Spotlight on Turkey Zucchini Recipe

Turkey Zucchini

This week we are offering customers our Turkey Zucchini recipe to order, which is our take on a lighter Italian dish that still has all the flavor of heavier Italian meals.

Included in the preparation of this dish is toasting the almonds, which is a small but important step in the process. Toasting almonds gives them a rich, earthy flavor as opposed to a stale taste that most store – bought almonds contain. In addition, toasting almonds cuts down on the fat and salt content, making the final product not only tastier, but healthier as well. The toasted almonds in the Turkey Zucchini dish bring a unique flavor and crunch – we hope you enjoy!

Interview with Local Vendor, Captain Marden’s Seafood

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Captain Marden’s Seafood is a local fish market and restaurant in Wellesley, MA, and is where we source the fresh seafood to create many of our recipes. This week, we spoke with owner, Kim Marden, who provided insight into the best ways to cook different types of fish as well as ways to make fish recipes more child-friendly. See his tips below!

  • Always eat seafood that is in season. We are two to three weeks away from softshell crabs being in season. Late summer and early fall will be swordfish season, and late fall is great for Captain Marden’s Nantucket Bay Scallops.
  • Captain Mardens’ specialty is New England fish. Kim outlined the best ways to cook different types:
    • Local Haddock: Best when broiled
    • Swordfish: Best when grilled
    • Sol: Best when sautéed
    • Red Ocean Perch: Best when pan-seared
    • Pollock: Best when fried
      • As Pollock is firmer than cod or haddock, it will not fall apart when fried. It is also great for fish and chips or a fish sandwich!
    • Halibut: Best when grilled or broiled
    • Tuna: Best when grilled
    • Cod: Very similar to haddock – best when broiled
  • Seafood is one of the hardest types of food to get children to eat and enjoy. Kim recommends applying a light batter on the fish to fry it for kids. The best types of fish for this type of dish are pollock, haddock or cod. Once fried, cut the fish into strips to resemble chicken fingers or mozzarella sticks.
    • Pair the fish with roasted or mashed potatoes for a lighter version of fish and chips
  • Captain Marden’s also has a food truck which was voted one of the best in Boston! Click here to see the menu and upcoming events.

Kid – Friendly Recipes

At Just Add Cooking, we are making an effort to offer more recipes that are suitable for the whole family.  Here are a few recipes that the whole family will enjoy:

1) Asian Meatballs

Asian Meatballs

To make this recipe more children- friendly, opt out of the chili and crushed red pepper.

2) Chicken Nuggets

chicken nuggets

Chicken nuggets are always a child-pleaser. Ours are served with rice and sliced cucumber to keep this dish well-rounded.

3) Spaghetti Carbonara

spaghetti carbonara

This dish, finished off with a creamy sauce created from eggs, butter and parmesan, will have your children wanting seconds. A side salad keeps this recipe light.

Interview with Local Vendor, Red Fire Farm

red fire farm

At Just Add Cooking, we source all of our produce from local New England farms in order to bring customers the best possible quality and taste. Red Fire Farm, located in Montague, MA, is a farm and farmer’s market stand where we source many ingredients that go in to our weekly meal kits. This week, consumers had the option to receive our Spaghetti Bolognese and Poached Salmon with Avocado Sauce, both of which included carrots from Red Fire Farm.

We spoke with Angie Lavner, manager at the farm, to gain a first-hand perspective on their values and why we all should be eating farm-bought produce. See her insights below!

  • Producing local and organic produce is important not only because it is the best for you, but it’s the best for the environment. At Red Fire Farm, Angie and her team plant cover crops in order to manage soil erosion, soil quality and weeds. This practice will preserve the land for future generations and produce the best quality food.
  • Red Fire Farm hosts a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program where families can participate to receive a weekly farm share of their harvest. There are about 1,600 members in their CSA program from western, central and eastern Massachusetts.
    • Customers love the convenience of receiving their share of fresh produce each week, and, not to mention, it is cost-effective. Families save 35% in a week when using a CSA program vs. buying in-store produce.
  • Organic = quality taste. Red Fire Farm’s produce has 3x the taste of store-bought produce. In addition, there is a difference in texture. Store bought vegetables tend to be limp, and therefore may cook a little quicker than farm-bought produce.
  • Angie advises against peeling the skin of your vegetables (carrots, potatoes, etc.), as that’s where most of the nutrients are.
  • Red Fire Farm is hosting a tomato festival in August which will include live music, beer and a taste test of over 100 varieties of tomatoes – click here to see more! http://www.redfirefarm.com/news/index.html

