Monday, October 13, 2014

Harvest Days: Perfect Lunch for a Vegetarian

After harvesting for the market today, I thought it would be nice to share (or brag, for that matter) how delicious and spectacular my lunch was this afternoon.  Of course I have taste for quality control and make sure I can explain what our food tastes like freshly picked.

Thinning with the block system

I have been sprouting for some time now and trying to get into growing microgreens however I cannot rationalize the economics behind all that since I know what goes into planting them.  Please don't get me wrong, I stand strong with the belief that the nutritious benefits from sprouts and microgreens are of the utmost healing and alkalizing however, the difference between sprouting and growing microgreens are significantly different. First, with microgreens you need a medium which can be costly if your standards are as strict as ours. We get our soil mix from Seven Springs in the Raleigh area which is organic and yes we drive up there to get it.  Then there is the cost of the seed itself.  You would have to purchase bulk for sure but unless you are saving your own seed which is a whole other topic I cannot imagine that being economically beneficial either. 

My point with all this rambling is how lucky I am when it's time to thin the transplants before actually transplanting them to the ground. My midday snack is basically microgreens!  In order to ensure the plants do not get too 'leggy'  we have to keep a watchful eye on their growth.  Because we use the block system, and depending on the germination rate of the seed we use (biodynamic seeds seem to have an excellent germination rate by the way)  we typically put 2-3 seeds in each block.  Once they sprout and start growing, we need all the energy to go into only one seedling, so we have to thin them.  I don't know if most growers just toss the sprout but I collect them all for one big handful of nutritious deliciousness!  I especially love the brassicas.  They tend to have the most flavor and sometimes I like to close my eyes to taste and figure out which one is which.  Kales, broccoli, mustards, cabbages, you name it they are all wonderful.


Well we just finished thinning our next succession of transplants and they should be ready in the next week or so to go into the ground. We have a few nice rows of arugula and salad mixes in the ground already.  Our favorite mix hands down is the Asian Green Mix which has a combination of Tatsoi, Mizuna, Red Russian Kale, and some Mustard for flavor.  Overall, the mix is not hot because of the mustard, it really just adds flavor.  You will find the recipe for what I do with this salad below. Although it can be a nice braising mix, we prefer it as a raw salad. The freshness is something I have never experienced before we started growing our food.

Asian Mixed Greens w/ Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms

Recipe for Asian Mixed Salad:              
Makes 2 Large Salads

1/2 lb of our Asian Greens
1 Red Onion (sliced)
2 Tbsp Organic Raw Sugar
1 Mango (peeled and diced)
1/2 cup of sliced almonds
2 Tbsp of Tamari Sauce

Basically the onions need to be caramalized and everything else is self explanatory.  I usually saute the onions in coconut oil when making this salad but you can use olive oil if that is all that is on hand.  After the onions are translucent add the sugar and stir til dissolved. Turn down the burner to a low temp and let cook for about 15-20 mins.
Arrange the salad as you like and add Tamari at the end for taste.  Sometimes we don't even use it for a salad dressing. The flavors come through just right with all the other ingredients. I use Tamari because it has a less salty flavor than traditional soy sauce.  Enjoy!

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