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The Box Meal Plan

Every market day, we seek out recipes to make it easy for you to use all the items in the box. We recommend looking through previous posts if you don't like this week's recipes.
Posted 10/17/2014 10:53am by Rie Ma.

This is the first weekend we've had pumpkins in the Box, and only about the second of having them at all, so you can guess the theme for recipes this weekend. Now, something you'll note about some of these recipes, as well as most any pumpkin recipes you find on your own, is that many of them call for canned pumpkin. We have no problem with using canned pumpkin for any reason, but if you want some of that extra delicious flavor and you like knowing every single thing that goes into your food, here's a quick, easy way to make your own pumpkin puree!

The "snack" we'll share today is a doozy of a dessert, but since it's a dip, it's allowed to show up before dinner. The colors of this Pumpkin and Oreo Dip are perfect for a Halloween party, and if you want to split off a small part to experiment with, we like adding a dash of cayenne pepper!

When we think about pumpkin-centric breakfasts, it's hard to get away from pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, and (of course) pumpkin spice lattes. These Pumpkin Grits are a sweet, savory step outside the typical morning routine. The spices in the grits give some of that standard breakfast pumpkin flavor, but this is definitely not a sweet-tooth meal. 

Considering our love of other winter squash soups, there was no way a pumpkin variety wouldn't show up here. This Curry Pumpkin Soup is a particular favorite, as the vegetable and curry flavors team up for a beautifully silky and warming experience. As always, this recipe is easy to make vegetarian (vegan, in fact) by switching out vegetable stock for the chicken called for.

Mac and cheese is a great culinary treasure, and upping your game by incorporating pumpkin puree is a great way to show off and be healthy at the same time. Adding all the pumpkin into this Pumpkin Mac and Cheese can really round this dish out into a full meal, with the influx of nutritional value in the vegetable. If you want to get really fancy, adding some spicy sausage (thanks, Cleaver & Co.!) and wilted greens will make your plate a little less orange, and you can pretend you always eat like an adult.


Posted 10/13/2014 11:01am by Rie Ma.

As the seasons change, we're looking forward to incorporating more and more new flavors into our meals! These recipes are all focused on highlighting items that will be on hand for a while, but also that offer some wiggle room, whether than means the mint has run out or you want to keep vegetarian or you're missing any ingredients.

Citrus salads are wonderful sides: they accompany hearty barbecue, creamy soups, or veggie pastas equally well. This Satsuma Herb Salad is especially good as we head into citrus season, since the little mandarins are so plentiful and delicious. We like to switch up the fresh herbs to change the type of salad and match our entrees: cilantro, mint, or basil are all great go-tos.

These Honey Glazed Hakurei Turnips with Apples are a surprisingly wonderful breakfast. The Hakurei turnips are sweet and mild and pairing them with warm apples and their own sauteed greens makes a wonderful balance. Local honey is a perfect touch, but we also like tagging in maple syrup in the glaze for a different flavor.

Fairytale eggplant are some of our most photogenic veggies, though this recipe can accommodate different varieties if need be. Grilled Eggplant with Garlic Yogurt Sauce is an easy lunch to throw together, since the eggplants themselves only need a few minutes. This recipe calls for some lemon juice in your yogurt sauce, but you can also try using some satsuma juice to add a touch more sweetness, especially if you are skipping the pomegranate seeds. (Skipping the pomegranate but still want some crunch? Try toasting some of our local, organic pecans.)

And to get you ready for Halloween, check out these Carved Stuffed Peppers. Stuffed bell peppers are always a fun option, since you have so much freedom when it comes to what goes inside. This recipe re-imagines shepherd's pie, which is a perfect use for some of Two Run Farm's ground lamb, but if to stay vegetarian, sauteed eggplant is a delicious substitute!

Posted 10/10/2014 10:35am by Rie Ma.

With apple season winding down for the area, but autumn finally showing its face (sometimes), we wanted to give you the opportunity to make the most of the essential fall fruit and weather. Apples are high in fiber and vitamin C, especially in and right under the skin, so chomp away. 

Soon enough we'll be craving some warm cider drinks, but our New Orleans fall is still doing its best impression of summer. To get the cider experience without overheating, we recommend this autumn-approved Apple Cider Sangria. This recipe is a little heartier than many summer sangrias, but it's a delicious take on the typical fruit and wine combination.

How many times can we say it? Apple Cinnamon Muffins are the breakfast of champions. Unlike some other "apple cinnamon" breakfasts, these taste exactly like what they are (we're looking at you, Apple Jacks).

