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Mediterranean Salad with Roasted Eggplant Hummus

Ingredients

Mediterranean Salad

  • 1 bunch green leaf lettuce, chopped and rinsed
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 4 oz. feta cheese
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives
  • fresh parsley, minced
  • fresh mint, minced

Dressing

  • ½  cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Roasted Eggplant Hummus

  • one large eggplant
  • 1 Tablespoons high heat cooking oil
  • 1 Tablespoon tahini
  • 1 Tablespoon greek yogurt
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ Tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • pinch of fresh parsley, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven with broiler on high.
  2. Pierce entire eggplant with fork several times.  Brush with oil.
  3. Let broil in oven until eggplant looks burnt (severely charred).  Turn eggplant to ensure all sides are charred.
  4. Remove eggplant from oven and let cool.  Peel back skin when eggplant is cool enough to be handled with fingers.
  5. While eggplant is cooling, chop and prepare vegetables for salad and combine in a large bowl.
  6. Mix all dressing ingredients well, and dress salad when ready to serve.
  7. Combine flesh of eggplant, tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil in a medium sized bowl.  Mix well.
  8. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with red pepper flakes and fresh parsley.  Serve alongside Mediterranean Salad and warm pita bread.

Pan-Roasted Baby Turnips

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 bunch baby turnips, stems removed to be used later and turnips quartered into wedges
  • kosher salt to taste
  • sea salt flakes
  • chives, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Whisk water, honey, and vinegar in a small bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet of med-high heat.  Add turnips and season with salt.  Stir occasionally and cook until turnips begin to brown.
  3. Add vinegar mixture and turnip stems.  Cook until turnips are tender and crisp on the edges.
  4. Finish with sea salt and fresh chives.

Eggplant Rollatini

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant, peeled and sliced lengthwise, about ¼” inch thick
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 pound of fresh mozzarella
  • ½ tablespoon Parmesan cheese (plus extra for sprinkling)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups prepared tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • fresh basil, chopped

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle sliced eggplant with salt and let sit for 20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Dab eggplant with a paper towel and arrange on a baking sheet. Brush with oil and roast 20 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, ¼ cup shredded mozzarella, egg, salt and pepper, and mix well.
  3. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of ricotta cheese mixture onto a roasted eggplant slice. Spread it on the eggplant.  Roll up.  Repeat with all eggplant slices.
  4. Coat the bottom of a deep baking dish with tomato sauce and line with rolled eggplants. When pan is filled, pour more sauce on top of the eggplant and top of with sliced  mozzarella.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.
  6. Top with fresh basil and serve.

Eating well, Cooking well

We’ve heard it time and time again; diet and nutrition are foundational building blocks to wellness and healthy lifestyle.  It’s no secret, but it’s also not so simple when it comes down to it either.  There are so many hours in the day and depending on lifestyle, commute, kids, activities, etc…eating well (much less, cooking well) becomes hard to do!  We’re busy on-the-go people who often eat on-the-go too.  One of the key aspects of cooking at home is that you have control over ingredients and taste, often lending to healthier and cheaper meals.

Here is some encouragement and practical application to beginner cooks inspired to start eating more regularly at home, but not quite sure where to begin:

1) Follow directions!

Buy a cookbook or simply browse through reputable online food blogs (not all recipes are created equal).  Pick out a recipe or 2 or 3…go ahead and plan the week’s meals!  Customize your PCH box to ramp up produce called for in the recipes before heading to the grocery for more ingredients that you don’t have stocked in your pantry already.  Then get to cooking; simply follow the recipe!

2) Repeat

Confidence in the kitchen comes with practice.  Start with a commitment to cook 1 or 2 meals per week at home.  The more you cook, the more you’ll discover patterns and techniques called for in multiple recipes.   You’ll notice that most use garlic, onion, salt, and recurring spices.  Observe the patterns and go to the store with those “staple” ingredients in mind.

3) Mindfulness

Mindfulness in the kitchen…really?!  I know it’s a little cheesy, but I’m always looking for ways to disconnect from technology/stress of the world and connect with my self and be more present.   Cooking won’t be enjoyable for everyone, but I encourage you to tune into your body as your cooking.  If you’ve had a stressful, busy day, what changes do you notice as you dive into cooking.  Can the kitchen become an intentional space for relationship and collaboration with children and/or partners cooking together?  Are you like me and just prefer some alone-time while cooking to decompress after a work day?  Are you finding pleasure and enjoyment in how you cook and what you eat?

4) Follow along to PCH recipes

We’re generating unique recipes each week corresponding with PCH box contents to help streamline your cooking process for at least 1 meal!  Watch a video of the recipe on our Facebook and Instagram pages to see how it’s done before setting to work on your own!  The full recipes are posted on our blog each week.

Happy cooking!

