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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 12/20/2013 12:22pm by Bill Pastellak.

Herbed Salt

I keep coming back to this recipe because it works. I almost never use my herbs before they shrivel up, so this recipe helps preserve them indefinitely. This recipe calls for salt, but if you want to make it sweet dishes,  just switch out the salt for sugar. Both preserve equally well.   

Broiled Grapefruit with Honey and Bananas

With citrus season in full swing, there's nothing more I enjoy in the morning than a nice, big grapefruit drizzled with honey. A little sweet, a little tart, a little bitter, it helps stimulate your appetite and get you ready for some heavier breakfast dishes. With raw honey in the box, we had to highlight it and I couldn't think of a better way than with this recipe. If ya got em, use local bananas from your backyard. So much better than what you can get in stores. 

Shiitake Mushroom & Tofu Potstickers

Now that we have tofu regularly available at the market, it makes using shiitake mushrooms that much easier (miso soup anyone?). This dumpling recipe takes some time, but the freeze well and can be pull out at anytime for a tasty appetizer or gathering with friends and family.

Haluski (Cabbage & Noodles)

Cabbage isn't in the box this week, but if you have been coming to the market recently, odds are you have a huge head of cabbage taking up space in your fridge. This is one of my favorite comfort foods which just happens to use and ENTIRE head of cabbage. Nothing fancy, but it does the trick.

Curried Radish Recipe with Coconut Milk, Banana Peppers and Shiitake Mushrooms

I'm a fan of this curried stew because it uses radishes in a way I never would have thought of. This recipe is from local food blogger Culicurious, so you know its gonna be good.

Tip: We now have fresh turmeric in-store. If you have never had it, I highly recipe grating a tablespoon or two into this curry. Fresh turmeric is light years better than the dried stuff and adds a nice slightly bitter, complex flavor to any curry dish.

Bruschetta With Arugula, Tuna and Beans

This recipe goes perfect with the day old country bread from Bellegarde Bakery. Arugula, Tuna, and Cannelini beans are a classic combo. This recipe calls for a number of common pantry ingredients, so you shouldn't have to make an extra trip to the grocery for this one. I recommend using high quality canned tuna. Cheaper chunk light varieties just don't cut it in this recipe.

Posted 12/13/2013 8:32pm by Bill Pastellak.

Grapefruit Curd

Grapefruit curd is not nearly as common as lemon curd, but just as tasty. The slight bitterness of the grapefruit makes it a great candidate for the egg yolk and sugar rich curd. Make sure to use a double boiler (or a stainless steel bowl placed on top of a saucepan with boiling water) for this recipe. You don't want a bunch of stringy egg white pieces floating in your curd. 
I've recently become addicted to pho and am constantly on the lookout for East Asian flavored noodle soups that I can make at home. This soup is a combines common Chinese & Vietnamese flavors, making for rich, flavorful  beef and noodle soup perfect for warming up during these cold nights.

Growing up in Pennsylvania with a Czechoslovakian  grandmother, this is a dish that I've eaten more times than I can count. Akin to the red beans and rice of New Orleans, this is cheap, easy comfort food known by just about every descendant of an Eastern European immigrant from my home state. Best part about it: it will use your entire head of cabbage. And like red beans, feel free to add a liberal dose of hot sauce.

Strawberries, black pepper, and balsamic might sound like a crazy combo, but it's anything but. This classic Italian flavor pairing is heavenly. Make sure to use high-quality balsamic or else the dish will suffer. Take it over the top by using some locally made vanilla gelato from La Divina Gelateria (available at the market) to finish the parfait.


For whatever reason, most people on use parsley for seasoning or too add some color to their meal, leaving you with a partially cut, wilty parsley bunch sitting in your crisper drawer. Fear not, this recipe makes use of that whole bunch. Gremolata is nothing more than parsley mixed with a little salt and citrus zest, but it does wonders as a condiment. Try it on top of rich stews or tossed with broccoli or carrots.

Posted 5/27/2013 11:46am by Bill Pastellak.


The organic blue (or purple?) potatoes in the box this week from Inglewood Farm are what make local food so much fun. Great ingredients like this only require the simplest of recipes to highlight their quality. Even better, the deep color of the taters comes from the free-radical busting antioxidants called anthocyanins.

Berry Parfait

With berry season in full effect in Southern LA., it'd be a travesty if you did not make this classic summertime dessert at least once.

