Tag Archives: Recipes

Zucchini Noodles aka Zoodles

Summertime means excess zucchini. If you’re looking for new recipes then try this- zoodles. Zoodles are strands of zucchini cut in the shape of pasta noodles. They are highly nutritious, gluten free, and much less caloric than regular spaghetti noodles.

zoodle spiralizer

To make your zoodles you will need a spiralizer (google it). These can range from $10.00 at Bed Bath and Beyond to $49.95 from Williams Sonoma. In the photo above I am using the $10 version.

Once the zoodles are made it is then important to salt it and let it drain all the excess moisture. You can place a plate on top and weigh it down to force all the moisture out. This will take approximately 30-45 minutes. This is key! Do not skip this step or you’ll zoodle dish will be a watery mess.

zoodles

Once that is completed you can then make your dish and add whatever you want. For my first attempt I added chopped tomatoes and freshly made basil pesto.

For ingredient amounts figure 1 medium sized zucchini per person, a half cup chopped tomatoes per person and about 1/4 cup pesto per person.

Add a little shaved parmesan cheese at the end and voila, you have a healthy meal for your kids or a show-stopper for company. It’s that good.

Zoodles with tomato and pesto

What to Do With Excess Tomatoes – Recipe Included

tomatoes

Happiness is a bucketful of tomatoes. We had a bumper crop this year. One question we always get is how to save them. Canning is of course one option however some folks find it too difficult and demanding. One simple option we subscribe to is to roast them and then freeze them. See recipe below for Roasted Tomato Sauce.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Roasted Tomatoes

2 pounds tomatoes, halved (or enough to fill a rectangular baking pan)
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large white onion, diced
1/3 cup olive oil
salt, pepper
2-3 tablespoon dried herbs (i.e. Herbs de Provence , Italian herbs, basil, thyme or oregano ).

Put the halved tomatoes cut side up in a sheet cake pan or other pan (pyrex) with high sides (at least 2″). If possible, make it just one layer.

Spread chopped onion and garlic on top of the tomatoes.

Drizzle olive oil all over contents of the pan.

Salt and pepper liberally, sprinkle herbs on top.

Put in a 350 F oven for 45 minutes. You can go longer if you want sweeter onions and more intense tomato taste. Just watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn.

Scoop contents of the pan (there will be a lot of liquid in the bottom) through a food mill to to get rid of skins and seeds. If you don’t mind skins, you can just put contents into a blender. Save the liquid as it makes for a flavorful tomato broth.

Taste, and adjust seasonings. Then freeze or use immediately.

As you become more familiar with the recipe you can roast other vegetables with the tomatoes such as peppers, eggplant or fennel as seen above.

Enjoy!

How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers

Creating a school garden requires various skills of which gardening is merely one. Authors Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Kathleen Pringle of the recently published, How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers, understand this well.

These are the ten chapters covering such diverse topics as: design, budgeting, organizing, fundraising and curriculum:

1. Why School Gardens
2. Laying the Groundwork
3. Getting the Most From Your Site
4. Groundbreaking, Budgeting, and Fundraising
5. Developing your School Garden Program
6. A Healthy Outdoor Classroom
7. Tricks of the Trade
8. Planting, Harvesting and Cooking in the Garden
9. Year-Round Garden Lessons and Activities
10. A Decade in a School Garden: Alice Fong Yu Alternative School, San Francisco, CA

Extras include school garden kid-friendly recipes, example of state content standards and a comprehensive resource guide.

Bottom line – How to Grow a School Garden is one of the best how-to books about school gardening ever published. Add it to your summer reading and get growing in the fall.

Click here to purchase your copy today.

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

In celebration of Halloween check out what arguably may be one of the best pumpkin soup recipes ever. One can also substitute any winter squash (i.e butternut squash) for pumpkin.

Pumkin Soup with Fennel and Orange

To bake a fresh 6 to 7 pound pumpkin, halve the pumpkin crosswise and scoop out the seeds and fiber. Place halves, hollow side down, in a large baking pan covered with aluminum foil and add a little water. Bake, uncovered, at 375, for approximately 60 minutes.

When finished let cool and scoop out flesh.
(Approximately 3 cups)

In a large pot heat 3 tablespoons oil and sauté the
following: 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped garlic cloves
and the zest of 1 orange.

Cook for about 10 min until onions start to brown.

