Archive for the ‘Raw’ Category

Pear-Lime Water Infusion

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Infusing fruit flavors into water is one trick I use it make water just a little more fun. Our bodies need to replenish water that is lost due to perspiration, through regular trips to the bathroom, and even through breathing. Dehydration, even mild, can be the cause for fatigue, dry skin, headaches, The amount of water differs for each person but following the simple, 8-8 rule… Eight glasses of eight ounce fluids is a great idea.
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Using The Entire Juice Pack

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

The Juice pack was introduced in January to  provide those participants that wanted to do a juice fast an easy and affordable option; for many it was a chance to add some extra fruits and veggies to their dinner table.  I tried juicing and actually liked some of the concoctions that I came up with, but I tend to use it to add some extra produce to the table.  I decided to try some “Retro” dishes and a couple you might not have thought of…ready?  Here we go!

Juice pack: celery, kale, pineapple, parsley, apples, carrots, ginger, beet with greens, lemons and limes

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Benefits of Raw Food

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Picture by Peggy Greb, U.S. Department of Agriculture

How many times have you picked up your basket and immediately thought “What should I cook with all of this?”.  Eating it raw is often a secondary thought.  We eat a lot of raw produce in my house as snacks but sometimes even I miss the easiest way to handle them to reap many benefits:

  • Nutritious - Not surprisingly, consuming raw foods have many health benefits – like contributing to low cholesterol and triglycerides.  Many foods are most nutritious in their raw form, for example, cooking can reduce the amount of Vitamin C in foods.  
  • Maintaining a healthy weight – Raw fruits and veggies are low in calories and their high fiber content can help you feel full.
  • Naturally delicious – Another great advantage is that numerous fruits and vegetables are tasty with no preparation at all.
  • Less packaging waste - I love that eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables means that you are not generating as much waste from packaging.
  • Less dishes and kitchen mess –  This one may seem like less of a big deal but it is a big win if I haven’t destroyed the kitchen making my family a snack or meal.
Raw foods are a great step toward good health but I’m not suggesting that you go all raw - my research tells me that some nutrients are heightened by cooking, others are reduced, some aren’t changed and there are still a lot of grey areas.  Also, there are a lot of really terrific foods that aren’t edible when not cooked – and cooking is fun!  So keep in mind that a well-rounded, healthy diet is the best way to ensure that you are nourishing your body with all of the vitamins and minerals that you need.

Got my husband to eat sweet chili peppers…

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

It will be 22 years this Spring that I have been married to my Darling Husband, and for 22 years I have tried to get him to eat fresh peppers.  He will eat them roasted or hidden in soups, stews and casseroles but raw, not a chance.  So here I sit with these cute little sweet colorful chili peppers, I don’t want to cook them…what to do…what to do… then i hear a cooking show on the television…pimento cheese spread.  Hmmmm…I have red peppers from the Italian pack sitting on the counter…I could make that!

A quick charring under the broiler peel and dice, whip together the cheese spread and slice the little peppers in half, fill with pimento cheese spread and onto my deviled egg tray (love when I find another use for a specialty platter.) and I now have an appetizer!

I took them in and sat then down near my husband and before I knew it half the tray was gone!  YES!!!  I got my husband to eat sweet chili peppers!!!

slice sweet chili peppers in half and remove seeds

stuff with pimento cheese

Pimento Cheese Spread

Ingredients

  • 1 roasted (seeded and peeled) red pepper finely diced
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire
  • 2 Tbsp. grated onion
  • a dash of Cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. mix all together, and chill

Miranda S.

Home Cook

Recipe Round-Up for March 2, 2012

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Blood Orange Cheesecake from Martha Stewart

Blood Orange, Beet, and Fennel Salad from Epicurious

Roasted Carrot Soup from Food52

Simple Grilled Asparagus from Serious Eats

Asian Lettuce Wraps from All Recipes

Swiss Chard with Garbanzo Beans and Fresh Tomatoes from All Recipes

Swiss Chard with Garbanzo Beans and Fresh Tomatoes from All Recipes

Chayote with Tomato and Green Chiles from Simple Recipes

Maple Creme Brulee with Poached Forelle Pears

Roasted Beet and Winter Squash Salad with Walnuts from NY Times

Apple and Beet Salad from The Bitten Word

Apple and Beet Salad from The Bitten Word

Unstuffed Green Pepper Soup from Food.com

Unstuffed Green Pepper Soup from Food.com

Canary Island Cilantro Soup from Food.com

Eat Your Greens!

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Though it’s no new discovery that vegetables are beneficial to ones health, did you know that greens, when eaten regulartly will improve your health.   Greens are filled with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant-based substances all of which play an important role in the maintenance and well being of your body.   Without a doubt the fastest and easiest way to incorporate greens into our diets is by way of the salad.  Now most people when they think of salad they think of the basics:  ice berg lettuce, tomatoes, maybe a few slices of purple onion and a crouton or two.  What they don’t realize is that there not only are some greens not actually green but there are dozens of varieties to choose from.  Here we’ll go over some of the most commonly used and their care.

