From the Land 3/28

food for thought
full share: garlic, carrots, dry beans, romaine lettuce, sweet potatoes, choice of herb (dandelion, sorrel, shingiku, dill), I’itoi onions, curly green kale
partial: garlic, carrots, dry beans, romaine lettuce
PLUS: free garlic and onions starts!!

upcoming

Artichoke Festival at Crooked Sky
March 30 and 31 5:30-9:30pm
Member tickets only $20 – please let me know if you’d like any and I’ll reserve them for you

The World According to Monsanto
movie showing sponsored by GMO-Free Prescott
April 18 – 6:30pm
Yavapai Title conference room, 1235 E. Gurley

Prescott Farmers Market
opens May 12!
Yavapai College front parking lot – 1100 E. Sheldon St.

Prescott Valley Farmers Market
opens June 1
Tim’s Toyota parking lot – corner of Glassford Hill and Florentine

Chino Valley Farmers Market
opens June 7
BonnFire Grill Restaurant – 1667 S. Highway 89

veg of the week

beans: Phaseolus vulgaris

The common bean is known by many different names and varieties: the pinto, black, kidney, and white are the most common. They are eaten throughout the world both green and dry, occasionally as a leafy vegetable, and the straw used for fodder. The bean was domesticated independently in both Mesoamerica and in the Andes, and – along with corn and squash – provides the basis for Native American agriculture. Beans are legumes, and fix their nitrogen through bacteria called rhizobia. This means they are complimentary to other plants that use that nitrogen, reducing the need for nitrogen fertilizers.

Uses: Dry beans are usually soaked overnight and then boiled for 1-4 hours (depending on variety). Soaking is not always necessary, but reduces cooking time and produces a more even texture. Pouring out the soaking water a couple times reduces the hard-to-digest complex sugars that can cause indigestion and gas (though regular bean eaters develop bacteria that helps them digest the sugars without causing gas). Dry beans can also be “power-soaked”, in which they are boiled for 3 minutes, then left to soak for 2-4 hours, then drained and boiled with fresh water.

Nutrition: Beans are high in starch, protein and dietary fiber and are an excellent source of iron, potassium, selenium, molybdenum, thiamine, vitamin B6, and folic acid.

To store: Dry beans will keep infinitely, but lose nutrient value and flavor and require longer cooking time the longer they are stored.

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refried beans
adapted from http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/refried_beans/

  • 2 1/2 cups of dry pinto beans (about 1 lb)
  • 3 quarts of water
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp (or more to taste) pork lard, bacon fat, or olive oil (for vegetarian option)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • Cheddar cheese (optional)

Rinse the beans in water and remove any small stones, pieces of dirt, or bad beans.

Cook the beans in water.
Regular method Soak beans overnight. Put beans into a pot and cover beans with at least 3 inches of water – about 3 quarts for 2 1/2 cups of dry beans. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer, covered, for about 2 1/2 hours. The cooking time will vary depending on the batch of beans you have. The beans are done when they are soft and the skin is just beginning to break open.
Pressure Cooker method Put beans into a 4 quart pressure cooker with a 15 lb weight. Fill up the pressure cooker with water, up to the line that indicates the capacity for the pot. Cook for 30-35 minutes – until the beans are soft and the skins are barely breaking open. Allow the pressure cooker to cool completely before opening. If there is resistance when attempting to open the cooker, do not open it, allow it to cool further. Follow the directions for your brand of pressure cooker. (See safety tips on using pressure cookers.)

Strain the beans from the cooking water.

Add the onions and lard/fat/oil to a wide, sturdy (not with a flimsy stick-free lining) frying pan on medium high heat. Cook onions until translucent. Add the strained beans and about a 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Using a potato masher, mash the beans in the pan, while you are cooking them, until they are a rough purée. Add more water if necessary to keep the fried beans from getting too dried out. Add salt to taste. Add a few slices of cheddar cheese, or some (1/2 cup) grated cheddar cheese if you want. When beans are heated through (and cheese melted) the beans are ready to serve.

skillet gnocchi with chard and beans
adapted from http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/skillet_gnocchi_with_chard_white_beans.html

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 16-ounce gnocchi
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 cups chopped chard leaves (about 1 small bunch)
  • 15-ounce diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings, including juice
  • 1 cup white beans, cooked
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and water. Cover and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chard and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans and pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.

sweet potato, kale and black bean enchiladas
adapted from http://www.4seasonsoffood.com/2012/03/sweet-potato-kale-and-black-bean.html

  • 7 dried New Mexico or guajillo chiles
  • 28 oz. whole canned tomatoes, drained, with juice reserved
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup cilantro (packed)
  • 1 tbs fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, divided
  • 1/4 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 lb. sweet potato, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup black beans, cooked
  • 1 large bunch kale, stems and ribs removed
  • 1/4 tsp chile powder
  • 1 tbs oil
  • Spray oil
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt
  • Toppings/garnishes (optional): red onion, avocado, cilantro, lime wedges

Heat a heavy skillet (such as cast iron) over medium heat until hot. Toast chiles in batches, pressing down with a spatula to flatten the chiles, about 1 minute per side, until chiles begin to blacken. Transfer chiles to a medium bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling water. Weigh chiles down (I used a large can of tomatoes as a weight) and let them soak for 30 minutes. Drain chiles, reserving the soaking liquid, and remove stems and seeds. Roughly chop chile flesh.

Transfer chopped chiles to a large heavy saucepan along with tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, 1/2 cup chile soaking liquid, and 1/2 cup reserved tomato juice. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, breaking tomatoes up with a spoon. Cover pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a blender and blend until smooth (or use an immersion blender). Add lime juice, 1/2 tsp cumin, smoked paprika, and sugar. Add salt to taste. Set sauce aside until needed.

Preheat oven to 425 deg F. Toss sweet potato cubes with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast sweet potatoes in the bottom third of the oven until they are browned and can be easily pierced with a fork, tossing once halfway through, about 30 minutes total. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 deg F.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Boil kale leaves until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain kale, reserving 1/2 cup water, and chop leaves.

Place black beans in a small bowl with 3 tbs of the reserved water from cooking the kale. Coarsely mash the beans with the water. Add another spoon or two of water if desired and mix. Stir in 1/2 tsp cumin and chile powder and add salt to taste.

Heat a large griddle or skillet over medium heat and coat with spray oil. Cook tortillas in batches, adding more spray oil as necessary, until tortillas are very dry (but still pliable) and golden in color (not brown), about 40-50 seconds per side.

Fill a tortilla with beans, sweet potatoes, and kale. Roll up tortilla and place it seam side down in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Repeat with other tortillas and the remaining filling (I was able to fit all 16 tortillas in a single pan). Pour 2 cups of sauce over the tortillas and top with shredded cheddar and crumbled feta cheese (you will have extra sauce).

Bake enchiladas at 350 deg F for 10 minutes, until cheddar is melted and enchiladas are just heated through. Add topping and garnishes as preferred. Serve immediately, with extra sauce if desired.

Leftover enchiladas can be stored in the fridge for a couple days. Just microwave or bake to reheat.

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