Weekly Fig

A Private Membership Association

Month: August 2017 (page 1 of 2)

Meal Plan for September 6, 2017

This week brings another special treat–muscadines! See below for a muscadine sorbet recipe as well as other healthy meal ideas!

Italian Chicken Tomatoes and Mushrooms
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 chicken breasts
  2. 1/2 tbsp dried oregano divided
  3. 1/2 tsp salt divided
  4. 1/2 tsp black pepper divided
  5. 1 tbsp olive oil
  6. 4 oz oyster mushrooms cleaned, trimmed, and sliced
  7. 7 oz grape tomatoes or diced whole tomato
  8. 1 tbsp chopped fresh garlic
  9. 1/2 cup chicken or veggie broth
  10. 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  11. Handful baby spinach
  12. 1 tsp flour
Instructions
  1. Pat chicken breasts dry. Season on both sides with dried oregano, salt and black pepper. Set aside briefly.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet with a lid. Brown the chicken on both sides (3 minutes or so). Transfer the chicken to a plate for now.
  3. In the same skillet, add more olive oil if needed. Add the mushrooms and saute briefly on medium-high (about 1 minute or so). Then add the tomatoes, garlic, the remaining oregano, salt, and pepper, and 2 tsp flour. Cook for another 3 minutes or so, stirring regularly.
  4. Now add the chicken broth, cook briefly to reduce just a little; then add the lemon juice.
  5. Bring the liquid to a boil, then add the chicken back in the skillet. Cook over high heat for 3-4 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for another 8 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and its internal heat registers a minimum of 165 degrees F.
  6. If you like, stir in a handful of baby spinach just before serving. Enjoy hot with your favorite small pasta like penne, or enjoy alone.
Adapted from The Mediterranean Dish
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
Roasted Pumpkin with Feta
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pie pumpkin seeded and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  2. 1 small red onion cut into wedges
  3. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 3 tablespoons honey
  5. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 pinch black pepper
  8. 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  9. Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, toss the pumpkin and onion with the oil, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread out onto a baking sheet.
  2. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until caramelized and fork tender. Top with the feta cheese and parsley and serve.
Adapted from Bourbon and Honey
Adapted from Bourbon and Honey
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
Smokey Potato and Corn Salad
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1 white potato diced
  2. 2 Tablespoons olive oil divided
  3. 1 ear of corn
  4. 2 Slices cooked bacon
  5. 1/8 Cup chopped parsley
  6. 1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin
  7. 1 pinch of garlic powder
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a skillet. Saute the diced potatoes on medium-high heat until fork tender and golden.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off of the cob. Add the corn kernels and remaining oil to the pan and saute on until the corn begins to char.
  3. Stir in the ground cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper and saute on medium high heat until everything is coated and seasoned.
  4. Stir in the bacon and greens and serve hot.
Adapted from Hungry Couple NYC
Adapted from Hungry Couple NYC
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
Cucumber Quinoa Salad
Serves 2
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For the salad
  1. 2 cucumbers diced
  2. 1 cup chilled* cooked quinoa
  3. 1/4 cup diced red onion
  4. 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  5. 2 Tbsp roughly-chopped fresh basil leaves
  6. 1 colored bell pepper seeded and diced
For the lemony vinaigrette
  1. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  3. 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  4. 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning homemade or store-bought
  5. pinch of salt and black pepper
To make the salad
  1. Toss cooked quinoa, cucumbers, red onion, feta, and basil until combined.
To make the vinaigrette
  1. Whisk oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and spices together in a small bowl until combined. Coat the salad ingredients and serve immediately.
Notes
  1. *If you add hot quinoa fresh out of the pan, it will melt the cheese and wilt the basil a bit in this recipe. So I recommend cooking it beforehand and letting it chill in the refrigerator before making the salad. Or, if you need to cook it immediately beforehand, just spread the cooked quinoa out in a thin layer on a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. That will help it cool down nice and quickly!
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
Muscadine Sorbet
Yields 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 quart muscadines
  2. 1/8 cup honey or super fine sugar
  3. The juice and zest of half a lemon
Instructions
  1. Working in batches, puree the grapes with the sugar or honey in a food processor or blender until the sugar is dissolved (about three minutes). Over a bowl, pour the puree through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve. Press on the solids to extract all the juice. Add the lemon juice and zest to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap or pour into an airtight container and let cool for several hours. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instruction
  2. Over a bowl, pour the puree through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve. Press on the solids to extract all the juice.
  3. Add the lemon juice and zest to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap or pour into an airtight container and freeze for 2-4 hours before serving.
Adapted from WakeMed Voices
Adapted from WakeMed Voices
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
 

If you have the Sprout or Garden Box, here’s a good article on how to roast pumpkin seeds to get the most out of your veggie!

