Friday, April 29, 2011

Upcoming Event: Cooking Demo with Chef Chris Ludwick of Grapevine Catering

We have an upcoming event happening on May 7th right here at the farm. Chef Christopher Ludwick will be cooking our veggies in easy and convenient ways that will have you ready to entertain all summer long! The event starts at 2pm on Saturday so RSVP by the 4th.

This is a great way to come up with new ideas to cook for your family, friends and the holiday. Come and join Valley End Farm as we bask in this wonderful weather and taste the delectable foods of Chef Chris!

RSVP by May 4!

Additional Recipes For The Week

Chicken Stir Fry


3 cups broccoli florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch strips
1/4 cup sliced green onions
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon chile paste
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/8 cup chicken stock


  1. Place broccoli in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water, and cover. Cook until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the chicken, green onions, and garlic until the chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
  3. Stir the hoisin sauce, chile paste, and soy sauce into the skillet. Season with ginger, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Stir in the chicken stock and simmer about 2 minutes. Mix in the steamed broccoli until coated with the sauce mixture.
Sauteed Vegetables


3 banana squash, halved then sliced
2 zucchinis, halved lengthwise, then sliced
1-8oz bag peeled baby carrots
1/4 lb green beans
1 TBSP garlic, crushed and minced
1 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp salt, to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper, ground

  1. On the stovetop, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, carrots, and green beans. Stir. These take longer to cook. Cover and cook roughly 3 minutes. Shake skillet every so often. Do not uncover during this time because we want to sweat and steam the veggies in their own moisture.
  2. Uncover. Add zucchini, squash, salt and pepper. Stir to combine thoroughly. Cover for 2 minutes. Uncover and stir. Cook uncovered another 3 minutes. Turn off heat.
  3. Serve sauteed vegetables hot. Enjoy!


Kwiw-Apple-Avocado Smoothie


1 large organic apple, cored
1 large kiwi, peeled
1/2 a large avocado, peeled and pitted
6 to 8 ounces of filtered water

Add all the ingredients except for the greens to your blender and hit the “pulse” button a few times. Next, add the rest of the greens and blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy. Because the avocado makes the smoothie thick, you might want to add a little more water. Start with 6 ounces and add as needed.

Nutrition Fact For The Week: Artichokes


Artichokes are the perfect inclusion for the spring season! Not only are they beautiful and perfect centerpieces for the table, but their filled with rich flavor and like many vegetables they are good for you. Artichokes can be added to soups, dips, crepes, salads or enjoyed on their own. Although boiling an artichoke or preparing it in other forms usually takes quite a will, the taste and feeling of being satisfied will allow you to have the patience to wait until its completely ready.

Just one full artichoke is twenty-five calories. It's rich with potassium and is a wonderful source of vitamin C. Folate, magnesium and dietary fiber can be found within the petals of the artichoke. There are so many anti-oxidants found in this beautiful vegetable that it is ranked number one! The problem sometimes though is that we lose all the vegetables good minerals because we like to dip the artichokes in melting butter or mayonaisse. Sometimes its just too hard to resist but there are plenty of ways to enjoy the artichoke, heart and all, and still benefit from all the good things in it without tainting them with saturated fats.

Here is a quick recipe that will give you an idea of how to keep the artichoke healthy and good for you to:

Grilled Garlic Artichokes

2 large artichokes
1 lemon, quartered
3/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Squeeze the juice from one lemon wedge into the water. Trim the tops from the artichokes, then cut in half lengthwise, and place halves into the bowl of lemon water to prevent them from turning brown.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.
  3. Add artichokes to boiling water, and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain. Squeeze the remaining lemon wedges into a medium bowl. Stir in the olive oil and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Brush the artichokes with a coating of the garlic dip, and place them on the preheated grill. Grill the artichokes for 5 to 10 minutes, basting with dip and turning frequently, until the tips are a little charred. Serve immediately with the remaining dip.
The phytonutrients found in the anti-oxidants of an artichoke are Cynarin and Silymarin which have been known to have positive effects on the liver. While the artichoke has been tested as a benefit to curing liver cancer other such liver diseases, it also has been said to cure hangovers.

We live in a society where processed foods can be found on every corner. An American diet greatly lacks in dietary fiber because of these processed foods but adding just one artichoke a day to your daily diet adds six grams of dietary fiber which is a fourth of the recommended fiber needed per day.

With the good weather coming back, this vegetable is the perfect pick for parties, picnics and family night!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nutrition Fact For The Week: Turnips

Turnips are a root vegetable with tons of nutrition inside. It has a wonderful crunch to it and can go great as a garnish, on salads or by itself!

