Author Archives: Lorraine Upham

Newsletter 4

Hi everyone

Today is a stunning day here on the Kapiti Coast and the next item on the “to do” list is take Miss Molly for a walk.   In this weather it will be a delight for us both. This edition of the newsletter covers progress on the Downtown Community Centre fresh produce project and news of a festival being held on an organic farm in the Manawatu.   Also included is a recipe for Red Cabbage.   And, we are experiencing the annual carrot free few weeks.   Spring carrots will be here soon. Christmas is fast approaching and a limited number of vegeboxes will be available for delivery Tuesday and Wednesday of the short holiday weeks.    Please advise your requirements.

Downtown Community Centre.

The first box was delivered last week thanks to the generosity of Melanie & Rob Neeley.   Instead of a regular payment, they donated their weekly delivery to the foodbank while they were on holiday.   The feedback from the foodbank was bordering on ecstatic as it enabled them to pack a few pieces of fresh produce in each food parcel.   The second box will go next week as a result of the $5 donations so far received.    Grateful thanks to those who have added $5 to their regular payment for produce.

Mai Farm Naturally

Reuben Mai is a vegebox customer who has recently moved home to the farm after extensive travel overseas.   He has some innovative ideas on how to run a sustainable dairy farm and we had a very enjoyable talk over numerous cups of tea (some things never change on a dairy farm). Part of the reason for the festival is to celebrate 100 years ownership by the Mai family.  The festival is intended to raise charity to promote sustainable practices in the community.
Location:    Mai Farm, Pohangina Valley Road, Raumai, Manawatu.   (It is easy to find, continue through Ashurst following the signs to Pohangina).
Date:    Saturday 29th November 2008
Time:    9 a.m. – 10 p.m
Day will include workshops and speakers, bands and entertainers, organic and sustainable stalls, nutritious foods and beverages.
Price:  $10, seniors and students $8, under 12s free.

 

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

I experienced this first hand at the home of Roy and Anne Cooper during a recent visit to their home on the Australian Gold Coast. Very tasty!
Ingredients:
¼ cup butter
1 2lb red cabbage thinly sliced
6 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
Method:
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.   Add cabbage and saute until slightly wilted, about 5 minutes.   Add sugar, toss to coat evenly.   Add vinegar.   Reduce heat to medium-low;  cover, simmer until cabbage is tender, stirring often.  About 30 minutes.   Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serves 6 – 8
All for now – regards
Lorraine

Newsletter 80- October 2009

10/10/2009

Hi everyone

Finally the sun is shining and I can hear a tui in the bottle brush next door. Miss Molly and I will get a walk today without getting drenched. Yahoo!!
Our website has been up for several months and I would appreciate any comments or ideas to make the site more useful for you.
I will be away from Friday 30th October returning Thursday 5th November. Orders for delivery on 4th and 5th November will be placed before I leave so if you have any alterations for this period please let me know. Cherimoya, Globe Artichoke and Asparagus are the featured items this edition.

CHERIMOYA

The cherimoya is believed to be native to the valleys of Ecuador, Columbia and Peru. From there it followed the path of the avocado and ended up in Mexico, then California.
In appearance like a plump green tightly closed pinecone, this luscious fruit is sub-tropical, the consistency of the flesh is custard like and the flavour a blend of banana, passionfruit, papaya and pineapple.  It is ready to eat when soft – to eat cut open and remove the seeds. Scoop out the flesh.  Extra nice chilled. I hope you are lucky enough to get one of these in a box.

GLOBE ARTICHOKE

The globe artichoke has always been considered a delicacy. They have been grown in Southern Europe for many centuries. They also look like a plump pinecone but with overlapping scales. The part that is eaten is the immature flower bud before the flower appears and it consists of overlapping green/purple scales. The fleshy base of the scale is the edible part and they are eaten alone or with the addition of a dip. The plant looks like an overgrown Scotch thistle.
Globe artichokes are available from September through to January.
They are a good source of folate and some B-group vitamins.

How to cook:
Chop off stem and drop in boiling water. When cooked the petals/scales should easily come away from the stalk. Eat the soft part of the petals at the base (easiest way is to hold tip of petal in the fingers). When you come to the hairy choke, scoop out and discard and eat the heart with dressing.

