seasonal eating

In the Kitchen with the Hub: Asparagus Soup

by Sarah Burch Asparagus and Spring. Two of my favorite things. Spring may be here, but it’s been a bit chilly lately, so when I returned from the store on a cold and frosty Spring morning, with not one but two bunches of asparagus (I tend to get a bit carried away when it comes to vegetables) I decided to chop them up and turn them into soup. The soup was delicious – light, warming and a wonderful spring-like green color. Also, super easy! Here’s the recipe, hope you enjoy it!

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan. Add 1 chopped medium onion, 1 chopped carrot and 2 cups chopped celery (about 2 stalks). Saute 3-4 minutes.. Meanwhile, trim woody ends from 2 lbs of asparagus and chop into 1 inch pieces. Add chopped asparagus to saucepan and cook another 5 minutes. Season with ¼ tsp black pepper. Add 5 cups reduced chicken stock and simmer, covered for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Puree in batches in a blender, or use one of those hand-held soup pulverizers (one of my favorite kitchen gadgets). Finally, add ½ cup coconut milk and heat through. Serves 4.

Tip: To remove woody ends from asparagus, hold the spear in one hand and bend the bottom of the stalk with your other hand until it snaps. The stalk will break at exactly the right spot. Great job for kids.

In the Kitchen with the Hub: African Peanut Stew and Kale Salad

by Katherine Moser The other night I decided to try new recipes using some of the local bounty that's in season.  With kale and sweet potatoes flooding the farmer's market, I decided on a warming winter meal of African Peanut Stew and Kale Salad.

The Stew

Peanut Stew is a common dish made in West Africa using peanuts, yams, and tomatoes. The stew has alternatively been used as a sauce for rice and vegetables, or meats.  Today there are many versions of this once simple stew.  Although I love my proteins, I did not want a stew that was just curried peanut butter soup... and that seems to be what a lot of the recipes out there have to offer.  Vegetables are important to me and I try to incorporate them into whatever I can, including desserts.  (Veggie dessert recipes to come!)  After some searching I came upon two recipes that I decided would be tastiest when combined.  The first recipe met my need of vegetables, while the second met my need for warming spices.  Please note that while I did use peanut butter, I opted for using blanched almonds in place of peanuts in this recipe since I prefer them.

First, I chopped all of the ingredients to almost equal sizes so that they would cook evenly in the pot.  I love soups and stews because they are cooked simply in ONE pot and can easily be frozen for quick future meals.

Most recipes suggest that you skin your vegetables, but depending on where you are sourcing your foods... I vouch for keeping skins on for added fiber!  Next, I sauteed everything for a bit, and added the spices.

After adding water and bringing it to a boil, I used one of my favorite kitchen tools: the Immersion Blender!  The immersion blender makes pureeing soup so easy.  I pureed everything right in the pot (with the stove turned off).

I chopped some additional almonds and added them along with torn pieces of raw kale as a topping to be mixed in when serving the soup.  The kale wilts down due to the heat and adds a nice green color.  Cilantro would also be a great addition, but I didn't have any handy.

African Peanut Stew 

Ingredients 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 large onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 - 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger root 1 tbsp ground cumin 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 tsp curry powder 1 tsp ground mustard 4 medium tomatoes, chopped 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped 2 carrots, chopped 4 - 5 cups water 1 teaspoon salt Ground black pepper to taste 1/4 cup chopped, unsalted blanched almonds, or unsalted nuts of choice 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter 2 pinches cayenne pepper

Toppings: 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro, fresh torn kale, chopped nuts, etc


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Mix in the garlic, ginger, and spices.. Stir in the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots, and continue to cook and stir about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour water into the saucepan, and season the mixture with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
  1. Remove the soup mixture from heat. In a food processor or blender, blend the soup and almonds/peanuts until almost smooth. Season with cayenne pepper. Return to the saucepan. Whisk in the peanut butter, and cook until heated through. You can also use an immersion stick blender if you have one and forgo transferring the mixture out of the heating pot.  **Remember to turn the stove off and remove the pot from the hot surface when blending!**
  1. Serve warm toppings of choice: cilantro, kale, chopped nuts, etc

Kale Salad

It seems like it is always the season for kale around here, and I don't mind one bit.  Looking through an Eating Well magazine one day re-introduced me to the art of a raw kale salad.  I had made these a few times in the past, but now it has become a winter staple!

First, wash and dry all of the kale you'll be using.  Next, in a separate bowl, mix up all ingredients for the salad dressing except for the olive oil.  Whisk up the salad dressing while slowly adding the olive oil in (this helps the oil to be well blended throughout instead of floating separate at the top).  I like to make a little extra of the dressing so I can have it for other salads later on.

Wash your hands thoroughly and get ready for rubbing your greens!  Throw in the salad dressing to your washed kale and start squeezing the greens.  This makes them more tender than just eating them raw.  You can do this for 3-5 minutes depending on how tender you want them to be.  They also will get a little more tender the longer they sit, so if you'll be storing them in the fridge you might not have to squeeze them.  Massaging the greens might be a little weird at first but just think of it as helping your hands;  the olive oil should make them feel a little softer and how often do you use muscles in your hands to squeeze things for three minutes consecutively?  It's probably good for preventing a little hand arthritis, right? :)

After squeezing the greens, add any other toppings you would like in your salad.  I added some carrot shavings (using a vegetable peeler) and thin slices of apples.

