Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Use Your Zucchini (or other summer squash) in a Mediterranean Orzo Salad

You probably are wondering what to do with your surplus summer squash (zucchini, yellow squash, patty pan squash, and/or spaghetti squash).

For zucchini, you can grate the squash, freeze in baggies by the right amount for zucchini bread and have zucchini bread year round (or add to soups/pancakes/cookies/etc., saute as a side dish, put in lasagna, and much more.

For a side dish, you can grate (or chop) any summer squash, saute it in garlic and olive oil, and top it with some freshly grated Romano cheese (or parmasiano reggiano) and a little salt and pepper.

TIP:  Small to medium sized zucchinis are the most tasty. The larger ones are still ok to eat, but have larger seeds, and are usually best for making zucchini bread or grating and putting in things (like lasagna, pancakes, cookies, muffins, etc.).

Here's the recipe for the Orzo, Cous Cous, or Quinoa Salad:

Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Serves 6

2 1/4 cups orzo (cous cous and quinoa work as well)
2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
15 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, seeded and cubed
1 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded, deribbed and chopped

1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional)

Prepare orzo (cous cous or quinoa) according to package directions. Drain and rinse orzo under cold water to stop cooking process and keep the pasta from being too sticky. Drain again very thoroughly. (No need to rinse & drain cous cous or quinoa.)

Place in a large bowl. Stir in the zucchini, olives, green onions, celery, tomato, and green bell pepper. In a small bowl, beat together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, dill, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss to coat well. Sprinkle on the feta cheese and toss again. Optionally, add the mayonnaise and toss gently. Chill at least for 2 hours and bring to room temperature before serving.

Per Serving: 546 Calories; 30g Fat; 14g Protein; 57g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 28mg Cholesterol; 553mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 5 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates. Points: 15

SERVING SUGGESTION: Serve with a simple caprese salad: sliced ripe tomatoes, layered with fresh basil leaves, sliced mozzarella and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Fresh ground pepper over the top finishes it beautifully.

Adapted from:
Leanne Ely, Saving Dinner Newsletter

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tip - Preserve Your Herbs

Don't let those fresh herbs go to waste!  If you're not able to use them in the week they are given, then either freeze them or dry them for future use.  I prefer to freeze mine because it preserves the flavor better.

To Freeze:

To freeze any and all fresh herbs, you don't need to blend and put in cubes, add water, or anything laborious--just rinse and let air dry.  Then, put them in a freezer baggie.  Voila!  Done.

If you don't pack too tightly, you can easily pull off the amount you need.  Your herbs won't be as pretty as when they are used fresh, but they will still taste delicious (even cilantro and basil!).

To Dry:

To dry them, you can either just hang them and let them air dry (if your air is dry enough), or you can dry them in a dehydrator below 116 degrees.

There you go.  Fresh herbs year round -- whenever you need them.  Delicious!

Avocado, Cilantro Quinoa with Grilled Zucchini

This recipe is one of my absolute favorites for the avocado, cilantro dressing (that I love to use on practically anything).  This recipe leaves you with a little extra for that purpose.  

It is a great way to use your zucchini (or any other summer squash, green beans, etc.).  If you dislike cilantro, feel free to substitute chopped chives. 

This recipe also has a great way to boil eggs that I use all the time now for perfectly boiled eggs (no cracks, no green lined yolks, etc.).


1 large avocado, ripe
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt 

3 large eggs 

1 large zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch thick coins
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
couple pinches of fine grain sea salt 

2 cups quinoa, cooked, room temperature
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
a bit of chopped cilantro for garnish 


Prepare the cilantro-avocado dressing by blending the avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, yogurt, water, and salt in a blender (or us a hand blender). Set aside. 

Hard boil the three eggs. Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes (sometimes I do mine for 8--experiment). Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so - long enough to stop the cooking. Set aside. 

While the eggs are cooling start preparing the zucchini by tossing it with olive oil and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Prepare your grill (medium-high heat). If you are worried about the zucchini coins falling through the grill you can thread them onto kabob skewers (stab through the green skin). Grill until zucchini are tender and cooked through, roughly 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and cut each zucchini coin into quarters (they preserve their shape better if you cut them after grilling).  For a quicker approach, you can also slice/cube (whatever shape you want) and saute the zucchini for a couple minutes (or to be super fast and super healthy, you can even eat them raw--I cube mine when I do this).

