So many anniversaries!

Ryan making meatballs on the first day in Ypsilanti, April 2011

Ryan making meatballs on the first day in Ypsilanti, April 2011

So, this past week was Harvest Kitchen’s 4th anniversary of our first day of cooking at our Ypsilanti location.  Prior to that we had been cooking for 4 years at our old rental location in Ann Arbor.  Wow, I guess now we’re crossing the line into having been in Ypsi longer than we were in Ann Arbor.  Awesome!

Also this week I was looking through posts on facebook’s “On this day” feature, and I saw a post from 2009 (six years ago!) saying that it was my first week as a vendor at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.  I have lots of memories from my early days as a Farmers Market vendors–getting help from friends to resolve display issues, playing my pennywhistle to pass the time, hanging out with friend and co-worker Becky, and so much more.  Hard to believe it’s been six years! Time flies when you’re having fun!

We hope you’ll stop by and wish us a happy anniversary

Macaroni Salad!

Macaroni Salad!

sometime in the next week or two.  We’re also looking forward to all of your submissions in our #harvestkitchenlife Social Media Photo Contest (click the link for more info).  Remember to send us your photo or written description before May 15 for a chance to win the $50 gift certificate (otherwise our first entrant, Unsweetened Granola Lover Cathy will be a big winner!).

With all that in mind, here’s the menu for the week:


Mac and Cheese with Spinach and Bacon -  Our ever-popular creamy mac and cheese gets a fancy makeover with Spring’s freshest spinach and crispy Michigan bacon. Yum!  Gluten free option available. Single Serving $10

Pork with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce  – Our Italian-style roasted red pepper sauce features the richest flavors of summer and early autumn (preserved in our freezer) served over rich and savory pork slices. Gluten free. Single Serving $10

Hearty Vegetable Soup with Cabbage – A savory and flavorful traditional vegetable soup, featuring an abundance of storage-ready veggies like potatoes and cabbage.  Perfect for a light meal after a spring day. Gluten Free.   Pint $7

Indonesian Rice Salad -  Full of nuts and vegetables and topped with a zesty citrus dressing, this flavorful salad is a favorite from Gaia’s Kitchen cookbook.  Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Salad Mix with House Dressing  — A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing.  5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Mac and Cheese with Spinach -  Our ever-popular creamy mac and cheese gets a fancy makeover with Spring’s freshest spinach. Yum! Gluten free option available.  Single Serving $10

Polenta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce – Our Italian-style roasted red pepper sauce features the richest flavors of summer and early autumn (preserved in our freezer) served over decadently creamy polenta. Gluten free. Single serving $10

Hearty Vegetable Soup with Cabbage – A savory and flavorful traditional vegetable soup, featuring an abundance of storage-ready veggies like potatoes and cabbage.  Perfect for a light meal after a spring day. Gluten Free.   Pint $7

Indonesian Rice Salad -  Full of nuts and vegetables and topped with a zesty citrus dressing, this flavorful salad is a favorite from Gaia’s Kitchen cookbook.  Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Salad Mix with House Dressing  — A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing.  5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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#HarvestKitchenLife Photo Contest is here!

harvestkitchenlifeHey Harvest Kitchen fans,

We’re delighted to announce our FIRST EVER social media photo contest!

What We’re Looking For

We want you to submit photos showing yourselves enjoying Harvest Kitchen food as part of your daily lives (#harvestkitchenlife …see?).  Did you take some chicken salad for a picnic in the park?  Eat a meatloaf for lunch at work?  Enjoy a pan of lasagna at a birthday party?  Snap a photo and share it with us!  Anything goes–photos will not be judged based on their photographic merit, but we are hoping to use the photos in an online gallery on our website.**

Not into photography?  We’ll also accept written entries!  Write up a short description of your favorite Harvest Kitchen moment and send it to us!

Prizes

Everyone who sends a photo will receive a gorgeous Harvest Kitchen sticker, and you’ll also be entered in a drawing to receive a $50 gift certificate to be spent here.  We’ll have the drawing for the gift certificate on May 15, so get your entries in before then!

