Newsletters: 29 Sept. 2010

Excerpt from the Market Newsletter originally published on 29 Sept. 2010. View the full newsletter for all the photos and links.

Cooking, and reading about cooking
Your market manager, Connie, asked me about veggie burgers, which she was sure could be made at home at a considerable savings. I was surprised to find that neither of my good vegetable cookbooks had anything at all to say about vegetable patties, while my two favorite recipe sites had all kinds of variations. Here are the two most interesting, and I’ll put some of the others up on the Market recipe pages sometime in the next couple of weeks.

>Veggie Burgers
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, grated
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 carrots, shredded
1 small summer squash, shredded
1 small zucchini, shredded
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Cook onion and garlic in olive oil over low heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in the carrots, squash, and zucchini; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in oats, cheese, and egg. Stir in soy sauce, transfer the mixture to a bowl, and refrigerate 1 hour. Form the vegetable mixture into eight 3-inch-round patties and dredge in flour to lightly coat both sides. Grill on an oiled grate 5 minutes on each side, or until heated through and nicely browned.

Indian Vegetable Patties
1.25 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen, thawed
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium russet potato, peeled, grated
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded fresh spinach leaves
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1 tablespoon (or more) vegetable oil
Mix corn, carrot, potato, onion, spinach, flour, peas, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, ginger, and cumin; season to taste and stir in egg. Form patties (3 tablespoons make a 3-inch-diameter patty) and place on large baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Cook in oil over medium heat in batches until golden, about 4 min. per side, adding more oil as necessary. Serve with yogurt and chutney if desired.

From: Epicurious

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Newsletters: 27 July, 2011

Excerpt from the Market Newsletter originally published on 27 July, 2011. View the full newsletter for all the photos and links.

In the belly
Chard is not actually Swiss; it comes from Sicily, but a Swiss botanist “discovered” it. Technically its season is June-September, but I’ve seen it much earlier and later than that. Chard is a chenopod, a member of the goosefoot family, and related to spinach and beets. It provides vitamins A, C, E, and K, plus lots of different minerals, which are not only good for you but prevent muscle spasms and cramps. It’s also got lots of carotenoids, which are good for the eyes. The only hitch is that it also has a fair amount of oxalic acid, which should be avoided by anyone at risk for kidney stones. Boiling chard for 3 minutes will reduce the oxalic acid content but if that’s a worry for you, you should still be careful. If you have blood sugar concerns, however, this is a good vegetable for you; it’s said to prevent fluctuations in blood sugar by slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates.

In the kitchen
Most of the blueberry fans I know just eat them, but there are a few other things you can do with them. For instance, here’s a very fancy recipe that’s really too long for this newsletter, but I’d love to try it someday when I have a personal cook: Tea-smoked duck breast with pears and blueberry jus.

Moby’s Vegan Blueberry Pancakes
1.5 cups whole-grain spelt flour
0.5 cup oat bran
0.5 cup wheat bran
1 teaspoon baking soda
0.5 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups plain full-fat soy milk
Vegetable oil for cooking
1 cup fresh blueberries
Combine flour, brans, baking soda, and salt. Stir in soy milk until thoroughly combined. Oil and heat griddle (or skillet) and pour 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Press 12-15 blueberries into each pancake and cook 3-4 min., until bubbles appear and pop on surface and undersides are golden brown. Flip pancakes, then turn off heat and let pancakes continue to cook in pan another 3 min., until undersides are firm and light golden brown. Transfer to plate, berry side up, and keep warm while repeating with remaining batter. Pancakes may be served with additional berries and maple syrup.

Royal Blueberry Ice Pops
1 pint fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
8 oz. blueberry yogurt
0.25 cup water
0.25 cup honey
2 tablespoons sugar
Puree all ingredients until smooth. Divide mixture among 8 ice pop molds (each about 1/4 to 1/3 cup capacity). Cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 5 days.

Blueberries in Gin Syrup
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
15 juniper berries, crushed
1 (4-inch) rosemary sprig
salt to taste
2 pints blueberries (1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup dry gin
mint sprigs, to garnish
Boil water, sugar, juniper berries, rosemary, and salt, stirring, until sugar has dissolved and syrup is reduced to about 3/4 cup, 10 to 12 minutes. Strain over blueberries and stir in gin. Macerate until completely cooled, about 30 minutes.

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Easy Creamy Peas

2 cups fresh green peas
1/4 cup light tahini
1/4-1/2 cup water, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Steam peas about 10 minutes, until tender. Mix tahini with enough water to make a thick sauce and mix with peas. Adjust seasonings.

Adapted from Real Food for Life

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Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish.
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.

Fesenjan (Pomegranate Chicken)

Serves: 3-4

1 large yellow onion, diced
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses*
1 1/2 cups walnut halves, toasted and chopped to a fine meal in a food processor or blender
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (substitute garbanzos and/or extra walnuts for a vegetarian version)
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
2 Tbsp honey or agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
pinch each cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper

For serving:
Serve over rice or, for a low-carb version, cauliflower. Garnish with fresh pomegranate arils and parsley if desired.

Cook onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil over high heat until soft, stirring occasionally. In a separate pan, cook the chicken in a little olive oil over medium heat (do this in two batches unless using a very large pan). Once browned, add to the onions. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add pomegranate molasses, honey, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and walnuts. Simmer for 15-25 minutes, until desired thickness is reached. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

*I’m told pomegranate molasses can sometimes be found at the Olympia Food Co-op; a middle eastern market is the best bet, though. If you have a source of real pomegrante juice that isn’t mostly sugar water, you can always try making your own.
(another recipe at
(another recipe at Food Network)

Adapted from: The Minimalist Baker

Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.

Zucchini coleslaw

2 cups shredded zucchini, drained about 15 minutes
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced
1 apple, shredded

1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. honey or sugar

Toss vegetables. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss with vegetable mixture.

Yield: 4 servings

From the Thurston County Food Bank

Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish.
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.

Summer Squash Smoothie

1/2 cup summer squash
1 banana
1 cup hemp milk (or your preferred milk substitute)
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. almond or sunflower seed butter

Blend well and serve immediately.

Adapted from a comment by GirlWithTheGoods posted to Full Circle

Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish.
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.

Frijoles de la olla

(home-cooked beans)

1 lb black beans
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, coarsely diced
2 sprigs fresh epazote, or 2 Tbsp dried
2 1/2 qt. water (or part water, part vegetable stock)
1-2 tsp salt, or to taste

Pick over beans, place in a large bowl, cover by at least two inches with cold water, and let soak overnight.

Drain beans and place in a large stock pot with oil, onion and epazote. Add water and bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on the freshness of the beans. Skim off foam as necessary and add water if the mixture becomes too thick. When the beans are tender, add salt to taste and simmer for a few minutes. If using fresh epazote, remove the sprigs before serving.

Can be frozen or used in rice and beans or burrito filling; for black bean soup, puree beans, flavor with cumin to taste, and add vegetable stock.

Makes 7 cups.

Adapted from The Perfect Pantry

Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish.
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.