Gluten Free For Good


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Posts Tagged ‘seasonal produce’

farm fresh salad soup

It was 32 degrees here last night, cold all day and light snow is expected tonight. It’s been snowing heavily in the mountains (yeah!). Monday’s CSA delivery had no chance of becoming anything other than farm-fresh soup. Other than garlic, broth, olive oil and one small sweet potato, I used what was in my delivery box and made a big batch of soup. It could have easily been a salad had I not cooked the ingredients.

I forgot to put the spinach in the before photo (my share box was absolutely overflowing again). Imagine a sweet potato where that gorgeous egg plant is and imagine it surrounded by rich, vibrant spinach leaves. As I was busy chopping away, I decided a sweet potato played into this soup better than the eggplant, so I switched those out at the last minute. I’ll figure out something with the egg plant later this week. Eggplant parmesan with a homemade tomato sauce?

Here’s the before picture.


Here’s the after picture.


Salad in the form of warm, soothing soup
What you need (anything you want, but I used the following)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 bay leaves
2 – 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks (about 3/4 inch cubes)
6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 cup water
3 carrots, washed and cut into chunks (don’t you love those chubby carrots)
3 celery stalks, washed and chopped into 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces, leaves and all
2 cups washed, trimmed and sliced green beans (1 – 2 inch pieces)
2 cups washed and chopped zucchini (1 inch pieces)
corn kernels from 1 ear of corn (uncooked, removed from the cob)
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 – 2 cups spinach, washed and chopped into large pieces
herbs such as thyme, rosemary and basil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

what you do
• Heat the olive oil over low heat in a large stock pot. Add onion and bay leaves and stir frequently for 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add sweet potato, stir occasionally and cook 5 more minutes. Pour 1 cup of the broth over the vegetables, increase heat slightly and simmer for 5 minutes.

• Add the next 5 cups of broth and the 1 cup of water and bring to a light boil or simmer. Add the carrots, celery and green beans and cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Add the zucchini and corn and simmer another 5 minutes.

• Add the diced tomatoes and the herbs and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes. Add the spinach, cook another 2 to 3 minutes, season with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaves and serve. Top with a touch of shredded cheese if you’d like (Parmesan or Monterey Jack is good).

These cooking times are flexible, but I’ve found this “layering” method works well with so many different types of vegetables. Put the veggies that take the most time to cook in the pot first, ending with things like herbs, tomatoes and greens that take much less time. I like my soups with crunchy vegetables and vibrant colors and if you over-cook the soup, you lose both characteristics.

Go forth and make salad into soup on cold days!

auxiliary verbs and too many tomatoes


Those of you following this blog know I occasionally assign quirky personalities or off-beat characteristics to my vegetables. Contrary to what you might think, it’s not because I have too much time on my hands.


I just love food, especially farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. That, and the fact that I have an overly-active imagination.

Between my Grant Farms CSA veggie share and my neighbor who’s out of town and asked me to keep an eye on his tomatoes (invasion of the tomato snatcher), I have a boat-load of these wonderful gems.

Tomatoes are auxiliary verbs. Don’t get me wrong, I love them on their own, but more than any other vegetable (at least at this moment when I have dozens of them rolling around on my counter), they play a “helper” role. An auxiliary verb helps to form the tense and voice of the main verb. Stick with me here. They combine with the main verb (or ingredients) to add texture and meaning to the sentence (or recipe).

See? Tomatoes are auxiliary verbs, they “help” express the richness of the dish. The depth of the sauce. The fullness of color. They bring out the best in basil, tarragon, parsley and oregano.

Those of you who are still reading, thank you for indulging me.

Onward. Here are a few things I’ve been doing with my invasion of tomatoes.

Thawed tomatoes make for great additions to soups, stews and sauces (think auxiliary verb). They can be frozen in a variety of ways, but here’s how I do it. Wash, dry, core and cut the tomatoes into wedges. Place them on a cookie sheet, making sure they aren’t touching each other and stick the cookie sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, place them in several individual freezer bags or containers, date them and put them back in the freezer for later.


