Saturday, April 18, 2009

Produce Distribution Day

I volunteered to help distribute again, so in addition to my regular share, I got a LOT of extra goodies today. The regular share consisted of:

5 lbs. russet potatoes
5 lbs. Fuji apples
1 bunch celery
1 head butter lettuce
1 bunch mint
1 large eggplant
1 bunch cabbage leaves
3 beets with greens
1 bunch kale
4 zucchini
1 cucumber
1 bunch green onions
2 tomatoes
1 basket alfalfa sprouts
1 lb. strawberries
7 bananas

I have lot of extra, too, so we're going to be eating healthily, and I get to try some new dishes. Already today I made a batch of Kale Chips, I roasted the beets, and put 2 loaf pans of Zucchini Gingerbread in the oven.

If you have zucchini or banana recipes you think I should try, let me know - I have lots of extra of both. I know that banana bread will be next, but there will be more bananas after that is made.

First out of the oven were the Kale Chips. I found a recipe on recipezaar, which called for apple cider vinegar. Among the reviews was a comment that recommended trying it with balsamic vinegar to add a little sweetness - so that's what I did.

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 350˚. Wash kale, and remove the leaves from the stems. Spin in salad spinner or dry as best as you can with paper towels. Whisk together the salt, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a large bowl. Add kale, and toss by hand until it is evenly coated. Place on a large baking sheet and bake about 20 minutes, or until crispy.

While the kale was cooking, I used my little toaster oven to roast the beets. I like roasting vegetables in my toaster oven because it's a convection oven - they come out nicely cooked on the inside and browned well on the outside. You need to know that I refuse to eat pickled beets. Hate 'em with a passion. And I've never, ever had fresh beets of any kind - red, yellow or whatever. So when we received beets in our produce share, I decided I was not going to be squeamish, and was determined to give them a try. I wanted them roasted - I love roasted red potatoes, so I figured that beets done that way might be all right. All of the recipes I found for roasted beets called for either roasting them in their skins, or peeling them and putting them in foil. I wanted the texture I get with roasted red potatoes, so I did them that way.

Roasted Beets

beets (however many you want - I used the 3 small ones we received today)
olive oil
Kosher salt

Preheat oven, preferably a convection oven, to 400˚. Peel the beets, and cut into uniform chunks no larger than 1 inch. Toss in a bowl with a little olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through (test tenderness with a sharp knife).

Some of the zucchini from this morning went into some zucchini bread. I knew that I'd be making banana bread tomorrow, so I made a zucchini bread that was a bit different than the basic kind. This one really tastes like gingerbread, and the texture came out perfect. I made two loaves, so one's going into the freezer so we can have it some other time.

Zucchini Gingerbread

2 c whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
3 c grated zucchini
3 eggs
1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c oil
3/4 c brown sugar (I used 1/4 c brown sugar and 1/4 c Splenda Brown Sugar Blend)
3/4 c molasses

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare two loaf pans by spraying with non-stick spray. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients including zucchini in a smaller bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Pour mixture into loaf pans. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your kale chips looks so good and the recipe is so simple! I love how the beets look like little pieces of steak when they are roasted. I have never had them roasted but will have to try them. When is school out for you? Thanks for the avocado tip too! That really did buy them some time. Can't wait to see what becomes of your next loot bag. Our local organic farm takes reservations one year before harvest and you have to be on a waiting list to see if people don't sign up again the next year. It is crazy but we will get on the list and wait. If it didn't cost so much to live in California we would be there just based on the produce alone. Enjoy it for us!