HOT & SOUR SOUP WITH GINGER

In January we’ll be tasting homemade soups, including the following. The recipe is a mash-up of several different recipes, including Amy Young’s version from the Co-op’s cookbook (Favorites From the Country, pg. 9).

Ingredients
1/4 cup chopped sweet or green onion
2 T grated fresh ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, optional
4 C chicken broth
2 T low sodium soy sauce, or fish sauce
1/2 C thinly sliced bok choy
2 oz fresh shiitake or other mushrooms, stemmed, caps thinly sliced (~1/2 cup)
2-3 T rice vinegar
1 T cornstarch
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 T finely grated fresh ginger

Directions
Saute onion and ginger. Add broth, soy sauce, cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and bok choy. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until both mushrooms and bok choy are tender. Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar and cornstarch in a small bowl.

Add vinegar mixture to the pot and simmer, stirring, for about one minute or until thickened. Add egg through a slotted spoon while stirring. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 minute.

Depending on the products used, this recipe may contain some gluten. The version sampled will be all organic and GMO-free.

Enjoy!
Leslie Gecy

(This is an area in which we showcase recipes and tips for using our products in a healthy manner. If you have a recipe you would like us to feature, please leave it at the Co-op or email me so that we can feature it in the newsletter. -LG)

Cranberry Season

acorn-cranberry
Many of us have visions of the sugar-laden gelatin masquerading as cranberry sauce that so often is served during the holidays. Some sugar is necessary to balance the cranberry tartness, but it does not need to be refined sugar and the sweetener content does not need to be that high when incorporating other fruits or non-cane sugar sweeteners to balance the tartness. The following recipe uses 1/6 of the sugar usually recommended in the form of fresh squeezed orange juice and Grade B maple syrup. (Grade B maple syrup is not refined and has more minerals than other sweeteners. It does not impart a maple flavor, as Grade A does, and has greater sweetening power, allowing you to use less of it.)

Fresh Organic Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

2 c fresh cranberries
1/3 c maple syrup, Grade B (can use less, or substitute honey)
2/3 c fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tsp organic orange zest
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice dried cranberries (as many as you wish)
walnuts, chopped -or- walnut pieces, to taste (optional)

Directions:

Put fresh cranberries, maple syrup and OJ in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil. As soon as the syrup fully dissolves, add remaining ingredients. Cook until cranberries pop and sauce thickens.

Cranberry-Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

2 acorn squash
1 C cooked quinoa
1 onion, diced
1 apple, diced
1/4 C dried cranberries (Saturday Tastings might try it with fresh cranberries!)
2 T olive oil
2 T orange champagne vinegar OR apple cider vinegar OR orange juice
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in halves and scoop out the seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a baking pan, or wrap in foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until the inside flesh is just fork tender.

While the squash bakes, saute the apple and onion on medium heat until soft and lightly browned (about 5-10 minutes). Add the cranberries and cooked quinoa. Turn heat to low.

Whisk olive oil, vinegar (or orange juice) and cinnamon together. Add into stuffing mixture and stir over low heat until well mixed. Fill cooked squash with quinoa mixture. Bake uncovered an additional 10-15 minutes or until topping is browned.

~Leslie Gecy

(This is an area in which we showcase recipes and tips for using our products in a healthy manner. If you have a recipe you would like us to feature, please leave it at the Co-op or email me so that we can feature it in the newsletter. -LG)

photo credit: elana’s pantry via photopin cc

Recipe of the Month: October

What to do with Green Tomatoes

As the frost has hit this fall, many of us have a number of unripe tomatoes. There are a few options to work with the tomatoes instead of just tossing.

If you have picked already, place the tomatoes in a cardboard box between sheets of newspaper and store in a slightly warm to cool (not cold) location. Most will ripen. Some will not so you need to check every few days to ensure that some don’t get “bad”-moldy or weepy, affecting other tomatoes in the box.

If you haven’t picked, pull the whole tomato plant and hang upside down in a slightly warm to cool location.

This method requires less checking than the above as the tomatoes are more separated from each other.

Make fried green tomatoes. The recipe listed below uses less oil than the standard version in a variation of the ripe tomato Caprese Salad.

