Jerusalem Artichoke

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Jerusalem artichoke, also known as sunchoke, is a root tuber of a wild sunflower native to the United States. Native Americans introduced these to colonists, who found them to be a staple food in staving off famines during the period between the last of the winter food stores and the beginning of the first harvest. The sunchoke is worth a creative effort in the kitchen. Its mild, sweet, nutlike flavor is very adaptable. Nutritionally it is a good source of iron and niacin. Sunchokes are free of any starch, and have a polysaccharide called inulin that is digested slowly and lowers blood sugar, making it a highly recommended food choice for diabetics.

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How to Prepare:

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Rinse sunchoke tubers under cold water, scrubbing well to remove any soil. A stiff bristled brush may be helpful.

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How to Store:

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Store in plastic bag in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. They will shrivel as they dry out. To restore crispness, soak in ice water. For long-term storage, bury sunchokes in damp sand in a cold but not freezing environment like a root cellar, garage, or basement.

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How to Cook:

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Jerusalem artichokes can be enjoyed raw or cooked; sauteed, stir-fried, steamed, simmered, or baked.

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Information adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini

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Recipes

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Easy Roasted Sunchokes (Paleo “Steak Fries”)

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Ingredients

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  • 1lb sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes), scrubbed
  • ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped italian or curled parsley
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Preparation

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Scrub the sunchokes with a potato brush and chop into 1 inch bite-size chunks. Toss in a medium sized bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper until coated. Place onto a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once, until the skin is slightly browned. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve plain or with a side of ketchup.

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Recipe courtesy of Olive and Herb

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Fennel, Sunchokes, and Apple Salad

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Ingredients

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  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fennel fronds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 8 radishes, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 6 sunchokes, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 2 gala or fuji apples, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and very thinly sliced
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Preparation

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In a bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice, chives, and fennel fronds to make a smooth vinaigrette. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste. Add radishes, sunchokes, apples, and fennel. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day, to allow the flavors to come together. Season with salt and pepper before serving.

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Recipe courtesy of Saveur

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Creamy Sunchoke Soup with Fried Parsnip and Mushrooms

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Ingredients

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  • 2 pounds sunchokes
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • 3-⅓ cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • ⅔ cup cream
  • 1 parsnip, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chili oil (optional)
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Preparation

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Peel the sunchokes, cut in equal slices, and add the lemon juice to prevent discolouration. Heat half the oil in a pan over medium low heat and add the shallots, cooking until soft. Add the sunchoke, fry briefly, and add the white wine. Reduce slightly, then add the broth. Allow to simmer on low heat until sunchoke is soft and cooked. Purée the soup in a processor or hand blender.

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Add the cream and stir well. Peel the parsnip and cut into thin slices. Heat the butter and reserved olive oil in a skillet and pan fry the parsnip and mushrooms until the edges turn golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. Pour soup into bowls and top with the parsnips and mushrooms. Dot with chili oil (optional).

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Recipe courtesy of Tartine and Apron Strings

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Celery Root and Potato Puree with Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke “Croutons”

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Ingredients

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  • 2 medium celery roots, trimmed, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 8 ounces Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchokes), scrubbed
  • ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (for garnish)
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Preparation

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Combine first 7 ingredients in heavy large pot. Add enough water to cover. Sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer with lid slightly ajar until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain; return to pot. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Stir over medium heat to dry vegetables. Using potato masher, mash vegetables until coarsely pureed. Mash in 3-½ tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper.

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut Jerusalem artichokes into ½-inch cubes. Place in medium bowl; add oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Dot with remaining ½ tablespoon butter. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet; roast until tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 25 minutes. Place celery root and potato puree in serving bowl. Sprinkle Jerusalem artichokes and chopped thyme over and serve.

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Recipe courtesy of Epicurious

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Sunchoke-Kale Hash with Farro

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Ingredients

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  • ¾ cup farro
  • 2-½ pounds large sunchokes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 1 pound Tuscan kale, tough stems discarded
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil blended with 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 small red onion, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ pound oyster mushrooms, halved if large
  • Freshly ground pepper
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Preparation

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In a medium saucepan, cover the farro with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat until the farro is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the farro. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cover the sunchokes with water and add a pinch of salt. Boil until the sunchokes are tender, 10 minutes; drain. Slice the sunchokes ¼ inch thick. Fill the large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the Tuscan kale and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.

