Tomato Time!

Summer is THE best time for tomatoes. For the first time ever, I grew my own garden and am now enjoying the benefits of a plentiful tomato harvest. 

 

Yes that is 7 reddening tomatoes to be ripe in a few days! AND a dozen green ones to follow it up! Who knew it was this easy?
 
Tonight’s side dish is a yummy…

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

  1. Large ripened Tomato
  2. Small crispy Cucumber 
  3. Ripe Avocado
  4. 1/4 Red Onion – coarsely chopped 
  5. 1oz Goat Cheese (optional)
  6. Drizzle of Garlic Grapeseed Oil or EVO
  7. Coarse Sea Salt

Combine first 4 ingredients loosely. Drizzle with oil. Top with Goat Cheese and Salt.  

 

Summer Breakfast Smoothie

My breakfast Smoothie this week –

  • A handful of Spinach or Kale from my first garden (started this Spring but that is a story for another blog post)
  • 1/3 frozen Banana
  • 1/2 Gala Apple
  • 4 baby Carrots
  • 1/2 mini Cucumber 
  • Small handful of Walnuts or Pecans
  • 1/2 cup organic Whole Milk
  • Cover remaining ingredients in cold water
  • Blend (I still love my Nutribullet)

You don’t even have to “strive for 5″ with this breakfast. You’ve already had you recommended daily veggies for breakfast! 

I encourage you to pair this smoothie  with a salad with protein for lunch and a meat with two veggies for dinner. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy all the wonderful local fruits and veggies in season. And not all veggies have to be leafy greens. (See yesterday’s post with turnips- yum!)

CSA Inspired Dinner

My latest CSA box included turnips and bok choy. I haven’t been able to get to them yet this week and, lucky me, they are still good tonight!  Here is what I found on Pinterest that will fill my plate tonight! (click on the link to go directly to the website)

Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon with Bok Choy

Dinner Tonight: Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon with Bok Choy

Ingredients

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 inch peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 salmon fillets, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 4-6 heads baby bok choy, root ends trimmed off
  1. Whisk soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, ginger, and garlic together until honey dissolves. Reserve 1/4 cup of marinade in separate bowl, then place salmon fillets, skin-side up, in marinade. Allow to marinate for at least 10 minutes, preferably for 30.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat broiler (or grill) to high. Heat 1/4 cup of water in medium skillet over high heat and bring to a boil. Add bok choy and cover. Allow to steam until almost tender, about 4 minutes, then add reserved marinade. Toss to combine, cook for an additional 2 minutes to reduce excess liquid. Remove from heat.
  3. Put the salmon under the broiler skin-side down and broil without turning until exterior is well-caramelized and the fish is just cooked through, 7-10 minutes, depending on thickness and the distance from broiler.
  4. Arrange bok choy on plates and top with the salmon fillets.

And my additional Side Dish (I cut the recipe by a third since its only for 2 of us) 

  • 8 cups of chopped turnips (about 10-12 medium turnips), peeled and diced
  • bone broth or water for boiling
  • ½ pound of bacon
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped or chopped
  1. Put diced turnips is a large pot and fill with water or bone broth.
  2. Bring to a boil and let simmer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes or until tender (the longer you simmer, the better because the less bitter it will be. Sometimes I let them simmer for over an hour!)
  3. While the turnips are cooking, cook your bacon in skillet over medium heat until crispy.
  4. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease and then crumble your bacon.
  5. Once turnips are done simmering, drain well.
  6. Return turnips to pot and add all remaining ingredients, except the bacon and chives.
  7. Mash to desired consistency.
  8. Fold in bacon.
  9. Top with fresh chopped chives.

YAY CSA!!!

Today is the first day of this year’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. I just opened my first box to find:

  • Head of BEAUTIFUL romaine lettuce
  • A perfect Hot House tomato
  • Spinach
  • Baby BokChoy
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Easter Egg Radishes
  • A nice size bunch of Asaparagus

So why am I bragging about my box share to you? This is what is in-season and local THIS week.  Add these items to this week’s grocery list and they should not disappoint.

Here comes the fresh veggies! Sign up for a local CSA today!

Buzby Pic

I just signed up with AT Buzby Farm’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). From May to September, my family and I will enjoy a weekly share of locally-grown IN SEASON produce that are either organic or sustainable.

See if you can find a farm CSA near you this year. It introduces you to a whole new world of veggies that you may never taste or even have seen. It is really interesting to find out what is grown in your area and which time of year. When the grocery stores offer strawberries all year (from all ends of the Earth), its hard to remember that they are only locally-grown in the Spring/Summer here. ​

Here is some info from Buzby’s website. This is very similar to other CSAs I have participated in the past.

Why CSA?

At one time, a large portion of our diet was supplied by the fertile lands which surround us. Today our food system has changed. It’s common today to find imported produce in the grocery store while the local crop is in season and being shipped out of state! How crazy is that? It is our mission to reverse this trend. The CSA program is an effort to fill the dinner tables of our members with fresh, nutritious produce while providing them an opportunity to reconnect with the seasonal nature of local food and help preserve a working family farm. 

