Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Apple and Arugula Salad

Delicata “delicious” squash has a smooth, rich creamy taste and texture similar to butternut, without the peeling. The skin is thin, edible and add’s a crisp texture. It can be steamed in as little as seven minutes when cut into 1-inch cubes, baked, grilled or roasted in up to thirty minutes, and has a savory sweetness when caramelized.

This light-weight squash is easy to cut, clean and cook. If you’re feeling adventurous, the seeds can be roasted for a crunchy snack! Delicata squash is excellent paired with Sage Mountain Pork, onions, maple & cayenne pepper or simply with a pinch of salt!

img_2775-e1508349350812.jpg

Today I’ve decided to boost Delicata’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and insulin-regulating benefits with two super foods! The most protein-rich food available, Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, is rich in iron, magnesium, B2, manganese, and lysine essential for tissue growth and repair.

Arugula, my favorite green discovered last summer working at Sage Mountain Farm, has surprising health benefits. Inactivating cancer-causing chemicals, arugula protects cellular DNA from damage, induces cell death in cells that have already become cancerous, and prevents tumor blood vessel formation and tumor cell migration. Wow! Arugula’s vitamin and mineral rich content are necessary for soft subtle healthy skin, healthy eyes by preventing eyestrain, strong bones decrease rick of osteoporosis, boosts mood naturally by increased production of serotonin, creates red blood cells and is an excellent blood cleanser and oxygenator.  Chlorophyll rich arugula has a strong detoxification effect, increases energy levels and is being studied to prevent against heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and depression.

 

Arugula, squash and apples are great weight loss food too! Replace foods that promote weight gain with leafy greens & veggies as a simple way to boost your nutritional intake and minimize body fat storing insulin spikes. In the long term this is a far easier way of keeping the weight off than restrictive dieting.


Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Apple & Arugula Salad

Toss quinoa with arugula, apple, raisins and fresh herbs, then spoon the salad into a halved baked squash.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, finely diced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 cups arugula

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Brush the cut sides of the squash with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and season with freshly ground Himalayan salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes, until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring 2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the raisins and simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and let cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and honey with the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of olive oil and season with freshly ground Himalayan salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the quinoa along with the apple, shallot, garlic, mint and parsley and toss well. Add the arugula and toss gently.
  4. Set the squash halves on plates. Fill with the salad.
  5. Give thanks… and enjoy!

Additional Recipe

Healthy Roasted Delicata Squash Seeds:

Scoop the pulp and seeds from inside the squash and separate out the seeds. Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and lightly roast them at 170°F for 15-20 minutes. By roasting at a low temperature for a short time you help to preserve their healthy oils.


*Winter squash is a vegetable that might be especially important for us to purchase organic. Recent agricultural trials have shown that winter squash can be an effective intercrop for use in remediation of contaminated soils, according to whfoods.com. For this reason, make a special point of purchasing certified organic winter squash from a local, small certified organic farm. We at Sage Mountain Farm are dedicated to growing the most nutritious, delicious certified organic fruits and vegetables.


At Sage Mountain Farm, we supply only the best nutrient rich produce grown in good healthy soil, mountain rich air using the cleanest natural volcanic spring water available to our local customers in San Diego County, Riverside and Palm Springs.

Join+Our+CSA+2015

Let’s make small farms in our region stronger and profitable. Coming soon new ways that you can support small farms in your community!

farmstand_open.jpg

IMG_2326

Now available! from Sage Mountain Beef 



This week in my Sage Mountain Farm CSA box:

Local Raw Clover Honey, Strawberry Watermelon Jam, Local Farm-fresh Eggs, Concord grapes, Certified Organic tomatoes, a variety of Apples, Oranges, Radishes, Candy Onions, Tomatillos, Delicata & Butternut Squash, Dates Medjool, Watermelon, and a bag big of luscious Arugula.


Thank you for visiting the Sage Mountain Farm BLOG!
Subscribe & follow
Comments, suggestions and questions?
Contact me directly: amy@sagemountainfarm.com
Visit www.sagemountainfarm.com & www.sagemountainbeef.com
for more information about our farm.
Together, let’s get healthy!

amy_watermelon
Many blessings to you and yours!

Advertisements

Apples!

You’ve probably heard the expression, “you are what you eat,” but what exactly does that mean? Put simply, food is fuel, and the kinds of foods and drinks we consume determine the types of nutrients in our system and impact how well mind and body are able to function, Mental Health America reports.