Carolina Caprese Salad

A Caprese Salad version with fried green tomatoes that can be made with a gluten-free coating (see Coating
Mix B). The best method I have found to fry the tomatoes is the simplest. It does not use a batter. As a result you don’t have to use a lot of oil. Simply dredge in the coating, rest and saute.

Ingredients

3 medium green tomatoes

Coating mix (see below to pick one)
2-4 T grapeseed or other oil suitable for high temperature cooking
8 oz fresh mozzarella
12 fresh basil leaves 2-3 T
balsamic vinaigrette

Coating Mix A-My favorite
½ C whole wheat flour
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper

Coating Mix B-Gluten Free
½ C very fine grained cornmeal, such as masa harina
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper

Coating Mix C-For those that can have gluten and want cornmeal on their tomatoes
½ C equal portions cornmeal and whole wheat flour
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper

Directions

1. Slice the green tomatoes thinly 1/8″ to 1/4″ at the most. Dip in coating mix and let sit for an hour. The sitting time really helps the flour stay on when cooking. If tomatoes are still watery, blot with a paper towel and add more coating before sauteeing.

2. While the tomatoes are resting, slice the fresh mozzarella into 12 slices.

3. When tomatoes are ready: Heat a cast-iron or other fry pan that holds heat fairly evenly approximately 350 degrees F. Once pan is hot, add oil.

4. Place tomato slices into hot oil. Do not crowd. Cook on each side until brown. Remove and drain on a
paper towel. You do not need a lot of oil for this as you would for a batter-fried tomato, but you do need to have a preheated pan and heated oil.

5. Assemble the salad. Place one slice fried green tomato on a plate, topped with a basil leaf and slice of mozzarella. Continue in a ring until all slices are paired with the basil and cheese. Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over, or serve on the side. This can be served warm or cold, but is best served warm.

Note: Some oils are better suited to high heat than others. Grapeseed and non-hydrolyzed canola oil are much better suited for this than olive oil.

New Recipe For You!

RECIPE OF THE MONTH ~~by Leslie Gecy

It’s the time of the year when all of our gardens are overflowing and people run from you if they know you grow zucchini!  That’s too bad as zucchini is high in fiber, potassium, Vitamins A and C, B complex vitamins and lutein. This is my mother’s recipe that has won over zucchini avoiders for years and is our most requested family recipe.

Marilyn’s Famous Stuffed Zucchini
Servings 8

4 medium zucchini
1 diced tomato
1 minced garlic clove
1/4 c chopped onion
1 tsp fresh, chopped basil
1 tsp oregano, or 1 T fresh parsley
1/2 c low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 c bread crumbs
1 free range egg, beaten
1/4 lb Cheddar cheese, sliced

Scoop out zucchini and steam approximately 5 minutes. Drain in a colander upside down. Don’t overcook or they will fall apart!

Chop zucchini pulp. Saute in a small amount of olive oil with tomatoes, onion and garlic. You can also add any other vegetables here, such as chopped carrots, corn, chard or anything else on hand. Remove from heat and stir in basil and oregano.

Add bread crumbs, cottage cheese and egg when completely cool.

Place the zucchini boats on greased baking pan. Scoop the stuffing mixture into the shells and place cheese on top.

Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (up to 30 minutes if using larger zucchinis) or until heated through and cheese melts.

This is easy to make gluten-free by using gluten free bread crumbs. It is soy-free and also hormone-free when using organic produce and dairy from cows not treated with rBST.  It can be made lower in fat by reducing or eliminating the cheese on the top of the zucchini boats, or just sprinkling a little bit on at the end.

Reprinted with permission from the Bruce Family Cookbook.

Recipe of the Month — Leslie Gecy

Cooking Leafy Greens-Basic Saute

Ingredients:

1 bunch (about 1 lb.) greens of your choice
1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 to 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or 1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp grated ginger, optional
1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

Rinse the greens and cut out the tougher center stem on kale leaves.  Set aside the stalk to use for making vegetable soup broth.  (This step is not necessary for chard, but you will want to chop the stem into small pieces first). Tear the remaining greens into 2 to 3 inch pieces.

