Healthy Comfort Foods
It's now the season for making all the best warm comfort foods like pasta, chili, soup, casseroles and so many others! Not to mention muffins and baked goods. I would challenge you to make adjustments to all these things and try to make a more healthful version with more veggies that contain fibre, vitamins and many more beneficial things.
For example, this homemade Mac and Cheese
by registered Dietitian Nita Sharda has red lentils, pepper, broccoli and spinach. You can try a vegetarian take on a chili
by adding in lots of beans, tomatoes, corn and peppers. I've also linked these Veggie Muffins
by Fraiche Nutrition. You get lots of flavour and nutrition by making these add ins without sacrificing their taste!
Full Produce Shares are to Receive a Minimum of 7 of the Following 9 Items
- Chard is from Nico at Twin River Gardens. I'm assuming he has some sort of greenhouse for these fresh greens. Store in the fridge in a sealed bag. The stems can be stir fried separately from the leaves. Chard is common as a sautÃ©ed or wilted green, however I'm not a fan. I would go half and half with the butter leaf lettuce for a salad because chard is thin and pliable. You can also put some into a smoothie or a sandwich. Chard is one of the highest sources of vitamin K used for blood coagulation, magnesium, and iron. The Crampton's Market web page has a number of chard recipes including this one for Kale & Chard Frittata.
- Onions are grown at Oak Valley Vegetables. They're storage onions with a dry outer shell that can be stored in a pantry or cupboard for several weeks. These onions are a staple for my family, we use them so often as the start of soups, in chili, sautÃ©ed with veggies and lots of other things! Make the onions the highlight with this delicious French Onion Soup
- Potatoes are from Oak Valley Vegetables. Store in a cool, dark and dry location for several weeks. These mixed multicoloured potatoes are the perfect items for chopping into wedges and roasting with some beets and carrots. They make such a hearty side dish and flavour them with your favourite fall herbs. The skin can be washed or scrubbed but does not need peeling, as all the vitamins are in the skin! These Garlic Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
are the perfect side to some steak, chicken or fish.
Butter leaf Lettuce
- Lettuce is from Neva Hydroponics in Landmark, MB. Store in its container in the fridge until ready to use. As far as I know it comes with the root end so you could even plant it in a pot to regrow some lettuce. Worth a shot? They call it butter leaf because it has a soft and buttery texture but the leaves are a little thicker than your average lettuce. They hold up well as a lettuce wrap or in a sandwich to pack for lunch and doesn't get too wilted. Try this healthy and simple Avocado Butter Lettuce Salad.
Beefsteak Tomatoes -
Beefsteak tomatoes are from Greenland Gardens OR red/yellow tomatoes from Almost Urban Vegetables. Store the tomatoes on the counter for 1 week or more. They can be used in a fresh cold dish like a salad, sandwich or on a bagel. I prefer this because I use the canned tomatoes for soups, chili, etc.
Rainbow Carrots -
Carrots are from Oak Valley Vegetables in Morden. These beautiful rainbow carrots can be shredded to top a salad, coleslaw or in some oatmeal. They also make a nice colourful roasted side dish sliced on an angle with potatoes. To save time preparing, cut off the ends, peel, wash, slice and store in a glass container of water in the fridge. Then they can be used for lunches and snacking but also makes dinner preparation easier. Try Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Carrot Cake Pancakes
. A fun weekend brunch!
- Cylinder, gold and red beets are from Wild Earth Farm. Store in the fridge crisper in a sealed bag. Peel and chop off the ends of the beets before consuming. If you have a mandolin you can slice them thinly for a raw salad but I prefer boiling or roasting and then just mix in some butter, salt and pepper. You can also use these thin slices to make homemade Beet Chips
in the oven.
Red Kuri Squash -
Squash is grown by Jeff at Wild Earth Farm. Store in the pantry, a cool basement or on the counter for a couple months or more. This bright orange teardrop shaped squash also has a bright orange sweet flesh. If you have a lot of squash you could save it for a unique Christmas side dish. This site Oh My Veggies
lists lots of different ideas and recipes for the red kuri squash. It makes a really creamy soup or "pumpkin" pie!
Spaghetti Squash -
Squash is grown in Morden at Oak Valley Vegetables. Store in the pantry, a cool basement or on the counter for at least a couple months. These squash can be used as your main dish, they're super healthy and the flesh comes out just like spaghetti. You can mix some meat sauce, pasta sauce or butter and garlic into it. It's also popular to use in replace of noodles for a chow mien. I've also heard of doing the squash mixed with pepperoni, cheese and sauce for a pizza version. That might interest kids a bit more.
Mixed Shares are to Receive a Minimum of 6 of the Following 8 Items
- Shallots are grown at Oak Valley Vegetables. Store in the pantry or cupboard for up to a few weeks, they have a thin papery shell that protects them. Shallots are essentially a fancy type of onion. They have a mild flavour and are often used sliced thinly in a sauce or sautÃ©ed in a skillet to accompany chicken or meat. They can also be diced up for a salad dressing or a marinade of some sort. They could be done with the russet potatoes in cubes sautÃ©ed.
- Potatoes are from Oak Valley Vegetables. Store in the pantry or a cool dark basement for a couple weeks. These are the large white potatoes with brown skin, excellent for baking, mashing and making fries. I would recommend doing some double stuffed baked potatoes with these! You can add in any chopped up greens that you have, some fresh garlic and butter. Another stuffing option is shredded cheese and bacon bits. Try Ree Drummond's Food Network recipe for Hasselback Potatoes.
- Organic Garlic is from BC. It can be stored in a pantry or cool dark basement. I mention dark because things like garlic can sprout. Use the garlic to add flavour to a soup, caesar salad, bread, pasta or chicken casserole. A little bit goes a long way compared to the jar of minced garlic. It can also be minced for a marinade or homemade salad dressing!
- Little tomatoes are from Nico at Twin River Gardens. Store on the counter for 1 week or more. These little tomatoes are great for snacking with carrots on a veggie plate, or halving for a simple salad with the leaf lettuce. You can slice them up to lay on an omelette, frittata or quiche. Try this Roasted Garlic & Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce
for an easy lunch or dinner.
Green Leaf Lettuce
- Leaf lettuce is from Neva Hydroponics. Store in the fridge for 1 week or more. I think this lettuce comes with the root end and if so you could plant it in a pot to regrow. The leaf lettuce is a very thin and pliable variety, you can mix it with some other greens for more substance, or put pieces into a sandwich for lunches.
- Carrots are grown at Oak Valley. They last in the fridge for several weeks. These can be shredded to top a salad, coleslaw or in some oatmeal. They also make a nice colourful roasted side dish sliced on an angle with potatoes. To save time preparing, cut off the ends, peel, wash, slice and store in a glass container of water in the fridge. Then they can be used for lunches and snacking but also makes dinner preparation easier. Try Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Carrot Cake Pancakes
. A fun weekend brunch!
- Bison is raised at Spring Creek Farms in Cypress River. The bison is completely grass fed and raised on rotating pastures which assists in regeneration of the fields. This bison is a lean meat so careful not to overcook. It can be made into bison burgers or a flavourful chili. You could also use it for a meat sauce
to use with pasta or lasagna.
- Chicken thighs are from Oak Island. The chickens are raised ethically and naturally, with outdoor access in summer and a clean low density barn in winter. The thighs have a bit more fat than the breasts and I find they have more flavour and a nice texture. You can cook them whole in the oven or a slow cooker and then pull or cut the meat apart. This Thai Coconut Curry Chicken
makes it so tender with an amazing flavour.