It’s not surprising that eating a daily intake of fruits and vegetables makes us more likely to have a longer life expectancy than those who don’t. When you look at all the available research, it becomes perfectly clear that “Food is Medicine” and consuming a little everyday is vitally important to over-all good health.

The benefits of eating an organic apple a day:


Apples are a wonderful source of tasty essential vitamins & minerals
like magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C.

img_2470.jpg

  1. Weight loss and Obesity
  • Apples are filling, without costing you a lot of calories. “When healthy adults consumed one medium-sized apple approximately 15 minutes before a meal, their caloric intake at that meal decreased by an average of 15%.”
  • The magic of apples comes from its two types of fiber!
  • The apple’s peel, containing most of its fiber boosts calorie burn and increases muscle and brown fat, lowering the risk of obesity. Maintaining a healthy weight is also important for keeping your blood pressure at a safe level.
  1. Cholesterol & Cardiovascular Health
  • An apple a day can lower cholesterol by 40%, as reported in a study at Ohio State University. Researchers at the University of Oxford calculated what would happen if 70 percent of people over age 50 ate an apple daily, and compared that with putting that same group of people on statin drugs. They estimated that out of 17.6 million people 8,500 deaths would be avoided annually because of the apples, and 9,400 due to statins.
  • Pectin works with the phenolics in its skin to lower your plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. This aids the body’s absorption of cholesterol more effectively and leaves less cholesterol to accumulate in the arteries.
  1.  Healthy Lungs
  • Apples are tremendous anti-inflammatory agents. Five or more whole organic apples consumed a week; with their skin provide better lung function.
  • The decreased risk of lung cancer and anti-asthma benefits of apples has surprised health researchers. In one study, apples showed better risk reduction for asthma than total fruit-plus-vegetable intake combined!
  1. Cancer Fighting
  • Apples are high in antioxidants and prevent cell damage. They show a distinct and undeniable capacity to reduce lung cancer and slow its spread. Apples prevent colon cancer, while fighting against liver, colon, prostate and breast cancers.
  1. Gut Bacteria & Digestion
  • The important health benefits of apples may stem from their impact on gut bacteria. After apple is consumed, bacterial changes in the large intestine provide more available fuel to the large intestine cells, according to whfoods.com.
  1. Decrease Risk of Diabetes
  • Apples have been shown to lessen absorption of glucose from the digestive tract, making it easier for you to regulate your blood sugar.
  • Sugar (fructose) in fruit, has a very different effect on our biochemistries than other sugars. Sugar that comes in the form of a whole food (like an apple) is absorbed slowly because it takes more time to digest, and this helps insulin levels to stay steadier.
  • Eating apples on a regular basis might reduce insulin resistance, which should lead to lower blood sugar levels. The polyphenols in apples, which are found primarily in the skin, stimulate your pancreas to release insulin and help your cells take in sugar, according to healthline.com.
  1. Brain Food
  • Apples increase acetylcholine, which is linked to concentration, problem-solving, and memory. Apples stop the gradual breakdown of dopamine-producing nerve cells, which can be an underlying cause of Parkinson’s disease and also prevents Alzheimer’s.
  1. Atrophy – Muscle Weakness
  • Apples prevent muscle atrophy; the loss of muscle mass due to natural aging. Researchers from the University of Iowa have found a compound in tomatoes and apples can turn off a protein responsible for aging muscles. After consuming both daily for two months, muscle mass increased by 10 percent and muscle strength by 30 percent, according to medicaldaily.com.

Whole Apples Are Best

To get all the benefits from apples, eat them whole. In addition to both kinds of fiber, pectin works with the phenolics in its skin to lower your plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. This aids the body’s absorption of cholesterol more effectively and leaves less cholesterol to accumulate in the arteries.

By changing what you eat, you can help decrease the risk of numerous chronic diseases, stabilize your mood, improve your focus, and boost your brain health, all while trimming your tummy. Come by the farm stand today and pick up some local organic, farm fresh apples!

img_2442.jpg

Dehydrated Apples Recipe


Did you know that dehydrating food keeps most of their vital nutrients intact? My Dad got me a dehydrator last year for my birthday and I love making healthy snacks for when I’m on the go! Sage Mountain Farm has included the sweetest, most delicious varieties of farm fresh apples this year!