Apple pie and cheddar cheese is a classic American combo, and we love this Apple Leek Cheddar Soup that turns the flavor pairing on its head. Especially starting with tart, crisp apples, this soup has a refreshing flavor, but stays only mildly sweet, especially after sauteing your apples.

Even if it refuses to get much colder outside, there's never a time when chili isn't delicious. This Apple, Sweet Potato, and Turkey Chili is a great option that stays filling without all the heavy salt and red meat. Of course, if you want to keep this vegetarian, switching some white beans in for the turkey is an easy enough substitution (or just addition: we never met a chili that didn't benefit from more protein).

Posted 10/6/2014 11:08am by Rie Ma.

3 pounds of frozen blueberries in the Box? Yes, please! Freezing fruit is a great way to cling to some summer flavors, even when they stop being so plentiful. As we transition more fully into fall, we wanted to share some recipes that savor the end of summer and that welcome some newcomers to the table!

Smoothies are a great way to get delicious nutrients, and we would be remiss if we didn't remind you that they're also perfect for frozen fruits. Combine your frozen blueberries and satsumas for a wonderful breakfast or dessert (and don't you just love dishes that can be both?). Adding some ginger or lemon to this Blueberry Citrus Smoothie can kick up the recipe a little, and the ginger is a great health boost, too!

This take on a breakfast omelette is too exciting not to share. We'll never stop loving savory omelettes (especially when they're cheesy!), but this fluffy Blueberry Lemon Puffed Omelette is a gem! It is great warm or cooled, which is always great: preparing for brunch? No problem. Not going to finish it in one sitting? Great snack for later!

Creamed corn gets a bad rap sometimes. A lingering reputation for being a tasteless sad mush is holding it back, but real, Fresh Creamed Corn, made with corn right off the cob and fresh local cream? That's a whole new ball game. 

And no early autumn recipe list could be complete without at least one Butternut Squash soup. This recipe is fairly straightforward, but don't forget that this is one of the most flexible dishes we feature here. Sweet potato is a great complement for the squash, and can be an easy way to add volume, if you are feeding more people. Jalapeno makes a great addition, and it can be easy to add late in the game, if you want some spicy and some not. Roasted bell peppers can add a smokey dimension to the flavor, or some chopped arugula sprinkled on top balances the sweetness of the squash with a little crunchy bitterness.

Posted 10/3/2014 11:09am by Rie Ma.

This window of seasonal change is a wonderful time for produce. We are still enjoying some lingering summer, like cucumbers and peppers, but welcoming our favorite citruses and greens onto our tables too! 

Mushrooms are often worked into delicious fall dishes, but seeing them pickled is less common in most American cuisines. These Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms with soy sauce and ginger make a great addition to most meals, with their hearty flavor and texture. Try adding them to sandwiches or salads or diced on top of soups!

Heading into holiday season often means making more time for group meals with family and friends. A decedent way to break your fast is with this Apple Cake: its gluten-free recipe and focus on fresh apples helps keep this cake light without getting overly sweet. Leftover, it makes a great slice of toast, too!

Kohlrabi can be startling to see the first few times, with its long leaf stalks and sprouting bulb. In fact, it's a delicious vegetable from the brassica family, like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. With a flavor like a milder, sweeter broccoli stem or cabbage heart, shredded or matchsticked kohlrabi makes a wonderful Kohlrabi and Apple Slaw. This side salad can make a nice lunch on its own or on a bed of arugula, but we love it on sandwiches or as a side for BBQ.

We're not going to assume you need help getting through your satsumas, but sometimes we like to push ourselves to not eat them ALL right away. When we do that, this light Satsuma Risotto is a really nice option. The satsuma zest gives a subtle flavor to the risotto, and it stays a little more floral than the usual zingy lemon. If you pick any up, some fresh sweet corn is a great flavor to pair with this recipe!

Posted 9/29/2014 10:29am by Rie Ma.

This weekday Box includes some more delicious Hachiya persimmons (don't forget to wait until they're ripe!) and apples, both of which make us feel all autumn-y, even if we're still bathing in 70-80 degree humidity. These recipes all feature our fruits and capture that fall sweetness, even in savory dishes. And since we are in New Orleans autumn, they still avoid the oven!

Apple Butter is a classic use of this fall fruit. If you have a slow cooker, this recipe is a breeze, but it's pretty low-effort even without one. Apple butter is sweet enough for desserts, but not so sweet that it doesn't feel like a healthy spread for your morning toast!