All-purpose blended tomato sauce (which I froze in separate containers)
Once again, this is a “launching pad” recipe which was created according to what I received in my CSA share on Monday. Adjust accordingly and be creative.
what you need (be creative)
8 tomatoes, washed, cored and quartered (cut off funky spots)
6 cloves garlic, chopped in chunks
2 carrots, washed and cut in chunks
1 cup chopped squash (skins included)
1/2 onion, chopped in chunks
basil, parsley and oregano
fresh ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
* chop the veggies enough so they work in the blender

All of these ingredients, except the garlic and oregano were in my CSA box. I’m simply trying to use what I can and save the rest for later. This is a “save the rest” recipe. The basil and parsley were fresh from the farm, the oregano was dried.

what you do
Blend the tomatoes in a food processor or blender until half-way pureed. Not totally pulverized, keep some chunky stuff in there. Pour most of it into a large pot. Retain some of the tomato sauce in the blender so the rest of the ingredients have some liquid to blend with. Add the other ingredients slowly and blend well. Pour this into the pot and cook on low for an hour or so to thicken it and meld the flavors together. Season with fresh ground pepper and sea salt. Let cool, pour into individual freezer containers, write the date and what it is on the container and freeze it for later. You can also freeze some of this in small ziplock freezer bags for adding to stews and soups. A cup or so of this sauce added to a soup or stew made with vegetable, chicken or beef stock is absolutely wonderful.

For a few other veggie personality profiles (and some recipes, check below)
The deadly serious beet
Punk rock kohlrabi
Rhubarb, the little tart

There you go – auxiliary verb tomatoes!

Real food


Here is this week’s Grant Farm’s CSA share. This is my abundant, small veggie share, plus my fruit share and a dozen pastured chicken eggs. I was at a loss for words, which is rare for me.

Luckily (or unfortunately for you), those occasional synapse lags never last long. Now it’s time to get to work figuring out what to do with all this produce, plus the lingering stuff from last week.

But first, I’m going to repeat something I wrote over a year ago. Josh, our witty CSA coordinator at Grant Farms, mentioned in his weekly newsletter how important fresh, wholesome, organic food is to our health. As a nutritionist, helping people make lasting and healthy lifestyle changes revolves around food. As an advocate for the return of old-fashioned food (real food), I’m on a mission to support the farmers who grow that food. Josh was right when he said that “many of our health issues are rooted in the food we eat and how it is grown or raised.”

Skip the overblown health claims for expensive supplements, don’t bother with the next dietary fad, avoid fast food and processed junk foods – eat the real thing – wholesome, traditional, real food.

Food Pyramid Remix (my take – late fall, 2008)

The government has made an effort to let us know what we should be eating on a daily basis by creating the Food Pyramid. Rather ironic, wouldn’t you say? Here we are at the top of the food chain and we’re the only animals in need of eating instructions.

I’m not picking sides, but in light of some of the decisions made by our elected officials, maybe we should educate ourselves and figure out what we should eat on our own.

Okay, having said that, I’m going to throw my two cent’s worth into the mix. More irony, you say? I suppose so, but at this point, there’s an overload of complex and confusing information from too many sources. It’s time to slow down and rethink things. We all have to eat, why is it so confusing to choose a healthy diet? Why are we so obsessed with food and yet so unhealthy as a culture? Part of the problem is too many choices in a world of food politics and an industry worth billions of dollars a year — in the United States alone. That can make eating complicated and even stressful.

It doesn’t have to be.

