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No, seriously I am ready. Bring it. None of this ‘Oh, here’s a little break in the clouds for you’ or ‘How about a couple hours of sunshine?’ I want spring, now. I’m dieing here and even though I’ll be escaping to California for the weekend – cousin’s wedding – I may return excited yet even more disappointed than ever.

Because more rain at this point is not what we need. We need barbecue weather. We need picnic weather. We need sun. And our crops do to. Although spring has finally sprung in California, bringing with it a true spring like bloom of new veggies, our wet soil has hindered spring planting.

Take solace though – even if it’s not spring outside, thanks to our southern partner farms who are enjoying just a bit more sunshine than us, it is beginning to look like spring in the box. I’m not even changing anything this week, no substitutions and just taking what I get.

Here’s what my box is looking like –

Klamath Pearl Potatoes
Snow Peas
Red Onions
Baby Spinach
Arugula (Greens)
Romaine Lettuce
Green Kale
Cara Cara Oranges
Braeburn Apples

I’m willing to give tomatoes a try, the one I got in my last box is still sitting on my south-facing windowsill, and the Klamath Pearls I can’t wait for. This particular potato is only grown in the rich loamy soil of the Oregon-California border. Soil filled with the minerals from the eruption of Mt. Mazama and the prehistoric Lake Modoc.

These little pots are not to be missed. They are especially good roasted, just boil them first for about 12-13 minutes, toss roughly in coarse sea salt and roast on high, about 450 degrees. It’ll be the best roaster you’ve had, guaranteed.

The snow peas are wonderful just steamed and tossed with a little honey and mint. Or mixed, Sechuan-style, with sesame oil, sesame seeds and some ginger-chili paste. Yum.

Arugula is my favorite spring topping for pizza, or pizza bread, or just made into a salad with shallots, balsamic vinegar, pears and goat cheese. The Fromage Blanc from Mt. Townsend Creamery is awesome in this dish.

The romaine is an excuse to try out the original Caesar recipe in the member recipes section. Drizzled over a quarter of broiled or grilled romaine is a delicacy.

Leche de Mango for dessert, or maybe kiwi sorbet, I’ll let you decide. I’m going to do some research this weekend and explore the depths of my Grandmother’s culinary legacy while I’m down south. Hopefully I’ll come back with a jewel for us all. Until then, have a great weekend. Eat healthy and be well.


About the sauerkraut – turns out its much easier than I thought and though it takes some time its all in the subtlety. I’m going to run a few test batches using different combinations of vegetables and spices and I’ll get back to you. Meanwhile, here is a nutrient rich and delicious recipe for the mushrooms in your box.

Mushrooms have many health benefits, for more on that check out our Good Food Health blog, and can be eaten raw or cooked. This recipe combines the fleshy chew of mushrooms with the pop and crunch of spiraled quinoa. Quinoa is an ancient grain dating back more than five thousand years to the vast and vibrant Inca civilization of South America. It is a great source of protein and provides all the essential amino acids to make it a complete protein. It also contains no gluten and is easy on the digestive system.

Quinoa has a nutty flavor and can be enjoyed as a hot grain or cooled for a tabouli-type salad. One of my favorite recipes combines quinoa, basmati, millet and barley for an intense pilaf. This particular recipe is perfect for a side dish, a main course or stuffing for peppers or roasted tomatoes. The Marsala wine pairs well with the mushrooms and is tempered by the soy sauce, which also provides virtually the only sodium in the dish, besides the pinch of salt for the grain.

For the base to the mushrooms, onions, garlic, shallots or leeks will all work. Use what is available. I just used a little less than half a yellow onion and it was delicious. You may have to add a splash of olive oil after you add the mushrooms, but don’t over oil, they should be lightly coated, but not greasy.

The other addition is the greens and they can also be a wide variety of ingredients. I used arugula and merely folded it into the quinoa right before I added the liquids, this allowed it to lightly wilt, but not over cook. If you’d prefer chard or kale, you’ll have to adjust the cooking times to match the texture you’re looking for. I’d add the chard when the mushrooms are about half way done and the kale could be finely chiffoned and added about the same time.

Whatever your ingredients, this recipe creates a healthy, delicious and satisfying meal that will please everyone.

1 cup red quinoa
2 cups water
pinch of sea salt
2 T olive oil
3 T onion, leeks or shallots, minced
1 t fresh thyme
1/2 lb. Cremini mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup Marsala wine
2 T Soy sauce
3 cups chopped greens, chard, kale or arugula
1/2 t whole fennel seed, crushed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Add quinoa and salt to two cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Cook until all water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside. Warm a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil, when hot add onions and saute until translucent and just lightly beginning to brown. Add mushrooms and toss to coat, add a splash more of oil if necessary, sprinkle on herb. Saute for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Toss in quinoa and mix in greens (if using spinach or arugula, if kale or chard mix in and cook till tender before adding grain). Add fennel seeds,  marsala and soy sauce. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.  Makes 3-4 servings.

Arugula is one of those peppery greens that can be overpowering and bitter when eaten raw. Thankfully, our colder northern climate removes much of the bitterness, leaving a rich and spicy pepper taste that has a buttery, earthy flavor. Arugula is wonderful wilted on pizza, added to spinach salads or wilted into pasta.

When eaten raw and by itself it needs some complimentary flavors to mellow its spiciness and bring out its more subtle qualities. Blue cheese or other soft cheeses help to accentuate its buttery texture. One of my favorite salads is a blue cheese, roasted walnut, pear and arugula salad. Its strong rich flavors are bridged with a dash of balsamic vinegar and some raw crushed garlic.

This recipe is similar, but a little lighter and anticipates the flavors of spring. The bright orange and pungent shallots both mellows and pairs with the peppery green, while the fats of the avocado smooth everything together. This is a wonderful lunch salad, the added crunch of roasted and salted pistachios providing excellent texture and substituting the need for any croutons or starch. Making this salad a gluten-free choice.

Pair this salad with a dinner entree of roasted and stuffed squash or a roasted eggplant pasta or curry. Its many flavors, both spicy and sweet, pungent and subtle go well with a variety of dishes. Arugula is a green to experiment with, enjoy and create some wonderful flavors. Try using different fruits, nuts and cheeses along with a variety of vinaigrettes to create your own signature salad.

2 oranges, zested
2 small oranges, juiced or 1 large orange, juiced
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T honey
2 t shallots, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
10-12 oz washed arugula or spinach
1 tangerine or orange, cut into peeled wedges
1 avocado, cut into chunks
2 T pistachios, roasted in a dry pan until light brown and salted

In a blender combine the zest, juice, vinegar, honey, shallots, salt and pepper. Blend until well incorporated. While blending, add olive oil in a steady stream to emulsify. Transfer to a container and refrigerate.

Place arugula in a large bowl. Toss with vinaigrette and top with citrus and avocado chunks. Sprinkle on pistachios and serve.