Archive | April, 2012

Flora’s seasonal recipe: welcome back asparagus!

30 Apr

2552865406_0f2739a78bI’d like to give a warm welcome to our long lost friend, asparagus. When spring arrives, I always look forward to the shoots and stalks that we get to enjoy during this transformative time of year. When you are in the practice of eating seasonally you tend to get really excited about welcoming back certain items into your kitchen, and boy am I excited for asparagus’ debut!

I love asparagus, not only for it’s nutty-sweet taste, but also for the nourishment I receive from them. Asparagus is full of vitamin K, B’s, C, beta-carotene, zinc and other trace minerals that helps clear our skin, and clean our blood. Thanks my friends!

When I have a bundle of asparagus waiting to be devoured, one of my first inclinations is to sauté them like we did last spring, but this spring I want to try something different, so I’m going to make a fresh asparagus soup for chillier spring evenings.

Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bunch of local asparagus
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt + pepper to taste

Directions:

Roast your garlic, by placing your cloves (keep the peel on) in the oven at 400F for 30 minutes. Add your stock and bring to a boil. Snap off the bottom of your asparagus stems (save them for a shaved salad later), and simmer them in the stock for 10-20 minutes or until your asparagus is fork tender. Place your tender spears and vegetable stock into your blender (or keep it in your pot, and use an immersion blender), add the roasted garlic (peels removed) and blend until smooth. Top your soup off with a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper. I added a touch of goat cheese to mimic the effect of creme fraiche, but the soup stands well on it’s own without the addition of cheese.

Happy spring eating to all!

Photo courtesy of Benson Kua

Start your day with an inspirational quote

26 Apr

2348966271_da873176b6“When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.” – Greg Anderson

“Greg Anderson is the author of six books, and founder of the American Wellness Project. Through lectures and workshops and as a consultant to businesses and health-care organizations, he is recognized as one of America’s foremost wellness authorities.”

Photo courtesy of Neil’s photography

How to pull together an elaborate salad in a flash

25 Apr
Hungry for something refreshing that will leaving you feeling energized? Try our salad recipe!
For a time saving tip, we suggest chopping up the cilantro in advance and placing it in a container in your fridge so that you can use it on all sorts of meals. Cilantro helps cleanse our body, and aids us in digestion. This lovely herb also freshens our breath and helps promote a healthy liver, and tastes fantastic in most meals!
We also suggest buying pumpkin seeds in your bulk section, and either storing them in a glass container in your fridge, or toasting them right away, as they can easily go bad if left out. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which helps strengthen our cells, hair, skin and eyesight. They are a versatile seed, that tastes great in granola, trail mix, pesto, topped on fish, mixed with rice or ground up in a mortar and pestle.
Ingredients:
  • Beets, grated
  • Carrots, grated
  • Pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • Olives, chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Salad greens
Directions:
Toast your pumpkin seeds over medium heat in a pan on your stove top. Make sure to toss them frequently so they get evenly cooked. Once fragrant, lightly browned and puffed up, remove them from your pan and place in a bowl to cool down (you will hear some fun crackling noises!). Place your salad greens in a big bowl (if using heads of lettuce, rinse, dry and chop them up). Rinse your beets and carrots, then grate them over your greens. Cut up your olives. Pluck off your cilantro leaves from the stems, and chop them up as well (or use our time saving tip).
Mix together with a simple honey-mustard vinaigrette (makes 1/2 cup):
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

our Earth Day celebration

24 Apr

This past weekend we celebrated Earth Day at the Hilltop Hanover Farm with the Speyer Legacy School and Health Barn USA. We were invited to teach a class on the difference in taste, texture and nutritional values of processed and unprocessed foods, and we had a lot of fun!

We brought in a sample of jarred tomato salsa, and packaged fruit cups, and took a good look at their ingredients. Then we brought in fresh ingredients to make homemade salsa and fresh fruit salad from scratch. We reviewed the nutritional properties of the fresh veggies and fruits we were using, and identified what parts of our bodies they benefit. Our class culminated in a taste test of the two different salsa’s and two different fruit salads. It turned out that half of the children liked the jarred salsa better then the fresh, and we talked about why that might be (because of the added sugar), and all of the children preferred the fresh fruit salad over the packaged one. Since we made such a big batch of both dishes we were able to serve it at the potluck picnic, and the children (and adults) completely devoured it!

To read more about our Earth Day on the farm click here

Want to learn how to make paella and horchata from scratch?

20 Apr

5398710559_181478068aJoin us Sautrday, May 19th from 9:30-11:00am for a special cooking event! Butter Beans will be hosting a parent + child (4-12 yrs old) cooking class at Ger-Nis Culinary + Herb Center. We’ll make a Spanish feast of spring vegetable paella with horchata from scratch. Our class costs $45 for a parent + child pair and includes a hands-on cooking experience. Join us for a morning of food, fun, and friends as we cook a delicious and nutritious meal together. From seed to table, parents and children will gain an appreciation for food, learn great cooking techniques and have fun!

To reserve your spot please email elana@butterbeanskitchen.com before Tuesday, May 15th!

Photo courtesy of Louis Bennett

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