Blog

Preview | July 23, 2018 Week #8

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We're always working to improve the resources we provide to you. Please send any feedback or suggestions you have to Suzanne at cooking@intervale.org

In Our Baskets This Week

*Certified Organic | Meet Our Producers

Vermont Vegetable Package

  • Baby Spinach* | Diggers' Mirth Collective Farm/Burnt Rock Farm
  • Zucchini* | Intervale Community Farm/River Berry Farm
  • Blueberries* | Adam's Berry Farm
  • Tomatoes* | River Berry Farm/Intervale Community Farm/Rockville Market Farm
  • Basil* | Red Wagon Plants
  • Variety Package Only: Green Beans | Shadow Creek Farm

Omnivore Package

The Omnivore Package includes the Vermont Vegetable Package above, plus...

  • Pizza Dough* | Red Hen Baking Company
  • Mozzarella Cheese | Maplebrook Farm
  • Pizza Sauce | Joe's Kitchen at Screamin' Ridge Farm

Localvore Package

The Localvore Package includes the Omnivore Package above, plus...

  • Seeded Baguette* | Red Hen Baking Company
  • Pasture Raised Eggs |  Besteyfield Farm

 

Recipe Plans & Dreams

This is a list of the recipes that Suzanne is planning to cook next week, when our food deliveries from farmers start rolling in. We do our recipe testing on Mondays so that we will be using the same fresh ingredients that you'll be receiving in your baskets! If you have any questions, send us an email at cooking@intervale.org

  1. Veggie & Meat Stromboli (Veg with V & O variation)
  2. Cornmeal Crusted Zucchini (V/GF)
  3. Pickled Beans (for the variety share) (V/GF)
  4. Lemon-Ricotta Cheesecake with Blueberries (Veg/GF)
  • Key: 
    • V=Vegan
    • Veg=Vegetarian
    • DF=Dairy Free (if something is vegan, it is by nature dairy free, so DF won't be noted separately)
    • GF=Gluten Free
    • O=Omnivore

Newsletter | Week of July 16, 2018

July Meal

 

In Our Baskets This Week

*Certified Organic | Meet Our Producers

Vermont Vegetable Package

  • Cherry Tomatoes* | Jericho Settlers Farm, Jericho VT
  • Fresh Garlic* | Burnt Rock Farm, Huntington VT & Bella Farm, Monkton VT
  • Fennel* | Diggers' Mirth Collective Farm, Burlington's Intervale
  • Cucumbers* | Shadow Creek Farm & River Berry Farm, Fairfax, VT
  • Lettuce*  | Pitchfork Farm, Burlington's Intervale
  • Variety Package Only: Blueberries* | Adam's Berry Farm, Charlotte, VT

Omnivore Package

The Omnivore Package includes the Vermont Vegetable Package above, plus...

  • Wild Alaskan Coho Salmon | Starbird Fish, Burlington VT
  • Whole Plain Yogurt | Butterworks Farm, Westfield VT
  • Honey | BTV Honey, Burlington VT

Localvore Package

The Localvore Package includes the Omnivore Package above, plus...

  • Cyrus Pringle Bread* | Red Hen Baking Company, Middlesex VT
  • Pasture Raised Eggs |  Besteyfield Farm, Hinesburg, VT
 

Weekly Subscriptions

Bread: Cyrus Pringle*

Red Hen Baking Co.

Cheddar Cheese

Shelburne Farms

Pasture Raised Eggs

Besteyfield Farm

 

Cooking & Storage Tips

  • Most of the items in this week's baskets store well, and are great raw, or lightly cooked, which is great when the weather is hot. We're excited to get fennel, and can never eat enough cherry tomatoes. 
  • Use the lettuce first. You can dress it with blueberry vinaigrette, and top it with toasted walnuts.
  • If you have the variety package, eat up the blueberries right away, too. (That shouldn't be too hard!) You can throw the berries onto yogurt, into a bowl of cereal, bake them into a crisp or a pie, or freeze them for later. 
  • Then, use the cherry tomatoes -- which should be stored on the counter, never in the fridge.
  • As for fennel, you can use the leafy fennel fronds like a fresh herb, as well as the bulb. If you love the taste, try slicing it thinly and eating it raw in salad. If you're so-so on the taste, try dressing it, roasting it, or sauteeing it with tomatoes and garlic for a more mild flavor.
  • The cucumbers and the fresh garlic will store the longest. Save the garlic stems and the outer layers that you peel off, and put them in your stockpot next time you make meat or veggie stock. 
  • Have cooking ideas you want to share? Looking for recipe suggestions? Email Suzanne at cooking@intervale.org
 

