Meghan

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Recently, the New York Times published an Op-Ed piece, A Hidden Cost of Giving Kids Their Vegetables, discussing the blame game that is often played on people with limited resources for not feeding their children healthy food. When it comes down to it, children are picky eaters, regardless of family income. This fact, weighs a heavier burden on low-income parents. When money is tight, rather than waste food that children will not eat, parents tend to provide their children with food they know they will eat. This food is oftentimes nutrient deficient, bland and sweet, a trade off that I truly understand.Meghan's kids

I am a mother of 2 small children. I work, my husband works, we are busy and tired. Occasionally, a day or two before payday, we are out of pretty much everything, left with only pantry staples like rice or pasta and beans and we have to be really creative about “what’s for dinner.” I was raised by a single mother, we were food insecure, especially when the food stamps ran out near the end of the month. I understand some of the struggle and hardships that are part of “going without.” (more…)

IMG_3293 IMG_3295Its time to ditch that tired green bean casserole! I wanted to create a side dish for Thanksgiving that uses local, seasonal ingredients. The oven and stove top are in high demand, a cold Shaved Brussels Sprouts salad that can be assembled in advance, dressed just before service, fits the bill perfectly.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts 

24 clean, trimmed and drip drying Brussels Sprouts

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, I used Golden Glen Creamery

1/4 cup Honey Infused Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 cup safflower oil

1/2 -1 tsp 21 Acres Honey Dijon Mustard

salt and pepper

optional: Handful dried cranberries

IMG_3294The idea is to shave the Brussels thinly; you can use a mandolin or #2 blade on the food processor. In a large bowl, add shaved sprouts, parmesan, walnuts, cranberries (if using), and a pinch of salt.  Combine honey vinegar, oil, Dijon (to taste) salt and pepper in a jar.  Shake until fully combined.  Pour dressing over Brussels just before serving.  Toss together and share.

I hope you enjoy this worthy side.  Happy Thanksgiving!

See you in the Market, — Meghan

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Home Canning: Why the idea strikes fear in so many I do not know. After all, it seems scarier to trust “big AG” with one’s food than one’s own hands.

Last year I started getting serious about canning. “To put something up” as my grandmother calls it…. I remember my mother canning a bit — she made peach jam and raspberry freezer jam. I was never really interested in cooking, much less canning, with my mother. I began to dabble a bit in food preservation two summers ago. Peaches are by far my favorite fruit. I could eat them every day, all year round. Plus, I have small children and I want them to eat well. I would rather have them eat peaches preserved in sugar at the peak of freshness than fruit shipped thousands of miles. So that was the goal: can some peaches for my family and me to enjoy during the winter. I began to invest in jars. I canned halved peaches in light syrup, made bourbon poached vanilla peaches (THE BEST) with the intent to give them as gifts — but taking into account the cost of making them (peaches, vanilla bean, and bourbon- nothing cheap) and that I only yielded about 6 jars meant I did not make enough to share. But boy did we enjoy opening each jar of peaches in the winter. We ate them with breakfast, snacks, made desserts and enjoyed them on ice cream. I even boiled down the light syrup to make thicker syrup to put on crepes and pancakes. (more…)

I love the taste of spring bitter greens, tender lettuces and fresh, young garlic. It is such a welcome change from the same cured or dehydrated garlic flavor.

Green garlic is basically the young, uncured, not fully formed bulb garlic. The raw flavor is sweeter and less intense. I love to use it in anything and everything that calls for garlic. I use about 3-4 inches from the root up the stalk. The unused portion can be added to a vegetarian or chicken stock pot.

The typical Green Goddess dressing consists of lots of fresh herbs — an abundance of tarragon, sour cream or mayonnaise, and anchovy paste. It was the “it” vegetable dip in the 1970-80s. I thought I’d try the tasty green garlic in my own version of a Green Goddess dressing. (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.

— Meghan

 

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

Sea salt

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.

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.

— Meghan

 

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

Sea salt

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.

Meghan has been perfecting her turnip gnocchi recipe and she demoed the tasty creations in the Farm Market the last two weeks — yum! 

We are always looking to find new interesting ways to use local, seasonal produce. Things can begin to get tired by mid-January. I found a turnip gnocchi recipe on the Lustful Vegan’s blog, in my preparation for Market Demonstrations and was very inspired.

It turns out making gnocchi is very simple, but a bit time consuming. This is a meal to prepare with your children, as I think most would enjoy grating the potato, helping to roll out and form gnocchi. After roasting the potato and turnip mixing, rolling, formation, and boiling should take 35-45 minutes.

Since I have never made gnocchi before, this was a learning curve. I had some great guidance from the 21 Acres kitchen team and of course, tasters in the Market. The first time I used bread flour and kneaded it- I mean kneaded it — A LOT. I worked an entire additional cup of flour into the dough. An advantage to using the bread flour is it has a higher gluten content, which equals a better chance of success. The result was firm, bready tasting pasta, gnocchi thing. Edible, yes, worth repeating, no. So in my next trials I used the Farm Market’s All-Purpose Flour from Bluebird Grains and had success.