Crack and peel each egg, cut each egg into quarters lengthwise. Assemble the salad by tossing the quinoa with about 2/3 cups of the avocado vinaigrette. Top with the grilled zucchini, pine nuts, eggs, goat cheese, and a bit of chopped cilantro for garnish. I serve this family-style, but you could do individual platings.

Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from (which I LOVE!). 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Green Bean Salad with Feta and Preserved Lemons

Need some more ideas for how to use your green beans!  Here's a good one.


2 bunches green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
2/3 of a preserved lemon (see instructions below)
1 tablespoon each lemon thyme and lemon verbena leaves (optional)
Handful of fresh, chopped parsley
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese


Steam the green beans in a small amount of water on the stove for approx. 10 min. (or to your desired softness).  Drain beans and rinse in cold water to stop cooking process.

Rinse preserved lemon. Cut off about 2/3 of the lemon, scraping flesh from the rind. Finely chop the rind; save flesh for another purpose.
Remove the leaves from lemon thyme and lemon verbena stems, if using. Mince leaves.

In a large bowl, place minced preserved lemon rind, minced lemon thyme, lemon verbena, and chopped parsley. Add cooled green beans, along with olive oil. Toss until ingredients are incorporated.  Add lemon juice and black pepper. Toss again. Finally, sprinkle crumbled feta over the top.

To Make Preserved Lemons

All you need are washed and preferably organic lemons (either Eurekas or Meyers), kosher salt, and a glass jar with a tight lid that has been sterilized by running it through the dishwasher. Meyer lemons (which are a cross between a lemon and a tangerine or orange) have a floral, complex, and less puckery taste than regular lemons.

Make two cuts in each lemon so that the quarters created remain attached. Stuff kosher salt into the crevices of the lemons, then place salted lemons tightly into the glass jar. If you have one or two leftover lemons, you may squeeze the juice into the jar before closing it, but you don’t have to. This just gives the lemons a little bit of a head start.

Place the jar on a countertop, and then just watch and wait. Over the next few days, more and more juice will exude from the lemons, filling the jar. You can give it a shake now and then — or not — to keep the salt blended well in the liquid. In about three weeks, the lemons will get very soft, and the brining liquid thick and cloudy. Once that happens, you can store the jar in the refrigerator. As long as the brine covers the lemons, they’ll keep for about a year refrigerated.

To use, pick a lemon or part of one out of the jar with a clean fork. Give the lemon a quick rinse. Remove any seeds. Then, use the peel however you like -- chopped or sliced in thin slivers. Some people discard the flesh, but you can add some of the chopped flesh in with the rind in whatever you're making.

Use preserved lemons in your favorite Moroccan chicken tagine recipes. Or stir it into tuna salad for sandwiches, pasta salad, bean salad, vinaigrettes, marinades for fish or Cornish game hens, or in couscous or quinoa topped with toasted pine nuts.

With their bright, salty-citrus taste and jammy texture, you’ll find that preserved lemons add complexity and depth to so many dishes.

Of course, there are faster ways to make preserved lemons. Some people boil the lemons in the jar in a water bath, thereby cooking the lemons, and making them ready to use the very next day. Others freeze the lemons first, so they start to break down.

Total Servings: 4

Adapted from:
The Food Gal
WebMD Recipe from

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Caramelized Sweet Potatoes with Quinoa and Chard

Want to use up your chard?  This recipe is a great example of how to sneak those greens into practically any meal.  You can either chop the chard into ribbons or dice them small to appear like fresh herbs that have the pack and punch of ridiculously healthy Swiss chard. (You can also use spinach, kale, or other greens in place of chard, if that is what you have on hand.)

If you're needing to use up green beans, squash, or carrots, you can also saute them and add to the quinoa.  You can also use up your cucumbers on the side of this dish.


4 medium sized sweet potatoes
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons mild Indian curry powder
3 cups chard (or other leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, collards) cut in thin strips or chopped small
11/2 cups quinoa, soaked for 5 min. and rinsed in cold water
3 cups water or low sodium stock
3 tablespoons olive oil
Squeeze of lemon
Sweet or hot mango chutney, yogurt, and sliced cucumbers on the side


Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them 1/4 inch thick. Toss them with salt and olive oil. Place them on a baking sheet covered with non stick parchment paper, Silpat pads, or aluminum foil ( or just oil the sheet really well). Cover with foil or another baking sheet. Put the dish into a cold oven (this is important, as the gradual rise in temperature helps bring out the sweet potato flavors). Turn on the oven to 450. Bake for about 30 min. until dark orange and soft. Uncover, and bake for about 15 more minutes or until they get quite dark and caramelized, flip them and bake until the other side is done as well.

