Sunday, January 25, 2015

Today in Our Garden #GardenCuizine #gardenchat

Today in Our Winter Garden
South Jersey
USDA Zone 7a (formerly zone 6b)

Lots of activity with wildlife in our gardens today. Heated water bowls really help provide the critters with a water source during the winter. As I walked through the garden today, I noticed that we still have a few plants showing life, especially the bronze fennel, red Russian kale, parsley and seasoning celery. I also noticed foot prints in the snow (bottom right photo in the collage)... any idea what animal they could be from?


Inside, our assorted coleus cuttings under lights are growing like weeds. In March they will be pushed aside to make room for trays of veggie and flower seeds. The price is right when growing from seeds; it's fun too. The seedlings will be transplanted to the gardens (and shared with friends) when the soil warms in spring.
 

Take advantage of the time indoors now to plan your spring garden. We hope to try growing onions for the first time. A professor of mine from Rutgers has had success with growing Ailsa Craig, so we're probably going to start with that variety. I'm still browsing through garden catalogs now for ideas.

Besides our usual plantings, these are on my "New to Try" 2015 grow wish list:

Jiaogulan vine - Immortality herb - has all kinds of health claims associated with it so of course I'm curious about it. Zones: 8-10. Available at MichiganBulb.com

Tango Hummingbird Mint - Tango, the Garden Cat - need I say more! And, anyone who knows me knows I'm a fan of growing agastache and salvias. This one is bicolor firery orange with a hint of blue. Drought tolerant. Blooms midsummer to fall. Zones 5-10. Also available at MichiganBulb.com

Ailsa Craig onions - Long day variety English heirloom. Large yellow globe onions. Plants available at Territorial Seed Co. (ignore the photo on their online catalog, it's of leeks and not Ailsa Craig onions!)

Coral Fountain (Russelia equisetiformis) - Heirloom circa 1833. Mexican hummingbird plant with cascading coral red tubular blooms. Slow grower, can reach 4 to 5 feet tall. Zones 9-10. Available from Select Seeds.
 
Syriaca Zaatar - I wanted to try this wild relative of Mediterranean Oregano that supposedly has hints of thyme and sweet marjoram. Zones 8-10. But, it's out of stock at the moment from Seeds of Change - hopefully they get more.

What are you thinking of growing this year? 

Happy and Healthy Gardening!
Photo collage and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Whole grain Moroccan @HodgsonMill Couscous #healthy #recipe #GardenCuizine

Recipe for 
Whole grain Moroccan Couscous
Good Source Dietary Fiber, Low Sodium

Do you know what couscous is? A National dish in Morocco, couscous is actually a pasta available in very small or large grain sizes. The larger size (caper size) is referred to as Israeli couscous. The smaller size is more popular and most often served in restaurants. Couscous cooks fast and makes a nutritious wholesome side dish.

Make Half the Grains in your diet Whole Grains
For more dietary fiber look for "whole wheat" couscous. Tonight, we used Hodgson Mill's brand of whole grain couscous. (Eat whole grains and products made from whole grains for better health!) Reading product labels can be helpful. Look for the words "whole grain" on package labels when you are shopping.

Cooking Couscous
American recipes call for boiling the grain, but authentic recipes for couscous "steam" the grain. For this recipe we boiled the couscous.

Healthy Cooking on a Budget
Couscous makes an affordable and healthy side grain to accompany the rest of your meal. Serve couscous with a lean protein entree and side vegetable for a balanced meal. You'll find this recipe super easy to make and it takes only a few minutes to cook. 