Now offering Red delicious, Gala, Golden delicious and Granny Smith apples hand picked locally by our neighboring small farm in Garner Valley! Sage Mountain Farm loves that it has been able to inspire many others in our community to peruse their dreams of small farming. Sage Mountain Farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program allows us to help farmers who don’t otherwise have a way or means to distribute their nutrient rich treasures by including them in our CSA.


Using local organic apples, fresh squeezed organic lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, make Dehydrated Apple Rings:

  1. Wash and dry apples.
  2. Mix 2 tbsp fresh squeezed organic lemon juice in 2 qts water to prevent browning.
  3. Mix 1 teaspoon of each cinnamon, nutmeg and freshly ground ginger into a bowl.
  4. Peel & Core Apples.
  5. Slice apples 1/4 or 1/2 in. thick.
  6. Place fruit fresh in water mixture, then dip in your spices.
  7. Arrange on dehydrator tray & top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  8. Set dehydrator to fruit & veggie setting (135-145 F).
  9. Run dehydrator until apples are chewy (about 12-18 hours).
  10. Store in an air tight container; I like to use mason jars but a Ziploc baggie will do. If you have any condensation they haven’t fully dehydrated.

Savor the delicious sweet smell of cinnamon apples through-out your home while you prepare these healthy snacks even your kids will enjoy!

Tip: Make a batch before entertaining house guests to create a comforting fall aromatic atmosphere that will enhance the festivities. You could include a delicious apple crisp that would be the perfect compliment to any dinner party favorite!

Give thanks… and enjoy!


We supply only the best nutrient rich produce grown in good healthy soil, mountain rich air using the cleanest natural volcanic spring water available to our local customers in San Diego County, Riverside and Palm Springs.

Join+Our+CSA+2015

Let’s make small farms in our region stronger and profitable, coming soon new ways that you can support small farms in your community.

FarmStand_Open

Thank you for visiting the Sage Mountain Farm BLOG!
Subscribe & follow
Comments, suggestions and questions?
Contact me directly: amy@sagemountainfarm.com
Visit www.sagemountainfarm.com for more information about our farm.
Together, let’s get healthy!

The Mighty Onion Prepared with Acorn Squash and Yogurt

It’s hard to pinpoint just one reason to love the onion!

DSCN1275

Eating onions gives more to our lives than simply flavor to our food. Incorporating onions into our diet can alter the course of major disease, such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and most forms of cancer. Beneficially effecting a staggering multitude of other diseases and disorders including cataracts, cardiovascular disease as well as cancer of the breast, colon, ovarian, gastric, lung, and bladder while helping to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease and stroke. You can see that the onion is mighty, in deed!

The richest dietary source of quercitin, onion holds a powerful antioxidant flavonoid that has been shown to thin the blood, lower cholesterol, ward off blood clots, and fight asthma, chronic bronchitis, hay fever, diabetes, atherosclerosis and infections. Onions antioxidants and amino acids allow your body to function optimally, help prevent damage and are used in virtually every vital function in the body. Oh that’s all? No, there’s more.

“Onions are excellent at killing cancer cells.” Published recently in Food Research International, “Onions activate pathways that encourage cancer cells to undergo cell death. They promote an unfavorable environment for cancer cells and inhibit growth by disrupting communication between cancer cells.”

“Altering dietary habits may be a practical and cost-effective means of reducing cancer risk and modifying tumor behavior. Approximately 30–40% of cancers are preventable by appropriate food and nutrition, physical activity, and maintenance of healthy body weight.” Said in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health research article: ‘Garlic and onions: Their cancer prevention properties’ published in 2015. Summarizing that, “Mechanistic studies provide compelling evidence that garlic, onions, and their (stinky) sulfur components alter the biological behavior of tumors, tumor microenvironments, or precancerous cells, and decrease cancer risk.”

Do you smell breakthrough? Onions pungent smelling sulfur compounds are actually a powerful detox element which help the body to release toxins, especially from the liver. Foods naturally high in sulfur also help the body detox itself of heavy metals and other dangerous toxins. Damage to DNA caused by environmental toxins is thought to be the cause of most cancer. Eating organic, local sustainable food never sounded better!

“Organic conditions boost flavonoids and antioxidant activity in onions” said the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in a study published on June 14, 2017. They went on to say, “organic foods contain more health-benefiting phytochemicals.” Now, researchers have found that flavonoid levels and antioxidant activity in organic onions are higher than in conventional onions. Their investigation, in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, is the longest-running study to address the issue.

