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From the Garden This Week

From the Garden this Week…

Kale, Carrots, Cabbage, Celery Root or Parsnips, Mixed Garden Salad with Arugula and Spinach, Green Onions, Beets, Oregano, and Assorted Citrus

Coming Soon…Radishes, Arugula, Spring Onions

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

The curly kale that we are sending right now is perfect for making kale chips. These are a very simple recipe that is easy to make and fun to eat. You won’t have enough kale for a big crowd, but I like to call them a “chef’s treat” as you might be the only one that gets to enjoy them, if you eat them up before anyone finds you in the kitchen. I have made them in the dehydrator, but if you don’t have one a low oven works well. I cooked these, in the picture below, in the oven at 225 degrees for 40 minutes. You don’t want to burn them, so if you have an older oven that doesn’t get that low, keep a good eye on them. Then eat them as soon as they cool slightly from the oven. Make sure to use just a sprinkle of salt before cooking, the kale shrinks and the salt concentrates, you can always add on a little extra salt after cooking if needed.

Kale Chips

1 bunch curly kale

drizzle of olive oil

sprinkle of salt

Remove the stems from the kale. In a large bowl, drizzle on the olive oil and sprinkle with a littlesalt (use less than you think), then massage the kale with the oil. The kale will change color from dusty green to dark green, when the oil is rubbed in. Then place the kale in the dehydrator set at 135 degrees F, for 8-12 hours. Or cook in the oven at 225 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven or dehydrator and enjoy right away.

The Best Cooked Carrot Recipe

When you are tired of carrot stick, this recipe for a Roasted Carrot-Orange-Avocado Salad is my favorite. It is adapted from April Bloomfield a famous chef and cookbook author; she transforms the carrots with this long roasting process. The flavor from the cumin and coriander gives it a nice southwestern feel that continues with the avocado and cilantro garnish. I highly recommend trying it, especially if you think that you hate cooked carrots, it is like nothing you have had before.

Roasted Carrot Orange Avocado Salad

(adapted from April Bloomfield’s recipe)

2 medium garlic cloves, smashed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground*

1 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and ground*

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

6 carrots, sliced in half lengthwise (the long way)

1 orange

1 ripe Hass avocados

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons cilantro sprigs

*You can use ½ teaspoon of ground spices, toasting them slightly in a dry pan will bring out the flavor

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Press the garlic and put the paste in a large mixing bowl with salt, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and stir well, then add the carrots and toss together. Put the carrots and the oil and spices in a large shallow casserole dish in one layer. Pour ¼ cup water into the casserole with the carrots. Cover the dish tightly with foil (or a tight fitting lid) and put it in the oven. Cook the carrots for 25 minutes. Take off the foil and keep cooking until the carrots are lightly browned and tender, about 35 minutes more. While the carrots are roasting, peel the orange and avocado then cut into chunks. When the carrots are done, take the dish out of the oven and let it sit until the carrots have cooled a bit but are still warm. Put the avocado, oranges and carrots with their spices and oil in a large mixing bowl, add the lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss gently, taste for salt and serve topped with the cilantro.

Letting Go...

Letting Go…There are many seasons of "letting go" in our garden! As I walk the rows, I can't help feeling a sense of sadness, as I look at all the spent vegetation that I need to pull out and place in a heap on our compost pile. Just a few months ago these plants were full of life and energy, bursting forth with large heads of nutritious heirloom broccoli and cauliflower. Releasing a season that is ending is as essential to life as embracing one that is emerging. Pulling out spent plants and placing them in their burial ground actually becomes the compost that brings new life to the soil that will nourish our new plants. Compost -- organic matter -- is the most important amendment and the key to good soil! Many of us spend years and untold energy attempting to avoid the sorrow of loss and grief. Eventually we find that we have also avoided the joy of living life fully. We have avoided pain but also the pleasure of close and intimate friendship. It is risky to allow God to grow love in our hearts. There will be seasons of letting go and the accompanying pain of grief. Leo Tolstoy has been quoted as saying, “Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” As we reflect on the season of Lent and the coming Easter celebration of our Lord's Resurrection, let us also consider our willingness to do the work of letting go in the gardens of our lives in order for new life to grow.

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