Baked Parsnips

If you've never had parsnips before, this would be a great recipe to try them for the first time.  I asked my family what they though of these and they said the parsnips tasted like a cross between a baked potato and a steamed carrot.  So there you go- parsnips are nothing weird!

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Baked Parsnips

Enough parsnips to feed your family
1 T. melted butter
Salt and pepper
An onion, sliced (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400.
Cut the carrots into 1/4 inch slices and toss with the melted butter.  Place in a glass dish with the sliced onions.  Sprinkle with salt.  Cover the dish (either with a glass lid or tinfoil).
Bake for 30 minutes, or until fork tender.

Pssst- low-carbers: You could mash these parsnips and they would be faux-mashed-potatoes!

Super Simple Sauteed Peppers

I am almost embarrassed to post this recipe- it's so simple.  But sometimes simple is SO GOOD.  

Need a quick vegetable side for a meal?  This can be thrown together in about 10 minutes.

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Note: You can use any kind of peppers you like- small or large, sweet or hot.

Super Simple Sauteed Peppers

1. Cut up some peppers and onions in about 1/4 thick slices.
2. Heat a little bit of oil in a skillet.
3. Saute the peppers and onions for a few minutes until brown around the edges.
4. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Enjoy!

Eggplant Pizza Crust

This pizza crust is for all my gluten-free, grain-free, or Keto fans.

 I made my regular  Thai pizza recipe  but instead of putting the eggplant on the pizza, I put the pizza on the eggplant! Haha.

I made my regular Thai pizza recipe but instead of putting the eggplant on the pizza, I put the pizza on the eggplant! Haha.

I figured out a way to cut and roast eggplant in the shape of pizza slices.

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Eggplant Pizza Crust

Preheat the oven to 425.

If you want your eggplant without the skins, start by peeling it. I chose to leave my skins on because I wanted the structure that the skins would give the crust.

Cut the eggplant into 3/8” slices lengthwise. I was able to get 6 slices out of an average sized eggplant, which made enough for a single-serving pizza. Cut the stem end of the eggplant slice into a triangular shape. (You can put your scrap pieces in the frig and save them for another recipe.)

Brush both sides of the eggplant with oil.

Arrange the slices on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the eggplant is brown and semi-tender. Don’t bake it completely tender because it will continue to soften when you bake it with the toppings.

It is now ready for toppings. I made my regular Thai pizza recipe but omitted the roasted eggplant as a topping ingredient, since the crust was eggplant.

 Ready for toppings!

Ready for toppings!

Roasted Potatoes with Mustard and Basil Dressing

Do you eat your potatoes with the skins on?  Did you know that 50% of the antioxidant activity of the entire potato is in the skins?  Also, the high fiber content of the skins slows the digestion of starch and sugar, giving the potato a lower glycemic value*.  Roasting potatoes is a great way to use them with the skin on

 This is a great recipe to make with the fun colored potatoes we have.

This is a great recipe to make with the fun colored potatoes we have.

Roasted Potatoes with Mustard and Basil Dressing

Potatoes- enough to feed your family
1 T. oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425.  
Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces (no need to peel).  Toss with the oil and season with salt and pepper.  
Spread in a single layer on a baking pan (I really like using our cast iron skillet for this).  
Bake for about 45 minutes until they are crispy brown on the outside and tender on the inside, flipping halfway through cooking.

While they are roasting, make the dressing by mixing together the following ingredients (halve this dressing recipe if you are only feeding 1 or 2 people):
2 T olive oil or melted butter
2 tsp mustard
2 tsp honey
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2-3 T minced basil
Taste and adjust the dressing if needed.
When the potatoes come out of the oven, toss them with the dressing and serve!

*Reference: Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson

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3 Myths You Don't Have to Believe about Eggplant

A couple years ago, eggplant was only a color in my mind.   I had no idea it was such a mild vegetable that cooks down into silky, brown deliciousness.  Now, eggplant is probably my favorite vegetable.

However, you might have heard some intimidating things about it.  Bitterness?  Sweating?  Turning brown?

Here are three myths you don't have to believe about eggplant:

#1- You need to peel it.  Nah- don't bother.  The peel adds texture and interest.

