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dairy free Tag

Varieties of summer squash and zucchini are are abundant during the summer — which is a very good thing! (And to clarify, at the farm we just call it all summer squash, of which this week’s dark gold and green zucchini is included under that heading. I am referring here to the lighter yellow squash as “summer squash”- it is also milder in flavor than the gold and green zucchini varieties that Blooming Glen grows). These light and mild veggies are not only delicious, but also healthy and versatile. Nutritionally speaking, the manganese in squash helps promote strength by building strong bones and connective tissues. As we know, vitamin C supports our immune systems, preventing colds and other infections, but it’s also an antioxidant that can help protect our bodies from the damage caused by pollution. Finally, the fiber in zucchini and summer squash aids digestion and promotes a healthy gut. In order to get all these benefits, it’s important to skip the peeler; like most other vegetables and fruits, a lot of the healthy stuff in zucchini and summer squash lives in or near the skin. Instead of peeling, simply rinse off the veggies under running water to remove any dirt. Here are a few tips for using up your stock of zucchini and summer squash:

  • Dice ’em up: Diced zucchini and summer squash can be added to soups, stir-fries, chilis, crepes and quiches, stews, curries, spaghetti sauce and rice. They can also be enjoyed raw, mixed into pasta salad, grain salads and green salads.
  • Cut into coins: Sliced zucchini and summer squash make a great topping for pizza, taste great layered into lasagna, or used in casseroles.
  • Savory pancakes: Add grated squash and zucchini to whole wheat pancake mix, along with some garlic powder and chopped spring onion. Serve with a dab of sour cream for a savory, summery side dish.
  • On the grill: Slice zucchini and squash lengthwise, into planks and spray lightly with high-heat cooking oil. Place on hot grill or grill pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 5-10 mins., until tender and charred, flipping once.
  • Thicken up soups: Cook and puree squash and zucchini to use as a creamy soup base.
  • Preserving: Shred and freeze zucchini and squash to preserve. Use thawed veggies in breads, muffins, casseroles, fritattas, and quiches.

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com

P1016499Greens are probably the best food to add to our diets to improve nutrition. They provide cancer-fighting vitamins & minerals, the fiber we need for heart & digestive health, & assistance to our body’s detoxification processes. They’re also really easy to add to our meals; a great way to start is by simply adding a handful of chopped up greens to whatever you’re cooking — sauces, salads, soups, stir-fries, casseroles, just about everything! Another great strategy for getting more greens into our diets is to keep a green side on-hand; make the recipe below to serve with your meals throughout the week!

This recipe also makes use of two super flavorful ingredients that we’ve been finding on our shares lately, garlic scapes & fennel. Scapes have been called a “vegetable, aromatic & even herb all in one,” & I would also put fennel in that unique (& delicious) category.  Both fennel & scapes also give us a nutritional boost with fiber, antioxidants, & phytonutrients.

Add your favorite plant-based protein to make the this dish heartier & more complete — chickpeas, seitan, or quinoa would be tasty.  You can also enjoy this recipe hot or cold.  Eat immediately after preparing as a hot side dish, or let cool & use as an ingredient in a whole grain wrap or mixed into a green salad.

Sautéed Greens with Scapes & Fennel

P1016502

Ingredients
1 tbs cooking oil
5 garlic scapes, sliced
1 fennel bulb & stems, sliced up to fronds
1/2-cup white wine or broth
6-8 cups kale, chard, &/or collards, stripped from stems & chopped
1 tbs red wine or balsamic vinegar
Nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese, & sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions
Heat oil, scapes, & fennel in skillet until veggies are tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add wine or broth & stir in greens until coated evenly. Allow greens to reduce about 5-7 minutes, stirring often & adding additional wine or broth if needed. Remove pan from heat & toss with vinegar. Serve with optional toppings.

Post & photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, health counselor, & co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating & living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com

P1016490 smWell, maybe not 100 ways… but spaghetti squash is so incredibly easy to prepare and so versatile, I bet we could think of 100 ways pretty quickly!  Spaghetti squash can be served as a simple side dish or as a flavorful full meal, and although I won’t list exactly 100 ways to eat it here, the preparation possibilities are truly endless. 

