Wednesday, August 14, 2019

August 15, 2019 - This Week's Box Contents, Featuring Edamame!

Cooking With This Week's Box

Sierra Blanca White or Zoey Yellow Onions: Summer Squash TartPork & Tomatillo StewGreek Cucumber Salad

Green and/or Italian Zucchini: Grilled Zucchini HummusVegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cream Sauce; Pork & Tomatillo Stew

Broccoli: Thai Quinoa Bowl (see below); Healthier Broccoli Chicken Casserole

Green and/or Silver Slicer Cucumbers: Sushi Salad (see below); Greek Cucumber Salad

Edamame: Sushi Salad (see below); Thai Quinoa Bowl (see below)

Orange Carrots: Thai Quinoa Bowl (see below); Pork & Tomatillo Stew

Green Bell or Orange Ukraine Peppers: Thai Quinoa Bowl (see below); Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cream Sauce

Sunorange, Red Grape or Chocolate Sprinkles Tomatoes: Easy Marinated Cherry (grape) Tomatoes; Greek Cucumber Salad

Green Curly Kale: Sushi Salad (see below); Thai Quinoa Bowl (see below); Country Ham, Egg & Kale Breakfast Pizza; Eggplant Lasagna

Sun Jewel, French Orange, OR Sweet Sarah Melon:  Just Eat It!

Welcome back to another week of cooking!  I looked at the calendar earlier this week and realized we only have about 6 weeks of summer remaining before we hit the official First Day of Autumn!  We still have a lot of good summer cooking to do before I’m ready to turn the page on another summer, so lets get busy!  This week our featured vegetable is edamame.  Before I came to Harmony Valley Farm, I had never had fresh edamame and didn’t realize how tender, sweet and delicious it can be!  This week I have sourced two recipes that use edamame.  The first recipe comes from and is for a Sushi Salad (see below).  Now this salad doesn’t have any raw fish in it, although you could add it if you’d like. Rather, the base of this salad is short grain brown rice or you could use sushi rice.  Both are short grain types of rice that are a little more sticky in nature with tender, chewy kernels.  The dressing for this salad is based on miso and toasted sesame oil.  Vegetables including cucumbers and edamame are piled on top of the rice along with chunks of avocado and some greens, which this week could be chopped kale.  The dressing is drizzled over everything and then the salad is garnished with sesame seeds and nori seaweed.  It’s all the components of a good vegetarian sushi roll, but without having to roll it!  The second recipe is for a Thai Quinoa Bowl (see below) that I found on a new site,  This is a main dish recipe that is built on a base of quinoa with a whole mess of vegetables piled on top!  You can vary the vegetables depending on the season and what you have available.  This week you can use edamame, broccoli, carrots, kale and peppers from the box.  It also calls for beets, jicama and red cabbage.  If you don’t have those vegetables, just substitute more of the others or use whatever you have!  The protein in this dish is a spicy chile-garlic tofu.  Add that to the bowl and drizzle everything with a nutty ginger dressing, garnish with fresh cilantro and roasted sunflower seeds.  There is a lot going on in this bowl, both in nutrients and in flavors!

Yellow Split Pea & Kale Potato Curry
Photo from
There are so many different ways you can use green curly kale.  If you don’t use it all in one or both of the dishes I just described, consider using it to make this Yellow Split Pea & Kale Potato Curry.   This is another recipe from  I’m really glad I stumbled across this blog and I think it’s one I’ll be referencing more in the future because it’s full of really tasty vegetarian recipes.  This dish features kale and potatoes as well as tomatoes, ginger, curry powder and turmeric.  It’s a hearty vegetarian meal served with rice.  The other recipe I’ve included this week for kale is for a Country Ham, Egg & Kale Breakfast Pizza.  I told you there are a lot of things you can make with kale!  Why not have it for breakfast!