An organic onion a day? A study conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that eating a teaspoon of fresh garlic and a half cup of onions per day increases the levels of a key enzyme for removing toxins in the blood cells. As told by FOX News, “eating onions can get your blood sugar-and your weight-on the right track. So here is a simple, powerful health-enhancing recommendation: Eat an onion every day. One medium-sized onion equals approximately one cup of onion when chopped.”

In addition, other factors including the gut microbiome, may also influence responses, giving last weeks blog post about gut-boosting Okra something more to think about.

You see, organic onions are an essential ingredient, to the flavor of wellness through-out our life.  The taste of a good life, absent from disease is the most savored quality offered up in the onion. So next time you start to cry over an onion, let them be tears of joy! Breakthrough is yours.

“It’s hard to imagine civilization without onions.”
— Julia Child

Acorn Squash with Onions and Yogurt

IMG_2367

Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash, halved, seeded and cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • ½ cup full-fat plain grass-fed organic yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 375. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss squash and onion with oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until squash is tender, 30-35 minutes.
    IMG_2354
  2. In a small bowl, combine yogurt and lemon juice. Transfer squash and onion to a serving plate. Top with yogurt and mint.
    img_2381-e1505900003555.jpg
  3. Serve with a refreshing glass of mint green tea or lemon water..

IMG_2430

Give thanks… and enjoy!

 


Onion Preparation & Storage TIPS:

Preparation:

Onions are healthy raw & cooked, though raw onions have higher levels of organic sulfur compounds that provide many benefits, according to the BBC. A 2005 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that there is a high concentration of flavonoids in the outer layers of onion flesh, so you’ll want to be careful to remove as little of the edible part of the onion as possible when peeling it. Never microwave your antioxidant-rich foods since the process decreases the antioxidant content by more than 75% in just one minute.

Storage:

Best not to leave an onion cut open in the fridge because it will absorb bacteria. Either use the whole onion, or buy a variety of small, medium and large onions to have on hand; and use accordingly.  Sage Mountain Farm CSA box shares typically include a variety of sizes in a season, seeing to it that in my kitchen, an onion never goes to waste. However, once an onion is in a salad in a sealed container, it is safe and can be eaten at a later time.


Thank you for visiting Sage Mountain Farm BLOG!
Subscribe & follow. Posts weekly. Stay connected.

Comments, suggestions and questions?
Contact me directly: amy@sagemountainfarm.com

Visit www.sagemountainfarm.com for more information about our farm.
Together, let’s get healthy!


To be engaged in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), offers you a chance to share in a sustainable small farm’s hand picked, certified organic seasonal daily harvest.  There truly is a difference in taste, quality and variety! 

Let’s make small farms in our region stronger and profitable, for theirs is a labor of love that we reap the benefits of. Support your local small farm and become a CSA member today, visit us at your local Farmers Market or come by the Farm Stand now open (in Anza off Bahrman Rd at HWY-371) everyday from 9am-5pm (Mon-Sat).

Come to the farm this weekend!  Sage Mountain Farm is having a BBQ Slider Event this Sat. Sept. 23rd from 10am-4pm with guest chef Phil Knoke, The Rock’N Roll Chef cooking up Sage Mountain Beef local, green-fed beef sliders and fun for the whole family! Come by!  Taste the difference!


Farm Stand FlyerFarm Stand Flyer BBQ Event 9.23.17

The Kitchen Sink Smoothie

This smoothie has everything but the kitchen sink! Quick, easy & delicious!

  • Smoothies Super Charge your body
    with essential vitamins & minerals!
  • Make weight loss easier, build muscle &
    improve physical performance.
  • Give your hair, skin & nails a radiant glow.
  • Detox harmful chemicals that
    bombard us on a daily basis &
    ensure excellent digestion.
  • Nutritious disguised in tasty so kids love them!


STEP 1
:

Use the fruit & greens that came in your Sage Mountain Farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box.
Pull out whatever other fruit you have, cut it up and add it to the blender.



STEP 2:

Add juice.

Juice Options: • Organic fresh squeezed orange juice • Coconut milk • Almond milk
• Water • Fruit juice blend (I like Bolthouse) or • Green Tea



STEP 3
:
Grind up a variety of  Seeds & Nuts
Add a few tablespoons or more into the mix.

