Tag Archives: kmk farms

My New Favorite Greens

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It’s no secret that I love all of the dark greens that fall and winter bring. My new favorite? Collards.

collards

 

I had never tried collards until they were substituted for the broccoli rabe I ordered in my CSA.

Best. Substitution. Ever.

In fact, some of the best veggies I have tried were due to a CSA substitution. 🙂

With their powerful anti-cancer properties and loads of nutritional value, they are an awesome addition to any comforting winter meal.

Or, if you make them this way, they are a meal all on their own.

Goodness, I love a ham hock.

Want a vegetarian way to prepare them? Try this one.

How about Brazilian style? These look awesome.

Let’s get beyond taste for a moment, though.

Collards offer much more than amazing flavor. Aside from cancer prevention (as previously stated), they also have been shown to lower cholesterol, decrease inflammation in the body and with their high choline levels, may help with fatty liver disease.

Get yourself some collard greens, and experiment with how you like to prepare and eat them.  While the ham hock recipe is delicious, it is probably also safe to assume that a lot of the nutrients are cooked out in their long cooking process. Either way, eating some greens is better than no greens at all, so find your fave way and eat them often.

Your body will thank you. 🙂

 

 

 

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Chicken Soup…(and gluten free biscuits!)

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I made a pretty killer soup the other night using some pretty awesome and simple ingredients.

I love a one-pot dish!

I wanted chicken and dumplings, but my family doesn’t love the texture of dumplings. I compromised by making a gluten-free biscuit, and pouring a thickened soup over the top of it.

The result? Down-home country goodness. YUM.

So easy, and frugal too! I served four with one chicken breast, which by itself is pretty darn impressive. 🙂

Ingredients:

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 box organic low-sodium chicken broth (or 4 cups homemade if you have it!)

1/2 of a yellow onion

3 carrots, sliced (From my CSA box!)

3 minced garlic cloves (Yep, CSA.)

1/2 cup sliced organic celery

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. olive oil (Bari is amazing.)

1 tsp dried thyme (CSA box again!)

1 tsp turmeric (the color it gives is amazing…plus, its super good for you.)

2 tsp salt (I used pink Himalayan)

1 tsp black pepper

1-2 tbsp. Pamela’s Gluten Free Artisan All Purpose Flour

Fresh parsley for garnishing (Can you guess where it comes from?)

Pretty simple process:

Heat butter and and olive oil. Slice chicken into bite-sized pieces, and sautee.

Once cooked, remove from pot, and set aside.

Add onion to pan and sautee until translucent

Add carrots, celery and garlic and cook for just a couple of minutes until it starts to sort of “come together”.

Add stock, herbs and spices, stir to combine then add chicken back. Put a lid on it, simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Now is the time to prepare your biscuits (Recipe below!)

To thicken, Remove about a cup of the broth, and combine that broth with your gluten free flour. Now, whisk that back into the big pot. Continue whisking until it is all combined so as not to produce lumps.

My basic biscuits are as follows. For this particular recipe, they are super yummy with thyme and garlic powder mixed into the dough:

2 cups Pamela’s Artisan Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 stick butter, chopped

1 cup raw, plain kefir

In food processor, pulse dry ingredients. Next, add butter and pulse until butter is the size of peas. Add kefir, and pulse 3-4 times until dough *just* comes together.

Remove from bowl, and fold over itself 3-4 times. Pat into a round disk, about an inch thick. Cut into desired size with biscuit cutter (or even a drinking glass).

Bake at 450* on parchment paper for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Pour your soup over a biscuit and garnish with fresh parsley (Which I totally forgot to do…I was a little excited to eat.)  YUMMM.

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Perfect cold weather meal. So yummy and heart warming…and nobody complaining about dumpling texture. 😉

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Cranberry Salsa

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It’s that time of year again! The holiday season is upon us. This means turkey, pumpkin pie, Christmas songs, overly decorated stores, extra calories, and that all too familiar frantic holiday pace.

It’s also time for my favorite dip in the world.

Cranberry Salsa over cream cheese.

OMG SO GOOD.

Mmmm Cranberries.

cranberries

It’s simple. Take the following ingredients:

1 (12-ounce bag) or 3 cups fresh cranberries,  rinsed and drained

1/4 cup minced green onions

3 Serrano chilies, cored, seeded and minced

1/2 cup coconut sugar (Yes, it looks like a lot, but you need it with those cranberries!!)

1/4 cup fresh cilantro,  minced

2 tablespoons finely-grated fresh ginger or 2 tsp dried

2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice

2 (8-ounce) packages organic cream cheese

Cranberries and/or cilantro sprigs for garnish

It’s so easy to make. Pop all ingredients (minus cream cheese and garnish items) into your food processor, and pulse until everything is combined and slightly chunky. Pour over cream cheese. Garnish as desired, and serve with your favorite crackers.

