Healthy Harvest Travels: Ketchum, Idaho

For the last three years, we have made the 12-hour drive to Ketchum, Idaho to meet with a local food buying club and give a presentation on the health benefits of pure, extra virgin olive oil.

This year, we packed our trailer as full as we could and set out for the Sun Valley of the Sawtooth Mountains.

Sunrise and Supermoon
Sunrise and the lingering supermoon in Wyoming

We split the long drive over a day and a half, and the views did not disappoint.

Mountains in Idaho

We arrived in the sleepy ski town just as the first winter storm was about to move in, giving hope to residents that resorts might be able to open for Thanksgiving.

ketchum-idaho
photo from Pinterest

Upon arriving, we were graciously hosted by Julie, owner of Nourish Me, a locally owned health food store and cafe located right downtown. Julie works hard to make foods not usually available in small towns accessble to residents and tourists in the area. She not only sells amazing foods from trusted sources like raw milk and cheese, kombucha, organic veggies, and supplements, but also serves wholesome meals from her in-store cafe and teaches community classes about ferments and other fun topics.
Nourish me health food store ketchum idahoSince Ketchum is nestled in a remote mountain valley,  passionate local foodies organize a food buying club to purchase organic foods and other necessities in bulk a few times a year. Members drove from nearby towns Bellevue, Hailey, and more to hear about our authentic Greek and Italian olive oils.

We had an absolute blast connecting with like-minded people who really know their stuff about healthy eating!! If you know of any food clubs interested in a presentation, give us a shout!

Southwest Sweet Potato Black Bean Casserole

 The warming spices of this southwestern-style dish will keep you warm all winter long, AND it gets better as leftovers.

Southwest Sweet Potato Black Bean Casserole
 
A southwest-inspired meal that gets even better as leftovers
Author:
Ingredients
  • For the Enchilada Sauce:
  • 1 tsp. pure, extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup finely minced red onion (you can also chop ½ cup onion for the casserole)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp wild Mediterranean oregano
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • For the Casserole:
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (bonus! cilantro detoxes heavy metals in your body) plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup diced green chiles
  • 1 jalepeno, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup salsa verde
  • Greek yogurt and avocado, for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Make the Enchilada Sauce. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and water. Bring to a low simmer, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Cook the Quinoa:In a medium saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil. Stir in the quinoa, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Cook the Sweet Potatoes:Preheat oven to 400. Place cubes on baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and dash of oregano. Bake 12-15 minutes.
  4. Assemble the Casserole: Reduce heat to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8x8 or 9x13 baking dish. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, sweet potatoes, black beans, enchilada sauce, 1 ½ cups of the cheese, red onion, green chili, and jalepeno.  Stir until everything is well combined. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining ½ cup of cheese.
  5. Bake covered until casserole is hot and cheese is melted, about 25-30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro, avocado and Greek yogurt, if desired.

Adapted from Kristine’s Kitchen

Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

kale quinoa stuffed acorn squash

I just can’t get enough of acorn squash. While I’m roasting it, it’s so easy to saute whatever veggies I have on hand and then stuff the squash with it. Plus, it makes for great leftovers.

 

Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
 
I just can't get enough of acorn squash. While I'm roasting it, it's so easy to saute whatever veggies I have on hand and then stuff the squash with it. Plus, it makes for great leftovers.
Author:
Serves: 2-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 acorn squash, halved, seeded and de-pulped
  • ½ white onion
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1-2 tbsp pure, extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place squash skin side down in roasting pan and brush with olive oil. Roast in 400-degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until fork tender.
  2. While squash is cooking, heat pan to medium and coat with olive oil. Add kale and sautee for a few minutes. Add garlic and onion and cook until translucent. Stir in quinoa to heat.
  3. When squash is tender, fill center with kale mixture. Top with parmesan for extra flavor.

Chicken Sausage Apple Kale Stuffed Acorn Squash

chicken-apple-acorn-squashWhere my foodies at? This meal turned out to be one of my top 3 favorite meals I’ve ever cooked. It is *exploding* with flavor. Delicate acorn squash stuffed with a sweet and savory balance of apples, chicken sausage, kale, onion, garlic and sage all topped with crunchy toasted pecans. This easy, hearty dish just screams fall.

It is a jumble of on-hand ingredients gone right. Every other week, we pick up a share of winter veggies from our CSA with Monroe Organic Farms in Greeley, CO (read our post on CSAs here). This week we got onions, potatoes, beets, turnips, acorn squash, garlic, and some lingering late-summer greens.

I absolutely LOVE acorn squash. Roasted with pecans and honey or stuffed with sausage, mushrooms and more. It is SO versatile, creamy, and delicious.