For a boost of: antioxidants, key proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats & fiber

  • Flax seeds (a top potent superfood)
  • Raw pumpkin seeds (the only seeds that are alkaline-forming & helps fight depression)
  • Raw sunflower seeds (boosts energy & immunity)
  • Sesame seeds (burns fat, boosts nutrient absorption, balances hormones)
  • Raw almonds (as much calcium as milk!),
  • Raw walnuts (supports brain health),
  • Raw pecans (contain more than 19 vitamins & minerals, boosts brain, heart and bone health)
  • Hazelnuts (rich in energy, heart, brain & skin)
  • Pine Nuts (appetite suppressant, slows the aging process)
  • Brazil Nuts (helps with weight loss, stimulates cell growth & repair, improves digestion & immunity, balances hormones, boosts male fertility & reduce signs of aging)

*Tip: If you don’t have a Nutribullet, use your coffee grinder. To clean, use uncooked white rice and grind.



STEP 4:

Add a Protein Booster

I use a collagen (bone broth) powder. It’s incredible for your joints, hair, skin, & nails.

*You can also add: Matcha green tea powder, Maca powder, Camu camu, Cacao powder, Hemp protein powder, or Grass-fed whey. There are so many choices at your local health food store!



STEP 5:
Top off with frozen berries or ice.

Blend & enjoy!

Visit www.sagemountainfarm.com to learn more about your local, small certified organic farm.

Maple Glazed Delicata Squash


Delicata squash is a great way to begin to enjoy winter squash at this time of year. I think of it as a “gateway squash”, a kind of transition from juicy summer squash to the harder, heartier squash of colder days such as the acorn, butternut and pumpkin. Unlike most other winter squash, the Delicata can be eaten with the outside rind still on. This recipe today is from Simply Recipes online and it gives roasted veggies such a boost, they will please everyone at your table.

Maple Glazed Delicata Squash with Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate Arils

Ingredients:

  • 1 large delicata squash
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 3 large shallots
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (You know me…I subbed vegetable broth and saved myself calories and fat)
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup, divided
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh pomegranate arils

Method:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Then wash the outside of your squash.  Trim off the ends and then slice it down the middle, lengthwise so that you have two “boats” once you scrape out the seeds and strings.  Place it hollow side down and cut into little semi-circles about 1/2 an inch thick.  Next, make sure you trim your Brussels sprouts.  The best thing to do is slice off the end and pull off the outer leaves until you have a fresh looking sprout.  Slice up your shallots (or onion, let’s be honest here folks…if you don’t have shallots on hand can we all agree that subbing an onion is acceptable?).  Put all those veggies in a bowl and drizzle in the broth (or olive oil), maple syrup and cider vinegar.  Sprinkle on the salt.  Save the last tablespoon of syrup and the pomegranate arils for after the roasting.  Then stir it all up gently to distribute the glazed goodness.  Arrange it all in a single layer on a baking sheet (you can use a silpat, parchment, or cooking spray to prep your pans).  Roast these for 20-25 minutes and then shake the pan or stir the veggies to turn them over, then continue to roast for another 15-20 minutes.  When the roasting is complete place the veg all back into a bowl, add the pomegranate arils and the last tablespoon of maple syrup.  Fold these in and then serve.

For a pomegranate prep tip check out this video.  Getting the seeds out underwater makes a lot less mess!

For more posts about winter squash check out Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Black Beans and keep a look out for a butternut squash pie recipe, coming soon!

Summer Ratatouille

Sage Mountain Farm
Summer’s Bounty, Beautifully Layered!

When I saw the gorgeous purple and white Japanese eggplant this week in my CSA box, I was filled with longing and dread.  Let me explain… My favorite color is purple, so naturally I love the eggplant with it’s deeply purple skin.  A vegetable that’s purple, what could be better? (perhaps a purple cookie…I digress) So of course, this explains the longing.  I want to love the flavor of such a beauty as well.  Which leads to the dread.  I have NEVER been able to prepare eggplant myself that tasted any good.  It had become such a problem that I had been banned from ever buying an eggplant again.  Sometimes you just gotta cut and run.  Let things lie…you know, quit while you’re ahead and such.

Since this eggplant came to me via my weekly farm box, I didn’t feel like I was violating the eggplant ban because I didn’t choose it, it chose me, so to speak.  I knew that I had to try again to catch my unicorn…decent homemade eggplant.  This time I nailed it!  But what was different this time you might ask?  Two things were different, and both contributed to my new-found success.  First I had never tried Japanese eggplant before, always the big fatties.  This was a good change because one of the problems that I usually encounter with home cooked eggplant is the chewiness and I think eggplant texture is a good example of a little being good and too much being not so good.  Second, I finally took the time to prepare the eggplant ahead of time.  It is usually listed as optional in eggplant recipes, but I have found it to be completely mandatory!  You must salt, drain, squeeze, rinse and pat dry.  You must.  I promise that it makes a huge difference.

