Ingredient:
Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

This dish is simple yet delectable dish. And with the tomatoes and peppers going off right now, this seems to be a great dish and one the kiddos will love to help with.

Ingredients:

2 lb mixed tomatoes and/or bell peppers (approx 15 vegetables, less if they are large)

Rice Mixture
2 cups of cooked rice, quinoa or your favorite grain
1-2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely choppedstuffed_tomatoes_6
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
20 wrinkly black olives, pitted
2 tbsp pickled capers, drained
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 handfull almonds, chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp raisins or finely chopped dates
150 g /1 cup feta cheese (optional)

Yogurt sauce
1 cup natural yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
salt and black pepper

Instruction:

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Trim off the top of each tomato. Use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds and flesh from the tomatoes and into a bowl. This is a great activity for the kids to help with. Slice each bell pepper lengthwise and discard the seeds, alternatively trim off each top and discard the seeds (depending on the shape of the pepper).

Heat oil in a skillet, add onion, olives and capers. Finely chop the tomato flesh and add it together with the seeds and liquid. Sauté for about 15 minutes until soft and fragrant, then transfer to the mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Fill up the tomatoes and bell peppers with the stuffing, another great task for your young helpers. Place the caps back on top of the tomatoes and bell peppers. Place the vegetables in a greased ovenproof dish and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the tomatoes and bell peppers are soft, golden and have slightly burnt edges. Whisk together the ingredients for the yogurt sauce in a small bowl while the vegetables are in the oven.

Serve the stuffed vegetables with a drizzle of yogurt sauce and a simple side salad of choice. Enjoy!

This recipe was taken from Green Kitchen Stories

 

Rice Paper Wraps

These rice paper wraps are a go to for me in the summer months when I crave something light. They are fun, colorful, easy, and a great way to pack in the veggies. The ingredients are simple and fresh. And your kiddos will love to create so many different variations.

https://elsaswholesomelife.wordpress.com/

Rice Paper Wraps:
An assortment of veggies and herbs:
red cabbage
shredded carrots
julienned cucumber
shredded golden beets
avocado
mint
cilantro
bean sprouts
rice paper wraps

Other suggestions:
julienned summer squash
julienned peppers
green beans
snap peas
mango
peanuts
basil
vermicelli noodles
shrimp

How to make:
1. Wet the rice paper under cool water
2. Lay flat on a clean cutting board
3. Add a small pile of sliced raw veggies to the center of the rice paper
4. Fold the sides in then roll the rest
5. Repeat, creating as many rolls as you like

Dipping Sauce:

3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. tamari or soy sauce
3 TBS. honey
1 1/2 tsp. fresh grated ginger (or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger)
1 clove garlic
optional: 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

How to Make:
Put everything into a small mason jar and give a good shake

*dipping sauce comes from Cookie and Kate

 

Root Vegetable Soup

Although it currently feels like summer, I am crossing my fingers for a few more rains in March. I’ve definitely been yearning for those cold evenings when I curl up by the wood stove with a big, warm bowl of soup. While it was chilly and wet in January I frequently found comfort in this root vegetable soup.

winter-root-vegetable-soup-with-mushrooms-01

photo credit:recipegreat.com/imgs/5199-winter-root-vegetable-soup-with-mushrooms-01.jpg.html

Ingredients
5 leeks or 2 medium onions
5 small-medium carrot
3 parsnips
2 apples
1 butternut Squash (or any winter squash/pumpkin)
1 celeriac, peeled
2 cloves garlic
cardamom
turmeric
ground ginger
salt
pepper
1.5 liters of chicken or vegetable stock

Simply chop everything and sauté in a large stock pot with some salt, pepper, and oil for 5-10 minutes.

Next add the stock.

Cook them in the stock until they are soft, about 20 minutes.

Then use an immersion blender to puree the soup.

I spiced mine up with some ginger and cardamom and added a bit of turmeric. Feel free to add whatever spices you like. Cumin and coriander would taste great too.

Serve with some good crusty bread and a finishing drizzle of olive oil.

For some extra creaminess and protein puree in a tin of cannellini beans. (You might need to add a bit more stock if you do this.)

Enjoy!

Shaved Brassicas Salad with Dried Persimmon
Shaved Brassicas Salad with Dried Persimmon
with Sweet & Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing
1 bunch of Kale, shaved
1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, shaved
1 head of Purple Cabbage, shaved
2 dried Hachiya Persimmons, chopped
Heaping handful of pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  1. Photo Credit: savorthebest.com

    Shave kale, Brussels sprouts, and purple cabbage.