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

Vegucation: Lavender

Lavender is known for its strong floral aroma and beautiful color. The scent can help alleviate stress and headaches, but this herb can be used for more than aromatherapy. This herb has been around for centuries and was even used during the Black Plague to “ward off” the disease. Honeybees are very attracted to the smell of lavender, and so are humans!

Why is it beneficial?

Lavender surprisingly has many important nutrients. It contains calcium and iron, which are important for blood and bone health. It also has some vitamin A which improves eye and skin health. Luckily, you don’t need to consume a lot a lavender to get the benefits. A two ounce serving is more than enough. 

When is it in season?

You can usually find local lavender from April/May through August if a farmer near you grows it. You can also grow a relatively small lavender plant yourself! Find the seeds at any garden center. 

How long will it keep?dried lavender

Fresh picked lavender won’t last very long. To preserve your herbs, you can dry them fairly easily with this tutorial. Dried lavender will last months if stored in a cool, dry place. 

How can I use it?

There are seemingly endless uses for lavender from home goods to baked goods. Here are a few ideas listed below.

  • The flavor of lavender goes best with sweet or decadent. Use it in cookies, scones, or cakes.
  • You can also use it in drinks. Try this lavender lemonade!
  • Make a calming exfoliating scrub. Mix dried or fresh lavender with granulated sugar and melted coconut oil until you reach your desired consistency. Store in an airtight container.
  • Make homemade chamomile lavender latte.

 

The ideas are endless, so get creative! Share with us how you used your lavender on our Facebook page, Weekly Fig, or our members only page, Weekly Fig Think Tank.

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods.

Meal Plan for August 30, 2017

 
Chicken Avocado Pear Salad
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 chicken breast
  2. 1/2 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  3. 2 cups chopped greens of your choice
  4. 1 avocado pitted and sliced
  5. 2 pears sliced
  6. 1 green onion cleaned and thinly sliced
  7. ¼ cup walnuts
Dressing
  1. 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  2. 1/2 tbsp honey
  3. 1 tbsp olive oil
  4. 1 pinch salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil or butter in a skillet. When melted, add the chicken to the skillet and cook about 3 minutes on each side until browned. Sprinkle the chopped rosemary onto the chicken, cover the skillet and let the chicken cook until cooked throughout.
  2. Whisk all salad dressing ingredients together in the bottom of a large bowl until combined. Add the greens and toss.
  3. Assemble the remainder of the salad with the sliced avocado, pears, green onions, and walnuts.
  4. Slice the chicken when it's done and add to the salad. Serve.
Adapted from Add a Pinch
Adapted from Add a Pinch
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
Summer Succotash
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 pound okra tops and tails trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  2. 1 large tomato seeded and coarsely chopped
  3. 1/2 cup freshly cut corn kernels
  4. 1 poblano pepper seeded and diced
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine okra and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan. Add tomatoes, corn and poblano, and place over medium heat. Do not stir. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer.
  2. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the flavors are well blended. Stir to combine.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, and serve hot.
Adapted from NY Times Cooking
Adapted from NY Times Cooking
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
One Pan Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, and Green Beans
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 chicken breasts
  2. 1 beauregard sweet potato diced
  3. 1 cup half runner green beans
  4. olive oil
  5. spices*
Instructions
  1. Arrange the chicken and veggies in sections. Coat in olive oil and spices, then cover with aluminum foil and cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Notes
  1. *For my spices I used: salt, pepper all over; I used cinnamon on the sweet potatoes and I used garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme, a little basil, onion powder and some paprika on the chicken and the green beans.
Adapted from Paleo Made Painless
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
Sausage, Pepper, and Potato Skillet
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 6 oz kielbasa sausage sliced
  2. 1 green bell pepper diced
  3. 1/2 onion diced
  4. 1 large potato (or 2 small) peeled and diced
  5. olive oil
  6. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a heavy bottomed skillet (I like to use my cast iron), heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, around 8-10 minutes, stirring a few times to ensure even browning.
  2. In a separate skillet, brown the sliced kielbasa for around 5 minutes in 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Remove the kielbasa from the pan and set aside. Add the peppers and onions to the skillet and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the cooked potatoes and kielbasa to the skillet with the onions and peppers and mix everything together. Serve nice and hot!
Notes
  1. I use two skillets to make this recipe. I used to make it in one, but something always came out wrong. I've learned that when I cook my potatoes in a separate skillet they cook more evenly and stay nice any crispy when they're added to the other ingredients right before serving. Sometimes I'll add some minced garlic to the peppers and onions, but it tastes just as good without it.
Adapted from The Two Bite Club
Adapted from The Two Bite Club
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour*
  2. 1/4 tsp. salt
  3. 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 1/2 tsp. fresh lavender
  5. 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  6. 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  7. 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  8. pure cane sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, sift together flour and salt. Set aside.
  2. Place 1 Tbsp. of the granulated sugar, lavender, and lemon zest in a mortar and grind lightly with the pestle, or use a bowl and the back of a spoon.
  3. Place lavender mixture in large bowl with remaining sugar and butter. Cream together until smooth. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture until it forms a dough. Shape into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place on prepared sheet. Sprinkle with some pure cane sugar, then place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  6. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned around the edges. Cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Can be stored in an airtight container for 5 days.
Adapted from The Beach House Kitchen
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

