Food and Fitness, Uncategorized

What’s in the Basket 8/12/13

thumb_COLOURBOX6404443Hey there. Here is what you might be getting this week from Garden Of Eat’n

Yellow Sweet Peppers, Bell Peppers, Swiss Chard, Sweet Yellow Squash, Pickling Cucumbers, Eggplant, Basil, Broccoli, Carrots, Cucumbers.

Cucumbers and Pickling Cucumbers: So if you’re like us, you have an abundance of these already. A great way to use these is to make your own Tzatsiki. This is a classic Greek dipping sauce used in Gyros (which were invented in NYC and not Greece: just sayin’). I remember this as a staple at family functions while growing up and it’s really easy to make. Peel and cut and 6-8 cucumbers in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds, trying not to take out too much of the “meat” of the cucumber. Once seeded cut the cucumber into a small dice or put it in your food processor and pulse a few times until finely chopped. Finely chop one small yellow onion and 2-3 cloves of garlic (TIP: Always use fresh garlic in recipes where the garlic will be left raw, pre chopped garlic in raw recipes will give off too much of a bitter taste). Place cucumbers, onions and garlic in bowl. Add in one 16 oz container of plain Greek style yogurt (pour off any liquid that is in the yogurt before adding). Add about 2 tablespoons of fresh dill and salt and pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients together and place in refrigerator for one hour to “set” (If you can let it sit overnight, that’s even better). Now you have a great spread for sandwiches or a dip for pits chips.

Eggplant, Basil, Peppers: Eggplant is an items that people either love or hate. The combination of these ingredients, plus a few others, you can make an excellent dip that I have use to convert eggplant haters. This is a simple eggplant tapenade that’s packed with flavor. Dice one large (or two small) eggplant to about 1/2 inch dice (I like to leave the skin on, gives a deeper flavor). In a colander, liberally coat the diced eggplant with salt. This will help draw out some of the water in the eggplant and also firm up the texture so you can avoid the “mushiness” that turns a lot of people off. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. In large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 4 cloves of chopped garlic (you can use pre chopped here), one small onion diced, 2-3 peppers diced (adding a hot pepper to this is a good idea), and about 5-8 basil leaves chopped. Sauté these items until the onions become translucent. Rinse the eggplant and pat dry with paper towels and add to the pan. Sauté for about 4-5 minutes on medium high heat. While that’s sautéing, dice 2-3 fresh tomatoes and then add to the pan and stir in. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 7-10 minutes, until the eggplant starts to breakdown. Remove from heat and place in shallow pan and put in the refrigerator to cool down. Now its ready to serve. If you want to, just before you take it off the heat, you can add about 1/2 cup of chopped kalamata olives, really kicks the flavor up. NOTE: Do not add salt to this dish while cooking. Taste the dish at the end and determine if it needs salt. Remember we salted the eggplant and also the olives can be a bit salty.

Broccoli, Carrots: So the first thing that popped into my mind with these two is the broccoli slaw I use to get at the old seafood restaurant that use to be next to Ellinton Agway. Here is my interpretation. Cut the broccoli into small bite size florettes and shred the carrots. Cook and chop 4-5 slices of bacon. In separate mixing bowl, put 4 oz low fat sour cream (or Greek yogurt), juice from 1 lemon, garlic and onion powder, and salt and pepper. MIx unitl all incredients are combined. Add dressing to broccoli, bacon and carrot mixture just unitl coated and add about 1/4 cup of raisins. The carrots and raisins will add sweetness to this dish, but if you like it sweeter, you can add 1 tablespoon of agave nectar to the dressing. Great cold salad for outdoor dining

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