Blooming Glen Farm | zuchinni
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zuchinni Tag

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the most common barriers to health eating that I hear is time. Between family & friends, work & school, hobbies & activities, there just never seems to be enough time, does there?

There are two tricks that I always recommend — and use myself: 1) A little meal planning & food prep each week, and 2) A repertoire of quick, simple, & adaptable recipes.  The Summer Veggie Noodle Bowl here serves double duty, playing a part in both of those tricks!  Prepare a big batch at the beginning of the week & reheat for lunches or dinners throughout the week, & when the seasons (or contents of your pantry) change, simply adapt the ingredients to what’s available.  Bonus: this dish taste great both hot & cold.

Summer Veggie Noodle Bowl

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Sauce
2/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup tamari or liquid aminos
2 TBS sesame oil
3 TBS agave (or other sweetener)
6 gloves garlic, minced
1/2+ tsp crushed red pepper

Noodle bowl
1 package (~10 oz) brown rice vermicelli*
1 tsp sesame oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups zucchini &/or summer squash, shredded or julienned
2 cups carrots, shredded or julienned
kernels from 2 ears of corn
1 head escarole, chopped
1 can (~1-3/4 cups) black soy beans**
Sesame seeds for garnish
* Or 1 package (~9 oz) whole grain soba noodles or 1 package (~8 oz) whole wheat angel hair pasta.  Or, change it to a whole grain bowl & use any whole grain (brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, etc.)
** Or shelled edamame, chickpeas, adzuki, other bean, or any other protein of your choice.

Directions
In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients until combined & then set aside.

Prepare noodles per package instructions, drain & stir in a small splash of sesame oil to prevent sticking.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add zucchini, carrots, corn, escarole, & 1/3* of the sauce & sauté for 5-7 minutes, until heated through. Stir in beans & sauté another 5 minutes, until beans are heated & escarole is cooked down. Stir in noodles & 1/3* of the sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until everything is heated through. Garnish with sesame seeds & serve immediately.

* If you’re making a batch that will be reheated, reserve 1/3 of the sauce for reheating.  Otherwise, use 1/2 the sauce while cooking the veggies & 1/2 the sauce when stirring in the noodles.

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!

Grilled summer squashOne of my favorite parts of summer is the time we get to spend cooking and eating outside.  Grilling vegetables brings out a depth of flavor that just cannot be matched on the stovetop, and we’ve been taking full advantage of that with this season’s CSA share.  One of the best veggies to grill is summer squash and its partner, zuchinni.

Eating summer squash provides us with cancer-fighting antioxidant nutrients Grilled summer squashvitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. We also get a healthy dose of essential minerals magnesium and potassium, as well as copper. However, because many of these nutrients live in the skin of the squash, we need to make sure we leave it intact. Grilling summer squash allows us to do just that!

Of course, squash can be cubed or cut into disks for kabobs, but I really like it when its cut into planks and placed right on the grates of a hot grill. The recipe below calls for this method of cooking; give it a try and let us know what you think. I’ve paired the delicious and nutritious summer squashes with superfoods, brown rice and Swiss chard, and healthy plant protein from chickpeas. All that wrapped up into a summery salad suitable for a main dish or a side — that’s tough to beat!

Grilled summer squash

Grilled Summer Squash & Brown Rice Salad

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice
3-4 summer squash and/or zucchini, sliced lengthwise, about 1/4″ thick
5-6 leaves Swiss chard, stems completely removed (slice the stem out from between the two halves of the leaves)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 sweet onion and some of its greens, chopped

Dressing
2 tbs olive oil (or other oil of your choice)
1 tsp grated lemon zest plus 2 tbs juice
1/2 teaspoon agave
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh herbs of your choice (basil works great here), chopped
additional salt and pepper to taste

Method
Cook the rice according to package directions.

Fire up your grill! Lay out the squash slices. Lightly spray each side with grapeseed (or other high-heat) oil, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once the grill is heated, place the squash in one layer, cover and cook for ~3 minutes, until grill marks are apparent. Flip and cook another couple minutes, again until grill marks are apparent. Squash cooks very quickly on the grill and can become soggy (especially the larger ones) if left on too long, so be careful not to overcook. Remove from heat and let cool.

Blanch the Swiss chard in boiling water for 2 minutes, rinse in cold water and chop. Add chard, onion, chickpeas to a serving bowl.

Cut squash into a large dice and add to the bowl; you should have about 2 cups.  Gently stir in rice.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and then add to salad, stirring to combine everything. Adjust seasonings to taste.  Serve at room temperature, or chill.  This salad also make a great stuffing for tortillas or collard wraps.

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!

Lemongrass and CurryLemongrass is one of the many herbs grown at Blooming Glen Farm. Its lovely scent is due to citral, also the active ingredient in lemon peel, which has strong bacteria- and fungal-fighting antimicrobial qualities. Lemongrass is high in folic acid and essential vitamins, including B5, B6, ND B1, as well as the antioxidants vitamins C and A, potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium.

Native to India, lemongrass is not only nutritious, but tasty, too! It’s commonly used in Thai and Vietnamese dishes, particularly soups and curries. It’s unique citrus flavor really brightens up recipes, and is more versatile than one might think. It pairs well with everything from tofu to beef, and can even be used in tea. See below for a flavorful green curry recipe that not only uses lemongrass, but also lots of other goodies from this week’s share.

References and recommended links:

Summer Veggie and Lemongrass Green Curry

Summer Veggie and Lemongrass Green Curry

Ingredients:
1 can coconut milk
2-3 tbs green curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen, available in the Asian section of the grocery store)
4-5 stalks of lemongrass; trim off the grassy tops so that you’re left with about 6 inches or the stalk, then remove any tough outer leaves and mince.
2 tbs tamari
2 tbs brown sugar
1 lb tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
2 sweet peppers, julienned
1 zuchinni, sliced into disks
1/2 an onion, julienned
1/2 Chinese eggplant, sliced into disks
1/3 cup basil, cut into ribbons

Method:
Heat coconut milk, lemongrass, curry paste, tamari, and brown sugar in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Mix well, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add tofu, simmer 7 minutes longer. Add vegetables, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until veggies are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in basil and serve.

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!