Recipes

The dishes below were created by Suzanne, our Cooking Education Coordinator. Each week, we aim to provide you with recipes that will get you excited to use the items in your basket. We welcome your feedback and suggestions! 

Shopping List

If you make all of the recipes that we recommend this week, you'll need these items, in addition to the items you'll receive in your basket. You may already have some of them in your cupboard and your fridge. They're organized roughly as you'd find them in a store. Quantities are rounded, when it's more sensible to do so. Some ingredients are used "to taste," so a quantity may not be listed. 

  • Produce
    • shallot
    • parsley
    • basil
    • 1 lemon
    • 2 limes
  • Bulk/Dry Goods
    • salt
    • pepper
  • Bottled Items/Condiments
    • sunflower oil and/or olive oil
    • white wine vinegar 
  • Refrigerated Goods
    • Dijon mustard
  • Items from our Localvore Basket or our add-on subscriptions (if you don't get those subscriptions, you should add these to your shopping list)
    • whole milk yogurt
    • salmon fillets
    • honey
    • Cyrus Pringle bread

Tender Profiles

 

Roasted Salmon with Fennel Salad & Spiced Honey

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Roasted Salmon with Fennel Salad & Spiced Honey

Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Average | Season: Summer/Fall | Type: Meal | Diet: O/GF

This is a quick, lovely dish to make in summer or fall. The oven will only need to be on for around 15 minutes (including preheating), and the result is delicious and unusual. Rice or couscous would make a good accompaniment. 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375-degrees
  2. Coat a baking sheet with a little oil, and place on the salmon, skin-side down.
  3. Drizzle a little more oil atop the salmon, and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Roast the salmon for 8 minutes, and check it for doneness. Depending on your preferences, you could eat it when it's not opaque all the way through, or cook it until it is. 
  5. Remove from the oven, place on top of the fennel salad, and spread on a couple spoonfuls of seasoned honey. 

Shaved Fennel with Orange

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Shaved Fennel with Orange

Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: Summer/Fall | Type: Veggie Side | Diet: V/GF

A quick way to use fennel, this salad makes a great foil for fatty meat or seafood dishes. 

  • 1 bulb fennel, cut in half and with the core cut out
  • zest and juice of one orange
  • a couple tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 bulb shallot, minced
  • a splash of white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. If you have a mandoline, use it to slice the fennel. If not, slice the bulb as thinly as you can, using a chef knife.
  2. In a small bowl, toss the fennel with the other ingredients. 
  3. Taste for seasoning. Does it need more acidity? How about salt? Adjust as needed. 

    Cucumber Agua Fresca

    Cucumber Agua Fresca

    Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: Summer/Fall | Type: Beverage | Diet: V/GF

    This quick and refreshing drink is a good way to use up extra cucumbers. You can make it with watermelon, too. 

    • 2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into chunks
    • the zest and juice of two limes
    • 2 tablespoons honey, thinned with 1/2 cup hot water
    • a pinch of salt
    • a handful of ice cubes
    1. In a blender, combine all ingredients except the ice. 
    2. Purée until uniform. 
    3. Pour through a strainer, pressing on the solids in the strainer to extract as much liquid as possible.
    4. Taste for seasoning. You could add more lime juice if you want the drink to be more tangy, honey if you'd like it to be sweeter, or salt if it seems to sweet, and unbalanced. 
    5. Chill, and serve over ice. 

    Toasted Walnuts

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    Toasted Walnuts

    Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Garnish | Diet: V/GF

    This same technique can be used to toast any kind of nut. You can also heat the nuts in a sauté pan on the stovetop. 