How to Enter

Instagram: Post your photo on your account and tag us @Harvestkitchen.  Use the hashtag #harvestkitchenlife if you want, but be sure to tag us so that we get a notification to check it out!

Facebook: Make sure that you have “liked” our facebook page.  Then post your photo on our page or on your own and tag it (if you start typing @Harvest Kitchen it should pop up as an option in your post).  Make sure that your photo settings will allow us to view the photo!

Twitter: Post your photo on your account and tweet us @Harvestkitchen.  Use the hashtag #harvestkitchenlife if you want, but be sure to tweet us directly so that we get a notification to check it out!

Email: Not into social media? Confused by security settings?  Cut out the middle man and send your photo directly to us at info@harvest-kitchen.com

We’re looking forward to seeing your photos!!!

**If you DON’T want us to use your photo on our website but still want to enter the contest, that’s fine! Just let us know when you submit your entry and we’ll enjoy it ourselves but we won’t post it online.

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Beyond Food Babe: Reasons to Eat Organic

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

This week this article was making the rounds on my facebook feed.  In the article, the author, the “Science Babe” speaks against the unverified claims of the self-proclaimed “Food Babe”, a popular blogger who uses fear-mongering tactics to get people riled up about ingredients in their food.  The Food Babe advocates for organic ingredients and for avoiding “chemicals” in food, which is great, but most of her claims are spurious and not backed up by science.  I’m not a regular reader of the Food Babe’s blog, but based on what I read in the Science Babe’s article, I’m no fan.

At the same time, I feel like both the Food Babe *and* the Science Babe miss the point of organic food

Spinach and Radish Slaw

Spinach and Radish Slaw

to a certain extent.  Eating organic isn’t simply about eating food that is healthier for us as individuals, but rather the health of the whole earth!  In the above-linked article, the Science Babe points out that organic products are no healthier than non-organic products.  That may be true from a nutritional stand point, but one thing we ARE choosing when we choose organic products is the absence of chemical fertilizers and pesticides from the growing process.  Thus, the farmland (and farm workers!) aren’t being doused in toxic chemicals that leach into our ground and water and impact on our environment.  Now, I do want to note that the official USDA organic standards aren’t as stringent as we might hope–there are quite a few ways in which organic doesn’t *necessarily* mean 100% environmentally friendly.  For example, many organic productions are extremely water-intensive (California drought?) and others may use more fossil fuels when tractors are used to cultivate the fields and kill the weeds instead of pesticides.  Also, despite the name, organic standards allow for certain approved “organic” chemicals to be used in farming.  Finally, of course, organic standards tell you nothing about how farm workers are treated…so don’t get TOO rosy a picture of the advantages of choosing organic foods!  Nonetheless, don’t be discouraged from choosing organic simply because there is no obvious health benefit to you–organically grown produce and meat does help the environment in broader ways!  If that’s important to you, it’s good to make informed choices.

Stay tuned next week for news about our special Social Media contest–I haven’t forgotten! It is happening!

In the mean time, here’s the menu:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Eddie’s Spiral Meatloaf - Inside its seemingly-simple exterior, this meatloaf hides a secret: a pinwheel of delicious hearty greens! This meatloaf is the perfect way to tempt greens-wary family members. Gluten free option available. Single Serving $10

Italian Spinach and Rice Pie with Bacon - This creamy, risotto-like pie is a delicious way to enjoy fresh greens, cheese, and savory bacon.  Flavorful and delicious! Gluten free option available. 7″ pie – $15

Roasted Red Pepper Bisque – Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of our fresh-from-the-freezer local sweet peppers.  This smooth soup has a hint of creamy decadence that will brighten your meal.  Gluten Free.Pint  Pint $7

Chickpea Salad with Cumin and Garlic – Tender and toothsome chickpeas pair perfectly with crunchy cumin seeds, freshly grated radishes and carrots, and plenty of garlic and olive oil to lend a rich and savory note. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Salad Mix with House Dressing  — A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing.  5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Cauliflower Cashew Croquettes with Roasted Root Veggies-   Our best-ever veggie burger takes a new form in these adorable croquettes (aka small burgers). The flavors of perfectly-roasted cashews, cauliflower, and fresh carrots are deliciously highlighted in these tasty treats, served on a bed of roasted root veggies. Gluten free option available. Single Serving $10