Spring & Summer Meat Recipes for Grilling

steak

The spring and summer months are perfect for spending time outside and grilling dinner with friends and family. Now that the weather is officially beginning to warm up here in Boston, we wanted to start off spring on the right note with our favorite grilling recipes – check out our Flank Steak and Grits recipe available to order this week. From chicken and pork to fish, there is something on this list for everyone. See our ideas below!

1) Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing

chicken

Ingredients:

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus 1/4 cup

1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, coarsely crushed

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves

1 large garlic clove

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Preparation:

Whisk 1/3 cup of oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, fennel seeds, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a resalable plastic bag. Add the chicken and seal the bag. Massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day, turning the chicken occasionally.

Meanwhile, blend the basil, garlic, lemon peel, remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a blender until smooth. Gradually blend in the remaining 1/3 cup oil. Season the basil sauce, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Prepare the barbecue for medium-high heat or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to serving plates, drizzle with the basil sauce and serve.

2) Oregano & Lemon Pork Kebabs

pork

Ingredients:

1 lb lean pork loin, cut into 1 inch cubes

1⁄2 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon oil

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon rosemary sprig

1 garlic clove, crushed

1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Choose 2 or 3 from a selection of vegetables

1 medium red pepper, cut into large chunks

1 medium zucchini, cut into 3/8 inch thick slices

8 grape tomatoes

1 medium onion, cut into large chunks

8 medium white mushrooms

Preparation:

For the marinade combine all ingredients in a resealable plastic bag or non-reactive bowl.

Trim the pork of all visible fat and cut into 1 inch cubes. Place cubes in bag and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes. (You can also toss the vegetables in if you like. Mushrooms and zucchini are especially good in absorbing the flavor.).

In the meantime soak wooden skewers in water. Wash and cut vegetables for kebabs.

Thread kebabs alternating between the pork cubes and vegetables. Depending on the size of your pork cubes and the length of the skewers, you will have 1 large or 2 small skewers per person.

Place on indoor or outdoor grill and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

3)  Grilled Striped Bass with Chunky Mango-Ginger Sauce

fish

Ingredients:

4 (6-ounce) striped bass or other firm white fish fillets (such as amberjack or grouper)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup Chunky Mango-Ginger Sauce

Directions:

Prepare grill.

Brush fish with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill fish for 4 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve with the Chunky Mango-Ginger Sauce.

Tips from Matthew Postal of Lilly’s Gourmet Pasta

 

lilly's

Not all pasta is created equal. Our pasta vendor, Lilly’s Gourmet Pasta, offers customers fresh, homemade pasta both at their brick and mortar stores as well as online (and it is the pasta that you receive in our meal- kits!). We are offering our Spaghetti Bolognese next week, and as such, wanted to provide you with some insight into the best ways of handling their pasta, as the technique and timing is substantially different from standard store bought pastas. See owner Matthew Postal’s tips below:

1) Because Lilly’s Pasta is homemade and therefore not dried before cooking, the cooking time is 1/3 that of a normal cooking time. Matthew recommends cooking the pasta for 3-4 minutes as opposed to 10-11 minutes to achieve a more al dente, spongy feel instead of a drier texture. If anything, err on the side of undercooked instead of overcooked.

2) Make sure the water is boiling rapidly before pasta is placed in the saucepan.

3) Once pasta is cooked to al dente, toss it in a warmed sauce. The pasta will absorb the sauce and continue to cook even when out of the saucepan. This will allow the pasta to reach the perfect texture.

  • If you would rather eat the pasta without sauce, butter, salt and pepper are all you need to add, as the pasta itself has a slight taste to it.

4) Lilly’s Pasta is never frozen and is made fresh daily. As such, it is more delicate and easier to break than normal pastas. Matthew recommends not tossing the pasta around too much in the pan as it will break the pasta down.

