News from the Veggie Bin: December 1, 2011

What’s in the bin this week?

Top row left to right – Cabbage, *Green Lettuce, *Green Peppers, *Grapefruit, *Watermelon Radish

Bottom row left to right – *Swiss Chard, *YumYum Peppers, Italian Eggplant, *Candy Cane Beets

* indicates organic produce

Please check your “News from the Veggie Bin” email for sourcing information or check out our YouTube page to see a video explaining the Bin contents.

***Please note that the Swiss Chard included in your bin this week is delicate and needs to be consumed as soon as possible. While it is always important to remember that your Veggie Bin produce has been minimally processed and requires washing before consumption, we recommend that you do not wash your Swiss Chard before storage because moisture will contribute to degeneration. Your best storage option is to place it in an airtight bag and squeeze out as much air as possible, then store in your refrigerator. If you are not going to use the chard within 24-48 hours, we suggest blanching and freezing.***

The Veggie Bin is kicking off December with an exciting new add-on option! Jacksonville food enthusiasts have been standing in line at the French Pantry’s door waiting for some of the finest baked good in town for years and their baked goods grace the plates at some of the finest restaurants in the city. Starting this month, you have the chance to have French Pantry products delivered to your door along with your Veggie Bin for as little as $3.

Nothing could be a finer complement to your fresh produce than baguettes, ciabatta or focaccia breads from this Duval county institution. Get pricing information about this exciting new offering here or email us at info@theveggiebin.com to place your order. Visit the add-on page for information about the many other offerings available with our add-on programs.

Pecans – available for a limited time as an add-on from Crawford Organic Farms. $12/lb.

This week’s Veggie Unearthed — Candy Cane Beets from KYV Farm

If you’re someone who thinks of dark purple canned mush when you hear the word “beets” – you’re in for a treat this week! This is a gorgeous variety called a “candy cane” beet. When you open it up, it’s a real surprise!

Considering the beauty of these veggies, you may want to keep your preparation simple. These beets can be roasted in the same manner as conventional beets. First, remove the greens and reserve to cook as you would greens or spinach. Thoroughly rinse and/or scrub your beets. Beets are flexible in roasting temperature, so if you’re cooking something else, any oven temp between 325 and 425 will do fine. Drizzle them with the oil of your choice and fold into a foil packet. Roast for 25 minutes to an hour, depending on size. Start checking smaller beets around the 20 minute mark for desired tenderness. You should be able to cool them for a few minutes, then slide the skins off with your fingers or a small paring knife. Drizzle with oil and season with salt. They pair beautifully with any number of strongly flavored soft cheeses. (We suggest goat cheese! Yum!)

The beet has been cultivated for thousands of years and the Romans believed it to be an aphrodisiac. Then again, what didn’t the Romans consider an aphrodisiac? If you’re planning to pickle your beets, consider adding a slice of pickled beet to your next hamburger, as they do in Australia. A medium beet (100 grams) contains 9% of your daily fiber, but only 50 calories, so dig in!

If you’re looking for an elegant, beautiful use for beets, check out the NY Times’ Pappardelle With Beets, Beet Greens and Goat Cheese recipe. If you’d like a salad preparation, consider Food & Wine’s Candy Cane Beet Salad with Orange and Fennel.

Speaking of oranges, don’t miss our latest informational sourcing blog, Little Miss Citrus: A Beauty Contest.

Think outside The Bin with your cabbage this week. Consider Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with a traditional egg and lemon sauce for a warm bundle of cold weather comfort food. You could also pair pecans and maple syrup and whip up Nigella Lawson’s New Orleans Cole Slaw (highly recommended!).

Show your friends, family and business contacts some love with gifts from the Veggie Bin. Of course, you can give the gift of home delivery all season long with both weekly and bi-weekly shares, but we’re also excited to offer gift bags and certificates this year.

Our coffee, tea and honey collection is just $26. Two organic soaps with a body butter is $15. Both are created by a local artisan and can be paired with a $25 Veggie Bin gift certificate to introduce your gift recipient to the joy of real food on their doorstep. Just contact us at info@theveggiebin.com to order your gifts delivered at your convenience with your regular bin.

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.

Finally, The Veggie Bin will participate in the Daniel Wish Granters Holiday Drive. If you would like to contribute, please send along an unwrapped new toy in a gift bag with your empty boxes next week and we’ll deliver your contribution to Daniel. To learn more about this children’s foundation or to make a monetary contribution, please visit the Daniel website. Thank you!

Happy Cooking!
~Amie

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