Search results for 'FarmBox Fresh'

Orange Honey Sesame Chicken

14 Feb

Sesame Chicken has been a favorite in our house for quite a while now.  It’s a go to dish when we have vegetables to use up that are good in a stir fry, or just as a chicken dish to throw in the weekly meal plan.  I have gotten a ton of oranges lately from Bountiful Baskets and Sunizona FarmBoxes, so I decided to try to incorporate fresh squeezed orange juice somehow.  Also, the Sesame Chicken uses white sugar, but this time I decided to use honey in its place.  I have a lot of honey from a Bountiful Baskets 12 pound bucket to use, plus it’s more natural than the sugar I have.  It turned out really great!  It’s not overly orange tasting, which is what I was going for.  I also added in some fresh grated ginger, which I think I may do with the Sesame Chicken in the future as well.  (Quick tip for ginger, keep it in the freezer to keep longer, then just take it out, grate what you need, and put it back!)

Orange Honey Sesame Chicken

 

 

Orange Honey Sesame Chicken

What you need:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1″-2″ pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
Veggies of your choice (tonight I used broccoli and green onions)
Cooked rice

How to make it:

Place flour and chicken in a gallon size zipper bag.  Shake to coat chicken in flour.  Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet in batches and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until white and no longer pink.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized skillet, combine the soy sauce and honey in the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the honey is mixed well with the soy sauce. Stir in the orange juice, grated ginger, sesame oil and sesame seeds.  Pour over the chicken in the larger skillet and stir to coat.

Add in any chopped veggies you want.  For this batch, I used just broccoli.  Other times I have used different combinations of broccoli, onion, green, yellow, and red peppers, shredded carrots, bean sprouts, snow peas, water chestnuts, and mushrooms.  Cover your skillet and cook until veggies have softened.  I tend to leave the veggies a little crispy still because my husband likes them still crispy.  After other veggies have softened, add the green onions.

Serve over cooked rice.

Note: You can buy toasted sesame seeds, usually with in the section with other Asian grocery items.  If you can’t find them, to toast sesame seeds, place in a dry skillet and toast, shaking the pan, over medium high heat for a minute or so, or until fragrant and lightly browned. Do this first and cook the chicken in the same skillet to pick up more sesame flavor.  Also, if you are using a lot of veggies, you may want to double the ingredients for the sauce so there is some for the veggies.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

22 Nov

Well, another Thanksgiving meal has come and gone for our household.  Not really gone, because we have plenty of leftovers, but the big task of cooking it all is done.  I had my 2 little helpers this morning while I cooked, and I love that I get to cook and share the joy of making food with them.  I wanted to get a picture of the whole spread, but didn’t get a chance, but here is a plate with all we had:

So, starting top at going clockwise, here is what we had:

Turkey: Fresh, organic 21.5 pound turkey from Grateful Harvest, ordered through the Sierra Vista Food Co-op.  It cost a bit more than what I normally spend, but I think it was worth it.  It tasted amazing!  Although, I did use my “cheat” this year again, using a Reynolds Oven Bag, to cook the turkey.  I added cut up onion, celery, and carrots to the bag, rubbed the turkey in olive oil and poultry seasoning.  Sometimes, I think simpler is better!  The broth the collected in the bottom I kept for gravy.  Now, the turkey carcass is split up between my 2 slow cookers with new onions, celery, and carrots, plus water, to make turkey stock.  I’m going to have a lot of turkey stock, which is good since I haven’t made chicken stock in a while.

Dinner rolls: Ordered in my Custom FarmBox from Sunizona Family Farms bakery.  We love their sprouted Khorasan bread, and these are made with the same sprouted Khorasan wheat.  Delicious!

Mashed potatoes:  Red potatoes from Sunizona Family Farms, 2 pounds.  Left the skins on, diced, and cooked until soft.  Mashed and mixed in a stick of butter, 1/2 cup milk, and 1 tablespoon fresh chives, also from Sunizona Family Farms.

Wild Rice & Sausage Dressing: Recipe here.  Used Lundberg’s wild rice blend, then celery and onion from Bountiful Basktets and fresh parsley from Sunizona Family Farms.

Bread & Celery Dressing: Recipe here.  This year, I used Special Spelt bread from the Sunizona Family Farms bakery, and celery and onion from Bountiful Baskets.

Green Bean Casserole: Recipe here.  I used fresh green beans from Sunizona Family Farms to make it.  I really like this, but I really want to find an alternative to using cream of mushroom soup in a can.  I’ll be experimenting over the year to see what I can come up with.

Cranberry Sauce:  I used cranberries and oranges from Bountiful Baskets to make this.  This was a lot easier than I thought!  Here is how to make it.

