Monthly Archives: July 2017

Roasted Yam + Carrot Quinoa Bowl

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1″ pieces
  • bunch carrots, de-stemmed and sliced into 1″ pieces
  • 3 tablespoons high heat cooking oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • pinch red chili flakes
  • bunch kale, de-stememd and chopped into ribbons
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • dash of salt
  • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 tomato, sliced into 1″ pieces
  • ½ cup (4 oz) feta cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds

Avocado Creme Dressing

  • 1 large or 2 small avocados, pitted and peeled
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.  Toss yams and carrots with oil and seasonings.  Roast uncovered for 30 minutes or until tender when pierced with fork.
  2. Bring water to boil.  Add dried quinoa and a dash of salt.  Reduce heat to simmer, and cook covered until all water has evaporated.
  3. Toss chopped kale with lemon juice in a large bowl and let sit.
  4. Combine sliced red onion and vinegar in a jar with lid and let sit.
  5. Prepare dressing; combine all ingredients in a food processor/blender.  Add water in small increments until desired consistency is reached.
  6. Add cooked yams, carrots, and quinoa to bowl with kale along with remaining ingredients (onion, tomato, feta, parsley, pumpkin seeds).  Dress salad and toss.

Fermenting for Health

Fermented foods are making a comeback, especially here in Seattle.  Are you like me and see more and more folks drinking kombucha in place of soda, enjoying pickled veggies, and trying their hand at homemade sourdough breads?  Fermented foods such as yogurt, pickles, kimchi, miso, and tempeh provide our bodies with beneficial bacteria known as probiotics; good bacteria which help restore gut balance and aid in digestion.  Fermented foods help our bodies absorb nutrients, and actually enhances certain nutrients during the fermentation process.  Fermentation is actually a naturally occurring process, and at it’s simplest form is the breaking down of sugars to acids (vinegar) and gases, or alcohol.

Let’s be real, though… I AM the “folk” not only consuming more fermented foods, but actually experimenting with homemade fermentation myself.  All you need to start your own “fermentation station” at home are ripe ingredients and time!  And probably some extra counter space as containers will need to sit out for a while.  Here is a quick recipe to try at home when you have extra produce on hand you’d rather not throw out in the compost:

General Vegetable Fermentation

Ingredients

  • about 3 cups vegetables (any 1 vegetable or combination)
  • 3 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 cups water
  • large jar with lid (half gallon Mason Jar with lid)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pealed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns

Instructions

  1. Combine salt and water and stir until salt is dissolved.  If using hot water, proceed once water returns to room temperature.
  2. Combine all ingredients jar and pour salt water mixture over vegetables.  Add more water until vegetables are completely covered, while also leaving 1 inch of space at the top.
  3. Secure tightly with lid and let sit at room temperature until taste is satisfactory.  Check in on the fermentation process occasionally and skim off any scum or mold that may form at the top.
  4. Refrigerate when desired taste and tenderness has been reached.

Veggie Frittata

Veggie Frittata

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon high heat cooking oil
  • 4 red potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 4 mini bell peppers, diced
  • ½ small sweet onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3 cups roughly chopped kale
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • fresh herbs on hand (basil, parsley, rosemary)
  • 8 large eggs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat oil in a large cast iron or oven-safe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and sauté until tender.  Add the bell pepper, onion, and salt, and sauté until tender. Add the zucchini, kale, and fresh herbs, and cook covered until wilted.
  3. Whisk the eggs, Parmesan, and pepper in a medium bowl and pour into the skillet over vegetables. Sprinkle with green onions and goat cheese.
  4. Bake until the eggs are almost set, about 8 minutes. Turn the oven on to broil on high and broil until the top is set and light golden-brown, about 2 minutes more. Let cool before slicing and serving.

Meal Planning with PCH Deliveries

Growing up in Kansas City and raised with those midwest family values, I’ve inherited a love for home cooked meals shared with loved ones at the table.  I’m only cooking for 2 (newlywed) most of the week, and beyond conflict resolution, my main priority my first year of marriage was learning how to cook meals both my husband and I would enjoy for flavor, and for intentional time spent together in the kitchen.

I soon realized that cooking was only a small part of managing meals in the home.  There was also planning, shopping, storing, and of course, clean up.  My meal planning skills have improved drastically and I no longer spend a few hours each week skimming through cookbooks, and to be completely honest, Pinterest, looking for the perfect blend of nutritious, green, healthy meals for me, and delicious, comforting, savory foods for the hubs.  I do have to say upfront that my house is a meat-dairy-gluten-eating household, but love and respect the vegetarians, vegans, and GF folks in our midst.

