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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 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.
Posted 3/29/2013 12:42pm by Bill Pastellak.

Green garlic has a much milder flavor than garlic and much easier to prep since the cloves haven't formed yet. This recipe is relatively simple, but still packs a ton of flavor thanks to the freshness of the ingredients. To keep it local, use creole cream cheese in place of creme fraiche.

 Turnip Gratin

This awesome cheesy, creamy dish is great for turnip lovers and haters alike. Great as a comforting side dish for Easter dinner. 

 Kale and Chard Salad with Blue Cheese and Pecans

This raw salad is a great way to use up the kale and chard without having to turn on the stove. The recipe says to chop greens, but I prefer to chiffonade since it creates more nooks and crannies for the dressing to stick to. Also, sub out walnuts for pecans to keep it local.

Balsamic Strawberries with Whipped Mascarpone Cheese

I don't know if there is a better strawberry dessert recipe than this. Most strawberry desserts are just full of sugar and devoid of any flavor. This refined, yet simple dessert is sweet, sour, and gets at the subtle floral notes of the strawberries. I like to sub out the vanilla extract for almond extract since almonds, strawberries, and cream are a match made in heaven.

Tip: Add a few cracks of black pepper to this recipe. You won't be disappointed.  
 
Posted 3/25/2013 4:44pm by Bill Pastellak.
Spinach Quiche 

I love cooking, but breakfast always seems to get away from me. And as much as I love my French Truck Coffee espresso, its not really the foundation of a healthy breakfast. Quiche is a great make-ahead breakfast dish that keeps in the fridge for a few days. It's filling, easy to make, and even has a healthy dose of greens with the inclusion of spinach.

Tip: Saute the spinach and press out the excess moisture before adding to the custard, otherwise you will have a soggy quiche.


Sea Salt Caramels in the Raw 

With a whole pound of raw sugar in the box, it was due time to make some local caramels. Raw sugar, unlike its overly processed counterpart, actually tastes like something other than sweetness and makes for a wonderful candy.With shot of Old NOLA Rum added to balance the sweetness, this is the perfect adult Easter candy. 

Arugula Pecan Pesto

This pesto is a great alternative to traditional basil pesto and costs considerably less to make thanks to substitution of pecans for pine nuts. Use a high-quality parmesan, other wise this dish will taste off.

Tip: To preserve, freeze extra pesto in ice cube trays and then transfer to a freezer safe bag. Whenever u need some pesto, just pull a cube out!

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

This recipe is fancy, but by using high quality ingredients you can create a salad dressing that beats the pants off anything at the grocery store. Strawberries have a crazy short shelf life, so make sure to make this recipe right away before your berries get the fuzz.  
 
Posted 3/24/2013 5:10pm by Bill Pastellak.


This recipe comes from newsletter reader Brittany who says this is a great recipe for kids and adults alike. With a double share of strawberries in the box, this is a great (and easy) way to use up some strawberries.

Mushroom Soba & Miso-Braised Mustard Green

This is really two recipes, but they are meant to go together. The mushrooms soba uses the eggs, scallions, and mushrooms while the miso-braised greens use up the mustards (obviously...). I prefer to use lighter colored miso. It's rich in umami flavor and is a perfect vegetarian substitute for chicken stock.

 Roasted Kale Chips with Sea Salt and Vinegar

Like salt & vinegar chips, but with kale. I like to mix up the vinegar, oil, and salt with a 1/2 t. of cornstarch before mixing with kale to help the seasonings on the kale during the baking process.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

This recipe is fancy, but by using high quality ingredients you can create a salad dressing that beats the pants off anything at the grocery store. Strawberries have a crazy short shelf life, so make sure to make this recipe right away before your berries get the fuzz.  
 
Posted 3/20/2013 4:10pm by Bill Pastellak.


This recipe comes from newsletter reader Brittany who says this is a great recipe for kids and adults alike. With a double share of strawberries in the box, this is a great (and easy) way to use up some strawberries.

  Turnip Greens with Corn Meal Dumplings

Mustards and collards are more common, but I've always thought turnip greens to be the best. Not as spicy as mustards and not as bitter as collards, they combine the best of the both worlds. This recipe also use the polenta in the box to make dumpling to soak up all those wonderful juices. 

Pickled Mushrooms

The earthiness of mushrooms can turn some people off, so this recipe is great way to add in some assertive flavors to balance it. These work great on an antipasto plate or as simple finger food.

 DIY Grapefruit Bitters

Now that citrus season is coming to its bitter end (oh, how I love puns...), its time to preserve some of that great citrus flavor for the rest of the year. The herbs may sound strange, but they can all be found locally at Maypop Herb Shop
 
Posted 3/12/2013 12:25pm by Bill Pastellak.


Swiss chard is my favorite green, hands down. The colors of rainbow chard look great on a dish and its earthy, slight spinach flavor separate it from the more common bitter greens like mustards, collards, and kale. Make sure to use quality Parmesan for this recipe.