Italian Spinach and Rice Pie  - This creamy, risotto-like pie is a delicious way to enjoy fresh greens and cheese.  Flavorful and delicious! Gluten free option available. 7″ pie – $15

Roasted Red Pepper Bisque – Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of our fresh-from-the-freezer local sweet peppers.  This smooth soup has a hint of creamy decadence that will brighten your meal.  Gluten Free.Pint  Pint $7

Chickpea Salad with Cumin and Garlic – Tender and toothsome chickpeas pair perfectly with crunchy cumin seeds, freshly grated radishes and carrots, and plenty of garlic and olive oil to lend a rich and savory note. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing.  5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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Spring into spring with a Freezer Sale!

 

Colin's photography continues to WOW!

Colin’s photography continues to WOW!

Hey folks!

We’re clearing out our freezer inventory with an abbreviated (TWO WEEKS ONLY) Freezer Sale!  As usual, all our freezer items are 25% off (remember to use the coupon code SPINACH at checkout online).  We’ve got some real treasures in the freezer right now–Chicken Pot Pies, Quiches, Lasagna, Sauerkraut with Kielbasa, and Lentil Vegetable Soup to name just a few.  Bop on over to our online store and place an order, or come visit us at the store in Ypsilanti to browse the menu and consider your options.  You only have til April 14 to take advantage of this special offer, so do it now! (Remember, home delivery and off-site pick ups are available for orders placed online).

If you love Harvest Kitchen AND saving money, please stay tuned–in the next few weeks I’m planning SONY DSCsome awesome social media contests that will give our faithful fans an awesome opportunity to win some savings.  Stay tuned–these ideas are still evolving in my head right now, but I’m excited about it.

In other news, all is well here at Harvest Kitchen.  We’re excited to be seeing warmer days, even if they’re rainy days!  Don’t get TOO excited, though–it will still be several weeks before we start seeing a lot of new vegetables entering our diet.  Thankfully we still have a good supply of frozen veggies and other storage crops and hoop house greens to enjoy until spring REALLY arrives.

Here’s the menu:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Pork – Another favorite comfort food, our pork stuffed cabbage is topped with our homemade tomato sauce. Will one serving be enough? Gluten free. Single Serving $10

Chicken Divan  –  A truly divine crowd-pleaser, Chicken Divan is a creamy casserole of Millers Organic chicken and Locavorious broccoli, drenched in our homemade gravy. Gluten free option available. Single serving $10

Split Pea Soup with Asparagus – We’re loading our vegetarian split pea soup with plenty of delicious vegetables including delicious freezer-fresh asparagus for a warming, filling, meal-worthy soup.  Gluten Free. Pint $7

Radish Carrot Kale Slaw  — Shredded carrots and radishes bring a deliciously zingy flavor to this week’s edition of the ever-popular kale slaw.  We bet this gorgeous combination will have you reaching for your forks. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Salad Mix with House Dressing  — A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing.  5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls – Another favorite comfort food, our tasty vegetarian interpretation of the classic stuffed cabbage is topped with our homemade tomato sauce. Will one serving be enough?  Gluten free. Single Serving $10

Zucchini Rice Casserole -  Who doesn’t love a creamy and delicious casserole on a cool spring day? This flavor sensation is sure to become a family favorite.  Gluten free. Single Serving $10

Split Pea Soup with Asparagus – We’re loading our vegetarian split pea soup with plenty of delicious vegetables including delicious freezer-fresh asparagus for a warming, filling, meal-worthy soup.  Gluten Free. Pint $7

Radish Carrot Kale Slaw  — Shredded carrots and radishes bring a deliciously zingy flavor to this week’s edition of the ever-popular kale slaw.  We bet this gorgeous combination will have you reaching for your forks. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing.  5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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Wordless Post: New Food Photos from Colin

Our fabulous chef Colin is helping us update our food photos by applying his amazing photography skills to all of the dishes we make.  In celebration of these awesome new shots we’re using around the site, we’re doing this month’s wordless post using his terrific shots.  Stay tuned for more great photos of our food from Colin!