In the meantime, in a medium pot heat up the olive oil and sauté the onion in it until translucent. Then add the garlic, ginger, and the curry powder, and saute until sizzling and fragrant. If you are using other veggies, add them to the pot, and saute for a few minutes.

Add the Quinoa to the pot along with 3 cups stock or salted water. Simmer under a lid until all the liquid is absorbed about 15 minutes. During the last 5 or so min., add the greens to wilt them but still keep them a vibrant green. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, season to taste and add the olive oil. A squeeze of lemon is always good. Put the Quinoa on a platter, top with the sweet potatoes.

Serve with some chutney, yoghurt and cucumbers.

Total Servings: 6

By The Family Dinner
WebMD Recipe from

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Red Chili Corn Salad with Limas & Tomatoes

Here's a quick and nourishing salad with a gentle spicy kick from chili powder or hot smoked paprika. It makes good work of essential Latin American favorites like corn, tomatoes, cilantro, and lima beans. I like to set them on a bed of baby spinach to supply that green element for a well-rounded entree.

Serves 4 as a side or starter.


2 cups fresh corn kernels (frozen is OK in a pinch)
1 1/2 cups cooked white lima beans, if canned drain and rinse well
1/2 lb. red ripe tomatoes (cherry tomatoes work well)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder or hot smoked paprika
2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
2 teaspoons agave nectar (or pure maple syrup)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste


Steam fresh corn on cob for 8-10 min. and remove kernels from cobs when finished.  Or, cut kernels off from cob and steam separately, drain corn into a colander, and rinse with cold water to stop cooking process. Shake the corn to rid of excess water or let drain for 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad. Place corn in a large mixing bowl and add rinsed lima beans. Halve the cherry tomatoes and add to corn and limas. Stir in finely chopped onion and cilantro.

In a large mixing cup whisk together lime juice, chili powder or paprika, olive oil, agave nectar, dried oregano and salt until combined (my Magic Bullet works great to emulsify dressings). Pour over corn and bean mixture and toss. Sprinkle with cracked pepper to taste. Cover and chill salad for 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Adapted from:  The No Meat Athlete WebMD Recipe from

Southwest Spaghetti Squash with Black Beans & Lime

This is not your typical spaghetti squash recipe. Rather than using the squash as a mere substitute for pasta with red sauce, this recipe combines strands of spaghetti squash with Southwestern-inspired ingredients such as black beans, lime juice, tomatoes and roasted corn.


1 medium spaghetti squash
Sea salt and ground pepper
A drizzle of fruity extra virgin olive oil, as needed
A sprinkle of cumin, chili powder, and minced garlic to taste
A splash of water, as needed
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet or red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut off [or try a red bell pepper, diced]
Cumin and chili powder, to taste
1 cup ripe and juicy grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 14-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained well
Two whole roasted green chilies, mild or spicy, seeded, chopped (canned works ok)
1 lime - for zest, and juice
Toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds
Fresh chopped cilantro
Lime wedges
Cubes of goat cheese or feta (opt.)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Halve the squash lengthwise and place cut side up in a roasting pan. Season the squash with sea salt and pepper, a drizzle of good olive oil, some cumin, chili powder and garlic. Add two inches of water to the pan to help keep the squash from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Roast in a hot oven for about an hour, until the squash is fork-tender. Half way through roasting, you may want to pour a little bit of water on each squash to keep it moist. When the squash is done, remove it and let it cool.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic, corn kernels and spices; stir for five minutes until the onion has softened.
When the squash is cool enough to handle: take a fork and scrape the squash, making spaghetti-like strands.

You can assemble the ingredients in a casserole-style baking dish and bake it - or you can do it all on the stove-top in the large skillet.
If you're going to bake it - toss the squash strands into a large mixing bowl. Add a little of your best olive oil to moisten. Season the mixture with more sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle in some added cumin or chili powder, if you like, to taste. Toss well. Add the skillet mixture, tomatoes, black beans, green chilies. Combine. Grate a lime and add the zest. Cut and squeeze the lime juice all over the mixture and toss lightly. Pour the mixture into a casserole style baking dish. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven until heated through - about 20 to 25 minutes.

If you'd rather do it in a skillet, add the squash to the skillet mixture, and stir in the remaining ingredients, as above. Cover and gently heat through over medium heat - roughly five to ten minutes.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro and some lime wedges.

