Friday, July 29, 2011

This Weeks Box July 30 2011

Soon to be "Golden Gods"

Have you ever just stared at a plant? Have you ever had a plant stare at you?!
Sunflowers seem to have an eerie humanness quality to them. It is really something to pay attention to them throughout the day. It's possible to tell what time it is by looking at them as their heads basically spend the whole day slowly following the sun. It is a tough job but someone's got to do it.

This is little Chacal. He is actually, development wise, like a teenager now.
He has been off the bottle now for over a month. He eats a lot. He sleeps most of the day and is kind of rambunctious. He still likes my company but he is a bit rebellious and likes his space. Yep, kind of like a teenager.

Here is what is in the box this week

red potatoes
baby beets
red cabbage
dinosaur kale
handful of small tomatoes
summer squash
valencia oranges

Squash Potato Tacos

So this week, I think I have had tacos about 9 times. Almost all vegetarian. But sometimes with chicken and once with egg for breakfast. This weeks entire box, aside from the fruit and probably the cucumber could all be chopped up, sauteed and rolled into a corn tortilla!

Here is one recipe for zucchini potato tacos

Saturday, July 23, 2011

This Weeks Box July 23 2011

rainbow chard
mystery melon "super sweet" 1/2 size of a cantelope
bell peppers
serrano chile
tomato teaser
valencia oranges
collard greens
purple and red potatoes

Collard Potato Enchiladas
This recipe comes from one of the greatest vegan cookbooks ever written, Veganomicon. If you just buy one vegan cookbook, that's the one I recommend. The key to these enchiladas is the potato and kale filling. It's tangy and smoky and has a perfect toothsome texture. The corn tortillas cook in the warm, spicy sauce until they are so tender they fall apart and the filling provides the needed backbone for the dish. Here are the ingredients:
For the Enchilada Chile Sauce:
1 onion, diced
3-5 chiles (anaheim or serrano or jalepeno style)
3 tsp. chile powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp marjoram or oregano
2 15-oz cans of diced tomatoes (fire roasted preferred)
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt

For the Potato and Collard:
1 pound potatoes, diced
1 bunch collards, washed, trimmed and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup vegetable broth
3 Tbsp. lime or lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp salt
12 corn tortillas

First start on the sauce. I actually did this several hours before I made the rest of the dish, just to give myself a head start. The first project is to roast, peel and seed the peppers. If you've never roasted peppers at home, please don't be scared. It's the easiest thing in the world and it happens to be super fun. You need to have a gas stove or else I'm not sure how you do this exactly. Anyway, just turn on a burner or two and put the peppers right there on the grates. Keep and eye on them so you don't burn down the house, but just turn them every now and then so the outsides get equally charred everywhere. When the outsides are mostly black, put the peppers in a plastic ziplock bag and wait about 10 minutes. By that time, the skins will literally peel right off the peppers easily. Cut each one open, remove the seeds and roughly chop.

Next, in a large saucepan, saute the onions for about 5 minutes until soft. Add all of the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer the mixture for a couple of minutes, then remove from heat and set aside. Once the sauce has cooled enough, put it in a food processor and blend until smooth. It will take a while of blending to get the sauce fairly smooth.
"The images below are kind of what your dish might look like."

Next prepare the filling. Boil the potato cubes in water for about 20 minutes until tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside. Saute the garlic in a large pot for about 1 minute, then add all of the collards with a sprinkle of salt. Mostly cover the pot and cook about 5 minutes until the collards have wilted. Remove the lid and add all remaining ingredients. Mash up the potatoes with a pastry blender until chunky, but not whole pieces. Cook the entire mixture for about 3 minutes while stirring to mix all ingredients. Now preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Set up a little assembly line in this order left to right: A shallow dish with about a cup of the enchilada chile sauce in it; Stack of 12 corn tortillas; empty dry skillet over medium heat; Potato-kale mixture; Baking dish with about 1/2 cup of enchilada chile sauce in it. Go ahead and improvise with whatever size dishes you have. Take the first tortilla and heat it about 30seconds on each side in the dry skillet. This softens up the tortilla so it's ready to bend. Coat the tortilla lightly with sauce by dipping it in the shallow dish on each side. Then place 1/12 of the potato kale mixture in the tortilla and roll it up. Place the roll in the casserole dish and repeat until all 12 tortillas are used. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the rolls and cover each dish with aluminum foil. Bake the dishes for about 35 minutes and allow to cool slightly before serving. I garnished these with a few toasted pumpkin seeds for a little extra crunch. Yum.

Don't be afraid if the enchiladas fall apart a little bit during serving. The taste more than makes up for the lack of glamour. Try this dish with cheese.