Like other winter squash, you cut it down the center, scoop out the pulp and seeds, and then roast skin down coated with olive oil. For this recipe, I also brushed on dried garlic and sage before putting into a 400 degree oven for 50-60 minutes.

While you’re cooking the squash, brown the chicken sausage in a large pan with extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. After a few minutes, add diced onion and garlic. Add more olive oil as needed. Cook for 2 minutes until onions soften, then add in diced apple and kale and cook for a few more minutes.

Once squash can be easily pierced with a fork, remove from the oven and fill with sausage mixture. Return to oven for 5-10 more minutes, or until apples soften.

In the meantime, toast pecans on medium heat until fragrant, stirring frequently, so as not to burn them.

I served this with garlic parmesan roasted potatoes and could not help but go back for seconds.  I hope your family enjoys these flavors of the season as much as I do.

Chicken Sausage Apple Kale Stuffed Acorn Squash
 
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Author:
Serves: 2-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 12 oz organic chicken sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small granny smith apple - peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 cup kale- rinsed, dried, and chopped
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place acorn squash skin side down in a roasting pan. Brush with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with dried sage and garlic, and place  in a 400-degree oven for 50-60 minutes, until fork tender.
  2. While you're cooking the squash, brown the chicken sausage in a large pan with extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. After a few minutes, add diced onion and garlic. Add more olive oil as needed. Cook for 2 minutes until onions soften, then add in diced apple and kale and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Remove squash from the oven and fill with sausage mixture. Return to oven for 5-10 more minutes, or until apples soften.
  4. In the meantime, toast pecans on medium heat until fragrant, stirring frequently, so as not to burn them.

Make It Easy to Eat Seasonally Pt 2

root-veggiesEarlier we posted about making it easy to eat in season, meaning your ingredients are fresh, full of flavor, and didn’t have to travel across the ocean to get to you. Eating in season goes hand in hand with eating local and supporting the farmers in your own community.

But what if you’ve never cooked with some of the vegetables most readily available over the winter? No worries! We’ve put together a collection of recipes to keep you inspired until next year’s farmers markets

Daikon

Daikon is a mild radish that is low in calories and high in Vitamin C. It’s great on salads or pickled with carrots. But I discovered an ingenious recipe that uses spiralized daikons as “noodles” for a tasty 30- Minute Veggie Pho.

Turnip

Turnip is a root high in Vitamin C. It can be used in place of potatoes in several cases.

  • Turnip “Hash brown” Breakfast Tacos
  • Roasted Turnips with Parmesan
  • Turnip “fries”
  • Lemon Roasted Turnips
  • Pickled Turnips

Potatoes

Okay- so potatoes are pretty common, but what you can run out of ideas when you have a full box full.

We make breakfast potatoes, french fries, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, gratins, potato salad, potato-leek soup, pot roast, and more.

Sweet Potatoes

Of course you can use sweet potatoes for a lot of the same recipes as potatoes, but we especially love Bacon Brussel Sprout Sweet Potato Hash (throw eggs on top and make it a breakfast dish, too!) or even putting mashed sweet potatoes with cinnamon and brown sugar into re-sealable bags as a quick energy snack for runs or hikes. Cut off the corner and squeeze. Fun, easy, and not loaded with sugar like most bars or energy chews.

Other ideas: sweet potato chips, sweet potato pancakes

Leeks*

*be sure to clean leeks thoroughly or you’ll end up with dirt in your dinner!

 

Share your favorite winter recipes in the comments below!

 

Bacon Brussel Sweet Potato Hash

This quick-cooking meal is one of my favorite fall/winter breakfasts! Omit the eggs and serve as a tasty side dish.

Bacon Brussel Sweet Potato Hash
 
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This quick-cooking meal is one of my favorite fall/winter breakfasts! Omit the eggs and serve as a tasty side dish.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 strips bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced thin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs
Instructions
  1. Cook the bacon in a pan over medium heat and set aside.
  2. Add the onion and sweet potato to the pan and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the brussels sprouts, saute until tender, about 5 minutes, let sit until the bottoms start to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Stir in bacon.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Create 4 small wells in the hash, add the eggs and cook until the desired level of done-ness.

30-Minute Veggie Pho with Portobellos and Daikon “Noodles”

20160401_194756
I apologize for the photo quality. I made this recipe before I took my food photography class, but it is truly a beautiful dish!

There’s nothing like a huge bowl of piping hot Vietnamese pho to warm your bones when it’s snowing outside. The combination of rich broth, crunchy veggies, soft noodles, and fresh herbs soothe the soul.

