Weekly Fig

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Tag: local

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.

Vegucation: Celery

You might have heard that celery is good for you because you burn more calories chewing it than you do consuming it. Although this is a myth, celery is still a healthy snack and addition to meals. 

About Celery

It was first used in cooking in 16th century Italy. Before that, celery was used in ancient Chinese medicine and during the Middle Ages to treat conditions like insomnia, hypertension, and arthritis. People back then thought it purified the blood. Celery belongs to the same plant family as parsley and carrots. 

Why is it beneficial?celery chopped

Celery is full of nutrients to be so full of water. In fact, it is 95% water, so it makes the perfect snack for staying hydrated in the warmer months. It has vitamins K, C, B6, and B9 (folate) and minerals like potassium. Because of these nutrients, celery has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Eating celery regularly can detox the liver, reduce bloating, prevent infection, and even protect against cancer. 

When is it in season?

You can usually find celery in July and August in Tennessee. Sometimes it comes early or later depending on the weather. Try to buy organic celery whenever possible.

How long will it keep?

Fresh celery stalks will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator. Only wash the stalks you are about to use. Celery leaves are also edible and have the same health benefits.

How can I prepare celery?

There are many ways to eat celery besides the traditional ants on a log snack. Here are a few ideas:

  • Chop up the stalks and the greens and add it to soups. This is especially great when you’re sick.
  • Add the stalks to a juice. It goes great with cucumber and lemon or lime. (Don’t try adding celery to a smoothie because the stalks are too tough. They might tear up your blender.)
  • Sliced celery makes a great crunchy addition to stir fries. 

celery juice

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

Homemade Granola Recipe with Local Honey

Using local, raw honey is one of the best things you can do for your body and your community. Not only are you supporting bee keepers in your area, you are also receiving many health benefits. Eating honey regularly can reduce pollen allergies, maintain a healthy weight, and protect against certain diseases. This homemade recipe uses real ingredients like local honey to replace artificial store bought granolas that are filled with preservatives. 

Serving Size: 1/4 cup   

Makes about 28 servings. 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups local, raw honey (get it here)
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the oats out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast them for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. They should have a nutty aroma when ready.
  2. While the oats are toasting, mix the honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a large bowl. honey
  3. Add the toasted oats, almonds, pecan pieces, and pumpkin seeds to the honey mixture. Combine until all the dry ingredients are covered with honey.
  4. Spread the mixture onto your baking sheet in an even layer. Use parchment paper if you want to prevent your baking sheet from getting sticky. Turn your oven off, and put the granola in the oven for 5 minutes to warm. granola on baking sheet
  5. Let the granola cool completely, then break apart into crumbles. Keep your granola in an airtight container and eat within 2 weeks. This recipe makes about 28 servings that are 1/4 a cup. 

To Make Granola Bars

Add half a cup more honey to the mixture. Press the granola together into a solid sheet, then leave it in the oven for 5 minutes longer. Let cool completely, then cut into bar shapes with a knife. Keep in an airtight container, and eat within 2 weeks.

 

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

Vegucation: Golden Beets

About Golden Beetsgolden beets

People have known about the health benefits of beets since Ancient Rome. There are even historic texts describing them in hanging gardens in Babylon. Beets are actually the second largest source of natural sugar next to cane sugar, so it’s no wonder they have been around so long. Beets come in many varieties like red, white, golden, and striped, but golden beets have the sweetest and mildest flavor. They are much less earthy-tasting than your common red beet. 

Why are they beneficial?

Golden beets are full of nutrients like vitamins C and A, iron, potassium, and antioxidants. All of these nutrients work to keep your heart healthy, cleanse your kidneys and liver, lower blood pressure, and promote healthy skin and eyes. Beets are especially good for athletes because they give you natural energy and improve endurance. Eating beets or drinking beet juice before a big event can improve your athletic performance. 

When are they in season?

Peak seasons for golden beets in Tennessee are usually spring and fall. They may come earlier or later depending on the weather. 

 How long will they keep?

Separate the beet root from the beet greens. Store them in separate bags in the refrigerator. The greens are edible, but they will only last a few days in the refrigerator. The beet roots will keep for around two weeks. You’ll know they’re still fresh if the root is firm. 

 

beets close upHow do I prepare them?

You’ll need to clean the beets before you cook with them. Peel any parts that look too tough to eat, but keep as much of the skin on as possible to preserve the nutrients. Peel your beets completely if they are not organic to avoid ingesting any pesticides. With golden beets, you don’t have to worry about the juice staining countertops or clothes. 