#2- You need to sweat it.  Supposedly eggplant is bitter and by salting it, you draw out all the bitterness.  I quit sweating it (pun intended) years ago and I have yet to meet a bitter eggplant coming from my own garden or any other local producer.  Save yourself the time and don't bother!

#3- It spoils quickly.  I have found that I can keep them at room temp on the counter top for several days.  If I only use half the eggplant for a recipe, I will put the other half of the eggplant in a bag in the frig and it will keep just fine that way for several days as well.

If you've never tried eggplant before, I hope this convinces you that eggplant is easy and fuss-free.  I will be sharing some of my favorite eggplant recipes, because I want to you to love eggplant as much as I do!

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"Tastes Like Summer" Salad

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I came up with this recipe because I wanted a salad that would showcase the best of summer flavors. 

I first taste-tested it on a group of moms and kids at one of our farm play dates.  After the salad had made its rounds and gotten thumbs-ups from the moms, a group of toddlers and preschoolers congregated around the bowl and gobbled it down!  They may have been more fascinated with the novelty of stabbing the food with toothpicks than being interested in the food itself, but regardless; they polished off the rest of the bowl!!!

The salad next made its appearance at our chiropractor's office (Inspired Chiropractic) when I handed out samples there.  One woman's eyes lit up when she tried it and she said, "Mmmm... it tastes like summer."  Thus the name of the recipe came about.

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Most recently, I passed out samples of this salad at a business meeting.  One man asked what the yellow vegetables were and when I answered "yellow tomatoes" he said, "Huh.  I don't normally like tomatoes, but I like THOSE!"

"Tastes Like Summer" Salad

Dressing:
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1/2 T. raw local honey
2 roasted garlic cloves, mashed  (See how to roast garlic here.)
1/4 tsp salt

Vegetables needed:
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
Basil, minced

Cut up an adequate amount of vegetables to feed your family and drizzle with dressing right before serving.  The salad will become very juicy if allowed to sit, so only make what you will eat right away.

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Cheesy Kale and Sausage Pasta

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 Tear the kale into small pieces like this.

Tear the kale into small pieces like this.

This recipes uses the ground beef sausage recipe I shared here: https://www.glorygarden.org/blog/2018/3/14/sausage-seasoning

Cheesy Kale and Sausage Pasta

2 cups penne or rotini pasta, or about 6 oz.
1 tsp oil
3 oz kale (if you don't have a scale to measure, use about half of a 5 oz bag from Glory Garden)
2 T. butter
1/2 chopped onions
1 garlic clove
2 T. flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
6 oz cooked ground beef sausage
1 cup grated cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Wash, dry, and de-stem the kale.  Tear or chop into small 1" pieces.  Heat 1 tsp oil in a skillet.  Saute the greens until reduced in size and tender.  Place in a dish and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat 2 T. butter and saute the onions until golden and tender.  Add the garlic clove and saute briefly until fragrant.  Add the flour and cook for for a minute or two.  Add the milk gradually, stirring out any lumps.  When thickened, add the salt, pepper, kale, sausage, cooked pasta, and cheese.  Mix and heat through. 

Enjoy! 

Serves 4-6. 
 

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Thai Chicken Pizza

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This pizza is my newest obsession.  Everyone I've made it for gave their hearty approval that this was worthy of a blog recipe.

For our pizzas, I used whole wheat tortillas for the crust, but feel free to use any crust you like.  I like how the tortillas allow the crust to take a back seat and let the other flavors and toppings take the stage.  This recipe will make enough sauce and toppings for 3 tortilla-sized pizzas.    

 Tortilla + Thai pizza sauce

Tortilla + Thai pizza sauce

 Tortilla + Thai pizza sauce + toppings

Tortilla + Thai pizza sauce + toppings

 Finished!

Finished!

Begin by cooking the eggplant:

  • 1 T. coconut oil
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1/4" cubes (peeled or unpeeled, whichever you prefer)
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Heat oil in a large skillet and add eggplant.  Sprinkle with salt and cover with a lid.  Saute until tender, flipping occasionally to cook evenly.  When done, the eggplant should be tender all the way through and no longer spongy.  It may be dark brown on the edges, but that is just fine.

Thai Pizza Sauce

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes OR 1 T. fresh red jalapeno, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 T smooth peanut butter
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 2 T coconut aminos

Combine all the vinegar, honey, water, pepper, garlic, ginger, and salt in a small pot and simmer for about 10-20 minutes until the sauce has reduced to about 1/2 cup.
Remove from heat and add the peanut butter, oil, and coconut aminos.