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Drain the kale and let cool slightly. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the kale leaves and then coarsely chop them. In a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the blended oil. Add the red onion and a pinch of salt and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 12 minutes. In a nonstick skillet, melt the butter in 2 tablespoons of the blended oil. Add the sunchokes in an even layer and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes.

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Turn the sunchokes, reduce the heat to moderately high and continue cooking until starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Push the sunchokes to the side of the skillet. Add 1 more tablespoon of the oil and the oyster mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned, 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil along with the farro, kale and onion and cook, stirring, until hot. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine

Locally Raised, with a story

In recent years there has been a heightened awareness around knowing where our food comes from. Farmers Markets have increased in number, hobby farms have sprung up, and many restaurants have begun to shift their purchasing to local. Vegetables are being grown in backyards more than ever, and now fresh vegetables can even be delivered to your door. So what about meat? Not everyone can have chicken coops built in their backyard, cows grazing nearby, or salmon swimming in a stream behind their house. That is where HarvestBox comes in.

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This past summer family owned and operated, Byron Center Meats started HarvestBox. In an effort to refocus and rethink the ways in which we, the general public get our meat the idea for this ordered online and delivered to your door venture was formed. HarvestBox.com allows you to view and order different bundled meat options. There are six different bundles currently available, ranging from Grass-Fed Ground Beef to Alaskan Salmon. We can’t all raise our own livestock; HarvestBox is an easy, safe, and sustainable way for you and your family to have healthy, locally raised meat.

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When embarking on this venture, Byron Center Meats deepened their existing partnership with three farms: Seven Sons Family Farm, Golden Tulip Farm, and Wild Alaska Salmon & Seafood Company. Together with these three farms, HarvestBox is not only able to provide thoughtfully raised meat to their customers, but they, through story and education have crafted “a better way to eat”. That is the mission behind this product line.

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HarvestBox reaches beyond quality meat delivered to your doorstep; it is about feeding – not filling. It is about relationships and connecting people to the story behind their meat. On HarvestBox.com there are detailed profiles about each of the farm partners. You are able to read about and watch their story. In return a connection is made with that family farm. These farms that have partnered with HarvestBox desire to be your, no matter which of the lower forty-eight states you live in, local farmer. Knowing where our meat comes from matters and when we know the story it only deepens the level of knowledge and trust.

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Knowing the story matters, just as knowing what to do with your meat, how to properly prepare, how to cook, and what to do with the uncommon cuts matters. HarvestBox strives to also educate and assist its customers with the cooking process. On the website you will find a Cooking Guide full of recipes. Learn how to quickly and simply prepare your Alaskan Salmon fillet or step out and try Black Pepper Crusted Wagyu Steaks with Truffles. The recipes are endless and serve as a helpful resource once your meat arrives. You can sign up for their newsletter to stay up to date on their latest news, receive tips, and find out when new recipes are added to the guide.

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HarvestBox is not another delivery service. It is a venture from a local, family-owned company that cares and values the story of their meat. You can learn more about HarvestBox on their website. Explore the various bundled meat options, learn about the farms in more detail, and take a peek at their Cooking Guide full of recipes. HarvestBox tells a story and provides for a generation that desires to know where the food on their table comes from. 

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[photo credit to HarvestBox.com]

Turnips

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Turnips are one of the most ancient and globally used vegetables. They’ve played an important role as a reliable storage crop in times and places where diets were seasonal by definition. In addition to being great storage crops, turnips are also extremely versatile and nutritious. Turnips are high in vitamin C, potassium, and calcium and turnip greens are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and B complex.

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How to Prepare:

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Scrub turnips with a stiff-bristle vegetable brush. No need to peel, simply trim away damaged areas.

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How to Store:

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Store turnips unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Store turnip greens separately, wrapped in a damp towel or plastic bag in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator. Use as soon as possible. For longer-term storage, turnips may be packed in moist sand and kept in a cool but not freezing location.

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How to Cook:

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You can enjoy turnips raw, grated into salads, boiled, steamed, baked, or roasted.