  2. Massage shaved kale.
  3. Chop and dry 2 Hachiya persimmons (this can be done with the pilot light of a gas oven if you do not have a dehydrator).
  4. Add pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
  5. Toss everything together with dressing.
Sweet & Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing
1/4 cup white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 small shallot
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
2 eggs, optional for a creamier dressing
1/2 cup olive oil, grapeseed oil, or a mix
  1. Whisk the white wine vinegar and honey.
  2. Peel the shallot and grate it on a microplane or the smallest holes on a box grater directly into the bowl.
  3. Add the poppy seeds, salt, and ground mustard, and whisk to combine.
  4. Whip the eggs then steadily, pour the olive oil into the whipped eggs in a slow stream.
  5. Whisk the dressing steadily, pour the eggs and olive oil mixture into the dressing in a slow stream.
  6. Continue whisking until completely combined.
Transfer to a covered container and store in the fridge for several weeks. The dressing will separate as it sits; shake to recombine before using.
Stuffed Apples

It’s that time of year again, apple season! I am excited to have this delicious and versatile fruit back in season. There are so many different ways to prepare and eat apples, but one of my favorites is stuffed apples. They are a great snack to put in lunch boxes, for after school, or on the go. And they can easily be turned into a delicious dessert.d1a3959b374a62b74278817e945872cd

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite kind of apple
  • nuts or nut butter
  • dried fruit
  • warming spices like cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves
  • granola

 

Method:
1. Core the apple. You will want to make the cavity about an inch in diameter while making sure you do not cut through the bottom.
2. Drop about a tablespoon of nut butter into the cavity and spread around.
3. Mix together spices, dried fruit and granola and pour into the apple.

*To turn them into a dessert, you can bake them. They will become soft and sweet. To do this, go ahead and add a bit of butter to the top of the stuffed apples. It will help the apples caramelize, and let’s face it, everything is better with a little butter. Next add a splash of water to the bottom of the baking dish and cover with foil. This will help the apples soften. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes, or until apples are fork tender.
Here’s a couple variation of baked apples:
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/baked-apples-stuffed-cranberries-and-almonds
http://www.thekitchn.com/weeknight-recipe-oatmealbrown-75752

 

Strawberry Sauce

Strawberry Sauce

Strawberry Sauce

photo credit: Eat Live Run

There is no better time to get sweet strawberries than right now. We are coming into peak season for this delicious fruit. When I’m not eating them fresh, I’ve been making strawberry sauce. It is so simple and so versatile. I’ve been adding it to my oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, ice cream, pancakes, and so much more.

Ingredients:
strawberries
sugar
lemon juice
vanilla (optional)

Cornmeal-Pancakes-4030

photo credit: Eat Live Run

I used about 10-12 pounds of strawberries (an entire flat) when I made this sauce. Start by washing the berries and taking off the stem. Add them to a large pot on the stove. Add some sugar, this will depend on the sweetness of the berries. Right now they are at their peak,so I only added ¾ cup for about 10-12 pounds of berries. I also added the juice of 1 lemon to help balance out the sweetness. Feel free to add some vanilla extract, or even better, a vanilla bean. Cook over medium low heat and use a fork or a potatoe masher to help break up the berries. Let the berries cook down for about 30-45 minutes or until it starts to thicken. It’s as simple as that. You can store the sauce in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week, or put it in freezer bags and store it for months. The 10 pounds of berries I used turned into a little over 2 quarts of sauce.

Enjoy!

 

Check out this Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes recipe from Eat Live Run, for something to smother your strawberry sauce with.

Orange and Vanilla Overnight Oats

Overnight oats have long been one of my favorite breakfasts because they are easy, delicious, and it saves me time in the morning. Since citrus are in full swing right now, I thought this recipe would be great to brighten up the day and relieve some stress from those hectic mornings. Furthermore, this is an easy recipe kids of all ages can help with. They can juice the oranges, measure ingredients, pour and mix. They will love having ownership of their food and will enjoy eating their creation the next day.

Orange and Vanilla Overnight OatsProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Serves one:

  • ½ c. rolled oats
  • 1 TBS chia seeds (optional)
  • ½ c. orange juice
  • ½ c. milk of choice (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • toppings: pepitas, almonds, shredded coconut, orange segments

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour into a mason jar or other airtight container and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Add toppings right before eating.
Keeps for 3-5 days in the fridge.

This recipe is so flexible and interchangeable depending on the season. Mix it up and play around with different fruits and spices. Substitute orange juice for another juice or milk of choice. Add cinnamon, cardamom, ginger or cloves. Mix in some nut butter or seeds to create a hardier meal. Sweeten it up with maple syrup or local honey. I love adding some cocoa powder and making a rich, chocolaty afternoon pick me up.

