Month: June 2018

Food Box Delivery #2 {plus a recipe}

Food Box Delivery #2 {plus a recipe}

Yesterday was our second food box delivery of the season, and it went even more smoothly than the first! Our produce was grown between 4 and 50 miles away. It came from 5 different producers who live in 4 different counties, which you can check out […]

Food Box Newsletter – Issue 2

Food Box Newsletter – Issue 2

Click on this link to read the Issue 2 of the 2018 Food Box Newsletter: 2018 Newsletter_Issue 2

Watermelon, Basil and Feta Salad

Watermelon, Basil and Feta Salad

Watermelons are one of the biggest, roundest, stripe-iest signs that summer has arrived! As much as we all love watermelon, I think we all underestimate the shear volume a single melon can provide. If you find yourself with more melon than you were expecting, try mixing up this quick salad for a unique flavor combo.

Watermelon, Basil and Feta Salad

This might sound a little odd, but give it a try. Almost everyone loves that sweet-salty combination, which is highlighted in this salad.

Course Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 6 cup watermelon cubed
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place watermelon in a bowl and drizzle lime juice over the top

  2. Add basil and half of the feta cheese, toss lightly

  3. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with remaining feta

  4. Season lightly with salt and pepper, serve chilled

Recipe Notes

Also great with fresh mint!

Cucumber Punch

Cucumber Punch

Still serving iced tea and lemonade at your summer picnics? It’s time to mix up your routine by mixing up this drink! Light and refreshing, this is perfect for pool parties and family reunions during the hot weather months. For a reduced-sugar option, replace the […]

Cucumber and Microgreen Raita

Cucumber and Microgreen Raita

Measure, mix, eat. And a little secret- you don’t even have to measure if you don’t want to.  This is an easy way to get more veggies into your meals.  Try adding thinly sliced radishes too.   Although we are posting this as a stand-alone […]

Food Box Delivery #1 {plus a recipe}

Food Box Delivery #1 {plus a recipe}

Yesterday was our first food box delivery of the season, and we had a blast prepping everyone’s “share” of produce! Our produce was grown between 4 and 50 miles away. It came from 6 different producers who live in 5 different counties, which you can check out below.

For those of you who bought a share, we hope you enjoyed your first delivery. For those of you who missed out, you can always sign up for future deliveries through our online registration form. We still have spots open, so it’s not too late!

Our produce shares cost $20 per delivery, and typically include 6-10 different produce items, with a mix of things that are more familiar, and a few things that might be a bit stranger. Check out what we had this week!

Produce Share #1:

  1. Pea Shoot Microgreens from Tenco Hydroponic Greenhouse in Ottumwa
  2. Garlic Scapes from Rolling Prairie Acres in Sigourney
  3. Radishes from Ukrainian Garden in America in Eddyville
  4. Lettuce from Dreaden Farms in Ottumwa and Rolling Prairie Acres in Ottumwa
  5. Summer Squash or Zucchini from Country Roads Produce in Moravia
  6. Curly Kale from Prairie Acres Farm in Otley
  7. Dinosaur Kale from Prairie Acres Farm in Otley
  8. New Potatoes from Ukrainian Garden in America in Eddyville
  9. Rhubarb from Rolling Prairie Acres in Sigourney
  10. Cucumber from Country Roads Produce in Moravia
  11. Cilantro from Rolling Prairie Acres in Sigourney

We hope you enjoyed the selection this week! As late spring moves into summer, you can expect fewer greens and more veggies. We had hoped to have strawberries with this delivery, but the extreme heat in early June means that strawberry plants are struggling. Expect to struggle to find strawberries at your farmers market this month, as local producers won’t have much for sale this season. However, the heat has given tomatoes, peppers, and other summer crops a boost, so you might see those available a little earlier in the season than normal!

Radish Salsa

One of the recipes in our newsletter (which can be found in each share’s bag) is radish salsa. Now, I know a lot of people aren’t big radish fans. Personally, they aren’t my favorite. But in this salsa…mmmm! Radishes are great! And another plus that that you have almost all the ingredients you need in this week’s share. Awesome!

Radish Salsa

No matter how spicy your radishes happen to be, this salsa is a great dish to make! The other veggies and flavors balance out any spiciness from the radish, and the texture of this salsa is amazing!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups radishes diced
  • 1/2 cucumber peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 2 garlic scapes (or 1 clove of garlic) minced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro minced
  • 1 tbsp jalapeno minced (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Dice the radishes, cucumber, and onion, and mince the garlic scape, cilantro, and jalapeno.

  2. Mix all the ingredients, including seasonings, in a medium sized bowl. Stir until combined.

  3. For best flavor, refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

  4. Serve with chips or crackers, or on top of tacos. 

On Wednesday, two nutrition educators at our office visited one of the school district’s summer feeding site, at Liberty Elementary. A small group of students prepped enough salsa to serve on the site’s lunch line, which was tasted by 125 kids. Despite containing several unfamiliar or strange ingredients, the salsa was a HIT with most of the kids. So it’s definitely something worth trying in your home!