Tips: Toss 2 cups of blueberries with half the sugar, 2 T of lime juice, and a 1/2 t. of cinnamon. Toss 2 cups of the strawberries with the remaining sugar, 2 T of lemon juice, and 1/2 t. of almond extract. Let sit for 30 min. Layer the berries separately in the parfait. You will not be disappointed.

 Spicy Pickled Green Beans

Perfect for Bloody Marys or just as a snack, homemade pickled green beans are super easy to make and beat the pants off anything you can get at the store. These will keep in the fridge for at least a week, but I doubt they'll last that long.

Zucchini Fritters

Like potato latkes, only better. Make sure to salt the grated zucchini before forming the fritters. The salt helps draw out excess water from the zucchini which would otherwise make for a soggy fritter.
Posted 5/18/2013 2:02pm by Bill Pastellak.

You don't really need much more than a little salt and butter for fresh green beans, but I've never met a dish where adding Parmesan and garlic was a bad idea.

Blueberry Cornbread

Blueberries and corn are a surprisingly good combo and this sweet cornbread is perfect as a breakfast pastry or light dessert. I like to use the Three Brothers Farm raw sugar at the market in lieu of the mix of white sugar and light brown sugar called for in the recipe.

Pickled Baby Squash

The beautiful baby squash in the box this weekend are great as quick saute with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but I like to make things a little more complicated than that. This quick pickle recipe is a great way to preserve the delicate squash which don't do well more than a few days in the fridge.

Baked Kale Chips

Kale chips are as easy to make at home as they are expensive at the store. With a little bit of oil (I prefer canola or olive oil) and some salt and seasonings, you've got a tasty, crispy snack that's as addictive as potato chips. 
Posted 5/6/2013 2:02pm by Bill Pastellak.
Zucchini bread is a great way to use up your zukes in a way that almost anyone will enjoy. This recipe subs out eggs for ground flax seeds to make it vegan.

Wilted Chard With Golden Raisins And Toasted Pecans

Chard and raisins might sound strange, but it works surprisingly well. This recipe traditionally calls for pine nuts, but I'll be using pecans to make it more local. If your vegetarian/vegan and leave out the bacon, make sure to double the amount of olive oil called for.

Roasted Red Potatoes

Some times less is more. This recipe (if you can call it that) is comfort food at its best. Serve with some roast chicken and a side of sauteed kale or chard for a complete meal. 
Posted 5/6/2013 2:02pm by Bill Pastellak.

 Blueberry Muffins

The first blueberries of the season are here and we couldn't wait to put them in the box. Hands down, my favorite way to kick off blueberry season is with a big batch of blueberry muffins. I've made this recipe a dozen times and it has never failed me. 

This cool, refreshing cucumber salad is perfect compliment to falafel or spiced lamb dishes. Alternatively, cut up some pitas and serve with some olives and homemade hummus for a nice appetizer platter. 
Squash and zucchini have such a delicate flavor that you don't want to cook them to much or else there flavor is lost. I put a little dab of butter on top to finish and that's it!

 French Onion Soup

With local onions being a rare treat, I had to find a recipe that made them the focal point of the. What better way to highlight them than French onion soup.  Homemade French onion soup relies on using high-quality ingredients, so make sure to use fresh herbs and good cheese. 
Posted 4/17/2013 11:33am by Bill Pastellak.

On top of being delicious, this recipe can knock all of your greens in one fell swoop and will provide leftover gumbo for days. Like many traditional dishes, the exact recipe is any but fixed. Feel free to leave out the smoked meats for a vegetarian dish.  

 Warm Goat Cheese, Beet and Arugula Sandwiches

I'm a firm believer that any dish can be successfully turned into a sandwich. This one here takes the classic goat cheese, beet, and arugula salad and turns it into a vegetarian sammich suited for lunch or a light dinner. Instead of canned beets, simply roast your beets in the oven until soft, slice, and then put on top of sandwich.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos

My favorite thing to do with sweet potatoes, hands down. This recipe is vegetarian, filling, and absolutely delicious. I like to toss some greek yogurt in the burrito to moisten everything up.

Tomato Jam

I was inspired to make this recipe after eating the meatloaf sandwich (topped with tomato jam) at Gracious Bakery. Yum. I prefer to half the sugar amount for a more tart jam. It won't hold as long in the fridge, but it also won't be sickeningly sweet either. Combine with sharp cheddar and some sourdough bread for the best grilled cheese ever.  
Posted 4/13/2013 11:09am by Bill Pastellak.