Lettuces are one of the oldest vegetables known to man.  They are grown and sold worldwide and are members of the genus Lactuca.  The most common of the lettuce families are butterhead, crisp head, leafy, and romaine.

Types of Lettuce

Butterhead

Boston and Bibb

  

 

 

 

 

The most common of the butterhead variety, Boston and Bibb posses soft leaves and feature a buttery texture and flavor.  Boston is larger than bibb but both for cuts and are excellent choices to be used in making lettuce wraps.

 

Crisp Head 

Iceberg

 

 

The most common of all lettuces, iceberg falls under the crisp head category.   It possess a mild flavor, remains crisp for long periods of time and lends itself well to hearty dressings.

 

Leaf

Red and Green

   

 

 

Distinguishable by it’s separate ruffle edge leaves, leaf lettuce is not a firm head.  It’s rather delicate, therefore, can be easily damaged.  Leaf lettuce can be found in both red and green varieties and are known for their mild flavor and tender leaves.

Romaine

 

 

 

 

 

I like to call Romaine the backbone of all the lettuce family.  It’s hearty, flavorful, and versatile.  Romaine is a loosely packed head with long leaves and thick ribs.  The outside leaves are dark and you will see a noticeable fading as you get into the center of the head, or the “heart” of the romaine.

Living Lettuce

 

 

 

Though not new in the culinary world, living lettuce is finally making it’s way to dinner tables across the United States.  Living lettuce is grown hydroponic and sold with the root system in tact.  if you happen to have a green thumb you can maintain the lettuce for quite awhile if you just pull off leaves as needed.  The most commonly used living lettuce varieties are butter and bibb but if you look around you can also find  arugula, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, Boston lettuce and watercress.

                                                                                        

Other Greens

Edible Flowers

 

 

 

 

The most common and easiest to find are nasturtiums, calendulas, and pansies.  They are often used in salads or as garnish.

****Be mindful to ONLY use edible, pesticide free blossoms.***

Spinach

 

 

 

 

When most people think of spinach they see visions of Popeye and the overcooked spinach that he always ate.  Truth be told, spinach is terribly under appreciated but incredibly versatile.  Whether tossed in a salad, sauteed with bacon or added to stuffing, spinach possesses a rich flavor and tender bite.

Spring Mix(aka Mesclun)

 

 

 

 

A mixture of a variety of baby greens that posse very subtle flavors much less bitter than their more mature counterparts.

Arugula

 

 

 

Sometimes known as rocket arugula is actually a member of the cabbage family.  It’s strong spicy flavor lends itself best to salad mixes when eaten raw but can be quite delightful when sauted.

Endive

 

 

 

 

A member of the chicory family, endive can be found in a a couple of varieties, Belgian and curly.  Belgian is the shoot of the chicory root.  The leaves are normally seperated and filled though whole heads can also be grilled or braised.

 Watercress

 

 

 

 

Delicate leaves on hearty stems, watercress has a very peppery flavor and can be tossed into salads, added to cream cheese, soups and most savory dishes what do not require extended cooking times.

 

Kale

 

 

 

 

Most commonly identified by it’s large ruffled/curly leaves kale possess a bitter flavor that goes well with rich foods but is a nice accent to salads and soups and can sometimes be found in it’s ornamental variety (also known as Savoy).

 

Chard

 

 

 

 

Somewhat tart and almost spinach like, chard is essentially a type of beet that does not produce a root.  It can be steamed, sauteed or used in soups and salads.

Care and Storage

Please keep in mind that all salad greens are highly perishable and need to be handled properly in order to maintain a reasonable shelf life.  Soft leaved varieties tend to perish more quickly than their heartier leaved counterparts.  Do not store greens with tomatoes, apples or other fruits that emit ethylene gas as it will accelerate spoilage.  All greens should be vinegar washed after they are torn and  prior to using.  Drain thouroughly either in a colander or a salad spinner as wet greens do not stay crisp, they do not hold dressing, and they will go bad much more quickly than dried leaves.  Once dried store in an airtight container.

 

Don’t forget to eat your greens!

 

 

 

 

 

Cucumber Radish Salad

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

The radishes are staring at you, and you are staring at them. What in the world will you do with 6. You can slice one or two up in a regular green salad with dinner, or perhaps use them in some coleslaw with the cabbage you received this week, but better than that you can get rid of the whole bunch plus your cucumber and any stray carrots left in the ‘fridge with this zesty sweet salad! (You can really tell we focus on 100% basket consumption around here!)