What a Great Event!

What an incredible day with beautiful clear skies as we joined together in Athens, TN for this once in a lifetime total solar eclipse so close to home.  Thank you for being part of this special day! Everything was truly magical and unforgettable, from the gorgeous farm venue to the delicious food catered by Your Mystic Delights to the glorious display in the sky.

 

Here’s a note from our farm partner and venue host, Charles Mayfield. 

Mayfield Pastures was honored to host our eclipse event with Weekly Fig. It was a mesmerizing day and quite a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet some of you and show you around our farm. We wanted to take a moment to thank you and tell you a bit more about what we are doing and why your membership in the Weekly Fig is so critical to our mission.

Mayfield Pastures started as a micro-farming enterprise with the goal of feeding our family the best possible food we could grow. This quickly grew into the realization that if we’re going to take the time, energy and effort to grow a little food, we might as well grow a little more for people that are interested. Mayfield Pastures began in late Fall of 2016 with a test batch of broilers, layers and pigs. Fast forward to today and we have our third batch of broilers in the brooder, holiday turkeys in the pasture, forty laying hens, twenty pigs and twelve cows. We employ many of the practices of regenerative agricultural leaders like Joel Salatin and Will Harris.

With that being said, Mayfield Pastures is still in its infancy, and much of our focus is on animal management, ecological study and continuing to learn these management practices. With so much care and time spent on the animals and land, little time is left for marketing and delivery. The animals, weather, and various maladies that present themselves in farming need constant attention. If we are continue to put soil, animal health and learning our systems at the top of our to-do list, then finding customers has had to fall to the bottom of our list.

In late Spring of 2017, we were introduced to Weekly Fig by one of our biggest supporters from Atlanta through the Weston A Price Foundation. Our partnership with them has proved to be invaluable as we continue to manage our farm. As you know, without a sale…there is no business. Bringing our incredible eggs, poultry, pork, and ‘soon to be’ beef to Weekly Fig has given this farming project the ability to focus on doing things right. Your patronage and interest in local, healthy food that puts more back into the land than it takes away is how we are able to do what we do. THANK YOU!

We are presently preparing for 2018 and need your help. Please continue your patronage of the Weekly Fig. Spread the word. Invite your friends and neighbors over for a home cooked meal made with local ingredients. Take a few hours on a weekend and come see our farm. Come see what your loyalty is doing to caress our land and create a sustainable food model for generations to come. We welcome you with open arms and hope that you’ll continue to nurture your family with the very best food our community has to offer.

Sincerely,
Charles Mayfield
Mayfield Pastures

 
Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods.

Why We Use Unconventional Methods

At Weekly Fig, we partner with many different farmers and vendors to bring you your products. One farm in particular requires us to get creative about how we communicate with them. They are the Martin Family  Farm in Englewood, Tennessee, and we use messenger (or homing) pigeons to contact them. 

