Category Archives: Types of Vegetables

Green Bean Wild Rice Casserole Recipe

Yes, we currently have a ton of green beans. We grow a variety of bean that has the best flavor, texture, crispness and keeping quality of any bean we have ever tried. However, after canning 8 quarts for the winter for myself, and selling pounds to local consumers through our Farm Store, our mighty prolific green bean plants are still blossoming and still producing. So….it’s time to get creative. Here’s a recipe that is a little different take on the popular Green Bean Casserole.

 

Green bean casseroleGREEN BEAN WILD RICE CASSEROLE RECIPE: Makes 4 servings.

1 pound fresh green beans

1 cup wild rice

1 can cream of mushroom soup or chicken broth

1/4 cup grated Jack or Cheddar cheese

A couple handfuls of pretzel sticks

Cook the wild rice ahead of time since it takes at least an hour and a half to cook wild rice. When the wild rice kernels have burst open and are soft, they are done. Drain. Cut green beans into bite-sized pieces and steam 10 minutes just until crunchy soft but not mushy. Mix wild rice and green beans in a casserole dish. Mix in broth or soup and stir well. Mix in cheese. Bake at 350º just until cheese is melted and slightly brown. Crush pretzels slightly and sprinkle on top of green bean casserole. Serve warm topped with more shredded cheese if desired.

Optional: Can add pre-cooked chicken to this casserole to make a complete meal.

 

Sugar vs Snap vs Snow Peas

The peas are getting taller and will be blossoming soon. Nothing tastes better than fresh sweet peas right out of the garden. Kids love peas this way, so if you can’t get your kids to eat peas, try our sugar snap peas that are so tender you can eat them pod and all, which is even sweeter.

When my brother and I were kids, we would pick all the peas in our Mom’s garden and eat them before they ever reached the house. She grew them specifically for eating raw, which is the best way to eat sugar snap or snow peas.

Snow peas
Snow peas

Snow peas, snap peas and garden peas are all part of the legume family, and most people are not aware of the subtle differences between them. Garden peas are the typical peas in a pod we are familiar with. Tougher and not as sweet as snow or snap peas, the pea is usually removed and eaten and the pod discarded. These are best for canning just the peas. Snow peas are the flat pea pods you see used in cooking stir fries and Chinese dishes. The pod is eaten when the peas are so tiny they are barely noticeable. They are best for cooking pods because they are picked before the pea inside develops and when the pod is the most tender. Snap peas are also known as sugar snap peas, and are a cross between snow peas and garden peas. The whole pod is eaten and has a crunchy texture and very sweet flavor. Snap peas may be eaten raw or cooked once the tough “strings” at the seams of the pods are removed. My brother and I used to call it “unzipping the peas” because you snap the tip at the end of the pod and then pull the string along the seam like a zipper.

Peas must be picked at just the right time to achieve the desired flavor you are looking for. If you wait until the pods are full and the peas inside are completely mature, you sacrifice the quality of the pod; which will not be as tender or juicy.  We like to pick our sugar snap peas when they are a happy compromise between sweet peas on the inside and still crunchy, tender pods on the outside. This takes some experience in knowing just how they should look when ready for picking and not to let them go to long without picking.

Peas are also best when picked first thing in the morning when they are still cold from the cool night air. This is when they will have the most flavor, be the most juicy and have the most “snap”.

Steamed sugar snap peas
Steamed sugar snap peas

The best way to cook snap or sugar peas in the pod is to steam them or stir fry them on low with a little water until tender, then melt butter on them and maybe some diced onion, chives or garlic. Enjoy!

By the way, we call ours “sugar snap peas”, and they are almost ready for home delivery or CSA pickup. I would say they will start to blossom in about 2 more weeks and we should start having peas by around mid July. Watch for us to change their status to “in stock” on our website.

How to Use Rhubarb

Produce Update April 15, 2018

As we mentioned in a previous post, chives are ready, rhubarb is starting to come up and will be large enough to harvest in about a month.

fresh-rhubarbIs rhubarb a fruit or vegetable?

Good question. Technically, it’s a vegetable, but most recipes use it like a fruit. Rhubarb is extremely high in Calcium. Although not everybody is fond of its tartness, you can mix it with sweeter fruits to cut down on the tart taste if you like. Rhubarb is excellent when mixed with sweet fruits like blueberries, peaches, strawberries and sweet varieties of apples. Even those who do not care for rhubarb love our recipe for Rhubarb Cake.

Topping rhubarb pie or other desserts with whipping cream or vanilla ice cream also helps to sweeten them up a bit. Below, we also have a recipe not on our recipe site for Roasted Rhubarb Salad. Yum.

For numerous ways to use rhubarb, see our recipe site on our sister site where we have dedicated an entire page to just rhubarb recipes: http://redstonepromotion.com/WPsites/recipes/

Rhubarb is worth eating just for its nutrient value, and if you can find clever ways to hide its tartness from those who don’t like tart foods, it is well worth it.

 

Roasted rhubarb salad recipeRoasted Rhubarb Salad Recipe: 4 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups ½-inch pieces fresh rhubarb
2 tablespoons Sucanat or Rapadura organic sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 cups mixed baby greens
½ cup crumbled goat cheese or feta
¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted in a frying pan for about 3-4 minutes
¼ cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Toss rhubarb with sugar in a medium bowl until well coated; let stand, stirring once or twice, for about 10 minutes. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, oil, shallot, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add greens; toss to coat with the dressing. Toast the walnuts. Divide the greens among 4 plates. Top with the rhubarb, goat cheese (or feta), walnuts and raisins.

Tip: To toast chopped nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

 

rhubarb-pie Another traditional rhubarb favorite is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. A la mode; who can resist?

 

Is it a Yam or a Sweet Potato?

Yam or Sweet Potato?

Yams and sweet potatoes are often mislabeled and confused in the grocery industry. The important thing to note about either though, is which one has the highest nutrient content. There are many varieties of yams and sweet potatoes with many colors. Some are sweeter than others, but one thing is for certain, the ones with the orange or purple inside flesh will have the highest vitamin content.

Yams: Have an almost bark-like outer skin with a rougher texture compared to a sweet potato. Some yams do have orange flesh, but typically they have a white flesh and are nothing more than a sweet starch lacking any real vitamin content.

Sweet Potatoes: While there are many varieties of sweet potatoes hitting the markets these days, even Japanese sweet potatoes and purple sweet potatoes, the general rule of thumb when choosing one to go with is to always go for orange or purple fleshed potatoes. They will have the most flavor and highest nutrient value.

How to Choose a Sweet Potato or Yam.

Other than that, a great majority of the time the only difference in some varieties is more with their texture and not their flavor. A potato gets its flavor from the soil it is planted in. Even a sweet potato can taste bland and lack sweetness if not grown in adequate soil to promote good flavor, texture and color.

In other words, what makes a good sweet potato, or any potato, is the dirt it’s planted in more than the variety.