Monday, July 31, 2017

RECIPE: Zucchini and Basil Slow Cooker Fritatta

10 eggs

2 small or 1 medium-to-large zucchini

handful of chopped or torn basil leaves

1/4 cup almond or dairy milk

1/2 tsp of dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

parchment paper

optional add ins:  greens, tomatoes, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella...the list goes on!

1. Chop the zucchini in half, then into quarters.  The slices should be about 1/4" thick.

2. Lightly oil a skillet and sautee the zucchini and dried oregano for ~ 5 minutes, until lightly done.  If adding greens or other vegetables, sautee them as well.  Set aside and let cool.

3. Beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper til frothy.

4. Line a slow cooker with parchment paper for ease of removal and ease of clean up.  If not using parchment, generously grease the sides of the cooker.

5. Pour egg mixture into the slow cooker.  Add the vegetables and any other mix-ins.

6. Add basil to the top.  Ensure that it's semi-submerged in the egg mixture.

7. Cook on high for 2.5 hours or until it looks set on top.  

8. Remove from cooker using parchment paper.  Let rest on a cooling rack until desired temperature.

Serving notes: Make it a meal by adding a simple green salad.  Also makes great pack-ahead lunches and breakfasts!

RECIPE: Green Beans and Bacon in the Crock Pot


~1 lb green beans

6 slices of bacon

1 diced clove of garlic (optional/to taste)

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

fresh ground pepper

Place bacon at the bottom of the crockpot

Place other ingredients on top of the bacon

Stir to combine

Cover and cook on low for ~6 hrs.

RECIPE: CSA Summer Salad

Greens of your choosing. A mix of leaf lettuce and arugula or mixed greens works well.

2 golden beets

1 cucumber

1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin

1 ear of corn, cut from the cob and sautéed in pan with butter or olive oil

Goat or feta cheese (optional)

Seeds or nuts of your choosing (optional)

Salt and Pepper

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Lemon or Red Wine Vinegar

Cut kernels from 1 ear of boiled corn, sautée in pan, preferably cast iron, with butter or olive oil until beginning to brown. Set aside to cool.
If using nuts or seeds, roast in a pan on low heat until fragrant and beginning to brown. Set aside to cool.

Rinse and dry greens and cut to desired size.

Rinse beets, cut into quarters and thinly slice.

Cut cucumber into quarters and thinly slice.

Mix greens, beets, cucumbers and red onion. Season with salt, pepper, olive oil and acid to taste. Add corn, nuts and goat cheese and mix gently until combined.

RECIPE: Cucumber Mint Water

Infused water is a great way to use CSA herbs and vegetables and have something refreshing and delicious to drink on hand in the summer. Cucumber and mint are gray together but use whatever veggies, herbs and fruit you have and like! Water and produce can steep in the fridge for about a day or two before you should throw the produce out and start over.

1/2 Cucumber sliced

15-20 Mint leaves

Pitcher of water

Combine and let sit in fridge. Serve alone or on ice. Pour into an ice try and freeze for fancy ice cubes for summer cocktails.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

RECIPE: Cherry Banana Smoothie

1/2 cup pitted cherries

1/2 cup raspberries

handful of blueberries

1 frozen banana

1 cup of almond milk (chef's choice!)

2 - 3 tbsp hemp seeds

optional additions: 

1/4 oatmeal for fiber and carbohydrates

1/2" knob of ginger, diced

Blend to combine.  Serve cold and enjoy a health breakfast or snack!

