Category: Produce

Description

Most people are familiar with black, pinto, or kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils. But what about mung beans? If you’re thinking, “Moo-what beans?” then it is time to get acquainted.

The mighty mung bean, (also known as moong beans,) are small green legumes that grow in pods. Mung beans have been cultivated for thousands of years in India, China, and Southeast Asia. When sprouted and cooked, mung beans have a hearty and wholesome flavor. Mung beans are packed with protein, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and B vitamins. Mung beans are also a good source of vitamin C.

Although mung bean sprouts are commonly found in grocery stores, many cuisines also use whole, cooked mung beans, as well as mung bean paste to make curries, soups and salads. Mung beans can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

In the Kitchen

Sprouted mung beans cook quickly. In less than five minutes, you can either stir fry or steam them. After stir-frying or steaming, try adding some flavor.

Recipes

Basic Mung Bean Stir-fry 

Cooking methods:

Stir-fry: in a hot pan, add 2 tsps oil (I like cold pressed oils such as coconut or sunflower)
Steaming- In a hot pan, add 1/8 cup water & sprouts and stir for 2-3 minutes until the color of the bean becomes more translucent
Blanching short-cut: Bring water to a rolling boil in an electric kettle or on the stove. Place mung beans in a large mixing bowl. Cover completley with boiling water and let sit for 3-5 minutes until the beans become translucent. Drain water, rinse beans with cold water and use as desired.

Directions:

Basic flavoring: 
– 1 cup cooked mung beans
– Lemon or lime to taste (sour element)
– Salt to taste
– Chili to taste (you can use either fresh chopped chilies or red chili powder)

Add-ons: (you can add all of them or select a few)

1/4 cup chopped red onion (red, yellow, or green)
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 cup crushed corn chips
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
2-3 tsps extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped mint

You can eat the basic recipe asiti is or toss any or all of the add-on suggestions. The add-ons make it more complex and interesting. We eat this dish typically as an afternoon snack, but I also will serve this with lunch as a side dish or have the basic recipe with my eggs.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I look forward to your comments 🙂
– Manju

Further Reading
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Description

is a type of winter squash that grows on a vine. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin. It has tan-yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp with a compartment of seeds in the bottom. When ripe, it turns increasingly deep orange, and becomes sweeter and richer. It is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, and potassium; and it is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin E.
Although technically a fruit, butternut squash is used as a vegetable that can be roasted, toasted, puréed for soups, or mashed and used in casseroles, breads, and muffins.

In the Kitchen

One of the most common ways to prepare butternut squash is roasting. To do this, the squash is cut in half lengthwise (see pictures), lightly brushed with cooking oil or put in a thin layer of water and placed cut side down on a baking sheet. It is then baked for 45 minutes or until soft. Once roasted, it can be eaten in a variety of ways.

The fruit is prepared by removing the skin, stalk, and seeds, which are not usually eaten or cooked. However, the seeds are edible, either raw or roasted, and the skin is also edible and softens when roasted.

Recipes

Fresh butternut squash Pie

This recipe makes one deep-dish old fashioned glass pie pan. It generously serves approximately 5 adults, or can be cut into eight medium-size servings.
– Bake at 400*
– Pre-bake of the squash adds 1 hour to total preparation time.

Ingredients

2 cups baked organic squash (Butternut, Sugar Pie)
1 cup organic heavy cream (Humbolt, Straus)
½ cup local organic honey
2 eggs from organically pastured hens
1 teaspoon ground organic cinnamon
½ contents of a fresh organic vanilla pod (or 1 teaspoon extract)
½ teaspoon finely ground sea salt

Variations:
½ teaspoon freshly ground organic nutmeg
½ teaspoons organic ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon organic ground clove

Directions:

1 – Cut open the squash, remove the seeds and set them aside in a covered bowl (see recipe below for toasted seeds).

2 – Place the squash open-side up on a non-reactive (not aluminum) baking sheet, and bake in the oven at 350* until you can insert a fork in the flesh and it feels soft. During baking, water will evaporate and concentrate the flavor, and the sugars will develop a caramelized aroma.

3 – Let the squash cool just until you can take off the rind.

4 – Place the baked squash into a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork (or you can add the eggs at this step and use an immersion blender).

5 – When the consistency is smooth (and if there are any strings, you can draw two knives in an X pattern through the puree to cut the filaments), add the cream, honey, eggs, vanilla, salt, and spices.

6 – Pour the custard batter into a glass or ceramic pan, with or without a crust.

7 – Bake at 400* until the center is set and you can insert a toothpick or stainless steel knife into the center and it comes out clean.

Note: some honey browns on the surface more than others, and if you increase the amount of honey, the top will certainly brown more, reflecting any hot spots in the oven (rotating the pie 180* in the oven after fifteen minutes of baking may ensure an even baking process).

Toasted butternut squash Seed Snack

Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, an element the body uses for internal organ tissue, and new cell generation needed in growing and healing.

1 = Briefly rinse the seeds in water, removing any strings. Lightly salt the seeds while they are still wet, and mix in the salt.

2 – Spread the seeds out on an enamel-coated pan, or on a silpat so the seeds will not stick.

3 – Bake at 250*, stirring occasionally, until the seeds are crunchy and delicious! (The water can be evaporated for a while at the lower temperature 250*, then the temperature can be raised to 350* for ten minutes to finish the roasted flavor).

