this sun-dried tomato and arugula pizza.   
Arugula Pesto:  I have used arugula to make a terrific, spicy tasting homemade pesto.  Here's the recipe 

FREEZING TIP:  I save yogurt containers!  Make a big batch of pesto. Then fill clean, dry yogurt cups 1/3 of the way with the homemade pesto.  Freeze until firm and then pop out the pesto cube and store in freezer bags.  

Pesto Pasta:  Cook 4 servings of pasta. Drain the water off and place the pasta back into the cooking pan.  Then add the pesto cube.  Replace the lid, wait 5 minutes, then stir.  The pesto will be perfectly thawed and easily coat the pasta.  Dinner is served!  You can also substitute zucchini spirals, quinoa, or brown rice for the pasta.  My kids call the pesto rice version "green rice".  

More Recipes:  


Queso Stuffed Poblanos:  Yum!!  Stuffed with rice and a spicy tomato sauce, these would be great for a light lunch if you add a side salad and some fruit!  This recipe uses the poblano peppers from this week's box. 

Southern Cabbage Recipe:  I was at a dinner meeting the other day and was treated to the best cooked cabbage I had ever tasted!  The local eatery had slowly cooked it, mellowing the cabbage flavor to the perfect mixture of sweet and savory.  This recipe was the closest I could find to what I experienced at that dinner.  

The 14 year sous chef and I agreed that we wanted to use quinoa this week to stuff some peppers.  Although this recipe calls for turkey, we'll just skip it and add some black beans for color and extra protein.  Voila!  Perfect when served with gingery sauteed carrots.  Scroll down for this recipe next.  

Gingery Sauteed Carrots:  The natural sweetness of carrots is intensified when you cook them!  This recipe adds my favorite spice (ginger), lime juice, and a touch of real maple syrup.

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