Here are a few of my tips for healthy eating:

1. Eat whole, fresh food (preferably organic).
2. Make whole plant sources, especially vegetables, legumes, and fruit your foundation. You can even eat veggies for breakfast — it’s okay, trust me. Choose whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and teff.
3. For the most part, choose foods you can hold in your hands and wash. Can you wash a box of Kraft mac and cheese or a package of ding dongs? You can wash a tomato, cabbage and you can rinse brown rice. See how easy that is?
4. Don’t eat food that never spoils. Remember my HFCS post? The pink snowballs and the chocolate hockey pucks? As I mentioned, I’ve had those on my closet shelf for over a year. If it doesn’t rot, it’s not food.
5. If animals, insects, and bacteria won’t eat it, maybe we shouldn’t. Food that has been sprayed with chemicals to repel critters is not a good choice for people either. Whoa, that doesn’t mean bugs are smarter than we are, does it? Yikes, maybe so.
6. You’ve all probably heard this one before — don’t eat foods from the middle of the grocery store. Stick to the periphery where the real food is located.
7. Make it yourself. Learn from your grandmother. Enjoy the cultural wisdom of food. My mother grew up in a very poor family in the south during the depression. I mean dirt-floor poor. They had few food choices, but somehow the family was fairly healthy. All they had was what they grew or traded someone else for – vegetables, beans, cornbread, dandelion greens, whatever fruit or nut tree was around, some oatmeal and an occasional pig, chicken, or fresh-caught game (birds, fish, rabbits). My grandmother also made them all take a dose of cod liver oil regularly. Hmmm? When you think about it, you’ve got some very healthy food choices there. They either grew or caught everything they ate. I know things are different now and you just don’t have time to go rabbit hunting on your lunch hour, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
8. To sum it up: eat less, eat slower, use smaller plates, join a CSA, frequent farmer’s markets, choose fresh ingredients, eat more vegetables, choose humanely treated and pastured animal sources, skip the junk food, and savor your food. Part of healthy eating is enjoying what you eat, how you prepare it, the cultural variations, and sharing it with others.

Go forth and eat real food.

sunburst squash volcanoes


I just picked up my Grant Farms CSA box full of goodies last night and (yippee) I found some UFO squash stashed between the potatoes and kohlrabi.

Pattypan, sunburst or scallopini – whatever you call them, these little gizmos are tasty and fun. If you want your dinner guests to say, aaahhhh, how cute when you bring out the plates, serve up some stuffed sunburst squash-ettes. And kids love nothing better than eating little yellow flying saucers or erupting volcanoes for dinner.

squash volcanoes (warning – launching pad recipe)
what you need
2 or more sunburst squashes
cooked brown rice *
Italian sausage (optional) *
onion, finely chopped
garlic, minced
assorted veggies (throw in some finely diced carrots or celery if you’d like)
oil or butter for sautéing
small amount of broth (vegetable or chicken) *
sea salt, fresh ground pepper, Italian seasonings
Parmesan cheese

* I almost always have some cooked brown rice and a container of chicken or vegetable broth stashed in the refrigerator for times like this.
* These are great with a small amount of cooked Italian sausage added to the mix, but it’s not necessary. I just happened to have some in the fridge, so I threw it in with the brown rice.

what you do
Carefully cut the more rounded end off the squash to make an opening, keeping the “lid” intact. The “flatter” end is the bottom. Gently clean out the interior part of the squash without cutting through the skin. Try to keep the chunks you dig out large enough to chop into pieces (don’t pulverize it). Set aside the part you’ve cleaned out. With the open end facing up, set the squash in a baking dish and add an inch or so of water to the dish. Make sure to include the lids. Cover with foil and bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes.

While squash is baking, heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil (or butter) in a good-sized skillet. Add onions and other veggies, stir gently for 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure to include the squash you cleaned out, chopped and set aside when you did the prep work. Add garlic, sauté another 30 to 60 seconds. Spoon brown rice into the skillet and add a few splashes of broth to moisten the mixture, continue cooking for a couple more minutes. Mix well and season with Italian spices, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. You can also fold in some Parmesan cheese at this point if you’d like it more “cheesy.” Mixture should be moist, but not drippy.

