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leeks Tag

Blooming Glen PotatoesBlooming Glen Farm grows a really wonderful selection of potatoes. We’ve been introduced to a variety of potatoes this season, including Sangre, Purple Sun, Kerrs Pink and Purple Viking, along with classic Yukons. While specific nutrition may differ a bit between varieties, generally speaking, all potatoes have almost half the recommended daily values of vitamins C and B6 and potassium. The recent low-carb craze have given potatoes a bad rap in recent years, but the truth is potatoes are actually a healthy complex carbohydrate. They’re a “good” carb, meaning that they digest slowly, preventing your blood sugar from spiking like simple carbs do. The caveat: We need to eat them with their skin and prepare them as healthily as possible. So, choose the baked potato or simple mashed potatoes over the French fries and potato chips 🙂

If you’re anything like me, you still have some potatoes from the last few weeks’ shares hanging out in your kitchen, and maybe even a couple different varieties. Feel free to mix and match whatever potatoes you happen to have on hand for the recipe below. This recipe is based on one of my mom’s classic soups. Growing up, we always looked forward to the first batch of her potato soup each fall — it took some of the sting out of the increasing colder weather and darker nights. In this version, I add beans, which provide a healthy boost of fiber and plant-based protein, and makes for a more filling and nutritionally complete meal. The seasonings are kept super simple, allowing the natural flavors of our fresh and local potatoes, leeks and celery to really come through.

Sam’s Potato Soup

Sam's Potato Soup
Serves 12
Ingredients

2 tbs Earth Balance
1 tsp peppercorns
1-1/2 cups leeks, cut into half moons and sliced
1 cup celery stalks and greens, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
5-6 cups potatoes, scrubbed clean with skin left intact, cut into a large dice
1/2 tsp salt
6-8 cups vegetable or No-Chicken broth
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste

Method
Heat butter in a large heavy-bottom pot. Add leeks, celery, garlic, salt, pepper and peppercorns, sprinkle with a bit of salt and stir well. Cook until veggies begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix well. Add a splash of broth and let potatoes heat up, about 3-5 minutes. Add 6 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Let simmer and cook until potatoes begin to get get tender, about 20 minutes. Remove peppercorns. Add beans and, depending on consistency of soup desired, add more broth. Cook for 5-10 minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste. Option: You can blend part of the soup with an immersion blender or in a blender for a creamier soup.

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!

Butternut Squash & Leek CasseroleNothing says autumn harvest like a butternut squash, right? Like its buddy, the delicata squash, butternut is low in calories, carbs, and fat, and high in vitamins A and C. Butternut squash also provides a very healthy dose of the minerals, potassium and manganese, and is a good source of vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, and magnesium. Additionally, the carotenoids that provide its gorgeous color also deliver antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As if that weren’t enough, butternut squash also lives up to its silky, delicious, buttery name. Beauty and brains — you just can’t beat it!

Butternut squash tastes divine after roasting, which really brings out its sweetness. It also makes a great soup, where you can add savory elements for a great depth of flavor — a loaf of Bakers on Broad bread completes this tasty meal! Finally, pair butternut squash with whole grains; the smooth texture of the squash makes an excellent partner to hardy whole grains. The cool weather inspired the butternut squash casserole recipe below, which also uses in-season leeks. Let the oven warm up the house and serve this comfort food with a side of green’s from this week’s share.

References and recommended links:

Butternut Squash & Leek CasseroleButternut Squash & Leek Casserole
Ingredients
1 tbs grapeseed oil
3 leeks, sliced into half-moons
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can coconut milk
1/4+ tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbs chopped herbs (rosemary, sage, and/or thyme work great)
1 box (13.25oz) dried whole wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

Method
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Lightly spray a 9- x 13-inch casserole dish with grapeseed oil.

Heat oil in a heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add squash, coconut milk, cayenne, salt, and pepper and turn up heat to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until squash is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in herbs and simmer another minute.

Meanwhile, cook macaroni al dente, about 7 minutes. Rinse in cold water, drain, and put into a large bowl. Transfer squash mixture to bowl with macaroni. Add salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer to casserole dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake until it begins to brown and is cooked throughout, about 25 minutes.

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

Cabbage and apples are a classic combination–and it’s no coincidence since they are both staples of the fall and winter diet. This week, the Blooming Glen Farm cabbage of choice is the crinkly-leafed savoy. Savoy cabbage comes from Northern Italy, where it is known as cavolo verza.

The inspiration for this recipe came from one of my favorite food blogs, Nourished Kitchen. I took some liberties, though, replacing onions with leeks and green cabbage with savoy. Because savoy is sweeter and more tender than other cabbages, I eliminated one apple and some cooking time from the original recipe.