Why pigeons?

They are Mennonites, and their beliefs do not approve of the use of modern technology, so we can’t call them or send them an email to get in touch. Instead, we send a note attached to pigeons. We want to support these farmers, so we made a small compromise because the food is worth it and our members are worth it.

Their Beliefs

The Mennonites believe they grow food the way God intended, which means nothing is used to keep bugs or weeds away. Their produce is not “certified organic” but even better. It’s absolutely chemical free. They also practice sustainable farming. 

 

Stay tuned for more info about our homing pigeons!

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

 

Vegucation: Okra

Okra is a southern food staple. Although it’s usually breaded and fried, there are healthier ways to get its benefits. 

Why is it beneficial?

Okra has a large amount of vitamins A and C, as well as minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium. The vitamins give you healthy eyes and skin and keep your immune system healthy. Okra also has a ton of fiber which improves digestion. However, if you’re prone to kidney stones, beware of how much okra you eat. It contains oxalates which cause the formation of kidney stones. For the average person, eating okra is safe. 

How long will it keep?

Okra will last for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. For longer storage, you can always freeze it. 

When is it in season?roasted okra

You can usually find okra between July and October in Tennessee. Always try to buy local and organic whenever possible.

How can I prepare it?

Okra can be delicious even when it’s not fried. Here are a few ideas:

  • Roast it sliced or whole at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. 
  • Sauté it and add it to your stir fries, curries, gumbos, and soups.
  • You can grill it alongside your meat.
  • If you have the time, pickle your okra to make it last longer. 

 

Share with us how you like your okra on our Facebook page, Weekly Fig.

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

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Meal Plan for August 23, 2017

Here are your meals for the week. Enjoy!

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
  2. 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  4. 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  5. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  7. 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  8. 1 bell/Italian pepper sliced
  9. 1/2 poblano pepper sliced
  10. 1/2 sweet onion thinly sliced
  11. juice of 1 lime plus more for serving
  12. 1/8 cup fresh cilantro chopped, plus more for serving
  13. 4 taco shells warmed
  14. 1 cup steamed rice for serving
  15. shredded cheddar, avocado, sour cream, etc. for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. On a large baking sheet, toss together the chicken, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic, powder, salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Scoot the chicken to one side of the pan, arranging it in an even layer.
  3. To the opposite side of the pan, add the peppers, onions and remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the peppers are beginning to char.
  4. Remove from the the oven and toss everything together with the lime juice and cilantro.
  5. To serve, divide the rice among warmed tortillas. Top with chicken, peppers, cheese, avocado, and any other toppings. Enjoy!
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
Okra Pilaf
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 slices of bacon chopped
  2. 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  3. 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  4. 1 cup okra sliced into disks
  5. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne or to taste
  6. 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt use less salt if using seasoned broth
  7. 1/2 cup long-grain rice
  8. 3/4 cup chicken stock*
Instructions
  1. Spread the chopped bacon out in a pot so it covers the bottom completely and turn the heat to medium. Fry it until it's crispy, then remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Drain off all but about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.
  2. Add the onion and green pepper and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the okra and increase the heat to high. Add the cayenne, salt and rice and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the chicken broth, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer and cook until the rice is done, about 20 minutes.
  5. Fluff up the rice with a fork and stir in the chopped bacon.
Notes
  1. *Review the instructions on your package of rice for how much liquid is needed for your particular brand of rice. Some rice calls for a 1:1 1/2 ratio, some 1:2 ratio, rice to liquid. Use whatever ratio is indicated by your rice package.
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
Heirloom Tomato Onion Salad
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb heirloom tomatoes
  2. 1/8 lb red onion sliced
  3. 8 small basil leaves
  4. 8 small parsley leaves
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  7. 1 tbsp olive oil
  8. 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  9. 1/2 tbsp honey
Instructions
  1. Coarsely chop up the tomatoes, removing any stems or rough patches. thinly slice the onion and wash the herb leaves after they’ve been plucked from the stem.
  2. Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Serve immediately or the tomatoes will give off a lot of liquid. You definitely don’t want to make this ahead of time and stick it in the fridge for long or the tomatoes will get mealy and lose their smooth texture.
Adapted from Sweet Beet and Green Bean
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
Chicken Salad in Roasted Acorn Squash
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1 acorn squash halved and seeds removed
  2. olive oil as needed
  3. salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  4. 1/2 cup shredded chicken
  5. 2 cups lettuce or spinach
  6. 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  7. balsamic vinegar to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Drizzle the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Roast for about 30-35 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Let squash cool slighly, then divide the lettuce and chicken among the 4 halves. Add pomegrante arils, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with balsamic to taste.
Adapted from The Feed Feed
Adapted from The Feed Feed
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