Assemble the pizzas:

  • 3 tortillas or your favorite pizza crust
  • Thai Pizza Sauce
  • Chicken, pre-cooked and cut up into small pieces
  • Tomatoes
  • Green peppers
  • Roasted eggplant
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Thai basil, minced

Divide the pizza sauce between the three tortillas and spread evenly.
Top with chicken, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and cheese.
Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes until done to your liking.
Garnish with Thai basil before serving.
Devour!
 

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Loaded Nacho Fries

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"Loaded Nacho Fries" is probably not a recipe you were expecting to see on this blog.

My boyfriend, Joshua, and I had a discussion (argument) about whether these were REALLY "loaded nacho fries".  I call them "loaded nacho fries", but....

-The fries are oven-baked farm-fresh potatoes,

-the taco meat is grassfed ground beef with homemade taco seasoning,

- and the nacho cheese is a from-scratch cheese sauce with real cheddar.

It's all the components of loaded nacho fries....... with none of the junk stuff.

So you tell me- are these loaded nacho fries or are they BETTER?

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Are you guys OK if I don't have the exact measurement for ingredients in this recipe for fries?

I think I heard you say "yes".  Good.  This recipe is very simple and you can make as many as you need for the size of your family.

Oven-Baked Fries

Potatoes* (enough to feed your family)
Oil (about 1 T. for every couple potatoes that you use)
Salt

Preheat oven to 425.
Cut up the potatoes into 1/4" french fry shapes.
Drizzle with oil and mix to coat evenly.  Sprinkle liberally with salt.
Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 425 for about 30 minutes until they are tender on the inside and golden on the outside, flipping halfway through to cook evenly. 

*We tested out different varieties of potatoes in hopes of finding the best one for making fries.  What we found was that the technique made a bigger difference in the quality of the fries than did the variety of potato.  All varieties made good fries, if:
-They were evenly coated with oil.
-They each had a good sprinkling of salt.
-They were not over-baked (you want them to be tender rather than being like crispy matchsticks). 

To assemble the loaded nacho fries, you will need:
Meat seasoned with our homemade taco seasoning
Homemade nacho cheese
Fresh tomatoes or salsa
Cilantro or green onions for garnishing

Pile all that good stuff together and you have yourself some loaded nacho fries with wholesome ingredients and none of the guilt!

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Nothing-Like-Olive-Garden-Dressing

 This salad included lettuce, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, red onions, pine nuts and Olive Garden dressing

This salad included lettuce, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, red onions, pine nuts and Olive Garden dressing

This was THE salad dressing that made me enjoy a salad for the first time EVER.

You see, the salad dressing that I grew up on was ranch and ranch was all I ever had.  Salads were not something I enjoyed as a kid or teen.

Then one night we were having dinner with friends and they served a salad with purchased Olive Garden dressing.  I was mind blown.  I actually liked this salad!

All along, I thought I disliked salads, when in reality it was the ranch dressing I disliked!  I realized I liked the Olive Garden dressing because it was sweet (compared to ranch dressing which is more sour).

I immediately set about to make a homemade copy-cat version of the Olive Garden dressing.  Over the years it has morphed into something that is nothing like the original Olive Garden dressing (I don't even remember what that tasted like).  I just know that this dressing is GOOD. 

I also know that for me to relish a salad, it has to have something sweet on it.  I love making different combinations of fruit+veg that compliment each other, such as:

-Chicken, apple, cashew salad with honey mustard dressing
-Taco or TexMex salad with cilantro and mangos
-Blueberries or strawberries on a salad with lemon poppyseed dressing
-Grapes on an Italian-flavored salad with this dressing:

Nothing-Like-Olive-Garden Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise and/or plain yogurt*
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. honey
  • 2 roasted garlic cloves or 1/8 tsp garlic powder (see how to roast garlic here)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • a few leaves of basil, minced**
  • a few leaves of parsley, minced**
  • a few leaves of oregano, minced**
  • a sprig of thyme with the leaves removed**

Combine all ingredient and mix well.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

*Use whichever is your favorite, or use a combination.

** These herbs can be purchased together in the Italian Herb Combo Pack here.
 

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