Friday, October 3, 2008

beet risotto

Baked Acorn Squash

1 Acorn squash
1 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
Dash of Salt

1 Preheat oven to 400°F.

2 Using a strong chef's knife, and perhaps a rubber mallet to help, cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to end. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each half. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up. Add about a 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the skins don't burn and the squash doesn't get dried out.

3 Coat the inside of each half with 1/2 a Tbsp of butter. Add a dash of salt if you are using unsalted butter. Add a Tbsp of brown sugar to the cavity of each half. Dribble on a teaspoon of maple syrup to each half.

4 Bake in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until the squash is very soft and the tops are browned. Do not undercook. When finished, remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Spoon any buttery sugar sauce that has not already been absorbed by the squash over the exposed areas.

Serves 2 to 4, depending on how much squash you like to eat.

from Simply Recipes

Dried Apple Slices

I have been making dried apple slices for my kids alot lately. They are so good and don't last! And they make the house smell wonderful. They are SO much cheaper than the ones you get at the store and chemical free! I base my technique on the following link. The only difference is that you do not have to use any sugar. Not needed at all!

Raw Kale Salad

1 bunch of Kale de-veined and chopped in thin strips
good olive oil
juice of 1/2 -1 lemon (depending on preference)
smashed and chopped garlic

drizzle olive oil on kale until lightly coated. sprinkle on lemon juice to taste. same with garlic and salt.

you can also omit the garlic and add in a handful of dried cranberries and pine nuts.

Nutrional Value (from Wikipedia)

Kale is considered to be a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties and is anti-inflammatory.[1]

Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. Because of its high vitamin K content, patients taking anti-coagulants such as warfarin are encouraged to avoid this food since it increases the vitamin K concentration in the blood which is what the drugs are often attempting to lower. This effectively raises the effective dose of the drug.

Kale, as with Broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane a chemical believed to have potent anti-cancer properties, particularly when chopped.[2]

Friday, May 2, 2008

Heather's Quinoa Tabouli

First of all, what the heck is quinoa? If you don't know, quinoa is a grain that is rich in vitamins and protein. It's also gluten-free, unlike the traditional recipe's bulgur wheat. The Incas considered quinoa sacred, but I just consider it tasty. Its texture is very like rice, and slightly nutty in flavor. I decided to make this version of tabouli, substituting cilantro and lime for the lemon and parsley. I'll put in a wee plug for Amy B's co-op here, cause that's where I got the mint and cilantro from. I buy quinoa at Sweet Bay here in Lakeland, and I think it's also carried at Albertson's, for those of you who would find it more convenient.


  • 2 cups water

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1 cup quinoa

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 3 medium ripe tomato

  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint

  • 1 1/2 cups parsley, coarsely chopped

  • 1 cup scallion, chopped

  • salt, to taste

  • Directions

    1. Place quinoa in a colander and rinse several times rubbing the grains together to remove the bitter outer layer. (I don't do this, btw. The brand I buy is pre-washed)
    2. Place water and quinoa into a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed.
    3. While the quinoa is cooking, finely chop the tomatoes, parsley, and scallions. Add lemon juice, olive oil and fresh mint to the tomato mixture.
    4. Stir in cooked quinoa and salt. Mix well.
    5. Let tabouli sit in the refrigerator for a day to blend flavors.
    6. Tabouli is traditionally served at room temperature so remove from fridge 30 to 60 minutes before serving.


    U Pick Blueberries

    Shady Oak Farm
    3320 Shady Oak Drive East


    open April and May

    Corn Cob Curry

    Hello -- John and I tried an excellent corn recipe last week that I
    thought I'd pass along. It comes from the Best Ever Indian Cookbook,
    published by Hermes House in the UK and purchased from Marshalls for only
    $6.99. We've found recipes for most of the FPP vegetables in this book.

    serves 4

    4 whole corn cobs
    vegetable oil, for frying
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    2 inch piece fresh root ginger, crushed
    1/2 tsp ground turmeric
    1/2 tsp onion seeds (kalonji)
    1/2 tsp cumin seeds
    1/2 tsp five-spice powder (I think we omitted this)
    chili powder or cayenne, to taste
    6-8 curry leaves (can substitute bay leaves)
    1/2 tsp sugar
    1 cup plain yogurt (we were out, so we used a combination of goat cheese
    and heavy cream)

    Cut each corn cob in half, using sharp knife to limit damage to kernels.

    Heat oil in large frying pan and fry corn pieces until golden brown on all
    sides. Remove cobs and set aside.

    Remove excess oil, leaving 2 tbsp in pan. Grind the onion, garlic, and
    ginger to a paste using a mortar & pestle or food processor. Remove and
    mix in all the spices, curry leaves, and sugar.

    Reheat the oil gently and fry the onion mixture until all the spices have
    blended well and the oil separates from the paste.

    Cool the mixture and gradually fold in the yogurt. Mix well until you
    have a smooth sauce. Add the corn and mix so that the pieces are evenly
    covered with the sauce. Reheat for 10 minutes or until corn is tender.
    Serve hot.

    You can even throw in some of this week's serranos to add spice and color
    - just slice them lengthwise (while keeping the stem end intact) and
    remove some of the seeds with a knife. Add them to the "fry the onion
    mixture" step, or even earlier if you prefer them soft.