Here is how I allow weekly Pacific Coast Harvest boxes allow for more efficient meal planning in my household:

Planning: Nowadays, I let PCH produce inform my meals with each delivery.  Planning comes after I see the bright, fresh, organic offering for the week.  I empty the contents of the box in my kitchen, taking stock of each vegetable and fruit as I lay them out on the table…and return the box to my front porch, out of the way.

Storing:  I store leafy greens in crisper drawers, tough root veggies and some fruits in baskets on the counter (potatoes, onion, garlic, apples, banana), and fit anything else that seems more delicate in the fridge.

Shopping:  Because I have a weekly flow of fresh produce with PCH, most of my grocery needs are for a variety of meats, spices, dairy, grains, nuts, and canned goods.  I like to keep meat on hand to pull out and defrost midday to accompany veggie dishes I’ll prepare for dinner.  I always have plenty of canned tomatoes, beans, and essentials (oils, flour, eggs, bread, butter) stocked up and stowed away for use with any dish that calls for it.  Again, it’s the veggies that are informing my meals these days so I stock up on “general” items that will be seasoned and accompanied to enhance the produce.

Cooking: This is the fun part!  My go-to ratio for a meal: protein, vegetable, and complex carbohydrate with a salad on the side.  For more in-depth cooking ideas, check in for weekly recipes featuring items from you PCH box.

Clean up: Always made better with some good tunes or a podcast, and some little (or big) helping hands.

Rainbow Chard Greek Veggie Wraps

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

Chard Stalk Hummus

  • 1 bunch rainbow chard, stalks removed, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons tahini
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup water

Wraps

  • rainbow chard leaves
  • chard stalk hummus
  • 1 carrot, peeled into ribbons
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped into thin strips
  • kalamata olives, sliced
  • feta cheese
  • oregano
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add rainbow chard stalks and boil until tender (5-10 minutes) and drain.
  2. Blend all hummus ingredients except water in a food processor until smooth.  Add water until hummus reaches desired consistency.
  3. If chard leaves are rigid, lay all leaves between two wet paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds to soften.
  4. Lay out one chard leaf, and spread hummus on surface.  Place an assortment of prepared vegetables, olives, cheese, oil, and spices into the wrap.  Roll up like a burrito.  Repeat with remaining chard leaves.
  5. Enjoy immediately or store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

Additional considerations:

  • naturally gluten free and vegetarian
  • double recipe to serve 4-6

DIY Backpacking and Camping Instant Meal

Summer is in full swing here in Seattle!  These are the months of adventure and enjoyment under the warm sun; hiking, biking, barbecue’s, front porch sitting, and weekend getaways.  Young people and families alike flock east and west to experience the joys of backpacking/camping in the Pacific Northwest summer beauty.

I recently completed a two night backpacking trip in the Olympic’s with a few friends.  We experimented with preparing homemade “just add water” meals to save a few bucks and have a bit more control over flavors.  Most ingredients were already in my pantry, however I did purchase a blend of freeze dried vegetables for a lighter pack.  Please substitute fresh veggies from PCH box if you’re car camping and have the storage space!

Backpackers Gumbo

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup quinoa
  • ½ cup red split lentils
  • ½ cup dried vegetables
  • 3 teaspoons chicken broth powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 3 cups water
  • summer sausage cut into chunks
  • 2 oz tomato paste

Instructions:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a quart-sized ziplock bag labeled “Gumbo – 3 Cups water”.
  2. Hike a mountain or drive to campsite.  Set up camp. 😊
  3. In medium pot, bring 3 cups water to a boil and add dry ingredients.
  4. Chop sausage into bite sized chunks.
  5. Add sausage and tomato paste to gumbo once it begins to thicken.  Stir frequently.
  6. Gumbo is ready when most liquid has been absorbed.

Grilled Kabob Skewers

Summer is in full swing here in Seattle!  Anyone else outside soaking in the Vitamin D we’ve missed out on most of the year?  Here’s a fun way to utilize this week’s PCH box for those summer BBQ’s I hope you’re enjoying lately.

