Broad Beans

Broad Beans

Broad beans recipes

Broad beans which you’ll find in some recipes known as Fava Beans. This week grown by Kazzie in Picton. They are young, early in season, so should not need peeling the bean inside the pod. Map showing picton bottom left.

Picton

Note: This week they are young you can eat the POD & Beans. These are soooo good for you and just 1 cup of beans with pods provide a quarter of your daily protein needs.

A method to get the beans out of the pods. In a pan of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, drain, put cold water over them, drain, then take pods and slit them on side seam. Run your thumb along the inside pushing the beans out.

Store them

Eat them as soon as is possible. If need to store put into a paperbag and into fridge in a dry spot no more than 4 days. Keep them away from heavy breathers in the fridge producing high ethylene ie  broccoli, spinach, corn and even artichokes if you have some of these left.

Freeze them

Take beans out of pods. Blanch by plunging the beans into boiling water 1 minute then into a colander with cold water running over them. Dry. On a small tray that fits into freezer layout Baking paper. Lay out beans and freeze. Then when frozen transfer into a snap lock bag, push air out and freeze. This way they don’t stick to each other.

  • Asparagus, Broad bean and spaghetti
  • Chicken & Broad Bean Penne

Asparagus, Broad bean and spaghetti

Asparagus, Broad bean and spaghetti
Recipe Type: Pasta
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6 Fresh asparagus,
  • Spaghetti, packet
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • Handful broad beans, prepared and cooked
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 2 tsp lemon thyme, chopped
Instructions
  1. [b]Preparation of Broad Beans:[/b]
  2. Note: This week they are young you can eat the POD & Beans.
  3. The fresh beans this week are hidden inside large green pods. These are young so no need to peel beans. First open the pods and extract the beans. (Usually you need to peel them). Blanch them for a couple of minutes in water or stock.
  4. Prepare the asparagus by only chopping a little of the end off and cut into 4cm lengths. Prepare by steaming until tender (not to much).
  5. Cook spaghetti, drain.
  6. Then in a fry pan heat oil, sweat garlic and onion together adding in zucchini then asparagus. Add some vegetable stock, add broad beans (cooked) and simmer for 3 minutes. Add in cooked spaghetti and combine ingredients. Turn off heat and add lemon and thyme. Serve.

Chicken & Broad Bean Penne

Chicken & Broad Bean Penne
Recipe Type: Pasta
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1-2 chicken breasts, grilled and shredded
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 500g penne (Harvest Hub)
  • Handful broad beans
  • 3 tbs Tomato passata
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 6 tbs parmesan, finely grated
  • Dill, crushed and sprinkled
Instructions
  1. Coat chicken in oil, season then grill for 6 minutes each side. Then shred.
  2. In a saucepan boil the pasta adding in the pre-cooked beans for the final 2 mins, then drain, reserving 150ml of the cooking water.
  3. The fresh beans this week are hidden inside large green pods. These are young so no need to peel beans. First open the pods and extract the beans. (Usually you need to peel them).
  4. Shred the cooked chicken and put back into the frypan with the tomato passata, lemon juice, 3 tbs Parmesan and the reserved cooking water. Heat gently, season to taste. Turn off heat and stir in penne. Serve sprinkled with the remaining crushed Dill and serve.

 

Tangelo

Tangelo

Tangelo

The Tangelo in your bag is a cross between the Tangerine (a mandarin variety) and the Pomelo, a relation of the grapefruit. They originated in China over 2000 years ago, and combine the sweetness of the mandarin with the incredible juice content of the grapefruit.  It’s hard to eat a Tangelo without making a jolly good mess as they are bursting with juice, but that’s half the fun! Oh, and loads of vitamin C to boot.

Fish with tangelo curry sauce
Recipe Type: Casserole
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 whole fish
  • 1 cup tangelo juice
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tbs cornflour
  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 180 C.
  2. Place the fish, cleaned, in a shallow casserole dish, combine the other ingredients and use to coat the fish thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  3. Bake until cooked about 30 minutes basting it frequently. Serve with steamed rice.

 

Avocado planted

week-1640Avocado planted

What’s involved in setting up an Avocado Nursery?

At Wherrol Flat Farm ….

Farm Setting up the nursery beds

Did you know that no Avocados ripen on trees? It’s actually the harvesting (picking) action that triggers the ripening process! The Hass avocadoes have a rough skin but a creamy texture. As the Hass ripens, its skin goes from green to a dark purple. Before cutting, make sure they have plenty of ‘give’ when pressed: an unripe avocado is pretty tasteless and they have difficulty ripening in winter.