Add a topping of toasted breadcrumbs. Or top with a layer of fresh cooked polenta, like a pie.

Total Servings: 4

Adapted from: The Gluten Free Goddess WebMD Recipe from

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Quinoa and Summer Vegetable Stir-Fry

This easy, toss together quinoa is fabulous hot from the pan. But it's also delicious cool, as a salad. So make more than you think you'll need and you've got picnic food for the next day. Adding quinoa (very high in protein) helps turn this dish into an entree. You can also add beans (white, kidney, black, etc.) to make it extra filling, if you'd like. 


Olive oil
1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 yellow summer squash, sliced
A fistful of slender asparagus or green beans, trimmed, sliced
1 Japanese eggplant (small eggplants are way less bitter), peeled, sliced into bite size pieces
1 bell pepper (red, yellow, orange or green) cored, sliced
2 cups Baby Bella mushrooms, trimmed, sliced
A handful of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Sea salt and ground pepper
Herbs, to taste- parsley, basil, thyme, red pepper flakes- whatever you prefer
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste


Make your quinoa with 2 to 1 ratio of water to quinoa. I soak my quinoa in water for a few minutes and then rinse well to remove any of the natural saponin that gives a soapy taste. 

On the stove, bring the water to a boil, add the rinsed quinoa, and cook over medium for 10-15 min (based upon the consistency you like your quinoa). Or, you can make the quinoa in a rice cooker. You'll need roughly 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa. 

Tip:  I always make plenty extra quinoa and freeze it in smaller containers, so I always have quick quinoa to go to when I prepare meals (rather than having to make it fresh every time).  

As the quinoa cooks, gather and cut up your summer vegetables. When the quinoa is almost done, heat a splash of light olive oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, stir until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the remaining vegetables. Season with sea salt, pepper, and herbs. Add the balsamic vinegar. Stir-fry until tender.

Alternatively, if you want to preserve the natural enzymes in some of the vegetables, then just toss them fresh instead of stir-frying them. You only need to worry about cooking the onion, garlic, asparagus, green beans, and egg plant. Any summer squash, bell peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes don't need to be cooked. This also reduces cooking time, so your meal is ready faster.

Scoop the cooked quinoa out of the pan or rice cooker and add it into the wok. Stir to combine with the vegetables. Taste test and add more salt or seasoning if it needs it and fresh herbs. Remove from heat. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and toss to fluff.

Serve immediately; or allow it to cool, then cover and refrigerate it to eat as a salad. Before serving it cold, taste test again and adjust seasonings.

Total Servings: 4

Adapted from WebMD Recipe from

Thursday, July 21, 2011

This Saturday - First Time the Youth Leaders Do Harvest on Their Own

We are so very excited because this Saturday is the first day the youth leaders will be running the harvest entirely on their own (Matt and I won't be there).  They are excited as well!  They are going to be superb.  It's a great time to volunteer to help out -- many hands make for light work (or something to that effect).

Enjoy and Matt and I will miss you this weekend!

Basic but Delicious Garden Salad

One of my favorite salads to make could not be any easier.  Just toss  these ingredients:
  • lettuce of your choice (romaine, mixed baby greens, baby spinach, red leaf lettuce, etc.)
  • whatever veggies you have on hand (tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, thinly sliced or chopped fresh summer squash, mushrooms, chopped green onions or thinly sliced red onions, etc.)
  • fresh herbs (I love basil, parsley, and chives -- but any could work and will give you different variety for your salads)
  • olives of choice (kalamata, black, green, etc.)
  • opt.:  cheese of choice (feta, parmasiano reggiano, etc.)
  • opt. (to turn into a meal on its own):  beans (kidney, garbanzo, black, etc.) or meat
  • a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and good/fresh balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste (I like to use Himlayan sea salt and coarse ground black pepper -- I also sometimes add Costco's organic no salt seasoning)
Voila!  Dinner is done lickety split, oh so healthy, and delicious (it's the fresh herbs that really make the salad).

What to Do with Patty Pan Squash

Here are some ideas of what to do with those adorable flower-shaped patty pan squash you receive each week:

You can of course chop them and include them in any dish you would normally use zucchini or yellow squash (all the summer squash are interchangeable in any recipe that calls for them).

