“What’s On Your Plate?” Book Now Available on Amazon

Good News! The “What’s On Your Plate?” book is now available to be purchased online via amazon.com. Check out this link: http://www.amazon.com/Whats-Plate-their-families-matters/dp/0615405851/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299519636&sr=1-5

The What’s On Your Plate? project began with the documentary film following 2 young girls in NYC as they ask questions about their food. Inspired by this film, the book addresses topics such as health issues, lack of access to fresh food, and the national school lunch program. Also included are fun stories, recipes, and activities that will inspire readers of all ages to be more conscious about what they eat.

TNS CSA members can especially enjoy a section of the book devoted to the Angel Family Farm, the source of our delicious veggie shares!


Come visit TNSCSA at the Just Food Expo!

Just Food is hosting a CSA in NYC conference Saturday, March 5th. It will be a great opportunity for farmers and CSA members to get together for workshops and discussions. Some topics include canning techniques, rooftop garden innovations, and how to eat locally in the winter. For a complete list of workshop sessions, click the following link: http://www.justfood.org/csa/csa-events/csa-nyc-conference/csa-conference-workshops

The conference is located at 525 West 50th St and runs from 8:30 am until 6:00 pm. For information on purchasing admission, please click the following link: http://www.nycharities.org/events/EventLevels.aspx?ETID=3042

Also, there will be an expo from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm. We hope you can come visit the “What’s on Your Plate?” table! There, we will have information about the Neighborhood School CSA, including membership applications. In addition, there will be plenty of “What’s on Your Plate” merchandise for sale, such as copies of the DVD, books, T-shirts, buttons, posters, and “onions.”

Hope to see you there!

EWG’s “Clean 15” and “Dirty Dozen”

Even though we know eating pesticides is bad for us, sometimes it’s hard to find or afford organic food. Luckily, the Environmental Working Group has come up with two handy lists to help us prioritize which things should really be bought organic (or not at all).

“Clean 15” (the 15 fruits and veggies they ranked lowest in pesticides):
3.Sweet Corn
6.Sweet Peas
14.Sweet Potatoes
15.Honeydew Melon

“Dirty Dozen” (the 12 fruits and veggies they ranked highest in pesticides):
7.Sweet Bell Peppers
10.Collard Greens/Kale

However, you don’t have to worry about the “Dirty Dozen” (or other food that wasn’t on the list) when you eat produce from the Angel Family Farm – everything they grow is 100% organic, even though it doesn’t have a fancy label saying so.

For more information, check out the Environmental Working Group webpage at: http://www.foodnews.org/

Greetings from Kristy!

Hi there, I’m a new intern and really excited to work with the Neighborhood School CSA in preparation for their new season! I’m also currently a senior at Global College of Long Island University, majoring in Global Studies. I spent the last few years studying abroad in places like Costa Rica, India, Japan, and Australia, focusing on environmental sustainability and indigenous cultures, with a special interest in food issues. Food is something that ties us all together, and the way we grow, distribute, and eat food has an enormous impact on the health of our bodies and the planet… So how we think of our food seems pretty important to me! I’ve never worked with a CSA before, and I can’t wait to help out and learn what it’s all about!

The blog post to end all blog posts

Quite literally, this will be the final blog post by me for our Neighborhood School CSA. I believe we are in the market for a new organizer, or this CSA will wind up disbanding next year. Anybody want to step up to the proverbial plate?

I know your CSA pickups are likely long gone. But that doesn’t mean your kitchen has closed forever and ever. So here is a selection of recipes I’ve been meaning to post, but had no time until today. (Starred items have pics)

* Garlic Vegetable Soup*
* Gooseberry Mini Pies*
* Cranberry Ginger & Lemon Chutney
* Butternut Squash Salad*
* Pears poached in port wine*
* Sour Cherry Sorbet

Garlic Vegetable Soup

The catch-all for overwhelmed CSAers. I resisted posting soup recipes because it’s, well, so obvious. But what the heck. Here’s a recipe for a small pot of soup

2 cups water
4 or 5 plump cloves of garlic, minced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Whatever vegetables you have on hand – I used carrots, kale, potatoes, onion, corn, and some frozen peas
Salt and pepper to taste
grated Parmesan to taste

Heat olive oil in a pot. Slice onions and sweat in the pot. Add garlic and toss in oil until coated.

Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and carrots (cut into bite-size pieces). Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until broth is fragrant. Add greens, corn and peas and let simmer uncovered another few minutes. If you use spinach, add at the last second as it takes no time to cook.

Ladle into a bowl and add salt, pepper and parmesan cheese to taste.
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Gooseberry Mini Pies
Gooseberries are typically a Spring/early summer fruit. So I was really surprised to get them with our last fruit pickup. We did not get enough for a whole pie, so I made mini pies.

As you can see here, I baked them in a muffin tin

And here’s one on a plate

Refrigerated pie crust dough (it comes rolled up in a box, in the refrigerated section of the supermarket)
2 cups gooseberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tb quick cooking tapioca
1 TB Butter, plus butter or nonstick spray to coat muffin tins

Remove the papery shells off the gooseberries and cut in half. Place in a saucepan with sugar and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until the sugar melts and becomes translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the tapioca. Continue stirring for another few minutes. You may add a dab of butter to this mixture if you like (I didn’t). Take off the stove.

Preheat oven to 400F.

While the mixture is cooling, coat the muffin tins to prevent sticking. Then line the muffin tins with pastry dough. Spoon mixture into the cups. Then top off with strips of dough and pinch the edges of the tops to the sides of the dough cups. Brush melted butter over the tops and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in oven for 20 minutes, or until pastry dough looks like it’s nicely browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Then remove from muffin tins. Note: I made these in my toaster oven.

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Cranberry Ginger & Lemon Chutney
1 medium lemon
1 12 oz bag cranberries
1/2 C (2.5 oz) crystallized ginger — may use some
fresh, too
1 whole cinnamon stick
2 C sugar

Grate yellow zest from lemon. Cut away and discard pith. Cut lemon crosswise in half and pick out seeds. Dice lemon into 1/4″ pieces.

In medium glass or stainless steel saucepan combine all ingredients. bring to a boil, stirring often to help dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thick and cranberries have burst, ~10-15 minutes.

May serve warm or room temperature.

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Butternut Squash Salad
(Recipe courtesy of the NYTimes)

Butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded and grated (I used a food processor to grate)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 to 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, or to taste (I used 3 TBs)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Combine the squash, raisins, oil, vinegar and ginger in a salad bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to several hours.
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Pears poached in port wine

You may recall that I made this recipe for my dinner party. Sorry it’s taken so long! I thought I’d posted it already. This recipe comes courtesy of Saveur and was a huge hit with my guests. (I served it with vanilla ice cream)

1 cup port wine
3⁄4 cups sugar
3 2″ strips orange peel*
1 2″ strip lemon peel
1 stick cinnamon
4 firm ripe Bosc pears
Ice cream, for serving

*I neglected to buy an orange so 1 TB of dried orange peel in my cupboard used normally for baking

1. Combine wine, sugar, orange peel, lemon peel, cinnamon, and 2 cups water in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

2. Cut 1⁄4″ from pear bottoms to make a flat surface. Peel pears and nestle them into bottom of pan containing wine mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until a knife slides into pears with ease, 50–60 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool. To serve, transfer pears, cut side down, to 4 plates and drizzle some of the sauce from the pan over pears. Serve with ice cream.
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Sour Cherry Sorbet

I secretly begged for weeks that we’d get more sour cherries so I could make this again and take pictures. So amazingly yummy it’s NOT EVEN FUNNY. And as an aside, it will make you a little tipsy if you have a lot of it. Note you will have to freeze the cherries first, overnight is fine. You do NOT need an ice cream maker for this recipe.

3 cups pitted tart cherries
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup white wine (I used chardonnay)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pit cherries and place flat in a freezer bag. Allow to freeze overnight.