There is no quicker way to ripen Avocados. A natural fruit requires a natural process. So, pop them into a paper bag with an apple or banana in the bag accelerates the process, as these fruits give off ethylene gas – a ripening agent and store at room temperature until ready to eat. This will usually take two to five days. Once ripened the ripe fruit can be refrigerated until eaten, however, not for more than two or three days.

TIP: If only using one half leave the stone in the unused half, this helps prevent it going brown. Use avocado as a cholesterol-free alternative to butter or margarine, or make a tasty Guacamole dip by mixing avocado with Spanish onion, tomato, garlic, chopped chilli, lime juice and salt & pepper.

  • Easy Guacamole
  • Warm Avocado soup
  • Avocado Dip
  • Avocado Mashed Potatoes
  • Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Avocado How to ripen

Avocado How to ripen

Easy Guacamole

Easy Guacamole
Recipe Type: Dip
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 ripe avocados
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, chopped (if not want hot remove peppers)
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (or juice of 1 fresh lime)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Peel avocados and remove the pit (see below for a great idea on how to use the pits). Peel and mince the onion and the garlic.
  2. Chop the tomato. Slice the Jalapeno in two and take out any seeds. Then chop.Mash the avocado in a bowl and then stir in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve cold with tortillas or corn chips.
  4. Serve warm with corn chips, guacamole on top and cheddar cheese melted under grill – just quickly though.

Warm Avocado soup

Warm Avocado soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe avocados, mashed
  • lemon juice
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1tbs flour
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • A dash of Tabasco sauce (optional) or red chilli flakes
  • Garnish with diced tofu, bacon and chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Peel, stone and mash the avocados, adding a little lemon juice to stop them from going brown.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan then stir in flour to make a paste. Add the chicken stock a little at a time and always stirring to keep the paste smooth. Add milk and stir then the avocado and season with salt, pepper and Tabasco. Do not boil as the avocado will taste bitter.
  3. If you wish to cool slightly and finish with a hand mixer to make the soup smooth then serve with garnish.

Avocado Dip

Avocado Dip
Recipe Type: Dip
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp ground chilli powder
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Mash the avocado and eggs. Add the onion, garlic, seasonings and lemon juice. Serve with bread.

Avocado Mashed Potatoes

Avocado Mashed Potatoes
Recipe Type: Side Dish
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 medium avocados
  • 4- 5 potatoes
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 dash lemon juice
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
Instructions
  1. Peel and quarter the potatoes, then wash them thoroughly. Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough cold, salted water to cover them. Meanwhile, prepare the avocados, making sure to remove any brown flesh. Scoop into a bowl and stir until smooth with lemon juice.
  2. Place milk in the microwave until melted and warm. When potatoes are fork tender, mash them in a large bowl or a stand mixer, slowly adding the milk and butter spread mixture. When potatoes are mashed to your liking, gently fold in avocado mixture gently, or in a stand mixer – use the lowest setting. Keep warm and serve!

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Chocolate Avocado Mousse
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 340g good-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 large, ripe Hass avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 6 egg whites
Instructions
  1. Melt the chocolate with the cinnamon and chili powder in a double boiler over hot water and set aside.
  2. Puree the avocado and brown sugar in a food processor until smooth. With the machine running, pour in the chocolate mixture. Using a stand mixer or whisk, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites.
  3. Pour the mousse into 6 small serving bowls or wineglasses and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or, covered, overnight.

 

 

 

Asparagus

Asparagus

Asparagus in a damp paper towel into container and into the fridge. They are low breathers and like a closed environment. The other way to keep them is in a glass of water just covering the base with a bag over them in the fridge.

Trim the bottoms before cooking.

Saucy Steamed Asparagus

Asparagus Flan

Asparagus and Chicken Crepes

 

Saucy steamed asparagus
Recipe Type: Steamed
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4
Saucy steamed asparagus
Ingredients
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Lemon juice
  • Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard lemon juice and pepper.Steam asparagus spears – crisp.
  2. Drizzle sauce over steamed fresh asparagus.
Asparagus Flan
Recipe Type: Bake
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 asparagus stalks
  • 4 rashers bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 sprigs of fresh parsley, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 190C.
  2. Cut off the tough ends of the asparagus stalks. Peel the asparagus. Boil the asparagus in salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool. Chop each stalk into 10cm pieces.
  3. Saute the bacon in a nonstick frying pan till crisp. Drain on a paper towel.
  4. Combine the eggs, milk, cream, and half of the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat Pour the egg mixture in a pie plate 3-4cm deep. Sprinkle in the asparagus and bacon. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, till the custard is set but not dried out. Serve immediately, decorated with the rest of the parsley.

