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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Party in My Mouth Pasta Sauce

I posted this recipe on the blog last year and it got rave reviews.  David told me that when his wife made it, "It tasted like a party in my mouth".  I'll never forget that!

If you've never tried eggplant before, this would be a great recipe to try for the first time.  Seasoned eggplant lovers are going to love this as well.

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 All the vegetables ready for the oven

All the vegetables ready for the oven

Party in My Mouth Pasta Sauce

  • 1.5 lb tomatoes (3-4 fist-sized tomatoes)
  • 1 eggplant (1/2 lb-1 lb depending on size of eggplant)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper or 2 smaller peppers, any kind you like
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 T. oil
  • 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*
  • 1/4+1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup beef or chicken broth

Preheat oven to 425.  
Cut the tomatoes, peppers, and onions into 1" pieces.  Peel and cut the eggplant into 1/2" cubes. 
Lay all the vegetables- including the whole garlic cloves- in a single layer on a baking sheet (you many need two pans).  Drizzle with oil and mix to evenly coat the vegetables.  
Roast for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stir.  Roast for 15 more minutes or until the vegetables are tender and brown around the edges.
Place all the vegetables in a food processor or blender with the herbs, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup broth and pulse briefly until it become a thick chunky sauce.  You can continue to process it depending on how thick or chunky you would like it.  Add an additional 1/4 cup broth if you would like to thin it out more.

Serve over pasta, spiralized summer squash, or quinoa, or use as a cracker dip!

Leave a comment if you make this!

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

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Tender and Delicious Baked Beets

 Veggies prepped and ready for the oven

Veggies prepped and ready for the oven

Tender and Delicious Baked Beets

1 lb beets, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 purple onion, sliced 1/4 thick
1 whole garlic clove
1 T. butter, cut into small pieces
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425.
Place vegetables and butter in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover with a lid.  If you don't have a dish with a lid, you can cover the pan with tinfoil. 
Bake for about 45 minutes until the beets are semi-tender.
Remove the lid/cover and stir.  Return to the oven uncovered and bake for about 15 minutes longer to evaporate the juices.
Serve!

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Caged Chickens vs Pastured Chickens- See for Yourself

I was out at the Sioux Empire Fair this week and had the opportunity to experience modern farming practices at the Pipestone Discovery Barn.

Although I appreciate that the Pipestone Discovery Barn desires to educate about where food comes from and be open about how they raise their animals, I do not think that these farming practices are something to be proud of.

Take a look for yourself.  There were 4 hens in a cage that was no bigger than 24"x24".  This is where they live 24 hours a day.

Because these chickens are short-changed of sunlight, exercise, and the ability to forage for fresh greens and bugs, WE are short changed because the eggs they produce don’t have as many nutrients as eggs from chickens raised on pasture.

Researchers have found that compared to commercial eggs, pastured eggs contain:

• 1/3 less cholesterol
• 1/4 less saturated fat
• 2/3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene

If you want to learn more about the fascinating comparison between the eggs from convention and pasture raised chickens, check out this article.

Now enjoy these pictures of the chickens who supply Glory Garden with eggs.  These are the girls at Prairie Coteau Farm in Astoria, SD and Free Happy Farm in Brookings, SD.

Roasted Garlic Dip

This dip is fast and simple to make, but I suggest making it a few hours ahead of time to allow the flavors to infuse the dip before eating.

 Cucumbers, tomatoes, crackers, bell peppers, and baked potato chips all ready for dipping!   Go here for the baked potato chip recipe.

Cucumbers, tomatoes, crackers, bell peppers, and baked potato chips all ready for dipping!  Go here for the baked potato chip recipe.

Roasted Garlic Dip

  • 1 head of garlic (yes the whole head, not just a clove)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 T. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 T. stone ground mustard
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 T. minced parsley
  • Optional: 1/4 cup shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese

To roast the garlic:
Preheat oven to 400.
Take the whole head of garlic and slice the top off about 1/4". 
Drizzle with the 1 tsp of oil and wrap in tinfoil.
Bake for 40-60 minutes, until the garlic cloves are golden and tender.
Here is a picture tutorial on how to roast garlic.

Meanwhile, mix the rest of the dip ingredients together.
Let the garlic cool before removing the garlic cloves from the wrappers.  Mash the garlic cloves and mix into the dip.  We used about 6 garlic cloves in our dip, but make sure you taste as you go and add as many cloves as you like.
Refrigerate for a few hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
Serve with crackers, chips, or veggies!

Leave a comment if you make this dip.  I want to hear your feedback and any adaptations you made!

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 Yes, that is Ella modeling for us with a towel turban on her wet hair.

Yes, that is Ella modeling for us with a towel turban on her wet hair.

Quick and Easy Baked Potato Chips

Baked Potato Chips

  • 3 medium/large potatoes
  • 1 tsp oil
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Cut potatoes into 1/8" slices.  You can use a mandolin if you have one, but a knife works fine, too.  They don't have to be perfectly the same thickness.
Spread in a single layer on the cookie sheet.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and flip them over to bake evenly. 
Bake for another 10-20 minutes.  Some will be brown and crispy while others may still be golden and tender.  Both are good!  Make sure to watch them towards the end so they don't burn.
Enjoy! 

FYI, 3 potatoes made enough chips to feed 3 people in our family.

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*NEW* Glory Garden Subscription Plan

If you're reading this, I'm guessing that feeding your family a healthy meal is pretty important to you.  And you know that using fresh local ingredients makes anything you cook even more amazing. 

But taking time to grocery shop probably isn't your #1 favorite thing to do each week.

Between practices, weekend roadtrips, and family get-togethers, the weekends slip by so quickly and before you know it, you've missed the Monday morning deadline for Glory Garden orders.  So another week goes by without heirloom tomatoes, free-range eggs, or fresh beets.

