Tag Archives: healthy-living

It has been delightful

1 Aug

The Farm Table Brussels Sprouts

One of my fondest memories as a child was sitting around a large mixing bowl of strawberries, most of which had been consumed by my family during a visit from multiple great aunts and uncles visiting us in the Northwest all the way from Kansas. We used to say, “Kansas is coming,” and that meant time spent together telling stories (or in my case, listening), and eating good food while planning out the next meal. 

I also recall the satisfaction of eating my Mom’s blackberry cobbler after picking berries from the bushes found just about everywhere you turn in Oregon, or the summery taste of fresh, just picked tomatoes from my grandparents yard and turning them into the perfect tomato sandwich.

Good food has a remarkable way of linking us to memories with loved one’s, good experiences, and giving us a sense of comfort.

My time in Virginia has come to and end, and sadly, so has my time with The Farm Table. I write this post-move, as my husband, children, and I have officially moved back to Oregon for work, and to be near the support of family chomping at the bit to get their hands on their grandchildren/niece/nephews/cousins/you get the idea. 

We will  have fond memories of Virginia — the people, the culture, and THE FOOD! The Farm Table has nourished us, broadened our cooking experiences, and given us the opportunity to connect with a welcoming food community that has fed us in so many ways.

Long Island cheese squash, mushrooms, bibb lettuce, beets, and yes,  Brussels sprouts, will bring up cherished memories of our time in RVA.

Thanks for reading my posts over the last year and a half.  I have had a wonderful time blogging for all of you, and am flattered that you have read my posts, or better yet, decided to Follow The Tractor!

I do hope you will stay tuned as The Farm Table ushers in a new blogger who will offer his or her brand of creativity, good recipes, and food-inspired posts.

Thank you for everything,

Michele

Cajun Grill-less Corn Recipe

15 Jul

Our post this week comes from The Farm Table member, and guest blogger, Laura Miller, who blogs over at Beyond the Cuke. When we asked her to come up with a post for us featuring Farm Table produce, we were flattered to get this post in return. First, she had us at Game of Thrones, and while we don’t expect to be adding “milk of the poppy” to our add-on list anytime soon, we were delighted to hear she thinks so highly of us. Thanks for a great post, and recipe, Laura!

3 Reasons Why The Farm Table is the Best of All of the CSAs

Let me just put it this way–If this was Game of Thrones, House Baratheon, House Lannister, House Stark and House Greyjoy would see no reason to wage war because The Farm Table obviously rules the realm. Here’s why:

1. No vegetable ninjas here. I’ve tried my share of vegetable delivery services and I’ve never come across one with such friendly neighborhood coordinators! In fact, not only did these other services not have Angela, my friendly neighborhood coordinator who chats with me about running and blogging, but they might not have had NCs at all for all I know. After all, I’d just leave a box out and sometime by the end of the day–varying times, meaning that my veggies might sit out for a bit since I wasn’t sure when to expect them–it’d be replaced by another box of veggies.

Okay, okay. I’m sure there are neighborhood coordinators for all CSAs but I’m just going to assume they were vegetable ninjas until you provide evidence that proves otherwise.

2. The “S” in “CSA” could stand for “Social.” It doesn’t, but it could. With everything from farm volunteer days like this one in May to local food tastings like the one that I had the pleasure of attending last night at The Savory Grain, your weekly veggie boxes basically come with berries, potatoes and a new set of like-minded friends.

3. Piles and piles of produce. Here’s a visual:

Beyond the Cuke

So maybe we don’t get corn every week but we get the week’s version of corn. No more eating out of season food that has traveled all of the way from South America or the West Coast. In July, you’re going to eat peaches. In September, you’re going to have some apples. And you’re going to enjoy them because they’re delicious, in-season and local.

Since this week’s corn is, well, corn, here’s something to make with the Farm Table box bounty:

Cajun Grill-less Corn, otherwise known as “Targaryen Corn”

What You’ll Need:

4 medium ears of corn
2 tablespoons vegan butter substitute
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup vegetable broth

What You’ll Do With It (before eating it, of course):

1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. While the water’s boiling, peel your corn.
2. Add the corn to the water. Return to a boil and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender. Keep an eye on it–you don’t want mushy corn but you don’t want hard corn either!
3. While boiling the corn, melt your vegan butter substitute in a small saucepan. Stir in the chili powder, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne and stir for 1 minute.
4. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and broth. Once combined, whisk into the butter mixture. Bring to a boil and cook and stir until slightly thickened, which should take about 1-2 minutes.
5. Drain the corn and then get your Van Gogh on and paint the corn with the seasoned butter.
6. Sit back and enjoy compliments from your fam, after enjoying at least two ears yourself, of course.