 

Asparagus and Chicken Crepes
Recipe Type: Crepes
Author: Harvest Hub
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 cup cut fresh asparagus
  • 1/3 cup chopped fully cooked ham
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 190C.
  2. [b]To make crepe batter:[/b]
  3. Beat eggs and milk in a small mixing bowl. Combine flour and sugar to blend together, then add to egg mixture. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Heat a lightly greased fry-pan and pour 3 tablespoons batter into the center. Lift and tilt pan to spread batter thinly and to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. evenness is your goal.  Cook until top appears dry, then turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing skillet as needed. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper between each crepe.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the soup, Worcestershire sauce and nutmeg. Set aside 1/4 cup. Stir the chicken, asparagus and ham into the 3/4 cup soup mixture. Spoon 2 tablespoonfuls over each crepe, and roll up tightly. Place seam side down in a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Spoon reserved soup mixture over crepes. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  6. Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes. Gradually fold cream into mayonnaise. Spread over crepes. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Broil 6 in. from the heat for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Italian Rapa

Sweet Italian Rapa

Sweet Italian Rapa grown by Steve in Horsley Park Blog

The Incredibly Sweet Italian Rapa.  Grown and picked by Steve and Sam Grima in Horsley Park.

They are incredibly sweet tubers, red and white – and can be eaten raw in a salad with corella pear, goat cheese and baby spinach. Include some slices in the kids lunchboxes.They can be ‘Fairy Sticks’ for the younger ones and they’ll be asking for more.

Sweet Italian Rapa for lunchbox

Or blanch in some white wine and garlic. Don’t over-cook.  The leaves are called Collards and can be eaten as well.  They contain an incredible amount of vitamin K.

Insect Hotel

Insect Hotel

These fabulous photos show first Sonya’s garden and the Insect Hotel. What a joy to share a morning looking at these wonderful creations. Great to get updates Sonya on your garden stories.

Sonya the garden Wahroonga

Hubster, Sonya, in Wahroonga has a passion for all things green and growing. She has a magnificent food garden, fully fenced that stops even the most wonderful of Brush Turkey high jumpers, and was totally energized to try out the Insect hotel we spoke about some time back. Used by farmers keeping bugs as part of their ecosystem whilst giving them a place to eat and sleep – hence the Insect Hotel. Permaculture works when we work with the environment.

Insect Hotel by Sonya Wahroonga

We tend to manicure our gardens to the point of no return for some insects that we need to encourage to pollinate, act as controllers of other insects we don’t want like aphids. There is a balance in the Web of Life. By providing a home we keep the ones we want – ladybirds and they love the aphids, Lacewings will eat aphids and mites, bees will also find a home.

 

Romanesco cauliflower

Romanesco cauliflower

Romanesco cauliflower Facebook

Romanesco cauliflower, a geometric wonder created by nature, and based on fabonicci (check spelling) ratios, spirals and fractals. Steve and Sam Grima in Horsley Park grow them each year, but this time around the cold weather has held them back a bit. Yet, they need to be picked before they start flowering, so over the next week he’s hoping to pick 500-600 good-sized heads, and we’re taking most of them.

Romanesco looks like a cauliflower, but coloured more like broccoli – and not surprisingly because they’re both from the Brassica family. That’s why the flavour is a little in between cauliflower and broccoli.

The most striking aspect of Romanesco is the fractal shape: the bud is ‘self-similar’ in character: the whole has the same shape as one or more of the parts, similar to crystals in a snow flake.  Each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This self-similar pattern continues at several smaller levels. The number of spirals on the head of Romanesco is a Fibonacci number that describes the ‘golden ratio’ apparent in many natural observations.  But don’t get us started …

As a vegetable, Romanesco is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber and carotenoids

Grown by Steve and Sam Grima, in Horsley Park

What to do with it – Trimming and Preparing

 

RECIPES

Roasted Romanesco with lemon zest

Pasta Romanesco

Romanesco Yoghurt

 

Roasted Romanesco with lemon zest

Roasted Romanesco with lemon zest
Recipe Type: Baked
Author: Harvest Hub
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 4 gloves garlic,
  • crushed salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 180C.
  2. Line a tray with baking paper and place florets on paper. In a bowl pre-mix the oil, lemon zest and crushed garlic. Then either use a brush or just drizzle olive oil and garlic over the top of the florets.
  3. Roast in oven for 20 minutes.