Garlic butter is great as a dip or your favourite dressing will do fine.

ASPARAGUS

The name asparagus comes from a Greek word meaning “shoots” or “sprouts”. Widely cultivated
for its tender, succulent edible shoots, asparagus was known more than 2000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean region. Greeks appreciated asparagus for its unique flavour and alleged medicinal qualities.
Asparagus is an excellent source of folic acid, a good source of vitamin C, Thiamin (B1), Vitamin B6 and potassium. It is the highest testing food for glutathione, one of the body’s most potent cancer fighters.
To cook take each spear by its end and bend gently. It will snap at approximately the point where tenderness begins. Reserve the stem ends for soup. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, drop in the asparagus spears, let water return to the boil and cook uncovered till tender. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of spears and freshness.
If asparagus is to be served cold, remove from saucepan with tongs and drop into a bowl of iced water. This stops cooking and sets the bright green colour.
This versatile vegetable can be served hot, or cold in a vinaigrette. It can be included in an omelette, quiche or frittata, and makes delicious soup.

Protein Powder

Are you and your family getting enough protein?   Adults need approximately 1g per kilo of body weight daily. Vegetarians in particular need to be creative to ensure adequate protein intake. Protein powder added to a fruit smoothie, makes a fantastic breakfast.  Please let me know if you are interested in a high quality product which includes all 9 essential amino acids.

All for now – regards – Lorraine

Newsletter – November 2009

Hi everyone               16/11/2009
Hard to believe but we will be asking for Christmas delivery requirements in the next newsletter, in fact it isnt too early to be thinking about this now.   Christmas day is a Friday so it does make the short weeks a bit tidier than usual and we will be offering  deliveries on Wednesday 23rd and 30th December.
Our new website is undergoing some streamlining and additions.   Certainly it is enjoying traffic and helping people to find us.   Anyone interested in a reciprocal link please let me know details which will be passed on to my neice at Rocket Design for attention.
New potatoes are listed on the produce schedule .   This doesn’t guarantee they will be
in the boxes this week but for sure they are on the way.
Broad Beans and Beetroot are the featured vegetables this edition

Broad Beans

Broad Beans have a long tradition of cultivation in Old World agriculture, being among the most ancient plants in cultivation and also among the easiest to grow.   It is believed that along with peas, lentils and chickpeas, they became part of the eastern Mediterranean diet around 6000 BC or earlier.   They are still often grown as a cover crop to prevent erosion because they can over-winter and because as a legume, they fix nitrogen in the soil.   They are low in sodium and very low in saturated fat and cholesterol;  a good source of riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous and potassium, and a very good source of folate, copper and manganese.   Also a source of L-Dopa which is used in treating Parkinsons Disease.
Broad Beans are eaten while still young and tender.   They can be shelled and used raw in salads, steamed or boiled, and one client told me she had used hers in a stir fry.   This creamed recipe sounds yummy.

Broad Beans a la Crème

1 lb (just under ½ kilo) shelled broad beans
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
2 rashers bacon
½ oz (15 grams) flour
1 chopped onion
Salt and pepper
Boil beans in salted water with peeled onion until tender.   Chop and fry bacon for 4-5 minutes.   Stir in flour and a little liquid in which beans were cooked and a large pat of butter.    Strain beans carefully.   Add to bacon etc. then stir in parsley.
Toss over the ring for a few moments, season and serve in a hot vegetable dish.

Beetroot

are piling up in my fridge – no doubt I am not alone here.   So here are some ideas for this colourful vegetable.
If they come with nice fresh leaves these are good to eat in a salad.
Serve hot or cold
Adds colour and flavour to salads.
For a stunning colourful mash combine equal amounts of pureed or grated cooked beetroot with floury mashed potatoes, a generous dollop of butter, sour cream and seasoning.
Alternatively serve hot as a vegetable with sour cream, black pepper and a few sprigs of parsley. Or chop beetroot raw into approximately 1” cubes.    Place in a baking dish and sprinkle with brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.   Bake till cooked.   Awesome flavour!
And of course a revitalizing power juice.   Juice together 1 medium beetroot, 1-2 apples and 2-3 medium carrots (no need to cook the beetroot first).