Nutritionally speaking, spaghetti squash is most notable for its high fiber and vitamin C content. The heart- and belly-healthy fiber found in this squash not only promotes cardiovascular health, but also helps maintain blood sugar levels and keeps us feeling full longer. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that plays a role in everything from boosting our immune systems to protecting our skin.

Use the basic roasted squash recipe below as a starting point, then try out the side or main dishes listed, or experiment by using your own favorite flavors.

Spaghetti Squash 100 Ways

P1016492 smBasic roasted spaghetti squash: Preheat over to 400-degrees. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, being careful not to dig into the flesh of the squash. Place squash halves on a baking sheet or in a baking dish, cut side down. Put a little water on the pan, enough to just cover the cut ends of the squash. Bake for 30-45 minutes (smaller squash will cook more quickly), until squash is tender and a fork can easily pierce through the skin/peel and flesh. Remove the squash flesh by scraping a fork lengthwise across the inside of each half. Toss squash with a little oil or butter, salt and pepper.

You can also microwave spaghetti squash: Pierce squash all over with a fork or paring knife. Place in microwave and cook for 10-15 minutes, until squash is tender and a fork can easily pierce through the skin/peel and flesh.

As a simple side, toss above-cooked squash noodles with:

  • Lemon zest and chopped fresh herbs
  • Chopped tomatoes and garlic
  • Tomato sauce and nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese
  • Capers, lemon, and parsley
  • Butter and scallions

As a main dish:

Taco-style
Grapeseed oil
1/3 cup onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 cup black beans
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 cup peppers, chopped
1/2 cup tomatillos, chopped
Toppings: shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese
Method: Heat a large pot with oil, sauté onion, garlic, chili powder and beans until everything is tender and heated through. Add tomatoes, peppers, and tomatillos and cook ~5-7 minutes minutes, until peppers are just tender. Add squash and combine well. Serve immediately with toppings.

Buffalo and Blue Cheese
Grapeseed oil
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chickpeas, or mock chicken, shredded or chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup cabbage, shredded
1/2-1 cup wing sauce
Toppings: green onion, chopped celery, blue cheese crumbles
Method: Heat a large pot with oil, sauté onion, garlic, and chicken until everything is tender and heated through. Add carrots and cabbage and cook ~3-4 minutes, until crisp tender. Add squash and combine well. Toss with hot sauce, adjusting amount to desired spiciness. Serve immediately with toppings.

Pad Thai
Grapeseed oil
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup cubed tofu (baked tofu works great)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup carrots, shredded
Whisk together sauce ingredients:
3 tablespoons tamari sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Toppings: chopped green onions, chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, sriracha sauce
Method: Heat a large pot with oil, sauté onion and tofu cooked/heated through; cooking time depends on whether you’re using raw or baked tofu. Add sprouts, carrots, and half the sauce and cook ~3-4 minutes, until crisp tender. Add squash and remaining sauce and combine well. Cook for a few minutes over low-medium heat, allowing flavors to meld together. Serve immediately with toppings.

gfg_head shot mPost and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

bg_blog lentil potato chard salad 2This versatile summer salad is not only packed with flavor & nutrition, but also uses several recent share ingredients.  We’ve talked about the healthy stuff in potatoes & Swiss chard here before; combining them with lentils, a good source of both plant-based protein & iron, allows this salad to stand in as a hearty side or a main dish.  Roasting the potatoes & chard brings a smokey flavor & unique texture that contrasts perfectly with the raw ingredients. Note: this is a good time to roast some other veggies (beets & kohlrabi, fennel, peppers, eggplant, turnips, etc.) while you have the oven on!

Try serving this salad on top a bed of chopped spring greens, with a side of grilled string beans & your favorite protein, or topped with a fried farm-fresh egg.