Veganized recipe from Taste of Home

Laura Miller Beyond the Cuke
Laura Miller blogs about each week’s kitchen triumphs–and kitchen “learning experiences”–featuring The Farm Table produce at Beyond the Cuke. Follow @beyondthecuke on Twitter and Instagram.

2883.74 Miles Away

17 Jun

I spent some time in Oregon last week and had the pleasure of enjoying all of this:

Oregon Carrots

Oregon Berries

Oregon Beets

Oregon Flowers

Oregon Potatoes

Easter Egg Radishes, Oregon

Where are you going this Summer? Wherever it is, consider stopping at the Farmer’s Market!

Blue Bee Cider

7 Jun

We hope you will join us at our Pop-up Market at  Blue Bee Cider in the Old Manchester District tomorrow, June 8, from 12:00-4:00pm.

We will have fresh local produce, Harvest Hill Farms meats, Quail Cove Cheese, freshly baked goodies from Flour Garden Bakery, and Polyface chickens! Blue Bee Cider, Virginia’s first and only urban cidery, will be open for your tasting pleasure from 12-6.

Until then, enjoy this piece we did on Blue Bee Cider back in December and then come taste the real deal with us tomorrow!

Follow The Tractor

Blue Bee Cider

The Farm Table had the opportunity last year to meet Courtney Mailey of Blue Bee Cider, at the 2012 Richmond Earth Day Festival. We’ve enjoyed following the progress of this local business ever since.

Courtney, author of the Cider Apprentice Blog, started blogging about her experiences as an apprentice cidermaker at Albemarle CiderWorks in 2011. Since then, she has started her own urban cidery housed in Richmond’s Old Manchester District.

Courtney Mailey of Blue Bee Cider

I had the pleasure of joining Courtney and her in December during a pressing, and came away from the visit appreciating the making of Blue Bee Cider even more. Courtney’s father, Mel, a sweet and gracious man, who is clearly committed to the success of Blue Bee Cider, gave me a tour and run down on theprocess of making cider

Blue Bee Cider

Courtney, who was in constant motion during my visit, displayed an impressive combination of dedicated work ethic…

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Tomato-Cheese Pie, 3 Ways

21 May

Tomato-Cheese Pie

While searching for new recipes to share with my children, I stumbled upon this sweet little cookbook with great recipes to get children involved in the cooking process. I am ashamed to say, however, that the first recipe I found interesting enough to make, I tailored for my husband and I.

I know, I know, mother of the year award right here!

While I do plan to find something in the cookbook that I can coax my children into trying, sustaining myself in the process has proven to be delicious.

I love the basic ingredients, and that you can change the ingredients up to fit the season, or more importantly, your mood. The original recipe called for stale bread, your choice of cheese,  and 1/4 tsp sweet basil leaves.

I recommend using a loaf of cubed Flour Garden rustic bread, which Farm Table members can order as an add-on in their weekly box.

This recipe is great as a brunch item, or pair it with a salad and chilled white wine for a fabulous, easy, and light dinner.

If you have kids, I’m sure they would love it with some apple juice, and sliced fruit.

Farm Table Tomatoes

Tomato-Cheese Pie, Recipe inspired by Peter Rabbit’s Natural Food’s Cookbook by Arnold Dobrin

Ingredients: Print full recipe HERE

  • Small loaf rustic bread, cubed (might we suggest Farm Table bread from The Flour Garden?)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups crimini or button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1-1 1/4 cup of Swiss cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt & Pepper

Farm Table Mushrooms

Farm Table Spring Cutting Celery

Directions:

  • Prepare mushrooms (clean with dry cloth).
  • Heat 1-2 Tbs of olive oil in a skillet. When the oil begins to soak, fry mushrooms for a few minutes.
  • Add onions and allow to caramelize. Set aside.
  • Place bread cubes in the bottom of a greased pie dish.
  • Place sliced tomatoes over the top of cubed bread, and season with Kosher salt.
  • Cover the tomatoes evenly with the mushroom and onion mixture.
  • Sprinkle Swiss cheese over the top.
  • Mix together milk, eggs, and ground pepper. Pour over the top of the pie.
  • Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Variations

Replace mushrooms, onions, and Swiss cheese with:

  1. Fresh basil and mozzarella, or
  2. Chop up spring cutting celery or celery leaves (about 1-2 Tbs), and add swiss or cheddar cheese

The Farm Table, Tomato-Cheese Pie

 

Grow. Eat. Share.

17 May

Food Revolution Day

If you are a Farm Table member and received a box yesterday, you learned that today is Food Revolution Day, a global day of action focusing on good food, and keeping cooking skills alive.

Now this is something we can get behind!

Lindwood-Holton outdoor classroom

Linwood-Holton garden

We had the opportunity to visit the students at Linwood-Holton Elementary school in North Richmond today, where program staff were engaging a group of students who visited Holton’s outdoor garden and learning classroom.

Spinach

Grow food with your children!