Saute or Add Fresh to Quinoa, Brown Rice, or Pasta:

I like to dice mine in 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces (using the Vidalia Onion chopper is my favorite, actually my son's favorite, thing to do).  I then include them in quinoa, brown rice, or pasta dishes with some good extra virgin olive oil (Costco's garlic extra virgin olive oil is delicious! -- or Sigona's has some wonderful different varieties of olive oil also), other veggies (tomatoes, peppers, green onions, and/or zucchini or yellow squash), fresh herbs (basil, parsley, chives, and/or cilantro), salt and pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime, olives of your choice, and some feta or grated parmagiano reggiano cheese.

You don't even have to saute the veggies when they are cut this size -- just add them to warm brown rice, quinoa, or pasta and eat up.  Delicious!  You can also do this but use your favorite salad dressing and it's great too.

Baked Patty Pan Slices with Fresh Herbs:

You can also slice the patty pan (or any other summer squash) into 1/4 inch slices, drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake at 350 degrees until fork tender (15-30 min., depending on how many you use).  Toss with some chopped basil (or other fresh herbs) and eat up!

Baked Whole, Stuffed Patty Pan Squash:

Another option is to steam the patty pan squash whole in 1 inch of water for 10 min. or until the stem can be pierced by a fork with little resistance.  Then, cut the stem off and scoop out the squash (a melon baller works well).

You can then make a stuffing of your choice of flavor to add the reserved squash to, re-stuff the patty pan squash, and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 min. (again, depends on how many you do).  It makes a beautiful dish to serve guests.

For the stuffing, you can use a bacon, sauteed onion, bread crumb, parmesan cheese mixture with the reserved squash or experiment and find your own favorite.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spaghetti Squash and Sauteed Vegetables

Baked spaghetti squash strands can serve in the place of spaghetti noodles for any recipe that you would use those noodles for.  You can toss them with marinara sauce or good extra virgin olive oil with feta or grated parmagiano reggiano (or your cheese of choice) and sauteed vegetables, olives, and chopped fresh herbs (basil, oregano, parsley, or any combination) with a squeeze of fresh lemon, if you'd like

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise
and seeded
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup diced squash (zucchini, yellow, etc.) and diced red bell pepper

1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (or your cheese of choice
3 Tbsp. sliced black olives (or your olives of choice)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (variation:  parsley, chives, etc.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 min. in the preheated oven or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic in hot pan for 30 seconds. Add onion and saute until tender (3 or so min.). Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm (30 seconds or so).
4. Use a fork or large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in a med. bowl. Toss with the sauteed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Serve warm.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Our Bags - a work in progress

We are gradually working out the particulars for the weekly bags of veggies (e.g., size, type of bags, etc.).  Right now, those receiving bags of veggies are getting a bunch of extra veggies in their bags as we share our bumper crop. 

We have 9 people signed up to receive weekly bags of veggies and hope to get up to 20 people for this season.  Hopefully soon, we will be able to reach our goals (spread the word).

Here are some pics of the bags of veggies:
These bags are a definite improvement (visually) from the ones given last week:

Latest News - Harvest Table and Youth Leaders

As part of his Eagle project, Sam made us a beautiful harvest table that is an essential part of our weekly harvesting.  Thank you, Sam!  We absolutely love it!

In other news, we are getting the organization staffed with youth.  So far, we have two youth directors and two youth advisors.  We still need three more youth advisors and eventually some youth staff.  Let us know if you have any ideas for youth who would like to help run the farm (email us at

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Herb-marinated Grilled Vegetables

Makes 6 to 8 serving.

3/4 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
3 zucchini (and/or yellow squash)
2 large onions
1 eggplant

Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl.

Cut bell peppers into large pieces, discarding seeds and membranes. Cut zucchini and onions into large pieces. Slice eggplant into 1/2-inch slices. Add vegetables to marinade; toss to coat. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

Remove vegetables from marinade, reserving marinade. Grill, uncovered, over medium-high heat (350º to 400º) 10 to 12 minutes or until just tender, basting occasionally with reserved marinade. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Coastal Living, MAY 2003

Quinoa and Grilled Zucchini with Avocado Dressing

Serves 4 to 6

This quinoa and grilled zucchini bowl (or platter) is tossed with a pretty, pale green cilantro-flecked avocado dressing. It makes more than you will use for this particular recipe, but it's great to have the extra on hand to add to salads or grilled veggies throughout the rest of the week. If you dislike cilantro feel free to substitute chopped chives. You can even throw in some jalepeno.