Traditionally, the broth simmers for hours and involves toasting coriander, using star anise, and roasting ginger. Then thinly sliced meat is dropped in the hot broth to cook it. Lastly, a heaping bunch of bean sprouts, cilantro and jalepeno slices are thrown in with a big squeeze of lime to top it all off.

Since this dish only needs a few cheap ingredients, it’s become a weeknight go-to in my winter rotation. Well, with the help of a ready-made broth that is, using creative licensing to simmer ginger and scallions into pre-made or store bought beef broth (you could you veg broth for a veg/vegan recipe, but it will definitely lack even more of the richness and flavor of the authentic dish).

Combining a few of my favorite recipes, I replaced the meat with steak-like portobello mushrooms and the rice noodles with spiralized daikon radishes. The mushrooms soak up all the delicious flavor and make this a filling, energizing dish, while the daikon are mild enough and the perfect texture to serve as the noodles.

img_20161109_200219

30-Minute Veggie Pho with Portobellos and Daikon "Noodles"
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 64 ounces homemade or store bought beef broth
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • Salt to taste
  • 1½ tablespoon butter
  • 6 ounces portobello mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed and sliced into strips
  • 1½ tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 large daikon radish, made into noodles
  • 8 ounces bean sprouts
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced
  • Fresh cilantro, basil, lime wedges,  and sriracha for serving
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, combine the broth, green onion, grated ginger, and salt. Bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. While the broth is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 6 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the hoisin and sesame oil and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the mushrooms, about 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the daikon noodles to the broth and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.
  4. Divide the noodles between four to six large bowls, then fill each bowl with the ginger broth. Add bean sprouts, sliced jalapeños, shiitake mushrooms, fresh basil, and cilantro and serve with lime wedges, and chili garlic sauce.

Make it Easy to Eat Seasonally this Winter Pt 1

monroe-organic-farms

As foodies who care about our communities and the environment, we try really hard to eat what’s in season year round. This means the food travels less far to get to us, which reduces emissions from transportation. Also, by eating what’s in season, we can support our local farmers. One of the easiest ways to do that is to sign up for a CSA.

What is a CSA?

CSA stands for community-supported agriculture. According to Monroe Organic Farms in Colorado, “people in the community ‘join the farm’ as members. Members receive a percentage of produce.” By supporting the farm financially, you can get vine-ripened locally grown produce for your whole family. You can even choose the size of your share.

Which made me think of all those meal services popping up on social media these days…That’s great! I’m all for healthy food made convenient, but why not support your local farmer with that same money?

Plus, if you thought you couldn’t get more sustainable than locally grown seasonal produce, some farms like Monroe even store their crops in old fashioned dugouts, pits, and straw-bale buildings to preserve freshness and use less energy from utilities.

What do I get?

Every other week from November through February, we’ll get whatever crops have been recently harvested at the farm. That might change throughout the winter. Our share includes:

beets
bell peppers
cabbage
carrots
celery
celery root
Chinese cabbage
garlic
leeks
lettuce
onions
popcorn
potatoes
rutabagas
sweet potatoes
tomatoes
turnips
winter squash
other

Turnips? Rutabagas? What do I do with those?

Get creative, that’s what! We got our first share last week, and I have been trying to figure out what to do with all those root veggies. Stay tuned for winter harvest recipes in Make it Easy to Eat Seasonally Part 2.

Spinach White Bean (Sausage) Soup

As market season winds down, it’s a bit sad to think of not seeing our friends each week and not having an abundance of fresh, healthy food grown by neighbors. So, what do we cook in the winter when there’s a smaller selection of seasonal locally grown food?

Well, we sign up for an awesome CSA (community supported agriculture) from Monroe Organic Farms where we pick up a portion (you can choose from different sizes) of winter veggies weekly since there aren’t farmer’s markets. It’s really easy to share with family and neighbors to save in bulk.

We learn to love dry beans, onions, garlic, and root vegetables, and use the fresh produce we prepared and stored earlier this year.

You can certainly use canned beans or frozen spinach from the store. It will be a great tasting meal full of benefits. But there is just nothing like the flavor and nutrition of locally grown food that got to ripen fully before picking and made it to me within days, or even hours.

Think of the pride and joy and savings of picking it from your own backyard!IMG_1291

So we buy or grow a bounty of greens, squash, mushrooms and other veggies when they are in season and can, dry or freeze them to use throughout the year. This method has allowed us to waste less money or food!

This recipe would be great for any greens you have, fresh or frozen, along with dry or canned beans. It makes it so quick and easy to have a hot satisfying meal anytime in the winter.

