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Wellspring Charitable Gardens Fresh - January 11, 2024



Fresh Today… Napa Cabbage, Bok Choy, Graffiti Purple Cauliflower, Broccoli, Rainbow Carrots, Kale, Spinach, Green Onions, Romaine Lettuce, Rosemary, Dill, Limes & Lemons


Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno.

 

We’ve had lots of cauliflower this year, but I have to say I am enjoying it all. I like to use roasted florets as a substitute for pasta, serving it smothered in marinara sauce. This neutral flavored vegetable also makes a good substitute for rice or couscous. Creating the small pieces to replicate the rice works best if you have a food processor, but you can also grate the cauliflower with a box grater to quickly cut it into small pieces. Then you can use the small pieces in rice recipes. You can steam it if you want to use it plain, as a base for curry. In this Fried “Rice” recipe, I will cook the cauliflower just once, sauteing it with the other vegetables and meat. The cauliflower makes a great low carb option and adds extra vegetables to your dinner.


Cauliflower Fried Rice

 

1 head cauliflower

2 tablespoons oil

2 carrots, diced

2 cups greens, like kale or broccoli

    leaves, washed and chopped

1 cup cooked chicken, shrimp or

    pork, diced (optional)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 egg

3 green onions, thinly sliced

 

* Remove the end of the core of the cauliflower and grate it in a food processor or with a box grater.  In a very large sauté pan, heat the oil.  Add the carrots and cook for about 2 minutes until they soften.  Add the grated cauliflower and cook until lightly browned, then stir in the greens, cooked chicken and soy sauce.  Cook over high heat, stirring well for 3-4 more minutes.  Make a hole in the center of the fried “rice” and crack the raw egg.  Stir well, mixing everything together so the egg will cook in the hot vegetables.  Garnish with the green onions and serve.



Gung Hay Bok Choy?!

 

Not the familiar Chinese New Year’s greeting, but it suits the work we do at WCG. We greet the new year and the return of the Chinese cabbage Bok Choy. The traditional Chinese New Year’s greeting – Gung Hay Fat Choy – literally means “Congratulations on Prospering in Money!” Loosely translated – or recklessly - our greeting says, “Congratulations on the Abundant Bok Choy!”  Bok Choy is a tasty leafy green brassica that has flavors of spinach and water chestnut, a bit of sweetness, and sometimes mild notes of pepper.  The green leaves are tender and yet crisp, and the white stalk has a celery-like crunch. It can be sauteed, steamed, chopped into soup or salad, or even grilled. Enjoy your Bok Choy and Happy New Year!



Lemon and Dill…

 

This time of year, we harvest the dill frond, which are the plant’s leaves. As the dill plant grows into the summer, it will produce flowers and seeds that can have a stronger flavor. The flavor will dissipate over time when cooking, so add it near the end of cooking before serving, like in this soup recipe.

 

Lemony-Dill Chicken Soup

 

2 tablespoons olive oil       

½ onion diced                       

1 medium carrot, diced       

1 carrot, diced                       

Salt and pepper                     

1 bay leaf                                 

½ cup raw orzo pasta

2-3 cups chopped cabbage or kale leave

4 cups water or vegetable/chicken stock

1 cup chopped cooked chicken

1 lemon, zest and juice

1/3 cup chopped dill


* In a large soup pot heat the oil over medium heat, add the oil, onion and carrot, season with salt and pepper.  Cook and stir occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the bay leaf, orzo, cabbage leaves and water/stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 8-10 minutes until the orzo is cooked. Add the chicken, lemon zest, juice and dill. Bring the soup to a boil and serve right away.




Metaphors of Soil and Soul…

Letting Go

by Cindi J. Martin

 

Blustery autumn afternoons and late fall rainstorms mercilessly stripped our fruit trees of their multicolored coats. Surprising, though, hope remained despite the storm driven loss: tiny buds grow at bare places on boney limbs once draped in glorious leaves. Observe closely and you will notice that new growth was already nudging those decaying leaves toward their risky plunge into the unknown. Those nascent buds foreshadow the coming spring, though on the eve of grim winter, wind and storm have violently detached those beautiful leaves and summarily dispatched them toward earth, their final resting place.

 

Trees endure their storm and wind driven loss by welcoming the now exposed harbingers of hope. Soon, in the early warmth of spring, those buds will burst forth into delicate flowers and verdant leaves. Then a familiar cycle repeats: flower petals will wither and fade in the late spring heat. Then comes the nudge and the petals drop to earth to make room for the growth of plump, sweet, sun-ripened summer fruit. Comfort comes in knowing that the desired growth comes after the despised loss.

 

Each season of life involves some measure of letting go. In the barren grief born of that loss, we rarely recognize the hidden promise in new growth that nudges our beautiful but now fading glories toward their final rest. We are reluctant, even loathe, to imagine that such grim loss could ever leave room for lasting gain. Is there something in your life nudging you to make room for new growth, nudging you to release something once precious and beautiful but now faded and no longer needed or of use? Do you hold too tightly and resist release, despite the coming, inevitable free fall driven by relentless winds and severe storms? From trees may we learn to yield readily as God nudges. May we in hope let go to make room for glorious new growth. I can imagine the trees clapping their hands as we yield to Him and go forth with joy and peace!

 

“For you will go out with joy

and be led forth with peace

and the mountains and the hills

will break forth into shouts of joy before you,

and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Isaiah 55:12-13



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