Here is our favorite way to prepare couscous, which was inspired from a Cooking Light recipe many years ago:

Serves 5 (90g serving size)

Ingredients
2/3 cup (104g) whole wheat couscous, uncooked
1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
 
NO added salt necessary when using chicken broth
1 Tablespoon (14g) olive oil
1 teaspoon (2g) sweet curry powder
pinch minced dried hot peppers from your garden or hot pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon (0.5g) grated ginger
1 teaspoon (3g) minced garlic
2 Tablespoons (20g) minced onion
2 Tablespoons raisins or Craisins (40g) or other chopped dried fruit

1 Tablespoon (4g) minced fresh parsley
1/2 ounce (14g) toasted almond slices 


Putting it all together

  • In a small pot, saute the onion in olive oil; add the garlic and ginger; stir in the spices
  • Add broth and dried fruit; turn off heat
  • Set aside until ready to make.
  • When ready: bring the broth mixture to a boil; stir in the couscous. Turn off the heat. Cover and let sit 5 minutes. 
  • Stir in the toasted almond slivers just before serving.
Buon Appetito!
GardenCuizine Whole Grain Couscous Nutrition Data (with chicken broth and Craisins): using USDA Nutrient Reference data 
Good Source: Dietary Fiber
Serving size 1/5 of recipe: 90g; Calories 158; total fat 5g; Saturated fat 1g; trans fat 0; cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 113mg (5% DV); total carbohydrate 28g (2 Carb exchanges); Dietary Fiber 3g (13% DV); Sugars 6g; Protein 5g; Vitamin E ~1.3mg (~7% DV); Iron 1.2mg (7% DV)

Related Links
Whole Grains Council notes that couscous is not a grain, "There is no couscous plant!"
Blog post, recipe and photo collage Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Healthy Stuffed Peppers #recipe #GardenCuizine #eatright

Healthy Stuffed Peppers
High Vitamin C, Lean Quality Protein

The first time I made stuffed peppers was in culinary school at The Academy of Culinary Arts in Mays Landing, NJ. I remember Chef Matt really liked the way they turned out. We don't make them at home too often; I'm not sure why because they are easy to make. 

Bell peppers are most affordable if you grow your own or you buy them on sale at the market. Stuffed peppers make a very nutritious dinner entree. Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A. Peppers also provide other important nutrients including dietary fiber.

I don't usually follow a recipe, but have one below that you can use as a guide. This is another GardenCuizine "freestyle recipe". What I mean by that is that you can add or subtract any of the ingredients to your liking and the recipe will still turn out. For example, if you didn't have any fresh tomatoes - don't worry about it - just don't put them in. Or, if you don't like hot peppers - simply don't add them.

The more you cook at home, the more comfortable you will feel to create your own signature recipes. These classic stuffed peppers could also be made using Boca burger crumbles for the protein; or a combination of beans and quinoa to make them vegetarian. 

Serves 4-5 
Ingredients 
1 cup Brown Basmati Rice
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
pinch salt and black pepper

1/8 teaspoon dried hot pepper or red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil 


4 Bell Peppers any color

1 lb. lean ground beef (or turkey or Boca burger crumbles - a small pkg. of ground beef may be .75 lbs or a little less than one lb. - close enough)
3/4 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1 can 28oz (794g) Cento San Marzano peeled tomatoes with basil (or small jar pasta sauce)
1/2 medium onion (1 cup) chopped
whatever amount you have of pepper chopped from around the removed stems
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley (we've substituted seasoning celery that was still growing in our winter garden!)
1/2 cup or more reduced fat shredded cheese

Putting it all together 
First cook the rice. In 1 Tablespoon olive oil, saute minced garlic. Stir in the rice. Add water and seasonings. Bring to boil; reduce heat to simmer cover and cook 45 minutes. Turn off heat. Set aside. You will only need to use 1 cup of the cooked rice to mix with the ground meat. By cooking extra rice you can save time and use the leftovers for another meal.

Wash the peppers. Cut the tops off. Remove the membranes and seeds. Carefully cut around the pepper stem and pull off the stem with the seeds intact so seeds don't go all over the place. You may have some peppers that may not be the perfect size for stuffing. Longer bell peppers can be cut in half. Any usuable pepper attached to the stems can be chopped and sauteed along with the onion. 

For larger, long bell peppers - cut the stem out of the top and use the pepper to fill too (don't worry about it having a hole in the "bottom". To clarify: for example, we had 4 bell peppers, two red, one orange, and one yellow. You can see in the photo that the two red peppers were huge and long. So, I cut them in half, which gave us two top halves plus the 4 bottoms - now we had 6 peppers to stuff. Also, some peppers may need a small slice cut off their bottom so they stand in the baking dish without falling over.

