Thursday, July 30, 2015

July in the kitchen

July in the kitchen.....a time when there's so much cooking to do and so much garden goodness to be had but man, it can be just too stinkin hot to be in there! The last thing I want to do is stand over a hot stove or oven in this heat!  That's when you get creative and make delicious dishes like:

- Three Bean Salad. Really it's just two beans (I have an over abundance of wax beans at the moment). Feel free to add a third if you like. Delicious, tangy and slightly sweet, this salad is delicious chilled or at room temp. No appliances were used in the making!

- Carrots. Ok so there's really nothing involved in the preparation of this. Especially if you don't peel them. But there's nothing like a carrot from your garden. Serve it up with hummus, bean dip or ranch and you've got snack time all set!

- Crooked neck squash crust less quiche. I obviously needed the stove and oven for this one. But here's the trick; I assembled the quiche, popped it in the oven and went for a run, leaving the husband to set the timer on his phone while he waited for it outside. Win-win if you ask me!

- Pickles and pickled wax beans.  Oh these are going to taste delicious in a few weeks. Vinegar, pickling spices and a bit of heat from our jalapeños, these are a family favorite!

What are some of your favorite Summer eats that get you out of the kitchen?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

In the garden this week, Kale and Garlic Scape Pesto recipe

In The Garden 

Remember when I said soon the veggies would be ready Yeah.... Here it comes!

Right now the cucumbers, jalapeños and wax beans are ready for picking. There are tons of tomatoes on the vines but haven't turned red yet. Our honey bees are loving all the flowers on the squash plants! 

As I look at the corn.... 'Children of the Corn' comes to mind.

I am so grateful to have such a healthy, bursting at the seams garden. There is nothing quite like walking out your door and into your own "farmacy" , picking for your next snack or meal. I know that once those cherry tomatoes are ripe, the kids will be plucking them from the vine. Now that will be some great pictures to share!

Kale and Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe

Last week we harvested our first garlic crop. I think this was the most exciting for me. I use garlic in my cooking almost daily and to not have to buy any was going to amazing! We did really great for our first time!

One part of the garlic I was also excited to use was the scape. 

  1. Garlic scapes are the flower bud of the garlic plant. The bud is removed in late June to encourage the bulbs to thicken up.  Scapes are delicious to eat! Scapes taste just like garlic. They can be used in exactly the same way as garlic in any recipe.
    I went to my local Farmers Market and a farmer had Scapes and told me I should try making pesto with mine. Pesto? Brilliant! This family LOVES basil pesto, let's try it.  For my variation I also used Kale, boosting the nutritional value and making sure it wasn't too garlicky for my children to eat.  Everyone LOVED it!  You must try it!

    2 cups of kale ( I used Tuscan Kale)
    3/4 cup Garlic Scapes, thinly sliced
    1/4 cup toasted walnuts
    1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
    1 cup olive oil
    Salt and Pepper to taste.

    Add Scapes, Kale and walnuts into a food processor and mix until finely chopped. With the processor still running, slowly add the olive oil. Remove pesto to a bowl and mix in the cheese. 

    Presto your Pesto is done! (Ok, that was cheesy but funny.) I served mine over whole wheat pasta.

    This was a quick and easy dinner to get on the table. Pesto is a go to staple in our house. I hope you try this recipe and it becomes one of yours too!

    Much love,

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Power Green Smoothie

It's Sunday Funday friends! After an early morning run, I'm fueling up with my favorite smoothie. It's so delicious and jam packed with good for your ingredients I want to share it with you. I was mindful of the measurements this time, usually it's a little bit of this and a whole lotta green so please excuse some of that! 😉

Power Green Smoothie

2 big handfuls of organic spinach
1 cup frozen fruit ( I love this one from Trader Joes)
1/2 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
1 scoop Green Vibrance Powder ( great for the gut with 25 billion probiotics)
1 scoop Mega Food Daily Maca Plus Women Over 40 ( because I'm only as young as I feel! Supports the changing needs of women's reproductive system.)
1/4 tsp Turmeric (good for my joints)
Dash ground black pepper (enhances the efficacy of the Turmeric - food synergy)
16 oz water

Blend until smooth. Makes 32 oz of smoothie. Great start to your day or sip for breakfast and morning snack.

So good! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Get out there and have a Funday Sunday!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Garden Happenings and Couscous Salad recipe!

Garden Happenings!

So much has been happening in the garden.... all the veggies are exploding! Well not literally but geez a Lou, everything is huge! I know from experience that all the tomatoes, squash (oh the squash), beans and cucumbers will be ready all at the same time and I will be flipping through my recipes, old and new, in search of ways to nourish ourselves with all the over abundance of it all. I'll have to remember to breathe as well.

We LOVE growing a garden.  It's a family affair really.  It all starts when the snow is flying outside with the seed catalogs and the layout planning.  Just when we think winter Will.Never.End.... our chance to get dirty comes.  The kids help in the tilling of the soil, digging of the holes and planting of the seeds.  It's very rewarding to them once they see the fruits of their labor. 
 Do you have a garden?  What do you plant?

Mama Mingle Event!

Are you a new mama?  Are you expecting?  This is an amazing event just for you!
Come meet the best resources all in one place, meet other new and expectant mamas, eat delicious food and have fun!  I'm so excited to be a part of this event, I hope I see you there!

Couscous Salad Recipe!

This is my new favorite summer salad.  Remember the abundance I talked about earlier?  This is a great recipe to you some of that up!  Fresh veggies, pearled couscous and a smoked paprika dressing that's to die for.  Seriously, I'd put this dressing on everything it's that good!  I originally got this recipe from a cookbook but revamped it to make it my own. 
 Ask me how I can revamp a recipe of yours!

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/3 cup whole wheat pearl couscous (I used tri color, it's what I had on hand)
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained and coarsely chopped (Trader Joe's has a red and yellow roasted red pepper jar that I love!)
2 packed cups baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup garlic chives, diced
5 oz capers, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup slivered almonds

For the dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, smoked paprika, salt and pepper until smooth.

For the couscous:
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the couscous and cook, stirring frequently, until the couscous is golden, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add 2 cups of water and the salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Cover and simmer until the couscous is just tender and the liquid is absorbed, 9 to 10 minutes.  Uncover and set aside to cool slightly.

For the salad:
In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, chives, capers and almonds.  Add the couscous and the dressing.  Toss until all the ingredients are coated.


I hope you and your family enjoy this hearty salad, it's seriously good!  You can serve it at room temperature or chilled, making it the perfect dish for your next BBQ or picnic.

So my friends, thanks so much for stopping by.  Check back often for updates, more recipes and maybe some giveaways! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Mommy Mingles - July 21st

I'm so excited to be a part of  a fun event for new and expecting mamas!  Come and check out other local businesses and hear the latest information geared just for you!  This is a fantastic chance to connect with other mamas and it's FREE!  Plus you have a chance to win fabulous prizes!

I hope to see you there!