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Summer Recipes PDF Print E-mail

July 2012
by Chris Ellis & Janice Malin

ZUCCHINI AND CHEESE ENCHILADAS
2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
4 Tbsp. white flour
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
2 cups milk
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, low-fat or regular
½ tsp. salt (optional)
Black pepper to taste

1 Tbsp. sunflower or olive oil
1½ cups chopped onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red or green bell pepper, chopped
(red is the best choice since it provides more color)
6 cups chopped zucchini
Chopped hot peppers (optional)
18 to 20 corn tortillas
2 cups chopped tomatoes

In a small saucepan melt the butter or heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the flour, chili powder, and cumin to make a thick paste. Add the milk a little at a time, using a wire whisk. Slowly add the cheese, stirring constantly until cheese is melted. Season as desired. Remove from heat and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, zucchini, and hot peppers and sauté for a couple more minutes. Add ¼ cup of water, cover, and steam veggies until tender. Mix in about half of the cheese sauce. Lightly oil a 9x13-inch baking dish. Place tortillas in the pan. Spread about 1/3 cup of filling over each tortilla and roll them up, leaving seam side down. Spoon remaining cheese sauce over them and garnish with tomatoes. Bake uncovered for about 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.


ROASTED VEGETABLE RATATOUILLE POLENTA LASAGNA
4 slender zucchini
1 medium eggplant
3 medium peppers: red, yellow, and orange
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
8 oz. mozzarella (I used little balls called ciliegine)
4 oz. shredded good quality Parmesan cheese
2 cups polenta
1 14.5-oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
(or fresh if in season)
salt and pepper to taste

Cut vegetables into large bite-size pieces. Keep them separate and toss with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper and spread each vegetable in a layer so that they will roast and caramelize. Use 2 sheets if necessary to keep to a single layer. Roast until golden and sweet, approximately 30 minutes. They may be done at different times. Mix them together, add the chopped garlic, pepper, and more salt if desired. Set aside until you are ready to assemble.

While the vegetables are roasting, bring 6 cups of water to boil in a heavy saucepan. Grease a lasagna pan with some olive oil. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and mark the dimensions of the lasagna pan on the paper. Add salt to the boiling water and then polenta (coarse cornmeal) in a steady stream-stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Lower the heat and continue cooking, stirring more or less constantly for about 30 minutes. Add more boiling water if the mixture is too thick or seizes into a hard mass. When done, taste for salt. Pour half the cooked polenta into the prepared lasagna pan. Spread the other half on the prepared parchment paper to the specified dimension; it will be about 1/2 inch thick. If desired, it can be refrigerated to ensure firmness. This will be the top layer after you have added the vegetables and cheese.

The polenta will firm up quickly. When it is firm enough, pour the vegetables on top of the polenta in the lasagna pan. Nestle balls of mozzarella (or spread shredded mozzarella) and tuck between vegetables with your fingers. Sprinkle half the Parmesan on top of this and flatten with your hand. Slide the firm polenta slab onto the top of the lasagna and remove the parchment. Top with remaining Parmesan cheese and diced tomatoes. Bake in 375 degree oven for 45-60 minutes, or until bubbling and hot throughout. Serves 8 as a main course.