All of the summery goodness that I needed for ratatouille was at hand, thanks to Sage Mountain Farm.  I had eggplant, leeks, tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil, and zucchini.  This dinner went over well with the fam and I have to say that the smell coming from my oven when this was baking was A. MAZE. ING!  Try it and you’ll see for yourself!

Summer Ratatouille

4-5 Japanese eggplant, sliced and prepared ahead of time (NOT OPTIONAL)

3 zucchini, sliced

5-6 small tomatoes, sliced

8-10 cloves of garlic, minced

2 leeks, sliced

1/2 c vegetable broth, divided (or olive oil, or a combination of both)

fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

First thing to do is to prepare your eggplant.

Sage Mountain Farm
Eggplant slices

Get out a colander and place a layer of eggplant slices in the bottom.  Salt this layer liberally.  Another layer of sliced eggplant, more salt.  Lots of salt.  The purpose of this is to draw out the excess moisture, which can give eggplant a slimy mouth-feel, and any bitterness that may be present.  You will end up rinsing this salt off so don’t worry about how much to use.  Continue to layer eggplant slices and salt until you have sliced and salted it all.  Let this drain in your sink, and walk past occasionally to press the whole thing lightly.  I put a bowl on top of the eggplant that fit inside my colander to do my pressing for me.

While this is going on slice up everything else.  Get out a glass casserole dish and put a little olive oil or broth in the bottom and then preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Once everything is prepared and your eggplant has been draining for between 30 minutes and two hours you are ready!

Start your ratatouille with a layer of leeks.  Next, for the eggplant layer, you need to grab a handful of eggplant slices and squeeze hard under running water.  Pat these slices dryish and build your eggplant layer.  This will take several handfuls in my experience.  After the eggplant layer, put on zucchini slices followed by tomato slices.  Then salt, pepper, garlic and basil all over the tomatoes.  Continue making these layers until all of your ingredients are used up.  When that happens take the rest of your broth (or olive oil) and drizzle it all over the top.  Bake for about one hour and enjoy the smells coming from your oven!

Sage Mountain Farm
Another veggie packed meal!

We served this over brown rice with almond Parmesan on the top!  Try it out and let me know how you liked it!

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!

Prep for Organic Broccoli

Broccoli is one of my all-time favorite veggies.  I have always liked it, even as a kid.  My Granny and I were the ones at get-togethers standing by the veggie tray eating the broccoli.  It’s something we’ve shared, and I like that.

Sage Mountain Farm
Aphids Love Organic Broccoli!

Here’s the tricky bit, virtually ALL organic broccoli has aphids.  Why, well because aphids (the little greenish-grey guys hiding in your florets) love broccoli and are nearly impossible to get rid of organically.  Organic eating means dealing with a few bugs rather than ingesting toxic poison. It’s a trade-off, but one that has amazing benefits for your health, and the health of the Earth.

No need to feed your chickens any more of that fabulous broccoli.  No need to [gasp] send nasty emails to the hardworking folks at the farm, not that you would do that, ahem [cough, cough].

Here is the method that I used today to get those pesky aphids out of my organic broccoli.  First I separated the bunches of broccoli from each other.  Then I filled up my sink with cold water about half way.  Next I added salt to the water.  Think ocean water as you taste it.  Seriously, add about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt to your sink.  Then comes the part that you may or may not enjoy.  I found it astonishing, but rewarding because I now knew that my broccoli would be clean and shiny when I was done.  Using a quick plunging motion, crown down in the water, get rid of the aphids.  Shake and plunge and shake and plunge.  You will see the little buggers just floatin’ away.

Sage Mountain Farm
Clean and Shiny!

Repeat with all of your broccoli and then set them aside, while you drain and rinse out your sink.  Then, using a sprayer if you’ve got one, rinse thoroughly with cold running water.  Voila!  Clean and shiny!  Way to go!

Oh! One more thing…Do this as needed.  By that I mean, if you want broccoli for dinner, do this as part of your meal prep.  Do not do this ahead of time, you will end up with rubbery broccoli.  After this careful, loving preparation it would be devastating to rubberize your prized broccoli, no?

Now that my organic broccoli is prepped and ready to enjoy, I can call my Granny!