Voila! A delicious, nutritious, and relatively local meal to enjoy.

kale salad

Kale Salad

Ingredients: 2 bunches greens (kale, beet greens, Swiss chard) ¼ - ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp dijon mustard ¼ cup lemon juice 1 - 2 minced garlic cloves 1 - 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (red wine or white vinegars work too) 1 tsp kosher salt Ground pepper to taste Any extra salad toppings: carrots, apples, avocado, etc

Instructions: 1. Prep Start with 2 bunches of kale, wash and dry the leaves (and florets). Tear the leaves into small pieces and place everything in a large bowl.

2. Season 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp dijon mustard, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 - 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.

3. Massage With clean hands, firmly massage and crush the greens until the volume is reduced by about half (1 to 2 minutes). They should look a little darker and somewhat shiny and have a silky, soft texture.

4. Add Add in extra ingredients to mix: Dice, or skin slivers of carrot into the bowl.  Thinly slice apple of your choice to add as well.

Ripe Recipe : Grilled Beets and Green Beans

Today's Ripe Recipe is fresh from the kitchen of Sally Bache!

We’ve got green beans & beets ready in our garden now, and I’ve been trying to use them up. Last night I did something that turned out pretty great, if I do say so myself.

Grilled Beets and Green Beans topped with Goat Cheese

  1. I harvested a couple of med/large beets and cubed them at about ¾” and then tossed them with olive oil & kosher salt & put them into a grill basket.
  2. When the beets were about half-way done, I added about ½ pound green beans, also tossed in olive oil & salt.
  3. When the veggies were done—still a bit crisp, but also a bit of char for flavor—I pulled them off of the grill and dabbed on some herbed goat cheese.
  4. Serve with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and you’ll find that this dish is way more than the sum of the parts!

Ripe Recipe - Sally's Rhubarb Crisp!

It’s that time of year again for another delicious recipe from Sally we all love so much! This time, it’s a recipe passed down from her mom. Sally said, “My mom was a very good cook. Her recipes were nothing fancy, but she always made very tasty stuff made from scratch with seasonal ingredients like any good farm wife would do." Try out her Rhubarb Crisp to celebrate the spring! Also, we now have a new recipe card format! You can start printing all of the recipes that we post, and add all of your favorite Food Shuttle recipes to your collection. Enjoy.

Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

It’s no surprise that eating healthy can sometimes be a challenge. Here at the Food Shuttle, we've come up with some easy ways to stay healthy, while keeping both your stomach and wallet full:

Buy fresh produce that’s in season and local.  

  • Local in season fruits and vegetables will likely taste better and be full of nutrients because they are picked at peak just before sale.
  • Items from local farmers are generally less expensive because they reflect lower transportation costs.

Bonus: you’ll be helping local farmers, local commerce and the environment all at the same time!

  • If you do not use all the fresh produce try freezing it to avoid waste.

Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables that aren’t in season.

  • Helps to ensure that you always have healthy ingredients on hand.
  • You will save money by eliminating wasteful food purchases.  Just make sure you choose items with no added salt or sugar, and no sauces and gravies.
  • In most cases, frozen produce is comparable, and sometimes higher, in nutritional value than fresh because it is picked and frozen at peak.

 Stay tuned for more healthy and budget-friendly tips!

By: Sarah Mehta, Food Shuttle Intern

Embrace Fall Fruits and Vegetables

Fall is still a good time for fresh fruits and vegetables

Today marks the first day of autumn! As we say goodbye to summer and welcome the fall, we thought it would be great to remind you of the fruits and vegetables of the season. Purchasing local produce that is in season provides many benefits that often include reduced prices, increased variety, fresher fruits and vegetables, and support of local farmers. Check out the list below to find some of the fruits and vegetables that are in season during the autumn months:

Fruits: Apples, Avocados, Cranberries, Dates, Grapefruit, Grapes, Kiwi, Oranges, Pears, Raspberries, Clementine, and Persimmons.

Vegetables: Carrots, Cabbage, Kale, Lettuce, Leeks, Pumpkin, Spinach, Winter Squash, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Garlic, Beans, Beets, Bok Choy, Collard Greens, Sweet Potatoes, Rhubarb, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress, Edamame, Fennel, Rutabaga, and Celery

Many smaller local farmers markets decrease hours or begin to close as autumn takes hold. Be sure to visit these locally “grown” businesses and check out what they have to offer. Hope you have a wonderful start to autumn. Along with the change of season, try cooking with and eating the fruits and vegetables the autumn months have to offer!

By: Rachel Bryan, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Intern

Ripe Recipe: Summer's Best Pasta

Summer's Best Pasta Recipe

An incredibly basic recipe that highlights the best of summer ... basil & tomatoes.


  • 4-5 super-ripe flavorful tomatoes, chopped
  • 6-10 cloves of garlic, slivered
  • 1 c loose-packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 c flavorful olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • angel-hair pasta

Directions: To sliver the garlic, use a very sharp knife, hold cloves perpendicular to the knife blade and slice off cross-sections as thin as possible. Put olive oil into a large sautee pan and set the heat to medium-low. Toss in the garlic "chips" and agitate the pan as the oil slowly infuses with the garlic flavor. After several minutes, the garlic will begin to soften & turn golden--do not allow them to turn brown or they will become bitter. When the chips are just toasted, add the chopped tomatoes & basil, tossing in the olive oil only long enough to warm through, not to cook. Season with salt & pepper and serve over angel hair pasta--with or without parmesan cheese.