Roasted Turnips with Maple and Cardamom

This dish plays on the subtle sweetness of turnips and adds in some assertive flavors to make up for the turnips mild flavor. Feel free to use half turnips, half sweet potatoes, as the spices in this recipe go well with both vegetables.  

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans & Maple Syrup

If you ever wondered what the farmers did with their produce, here you go. This recipe came straight from the facebook page of Frank Fekete Farms, the grower of the brussel sprouts in this week's box. You'll need to pick up an extra pound or so of brussel sprouts, but I assure you its worth it.

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake

I've made olive oil cakes with every other type of citrus, so I thought "why not grapefruit?". The slight bitterness of grapefruit makes this cake doable for either a light weeknight dessert or as a breakfast pastry. I highly recommend a bundt pan for this recipe, It makes a beautiful cake and makes clean up a cinch. 
Posted 3/10/2013 6:14pm by Bill Pastellak.

Until I started working at Hollygrove, radishes were non-existent in my diet. Fortunately, after an encounter with some delicious pickled radishes, I decided to give them a chance. This quick pickle adds a nice crunch to sandwiches or with a cheese and meat plate.

 Roasted Beet and Strawberry Salad

Strawberry and beets make a delightful combo and serve as the focal point of this flavorful salad. Fee free to sub out the regular red onions for the smaller spring red onions in the box. To make this salad (almost) 100% local, use local honey and goat cheese from the market.  

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans & Maple Syrup

If you ever wondered what the farmers did with their produce, here you go. This recipe came straight from the facebook page of Frank Fekete Farms, the grower of the brussel sprouts in this week's box. You'll need to pick up an extra pound or so of brussel sprouts, but I assure you its worth it.

Spicy Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Kale

This hearty vegetarian dish is a packed full of nutritional goodness thanks to the sweet potatoes and kale. Lentils are a great go-to legume and make a great base to tie all these flavors and ingredients together.
Posted 3/5/2013 12:10pm by Bill Pastellak.
Pickled Radishes 

Until I started working at Hollygrove, radishes were non-existent in my diet. Fortunately, after an encounter with some delicious pickled radishes, I decided to give them a chance. This quick pickle adds a nice crunch to sandwiches or with a cheese and meat plate.

Balsamic Strawberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta

There's nothing I love more than a flavorful, refined dish (like this one) that literally takes less than 20 minutes to put together. There are a ton of flavors in this dish, but they all work really well together. Make sure to use high quality balsamic vinegar for this recipe. Tip: Add a few cracks of black pepper to this dish. It helps to bring out the floral notes of the strawberry.  

 Colcannon

There's nothing fancy about colcannon, but then again, its not meant to be. This comfort food composed of mashed potatoes and cabbage is a great way to get some greens into an otherwise empty side dish. Tip: You can jazz this recipe up by tossing in some crisped bacon or smoked meat like kielbasa.

 Italian Greyhound with Rosemary Sugar

I don't often put drinks on here, but this cocktail is a perfect way to highlight to grapefruit in this week's box. If you don't have any access to rosemary, let us know and we can get you a sprig from on-site. 
Posted 3/1/2013 1:31pm by Bill Pastellak.

So far, this uniquely German dish has been the best recipe I have found to prepare red cabbage. The ingredients are simple, but the depth of flavor to this dish is great. Plus, the color of the finished dish is a deep, dark purple (how cool is that?!). For a complete meal, serve with mashed red potatoes (or sweet potatoes to keep it local) and pork chops.

Balsamic Strawberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta

There's nothing I love more than a flavorful, refined dish (like this one) that literally takes less than 20 minutes to put together. There are a ton of flavors in this dish, but they all work really well together. Make sure to use high quality balsamic vinegar for this recipe. Tip: Add a few cracks of black pepper to this dish. It helps to bring out the floral notes of the strawberry.  

Blood Orange Vinaigrette 

Unfortunately, blood oranges are on their way out, so it's time to start using recipe that makes them last a little longer. Blood oranges are particularly sweet, making them a great fruit to use for a well-balance vinaigrette. This salad dressing will last two weeks (covered) in the fridge.

Cream-Braised Brussels Sprouts

Braising the brussel sprouts in cream help off-set their bitterness. I like a to add  a 1/4 t. or so of fresh ground nutmeg to add another layer of flavor to this dish.

The Box Meal Plan: December 20th through December 22ndDecember 19th, 2014

Some exciting new items are coming into season, so we're excited to have fruit other than citrus (we still love you, citrus), and the tiny cabbages more commonly called Brussels sprouts. Strawberry Sa

What's In the Box?December 19th, 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

In the NewsDecember 16th, 2014

Read all about it!    Farmers' Markets in New Orleans: The Best Way to Eat Local (December 2014) Get the Skinny: Thanksgiving desserts and a guilt-free (and protein rich!) cocktail! (Novembe

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