Saute the onion and any pepper pieces until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and seasonings (note that no added salt is needed in the meat filling). Stir in the ground meat and cook until almost done. Stir in one cup cooked rice, the fresh tomatoes and chopped parsley. Turn off heat.

Open the can of San Marzano tomatoes and squeeze the tomatoes - crush with your clean hands as you add the tomatoes and most of the sauce to your baking dish. If you have any leftover add it to the ground meat mixture.

Fill the peppers with the ground meat mixture. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes.

Remove foil and sprinkle tops with shredded reduced fat cheese. Return to oven uncovered and continue baking until cheese melts and sauce is bubbling. About another 20-30 minutes.

Serve with a side garden salad and homemade corn bread.

Buon Appetito!
GardenCuizine Stuffed Peppers Nutrition Data coming soon...
Blog post reicpe and photos Copyright (C)2015 Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Tasty Tarter Sauce︱ Light and Homemade #GardenCuizine

Tasty Tartar Sauce
Light and Homemade

No need to buy ready-made tarter sauce when it's easy to quickly whip up your own; even your kids can help. The recipe does not have to be precise - a little more or less of the ingredients won't make much difference. 


Add tartar sauce to broiled, poached, baked or breaded fish or seafood. We especially love homemade tarter sauce on crab cakes or pan-fried catfish. Leftovers can be used as a spread on sandwiches or thinned with a little water for a salad dressing.  

Use "light" mayo cut with water, sour cream or yogurt to make tasty tarter sauce lower in fat content. "Light" products by definition means they contain 1/3 less calories or 1/2 the fat. A good rule of thumb when eating any type of creamy condiments is to enjoy them sparingly. Condiments are to enhance the flavor of the food.

Also, with this recipe note that NO added salt is necessary. You'll taste plenty of flavor from the capers, relish and mustard.  
Preparing foods at home 
gives you ingredient control for better health

Serves 4-6
Ingredients 
1/3 cup "light" mayo
1/3 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
3+ Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons (tsp) capers
1 tsp relish
1 tsp grainy mustard 

2 tsp fresh chopped parsley (or dill)
1/2 lemon, squeezed for juice
stem or 2 of chives (garlic chives are tasty if you happen to have them in your garden; if not, add a little minced onion)
1/8 tsp minced hot pepper, fresh or dried (we use whatever is around from our harvest: Serrano, Thai, Jalapeno...) 
pinch fresh ground black pepper

Putting it all together
Simply combine all the ingredients together in a bowl, thin by adding more water if needed. Cover and chill until using. Store leftovers in sealed container and refrigerate.

Buon Appetito!
GardenCuizine Nutrition Analysis: Tarter Sauce ...coming soon
Recipe blog post Copyright (C)2015 Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pumpkin Pie made with Butternut Squash #GardenCuizine

Pumpkin Pie 
made with Butternut Squash
Low in saturated fat, a good source of calcium, 
and a very good source of Vitamin A

Have you ever noticed that Christmas carols sing of pumpkin pie being served during the holidays? "...when they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie..."

Baking your own pie guarantees quality ingredients for you, your family and friends. Enjoy pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and at Christmas too. 

This year we had locally grown butternut squash available so I made pumpkin pie using fresh roasted butternut squash instead of canned pumpkin. It was one of the best pumpkin pies ever! Try butternut squash for a delicious substitute to canned pumpkin.

Click here for my pumpkin pie recipe published online.

Simply substitute pureed butternut squash for canned pumpkin.

Looking for the perfect pumpkin pie crust? 
Click here for my GardenCuizine pumpkin pie dough recipe.

Happy Holidays!
Blog post and photo Copyright © Wind. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Better Butternut Squash Soup #wintersquash #GardenCuizine #JerseyFresh

Better Butternut Squash Soup
I've been recently testing and tasting recipes for our first outpatient dietitian hospital cooking class at Inspira Health Network. The class - "Soup's On" - featured nutritious butternut squash soup. My recipe uses soy milk so that anyone who is lactose intolerant can enjoy it too. Heavy, calorie-laden cream is not needed to make delicious cream soups.