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And this week’s menu:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Spanikopita with Beef -  This delicious dish is a perennial HK fan favorite: layers of flaky phyllo dough alternate with creamy cheese and lots of fresh, delicious greens. This non-traditional version includes hearty ground beef in the filling, making it an excellent meal. Single Serving  – $10

Cassoulet -  Traditional French home cooking, cassoulet is a slow-cooked casserole, melding the savory flavors of meat and beans.  Ours will feature amazing Miller’s organic chicken, organic white beans, Michigan bacon, Michigan sausage, our frozen tomatoes, and plenty of herbs. Gluten free option available. Single serving  Single Serving $10

Broccoli Potato Soup – This soup is flavorful and satisfying, brightened with the fresh flavor of our straight-from-summer-via-the-freezer broccoli and strengthened with a hearty potato base. Gluten Free.   Pint $7

Thai Noodle Salad  – Fresh herbs and onions brighten the coconut milk dressing of this tasty noodle salad.  With delicious fresh vegetables including radishes, sprouts, carrots, and peas, this salad is hearty enough to be a main dish.  Gluten free option available.Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Salad Mix with House Dressing  — A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing.  5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Spanikopita  – This delicious dish is a perennial HK fan favorite: layers of flaky phyllo dough alternate with creamy cheese and lots of fresh, delicious greens. This is the more traditional, vegetarian version–it makes an excellent meal. Vegan option available.Single serving $10

Vegetarian Cassoulet -  This NOT-so-Traditional take on French home cooking, our vegetarian cassoulet is a slow-cooked casserole, melding the savory flavors of beans, vegetables, and lots of herbs. You won’t miss the meat! Gluten free option available. Single Serving  $10

Broccoli Potato Soup – This soup is flavorful and satisfying, brightened with the fresh flavor of our straight-from-summer-via-the-freezer broccoli and strengthened with a hearty potato base. Gluten Free.   Pint $7

Thai Noodle Salad  – Fresh herbs and onions brighten the coconut milk dressing of this tasty noodle salad.  With delicious fresh vegetables including radishes, sprouts, carrots, and peas, this salad is hearty enough to be a main dish.  Gluten free option available.Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing.  5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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A few words about Microwaving your food!

Dear Readers,

I know that all of you are extremely virtuous healthy food lovers who would never desecrate your kitchens with anything as plebeian as a microwave, but……well, let’s be real.  Although we do have lots of awesome customers who don’t use microwaves, we also have lots of fantastic customers who DO, myself included, so I wanted to share some tips and techniques about microwaving.

If any of you, like me, are lovers of things geeky and humorous, you might be familiar with the webcomic XKCD.  As you might know, Randall Munroe, the author of XKCD, is also running a blog called “What If” where he answers questions with science (!).  Recently he did an awesome blog post all about how microwaves work, which I found fascinating. A reader sent a question about why his leftover food always reheats unevenly, and Munroe gave a really interesting breakdown of how and why microwaves work (or not) the way they do.
variablesI’m usually a person who takes a simplistic approach to microwaves–just shoving the food in for a few minutes and hoping it comes out hot….which it usually does, ish…and if not, just putting it in for more time.  Munroe’s advice, based on the science of microwaves, comes down to this: “Use a lower power level, stir your food partway through microwaving, and let it sit for a few minutes before you eat it.”

I definitely recommend reading the whole post because it’s funny and insightful and might help you get a better result from microwaving.  A few more HK-oriented tips:  our plastic containers are microwave safe (although I personally prefer to place food on a glass or ceramic dish for microwaving…unless I’m in a hurry!).  The aluminum pie pans should be microwave safe in newer (less than 15 years old) microwaves (little known fact: new microwaves can handle some metals!) However, if you’re in doubt (like me again), you can easily transfer your pies to a microwave safe container.  My husband (#harvesthusband) uses the lid of the smaller pot pies to microwave them–turns out they fit perfectly!   I usually put our standard one person/retail portions into the microwave for approx. 2 minutes, but maybe I’ll start using a lower power level and more time, having read this article.  Anything with a crust (Spanikopita, Pot Pies, etc) will maintain better crispness if heated in the oven, but are still quite delicious when microwaved.  Remember, all our dishes are fully cooked, so all you have to do is make them as hot as you want.  Just heat and enjoy!

