Rhubarb Salsa

Rhubarb may be one of those produce items that leaves some people scratching their heads wondering if it can be used in more than just pie. I’m here to share with you that rhubarb is both a versatile and tasty treat in ways you never expected. This rhubarb salsa is both tangy and slightly sweet (don’t worry it’s not too sweet). This makes enough to serve at a party in my opinion, but you could always just make it for yourself and have salsa for the week. There are many ways to incorporate this into meals, including as a topping to chicken or fish, or you could just be like me, and pair it with some tasty and locally made Vida Tortilla chips.

Rhubarb is in season from April till June and you can find it at your local farmers markets. The rhubarb I purchased for this recipe was from Stout Oak Farm, but I have also seen it at other farm’s including but not limited to White Gate Farm. Rhubarb is a perennial and does contain leaves that are poisonous for human consumption, so make sure you remove those leaves before preparing any recipes. It’s a great source of fiber, calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin C and has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

Fun fact: The poisonous leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid, and historically, this has been used as a stain remover and cleaner.

Do you have any fun ways to utilize rhubarb? Or do you have a favorite farm you get your rhubarb from? Let us know in the comments below.

Welcome Shawn!

Shawn Menard

Seacoast Eat Local is pleased to announce Shawn Menard as the new Program Director.  Shawn joins us from the Gardiner Food Co-op in Gardiner, Maine, where he was the General Manager.  Shawn received a B.A. from the University of Maine in Farmington and an M.S. is Management with a concentration in sustainability from New England College.

As Program Director for Seacoast Eat Local, Shawn will oversee the operational success of Seacoast Eat Local’s core programs – hosting Winter Farmers’ Markets, operating the Seacoast Area Mobile Market (SAMM), supporting SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets year round, and the annual Seacoast Harvest publication.

The Seacoast Eat Local Board of Directors is confident Shawn’s background in sustainability, local food systems, management, and marketing will strengthen our commitment to connecting people with sources of locally grown food and improving the profitability and sustainability of local farmers.  Shawn will be starting this role for us on May 28th.  He is looking forward to working with the board and staff towards meeting existing organizational goals and also developing plans for the future. Please join us in welcoming Shawn to the Seacoast Eat Local community.  He and his wife Caroline are looking forward to settling down in the area.

We’re hiring! Are you Seacoast Eat Local’s next Program Director?

Seacoast Eat Local is hiring a Program Director to oversee the operational success of our mission to connect community members with local food and farms. We are seeking a motivated, energetic, and hardworking person with a strong interest in local food access and community food systems.

Seacoast Eat Local was founded in 2006 with the mission to bring people together with sources of locally grown foods and advocate eating locally for the health of our environment, community, culture and economy. Through advocacy, organizing and education, we work toward a sustainable local food system that meets the needs of both producers and consumers. Our work includes operating a SNAP/EBT Farmers’ Market Program, organizing winter farmers’ markets, running a mobile market, producing our local food guide, sponsoring workshops and events, and providing information through our email newsletter, blog and website, www.seacoasteatlocal.org

The Program Director will oversee the Program Coordinator and Mobile Market Manager, as well as provide leadership to our team of interns and volunteers. Serving as the key external face of Seacoast Eat Local in the community, the Program Director will also be responsible for networking with stakeholders, community building, and relationships with donors. They will be expected to demonstrate a knowledge of and passion for a multi-
faceted local food system, while also providing the organization with the fiscal oversight and program delivery that will allow Seacoast Eat Local to continue our work as a strong and robust regional non-profit.

Responsibilities include:

  • – Overseeing the Program Coordinator and Mobile Market Manager to ensure the successful execution of SEL’s core programs
  • – Taking the lead on fundraising and development, including implementing the annual fundraising plan, managing the donor database, planning and executing quarterly events, leading the stewardship of existing donors, and expanding our fundraising presence in the Seacoast
  • – Managing our grant-based funding, which encompasses organizing the annual grant schedule, writing grant appeals, and overseeing fiscal and programmatic reporting
  • – Supervising and implementing our annual budget and working with our bookkeeper and treasurer on accurate reporting and fiscal oversight
  • – Ensuring the implementation and utilization of measures and metrics for program evaluation
  • – Serving as the key contact person and public face of our organization through email communication, marketing, newsletters, social media, attending local events, and relationship building
  • – Carrying out our current strategic plan through 2021 and assisting and advising the board in the development of future strategic plans

 

An ideal candidate will hold a Bachelor’s degree and have worked a minimum of 4-5 years in project management, fundraising, and/or personnel management, and be familiar with the functioning and organization of non-profits. They will be enthusiastic about a position that puts them in contact with many different members of our community and should possess a strong passion for local food and developing robust food systems. Necessary
skills include proficiency in computer use, strong project management, leadership of staff and interns, and a demonstrated aptitude for excellent verbal and written communication. This is a self-driven leadership role within our organization, and the person hired to fill this role will be expected to serve as a supervisor of our staff, contact person with stakeholders, and collaborator with the Board of Directors, to whom they will report.

