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Newsletter » Organic Foods

Newsletter August 3/01 - Susan Van Dueck

Organic Foods

  1. Amandah & Kevan Jensan

  2. Sointula Greens Organic Farm

  3. Recipes

  4. Greens Glorious Greens Cookbook

  5. Organic poultry & apple cider vinegar

  6. Small Potatoes Urban Delivery Service Monthly Draw!! - for $50.00 worth of organic veggies

  7. A five-year scientific study from Washington State University on organic farming

  8. Turning Point Therapeutic Massage Clinic in Steveston

Amandah and Kevan Jensan have been friends and clients of ours for years. Over 10 years ago they moved to the Botanie Valley near Lytton and began an adventure in organic farming. Last year they raised some pigs as organically as they could... and what a difference in the meat! Next year they will raise some more pigs, so if you are interested, email them for details at info@sointulagreens.com or call 250-455-6613.

Here is a description of their lovely farm and retreat.

Sointula - Finnish for "Island of Harmony." The experience of leaving the city for that small mountain valley is yours for the asking. From the desert conditions of Lytton you will appreciate the cooling temperature as you ascend into the Botanie Valley. From the dry sage brush and scorched earth you climb into pine forest which gradually transforms into beautiful lush fir trees. Beyond Sointula, as the road continues to climb and the valley narrows, the forest changes to spruce, hemlock, and balsam. Until 13 Mile (21 KM) out of town, when you go over the cattle guard and into native reserve land, you will find a panoramic view of alpine meadows and Botanie Lake.

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We are situated just 3-1/2 hours north of Vancouver. In the beautiful Fraser Canyon our 70 acre hide-away farm has year round access. From the farm and cabins the southern view down the valley looks out to the Coastal Range to the west and the Washington Cascades to the east. Closer to home the eye takes in the lovely treed acres and natural pasture that comprises the 3 acre organic garden. We have facilities for retreats with 3 cabins available and a bath house. There is also, a seminar/meditation room. Produce is available in season.

See the Sointula Greens Web site.

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Picking & Weeding at Sointula Gardens

Picking and Weeding at Sointula Gardens.

 

The Cabins, With the Hobbit House on the Left.

The Cabins. On the Far Left Is the Hobbit House.

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Another contact for organic poultry and apple cider vinegar: Moon Farm B&B, Darcy, BC 604-452-3419. Email celtrom@uniserve.com.

The following information is from the Small Potatoes Urban Delivery Service. Check them out for organic foods of all kinds delivered to your home at reasonable prices! Order online at www.spud.ca.

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A five-year scientific study from Washington State University has received international attention:

The researchers conclude that organic food is not just tastier and better for the environment, but is also more financially profitable for farmers than industrial farming. A team of scientists, led by Dr. John Reganold, compared systems of growing apples in experimental plots. The study measured the "sustainability indicators of soil quality, horticultural performance, orchard profitability, environmental quality and energy efficiency."

They reported: "Escalating production costs, heavy reliance on non-renewable resources, reduced biodiversity, water contamination, chemical residues in food, soil degradation and health risks to farm workers handling pesticides all bring into question the sustainability of conventional farming systems." While the impact on the environment was 6.2 times greater with industrial than organic methods, scientists were surprised to find that the organic orchard was more energy efficient requiring less labour and less water per apple produced as well--direct savings to the cost of production. Finally, using an independent amateur tasting panel, they found that the organic apples were firmer and sweeter, allowing them to command a higher price. Purely profitable.

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I thought this was a little different take on organics. It actually is more profitable...and of course, it’s better for our bodies and our world! Who would have guessed! I got a little miffed a few weeks ago watching a Food Network program. They were talking about organic and genetically engineered foods and I’m afraid the journalism was very poor as they were completely biased towards mucking around with our food.

Can we actually think that putting beef genes into tomatoes isn’t trying to one-up Mother Nature? I guess common sense doesn’t cut it. What about the poor vegetarian who’s eating veggies only to find out they just consumed a cow! OK…OK, I know I’m getting a little carried away here but really…?

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Here's a really good cookbook on greens that my sister gave me. It includes recipes for arugula, bok choy, kale, collards, dandelion greens and more.

Greens Glorious Greens!: More Than 140 Ways to Prepare All Those Great-Tasting, Super-Healthy, Beautiful Leafy Greens - by  Johanna Albi & Catherine Walthers

 

 

I got a big batch of organic greens this week and found this really great recipe on the www.epicurious.com website (Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines). It called for spinach but I had arugula and chard, which I substituted and it was perfect as an accompaniment to a meal, as a light lunch or vegetarian meal. Just remember that for this recipe, it is best to remove the stem and the hard vein from the chard.

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Recipes

Sointula Greens Beet Relish

4 cups cooked beets, grated
2 hot peppers (perhaps jalapenos), seeded and chopped finely
½ cup onion, chopped
2 tsp kosher salt (non-iodized)
2/3 cup sugar
¼ cup prepared horseradish
2 cups white vinegar

Bring all the ingredients to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. In the meantime, boil pickling jars (3 pints) and lids. Bring a large pot of water (filled enough to cover jars by one inch) to a boil. Divide relish between the 3 jars. Put lids on so they are firm but not too tight. Place jars in the water and boil for 5 minutes to seal. Remove from the water and allow to sit upright for 10 minutes. Tap the tops of the lids to insure they are sealed. If they make a hollow sound, they are not sealed. You can then either reprocess or store in fridge. Properly sealed jars do not need to be refrigerated until opened.