Do you have any microwave tips to share?

Here’s this week’s menu

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Sauerkraut with Sausage – Fresh and delicious sauerkraut from our friends at The Brinery pairs perfectly with smoked kielbasa, potatoes, and more in this traditional wintertime dish. Gluten free. Single Serving $10

Stuffed Pasta Shells with Spinach and Beef in Alfredo Sauce -  Hearty pasta shells deliciously filled with cheese-y, herb-rich stuffing featuring Mclaughlin beef and fresh MSU Student Organic Farm spinach and deluged in creamy spinach-alfredo sauce. Single Serving $10

Curried Pumpkin Soup – Sweet kabocha pumpkins (a long-storing Japanese variety) pair deliciously with savory curry spices in this smooth and flavorful soup.  Sure to be a new favorite! Gluten free. Pint $7

Green Quinoa Salad – Freshly cooked quinoa (a “super food”, forever known to us as “The Big Q”!) soaks up the flavors and nutrients of a raw greens dressing. Unusual and deliciously healthy for a side or salad, serve warm or cold. Gluten Free.  Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Salad Mix with House Dressing  — A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing.  5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Apple Sauerkraut Au Gratin – This tasty dish blends the sweetness of baked apples with the tangy-ness of sauerkraut and pulls it all together with plenty of cheese. A conversion for the non-sauerkraut eaters among us?? Gluten Free and vegan options availableSingle Serving $10

Stuffed Pasta Shells with Spinach and Alfredo Sauce -  Hearty pasta shells deliciously filled with cheese-y, herb-rich stuffing featuring fresh MSU Student Organic Farm spinach and deluged in creamy spinach-alfredo sauce. Single Serving  $10

Curried Pumpkin Soup – Sweet kabocha pumpkins (a long-storing Japanese variety) pair deliciously with savory curry spices in this smooth and flavorful soup.  Sure to be a new favorite! Gluten free. Pint $7

Green Quinoa Salad – Freshly cooked quinoa (a “super food”, forever known to us as “The Big Q”!) soaks up the flavors and nutrients of a raw greens dressing. Unusual and deliciously healthy for a side or salad, serve warm or cold. Gluten Free.  Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing.  5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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St. Patrick’s Menu is back!

patrickHappy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!  Here at Harvest Kitchen we have a mini-tradition of creating a delicious Irish-themed menu for St Patrick’s day, and this year is no exception.  We hope you’ll enjoy these favorite recipes.  We’re even planning to make a special batch of Irish Soda Bread on Tuesday..yum!

One thing we love to make for St. Patrick’s Day is Colcannon, which is an Irish/Scottish version of mashed potatoes that has cabbage and kale mixed in.  It’s a great dish for Harvest Kitchen, featuring a bunch of our favorite wintertime veggies, PLUS, there’s an awesome song about it!  Listen here:

We’re also enjoying the longer days and increased sunlight–not to mention the melting of some of the huge icebergs in our parking lot!  It’s hard to believe that the Spring Equinox is this week–soon the days will be longer than the nights, and everything will begin to grow.  We can’t wait to see more new vegetables become available…as with every winter, it’s beginning to feel like we’re running out of creative ways to serve potatoes!

With all that in mind, here’s the menu for the week:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Lamb and Guinness Pie –Unbelievable flavorful, this delicious pie features tender, lean, local lamb and veggies covered with a puff pastry lid. A British-style comfort food, soon to be your personal favorite. 7″ Pie – $15

Swedish Meatballs with Noodles –  Delicious hand-rolled meatballs smothered in our fresh gravy and served over delectable Pastabilities egg noodles.  A hearty dish to set you up for whatever life brings you.  Single Serving $10

Mushroom Barley Soup – A hearty and savory soup full of amazing organic ingredients–perfect for the first days of spring.  Pint $7