You can eat golden beets in a variety of different ways:

  • Roast them in the oven alone or with other hearty vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes. Just coat in olive oil and seasoning of your choice. 
  • Make homemade pickled beets. This is a good idea if you have a large quantity and won’t be able to eat them all before they go bad.
  • Juice them! The flavor of golden beets goes well with citrus and ginger. 

Although the flavor of beets might not appeal to you at first, try them prepared different ways to find the way you like them. Then reap the benefits!

 

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

Meet the Farmer: Tucker Farms

Meet the farmers that supply the produce in your Fig box!

About Tucker Farms

Tucker Farms is located in Rome, Georgia. They do most of their business with restaurants that support a seed-to-table philosophy in the Atlanta and Chattanooga area. Tucker Farms specializes in lettuce varieties, greens, and herbs that the grow in their hydroponic greenhouse year-round. They also grow some seasonal garden vegetables. 

Their Mission

Tucker Farms strives to “grow responsibly, treat the earth kindly, and provide [their] customers with safe, healthy, and delicious food.” They use sustainable growing methods to preserve the farm’s ecosystem. 

The History of Tucker Farms

Craig Tucker and his wife Kikki own and run the farm. They are both from the Rome and Calhoun area. Craig began farming in 2007, after working in the Construction Management field. His wife Kikki joined the farm full-time in 2015. Starting out, Tucker rented farmland in Calhoun but eventually moved the farm to its permanent location in Rome. 

Learn more about Tucker Farms at https://tuckerfarmsga.com

 

Weekly Fig is a private membership for local sustainable foods. 

Veggie of the Week: Mustard Greens

When most of us hear the words “mustard greens”, we probably think of the traditional southern side dish that we grew up hating as kids. The good news is there are many different ways of preparing this leafy vegetable other than the mushy green stuff  put on your plate at Grandma’s house. This soul food even has plenty of health benefits that most people aren’t aware of. 

How did Mustard Greens become a thing?

The traditional style of cooking greens came from Africa during the slave trade. The slaves that lived on southern plantations passed down their traditional cooking techniques and eventually gave us the southern soul food we have today. 

Why are they beneficial?

We usually don’t think of southern food as being super nutritious, but mustard greens are! They contain the important antioxidants vitamins A and C. Antioxidants protect the body from free-radicals that cause cell damage. These greens also contain vitamin K, which is important for bone health. Mustard greens are very high in chlorophyll, which is the substance that gives certain plants their green color. But it’s also important for humans because chlorophyll can help pull toxins out of the liver.

When are they in season?

You can usually find local mustard greens in the spring (May-June) and fall (September-November) in Tennessee. However, this is subject to change depending on weather. Look for greens that are vibrant, not yellow or wilted. The smaller the leaves, the more tender that will be once cooked. 

How long will they keep?

Mustard greens will stay fresh for about a week if properly stored. Only wash the amount you are going to cook at a time. When you first get them, go through the bunch and remove the bad leaves. This will keep the rest of the bunch fresher. Place the greens in a breathable produce bag and store in a crisper drawer. You can poke holes in a regular Ziploc bag if you don’t have produce bags. Placing a paper towel in the bag with them will wick away moisture if your refrigerator is very humid. 

Now that I have them, how do I cook them?

Be sure to wash your greens thoroughly before eating since leafy vegetables tend to hold onto dirt and debris. Most recipes tell you to soak or rinse the greens in cold water for a few minutes before cooking them. You can cut as much of the stem off as you want. The good stuff is in the leaves! 

Now it’s time to get creative. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • Add them to your favorite stew or soup in the crockpot. Just don’t cook them in there the whole time. Add them about 15 minutes before you serve. (Less time on high heat)
  • Make them Jamaican style. Recipe can be found here on Weekly Fig’s meal plan. 
  • Add them to  your weekend brunch menu. Saute the greens with roasted sweet potatoes, red peppers, and sweet onions. Add some whisked eggs, and season with thyme or rosemary, salt, and pepper. 
  • Make them the traditional way, but with unexpected seasonings. Want them spicy? Add cayenne or red pepper flakes. Craving something Asian inspired? Add tahini and sesame seeds. 

The sky is the limit! With all the different possible combinations of flavors, everyone is sure to find their favorite way to eat their greens. No matter how you prepare them, you are still receiving the wonderful health benefits of this staple food. 

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

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