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Information adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini

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nRecipes

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Chicken with Turnip and Pear

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Ingredients

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  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium pear, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 medium turnip, peeled, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving
  • ½ cup salted, roasted macadamia nuts, chopped
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Preparation

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Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook, skin side down, until skin is browned and crisp, 10–12 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, pear, turnip, and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pear and turnip are soft and starting to turn golden brown, 15–20 minutes.

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Carefully add wine and thyme, then return chicken to skillet, skin side up. Cook until wine is almost completely evaporated and chicken is cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Serve topped with macadamia nuts.

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Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit

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Sweet Potato & Turnip Mash with Sage Butter

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Ingredients

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  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 8 ounces turnips (about 2 medium), peeled and diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 30 fresh sage leaves, divided (12 left whole, the rest cut into strips)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely cracked pepper
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Preparation

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Place potatoes, turnips, garlic and 12 sage leaves in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are fork-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain. Return the vegetables to the pan and keep covered.

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Heat butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. As it melts and turns lightly brown, add the strips of sage and allow them to crackle and flavor the butter, about 1 minute. Pour the sage and butter over the vegetables and smash with a potato masher. Stir in salt and pepper and serve.

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Recipe courtesy of Eating Well

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Glazed Turnips

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Ingredients

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  • 2 lb small to medium (2-inch) turnips
  • About 1-½ cups plus 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Garnish: chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
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Preparation

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Peel turnips, then halve horizontally and quarter halves. Arrange turnips in 1 layer in a 12-inch heavy skillet and add enough water (about 1-½ cups) to reach halfway up turnips. Add butter, sugar, and salt and boil over moderately high heat, covered, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Boil turnips, uncovered, stirring, until tender and water has evaporated, about 8 minutes.

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Sauté turnips over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden brown,about 5 minutes more. Add 3 tablespoons water and stir to coat turnips with glaze.

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Recipe courtesy of Epicurious

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Scalloped Turnips

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Ingredients

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  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup thinly sliced onions
  • 4 cups peeled, thinly sliced turnips
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup cream
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Preparation

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 1-quart casserole. Melt 1 Tbsp butter and lightly sauté onions until just wilted. Layer a third of the sliced turnips in the casserole dish; top with a third of the onion; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of flour, ⅓ teaspoon of salt, and one grind of pepper; pat with dollops from 1 tablespoon of butter. Repeat this layering twice.

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Mix milk and cream together and pour over the turnips. Cover and bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes, then remove cover and bake for another 30-45 minutes, or until tender and bubbly.

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Recipe courtesy of Simply Recipes

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Pink Pickled Turnips

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Ingredients

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  • 1 small red beet, trimmed, peeled, quartered
  • 1 red chile (such as Fresno), halved lengthwise (optional)
  • 1 pound small turnips, trimmed, peeled, quartered
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
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Preparation

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Combine beet, chile (if using), and turnips in a 1-qt. heatproof jar or container. Bring vinegar, salt, sugar, and 1-½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Pour pickling liquid over turnip mixture and let cool. Cover and chill at least 1 week before using.

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Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit

Food Preservation: Freezing

As I cooked oats for breakfast this morning, I reveled in the opportunity to throw in a handful of frozen blueberries that I had picked earlier in August. It is always a treat to have Michigan fruit in December and freezing is one of the easiest ways to be able to preserve summer and autumn’s bounty to enjoy year-round. Pretty much everything can be frozen successfully except for eggs in the shell, cream sauces, mayonnaise, milk, and precooked meat. Most people don’t freeze more frequently simply because they don’t realize how easy it can be! For example if you go raspberry picking, all you need to do is spread the berries out on cookie trays in the freezer, let them set, and then shovel them into freezer bags. If you have a garden and don’t know what to do with all your extra zucchinis, wash and slice them, blanch them for 3 minutes, and throw them in a freezer bag. They’ll be delightful for zucchini bread in the winter. It's hard to mess up freezing food, but a few simple tips can make you more satisfied with the end product.

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General Freezing Tips:

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Freeze as soon as possible.

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To minimize the formation of ice crystals, you may want to put your freezer on a quick-freeze cycle because the faster the food freezes, the fewer ice crystals will form. Otherwise, just try to put the food in the coldest part of your freezer when you first introduce it. 

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Freeze your food in bags and containers that are specifically designed for freezing.