Place cherries in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and pulse until blended. Pour into a freezer container. Cover and freeze until firm.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my postings over the season. As an aside, I have joined a winter CSA with the good people at the Prince George. You can find them via the justfood website where we were also linked. Hope to see some of you next year, if not with NSCSA, then with someone else in the neighborhood.

Bon CSAppetit!

Marjorie’s Eggplant

Greetings CSAers. This week marks the last week of our vegetable pickup. It’s been a lovely season and the variety of vegetables (and fruits for some) has been wonderful. I promise to post one more recipe for you. But for today, I have a submission from fellow CSAer Marjorie who sent along this beautiful photo.

And here, hysterically embellished with real world charm, are the directions:

Marjorie’s Eggplant:

2 eggplants
1 red onion
3 cloves garlic
1 bunch collard greens
1 bunch kale
1 tin anchovies
1 can chickpeas
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 box rotini, ziti or other pasta
red pepper flakes to taste
balsamic vinegar to taste
salt to taste
olive oil

I cut the two eggplants into 1.5-inch-ish chunks, tossed them with a little olive oil and roasted them at 375 for about an hour.

After the eggplants had been roasting for about a half hour, during which I read my email and ignored my children, I chopped a big red onion into 1.5-inch pieces, chopped up 3 cloves of garlic, and removed the tough stems from the collards. Then I tore the collards and kale into little pieces. Then I heated a couple of glugs of olive oil in my biggest pan, then added a tin of anchovies in their liquid (you could skip this if you hate anchovies — i like them when they’re all melted into something, not whole and HAIRY) and added a shake of red pepper flakes and then the onion and sauteed for 5 min. Then I added the garlic and sauteed for another minute. By then the eggplant was soft and roasty, so I dumped it into the big pan, then added a can of chickpeas and 2 cans of diced tomatoes with their juice. I drizzled in some balsamic vinegar and let it all simmer while my children watched Word Girl which is on PBS so GET OFF MY CASE. Meanwhile, I brought a pot of water to a boil and added a big handful of salt and a box of whole-wheat rotini. Then I seasoned the eggplant mixture with salt and pepper.

For the adults, I served the eggplant mixture atop the pasta with some of the cilantro and a little feta crumbled on top. it would have been good to add toasted pine nuts and/or cured olives but I didn’t have any.

For the kids, who scream in horror at eggplant, I fished out the pieces, meaning it was basically pasta in a watery tomato sauce. sigh. They had a side of chickpeas and an apple and then some ghost-shaped marshmallow peeps.

The End.

Roasted Beet Soup

Wow. The season is winding down. Just three more weeks. I hope to get one more blog entry in. But I’ve enjoyed doing this blog for you all. Today we have a roasted beet soup. You will need a food processor or immersion blender to finish this one off.

Here you can see the rich color of the beets, before the sour cream is mixed in:

And here is the “after” pic:


2 medium beets (about 1/2 lb)
Olive Oil
1 Leek
1 Onion
1 Celery Stalk
1/4 tsp ginger (or less to taste)
1/8 tsp allspice (or more to taste)
1/8 tsp white pepper
2 cups water
1 small bay leaf
1 fresh parsley sprig
Sour Cream (2 TB per serving or more to taste)

Preheat oven to 350F. Roast beets until tender, about 1 hour. (You may find it a good idea to wrap the beets in aluminum foil to avoid staining. Cool and peel beets. Cut into cubes, reserving a small amount for garnish.

Thinly slice onion. Dice celery. Chop leek. (Be sure to wash leek thoroughly first as they collect a lot of sand).

Melt butter (1 – 2 tsp) and olive oil (2 tsp) in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek, onion and celery. and cook about 10 minutes, stirring often, until they begin to brown. Add spices and beet pieces. Cook until vegetables begin to stick to the bottom, about 6 – 8 minutes. Add water, bay leaf and parsley sprig. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf, and parsley sprig. Cool soup slightly. Then puree in blender or use immersion blender right in the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into bowls and add sour cream. Stir until well mixed.

This recipe is adapted from Epicurious.com. I altered the spices and eliminated the whipping cream, to reduce calories, put greater emphasis on the flavor of the beets, and add more of a kick.

Bon CSAppetit!