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Tips for a Healthy Easter by Carrie Wissemeier, & Easter Recipes

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I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe Easter is upon us! Just as we are getting over the gluttonous winter holiday season we are confronted with mounds of jellybeans and Easter eggs stuffed with chocolate. It’s time to review how to put a little ‘healthy’ back into the Easter holiday! Here are my tips, as a Registered Dietitian, to make your Easter weekend part of a healthy lifestyle.

1. Remember what the day is truly about – Catch up with friends and family that you don’t get to see as often as you’d like, and move your conversations away from the snack table. The conversations and bonding can make you feel just as full and satisfied as the buffet line.

2. Make your dish healthy – It is a common practice in my large family that everyone brings a side dish or appetizer for the day. I challenge you to bring some health to the day by preparing a low-calorie, nutritious item such as fruit with a Greek yogurt dip, some veggies, or a unique vegetable side like Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus.

3. Play – Hang out with the kids and expel a little extra energy. Whether it is hiding eggs or going along for the hunt, don’t be on the sidelines! Often, people like to make the holidays an “off” day, but I strongly recommend that you incorporate physical activity during family gatherings or suggest a post-dinner walk.

4. Practice a little self-discipline – My parents recently taught me that they use the line, “I already know what that tastes like” to prevent snacking. For example, you have snacked on pretzels and chips before, and have definitely eaten a few jellybeans in your life, so you can skip munching on these throughout the day. Instead, save your calories for the main meal or for a special dessert.

This post was written by Carrie Wissemeier, the author of Carried Away About Nutrition, a blog for preventing and reversing chronic disease. Carrie is a Registered Dietitian with her Certificate in Adult Weight Management who focuses on the every day behaviors to maintain quality of life.

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Need some ideas for what to cook on the big day?  Follow these original recipes below.  Enjoy, and Happy Easter!

Roasted Spring Vegetables with Arugula Pesto
Recipe from EatingWell.com, 2005

This dish is a great way to incorporate the young spring vegetables at the market into your meal!

Serves 8

4 cups baby or new potatoes, 1 to 2 inches in diameter, halved or quartered depending on size (from Twin Springs Fruit Farm or, Bending Bridge Farm)
5 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 cups baby carrots (from Twin Springs Fruit Farm or Bending Bridge Farm)
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup baby arugula for garnish (from Young Harvests)
1 clove garlic, peeled
5 cups baby arugula (Young Harvests)
1/2 cup finely shredded Asiago cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt

Vegetables

1. Position rack in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 425°F.
2. Toss potatoes with 2 teaspoons oil in a large bowl and spread on a large baking sheet. Roast in the lower third of the oven for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, toss carrots with 2 teaspoons oil in the bowl and spread on another large baking sheet. After the potatoes have roasted for 5 minutes, place the carrots in the upper third of the oven and roast potatoes and carrots for 15 minutes.
4. Toss asparagus with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the bowl. Add to the pan with the potatoes, toss to combine, and return to the oven. Continue roasting until all the vegetables are tender and starting to brown, 8-10 minutes more.

Pesto

1. Drop garlic through the feed tube of food processor with the motor running; process until minced. Stop the machine and add arugula, cheese, pine nuts, 1/4 cup oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pulse and then process, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the mixture is a smooth paste.
2. Toss the roasted vegetables with 1/3 cup pesto and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the large bowl (reserve the remaining pesto for another use: refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze). Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with arugula, if desired.

Mint-Pesto Rubbed Leg of Lamb
Recipe from EatingWell.com, 2005

The fresh mint pesto is a great healthy alternative to serving mint jelly.

Serves 12

1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts
2 Tbsp. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 3.5 lb boneless leg of lamb, butterflied and trimmed

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place basil, mint, parsley, pine nuts, cheese, oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a food processor and process until fairly smooth. Sprinkle lamb all over with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the pesto; spread the rest over the top side of the lamb and roll it closed. (It will not be a perfect cylinder.) Tie kitchen string around the roast in five places; do not tie too tightly or the pesto will squeeze out. Rub the reserved pesto over the outside of the lamb and place in a roasting pan.
3. Roast the lamb until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 140°F for medium-rare, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes. Carve the lamb, leaving the string in place to help hold the roast together.

Rhubarb Almond Crumble
Recipe by Toni Roberts, C-House

Executive Pastry Chef Toni Roberts loves this recipe because it’s simple to prepare and is the perfect dessert to welcome the Spring season.

