News & Recipes

A long-time partner of the New South Produce Cooperative, The Natural Food Store has much more to offer than the name suggests. Certainly, they have nutritional supplements,  local and organic produce, allergy-friendly foods, non-GMO and organic groceries items, and a huge selection of natural personal items. However, it is their specialty services that really sets this store apart. Co-owner Eric McMullen is a clinical nutritionist. He also studies herbal medicine and holistic nutrition. He provides nutritional counseling by appointment. Eric says, "My particular fields of study are herbal medicine, clinical nutrition, and health coaching, but a big part of how I help people is by bringing a holistic approach to their health.  This also provides me the opportunity to lean on a network of people that share the same passion for health as I do, whether they are doctors, farmers, teachers, restaurant owners, counselors, or truck drivers’ wives." It is this individual approach that sets...

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store) Any of you folks out there who were kids of the 1970s will be familiar with this version of a casserole. We had it at least once a week at my house! It may be old fashioned, but it is still delicious, especially if you are hungry for a bit of nostalgia. So sit back, watch some episodes of the Brady Bunch and get groovy with vegetables! Old Fashioned Casserole Ingredients 1 medium white or yellow onion, sliced 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 sweet peppers, chopped half a pint of fresh okra, chopped into rings 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (we used Grass Roots chicken tenders) 1/2 cup sour cream 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 2 green onions, chopped, including green parts 1 package butter crackers, crushed (we used Late July organic classic rich crackers) 3 tablespoons butter, melted Instructions ...

Storage Turnips have white skin and purplish top. It is sometimes called white turnip. To store turnips, first separate the greens from the bulbs. Store the greens separately in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, and do not wash until just before use. Store the roots in a loose plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a month or longer. Don't Forget the Greens Several root crops also have edible greens. So when you remove the tops from your turnips, radishes, or beets, don't toss them out! Store the greens wrapped in a damp towel or paper towel in an airtight container. They should be stored in your refrigerator. Why waste half of the harvest, right? Beet, turnip, and radish greens are all delicious added to soups or stir-fries, and smaller leaves are great added raw to salads. Recipes Substitute for potatoes in almost any potato recipe Turnip and Potato Pancakes Turnip and Potato Soup Roasted Turnips...

Storage Green onions are onions that have been harvested young, usually before they develop a bulb. They have a milder flavor than mature onions. Green onions are a living plant, so the best way to store them is in a jar with enough water to keep the roots wet. You can keep the jar in the refrigerator or on the kitchen counter, just make sure to change the water every couple of days. If the outside layers start to get slimy, peel them away as needed. Preservation To preserve green onions, you can freeze them simply by chopping to desired size and placing in a freezer-safe airtight container or plastic bag. Keep in mind that they will lose their crunch when defrosted, so plan to use in dishes that require cooking.   Try These Recipes! Top of soups or salads Green Onion Pancakes Green Onion Hash Brown Potatoes Potato, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata Rice Noodles with Green Onions and Herbs Beef and...

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store) Instead of an Asian wok, the Southern equivalent is definitely the cast iron skillet. Cooking these summer vegetables over high heat seals in flavor, as well as staving off the slimy texture that okra can take on when cooked. Quick, flavorful, and nutritious (also vegetarian and vegan). Stir Fry Ingredients 1 to 1-1/2 cups very small okra pods, whole 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped 3-4 small eggplants, chopped 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped 1/2 lemon salt & pepper 1 cup cooked lentils Instructions In a large cast iron skillet over high heat, warm 1 teaspoon oil to almost smoking. Add okra pods all at once, and cook, stirring, until they begin to brown. Add eggplant, and stir, cooking another minute. Add pepper, stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes more. Add chopped tomato and remove skillet from the heat. Squeeze the juice from half of...

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store) This week’s CSA box had so many lovely things in it, and they begged to be roasted. Roasting brings out such a deep, rich flavor in vegetables that it is one of my favorite ways to prepare them. The resulting dip from this recipe doesn’t just have to be dipped. It can be spread on bread or wraps, too, for a tasty summer sandwich. Roasted Veggie Dip Ingredients 1 large eggplant or two medium eggplants 1/2 small onion 1 red bell pepper 1 small head of garlic 1 tablespoon olive oil splash red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon sour cream salt & pepper Instructions Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Trim ends from the eggplant and pepper. Trim ends from the onion and remove outer skin, but leave whole. Slice across the entire head of garlic, removing just the tops from the cloves. Do the same on the...

Storage Many people give eggplants a bad rap for their bitter taste or rubbery texture, but both of these can be avoided with freshness and proper storage. Eggplants are sensitive to cold temperatures, so storing them in the cold parts of your refrigerator for long periods of time can damage the tissue which results in an unpleasant taste and texture. Instead, store eggplants on a shelf in the front of your fridge or in a cool spot on your kitchen counter, out of direct sunlight and away from tomatoes, bananas, apples, and other ethylene-producers that will accelerate spoiling. Either way, eggplants have the best taste and texture when used within 1-2 days. Another trick for improving the taste and texture of eggplants is sprinkling them with salt to extract moisture before cooking. After washing your eggplant, slice it to the desired thickness, sprinkle both sides with salt, and place in a colander or...

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store) The fresh ginger in this week’s CSA is a very special treat. Saving it for a special dish or a special day is easy. Ginger freezes beautifully, so if you aren’t able to get to it right away, place it in a freezer-safe zip bag and pop it in the freezer. I usually keep some frozen ginger on hand. Frozen ginger is very easy to grate. Grated ginger and minced garlic are the starter for any type of stir fry or Asian dish I am cooking. Another way to use this week’s ginger is to make a ginger syrup. Simply peel and chop the ginger. Measure how much you have. Whatever the amount, add twice as much water as ginger and put both in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and...

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store) This is a beautiful and flavorful dish that is vegetarian as well as vegan. I used fettuccine noodles that are made from edamame and mung beans. Not only are they grain free, but they are packed with protein. Mushroom Fettuccine Ingredients 1 large clove garlic, or two small cloves 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 small white onion, chopped 3 small banana peppers, sliced thinly 1 pint fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thickly 1 cup fresh arugula leaves, stems removed and chopped fettuccine noodles salt & pepper 2 stalks fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme pat of butter (optional) Instructions Cook the fettuccine noodles according to the package directions. When they are drained, add a bit of olive oil and stir well. This will keep the noodles from sticking while you prepare the rest of the dish. Slice the garlic clove into thin slices,...

Storage Store mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to one week. Just prior to using, wipe off any dirt with a damp wash cloth, sponge, or paper towel. Do not run them directly under water as they will absorb moisture and become soggy. Recipes Garlic Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms Fettuccini with Shiitake Mushrooms and Basil Quinoa Fried Rice with Shiitake Mushrooms Mushroom Ragu Pecan Mushroom Burgers Preservation Shiitakes can be preserved by drying or freezing. To dry, first wipe off any dirt with a damp wash cloth, sponge, or paper towel. Thinly slice mushrooms and arrange in a single layer on a dehydrator tray. Dry for a couple of hours or until completely dry (this will depend on the thickness of the slices and how moist the mushrooms were to begin with). If you do not have a dehydrator, arrange in a single layer on baking sheets and cook at 150 degrees (or your lowest temperature...