Grilled Apple Tossed Salad

Grilled Apple Tossed Salad

There is just so much to like about this salad from Taste of Home. Not only does it taste good, it’s good for you. And nearly all of the ingredients can purchased at Colchester Neighborhood Farm including the fresh lettuce, Red Russian Kale and Curly Kale for the greens, apples, raw honey, and Blue Cheese. So why not stop into Colchester Farm today and make this sweet and tasty salad tonight. Feel free to grill up some fresh chicken to add a little protein. 

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup white or regular balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha Asian hot chili sauce
  • 2 large apples, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 package (5 ounces) spring mix salad greens
  • 1 cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Directions

  • For dressing, whisk together first eight ingredients. In a bowl, toss apples with 1/4 cup dressing.
  • Place apple slices on a grill rack over medium heat; reserve dressing left in bowl. Grill apples, covered, until tender and lightly browned, 3-4 minutes per side, brushing with reserved marinade.
  • To serve, toss greens with remaining dressing. Top with grilled apples, walnuts and cheese.
Health Tip: Lighten this salad by leaving off the walnuts and blue cheese. You’ll save 150 calories per serving, but the grilled apples and homemade dressing will still make it taste as if it came from a restaurant.

Editor’s Note

To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Arugula and Kale Harvest Salad

Arugula and Kale Harvest Salad

Here is a great recipe that uses many of the fall veggies that are being harvested right now and combines them into a dish that is both healthy and delicious. This salad from Good Housekeeping uses some of those “super foods” (think avocado) that are being touted as the secret to good health and a slim waistline.  And because the dressing is home made and free of any the preservatives you find in the ones sold in grocery stores, this salad is perfect for serving for lunch or even a light supper.

Ingredients
Salad
8 c. arugula
2 c. kale
1 1/2 c. avocado
3/4 c. thinly sliced carrots
3/4 c. chopped cooked butternut squash
1/2 c. sliced apple
1/2 c. sliced bell pepper
2 oz. salami
1 c. croutons
Vinaigrette
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. lemon (or lime) juice
1 tbsp. vinegar (red wine, sherry, champagne, cider or white balsamic)
finely chopped small shallot (or garlic clove or green onion)

Directions

Make Salad:
In a large bowl, combine arugula, kale, avocado, carrots, butternut squash, apple, bell pepper, and salami.
Make Vinaigrette: 
  1. Whisk olive oil, Dijon, sugar, salt, and pepper with lemon juice, vinegar, and shallot. (Makes about 2/3 c.)
  2. Add just enough vinaigrette to salad to lightly coat, tossing. Garnish with croutons.

 

Kale Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kale Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who knew that kale could be used in desserts? Apparently, Dr. Drew Ramsey and Jennifer Iserloh, authors of the cookbook, 50 Shades of Kale. The book is available for sale on Amazon.com. Here is  this week’s suggested recipe using our featured vegetable of the week: kale.

 

Kale Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields 40 small-ish cookies :

  • 1 firmly packed cup of torn kale leaves
  • 5 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tbs molasses
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, soft
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet ones)
  • 1 cup walnut halves (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. If not using silicon mats for baking, spray baking sheets with a little flavorless olive oil.

In a food processor, pulse kale 10-20 times until finely chopped. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer, on a low speed, until thoroughly combined. Continuing running mixer on low, and add molasses and eggs, one by one, until just incorporated. Add vanilla extract, mix it in.

Combine butter-sugar-eggs mixture with your dry ingredients. Add kale and half of all chocolate chips. Mix all together until just incorporated.

Using cookie dough spoon, drop the dough onto a greased baking sheet  or silicon mat, placing them 2 inches apart. Distribute remaining chocolate chips onto each cookie and, if using walnuts, place walnut half on a top of each cookie.(Note: you can throw all your chocolate chips in the dough if you don’t feel like doing the tedious job of planting half of them on a top of cookies as suggested.)

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are firm around the edges but still slightly soft in a middle.

Cool cookies on a baking rack and enjoy!

Fresh from the farm is an experience

Fresh from the farm is an experience

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables from a local farm stand not only demonstrates healthy eating habits to children, it can teach them the value of supporting local agriculture. If we’re lucky, the trip to the farm can result in a few cherished memories. There is no denying that tomatoes or lettuce picked the same day  taste better than the produce purchased from the grocery store. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of harvesting food from a backyard garden rather than a refrigerator, you will agree that the “chore” itself could be as fun as the food was tasty. I remember picking vegetables with my grandfather; he taught me how to choose the ripest and sweetest tomatoes and how to determine when peppers were ready to be picked. Even sweeter than those tomatoes are the memories of the experience that I still carry with me today.

 

By today’s standards, however, we are not always as diligent about taking time to smell the roses…or as the case may be, the basil. In our rush to complete all of our errands, making a special trip to a local farm, exclusively for the purpose of buying cucumbers and tomatoes, can seem like an added chore and one that could easily be eliminated, if we just purchased our produce at the local grocery store, along with all of the other items on our list. But sometimes, these everyday chores are the same ones that create an experience and in the process, a lasting memory, for children and parents, alike. If we eliminate these so-called chores, we may be denying ourselves and our children the pleasure of true, quality time spent together.

