Monthly Archives:

August 2011

Raw Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

Now that I’ve got several batches of slow-cooked marinara stashed in the freezer, I’ve been taking the easy route with summer’s remaining tomatoes.  After all, it’s only during the few months of tomato season that raw sauce can fully prevail.  Raw sauce is akin to bruschetta, allowing the sweet acidity of tomatoes to shine in its freshest form.  Without the full-flavor piquancy, distinguishable only in local, in season tomatoes, raw sauce is heinous.  But when those beauties are veiling their plants in red, nearly nothing can eclipse a good raw sauce.

It pairs beautifully with pasta, but for this recipe, I decided to swap the wheat for another fresh summer veggie still indomitably rampant in my garden– zucchini.  While this isn’t the kind of dish I crave all the time, it’s perfect for summer.  Rather than adding another layer onto your body before stepping out in the heat, zucchini keeps this “pasta” meal on the lighter side.  Hot days burn for recipes like this.  And it’s one raw foodies go crazy for anytime of year.

It’s refreshing to go fully raw every once in awhile.  Now more than ever is the time to experiment with raw days, while garden produce is still booming.  The best way to make raw sauce like this is to taste as you go.  If you like more of an acidic sauce, give it a squeeze of lime.  If you want it sweeter, add a pinch of sugar. Not spicy enough?  Choose a hotter pepper, or perk it up with an extra dash of hot sauce.  Likewise, the herbs are your choice.  Just make sure to use vine-ripened tomatoes.  The more varieties, the better, to intensify all the different flavors a tomato is capable of offering.  Enjoy.

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Banana Pops: A Fun Summer Snack

I know I’ve iterated this before, but banana and peanut butter is truly a marriage made in heaven.  The two mates will always have a steady relationship in my eyes, which we all know is a rarity these days.

The naturally sweet and nutty duo creates a rather satisfying flavor combo. that can be utilized on everything from PB&J to waffles to crepes.  I personally harness this flavor fusion most frequently as a snack all on it’s own.

But lately with warm-weathered days touching my skin and ice cream filling my mind, I’ve been taking an additional step to transform my favorite snack into an extra special summer treat.  With summer fruit sadly fading out, this treat is the perfect replacement.

A simple freeze can turn the classic banana and peanut butter into a healthy ice-cream-esque pop.  The protein-packed peanut butter (8 grams per serving) and potassium-filled bananas creates a well-balanced snack or after-dinner dessert that leaves me feeling both satisfied and energized.

For a super easy summer pop, stick with Phase 1.  The simple process of freezing the banana and PB adds a surprisingly special touch to the standard snack.

If you’re looking for an even extra special treat, take it to Phase 2 and add some melted chocolate to the mix.  Select whatever variety of chocolate you desire, but if you want to keep it healthy, go for bittersweet chocolate chips, like pictured above.   The dark chocolate will add a boost of antioxidants to your pops.  Spice it up a bit more with any of the optional add-ins, if you desire.

Click here for Banana Pops recipe…

Tomato, Basil and Goat Cheese Omelet

Breakfast always removes the morning blues.  Those days when I eat a bit too much the night before and wake up sans appetite?  Those are the days I get the cranky morning blues.   Most other days, give me ten minutes post bed roll-out, and I’m a morning person. With most things in life, it’s often the beginnings I enjoy best, and those first few moments of the day are no different.  I enjoy the morning’s crisp weather.  The slow-moving silence.  The first peaks of sun.  The occasional cup of coffee.  And of course, a filling, fueling breakfast.  Even if it’s just a bowl of cereal, I’m happy.  The way that cold soy milk brightens up dry cereal creates a juxtaposition that allows even the ordinary to satisfy my awakening desires.

When I have the time though, I’ll swap the routine bowl of cereal or oatmeal for something a little more zesty.  Usually these moments don’t come until the weekends, but all the more reason to get out of bed on a Saturday morning.  This past weekend, inspired by the overripe heirloom on my counter, I cracked a couple eggs and shaped the recipe for this omelet.

If you can get your hands on an heirloom tomato, its sweetness in particular will pair nicely with the tanginess that the goat cheese adds to this omelet.  Regular tomatoes work fine too, just make sure to saute them a bit first with the garlic to let a little olive oil pull out their sweetness.  If a taste of this doesn’t take away your a.m. daze, well, then it’s probably time for you to go back to bed.

Click here for recipe

Bug Photos

Tomorrow is my last day working my job at the CSA.  You can read about some of the memorable experiences I had at this place last summer, here.  Growing food, or at least observing how it’s done on a large scale, is a learning experience that would be beneficial to anyone.  Hellooo huge wake up call.

Anyways, for the past few weeks, while working on the farm I’ve also been working on acquiring a bug portfolio.  While they aren’t too good at sitting still, the critters have made for interesting subjects.  When you’ve got hours to spend outside, bugs become more than just nuisances.  At least for me.  Dare I say, natural entertainment at its best.  But don’t let my boss catch me saying that.  What’s entertainment to me is a pesky pain in the butt to him.

The photos aren’t perfect, but still pretty fascinating.  You can check out some of my latest here:  http://gracedphotography.wordpress.com/

Summer Squash Medley

Surrounded by counters and gardens full of squash, I was left with a dilemma: How to include the summer veggie into more of my meals.  It’s really not an objectionable problem to deal with, but a predicament nonetheless.  I hate wasting food, especially healthy food.  But with a garden and a part-time job at a CSA, it’s nearly impossible to consume all the vegetables that come in and out of my house.

This is when A, the local food bank comes into the picture, or B, meals become absorbed by improvised veggie dishes.  Lately it’s been the latter.  My mom’s always been a huge fan of plates full of vegetables, so when I decided I wanted to do something with squash one night, she suggested making this.  Not surprisingly, it turned into our main course.  However, ever since, we’ve been serving it as a side, complimenting countless evening meals.

I’m a huge fan of simple dishes, but even I was surprised at how tasty this was!  The flavors of the summer squash really stand out in this, even amidst the acidity of the tomatoes.  My mom and I thought about adding basil, but we both agreed that we liked how much you could really taste the squash in this.

Serve as a side, or alongside a crusty piece of bread.

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