What you need:

12 oz bag of fresh cranberries (about 3 cups)
1/2 – 1 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you want it (I used 1/2 cup)
Juice of 3 oranges, or 1 cup orange juice

How to make it:

Dissolve sugar in orange juice over medium heat.  Add cranberries, and cook until cranberry skins have cracked and a gel starts to form, about 15-20 minutes.  Pour into serving bowl and sauce will set more as it cools.  

 

Sweet Potato Pie (not pictured): Recipe here.  I used sweet potatoes from Sunizona Family Farms.

 

It really turned out to be a great meal that my family and I all really enjoyed!  I hope that everyone else had a great Thanksgiving day as well!

Time to thaw those Thanksgiving turkeys!!

19 Nov

Thanksgiving is this Thursday, and if you are cooking a turkey, it’s probably time to start thawing it in the fridge, if that’s the method you choose.  There have been a couple of years where I almost forgot to start thawing it out, or started it too late, so at the end, I had to put it in cold water to thaw it the rest of the way.

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has a fact sheet on safely making your turkey for the holiday, including guidelines on thawing and roasting your turkey.

Let’s Talk Turkey – A Consumer Guide to Safely Roasting a Turkey

I ordered a fresh turkey this year, so I get to skip the thawing process!  In addition to turkey, we will also be having mashed potatoes, bread and celery dressing, wild rice and sausage dressing, green bean casserole, dinner rolls, and sweet potato pie.  The potatoes, green beans, dinner rolls, and sweet potatoes are all from Sunizona Family Farms, the celery and bread from Bountiful Baskets, and the turkey I ordered through the Sierra Vista Food Co-op.  I am so ready to cook and eat it all!

What will you be cooking and/or eating this week?

Borscht

21 Oct

 

I had heard of borscht, but never actually had it.  Beets are regularly available in Sunizona Family Farms FarmBoxes, so when my husband requested that I make this, I knew where I could get beets.  I also had gotten a head of cabbage and a bunch of carrots from them, then I had onion and potatoes from Bountiful Baskets and ground beef from Zaycon Foods.  Who needs the grocery store anymore?!?

In my search for the recipe, I discovered that everyone makes this a little different.  Even I varied some from the recipes I mainly used.  I only had ground beef on hand, so I used it instead of stew meat.  I also didn’t have tomato paste, so I used ketchup instead of the tomato paste and cider vinegar.  This does take a little time and effort, but it’s worth it!  It does have a little beet taste, but not really.  It’s more of a stew taste with all the different veggies in it.  And, fair warning, this makes a LOT, so be prepared to eat it for a few days or cut the recipe down.

 

Borscht
Based on recipes here and here

What you need:

16 cups water
2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/4″ rounds, then cut in fourths
1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
1 pound ground beef
2 carrots, cut in matchstick pieces
1 pound beets, peeled and cut in matchstick pieces
1 small onion, finely diced
1/3 cup ketchup (or 1/3 cup tomato paste and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar)
6 beef bouillon cubes
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh dill or 1  1/2 teaspoons dried dill
Salt and pepper

How to make it:

In a large soup pot, add the water and potatoes, bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are softened, about 15-20 minutes.  Add cabbage and cook another 5-10 minutes.

While the potatoes and cabbage are cooking, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  Add carrots, beets, and onion, and cook until the vegetables have softened, about 15-20 minutes.  Stir in the ketchup (or tomato paste and vinegar).

Add the vegetable mixture to the soup pot.  Add bouillon cubes, lemon juice, bay leaves, dill, salt, and pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes at high heat to dissolve the bouillon, then reduce heat to a simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender to eating.  Serve hot, with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Potato Leek Soup

10 Sep

I have eaten Potato Leek Soup before, but it was a store bought soup mix.  I have never actually cooked with leeks, so I was excited to see them in my Bountiful Baskets this week while most people were turning up their noses at them.  Plus, we also got gold potatoes, so Potato Leek Soup had to be made!  My husband was really excited too, and he really enjoyed the soup.  It also worked out that Saturday was an overcast, rainy, cooler day, great soup weather.  And, it was coupled perfectly with the baguettes I had gotten from my Sunizona Family Farms FarmBox.  Can you tell how excited I am about how well this meal came together?!?!

Potato Leek Soup
Based on recipes here and here

What you need:

1/2 cup butter
2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, chopped (There is a great video here on how to clean and chop the leeks, thank you Kelly H. for the link!)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (make sure to use gluten-free broth if you need this gluten-free)
2 1/2 lbs potatoes, preferably Yukon gold, diced
2 cups half and half or whole milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper

How to make it:

Melt butter in a large stock pot and add chopped leeks, plus salt and pepper to taste.  Cook leeks in the butter until tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Do not let leeks brown, brown will give them a burnt taste.

Next, wisk the cornstarch into the chicken broth, leaving no lumps.  Pour into the stock pot.  Then, add the diced potatoes and half and half.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.  Stir in the parsley and more salt and pepper, if desired.  If you want a smoother soup, remove about half of soup to a blender and puree, then return to the pot.  You can also use an immersion blender or hand potato masher to slightly mash some of the potatoes in the soup.  Serve hot.

