Good Eats Newsletter - January 25th, 2012

Good Eats Newsletter - January 25th, 2012
This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
Yellow Onions;  Adirondack Blue Potatoes; Parsnips; Kohlrabi (speckled on outside, peel and eat, insides are delicious!) and .....
1 Bag of Salad Greens
1 Package Coleslaw Mix
1 Package Frozen Green or Red Peppers
Localvore Offerings Include:
Golden Crops Organic Rolled Oats
Lake's Edge La Luna Cheese
Pete's Kitchen Salsa Roja
 
Coleslaw Mix Feedback
 
This week we are including our coleslaw mix for the very first time in the share. We are considering this for a product in stores and would like your feedback! I will send a survey out on Friday with the following questions and room for you to give us any other feedback you see fit.
Overall appearance, is it attractive and appetizing?
  1. Flavor, is the mixture of vegetables well balanced?
  2. Is the shred size good, should it be finer or thicker?
  3. Packaging, is the packaging holding up, would it be attractive in a store with a label on it or does is look odd? Suggestions are welcome if you have any ideas.
  4. What kind of dressings do you prefer for this product, a Classic Coleslaw Dressing or something different like Mexican-Lime Coleslaw Dressing, recipes listed below?
Thanks ahead of time for sharing your thoughts with us!
 
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Good Eats Newsletter - January 25th, 2012

Sign-up now to reserve your share of fresh, organic, Vermont grown goodness and the localvore staples you love.
NEW - Sign up online! We are now offering an online sign up for the share. Simply fill out the online form and mail your payment.
Go to our Spring Share page
for more details or to download an order form.
Pete's Musings
I had a fun morning making beautiful coleslaw with Heather and Jackson. Lots of different colors from the purple cabbage and multi colored carrots, we hope you enjoy it and please let us know what you think. 
What is the most difficult issue for a diversified organic veggie farm in the northeast? Easy answer.... weeds. The combination of diversity (lots of different crops many of which have different weed control strategies), ample moisture to continuously germinate new batches of weeds, and the extremely rapid growth rate of weeds and crops when it gets hot and humid makes it a real challenge. We have an assortment of tractors that we use for weed control but none have been quite what we want. So this winter we set out to design and create exactly what we want.
 
We bought an older Antonio Carraro bi-directional tractor. These are Italian made and typically used for narrow orchard applications. Bi-directional means that you can turn the seat and steering wheel around in order to drive in reverse. Now we are building weed control equipment that we'll mount on the 3 point hitch. We'll be driving the tractor in reverse so that we have full visibility off the rear of the tractor (no engine in the way of seeing the work). We'll replace the tires with tall, skinny tires in order to raise the clearance of the tractor so that we can pass over taller plants for later cultivations. So far it is looking great and we think it is going to be an excellent improvement to the farm. We will keep you updated to how it is going.  ~Pete
Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or we can stop your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.
Storage & Use Tips
Adirondack Blue Potatoes have a glistening purple skin with a solid blue interior. The moist, flavorful flesh is superb for roasting, frying, mashing or boil for salads. They are loaded with minerals, potassium and yes like most blue foods antioxidants too. These spuds are great for kids who love their fun color!
 
Pete's Kitchen Coleslaw Mix - Cabbage is king! Well at least in these cold winter months where there is little food that is fresh and green to eat. If you did not already know green cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C, a very good source of fiber, manganese, and folate and also a fairly good source of molybdenum, vitamin B6, potassium, thiamin (vitamin B1), and calcium. Another interesting fact that my surprise you is cabbage's anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Ordinarily, we simply do not think about this cruciferous vegetable as a source of omega-3s. For that matter, we do not think about cabbage as source of any type of fat. And we are right in this overall type of thinking. Cabbage is not a fatty food. But among the little bit of fat it contains, there is a surprising am ount of one particular omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA.  For maximum nutritional benefits it is recommended to eat your cabbage raw or steamed. For this week we have included some pre-shredded Coleslaw Mix to boost vitamin uptake and add a delicious easy to make side to the weekly mix. The mix includes:  green cabbage, savoy cabbage,  red cabbage and  mixed colored carrots. Not only does it make a delicious slaw it is very pretty, sure to liven up winter meals.  All you need to do is add dressing! See recipes below for variations of coleslaw dressings.
 