    • walnuts
    • a drizzle of olive oil, or any other kind of oil you prefer
    • salt to taste
    1. Preheat the oven to 375, if you feel comfortable keeping a close eye on the walnuts. If not, you can toast them at 325. 
    2. Put the nuts on a baking sheet, and toss with oil and salt.
    3. Cook until the nuts are golden brown, or a deeper brown, if you prefer. Nuts are one of the the things that restaurant chefs are most likely to burn, because they cook very quickly. This is a task to do when you have the wherewithal to be very attentive, for a few minutes. 

     

      Blueberry Vinaigrette

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      Blueberry Vinaigrette

      Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: Summer/Fall | Type: Condiment, Dressing | Diet: V/GF

      A handful of blueberries brings a sweet, unusual flavor to a basic salad dressing. Don't have blueberries? You can substitute another fruit or berry, in their place. 

      • 1 cup sunflower oil, or 2/3 cup neutral oil and 1/3 cup olive oil
      • 1/3 cup white or red wine vinegar
      • 2 teaspoons mustard
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 shallot bulb, roughly chopped
      • 1/2 cup blueberries
      • pepper to taste
      1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until uniform. 
      2. Taste for seasoning, and adjust as needed. You may want to add more salt, or a little bit more vinegar. 

      Garlic Croutons

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      Garlic Croutons

      Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Garnish | Diet: V

      If you have stale bread, this is a perfect way to use it up. If you don't have garlic, you can simply make plain croutons. Or, you can play with other flavors. Herbs and spices would be perfect additions to this recipe. 

      • Fresh or slightly stale bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
      • 2 cloves garlic, grated on the smallest side of a box grater
      • 3 tablespoons cup olive oil
      • salt and pepper to taste
      1. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
      2. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet.
      3. In a bowl, combine the grated garlic and the olive oil. Stir to combine.
      4. Drizzle the garlic oil over the croutons, and toss them to coat.
      5. Season with salt and pepper.
      6. Bake for 7 minutes, stir the croutons, and continue to bake until they're golden brown and crispy on the outside. The amount of time will depend on whether or not the bread was fresh or stale to start with, and on the moisture content of your chosen bread, generally.

        Seasoned Honey

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        Seasoned Honey

        Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Condiment | Diet: O/GF

        You can stir any herbs or spices into honey to make a sweet and savory condiment that's great for drizzling onto meat dishes, or onto fresh cheese. Here are some herbs you could try: mint, tarragon, thyme, oregano, savory. And a few spices that would work nicely: chipotle chili powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, coriander. What else can you add? Alliums, such as garlic or garlic or red onion. 

        • 1/2 cup honey (if the honey is crystallized, you can warm it slightly to smooth it out)
        • 1 tablespoon minced fennel fronds
        • 1 teaspoon minced parsley
        • a couple pinches of salt
        • pepper to taste
        • citrus juice, if desired
        1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Taste, and re-season, as needed. 

        Cherry Tomato Salad with Pesto & Labneh

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        Cherry Tomato Salad with Pesto & Labneh

        Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: Summer/Fall | Type: Veggie Side | Diet: O/GF

        This salad is a great way to use up cherry tomatoes. The sweetness of the tomatoes, the refreshing taste of herbs, and the tangy yogurt, make a great combination. 

        1. Toss the cut cherry tomatoes with pesto, to coat (you won't need the whole batch).
        2. Season with salt and pepper. 
        3. Top with spoonfuls of strained yogurt.

          Mixed Herb Pesto

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          Mixed-Herb Pesto

          Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: Summer/Fall | Type: Condiment | Diet: V/GF

          This pesto can be made of a mix of herbs, or of herbs and greens (such as arugula, or spinach). You can make it without any nuts or other thickeners, which will mean that the herb flavors will really pop. Or you can add walnuts, almonds, or pine nuts, or throw in a little bit of bread, to give it a thicker texture.

          • 1/2 bunch parsley leaves, picked off the stems and rinsed
          • 1/2 bunch basil leaves, picked off the stems and rinsed
          • the zest of 1 lemon
          • the juice of 1 lemon
          • a few tablespoons olive oil
          • salt and pepper to taste
          • nuts, if desired. Walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, and cashews all go nicely in pesto. 
          1. In a blender, combine all ingredients. Purée until the mixture is a smooth paste. If needed, you can add a little bit of water, or more oil, to thin out the pesto. 

