Florida Organic Produce Delivery – December, 17-21 2012

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Florida Organic Produce Delivery
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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!    

 Sunchoke (aka Jerusalem Artichoke)

Jerusalem Artichoke

Sunchoke (Jersualem artichoke) look a bit like a knobbly pink-skinned ginger root and have a sweet, nutty flavor, reminiscent of water chestnuts.  Although not widely used (perhaps because of its awkward appearance or anti-social effects – see NUTRITION), they are an inexpensive and versatile food that can be used both raw and cooked and make a delicious soup.
The sunchoke is native to North America. The French explorer Samuel de Champlain introduced them to Europe after coming across them at Cape Cod in 1605.
Sunchokes are very rich in inulin, a carbohydrate linked with good intestinal health due to its prebiotic (bacteria promoting) properties. Sunchokes also contain vitamin C, phosphorus and potassium and are a very good source of iron.

 Produce List for the week of December, 17-21 2012:

* Lettuce Red Leaf (Fl)
* Greens-Chard Bright Lights (Fl)
* Green Beans (Fl)
* Collard Greens (Fl)
* Broccoli
* Cucumber (Fl)
* Parsley Italian (Fl)
* Potato Red
* Sunchoke
* Sprout Bean Mung (Fl)
* Onion Yellow
* Carrots Bunny Juice
* Tomato on the vine (Fl)
* Apples Pinata
* Bananas
* Tangerine Sunburst (Fl)
* Orange Navel (Fl)
* Pears Bosc

 

 Green Beans– Fresh from Florida

What’s New and Beneficial about Green Beans

Because of their rich green color, we don’t always think about green beans as providing us with important amounts of colorful pigments like carotenoids. But they do! Recent studies have confirmed the presence of lutein, beta-carotene, violaxanthin, and neoxanthin in green beans. In some cases, the presence of these carotenoids in green beans is comparable to their presence in other carotenoid-rich vegetables like carrots and tomatoes. The only reason we don’t see these carotenoids is because of the concentrated chlorophyll content of green beans and the amazing shades of green that it provides.

Green beans (referred to as “string beans” by the study authors) have recently been shown to have impressive antioxidant capacity.

Researchers now know that the list of antioxidant flavonoids found in green beans is not limited to quercetin and kaemferol but also includes flavonoids like catechins, epicatechins, and procyanidins. Researchers also know that the antioxidant carotenoids in this vegetable are diverse, and include lutein, beta-carotene, violaxanthin, and neoxanthin, as noted above.

Green beans may be a particularly helpful food for providing us with the mineral silicon. This mineral is very important for bone health and for healthy formation of connective tissue.

String Beans and Wild Mushrooms

string bean recipes

There is nothing better than string beans and wild mushrooms.  You may substitute the wild mushrooms for any mushrooms that you can find fresh and organic.  This dish is also ideally served as a salad!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pound(s) green beans, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 8 ounce(s) wild mushrooms, such as chanterelle, oyster or porcini, trimmed and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and wax beans and cook until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. (Cook for another minute or two if you like your green beans more tender.) Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their juices and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  3. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the mushrooms for garnish. Add the cooked beans to the mushrooms in the pan and cook, stirring to combine, until heated through, 1 to 3 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Serve topped with the reserved mushrooms.
  4. Substitution note: If you cant find wild mushrooms, use button, cremini, or shitake mushrooms.  Although they are expensive, wild porcini mushrooms are the most fabulous of all!

String Bean, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad

string bean, blue cheese and walnut salad

Tender-crisp long green beans tossed with creamy blue cheese and topped with toasted walnuts.  This is another String bean dish that can be served hot or chilled as a string bean, blue cheese and walnut salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound(s) green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup(s) water
  • 2 teaspoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup(s) crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/3 cup(s) toasted chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Bring green beans and water to a boil in a large skillet. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the beans are just tender, 3 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the water has evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes more.
  2. Add oil, salt, and pepper to the pan and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Transfer the beans to a large bowl and toss with blue cheese until well coated. Sprinkle each serving with walnuts.
  3. To toast chopped or sliced nuts, stir constantly in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