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That's exactly why I created the Glory Garden Subscription Plan.  If you sign up, you will get:

  • Only your favorite produce
     
  • Only on the weeks that you want
     
  • At a price point that fits your individual needs

-All this without having to place an order!

Here is how it works:

  1. We work together to customize your subscription plan.
    In this survey you will specify your preference by checking "like it", "love it", or "hate it" for the vegetables we have available.  Then we will determine a weekly price point that will supply you with just enough veggies for your family.
  2. I will personally hand select a weekly order for you according to your preferences.
    Every Sunday, I will email you the list of what you will be receiving for the upcoming week so that you can plan your menu.
  3. You pick up on Tuesday at the drop site that is most convenient for you!

The Glory Garden Subscription Plan would be a good fit for you if:

  • you sometimes forget to order.
  • you don't have time to order.
  • you wouldn't mind not choosing what you will get each week and are willing to work your menu around what you will receive.
  • you would look forward to the surprise of not knowing which of your favorite vegetables you will get each week.

Here's what Katie, a mom of four, had to say after using the GG Subscription Plan for the month of July:
"I really enjoyed the subscription plan because we got just the right amount each week and I didn’t have to think about it!  All of Anna’s produce is amazing so we just planned our menu around what we got. We didn’t need to buy store veggies at all!"

BONUS:  You may occasionally get special items that are not listed on the website (because I sometimes have small quantities of some things, but not enough to offer to everyone.)

Are you in?  Please take 2-3 minutes to fill out this form.  After you submit it, I will contact you to discuss the weekly price point.  Let me know if you have any questions!

P.S. For those of you who love placing an order each week, don't worry- that will always be available!

The Vision Behind Glory Garden

 A picture from the early years, when I was growing a little bit of everything- August 1, 2015.

A picture from the early years, when I was growing a little bit of everything- August 1, 2015.

I started Glory Garden 5 years ago.  Originally my goal was to grow as wide a variety of vegetables that I possibly could in order to meet all your produce needs.

Fast forward to 2017.  The business was growing faster than a weed.  I was overwhelmed.  I had lost the vision and was seeking direction.

That's when Clint Brown and his sidekick Lauren Forsch came into my life as business mentors.

Last fall I had a pivotal moment when Clint brought me to the point of recognizing my limits.  He said, "Anna, I want you to repeat after me.  'I am not a superhero.' "

"I am not a superhero, " I repeated.

"I need to ask for help," Clint asked me to say.

I couldn't say it.  It was like my mouth was stuck shut.  I did not want to ask for help.

Eventually I did come to the place of asking for help and that's when the breakthrough came and I gained a new vision:

Rather than me trying to become the expert at growing the best local food, I am going to FIND THE FARMERS WHO ALREADY ARE EXPERTS at growing the best local food.

-Jerry Ward grows tomatoes in a greenhouse and is able to have them ripe weeks before mine would ever be ready.

-My lettuce would always go bitter in the summer heat, but Nick and Ian know how to use shade cloth and frequent watering to keep the lettuce mild and sweet all summer.

-Jerry and Paul plant and dig potatoes with a tractor.  I used to do it all by hand.

Sourcing from other farmers has allowed me to bring you a higher quality product than I would be able to grow myself.

But I've gotten alot of questions lately about whether the other growers are organic or chemical free. 

So let's talk about organic for a minute, shall we?

For a large grower out in California who is shipping to HyVee, it makes sense to go through the extra effort of paperwork and expense to have the organic certification.  The organic sticker is your assurance that someone is inspecting that farm out on the other side of the country to verify that they are organic.  But when you are buying from someone local, you don't need that sticker.  I am talking to these farmers myself. 

I know firsthand what it is like to lose your whole crop of cucumbers to bacterial wilt.  I know what it feels like to be working 7 days a week in the spring and be thinking, "I should have gotten those carrots planted 2 weeks ago."  We commiserate over the evils of squash bugs and geek out about aphid control.

I understand why we as small-scale farmers strive so hard to grow without chemicals.  If we are going through all this work to grow high quality food for our communities that tastes amazing and is impossible not to rave about, we sure as heck don't want to be spraying chemicals.

So the short answer is: all of our growers use organic growing methods, but none of them are certified organic.  If a grower does have to use a chemical on a specific crop, I will put it in the product description (cucumbers are the only thing I have had to do this with).

Each product description lists the farm where the it is coming from.

Want to meet the farmers who grow your food?  Click here!

Thank you so much for supporting Glory Garden as we grow!

Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing

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I've made many cilantro dressings with different ratios of yogurt, lime, honey, and cilantro, but this time I think I NAILED IT.  Try it and let me know if you agree.

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Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Place all ingredients except cilantro in a blender and blend until well mixed.
Add the cilantro and blend until the cilantro is as finely chopped as you would like it.
Serve!

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Smashed Baby Potatoes with Brie

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Smashed Baby Potatoes with Brie
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

  • 2 lbs small potatoes*
  • 1 T. oil
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 3-4 oz brie
  • a few basil leaves, minced

Preheat oven to 425.
Toss the baby potatoes with 1 T. oil.
Place in a baking pan and cover with tinfoil.
Bake until fork tender, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile melt butter and mix with the garlic, salt, and pepper.
When the potatoes are done, removed the foil, smash the potatoes with a fork, and drizzle the melted butter mixture evenly over all the potatoes.
Return to the oven (uncovered) and roast for another 15 minutes, until the edges of the potatoes are browned and crispy.
Cut the brie into small pieces and place one on each potato.  Return to the oven for a few minute- just long enough to melt the brie.
Garnish with fresh basil and serve!

*When ordering potatoes, leave a note during checkout to specify the size you would like.

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