Filling
2.5 lbs rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice (zest and reserve for crumble)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup Moscato

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine rhubarb, sugars, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and Moscato. Pour over rhubarb mixture and combine.
4. Fill either a 9” x 9” pan or ramekins with the filling. If using ramekins, leave an inch of space between the filling and the rim.

Crumble Topping
1 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
2 1/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup (3 oz) sliced almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
8 oz cold butter, cubed
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low until the butter is smaller than peas.
2. Sprinkle generously over the top of the rhubarb filling. Bake until the filling is bubbly and the tops are golden brown, 30-45 minutes, depending on pan or ramekins used.
3. Allow to cool a bit. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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Happy Passover!

Passover begins on the evening of March 25th and ends on the evening of April 2nd.   Even though bread is out of the question this week, there are plenty of delicious things that you can eat without breaking the rules.

Please note - orange and olives are additions/substitutions to the Seder plate

Please note – orange and olives are additions/substitutions to the Seder plate

 

Let’s start with what you should put on your Seder plate.  The Seder plate is a special plate that holds symbolic foods during the Passover Seder, and should be placed at the center of your table.  

1. Egg – it is customary to have a baked or roasted egg on your Seder plate.  The egg symbolizes Spring and the festival of sacrifice made in the biblical times.  Springfield Farm has free-range eggs available for purchase at the market, and Painted Hand Farm will have plenty of eggs as well.

2. Charoset –  a Passover favorite! Charoset is a sweet dish made of chopped apples, nuts, spices, and wine.  Charoset is symbolic of the mortar that Hebrew slaves used to build Egyptian structures, but is sweet to symbolize God’s kindness. Twin Springs Fruit Farm just got some new varieties of apples in, and Toigo Orchards will also have apples.

3. Shank bone – the shank bone is a reminder of the sacrifice the Israelites offered before they left Egypt.  If you’re vegetarian, you can use a roasted beet – the Talmud even says it’s acceptable! Painted Hand Farm has lamb and goat shanks and bones.  Head over to our produce vendors’ stands if you’d prefer a roasted beet!

4. Bitter herbs – many people use horseradish as “bitter herbs,” which symbolize the bitterness of slavery.  Painted Hand Farm will have fresh horseradish root.

5. Karpas – a vegetable is placed on the Seder plate to represent Spring.  You can use an onion, a cooked potato, or parsley.  Painted Hand Farm will have parsley, and check out our produce vendors’ stands for onions and potatoes.

Now that you know where you can get everything for your Seder plate, it’s time to start thinking about what else to serve at the Seder…and what to eat for the rest of the week.  Don’t panic! We have so many fresh ingredients at the market (that don’t involve bread!) for you to experiment with.  Check out our Passover Recipes board on Pinterest for some ideas, or follow these original recipes below.

seder plate

Not Your Bubbe’s Matzo Brei (or Matzo Frittata)
Recipe by Aviva Goldfarb of the Six O’Clock Scramble, adapted from Olga Berman of Mango & Tango

4 eggs
2 Tbsp. reduced-fat sour cream (optional)
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. chopped olives or whole capers
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley and chives
3 matzo crackers
2 Tbsp. olive oil

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and stir in the sour cream, red pepper, olives and herbs. In a separate large bowl, break the matzo crackers into large pieces, cover them with hot water for 30 seconds, and drain them. Stir them into the egg mixture.

Preheat the broiler. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat, then add the oil and let it get very hot. Reduce the heat to medium, add the egg-matzo mixture, and cook it for 8 – 10 minutes without stirring, so it forms a crust on the bottom. Transfer it to the broiler and broil it for 3 – 5 minutes until the top is lightly browned and firm. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. Serve it immediately, or refrigerate it for up to 2 days.

Horseradish Sauce
Recipe by Debra Moser, Central Farm Markets

Instead of plain horseradish to accompany your Gefilte Fish, try this delicious recipe.

1/4 cup chopped dill
1 (about 1 inch) fresh horseradish root – (from Painted Hand Farm)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1 small cucumber (peeled, seeded, and chopped)
1 tsp.salt
White pepper to taste

Peel and grate the horseradish. Let sit for two or three minutes (the longer the horseradish is left sitting, the hotter the taste). Toss in a bowl with lemon juice and salt. Add the creme fraiche, chopped cucumber and chopped dill. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste. Chill until ready to serve with fish.