Here are some of my favorite seasonal variations:
Spring:
½ c. rolled oats
1 c. coconut milk
1 c. diced Strawberries
1 TBS. chia seeds
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon

Summer:
½ c. rolled oats
½ c. almond milk
1 c. blackberry puree
1 TBS. chia seeds
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cardamom

Fall:
½ c. rolled oats
1 c. cow’s milk
1 c. baked cinnamon apples
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 TBS. maple syrup

Winter:
½ c. rolled oats
1 c. almond milk
½ c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 TBS. honey

 

Recipe adapted from Green Kitchen Stories

Winter Panzanella Salad
Winter Panzanella Salad
with Red Wine Vinegar and Honey Dressing

1 loaf crusty bread (ciabatta works well), cut into cubes

1 medium Butternut squash, peeled and chopped

6 Sage leaves, chopped

1 bunch of kale

½ lb. Brussels sprouts

2 apples

Heaping handful of dried cranberries

Heaping handful of hazelnuts

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F
    2. Peel and cube squash. Toss in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and chopped sage. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender. (Make sure they have cooled before adding them to salad.)
    3. Cut bread into cubes, toss in olive oil and toast in oven until golden, about 12 minutes
    4. Roast hazelnuts on a dry sheet pan until toasted, 10-15 minutes
    5. Chop Brussels sprouts
    6. Tear and massage kale
    7. Slice apples
    8. Toss everything winter-apple-squash-panzanellatogether with dressing

Red wine vinegar and honey dressing

1 cup olive oil

½ cup red wine vinegar

3 Tablespoons of lemon juice

2 Tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons salt

Fresh pepper

Recipe adapted by Program Assistant, Christine Landis from bbcgoodfood.com

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Autumn is upon us, and I am seeing shades of orange and red everywhere I go-many in the form of pumpkins and winter squash. We finally harvested the majority of our squash and pumpkins and now its time to cook up those quintessential fall dishes. I have made pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, squash and apples, pumpkin puree, and the list goes on. But one of my more recent dishes was a new experiment-a twist on a comforting classic. This butternut squash mac and cheese is perfect for those cool fall nights and is a bit healthier without losing any of the creamy richness, the reason we all love mac and cheese.

http://naturallyella.com

naturallyella.com

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:
2 cups of butternut squash puree (any winter squash or pumpkin would taste delicious)
1 ½ Tablespoon butter
1 ½ Tablespoon flour
3/4 cup whole milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 cup of cheddar cheese
1 pound of whole wheat penne pasta

 Directions:

  1. Peel and chop butternut squash. Toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400°F for 30 minutes.
  2. While squash is roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil, add pasta and cook til tender.
  3. Once squash is cooked through and cooled slightly, place in a blender or food processer and pulse until it’s smooth.
  4. In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Whisk in flour and cook for a minute. Continue whisking while slowly adding the milk. Next add in salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Allow mixture to thicken slightly. Add the squash puree and whisk until it is completely incorporated. Lastly add the cheese and whisk until melted.
  5. Combine squash mixture to pasta and serve

*If you wanted to make this even healthier, you could try adding some sautéed spinach or kale, or any other delicious fall veggies.

This recipe is adapted from Naturally Ella Blog

Summer Vegetable Soup

A few weeks ago, I was getting ready to head off to the east coast for vacation, when I realized that I had an abundance of veggies in my fridge- something that frequently occurs during these summer months. I have a difficult time seeing food go to waste, and I couldn’t bear seeing the bounty end up as compost. In these moments, when I have a mound of veggies to use up, I either make a frittata or soup. So soup it became.IMG_1933

This light and bright soup captures so many of summertime’s flavors and is perfect for a light lunch. Make it a more substantial meal by adding cooked pasta, or serve it over quinoa. This soup also freezes well. I divided it up into single portions before I left, and it was wonderful having a good meal ready when I returned home.

IMG_1942

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion or 4 leeks, diced

3 medium carrot, chopped

3 stalks of celery, chopped

2 small zucchinis, diced

2 small summer squash, diced

2 ears of sweet corn, cut from the cob

Half a cabbage, sliced

1 c. green beans, cut in half

4 medium tomatoes, diced

2 large potatoes, diced

2 quarts chicken stock

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 TBS. fresh basil

½ TBS. fresh thyme

3 cloves of garlic

Salt

Pepper

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or cannellini, kidney, navy, whatever you have in your pantry)

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the vegetables are soft and onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add potatoes, green beans, corn, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes. Add stock, increase heat, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add cabbage, herbs, and chickpeas. Reduce heat to low, and let vegetables cook until tender, approximately 25-30 minutes.  I like to serve mine with some parmesan grated over top and a piece of good, crusty bread. Enjoy!