The colors are perfect for the holidays and the flavor? OMG…you will be addicted.

I picked up some cranberries at Sprouts last week and when I placed my CSA order this week, I discovered that green onion, cilantro, and serrano chilies were all available.

It’s a sign.

Yes, it’s a dip, but I seriously serve this as dinner from time to time. My family loves me for it.

And they should! Cranberries are #1 when it comes to antioxidant power. They are so good for you! So is just about everything else in this recipe.

No mommy guilt here.

I’ll save that for the chocolate that never makes it to their stockings.

Celebrating Cilantro

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Ok, so I have an herb obsession.

I have been collecting dried herbs from KMK Farms via The Farmer’s Daughter CSA for weeks, and discovered this morning that I have quite a stash.

herbs

The mason jar is FULL of dried mint. Makes the best tea ever. One of the bags lost its label, so I call it my “mystery herb”. One day I will remember what it was I’m sure. The plant? It’s a basil tree. Yeah. Tree. Lives inside or out (depending on season) and will live for at least five years. Leaves look like thyme but smell and taste like a mild basil. Kind of amazing. Not “frankenfood” by the way, just grafted. Kind of a fun “bonzai” type hobby plant too. I got distracted, sorry.

As much as I love to have dried herbs around, there is just nothing like fresh.

My favorite? Cilantro. Hands down. I LOVE the stuff. I use is instead of lettuce on tacos, chop it up into a spicy chicken salad, and have even juiced it with fruits and veggies. No matter how much I eat, I can’t seem to get enough of the stuff.

I opened my CSA box this week and saw the most gorgeous cilantro ever. It was so full and beautiful… and the smell. OMG.

Really, though, the results of Farmer’s last week were just gorgeous all the way around:

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Cilantro on the right. I mean, just look at that. ❤

Want to make a fun sauce for tacos or dressing for a cilantro salad? It’s easy-peasy.

Take 1/2 of a  bundle of cilantro, chopped, and pop it in a blender or food processor.

Puree with:

1 cup of sour cream

2 jalapeno peppers

a heavy pinch of salt

Two peeled avocados

Once smooth, squeeze the juice of one lime in and puree until combined. If its too thick, add a bit more sour cream.

SOOO delicious, especially on fish tacos or over a mixed green salad w/chicken, tomatoes, fresh cilantro and some good quality corn chips crushed over it.  Simple and delicious!

Cilantro is loaded with good-for-you goodness. I went through a detox at the beginning of the year and cilantro was an important part of my cleansing process. It leaches heavy metals out of your body, which may result in a headache when eaten in large quantities, but I stuck it out, figuring it was doing its job! Here’s more info on this wondrous herb:

cilantro

Cilantro season doesn’t last nearly as long as I want it to, so I’m eatin’ it up while I can. I’m also apparently stock piling any and all other herbs available.

Even mystery ones.

Rad(ishes)

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My grandmother loved radishes. She didn’t call them “radishes”, though. She called them “RADeeshes.”

She would slice the greens off, scrub them up, put them in a tupperware bowl filled with water and stick them in the fridge for future snacking. I didn’t understand why she did that (it is done to help them keep their crunch) but I always thought they looked really pretty floating around the container. Radishes were beautiful, I thought. Too bad they tasted like dirt.

Fast forward 20 or so years, which is how long it took me to try radishes again. The only reason I tried them? I grew them. The only reason I grew them? Because I heard they were easy to grow and dang it, nothing else was coming up. I discovered that I was not only able to grow radishes, but I was able to grow them REALLY WELL. I had TONS of them. Red radishes, french breakfast, daikon…I had them all. The rabbits I was raising at the time were thrilled. I wasn’t sure I liked radishes THAT much.  The point of all this? They taste better when they aren’t from your grocery store. They don’t taste like dirt. They taste a bit spicy and sometimes a bit sweet and sort of …earthy? How is that for a terrible description? It also depends on your variety, so, yeah…go taste some for yourself. Do not rely on my poor use of adjectives and (sort of) descriptive phrases.

I ordered English Breakfast radishes last week in my CSA box. I’m no longer growing radishes and hadn’t had one in a while. I received this darling bundle:

radishes1

They have been eaten raw, juiced, sliced on salads, served with tacos, and admired for their beauty.

Especially when they are floating in water.