Students were able to tour the garden, learn about composting and growing their own food, and worked together to make lunch from scratch using basic ingredients from the garden. The results were delicious!

Lettuce

Strawberry Salad

Schools and organizations across the globe are participating in activities today, in an effort to promote cooking traditions by preparing good food, and teach children the importance of passing those traditions on. We were pleased to see these traditions taught in our own backyard, and were proud sponsors of the Food Revolution Day‘s Junior Chef Cooking Contest held at Kitchen Thyme and West Broad Street yesterday. To learn more about Food Revolution Day check out Jamie Oliver’s website where you will find recipes to share with your children.

Linwood-Holton Elementary School garden

What sorts of things are you doing to get the young people in your life cooking and eating fresh, whole food that is good for them? What kind of traditions are you passing down to them? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page! Please share!

Fresh Spinach Dip

1 May

 

Harvest Hill Farm Member Event

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Harvest Hill Farm Member Event this past Saturday. It was a wonderful way to get out in the country, enjoy a piece of the farm life, nosh on some great food, and watch the pigs do what they do best…eat!

The Farm Table prides itself on the community you have helped to build over the last few years, and we look forward to being able to get together over the course of the 2013 season to celebrate good farming, good food, and  good people. 

If you were unable to make it out to the farm last weekend, then you missed out on the fresh spinach dip that Richmond Area Manager, Patty Loyde brought. We’d like to introduce you to Patty, and share her spinach dip recipe using Farm Table ingredients:

Patty Loyde, Farm Table Area Manager

Originally a product of the suburbs in both New Jersey, where she grew up, and Henrico County, where she lived after graduating from the University of Richmond, Patty Loyde and her husband John are now Fan dwellers in the city of Richmond – and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Patty started as a Neighborhood Coordinator in the summer of 2012 for the Fan,and has now added the positions of Central Richmond Area Manager and Bookkeeper, aka Chief Number Cruncher, to her duties this year.

Patty loves to travel and watch movies, plays tennis year-round, tends her small city garden, and cooks from scratch, when not checking out the local Fan restaurant scene (Olio, Fresca, and Mint are some of her favorites). She attempts to eat a diet of unprocessed food whenever possible, striving for progress, not perfection. The  Farm Table makes that goal so much easier!

Fresh Spinach Dip, The Farm Table

Fresh Spinach Dip, By Patty Loyde (Print Full Recipe Here)

I made this spinach dip for the Harvest Hill Farm Member Event and served it with tortilla scoops. I love that I was able to use the spinach, onions
and garlic from that week’s box and that I didn’t need to use the package of highly processed soup mix I usually do to make it. It turned out just as good, if not better than the ole’ standby, often served in a bread bowl.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded or finely diced carrot
  • ½ cup finely diced spring onions, white and light green parts
  • ¼ cup finely diced spring garlic, white and light green parts
  • 1 full bag of spinach
  • salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup diced spring onions, dark green parts
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, if you prefer
  • ½ cup Miracle Whip or mayo, if you prefer
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Finish with: salt & pepper and onion & garlic powders, to taste

Directions:

  • Clean and dry the spinach well.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the carrots, onions, garlic, salt and pepper until softened. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Using the same pan, sauté the spinach in a little more salt and pepper, tossing occasionally, until all the spinach is wilted. You may need to do it in batches, depending on the size of your pan.
  • Transfer the cooked spinach to a strainer and remove as much liquid as you can by pressing with a spoon or ladle. Place on a few layers of paper towels, top with more paper towels and press to remove additional liquid.
  • Finely chop the spinach and add to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Stir well and chill for at least 2 hours to combine flavors.
  • After being chilled, finish with salt & pepper and onion & garlic powders to taste. If you’re serving with salty chips, the dip won’t need as much salt.

Yucatecan Chicken Tacos with Sweet Potatoes and Onions

15 Apr

When I finished college, I quickly loaded up my books, hauled them to our nearest used bookstore, and traded them in for this gem of a cookbook, determined to learn a few key recipes that we could share with others. My husband and I found several recipes that we loved, but learned quickly that not everyone enjoyed spicy food as much as us — namely our children.

I recently mastered a garlic-spice marinade that we have grilled with, and love it for marinating shredded chicken for our tacos.  Experimenting one night, I decided to try it with onions and sweet potatoes, hoping to add a little more filling to our chicken tacos. I know it sounds odd, but the combination of flavors has soon become a family favorite, and one that my children eat happily. The inclusion of apple cider vinegar, paired with garlic, cinnamon, cloves, and the sweetness of the potatoes, is the perfect combination of flavors.

I have been working on this recipe for the 2013 Farm Table season, and was thrilled to see the addition of sweet potatoes in our first box! Please try this kid-friendly, healthy alternative that you can use to fill tacos, burritos, or to top a tostada with. 