Vegucation: Sage

Sage is technically an herb, but its benefits were too important to not include in this series. It’s actually closely related to rosemary, so the two share many properties. Sage was used thousands of years ago as medicine, but now is used to season dishes across the world. 

Why is it beneficial?

Research has shown that eating sage can boost memory, decrease inflammation (like arthritis), and protect against free radicals. It also helps maintain bone density because of its high amount of vitamin K. 

When is it in season?

Sage can be grown year round in Tennessee depending on weather and if farmers choose to grow it. Always buy organic sage whenever possible to avoid consuming extra chemicals and toxins. 

How long will it keep?sage plant

Fresh sage won’t last but a few days. Keep in the refrigerator in loose packaging if you plan to use soon. If you want to make it last longer, you can dry or freeze your herbs. (See below)

How can I prepare it?

You can eat sage fresh or cooked. Usually savory foods go best with sage’s peppery flavor, but feel free to get creative. Check out the ideas listed below:

  • Add it as a garnish before serving.
  • Add it to vegetables before roasting for a deeper flavor. 
  • Learn how to dry your herbs here.
  • Learn how to freeze them here with a simple ice cube tray.
  • Add it to marinades for grilling meat. 
  • If you are vegetarian, sage also goes great with lentils or chickpeas. 

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

Meal Plan for August 16, 2017

Late summer always brings hearty squash, delicate tomatoes, and leafy greens. Enjoy the season as you recreate these recipes!

Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Sage Gnocchi
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1 butternut squash
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 3 links sausage casings removed
  4. 2 tablespoons butter
  5. handful large fresh sage leaves
  6. 2 cloves garlic crushed
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  9. 1 1/2 cups chicken stock divided into 1/2 cup and 1 cup
  10. 3/4 pound gnocchi
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees .
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the gnocchi. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high.
  3. Cut the neck off the squash; peel and cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes. Reserve the bulb portion to roast for another meal.
  4. Add the olive oil to the skillet, add the sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up into bite-size pieces, until browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl. Add the butter to the skillet. When it melts, add the sage; cook until crispy and the butter browns, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sage to a paper towel. Add the garlic to the skillet; stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the squash; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the wine and cook, stirring often, until reduced a bit, about 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups stock, depending on how saucy you want the dish to be, and bring to a bubble. Add the sausage; transfer to the oven. Roast until the squash is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Salt the boiling water, add the gnocchi and cook until they float to the surface, about 3 minutes. Drain and toss with the squash and sausage sauce; season. Top with the sage leaves. Serve with the grated cheese for passing at the table.
  6. Add the garlic to the skillet; stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the squash; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the 1/2 cup stock and cook, stirring often, until reduced a bit, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of stock, and bring to a bubble. Add the sausage; transfer to the oven. Roast until the squash is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  7. Salt the boiling water, add the gnocchi and cook until they float to the surface, about 3 minutes. Drain and toss with the squash and sausage sauce; season. Top with the sage leaves. Serve with the grated cheese for passing at the table.
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
Spicy Sweet Potato Chicken Chili
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb. chicken breasts
  2. 2 cups chicken broth
  3. 1/2 onion minced
  4. 1 clove garlic minced
  5. 1/2 jalapeno minced (omit if you want it less spicy)
  6. 1 Italian bullhorn pepper, diced
  7. 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  8. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  9. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 1 sweet potato peeled and diced
  11. 1 14 oz can can fire roasted tomatoes with garlic undrained
  12. 1 14 oz can black beans drained
  13. cilantro and Cotija cheese for topping
Instructions
  1. Poach the chicken: Bring the chicken broth to a rolling boil and add the raw chicken breasts. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the chicken continue to cook in the broth for another 20 minutes. Remove the chicken, let cool, and shred with two forks. Reserve 2 cups of broth. Keep chicken in the fridge until ready to use (I did this a day in advance and just stored my chicken and broth together in the fridge).
  2. Saute the veggies: Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño (optional) and saute until tender. Add the chili powder, salt, and sweet potatoes. Saute until the sweet potatoes are lightly browned.
  3. Let it cook: Add the fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, shredded chicken and reserved broth. Stir and cover with a tight fitting lid. Keep over medium heat for 45 minutes without stirring (see notes).
  4. Make it saucy: After 45 minutes, uncover and you’ll see a bunch of chicken and veggies with hardly any liquid. Perfect. Add 2 cups of water (or less, as needed) and stir to combine. Add cornstarch slowly until you reach desired thickness.
  5. Eat: Season with salt and pepper and serve topped with cilantro and Cotija cheese.
Notes
  1. *It works best to use a nonstick pot. If your pot is NOT nonstick, be sure to stir periodically and add some water to prevent sticking and burning.
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
Crookneck Squash and Tomato Bake
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 yellow crookneck squash sliced 1/4-inch thick
  2. 2 medium tomatoes sliced 1/4-inch thick
  3. 1 green onion minced
  4. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  5. 1 Tbsp. wine vinegar
  6. 1 Tbsp. dijon-style mustard
  7. 1/2 tsp. salt
  8. 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.F
  2. In a lightly oiled 1-quart shallow baking dish, alternate squash and tomato slices. (Choose squash and tomatoes that will be about the same size when sliced.) Sprinkle with green onions.
  3. Combine oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and black pepper. Drizzle over vegetables.
  4. Bake at 400°F for 10 to 15 min. Let cool 10 to 15 min. before serving.
Adapted from Group Recipes
Adapted from Group Recipes
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
Spaghetti with Kale and Cherry Tomatoes
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb spaghetti
  2. 1/2 lb cherry tomatoes halved
  3. 1/2 bunch of kale destemmed and chopped
  4. Zest of 2 lemons
  5. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  9. Grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Instructions
  1. Place spaghetti, cherry tomatoes, kale, lemon zest, olive oil, and salt in a large, shallow pan (the pan should be large enough that the dry spaghetti can almost lie flat).
  2. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 to 10 minutes.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, top with Parmesan cheese and serve!
Adapted from The Iron You
Adapted from The Iron You
Weekly Fig http://blog.weeklyfig.com/
Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

Is Fat Good for Us?

Fat is possibly the most controversial nutrient out there. Years ago we believed too much fat directly caused heart disease, but now studies are showing that it can be good for us. So, what’s the deal? Here are the basics:

What does fat do?

Fat helps absorb vitamins, clot blood, balance hormone production, maintain healthy skin and hair, and supports a working brain (especially those omega-3s). Extremely low-fat diets are missing out on these important functions. Adding healthy fats to your meals also helps you feel more satisfied and can reduce snacking which might help some lose weight. 

So, which fats are healthy?

The “good” fats–the unsaturated fats–are found in fish, avocados, olive oil, canola oil, and nuts and seeds like walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds. These help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Your daily fat intake should consist of mostly unsaturated fats. A handful of walnuts, two tablespoons of chia seeds, or one tablespoon of olive oil are great portions of healthy fats. healthy fats, nuts and seeds

Saturated fats can raise LDL cholesterol, but are fine in moderation along with unsaturated fats. Butter, cheese, yogurt, and most animal derived fat is saturated fat. Coconut oil actually contains both unsaturated and saturated fats, but is still best in moderation. These should not be your primary source of fat. It is important to note that grass-fed meat and dairy contain more beneficial omega-3s  than grain-fed, so this is a healthier option. 

Try to avoid trans fats at all costs. Trans fats are hydrogenated (hardened) vegetable oils, and are usually used to preserve processed food. These hardened oils are more likely to clog arteries than the other two kinds of fats which leads to a higher risk of heart disease. Using whole, real ingredients ensures you won’t be consuming these fats. 

 

Take-Away

There is no single amount of fat intake for everyone. Some people need more fat in their diet, like nursing or pregnant women. Some people need less, like those with a high risk of heart attack. Always talk to your doctor for a more personalized amount. Generally, a well balanced diet with plenty of protein, “good” fat, and fresh vegetables ensures a healthy mind and body. 

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods. 

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