Friday, July 15, 2011

This Weeks Box July 16 2011


I just got done picking this weeks box and it looks like a pretty good one. The gardens are actually coming along quite nicely. The mild weather has been quite a relief. Number one, It is just more pleasant to work in and number two, cooler weather is a lot less stressful for the plants. And low stress plants just taste better. I see a lot less cracking on the tomatoes, which is caused by heat and inconsistent watering. For some reason, the cucumbers are just taking off already. We have three kinds this year. Armenian is a long pale green cucumber that can get up to a few pounds but I try and pick them smaller than that or they do not fit in the box. Armenians can be eaten with the skin on by the way. The lemon cucumbers are yellow baseball size cucumbers with a slight lemon flavor. There is one row of regular slicing cucumbers too. I just planted some Japanese cucumbers and if they work out, you should see them in the boxes in a month or so. They look long, dark green and skinny from the research I did. Here is a link to a Blue Sky Ranch favorite recipe for cucumbers. The recipe calls for heirloom tomatos. Our tomatoes are not quite ready this week but we have eaten the recipe without tomatoes without any complaints. We actually prefer to use "Sun Gold" cherry tomatoes for this salad when we do add tomatoes and those tomatoes will be in your box next week. I have been growing these cherries for five years now and saving the seeds and re-planting. They start early, produce heavy amounts, are super sweet and continue producing through October. I could go on and on about our tomatoes this year. If you were with us last summer, then you know how much I appreciate good tomatoes. This year, Bob, one of the landowners here at the ranch, planted over 400 heirloom tomatoes at his home in Kensington. We have since transplanted about 200 and will be transplanting the other 200 this weekend. If you or your friends are interested in purchasing flats of heirlooms in the upcoming months, I am sure we can accommodate.

It looks like there will be a week or two gap in lettuce production after this weeks box. As the weather warms up, we have to plant less and more often. I got a couple complaints about the bitterness of the baby romaine last week. So I pulled them. The current lettuce seems good but is not going to last another week.

A few new additions to the box this week are scalloped squash and yellow Fordhook zucchini. I just usually call the scallops "flying saucer squash". They all are interchangeable for any squash recipe.

We will also have nectarines in the box this week. We only have 4 trees and they are kinda small. But they are so sweet!

I just checked the mulberry tree and it is getting fruit. The Marine Room gets first crack at these every year but depending on how much they order, you should see them in the box by next week or the week after.

Here is what is in the box this week:

young tender chard
dinosaur kale
lettuce mix
scalloped squash
fordhook yellow or regular zucchini
baby carrots
valencia oranges

Squash Stir Fry


Read more about it at,1850,136176-225202,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 - All rights reserved.
2 sm. zucchini, sliced
2 sm. yellow squash, sliced
1 med. onion, sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and saute for approximately 1 minute. Add zucchini, yellow squash and spices. Continue cooking over medium heat until vegetables are crisp tender.

For an added touch, try dropping a handful of jack cheese on top and set a lid on top after turning off the burner. Also, lemon thyme or basil make a nice herb substitute.

Friday, July 8, 2011

This Weeks Box July 9 2011

haas avocado
meyers and pink lemons
crazy colored, mutant radishes
lola rosa, speckled trout and lil gem lettuce
bell peppers
valencia oranges
a few multi colored beets

Friday, July 1, 2011

This Weeks Box July 2 2011

Has anyone actually used the What's In Season Guide on the right column on this site?
It has been there since the site began and I had pretty much forgotten about it. Someone commented last week that they have used it regularly. So I went back to it and checked it out. It actually has a lot of good recipes for each of the food items it lists! I posted one of them. Check it out if your ever in a pinch for a recipe.

zucchini "bigger than last week"
salad spring mix
a few shoots of basil
swiss chard
dyno kale
collard greens
yellow peaches
small cucumber or two. "they will be bigger next week"
valencia oranges
lemons "enough for a few pitchers of lemonade"

Lavander Lemonade


Serves 4

  • 4 lemons
  • 1/2 cup dried lavender
  • 1/2 cup raw honey


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove zest from two lemons, leaving white pith behind. Squeeze all of the lemons for 2/3 cup juice and set aside. In a large pot bring 5 1/2 cups of water and zest to a boil over high heat. Stir in the lavender. Partially cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place a large strainer lined with cheesecloth or a damp paper towel over another pot or heat-proof bowl. Strain tea, pressing on herbs to extract all liquid. Stir in honey until dissolved. Stir in lemon juice. Let cool completely, about 45 minutes. Fill four tall glasses with ice. Pour tea over ice and serve immediately.

Read more at Lavender Lemonade

Collard Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing


  • 1 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1/2 lb collards, coarse stems discarded and the leaves washed well and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 slices of lean bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and crumbled
  • 1 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion
In a kettle combine the potatoes with enough water to cover them by 2 inches, bring the water to a boil, and simmer the potatoes 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are tender. Transfer the potatoes with a slotted spoon to a colander, reserving the cooking liquid, and in the reserved cooking liquid boil the collards, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Drain the collards in a sieve, refresh them under cold water, and squeeze them dry in a kitchen towel. In a bowl whisk together the mustard, the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it emulsified. Quarter the potatoes and add them to the dressing. Add the collards, pulling them apart to separate the leaves, the bacon, and the scallion and toss the salad well.

Here is a video for a similar collard potato salad recipe


Here is a recipe for Cucumber Kale Salad

Avocado Toast Recipe

Poached Peaches and Basil Recipe