Strawberry Orange Banana

Sage Mountain Farm
Have a tasty S.O.B.!

When I opened my CSA box this week and saw strawberries and oranges, I knew what I wanted…S.O.B. of course!  Umm, Strawberry Orange Banana, what else?!  This recipe, like some others that I have posted, isn’t really a recipe, but an idea that may inspire you.  Basically I filled my blender with strawberries, bananas and oranges (just peeled because I have a high powered blender, but if you have a regular blender just squeeze the juice from the oranges and use that).  Then I added some ice cubes to chill it down and blended it up.  I know that this is simple, but simple is good.  It’s refreshing and sweet on a hot day, and it also makes an awesome breakfast.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  What have you been doing with the strawberries from our farm?  Share some inspiration in the comments below!

Strawberry Update 

  STRAWBERRY UPDATE!!

A lot of people have been asking about our wonderful strawberries…
Over the years, we’ve been known to grow some of the finest strawberries in the valley!!!
Our crop is coming in later this year for two reasons. First, our new farm property is at 4,000ft elevation, our crops come in later than our previous farm property at 2,000ft elevation. Second reason is our strawberry plants became confused this year and produced runners “new plants” instead of fruit. We believe this was due to the weather fluctuation of extreme cycles of cold then heat then cold and then heat……
  The unusual weather pattern most likely confused the plants into producing runners instead of fruit. Cutting the runners has tripled the cost of overall labor for the strawberry crop.
As of right now it looks like 10% of normal production is starting to produce fruit “YAAY” and hoping for a full recovery!!

(This update was written by Yadira Meza from Sage Mountain Farm. If you’ve ever called the farm, you’ve probably talked to her.  She’s very knowledgeable and really friendly!)

Panini with Greenies

Sage Mountain Farm
Panini…the answer to lunch!

Have you ever made panini at home?  It’s really quite easy, even if you don’t have a panini maker.  There are a lot of ways to make a delicious, super flat and crispy sandwich, some of which you probably have in your kitchen right now!  A panini is really just a grilled sandwich, but let’s move beyond grilled cheese here and consider the greens that you get in the CSA box.  Imagine a toasty savory way to enjoy the bountiful nutrition of chard in an easy to carry, portable package!  Panini…the answer to lunch.

So the panini can be made with a griddle pan and another heavy pan, such as I will talk about below in my recipe.  It can also be made in any type of grilly-pressy kitchen gadget; George Foreman grill, sandwich maker, even waffle irons!  The main thing is to grill it and press it flat so that as the greens cook, the sandwich compresses to contain the awesome tastiness!

I was inspired to do this when I saw a video of Rip Esselstyn, the guy from the Engine 2 Diet, making a similar panini for some people.  It looked so delicious, I just had to try it with the ingredients that I had on hand in my kitchen.  A little while later I was eating the rewards of this inspiration and today I want to inspire you as well.

Panini with Greenies

Ingredients:

Two slices of bread, I used Ezekiel bread but you could use any bread you like.  Just make sure that it is a sturdy bread, otherwise it may not hold up to the process.

Hummus, I used homemade Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus, but you can use whatever hummus you like.

Sliced tomato

A large handful of chopped greens, I used kale but chard and collards would also work brilliantly!

Salt and pepperSage Mountain FarmSage Mountain FarmsSage Mountain Farm

Method:

Begin by preheating your panini making item of choice, for this recipe I will talk about a cast iron grill pan.

I always tell my kids that the first ingredient of any sandwich is a plate!  This saves me from the mess that generally follows if they are allowed to make their sandwich directly on the countertop.  So, on top of your plate lay out your bread of choice and spread on some hummus, a good amount on each piece, and then salt and pepper generously.  On one piece of bread lay out some sliced tomato and on the other side a mountain of chopped greens, don’t worry it will cook down to a nice flat panini!  Then carefully smoosh both halves together.

Place the sandwich on your grill pan.  Get another cast iron pan and place it on the top of the sandwich.  In the top pan place more cast iron or, as in the demo by Rip, a barbell!  Let the sandwich cook like this for several minutes.  Remove the top pan and flip your panini carefully then replace the top pan and continue cooking for several more minutes until your sandwich is perfectly grilled and lunch ready!

During the cooking process the greens will wilt and compress, releasing liquid.  This may cause sputtering noises as the liquid drips onto your pan, totally normal…no worries!

I love to slice my panini on the opposite diagonal as the grill marks, it looks restaurant fancy that way!  🙂

Let me know if you try this out and what you thought of it in the comment section below!

Thank You!

Hello everyone!  Thank you to those of you who submitted recipes, photos and ideas for using the delicious food that we grow here at Sage Mountain Farm.  I will be posting some of them here so you can see what others are doing.  Keep comin’ back and you will be inspired by your fellow CSA supporters!

On another note, I wanted to share something with you.  Well, I guess every time I post I am sharing something, but this is more personal.  I finally followed the advise of so many wise kitchen gurus…I prepped all of my veggies this weekend.

What a Time Saver!
What a Time Saver!

What do I mean, specifically?  I washed and chopped lettuce.  I trimmed and sliced onions and garlic.  I washed, trimmed, and ate all of the strawberries right away, of course.  In other words, I made it super easy to use all of my organic veggies and fruits!  Since I prepped, I have used green onions on a few things, onion and garlic in a few recipes, and I have eaten countless small salads.  When this stuff is ready to use in the fridge, it’s easy to use more of it.  When I am hungry I can just reach in and grab a few containers and have a meal started in no time.  I wasn’t taking the time everyday to chop a little lettuce, or slice up one onion, etc.  So when the end of the week came I had items that weren’t used and some which were wilted and destined for the chickens or the compost.  Sad, I know.  Especially considering that this is the freshest and best produce around!

No more…I have done this weekend prep for two weeks now and I am not only being less wasteful in the kitchen, I am also eating more of what comes in my weekly CSA box.

Speaking of being less wasteful, you guys know about saving your vegetable scraps for broth, right?!  I hope so, it’s an awesome way to extend the usefulness of your veggies.  I usually use a plastic freezer bag, placed in the freezer at all times, and fill it with the trimmings from onions, garlic, peppers, celery, broccoli, etc.  Basically any vegetable that you would consider a soup vegetable you can place the trimmings into the bag.  When that bag fills up, dump it into a stock pot and fill with water.  Boil for an hour.  You could also do this in a slow cooker if watching water boil isn’t your thang’.  When you strain out the veggie solids you are left with an unseasoned broth.  Salt and season to your taste, then either use right away or freeze.  I like to freeze my broth in 1-2 cup portions, just right for recipes!  Easy peasy!

Sage Mountain Farm
Homemade broth from the best organic veggies!