Find pure, extra virgin olive oil for this recipe here.

Spinach White Bean (Sausage) Soup
 
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You're only 30 minutes away from a big pot of heart-warming soup for the winter.
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¾ pound kielbasa
  • 2 cups chicken broth (vegetable broth would be okay)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon wild mediterranean oregano
  • 1 tablespoon
  • pure, extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cannellini beans (you can use canned if needed make sure you rinse them as well)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes diced (about 1 cup)
  • 6 cups baby spinach leaves (try kale or collards too!)
  • Freshly cracked pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Note: If using dry beans, soak over night. In the morning, rinse out, then continue to next step.
  2. Slice sausage link and brown in large pot with olive oil. Add garlic as sausage finishes searing. Do not drain.
  3. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add in oregano and beans and stir. Then, add tomatoes and heat until beans are tender. If using canned, it won't take long at all.
  5. Once beans are soft, add in greens just until wilted.
  6. Season with salt, and black or red pepper.
Notes
This soup is gluten free and could easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the sausage and using veggie broth.

Adapted from It’s My Side of Life

Are there carcinogens in your beauty products?

Most our community of friends at Healthy Harvest are healthy eaters. We read nutrition labels and are cautious of what ingredients we’re putting in our bodies. We choose organic and avoid GMOs and hormones whenever possible. But how often do we pay attention to what we’re putting on our skin?

Our skin is our biggest organ and absorbs ingredients directly into our bloodstream. A recent article by The Atlantic suggested as many as 1 in 5 beauty products contain ingredients linked to cancer.

So what’s in your cosmetic bag? We put together a list of ingredients we’ll never include in our organic small-batch facial oils. Here’s why:

Parabens

Also in: deodorants and antiperspirants, shampoo, conditioner, lotions, cleansers and scrubs

Parabens are a preservative that prevent bacteria in water based products. “About 85 percent of cosmetics have them,” says Arthur Rich, Ph.D., a cosmetic chemist quoted by Real Simple.com. So what’s wrong with them? Parabens mimic estrogen in the body, and estrogen disruption has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive problems.

Synthetic fragrances

Also found in: perfumes and colognes, baby lotions and wipes, air fresheners and candles, dryer sheets and detergents

In the U.S., manufacturers can legally hide hundreds of synthetic chemicals in the one word—“fragrance”—without revealing what those ingredients are.

Cited on Huffington Post, “Environmental Working Group (EWG) researchers found more than 75 percent of products listing the ingredient “fragrance” contained phthalates (THAL-ates) which have been shown to disrupt hormone activity, reduce sperm counts, and cause reproductive malformation, and have been linked to liver and breast cancer, diabetes, and obesity.” See more phthalates below.

Propylene glycol

Also found in: antifreeze, medicines, cosmetics, or food products

Propylene glycol is used as a skin conditioner and to enhance absorption, but Canada has listed it as toxic or harmful. While described as safe by the FDA, the CDC Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry claims it affects the skin, urinary system or kidneys, and respiratory system. It has been shown to worsen eczema and skin allergies.

Phthalates

Also found in: vinyl flooring, paints, shoes, disinfectants and deodorizers

According to Mother Earth Living, “phthalates are a probable carcinogen, some of which have been linked to reproductive harm, learning disabilities, asthma, and allergies – even at low exposure levels.”

Mineral oil

Also called: petrolatum or paraffinum

Also found in: lip balm, shampoos, conditioners, lotion, creams

Mineral oil is extremely common in skin care because it reduces loss of water. It is actually a byproduct from the distillation of petroleum for gasoline. Mineral oil doesn’t actually hydrate your skin; it just forms a barrier, so it can clog your pores or seal in bacteria, which can cause you to break out.

According to Livestrong.com mineral oil also”attracts needed moisture from cells deep inside your skin. This means that cell renewal is slowed, collagen breaks down, and the connective tissue is destroyed. Normal cell development is slowed down and the skin ages prematurely when skin cells are robbed of moisture.”

We want to hear – what are your favorite safe, non-toxic beauty and self-care products?

Sources

  • http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/skincare/worry-about-parabens
  • http://www.breastcancerfund.org/clear-science/radiation-chemicals-and-breast-cancer/parabens.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
  • https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/705315/PROPYLENE_GLYCOL/#
  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maria-rodale/five-mustknows-on-the-dan_b_4737654.html
  • https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxsubstance.asp?toxid=240
  • http://www.naturalnews.com/023138_propylene_glycol_products_natural.html
  • http://www.livestrong.com/article/185370-why-is-mineral-oil-bad-for-your-skin/