News from The Veggie Bin: January 19, 2012

What’s in the bin this week?

Top row left to right: Red leaf lettuce, sweet potatoes, red sweet pepper, green cauliflower

Bottom row left to right: Savoy cabbage, carrots, strawberries, tatsoi spinach, mustard greens

(green text indicates organic produce, brown text is sustainable practices)

Organic Bin: includes all organic items above plus organic green cauliflower, butternut squash and mangoes.

Want to learn more about the sourcing of each item?  Here’s a video which walks you through every item in your box this week.

Veggie Bin Partner: Master Herbalist Donna McGee

The Veggie Bin knows that conscious consumption doesn’t end with produce. Along with carefully selected local coffees, baked goods and honey, we also offer products produced by Master Herbalist Donna McGee of Green Lotus Organics. Donna offers soaps, lotions and laundry detergents through our add-on program.

Green Lotus Organics was started in Mema’s kitchen with a vegan soap recipe. Soon family and friends began asking to buy soap & lotions for themselves and their children. A decade later Green Lotus Organics continues in Jacksonville, FL with Mema’s granddaughter, Donna McGee. Donna hand crafts all products from start to finish using organic and natural ingredients in hopes of helping others feel better while helping preserve the planet.

During the month of January, you can try Green Lotus products at a promotional rate of three soaps for $10. We have just one more delivery to take advantage of this special offer, so be sure to place your add-on order by Monday, January 23rd!

Visit the Green Lotus add-on page to learn more about the full line of products and be sure to like Green Lotus on Facebook to keep up with news.

This week’s Veggie Unearthed: Tatsoi Spinach

 

Your Tatsoi spinach came to us from KYV Farm, less than 30 miles from most of our customers’ homes. It’s also known by other names, most commonly Asian spinach. This leafy green veggie is a close relative of turnips and bok choy. It has a mild mustard flavor, so it is sometimes referred to as “spinach mustard.”

Storage & Prep:

Tatsoi spinach, like most greens, should be eaten as soon as possible. We suggest you refrigerate it unwashed in a plastic bag and use it within 48 hours of delivery. Be certain to wash your spinach completely before eating it. It can be used easily in any salad or soup where you’d normally incorporate fresh spinach or bok choy.

If you’re not going to use your Tatsoi spinach right away, you can freeze it with minimal effort. Just wash it thoroughly then trim leaves off any tough stalks.  Blanch for 1 minute in boiling water then chill in ice water for 1 minute.  Drain and pack in freezer bags, remove air from bags, seal and label.  Freeze for up to 6 months.

If you’re interested in learning how to preserve greens by freezing, please watch this helpful video which includes Tatsoi.

Tatsoi Spinach Recipes

You can use your Tatsoi in any way you would normally use a green like bok choy – raw or cooked.

Browned Butter Pasta with Tatsoi

Tatsoi and Warm Scallop Salad with Spicy Pecan Pralines
(An excellent use of our add-on Waldoch Honey and Crawford Organic Farm Pecans!)

Tatsoi Egg Bake

Tatsoi Stir Fry

Tatsoi with Garam Masala

Need Veggie Tech Support? Visit us on Facebook to share recipes and tips with other Veggie Bin customers and ask any questions you might have about the contents of your bin. You can also email us at info@theveggiebin.com.

Recipes for this week’s bin

We want you to get the most out of your Veggie Bin. Utilize every tasty bite with some of these recipes which feature every item you’ll get this week.

Roasted Cabbage Wedges

Saute of Cauliflower & Mustard Greens (scroll down about halfway to find recipe)

Mustard Greens with Sweet Italian Sausage

Red Leaf Lettuce, Watercress & Cucumber Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Soup

Spinach, Lettuce & Strawberry Salad

Please feel free to share YOUR Veggie Bin creations on our Facebook page!

Earn Veggie Bucks by referring folks in January!

Our goal is to add 30 members in January and we’re already well on our way with 22 new members! As a special thank you for helping us reach that goal, you’ll earn $15 in Veggie Bin bucks for every new customer you send our way in the  month of January – up to five! That means you could earn up to $75 in Veggie Bucks to use for any of our delicious add-on products. (May we suggest the delectable French Pantry bread?)

Remember that we deliver to any business or group in our delivery area, so you could earn those Veggie Bucks with just one group sign-up! Best of all, you’ll be sharing the healthiest way to kick off a new year. Thanks again for being a part of the Veggie Bin!

Variety Is the Spice of Life

A major benefit of CSA membership is variety and surprise with the foods you’re receiving in each bin. We strive each and every delivery period to bring you produce which will delight you and challenge you to try new flavors. Even though we live in the south, our local farmers still struggle with weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances. The hard freezes we have experienced over the past few weeks have hit our local farmers hard. For example, we were scheduled to pack Romaine lettuce in your bin this week, but couldn’t receive that delivery because the produce had been burnt by a freeze.

These conditions mean that during the winter months here in Florida, you may see some items appear often in your bin and some may be absent completely. We assure you that we do our best to keep variety in your bin. Your patience is appreciated in these “lean” weeks when we feel it is most important to continue to support our local farmers struggling against weather conditions.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Please remember that you can re-use your Veggie Bin boxes. Just leave your empty boxes at your door or hand them off to our delivery folks to make yet another contribution to keeping your footprint small.

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