Cider-Braised Cabbage and Apples

Cut the roots and most of the greens off 3 leeks, slice lengthwise, and rinse any grit from between the layers. Slice crosswise thinly and fry in a hot skillet with 2 tablespoons of butter. When the leeks begin to brown, add 1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced. Cook for another 5 minutes until apples start to soften.

Reduce heat to medium. To the skillet, add 1 savoy cabbage, cored and thickly sliced and 1 bay leaf. Stir to bring apples and leeks to the top. As the cabbage begins to wilt down, pour 1-1/2 cups apple cider into the skillet. Simmer for about 15 minutes until apples and cabbage are soft and most of the liquid is evaporated. Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, toss to combine, and remove from heat.

Pair this dish with pork, and you’ve got yourself a time-honored flavor combination that can’t be beat (I chose a juicy bratwurst). If pork isn’t your style, it would also go very nicely with a roast chicken and/or savory white cannellini beans.

Text and photography by Kate Darlington – Blooming Glen Farm second year intern, fresh food enthusiast, and budding food blogger. She also writes for the Digging Deep Campaign as well as for her personal blog, Growing Things.

This week marks the official beginning of fall, and both the weather and veggies seem to agree with the calendar. This is a perfect soup for the transitioning season. It is rich and creamy without being too heavy. When roasted, fennel becomes deeply sweet (totally different from the crisp and refreshing taste of raw fennel) and leeks develop a wonderful caramelized flavor. Celeriac lends body and depth to this creamy soup. A touch of tangy blue cheese and crunchy chickpea crackers make it complete.

Roasted Fennel and Leek Soup

Cut off most of the green parts of 2 fennel bulbs and 3 leeks (save a few of the fennel fronds for garnish). Slice the leeks in half long-ways and run the layers under water to remove grit. Chop fennel bulbs and leeks into 1-inch chunks.

Cut away the ugly outside of  1 celeriac and chop into 1/2-inch chunks. Combine with fennel and leeks and toss with a sprinkle of salt and enough olive oil to coat. Spread veggies in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes (stirring once or twice) until they begin to brown and caramelize.

When the veggies are done roasting, combine them with 4 cups of milk, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard powder. Heat until milk is hot, but do not boil. When heated through, use an immersion blender or food processor to puree until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with chickpea crackers (recipe below), crumbled blue cheese, and a sprinkle of chopped fennel frond for an added touch of the gourmet.

Gluten-Free Chickpea Flour Crackers

Combine 1 cup chickpea flour, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds2 teaspoons olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Slowly stir in 1/4 cup water until a thick dough is formed. Roll dough out into a thin layer (1/8 inch or so) on a cutting board and cut into cracker-sized pieces. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees until golden brown and crisp (I did this at the same time I was roasting the veggies).

This recipe is easily adaptable–replace fennel seeds with chopped herbs, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, etc. Cut into thinner strips for a salad garnish, or into wedges for dipping into hummus or spinach dip.

Text and photography by Kate Darlington – Blooming Glen Farm second year intern, fresh food enthusiast, and budding food blogger. She also writes for the Digging Deep Campaign as well as for her personal blog, Growing Things.

Lemon & Leek Kale SaladKale shares similar health benefits with its friend, Swiss chard. In addition to being a cancer-fighting and heart health-promoting superhero (thanks to all those antioxidants), kale’s omega-3 and enormous vitamin K content make it a great tool to fight against the inflammation that’s linked to so many chronic health conditions.

My favorite benefit of kale though, is its detoxification abilities. Kale’s glucosinolates make isothiscyanates, which studies have shown assist our cell’s detox activities. The nutrition and compounds in kale assist in eliminating the toxic molecules in our body caused simply from the hazards of daily living; pollution, medication, processed food chemicals, etc.  We all could benefit from a little cleansing, right? 🙂

Kale is most often eaten cooked, but there are health benefits to eating our foods raw. The recipe below uses the acidity in fresh lemon juice to help “cook” the kale, leaving it a nice, soft and chewy texture.

Lemon & Leek Kale Salad

Lemon & Leek Kale Salad

Add dressing ingredients in a large bowl, stir until combined:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tamari sauce
Juice and zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon of honey (use agave for vegan version)
salt and pepper to taste

Add to bowl:
1 bunch of kale (~20 leaves), stems removed, cut into bite-sized chunks or strips.
1 leek, white part sliced in half lengthwise and then into thin half-moons.

Stir into the dressing to well coat. A great method is to use your hands and “massage” the leaves with the dressing. Allow to marinate in fridge until ready to eat (ideally 4-8 hours, but it’ll be tasty after even just 30 minutes).

Stir in 1/4 cup seeds and/or chopped nuts (sesame and pumpkin seeds or slivered almonds are a great choice) right before serving.

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