This is a full time, salaried position that includes healthcare and paid vacation. We offer a flexible working environment and schedule, though applicants must be willing to work some weekends and nights.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected] by April 6.

SEL Announces Departure of Director of Programs

After more than three years of employment, Seacoast Eat Local announces the departure of its Director of Programs, Jillian (Hall) Eldredge. Jill will be leaving her post at Seacoast Eat Local in order to pursue a full-time grants management position with the Foundation for Healthy Communities in Concord, NH. Her last day of employment will be Friday, March 1.

During her tenure with Seacoast Eat Local, Jill oversaw the expansion of the organization’s programs and staff. Most notably, this included the creation of the Seacoast Area Mobile Market (SAMM) Program and the hiring of its year-round, full-time coordinator, Celeste Gingras. Other successes included the awarding of the organization’s first federal grant, the USDA Farmers’ Market Promotion Program grant, and the establishment of defined employee evaluation, policies and benefits programs. Among the many joys of her position, Jill most thoroughly enjoyed the depth of the relationships she was able to build with staff, farmers, consumers and others. We know she will not be a stranger at markets or local farm stands!

The entire Seacoast Eat Local team of board and staff members have worked tirelessly to ensure a seamless transition without interruption of services for staff, farmers, funding partners or consumers. The organization has every confidence in its continued success moving forward and is excited for a new chapter in its development. Please stay tuned for future hiring announcements!

In the interim period, Shelly Smith (Program Coordinator) will be the primary staff contact for Seacoast Eat Local.

Margo Clark Joins the SEL Team in Outreach Role

Seacoast Eat Local is proud to introduce Margo Clark as our incoming Market Outreach and Support team member!
Margo first started with Seacoast Eat Local by interning at the SNAP booth at the Rochester and Somersworth summer markets in 2016. Inspired by the work and impact of her experience, she has continued her work as the SNAP Coordinator at the Exeter and Portsmouth summer markets, and now assisting with Marketing and Support.
Margo’s passions include access to local food and nutrition education. She studied Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at the University of New Hampshire where these passions grew. She is also serving as an AmeriCorps member with Cooking Matters based at the NH Food Bank in Manchester, a program that offers cooking classes to individuals and families who are food insecure. The cooking classes are based on learning to create delicious, nutritious, affordable meals. In her free time, Margo loves exploring the beautiful landscapes in New Hampshire and Maine such as hiking in the Whites or enjoying the Seacoast’s multiple beaches. All the while munching on local produce of course!
In Margo’s new, part time role with Seacoast Eat Local she will be supporting existing markets and coordinating expanded outreach efforts including advertising campaigns, information distribution and representing the organization at various community groups and committees. Seacoast Eat Local values Margo for her enthusiasm, passion and dedication and is excited to welcome her back in this new role.
Reach out to Margo by e-mail at [email protected]

Kaidy’s Post: It’s Pumpkin Season!

Pumpkins are in season in the seacoast area from the beginning of September through the end of October. They belong to the Cucurbita family, also known gourd family,

 which includes several squash varieties, cucumbers and melons. There are over 45 varieties of pumpkins, ranging in color from orange to white to green.

In one cup of pumpkin there 49 calories, 12 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. There is also 245% vitamin A, 19% vitamin C and 16% of potassium, 11% manganese, 11% copper, 11% vitamin B2, 10% vitamin E and 8% iron of the daily recommended values. Pumpkin is filled with vitamins, specifically vitamin A and C, which support immune health, helping you to fight sickness and heal wounds. Also due to its low calorie, nutrient dense nature, pumpkin can help with weight maintenance and loss. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of nutrition, containing 3 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, and 13 grams of polyunsaturated fats per one ounce serving, making them a filling snack to eat throughout the day.

As fall begins to move into full swing, more and more people are picking up pumpkins for their fall decorations. The stores are filled with pumpkin spice flavored goodies and treats and families start to bake pumpkin stuffed treats. However, pumpkin does not have to be only reserved for sugar-filled pumpkin pies and cookies. The recipe below is just one way to incorporate pumpkin into your healthy diet during the fall season.

Pumpkin Sage Pasta

(Makes 8 servings)

Ingredients 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  •  2 white onion, diced
  •  4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  •  3 cups milk, or milk alternative
  • 4 cups pumpkin puree (1 sugar pumpkin)
  •  salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  •  ½  teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 box whole wheat pasta, cooked

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Cut a sugar pumpkin in half, from the stem to base. Remove seeds and pulp. Cover each half with foil.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven, foil side up, for 1 hour, or until tender.
  4. Scrape pumpkin meat from shell halves and puree in a blender. Strain to remove any remaining stringy pieces.
  5. In a medium pot over medium heat, add the oil, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and dried sage and cook until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add milk, pumpkin, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Combine until a smooth, creamy sauce forms. Allow to heat through.
  7. Add prepared pasta and combine.

