Newsletter: February 05, 2015

Making the Most of your Produce – Pt. 4

With zero hesitation and full-throttle enthusiasm, I know that eating less meat and dairy and eating more veggies helps our family feel better, control our weight, and keep those blood analysis numbers looking good. I love the taste of our locally-grown-from farm-to-table Front Porch Veggies. So, what puts the brakes on this healthy eating for us? Finding the time and energy to wash, chop and cook! Fatigue at the end of the workday sometimes makes the fast-food lane appealing.

The last few weeks we have blogged about proper storage and two fantastic strategies that have helped make it quick and easy to pack in veggies — Green Smoothies and Salads-in-a-Jar. We have just found another perfect fit…the Food Saver Vacuum Sealer. Have you tried it? We’d heard good things, so we thought we’d give it a go for 79.00!

It took a bit of preplanning but we washed, chopped and vacuumed sealed bags of veggies in recipe-sized proportions. Then just popped them in the freezer without blanching. Dinner was a snap! It is so simple to just cut open the bag and pour the premeasured ingredients into the pot and cook. Best of all, the veggies taste great! When it comes to freezing veggies, there was an amazing difference over the veggies we’d placed in freezer bags. In addition, there was no ice forming on the veggies after a week…Yay for no freezer burn!

We prepared Famous Loaded Sweet Potato (recipe below), but when we sliced up the kale, carrots and cabbage, we doubled the amounts, vacuum sealing the extra and placed into the freezer. About three weeks later, we pulled the items out of the freezer and used them in the second recipe, Flexible Minestrone. This greatly reduced the preparation time for making the minestrone. We hope you give one a try!

Famous Loaded Sweet Potato

(Printed with permission from Simple Green Smoothies)

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup kale, stems removed and shredded
  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup carrots, grated
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400.  Prick sweet potatoes with a fork and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until tender.
  • Place shredded kale, cabbage and carrots in a bowl.  Cover with the avocado and seeds.
  • In a separate bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, and mustard.  Add to the vegetables and gently toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • When sweet potatoes are done, cut a slit in the top and pour the salad generously on top.

Flexible Minestrone

  • 1 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable juice (like V-8)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 ¼ cups diced tomatoes
  • ¾  teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup orzo (or other pasta)
  • 1 cup white beans (like cannellini)
  • 4 cups shredded greens ( I used the kale and cabbage)

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a 4 to 5 quart pan.  Add the onions and carrots and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add vegetable juice, broth tomatoes thyme oregano, and pepper.  Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the pasta according to package directions
  • Add the cooked pasta, beans and greens and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.  Add 1 cup water if you want more liquid.

So far, we’ve tried the vacuum sealer with kale, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower and shredded cabbage. The vacuumed sealed bananas look like we just peeled them although they had been in the freezer for weeks.  Now, we have three simple ways to get our fresh delicious vegetables to my family fast…green smoothies, salad in a jar and the Food Saver Vacuum Sealer!

New Smoothie Box

How do you pack your morning with a punch? Smoothies! It’s a super nutritious way to start your day, takes less than 5 minutes, and is a great way to get through the greens in the box. Don’t be skeered! They taste great too. The best news…FPP rolled out a new “Smoothie” box last week just for those of you who love to juice, smoothie, or would love to get started! This box will feature seasonal items that rotate each month based off of 3-4 different recipes. Feeling confident? Spice it up by customizing with your favorites.

Want to learn more about Green Smoothies? See our Jan 29th blog post.

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OUR STANDARD BOXES – please note that items may change due to weather or supply issues.

Local Bin (Mini):
Organic Bin, (Mini): 
Grab & Go: 
Salad Box:
Fruit (Add-on):
NEW!! Smoothie Box:
Addition Items in the Shop: 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Returning your produce box clean and undamaged means that we can use it again and again. This keeps costs down, minimizes landfill waste and keeps your carbon footprint smaller. Boxes that aren’t returned will incur a $5.00 replacement fee, so be sure to put it out for pickup!

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