Friday, June 22, 2012
Food Storage Tips
Basil—Difficult to store well. Basil does not like to be cold or wet. The best method here is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside, left out on a cool counter.
Beets—Cut the tops off to keep beets firm, and be sure to keep the greens! Leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making them loose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in an open container with a wet towel on top.
Beet greens—Place in an airtight container with a little moisture from a damp cloth.
Berries—Don’t forget, they’re fragile. When storing, stack them in a single layer, if possible, in a paper bag. Wash right before you plan on eating them.
Carrots—Cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long.
Corn—Leave unhusked in an open container if you must, but corn really is best the day it’s picked.
Greens—Remove any bands, twist ties, etc. Most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Kale, collard greens, and chard do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.
Melons—Keep uncut in a cool dry place, out of the sun for up to a couple weeks. Cut melons should be in the fridge; an open container is fine.
Peaches (and most stone fruit)—Refrigerate only when fully ripe. Firm fruit will ripen on the counter.
Rhubarb—Wrap in a damp towel and place in an open container in the refrigerator.
Strawberries—Don’t like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day.
Sweet Peppers—Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as wetness decreases storage time. Store in a cool room to use in a couple of days, place in the crisper if longer storage is needed.
Tomatoes—Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness, place in a paper bag with an apple.
Zucchini—Does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.
So many vegetables are in season right now, like cucumbers, squash and tomatoes. Eating these with this refreshing hummus is a great way to work more raw vegetables into your diet.
Garbanzo beans (1 cup of dried or 1 can, depending on how much time you have on your hands)
1 tablespoon of Sesame tahini
1/4 of a cup of olive oil
the juice of 1 lemon
2 large cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
2 tablespoons of cumin
1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
sea salt to taste
Vegetables for Dipping:
your choice cucumber, squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, lettuce or any other fresh veggie!
optional: fresh rosemary, black olives, Greek yogurt
If you're working with dried garbanzo beans, boil them in 2 cups of water until they are extremely soft ( thus easier to blend).
In a blender, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and tahini, and blend until they take on a creamy texture. It's important to blend the tahini before adding the garbanzo beans, because otherwise it might remain chunky in your hummus. Next, drain your garbanzo beans and add them to the blender. Sprinkle the parsley, cumin, cayenne pepper and sea salt on top of the beans and blend. If the texture is too thick, thin it with more olive oil or lemon juice (depending on whether you want a hummus that is savory or citrusy) and blend again. Cool the finished mixture. When it's ready to serve, garnish it with a bit of sea salt, olive oil and lemon juice on top. You could also add chopped black olives, more cayenne pepper, fresh rosemary, or even a dollop of plain Greek yogurt!
To be used as a dipping apparatus, squash (we recommend any kind except butternut squash) and cucumbers should be sliced horizontally into disks. Bell peppers should be sliced vertically into long strips, while baby carrots can be rinsed and used whole. Tomatoes taste great with hummus but are too juicy to be used as chips, so they should be sliced into disks, and the hummus should be spread on top of them. The hummus can also be served ontop of a bed of fresh lettuce (like our delicious magenta lettuce, available at markets) for a simple salad.
Vegetables like these can also be combined for a simple, wholesome and delicious dinner. Try our garden fresh marinara sauce served over whole grain noodles!
3 large tomatoes (like our Cherokee purples)
1 cup of coarsely chopped baby carrots
3 large shiitake mushrooms
1 large white onion
1 garlic bulb
1/4 cup chopped basil
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large sprig of rosemary
1 dash of sea salt
1 package of whole grain noodles
Bring one cup of water to a boil in a large pot. Chop the onion and add it to the water, immediately followed by the tomatoes. It is important that the tomatoes remain in the boiling water for the longest so that they may liquefy and flavor the other vegetables. Next, coarsely chop the shitakkes, carrots and squash and add them to the pot. Turn the fire down to simmer and cover the mixture for an hour, checking and stirring it occasionally.
Finely chop the entire garlic bulb. In a pan, heat it on low heat in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil until it is soft and saturated in oil, but not yet turning brown. Add the garlic to the veggie pot after the vegetables have been simmering for an hour, along with the bay leaf. Let this simmer for 30 minutes, then add the basil, finely chopped. Remove the rosemary leaves from their stem and add these, then sprinkle on the dash of sea salt. Let these simmer for another 20 minutes, then serve over whole grain pasta. Enjoy!
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Dear LRUF CSA members,
Thank you for supporting us here at Little Rock Urban Farming! We hope you've been enjoying your weekly fresh vegetables from your local urban organic farm. We understand that sometimes trying to figure out what to do with all of those veggies can be challenging. We will be testing out recipes each week and introducing you to new ways to enjoy what you receive (and impress your friends and family with your supreme veggie cooking skills!)
Here's what you're receiving this week:
Rainbow Swiss chard
Genovese Sweet Basil
First, what to do with that kale? Kale is a nutritional powerhouse! Unfortunately, those curly leaves have a tendency to be bitter and nearly impossible to chew when raw (though the leaves of the Siberian variety are softer than some). Here's an easy way to make it more palatable.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 large garlic cloves
1/4 of a white onion
2 cups of kale
1/2 of a teaspoon Ground mustard
Begin by bringing 3 cups of water to a boil, then rinsing your kale. Cut off its stems, then cut the leaves into strips slightly larger than bite size (it will cook down A LOT). Add the kale to the boiling water, and leave it for 15 minutes.