After playing with the turnip to potato ratio, I came to about a third part potato, two thirds turnip. The roasty, steam to the turnips gives a sweeter flavor. Turnips can be bitter, which is another reason to salt dough liberally.

Additionally, something to thing to keep in mind, is to handle the dough as little as possible. The less the gnocchi is kneaded yields a more tender final product. My mantra was “light and fluffy as little pillows.”

It is difficult to describe how to roll pasta over the folk to give it ridges for sauce or oil to lay in, so I found this helpful YouTube video.

I hope you feel inspired to try something new! Don’t forget to swing by the Market on Friday or Saturday at 12:30 pm to learn something new. Let us know if you try this recipe!

See you in the Market,

— Meghan

 

RECIPE:  Turnip Gnocchi

Serves 4-6. Ready in 1 hour 45 mins to 2 hours.

1.25 lbs or 5 medium size turnips, washed and quartered

1 medium russet potato

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup flour, plus more for rolling

1 tsp sea salt plus more for water and garnish

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pinch dried basil, oregano or other herb

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place turnips in a baking dish, cover with foil. Wash and punch potato with folk. Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour until folk slides out smoothly from the potato and turnips are soft. Remove from oven.

Place egg, flour, salt, pepper and herbs in a large bowl. When potato is cool enough to handle, remove skin and discard. Put potato through a ricer or use the finer side of a box grater right into the bowl.

In a small bowl, use a spoon or folk to scoop turnips out of peel. Smash turnip with folk. If you have a ricer, place turnips in ricer, avoiding pressing excess water from the turnips into potato, flour mixture.

Gently mix, just enough to form a ball. Divide in half. On a lightly floured surface knead about 3-5 times- just enough to get the mix to be able to roll. Roll to about ¾ inch diameter. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Roll gnocchi over the back of a folk to give its signature ridges. Place in salted boiling water. Cook 30 seconds after they begin to float. Repeat until all dough is used.

Serve with your favorite pasta sauce or garlic infused oil.

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Meghan Tenhoff works in our Farm Market at 21 Acres. She is responsible for scheduling and hosting demonstrations each Friday and Saturday in the Market from 12:30 to 1 pm. Meghan loves cooking and using local ingredients. She gets particularly excited about helping others learn something new and taste and try delicious foods. Visit the 21 Acres website for the demo schedule for the first quarter of the New Year. In particular, we are all looking forward to February 7 when we host Madeline Eyer for her book signing.

Here’s what Meghan has to say about Madeline:  

I actually met Madeline Eyer my first time working at 21 Acres.  I was just hired as temporary event staff, helping with cooking classes and other special events. When I got the call to work the first class, I was not knock-my-socks-off-excited to help with a Raw Vegan “cooking” class.  When I arrived, however, Madeline gave me a warm smile and instructed me on a bit of prep work — I peeled and juiced lemons, measured chia seeds….

As I watched Madeline work, saw her passion for eating, and teaching people how to eat, a raw vegan diet, I began to appreciate it. I sampled all the things she made — a green smoothie, almond milk and chia seed breakfast, nut butter and sprouts served on a cracker made of dehydrated vegetables. Eating the food prepared by Madeline was like eating pure energy.  I felt great.

Upon reflection, helping in that class is what made me fall in love with 21 Acres.  Not only does the organization have a mission that I try to live by, but perhaps more importantly, warm people, helpful ideas and a fresh approach to eating and preparing food.

Madeline will be preparing a Warming Green Smoothie and signing her book, Essential Green Smoothies, in the 21 Acres Market on February 7 at 12:30 pm. Please join us!

-Meghan

ChickenStocking Eggs in the Farm Market

Eggs are one of the most popular products from the 21 Acres Market and we often have a challenge keeping enough eggs in stock during the shortest days of the year.  Meghan Tenhoff not only works in our Farm Market but she is also the Seattle Chicken Sitter and shares her expertise in egg production and explains the seasonal shortage:

As the autumn light continues to fade the nights grow longer and colder all manner of life seems to slow.  Chickens are no exception. Hens raised in backyard flocks and on small farms in humane conditions slow and can all together stop egg production in the winter.  The typical production breed, egg-laying hen needs about 12 hours of light to stimulate enough hormones to lay one egg.  Even as the winter solstice has just passed, our days are still very short.  Another factor in reduced production is age.  The first two years of a hen’s life are the most egg productive. After that they slow and may only lay an egg every now and then even during the longest days of summer. Finally, from an evolutionary stand point, this lapse in laying gives the chicken body time to rest during the leanest foraging season.  

— Meghan Tenhoff, 21 Acres Market, also The Seattle Chicken Sitter

http://www.seattlechickensitter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Seattlechickensitter