This week I am ordering red radishes AND daikon and will be trying my hand and roasting them into “radish chips”. If it is a successful venture, I will post the recipe. 🙂

While we wait for the results on that, take a look at reasons to eat radishes. There are many:

Health-Benefits-of-Radishes (1)

 

Don’t be afraid to revisit the foods that you thought you hated. It may taste surprisingly good to you now. All the more reason to check out your local Farmer’s Market…where food tastes like its supposed to. 😉

 

Ants on a Log, Deconstructed

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Call me juvenile, but when I think of raisins, I think of “Ants on a Log”.

You know, celery, filled with peanut butter, topped with raisins (aka “ants”)?

ants on a log

When I ordered raisins in my CSA box last week, primarily for my middle child who is pretty sure the world revolves around raisins, I of course thought about Ants on a Log…which is really the only recipe I use raisins for.

As a kid I wouldn’t eat them. I hated celery, peanut butter belonged on sandwiches, and raisins were just grapes that’d had the life sucked out of them.

As an adult, I recently discovered I like celery, peanut butter can’t go on sandwiches because I’m not supposed to eat BREAD, and raisins? Yeah, they may still be grapes that have had the life sucked out of them…but they aren’t so bad considering what they’ve been through. 😉

Now, no matter what your cooking experience level is, I wouldn’t dare assume that you need a recipe for Ants on a Log. In fact, this post is less about cooking, and more about eating.  Let me show you what I mean:

shoppers_guide

In case you’ve never heard of it, “The DIrty Dozen” is a list of vegetables and fruits that, if at all possible, should be purchased organically grown. I am fully aware that organic foods can be very expensive (which is part of the reason why I am such a huge advocate for CSA and Farmer’s Market shopping…much cheaper!) But this list gives you a guideline for what items should be purchased organic if you can budget some, but not all.

Notice number ONE.

CELERY.

Which, by the way, is the LOG. (Ok, so maybe this blog is a little bit about the log.)

Where I live, celery is not in season right now, but you bettah believe I’m buying it organic. It is maybe a dollar more than conventional, and I am HAPPY to spend it.

While I’m on the subject of what’s in season, I’d like to point out that where I live (and I realize it varies around the country), apples, spinach, kale, collard green, potatoes, and raisins (aka GRAPES) are all readily available right now. My CSA has most of those items available right now, which means, most of them are in my fridge….except the potatoes. Those are in the pantry. 😛

Ok, so we have established we need organic celery.

On to peanut butter.

Remember when we were kids, and we were told which brand choosy mom’s choose?

Let me show you the ingredients label:

JifPB

This is the part where I try really hard not to dissect every ingredient. Let’s focus on this: It contains “fully hydrogenated vegetable oils” (which makes it so they can label it “No Partially Hydrogenated Oils!”) What does this mean? It means that Jif is poisoning their peanuts with disgusting oils that were heated to 400* then pumped with extra hydrogen atoms. The result? A smooth, creamy peanut butter that doesn’t separate. Oh, and the oil turns rancid, toxifying your system. It’s foreign to your body, so instead of using it, your body has to work harder to essentially fight it off as as free radical (which is a known cancer causing problem.)  These oils are usually (and I only say “usually” to cover my back side) made from GMO ingredients as well.

Choosy moms boycott JIF.

Alternative? Many stores offer fresh ground peanut butter (Sprouts, Winco, Whole Foods) that you grind yourself. You can choose (in most cases) between plain (aka, no sugar or salt) or honey roasted (my favorite!)  Another good option if you have a costco card, is “Brad’s Organic” peanut butter.

peanutbutter

Ingredients? Organic Peanuts”. The end.  I will add local, raw, organic honey to mine. 🙂

Always look for an organic peanut butter, and READ THE LABELS guys!

The last stop on our Ants on a Log journey? The “Ants”.

Organic raisins, or dried grapes, are remarkably good for you. They are rich in boron, iron, potassium calcium and the B vitamins, and are a good source of fiber. They are great for your eyes, can protect against gum disease and cavities, and are really high in resveratrol, the good stuff in wine. 🙂

Conventional raisins, however, not so much. In tests done on raisins grown on conventional farms, up to 26 pesticide residues have been found. Want a better understanding of what that means to YOU?

8 were known or probable carcinogens (aka cancer-causing)

11 were suspected hormone disruptors

5 were Neurotoxins

5 were developmental or reproductive toxins

and

9 were honeybee toxins, which is a serious problem…unless you don’t mind losing the majority of our fresh produce from the planet.

The solution? Organic Raisins. It’s not just what all the cool kids are doing, guys. This is a real, scientific issue, in so many ways.

As I said, this post wasn’t about teaching you how to make a favorite childhood snack. it’s about deconstructing that snack (and perhaps our current food system) in an effort to encourage you to treat yourself and your body better. As a result, you will be contributing to a far superior, sustainable, privately owned food system.

In short? We could change the world.

One raisin at a time.