Pasta Romanesco

Pasta Romanesco
Recipe Type: Pasta
Author: Harvest Hub
Ingredients
  • 1 romanesco cauliflower florets
  • Stalk, finely sliced
  • 350gm pasta of choice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 redeye chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 100g nuts, either almonds, walnuts, pinenuts (give them a dry roast)
  • 1 lemon zest
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • coriander, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese to garnish
Instructions
  1. Lightly steam the cauliflower , still crisp so about 3 minutes over boiling water.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, in a fry pan heat oil, add garlic and chilli. Then add steamed cauliflower turning until
  4. Add in remaining ingredients.
  5. Serve in a bowl with pasta.

Romanesco Yoghurt

Romanesco Yoghurt
Recipe Type: Bake
Author: Harvest Hub
Ingredients
  • 1 cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 300ml Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbs tomato puree
  • Coriander, finely diced
  • 1/4cm tumeric, diced
  • 1/2cm ginger, sliced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • salt
  • 1 tbs melted butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 190C.
  2. Put the florets on an oventray.
  3. then in a bowl mix all ingredients except the butter.
  4. Into the overn for 20 minutes.
  5. Then pour over butter and under grill until brown around 5-10minutes.
  6. Serve

 

Cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes

They take care and patience to grow. With changing climate Heat, Rains, Winds makes it a challenge. At one point the heat went to 51C in the growing pods – how can anything survive this? The flowers die and they are needed to grow the tomatoes. Too hot even for the bees to pollinate.

So if there are no tomato flowers and the tomatoes won’t get pollinated which in turn means that the fruits won’t form. The tomato flowers encourage the bee to land on the flower and vibrate its wings thereby shaking the pollen from the anthers onto it’s legs.

So the tomatoes this week from Nymboida above Coffs Harbour are a bit of a miracle. They have had a stop start journey in growing. Thanks to the persistance of our farmers we have in our kitchen delicious, juicy cherry tomatoes.

Here is their story:

Cherry tomatoes Nymboida

Dine Below The Line

Dine Below The Line

UNSW Dine Below The Line Event Columbo House June 2017

 

Oaktree Foundation – Dine Below the Line

So, what’s this ‘Dine Below the Line’? Let’s break it down for you:

Dine Below the Line is a Live Below the Line challenge to host a dinner valued at just $2 a head. In exchange for their feed, guests will give a donation to Oaktree’s cause (the idea being that it be equivalent to the amount they would normally pay for a meal out). And that’s it!

The first step to creating change is by starting conversations, and hosting a DBL is the perfect way to get the ball rolling! So sign up to host one today at bit.ly/lbl2017a.

UNSW (University New South Wales) – Colombo House Hub hosted a dinner for ‘Dine Below the Line’ on Friday last week.

Colombo Dean says:

” We used a donated large Harvest Hub Bag of mostly local Sydney Basin produce and cooked the following up for about 15 people, raising $120.

It was a really fun way to spend a Friday afternoon / evening in the College and raising funds for those less fortunate. There was a heap of food left over, we could have easily have fed over 20 people! We will run it again and improve on this in Semester 2.”

The Menu

Vegetable Soup                                                                 Stir-fry with steamed rice

Vegetable soup Dine below the Line UNSW

Stirfry with steamed rice Dine below the Line UNSW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple+Pear Crumble with Custard

Apple Pear Custard UNSW Dine Below the Line

 

 

Farm Recipes Week 1720

Farm Recipes Week 1720

Harvest Hub Farm recipes-template

This week’s $2.50 per serve meals using the basic pantry needs and this week’s Value Bag items.

 

Chicken and tarragon rolls  – Tarragon grown in Dural

Fennel Risotto – Fennel grown in Horsley Park

Lamb Stew with Daikon – Diakon – Korean Radish grown in Horlsey Park

Vegetarian Chili Con Carne – Red chillies grown in Kemps Creek

Thai persimmon and beef (sweet potato) salad with mint and coriander – Persimmon grown in Wingham

 