Further Reading
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Description

A sunchoke is a tuber, like a potato, and is often prepared and eaten as a root vegetable. Light brown and bumpy on the outside and white inside, the sunchoke looks somewhat like a small potato or ginger root. It is native to North America and was cultivated by Native Americans prior to the arrival of European settlers. Also called a Jerusalem artichoke, its name can be a source of confusion because the plant is not closely related to the artichoke; rather, it is a member of the same flower family as the sunflower. With a nutty, somewhat sweet flavor, many cooks enjoy adding bits of the crunchy, raw vegetable to salads or salsas, while others prefer them roasted or mashed.

In the Kitchen

There are many recipes that showcase this tuber on its own or with other ingredients. Eaten raw, it is crunchy and very slightly juicy, like water chestnuts or jicama, and is often a welcome addition to salads, crudite platters, and fresh salsas. When cooked, it may be simply tossed with oil and salt and roasted, or boiled and mashed like potatoes. Sunchoke puree is another popular dish, and the tuber is a favorite soup addition, particularly in Europe.

The tuber has been embraced by the home cook and famous chefs for its unique flavor, and as part of a culinary movement to eat locally grown, seasonal ingredients. Many recipes that don’t specifically call for a sunchoke may benefit from the addition of the root’s texture and flavor. Its taste is frequently described as something between an artichoke heart and a sunflower seed.

Recipes

Easy Roasted sunchokes
Crispy jerusalem artichokes with Aged Balsamic

Further Reading

Why You Might Want to Take It Slow With sunchokes

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Description

peppers, like tomatoes, eggplant, and potatoes, are in the nightshade family also known as Solanaceaea. Most nightshade plants native to Europe are poisonous, so Europeans were wary of eating all of these fruits when they first arrived to Europe after contact was initiated between the Old World and the New World. Today, these nightshade family plants are enjoyed by people around the world, but much confusion remains about which plants are poisonous and which are not. Leaves of the pepper plant are considered poisonous by most Americans and Europeans, while they are widely eaten across the Asian continent.  Pepper leaves are not spicy, and have a pleasant spinach like flavor. They can be cooked in a manner similar to spinach as well.

In the Kitchen

Use pepper leaves in any recipe where you would use other tender green leaf vegetables such as spinach or swiss chard. They do not need to cook for long.

Recipes

Pepper Leaf Crusted Bread

SmartSelectImage_2016-08-07-10-31-27

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 Tbsp finely chopped pepper leaves, and a small pepper from the plant, not seeded
1 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
Pinch of garlic salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
Butter
Slice of bread (I used Vons/Safeway Artisan Asiago Bread)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat a frying pan over medium heat.
Fry the finely chopped pepper leaves/pepper in a small amount of olive oil.
Add the salt & pepper.
Set aside (or move to the edge of the pan)
Butter the bread & lay it, butter side down, in the hot pan. Cook the bread until the butter side is crisp & golden brown.
Top the bread with the pepper leaves & sprinkle the cheese over it. Toast in a toaster oven (or broil in oven) for 2 to 3 minutes to melt the cheese.
Enjoy.

Fried Egg Over Pepper Plant Leaves

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INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 cups coursely chopped pepper plant leaves, and chopped small unseeded peppers from the plant
1 egg, medium to large
1 slice bacon
1 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp rosemary
Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Cook & crumble the slice of bacon. Set aside.
Over medium heat, fry the pepper/leaf mixture in a small amount of olive oil until the leaves wilt.
Add the rosemary & thyme and move to the side of the pan.
Fry an egg in the pan, over medium or over easy.
Spread the peppers & leaves over a small plate.
Top with the egg, bacon & parmesan. Salt & pepper to taste.
Enjoy

Further Reading

Zucchino Rampicante

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Description

It is difficult to trace the exact history of cabbage, but it was most likely domesticated somewhere in Europe before 1000 BC, although savoys were not developed until the 16th century. By the Middle Ages, it had become a prominent part of European cuisine. cabbage heads are generally picked during the first year of the plant’s life cycle, but plants intended for seed are allowed to grow a second year, and must be kept separated from other cole crops to prevent cross-pollination.

In the Kitchen

cabbage season is the time to make your own sauerkraut. It really is easy to do, and important too! Sauerkraut is an excellent source of probiotics, which all of us need to rebalance our system due to our continuous exposure to harmful environmental pollutants and low-quality food. I eat a portion of fermented foods with every one of my meals and that’s what I attribute to my great digestive health. I also drink sauerkraut juice whenever I feel sickness coming on, and I haven’t been sick in two years now!

ONE EDIT to the recipe at the link: You need to use some kind of weight to hold the cut-up cabbage under the brine. In the recipe they ask you to use some fancy glass weight or an air-lock. ALL YOU NEED IS A ROCK (there are other options at this link). Like literally A ROCK from your backyard. ANY ROCK will do. Just clean it with soap and hot water. Do not fall for these gimmicky tricks from people trying to sell you junk.

Recipes
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Description

loquat is a fruit in the same family as roses. It is native to China, and is a highly popular fruit in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures. loquat‘s flavor varies wildly from variety to variety, and ours is slightly sour with plenty of sweet. Eat the outside flesh and spit out the beautiful seeds.

In the Kitchen

No recipe needed! Eat these babies up.

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Description

strawberry guavas are tiny, strawberry flavored versions of guavas. They are really sweet, with a bit of strawberry tang. Watch out for the hard seeds in the center (you can chew them up as long as your teeth are healthy).

In the Kitchen

No recipe needed! Eat these babies up.

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Description

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