Colcannon – Another traditional Irish dish, just in time for St Patrick’s Day.  Colcannon is a combination of mashed potatoes and greens such as cabbage. Gluten Free.  Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Salad Mix with House Dressing  — A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing.  5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Cauliflower Pie with Potato Crust and Greens – This hearty pie may be the “ultimate comfort food”: it features a delicious potato crust filled with creamy mashed cauliflower and savory sauteed greens. Yum! Gluten Free. 7″ Pie –  $15

Kale Potato Balls with Sauteed Vegetables  – Crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside, these baked kale and potato balls are like a hearty bite of wintertime flavors.  Served with delicious roasted veggies. Gluten Free.  Single serving $10

Mushroom Barley Soup – A hearty and savory soup full of amazing organic ingredients–perfect for the first days of spring.  Pint $7

Colcannon – Another traditional Irish dish, just in time for St Patrick’s Day.  Colcannon is a combination of mashed potatoes and greens such as cabbage. Gluten Free.  Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing.  5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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Support SOS Community Services with Dine and Donate March 13-4

Buy this tasty lasagna and SOS Community Services gets a donation. Yay!

Buy this tasty lasagna and SOS Community Services gets a donation. Yay!

Here at Harvest Kitchen we’re thrilled to be supporting Ypsilanti’s own SOS Community Services’ “Dine and Donate” fundraiser this week.  We’re joined by a bunch of our favorite Depot Town friends in holding special offers to support SOS.  You can read all about it here.  For our part, Harvest Kitchen is going to donate $5 to SOS for every portion of our Hearty Lasagna sold on March 13 and 14 at our Ypsilanti location or at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.  We’ll have both vegetarian and omnivore options in stock.  So, join us in a win-win-win situation (you win with delicious food, SOS wins with a great fundraiser, and Harvest Kitchen wins because you’re visiting us!).  Hooray!

In addition to a boatload of lasagna, we’ve got some amazing options on the menu this week:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Shepherd’s Pie –A British favorite, shepherd’s pie is a layered dish, with a savory layer of ground lamb and vegetables topped with creamy mashed potatoes. Gluten Free. Single Serving $10

Beef Stroganoff – Michigan raised beef in a creamy Calder Dairy sour cream sauce served over delicious egg noodles. You know you’ll want seconds.  Single Serving $10

Hearty Vegetarian Chili – Chili-expert Ryan combines our freezer’s treasured summer’s veggies (tomatoes, corn, peppers, and more) into a savory taste-sensation.  Crack open a bag of tortilla chip and sit back and enjoy a delicious red chili. Gluten free.Pint $7

Maple Pumpkin Whip  — Sweet kabocha pumpkins roasted to perfection and mashed to creamy smoothness. Sweetened slightly with a gentle hint of maple syrup for an added decadence. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Salad Mix with House Dressing  — A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing.  5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

“The Good Shepherd”‘s Pie – The vegetarian version of a British classic, The Good Shepherd’s pie (lentil-herd’s pie?) features a delicious savory base of hearty lentils and veggies, topped with creamy mashed potatoes. Gluten free. Single Serving $10

Mushroom Stroganoff – Our mushroom stroganoff features organic mushrooms and peas in a creamy Calder Dairy sour cream sauce served over delicious egg noodles. You know you’ll want seconds.  Single Serving $10

Hearty Vegetarian Chili – Chili-expert Ryan combines our freezer’s treasured summer’s veggies (tomatoes, corn, peppers, and more) into a savory taste-sensation.  Crack open a bag of tortilla chip and sit back and enjoy a delicious red chili. Gluten free.Pint $7

Maple Pumpkin Whip  — Sweet kabocha pumpkins roasted to perfection and mashed to creamy smoothness. Sweetened slightly with a gentle hint of maple syrup for an added decadence. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing.  5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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When will winter end?

Go home, Frost King and Snowball Boy! We've had enough!

Go home, Frost King and Snowball Boy! We’ve had enough!

