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Recipe Swap: Get ’em while they’re crunchy

This is the third year schools and daycares are selling fresh vegetables as a fundraiser

With the kids back in school, club and classroom fundraisers begin again.

One is the Farm to School Manitoba Healthy Choice Fundraiser — a way to raise money while sending a message that cookies and candy aren’t the only good things to eat.

Now in its third year, the program allows Manitoba schools and daycares to sell potatoes, carrots, onions, parsnips and cabbage in $10 or $20 bundles, with half the cash staying with the school or daycare.

The program, a joint venture, quickly gained traction after it was rolled out in 2010 by the Manitoba Home Economics Association; the province and its Buy Manitoba Program; and Peak of the Market.

It turns out vegetables sell like hotcakes — the initial 66 schools in the first year expanded to 432 schools and daycares last year, which collectively sold a whopping 60,000 bundles of veggies to households across the province, including northern Manitoban communities where vegetables can be expensive and harder to get.

I don’t know how this compares with sales of chocolate bars. But aside from fundraising, it’s a darned good idea as the vast majority of kids — and lots of adults, too — don’t eat nearly enough vegetables.

You can find out more about this fundraiser, including how to enrol a school or daycare, at www.farmtoschoolmanitoba.ca. Orders will be taken after Sept. 16, with a 2013 goal of selling an additional 5,000 bundles — so get ’em while they’re crunchy.

Vegetable soup

A hot soup is a perfect autumn meal and a great way to use homegrown vegetables. This recipe is off the Farm to School Fundraiser’s website.

  • 1-1/2 c. potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 c. parsnips, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 c. carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 c. onions, chopped
  • 4 c. water
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1/2 c. elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. parsley
  • Pepper to taste

Add all ingredients except parsley and elbow macaroni into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3.5 hours or on low for 5.5 hours or until vegetables are done to desired tenderness. Add parsley and elbow macaroni into the slow cooker for 30 minutes until the pasta has reached desired doneness. Stir until well blended. Enjoy! Makes four 1⁄2-cup servings.

Apple and parsnip soup

  • 2 lbs. parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 apples, cored and quartered
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5-1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

In a large pot; add parsnips, apples, onion, chicken broth and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for two hours or until parsnips are tender. Let cool. Blend mixture in blender. Reheat and serve.

Serves 6. Source: Peak of the Market.

Curried zucchini soup

  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 4 c. chicken stock
  • 1/4 c. uncooked rice
  • 2 c. zucchini, unpeeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. milk

In a saucepan, melt butter; sauté onion and apple until soft. Sprinkle with curry powder; cook, stirring, for a few seconds. Pour in chicken stock; bring to a boil. Add rice, zucchini and salt. Cover and cook until rice and zucchini are tender, about 30 minutes. Using a hand mixer, blend until smooth. Return to pan and add milk. Heat through. Serves 8. Source: Peak of the Market.

Lots of Veggies soup

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 c. water
  • 4 chicken or vegetable cubes
  • 2 c. broccoli florets, slightly chopped
  • 2 c. carrots, sliced
  • 1-1/2 c. celery, sliced
  • 1 c. green beans, cut in half
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until golden, about three minutes. Add water, chicken cube and vegetables. Bring to boil.

Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6. Source: Peak of the Market.

Vegetable basil soup

  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 6 c. water
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 4 small potatoes, washed and quartered
  • 3/4 c. fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 3 small zucchini, cubed
  • 1/2 c. broken, uncooked spaghetti noodles

In blender, place three tablespoons water, basil, cheese and oil; process. With blender running, drop in garlic; process until smooth. Add more water if too dry. Set aside.

Coat large sauce pot with cooking spray; place over medium heat. Add onions, cooking until tender. Add six cups water, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add zucchini and spaghetti; cook 12 to 15 minutes more or until vegetables and spaghetti are tender. Just before serving, stir in basil-garlic mixture. Serves 6.

About the author

Reporter

Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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