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Dilled Spinach Crepes with Avgolemono Sauce

For the filling:
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
4 cups steamed greens (spinach, arugula or chard with hard vein removed work well), chopped fine

For dill crêpe batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons minced fresh dill

melted butter for brushing the crêpes

For the sauce:
2/3-cup chicken broth
(substitute chicken-style broth to make this a vegetarian meal)
2 large eggs
1/4-cup fresh lemon juice

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For vegetarians trying to avoid hydrolised vegetable protein (found in chicken-style seasonings) use crème fraiche instead of the sauce. See our article on Quinoa for the recipe or click here to jump to the recipe on the Quinoa page.

Make the filling:
In a saucepan cook the onion in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is softened, add the flour, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the milk in a stream, whisking, and cook the mixture over moderate heat, whisking, until it is thick. Stir in the nutmeg, the dill, the spinach, and salt and pepper to taste and let the filling cool.

Make 12 crêpes (procedure follows) with the dill crêpe batter. Spread 2 tablespoons of the filling on each crêpe and roll the crêpe up jelly-roll fashion. Arrange the crêpes, seam sides down, in a buttered shallow baking dish just large enough to hold them in one layer. The crêpes may be prepared up to this point 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. Brush the crêpes lightly with the melted butter and bake them in the middle of a preheated 400°F. oven for 20 minutes.

Make the sauce:
In a small saucepan bring the broth to a boil. In a bowl whisk together the eggs and the lemon juice. Add half the broth to the egg mixture in a stream, whisking, and whisk the mixture into the remaining broth. Heat the sauce, stirring, until it reaches 170°F. on a candy thermometer and is thickened slightly, but do not let it boil, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the crêpes among the plate and drizzle the sauce over them.

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Make the dill crêpe batter:
In a blender or food processor blend the flour, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, the milk, the eggs, the butter, and the salt for 5 seconds. Turn off the motor, add the dill, and with a rubber spatula scrape down the sides of the container. Blend the batter for 20 seconds more, transfer it to a bowl, and let it stand, covered and chilled, for 1 hour. The batter may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. Makes enough batter for about 13 crêpes.

Make the crêpes:
Heat a crêpe pan or non-stick skillet measuring 6 to 7 inches across the bottom over moderate heat until it is hot. Brush the pan lightly with the butter, heat it until it is hot but not smoking, and remove it from the heat. Stir the batter, half fill a 1/4-cup measure with it, and pour the batter into the pan. Tilt and rotate the pan quickly to cover the bottom with a layer of batter and return any excess batter to bowl. Return the pan to the heat, loosen the edge of the crêpe with a spatula, and cook the crêpe for 1 minute, or until the top appears almost dry. Turn the crêpe, cook the other side lightly, and transfer the crêpe to a plate. Make crêpe with the remaining batter in the same manner, brushing the pan lightly with butter as necessary. The crêpes may be made 3 days in advance, kept stacked, wrapped in plastic wrap, and chilled.

Makes 12 filled crepes, 4 to 6 servings.

This is also good served with crème fraiche instead of the sauce. (See our article on Quinoa for the recipe or click here to jump right to the crème fraiche recipe in the Qinoa newsletter.)

Wonderful with lamb!

Carbohydrates if eating 2 crepes = 22 gm

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This is one of my favourite salads. I got it from Jay (Jennifer) Green my friend and massage therapist at Turning Point Therapeutic Massage Clinic in Steveston. Jay and her partners Lily, Anne and Bobby (DTCM & acupuncture) are dedicated in their work and you can be sure to get the best of care. Lily’s parents are Greek and they provide us with hand raised lamb and cold pressed olive oil all the way from their own orchards in Greece. Both the lamb and the oil are amazing.

Arugula is high in beta-carotene, calcium, vitamin C and is a cancer fighter. It has a spicy and pungent flavour that can handle bold dressings. Try some variations with this versatile salad. Spinach can be used when Arugula is not available. Experiment with different fruit juices such as raspberry or mango. Try balsamic or herb flavoured vinegar. We’d love to hear about your creations.

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Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad

6 medium beets
3/4 cup shelled walnuts, pecans or pine nuts, toasted and chopped
4 bunches of arugula, washed and dried

Dressing:

1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp thawed frozen apple or orange juice (preferably organic - Cascadian Farms is available at Choices, Capers, Seacoast Produce in Steveston)
1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pierce beets. Place on lined baking sheet in 400° F oven until tender. Cool, peel and slice. Toast nuts and chop (pine nuts are left whole). Wash and dry arugula. Remove leaves from stems and discard stems. Place leaves in salad bowl. If your arugula is very young and tender you don’t have to remove the stems. Place all dressing ingredients, except oil, in a medium bowl. Whisk until combined. Slowly add oil while whisking until thickened. Dress beets and set aside. Just before serving, dress arugula and add beets. Toss in the nuts. Serves 4-6.

Carbohydrates if 4 servings = 9 gm/serving

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