The Risk

By joining this CSA, you become a shareholder in the operation. If the season is good we all share the bounty. If the season is poor we all suffer the loss. At times there will be an abundance of some crops and you will get more than you expect. Other times, there may be crop failures and we will have less to share. While we will act in good faith to provide produce for the 20-week season, there is no guarantee of quantities or contents of weekly shares.

What does a share include?

You will get an assortment of fresh produce each week for 20 weeks. You can pick up weekly at one of the pick-up locations (2 in Collingswood!). Some veggies may be new to you, but part of the fun of a CSA is trying new things! Recipes will be provided to help you find new ways to enjoy your produce. A share also includes an invitation to our Spring Open House and the Fall Pumpkin Pick.

A typical week includes:

Spring
2 qts. Strawberries
2 lb. Asparagus
8 turnips with greens
2 heads Romaine
1 bunch carrots

2 Spring Onions
Pick you own Snap Peas

Early Summer
1 doz. Sweetcorn
4 Tomatoes
2 Bell peppers or Eggplant

1 pound of String Beans
1 Cantaloupe or Watermelon

Pick-your own grape tomatoes
Cut-your-own flowers and herbs

Late Summer
1 doz. Sweetcorn
6 Apples
2 red/yellow bell peppers
2 Eggplant
2 lbs. potatoes
2 Winter Squash

Events just for our CSA members

 Spring Open House

Spring is ripe with anticipation. Come get a tour of the farm and see the crops as they are just getting started. Enjoy u-pick strawberries and strawberry desserts! This is a great opportunity to get to know your farmers better and for us to get to know you. 

Fall Pumpkin Pick

Enjoy the crisp autumn air while on a wagon ride to pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkin. Lots of fun for kids!

Organic crops include:

 bok choy, broccoli, broccoli raab, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, herbs, kohlrabi, lettuces, onions, peas, hot peppers, spinach, swiss chard, heirloom tomatoes, and grape tomatoes.

Non-organic crops, which are grown with integrated pest management (IPM) practices to reduce reliance on synthetic pesticides, include: beets, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, green beens, melons, radishes, squash, strawberries, sweet corn and watermelons and winter squash.

Some products are sourced from neighboring farms including: apples, asparagus, blueberries, lima beans and peaches. These crops are grown conventionally.

Only a few years ago, our family farm was focused on commercial-scale production or fresh produce and had no market for organically grown crops. When we started the CSA, we also began transitioning some land into organic production because we knew our CSA members would appreciate it. As the CSA grows, so will the portion of products that are grown organically. We are still working to develop ways to grow some crops organically while producing an acceptable yield and quality of product.

Our farm is also GAP (good agricultural practices) certified which ensures the safety of the produce.

It can be very confusing to be a consumer these days with many powerful and conflicting messages out there. What we can promise is that we will do our best to grow safe, nutritious food not only for our customers, but also for ourselves as we enjoy eating all of the crops we grow and feed them to our young children with confidence that they will be nourished.

 Stay tuned! I’ll be sharing my adventures into starting my first garden this year!

Chili when it’s Chilly!

Paleonewbie-Chili-Paleo-Slowcooker-Rv-1266x850

Spring is just around the corner (technically 14 more days!). Before it gets here and we are still surrounded by snow, let’s relish in our comfort foods before its summer and time for fresh fruit and cool salads.

I love chili but, following the Primal Blueprint, beans are off the ingredient list. This recipe offers bacon in its place (twist my arm).

I’d like to thank PaleoNewbie.com for this tasty meal!

Paleo Crockpot Chili

Paleonewbie-Chili-Paleo-Slowcooker-Rv-1266x850

Ingredients

    • 2 lbs. of ground beef (Or you can split 1lb of beef and 1lb turkey/pork)
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, both diced
    • 1 cup of carrots, finely diced
    • 1 cup of celery, diced (I don’t like celery so I leave this out)
    • 1 jalapeño, minced (optional)
    • (1) 28-ounce can of crushed or stewed tomatoes
    • (1) 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
    • (1) 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
Spices
    • 3 tbs. of chili powder
    • 1 tbs. of oregano
    • 1 tbs. of basil
    • 2 tsp. of cumin
    • 1 tsp. of salt
    • 1 tsp. pepper
    • 1 tsp. onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp. of cayenne
Garnish
  • About 4 pieces of bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 1 or 2 avocados, diced

Instructions

  1. Saute onions and garlic together in a large saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add ground beef to the saucepan, and brown
  3. Drain excess fat
  4. Transfer the cooked onions, garlic and meat to your crockpot
  5. Add all vegetables and spices (except garnish ingredients) to the crockpot
  6. Give it all a good stir
  7. Set crockpot to low and allow to slow cook for about 6 hours
  8. Spoon into individual bowls
  9. Garnish with crumbled bacon and avocado slices

This can be served with Sweet Potato Rounds and Sweet Stuffed Peppers for some crunch.