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Though glass works too, be sure to leave extra space for food expansion and be careful when removing the jar as it will become slippery.

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Package your food in easy-to-access quantities.  

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If you are putting multiple servings in one bag, separate them with pieces of tin foil or cut-up plastic bags.

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If freezing liquids or sauces, you can freeze them in ice-cube trays and then transfer them to bags for quick-access later. 

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​​This works great for pesto, salsas, and juices.

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Additional Resources:

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  • Want to learn more about freezing? Click here!
  • Want to learn about what you can and cannot freeze? Click here!
  • Don’t want to wait until summer to freeze your own fruits and vegetables for next winter? Check out Save the Season, a frozen CSA program that provides a monthly box of organic local produce to have fresh produce through March!
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Information adapted from Our Food, Our Right: Recipes for Food Justice

Holiday Shopping Part Two: Your Road Map for Grand Rapids

Christmas day is just over a week away. With the lack of snow on the ground you may find yourself a bit behind on your holiday shopping. Don’t let the stress of planning interfere with your holiday cheer this year. Let us help out and lend a helping hand with a suggestion of gift ideas, where to go, and where pause and refuel with a good cup of coffee or warm soup.

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Below we have provided a holiday shopping road map for the Grand Rapids area. Separated into two districts, Uptown and 28th Street, we help lay the framework for a day of one-stop-shopping. Minimize your drive, park your car, and shop by foot this season all while supporting locally owned businesses. Plus we have included great coffee shops, pubs, and restaurants to check out after you have worked up an appetite. Let us help you find the perfect gift for each personality on your Christmas list this year.

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Uptown Area 

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To start your shopping day off right, head to Wealthy Street Bakery and fuel up with a cup of coffee and pastry. 

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The Accessory Queen: Visit Metal Art Studio Fine Jewelry to find unique designer and custom design jewelry made by local Grand Rapids artisans, and from others around the world.

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The Activist: Clothing Matters is a unique retail store rooted in environmental sustainability and supporting social justice. Find stylish and comfortable clothes that are not manufactured in the typical process. Instead, they are made from organic-cotton, bamboo, and other eco-friendly materials.

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The Art Aficionado: Find amazing, uncommon accessories at the Urban Craft Boutique in LaFontsee Galleries. Great gifts items include interior design decor, unique jewelry, and other one-of-a-kind items.

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The Balancer: Head to Spirit Dreams to discover gift ideas for someone who is intentional about finding peace and balance in their lives. You can find beautiful pendants, tools for meditation and aromatherapy, books, incense, candles and more.

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The Foodie: Check out Art of the Table to find a great gift for the person on your shopping list who is all about the dining experience. Find wines, beers, cheeses, tabletop items, and home decor gifts among others. They even do custom gift baskets that make for unique presents or corporate gifts.

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Lunch: After a busy morning of shopping, choose from a variety of great restaurants for lunch. For quicker bites check out Yesterdog, Schnitz Deli, and Marie Catrib’s.

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Pampering: If your loved ones need some pampering this Christmas, think about heading to Jeffrey Richard Salon or Urban Massage. There services are great gift options for those who enjoy, or are in need of a moment of relaxation and pampering.

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Snack: Furniture City Creamery is the place to be fulfill that afternoon sweet tooth. Swing in and splurge on some freshly made ice cream served in all kinds of unique flavors.

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The Runner: Striders is your place in Uptown to find all things running including footwear, apparel, socks, accessories, electronics and nutrition.

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The Traveler: Head to Peninsula Trading Travel Gear to find the perfect gift for the adventurous traveler in your life. This retail shop offers the best brands of travel gear including travel accessories, luggage, and outdoor apparel.

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Dinner: If you are interested in dinner at a place where you can also enjoy drinks, you definitely need to check out one of these places: Harmony Brewing CompanyThe Green WellTerra GRThe Winchester, or Donkey Taqueria.

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28th Street Area

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Breakfast: For a great breakfast or even lunch option, head to Grace Coffee Bistro. They have a lot of great beverages and both a breakfast and lunch menu which includes sandwiches and salads. Schuil Coffee & Tea Shoppe is your choice if you want to enjoy a delicious specialty beverage for the holiday season. Not only can you grab a drink, but you can buy your own coffee blends or tea choosing from over 200 options.