5) You can feel good eating Lilly’s Pasta – with . 0005 percent gluten and no preservatives added to their pasta, the health benefits are far greater than normal pastas!

Healthy Easter Dishes

Happy Easter weekend, all! Whatever your plans may be for this weekend, it is always helpful to have some (easy) ideas in mind for festive dishes to prepare for friends and family (holidays = food). Below, we have outlined a few easy side dishes that you can add to lunch, dinner or even enjoy as an appetizer! These suggestions are courtesy of CookingLight.com.

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes

asp

Try one of our three variations on Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes to spice things up: raisin and pine nut, sesame-ginger glazed, or lemon-tarragon. If you’re serving a large Easter dinner group, feel free to try all three.

Ingredients needed:

1 pound asparagus, trimmed

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook 3 minutes. Stir in salt. Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper.

Sautéed Carrots with Sage

carrots

You can easily double, triple, or quadruple this small-yield recipe to feed more hungry Easter guests. A few simple ingredients turn carrots into a star side dish.

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups diagonally sliced carrot

2 tablespoons water

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons fresh small sage leaves

Preparation:

  1. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add carrot and 2 tablespoons water. Partially cover pan and cook 10 minutes or until carrots are almost tender. Add salt and pepper to pan; increase to medium-high heat. Cook 4 minutes or until carrots are tender and lightly browned, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with sage.

Zesty Three- Bean and Roasted Corn Salad

corn

This southwestern-accented recipe combines canned beans with sweet corn and red bell peppers for a colorful Easter side dish.

Ingredients:

Cooking spray

2 1/2 cups (1-inch) cut green beans (about 1 pound)

3/4 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 medium ears)

3/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1/2 cup minced red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño

1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon red chile sauce (such as Cholula)

Dash of ground red pepper

1 cup diced seeded tomato (about 2 medium)

1 cup diced avocado

Preparation:

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add green beans and corn to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer green bean mixture to a large bowl. Add bell pepper and next 5 ingredients (through black beans) to bowl; toss well. Combine juice, vinegar, and next 7 ingredients (through red pepper) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add juice mixture to bean mixture; toss well. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Gently stir in tomato and avocado. Serve immediately.

Shrimp and Bacon Deviled Eggs

eggs

Shrimp and bacon elevate these deviled eggs from familiar to fantastic. Party Tip: These can be made up to a day ahead.

Ingredients:

8 hard-cooked large eggs, shelled

1/4 cup instant potato flakes

1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/2 cup cooked medium shrimp, peeled and chopped (about 4 ounces)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

3 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Preparation:

Cut eggs in half lengthwise; remove yolks. Place 4 yolks in a medium bowl; reserve remaining yolks for another use. Add potato flakes and next 6 ingredients (through red pepper) to yolks; stir well. Stir in shrimp and parsley. Spoon about 1 rounded tablespoon shrimp mixture into each egg white half. Sprinkle with bacon.

A Fresh Start to Spring

spring flowers

Spring always tends to feel like a fresh start. The change of weather and the fostering of new plant and animal life helps to energize a new mindset. From spring cleaning to fresh spring foods, we have outlined some ideas below for easy ways to start off the spring feeling renewed. Thanks to All Voices for the great ideas!

  • Spring Cleaning
    • Think of spring cleaning as literal and figurative – clean out your closet, but also clear your head of any bad habits, thoughts or grudges you have been holding on to.
  • While you’re at it, rearrange your space
    • A subtle change in furniture and decoration can actually have a large impact on the feeling you get in a certain room. Flip things around and re-arrange for a fresh start to an old room.
  • Spread the love
    • As you are cleaning out old rooms and closets, consider donating old clothes and materials to local charities. Clothing, electrical appliances and other small household goods are always in need. So sort it out and make a donation you’ll feel good about.
  • Spring into action
    • Use sites like meetup.com to find a buddy who also loves jogging, biking, rock climbing or any other activities.
  • Clean spring eating
    • With spring comes fresh spring foods and therefore fresh eating! Outdoor farmers markets will start to open up, which is the perfect excuse to get outside and grab some fresh fruit and vegetables.
    • This week, we are offering a fresh take on Beef Stir Fry. With fresh ginger, bean sprouts and bok choy, this recipe is a fresh and healthy dish to ease your way into spring eating.