A gift idea.

Instead of flowers send a box of organic fruit and veggies.    We can put a greeting message on the label.   Some clients are already using this service and feedback has been great.

Water Purification System.

Water is the single most important substance required by our body.   All expert advice on skincare, weight loss and health recommends drinking at least 2 litres of filtered water daily.   The system I can supply combines compressed carbon block technology and ultra violet light to kill bacteria and viruses.  Let me know if you would like more information or an
in home demonstration.
All for now – regards – Lorraine

 

Newsletter – May 2010

Hi everyone 23/05/2010

Looks like our stunning autumn is drawing to a close. Today is cool and gloomy and we are promised a tempest during the night. Seems winter is imminent

Recipes this edition are favourites from clients.

I will be away visiting friends in Queensland from Wednesday 9th June returning Friday 18th June. Orders for delivery 16th and 17th June will be placed before I leave so please advise any suspensions or alterations by Tuesday 8th.

From Rachel deHaas and one of her favourites

Curried Pumpkin Soup

3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 tbsp curry powder (depending on preference)
1 pottle tomato paste
1 regular (or 2 small) sized pumpkins cut into approx 2-3 cm cubes
Kumara can be added if you have a surplus
6-8 cups chicken broth/stock (or until all pumpkin is covered)
½ cup coconut cream
Salt and pepper

  1. Heat oil in a large pot. When oil is hot add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add curry powder and stir to combine.
  2. Stir in tomato paste
  3. Add pumpkin and stock and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are very soft (mashable)
  4. Use a stick blender is easiest to puree the mixture, otherwise in parts in a blender. Stir in coconut cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh herbs and thick wholegrain toast (optional).

Choko and Carrot Piccalilli

(makes around 4 medium preserving jars worth)

Ingredients:
3 large choko
20 pickling onions or 4 large brown onions
5 large carrots
6 large or 10 small gherkins
750ml – 1L white vinegar
¾ cup flour
1 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons mustard
2 teaspoon tumeric

  1. Peel and dice all vegetables into small pieces (1/2cm). Carrot is best done on a coarse grater in blender
  2. Soak all vegetables in a large bowl in salt water for at least 2 hours. Overnight is preferable.
  3. Thoroughly drain vegetables ready to add to mixture
  4. In a large pot, mix all dry ingredients and add ½ cup vinegar to stir into a paste.
  5. Put the pot with the paste over a med-high heat and stir continuously while adding all of the vinegar until this thickens into a sauce-like texture.
  6. Add vegetables and continue to stir to prevent sugar from sticking to the bottom of the pot while the vegetables heat through, this should take 10-15 mins.
  7. If this is looking too thick, add some more vinegar until it comes to the appropriate consistency – remember this will thicken a little once it cools.
  8. Spoon into jars with tight lids (or preserving jars) and store in cupboard.

This makes quite a strong flavoured piccalilli, and you can adjust vegetables to preference. Piccalilli is ready to eat immediately and goes great on sandwiches.

Whoever sent me this recipe thanks a million and

I know I should know but I am stumped so please advise me.

Brussell Sprouts

Shred finely and stir fry in either butter or oil for 1 minute. Add a small quantity of water and cook for another two minutes. After that I don’t have any more instructions but can imagine adding a little grated cheese.

All for now – regards – Lorraine

 

Newsletter 84 – April 2010

Hi everyone 23/04/2010

Welcome to all the new clients who have started getting boxes this year.

Well, it seems autumn is with us. My favourite time of year with cool & energising weather, and glorious displays of autumn leaves.

Our website is enjoying good traffic flow and google has no trouble finding us. However, I would appreciate feedback on anything else you would find useful on the site.

This edition of the newsletter will include an update on the Downtown Community Centre fresh produce project, and a story on an unusual reception for snails.

Freatured fruit is Feijoa and vegetable is the Choko.

Also some info. on a top of the line water purification system and a healthy gift idea.