Stir in 3 large, chopped and cored fennel bulbs and
cook for about 15 min. Season with salt and pepper.

(Optional – add 2-3 ounces cognac, brandy or orange liquor and stir.)

When alcohol is burned off add 2 cups chicken stock.

Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

Add cooked squash, mix thoroughly, and season with
salt and pepper.

Puree in blender at high speed.
Add just enough extra chicken broth (1-2 cups) to
ensure the soup turns smoothly in the blender.
Season to taste.

Summer Bounty Recipes

May not be many students around over the summer, but that hasn’t stopped our school gardens from performing. Corn is high, tomatoes are plump, cucumbers are fat, peppers are turning color, pole beans are still producing, and zucchinis are abundant.

cherokee purple tomato
cherokee purple tomato

Two recipes to utilize all this goodness are included below.

1) Black Bean and Quinoa Salad is courtesy of the Los Angeles County Nutrition Program. Be sure to check out their healthy recipes/cookbooks page and their onsite cookbook of healthy, low-fat, easy to prepare, ethnically inspired recipes (in both spanish and english.)

Ingredients:
½ cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 cup corn
2 scallions chopped
½ cup tomatoes
½ cup green peppers (or red)
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 clove garlic
2 Tbs cilantro chopped
salt and pepper to taste

optional:
1 cup chopped zucchini
Grilled Shrimp chopped
Grilled Chicken chopped

Soak quinoa for five minutes then drain. Bring water to boil and add quinoa. Lower flame to barely simmer, cover, and cook until all of the water is absorbed (20-30 minutes). Let cool. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well. (Note: bulgar can easily be substituted for quinoa).

2) California Tabboulleh is a variation on traditional tabbouleh.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup bulgar (medium size)
1 cup stock or boiling water
1 lb tomatoes
1/2 cup green onion
1 can black beans
1 cup corn
2-3 cups cilantro
2 jalapeno peppers diced (rib and seeds removed)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt if using water
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup citrus (lemon, lime and orange combination)
1/4 cup olive oil

optional:
Queso Fresco or mild Feta Cheese
Avocado
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped red pepper

Pour 1 cup boiling water over bulgar and allow bulgar to soften while you prepare the other ingredients. Chop tomatoes and leave in a colander to drain. Chop onion, cilantro and pepper. Rinse black beans. Drain and discard excess liquid from bulgar.

Toss bulgar, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, corn and beans. Dress with citrus juice and olive oil. Season to taste. It’s best prepared a couple of hours or more ahead of serving to allow flavors to develop. (Note: quinoa can easily be substituted for bulgar).

Feel free to alter ingredients and measures according to taste and harvest.

Sorrel

sorrelI love the sour taste of Sorrel. Its great raw in mixed green salads or as the main ingredient in the French classic, Sorrel Soup or the Eastern European classic, Schav.

Sorrel is a perennial in the Polygonaceae family along with such relatives as buckwheat and rhubarb. The reason I mention it now is that after 3 seasons ours has just bolted.

Sorrel_Bolting

Enjoy it while you can.

Sorrel Soup Recipes
1) Recipezaar.com
2) JaquesandCompany.com

Schav Recipes
1) Recipesource.com
2) NYTimes.com

Kohlrabi – Info and Recipes

kohlrabi

Kohlrabi was harvested recently and like other uncommon vegetables the question most asked was, what do we do with it? First, a little information; Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family. Its name is derived from the German Kohl (cabbage) and Rube or Rabi (turnip) because the swollen stem looks like a turnip.

The taste and texture of kohlrabi is similar to broccoli stems or cabbage hearts but milder and sweeter. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Small kohlrabi do not need to be skinned, but the larger ones definitely do.

Of kohlrabi’s two varieties the purple globe is sweeter and tastier than the apple-green.

Nutritionally, kohlarabi is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Folate, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. See complete Kohlrabi Nutritional Values from nutritiondata.com.

The following are some recipes I found featuring kohlrabi:

1) Pickled Kohlrabi

2) Kohlrabi-Mushroom Soup

3) Freezing Kohlrabi

4) German-Style Stuffed Kohlrabi

5) Roasted Kohlrabi and Butternut Squash

6) Spicy Kohlrabi

7) Avocado and Kohlrabi Salad

8) Creamy Kohlrabi Salad

9) Braised Kohlrabi

10) Mashed Kohlrabi