Roasted Potato & Chard Salad with Lentils
bg_blog lentil potato chard saladIngredients
1 cup black, green or brown lentils (black pictured)
6 potatoes (~1-1/2 lb), cut into cubes
3+ cups Swiss chard, roughly chopped
Salt & pepper
Grapeseed or other high-heat cooking oil
3 spring onion bulbs (~1/3 cup), finely diced
1 fennel bulb (~1/3 cup), finely diced — or try celery
1-2 clove green (or other) garlic, minced
3 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (optional)

Method
Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

In a medium pan, bring lentils, water, and ~1/2 teaspoon salt to boil. Simmer the lentils until tender, ~20 minutes. Drain and put aside

Meanwhile, toss potatoes with a little grapeseed oil & a sprinkle of salt & pepper, then place on a single layer on a cookie sheet. Roast until tender & lightly browned, ~20 minutes. Repeat with Swiss chard, roast until wilted & drying, but not crispy, ~10 mins.

In a large bowl, combine the onion, fennel or celery, garlic & lemon juice, then allow to sit for a few minutes. Whisk in mustard & olive oil. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Add lentils, potatoes & herbs to the bowl & toss to combine. Serve warm or chill until ready to serve.

gfg_head shot mPost and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

BeetsBeets are a staple veggie at the farm, making an appearance both at the beginning & end of the season each year. Like many root vegetables, beets have lots of vitamins & minerals, including those that help grow red blood cells (folate) & those that that help build sturdy & strong bones (manganese). Also like many root vegetables, much of the nutrition in beets lives in or near the skin, so skip the peeler & simply scrub them clean before eating.

Enjoy beets raw & cooked: Use slices of raw beets in a veggie dip or hummus, or dice them up small & add them to a green, grain or pasta salad. Use a grater to shred raw beets for slaws or to use in breads, muffins & even cookies! Of course, the sweetest way to eat beets is by roasting them. The simple recipe below combines beets with another CSA staple, kohlrabi. You can serve this dish as is, or use it as a base for a more hearty meal:

  • Serve chilled & topped with cooked quinoa & plain yogurt (pictured below)
  • Mix in chickpeas or black soy beans
  • Use as a pita filling with hummus
  • Top with plain yogurt or sour cream & minced chives
  • Serve on top of a chopped green salad
  • Combine with a cooked whole grain (brown rice, bulgur, farro, etc.)
  • Top with sunflower or sesame seeds

Roasted Beets & Kohlrabi with Fennel
BeetsIngredients
8 beets
8 kohlrabi
3 fennel
1-1/2 tablespoons grapeseed or other high-heat cooking oil
salt & pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Trim tops off beets, scrub clean & dice. Trim, peel & dice kohlrabi. Slice fennel bulbs & stems, up to fronds. Toss beets, kohlrabi & fennel with a bit of grapeseed oil, salt & pepper.

Place vegetables in a baking dish, cover & bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with a little more salt & pepper, stir, recover & return to the oven. Bake until just tender, about 20 more minutes.

gfg_head shot mPost and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

Rice & Beans PeppersFrom Cuban black beans with yellow rice to Indian ramjah (kidney beans) with basmati rice, rice and beans is a classic, versatile dish that’s found throughout most cultures around the globe. Rice and beans are hearty, inexpensive, and super adaptable, making them a worthwhile addition to anyone’s kitchen repertoire. The key to making this not only a belly-filling meal, but also a nourishing and nutritious one is using whole grains and loading up on veggies. The recipe below uses heart-healthy brown rice, and loads of Blooming Glen Farm-fresh veggies that are packed with vitamins and minerals. The black beans bring plant-based protein, making this a nice rounded and complete meal.

As with many recipes on this blog, the one below is very much open for alterations, depending on your particular tastes, what you have available in your pantry, and what veggies you may need to use up from your share.  I’ve added lots of peppers to this version, since they’re abundant right now. The poblano peppers add a tiny bit of heat, while the frying peppers bring in some sweetness.  Greens are always a good thing to add to your meals; using them here brings in a satisfying chewiness, perfectly complimented by the soft peppers and beans.  Corn would be a nice addition and so would zucchini — feel free to use up whatever vegetables you have on hand!  You can substitute pinto or other beans in place of the black beans. You can even skip the rice and serve the beans over baked or smashed potatoes (leave skins on) or another whole grain. Experiment and have fun 🙂

Recipe note: I make rice and beans by first getting the rice going in a rice cooker, then moving on to the prep and cooking of the beans.  In most cases, by the time the beans are done, so is the rice.

