Sneezing, aching, nose-running, snot-forming, cough coming on – yep that was my life over the latter part of last week and through the weekend. I’m sure many of you can relate. Tis’ the cold and flu season. There are many nourishing whole foods, however, that we can turn our focus toward this time of year. In fact, in case you missed it, the culinary education team at 21 Acres just provided a cooking class centered around this very topic. Rebecca Sorenson, a naturopathic doctoral student at Bastyr University, provided extremely useful information on how and why whole foods can provide us with germ fighting defenses. I was impressed with the knowledge and “work-ability” of the suggestions Rebecca presented and I thought it would be worth everyone’s while if I share similar information here. I can also attest to the effectiveness of the ingredients listed below and the recipes that follow. After 2 large bowls of the ginger chicken soup and a good dose of onion syrup that Rebecca graciously shared, my cold was well on its way to being history. (more…)
Man it was dark today, mostly due to the low clouds and fog I believe. I guess winter has officially started. As the dark days slowly welcome back the light, there are a handful of mood-boosting foods to include with your meals or snacks – especially if you’re prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It’s no secret that some foods just plain ‘ole make us feel better. Foods such as chocolate, creamy casseroles, fresh baked bread, warm saucy pasta, or mashed potatoes all have key nutrients that give our mood a boost. Let’s look at some specific examples.
Chocolate is rich in magnesium, which according to recent research out of Norway, a country cloaked in darkness six months out of the year, has been associated with lower incidences of depression. Keep in mind that the higher the cocoa content of the chocolate, the greater amount of magnesium and the lower amount of sugar. (For many of my clients sugar increases feelings of depression and anxiety.) A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 70-80% cocoa content in your one or two ounce chocolate treat. While 21 Acres recognizes that chocolate in not locally produced, the kitchen and culinary education team do on occasion work with local chocolate companies whose values are in line with 21 Acres in terms of economic and environmental sustainability. Our culinary classes and kitchen source chocolate from Seattle based Theo Chocolates as needed. (more…)
Seriously, who can believe it’s the holidays yet again? Perhaps it’s the frantic traffic, the very focused shoppers who nearly run into you as they check their lists twice, or maybe it’s the shops, streets, and homes a glow with bright colored lights that remind us ’tis the season! Another frequent reminder is the “holiday foods” that appear at family gatherings, office break rooms, and seasonal parties galore. ‘Tis the season for indulgence! But what if we took a break from all the craziness that the holiday season often presents, especially in regards to food? What if we created a new holiday tradition that allowed for more mindfulness around food and our eating environments?
This time of year is perfect for thinking more about how we source our ingredients for those special holiday meals. When we choose high quality, locally produced, pesticide-free ingredients we not only heighten the flavor and nutritional content of our favorite family recipes, we also end up supporting our local economy and reducing the carbon footprint (aka travel miles, petroleum-free growing practices) of our meals. Speaking of flavors, let’s take a closer look at some flavor profiles, which are more likely to be enhanced by choosing higher quality ingredients. (more…)
Eating locally and seasonally can get pretty lean in March, as March is the leanest time of year, here in the Sammamish Valley. The over wintered squashes and root vegetable are exhausted.
Finally, we made it to April. Spring is here. I welcome the longer days and bipolar weather. With spring comes our first greens; dandelions, nettles, raabs and our first new root vegetable-radishes. Radishes…. Working in a Farm Market one might think I like all vegetables, not true. I hate radishes. Every Spring I try them, hoping I may have found an appreciation, nope, still.
While preparing for a Market Demonstration I perused the internet looking for something to inspire my annual radish taste. In my demo I wanted to try something that used the entire portion of the vegetable as I firmly believe that finding a use for entire portion of vegetable not only decreases waste but it stretches your food dollar. I also researched and found out that radishes have some great health benefits for being such usual salad-type vegetable. They are high in vitamin C, detoxifying, and cancer fighting, like all other brassicas. But my favorite fun fact is that radishes can help to remove bilirubin, the cause of jaundice. Both of my babies had mild jaundice and I found that to be so interesting as a nursing mother.