* If you decide to use meat, add the cooked meat when you add the rice so the flavors blend and everything is heated to the same temperature.

Once squash has precooked, carefully take it out of the oven (don’t spill hot water on yourself). Using a hot-pad, transfer squash to a cookie sheet, gently fill with rice mixture, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and return to oven for another 15 or 20 minutes.

This recipe isn’t precise, all of your amounts depend on how many squash volcanoes you’re making. Adjust accordingly.


Stay tuned as my share box was overflowing this week.

Hmmm — what should I make next? Squash frittata? Apple crumble? Or potato-crusted salmon?

Is this fun, or what?!

gf peach pecan mesquite muffins


I’m on a roll with these organic Colorado peaches from my CSA fruit share. Just like with the cherries, I can hardly decide what to do with them next. I started with two good-sized bags on Monday and I’m afraid they’ll be gone by the weekend.

These muffins have a subtle, off-beat (as in quirkily good) taste, followed by full-on peach power. Of course, they’re gluten-free, but for those of you who eat wheat cooties, I’ll also make an attempt to adapt backwards so you won’t miss out.

gluten-free peach pecan mesquite muffins (drool)
what you need

2 cups Pamela’s GF Flour Blend (baking mix)
1 cup diced peaches, juice and all (2 medium-sized peaches, unpeeled)
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1 tablespoon mesquite flour * (optional – if you don’t use any, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

what you do
In medium sized bowl, whisk together Pamela’s Mix, mesquite flour and cinnamon. Set aside. In a separate (and larger) bowl, whisk eggs and honey until well combined. Gently stir in the peaches. Add the dry ingredients and stir by hand until well blended. Fold in pecans and spoon into lined or greased muffin pan, 3/4ths full. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 1 dozen muffins.

* Since I never bake with regular flour, I can’t make any guarantees, but if you want to give this a try with wheat flour, you need to use a leavening agent (approximately 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of traditional flour). Decrease the flour as I’ve found 1 cup of traditional flour equals about 1 and 1/4 cup of GF flour. For more general tips on exchanges and baking with GF flour, check here. I imagine you could also use a traditional banana bread recipe and substitute chopped peaches for the bananas.

* Mesquite flour is a bit pricey, but it’s worth it for the exotic fun factor and the taste. I love the stuff. You don’t need much – in fact, a little goes a long way, so it lasts for months (store it in the freezer). Mesquite has a sweet, chocolatey, coffee, cinnamony taste. Or something like that. I can’t quite pin-point it, but it smells absolutely divine. It gives baked goods a nice cinnamon color — it’s beautiful flour. Plus, mesquite is high in fiber and protein and is a good source of calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium. It also helps balance blood sugar levels. Ground mesquite pods were a staple for Native Americans and indigenous people of the southwest.


Hmm, what’s next for my peaches? Goat milk peach ice cream? Or peach cobbler?

Decisions, decisions.


whimsical peach salsa

Those of you who are CSA members know all about the whim of the farmer, right? Well, I’ve been totally whimmed lately.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. Not at all. If I was a farmer and worked out in the fields all day long, I’d express a little whimsy whenever I dang-well pleased.

But, here’s the deal. I’ve been waiting for those little flying saucer squashes to appear because I have a fun recipe all ready to post, but nooo, it’s not happening. I figured sunburst squash would be coming our way because I was given 3 as a gift when I was snooping around the farm taking photos for my last post. Someone must have found a few in their big red boxes. I have the evidence.


Alright, who got those little scalloped thingies? I picked up my delivery last night and it wasn’t me.


There you go. It’s the whim of the farmer.

Aaah, but peaches are in season in Colorado right now! Luscious, drippy, sweet, unbelievable peaches. I was still getting cherries when peaches starting making their CSA rounds. At first, I was all pouty when I got the tail-end of the cherry run two weeks ago on Monday and everyone from Tuesday on got the start of peach season. Until I was forced (literally forced) to make cherry-pecan streusel and homemade cherry-vanilla ice cream. Bummer.