-Jen

Food Box Newsletter – Issue 1

Food Box Newsletter – Issue 1

Click on this link to read the Issue 1 of the 2018 Food Box Newsletter: 2018 Newsletter_Issue 1    

Marvelous Microgreens! {plus a recipe}

Marvelous Microgreens! {plus a recipe}

Microgreens are the “in” thing right now…though many people have no idea what they are or how to use them. Luckily for you, we have 18 great ideas for using microgreens. But first, you may be wondering… What are Microgreens? Microgreens are the immature or […]

How to Use Garlic Scapes {plus a recipe}

How to Use Garlic Scapes {plus a recipe}

Garlic Scape season is upon us in Iowa, and if you know the right people, you might be able to get ahold of these delicious little sprigs. But once you find them, you may wonder what to do with them.

Fear not, we have some delicious ideas for you! Including a Garlic Scape Hummus recipe (pictured above). But first…

What are garlic scapes?

Garlic scapes are the flowering stalk of a garlic plant. They only grow on hardneck garlic varieties, which are commonly grown anyways. In June (in Iowa), scapes start to emerge from the center of a garlic plant, shooting upwards and eventually starting to curve and curl. If left to grow, the scape will produce a flower, which will then produce seeds.

Garlic Scape from the Liberty Elementary School Garden

One thing I love about scapes is that as they grow, the curl up into little spring-like snacks. They are one of the most adorable crops I’ve seen. And yes, I’ve just called garlic adorable. It’s a fitting word!

However, given that we usually grow garlic for the delicious blub, we don’t want the plant to flower. So producers who grow garlic must clip off the scape before it fully flowers, so the plant can funnel its energy into producing nice, big roots, which are harvested as heads of garlic later in the season. Many people don’t realize the scape can be eaten, and often producers don’t consider selling them. That’s either because they don’t know they can harvest and sell them, or because they have taken them to the farmers market in the past and haven’t been able to sell them, because customers don’t know how to use them.

Because of this, they can be hard to find. But if you happen to know a producer who grows garlic, give them a quick call and ask if you can buy some scapes from them. Or visit your local farmer’s market and see if you can find some for sale. If you can’t, ask the producers if they grow garlic and if they could harvest some scapes for you to pick up at the next market day. Most producers would be thrilled to do this! If you are a part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), you might find these cute little scapes in your box. If you’re part of our Produce with a Purpose Food Box program, you may find some scapes in this week’s delivery. (Yay!)

This week, our scapes will be sourced from Rolling Prairie Acres in Sigourney, Iowa.

How to Use Garlic Scapes

1. Eat them raw: Garlic scapes are milder than a normal garlic clove. They can be eaten raw like a green onion or leek. They have enough flavor that you won’t even need a dip.

2. Make garlic scape pesto: Replacing some or all of the basil in a traditional pesto recipe is definitely an option. This can be eaten with pita, veggies, bread, or other dip-able foods. You could also add it to cooked pasta noodles to make a pesto-based pasta dish. I’ve used garlic scape pesto to dab on top of lasagna, baked pasta, or pizza, which is remarkably delicious. And you can easily freeze garlic scape pesto to eat later.

3. Grill garlic scapes: Toss garlic scapes with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill over medium-low heat, as you would asparagus. Grill until lightly browned on both sides, being sure to remove them from heat when they’re still somewhat soft on the inside. They should look like a mixture of lighter green and golden brown on the outside.

4. Add to stir fry for a fresh burst of flavor. You may want to chop them up before you do this, as a scape is kind of long and would be unwieldy to eat without cutting.

5. Make garlic scape hummus: Whoooo this stuff is GOOD! If you like hummus, definitely consider making hummus with garlic scapes. Scapes will give hummus a slightly odd color, but the taste is phenomenal. If you’ve never made your own hummus, fear not: it’s as simple as tossing everything into a food processor and blending well. The hardest part can be finding tahini in a small, rural town. Look in your grocery store’s health food section, or talk to an employee about ordering some if you struggle to find it. Alternately, you can buy it only and have it in a few days, if you plan it well. Check out this Garlic Scape Hummus recipe, which is a recipe for SUCCESS!

Garlic Scape Hummus

A delicious and easy way to use this late spring crop

Author Jennifer Lamos

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas drained
  • 1/4 cup garlic scapes chopped
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor in order and blend until somewhat smooth. If needed, add a bit of water (1 teaspoon at a time) to moisten.

  2. Hummus is ready when it's fairly smooth and begins to look a little lighter/airy. Serve with veggies, pita, crackers, etc. 

Enjoy your garlic scape experimentation, and let us know in the comments below if you have other great recipes you’ve tried!

-Jen