           

            Tender Profile | Fennel

             Fennel in the field at Diggers' Mirth Collective Farm in Burlington

            Fennel in the field at Diggers' Mirth Collective Farm in Burlington

            Fennel

            Who Am I?

            • Botanical name/plant family: Foeniculum vulgare
            • Great source of: Vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium and manganese
            • Harvest season: I am ready for harvest in early Summer

            Important practices: It is recommended that leafy greens be bought organic, to limit exposure to pesticides

            How to care for me:

            If I come with both the leafy parts and the bulb, for storage you will want to separate the stalks from the bulbs and place in plastic bags.

            How to cook me:

            With texture of celery at the bulb and fluffy fronds up top, you can use fennel in many different ways. You can slice it thinly for fresh salads, or cut it into wedges for roasting or braising. 

            Pairings:

            I have quite a unique flavor - crunchy and slightly sweet, with hints of anise or licorice, but with a bright fresh taste. I still enhance many different foods - I compliment sausage beautifully and heighten many seafood dishes! Enrich your fennel dish with apples, pomegranate, pears or citrus for lots of flavor and texture!

             

            Fun Facts:

            • Fennel is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the carrot family.

            • People of India and Pakistan chew sugar coated fennel seed after eating to aid in digestion and eliminate bad breath.

            • Fennel has antispasmodic properties, which relieves muscle spasms

            How to Prepare Fennel

             

            Cut off the stems of the fennel where they meet the bulb. Don't compost the stems though! They can be used in stock to add flavor.

            1. If the fronds are attached to the stems, save them too. They can be treated like any other herb, and provide a more intense licorice flavor than the bulbs. (They look very similar to dill, making them a beautiful garnish as well.)

            2. The outside of fennel may be slightly brown, bruised, and/or discolored, but don't let it discourage you from still using your fennel! The outer layer can be pulled away with your hands to reveal inside layers, as you would with cabbage. Another option to prevent waste is to use a vegetable peeler to remove this outer layer, which conserves much more of the fennel and keeps it out of your compost and on your plate.

            3. After peeling your fennel, be sure to cut off the bottom of the bulb for a nice flat base. Now you’re ready to wedge, shave, and slice your fennel!

             

            Removing the Core

            The core of fennel is entirely edible, though it is a little firmer than the rest of the fennel. The core also will help to hold your fennel together a bit more, so it is entirely up to you whether or not you wish to remove it. When wedging the vegetable for roasting taking out the core will not cause the fennel to fall apart too badly, however if you wish to thinly slice and saute your fennel you will end up with many very thin slices as the layers will separate without the core to hold them together.

            1. In order to core your fennel, first quarter it using the steps below.

            2. Next, simply lay each quarter down flat on your cutting board and while holding your knife at a 45° angle remove the small hard core -  and you’re done!

             

            Cutting Your Fennel Into Wedges

            Cutting your fennel bulb into wedges is a super quick and easy way to prepare them, and their larger size makes them perfect for techniques like roasting!

            1. To begin, prepare your fennel using the above steps. Then, simply cut your fennel bulb into quarters using a sharp chef’s knife.

            2. Remove the core if you wish, and you are ready to cook!

             

            Sliced Fennel

            Slicing your fennel makes it a great candidate for sautes, salads, gratins, pizzas, crudite, pickling, and more! It all depends on the size of your slices and whether or not you chose to remove the core.

            1. Using a sharp knife, first slice your fennel into halves and then lay each half cut side down onto your cutting board.

            2. Depending on if you would like smaller rounded slices or longer more straight slices, hold your fennel widthwise or lengthwise, respectively.

            3. Finally, simply slice me as thickly or thinly as you would like!

             

            Shaved Fennel

            1. Shaving your fennel will provide much thinner slices and can make it a fresh crunchy addition to many dishes.

            2. Using the same vegetable peeler that you used to remove the outer layers of your fennel, simply shave the rest down until you have reached your desired amount. Any remaining fennel can still be sliced using the directions above or saved for another day.