Latkes are always a delicious part of a meal, and by pretending that they're like hash browns, we can cheat them into breakfast! These Persimmon Latkes are a fun way to sweeten the deal and add some vitamin filled fruit into your potato pancakes that can seem a little like, well, fried starch.

Because Fuyu persimmons are sweet enough to enjoy firm, they have a lot of versatility when it comes to cooking. This Persimmon and Arugula Pasta makes a great lunch (or dinner or leftovers), and it comes together super quickly. As always, pairing fruit with arugula makes a nice balance of sweetness and the greens' bitter spiciness.

Chicken and apple is a delicious and traditional pairing, but often recipes will require a lot more work two marry the two. This Chicken with Apples and Chardonnay is a simple, elegant solution. A quick sautee and a few spices and herbs, and you have a wonderful, savory dinner that will satisfy and impress. If you want to take this vegetarian, we suggest lightly baking some slices of the chili marinated tofu from the VEGGI Farmers' Cooperative, before tossing them into the apple mix.

Posted 9/26/2014 11:44am by Rie Ma.

The name "persimmon" translates loosely from ancient Greek as "divine fruit," and who are we to contest it? This unique fruit has a short season, and we're carrying Fuyu and Hachiya varieties, so make the most of them while you can! Here are some ideas for getting the most of "Jove's fire" (another translation). Keep in mind, Fuyu persimmons are flatter, looking more like tomatoes: they are good to eat firm or soft, as sweet from the word go. Hachiya persimmons are longer in shape, and they are tannic and not very nice until fully ripe: you can recognize ripeness by the extremely soft texture of the fruit - it is almost pudding-like. 

Being in between field and hothouse tomato seasons can be hard for salsa lovers. If you haven't tried a Persimmon Salsa before, take advantage of the lull in your typical foundation by branching out! As with any salsa, adjust the spiciness and salt to taste: this recipe calls for Fuyu persimmons, which can be used while firmer; feel free to try Hachiya if you prefer your salsa less chunky, too!

We've featured several zucchini and summer squash breads, and before we get fully into fall with pumpkin breads, try this sweet Persimmon Bread. The sweetness of the Hachiya persimmons lets you mess with the amount of sugar you add, which can be a fun experiment in texture. Of course, we don't have to tell you how much better naturally occurring sugars are for you, compared to refined ones, so this bread is absolutely allowed for breakfast.

Peaches and other stone fruits get a lot of play in light salads, but persimmons make a really bright addition of their own. An Arugula and Persimmon Salad is an easy lunch, but so packed with flavor: the sweet persimmons balance the bite of the arugula, especially if you bring in the acid of a citrus based dressing.

And though this recipe looks deceptively like the greens and sweet potato or greens and squash recipes we'll see in the next few months, Roasted Persimmons with Mushrooms and Greens make a great dinner for early fall. Cooking the persimmons adds a little more heartiness and depth to their profile, and their softness blends well with the toothier mushrooms and greens.

Posted 9/22/2014 12:22pm by Rie Ma.

These recipes manage to feel indulgent without requiring too much of your time in the kitchen. Throw them together for a last minute meal or impress guests with how hard you slaved over a hot stove/cutting board/blender!

Fruit and veggie slaws are a fun way to mix up salads or make a quick topping for a taco. This Radish, Cucumber, and Apple Slaw uses matchstick cuts of each to get a crunchy blend with a little spice and a little sweetness. The Arkansas Black apples in season right now are great for a recipe like this, since until they get very dark and ripe, they'll be more on the crisp and tart side. If the raw radish is too spicy for you, switch it out for turnips - they'll have a little bit of the sharpness, but give a much milder taste overall.

Cake for breakfast is a time honored tradition, and it's even easier to justify (not that you need to) when you make it look like breakfast. This Apple Cinnamon Cake uses fresh fruit and spices to supply great flavor without being over sweet. Don't forget that if you don't have buttermilk, you can make a substitute with regular milk (not skim) and either lemon juice or vinegar!

English cucumbers are favorites because they tend to be sweeter than larger, darker cukes, and with their tiny seeds and narrow seed cores, they skip some of the bitterness imparted by larger seeds. This Cucumber and Yogurt Soup is a wonderful use for them, and sauteing the chopped cucumbers in butter before blending them lends a richness that isn't always found with similar recipes. (We won't tell if you skip the lobster salad this recipe suggests. Some shrimp or white fish will do nicely!)