A quick Google search will reveal a variety of ways to make butternut squash soup. I posted a recipe years ago using cinnamon and vanilla soy milk. Back then, I may have used "vanilla" soy milk because that was all we had in the house at the time. This version tasted even better with added curry, fresh ginger root and plain, versus vanilla, soy milk.

And, for those who tell me that they can't afford to eat healthy: the soup cost only about 58 cents per cup - more evidence that you can Cook Healthy on a Budget!

Yields 3 quarts - note: freezes well


Ingredients
one 2 to 3 pound butternut squash OR 2 bags (16 oz. chopped frozen butternut squash)

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1/8 teaspoon (tsp.) minced dried hot peppers from your garden (or hot pepper flakes)
1 tablespoon no salt butter (or vegetable oil)
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger root (or one cube of frozen ginger*)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch fresh grated black pepper
2 cups low fat chicken broth (or water)
1 quart plain soy milk (or 2% milk)
Putting it all together
Step 1

Decide how you want to cook the squash. 
Wash hands. 
If roasting squash: Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.
Wash vegetables
Prep onions, celery and carrots: peel and chop - set aside.

Step 2
  • Prep squash: cut ends off both sides. 
  • If sauteing directly in the soup pot: cut in half across the middle and peel skin; cut each piece lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cut into cubes. OR for convenience use precut, frozen butternut squash.
  • If baking: Cut in half across the middle; cut again so there are 4 pieces. Rub olive oil on cut sides of squash. Place squash cut side down on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 deg. F. until soft (about 30 minutes); remove from oven - scoop out seeds. Return to oven and continue baking until squash is full cooked and the edges show caramelizing and a little browning.
Step 3
  • In stockpot saute chopped veggies in 1 T butter or oil for 10 minutes
  • Stir in hot pepper flakes
  • Stir in remaining seasonings
  • Add 2 cups broth OR water and bay leaf. Cover, simmer and cook until veggies are soft
Step 4
  • Remove bay leaf
  • Stir in milk
  • Puree in blender or with hand-held immersion blender
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed
Enjoy with a few homemade whole grain herb pita chips

Buon Appetito! 

GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Butternut Squash Soup: 1 cup soup
Excellent Source: Vitamin A, Vitamin C
Good Source: Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Riboflavin, Folate, B12, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium

Calories: 111; total fat: 3g; Sodium 246mg (10%DV); total Carbohydrate: 20g; dietary Fiber: 1g (4%DV); Sugars 6g; Protein 4g; Vitamin A 17250IU (345%DV wow!); Vitamin C 22.6mg (38%DV); Vitamin D: ~39.7IU (~10%DV); Vitamin E ~2mg (~10%DV); Riboflavin 0.2mg (13%DV); Folate 32mcg (11%DV); B12 1mcg (17%DV); Calcium 170mg (17%DV); Magnesium 57mg (14%DV); Potassium 593mg (17%DV)

 *thanks D.A. for introducing me to frozen ginger cubes! Ask for frozen ginger at your local supermarket.
Photos and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash #GardenCuizine #wintersquash

Cooking Spaghetti Squash

Cooked spaghetti squash resembles spaghetti strands when pulled with a fork, making it unique among winter squashes. The pulled squash can be eaten as is, or tossed with pasta sauce or garlic butter - with, or without added veggies. Spaghetti squash tastes delicious sautéed with spinach. And, make extra because leftovers can be refrigerated and easily reheated.

Note: this is another GardenCuizine "freestyle" recipe, meaning that you can use any amount of the ingredients you desire based on how many people you are cooking for. You don't need to use specific amounts. However, for those who prefer to follow a recipe I will note the amounts for serving 4 people the next time I cook it. Winter squash can be cooked many different ways: boiling, sautéing, steaming; roasting is best flavor.

I recently made it for a crowd at Inspira Health Network's Bariatric Holiday Party!