Onward. We’re in the midst of peach season. Yippee!

peach salsa – the perfect complement to fish
what you need (adjust according to your whim, this is a launching pad recipe)

2 peaches, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
1/3 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup diced onion (mild onion or scallions)
1/4 cup chopped jicama (optional)
juice of 1 small lime
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
sea salt to taste

what you do
Mix together, taste, adjust to your liking and be thankful you live in Colorado where they grow the best peaches around.

Go forth and Eat A Peach
Sweet Melissa (and all this time I thought that song was written for me)


do you know where your dinner came from?


Although I find the subject of food politics fascinating, I’ll spare you (sort of) my comestible ranting and stick to some of the more fun aspects of farming, food and healthy living.

But first, a little background.

Okay, I admit it — I drive an SUV. I was born and raised in Colorado, what else would I drive? I ski, hike, backpack and own a 130 pound furry dog. I’m not trading in my 4-wheel drive Pathfinder for some little foo-foo, plug-in car.

Having said that, I also care about the environment. Second to cars, the way our food is produced and distributed uses more fossil fuel than any other segment of the economy. And according to some of the experts who study this stuff, our Standard American Diet (SAD) contributes over one-third of the greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere. Not to mention what that diet does to our general health.

Food travels an average of 1500 miles before it lands on our dinner plate. Most of the time we have no idea where it came from, who grew it, or how it made its way into our homes. Other than the short trip from isle 14 at the supermarket and into the kitchen.

So, to do my part, I’m keeping my 9 year old SUV “clunker” and instead of taking the $4500 in government subsidy money and trading it in on a new car, I’ll make an effort to eat as much locally grown, seasonal food as possible. Is “cash for kale” part of any of these government stimulus packages? That might fit nicely into all three of these bills currently stirring up debate in Congress; climate change, food safety and health care. Oooh, as tempting as this political thread is, I’ll resist jumping on my soap box (or fruit box, in this case) and move on to the fun stuff.

Those of us who belong to the Grant Farms CSA program know where a good part of our food comes from. At least 26 week’s worth, but most of us don’t know the finer details. Here’s a closer look, complete with photos I took last Saturday while indulging my hippie-girl roots and painting flowers and peace signs on the farm-tour buses.


. . . and eat your veggies.


Grant Farm’s Jane and Maggie – peace, love, Bob Dylan and sparkly farkle.


You’d never guess who the lady-bug painting expert was. These farm boys are gentle souls (right, Josh?).


This organic lettuce was grown with care by Andy Grant, Ricardo (lettuce scientist extraordinaire) and the gang at Grant Family Farms. It’s harvested at its peak and packed carefully into the CSA delivery boxes by Uriel (above) and his coworkers for pick-up by us, the lucky shareholders. Even knowing the basics of the process, it’s hard for me to imagine how much work actually went into growing and getting that bunch of lettuce into my hands. To be honest, I have no clue, but I can see the pride in Uriel’s eyes and the spirit behind his smile and that gives me a hint.


This is Carmen, carefully dishing out summer squash while flashing her mega-watt smile. There’s a whole assembly line of cheerful, hard-working people putting together our CSA share boxes. Visiting the farm, touring the distribution center and meeting the people who grow, care for, harvest, organize and distribute the food makes it taste all the more delicious.

And Alonzo — a delightful smile to match a pleasant attitude. Now, don’t you appreciate that squash a little more knowing where it came from? And doesn’t that make you smile too? Go ahead, I dare you. Look into these faces and try not to smile. See, it’s impossible (snicker, snicker).

Good people, good energy, good food.

Okay, I don’t want rant (too much) and I don’t want to preach (too much), but by purchasing locally grown food from folks like this who care about the land and value the goods they’re producing, we become an important part of that community — a cog in the health and sustainability of the cycle. They need us and we need them.

It’s a privilege. Thanks, Andy and gang!