Oh my! February is over this weekend and March begins, but according to the extended forecasts we’re not going to be seeing any more “Spring-like” weather any time soon.  I, for one, am ready for some warmer temperatures, especially since I sell at the Farmer’s Market, outdoors every Saturday.  Thanks so much to all our customers who just “keep on keeping on” and get food regardless of the weather, whether that’s braving the cold at the Farmers Market or braving the parking in Depot Town.  We appreciate you!  We’re also happy to keep on delivering, so keep on ordering for home delivery, and let us brave the roads!  The Harvest Kitchen van is going strong through ice and snow and chilly weather. :)

Of course our farmers continue to face challenges through the

It's extremely cold at the Farmers Market these days

It’s extremely cold at the Farmers Market these days

harsh weather.  Right now we’re eating mostly storage crops, though Goetz is producing some fresh swiss chard in their large greenhouses right now.  This time of year always challenges the creativity of our chefs, though we’re lucky right now to still have some good options to bring you new flavors each week.  Thank goodness for all of the summer bounty we have in the freezer as well–that helps a lot.  Unfortunately, salad greens are unobtainable right now.  We look forward to seeing them back on the menu in a few weeks.  In the mean time we hope you’ll enjoy all the different sides and salads we’re putting together for you–there’s more to salad than just lettuce!

Another thing to keep in mind this season–even after the weather warms up (which it will, soon, right?) it will still be weeks and months before new produce becomes available.  The early spring is one of the most challenging times of year for locavores, but every year we have fun seeing each crop return to our menu as we work towards summer’s abundance.  Stay tuned–it’s going to be a tasty ride!

Slaw made with colorful and flavorful root veggies can substitute for salad greens

Slaw made with colorful and flavorful root veggies can substitute for salad greens

Here’s the menu for this week:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Chicken and Dumplings– A wholesome winter comfort food: delicious free-range chicken with our tasty homemade dumplings. Enjoy. Single Serving $10

Wild Rice Bake with Italian Sausage -   A delicious casserole including butternut squash, rutabaga, delicious Italian sausage, brown rice, and of course, wild rice. Hearty for a winter day!  Gluten free. Single Serving $10

Cauliflower Millet Soup – This hearty soup is inspired by a favorite recipe from Diet for a Small Planet. It’s a delicious (vegan) alternative to the usual cream-of type soups–full of savory flavors that will have you coming back for more. Gluten Free. Pint $7

Lentil Salad with Greens – This deliciously hearty salad features a creamy yogurt dressing, bulghur wheat and the first of this season’s Swiss chard. Could almost be a meal in itself. Gluten Free option available. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Radish Root Veggie Slaw  — A crisp and crunchy blend of fresh radishes, turnips, cabbage, and carrots served in a zesty vinaigrette dressing. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Tofu Vegetable Croquettes with Sweet and Sour Vegetables –  Our creamy tofu balls pair perfectly

Tofu Vegetable Croquettes!

Tofu Vegetable Croquettes!

with crisp-tender vegetables served in a tangy sweet-and-sour sauce for a delightfully flavorful meal.Gluten free. Single Serving $10

Vegetarian Wild Rice Bake -   A delicious casserole including butternut squash, rutabaga, brown rice, and of course, wild rice. Hearty for a winter day!  Gluten free. Single Serving $10

Cauliflower Millet Soup – This hearty soup is inspired by a favorite recipe from Diet for a Small Planet. It’s a delicious (vegan) alternative to the usual cream-of type soups–full of savory flavors that will have you coming back for more. Gluten Free. Pint $7

Lentil Salad with Greens – This deliciously hearty salad features a creamy yogurt dressing, bulghur wheat and the first of this season’s Swiss chard. Could almost be a meal in itself. Gluten Free option available. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Radish Root Veggie Slaw  — A crisp and crunchy blend of fresh radishes, turnips, cabbage, and carrots served in a zesty vinaigrette dressing. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

 

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Food Ethics

At the Local Food Summit last weekend I attended a session on the connection between spirituality and food, and it made me think a little about things that are important in the choices we make about food here at Harvest Kitchen.  With that in mind, I’m going to try to write a little about our food ethics here.  Note that everyone makes compromises sometimes, and we’re no exception, but here’s what goes into our decision making.  This is a first stab at this statement–please let us know what you think and look for revised versions of the food ethics statement in months to come!