Spring Rubbed Lamb
Recipe by Debra Moser, Central Farm Markets

Spring lamb is here (at Painted Hand Farm and Springfield Farm) and we have the recipe to show off that great meat! The best way to prepare this dish is to use a whole leg of lamb (about 7-8 lb. trimmed of fat).

Serves 8

Rub
8 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice

Heat oven to 425 roasting temp.

Finely chop garlic in a small bowl and stir with remaining herb rub ingredients.

Put lamb in large baking dish and at a 45 degree angle cut slits all over the lamb, rubbing herb mixture into slits and all over lamb. Marinate at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Roast lamb in a roasting pan in the middle of oven about 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 125 degrees for medium rare. Transfer lamb to a cutting board. Cut a lemon in half and seed it. Squeeze the lemon juice over the lamb and let stand, loosely covered with foil for about 15 minutes.

Cut lamb into slices and serve with any juices that are left on the cutting board.

Crispy Cauliflower
Recipe from Passover by Design, by Susie Fishbein

1/2 c. matzo meal
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 small scallions, minced
1 head cauliflower
2 T. olive oil
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl mix the matzo meal with the garlic powder, salt, lemon juice, basil, pepper and scallions.  Cut the cauliflower into bite sized pieces and place them into a large mixing bowl.  Discard the hard center of the cauliflower.  Add the oil to the bowl, and toss to coat the florets.  Lightly beat the eggs in a small mixing bowl.  Add the eggs to the cauliflower and toss to coat.  Add the flavored matzo meal. Shake to coat the cauliflower.  Place the cauliflower onto the prepared cookie sheet in a single layer.  Place the cookie sheet into the oven and bake for 35 minutes, until golden.

Matzo Kugel
Recipe by Shirley Fields

3 matzos
3 eggs, separated
2 Tbsp. margarine or butter
2 tart apples, sliced finely
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1 Tbsp. grated lemon or orange rind
Raisins

Soak matzos in cold water, drain well, but do not press.  Beat with egg yolks and margarine until smooth.  Add apples, sliced finely, and rest of ingredients.  Beat egg whites until stiff, fold in last.  Put in a well-greased and heated baking dish.  Dot with margarine and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until brown.

Delicious plain or can be served with wine sauce, fruit sauce, or stewed berries.

Passover Apple Cake
Adapted from Natalie Adams’ recipe – in Taste of Beth El Cookbook

6 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
2 c. matzah cake meal
Pinch of salt
3-4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
1/2 c. chopped nuts
1 tsp. lemon juice
1-2 T. cinnamon and sugar

Grease a tube pan.  Beat eggs, then add sugar, oil, cake meal and salt.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix together apples, nuts, lemon juice and cinnamon and sugar.  Pour 1/2 of the batter into prepared pan.  Spread with apple mixture.  Top with remaining batter and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Passover Chocolate Cake
Recipe by Chef Ann Amernick

Ann Amernick, a Washingtonian, is recognized as one of the finest pastry chefs in the country. She has been nominated five times as Best Pastry Chef in the Nation by the James Beard Foundation and Chocolatier and Pastry Art & Design magazines names her one of the top ten pastry chefs in the country.

Serves 10-12

10 oz. good bittersweet chocolate broken into pieces
1/2 cup unsalted butter (can use parve margarine)
1/2 cup sugar; plus more for sprinkling
5 large eggs
1/3 cup finely ground almonds
2 Tbsp. kosher for passover brandy
Fresh raspberries
Whipped cream or non dairy whipped topping

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and grease a 9-inch spring form pan; line the bottom with baking parchment.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water. When the chocolate has melted, turn off the heat and leave it over the hot water to cool slowly.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat the butter or margarine with 1/4 cup of sugar until the mixture is fluffy and almost white. Add the egg yolks and beat for 1 minute. Add the almonds and brandy and beat for 2 more minutes.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until light and foamy while gradually adding the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Continue to beat the whites until they are stiff and shiny.

Add the cooled melted chocolate to the egg-yolk mixture and mix with a rubber spatula until well combined. Fold one quarter of this chocolate mixture into the egg whites; then gently fold the egg-white mixture back into the rest of the chocolate mixture, taking care not to deflate the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a tester comes out covered with a thick moist (not wet) crumbly coating.

Allow cake to cool for 30 minutes in the pan and then loosen the edges with a knife, remove the sides, and carefully turn the cake upside down onto a plate. remove the parchment paper. Sprinkle with sugar. Serve at room temperature, or chilled with whipped cream or topping and raspberries on the side.