Grilled Kabob Skewers

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • wooden or metal skewers
  • 1-1.5 pound protein option, cut into 1 inch cubes (chicken, extra firm tofu, shrimp, steak)
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch knob fresh ginger, grated
  • juice from1 a lime
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 red potatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 zucchini squash
  • handful of white mushrooms
  • 3 Tablespoons high heat oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Turn on gas grill or fire up charcoal grill and allow internal temperature to rise while continuing with recipe.  Collect skewers and soak in water if wooden.
  2. Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, lime juice, and spices in a medium bowl.  Mix well.  Toss with protein and let sit in marinade while continuing with vegetable prep.
  3. Chop all vegetables except mushrooms into thick cubes (1 inch).
  4. Place chopped potatoes in a large microwave safe bowl.  Cover potatoes with water.  Microwave for 4 minutes or until just tender.  Drain, and return potatoes to bowl.
  5. Add remaining chopped vegetables to bowl and toss with oil, salt, and pepper.
  6. Arrange cubed vegetables and marinated protein on skewers with variety.  Line up uncooked skewers on baking sheet.
  7. Gas grill: Leave 2 burners on high heat, and remaining burners on medium heat.  Arrange skewers on high-heat portion of grill and cook for 3 minutes.  Rotate skewers, and cook for another 3 minutes.  Repeat this process until each side of skewer has seared.  Move seared skewers to medium heat portion of grill and cook with lid closed until appropriate internal temperature of protein is reached (varies depending on protein).  Charcoal grill:  Skewers may cook more quickly depending on how hot briquets are.  Rotate skewers regularly and be careful not to overcook protein.
  8. Allow cooked skewers to rest for 3 minutes before serving.

Additional considerations

  • Double recipe to serve 8
  • Gluten free, vegetarian, vegan
  • Prep skewers at your leisure and store in refrigerator/freezer in ziplock bags.  Travel with raw skewers to be cooked at events outside of your home, or pull out at your convenience when ready to fire up the grill.

Introducing Devon

Last month, we welcomed a new member to the Pacific Coast Harvest team.  Devon Dodgson is a PCH customer who is now benefitting families we serve by sharing recipes utilizing produce from each week’s delivery, as well as generating content on our blog to inspire more thought around wellness.  Devon lives in Fremont with her husband and their laying hens, and spends most of her days teaching private music lessons, cooking dinner, and fitting in a trip to the gym. We had her answer a couple of questions for us so you can get to know her better.

Q:  What has motivated your cooking journey?

A:  My value around cooking is centered on sharing life at the table with loved ones.  I grew up in a family that caught up and laughed during dinner on a daily basis.  Since starting my adult life, and especially now that I’m married, there is mostly joy as I tackled what I’ll call the “domestic burdens” encountered around cooking and general tending to of a home that inhabits warmth, rest, and comfort.  I did make it a priority in the first several months of marriage to figure out this whole cooking-for-two thing, finally settling into methods for creating well-balanced meals that satisfy my family’s need for timely meal prep and healthy recipes.

Q: What do you hope our customers will gain from the content you share?

A: For the novice cook, my goal in sharing recipes is to empower!  All it takes is patience to follow instructions, and a commitment to make the most of PCH deliveries by cooking at home a few days each week in order to practice and gain confidence.  For the busy family, my desire is to take some thought out of “what will I make with this?” when that PCH box arrives.  You can guarantee that you’ll have at least one dish planned out and can tackle it at your own leisure.  For the “keep it local” advocate, my hope is that you’ll enjoy the process of cooking and journeying through these Seattle seasons with me, your neighbor, as we explore food and wellness together.

Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Sauce

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons high heat cooking oil
  • 1 can (15 oz) crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15oz) tomato sauce
  • ½ Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup dry marsala wine
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch red chili flakes
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 large or 2-3 small fennel bulbs
  • 2 large or 3 small zucchini squashes, spiraled or sliced into thin strips with peeler
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • fresh basil
  • fresh parmesan and/or mozzeralla

Instructions

  1. Before prepping vegetables, combine canned tomatoes, olive oil, marsala, and dry spices in a medium sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer for 20-30 minutes while continuing with further recipe instructions.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet with medium-high heat.  Sauté onion until fragrant.  Add fennel and stir until well coated with oil.  Turn heat to med and add garlic, salt, and pepper, sautéing until onion and fennel are tender.  Add zucchini and incorporate into other vegetables.  Cook until zucchini has brightened in color and becomes just tender.
  3. Serve zucchini noodles topped with tomato sauce and fresh basil and cheeses.

Additional considerations:

  • Gluten Free, vegetarian, vegan friendly
  • Double recipe to serve 4-6