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The Animal Lover: Chow Hound is the place to find gifts for the people who treat their pets like their children. If you are looking for supplies for dogs, cats, birds, fish, and other small pets, you will certainly cross those items off the list after visiting Chow Hound.

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The Bookworm: Head to Schuler Books when shopping for the bookworm of the family. Schuler is a great place to find all kinds of reading material while having the option to enjoy a bite to eat from their in-store cafe.

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The Fitness Freak: Gazelle Sports is the solution to the athletic gifts on your list. They offer phenomenal help when looking for specialty footwear and have a great selection of running apparel.

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The Mission Impossible: Groskopfs Fine Luggage and Gifts has a wide selection of unique gifts and items. If you have a person on your list who doesn’t have any ideas to guide your shopping, consider visiting Groskopfs for games, luggage, barware, clothes, travel accessories, laptop cases and messenger bags, and more.

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The Outdoor Enthusiast: Bill and Paul’s Sporthaus is a great store to look for gifts for your adventurous friends. They have all kinds of gear for snow sports and paddle sports while also having a great selection of outdoor apparel.

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Lunch or Dinner: Looking for a lunch or dinner option after spending the day shopping on 28th Street? Lindo Mexico recently opened the doors of their new location on 28th. They serve freshly-prepared, authentic Mexican food including their popular burritos.

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The Photographer: Frames Unlimited provides custom framing while also selling beautiful items in their gallery. This would be a great place to visit for custom framing that one-of-a-kind piece. 

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The Sweet Tooth: Koeze is famous for their Cream-Nut peanut butter and for their amazing gift bags and boxes. Their fine chocolates and gourmet nuts are sure to fix the cravings of any sweet tooth on your shopping list this year.

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Planning a day of holiday shopping along the Lakeshore? Check out our road map of suggestions of places to visit throughout the Lakeshore community

Holiday Shopping Part One: Your Road Map for the Lakeshore

The holiday season is in full swing. With the lack of snow on the ground you may find yourself a bit behind on your Christmas shopping. Don’t let shopping be a chore this year; it can quickly become stressful when you find yourself driving from store to store making multiple trips back and forth. Let us help you this season. 

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Below we have provided a road map for holiday shopping along the Lakeshore. Whether you live in Saugatuck, Douglas, Zeeland, Holland, or Grand Haven, we have you covered. Minimize your driving as most of the towns below have the ease of simply parking your car and setting off on foot to find unique, local gifts for every personality on your list. Also listed in our road map are great coffee shops, pubs, and restaurants to check out after you have worked up an appetite, or need a break in the shopping day. Ladies, call up you girlfriends and plan a day out. Guys, we hope this helps make shopping a bit easier for you this year. Enjoy, and take in all the holiday cheer the Lakeshore has to offer this Christmas season. 

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Visit Saugatuck and Douglas

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The Art Aficionado: For that person in your life who loves finding unique and one-of-a-kind art pieces, be sure to visit Good Goods. They have over 150 artists who provide the finest hand-made goods that will instantly liven up your house or yard. 

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The Fashionista: Swing into For The Love of Shoes to find the shoes, active, lounging, or dressy apparel for the Fashionista on your list. For The Love of Shoes prides themselves on providing stylish yet comfortable clothes. 

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The Proud Michigander: Check out Landshark's for a wide range of Michigan inspired tee-shirts any Michigan enthusiast would love. You can also find a multitude of amazing items ranging from bags, footwear, jewelry, headbands, summer and winter clothing.

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Lunch Break: After visiting these three places head over to The Southerner for a delicious lunch. The Southerner offers a menu full of Southern-style fixings including fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and many other delicious choices.

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The Workaholic: For that person in your life who desperately needs a getaway visit Lakeshore Lodging. Surprise them with a beautiful rental house for a few days in the beautiful Saugatuck area. Or provide a handful of vacation ideas to help them slowdown in the upcoming year.

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The Wine Lover: When shopping for The Wine Lover on your list stop by Petter Wine Gallery. They offer a great selection of wines, hand-poured chocolates, and unique cheeses. You can even participate in wine tasting while in the store if you desire!