Chicken and tarragon rolls

Chicken and tarragon rolls
Recipe Type: Meal
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4-5
Ingredients
  • chicken breast, cut into 5 strips
  • taste freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 small bunch tarragon
  • 25g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated (Parmesan cheese)
  • 5 bacon slices
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 leaves lettuce
Instructions
  1. To make Chicken and tarragon:
  2. Place the bacon slices onto a cutting board and top each with a chicken tenderloin. Grate a little parmesan onto the chicken, season with pepper and top with several tarragon leaves.
  3. Roll them up into even cigar shapes. These can be grilled or fried. For grilling: place on alfoil and evenly grill both sides. For frying: Preheat a frypan with some olive oil and then fry. Drain on paper towel.
  4. Cut them into bite size pieces and pierce with a toothpick.
  5. Serve a bed of lettuce scattered with tarragon leaves and surround them with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Fennel Risotto

Fennel Risotto
Recipe Type: Rice
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 fennel bulb, shaved
  • 100g mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1.2 litres chicken or vegetable stock
  • 50g butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 300g Arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 70g grated parmesan cheese (Harvest Hub)
  • lemon, zested
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Wash then finely slice the fennel. Put aside.
  2. Bring the chicken/vegetable stock to the boil, keep at a slow simmer.
  3. Put the butter in a large heavy saucepan over low heat. Add onion and garlic and sweat until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat in the butter. Add the white wine and cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Start adding chicken/vegetable stock, a ladle at a time. Slowly add stock as it is absorbed by the rice. Cook for ten minutes then add the fennel and mushrooms. Keep stirring and add remaining stock until the rice is ‘al dente’ .
  5. Finally, stir in the grated parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Lamb Stew with Daikon

Lamb Stew with Daikon
Recipe Type: Stew
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 kg lamb shank, 1 piece
  • 1/2 daikon, cut into thick slices
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 cm fresh ginger, crushed
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red peppers, chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 baby buk choy, chopped
Instructions
  1. Place the lamb in a large casserole pan, clay pot or slow cooker. Add the daikon, onion, ginger, garlic, and peppers. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil.
  2. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the daikon is soft and translucent, about 1-1/2 hours. Season to taste with salt. Remove the lamb and the daikon from the liquid, reserving the liquid. Remove the lamb meat from the bone. Cut the lamb into cubes. Cut daikon into cubes. Set aside.
  3. [b]To make the sauce:[/b]
  4. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and stir to mix, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato. Add the reserved lamb and daikon, and enough cooking liquid to cover. Bring to a boil and reduce the broth slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the buk choy. Cover and steam until the greens are just wilted, about 2 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately.

Vegetarian Chili Con Carne

Vegetarian Chili Con Carne
Recipe Type: Stew
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 tbs of coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp coriander, ground
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp chili, ground
  • 3-4 cooking tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup red kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup green lentils
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tbs of tomato paste
Instructions
  1. To prepare the lentils:
  2. In a saucepan place 2 cups water and add lentils. Bring to boil for 20 minutes until they are soft then drain.
  3. In a frypan place oil and sauté the onion until they are soft, approx. 5 minutes. Then add the capsicum and garlic. Fry for an additional 5 minutes. Add remaining spices and stir in.
  4. To this add the tomatoes, tomato paste, red kidney beans, stock and green lentils. Simmer for approximately half an hour and serve on a bed of rice or couscous.

 

Thai persimmon and beef (sweet potato) salad with mint and coriander

Thai persimmon and beef (sweet potato) salad with mint and coriander
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 250g fillet steak (substitute sweet potato)
  • 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 persimmons
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves
  • 1/3 bunch coriander
  • [b]For the dressing:[/b]
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 x 3cm piece of ginger
  • 1 tsp palm sugar (substitute brown sugar)
  • 1 tbs fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
Instructions
  1. Heat a frypan while trimming the steak of any fat. Add the oil and cook the steak over a high heat for 3 minutes on each side, season and set aside. If using sweet potato do same – slice and fry until slightly soft but add some soy.
  2. To make the dressing:
  3. Peel and crush the garlic, peel and grate the ginger then combine with the sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Peel and slice the persimmons. Slice the steak (or sweet potato) and arrange on the persimmons, on serving plates with thin slices of onion, mint leaves and roughly chopped coriander. Generously drizzle over the dressing and serve.

 

Youth make $2 a head meals with heaps left over

Dine Below the line

Youth make $2 a head meals with heaps left over

‘Dine Below The Line’ an initiative of Oaktree Foundation, a group of students concerned with fighting poverty in SE Asia. On the Macquarie Uni campus, they got together to accept a challenge to see if they could cook a robust meal for $2 a head. They won this challenge. Amazing – $2 meals

Harvest Hub donated the food and menus for them to cook:

The menu – see recipes below

Ratatouille with fettucine

Roasted pumpkin and baby spinach salad

They tell us:

“There was a total of 9 participants including representatives from Macq Uni Sustainability, Macq Uni Sustainability Squad (MUSS) and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. In the end we managed to raise $61.30 from this Dine Below The Line event!