The name Kohlrabi derived from the German word for cabbage "kohl" and turnip "rabi".  It is the same species as cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Although each has been selected to appear and taste very different, they have all been derived from the same wild cabbage cultivar. The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to that of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter. The young stem in particular can be as crisp and juicy as an apple. Kohlrabi is eaten raw as well as cooked. The skin should always be peeled removing the tough external skin before using. You will notice our kohlrabi has black spots on its skin from insect damage in the field. This does not affect the inner quality and eating quality is not compromised.
 
Kohlrabi is popular in India and in particular Kashmir where it is called Monj. A Kashmiri household may have this on their dinner or lunch plates three to four times a week. The stem part of the plant is eaten along with the leaves. There is a spicy version which they call dum monj and a non-spicy version is called monj-haakh. See recipe below. For an easy snack simply melt some butter in a pan, add some sliced onions and chopped Kohlrabi and brown.  Add some fresh herbs, put on a lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
 
This week's frozen item is Frozen Green or Red Peppers. Who says eating locally means missing out!  Our frozen veggies are grown on our farm, come in from the field and go straight into the freezer. Our peppers are washed, chopped, bagged and frozen within hours of harvest.  To use vegetables let the package thaw in the fridge till soft, or submerge bag in warm water till usable. Remove from plastic bag before heating. Frozen peppers tend to not have the same rigidity as fresh peppers but retain all the flavors and yummy summer goodness.
 
 
Localvore Lore
This week's La Luna Cheese comes from Blue Ledge Farm in Salisbury, Vermont. The husband-and-wife team Greg Bernhardt and Hannah Sessions, with help from daughter Livia and son Hayden, operate an organic farm and pasture their goats in fields of fresh grasses which receive no pesticides, herbicides or commercial fertilizer. La Luna is an aged Gouda type goat’s milk cheese.  Of those who wrinkle their noses and say, “Oh, I hate goat cheese”, this one is sure to make converts.  La Luna has smooth, semi firm ivory paste and tastes milky and herbal with the scent of fresh grass. A favorite with kids and foodies alike. 
Localvores will also receive a 5 lb bag of Golden Crops Organic Rolled Oats from organic grower Michel Gaudreau of Golden Crops Mill, across the border in Quebec. Michel grows quite a few different grains on his farm and mills grains for organic growers in his area. He has a great operation in a beautiful setting surrounded by his fields. Michel's Golden Crops Mill makes many organic grains available locally that we might not otherwise have local access to and we are grateful for his commitment. These are beautiful, clean organic rolled oats ideal for oatmeal, granola, cookies, streusel toppings etc. See below for a solid granola recipe or one for oatmeal.
Pete's Kitchen Salsa Roja is made right on the farm in our on-farm kitchen from our own organic vegetables. Ingredients include: Pete's tomato puree, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, dried chili peppers, salt and pepper, sugar and citric acid.
Recipes
Dum Monj
This is a spicy Indian dish that is commonly served in places like Kashmir where kohlrabi is a well-known vegetalbe used in everyday cooking. To make the less spicy version monj-haakh simply exclude the green chili peppers listed below.
 
1-2 medium size kohlrabi, peeled and sliced into 1/2" cubes
1 c Moong dal (mung bean sprouts) - substitute or add fresh sunflower or pea shoots adding right at the end so they are not too wilted
1 small onion, minced
1 Tbs grated coconut 
4 green chili peppers, minced (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds 
1/2" ginger root piece, grated
Salt to taste 
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
2 Tbs cooking oil 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds 
1/4 tsp leek or garlic, minced
 
Wash and soak sprouts for 10 minutes and strain water. In a frying pan sprouts and kohlrabi pieces and cook till they become soft. While that is cooking, grind the onion, coconut, chilies, cumin seeds, and ginger root with a little water forming a thick paste. When sprouts and kohlrabi are lightly cooked, add ground paste, turmeric, and salt and cook for five more minutes. Heat oil in a fry pan, add mustard seeds and let them pop. Add the mustard seeds and garlic or leek at the end. Stir in and remove from heat. Serve with rice and Pappad (crisp Indian bread).
 
