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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 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.
Posted 2/27/2013 4:28pm by Bill Pastellak.
German Red Cabbage 

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.

 Vegetarian Collard Greens and Black-eyed Peas

Collard greens and black eyed peas has been a staple for decades upon decades (centuries maybe?) in the south and is really a complete meal in itself. Typically flavored with a smoked ham hock, this recipe substitutes liquid smoke to give it that great flavor while still keeping it vegetarian. Serve over grits or with cornbread to round out the meal. 

 Crunchy Kale Chips With Sea Salt & Sesame Seeds

Kale chips are catching on these days and now can even be bought at Whole Foods or Rouse's. While I'm glad to see they're becoming more mainstream, there's no need to pay and arm and a leg for something that can be made at home in a jiff. Make sure to coat the kale leaves in liberally in olive oil otherwise they'll dry out in the oven and the salt won't stick to them.

  Pickled Beets with Orange and Rosemary

I made this dish for a dinner party this past Monday and it did not disappoint. Despite being chock full of different flavors, the quick pickle comes together incredibly well, creating a flavor that is much more than the sum of its parts. Tip: Use an extra 1/4 c. of apple cider vinegar in the recipe to give this dish a little more acidity.  
 
Posted 2/22/2013 11:24am by Bill Pastellak.

 Halushki

Originally from northeastern Pennsylvania, this dish (pronounced ha-loosh-key) is as common there as red beans and rice are in New Orleans. This is comfort food at its best --- simple flavors, lots of butter, and a healthy dose of pasta. Surprisingly, the star of the dish is cabbage (and lots of it!). This recipe calls for bacon grease to saute the cabbage and onion, but vegetable oil can easily be substituted to make this dish vegetarian.

Spring Turnip Chopped Salad

This salad intrigues me because it uses turnips in way I've never seen before. This dish is almost like a cobb salad, but without the heavy ranch dressing or watery iceberg lettuce. The biggest surprise of this dish is the use of the turnip greens as the salad green, providing the dish with some much needed bitterness and spiciness. This dish is a bit out there, but is an interesting way to prepare turnips outside out "roasted" or "mashed". 

Crunchy Kale Chips With Sea Salt & Sesame Seeds

Kale chips are catching on these days and now can even be bought at Whole Foods or Rouse's. While I'm glad to see they're becoming more mainstream, there's no need to pay and arm and a leg for something that can be made at home in a jiff. Make sure to coat the kale leaves in liberally in olive oil otherwise they'll dry out in the oven and the salt won't stick to them.

Pickled Beets with Orange and Rosemary

I made this dish for a dinner party this past Monday and it did not disappoint. Despite being chock full of different flavors, the quick pickle comes together incredibly well, creating a flavor that is much more than the sum of its parts. Tip: Use an extra 1/4 c. of apple cider vinegar in the recipe to give this dish a little more acidity.

Posted 2/15/2013 11:45am by Bill Pastellak.

Collards are usually flavored with a big piece of smoked meat, but can made just as easy (and tasty) with a good quality vegetable stock. There's not much to this recipe, which makes it perfect for weeknight dinners. Serve this over steamed rice (in the box) or with a baked sweet potato for a light vegetarian dinner.

Shiitake mushroom & ginger broth

The strong, earthy flavor of shiitake mushrooms make them great as the base flavor for soup. This broth is pretty versatile and can be either served on its own or with a healthy dose of fresh vegetables and some tofu.  

 Crunchy Kale Chips With Sea Salt & Sesame Seeds

Kale chips are catching on these days and now can even be bought at Whole Foods or Rouse's. While I'm glad to see they're becoming more mainstream, there's no need to pay and arm and a leg for something that can be made at home in a jiff. Make sure to coat the kale leaves in liberally in olive oil otherwise they'll dry out in the oven and the salt won't stick to them.

Making Herbal Vinegars

Making herbal vinegars is a great (and easy) way to preserve the flavor of your fresh herbs. The following guide gives you all you need to make fantastic herbal and fruit vinegars at home for a fraction of the price you would pay at the store. 
 
Posted 2/13/2013 4:30pm by Bill Pastellak.

Tangelo-Tangerine Pudding

Despite the fact I've made countless citrus curds, it never crossed my mind to make a citrus pudding .This light dessert is a great way to utilize the tangelo, which, despite its great flavor, can be a bit seedy and not so fun to snack on.

Shiitake mushroom & ginger broth

The strong, earthy flavor of shiitake mushrooms make them great as the base flavor for soup. This broth is pretty versatile and can be either served on its own or with a healthy dose of fresh vegetables and some tofu.  

 Crunchy Kale Chips With Sea Salt & Sesame Seeds

Kale chips are catching on these days and now can even be bought at Whole Foods or Rouse's. While I'm glad to see they're becoming more mainstream, there's no need to pay and arm and a leg for something that can be made at home in a jiff. Make sure to coat the kale leaves in liberally in olive oil otherwise they'll dry out in the oven and the salt won't stick to them.

Carrot-Blood Orange-Beet Juice

Fresh, raw juice after a long night of parades and partying is the swift kick in the ass that will help you get your day started. Be sure to include the beet greens and a few stems of the carrot greens. They're chock full of vitamins and minerals and their bitterness will help balance the sweetness of the juice. For those without juicers, head on over to Satsuma for a selection of equally delicious and healthy juices.
 
Posted 2/4/2013 11:02am by Bill Pastellak.


Orange-Olive Oil Cake


"Olive oil" and "cake" might not sound like an appetizing combo, but trust me....it works. Combining a full-flavored olive oil with citrus creates a delicately flavored dessert that is rich and not too sweet. I highly recommend using a bundt pan for this one. It creates a beautiful cake and makes prep and clean-up a one dish affair. 