We were all surprised at how much food we managed to cook under a budget! We also had great conversations about poverty, our attitudes to international development, Australia’s role in international development, and even about the great ways Harvest Hub serves communities!

We’d like to thank Anton & Jayne and all Harvest Hub members for your donation and support in this event. We’re always excited to get connected and to continue to work with other people and organisations that recognise the potential of young people (as well as people of all ages!) to make impactful change! ”

Recipe for Ratatouille

Ratatouille
Recipe Type: $2 meal
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 10
This version is a little more tomato-based than the usual recipe to provide enough liquid for the fettucine
Ingredients
  • 3 brown onions, sliced
  • 800gms eggplant, cubed (not skinned)
  • 800gms green capsicum , seeded & cut
  • 80gms zucchini, sliced
  • 3kg cooking tomatoes, roughly cut
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt & pepper
  • Dried herbs (e.g. rosemary, thyme, oregano)
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • ½ bunch basil leaves
  • Water or stock as needed
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil over low heat, stirring regularly, for 10 mins or until translucent.
  2. Add the eggplant, capsicum and zucchini and sauté for a further 10 mins, stirring regularly.
  3. Add the cooking tomatoes. garlic, seasoning and dried herbs, stir to mix the ingredients, and cook on medium heat until it bubbles. Reduce heat, add lid and slowly cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every now and then.
  4. Check if the mixture has enough liquid, and add water or stock if needed.
  5. Cook for another 5-10 minutes or until cooked al dente (i.e. retain some texture – don’t let it go to mush).
  6. Before serving, shred the basil leaves and stir into the ratatouille.
  7. Serve with fettucine and a salad

Recipe for Fettucine

Fettucine
Recipe Type: Pasta
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 10
As per instructions on pack. Don’t over-cook, and to prevent it from sticking together in the serving bowl, either add some cooking liquid or olive oil. Roasted pumpkin salad
Ingredients
  • 3kg butternut pumpkin, skinned, seeded and roughly cut
  • 1 Spanish onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 500gms baby spinach leaves, washed and well-drained
  • Salt, pepper, vinegar & oil
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat grill to High
  2. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin pieces with salt, pepper and olive oil. Spread on baking tray and place in oven, about 5-10 cm below the hot grill. The idea is to blacken part of the pumpkin without over-cooking.
  3. After 10 minutes, turn the pumpkin pieces and put back under the grill. From this point, watch carefully to not over-cook the pumpkin. Remember, they will continue to cook for several minutes after you take them out of the oven.
  4. Let the pumpkin cool down to lukewarm, and then mix with baby spinach leaves in a serving bowl.
  5. At the last minute, sprinkle with dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (or serve separately). Alternatively, you can make a dressing of soy sauce, white vinegar, sugar and chilli.
  6. Bon appetite!

 

Do we value our food and those who grow it?

Do we value our farmers

Do we value our food and those who grow it?

The recent storm up north, Cyclone Debbie, has brought to the fore the question – Do we value our food and those who grow it – enough?

This was one of the responses, from a farmer who gave up farming 5 years ago because of poor returns:

“(…) The answer is people have to pay more for their food and allow food producers enough money so that they can rotate their land so as to rest it e.g. five acres of land producing a crop should have at least two acres of compatible land “resting” so the cost in that alone blows out. We need to allow for the cost of water as it is not something that can be just used at will. There are also many other problems that are swept under the carpet just like the recent floods – they have not been costed into the price of food!

As a food producer I have not seen a price rise in my crop for the last five years so have decided to retire – it has now become uneconomical to produce food for the normal market – even with me who produces for a top end high quality market it is no longer profitable!”

Vulnerable Farmers

Farmers are vulnerable to  weather events read more…

We need to flesh this out as there are 2 or 3 story lines that intertwine:

  1. High retail concentration has driven large-scale corporate/industrial farming, which tends to practice mono-culture, has high input costs (chemicals), often degrades soil, wastes water and has high rates of waste and spoilage.  Because of scale, they tend to rely on labour hire firms which have proven to employ farm workers on below-award wages and conditions
  2. This food production method doesn’t properly take into account the cost of soil degradation, water use, nitrogen wasted in run-off and the subsequent environmental damage this is causing to plant and marine life.  It is also not sustainable long-term, as more and more inputs are required to achieve the same level of fertilisation, pest and weed control

So on several levels, we are not paying enough for our food.  Many farmers are reporting little or no increase in farm gate prices of many farm commodities.