Rice & Beans

Rice & Beans

Ingredients
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped (~1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped (~1 cup)
4 sweet peppers, seeded and chopped (~1 cup)
1+ jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
1+ cup kale, chopped fine
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped (~2 cups)
2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1+ cup broth (No-Chicken Broth is good here)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
3 cups hot cooked brown rice*
Fresh cilantro (optional)
* I prepare rice for this recipe with broth, rather than water.

Method
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook for a minute or two, until they begin to soften. Add garlic and spices, cook for one minute more. Add peppers. greens, and tomatoes, stir well, and cook until veggies are tender, about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash 1/2-cup of the beans.

Add mashed beans, whole beans, broth, and maple syrup to the skillet. Turn up heat and bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer until reduced to desired thick consistency, about 5-10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice, topped with cilantro.

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

Over the years, I’ve discovered that one of the benefits of belonging to a CSA was an unexpected one: It puts me out of my comfort zone. When shopping at the super market for produce, I — like most of us, I’m sure — pretty much stuck to the same vegetables and fruit that I always ate. The standard peppers, carrots, broccoli, and spinach were tasty, and I honestly didn’t even realize there was so much I was missing out on until my first season at Blooming Glen.  A part of being out of my comfort zone was not only discovering new foods (French breakfast radishes, who knew we were destined to be together forever?), but also being faced with foods that I traditionally didn’t like.

At the top of this list was eggplant: A vegetable that I tried to prepare at home once or twice, but in the end could only ever eat if it was restaurant prepared, breaded and fried and smothered in marinara sauce, á la Eggplant Parm.  At first, I simply gave away the eggplant from our share to family or neighbors — good riddance!  But, after seeing the array of different eggplant at the farm, noticing just how pretty they are, and knowing how important and beneficial variety in one’s diet is… I decided to challenge myself to find a way to make a relationship with me and eggplant work 🙂

In the end, after a little experimentation, with some failures and some successes, it turns out that grilling has been the easiest and tastiest way for me to incorporate this pretty purple veggie into meals. Once grilled, you can use the slices for sandwiches and wraps, chop them up to use with grain and vegetable sides, add them to omelets or salads — the possibilities are endless. I grill them as soon as I get them home, then store them in the fridge for easy use. The recipe below calls for using grilled eggplant; here’s a down-and-dirty grilling method:

1) Lightly spray a grill pan over medium-high heat. 2) Cut eggplant into thin disks, place on a grill pan, spray lightly with cooking oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. 3) Cook until grill marks appear, about 3-4 minutes, toss, then cook for another couple minutes. The eggplant will significantly reduce as the moisture is cooked out.

Nutritionally speaking, eggplant is low in sodium and calories, and high in fiber. However, all of its disease-fighting and health-building phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals reside in it’s skin. Most notably, eggplant skin contains nasunin, a phytonutrient found to protect the fats in brain cell membranes, and chlorogenic acid, which has been found to benefit anti-cancer, antimicrobial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) and antiviral activities. So, when preparing your eggplant, be sure to keep the skin on!  For more eggplant ideas and a recipe for Baba Ganoush, click here.

Eggplant & Summer Veggie White Bean Pasta


Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat pasta (bow-tie pictures)
2 eggplant, grilled, cut into bite-size pieces
1+ bunch broccoli rabe, large/thick stems removed*
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 torpedo onion, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (quarter larger ones)
Kernels from 1 ear of corn
3/4 cup white beans
Crushed red pepper
Salt
Pepper
Nutritional yeast (or Parmesan cheese)
Balsamic vinegar (optional)

* Other hearty greens can be substituted, including kale, collards, or Swiss chard. If using more delicate greens, such as arugula, spinach, or dandelion greens, skip the blanching process below.

Method
Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Blanch raab for ~60 seconds, drain, reserving water to cook pasta. Set raab aside and cook pasta.

Heat a teaspoon of grapeseed oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, sauté for a minute. Add onion, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of sea salt, sauté for a few minutes, until onions turn translucent and soft. Add tomatoes, stir well, and allow to cook down a bit, about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chop raab, then stir into the pan, with corn kernels and pinch of sea salt, cook for a couple minutes. Add eggplant and beans, stir well to combine and let cook for a 5-6 minutes, until heated through. Salt and pepper to taste.