            Preview | July 16, 2018 Week #7

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            We're always working to improve the resources we provide to you. Please send any feedback or suggestions you have to Suzanne at cooking@intervale.org

            In Our Baskets This Week

            *Certified Organic | Meet Our Producers

            Vermont Vegetable Package

            • Cherry Tomatoes* | Jericho Settlers Farm
            • Fresh Garlic* | Burnt Rock Farm & Bella Farm
            • Fennel* | Diggers' Mirth Collective Farm
            • Cucumbers* | Shadow Creek Farm & River Berry Farm
            • Lettuce*  | Pitchfork Farm
            • Variety Package Only: Blueberries* | Adam's Berry Farm

            Omnivore Package

            The Omnivore Package includes the Vermont Vegetable Package above, plus...

            • Wild Alaskan Coho Salmon | Starbird Fish
            • Whole Plain Yogurt | Butterworks Farm
            • Honey | BTV Honey

            Localvore Package

            The Localvore Package includes the Omnivore Package above, plus...

            • Cyrus Pringle Bread* | Red Hen Baking Company
            • Pasture Raised Eggs |  Besteyfield Farm

             

            Recipe Plans & Dreams

            This is a list of the recipes that Suzanne is planning to cook next week, when our food deliveries from farmers start rolling in. We do our recipe testing on Mondays so that we will be using the same fresh ingredients that you'll be receiving in your baskets! If you have any questions, send us an email at cooking@intervale.org

            1. Cherry tomato salad with pesto & labneh (Veg with V variation/GF)
            2. Grilled salmon & fennel with spiced honey (O/GF)
            3. Green salad with walnuts & blueberry vinaigrette (V/GF)
            4. Cucumber agua fresca (V/GF)
            5. Garlic croutons (V)
            • Key: 
              • V=Vegan
              • Veg=Vegetarian
              • DF=Dairy Free (if something is vegan, it is by nature dairy free, so DF won't be noted separately)
              • GF=Gluten Free
              • O=Omnivore

            Essential Kitchen Equipment

            spatula

            These items make cooking more enjoyable and more efficient, and will give you a broader range in the kitchen.
             

            • A good, sharp chef knife, 8 or 10-inch - The most important kitchen tool, hands down. If your knives are dull, every cutting task will be just a little bit harder than it needs to be

            • Honing wand - to keep your knife performing well between sharpenings

            • Large wooden cutting board

               

            • Pots and pans - Most Used: Soup pot, sauce pot, frying pan, and cast iron pan. We recommend stainless steel, stainless-clad aluminum, and cast iron

            • Baking Pan - a good heavy pan that won’t warp in the oven, for roasting veggies and more

            • Silicone spatulas - won’t melt, don’t scratch, and are useful for pretty much everything

            • Several pairs of heavy tongs - Useful for nearly every kitchen task, from stirring things to moving bigger pieces of food around

            • Whisk, nice and heavy - in addition to actually whisking, whisks can be used to mash veggies such as potatoes. They might actually be better at mashing than mashers!

               

            • Blender - We recommend an immersion blender, because they’re less expensive than a countertop blender. Blenders can be used to make smoothies, salad dressings, puréed soup, tomato sauce, and more

            • Box Grater - for cheese and for vegetables

            • Microplane grater - a tool that will last for a very long time, and can be used to grate cheese, take the zest from citrus fruits, shave nutmeg, grate up garlic and ginger, and many other things

            • Peeler - we recommend y-shaped peelers as the best when you have lots of veggies to peel. You can also use this to make veggie “noodles” or ribbons

            • Mandolin - for quick, efficient, and uniform slicing

            • Parchment paper and/or aluminum foil - this helps keep things from sticking to baking sheets, and is helpful to use on top of dishes that are slow-cooking in the oven. It’s super useful

            Newsletter | Week of July 9, 2018

            July 9 Taco Bar

             

            In Our Baskets This Week

            *Certified Organic | Meet Our Producers

            Vermont Vegetable Package

            • Mesclun* | Diggers' Mirth Collective Farm
            • Zucchini/Yellow Squash* | Intervale Community Farm/Riverberry Farm
            • Onions* | Jericho Settlers Farm
            • Napa Cabbage* | Diggers' Mirth Collective Farm
            • Snap Peas | Lewis Creek Farm
            • Cilantro* (variety shares only) | Diggers' Mirth Collective Farm

            Omnivore Package

            The Omnivore Package includes the Vermont Vegetable Package above, plus...