1 large avocado, ripe
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 c lightly packed cilantro
1 clove garlic
1/4 c plain yogurt
3/4 c water
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt

3 large eggs

1 large zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch thick coins
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
Couple pinches of fine grain sea salt

2 c quinoa, cooked, room temperature
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
1/4 c goat cheese, crumbled
A bit of chopped cilantro for garnish

Prepare the cilantro-avocado dressing by blending the avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, yogurt, water, and salt in a blender (or us a hand blender). Set aside.

Hard boil the three eggs. Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so - long enough to stop the cooking. Set aside.

While the eggs are cooling start preparing the zucchini by tossing it with olive oil and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Prepare your grill (medium-high heat). If you are worried about the zucchini coins falling through the grill you can thread them onto kabob skewers (stab through the green skin). Grill until zucchini are tender and cooked through, roughly 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and cut each zucchini coin into quarters.

Crack and peel each egg, cut each egg into quarters lengthwise. Assemble the salad by tossing the quinoa with about 2/3 cups of the avocado vinaigrette. Top with the grilled zucchini, pine nuts, eggs, goat cheese, and a bit of chopped cilantro for garnish. I serve this family-style, but you could do individual platings.

Carrot, Dill, & White Bean Salad Recipe

Serves 6 - 8 as a side  

1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp fine grain salt
1/2 c thinly sliced shallots

more olive oil (or ghee) for cooking
2 c sliced carrots, cut 1/4-inch thick on deep bias
3 c cooked white beans
Scant 1/4 c chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or honey)
1/3 c sliced almonds, toasted

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and shallots in a small bowl. Stir and set aside.

In your largest skillet over medium high heat, toss the carrots with a splash of olive oil or a spoonful of ghee. Let them cook in a single layer - they'll give off a bit of water at first. Keep cooking, tossing gently every three or four minutes until the carrots are deeply browned. All told, about twelve minutes.

Add the beans and dill to the skillet and cook for another five minutes, or until the beans are well heated through. If you are using beans that weren't canned, you can allow them to brown a bit as well (just cook a bit longer, and stir less frequently) - they can handle this in a way that most canned beans can't. If you need to add a bit more olive oil to the pan - do so.

Place the contents of the skillet in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with the brown sugar and pour the 3/4 of the lemon-olive oil mixture over the top. Toss gently. Let sit for ten minutes. Toss gently once again, taste and adjust with more salt or sugar or lemon juice if needed to balance the flavors.

Rosemary Pasta in Roasted Garlic Sauce

Serving: 6 as first course or 4 as main course

1 lb spaghetti
4 Tbsp olive oil
1⁄2 c finely chopped onions
6 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
1 c chicken stock
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus 4 to 6 sprigs for garnish
1⁄4 c grated Parmesan cheese, more for the table
Kosher salt to taste
Cracked black pepper to taste

In a large saute pan over low-med heat, saute the onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until deep golden brown (approx. 5-7 minutes). Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.

Add chicken stock and the chopped rosemary. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until reduced by a third, about 6 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large pot, add 3 quarts of water and about 3 tablespoons sea salt or Kosher salt and bring to a full rolling boil. Add the spaghetti, return to a boil and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain in a colander and add the pasta to the sauce in the pan. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the cheese, mix well. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in a large bowl, family style, or place about 1 cup of pasta in a large mug or small bowl. Insert a dinner fork in the center of the pasta and twirl the fork around, holding the mug steady. The pasta will wind up tighter and tighter as you turn. Remove the fork and immediately turn the pasta out onto a dinner plate or shallow bowl. Garnish with extra cheese and rosemary sprigs. 

Roasted Beet and Grapefruit Salad

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 15 min
Serves: 6 servings

6 small beets
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 med ruby red grapefruit
2 oz alfalfa sprouts, trimmed

Salad dressing:
1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
1 med shallot, minced
3 pinches salt
10 grinds black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Thyme leaves from 10 delicate sprigs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Toss whole beets in olive oil and roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until fork tender. Remove beets from oven and let cool 5 minutes before peeling. Slice the beets into eighths.

Remove the peel of the grapefruit with a sharp knife, cutting all the way down to the grapefruit flesh. Then cut the individual grapefruit segments out from their skin, using the supreme technique. Place the grapefruit segments in a bowl. Take the inner grapefruit remains and squeeze whatever juice you can out of it over the top of the grapefruit segments in the bowl.

Make the dressing by mixing together all the dressing ingredients along with all the juice that you can strain from the bowl of grapefruit.

Make a little heap of alfalfa in the middle of the plate. Scatter the cut beets around the plate. Pinch off pieces of the grapefruit segments and scatter them around the plate. Drizzle generously with dressing; top with a couple more grinds black pepper and serve.