To cooked pasta, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, stirring to coat well. Add veggies to pasta, stirring gently to combine everything. Serve topped with nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese. A light sprinkle of high quality balsamic vinegar is really yummy, too 🙂

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

Tabbouleh Salad ingredientsTabbouleh (also tabouli) is a classic Middle Eastern salad made from whole grains and highlighted by the fresh herbs, cucumbers, and tomatoes that are in season right now. The whole grains in tabbouleh come from bulgur, which is made from whole hard wheat (wheat berries) that’s been parboiled, dried, and then cracked.

This whole wheat is very different than the wheat-based products we often buy at the grocery store:  When wheat is refined and processed — primarily into wheat flour — nearly all of its nutritional value is stripped away.  In fact, “more than half of wheat’s B vitamins, 90 percent of the vitamin E, and virtually all of the fiber” are lost.  When wheat is refined, its nutritious bran and germ are removed and we’re left only with a starch that’s digested as a simple sugar, causing our blood sugar levels to spike as if we’d eaten candy!

Healthy whole wheat like bulgur, on the other hand, is a complex carbohydrate that offers a unique combination of minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, all of which work in concert together to protect our cardiovascular health, prevent Type 2 Diabetes, promote digestive health, and help fight off cancer.  Once cooked, bulgur has a mild, nutty flavor that adds a fantastic chewy, meaty texture to foods. Mix it into a salad, stirfry, chili, spaghetti sauce, taco filling, or use it as a base for a grain salad (such as this Asian Bulgur and Edamame Salad), stuffed peppers, breakfast porridge, or savory side dish.

In addition to whole wheat, tabbouleh takes advantage of the cucumber bounty we’ve been enjoying with our share.  Cucumbers aren’t commonly thought of for their nutrition, but they actually are a good source of vitamin A, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, and a very good source of potassium and vitamins C and K.  Thanks to the phytonutrients in cucumbers, they also bring our bodies anti-inflammatory, antioxident, and anti-cancer benefits, too.

The important key to accessing all this great stuff, however, is consuming the skin. (Some might remember that this is true for many of the vegetables we eat — we’ve talked about potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and eggplant here before 🙂 )  If you’re just getting used to eating the skin on cucumbers, try peeling only half of the skin off at first, then move up to keeping it all intact.

Tabbouleh a naturally versatile and adaptable dish, so feel free to play around with the grain-herb-veggie ratio.  You might prefer an herb-based salad, or you might choose to go heavy on the cucumbers, since they’re so abundant right now (as I did in the salad pictured). You could even make this recipe gluten-free by substituting bulgur for another healthy whole grain, such as quinoa. Tabbouleh pairs great with hummus, baba ganoush, and pita.

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

Ingredients
2 cups boiling water
1-1/4 cup bulgur wheat (use quinoa for a gluten-free version)
1 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup mint, chopped
1/4 cup minced onion
1+ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered or chopped
1+ cup cucumbers, diced

Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon, more to taste
1 tsp salt, more to taste
pinch of pepper
pinch allspice

Method
Place bulgur in a bowl and pour boiling water over top. Let stand for 20-30 minutes, until softened, but still chewy.  Drain off any excess liquid, and fluff. If using quinoa, prepare per package instructions. Add herbs and veggies to bulgur and gently stir. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Add dressing to bulgur, gently stirring until dressing coats salad well. Adjust seasonings to taste.  Serve chilled.

Post Sources
Harvard School of Public Health
Nutrition Data (Bulgur)
Nutrition Data (Cucumber)
WH Foods (Cucumber)

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

Pick-your-own string beans are a sure sign that summer has arrived at Blooming Glen!  Although we often don’t think about these beans as being particularly healthful, they actually have “impressive antioxidant capacity,” containing flavanoids, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K.  They’re a fantastic source of dietary fiber, which helps facilitate the passage of waste through our gut, as well as the mineral silicon, which works with calcium and magnesium to aid bone health.  And, because it’s in the pea and bean family, they also offer a nice bit of plant-based protein.