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Dinner: After a long day of shopping head over to Saugatuck Brewing Company. They are known for their unique food, rotating taps, friendly staff, and all around enjoyable experience. After dinner consider gifting the beer lover on your list with a brewmaster session, where they can brew their own beer. Saugatuck Brewing Company is the only microbrewery in Michigan who has a Brew-On-Premise license. 

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Visit Zeeland 

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The Accessory Queen: Whether it be a unique set of earrings, a ring on every finger, or the coolest home decor, find the perfect gift for the Accessory Queen on your list at On Silver Shores.

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The Overflowing Closet: Swing by Clothes Junkie to find a great gift for the woman in your life who never has anything to wear despite her jam-packed closet. Here you will find an assortment of new and gently used women’s clothing.

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The Social Justice Activist: Are you buying for someone who is less materialistic and cares more about supporting good causes? If yes, head to Better Way Imports to order hand crafted bags, jewelry, accessories, and other items from women across the world fighting oppression and seeking hope by making an income through the North American marketplace.

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Dinner: When the exhaustion kicks in and your stomach is calling for food head to Tripelroot. They are an awesome brew pub offering stonebreads, appetizers, and salads with a great selection of craft beers.

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Visit Downtown Holland

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Start your Holland shopping day off right with a cup of coffee at the popular Lemonjello’s Coffee shop. If you’re not feeling coffee, order a delicious hot chocolate, tea, or chai and snack on a muffin or cinnamon roll while you’re at it.

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The Accessory Queen: Thomas A. Davis provides the answer to any of your shopping troubles. Who doesn’t love a nice new piece of jewelry? Check this store out for beautiful gems, rings, and watches.

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The Artist: Head to Fris Downtown for all things art. Art supplies, gifts, framing and matting, they have it all. You can even attend do-it-yourself classes to create your own masterpiece.

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The Bookworm: For that someone who always has their nose in a good book, visit Reader’s World for great reading material.

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The HGTV Buff: For those on your shopping list who are always looking to redecorate their homes, head to HOM by Benchmark for cabinetry, tableware, home decor, and fine furniture. Also, swing by Teerman’s for a handful of great home products. Find unique kitchen tools, cookware, dinnerware, home accessories, clocks, electronics, and patio furniture.

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Brunch: When you hit your mid-morning hunger because you skipped breakfast while planning your shopping adventure, head over to the Windmill Restaurant for an amazing breakfast.

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The Fashionista: If you are shopping for a woman who loves to show off her sense of style, check out these women’s boutique clothing stores: Tikal, Frances Jaye, Blu Veranda, jb and me, Spring Sweet and Studio K.

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Their First Christmas: If you have a little one on your list experiencing their first Christmas, swing by Tip Toes to find the best selection of gifts for children. From must have baby essentials to clothes, toys, and blankets, they have it all.

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The Fitness Freak: Check out Gazelle Sports for all of the running and athletic gear you can think of ranging from footwear to awesome athletic apparel.

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Lunch Break: There is no shortage of great lunch spots downtown Holland. Might we suggest New Holland Brewing Co. They have a great atmosphere and offer a wide variety of beer, spirits, cocktails, and tasty food.

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The Foodie: When shopping for someone who is always looking to boost the flavor of their meals, visit The Seasoned Home. They are home to any and all the seasonings or spices you can imagine. Find gourmet foods, loose-leaf teas, kitchen items, serving ware, and home décor.

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The Mission Impossible: For those on your list who never give you any gift ideas, check out Karla’s Place for unique one-of-a-kind gifts. They offer many different kinds of accessories ranging from jewelry, to home decor, to handmade items. Apothecary Gift Shop is also home to a wide variety of gifts perfect for the holiday season. Puzzles, games, toys, gourmet food, beverages, home decor, fashion accessories, jewelry, and more. 

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Dinner: By the end of a long shopping day a delicious, hand crafted meal is a must. Butch’s Restaurant has the perfect dinner plate for you. They have a distinctive dinner menu, alongside an amazing selection of wine and beer.

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The Shoe Addict: When shopping for the person who loves shoes, head to Borr’s Shoes & Accessories. They offer a large selection of fashionable and practical shoes for both men and women.

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The Sweet Tooth: Holland Peanut Store is perfect for the family member on your list who has a sweet tooth. The candy shop has an amazing assortment of chocolates, peanuts, unique and old-fashioned candy. You name it, they have it. Plus, candy makes for the perfect stocking stuffer.