While it boils, finely chop 2 large cloves of garlic (as a side note, LRUF California late white garlic will be available later this season!) and 1/4 of a white onion. Begin simmering them in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
When your kale has finished boiling, drain it in a colander and rinse it under some cold water. Then, add it to the olive oil, onion and garlic, and sauté it for another ten minutes. Add 1/2 of a teaspoon of ground mustard (or more if you're a fan of spice!) Sprinkle with salt to taste, and serve!
Shiitake mushrooms are delicious and really good for you. Here is a simple way to prepare them.
3 mushroom caps (or 2 large ones)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large clove of garlic
2 leaves of sweet basil
Black pepper and salt, to taste
Begin by finely chopping the garlic and sweet basil (I used 2 rather large leaves) and simmering them in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then, thoroughly rinse your shiitake mushroom caps (you may even want to soak them in cold water for a while for good measure). Cut them into small cubes, then add them to the olive oil and garlic. Sauté them for ten minutes, or until they are supple and moist, and the basil sticks to their outsides. Take them off of heat and let them cool.
Now for the rest of your salad.
2-3 cups of rainbow Swiss chard
Sweet, creamy goat cheese
Elephant garlic buds (these don't come in your CSA box, but we're selling the flowers at the market).
1/2 a cup of olive oil
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
For greens, you'll use the rainbow Swiss chard (with the red and green leaves). Rinse the leaves then tear or chop them into bite size pieces. Pour olive oil and lemon juice into a jar and shake until mixed, then pour your desired amount onto the greens and toss. Top with chunks of sweet, creamy goat cheese, your shiitake cubes, and a few buds from an elephant garlic flower. The flower takes on some of the garlic flavor, but has its won spicey-ness.
For dessert, the baby carrots. That's right, carrots for dessert. These sweet. Carrot sticks are a unique and refreshing sweet treat.
1 tablespoon of Coconut or almond oil
1/4 of a teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of honey
Chop the carrots into thin, vertical strips. This can be easily done by chopping the carrots first in half, laying the flat side on your cutting board, and chopping lengthwise.
Heat the oil (we recommend a sweet oil like coconut or almond oil), honey, and vanilla on the stove. Bring to high heat and add the carrots quickly, because you want the honey to caramelize on them and not the sides of your pan. Sprinkle cinnamon over the carrots as they cook. Take off heat when the edges of the carrot sticks are bronzed. These can be served dipped or drizzled in more honey.
TIPS FROM THE KITCHEN:
-When cooking garlic, always keep the flame just above simmering, as garlic burns easily.
-ALWAYS clean your vegetables. This can be done by filling your sink with cool water, rinsing them then drying them either in a colander or a salad spinner.
We hope you enjoy your fresh vegetables and these simple recipes! Keep checking our blog for more recipes in the coming weeks.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Chris Hiryak, Creative Director of Little Rock Urban Farming, is a social entrepreneur and urban farmer with a new vision for agriculture in Arkansas. He will discuss how community based food enterprises can transform our health, local economy and agriculture.
Organic Plants For Sale! Get your garden started right with organic transplants from LRUF. All of our plants are propagated from organic seed using the highest quality organic potting soil mix. The best way to have a great garden this season is starting with a healthy vigorous plant! We will also have 50lb bags of the best compost you can find in Central Arkansas.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
SPECIAL DEAL: The first ten people to register for our shiitake workshop will receive a FREE organic cotton LRUF sweatshirt ($45 value) as part of their package!!! Register today to guarantee your spot and sweatshirt!
Why Attend A Mushroom Growing Workshop? Do you enjoy eating mushrooms but are discouraged by the price at supermarkets or farmer’s markets? Shiitake mushrooms and many other types of mushrooms are surprisingly easy to grow at home, indoors or outdoors. Join Little Rock Urban Farming at 5910 G Street this February Saturday February 18th. We will demonstrate how to inoculate oak logs with Shiitake spawn, and you will get to take home your own fruiting Shiitake log. The workshop will start at 10 am and end with lunch at The Root Café at noon. Cost for attending is $125.
What participants receive:
- Your own fruiting Shiitake mushroom log.
- Organic cotton LRUF hooded sweatshirt
- Shiitake mushroom burger lunch provided at The Root café.
- An informational pamphlet on maintaining your Shiitake logs.
- Learn the basic techniques for starting your own Shiitake farm or backyard mushroom garden.
Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP for the Shiitake Mushroom Workshop.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Check out the new LRUF gear!
We've got these awesome t-shirts, featuring the likeness of ShadyNasty, a former overzealous and effusive LRUF rooster who met his demise at the hands of Danielle du Preux after a short but fulfilling life as king of the coop. After raising ShadyNasty from a chick it was hard to see him be made into stock but LRUF ninjas decided collectively that sleep trumped the company of our dearly departed ShadyNasty. Please join us in celebrating his short but illustrious career at G Street Farm. This style is available in V-neck and crewneck sizes, in a range of colors, and has our name on the back. The artwork is printed on American Apparel organic cotton shirts.
We also have a re-release of brown hoodie sweatshirts, featuring our LRUF logo on the back, which are great at keeping our interns warm while they harvest lettuce. In addition, we have t-shirts in a wide range of colors with our logo on the front, so you can show your LRUF support with pride.
You can buy the shirts at some of our favorite local businesses. T-shirts and sweatshirts are available at The Green Corner Store on South Main, t-shirts are at Box Turtle on Kavanaugh in Hillcrest, and sweatshirts are available at Ozark Outdoor Supply in the Heights. T-shirts are $28 and sweatshirts are $45.