Peace, love and veggies!

cherry zucchini bread


Although I did get a bunch of kale in last week’s Grant Farms CSA delivery, I’m getting the impression that zuchinni is about to become the new kale. Isn’t it about that time? When zucchini starts to push its way to the top of the food chain? Global veggie domination? Luckily I like zucchini. It’s a mild squash, moist and pleasant and quite easy to mix (or hide) in almost anything you cook or bake. Try adding some to pancakes or waffles, it’s seriously good. Plus, you won’t feel nearly as guilty eating pancakes floating in maple syrup if there’s a vegetable involved.

I made this bread several days ago and it was gone within 24 hours. As you might have guessed, it’s gluten-free, but my gluten-eating taste-testers absolutely loved it. So, those of you who have been inundated with zucchini and cherries, it’s time to make some breakfast bread. Or muffins. Or pancakes.

cherry zucchini bread (recipe adapted from a zucchini bread recipe from Pamela’s Products)
what you need

2 cups Pamela’s baking mix *
1 cup shredded zucchini (firmly packed)
1 cup pitted and chopped cherries
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar *
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


what you do
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together baking mix, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil and sugar for 1 minute on medium speed. Add vanilla and mix well. Blend dry ingredients into wet ingredients and gently stir in zucchini, cherries and orange zest. Fold into well-greased 8 x 4 inch loaf pan and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or more, or until knife or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Check after about 30 minutes – I had to cover the top loosely with foil because it was browning too quickly.) Cool for 5 minutes, remove bread from pan and place on cooling rack.

I ended up baking this for about 1 hour and 8 minutes, to be exact. I also used a glass pan. Adjust according to your oven and pan selection.

* I rarely use sugar in my baking. I prefer maple syrup, but these ingredients (zucchini and cherries) provided a very moist batter, so I didn’t want to add more liquid. I used organic raw cane sugar.

* If you use regular wheat flour, make sure you add leavening agents. The leavening agents in Pamela’s Baking Mix are equal to approximately 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup. You might have to make some minor adjustments when substituting flours. Leave me a comment if you need more help with substitutions.


* For muffins, fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3rds full. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 to 40 minutes.

zucchini nutrition profile and tips
• Low in calories; good source of fiber, vitamins A, C, B6, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium and protein.
• No need to peel, simply scrub clean.
• Store whole in the refrigerator for up to a week.
• Puree and store zucchini in airtight container in the freezer. This is a wonderful thickening base for soups and stews (without using flour). You can also freeze grated zucchini for later use in breads and muffins.
• Use chunks in kebobs along with other veggies or meats.
• Add slices to homemade pizza (yum).
• Use in spaghetti sauce, casseroles, lasagna or baked egg dishes.
• Grate raw on salads or use in breads, muffins, cakes, waffles or pancakes.
• Add chunks to soups and stew at the end of cooking.
• Use thin slices in sandwiches.
• Use small chopped zucchini chunks in egg, tuna or salmon salad.
• Cut in large chunks or slice whole zucchini in half, toss in a small amount of olive oil, place on a cookie sheet, season and grill in a preheated 400 degree oven until lightly brown. You can also do this on an outdoor grill.
• Hmmm? Zucchini ice cream, anyone? I’ll keep you posted. My beet ice cream was wonderful. So was my rhubarb sherbet, so I’m not making any judgments until I try it.

Joy, peace and zucchini!

the princess and the pea(s)


Katherine (my friend’s daughter) has the right idea. Eat peas while they’re farm-fresh as the sugar quickly converts to starch, compromising the sweet, delicate flavor. Peas are the all-purpose, wonder food. Kids love shelling them and popping them directly into their mouths. Grandmas serve them for every holiday. They’re good in soups, stews, smoothies, stir fries, wraps, spring rolls, salads and rice. Peas are perfect lightly boiled, steamed or sautéed and topped with a touch of butter and sea salt. Use your imagination, you can’t go wrong with farm-fresh peas.