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Visit Grand Haven

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Art Aficionado: If you are looking for hand-crafted artwork, be sure to swing into C2C Gallery. They house a multitude of unique gifts from paintings, to photographs, sculptures, jewelry, and textiles.

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Sweet Tooth: If you need to buy a gift for the sweet tooth in your life, Grand Haven is the place to be. Be sure to stop at all three of these businesses for your holiday sweets.

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  • Patricia’s Chocolate offers handmade, preservative free “art that melts”. If you are looking for some of the rarest and most unique chocolate in the world, visit Patricia!
  • Chocolates by Grimaldi is Grand Haven’s family-owned and operated chocolate factory. Eliminating preservatives and other ingredients leads to pure, handmade chocolate to be enjoyed by your loved ones. Sample their popular Chips n’ Chocolate, fall in love with it, and then buy it for all of the sweet tooth lover on your list.
  • Blueberry Haven offers a different kind of taste for your sweet tooth. Visit their store to find a massive selection of blueberry products including jams, dried blueberries, trail mix, and chocolate covered blueberries. If you want a variety of items, buy one of their great, customizable gift boxes or crates.
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Lunch: Is it finally time for a lunch break? If so, check out Electric Hero for a delicious assortment of sandwiches. Turkey, beef, chicken, Italian meats, vegetarian, and grilled cheese sandwiches can be enjoyed along with soups and salads at Electric Hero.

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Are you planning a day trip to Grand Rapids before Christmas day comes? Check out our Holiday Shopping Roadmap to Grand Rapids.

Cauliflower

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A cool weather crop, Cauliflower proves versatile, delicious, and nutritious. It also offers significant vegetable protein, vitamins A, B-complex, C, and E, as well as a variety of minerals.

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How to Prepare:

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Soak head upside down in cold, salted water to remove any hidden field pests. Remove tough outer leaves, rinse the cauliflower head, trim off any blemishes, and core the head for even cooking. The head may be left intact or cut into florets.

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How to Store:

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Cauliflower does not keep well. Stored cauliflower may take on a strong odor and flavor over time. Refrigerate fresh cauliflower in a plastic bag. It should remain fresh for 1 week, and still be usable for up to 2 weeks. For long-term storage, cauliflower can be frozen. Blanch 2-4 minutes, rinse under cold water to stop cooking process, drain, let dry, and pack into airtight containers such as zip-lock freezer bags. Cauliflower will not e firm when thawed and is best used in soups and stews.

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How to Cook:

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Cauliflower can be eaten raw, steamed, sauteed, cooked, pureed, or stir-fried.

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Information adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini

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Recipes

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Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart

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Ingredients

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  • 1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), cored, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 2-½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 large onion, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (7- to 8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese (Italian cream cheese)
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
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Preparation

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Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 425°F. Toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl. Spread on large rimmed baking sheet, spacing apart. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes; turn florets over. Continue roasting until tender, about 25 minutes longer. Cool cauliflower, then thinly slice. Drizzle with truffle oil; toss. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Press pie crust onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Line pie crust with foil; fill with pie weights. Bake crust 20 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights; bake until crust is golden, about 5 minutes, pressing crust with back of fork if bubbles form. Cool crust. Maintain oven temperature.

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Heat remaining 1-½ tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is deep golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Cool slightly. Brush bottom and sides of crust with mustard. Spread onion in crust. Arrange cauliflower evenly over. Set tart on rimmed baking sheet. Whisk eggs and next 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Stir in Gruyère. Pour mixture over filling in tart pan; sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until tart is golden and center is set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool 15 minutes before serving.

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Recipe courtesy of Epicurious

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Crispy Brown Rice “Kabbouleh”

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Ingredients

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  • 2 tablespoons dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • ¾ cup short-grain brown rice
  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil (for frying; about 2 cups)
  • 1-½ cups coarsely chopped cauliflower florets
  • ½ bunch small curly kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • ½ small English hothouse cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or ½ crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sumac (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
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Preparation

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Combine currants and vinegar in a small bowl; let sit at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Cook rice in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, 45–50 minutes. Drain rice, return to pot, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Spread out on a baking sheet; let dry out overnight in an unlit oven or on countertop. Fit a medium saucepan with thermometer and pour in vegetable oil to measure 2”. Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 350°. Working in 4 batches, cook rice until golden and puffed, about 1 minute. Using a fine-mesh sieve, transfer puffed rice to paper towels to drain; season with salt and let cool.