Cucumber Radish Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 english cucumber, seeded and sliced length wise and then into cubes
  • 1/2 bell pepper cubed
  • 1 medium carrot shredded
  • 6 medium radishes shredded
  • 3 Tablespoons parsley (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions

  1. Chop/shred the cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, and radishes to a medium bowl. Mix with the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, and parsley. Top with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Fruit of the Angels– Papaya (Papaw, Pawpaw)

Friday, November 30th, 2012

One of the exciting things about Bountiful Baskets is the occasional opportunity to try new fruits and vegetables. Once in a while, something really unique and unavailable in my Northern neck of the middle-of-nowhere woods Great Plains shows up in the basket. Today’s basket was one of those baskets! Papaya. PAPAYA! The only papaya I have ever tried before today is in Dole Tropical Canned Fruit—obviously not the same at all as eating the real, uncanned, fresh fruit. I am SO EXCITED! And my kids are too! Baloo the bear from Disney’s Jungle Book even sang a song mentioning the Papaya (in the Bare Necessities—you don’t need a claw to pick the big pawpaw!)

It is rumored that Christopher Columbus, upon trying a Papaya, called it the “Fruit of the Angels”. And, an amazing fruit it truly is! Aside from tasting heavenly and sweet, this fruit is PACKED with some power-house nutrients—provitamin A carotenoids, B vitamins, Vitamin C, lycopene, dietary minerals, and fiber, as well as many phytochemicals, including phynols (antioxidants). Papayas have a lot of natural pectin, which is useful for making jellies and jams. It is also the only plant that produces papain, an enzyme which helps break down proteins, and is often used as a meat tenderizer. Papayas are low calorie, and high fiber. The papaya seeds are edible and are sometimes used as a substitute for pepper, as they have a bitter but somewhat peppery flavor. The leaves have been made into teas in some parts of the world to help combat malaria and other ailments. And that is just the tip of the iceberg! Truly, a rather spectacular plant, and a spectacular fruit!

For more information about some of the health benefits of the papaya, here are a few links:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=47
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carica_papaya
http://www.gurumaa.com/content/papaya-a-powerhouse-of-nutrients.html
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1985/2

WARNING: If you have a latex allergy and are unable to eat avocados and bananas, you should also avoid eating the papaya, as there could be possible allergic reactions.

Here is how you eat it!

  1. Wash it
  2. Cut it in half
  3. Gently scoop the seeds out. Save the seeds to use in a salad dressing, or discard them.
  4. Either peel it gently with a knife or a vegetable peeler, or scoop out the soft meat with a spoon or melon baller
  5. Savor something tropical!

Here are some recipes to try, if you want to venture into cooking with the papaya instead of just chowing down on it!

Papaya Seed Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon fresh papaya seeds
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar (or other try other flavors)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Process the seeds and the onion in a blender or food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Add the onion, vinegar, sugar, and salt and pulse a few times.
  3. With the processor running, slowly drizzle the oil in until it emulsifies.
  4. Enjoy on some greens!

Hawaiian Pineapple, Papaya & Maui Onion Relish

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Hawaiian pineapple, cored and diced into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup papaya, diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup Maui onion, diced
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, julienne cut
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh sage, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh Chinese parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Shoyu (may use low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, tossing thoroughly. Set aside and chill for a few hours. Serve as a relish for grilled fish or chicken, seared ahi, or as a salsa with chips.

Notes

For some other fun recipes, check out:

http://www.hawaiipapaya.com/recipes.htm

Tomato Papaya Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe papaya (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 large ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (1/4 inch)
  • 1/3 cup diced (1/4 inch) red onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced and seeded jalapeño
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. Gently combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use, up to 4 hours.

Papaya Avocado Salad

Papaya Ginger Smoothie from Martha Stewart

p.s. If you would like a couple more Papaya recipes, Check out today’s (12-1-12) recipe round-ups!

Conventional Basket Recipe Round-Up for 12-01-12

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Vegetarian Recipes are marked with a (v)

(V) James Beard's AMAZING Persimmon Bread from David Lebovits (contains alcohol in the recipe)

(v) Ginger Persimmon Bread from Joy the Baker (non-alcoholic)

(v) Persimmon Chiffon Pie from Food52

(v) Banana Papaya Pie from Food.com

Papaya Chicken from the Cooking Channel

(v) Chilled Caribbean Red Papaya and Watermelon Soup from Tasty Kitchen.com

Garlic and Sausage stuffed Mushrooms from Allrecipes.com

(v) Mushroom Tikka Masala from Rasa Malaysia

(v) Balsamic Glazed Roasted Carrots from Crumb

Cantaloupe Agua Fresca from Chow

(v) Broccoli and Potato Pancakes from The Family Kitchen

(v) Broccoli and Cheddar Gougères from The Family Kitchen

End of Summer Smoothie

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

“Put the lime in the cucumber…”.  Okay, not quite, but close.  And delicious.

I recently read a recipe for a cucumber lime smoothie and it took the top spot on my “must try” list.  And then, AMAZING!  We got both cucumbers and limes in our basket today!  I came home and immediately threw the ingredients into my blender.  I changed the recipe a little bit (it’s a compulsion) and I’m sure you could adapt this pretty easily to your preferences.  I love the simplicity of the ingredients, and it tastes light, refreshing, and happy.  Today might be the first day of fall, but it still feels like summer and I’m soaking in every minute of sunshine, in the sky or in a smoothie.
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