Savory Petite Green Beans

¼ c sliced almonds
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 c whole green beans

2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp peeled fresh ginger, minced

3 Tbsp thinly sliced green onions
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Place almonds in small nonstick skillet.  Stir over medium heat until almonds are lightly toasted, about 3-5 minutes.  Do not take your eye off of the almonds (they are so easy to burn).  Increase heat to medium-high, add 1 tsp olive oil and minced garlic, stir until garlic is lightly browned, about 1 minute.  Set aside and cool.

Steam green beans to bright green and crisp tender (approx. 10 min., depending on amount).  Remove from heat, drain in a colander and immediately plunge beans into ice cold water to stop the cooking.  Drain and set aside.

Whisk rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and soy sauce in large bowl to blend.  Add beans and toss to coat.  Add green onions and almond/garlic mix.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Arugula and Romaine Salad with Walnuts and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings 
2 c arugula leaves, washed and trimmed
2 hearts romaine lettuce (or lettuce of choice), coarsely chopped
1 c walnut halves, lightly toasted
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
6 oz, (1 cup) blue cheese crumbles  
Chill salad plates when you begin preparing your entree.
When your entree is almost ready to serve, combine arugula and romaine leaves and separate onto 4 chilled salad plates. Scatter toasted walnuts evenly among the salads. Pour vinegar into a small bowl and whisk in extra-virgin olive oil in a slow stream to combine dressing. Season dressing with salt and pepper, then stir in blue cheese crumbles. Ladle dressing evenly over top of salad plates and serve.   
Recipe by Rachael Ray

Gourmet Green Salad with Citrus Dressing

Serves 4-6

1 clove garlic, pressed
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
5 Tbsp champagne or white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 Tbsp prepared mustard
1 (16 oz) mixed baby greens (or any lettuce of choice)
2 red apples, cored and roughly diced
1 carrot, thinly sliced/julienned or shaved with vegetable peeler
1/2 c walnuts, chopped

Stir together garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, honey and prepared mustard. Chill for at least one hour.

Toss together greens, apples and carrots. Drizzle with dressing and toss.

Sprinkle on walnuts and serve.

15 Green Smoothies in 3 Minutes (Raw Family)

#1.  1 Banana, 1 Papaya, 2 leaves Swiss Chard, 2 cups water
#2.  1 bunch Dandelions, 1 Banana, 1 Pear, 1 Mango, 2 cups water
#3.  3 leaves of Romaine Lettuce, ½ an Avocado, ½ Fuji Apple, 1 Banana, 2 cups water
#4.  5 leaves Purple Kale, ½ Orange, ½ Fuji Apple, small piece of Ginger, ½ an Avocado, Orange slices to decorate.
#5.  1 cup frozen Strawberries, 1 Banana, 1 Mango, 2 cups water, 2 leaves Rainbow Chard
#6.  1 large handful of Spinach, 1 Banana, 1 cup frozen Strawberries, 1 Orange, small piece of Ginger, 2 cups water
#7.  1 young Coconut, ½ of a small Pineapple, ½ Pear, 5 Leaves of Romaine Lettuce
#8.  1 cup frozen Raspberries, 5 leaves Red Leaf Lettuce, 1 Red Apple, 1 Green Apple, ½ of a small Pineapple, 2 cups water
#9.  1 large handful of Spinach, ¾ of Orange Bell Pepper, ½ an Avocado, 3 cloves Garlic, 2 Tomatoes, 2 cups of water (Savory Smoothie)
#10.  ½ an Avocado, 2 Tomatoes, pinch of Cayenne Pepper, pinch of Salt, ½ of a Red Onion, 1 bunch Parsley, 1 Orange Bell Pepper, 2 cups water (Savory Smoothie)
#11.  2 Bananas, 3 pieces of Celery, 1 head of Red Leaf Lettuce, 2 cups water
#12.  2 leaves Purple Kale, 2 leaves Collard Greens, 2 Bananas, ½ an Asian Pear, 2 cups water, 1 cup frozen Raspberries
#13.  1 cup frozen Blueberries, ¼ pound Spinach, 1 Orange, 1 cup water
#14.  4 Tomatoes, 1 Red Bell Pepper, 1bunch Basil, ½ an Avocado
#15.  4 leaves Collard Greens, 4 leaves, Purple Kale, 2 Leaves Rainbow Chard, ½ an Asian Pear, ½ Pear, small piece of Ginger, 1 Banana, 1 cup frozen Blueberries, 2 cups water.
Recipes from the video:

Basic Green Smoothie (Green Smoothie Girl)

Makes 8 cups of 100% raw smoothie.