The smaller turnips, known as baby turnips, are usually eaten raw and go great on salads because of their sweet and delicate taste. As they age the turnips become firmer and stronger in flavor. This root veggie is a wonderful snack when the hunger cravings hit as they are low in calories. They are a great source of anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and fiber.

Vitamin C is in turnips so turn to these root veggies to get your daily dose and prevent the flu from ruining your week! And there low in saturated fat and cholesterol. So don't let the look of a root, whether its turnips, beets or parsnips, scare you away from trying these delicious veggies. There jam packed with all the good stuff you need. There very versatile so you can add them, or disguise them, it the most creative of ways. You'll never run out of an idea when incorporating a root, like the turnip, into your dinner.

Here is a beautiful recipe for turnip puffs. Enjoy and stay tuned for next weeks nutrition fact for the week!

Turnip Puff


2 cups cooked, mashed turnips, cooled
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs, separated


Combine turnips, bread crumbs, margarine, sugar, salt, pepper, and beaten egg yolks. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into turnip mixture. Spoon turnip mixture into a buttered 1-quart casserole. Bake turnip puff at 350° for 40 minutes.

Additional Recipes For The Week

Fennel Tangerine and Spinach Salad

1 pound of Baby Spinach, washed and dried
2 tangerines, peeled, sectioned and cut in half
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 Fennel bulb, thinly sliced into slivers
1/2 cup honey Dijon dressing
1 tablespoon orange marmalade

In a large salad bowl, combine Baby Spinach, tangerines, Fennel and pine nuts.
In a small bowl, whisk together honey Dijon dressing and orange marmalade. Divide salad between four plates and drizzle dressing on top of each salad.

Brown Rice and Mushroom Risotto


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
12 to 16 ounces coarsely chopped mushrooms, a combination of varieties, if possible
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice
6 cups broth, vegetable and/or chicken
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf sage
1 cup frozen peas, cooked
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until mushrooms are browned. Add the garlic and green onions; continue cooking for 1 minute. Transfer the mushroom mixture (along with any liquids) to a bowl; cover and set aside.
To the pan add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until aromatic, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 cup of broth and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of broth and cook, stirring constantly, until broth has been absorbed.

Continue adding broth in 1/2 cup portions, stirring and cooking until each portion has been absorbed. When the risotto is just tender (about 25 to 30 minutes), add the mushroom mixture back to the rice and stir in the dried sage. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes longer, adding more broth, as needed. Add small amounts of water if all of the broth has been used. Just before serving, stir in the hot cooked peas and Parmesan cheese.

Sugar Snap Peas and Potatoes with Parsley Pesto


4 cups flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound small (1-to 1 1/2-inch) red potatoes, halved
1 1/2 pounds sugar snap peas, strings removed


Garnish: flat-leaf parsley sprigs
Pulse parsley with cheese, pine nuts, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a food processor until finely chopped. With motor running, add 1/2 cup oil in a slow stream, blending until incorporated and almost smooth.

Cover potatoes with water in a medium pot and season well with salt, then boil until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a wide medium pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Sauté sugar snaps until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add potatoes and pesto, stirring gently to coat. Transfer to a serving dish to cool quickly (so pesto doesn't separate)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Additional Recipes For The Week

Easter is coming and there are plenty of great recipes to spice up this year's celebration!

Tangerine-Glazed Easter Ham with Baby Carrots

  • 1 (8 to 10-pound) smoked ham, bone-in, skin on
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in chunks
  • 2 tangerines, sliced thin, seeds removed
  • 2 cups tangerine juice
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 11/2 pounds carrots, peeled


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Put the ham in a large roasting pan, fat-side up. Using a sharp knife, score the ham with cuts across the skin, about 2-inches apart and 1/2-inch deep. Cut diagonally down the slashes to form a diamond pattern; season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Chop about 8 of the sage leaves and put it in a bowl; mix with the oil to make a paste. Rub the sage-oil all over the ham, being sure to get the flavor into all the slits. Bake the ham for 2 hours. Now there is plenty of time to bang-out the tangerine glaze.

For the glaze: Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chunks of butter, tangerines, tangerine juice, brown sugar, water, and spices. Slowly cook the liquid down to a syrupy glaze; this should take about 30 to 40 minutes.

After the ham has being going for a couple of hours, pour the tangerine glaze all over it, with the pieces of fruit and all. Scatter the remaining sage leaves on top and stick the ham back in the oven and continue to cook for 11/2 hours, basting with the juices every 30 minutes.

Scatter the carrots around the ham and coat in the tangerine glaze. Stick the ham once again back in the oven and cook for a final 30 minutes, until the carrots are tender, the ham is dark and crispy, and the whole thing is glistening with a sugary glaze.