I quote from a recent email from Amy Mudgway

“Fantastic Veg Box!! Really loved it. My 2 yr old was thrilled to find snails and worms in there and raced them on the bench while I sorted everything”

Downtown Community Centre fresh produce project. Since September 2008 we have been sending a regular Standard box to this organisation to add a healthy and fresh component to their food parcels. Thanks to Lisa Bridson and Natasha Jelbert who donated their boxes when they went on holiday and to Marion Lawrence and Melanie Neeley who have been adding $5 to their regular payments since the inception of the scheme. The original idea was to find a core of people who would add $5 to their payment to fund a regular delivery. Anyone interested in being part of this, please let me know.

Feijoa. The feijoa is a native of Southern Brazil and was introduced to Europe in the late 1800s. It was named after Brazilian botanist Joam da Silva Feijo. In the 1920s it was introduced to New Zealand where the ideal climate produced large fruit and few pests enabled the feijoa to be grown organically. The NZ season runs from late March to June.

The feijoa is a versatile fruit which can be eaten raw, stewed, made into wine or cooked in pies and shortcakes. They also make a lovely muffin and can be substituted for bananas using a banana cake recipe.

They freeze really well – just pop them in a plastic bag skin and all. They can be peeled frozen with a potato peeler if you don’t mind cold fingers.

Feijoas are ready to eat when slightly soft and when the jellied sections in the centre of the fruit are clear. They are a good source of Vitamin C.

The Choko is a native of Central America. It was taken back to Europe by the Spanish explorers and from there, introduced to parts of Asia. They grow on a climbing plant and look a bit like a pale green pear with spines. Chokos have a mild flavour similar to marrow so are usually cooked with other stronger tasting foods. Store at 7-10 degrees C. For home storage refrigerate in a plastic bag.

To cook cut choko in half and remove seeds. If boiling or steaming leave the skin on to retain flavour. Cook 15-20 minutes or until tender.

Ways to eat this vegetable. Choko halves can be stuffed with all sorts of fillings – rice, bacon, tomato, onion, cheese and more. They can be used much like a courgette, can be served with a sauce, added to casseroles and stir fries, used in desserts, tarts, breads, jams or cakes. They are also good in fruit and vegetable salads raw, can be pickled or used as a base for relishes.

Chokos are available from April to June and are a good source of vitamin C.

Water Purification System. Water is the single most important substance required by our body. All expert advice on skincare, weight loss and health recommends drinking at least 2 litres of filtered water daily. The system I can supply combines compressed carbon block technology and ultra violet light to kill bacteria and viruses. Please let me know if you would like more information or an in home demonstration.

A gift idea. Instead of flowers send a box of organic fruit and veggies. We can put a greeting message on the label. Some clients are already using this service and feedback has been great.

All for now – regards

Lorraine

Newsletter 83 – March 2010

23/03/2010

Hi everyone

It is hard to believe that February has slipped by without me sending a newsletter. The weather has been really great here, enough rain to keep things going and not too hot.   However, there is a definite autumnal feel at the moment, very good for walking Miss Molly. Due to her scavenging habits she has gained 7 kg in the last year, her new name is Podge, and she is undergoing a lifestyle change

This edition of the newsletter covers a selection of recipe contributions

Thanks to Lisa Bridson, for her version of Guacamole. Lisa assures me it just isnt the same without coriander. So, blend together 1 avocado, ½ chopped tomato, coriander, lemon or lime juice and salt and pepper

Thank you, Rachel deHaas for sharing this.

“Pumpkin is one of my favourite foods and cooking/baking is my favourite hobby, so I thought I would share a curried pumpkin soup recipe that I absolutely love”.

Curried pumpkin soup

3 tbs olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 tbsp curry powder (depending on preferences)
1 pottle tomato paste
1 regular (or 2 smallish sized) pumpkins cut into approx 2-3 cm cubes
6-8 cups chicken broth/stock (or until all pumpkin is covered)
½ cup coconut cream
Salt and pepper
Kumara is an optional extra

  1. Heat oil in a large pot. Wait until oil is hot before adding in onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add curry powder and stir to combine.
  2. Stir in tomato paste
  3. Add pumpkin and stock and bring to boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are very soft (mashable).
  4. Use a stick blender is easiest to puree the mixture, otherwise in parts in a blender. Stir in coconut cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh herbs and thick wholegrain toast (optional)

During a recent visit to a friend in Wellington to view the fabulous textiles he imports from Turkey, I was treated to his version of a Mediterranean breakfast. One of the dishes which I only sampled out of politeness, was a green bean salad.