Seeley Farmer Alex harvesting

Seeley Farmer Alex harvesting

Food is a part of the heart of our most precious moments with family and friends, including holidays and celebrations, but it is also part of our day to day lives.  Everyone eats every day, whether grabbing a bite while running between things or sitting down with family and china plates and cloth napkins.  At its best, sharing a meal can bring us together.  At its worst, food can be a shameful and divisive subject, used to divide people and make them feel less worthy.  Those emotions of shame and humiliation are not what we want to associate with food here at Harvest Kitchen.  There are qualities of food that we love, and we want to share them and make them accessible to everyone.  There are no prerequisites for eating Harvest Kitchen food!

We love food that is grown sustainably.  That’s grown by farmers who care for the earth and for their

A highland cow at Mclaughlin Farm

A highland cow at Mclaughlin Farm

plants and animals.  We love food that’s made and grown by workers who are treated fairly.  We love food that is made from animals who live healthy and natural lives.  We love it when we know this about the food because of having a personal relationship with the growers and producers and chefs.  Know your farmer is at the heart of what we do.  We also love local food because it hasn’t traveled long distances and burned up fossil fuels to get here.  We love building a food system in our area that supports our local economy and where we are connected to the impact of our decisions. When we can’t have that personal connection to how our food is produced, we trust the “organic” designation to help us know that farmers in far away places are growing food without the use of chemicals.

IMG_20140210_145800_663On top of that, we love food that is satisfying and flavorful.  We love to make food that is a joy to sit down and eat.  We love being exposed to new flavors from around the world.  We love trying new fruits and vegetables that grow well in our local area that we might not otherwise have tried.  We find that being attuned to the seasons of the year allows us to savor each flavor as it comes and goes, and to appreciate the rhythm of the farm calendar.

We spend a lot of time planning our menus with these principles in mind, IMG_20140623_133017_414because we want our customers to trust Harvest Kitchen and our sources.  Not everyone has time to spend on the details of food ethics, and we want to make this kind of delicious, sustainable, locally-sourced, seasonal eating accessible to everyone regardless of time.  We hope you enjoy our meals–made with love from start to finish!  Cheers!

 

This Week’s Menu

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Chicken Alfredo –Rich, creamy, and delicious alfredo sauce pairs deliciously with fresh local chicken and hearty fettucine pasta. Single Serving $10

Chicken Tikka Masala with Brown Rice – We’re partnering with our friend Erum from Rite Spice to bring you an extra-authentic version of this delicious dish.  It will still feature local chicken marinated in a yogurt-tomato-spice marinade, roasted, and served with a curried tomato sauce. Served over brown rice. Gluten Free. Single Serving $10

Lentil Vegetable Soup – A hearty and wholesome meal-in-a-bowl, our lentil vegetable soup is overflowing with flavor. The perfect lunch for a busy day at work or school. Gluten Free.  Pint $7

Indonesian Rice Salad -  Full of nuts and vegetables and topped with a zesty citrus dressing, this flavorful salad is a favorite from Gaia’s Kitchen cookbook.  Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Roasted Butternut Delight  – A simple, delightful autumn side dish: roasted squash paired with cranberries and feta.  Gluten free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Fettucine Toscana – Delicious hearty pasta topped with a creamy sauce, greens, and cauliflower. Both attractive and satisfying! Single Serving $10

Tempeh Tikka Marsala  - We’re partnering with our friend Erum from Rite Spice to bring you an extra-authentic version of this delicious dish.  It will still feature The Brinery’s fabulous tempeh marinated in a yogurt-tomato-spice marinade, roasted, and served with a curried tomato sauce. Served over brown rice. Gluten Free. Single Serving $10

Lentil Vegetable Soup – A hearty and wholesome meal-in-a-bowl, our lentil vegetable soup is overflowing with flavor. The perfect lunch for a busy day at work or school. Gluten Free.  Pint $7

Indonesian Rice Salad -  Full of nuts and vegetables and topped with a zesty citrus dressing, this flavorful salad is a favorite from Gaia’s Kitchen cookbook.  Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

Roasted Butternut Delight  – A simple, delightful autumn side dish: roasted squash paired with cranberries and feta.  Gluten free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5

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