Set the ham on a cutting board to rest before carving. Serve the carrots and tangerine glaze on the side.


Roasted Beet, Goat Cheese and Fennel Salad


  •     Lemon Vinaigrette
  • 2  large  beets (1 pound)
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt (divided)
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground black pepper (divided)
  • 2  medium  fennel bulbs, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 8  cups  torn butterhead (Boston or bibb) lettuce
  • 1/4  cups  chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 4  ounces  crumbled goat cheese (chevre)
  • 2  tablespoons  snipped fresh chives


Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare Lemon Vinaigrette; cover and set aside.
  • Lemon Vinaigrette: In a medium bowl whisk together 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot, 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard, 1/2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel, and 1/2 teaspoon honey. In a steady stream, slowly whisk in 1/3 cup olive oil. Makes 2/3 cup.
Scrub beets. Wrap each beet in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake 1 1/2 hours or until a knife can be easily inserted into beets. Cool 20 minutes or until able to handle. Trim off stem and root ends of roasted beets. Peel and cut into 1-inch pieces.
In a medium bowl combine beets, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette.
In another medium bowl combine fennel, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette.

Dessert time!

Apple Lemon Cake

  • 3 medium apples
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup oil 
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • 2 Tbs butter softened
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 3 Tbs lemon juice

Peel, core and chop apples, grate lemon zest set aside but squeeze juice on apples, set aside.
Pour butter into mixing bowl and beat in eggs.
Beat in sugar and 3 tsp of lemon zest.
Sift dry ingerdients and mix into batter.
Fold in apples and nuts.
Pour into a greased and floured tube pan.
Bake in a 350F oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes or tested and done.
Cool in pan 10 minutes.
Turn onto wire rack.
Prick holes in the top of the cake.
Mix glaze ingredients and spread over wam cake

Friday, April 8, 2011

Nutrition Fact For The Week: Fennel


There are many edible parts of the fennel plant from the white bulb to the long stalks, the green leaves, though the flowers should not be eaten the seeds that grow from them are very good and nutritious for you.

The volatile oil found in fennel offers a variety of benfits for your body such as its ability to protect the liver, reduce inflammation and can aid in the prevention of cancer. The fennel bulb is packed with vitamin C and fiber. Cholesterol levels lower when eating fennel and is a useful way to prevent colon cancer. Fennel is a great souce of folate, which is a B vitamin, and potassium so it lowers blood pressure.

So we know that many parts of fennel can be eaten but there are also quite a few ways to prepare it. Fennel can be cut in a variety of ways depending on how you are serving it. The easiest and best way is to slice it vertically down the bulb. The stalks go great in soups or stews, the leaves can be used as a spice or to color up the presentation of a plate.

Here are some great recipes to get you started!

Roasted Fennel
  • 2 fennel bulbs, stalks cut off, bulbs sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Rub just enough olive oil over the fennel to coat. Sprinkle on some balsamic vinegar, also to coat.
  3. Line baking dish with silpat or aluminum foil and lay out pieces of fennel
  4. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until the fennel is cooked through and beginning to caramelize.
Shaved Fennel Salad
  • 1 fennel bulb, shaved paper thin with a mandoline or meat slicer
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp chopped flat-leafed parsley
  • 2 Tbsp shaved Parmesan cheese
  1. Mix all ingredients together and serve.
Information was found at
Its a great website to find out all kinds of nutrition facts on our veggies!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Additional Recipes For The Week

Roasted Beet & Avocado Salad with Goat Cheese & Dandelion Greens

4 medium sized red beets
3 TBL balsamic vinegar
2 TBL extra virgin olive oil
1 TBL granulated sugar
1/8 TSP kosher salt
1/8 TSP freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dandelion greens, shredded
2 ripe avocados
Goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Trim beet roots of their stems and scrub under warm water to remove any soil. Wrap beets in aluminum foil and roast them in oven for 1 hour or until beets are cooked (when a knife easily pierces through the center of the largest beet).
When beets are done, unwrap and submerge them in ice water until they are completely cooled.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper until the mixture has emulsified.
Halve the avocado, remove pit, criss-cross cut the avocado’s flesh (see above photos) and scoop out flesh into a large bowl.
Once beets have cooled, peel and gently cut them lengthwise into ¼” discs. Cut the discs into ¼” batons. Add the beets and shredded dandelion green to the large bowl with the avocados.
Pour balsamic vinegar over beet-avocado mixture, and gently toss salad being careful not to break the beet batons. Let salad sit in refrigerator for up to an hour (allowing time for the vinegar to breakdown and tenderize the dandelion greens).
Put salad in a serving bowl.
Dot the salad with pats of goat cheese.

