Let's Eat

Seasonal Recipes

 

Spigarello Skillet Dinner

Spigarello is an ancient green of Italian descent related to broccoli. It is all the rage, it seems, on the coasts—especially the West Coast in high-end restaurants. But it recently showed up at my farmers market, and I’m guessing you can probably find it at your local farmers market, too.

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Leftover Logic: The End-of-Week Vegan (or not) Scramble

This dish really did begin with a clear-out-the-frig mission, and it wound up tasting so good, I just decided to include it on the blog. It resembles a previous breakfast recipe that also uses quinoa called Quinoa Breakfast Bowls, but the current version is meant to be more versatile… and more green, helping you clear out the frig and avoid end-of-the-week-waste.

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Midwestern Antipasto

The idea for this flexible summer salad has a couple of inspirations. For one thing, the ingredients are primarily local to the Midwest and are available throughout late spring to early fall, more or less. For another thing, the preparation of the beets—the idea of cooking them intact with their greens attached—came from an episode of my favorite show, A Chef’s Life, starring Chef Vivian Howard. Chef Howard interviewed a local person, Matt from Crooked Fence Produce, who swore that beets would have a better flavor if they were boiled with their greens attached, rather than cutting the greens off and using them in another way—something both Chef Howard and I have always done.

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Not-Traditional Broccoli Salad

It shows up on every picnic table, summer buffet and patio party in America during the summer: Broccoli Salad. Even people—like my husband—who turn up their noses to this healthy vibrant green brassica in any other dish, will eat this salad. I believe it has something to do with the accompanying ingredients: mayonnaise—lots of it—sugar—a ton—cheese—at least a cup—bacon—no explanation necessary–and something super tangy and sweet like dried, sugared cranberries. You put enough of these ingredients on just about anything, and most people will eat it. And that is too bad, I think. Broccoli is one of our healthiest summer veggies, and it deserves a better reputation and a wider audience in a healthier format.

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The Compost Cracker

No, I didn’t make a typo. But I did use a lot of food scraps to create a pretty tasty cracker bread. Here’s how it happened…

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Almost-Classic Shepherd’s Pie

It would be pretty hard to write about The Shepherd’s Wife without sharing a recipe for her pie, right? Shepherd’s Pie (aka: cottage pie or pot pie) is a “leftover” dish by tradition. When a farmer’s wife had prepared that large roast on Sunday, Shepherd’s Pie or one of its many variations, was sure to hit the table on Monday night. We have so much to learn from our past, don’t we? Seems many of our answers to living a greener life are like a pair of ruby slippers—a way home right before our eyes all the time.

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We Love Jackson’s Honest… the Miracle Snack

Jackson’s Honest chips are our new family-favorite snack from the New Hope Network Blogger Box. I decided to serve the three sample varieties at Heather’s birthday dinner because Heather is gluten free and so are the chips! But the reason I will keep serving them is the quality. All three of my samples—Purple Heirloom Potato Chips, Sweet Potato Chips and Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips really scored on flavor, texture and nutrition. We loved them!

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Grandma’s Green Beans

So what were Heather’s top picks for her birthday dinner? She loves the Creamy Cauliflower Mac n’ Cheese I make, so that was on her list. Since we were trying out some gluten-free Jackson’s Honest Chips from the Blogger Box, I offered to make a new dip. And Heather, while a longtime vegetarian, does love an occasional fillet of grilled wild-caught salmon, so I splurged. But her final request sort of took me by surprise: “You know what I’d really like to have?” she asked. “Remember Grandma’s green beans, when she used to make them in a big pot for an entire day? I’d like those.”

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Gluten-Free Orange Sunshine Cake

Since I’ve been at this Gluten-free thing for a while now, I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade: flours that work well and can be mixed to create better flavor; I’ve upped my leavening and added xanthan gum better texture; and I’ve discovered “other” ingredients, like fruit peels and nuts, that help with binding and richness. The cake I made for Heather this year is (I think) a pretty good example of when a gluten-free cake just becomes a good cake.

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Chocolate-Covered Cranberry Love Muffins

These muffins were inspired by a bag of frozen cranberries I had tucked away for the holidays and then overlooked (I do tend to hoard cranberries November through December, and this little bag must have slipped to the bottom of the freezer.). So these muffins are, in many ways, a “long lost love” kind of thing… a nearly forgotten affair from the past. And their flavor is, in my opinion, as nuanced as a well-written, eighteenth-century romance novel.

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Celebrating Valentine’s Day with some Magic Mushrooms

For our Valentine’s Day dinner, I wanted a side dish that would go well with Don’s pasture-raised steak and my wild salmon fillet—we were splurging, you see. After 45 years of marriage, I think we are due, don’t you? I decided to visit my friend Leo for some of his delicious and healthy oyster mushrooms, which sort of ended up guiding the entire recipe. Don and I both love those mushrooms, especially with whole grains, so I continued to splurge on organic wild rice—pretty pricey, but so flavorful. And since I am that lucky green gal with the large freezer, the tomatoes in my dish were fresh-frozen from the fall and my stored yellow onions and garlic rounded out everything.

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Superhero Helpers from the New Hope Network Blogger Box

In 2018, I vow to become a Superhero of health and wellness! I will get eight hours of sleep every night! I will eat seven to 10 servings of fruits and veggies every day! I will work out five days a week!
Yeah, right.
We are so confident in the first few weeks of a new year, so motivated, so righteous and so “in it for the long haul.” And then it’s February, and we realize that somewhere along the side of the road to salvation, we lost our drive and took a turn toward poor food choices, skipped workouts and too much TV (or social media, take your pick).

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Blonde on Blonde Pasta

When I decided to construct a plant-based main course pasta dish that would also use up the last (sigh) cup of pureed pumpkin from the holidays, my first thoughts were “this is going to be blonde on blonde.” I wondered if it would work—everything was coming out orange and cream, no tomatoes, nothing much Italian, nearly everything local, except olive oil and pasta (nod to Italy) and parmigiana reggiano (double nod to Italy).

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Green Gal Winter Salad

Sturdy kales and collards, stored cabbage, Swiss chards and turnip greens, Brussel sprouts and even varieties of spinach all make an excellent fresh bed for other winter fruits and veggies. They may not come from right down the street, but they’ll be fresher than much of the stuff grown across the country (or beyond) or out-of-season greenhouse fair. And here’s the bonus: they are super-high in vitamins and antioxidants. So let’s celebrate winter greens with a salad that you can serve just about any time, with slight variations in some of the ingredients. For now, let’s take advantage of citrus, pomegranates and fennel.

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Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles

Well, I had to do something will all those pumpkins I collected over the fall, so it seemed impossible not to include a pumpkin cookie. I decided to retool a recipe from last year—turning my Old Fashioned Persimmon Snickerdoodles into Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles.

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Pistachio-Encrusted Pumpkin Wedges

Yeah, it’s me again—the pumpkin police. Every fall I keep a continual watch over the activities on my neighbors’ porches. They all put out pumpkins around Halloween, but those glorious orbs of orange, blue, white and pink probably never make it back into their...

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The 2017 Christmas Box

My 2017 Christmas box contains a combination of old favorites and new surprises. Green Gal Granola is an annual “must-include”; my homemade citrus salt is making a repeat appearance from last year; and I’ve created another set of homemade cards, using leftover papers and previously sent cards for my designs. Back by popular demand is my special fruited chocolate bark, too. But there are some new items, as well, including a too-die-for gluten-free cookie, some special holiday items from the folks at New Hope Blogger Network’s Blogger Box and local artist finds from potter John Boss and Chad and Felicia of Mississippi Mud Pottery.

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