            • 100% Grass Fed Beef Stir Fry | Health Hero Farm
            • Cultured Butter | Ploughgate Creamery
            • Tortillas, soft white* | All Souls Tortelleria 

            Localvore Package

            The Localvore Package includes the Omnivore Package above, plus...

            • Waitsfield Common* | Red Hen Baking Company
            • Pasture Raised Eggs |  Besteyfield Farm
             

            Weekly Subscriptions

            Bread: Waitsfield Common*

            Red Hen Baking Co.

            Cheddar Cheese

            Shelburne Farms

            Pasture Raised Eggs

            Besteyfield Farm

             

            Monthly Subscriptions

            • Ground Beef  |  Health Hero Farm, South Hero, VT and Maple Wind Farm, Huntington, VT
               
            • Pasture-Raised Chicken  |  Maple Wind Farm, Huntington, VT
               
            • Pasture-Raised Sausage  |  Sweet Italian & Chorizo  |  Maple Wind Farm, Huntington, VT
               
            • Bean Burgers* | Black Bean Burgers & Falafel Burgers  |  Vermont Bean Crafters, Waitsfield, VT
               
            • Tortillas & Beans * | Soft White Corn Tortillas & Black Beans  |  All Souls Tortilleria, - Warren, VT and Vermont Bean Crafters, Waitsfield, VT
               
            • Wild Alaskan Fish  |  Coho Salmon Fillets & Halibut Fillets  |  Starbird Fish, Burlington, VT
               
            • Wild Alaskan Salmon  |  Starbird Fish, Burlington, VT
             

            Cooking & Storage Tips

            • When we looked at this week's Omnivore package, which includes beef and tortillas, and noticed that the variety package included cilantro, it seemed evident that we needed to make TACOS!!! So, this week's recipes add up to a sumptuous and delicious taco bar. Mmm...
            • Eat the mesclun first, and if you have the variety package, use up the cilantro, too. If you have too much to use fresh, check out our recipe for cilantro-onion sauce, or, try freezing it in ice cube trays to use later with salsa, stir fry, etc. 
            • Then, use the snap peas and the Napa cabbage. Both store pretty nicely in the crisper, but it's always great to use veggies as quickly as you can, for maximum nutrition.
            • The zucchini and the onions will store the longest. Zucchini is so versatile - you can grill it, saute it, or slice it into ribbons like pasta. Try frying it into fritters, tossing into pasta, or topping with cheese for a really delicious side dish.
            • Have cooking ideas you want to share? Looking for recipe suggestions? Email Suzanne at cooking@intervale.org
             

            Recipes

            The dishes below were created by Suzanne, our Cooking Education Coordinator. Each week, we aim to provide you with recipes that will get you excited to use the items in your basket. We welcome your feedback and suggestions! 

            Shopping List

            If you make all of the recipes that we recommend this week, you'll need these items, in addition to the items you'll receive in your basket. You may already have some of them in your cupboard and your fridge. They're organized roughly as you'd find them in a store. Quantities are rounded, when it's more sensible to do so. Some ingredients are used "to taste," so a quantity may not be listed. 

            • Produce
              • garlic
              • sweet onion
              • carrot
              • basil
              • scallions
              • limes
            • Bulk/Dry Goods
              • salt
              • pepper
              • chipotle or chile powder
            • Bottled Items/Condiments
              • sunflower oil and/or olive oil
              • white wine vinegar 
            • Refrigerated Goods
              • sour cream
            • Items from our Localvore Basket or our add-on subscriptions (if you don't get those subscriptions, you should add these to your shopping list)
              • corn tortillas
              • beef stir-fry meat
              • Mansfield cheese
              • black beans

            Tender Profiles

             

            Build-Your-Own-Taco Bar

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            Taco Bar

            Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Leisurely | Season: All | Type: Meal | Diet: O/GF

            Combine all of the delicious recipes from this week, and you've got an amazing DIY taco bar, that lets everybody in the family (or at the party) build their own tacos. 