Hunan Eggplant with Shiitake Mushrooms is a hearty main dish that is great on its own, with rice or noodles, and is delicious hot out of the pan or cold for lunch. Switching out vegetable stock for the chicken and skipping the bacon is an easy way to vegetarian this dish up, and if you don't keep chili bean paste on hand, just use some blended red pepper flakes and minced garlic!

Posted 9/19/2014 11:35am by Rie Ma.

It's always good to have some easy recipes in your back pocket, but sometimes those recipes can get a little worn. Sliced radishes in a salad? Delicious, but hardly an innovation. Potato gratin? Well of course, but sometimes you need a little change. Pasta with butter and sage? A favorite, but what about when you want something a little less starchy? These recipes take some typical recipes and ingredients with new twists.

Not to knock raw radishes, because their spice and crunch are some of our favorite fall flavors (and this recipe still includes some!), but these Sauteed Radishes are a simple way to jazz up a side dish or snack for a slightly heartier palette. Including some wilted radish greens and a few slices of raw radish keeps the sharpness present, but the sweeter, cooked pieces balance out nicely.

Breakfast burritos have been winning more and more favor along with their savory breakfast brethren. What better way to take lunch or dinner ingredients, and even a lunch or dinner preparation and turn it on its head? A good match for this Box are Mushroom, Greens, and Egg Burritos, and of course, bacon is always optional. This recipe calls for spinach, but of course any green will do - we love it with komatsuna or spicy mustard greens!

Potatoes are always been a savory favorite, but if you haven't experimented with turnips in their place, this is your chance! Turnips Anna is a riff on the more traditional Pommes Anna, and like any recipe named in French, you can count on this being a rich, buttery lunch (or dinner, or breakfast...)! Turnips bring a little more light sharpness to the dish, while still mellowing after being cooked in fats and herbs! Of course, include the bacon at your own discretion!

Brown butter and sage have risen to deservedly great prominence in the recipe lexicon. Of course, sometimes you may want to add some more subtle flavors into the mix, and just maybe offset the health implications of a sauce that is mostly butter. Shaving Sweet Potato Ribbons instead of pasta is a great way to quickly incorporate some extra taste and nutrients into a meal, and come on, brown butter sauce always wins in the end anyway.

Posted 9/15/2014 10:46am by Rie Ma.

This weekday Box has a trove of goodies, so we're centering our recipes on the oft-overlooked sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are delicious, healthy, and amenable to so many types of dishes, which makes them a delightful ingredient to keep on hand. They are one of the best vegetables for beta-carotene, also found in produce like carrots or pumpkins.

Homemade snacks are always so much better (and better for you) than heavily processed ones, and these Sweet Potato and Greens Mini-Frittatas are no exception. They're delicious and snackable for kids and also vegetarian and gluten free. 

If you're going to take the time to make breakfast in the morning, you may as well do it right. Sweet Potato Waffles are hard to beat, especially with the pecan honey butter included in this recipe (and especially especially if you get some local pecans and honey!). The natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes only takes a little push from some sugar in the recipe, but depending on your tastes, they could even do without.

These Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Lime Juice and Roasted Peppers are so straightforward, they barely need a recipe (but we'll give you one anyway). These make a wonderful lunch on their own, especially if you have a gas grill, griddle, or panini press, and they can also provide a nice balance as a side for larger grilling endeavors. 

Did you know you can make cheater risotto with pretty much any shorter grain rice? The popcorn rice in this week's Box is a great start for a Sweet Potato Risotto with Komatsuna and Mozzarella. This recipe calls for arugula, and while that (or mizuna, or spinach...) would be great, we're excited about the komatsuna that's come into season recently. Pick up some Country Girl mozzarella with your Box, and you're good to go!




The Box Meal Plan: November 22nd through November 24thNovember 21st, 2014

The countdown begins! T-gives in t minus one week, so get your saucepans and spatulas ready. This week we're stocking you up on some sides, especially vegetarian options. Look, turkey, stuffing (or dr

What's In the Box?November 21st, 2014

  About the Weekly Local Produce Box -For $25, customers can purchase a share of local produce from our network of farmers in Louisiana & southern Mississippi. The produce in the box is a mix

The Box Meal Plan: November 18th through November 20thNovember 17th, 2014

These are all ideas for great Thanksgiving (or any holiday or big meal day) sides, but they work well for regular life too. Pate can be a real treat, but it can also be intimidating to try to make at

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