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Bok Choy and Apple Stir Fry

Posted by Patrick on January 29, 2014

Curried Apple and Bok Choy
(Serves 2)


1-2 heads baby bok choy
1 apple
1 tablespoon of your favorite curry paste or powder
¼ cup water
1 lemon or lime
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon of your favorite oil

Chop 1 onion. If chopping onions makes you cry, get someone else to do it. Now, add the chopped onions and the garlic to your skillet. Have your skillet set to medium heat and make sure it is well oiled. Do not oil the bottom of your skillet, as it will be in contact with the stovetop, and will catch on fire.
While the onion and garlic are cooking, mix your curry powder or paste with the water.
When the onion becomes soft and slightly translucent, add the curry liquid. Keep stirring as often as you can. Turn to low heat.
For those of us with two arms, stop stirring long enough to chop the apple and the bottom white stalk of the baby bok choy. Four-or-more armed cooks can continue to stir while chopping. However, all cooks should save the green leafy tops for the end of the recipe.
Add the apple and bok choy bottoms. Let your apple and bok choy soak up the curry flavorings. This can take a few minutes. Stir well. Keep your eyes on the mix to try and avoid overcooking.
Finally, add the green bok choy tops and the lemon/lime juice. Let it simmer for a minute at most, then take it off the stove and add it to a bowl where the residual heat will cook the tops the rest of the way through. When it is cool enough to eat, serve.
This mix pairs well with roasted roots, or on top of rice and/or bean dishes.

Poached Apples in Red Wine

Posted by Patrick on January 21, 2014

Recipe: Apples Poached in Wine


4-6 apples, of any size and flavor.
1.5 cups of wine - any wine, really.
2 tablespoons honey, agave, or maple syrup.
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
Zest of ½ lemon or lime
Tablespoon of vanilla extract
Tablespoon of cinnamon powder.

First, pour yourself a cup of wine and drink that. You’ll feel better about cooking. If that doesn’t work, resist the urge to pour a second cup - unless you’ve got a lot of wine. You’ll need at least a cup and a half for the recipe.

Secondly, combine all of your ingredients, except for your apples, and bring them to a boil in a deep pot. You’ll want to do this slowly - because, while the ingredients are coming to a boil, you’re going to core and quarter your apples. This is another reason you’ll want to go easy on the wine - you’re about to be doing some fancy bladework.

If you’re particularly in need of work for idle hands, peel the apples. If you’re feeling less excited, or you’ve had plenty of wine, just place the apples cut-side down into the liquid.

Now, simmer your apples, covered, for 10-12 minutes. You can go up to 15 if you want them softer, or if you’re using a crunchier variety. Then, flip the apples and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

Once the apples can be easily pierced with a fork - don’t try too hard - they’re ready. Remove your apples and let them cool.

While the cooling is going on, turn up the heat on your stove - you’re going to reduce the liquid into a thick sauce. This will take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, and produce a sauce you’ll pour over your apples.

For additional gustatory glory, drizzle the apples with some combination of whipped cream, yogurt, honey, and/or blue cheese.
Community

Thank you for supporting Bike Walk Mississippi in November!

Posted by shelby on December 06, 2013

Rainbow cashier Cody presents Melody of Bike Walk Mississippi a check for $705.92, all donated by Rainbow shoppers through our Roundup program!

bike walk

Ask Patrick About Scurvy

Posted by Patrick on November 06, 2013

ASK PATRICK IN PRODUCE:

Dear Patrick - It’s the year 1786, and I must circumnavigate the globe for Spain! Do you have any advice on how to avoid scurvy?
- Captain Malaspina, 1786


Advice

Dear Captain,

You see, for most of human history, people couldn’t just head on over to the co-op and pick up fresh produce- so some of the advice I’m about to give is 225 years too late for you.

Thankfully, your chief medical officer, Pedro González, understands the cure - if not the cause - for scurvy. It’s a cure that has been forgotten almost as many times as it has been discovered. Scurvy has been the scourge of mariners for time immemorial. The cause is a lack of vitamin C - which is found in abundance in all fresh fruits and vegetables. Since the body uses vitamin C to make collagen, and collagen holds the body together, a long-term deficiency of vitamin C is horrible indeed.

Dr. González believes that fresh citrus is especially potent for curing and preventing scurvy, and the universal assumption is that such foods are particularly rich in vitamin C. But there’s always something on the produce stand that’s a great source of vitamin C. Chilli peppers and bell peppers are particularly rich in the stuff, containing four times as much as a lemon or orange. Kiwi is another great fruit to check out if you’re looking to be ascorbic, and if you want to avoid the fruit and eat the veg, I can seriously recommend broccoli, or parsley.

But you experienced circumnavigators may realize that most of these fruits and vegetables are not going to last long enough to carry across the ocean. For those longer trips , you want to load up on fresh citrus. In your day, just like at the co-op, it’s all organic.

Even with hardy seasonal citrus, storing it is going to be tricky. While we have downright magical refrigeration technology, you’re not so lucky. You might convince Ship’s Chirurgeon González to stock up on some of our vitamin-C rich fermented vegetables.

What all my readers - from this and any century - need to know, is that all fresh fruits and vegetables are perfect, balanced sources of vitamin C. And if you want to go to sea, lemons, grapefruit, limes and oranges are just now coming on strong. It’s about to be the peak of the season.