RECIPE: Chopped Roasted Beet Salad with Feta Recipe  

Yield: Serves 2

This beet salad is great chilled or at room temperature. If you normally like your salad with lots of vinaigrette, then feel free to double the lemon zest vinaigrette recipe. The beets can be roasted or microwaved a day or so ahead of time if it is easier for your schedule.

for the beet salad:

1 pound fresh beets

2 ounces crumbled feta

1/8 cup (2 Tbsp) minced parsley

1/8 cup slivered or sliced almonds (you may add or substitute pecans, walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, or pistachio nuts)

Double quantity of Lemon Zest Vinaigrette (you can cut it in half or use some for this and save some for later):
2 med cloves of garlic, minced or crushed

2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil

1 tablespoon (15ml) balsamic vinegar

finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon

2 teaspoons (10ml) fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon (5ml) brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt, or to taste

fresh cracked black pepper to taste


1.    Place the beets in a single layer in a microwave-safe dish. Add a small amount of water to the bowl -- 2 to 4 tablespoons should be enough. Cover the dish and microwave the beets on high until they are easily pierced with a fork. Depending on the size of the beets and the power of your microwave, the beets should be ready in 10 to 15 minutes. Always use beets of a similar size to ensure even cooking.

2.    If the beets are fully cooked, the skin should slip off easily. Allow the beets to cool for at least five minutes before you attempt to peel them. Peeling them can be messy, so wear an apron to avoid staining your clothes. Slice off the roots and stems before attempting to peel the beets. Hold the beet using a paper towel or rubber gloves, then rub the beet to peel away the skin. If the skin doesn't come loose easily, the beets could probably use a few more minutes in the microwave or you can use a vegetable peeler.

Cut beets into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

Make the Lemon Zest Vinaigrette dressing: In medium bowl, combine all dressing ingredients (garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt, and pepper).

Toss together chopped beets, vinaigrette, feta, parsley, and almonds until everything is combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.

RECIPE: Rainbow Chard Strata from Much Ado About Stuffing

Yield: 4-6 servings

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

1/2 bunch Swiss chard



2-1/2 cups shredded cheese

4 eggs

1 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dry Swiss chard. Cut off the very ends of the stems. Roughly chop (leaving stems intact) the chard.  In a sauté or frying pan add onion and chard to the oil and sauté until stems are tender (do not overcook). Salt and pepper to taste. Grate cheese to make 2 1/2 cups. Use whatever varieties you want/have. Be creative! I used Swiss, Cheddar, and Parmesan. Whisk eggs. Add milk and cheese. Fold in the onion/chard mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. Pour into a Pyrex rectangular baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and no liquid seeps out when knife is inserted. Serve with crusty bread and a salad.

RECIPE: Beet greens, sauteed in olive oil


·       1 pound beet greens (2 large or 3 small bunches)

·       Salt

·       1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to taste

·       2 garlic cloves, minced

·       ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)

·        Freshly ground pepper    


1.   Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you stem the greens and wash the leaves in 2 rinses of water. When the water comes to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the greens. Blanch for 2 minutes, until tender. Transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water, then drain and squeeze the water out from its leaves. Chop coarsely.

2.   Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and hot red pepper flakes (if using) and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant and translucent, 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in the greens. Stir for a couple of minutes, until the greens are nicely seasoned with garlic and oil. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat, and serve. 

Tip: Some people enjoy a few drops of lemon juice with their cooked greens, so you might want to pass a plate of lemon wedges.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

RECIPE: Lightened-Up Creamy Avocado Basil Pesto (no oil added)


·            1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

·            1/2 large ripe avocado

·            2 cloves garlic

·            2 tablespoons pine nuts

·            1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

·            3 tablespoons water, plus more if necessary

·            1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

·            sea salt, to taste


1.  Add basil, avocado, garlic, pine nuts and lemon juice to a food processor and pulse for 20 seconds or until pesto is chopped. Add in water and process again until completely smooth. You may need to add more water to get it to your desired consistency; I like mine a little on the thicker side. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese.

2.  Store in an airtight container or sealed mason jar and refrigerate. Pesto is best if used within a few days, otherwise you can freeze it for several months.


Toss in 1/2 cup spinach for extra nutrition

You can omit the pine nuts, but I think they add a nice flavor.

New to pesto? Here are some delicious ways to enjoy it:

-Toss 1/4 cup in with some whole grain or gluten free pasta for an easy weeknight dinner. Add chicken for extra protein.

-Stir into cooked quinoa and add a few cherry tomatoes for an easy weekday vegetarian lunch.