simple cheesy peas
what you need
2 cups peas (or adjust according to how many you have)
grated parmesan cheese

what you do
Bring a saucepan of water to a soft boil (not raging). Add a dash of salt and the shelled peas. Watch it carefully. You only want to cook the peas for a short time (no longer than 45 to 60 seconds). Cooked, fresh peas are best when they’re tender, but still firm. And definitely not mushy. Drain in a colander, place in a bowl, top with dollop of butter and gently toss. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. These are wonderful paired with rice or mixed into risotto.

mostly raw veggie burritos (inspired by Tara, cute & quirky Denver hair artist at Salon No Dice)
what you need

roasted, chilled and sliced beets *
peeled and thinly sliced kohlrabi
freshly shelled peas
washed and dried spinach, cabbage or lettuce leaves
roasted sunflower seeds
crumbled goat cheese
dressing of your choice
tortilla (teff or brown rice for the gluten-free version)

what you do
Stack your ingredients in a row on your tortilla. Drizzle with dressing of choice and fold. Check here for various folding methods. My favorite for this wrap is the “open ended” method (#3).

* This is a perfect way to make a quick, tasty meal and use up various veggies. I like the texture of roasted, chilled beets in a recipe like this, but shredded or thinly sliced raw beets work fine. When I’m in the midst of beet harvest time, I roast several and store them in the refrigerator for salads, wraps and sandwiches. Yes, they’re great on sandwiches, they replace the tomatoes.

I’m off for a few days of camping, hiking and mountain biking in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, so I won’t be posting recipes or responding to comments on my blog until the end of the week. I’m not ignoring you — I’m just enjoying the wild blue yonder, complete with homemade dehydrated kale backpacking soup (more about that on Shirley’s GFE “happy camper” carnival at the end of the month).

P.S. Photo credits and cuteness courtesy of my friend, Megan. Thank you!

it’s raining kale (sweet potato & kale soup)


This is what the inside of my refrigerator looks like.

Okay, I’m exaggerating — I took this photo at my local organic market a couple of months ago. But I am busy trying to figure out what to do with all the beets and kale that have been spilling forth from my CSA box the last couple of weeks. Soup isn’t what comes to mind when it’s 85 degrees out, but Ali’s recent cream of mushroom version inspired me to break out the soup pot and simmer away.

sweet potato & kale soup
what you need

• 1 bunch kale, washed, dried and chopped (heavy stems removed)
• 4 cups chicken broth (homemade or 1 box Imagine organic chicken broth)
• 4 cups water
• 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (I ended up with about 2 cups chopped)
• 1 can Eden Organic Pizza/Pasta Sauce (this tomato and herb sauce adds a perfect richness to the soup)
• 1 can white beans, cannellini or great northern
• 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
• 2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
• sausage (I threw in 2 links of chicken sausage, chopped in medallion-type chunks)
• grated parmesan cheese
• salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
• oil for frying (I use coconut oil, use whatever your oil of choice is)

what you do
Heat 1 – 2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat in a good sized stock pot. Brown sausage, add onions and garlic and stir until tender. Add chicken broth, water and the can of Eden Pasta sauce. Stir well to blend ingredients. Add chopped sweet potatoes and simmer for 45 minutes or until potatoes are cooked. Add beans, kale and herbs and simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Kale should be cooked, but still have some “freshness” to it. I like to add greens at the end and simmer for a few minutes so they maintain some substance. Ladle into serving bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese.

Herb ideas — the Eden pizza/pasta sauce is a great addition to this soup and contains the perfect herb mix. I keep a couple of cans of this rich, thick, organic sauce on hand at all times. It’s a quick way to add depth and flavor to soups and stews. If you want, simply expand on that flavor combination with more of the same herb blend (oregano, thyme, basil).

You might also like:
beans and collard greens recipe
mineral-rich kale chips
poached eggs on kale
kale, chard and mushroom lasagna

Go forth and green up your life!

Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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