String Bean Tomato Salad

string bean and tomato salad

When you get a hold of some small tomatoes ans string beans, combine the green beans and some cherry tomatoes, or pear tomatoes with tarragon, thyme, and chives for a light & easy, delicious string bean tomato salad.  Better double this recipe if you’re expecting more than 1 guest…

Ingredients:

  •  2 pound(s) green beans
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon(s) red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon(s) chopped tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon(s) snipped chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/2 pound(s) cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until they are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the green beans under cold water until they are chilled; pat the green beans dry.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the mustard with the vinegar. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the green beans, tarragon, chives, and thyme and toss to coat. Add the tomatoes, toss gently, and serve.

Roasted potatoes and green bean with mustard drizzle

It doesn’t take much to upgrade a simple dish. Pair potatoes with string beans and add a mustard drizzle for a result that looks and tastes far from ordinary. And the preparation gets two vegetables on the table.
When you’re working with only a few ingredients, it’s important that they shine. Use a good-quality white wine vinegar, and make sure the string beans are tender. Woody beans get even worse when roasted.
Ingredients
• 3 pounds red skin potatoes, cut into approximately 1-inch chunks
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• Salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 8 ounces string beans, trimmed and cut into 1-to-1 1/2-inch lengths
• 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
• 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 2 tablespoons chopped chives/ parsley

Method
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Have a large nonstick roasting pan at hand.
Combine the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of the oil in the pan, tossing to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 15 minutes, then turn the potatoes over. Roast for another 15 minutes.
Add the beans and toss to combine. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the beans are just starting to wrinkle.

Meanwhile, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the sugar, parsley and chives in a medium bowl to form an emulsified dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a platter and drizzle with the dressing. Serve warm. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Blanched Green Beans with Shallots and Herbs
Simply blanched fresh green beans are the best way to enjoy them, I think. Experiment with different herbs (marjoram or fresh oregano are also nice here), or including a chopped nut – almonds or hazelnuts go well.

1 lb green beans, stem end trimmed
1 large shallot, minced
3 T chopped tarragon leaves
olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and heavily salt the water. Blanch the green beans until bright green, softened a bit, sweet, but still slightly crunchy, a couple minutes. Taste one periodically. Drain well, then, while still slightly warm, toss with the shallots and herbs, a few tablespoons of olive oil, and taste to make sure you like them. Serve at room temperature. Give them a splash of lemon if you like just before serving to perk them up (or use a quality white wine vinegar instead).

GREEN BEANS WITH TOMATOES AND BASIL

1 1/2 pounds green beans, cooked
1 garlic clove, diced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tomatoes or 1/2 basket of cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Cut beans into 1‑inch lengths; set aside.  Saute garlic and onion in oil in skillet until soft.  Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cook 2 minutes.  Stir in basil and green beans.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 3 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in parlsey, and serve immediately.  Makes 4‑6 servings.

Baked Green Bean Fries with Basil Aioli – wow!

Baked Green Bean Fries

1/2 lb green beans
1 cup flour
1 egg
1/2 cup skim milk
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
Kosher salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Fill a large pan with 2-3 inches of water and bring to a boil. While water comes to a boil, trim the green beans. Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set aside.

Blanch the beans for 3 minutes and immediately remove them to the ice bath.

To prepare beans, gather three bowls. In the first bowl, combine the flour and spices. In the second bowl, combine the egg and milk, whisking to combine. In the third and final bowl, place the panko and season with salt and pepper. Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture and whisk into the egg/milk mixture.

Pat the beans dry and dredge in the flour mixture, then into the milk/egg mixture, and finally into the panko to coat. Arrange the beans in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil which has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Prepare all of the beans in that manner. Lightly spray beans with olive oil spray.

Bake beans at 425 F for 15 minutes, or until slightly browned. Yield: 6 appetizer or side portions (about 10 green beans).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 139 calories; 1.5 g. fat; 36 mg. cholesterol; 194 mg. sodium; 27.5 g. carbohydrate; 0.7 g. fiber; 6 g. protein

Result: Crunchy, light, and a fun twist on both a veggie side and traditional French fries. Mr. Prevention loved these, as well. Two thumbs up from us! Enjoy!