Last week we featured eggplant and over the past week I’ve come across more eggplant recipes that look really tasty!   Two of them made the cut for this week’s recommendations.  The first is for Burnt Eggplant with Zaatar FlatbreadYou don’t really burn the eggplant for this recipe, rather you roast it until the skin gets nice and roasty, toasty dark and the whole thing kind of collapses as the flesh gets soft and silky.  You scoop the flesh out and combine it with a few ingredients to make a very rustic kind of dip or mixture you can eat scooped up with freshly made flatbread seasoned with zaatar, a middle eastern seasoning.  The second recipe is for Eggplant LasagnaThis recipe resembles a traditional lasagna, but instead of using pasta to create layers, you use thin slices of eggplant!  There is no meat in this recipe, although you could add it if you’d like.  It does call for spinach, but you could use kale instead.

Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cream Sauce
We just started picking tomatillos from our second crop this week, while we’re still picking from the first as well!  They are nice and big right now and look gorgeous!  Tomatillos are a fun vegetable/fruit to cook with.  Of course you could make a traditional salsa verde, but if you’re interested in kicking it up a bit, I highly recommend this recipe for Vegetable Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cream Sauce.  This is a great summer recipe that features a lot of different vegetables and it’s memorably delicious!  I tested and published this recipe last summer and all winter I wished I had made an extra pan of these to put into the freezer!  The tomatillo cream sauce is a breeze to make and you need little more than some fresh pico de gallo or chopped tomatoes to complete this dish.  Leftovers are also excellent.  My other longtime favorite recipe using tomatillos is this Pork & Tomatillo Stew.  I made this stew back when I was cooking for the crew.  I like to make this when tomatillos are fresh, but you can also make it in the winter with frozen tomatillos.  Just remove the husk, wash & dry the tomatillos, then put them in a freezer bag and pop them into the freezer.  Pull them out in the middle of the winter and make this hearty, delicious stew!

Healthier Broccoli Chicken Casserold
Photo from
We’ve had a nice long run on broccoli this summer, but it’s soon to come to a close and then we’ll have a few weeks of a gap before the fall broccoli starts coming in.  Ali, from featured this recipe for Healthier Broccoli Chicken Casserole on her blog this past week.  It’s totally homemade—no canned cream of mushroom soup, but rather a creamy mushroom cheese sauce mixed with pasta, fresh broccoli and cooked chicken.  This is a recipe that could be assembled in advance (like on the weekend), then pull it out and bake it off the day you want to eat it.  Serve it with a little tomato or cucumber salad on the side and you’re set.

Zucchini isn’t going to be around forever, but the plants keep producing so we keep picking!  A member sent us this recipe for Grilled Zucchini Hummus.  This is made in the style of hummus, but without chickpeas!  The flavor comes from grilling the zucchini which is then blended with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and smoked paprika.  The other zucchini recipe I’d like to recommend this week is for Summer Squash Tart.  Summer squash and zucchini can be used interchangeably.  The base of this tart is puff pastry, so don’t even have to make the crust, just buy it.  Make a creamy base with ricotta, egg and parsley, layer on the zucchini and bake it.  Top it off with feta and you have a beautiful tart to serve for lunch or dinner!

Summer isn’t summer until you’ve made some version of a Greek Cucumber Salad.  Now that we have fresh tomatoes, it’s time to make this salad.  This recipe includes black olives, which I like but you could omit if you don’t care for them.  Serve this as a side dish alongside that Summer Squash Tart or with a grilled steak or roasted chicken.

Photo from
If you don’t use the small tomatoes in the pint container as part of the Greek Cucumber Salad, consider using them to make Easy Marinated Cherry (grape) Tomatoes.  You can scale this recipe to whatever quantity of tomatoes you have available.  The tomatoes are mixed with fresh herbs, garlic, olive oil and some white wine vinegar.  Put these in the fridge and use them throughout the week as a little side condiment/salad to eat alongside eggs for breakfast, grilled meat, on top of pasta dishes, etc.  It’s just nice to have something fresh and tangy that’s already made to add to your meals.

I think we’ve used up pretty much everything in the box, except for the little melon hanging out in the corner.  I don’t have a recipe suggestion for this item this week because I think you should just eat it!  Cut it, scoop out the seeds and enjoy it!  They are sweet and delicious and don’t require anything more than a knife and a spoon.