Variations:

Potato Leek Soup with Sausage:  While soup is cooking, crumble and brown 1 pound of Italian sausage.  Drain excess fat.  Stir into finished soup.

Potato Leek Soup with Ham: After soup has finished cooking, add in 2 cups of fully cooked ham (such as Zaycon Foods ham)

Refrigerator Pickled Beets

31 Jul

 

I recently got beets in my Sunizona Family Farms FarmBox and in my Bountiful Baskets organic basket, and instead of trading them away, I kept them and decided to try to find a way to use them.  Since the Refrigerator Pickles turned out successfully, I decided to see if I could pickle the beets in a similar manner.  Turns out you can, and it’s relatively easy.  And, after this process, my head is full of ideas on using the beets to color Easter eggs in the spring, similar to how I used onion skins this past Easter.  I’m excited!

 

Refrigerator Pickled Beets
Original recipe found here

What you need:

1 pound fresh beets
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cloves garlic

How to make it:

Remove greens from beets and wash well.  Place beets in a heavy pot and add enough water to cover beets in the pot.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium.  Cook for 25-30 minutes or until beets are fork tender.  Remove from water and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, place the remaining ingredients in saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar into the liquid.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Once beets have cooled, remove the outer skin of the beets.  It may be easy enough to peel off with your fingers, otherwise use a paring knife.  If you have smaller beets, they can be pickled whole; otherwise, slice the beets.  Place sliced beets in a jar or container.  Pour the pickling brine over the beets in the container and cover.  Place in refrigerator and leave for at least 5 days to allow the pickling process to occur.

Lots of Produce!

22 Jul

This week, since I wasn’t going to be able to pick up a basket from Bountiful Baskets (I was doing a community car seat check at the same time), I didn’t participate this week.  So, I decided to once again pick up a FarmBox at Sunizona Family Farms again this week.  Instead of a standard box, I chose to get a Custom Box.  This means, that I went through their Web Store of items they currently have available to build my own box.  I selected 1 package Baby Heirloom Lettuce, 1 bunch Carrots, 1 Cucumber – Seedless, 1 head Purple-tinted Broccoli, 2 bunches Radish, 1 Squash – Patty Pan, 1 Big Ol’ Beef Tomato, 1 loaf Bread – Sprouted Khorasan Plus, and 1 1.5 lb bag Peaches – Sierra Rich.  My total was $28.25.  Here is how it all looked (also shown is a zucchini they gave me when I got there):

I was again happy with all that I got.  The peaches were not grown on their farm, but are from an orchard near them, Briggs & Eggers,  that is organic as well.  They are AMAZING peaches!  Very fresh and juicy.  The bread is again very good, this bread has added seeds and grains on top (hence, the Plus in the name), similar to the 9 grain bread that I usually get from Bountiful Baskets.  My husband immediately came home and used the bread to make a grilled cheese sandwich, also with the Big Ol’ Beef tomato.  I’m looking for a recipe to use the patty pan squash.  I’ve never had it, but I’m sure it’s similar to other squash.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to drive over this upcoming week, but I’m hoping to the week after.

After we were done at the farm, we headed to Willcox on the other side of I-10 to go to an orchard.  I had wanted to go to Briggs & Eggers, but we had already been in the car enough that I decided on Apple Annie’s, which also has some other goodies (homemade fudge!).  Right now, it’s peach harvest time, so we went through the orchard with a bucket and picked peaches right off the trees.  I ended up with about 9 lbs of peaches, which cost $14.

 

I will make a Peach Crisp and hopefully, some Peach Fruit Leather.  If I don’t get to make the fruit leather, I will probably freeze the peaches and make the fruit leather another time.  I haven’t had a chance to try one yet, but they look delicious.

Then, after getting all of that, I stopped in at Safeway and got even more produce!  They had 2 lb containers of blueberries for $5 again, plus lots of other produce on sale, along with my Just 4 U personalized deals, including a 20% off produce one time use coupon.  I spent $15.84, and here is what I got:

 

It is 1.41 lb broccoli crowns, 2.54 lb red seedless grapes, 1.39 lb black plums, 4 limes, 2 bunches radishes, 2.98 lb Gala apples, 1 head iceberg lettuce, 2 2-lb bags of baby carrots, and 2 lb blueberries.  Can you tell we like radishes in my house?  Well, I’m not a big fan, but my husband and 2 daughters are.  My youngest was excited to see plums, and half a bag of baby carrots is already gone between her and my older daughter munching on them.  Now, I would have preferred more of this to be organic since I’m trying to purchase more organic, but right now, my budget isn’t allowing it.  However, I’m still getting more produce in the house and snacking on this, not chips or other junk, so we’re getting there.  Baby steps, right?

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