Household expenditure

This is also illustrated by the lower share of household expenditure that food makes up: in 1984, we spent nearly 20% of our total spend on food.  In 2009/10 (the last available period), this had dropped to 16.5%. This is indicative of the degree of commoditisation of food over the past few decades, which coincides with the growth of supermarket chains which now control 80% of the grocery market, and the wholesale disappearance of independent grocers and fruit shops.  This is only partially offset by growth in farmers markets.

How to make food production more resilient.

To make food production more resilient, it needs to be decentralised, grown by many smaller farms across many different regions using more holistic methods of weed and pest control (e.g. permaculture and polyculture). However, to attract more people to become small-scale farmers, we would need to expect to pay more to ensure farmers get a reasonable return on their investment and labour.

Harvest Hub Farm

Harvest Hub is putting its money where its mouth is: we are in the process of buying a run-down farm on the NSW mid-north coast, and over the coming years we’ll be re-developing this as a permaculture farm.  We’re also sourcing fresh produce from surrounding farms in the Wingham, Manning and Hastings Valleys and supplying this to Hubs across the Central Coast and Sydney Basin.  Yes, it’ll keep us busy – but we’re very excited about this new adventure!

 

PISTACHIOS – Fresh UNROASTED

PISTACHIOS – Fresh UNROASTED 

Pistachio

Unshelled pistachios should be split open, and any that are not split should be discarded. The reddish skin should be removed before roasting. The method requires only two ingredients: raw, dried pistachio nuts and salt if desired.

  • For salted nuts, a brine should be prepared by stirring salt into as much water as required to submerge the nuts. The water should be saturated with as much salt as will dissolve into it. The dried, raw pistachio nuts should be dropped briefly into the brine solution.
  • Spread the nuts in a single layer onto a baking sheet.
  • Roast them in the oven at 200 Fahrenheit.
  • Check the nuts after 15 minutes – they should take about 20 minutes in total.
  • The nuts are done when they are fully dried but not overcooked.

Pistachios are a good source of iron, protein, vitamin 6, thiamine and dietary fiber. They are also a good source of unsaturated fats. One cup of shelled pistachios yields approximately 1/2 cup of shelled nuts

Origin: Western NSW

Pistachios roasted
Recipe Type: Roast
Author: Harvest Hub
Ingredients
  • Fresh Pistachios 250gms
Instructions
  1. To prepare:
  2. • Remove the soft outer skin from the pistachios
  3. • Preheat oven to 120C
  4. • Add 60-80g of salt to 125ml of water (1/2 cup) in a deep saucepan and boil over high heat until all salt is dissolved
  5. • Add about 8 to 10 cups of pistachios and stir until all water has evaporated and salt is deposited on the nuts.
  6. Spread nuts on baking paper in the preheated oven and roast 1½ hours. Stir every 30 minutes. When done, put the baking paper with pistachios on a cooling rack to stop them from cooking.

 

 

 

Cooking tomatoes local

Cooking Tomatoes April 2017

Cooking tomatoes local

Late summer, the end of daylight saving, but PEAK for TOMATOES.

Tomatoes love nothing better than bask in full sun all summer, and longer if they can get away with it.  Provided they’ve had lots of fertiliser (chicken and duck manure, fish emulsion, seaweed) to give them flavour, sun will bring out the ripeness.

Alas, many commercial tomatoes are not ripened on the vine.  Instead, they are picked when green – and before they go onto the supermarket shelf, they are ripened in the coolroom using ethylene.  No wonder they taste like nothing, and last for about 3 days.  By contrast, tomatoes that have been ripened on the vine have a huge amount of flavour, and should last (out of the fridge) for 2 weeks.

Some tomatoes – usually near the peak of the season – are left on the vine until they are almost over-ripe, and these so called cooking tomatoes contain less liquid but loads more flavour.  They’re available from March to June, and are perrrfect for home-made pasta sauce, tomato soup, bruschetta and casseroles.