As we close out this week’s Cooking With the Box discussion, I want to share a link with you to WDRT.  This is our local public radio station.  Last week I was invited to the studio to talk with Philothea Bezin, the host of their Saturday food show, Who’s In the Kitchen.  We had a fun conversation about seasonal cooking with an emphasis on summer cooking!  If you’d like to listen to our banter, you can access the show on their website through the end of this week.

Have a great week!—Chef Andrea

Vegetable Feature: Edamame

By Andrea Yoder

Edamame (eh-dah-MAH-may) is a fresh soybean that has grown in popularity in the United States over the past few years, but has been a part of Japanese and Chinese cuisine for much longer.  True edamame intended for fresh eating is quite different than oil-seed soybeans and tofu beans most often grown to make tofu and other processed soy products.  The edamame varieties we grow were developed specifically because they produce a sweet bean that doesn’t have a “beany” aftertaste and is the preferred variety in Japan and China for fresh eating.  Seed varieties for tofu beans are typically much less expensive than varieties for fresh eating, thus in this country the edamame found in the frozen section, either in the pod or shelled, is likely a tofu bean with that “beany” aftertaste.  We actually save our own seed, which still comes at a cost, but allows us to grow our preferred, clean tasting varieties.

Edamame resembles a small lima bean encased in a pod.  The beans are sweet and tender and best eaten lightly cooked. Unlike sugar snap peas, edamame pods are not edible and should be discarded.  Edamame is hard to shell when it’s raw.  It is easiest to cook edamame in its pod first and then remove the beans from the pod.   To cook edamame, rinse the pods thoroughly with cold water. Bring a pot of heavily salted water (salty like the sea) to a boil.  Add the edamame and boil for about 3-4 minutes.  You should see the pods change to a bright green color.  Remove the edamame from the boiling water and immediately put them in ice water or run cold water over them to quickly cool them.   After the beans are cooked you can easily squeeze the pod to pop the beans out, either into a bowl or directly into your mouth!  Once you’ve removed them from the pods, they are ready to incorporate into a recipe or eat as a snack.

You can also roast edamame in their pods.  There’s a basic recipe on our website, but basically you toss the edamame pods with oil and seasonings of your choice.  Serve the beans whole with their pods still on.  While you won’t eat the pod, you can use your teeth to pull the edamame out of the pod and in the process you’ll pick up the seasoning on the outside of the pod!

Fried Rice with Edamame and Corn
You can store fresh or cooked edamame for up to a week in the refrigerator, but it is best to eat them soon for the sweetest flavor and best texture.  If you are want to preserve edamame for later use, simply follow the cooking procedure above, then freeze the beans either in their pods or remove them and freeze just the bean. It’s fun to pull something green out of the freezer in the winter to enjoy as a snack or incorporate into a winter stir-fry or pan of fried rice.

Edamame is often eaten as a simple snack, but you can also incorporate it into vegetable or grain salads, stir-fry, fried rice, steamed dumplings or pot stickers to name just a few suggestions.  They pair well with any combination of traditional Asian ingredients such as sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger.  They are also a nice, bright addition to brothy soups such as a miso soup.  If you follow the suggested method for boiling edamame before shelling them, the bean will already be fully cooked, so if you are adding edamame to a hot dish or recipe, do so at the end of the cooking. 

Sushi Salad with Brown Rice, Edamame, Nori and Miso Dressing

photo from

Author’s Note:  “The beauty of this salad is that you can prep everything ahead of time with the exception of cutting the avocado. You may want to double the dressing. I’ve been doing this, and it has been so nice to have on hand, especially when you have leftover rice, edamame, lettuce, etc. on hand — makes for such a satisfying and fast lunch. On subsequent days, you may need to thin the dressing with more water.”