It tasted so great I am passing this on.

Flat Beans with Olive Oil
500g flat green beans
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp crushed tomato
1 ½ cups water
Salt

First, wash the beans, trim both ends and shave along the sides with a knife. In a large pot place the onion and olive oil, cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the beans, garlic, salt, tomatoes and crushed tomato. Pour in 1 cup of water. Leave the lid half open and cook 35-40 minutes. Add another half cup of water midway through.

Let cool for half an hour, then place in a service plate. Pour in a little more extra virgin olive oil. Let cool in the fridge. This dish is served cold as a side dish

I have access to a high quality organic based range of supplements, as well as a protein powder which includes all 9 essential amino acids.

If you would like more information on these products please let me know.

All for now
Regards,

Lorraine

Newsletter 82 – January 2010

20/01/2010

Hi everyone

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year. Miss Molly and I stayed home this year – enjoyed an outdoor Christmas afternoon with friends. New Years Eve M.M. stayed home and a friend and I saw 2010 in at the New Years Eve function in Civic Square in Wellington. It was a lovely night and great fun.

Have had numerous calls from new clients who have made the resolution to improve their health this year and eating more fruits and vegetables is an excellent starting point, organically grown produce even better.

This edition covers an article on pesticides in our food and some ways with avocadoes

Good friends, strong supporters of healthy living including organic fruits and veggies, sent me an article recently about pesticides in foods and I quote some statistics.

Listed are the top 12 foods to contain pesticide residue:

  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Butter/cream/cheese
  • Wheat including bread
  • Apples
  • Plums
  • Mandarins
  • Raspberries
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes/raisins/sultanas

These were closely followed by cucumber, nectarines, lettuce, tomatoes, wine and pears

The foods were ranked according to the percentage of samples with pesticide residues and the number of pesticides detected.

Food authorities attempt to reassure us that because the pesticides are below a certain level, they are assumed to be safe.

However, we do know there are various serious long term effects associated with particular pesticides that are found in our food, including endocrine or hormonal disruption, cancer, immune system suppression, nervous system damage, genetic damage and birth defects.

Pesticides also have a damaging effect on wild life and the ecosystem.

The article concluded by recommending organic food for children, pregnant women, and anyone with a compromised immune system.

Avocadoes would have to be at the top of my list for favourite vegetable. I first encountered avocadoes as a simple but exotic entrée in the days when there were six licensed restaurants in Auckland. (and dinosaurs walked the earth).

Anyway, halve the avocado, remove stone and fill cavity with shrimps and a dressing (it was like whipped cream flavoured with tomato paste or sauce.

Guacamole. There are many versions of this avocado dip. My favourite came from Tina van Erpers Roijaards

Mash avocadoes with a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix in 3 tablespoons of plain unsweetened yoghurt Add a dash of tabasco sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

The addition of some finely chopped garlic gives another flavour dimension.

Serve with crackers, triangles of toast, chippies or whatever else you fancy

Avocado and Tuna Salad

A delicious hearty main dish luncheon salad.

Ingredients:
2 packages baby spinach leaves (or other available salad green),
2 cans tuna drained,
2 avocadoes pitted, peeled and cut into wedges,
5 tbsp olive oil,
3 tbsp lemon juice,
2 tbsp wine vinegar,
1 tbsp Dijon mustard, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Method: In a large salad bowl toss together spinach, avocadoes and tuna. In a small bowl whisk together to emulsify olive oil, lemon juice, wine vinegar, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss gently into salad. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Serve with small jacket potatoes and hot crispy french bread. Garnish with lemon wedges.

At a recent health information night it was mentioned that the vegetarian diet is usually lacking sufficient vitamin B12 and B9 as well as Iron. I have access to a high quality organic based range of supplements, as well as a protein powder which includes all 9 essential amino acids.

If you would like more information on these products please let me know

Wishing you health, wealth, and happiness for 2010

All for now – regards – Lorraine