From the Garden this Week…
From the Garden this Week…
Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage or Cauliflower, Carrots, Green Onions, Swiss Chard, Parsley, Meyer Lemons, Oranges and a Grapefruit
Coming Soon…Beets, Lettuce Heads and Spinach
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
This week we will have Brussels Sprouts. These tiny cabbages were probably created by seed breeders in Brussels during the 13thcentury although the first written record was in the 16th century. I like to cut them in half or quarters and sear them on the stovetop and then add a little bit of water to steam the centers. Or you could alternatively roast them in the oven like the recipe here. Adding a little maple syrup or honey helps to cut the bitterness. We have been busy planting more of our cool season vegetables that will take off in February and March when the daylight length grows longer.
Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or honey)
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half or quarters so each piece is about the same size. Toss them in a large bowl with the maple syrup, oil, salt and pepper. Lay them on a parchment lined baking sheet with the flat side down. Cook for about 20 minutes, until soft throughout and browned on the outside.
The broccoli stems make a good slaw when grated in the food processor or on a box grater. In this slaw recipe you could substitute the quinoa with another cooked grain or leave it out altogether and add more vegetables.
Quinoa Broccoli Slaw with Honey-Mustard Dressing
2 cups cooked quinoa
½ cup slivered or sliced almonds
1 head broccoli about 4-5 cups chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
½ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and toast the almonds in the oven, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and starting to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. To prepare the broccoli, slice the florets off the stems into pieces. Peel the outer fibrous layer from the broccoli stem, saving the inner part. Feed the broccoli florets through a food processor using the slicing blade, then switch to the grating blade to shred the stalk and then follow with the carrots. Alternatively, you can chop or shred the broccoli by hand with a sharp knife or box grater. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a covered jar and shake until blended. Add the shredded broccoli slaw, cooked quinoa and shredded carrots in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the mixture and toss until well mixed. Let the slaw rest for about 20 minutes before serving, if possible. Serve topped with the toasted almonds.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul … by Ronda May Melendez
Walking through life is very much like walking through the garden. There is always something to see, something to learn, something to add and something to remove. For me, having grown up around gardens, some of my earliest memories occurred in gardens. They are a beautiful reminder of the complexity of life and yet, in the midst of it all, a place of nourishment.
Wandering the rows of the newest section of the garden in the earlier part of the day, I note the recently delivered rows of compost saddling up alongside the colorful brassicas. What a story this picture presents. What was once waste has been transformed into that which will nourish. It is an odd thing to me, this idea. The morning is brisk, the sun shining smiling down upon us as if enjoying this dichotomous picture: What was once useless is being brought in to join that which is now thriving. The compost appears inert to the human eye, but in reality, it is alive! When joined with the soil and the water, it will become anything but inert! It will become an active, important part of the growth of the plants in the garden.
As I harvest radishes, I ponder how often we long to be nourished. We desire to be enveloped, to become rich with nutrients and thrive and yet, sometimes, it all seems like waste products around us. The waste threatens to smother us and still, somehow, God is actively transforming that which was useless and destructive into something that will help us thrive.
Today is the first time I have ever been able to appreciate the juxtaposition of life and waste products. It is the first time I have seen a visible picture of the two lying parallel, preparing to be integrated. God wastes nothing, dear ones. Fear not. He is using that which threatens into that which upholds life.