Ingredients 
Spaghetti squash 
olive oil
salt and pepper

Additional ingredients for Spaghetti Squash with Spinach
chopped onion
pinch chopped hot peppers
garlic
butter (or olive oil)
Parmesan cheese (or grated soy cheese if vegan)
chopped Spinach
broth (veggie or chicken)
Putting it all together 
Preheat oven to 350° F
  • Cut a small portion off of each end. Cut the squash lengthwise. 
  • Rub olive oil on the cut side.
  • Place cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Take out of oven and scoop out seeds. Season with salt and pepper. Return to oven cut side down and continue baking until fully cooked and the flesh touching the foil is slightly browned (may take another 30 minutes or so).
  • When done, flip squash halves over so that their cut side is now facing up. Using a fork, pull the squash out of the skin into a serving bowl. Set aside if planning to sauté with spinach. The empty skins can be used as serving bowls if desired.
Spaghetti Squash with Spinach: In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter (or olive oil). Add onion and hot pepper; cook until onion is translucent. Stir in garlic; stir in chopped spinach. Add cooked spaghetti squash; gently mix together with grated cheese. Add a little broth as needed to moisten. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Can be made ahead and reheated before serving. 

GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Spaghetti Squash coming soon...
Buon Appetito!

Copyright ©Wind. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 20, 2014

'tis the season! Get your holiday cookie recipes ready #gingerbread #cookies

Gingerbread Cookies
Last night's Calendar Party at Trinity Church launched us into the holiday spirit. My friend Audrey hosted the December table. Her theme this year was Christmas Tea with gingerbread. She served a variety of herbal teas, tea sandwiches, and scones with all the fixings. She made a gingerbread house for the centerpiece and I made and decorated large and small gingerbread cookies that she gave out at the end of the party along with a party favor of molasses. 
We all loved Audrey's gingerbread house. You would never know that she was pressed for time and cheated using graham crackers instead of gingerbread for the house. Sssshhh...no one even noticed. Her mom, Helen, helped too; they both are very creative. Helen made the door wreath and garden window boxes on the side of the house. Decorating details included red licorice Twizzler windows and Necco wafer candy roof shingles. Audrey made the chimney out of gum 'bricks', which was cleaver and must have taken patience to assemble.
The gingerbread cookies were fun to make and decorate. I used raisins for the eyes and royal icing to decorate and put the first name initial of each guest on their cookie. Watch for my Gingerbread Cookie recipe post coming soon...
Blog post and photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Today in Our Fall Garden #GardenCuizine

Today in Our Garden
Today in our garden you'll find: Rosemary, Parsley, Fennel seeds, Tarahumara Popping Sorghum, red Okra, heirloom Tomatoes, Turkish eggplants, sweet and several types of hot Peppers, Arugula and plenty of potatoes! 
Potatoes are easy to grow and you can dig then up as you need them. Harry just dug up another batch. I took a video and will post it soon.

Our large white moon flowers just finished showing off their blooms. Red cannas and Show n Tell (red with yellow tips) dahlias bordering the veggie garden are still going strong and look beautiful. Dahlias make great cut flowers right up until frost, so yes, we've been taking in cuttings to enjoy them while we can.

Everywhere you look in our garden you'll see chia in bloom. Most of the plants self-seeded from last year. Bees love the tiny blue salvia flowers; they bloom just a bit too late for the hummingbirds to enjoy. Although, I did see a hummer yesterday! But, most have begun their migration South.

Bright yellow daisies on tall stems of Jerusalem artichokes are blooming now too, along with the slender white trumpets of Nicotiana sylvestris. The Nicotiana self-seeded from last year, which was a pleasant surprise.

In the kitchen, we're still using up and cooking with heirloom tomatoes. Tonight, we made Chili with some of our tomatoes and a side of homemade cornbread with chia. Harry added a few chopped and sauteed Turkish eggplants to the chili - you would never know - and no bitter taste either. Little by little we are finding uses for the strange, tiny eggplants. 