Stuffed Hatch Chiles

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 3-4 hatch chiles
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon high heat cooking oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup yellow corn, fresh cob or frozen
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup Mexican cheese blend

Sauce

  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 2 teaspoons honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat broiler on high. Place chiles on a baking sheet and broil, flipping once, until skins are charred (5-10 minutes).  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.  
  2. In a medium sauce pan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add quinoa and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.
  4. If using fresh corn, use a sharp knife to shave off kernels from corn cob.
  5. Heat oil on skillet on medium-high heat.  Sauté onion and garlic until fragrant.  Add corn kernels and continue cooking until well combined.
  6. Add seasonings, remaining water, and ¾ cup cooked quinoa to the fry pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  7. Leaving stems intact, cut a slit into the side of each chile. Remove seeds.
  8. Place chiles on baking dish, and stuff with filling. Sprinkle cheese over the stuffed chiles.
  9. Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.
  10. Combine sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until desired consistency is reached.  Drizzle over stuffed chiles and serve immediately.

Devon’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This post doesn’t quite relate to PCH produce or healthy living, but what’s life without a perfect chocolate chip cookie?  Here’s my recipe for, quite honestly, the best cookie ever;  perfect blend of salty & sweet.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (I use avocado)
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3-5 oz chocolate chips or favorite chocolate bar chopped into small chunks

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In a food mixer, whisk sugars, oil, butter, and vanilla until smooth (2-3 minutes).
  3. Stir in dry ingredients.
  4. Bake 8 minutes and remove from oven.  Cookies will look just done, maybe even gooey, with brown edges.  Let cool and serve warm or store in ziplock bags.

* Kosher salt measurements are different than table salt measurements.  Reduce to ¾ teaspoon if you only have table salt on hand.  Kosher salt is the accepted standard for cooking…add it to your pantry if you’re late to the party!

Summer Squash + Turnip Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons high heat cooking oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 1 bunch of turnips, tops chopped off and halved
  • 2 medium summer squash, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 1″ knob fresh ginger, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can (15oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • green onion, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot on medium-high heat.
  2. Sauté onion and garlic in oil until fragrant.  Add remaining vegetables, herbs, and seasonings.  Stir until vegetables are thoroughly coated.
  3. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer until potatoes, carrots, and turnips are very tender.
  4. Transfer to blender, or use immersion blender, and blend until soup reaches a smooth consistency.
  5. Stir in garbanzo beans.
  6. Serve with garnish of green onions.

Leisure

I have been thinking about the importance of positive leisure activities lately.  Summer is always a bit unpredictable and there are days I have more time on my hands than anticipated.  More and more, I find that I need to take ownership of the choice I have in how I spend my time, which is closely related to my mental health.  There are certain technologies of the day that distract us into vacuums of unintended time-sucking.  Not all of this is “wasted” time, but if you’re like me, minutes fly by without having much thought/intention, leaving me feeling sluggish, behind on my other goals for the day, and maybe even anxious.

It is a shift in thinking about health; choosing to prioritize the invisible, inner life by actively tuning out the obvious, physical world and its demands in order to turn inward and reflect.  I’m striving to choose, first of all, to create more margins in my life for rest, leisure, and alone time.  Secondly, I’m setting intention for how to spend that free time, prioritizing activities that are “life giving” (creative, feeding the soul, self-loving).

Maybe you’re like my husband and leisure activities for you do involve technology; watching a good show, playing video games.  Speaking as an artistic/introverted type, I crave more creative outlets where I can express myself vs. consume entertainment.

This summer, I’ve literally had to scheduled times where I write music, journal, read, or just sit on the porch with a glass of wine with no particular plans.  The biggest threat to my leisure is my own to-do list! Typically, I’m trying to engage in leisure activities while not working and at home where I’m continually reminded of chores that need to be done, a pending work out, or interruptions from family (I don’t have any children yet, so can’t even begin to imagine…).

I encourage you to experiment with some intentional leisure activities the remainder of the as part of your emotional wellness journey.

Asian Salad with Ginger-Sesame Dressing

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 bunch green leaf lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 cucumber, cored and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 bell pepper, cored and sliced into matchsticks
  • 3 green onion, chopped
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds

Ginger-Sesame Dressing

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons grated or minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar (sub honey)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Combine all dressing ingredients in food processor or shake vigorously in a jar with a lid.
  3. Dress salad and serve immediately.

Staying Cool

Seattle is hot and hazy!  Hope you’re staying cool and healthy in the midst of this heat wave and  the current unhealthy air quality index due to wildfires in British Columbia.  If you’re like me and live in a house/unit without air conditioning, you may be having some trouble deciding whether or not to keep the windows open despite recommendations to prevent too much exposure to polluted air.

I encourage you to listen to your body on these hot days.  Maybe your feeling zapped of energy and unproductive.  You may not feel as hungry, but are finding  you’re craving liquids.  Rest and hydrate, friends!  These are tough times!

Here are some recommendations on how to stay cool the next week:

  • Save strenuous movement/exercise for early morning or evening hours
  • Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge to ensure cold water is readily available
  • Take a quick rinse in cold water after activity and before bed to help lower body temperature
  • Eat fresh fruits to aid in hydration
  • Hunker down and work at a cafe, coffee shop, or bar with air conditioning
  • Open windows in early evening to begin circulating air in time for bed
  • Cook on the grill instead of the oven to keep house cool
  • Go swimming or take a cold bath
  • Wear lightweight clothes
  • Apply and reapply sunscreen when outdoors
  • Ensure pets have plenty of water and shade
  • Choose leisure activities that require less energy
  • Find outings/activities that take place in air-conditioned buildings