Basil Aioli Dip

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup packed basil leaves
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove, pressed
pinch of salt
1/2 cup light olive oil-based mayonnaise

Directions:

Process ingredients together in a food processor. Refrigerate until served. Yield: 9 tablespoons.

Nutrition Information (per tablespoon): 59 calories; 6.4 g. fat; 5 mg. cholesterol; 128 mg. sodium; 1.2 g. carbohydrate; 0 g. fiber; 0.1 g. protein

Result: Creamy and flavorful and packed with healthy fat. The perfect dipping sauce for your low-calorie baked treat. This would also be great as a dollop on mashed potatoes, on meat, etc. Delicious! Enjoy!

FINISHING TOUCHES FOR BEANS
After steaming or blanching, try one of these:

‑ With Butter & Lemon Juice:  toss beans with butter in a hot frying pan.  Sprinkle with lemon juice, and season with salt & pepper.
‑ With Onions:  lightly brown chopped onions in butter, add beans, and toss until thoroughly coated in butter and onions.
‑ With Oil and Garlic:  Heat 2 tablespoons oil per pound of beans, add 1 clove finely shopped or pureed garlic, cook 30 seconds, add beans; toss until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
‑ With Mushrooms:  Saute 1/4 pound sliced mushrooms per pound of beans in butter until lightly browned.  Add green beans and heat through.

Master Recipe for Boiled Green Beans
from The Best Recipe by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine

We find that green beans respond better to boiling than to steaming.  A pound of beans in a standard steamer will not cook evenly.  Boiling is simpler – just add the beans and cook until tender – and permits the addition of salt during cooking.  Unlike other vegetables, green beans do not become soggy when boiled, because their thick skins keep them crisp and firm.  Leave beans whole when boiling; cut beans will become waterlogged.  Boiled beans can be flavored with some butter or oil, dressed with a vinaigrette, or sauteed briefly in a flavorful fat.

1 pound green beans, ends snapped off
1 teaspoon salt

Bring 2 ½ quarts of water to boil in a large saucepan.  Add beans and salt and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain and season.

Variations:

Simple Green Beans
Dress the beans with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil or a pat of butter as well as a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Green Beans with Bacon and Onion
4 strips bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 medium onion, minced
1 pound green beans, ends snapped off
salt and ground black pepper

Fry bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes.  Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Pour off all but 2 Tbs. bacon drippings.  Add onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile bring 2 ½ quarts of water to boil in large saucepan.  Add beans and salt and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain and add to skillet with onions.  Toss to heat through, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add bacon and season with salt (sparingly) and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

Green Beans Salad With Figs and  Walnut Vinaigrette
I cheated a bit and did the green beans in the microwave and ran them under cold tap water (but I did dry them). I didn’t have the truffle. 😉 Have to try that some time. Don’t put the salad together until just before serving ’cause it gets ucky. Next time I might try having the walnuts in big pieces instead of chopped. -jw

1 lb.  green beans, tipped and tailed
Kosher salt
2 T sherry vinegar
1/8 t freshly ground white pepper
3 T toasted walnut oil
1 T olive oil
2 T snipped chives
1 T very finely diced shallot
6 large ripe figs, stemmed and quartered
20 small basil leaves
2 T coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 oz. summer truffle, very thinly sliced (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a large pinch of salt. Prepare a large water ice bath; set aside.

Drop the beans into the boiling water and cook at a full boil until they are slightly tender and cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, plunge into the ice water to halt the cooking process, drain again, and spread the beans on a kitchen towel.

Combine the sherry vinegar, 1/8 t kosher salt, pepper, walnut oil, and olive oil in a large mixing boil. Whisk vigorously. Add the chives, parsley, and shallot and mix well. Drop the figs, beans, basil leaves, and walnuts into the bowl, and toss together gently but thoroughly with your hands. Sprinkle the salad with a pinch of salt and, if desired, garnish with the thinly sliced summer truffle. Serve immediately.

 

 

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