-Spread it on toast and top with a few other extras like sliced tomatoes, avocado, sprouts and chia seeds

-Use it as a sandwich spread for your grilled cheese; it’ll add a ton of flavor!

-Toss in 1/2 cup spinach for extra nutrition!

RECIPE: Basic vinaigrette for the perfect summer salad

Difficulty level: Easy

1/4 cup white-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Pinch of sugar (or honey, brown sugar, agave...)

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Optional: minced garlic, shallot or fresh herbs. Substitute different vinegars or lemon juice. Add Parmesan or blue cheeses.

Combine ingredients and shake in a jar!


6 Servings

30 minutes or fewer

Don't be fooled into thinking that a great-tasting homemade soup needs long, slow cooking to prepare. This satisfying soup is ready in just 15 minutes.

·                                 2 tsp. olive oil

·                                 1 small onion, finely chopped

·                                 6 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

·                                 7 cups vegetable broth

·                                 5 cups chopped escarole

·                                 1 9-oz. pkg. mushroom tortellini or tortelloni, cooked (I substitute a lb. of tofu that I press for 20 minutes)

·                                 grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1.                             In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.

2.                             Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add escarole and cook 2 minutes. Add cooked tortellini and heat through. Serve hot, sprinkled with Parmesan if desired.

RECIPE: Creamy Vegan Dill Salad Dressing

Serves: 6-8
  • ½ cup cashews
  • water for soaking
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  1. Soak the cashews in water to cover for at least an hour.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews.
  3. Place all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in a blender or food processor.
  4. Process the dressing. Slowly add in the olive oil with the processor or blender going.
  5. Transfer the dressing to a bottle.
  6. Store in refrigerator.
  7. Enjoy!

Friday, July 14, 2017

RECIPE: High Protein & Oil-Free Basil Pesto

This is far from a traditional tasting pesto, but it’s so delicious I couldn’t stop eating it! The navy beans replace the typical cup of oil in this pesto recipe, making it not only oil-free, but high in protein as well. Nutritional yeast adds a cheezy taste while packing protein and B12. Enjoy this pesto spread on sandwiches, pasta, or even use for a dip for vegetables or chips. Spoon feeding encouraged.

Yield: 1.5 cups


1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves (don’t be shy- really pack it in!)
1 garlic clove
1 15-oz can navy/cannellini beans (1.5 cups)
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon) I used 3 tbsp
1/2-3/4 tsp kosher salt (I used 3/4 tsp)
You can add olive oil to taste if you prefer!

Directions: Add garlic clove to processor and process until finely chopped. Now add in the rest of the ingredients to taste and process until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

RECIPE: Crispy, Roasted Cabbage Steak

Crispy Roasted Cabbage Steaks provide everything you love about roasted Brussels Sprouts but made even easier here with cabbage. No need to trim a whole bag of Brussels Sprouts when you just need to make a few cuts to a head of cabbage. Plus the presentation value of the cabbage steaks is great.  For plating I usually either serve it as an intact steak, cut in half in a half circle (use a good spatula to lift intact) or using a fork to twirl it into a pasta-like pile of delicious-ness.
Cabbage gets such a bad rap as far as vegetables go. Not a lot of people see it on menus and say “oooh let’s order a side of cabbage with our short ribs” but if you were to try this side dish, I promise…you’ll be a convert. In fact the first couple of times you make it you can even get away with taking one for the team and eating all those extra browned outside pieces… here’s a secret… They are the best part! They’re super crispy and delicious, and sometimes if I have a few extra minutes I let more of them crisp up.
Ok fine, truth? Sometimes I snack on the outside rings and put the tray back in for a few more minutes to get more of them browned. And no one is ever the wiser.
Crispy Roasted Cabbage Steaks
Crispy Roasted Cabbage Steaks make a great side dish for any meal in just 20 minutes. You'll never boil cabbage again.
 Prep Time 2 minutes
 Cook Time 20 minutes
 Total Time 22 minutes
 Servings 6 servings
 Author Dinner, then Dessert
·                            1 head cabbage , dark loose leaves removed
·                            Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
·                            2 tablespoons canola oil

1.                   Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2.                   Slice the cabbage into 1/2 inch thick steaks
3.                   Brush with oil on both sides and place onto cookie sheet.
4.                   Season to taste with Kosher salt and black pepper (I used 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper).
5.                   Roast for 17-20 minutes or until caramelized.