You can click HERE for the full recipe to print off. Recipe inspired from Chef Rick Bayless, Mexican Everyday. Serves 4-6 people.

Preparing the marinade:

The Farm Table garlic

You will need 1 head of garlic, broken into individual cloves (10-12 cloves). Cut a slit into each side of the clove, place in a microwave safe bowl covered with plastic wrap, and microwave for a good 30 seconds.

Garlic-Spice Marinade

While the garlic cloves cool, measure out 1/3 cup olive oil, 6 Tbs apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/4-1/2 tsp sugar, a dash of ground cloves, and salt to taste. After you’ve slipped the cloves out of their paper husk, throw everything into your food processor and blend until smooth.

Pour the marinade over already cooked/cooled, shredded chicken (2-3 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts), and either set aside, or allow it to marinade in a zip-top bag overnight in the fridge.

Garlic-spice marinade

Preparing the taco filling:

While the marinade works its magic on the shredded chicken, grab 2 sweet potatoes, slice lengthwise, and dice into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Slice 1 small onion (white or yellow) lengthwise, into strips. Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a skillet on medium-high, add the sweet potatoes, onions, and 1 tsp oregano, stirring to make sure they are evenly coated with the olive oil. Add more if you need to, but be sure not to add too much — you don’t want a greasy mess. Allow the sweet potatoes to caramelize  and cover the skillet to help soften the potatoes (about 10-12 minutes), stirring often to prevent from burning.

The Farm Table Sweet Potatoes

Once the sweet potatoes have softened and have browned, add the marinated chicken to the skillet. I suggest adding a little water to deglaze the pan, about 1/8-1/4 cup. The water should burn off. Once the chicken has heated through, place in a serving dish and offer it with an assortment of soft or hard tacos, tortillas for burritos, or to place over a tostada with black beans. Add your favorite toppings — avocados/guacamole, diced radishes, Monteray jack cheese, and hot sauce are among our favorites.

Yucatecan Chicken and Sweet Potato Tacos

I highly recommend serving the chicken and sweet potatoes with this Tomatillo Salsa (you can omit the jalapeño if you are not a fan of heat. Do yourself a favor by doubling the recipe!). To cut down on your time in the kitchen you can purchase store-bought tomatillo salsa, but it is really easy to make the night before. If you do make it at home, be sure to roast your tomatillos.

Tomatillo Salsa

The Farm Table Tomatillos

Cut them in half, line a skillet with aluminum foil and place tomatillos cut side down on med-high heat. After a few minutes, flip them over and cook until they are blotchy, turning black, and starting to soften. Use your own recipe, or follow this simple and delicious recipe HERE, although I skip adding the water, preferring a chunkier salsa to go with this meal.

Trust me, you want to eat this!

 

Spring Pop-Up Market at Hardywood

7 Apr

The Farm Table 2013 Spring Produce

The countdown has begun for fresh, seasonal food straight from the farmer to your doorstep! If you are getting impatient for The Farm Table’s anticipated April 18th start date, and you missed out on our last Spring Pop-Up Market join us for another fun evening at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery for our 2nd Spring Pop-Up MarketWith the weather forecast showing temps in the 80’s, join us while we celebrate the beginning of the new season,  renew your membership, or become a new member. 

The Farm Table Spring Pop-Up Market

The Farm Table Pop-up Market at Hardywood
Wednesday, April 10 at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery from 4-9 pm. 2408 Ownby Lane, Richmond VA 23220. Click here for directions.

We will have eggs, honey, greens, lettuce, carrots, Brussels sprouts, pastries, bread, Amish sweet butter, Harvest Hill Farm meat, and Quail Cove Farm cheese available, while you enjoy your choice of Hardywood’s excellent selection of craft brews in a laid back venue.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Hardywood Park Craft Brews

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
If you missed out on The Hardywood Community Hopping Project for 2013, be sure to check back next year to get in on the local action while you grow hops for their RVA IPA. Some of The Farm Table staff and members got in on the action this year — we will keep you updated on how the hops grow in our backyards!
Hops for RVA IPA
The Farm Table Pop-up Market at Hardywood 
 
Join us Wednesday, April 10 at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery from 4-9 pm. 
 
Hardywood Park is located at 2408 Ownby Lane, Richmond VA 23220.

Local Meets Local

20 Mar

The Farm Table kicks off the 2013 season with a “one night only” Spring Market at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, tomorrow, March 21st from 4pm-9pm.

We’ll be selling fresh local produce, breads, pastries, honey, and more.

Shop while you enjoy some of Hardywood Park’s fantastic local brews.

Renew your membership, or bring a friend to sign up at a discounted rate.

Be There!

IMG_4903
Follow us on Twitter @TheFarmTable and @Hardywood

The Farm Table Spring Market
4:00-9:00PM
Hardywood Park is located at 2408 Ownby Lane, Richmond VA 23220.