Classic Coleslaw Dressing
A classic dressing for the coleslaw mix we included in the share this week.
2/3 c mayonnaise (sub sour cream if you like)
1/4 c onion, minced
3 Tbs dill pickled, minced
2 Tbs pickle brine
2 Tbs distilled white vinegar
1 Tbs horseradish
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp celery seeds
Whisk ingredients together until well blended.
Mexican-Lime Coleslaw Dressing
A fun way to spice up your coleslaw mix, serve with chicken or fish.
1/3 c lime juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (to taste)
1/2 c olive oil
Whisk lime juice, ground cumin, garlic and hot pepper sauce together and then slowly whisk in olive oil.
Blue Potato Gratin with La Luna Cheese
This week's la luna cheese is perfect for this recipe, giving it a nice herbal flavor and creamy texture as it melts into the milk and potatoes. The potatoes will melt in your mouth.
3 lb potatoes, sliced in 1/4" slices
6 Tbs butter, melted
2 c whole milk
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 Tbs slat
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3/4 c La Luna cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 400F. Mix seasonings together in a small bowl. Coat the bottom of 9 x 13 baking pan with a portion of the butter. Lay a flat layer of potatoes on the bottom of the pan,  using a brush, brush butter on layer of potatoes and sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg. Lay second layer of potatoes, coat with butter and herbs and sprinkle with 1/3rd of the cheese. Repeat the last two steps until potatoes are used up, leaving the last layer of cheese aside. Heat milk on stove top and then pour over potatoes and apply last layer of cheese. Bake for 45 minutes until potatoes are soft. Let the potatoes cool a bit before serving.
Granola 
In honor of the oats this week I thought I'd share this recipe. I make this granola practically every week because everyone in my family eats it nearly every morning. One of my kids likes it dry, another with milk, and another with yogurt. I like to mix it with other cereals or fruit. We eat it for dessert on maple syrup sweetened yogurt. It's a solid, simple granola recipe. You can add as much as another three cups of various nuts or dried fruit without having to change the amounts of oil and sweetener. You can swap honey for maple syrup interchangeably and use other mild favored oils. Though the amounts given of sweetener and oil are what my fami ly enjoys, you can reduce the oil to 3/4 cup and the sweetener to 1 cup. 

Mix everything together well. If your honey is solid, put the oil and honey in a small saucepan first and warm on the stove until it becomes liquid enough to mix with the other ingredients. Put all of this in two 9" x 13" pans or a large roasting pan. Put in a preheated 250 degree oven and bake for a total of 70-80 minutes, stirring the granola at 30 mins, 50 mins, 60 mins, and 70 mins taking care to rotate the granola that is on the sides and bottom to somewhere in the middle. It is done when it is golden brown. After it cools completely, store in a tightly sealed container.

10 cups oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sunflower oil
1 cup honey
1/2 cup maple syrup
 
 
 
Old Fashioned Oatmeal
This is just the basic how to cook recipe. There are endless possibilities of what you might add to your oatmeal including honey, maple sugar or syrup, dried fruits, frozen berries, sliced apples or melons, etc. You can go totally dairy free, omitting butter and replacing all the milk with water, or add just as much of those as you like. 

2 cups dry rolled oats
3.5 to 3.75 cups water/milk (1.5 cups milk/2+ cups water is good)
1/4 tsp salt
1 TB butter (optional)

Place oats, milk, water and salt in a med ium saucepan and stir to combine. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for five to 10 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and oats have softened to a porridge. Stir in butter. Divide into bowls and garnish with dried fruit and sweetener of your choice.
 
 

Quick Oatmeal
2 cups quick oats
3 cups water/milk (2 cups water, 1 cup milk is a nice mix)
1/4 tsp salt
1 TB butter (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil. Slowly, stir the oats and let the water return to a rolling boil. Immediately, reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in the cinnamon and butter and continue to cook on low for 1 minute. Then add the milk and cook for another 2 minutes.
 
 

Nova Scotia Oatcakes
Amy and her family spent 4 years in Nova Scotia before moving back to VT last year where, because of thier Scottish heritage, Scottish oatcakes are popular. Stop at any coffee shop and in place of the ubiquitous biscotti you will nearly always find oatcakes. These lightly sweet, creamy cookies are great to take along as a healthy snack. With some experimentation you could substitute honey for the sugar.... With this recipe I'd substitute 3/4 cup honey for the sugar, I'd reduce the water to approximately 1/2 cup, and I'd increase the baking soda to 1.5 tsp.
3 cups quick rolled oats?
3 cups flour?
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
?1 teaspoon baking soda
?2 teaspoons salt?
1 1/2 cup shortening?
2/3 – 3/4 cup cold water
In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening. Add enough water to form a rather stiff, pastry-like dough. Roll 3/8 ” thick and cut into circles. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes on a greased baking sheet.