Fresh, raw vegetables for dessert!

2 medium carrots, shredded
1 medium beet, shredded
1/4 - 1/3 cup mayo or plain yogurt
1 tsp sugar
Chopped nuts (try almonds, walnuts, cashews and/or pistachios)
Small handful of golden raisins
Dash of cinnamon - to taste
Combine mayo, sugar and cinnamon.
Mix into shredded vegetables.
Stir in the nuts and raisins.


Serve chilled

Posted
AuthorBelle Creek Gardens

Okay, so this may not be a classic moussaka, but we think it’s pretty good. We layer eggplant, peppers, potatoes and herbs with a mixture of lentils, onion and tomatoes to create a hearty, vegetarian meal that makes the most of some classic mid-summer vegetables. This is not a meal to make at the last minute, it takes time and can’t be rushed. Serves up to 6.

1 eggplant, peeled, sliced ¼ inch or thinner
1 bell pepper, seeds removed and thinly sliced
2-3 potatoes, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, or equivalent combination of full tomatoes and halved cherry tomatoes, cut into chunks
½ c dry lentils lentils
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T lemon juice
1-2 t oregano leaves, finely chopped
1-2 T chopped parsley, finely chopped
1 t chopped lemon basil, finely chopped
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 C milk
1 beaten egg
Pinch black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
Salt
Several tablespoons of olive oil

Salt the eggplant slices and place them in a colander for 20-30 minutes. Rinse and drain. Heat 1 T oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add a layer of eggplant to the skillet and cook, turning after several minutes until lightly browned on both sides.  Remove the slices from the skillet and set them aside in a colander or on a paper towel-lined plate. Once all the eggplant slices have been browned, do the same for the peppers and potatoes.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8 baking dish. Layer the eggplant, potatoes, and peppers in the dish. Sprinkle the chopped herbs on top and sprinkle with a small pinch of salt. Separately, add the lentils, tomatoes and 1 ½ cups of water to a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until the lentils are soft and more of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the lemon juice. Set the lentils aside.

Saute the onions and garlic in an oiled skillet over medium heat until soft. Stir the cooked onions into the tomato and lentil mixture. Spread the mixture on top of the vegetable in the baking dish. Cover and bake for 20 minutes.

While the vegetables bake, prepare the béchamel topping. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk and continue to stir until there are no lumps. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and allow the sauce to sit for 8-10 minutes. Mix in the beaten egg.

Pull the moussaka out of the oven and remove the cover. Pour the sauce/topping over the moussaka and return it to the oven to bake, uncovered, for 30 more minutes. Allow the moussaka to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. You can sprinkle crumbled feta or grated parmesan cheese over the top is you like—add these about 10-15 minutes before you pull it out of the oven.

Oil in skillet, cook eggplant until lightly brown on each side, remove to plate. Then potatoes. Then peppers. Cook onions and garlic until soft. Stir into tomato mixture

 

This sausage seasoning mix is a great way to add extra flavor to ground meat or to vegetable dishes. It stores well in an airtight container. If you’re ever at a loss for what to do with the vegetables in your box, try mixing up a batch of turkey sausage, browning the meat in a skillet and adding in a mixture of chopped vegetables. Cook until everything is as done as you like it and serve over pasta or rice.

We love the way this seasoning mix pairs with turkey from our friends at  Ferndale MarketTheir free range turkey is available at their  market in Cannon Falls, which specializes in locally grown and/or produced meat, dairy, produce and other grocery items. If you’re in the area, we recommend a stop at Ferndale Market, where you can pick up some of their delicious turkey for less than $2/lb. You can also find their ground turkey in the frozen meat section of most food co-ops in the Twin Cities.

1 T salt
1 T black pepper
1 T onion powder
2 t garlic powder
2 t crushed fennel seed
2 t sugar
½ T oregano
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t allspice
1 t smoked paprika
1 t sage
1 t dry mustard
1 t cumin

Combine in a bowl, stir well to combine. Store in an airtight container in a cool place, out of direct light. To serve: Combine 1 T of seasoning mix with 1 lb of meat before cooking. Just mix it in with your hands until the seasoning seems evenly distributed.

This dish is a great way to use several fresh herbs and is a refreshing change from rich breaded, fried or cheesy eggplant dishes.  It makes a light, summery side dish, or toss it over pasta, rice, polenta or other grains along with your favorite protein for a more substantial meal.

2 T olive oil, separated
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 eggplant, peeled and cubed
4-6 leaves kale, coarsely chopped
¼ cup lemon juice
2 t each fresh basil and parsley, minced
Leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme, stems removed
Black pepper
Salt


Heat 1 T of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and sprinkle with a small pinch of salt. Cook until the onions begin to soften, then add garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until garlic softens, then add the remaining 1 T olive oil, and eggplant. Stir to evenly distribute the oil, sprinkle with another small pinch of salt, and cook until eggplant pieces have just begun to reduce in size. Add kale and lemon juice. Stir to combine, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until kale and eggplant are cooked to your liking. Toss in herbs and a generous pinch of black pepper, stir to combine. Season with more pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Posted
AuthorBelle Creek Gardens

1 bunch of beans with ends trimmed, cut into 2" pieces
 
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
 
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
 
2 parts white vinegar
 
1 part balsamic vinegar
 
Salt and pepper to taste
 
1 pinch dry mustard powder
 
1 pinch of garlic powder
 
2 heaping T sugar for every cup of white vinegar

Blanch the beans in boiling water for about 4 minutes, or until the color brightens and they soften just slightly. Immediately drain them and plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking. Once they're cool, drain them again. While the beans drain, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl (big enough to hold all the beans) and stir to combine. Add the beans, toss to coat them evenly with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.