 

When you buy your fruits and vegetables from Colchester Neighborhood Farm, consider blocking out an extra 15 minutes or 30 minutes for the “chore” because it could easily turn into a fun and wonderful experience. Colchester Neighborhood Farm is a social enterprise in every sense of the word. Employing adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities who are more than happy to wait on their customers at the farm stand, they are also eager to show off their farm, which includes chickens, a friendly donkey named Dapple, and some goats and their babies…yes the kids love the kids! A visit to Colchester Neighborhood Farm is more than just buying fresh fruits and vegetables, it is an opportunity for our children to learn about agriculture, to see how their food is grown and where it comes from. And going home with a few good memories along with some fresh tomatoes, organically grown cucumbers, and a bouquet of fresh flowers isn’t bad either.

Kale Soup (Perfect for a Meatless Night!)

Recipe courtesy Ashley Bowen

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh kale-washed and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic-pressed or finely minced
  • 1-2 medium onions-chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can of navy beans-drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cartons of low sodium no fat chicken broth (for vegetarian use vegetable broth)
  • 1 packet of Italian seasoning (Good Season brand name)
  • Add any starch you would like such as cubed potatoes or brown rice

 

Directions

  1. In a large soup pot, cook onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until soft. Mix in kale until wilted, add 1 carton of chicken broth, diced tomatoes & Italian seasoning. In food processor mix can of navy beans and 1 carton of chicken both till smooth. Mix into pot, bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for @ least 2hrs the longer the better.
  2. Add any starch you would like in the final stages of simmering such as potatoes, or brown rice. Cook until the potatoes or rice are completely softened.
  3. Enjoy!!

4 Reasons to Eat More Kale

ImageFrom Organic Gardening…

Kale is one of those vegetables people plant with the best intentions, but too many times it sits in the garden until it’s covered with snow.  You know it’s good for you and is one of the best “superfoods” you can add to your plate, but kale has other far-reaching benefits if eaten in place of a primarily meat-centered dinner.  Adding kale to your plate might be the easiest way to save the world.

Found out all four reasons by clicking HERE.

Delicious Kale Chips Recipe

From Dr. Jack Sarro…

Kale Chips Added to Your Diet

Knowing how to incorporate kale into our diet may seem like a challenge for some of us.  I am going to share a delicious and easy recipe that will make Kale be you and your family’s new favorite vegetable!  You won’t believe how fast they will be gobbled up so you may want to plan on making 2 batches!  I like to sprinkle oregano onto my Kale Chips before I bake them.  While they are in the oven, my kitchen smells like an Italian Restaurant or Pizzeria, without the guilt!

Click HERE for the Kale Chips Recipe and more health information on Kale.

Nutrition info for Arugula, Kale, Mustard Greens & Dandelion Greens

Nutrition info for Arugula, Kale, Mustard Greens & Dandelion Greens

Arugula is low in calories and high in vitamin A and vitamin C.  One-half cup contains about two calories.

Kale eases lung congestion and is beneficial to the stomach, liver and immune system.  It contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes from macular degeneration and it also contains indole-3-carbinol, which may protect against colon cancer.  Kale is an excellent source of calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and chlorophyll.

Mustard Greens are an excellent anticancer vegetable.  They may also be beneficial for colds, arthritis or depression.  While mustard greens sold in the United States are relatively mild in flavor, some mustard green varieties, especially those in Asia, can be as hot as a jalapeno pepper depending on their mustard oil content.

Dandelion Greens are beneficial to digestion and is an antiviral that may be useful in the treatment of AIDS and herpes.  It may also be useful in treating jaundice, cirrhosis, edema due to high blood pressure, gout, eczema and acne. Dandelion is also used to treat and prevent breast and lung tumors and premenstrual bloating.  Dandelion greens are high in vitamin A (in the form of the antioxidant carotenoid), vitamin C, and also contain calcium and potassium.  Dandelion root contains insulin, which lowers blood sugar in diabetics.

“Green” Recipes: Kale & Watercress

We have planted lots more greens than the typical kale and Swiss chard and spinach.
There are Asian greens and other high powered dark leafies coming along; general rule of thumb – the darker the green, the more highly nutritious ~ there is one called vita-green!
In a few weeks you will be seeing Bok Choy and other Choy family greens with beautiful colors and textures; Yukina Savoy, Komatsuna and some with equally beautiful variety names such as Summer Fest, Black Summer, Autumn Joy and Win Win.
For the most part, the greens are great eaten fresh in a salad or also braised or in a stir fry or smoothie.  They are all also easily interchangeable in recipes calling for Swiss chard, kale and spinach. 

From member Jamie…
I found kale and watercress recipes on a website called realsimple.com.  They’re all meatless and sound pretty good.  I picked a few to share, but the website (maybe you’re familiar with it already) has lots of recipes using all kinds of good stuff! 

Quinoa with Mushrooms, Kale, and Sweet Potatoes 

Whole-Grain Spaghetti With Garlicky Kale and Tomatoes

Kale with Roasted Peppers and Olives

Kale and White Bean Soup

Chilled Sweet Pea and Watercress Soup

Gingery Sautéed Watercress and Shiitakes

Recipe: Massaged Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad 
Recipe courtesy Aarti Sequeira, 2010

Prep Time: 20 min       4 servings

1 bunch kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
1 Lemon juiced
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Kosher salt
2 t. honey
Freshly ground black pepper
1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
2-3 T. toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), about 2 rounded

In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.

In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.

Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mango and pepitas. Toss and serve.