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Meanwhile, pulse cauliflower in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. Working in batches, pulse kale in food processor until finely chopped (be careful not to turn into a purée), adding to cauliflower as you go. Add puffed rice, currants with soaking liquid, cucumber, scallion, olive oil, Aleppo pepper, and sumac, if using; toss to combine and season with salt, black pepper, and more vinegar, if desired.

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Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit

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Mediterranean Cauliflower Pizza

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Ingredients

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  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and broken into small florets
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Meyer lemons or 1 large regular lemon
  • 6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup green or black olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup slivered fresh basil
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Preparation

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Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a pizza pan or rimless baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until reduced to rice-size crumbles. Transfer to a large nonstick skillet and add 1 tablespoon oil and salt. Heat over medium-high, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower begins to soften slightly (but don’t let it brown), 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, with a sharp knife, remove the skin and white pith from the lemon(s) and discard. Working over a small bowl, cut the segments from the membranes, letting the segments drop into the bowl (remove seeds). Drain the juice from the segments (save for another use). Add tomatoes and olives to the lemon segments; toss to combine.

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Add egg, cheese and oregano to the cooled cauliflower; stir to combine. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, shaping into an even 10-inch round. Drizzle the remaining 1 teaspoon oil over the top. Bake the pizza until the top begins to brown, 10 to 14 minutes. Scatter the lemon-olive mixture over the top, season with pepper, and continue to bake until nicely browned all over, 8 to 14 minutes more. Scatter basil over the top. Cut into wedges and serve.

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Recipe courtesy of Eating Well

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Cauliflower Melts

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Ingredients

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  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Medium head of cauliflower, cut into ½ -inch-thick slabs, possibly halved to make a total of 8 slabs
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup white wine (optional)
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios
  • 8-½ inch-thick slices sourdough bread
  • 4 ounces Comte or Manchego cheese, cut into 8 slices
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
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Preparation

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Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the cauliflower slabs and toss to coat. Arrange the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, flip the slabs, and bake another 10 to 20 minutes, until softened and roasty. Set aside to cool but keep the oven on. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, soak the raisins in wine or water for 10 minutes. Drain.

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In a small pan over medium-high heat, toast the pistachios, dry or with a little oil. Let cool on a paper towel, then chop coarsely. Lay the bread on the baking sheet and arrange the cauliflower on the bread, cutting it to fit as needed. Sprinkle with pistachios and raisins and top with the cheese. Bake until the cheese melts, 7 to 10 minutes. Top the toasts with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

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Recipe courtesy of Epicurious

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Cauliflower-Cashew Soup with Crispy Buckwheat

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Ingredients

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  • ½ cup olive oil, divided
  • 4 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cored, cut into small florets, stem chopped, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. cashews
  • 6 cups (or more) vegetable stock, preferably homemade
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons buckwheat groats
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
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Preparation

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Heat ¼ cup oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Add shallots, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are translucent, 6–8 minutes. Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Set ¾ cup cauliflower aside; add the rest to pot along with cayenne and ¾ cup cashews; season with salt. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and cook, shaking pot occasionally, until cauliflower is fork-tender and vegetables have released all their water, 20–25 minutes (check occasionally to make sure vegetables are not browning; reduce heat if they are). Add stock and season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until cauliflower is falling apart, 20–25 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

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Meanwhile, finely chop reserved ¾ cup cauliflower and remaining 2 Tbsp. cashews. Heat remaining ¼ cup oil in a small skillet over medium. Add cauliflower, cashews, and buckwheat; season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until cauliflower and cashews are golden brown and buckwheat is browned and crisp, 5–8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and paprika. Let cool slightly. Working in batches if needed, purée soup in a blender until very smooth. Return to pot and reheat over medium-low, stirring and adding more stock to thin if needed (soup should be the consistency of heavy cream). Taste and season soup again if needed. Serve soup topped with toasted cauliflower-buckwheat mixture.

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Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit