With my son’s first birthday extravaganza on March 17th, I was faced with the dilemma of whether to give him a traditional cake loaded with sugar sugar and more sugar. After a few experimental baking trials, I’ve finally came up with a somewhat healthy alternative and approved by me, the whole foods strict nourishing food mommy. This recipe DOES include eggs and honey. Honey (if you’re not comfortable giving it to your one year old) can be substituted for maple syrup. If you have not introduced your child to eggs it may cause an allergic reaction. Considering that my son has been eating eggs (and LOVES them) I had no qualms about adding some eggs from our wonderful chickens to the cupcake recipe.
The frosting of course was the not-so-healthy part but it can be omitted or swapped out with a few options I’ve listed below for you. I used a pumpkin buttercream in the recipe. Feel free to pick a frosting that works for you! Enjoy!
Sausage, peppers and onions… Yes please! This is one of my favorite quick meals to whip up, especially when I have some good quality ground andouille on hand. If you’re local to the area, check out Heritage Meats here in Rochester, WA. It’s well worth the trip and their sausage and meat selection is phenomenal (plus it pastured and humanly raised which is a bonus for me and my family). Paired with some local produce and voilà! You have a pretty epic farm to table meal.
The Cajun spice I use in this recipe is homemade, but you can use store bought if you prefer. Just be mindful of the salt content when adding additional salt or using it with a broth that’s already seasoned. Sometimes you end up with something very spicy AND salty if you’re not careful. Cajun spice is fairly easy to prepare, please check out this recipe – it’s pretty similar to what I use but I do prefer to omit the salt and add more cayenne. As far as the salt, I prefer to add to each dish depending on what I’m cooking and the broth that is used. As for the pasta, I find that anything works – I prefer a good quality spaghetti noodle, linguini or rotini. Happy cooking!
Cook Pasta according to the directions on the package (Al DENTE please!) - Drain, toss with a little olive oil and set aside.
In a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and your ground sausage. Cook until well browned.
Add onions and peppers and cook for about 5 minutes. Towards the end, toss in your garlic and cook for about 1 minute (be sure to not burn the garlic). Remove from heat and place mixture in a bowl and set aside. This keeps the onions and peppers from becoming too mushy while you reduce the sauce in the next steps below.
Return the pan to medium head and add white wine and chicken broth. Cook for about 20 minutes until sauce has reduced by half.
Add cream, butter, cajun seasoning, chopped tomatoes, pepper and salt to taste. Cook for another 2-3 minutes allowing the sauce to thicken.
Toss in your pasta, sausage and pepper mixture and parsley. Toss well to combine and remove from heat.
Serve and enjoy!
Chimichurri sauce is a wonderful green garlicky and zesty sauce originating from Argentina. The origins of the name and the sauce is unclear but there is a theory that the name of the sauce comes from the Basque term tximitxurri, loosely translated as “a mixture of several things in no particular order”. The sauce is best served with grilled meat. In light of the recent wet Washington weather, I was forced to whip this dish up indoors. It’s still quite delicious either way but if you have the option to grill, go for it. The sauce works as a marinade, topping and dipping sauce! Enjoy!
Place all sauce ingredients into a food processor or blender. Pulse until chopped. Set aside.
Using a sharp chef's or filet knife, slice each chicken breast horizontally into two even pieces.
Place your chicken in a large sealable dish (for marinating). Evenly coat the chicken in salt and paprika. Add the lemon juice and vinegar (this will help tenderize the meat) and cover in 1/2 cup of your chimichurri sauce. Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 3 hours.
Remove chicken from dish and discard remaining marinade. Allow the chicken to reach room temperature before cooking.
Heat a large stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; coat pan evenly. Add chicken to pan; Cook for 5-6 minutes. Turn chicken over; reduce heat to medium and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until done. The chicken should be golden brown and the juices should run clear.
Remove from pan and top with chimichurri sauce. Enjoy!
When I saw the yellow chard in my CSA box this week, I immediately thought of soup. Everyone in my house has been sick except for me (knock on wood) so making a quick soup sounded like a good idea. This soup can be made spicy or mild but I do implore the use of some quality spicy Italian sausage. If you’re a local here in western Washington, I suggest using some sausage from Heritage Meat here in Rochester or at your local Co-Op. I absolutely LOVE their seasoning and it works great in this soup (and my Mother-in-law’s famous meatballs)
The soup is reminiscent of a soup that shall remain nameless from Olive Garden but with a few more ingredients and some home cooked lovin’. The zucchini from this week’s box made a nice final addition to the recipe! Enjoy!
In a large stockpot, brown your sausage and onions over medium heat.
Once your sausage is brown and your onions have cooked, add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and scape up any little bits that are stuck to the pan.
Add chicken broth, the minced and roasted red bell pepper, potatoes, thyme, red pepper flakes and pepper. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 10 minutes or until your potatoes are FIRM but cooked.
Once your potatoes are firm (but cooked) add your heavy cream, swiss chard and zucchini. Now, cook the soup for another minute or two. I prefer my zucchini pretty firm so I like to add them at the very end with the chard and cream. If you like them softer, add them a little sooner!
Add salt to taste (if needed). I generally do not need salt, it all depends on the broth you used in the soup!
As I sit here playing catch-up with the last few weeks of recipes, I’ve been scrambling around trying to find something to cook and post for you. My seven month old baby is getting over his first cold, and to top things off, he is getting his lower and upper teeth at the same time. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind and I’m a little sleep deprived. With that said, better late than never.
This recipe features caramelized leeks, wilted kale and seasoned, roasted potatoes. I used the Rose Finn Potatoes from the box but you can easily substitute them for a crescent or red potato. I threw in some of the wonderful purple carrots from the recent farm share which gave the salad a wonderful color and paired nicely with the kale. This dish is both healthy and hearty! Enjoy!
Start by making your dressing. Combine mustard, vinegar and lemon juice. Gradually whisk in oil. Set aside.
Clean and scrub your potatoes. Keep the skin on and remove any bad spots. Cut into bite size pieces.
Clean and scrub your carrots. Keep the skin on to retain the wonderful purple color. Slice into 1/4" pieces.
Remove the stems from your kale and roughly chop. Clean your leeks and slice thinly. Set aside.
In a large baking dish, add your potatoes and carrots. Toss with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper and 2 teaspoons of dried tarragon. Cook for about 45 minutes, turning once or twice to brown evenly. Potatoes are done when browned and crispy.
While your potatoes are in the oven start cooking your leeks. In a medium sized skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and bring to a low/medium heat.
Caramelize leeks by cooking with 1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for about 20 minutes or until they’re browned. Try not to cook them too quickly or they will burn.
Once your leeks are caramelized, add your chopped kale and crushed garlic.
Continue to stir and cook for about 5 minutes until your kale is wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
At this point, your potatoes should be close to being done. Once they are browned and crispy, remove from the oven and toss with your kale and leeks in the baking dish. Drizzle the dressing on your potatoes that you made earlier. Stir until it's well coated. Serve immediately.
A simple, spicy and flavorful dish that pairs quite well with almost any meal. And by almost, I mean it that it probably won’t go too well with your morning cup of coffee and bowl of cereal. If you’re looking for something a little less spicy, just cut down the jalapeno to one (or less if your peppers are spicy). My peppers from the garden weren’t too overly spicy this year so I went with two… and I like it spicy. Removing the seeds in your peppers will also tone down the spiciness. I added honey at the end to balance out the lime and the spice but you can also use a little bit of sugar if you would like to keep the recipe vegan. Enjoy!
Blanch green beans in a large stock pot of well salted boiling water until bright green in color and tender crisp, roughly 3 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl of ice water to stop from cooking. Set aside.
Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent.
Add jalapeño, poblano, garlic coriander, salt and green beans. Stir until well incorporated. Cover and allow to cook for about 5 minutes or until beans are tender but still bright green.
Remove from heat; add tomatoes, mexican oregano, lime juice and honey. Stir well and serve immediately.
In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, basil, cheese, and garlic. Mix in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Allow mixture to marinate together for about 15 minutes to allow all of the flavors to mingle.
Slice your baguette into 1/4 slices and arrange on a cookie sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil and place in oven until lightly toasted. Depending on your oven, this should only take about 5 minutes.
What a perfectly good way to turn a healthy food into something fried and delicious. (Lets try not to think about the unhealthy part) In the recipe below, I used some of the broccoli that was included in the recent farm share. Personally, I’m not a member of the broccoli appreciation committee but my husband is a huge fan, especially anything cooked in beer batter. I’ve used the same recipe for mushrooms (my personal fave), zucchini, cauliflower, onion rings and of course… a nice hunk of fish. For the beer, I would suggest going with something light like a pilsner or lager. I prefer to use ales (on the malty side and not too bitter). If you prefer to not use beer, you can always use sparkling water as a substitute.
If you’re without a proper thermometer to check the oil temperature, I suggest throwing in a brave piece of battered goods into your oil to ensure that your oil isn’t too hot or too cool. Here’s some tips on how to fry without a thermometer. My thermometer inconveniently broke, hence the photo below of the lone broccoli… testing the oil like a champ. I also prefer to use avocado oil over canola for health reasons but you can use either. You may need to use more or less oil depending on the size of your pan. You should at least cover what you’re frying by half for best results.
Whisk together your flour, salt, pepper, paprika and red pepper flakes.
In a separate bowl, whisk your egg yolks and vegetable oil until creamy. Drizzle the egg mixture over the flour.
Mix together with a fork until your dough is a little shaggy.
Slowly pour in your beer while whisking, until a smooth batter forms. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to 4 hours) before frying.
In a separate small bowl, add flour for dredging. Place florets into the flower and lightly coat.
Drop the florets into the batter, making sure each one is well coated.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven until it reaches 375 degrees F. If you do not have a thermometer, check out the link I provided in the description above OR do like I do and throw in a tester. Using tongs, gently add them to the oil and fry until golden brown, turning if necessary (appx. 3-4 minutes). Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or as my husband prefers, Sriracha ranch dressing.
With Oktoberfest approaching at the end of this month, you may start to see more German recipes from me. This one is very simple and delicious – marinate it overnight to infuse more flavor into the cucumbers! Peeling of the cucumbers is of course, optional. I do prefer to use hungarian paprika over traditional as it adds a little extra zing. If you’d like to use regular paprika, just double the measurement below.