Put 2 1/2 cups filtered water in your turbo blender (a regular blender will work ok--just blend longer).

Optionally, add:
¼ whole lemon, including peel (anti-skin cancer, high in flavanoids)
2-3 Tbsp. fresh, refrigerated flax oil (omega-3 rich oil)
½ tsp. stevia (herbal sweetener) or ¼ c raw, organic agave

Gradually add greens until, briefly pureed, the mixture comes up the 5-cup line (or less if you are “converting”):
¾-1 lb. raw, washed greens, added up to 5 ½ cup line (after blended): spinach, chard, kale, collards
Puree greens mixture for 90 seconds until very smooth.

Gradually add fruit until the container is very full, blend 90 seconds or until smooth:
1-2 bananas
1-2 cups frozen mixed berries
any other fruit to taste: pears, peaches, apples, oranges, apricots, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple

Make a full blender and you’ll have some to drink, and some to share.

Tips:  For beginners and those trying to convert children, consider using LESS greens and MORE fruit (especially berries and bananas) in the beginning, gradually working up to a 50/50 ratio as described here.  With kids, consider using only spinach the first few days, then sneak in chard, collards, and kale, the other mild but excellent greens gradually.  Add other savory or bitter greens only when your family are “experts” in green smoothies!  Add a bit more water if you feel the smoothie is too thick.

Roasted Salmon With Zucchini, Lemon, and Dill

Prep: 20 minutes Total: 35 minutes
Serves 4

Besides flavoring the salmon and zucchini while cooking, the roasted lemon wedges can be squeezed over the fish at the table.

1 1/2 lbs (about 3 medium) zucchini, cut diagonally into 1-inch-thick pieces
2 lemons, quartered, seeds removed
8 sprigs fresh dill
2 Tbsp olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 (about 8 oz each) skinless salmon fillets

Heat broiler, with rack 4 inches from heat. Combine zucchini, lemons, and dill on a large rimmed broiler-proof baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat.

Nestle salmon fillets in the middle of the vegetables.  Season generously with salt and pepper. Broil until vegetables are tender and fish is opaque throughout, 15 to 20 minutes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wilted Garlic Chard Recipe

1 large bunch chard (or kale)
2 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 c parmigiano reggiano, grated (opt)
crushed red pepper flakes

De-stem chard, chop stems, and leaves to desired bite sizes. Saute garlic in olive oil in hot pan for 30 seconds, add chopped stems, and saute for 2-3 min. Add leaves and saute for 2-3 min., until bright green and fork tender. Remove from heat and top with grated cheese, red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Rosemary Beets Recipe

5 large beets, peeled & quartered
1-2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1-2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste

Toss and roast in shallow baking dish at 400 degrees F for 30 min. covered and 30 min. uncovered (or until fork tender).

Our Crop

Just to get an idea of what produce can be expected this growing season, here is a list of what we have planted:  chard, spinach, lettuce, arugula, bok choy, radicchio, watercress, radish, beets, carrots, beans, tomatoes, peppers, egg plant, yellow squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, sweet pumpkin, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, melons, cilantro, basil, chives, thyme, sage, marjoram, dill, parsley, oregano, and onions.

As you can see, we have quite the assortment.  Currently, we are harvesting chard, spinach, lettuce, arugula, radicchio, radish, beets, carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, beans, rosemary, and cilantro.  Peppers, watercress, cucumber, basil, and chives will be ready soon!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

City Limits Urban Farm Finally Begins

This has been a long time coming, but we are finally delivering bags of produce from the farm. We have planted the farm for two trial years and are now recognizing the dream to start this nonprofit farm for the benefit of youth (who will receive valuable work experience as they run the farm and will, eventually, be able to receive scholarships), of the community (who will have the opportunity to volunteer to man the farm), and of the consumer (who will get weekly bags of fresh local produce that is naturally-grown without chemicals). 

This year will be our pilot year. Whoever is interested in being involved will be able to provide their input as we get it fully up and running and work out the kinks.

We hope to have you join our growing family and to see you on occasion volunteering at the farm--that’s where the real fun happens (families welcome). Summer operating hours are posted (to your left) on Saturday mornings from 9-12. Keep checking the blog to be aware of any changes to the calendar or upcoming events. We would love to have you come visit the farm. Email us at to let us know when you would like to visit the farm or to volunteer!