3 cups cooked short grain brown rice, cooled
1–2 cups shelled edamame
4 small cucumbers, thinly sliced into rounds
2 avocados, peeled and sliced
A few handfuls baby spinach, kale, chard or other tender greens
Olive oil, to taste (optional)
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
4 toasted nori seaweed sheets, cut into thin slices
Sea salt, to taste 


3 Tbsp miso paste 
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp mirin
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame seeds
1–2 Tbsp water or more as needed

  1. First, make the dressing. Whisk together the miso paste, sesame oil, mirin, sugar, and 1 to 2 Tbsp water until smooth. Add more water by the tablespoon until the dressing is the consistency of cream — it should be pourable. Stir in the sesame seeds. Taste. Add a sprinkling of sea salt if necessary.
  2. Assemble the salad. You can assemble this salad in various ways. You can set out all of the components in bowls and let people assemble their own bowl. But you can also combine everything in one large bowl. Here’s how: In a large bowl, combine the rice, edamame, cucumber, avocado, and baby spinach. Toss together gently. To serve, transfer salad to bowls or plates, drizzle over the dressing, a little olive oil (if you wish), and a sprinkling of sea salt. Top with the nori strips and sesame seeds.
Recipe adapted from Hetty McKinnon’s Family on

Thai Quinoa Bowl

Yield: 3-4 servings

Photo from

Quinoa Bowl:

1 cup uncooked red quinoa

1 ¾ cups filtered water

1 small head broccoli, washed and cut into small florets

1 recipe spicy chili-garlic tofu (optional—see below)
1 cup shelled edamame
1 small head romaine or green leaf lettuce, washed, trimmed, and chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and then shaved into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and julienned
1 small beet, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 small jicama root, peeled and cubed (optional)
½ cup shredded red cabbage
Handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Handful roasted cashews or sunflower seeds

Spicy Chile-Garlic Tofu:

1 (14 ounce) block firm tofu, drained
3 Tbsp chile-garlic sauce
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp reduced-sodium tamari
2 Tbsp rice vinegar

Nutty Ginger Dressing:

¼ cup creamy peanut butter, almond butter, tahini, or sunflower butter
2 ½ Tbsp reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce or to taste
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 ½ Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger root

For the Quinoa Bowl:
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa, return to a boil, and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, uncovered, or until the quinoa has absorbed most of the water, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Steam the broccoli in a steamer or steamer basket for 4 to 8 minutes, or until firm-tender. Strain off any excess water. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the tofu, if using.
  4. Chop and prepare the remaining bowl ingredients. (Note, you may vary the vegetable components to your liking as available seasonally)

For the Spicy Chile-Garlic Tofu:
  1. Wrap the tofu in several layers of paper towels, and place it on a dinner plate. Set a very heavy pot or pan (e.g., cast iron skillet) on top of the wrapped tofu and let stand for at least 20 minutes (preferably 30 minutes) to press the excess water from the tofu.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium spouted mixing bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the chile-garlic sauce, maple syrup, tamari, and rice vinegar. Whisk together until combined and set within reach of the stove.
  3. Carefully unwrap the tofu. Slice it widthwise into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Then, lay each piece flat and slice in half lengthwise and then widthwise, yielding four small rectangles from each.
  4. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or pan over medium-high heat until hot. The heat will sear the surface of the tofu and prevent it from sticking, which is why it's important that the pan is thoroughly heated.
  5. Once the pan is hot, add the tofu in a single layer (you'll need to do this in two batches). Use the back of a spatula to lightly press down on the tofu (you should hear it sizzle and steam). Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the pan-facing sides are golden-brown. Flip, and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden-brown.**
  6. Reduce the heat to low, return all the tofu to the pan, and add the sauce. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly and begins to cling to the tofu, stirring frequently
  7. Transfer the tofu and sauce to a medium mixing bowl and allow it to rest and marinate until ready to serve. Serve on its own or alongside steamed vegetables and/or brown rice.
  8. Refrigerate leftovers.

For the Dressing:
  1. Add the peanut butter, tamari, sesame oil, lime juice, maple syrup, and ginger to a medium bowl. Whisk together for 30-45 seconds. Please keep in mind that the dressing should be on the salty side—since we're not seasoning the quinoa or veggies, we need a little kick of sodium here to make all the flavors pop. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To Assemble:
  1. Divide the quinoa between bowls. Top with the romaine, broccoli, tofu (if using), carrot, pepper, beet, jicama, cabbage, cilantro, and cashews. Drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Ashley Melillo at

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