Posted
AuthorBelle Creek Gardens

This is Amanda's all-time favorite recipe—and the one she gets the most requests for. It's the perfect combination of sweet and salty, with lots of hearty, healthy vegetables that make it delicious and satisfying.

4-5 medium-large beets (gold and red if possible), peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
2-3 medium onions, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
5 or 6 full sized carrots, chopped into bite-sized pieces
Roughly a quart of potatoes (purple and buff/gold), scrubbed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1-2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Toss the potatoes, carrots, onions and gold beets together with a bit of olive oil, salt and black pepper. Spread them out on a cookie sheet or in a baking dish. Then toss the red beets with a bit of olive oil and place them on top of and around the other veggies. Roast in the oven until they're all soft and fully cooked.

Sauce:
½-⅔ cup balsamic vinegar
1 T butter
2 T of cooking sherry
2 T brown sugar or honey
Black pepper
A pinch of salt
A nice big pinch of fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
½ T fennel seeds 

Combine all the ingredients except the thyme in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the pinch of thyme, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the whole mixture has reduced by half. When the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and let them sit a few minutes. While they're warm, transfer them to a serving dish and pour the sauce on top. Toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with fresh thyme. Serve warm.

Note: To make this dish into a full meal, cook up a few Italian chicken sausages, halve them lengthwise and slice them into 1/4 inch pieces. Add these to the vegetables before you toss them with the sauce. The saltiness of the sausages really balances out the sweetness of the rest of the dish. It's also good with crumbled feta cheese in place of or in addition to the sausage—just sprinkle this on top instead of mixing it in.

Posted
AuthorBelle Creek Gardens

2 cups of peeled, cubed, uncooked squash
2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (combination of mushroom and chicken)
1 peeled, cored and chopped apple
1-2 grated carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T butter
1/2 cup of cream or evaporated milk
Salt & pepper
Sage
Fennel seed
Optional: 1 lb ground turkey

If using the turkey, combine the turkey with salt, pepper, some garlic, and sage and fennel. Cook it up and set it aside. To make the soup, saute the onions in butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic just as onions are becoming translucent. After another two minutes, add the stock, squash and apples. Bring heat to medium high, bring soup to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Add the carrots and fennel seed (even if you're including it in the turkey, add some to the soup). Simmer until the squash is tender, then flavor with sage, salt and pepper to taste. Use an immersion blender, or transfer soup to a regular blender and puree. Return to the pot and turn the burner down to low. Stir in the cream and cooked ground turkey. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve when seasonings are properly adjusted and the soup is piping hot.

Posted
AuthorBelle Creek Gardens

This recipe makes 2 mini-pies, but scales up easily to make more. To make a full sized pie, you’ll need about 2 cups of ground cherries and 1 cup of raspberries. 

Crusts:

¼ cup flour
 
2 T chilled butter, cubed
 
2-3 t ice cold water
 
1/8 t salt
 
1 t white sugar

Preheat oven to 400. Combine flour, sugar and salt. Add the cubed butter and rub the flour mixture and butter together with your fingertips until it takes on a sandy texture, but some small chunks of butter still remain. Add 2 tsp water and mix. If the dough does not come together in a ball, slowly add another ¼ or ½ tsp, or more as needed until it comes together to form a dough. Divide the dough into two balls, and on a floured surface, flatten then into thin disks (about 1/8 inch thick) with your hands. Transfer them gently to lined cups in a muffin tin and press them into the shape of the cup. 

Filling:

16 ground cherries, removed from husks
 
8 raspberries
 
2 scant teaspoons of flour, divided
 
2 scant teaspoons of brown sugar, divided

Place 8 ground cherries and 4 raspberries in each mini-pie shell. Sprinkle 1 tsp of four and 1 tsp of brown sugar on top of each pie.

Topping:

1 scant T flour
 
1 scant T white sugar
 
1 t butter
 
A dash of cinnamon (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well until the butter is evenly distributed. Sprinkle half of the mixture on top of each pie. Bake in preheated oven at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

Posted
AuthorBelle Creek Gardens

This salad paired with a pita and humus make a perfect light lunch for a hot August day. As always, be sure to adjust the seasonings to your taste.


2 heaping tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt
1 T lemon juice
2 T parsley leaves, finely chopped
½ t oregano
¼-½ t garlic powder
½ t black pepper
¼ t salt
1 cup cucumber, cubed no smaller than ¼ inch pieces
6-8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ sweet bell pepper, cubed no smaller than ¼ inch pieces (for a spicier salad, replace the sweet pepper with 1-2 jalapenos) 

Combine yogurt, lemon juice, parsley and seasonings in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Add in the vegetables and stir gently to evenly coat. Take a bite and if it seems bland, add another splash of lemon juice and dash of black pepper or cayenne pepper for spice.