Vegan Borscht

Borscht is one of my favorite winter soup dishes. Chock full of beet-y goodness and layered with all sorts of great flavors, it fills you up and provides you with a whole day's worth of vegetables.

Tip:
Borscht is usually flavored with beef bones or stock, so to replicate the flavor and keep it vegan, use a good quality mushroom stock or add a few dried mushrooms to the soup while cooking.  


 Cream Braised Brussel Sprouts

The slight bitterness of brussel sprouts can turn some people off, but you counteract the bitter flavor braising them in cream and adding some acidity.

Tip:
Add a 1/8 t. of nutmeg to the cream sauce while cooking to give the dish a more complex flavor.

 Mixed Citrus Liqueur

With 6 different types of citrus in the market and only a month or so left of citrus season, its time to preserve those wonderful flavors for the rest of the year. Feel free to use more or less of whichever citrus you have, as this recipe is far from scientific.  

Posted 2/1/2013 5:08pm by Bill Pastellak.


Scandinavian Rotmos (Rutabaga Root Mash)


While not common in American kitchens, rutabagas are all the rage in northern European and Scandinavian countries. Rutabagas are just as good as taters for mashing and tastes like a cross between turnips, cabbage, and potatoes.  This recipe combines rutabagas with carrots, potatoes, and Scandinavian flavors for a mashed side dish that blows plain old white mashed potatoes. 


 Smothered Cabbage Venetian Style


We got some beautiful heads of savoy cabbage in the box this week, so here's a recipe that doesn't complicate things and lets the flavor of the cabbage shine through. This recipe is a cinch and takes 20 minutes or less from start to finish. 


Strawberries in Meyer Lemon Syrup

Strawberries delicate flavor requires a minimal of preparation to preserve their flavor. This simple recipe does that perfect. Make sure to let the Meyer lemons sit in the syrup overnight to let the flavors meld. This is awesome served over greek yogurt for breakfast.

 Mixed Citrus Liqueur

With 6 different types of citrus in the market and only a month or so left of citrus season, its time to preserve those wonderful flavors for the rest of the year. Feel free to use more or less of whichever citrus you have, as this recipe is far from scientific.  

Posted 1/26/2013 9:08am by Bill Pastellak.

 

Sweet Potato & Turnip Mash with Sage Butter

Coming up with a recipe just for turnips can be a challenge. There mild flavor and high water content make them difficult to use outside of pickles or salad toppers (at least for me). This recipe pairs them up with sweet potatoes and sage, with the turnip just playing a supporting role. Tip: I like to boil the turnips and sweet potatoes separately so that I can mash the sweet potatoes and leave the turnips intact. Having the little turnip bits gives the dish some texture and makes it more visually appealing.  

Brussel sprouts are notorious as the least favorite veggie of kids everywhere. Children in general have an aversion to bitter flavors, hence there dislike of those tiny little brussel sprouts. This recipe fixes them up with the salty, smokiness of bacon and the sweetness of raisins making them palatable for the little ones. If there ever was a recipe to get your gets to eat brussel sprouts, this is it.    

I've made this recipe a dozen times and it never gets old. The combo of chard, raisins, pecans, and balsamic vinegar gives you sweet, salty, bitter, and sour all in one dish. I serve this by itself as a side dish or on topped with baked whitefish on a bed of couscous as a main course.
Posted 1/21/2013 6:32pm by Bill Pastellak.

Vegetarian Borscht


The name might not be appealing, but the dish certainly is. Colored (and flavored) by beets, this vegetarian soup/stew is jam-packed with nutrients thanks pounds of vegetables. Tip: It's important to have a savory (umami) flavor in this soup. It's traditional done with a soup bone or beef shank, but dried maitake mushrooms or a tablespoon or two of soy sauce serve as a great vegetarian substitute. If using soy sauce, reduce the amount of salt called for in recipe.

Citrus Soda Syrup

This recipe works for any citrus. It may sound like a lot of sugar, but its important to follow the recipe to get the right consistency. The higher sugar amount also helps this recipe keep longer.

-1 c. filtered water
-1 c. local raw sugar (or 3/4 c. agave nectar)
-1 c. fresh citrus juice
-Zest of the juiced citrus

To prepare, heat up water and sugar until simmering and sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat and add citrus juice and zest. Let steep for 1 hour at room temperature then put in a covered container and refrigerate. This will keep two weeks minimum in the fridge covered. Mix with seltzer water for soda or use as a flavoring for cocktails. 


 Brussels Sprouts Fritters


The caramelized leaves of the brussel sprout are quite possibly the tastiest morsel in the vegetable world. This recipe takes advantage of this by turning the brussel sprouts into fritters and pan frying them. Brussel sprouts really need acidity to bring out their flavor, so make sure not to leave out the vinaigrette called for in the recipe. 
 

Stuffed Beefsteak Tomatoes 

Beefsteak tomatoes are the workhorse of the tomato world. They are great toppers for sandwiches and work well for sauces, but when they are the star of the dish, they can use a little doctoring up. By roasting the tomato, you caramelized the sugar and remove some moisture to concentrate the flavor of the tomato. Tip: Feel free to add an egg and a 1/4 c. of bread crumbs to the stuffing recipe. It will add weight to the dish and help bind all the ingredients together.  

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

What's In the Box?November 17th, 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 15th through November 17thNovember 14th, 2014

Continuing our love affair with Thanksgiving, we wanted to share some opportunities to use Box items from this week's selection, but in recipes that can be easily adapted depending on what you have on

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