Thanksgiving in the Box – 2014

CSA Thanksgiving RecipesReady or  not, the holidays are upon us!  This time of the year I find comfort in knowing that my produce is coming once a week – forcing me to eat well when everywhere you turn there is a food mine field lying in wait!  If you get busy, try roasting everything – pretty much anything tastes good roasted with some extra virgin olive oil (I just discovered local, quality olive oil at We Olive in the Thousand Oaks Mall – made a huge difference in my cooking!!) and you can refrigerate for use later or gobble it all up at once for a super easy meatless meal.

On to the day before us.  Every year I take the box contents and come up recipes you can use in your Thanksgiving feast.  I think it is nice to cook smaller quantities of lots of things so that people can try each thing and they aren’t stuffing themselves. These recipes will work well for small crowds of 8-12 people.

Serve everything with a slice of gratitude – it unlocks the fullness of life and makes whatever you have seem more than enough.

Broccoflower Casserole
(works with Broccoflower, Broccoli or Cauliflower, or mix it up with a combo this could easily be doubled)

1 large Broccoflower
3 T butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
3-4 T flour (I used rice flour to make it gluten-free)
1-1/2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 cup of cream or coconut milk (unsweetened)
1 cup grated white cheese (parmesan, jack, manchego)
Dash of paprika

1 T butter
1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Break the broccoflower  into small florets, cutting the upper stalk (remove the bottom about 1/4 inch and discard) into small pieces.  Steam for about 5 minutes until the color starts to brighten.

In a large skillet, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter.  Remove 1 tablespoon and combine with breadcrumbs in a small bowl, set aside.  Add onion and garlic to skillet and saute for 4-5 minutes until the onion starts to get translucent. Sprinkle the seasonings and flour over the top, whisk to combine, and cook for another minute.  Pour in broth, whisking constantly, then cook until the sauce thickens. Reduce the heat to low and add the cream. Stir to combine until the sauce is nice and smooth.

Layer half the broccoflower in a small casserole dish. Pour on half the cream sauce, and top with half the cheese. Sprinkle a little paprika on the cheese, then repeat with another layer of broccoflower, sauce, and cheese.
Top with breadcrumbs/butter mixture. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Serve warm.

Broccoflower Casserole

Pickled Beets
(beets, these will blow away the canned variety, you might turn some heads if you can get the beet haters to try them)

1 bunch Underwood beets (any color) – quartered, greens cleaned and chopped
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 T sugar
2 tsp sea salt
2 whole allspice berries
2 whole cloves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 bay leaf

1 T chopped Italian parsley (garnish)
2 T We Olive Meyer Lemon local olive oil

Cover beets in water in saucepan, bring to boil and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and peel.  Meanwhile, bring vinegar, water, sugar and dried spices to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a large skillet and stir fry beet greens until tender – about 10 minutes.

Pour vinegar mixture over beets and allow beets to cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate several hours or overnight.  This can be made a day prior and served at room temperature.

Scatter the sauteed greens on a platter, top with beets and parsley, drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top.

Au Gratin Turnips
(turnips, you’ll have the pickiest 5 year old eating these in no time, my family had no idea what these were, super easy last minute dish)

4 Turnips
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of Parmesan or Gruyere cheese
4 T butter or olive oil
Chicken Broth
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 T chopped Italian parsley

Preheat the oven to 375º.

Slice the turnips thin, about 1/8″ on the mandolin worked well.  In a large oven-proof skillet – preferably cast iron, melt the butter or heat olive oil over medium-low heat, add garlic and saute briefly.  Add the turnip slices and mix around to coat them all as evenly as possible.  Arrange in 3 layers and drizzle 2 tablespoons of chicken broth over each layer, add pepper and then top with 1/2 cup of the cheese, repeat the layers two more times topping with remaining cheese and parsley.

Bake for 20-25 until top is brown and cheese is bubbly.

Turnip Au Gratin

Satsuma Ambrosia
(satsuma tangerines, these are so good on their own – no recipe needed, but makes such a nice, healthy addition to your feast)

1 lb of peeled Satsuma tangerines
¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes (Lassens or Whole Foods)
1 cup of miniature marshmallows
1 cup of unsweetened yogurt (I used sheep yogurt, but coconut would work well if you have dairy issues)
1/c cup of chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Mix everything together (except nuts) and chill for a few hours.  Check the sweetness, you can always add a little bit of Piru honey if need be.  Add nuts (if using) and mix before serving.  There won’t be anything leftover.

Collard or Beet Green Cornbread Stuffing
(collards, beet greens, round carrots, celery I made this dressing, it is really good.  I made a few alterations (of course!),  I don’t eat pork so I subbed in chicken breakfast sausage from my local meat market, doubled the celery, added the bunch of round carrots, diced and sliced baby bella mushrooms, YUM!)

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/collard-cornbread-stuffing-recipe.html

Stuffed Artichokes
(artichokes, from our archives, an Italian classic, if you’ve never tried these this is the perfect time)

http://blog.underwoodfamilyfarms.com/stuffed-artichokes/

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