            1. Put out all of the ingredients, and let people build their own amazing tacos!  

            Spiced Black Beans

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            Spiced Black Beans

            Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: Spring/All | Type: Veggie Main | Diet: V/GF

            You can make this recipe with black beans you've cooked yourself, or with the frozen beans from Vermont Bean Crafters, or a can of beans from the grocery store! If you want it spicier, you can add few dashes of hot sauce. This is a great omelette topping, as well as a taco bar ingredient. 

            • 2 cups black beans
            • 3 onion tops or scallion greens, sliced
            • 2 teaspoons sunflower or olive oil
            • salt and pepper to taste
            • 2 teaspoons lime juice
            • chile powder, cayenne pepper, chipotle powder, paprika, or whatever peppery spices make you happy
            1. Strain the beans, and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the other ingredients. 
            2. Season to taste. Make the beans as tangy, salty, and spicy as you desire. 

            Lime Sour Cream

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            Lime Sour Cream

            Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Condiment | Diet: Veg/GF

            This dish is a quick and easy riff on Mexican crema, which is a bit saltier than sour cream, and is often enhanced with squeeze of lime juice. This is a great taco topping, of course, but can also be mixed into slaws as a creamy dressing. 

            • 1 cup sour cream
            • the zest of 1/2 lime
            • 1 tablespoon lime juice
            • salt and pepper to taste
            1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix. 
            2. Taste the cream. If you want it to be more tangy, add more lime juice. If you'd like it to be saltier, add more salt. 

            Marinated & Seared Beef

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            Marinated & Seared Beef

            Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Average | Season: All | Type: Main Course | Diet: O/GF

            Meat dishes don't get much easier than this! Marinate the beef for as long as you have, and then brown it in a saucepan. It's a perfect taco topping, and you can also serve it with stir-fried veggies, or as part of a grain bowl.

            • 1 package stir-fry beef
            • 1/4 cup sunflower or olive oil
            • 2/3 teaspoon salt
            • a few grinds of pepper
            • 2 teaspoons white wine or red wine vinegar
            • 2 tablespoons minced parsley, oregano and thyme, in any proportion you desire
            1. Combine all of the ingredients, and using a pair of tongs or clean hands, toss to coat.
            2. Let the beef sit for as long as you want, for 30 minutes up to overnight. 
            3. Heat a heavy bottomed pan over medium to medium high heat. When it's hot, add the beef, such that the pieces don't touch (you can cook it in two batches, if needed). 
            4. Sear until the first side is brown. Turn.
            5. Cook until it is the doneness you desire, whether that be rare, or well-done.
            6. Let cool for 3 or 4 minutes. 
            7. The stir-fry beef in our share isn't the most tender, so it would be nice to cut the pieces further, before you add them to you tacos. Just line a few pieces up, and cut across the grain. 

            Napa Cabbage Slaw

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            Napa Cabbage Slaw

            Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Veggie Side | Diet: V, GF

            This simple slaw can be used as a crunchy topping on sandwiches, or as a side dish in its own right. You can use any acidic ingredients you like to brighten it up, from lemon juice to lime juice to white wine vinegar. And, you can also mix in mayo or sour cream for a creamy variation.

            • 1/4 Napa cabbage, shredded
            • 1 large carrot, grated (you can use the largest holes on a box grater)
            • 1/2 red or yellow onion, grated (as with the carrots, you can use the largest holes on a box grater)
            • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
            • 3 tablespoons lime or lemon juice, or vinegar
            • 2 teaspoons salt
            • a few grinds of pepper
            • chopped cilantro or parsley, if desired
            1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Mix (I like to use a pair of clean hands).
            2. Taste for seasoning. Does the salad need more acidity? Then add more lime juice, or vinegar. Does it need more salt? Depending on whether you're eating it as a salad on its own, or using it as a garnish, you may want to season a bit differently.