Heat  a  large  pan  over  medium  heat. Add  oil, garlic  and ginger.  Cook,  stirring  until fragrant and just starting to turn golden, about 30 to 60 seconds.  Add greens, salt if using and stir to combine.  Cover and cook,  stirring occasionally,  until  greens  are tender  and flavors combine, 3 to 5 minutes.

Variations:

**To further reduce any bitterness in kale, first steam the leaves for 30 seconds to a minute, then saute.
**Squeeze lemon juice on greens just before serving.
**Add 1/4 C fresh orange juice with the greens to steam them.
**Add 1/4 tsp Grade B maple syrup near the end of cooking.
**Add a little more salt to balance the tastes.

News From The Recipe Group

Our next informational brochure will be on cooking dark leafy greens (that is kale and Swiss chard). These leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses, but can be a little bitter.  Some ways to reduce the bitterness without losing nutritional value are to:

*   Add a little olive or other non-processed oil to the dish (either in a salad or a saute)
*   Steam in some water
*   Incorporate another strong taste (such as Chinese 5-spice powder, garlic, ginger) when cooking
*   Use vinegar or lemon/lime juice to help balance the flavors (sometimes bitter and sour really do work!), or a sweet ingredient (such as fresh orange juice or a small amount of Grade B maple syrup)

The recipe of the month (Cooking Leafy Greens) uses a combination of these methods  in a basic saute.

~~Leslie Gecy

Recipe of the Month:

HEALTHIER “STEAK” AND POTATOES – by Bill Callow, Jr.
This recipe gives you a tasty alternative to steak and Smashed Dirty Potatoes that has more fiber, vitamins and minerals than your normal recipe.

Ingredients:
>4-6 Portabella mushrooms (1 to 2 per person depending on size)
>Italian-Style Salad Dressing (NOT Low Fat), like Organicville Olive Oil and Balsamic Organic Vinaigrette
>1/2 head of cauliflower (approximately)
>4 large or 5-6 medium potatoes
>2-4 cups of vegetable broth or equivalent (Pacific Foods Organic Mushroom or Vegetable Broth or Pacific Organic Low   Sodium Vegetable Broth, Oregon Spice Company Vegetable Broth, Rapunzel Vegan Vegetable Broth Cubes or Better Than Bullion Organic Mushroom or Vegetable Base work as well.)
>Low Fat Plain Yogurt (like Nancys ( Whole Milk versions work as well)
>Chives for garnish (Optional)

Preparation:
Prepare mushrooms by slicing off the end of the stem. Do not remove the stem! If it’s too long for you, you can slice it the same height as the cap. Marinate the mushrooms in the salad dressing for several hours or overnight.

While the mushrooms are marinating cut the potatoes into approximately 1 inch cubes. DO NOT PEEL the potatoes! Peeling removes a large portion of the vitamins and minerals.

Cut the cauliflower into florets about the same size as the potatoes. Place the cauliflower in a large sauce pan and add the broth. Use enough broth to cover the potatoes as well. Bring to a boil and cook for about five minutes, then add potatoes and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. You can cook the potatoes and cauliflower separately if you desire. Drain well, reserving broth for soup or stock making. The cauliflower must be drained thoroughly or the end product will be runny.

While potatoes and cauliflower are draining remove mushrooms from marinade and drain slightly. Now place mushrooms on a medium hot grill (Gas or Charcoal) top side down & grill for 2 – 3 minutes, then turn over and repeat. Grill until the edges just start to shrivel and the mushrooms begin to soften. Timing is approximate due to vagaries of grill. Adjust timing to your personal preferences. Place mushrooms on platter and cover with foil.

Now put the potatoes and cauliflower in a large glass or ceramic bowl (Stainless Steel will get too hot); you can use the sauce pan you cooked them in as well. Now add a tablespoon or so of the yogurt (yoghurt) to the bowl. Now take your Motor Boat (Immersion Blender, Stick Blender, Hand Blender) and blend until smooth. You can add more yogurt or reserved broth as necessary.  Grated Cheese, Green Onions, ‘Bacon’ Bits can be added according to your preference.

Serve 1 to 2 Mushrooms per person with a good portion of the Smashed Dirty Potatoes along with a salad or additional vegetable side. Slice mushrooms just like steak.

Smaller Portabella mushrooms cooked this way can be used as a hamburger patty replacement.