June 29, 2016

Zucchini Lasagne

I have more yummy zucchini lasagne recipe for you. This one has no noodles, no tomato sauce and no meat. It has lots of cheese though! 

2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 zucchini, sliced into strips about 1/4 inch thick
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Italian cheese blend
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Coat the bottom of a 9x9 pan wth olive oil.

Place one layer of zucchini in the pan. Coat with 1/3 cup cream. Sprinkle 1/3 cup Italian cheese and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle 1/3 cup bread crumbs over it all.

Repeat two more times. Then place butter on top.

Bake for 40 minutes at 350. 


June 27, 2016

Zucchini Time

Ah, summer. The season of warm, sunny days, chasing June bugs, camping outside, and ... zucchini. Lots and lots of zucchini.

I count on having zucchini available from mid-June through August, and we usually eat it 3-4 nights each week. The easy go-to recipe is to slice it and sauté it until fork-tender with a little butter and garlic salt. But, in hopes of not boring my little eaters, I've been searching out some new-to-us recipes.

Zucchini for breakfast? Sure, why not! This zucchini muffin recipe incorporates three of my favorite ingredients: basil, zucchini and cheese. Zucchini bread is always a hit, but that recipe is saved for days when the temperature outside won't reach 95. Paula Deen's zucchini bread recipe is my favorite. You can't go wrong with someone who loves butter that much!

Zucchini as an appetizer? Last week, I used a corn fritter recipe but substituted the 2 1/2 cups corn with 2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, and added a little shredded mozerella and about 2 teaspoons dried basil. Six out of seven Sleichter's approved. Parmesan zucchini strips are also amazing and easy, but you want to make sure they are plenty tender before you take them out of the oven. Think cheese sticks without the cheese. And, while you have that deep fryer out for the corn fritters, you can always make a quick tempura batter and coat-and-fry sliced zucchini.

Zucchini as a side dish? If I'm grilling, I will simply slice the zucchini into about 1/2 inch slices, put them on skewers, lightly salt and pepper them, and grill for 8-10 minutes, flipping half-way through. Zucchini pancakes are another easy side dish that the kids like, just because it includes the word "pancake".

Zucchini as the main entrée? Zucchini boats aka stuffed zucchini are the way to go with that, although I'll admit most of the time, my kids scrape out the insides of the boats and eat it separately, which makes this pretty much meatballs and cooked zucchini.

And, of course, zucchini as dessert? Zucchini cookies are delicious! This recipe converts well to gluten-free, but substituting the flour with gluten free flour mix with xantham gum. Freshly shredded zucchini carries enough moisture to compensate for the lack of gluten and allow the cookie dough to bind well, which helps make the cookies rise well.

Zucchini is such a versatile vegetable and takes on whatever flavors you pair with it, which is why it is so easy to eat it multiple times each week.

December 16, 2015

In Season Recipes

We have reached quite a few new customers lately with our bags of fresh produce, but I have heard from quite a few more in our town that they would happily order the CSA bags if they knew what to do with the ingredients.

Ask and you shall receive.

Next week's produce offerings, both at the winter Farmers Market and through our online sales, include spinach, kale, green onions, radishes, carrots, turnips, bok choy, bell peppers and swiss chard. With those veggies readily available to me, right in my back yard, I have done a fair amount of experimenting with different recipes. Below are our favorites.

Kale is a very versatile, nutrient-packed food. Its texture stands up to moisture, so if you make it into a salad, add the dressing a half hour before eating, or add it to soup. Our household's favorite kale soup is the Tuscan white bean, sausage, kale soup: http://sharedappetite.com/recipes/rustic-tuscan-style-sausage-white-bean-and-kale-soup/

Most people have tried radishes raw, but have you tried them cooked? When cooked, radishes lose that spicy bite to them and instead have a flavor similar to cauliflower. And it is super easy to make. http://www.marthastewart.com/312469/sauteed-radishes

We pride ourselves in the ability to make all vegetables unhealthy. This recipe proves it. When Jay wants to spoil me and we have carrots in season, this is our cake of choice. It is so delicious, it doesn’t even need the frosting: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/carrot-cake-cream-cheese-swirl-bundt-cake/

Egg drop soup is one of those rare dishes that all seven in our house will happily eat. This recipe (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/asian-egg-drop-soup-recipe.html) is our favorite, using fresh green onions. When in season, we also add 2 stems of bok choy to the soup with the green onions.

Most of our customers see swiss chard and say, “That’s pretty! Now what do I do with it?” Swiss chard is best sauteed and tends to pick up the flavors you saute with it, whether that be bacon, ginger, onion, or garlic. To add some vegetables to your breakfast, try this recipe: http://americanfood.about.com/od/breakfastandbrunch/r/Chard_Frittata.htm

And what about spinach? I love cooking and eating spinach, because it’s so versatile. Try any of these delicious ways to get your greens:
-Add sliced strawberries, toasted almonds, and a raspberry vinaigrette for a sweet salad.
-Mix 2 cups of torn fresh spinach, 2 sliced boiled eggs, cooked bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and ranch dressing.
-Spinach artichoke dip is delicious. We use this recipe, but replace the frozen spinach with 4 cups fresh spinach, sliced into strips and sautéed 3-4 minutes until wilted. http://www.food.com/recipe/spinach-artichoke-dip-1209

Turnips anyone?  How about a quick and easy side dish.  Try this out.  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/214157/caramelized-turnips/

If nothing else sounds good or easy, make a quick and easy veggie stir fry by chopping up a bunch of vegetables (carrots, onions, radishes, turnips, bok choy, bell peppers), sauté them until fork tender, add Kraft's Asian Sesame salad dressing, and continue cooking until the sauce thickens.

If you can't find something to suit you, then check out this.  I am sure you will find a recipe that you will like.  http://www.redfirefarm.com/recipes/index.html

Hopefully that will get you started with our current in-season veggies. We love suggestions, so if you have a recipe we should try, please send it our way!

May 27, 2015

Day 5: Taco Salad

This salad works for a meal, and allows us to use any leftovers from the traditional salad. We also talk about the food groups at this meal, since this salad covers them all.

Green head lettuce
Red head lettuce
Black beans
Tortilla chips

Wash and chop the veggies. The arugula, radishes, and onion add spice, so proportion it according to your taste. Top with black beans cheese, and tortilla hips just prior to serving. Dress with French dressing or salsa.


May 26, 2015

Salad 4: Spinach Mandarin Salad

I really like pairing spinach and tat soi with fruit. Their stronger texture compliments the soft fruit, and the sweetness of the fruit seems to enhance the greens' flavor, too.

1/4 pound tat soi
1/4 pound spinach
1 small onion, chopped
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup roasted almond slivers 
Raspberry vinagrette, or another sweet dressing

Wash and chop the greens. Top with onions and oranges. Add the almonds and dressing just before serving. (Super easy!)