Pro tip: Roast the leftover pumpkin seeds at 300 degrees Fahrenheit on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper for 45 minutes or until golden brown to use the whole pumpkin!

Sofias Post: Root Vegetable Salad

I went to the Portsmouth Farmer’s market last Saturday, and it was PACKED (check out some of the pictures I took)! I left with some eggplants, onions, tomatoes, flowers and beets. I normally don’t buy beets because I don’t like having pink fingers all day, but I decided to get them!  I just put on a glove to protect my hand from the juice. Beets have been around since the late 1500’s, as they were used for culinary and medicinal purposes. I have been seeing beets in smoothies, juices and salads everywhere! It is no surprise as they are full of vitamins and minerals such as manganese, folate, vitamin B2 and lots of potassium. Beets can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and dementia. When picking out a beet at the farmers market, know that the medium-sized variety are tender, and the larger ones are a little tougher.  Like most other root vegetables, beets can be used in a variety of ways! You can roast beets in the oven, steam them, or add them to your favorite smoothie! I grated my raw beets into a simple salad with spinach, carrots, tomato and red onion. Here is a delicious root vegetable fall salad that will be great for a lunch or as a side dish:

Fall Root Vegetable Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 beets with the greens
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 apple
  • Salad greens such as spinach, spring mix or arugula
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Trim the tops of the beets, scrub beets, pat dry and slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces, chop sweet potato into small chunks, toss in a large bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle cinnamon over sweet potato
  3. Roast vegetables on a baking pan for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally, add the beet greens and bake for 2 more minutes.
  4. Mix together with chopped apple  and greens. Drizzle with salad dressing.

Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper

Source:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/beets-nutrition-benefits-types-how-cook-more/#nutritionfacts

Recipe Modified from: spoonfulofflavor.com

Jessica’s Post: Summer Dill Pickles!

My mom, aunt and I take care of our own garden at my memere’s house and the past couple years we have planted less cucumber plants but we still seem to run into the same problem, we still get too many cucumbers! We always seem to have more cucumbers than we need during the summer growing season so in order to not waste any, we have started to pickle them instead! Pickling is actually a really easy process and the perfect way to enjoy the excess amounts of cukes that many people seem to find themselves having during the summer months. I have written below my mom’s recipe for dill pickles, because, although I may be biased, they are super delicious! Please note that this is a recipe for “fridge pickles” and does not use a water bath canning method. As a result of this, these pickles must stay refrigerated and last approximately 1 month.

Summer Dill Pickles:

  • 14 pickling cucumbers
  • 40 fresh dill sprigs
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1 cup of cider vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup salt
  • 1 teaspoon mixed pickling spices

My family sorta just uses this recipe as a guide and judges the amounts of each ingredient needed based on how many cukes we have available at that time. But I do recommend that if it’s your first time pickling that you follow the recipe to ensure you are getting the flavor desired! Below I wrote out the directions to help you prepare this delicious treat.

Instructions:

  • Remove the blossom end of each cucumber and wash. Cut each cucumber lengthwise into about 6 spears. In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, dill and garlic; set aside.

  • In a covered pot, combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook and until the sugar is dissolved. Pour this liquid over the ingredients prepared in the first step (containing the cucumbers) and allow to cool.

  • Transfer to jars and cover tightly (My family buys mason jars at the store). Refrigerate for at least 24 hours and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You should get from this recipe about 4 quarts of pickles!

I have been enjoying the pickle recipe for many summers and it never fails to impress me! It really is quite simple although I know the process of making pickles can seem a difficult at first. If you love a good dill pickle like I do, I can guarantee you’ll enjoy this recipe!

Morgan’s Post: Welcome Eggplant Season!

This Thursday the SAMM Van had a new piece of inventory from Three Sisters Farm in South Berwick, ME – eggplant! And let me tell you, these were HUGE! It seems that everyone was just as shocked and excited to see them because they cleared out very fast. There are so many things you can dowith them such as roasting, stir frying, stuffing, and grilling! Eggplants aid digestion, are full of antioxidants, and are a great source of fiber. They hang from vines that have the ability to grow several feet and have a deep-purple colored skin. To store it you should put the full eggplant – not cut up – in the fridge to be eaten within 2-5 days.

My first introduction to eggplant and favorite experience I’ve had with it was at a restaurant in Texas where I had eggplant fries as an appetizer. Ever since then I’ve been trying to find places that serve them, but I’ve been out of luck. What I loved about them is that I didn’t feel guilty or gross after eating them and still had enough room for my meal. Because of this I decided to find an eggplant fries recipe that I can make myself!

What you will need:

  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch thick ‘fries’

  • 1/2 cup flour

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan

  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Dredge the eggplant slices in the flour

  2. Mix the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and parmesan

  3. Dip the slices in the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture

  4. Place the eggplant slices on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425F oven until golden brown, about 7-10 minutes.

 

https://www.closetcooking.com/crispy-baked-eggplant-fries-with/