Given the heat wave we’re in the midst of, I’m sticking with cool ingredients once again for this week’s recipe — which has certainly been a theme here on the blog as of late! (If you haven’t already, check out last week’s recipe for Raw Mediterranean Squash & Greens Salad and Kristin’s awesome Raw Veggie Hash with Green Garlic Vinaigrette in a Lettuce Bundle.) Although there is a bit of stove time needed for blanching the vegetables, the recipe below requires very little cooking, little time, and little effort.  It’s a perfect dish to make ahead and have on hand for a healthy meal side dish or snack.  If you only have one bunch of scapes on hand, no worries! The optimal string beans-to-garlic scapes ratio may be a little off, but just use what you have 🙂  You can also skip the scapes all together; you may want to add a clove or two of minced garlic or a bit of granulated garlic to the marinades below.  There are three variations of the recipe, of which the Asian is pictured.

Cold Marinated String Beans & Scapes


Basic
1 quart string beans, trimmed
2 bunches garlic scapes, trimmed and cut in quarters
1/3 cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce
3 tbs sesame oil
1/2 tbs agave, or other sweetener

Asian
1 quart string beans, trimmed
2 bunches garlic scapes, trimmed and cut in quarters
3 tbs mirin
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tbs cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce
2 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs sesame seeds
1 tsp minced ginger
pinch of crushed red pepper, or more to taste

Italian
1 quart string beans, trimmed
1 bunch garlic scapes, trimmed and cut in quarters
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs Italian seasoning, or combination of basil, oregano, and thyme

Boil a large pot of water. Blanch veggies: Add string beans to boiling water for 3 minutes, then add scapes, and blanch for 2 more minutes. Drain veggies and drop into ice bath to stop cooking. Drain again and set aside.

In a large resealable bag (or container with a tight fitting lid), add veggies and all of the remaining ingredients. Zip the bag closed and shake until veggies are evenly coated. Let cool in the fridge for a couple hours, tossing them once or twice. Or, marinate overnight.  Toss once more before serving.

Post sources
Nutrition Data
Web MD
WH Foods

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

Raw veggies for squash saladHappy Summer! As the temperatures rise this season, many of us find it harder to crank up the stove top or oven to get meals onto the table. This is a natural time of year to crave cooler, fresher ingredients that require little-to-no cooking — and eating these raw foods do provide us with benefits:

Eating our foods in a more raw form provides a different nutritional profile than eating a food cooked. For instance, ounce-for-ounce, raw Swiss chard has almost twice the amount of Vitamin C and almost three times the amount of Vitamin K than cooked Swiss chard. Similarly, raw zucchini offers much more folate and Omega-3 fatty acids than its cooked counterpart. Many people also find raw foods cleansing, as they often promote efficient digestion and a happy gut. Raw food also encourages us to slow down while eating, simply because it takes us longer to chew, which is a wonderful way to support portion control and mindful eating. All those benefits, and fresh, raw veggies also taste great (especially those from Blooming Glen 😉 )!

The recipe below uses lots of raw veggies from this week’s share, including summer squash, zucchini, green onion, dill, lettuce, and Swiss chard. By shredding the zucchini and chopping the greens, we’re helping out our belly a bit, making it easier to digest those veggies. As always, feel free to use this recipe as a base, an experiment with whatever vegetables, greens, and beans you happen to have on hand in the coming weeks.

Mostly Raw Mediteranean Squash SaladMediterranean Shredded Squash Salad

Ingredients
3 zucchini and/or squash, shredded
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 green onion including greens, chopped
12-15 kalamata olives, sliced
5-6 sprigs dill, chopped (basil would also be good)
Chopped lettuce and/or Swiss chard

Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic scape, minced
sea salt and ground black pepper

Optional: Pine nuts, capers, dried figs, dried apricots, feta cheese

Method
In a small bowl (I use a glass measuring cup), whisk together the dressing ingredients. In a larger bowl, combine all the other ingredients, except for the lettuce/chard. Pour the dressing over squash mixture and stir to combine well. Place a handful of chopped greens on a plate, top with a big scoop of the squash salad. Serve with optional toppings.

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!