    -- Ashlee French

    Saturday, April 5, 2008

    beet juice

    If you make carrot juice, try adding in a beet for amazing color! My kids drink it up!

    wax beans and red bell pepper

    This is one easy way we have been eating our beans. It is so fresh and delicious (and is great room temperature)! Enjoy!

    Steam beans for 5-7 minutes until just tender. Squirt juice of key lime (or any other citrus), sprinkle a bit of olive oil, red bell pepper chopped up and lots of pepper and salt. Eat all at once!

    Thursday, April 3, 2008

    how to keep greens fresh

    Here is a link to one of my favorite food blogs and an excellent article about how to keep greens fresh. It seems a bit lengthy but is actually quite simple and really worth it. I am going to add the paper towel to my greens - I love that tip!

    wax beans with mint

    Every weekend during the summer, if we are lucky, there will be a good supply of wax beans at the farmers market. These golden yellow (and sometimes purple) versions of green beans are harvested young, and are sweet and tender. Here is a simple way to prepare them, with the subtle flavor of a mint infusion.

    1/2 pound wax beans
    Several mint leaves
    2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    1 A little bit ahead of time, crush a few mint leaves (reserve some for garnish) with a mortar and pestle. Put the crushed mint leaves into a small jar and add a couple tablespoons of high quality olive oil to cover. Let sit for at least an hour if you can. The longer the mint is in the olive oil, the better the infusion.

    2 Prepare the beans by cutting off and discarding the tips and ends. Snap the beans in half, if necessary, to have pieces about 2 inches in length.

    3 15 minutes before serving bring an inch of water in a saucepan to a boil. Place the beans in a steamer basket in the saucepan. Cover and cook, until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Check for doneness after about 8 minutes or so. If a fork easily goes through them, they're done.

    4 Remove beans from pan and place them into a serving bowl. Use a strainer to drizzle the mint-infused olive oil over the beans. Sprinkle salt over the beans to taste. (Fleur de sel would work really well with this dish.) Chop up a few more mint leaves to add as garnish.

    Serves 3-4.


    Cuban Mojito


    the original authentic recipe from Havana Cuba

    1 teaspoon powdered sugar
    Juice from 1 lime (2 ounces)
    4 mint leaves

    1 sprig of mint
    white Rum (2 ounces)
    2 ounces club soda

    There are countless recipes for the Mojito (pronounced moh-HEE-toh), but this version is for the one Hemingway himself enjoyed at the Mojito's place of birth: La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba. If you are throwing a Cuban theme party (Havana night themed party), definitely plan on serving mojitos.

    Place the mint leaves into a long mojito glass (often called a "collins" glass) and squeeze the juice from a cut lime over it. You'll want about two ounces of lime juice, so it may not require all of the juice from a single lime. Add the powdered sugar, then gently smash the mint into the lime juice and sugar with a muddler (a long wooden device pictured below, though you can also use the back of a fork or spoon if one isn't available). Add ice (preferably crushed) then add the rum and stir, and top off with the club soda (you can also stir the club soda in as per your taste). Garnish with a mint sprig.


    How about sitting on your porch sipping this refreshing drink while the breeze kicks in and you are listening to Buena Vista Social Club? I hope to be doing that sometime this weekend!

    Sunday, March 30, 2008

    Back Porch Pizza

    This is one of the ways we use up our veggies! We pre-grill/roast a ton of stuff up and store in the fridge all week and add to pizza, sandwiches, omelettes/frittatas, and salads. The pre-grilling not only takes the extra moisture out of the vegetables - but makes their flavor stronger, richer, and sweeter. So, everything you use them for will be that much better.

    I posted our dough recipe with a bunch of tips a few months ago. We have recently converted from cooking in our gas oven at super high temps to the outdoor gas grill. It is AMAZING! You have to fool around with your grill to get it all perfect. We put our stone directly on the grill and heat up all four gas jets as high as they will go for 5-10 minutes, then turn the middle two (that are directly under the stone) down to low and keep the outside ones on high. Pizza cooks in about 7 minutes and your house is not heated up. This will be my lunch all summer!

    grated carrots

    This is a staple in French delis for a healthy snack/salad/lunch. It keeps for a few days and is a great way to get loads of carrots into your diet. Here is our version - but it really lends itself to customization.

    3 thickly grated carrots (we use the mandolin for this so they are crunchier)
    oj (juice from one orange)
    sprinkle of cumin

    a bit of smashed and chopped garlic and a glug of olive or walnut oil are great additions.

    Saturday, March 22, 2008


    from Moosewood Cookbook

    1 cup dry bulgar wheat
    1 1/2 cups boiling water
    1 t salt
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    1/4 c olve oil
    2 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
    black pepper
    4 scallions chopped (white and green) - or use some sweet onion
    1 packed cup finely chopped parsely
    10-15 fresh mint leaves (if you have it)
    2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or a few handfuls of grape tomatoes)

    think about throwing in some seeded chopped cucumber, red or green bell pepper, or chickpeas

    combine the bulgar and boiling water, cover, let set 30 minutes until tender

    mix in the salt, lemon, olive oil, garlic, pepper - cover and refrigerate until cool - then add the rest of the ingredients. Eat cold for lunch. Enjoy!