So came the day to give these simple, yet amazing little radishes another try. I used French Breakfast radishes, a beautiful little red/pinkish radish with white at the root tip. I sliced them in half length wise. Cooked them in Cherry Valley salted butter, garlic, and topped them with fresh chives harvested by Mary earlier that morning. Taste was actually yummy. After sampling them out, I finished the plate all to myself… surprising.
Give them a try this week.
RECIPE: Sautéed Radish with the Tops and Chives
2 bunches radishes, washed 3 times
1 ½ tablespoons butter, divided
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Optional: Honey Infused Apple Cider Vinegar
Cut off radish tops, set aside, quarter radishes. Heat large skillet on med high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and radishes, good size pinch salt. Meanwhile, give radish greens a loose chop. Sauté radishes for 8-12 mins or until golden brown. Once radishes are golden, remove from pan, place on a warm plate. Add ½ tablespoon butter, garlic, cook for 30 seconds, and then add green radish tops. Toss, cook 1-2 mins, return radishes to pan, thoroughly incorporate. Remove from pan, top with chives and dash or two of Honey infused apple cider vinegar. Serve.
Hi there, it’s Madeline, 21 Acres intern!
I’m a huge fan of a classic meatball dinner. But as a busy college student, I can’t usually spare the time to form them one by one and cook them in a pot of sauce. A couple of years ago, I experimented by cooking them in a muffin tin, and haven’t made regular meatballs since! I love using cabbage instead of pasta to use up a huge head of cabbage and get some more veggies, too.
A veggie-packed and allergy-friendly version of spaghetti and meatballs, this recipe is a delicious, easy twist on a classic weeknight dinner.
Turkey Mini Meatloaves with Green Cabbage and Marinara
- 2 tablespoons oil, such as grapeseed (olive works too)
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes (maybe some you canned yourself!)
- 1 small bunch fresh basil, chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 head green cabbage, finely shredded
- 1lb ground turkey breast
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 tablespoon oil, such as grapeseed (olive works too)
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 4 large carrots, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh basil, chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Hefty pinch salt
Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion until translucent, then add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, herbs, and salt, and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. Then add the shredded cabbage and simmer for another 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If you have a food processor, use it to chop the onions, garlic, carrots, and herbs; it’ll save a lot of time! Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl with your hands. Then scoop the meat mixture into a 12-cup muffin tin that’s either lined with muffin liners (easiest cleanup) or lightly greased with oil. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the turkey muffins reaches at least 165 degrees F. Let rest for 10 minutes before removing from the tin, taking off the muffin liners if you used them, and adding to the pot of marinara and cabbage. These make great leftovers, too.Thanks for reading! -Madeline
Did you try this recipe? Let us know in the comments below!
Hello! Madeline here, 21 Acres intern.
Pesto, sauteed mushrooms, and caramelized onions: I think it’s hard to go wrong with this combination.
These flavorful little bundles are a great appetizer or snack. Polenta is the perfect backdrop to caramelized onions, crimini mushrooms, and pesto. I love using precooked polenta to save time, but you can easily make your own, too. The spinach adds a pop of color and nutrition, and the breadcrumb topping is simply awesome! I hope you try them.
Mini Polenta Pesto Pies
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (olive works too)
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 10 oz crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tube (18-oz) precooked polenta (or homemade)
- 2 tablespoons pesto (homemade if possible!)
- ½ cup fresh chopped spinach
- 1-2 pieces bread of choice
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent and starting to brown. Add in the mushrooms and cook until they have released most of their water. Add the salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar and continue cooking until the onions are caramelized and the mushrooms are nicely browned. Meanwhile, pulse the bread in a food processor until it is crumbs. Add the melted butter. Then, slice the curved ends off the polenta, and then slice the remaining log into 8 even slices. Place each slice into a half-cup ramekin, and top each slice with one teaspoon of pesto. Top with a few leaves of spinach, and then evenly distribute the mushroom and onion mixture into the ramekins. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top of the ramekins, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Thanks for reading! -Madeline
Did you make this recipe? Let us know in the comments below!
Have you ever wondered about the journey that your produce took to end up on your table? At 21 Acres you don’t have to wonder. The produce that is displayed in our market is fresh off the farm and sun ripened using organic and sustainable methods. You can taste the difference in the flavor and juiciness of each bite of and this is particularly true this time of year when tomatoes are in abundance. (more…)