Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bok Choy Recipe

First time ever cooking bok choy and here it is! Very easy to prepare and goes great with stir fried beef and cheesy rice. Mmm! How do I do all that I do? Well, first I washed the bok choy and diced it like you see here. Then, I took out my fam-favorite iron skillet, and added 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp ginger, and 1/4 minced garlic (since I didn't have fresh). Then, I heated the oil, added the bok choy, along with another tbsp olive oil, and stir fried for a little over a minute. Then, I added 1/4 cup chicken broth, covered and simmered for another couple of minutes. Just look at that color...delicious and nutritious!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bok Choy

If you like cabbage you should try its Chinese cousin, bok choy. It can be eaten raw in salads, or in soups and stir fries. Simply remove the leaves from the stalks and cut the stalks into pieces before cooking. It has a mild flavor and only 10 calories for a half cup when served raw. 10 calories? That's right, 10 calories! Good and good for you because it's also loaded with Vitamins A and C, calcium, and beta carotene, those powerful cancer-fighting agents.

Pictured here is bok choy fresh from the fields. Notice the white stalks, and the leaves are firm and green. Bok choy will stay fresh when stored in plastic bag in refrigerator for 3 days.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Developing Healthy Eating Habits

I was making my list for my weekly trek to the grocery store when I asked my 8-yr-old if there was anything in particular that she wanted. Much to my surprise she asked for nectarines. "When did you start eating nectarines?" I asked. "At school," she answered, and she proceeded to tell me what they looked like and how they tasted. Hmmm....that healthy snack program at her school is working.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Homemade Marinara Sauce

Now that fall is here bringing chilly fall nights, it's time for comfort foods like soups, chilis, and marinara-covered pasta bakes. Here's a recipe from my sister-in-law for Everyday Marinara Sauce. It yields 6 cups and can be prepared in a little over an hour, refrigerated for 5 days, and frozen for up to 2 months, making it quick and easy to throw together a meal when you're in a hurry. Simply pour over cooked noodles and grilled chicken breast, add a salad and voila! Simple and delicious, and the sauce is only 70 calories per 1 cup serving.

Ingredients -
12 medium tomatoes (Roma tomatoes recommended, but any variety would do), or 5 cups jarred diced or strained plum tomatoes (no salt or sugar added)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium white onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 sprigs fresh oregano without stems (about 2 tbsp leaves), or 1 tsp dried oregano
8 basil leaves, or 1 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp red chile flakes, optional
1 tbsp raw honey
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions-
Bring a pot of water to a boil over hight heat. In a large bowl, prepare an ice bath. Immerse tomatoes into boiling water for 1-2 minutes or until skins begin to come off. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon and immerse into ice bath for about 1 minute or until cooled.

Once cooled, remove tomatoes from ice bath and remove skin, which will peel off easily. Slice tomatoes in half, scoop away core and seeds. Coarsely chop tomatoes and place into a bowl.

In a medium saucepot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots, and celery and saute until onion becomes translucent and vegetabkes are softened. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, and chile flakes, if desired, and cook, stirring frequently, until sauce comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 min - 1 hr, stirring occasionally.

Remove saucepot from heat and carefully puree mixture with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth. Add honey and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

Ladle mixture into resealable containers, let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate. Use within 5 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Website Now Up and Running

It's here, and it's official. I've not been blogging as much lately because I've been (along with help from hubby) creating a website for Wise Farms and working on a new venture with my brother. We have partnered to create The Wise Choice, a service that delivers fresh produce straight from the farm to you. We are looking for people interested in joining us as Coordinators to oversee distribution. Comment for more info...in the meantime check out the website and online store at  http://www.wise-farms.com/

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Quince Fruit

My knowledge of fruits has been challenged. Recently I was asked by my faithful follower, Chris, if I knew what quince was....ahhhh, never heard of it. So, I had to research.

According to http://www.foodreference.com/ quince belongs to the pome fruit family and claims apples and pears as its cousins. For over 4,000 years quince trees have been producing this tart, golden yellow fruit. The harvest season for quince is September-January. It's great for baking and is a good substitute when a recipe calls for apples or pears. Quince has a very high pectin content, which makes it the perfect fruit for jams and jellies, as shown here straight from Chris' kitchen. Orange in color, it tastes a lot like tart pears, very good. The texture is a lot like honey. Thanks, Chris, for sharing!

Any other fruit or vegetable challenges? One is never too old to learn!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Apple Butternut Casserole

Easy as ABC.

A is for Apple, one granny smith. Core, slice, and dice. No need to peel the apple first (which I did and lost all that bright green color to contrast the orange of the squash, and also peeled away most of the fiber from the apple).

B is for Butternut squash, one medium-sized. Half, scoop out seeds and pulp. Slice, dice, and peel. You will need very sharp knife.

C is for Casserole. Mix apple and butternut chunks together in a casserole dish.

Sprinkle with 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 cup melted butter.

Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. Delicious and different!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Subtle Change 9

This week's challenge - try something new! It's so easy to fall into a rut, especially with our meal planning. We eat the same foods over and over, day in and day out. While I think it's a great idea to have a designated night for certain meals (like Friday night can be pizza night each week) it's also a great idea to spice things up a bit and surprise the family at least one night a week with a new dish. Put aside your fear and break out the recipe books. What have you got to lose? You'll either not like it and lose the few dollars and time you spent to prepare it, OR you may just discover a delicious new dish to serve your family.

Last week I tried butternut squash for the first time. I know...it's a little hard to believe that a farmer's daughter never had eaten butternut squash in all her 27 years (ha!). Not only that, but I don't remember having ever seen the inside of a butternut squash. So, I found this recipe online that I doctored a bit to make it my own and it was really good! I will definitely cook it again, and will post the recipe tomorrow.

In the meatime take a look here at the pic of the butternut after I cut it. Be warned! It's not easy to cut. I had to get out the big knife! If only this blog was "scratch and sniff". I can't even find the words to describe the great smell and color. Who knew?

If you accept my challenge for Subtle Change 9, comment and let me know how it turned out!