Let's Eat

Seasonal Recipes

 

New Year—New You? Guidance from My Friend Jane and the Always-Helpful New Hope Network Blogger Box

Well here we are once again—saying goodbye to the old year and ushering in a new one, promising to never to “that” again and vowing to change all our evil ways overnight. Good luck.

Or better than luck, why not go with “healthy curiosity and personal-best strategies”? Make your new start into 2019 an exploration rather than an ultimatum. Start with a few small changes and keep building. I know, you are rolling your eyes and thinking: “There she goes again with her anti-New Year’s resolution stuff.” Well, ok, I hear ya. So I thought this year, I’d let someone else share her success and hopefully inspire you to find yours—meet my friend Jane, an accomplished educator, master baker, beautiful woman (inside and out) and recent convert to a Ketogenic way of life.

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Lardy, Let’s Bake a Christmas Pie!

No…not a misspelling, so I guess you know where we are headed, right? It was after my post on the Pumpkin Cheesecake last month and my reminiscence about sharing a piece of pumpkin pie with my grandma, that I realized, while I have preached pumpkin and shared a million pumpkin recipes during the past three years, I’ve never offered to share my grandma’s pumpkin pie. Amazing.

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Fairy Tale Pumpkin Cheesecake

So just guess… how many dishes do you think I got out of this one 20-pound fairy tale pumpkin? If my calculations are correct, from this one stunning squash I made one batch of Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup, one pot of Pumpkin Curry, a plate full of Pistachio-Encrusted Pumpkin Wedges for four, two loaves of sweet bread and two cheesecakes. Pumpkins store well in a dry cool spot; the flesh can be frozen and even canned. And while it made a huge Halloween statement just sitting pretty on the front porch, this pumpkin was the superstar of my kitchen the entire month of November. Its versatility and economy cannot be overstated. Don’t waste it!

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Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ok, so really, aren’t these just the prettiest little things? And every diner gets his or her own. How cute is that? Well it’s way more than cute: it’s delicious, healthy, inclusive (can be vegan, gluten free, vegetarian or down right meaty) and pretty darn easy to prepare. I love acorn squash because it is so easy to work with—no large carving issues—and serves as a rich, sweet bowl for an endless variety of stuffings. Jackie Mills of The Family Garden grew these, known as Sweet Dumplings—and they are!

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Curry on up to the Table!

Last January, I was all about lemongrass, specifically a lemongrass stock recipe from favorite chef Annie Somerville of the famous Greens Restaurant in San Francisco. I was offering a recipe for winter salad that made use of the few greens we have in the Midwest during winter. But the showstopper ingredient was lemongrass stock from Somerville’s bestseller Fields of Greens. This freezable stock has been a staple in my kitchen ever since. So when Frank Biver out at Biver Farms said he had a BIG plant, I was at the ready with my shears.

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Harvest Leg of Lamb with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce

My friend Sasi, who is originally from Sri Lanka, has a wonderful backyard garden full of hot peppers. Remember that great version of Z’hug I made last month using his Thai Bird’s Eye Chilies? Well, they are back on the menu, but this time they are one of the ingredients in a spicy-but-cool-and-creamy sauce to accompany a leg of lamb I bought from The Shepherd’s Wife Tracy Riddle.

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Black Bean & Corn Salad Burritos

Quite a while back now, I introduced you to my friend Susan and Susan’s Spectacular Spelt Carrot Cake. I assume by now that you’ve made this incredible cake at least once. So, I thought it was time for another of Susan’s stellar recipes, and this one is on-point to showcase two of my favorite Blogger Box items: Red Duck Taco Sauce and Angelic Bakehouse 7 Sprouted Grains Wraps.

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Cabbage with a Kick Salad

My new friend Sasi, who is originally from Sri Lanka, has a garden full of hot peppers. So when I offered him a ride to a class we are taking together, he paid me back with a bag full of little bright Birds Eye chilies, Indian cayenne and serranos. There is only one way to repay kindness, repaying kindness…create kindness again. What could be kinder than cabbage?

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Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Green Gal Z’hug

Remember Z’hug? Last year I found this really cool recipe in FEAST Magazine—one of my local favorite publications. The author introduced us to this herbal, pungent and hot condiment called Z’hug, and I couldn’t wait to give it a go. The trouble was, it called for Thai Bird’s Eye chilies, which were nowhere in my farmers market. But I love to “make do” and challenge my culinary creativity, so I used what I had and came up with a pretty good version of Z’hug.

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Unpacked Poblanos with Sweet Potato and Rice Filling

We are big fans of Tex-Mex food. And we love those classic stuffed poblano peppers with cheesy potatoes that you can find in good Mexican restaurants. There are enough meat and vegetarian versions to keep both me and my hubby satisfied. So when my market farmers started showing up with big green and red poblanos….well, you know we are headed to the border via my kitchen.

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Healthy and Planet-Friendly Lunchbox Treats

Well of course, I’m hoping you will make your own Ground Cherry Chews for a healthy afterschool snack—even if you need to substitute a peach, nectarine or mango for those scrumptious ground cherries. But what about the at-school and at-work snacks? Ground Cherry Chews are kind of a no-go there. Thanks to the great selection of healthy treats from the New Hope Network Blogger Co-Op, I’ve got some yummy selections to recommend that your kids will love…and so will you because you won’t have to sacrifice nutrition or green choices to make your little ones smile when they open that lunchbox.

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Celebrating My Basil Harvest with No-Pasta Spaghetti Skillet

The versatility of squash is just amazing to me. And believe me, I’ve pushed versatility to the limits—remember Rosi Biver’s Not-Quite-Apple Cobbler made with zucchini? Well the dish I created for this post is not such a stretch, actually, but it is rich, satisfying and doesn’t contain one bit of wheat pasta.

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Healthy Ground Cherry Chews

It is Wednesday afternoon about 4 p.m. Your children have just come home from school, wired, loud and HUNGRY. Dinner isn’t until 6 p.m., and the last thing they need is processed sugar and hydrogenated oils that are in most ready-made snacks. But, hey, you got this. You hand them a Ground Cherry Chew right out of the frig, gluten-free with no processed anything, full of healthy and satisfying fats, and only a tablespoon or two of natural honey or molasses. One chew (well maybe two) will help them fend off hunger for the next two hours, I promise.

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Cooked-In Culture: Green Gal Mole

One of my favorite seasons of Pati’s Mexican Table was the one in which Chef Jinich takes us all on a guided tour of Oaxaca, Mexico, immersing us in the people, history, celebrations, family life and foods of this amazingly beautiful region. Someday I will get there, I hope. But until then, I will treasure my place at Pati’s TV table.
And it was this season-six excursion into the ways food had a huge role in a country’s history, cooking and celebrations that first gave me the idea of trying my hand at a mole. Mole, I learned, is like a family’s or region’s fingerprint. While commonalities among various standard types of mole exist, this is usually a recipe handed down from generation to generation, guarded and revered by everyone around the dinner table.

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New-Take Tabbouleh

Once we hit July and everything steams up and the sun is up in the East before 6 a.m. with its glow on the western horizon until about 9 p.m., I am seldom in the mood for long hot days in the kitchen. I want to come home from the pool, hop off my bike, hit the shower and plop myself down with a bowl of fresh veggies. So my newest version of classic Middle Eastern Tabbouleh is a perfect summer dish. It will also make a great side to the chicken and pork Molé, if you are planning something more intense—like a party!

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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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