So,  you’re in luck there. In fact, Alessandro Malaspina, using my magic ball, I foresee that you might make it through this whole thing without losing a single man to scurvy!

Community

October is Non-GMO month!

Posted by shelby on October 22, 2013

The Non-GMO project has deemed October “Non-GMO Month,” in which retailers and consumers make an extra effort to share knowledge and information surrounding the dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms in our food.

Luckily for us, we celebrate Non-GMO Month every month- we make every effort to keep our store free of GMOs. Next Friday, October 25th, we will be donating 5% of sales up to $500 to the Non-GMO Project, a nonprofit which helps consumers make informed choices by verifying products as Non-GMO.

Get involved!

Attach these candy tags to your non-GMO candy this Halloween. Print them out at home or pick some up in the store- we also have accompanying educational brochures. You will find lots of safe candy options in the center aisle of our store this month.

Have a happy and healthy Non-GMO Month!

Ask Patrick About Squash

Posted by Patrick on October 09, 2013

ASK PATRICK IN PRODUCE:

Dear Patrick;

I’ve been given spaghetti squash and a strange green hard winter squash. My local squash-farmer says they’re delicious, but I don’t know how to cook them, and I am afraid that one of them may take over my house and replace my family with alien replicants.

- Confused by Cucurbita, Jackson, MS

Advice

Dear Confused;

The best way to ensure that your family isn’t replaced with pod-people look alikes by rogue vegetables is proper preparation of the squash in question.

In the summer, this is incredibly easy. Entire cookbooks are stuffed with stuffed squash recipes. Frankly, though, that’s not what you’re looking for.

That big yellow monster is the spaghetti squash, aka vegetable marrow, aka Cucurbita pepo variety fastigata..

This is not some soft summer squash, this is no nutty zucchini. Nor is it a creamy butternut, or hearty green acorn squash. No, this is a strange beast indeed.

But, you must overcome your trepidation, lest you disappoint that humble and generous squash farmer. Take heed of my advice, for it will serve you well.

First, preheat your stove to about 400 degrees. For smaller squash you may tend towards 350, for larger squash make sure you’re at or slightly above 400.

Get a very sharp knife and stab your squash a few times. You’re going to be cooking it whole, so if you don’t puncture the hard skin, you may have an oven full of exploded squash. While “Squash Explosion” is a great band name, it’s a terrible thing to have happen in your oven.

This takes about an hour. Again, slightly longer for larger squash, slightly less time for smaller ones. Your cooking time may vary, but it will be close to one hour. With larger squash you may want to turn it over or roll it around a few times. When the rind wrinkles, the squash sags, and the skin looks a little burned, you’re good to go.

With utmost caution you must remove the squash from the oven. Make sure you’ve got great oven mitts. Let it sit cooling on the counter for 10 minutes or more, then cut it in half latitudinally, at the “equator.” Try to make one continuous cut.

squasher

Now, you have two halves of a spaghetti squash. Scoop out the seeds. You can put them on a tray and bake them, or make seed and macaroni art, or feed them to birds. Your choice.

Take a fork, and stab the flesh! The flesh should give way easily. If not, just put it back in the oven for 10 minutes, split side down on an oiled pan. Take your fork, then jab and pull the strands towards the hollow in the squash, from the stem end to the blossom end. Repeat as necessary, until you’ve got a mass of spaghetti-style “noodles.”

These noodles don’t have a ton of flavor. They go great with tomato sauce, white sauce, pesto, or a simple coating of butter, salt, and pepper.

You can make asian-style noodle dishes with them, using hot peppers, garlic, and oil. Throw curry on top of them. Make noodle soup. Really, anything you can do with a pot of noodles, you can do with a pile of spaghetti squash noodles. They have a mild, slightly nutty acorn-squash flavor, and a nice bit of crunch.

Now, you’ll notice that you have a hard green winter squash left on your kitchen counter. It probably hasn’t moved, but I can’t recommend chopping and cooking one squash in front of another.

You’ll want to cook this one differently. Cut it longways, first. Remove the woody stem to make this process much easier. Scoop out any seeds with a spoon. They likely won’t be big enough to eat, but if they are, feel free to coat them in oil, salt them, and bake them on a dish.

Preheat the oven to 350. Patiently. Spend the time chatting with your squash farmer. Call up your family and hang up on them when the oven timer goes off - it’s your time, use it as you will.

Or, you can take your squash halves and add a dab of butter to the hollow squash. You can use almost any oil you want, but I like butter. Coconut oil adds an exotic sweetness, but olive oil will likely burn.

Place your squash halves in the oven, cut side up, and roast away. Depending on the size, it can take anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes. Just wait for the top to bubble and brown and the skin to wrinkle and crumple.

Now remove this from the oven, and scoop out the soft flesh with a spoon. If it is too hard to easily scoop, bake it some more!

I hope this answers your questions about squash and saves the lives of your family. Remember, squash are delicious, nutritious, and affordable. Therefore we must be eternally vigilant and always eat as many of them as we can possibly manage.

NEXT TIME: “Dear Patrick, I’m a 1700’s sailor trying to circumnavigate the globe. Do you have any advice?”

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