Unfortunately we seem to be wedded to canned tomatoes – and really, we just don’t get it:

  • More often than not, cans contain imported tomatoes
  • Imagine the energy – not to mention greenhouse gasses – used to manufacture the steel cans, process the tomatoes, and then transport them around the world!
  • Many – if not most – steel cans are lined with a plastic that contains BPA (Bisphenol A): this is a hormone disruptor that can seep into the food, and can have adverse health effects. Many plastic bottles and containers also use BPA. Although the research is far from conclusive, there seem to growing evidence of people with high levels of BPA running a greater risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and lower fertility. As with many things in life: prevention is easier than the cure.
  • Canned tomatoes are almost always more expensive than fresh tomatoes: a typical 440g can of Ardmona tomatoes costs $1.40.  That works out at $3.18/kg.  By contrast, our fresh cooking tomatoes cost $2.50/kg, or even $2 a kg if you buy 2kg.  That’s a saving of 37%.
  • But above all, fresh cooking tomatoes taste so much better than their canned cousins.
  • Read more on imported canned tomatoes 

So there you have it: better tasting, cheaper and healthier.  You can find cooking tomatoes under Veature Veg. See recipes Authentic Gnocchi tomato sauce;Basic Gnocchi;Tomato Hummus Dip

OTHER RECIPES below
Indian Spaghetti Bolognaise

Homemade Spanish tomato sauce

 

Indian Spaghetti Bolognaise

Indian spaghetti bolognaise
Recipe Type: Sauce
Author: Harvest Hub
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 7 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 zucchinis, grated
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 10g mixed dried Italian herbs
  • Olive oil
  • [b]OPTIONAL: [/b]1 kg premium mince, pre-cooked
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in frypan over a medium heat then add the onions and cook until golden brown. Add the garlic and ginger with one tbsp water and cook. Then add spices and cook then stir in the tomatoes. Cook 3 minutes.
  2. Add mince and/or the zucchini, carrots, herbs. Cover and cook 10 minutes.

Homemade Spanish tomato sauce

Homemade Spanish tomato sauce
Recipe Type: Sauce
Author: Harvest Hub
Ingredients
  • 500gm tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 Lemon, juice
  • 1litre vegetable stock
  • A bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbs fresh parsley
  • 3 tbs concentrate tomato puree
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Fry off your onion in the olive oil on a medium heat until soft. Reduce the heat and add the garlic. Cook for a further five minutes stirring. Add the chopped tomatoes to the mix. Add them to the mixture. Add the Rest of the ingredients and cook on a medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take out the bay leaves and discard. Whizz the tomato sauce in a food processor or blender until it is fairly smooth.

 

 

Hidden Valley Honey

Hidden Valley Honey

Hidden Valley Honey, Wherrol Flat, NSW

Organic, no sprays. Raw Bush Honey farmed at Wherrol Flat, NSW

Introducing raw, unpasteurised bush honey from bees that feed on native eucalypts, blue and grey gums, tallowwood and yellow box.  The honey is less sweet than commercially available honey, but has a real depth of flavour and a beautiful floral bush bouquet. You can find their honey in 450g jars and 1Kg tubs under Feature Fruits and in the Honey and Jam section.

Hidden Valley Farm in Wherrol Flat is run by Shane and Brooke Hulands.  Although Shane had experience working on the family farm, he and Brooke only started farming 3 years ago.  They’re running cattle, pigs and about 500 hens, and collect bush honey from about 50 hives. Both are saying that they haven’t worked as hard as they are now, but loving every minute of it.

The Wherrol Flat farm is 475 acres and is mostly timber.  All their animals are running free range, using holistic management and low stress stock handling principles.

On their farm the cows eat down the long grass, and are moved on to another paddock. They are followed by chooks who live in the paddocks in mobile caravans. One hectare at a time is sectioned off with electric netting, and once the area is fertilised the caravan is moved on.

They say they’ve seen the soil improving, holding moisture better. They’ve also noticed the pastures change from bracken fern and Parramatta grass to having a significant increase in plant diversity, including a return of many native pasture species.

“For us it’s about seeing the land comfortable. If we see that we know the soil will be good and our animals healthy, creating a future for our children” says Shane. “We are doing what feels right and it seems to be working.”

“We’re redoing internal fencing so we have better control of our paddocks and letting the stock do the work for us.

“We don’t need to mulch. The cows tread in the older grass to build the soil carbon, so we retain moisture in our paddocks.”

The Hulands moved up from Sydney for family health reasons to raise their young family. Shane had previously worked on a family farm. Brooke is city born and bred, but would never go back now. She says “I’ve never worked so hard in my life but I’m loving every minute of it, and it’s fantastic seeing the kids getting involved.”

“It’s not a job, it’s a passion” adds Shane.

Shane and Brooke sell pastured free range eggs at the Wingham Farmers markets and some retail outlets. They are in the process of setting up paddock to plate pastured beef and pork.