Sweet Potato Puff

3 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Praline Topping

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup flour

1. Bake sweet potatoes until tender. Remove pulp and beat for 2 minutes with electric mixer. Let cool to room temperature. Add milk, sugar, eggs, butter or margarine, nutmeg, cinnamon and beat to combine.
2. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with vegetable oil spray and spread the sweet potato mixture evenly. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees, or until set.
3. Combine topping ingredients and spread topping over hot sweet potatoes and bake an additional 10 minutes before serving.

Warm Artichokes and Bacon over Dandelion Greens

1/4 pound bacon, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3/4 pound baby artichokes, halved and cleaned
Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dandelion greens, cleaned
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced

In a large saute pan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon is brown and crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan.
To the remaining bacon fat, add the garlic and cook until golden brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Deglaze with the white wine vinegar and reduce by 1/4. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard. Add the artichokes, toss well, and return to the heat and cook until the artichokes are heated and slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the dandelion greens on a large platter. Pour the artichoke mixture over the greens. Garnish with the reserved bacon and the eggs.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Nutrition Fact For The Week: Dandelion Greens

Dandelions. The first thing we think of are those annoying yellow weeds that surround the house and never go away no matter how many times their picked. But the dandelion green is actually a great food to include in your diet. Not only is it a versatile green that can be used in a variety of different meals but it has many medicinal uses as well.

Dandelion Greens are low in saturated fat and cholesterol and are high in lots of needed vitamins and minerals. There high in dietary fiber, vitamin A, C, E, K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Manganese, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper. That's a mouthful! With all the great things found its easy to understand that they are good for our health aid in losing weight. The magnesium found in the dandelion green is responsible the energy and stamina production in our body. Dandelion greens have about as much iron as spinach and has four times as much vitamin A as a head of lettuce. With all good vitamins and minerals crammed into these annoying lawn weeds of course they would have some medicinal uses.

Dandelion greens aid in digestion and they reduce swelling and inflammation. They can be used to treat viruses, jaundice, edema, gout, eczema and acne. So not only does eating dandelion greens help in weight loss but also gives you a great complexion too.

Here is a great way to cook dandelion greens that is fast and easy:

Boil them for five minutes.
Steam them until they are tender, 1 -- 2 minutes.
Saute one cup of greens for 1 -- 2 minutes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds. Serve with a dash of tamari or soy sauce.
To remove the bitterness from plants that have already flowered, you can blanche them in a pot of boiling salted water, drain and blanche them again.

Our April Fools Farmers' Dinner

On April 1 we had our second farmer's dinner to a sold out crowd at the Bacchus Restaurant and it went even better than the first. The appetizers were served out on the patio in celebration of this beautiful weather. There were olive oils from B.R. Cohn dipped in bread, balsamics drizzled over strawberries and lamb barbeque sliders. The cheese platter offered specialty cheeses from Vella Cheese. Pairing the delicious appetizers were wines and olive oils from B.R. Cohen. With the sun still shining, everyone was content to stay outside, eat and drink with each other.

Chef Nolan was hard at work creating a wonderful menu where local vendors were the star of the dinner. As everyone sat in the restaurant three dishes were placed at every table. First were the spinach and vella asiago cheese souffles. They were creamy and light, allowing you to eat another one without ruining your appetite. Next were the grilled delta asparagus that had a great crunch to them and were dizzled with a blood orange olive oil and ginger balsamic. The green onion fry bread was beautifully plated with pancetta, arugala and mezzo secco jack all piled high on flat bread.

The main course was delivered to the tables family style and offered everyone the chance to pass plates around. The balsamic braised lamb osso bucco was served atop of grist mill polenta. The lamb was cooked perfectly and easily fell away from the bone. The polenta was a great accompaniment as it was creamy and rich like the flavor of the lamb. Valley End Farm's very own swiss chard colored the plate and was a great addition with its color and flavor. Vella's toma cheese was sprinkled on top of the entire creation.

Desert was an olive oil browie, made with a twenty-five year old balsmic vinaigrette. It was displayed with a caramel and balsamic gelato and a blood red orange. It was such a great twist biting into a chocolate browie and getting after tastes of the blood orange balsamics.

We couldn't be happier with the way the dinner turned out. Spending it with friends and family and eating foods from the community made it a night to remember. People are already making reservations for the next one since this one was sold out!

Our Next Dinner

On May 6 we will have another Farmer's Dinner that will showcase more local foods and wines. RSVP the Doubletree Hotel at (707) 586-4679.