I'm a huge fan of spanakopita, though I don't make it as often as I should since lasagnas of any kind can be pretty time consuming. Fortunately, this recipe packs all the flavor of spanakopita into little tiny phyllo triangles. Great as an appetizer or as a dish for a party. 

 Warm Goat Cheese, Beet and Arugula Sandwiches

I'm a firm believer that any dish can be successfully turned into a sandwich. This one here takes the classic goat cheese, beet, and arugula salad and turns it into a vegetarian sammich suited for lunch or a light dinner. Instead of canned beets, simply roast your beets in the oven until soft, slice, and then put on top of sandwich.

 Turnips Fried in Bacon Fat

My patience with turnips is growing short, and my list of recipe ideas for them even shorter. Time to bring out the big guns--bacon. Try making this dish in place of skillet fried potatoes for your Sunday breakfast. The flavor is pretty close and nutrients in turnips far surpass those in white taters.

 Making Herb Vinegars

I'm a huge fan of preserving produce, since it allows me to capture the flavor at its peak without rushing to concoct some complicated recipe. Herb vinegars are a great way to capture the full flavor of the herb right away, since their flavor and potency diminish quickly after sitting in the fridge too long. And say what you want, dried herbs can't hold a candle to the fresh kind.
Posted 4/10/2013 9:14am by Bill Pastellak.

A simple miso soup made the real way (with dashi) blows away the overly salted stuff you find at many Japanese restaurants. I subbed out the shiitake for the enoki mushrooms to make it local.

Tip: Unlike enoki mushrooms, shiitakes should be cooked before eating. To solve this, simmer the sliced shiitakes with the miso and ginger called for in the recipe. 

Chard and White Bean Stew

I've been cooking with a lot of canned beans and legumes lately since there are healthy, filling, and infinitely cheaper as a protein source than meat or poultry. This recipe calls for chard, but feel free to mix the kale in the box as well. Double this recipe and you will have enough leftovers for a few days of lunch as well.

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries & Sriracha Mayo Dip

Unless you have access to a restaurant sized deep frier, homemade fries can be a pain in the butt. Fortunately, this recipe makes a nice crispy fry without having to use a gallon of oil. Best part yet? They're sweet tater fries!

Baby Greens with Goat Cheese, Beets and Candied Pecans

This salad has been done a thousand times overs by restaurants everywhere, and for good reason. This tried and true combo of flavors is a can't miss. Served as a larger portion, this salad is enough for lunch or a light dinner.
Posted 4/5/2013 4:46pm by Bill Pastellak.

Fava beans are best eaten raw or lightly cooked (such as blanching or a quick saute) as their delicate flavor is easily lost when cooked for a long time. Sub out the Parmesan for some Pecorino for a more traditional Italian flavor.

 Escarole and Orzo Soup with Meatballs

Escarole might not be familiar to you, but the flavor and uses aren't much different than collards or mustards. A member of the chicory family, this leafy green is related to endive and radicchio, though it is less bitter. This recipe makes use of the carrots in the box as well. This recipe is pretty flavorful, so feel free to leave out the meatballs if you want to make it vegetarian.

 Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms With Roast Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Portobello mushrooms are made for stuffing and this recipe manages to create a satisfying vegetarian dish with only a few common ingredients. The recipe calls for cherry tomatoes, but you can just chop up the beefsteaks in the box without any noticeable difference in flavor.

Radish, Avocado & Grapefruit Salad

These might seem like strange partners on a plate, but the contrasting flavors and textures of these fruits and veggies make for a surprisingly tasty raw salad. This recipe says to serve immediately, but I like to let the flavors develop in the fridge for at least a half hour. 
Arugula Pecan Pesto

I've actually prefer this pesto to the traditional basil-pine nut combo, as its just as flavorful and costs a fraction of the price. Make sure to use high-quality parmesan or else the flavor of the pesto will be off.

What's In the Box?January 23rd, 2015

  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: January 20th through January 22ndJanuary 20th, 2015

There are many options for sandwich supplements or bruschetta toppings, and these Roasted Garlic Tomatoes are a great choice that's easy to make ahead. The recipe is flexible to pretty much whatever t

VolunteeringJanuary 20th, 2015

Hollygrove Market & Farm thrives on volunteer support. Whether its our weekly market volunteers or large groups looking to lend a hand, we are more than willing to work with anyone interested in h