6.                   (Psst, save the super crispy dark edges for yourself, they're the best part!!)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

TIP: How to Store Fresh Herbs

Note: I have tried the paper towel method and the mason jar/plastic bag method. Both work, but you have to know which herbs work best for which method. My herbs last up to 2 weeks depending on the variety and method! See what works in your home environment, as well. If your home is too warm, perhaps don’t leave the herbs out on the counter or a windowsill and use the refrigerator method!


Soft herbs include parsley, cilantro, dill, basil, tarragon, and mint. Basil and/or mint can be left out at room temperature (I’ve put mint in the fridge and it survived just fine). All other herbs should be refrigerated. This method helps the herbs retain moisture and keeps oxygen from browning the leaves. 

Directions for soft herbs:

1.      Cut bottom of the stems

2.      Make sure your herbs are completely dry. Avoid rinsing until you are about to use them, to avoid mold or wilting.

3.      Fill a jar or glass with about one inch of water, or enough to submerge the base of stems. “Plant” stem ends into water in jar.

4.      Cover loosely with with plastic or ziplock bag, bound at the base with a rubber band.

5.      Place in fridge. Change water every few days if water becomes discolored.


Hard herbs include rosemary, thyme, chives, oregano, and sage. The paper towel method keeps the herbs moist to avoid drying out and again keeps oxygen from getting in.

Directions for hard herbs:

1.      Wrap herbs loosely in a damp paper towel

2.      Store in an airtight container or a ziplock bag in your crisper.


Instead of deep-frying the broccoli in this sesame noodles recipe, we used a high-heat roasting method.

4 servings


·                                 1 large head of broccoli, cut into large florets with some stalk attached

·                                 2 garlic cloves, 1 finely grated, 1 thinly sliced, divided

·                                 1 1/2 teaspoons sambal oelek

·                                 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, divided

·                                 3/4 cup vegetable oil, divided

·                                 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more

·                                 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more

·                                 3 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced, plus more for serving

·                                 1 (3-inch) piece ginger, peeled, cut into 1-inch matchsticks

·                                 4 cups chopped Tuscan kale leaves

·                                 2 (10-ounce) packages fresh ramen noodles or 2 (3-ounce) packages dried

·                                 Torn mint leaves and toasted sesame seeds (for serving)


1.                                                      Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss broccoli with grated garlic, sambal oelek, 1 Tbsp. vinegar, and 1/4 cup oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and browned in spots, 20–25 minutes.

2.                                                      Meanwhile, whisk scallions, ginger, sliced garlic, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and remaining 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup oil in a large bowl. Add kale; toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.

3.                                                      Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; rinse under cold water. Add noodles and warm broccoli to kale and toss to coat. Divide among bowls and top with mint, sesame seeds, and more scallions.

RECIPE: Ayurvedic Cilantro Chutney

This is a simple recipe using the remarkable coriander leaf (cilantro). It is not only delicious, but it is a safe way to begin purifying deep toxins (known as garavisha) from the body. You can eat cilantro chutney with holy basil (tulsi) as an addition to your diet. The cilantro is said to help remove heavy metals, and the holy basil is helpful in eliminating two particular kinds of toxins recognized by ayurveda — amavisha and garavisha. If you grow it in your home, it helps purify the air as well. It grows easily in most spring-summer north American climates.


8 tsp. chopped organic cilantro leaf

1 tsp. shredded organic ginger

½ tsp. organic lime or lemon juice

½ tsp. chopped holy basil leaf

A little water to blend


Mix all ingredients and blend together to a thin paste. Add salt to taste.

You can use this chutney with cooked veggies, rice and other grains and flatbreads (chapatis).