Happy Fall!
Photo collage and blogpost Copyright (C) Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

End of harvet tomato Recipe: Heirloom Cream of Tomato Soup #GardenCuizine

 ~Low Sodium~
Heirloom 
Cream of Tomato Soup

This time of year tomatoes spoil quick and can end up in the refrigerator or worse yet, in the compost heap. Soup is a quick and easy way to cook up and use your own, or locally grown, tomatoes when the harvest just keeps on coming!

We've had so many heirloom Jersey tomatoes this year and have eaten tomatoes in every imaginable way including our 'ol standbys of canning salsa and pasta sauce. I decided to make a batch of Cream of Tomato soup to freeze for us to enjoy later in cooler weather. I used evaporated milk versus heavy cream to add flavor and nutrition without the excess calories and saturated fat. 

Cooking tips: Amazing and true - No need to add salt! There is so much flavor in heirloom tomatoes, plus using a little hot pepper and the natural sodium in the added milk and onion really makes the soup delicious without adding any salt. Of course you can add salt as desired. I didn't add any.

No need to remove the tomato skins. The skins will be removed when the soup is strained after cooking. So you could use up extra cherry tomatoes easily as well. 

Also, adding carrots and using yellow heirloom tomatoes will make the soup orange in color. To deepen color shade to more red - simply stir in a little tomato paste. I left ours orange. 

Yields: 2720g or about 12, 8-ounce servings 
Ingredients
10 cups chopped heirloom tomatoes (they don't have to be heirlooms; we just happen to grow mostly heirloom)
2 1/2 - 3 cups chopped onion (1 large onion)
3 cups chopped carrots (or 2 cups chopped carrots and 1 cup chopped celery. We didn't use celery because we didn't have any at the time.)
1/2 hot pepper (we used Scotch Bonnet)
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 dried bay leaves
fresh ground black pepper
2, 12-ounce cans evaporated milk

Tomato paste - optional

Putting it all together
  • Wash and chop all veggies. 
  • In a large soup stock pot over medium high heat, add olive oil and saute carrots and onions until soft. 
  • Stir in garlic, hot pepper and herbs. 
  • Add a few twists of fresh ground black pepper. 
  • Stir in tomatoes, bring to simmer. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until soft.
  • Stir in milk towards end of cooking time. Simmer to blend flavors.
  • Remove bay leaves.
  • Puree (we use a hand held blender). Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  • Strain into storage containers leaving head space if freezing.
Buon Appetito!

GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Cream of Tomato Soup
Excellent Source: Vitamin A, Vitamin C 
Good Source: Protein, Calcium, Manganese, Folate, Riboflavin

8 ounce serving: 113 calories; protein: 5.8g (12% DV); total fat: 5g; sodium: 117mg (4.8% DV); dietary fiber: 2g; total carbohydrates: 14g; protein: 5.8g (12% DV); vitamin A: 2,402 IU (48% DV); vitamin C: 30.3mg (51% DV); calcium 165mg (16% DV); iron (5% DV); manganese 0.2mg (10% DV); folate 50.4mcg (13% DV); riboflavin 0.2mg (14% DV); phytosterols: ~10.4mg
Recipe and blog post Copyright (C)2014 Wind. All rights reserved. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Thank You @davesgardenteam members! #GardenCuizine

Contest picture by wind 
Thank You
Dave's Garden members!
Proud to be among photography winners in several categories at Dave's Gardens County Fair 2014! Winning two first places this year, which is a first for me. I've never won with my photo entries before.The voters liked our kitty - sweet Snoops - snoozing atop a tapestry pillow 'home sweet home' as first place "Domesticated Pet" 

Another first was for favorite "Arts and Crafts" for my Mosaic Watering Can, which by the way, is still in the works. I really need to finish that project.
Harry's annual Birthday Cherry Pie won second place for favorite "Homemade Sweet Treats" The charm must have been the edible garnish of shiso perilla, mint and anise hyssop.

Pictures from our bountiful harvest of organic grapes for grape jelly won second and third places for "Favorite Fresh Fruit" 

Runner up mentions were in favorite "Fresh Vegetables" for some heirloom tomato shots  And, we truly did have a bumper crop of heirloom tomatoes this year and they still are still producing. 

Growing your own fruits and vegetables is truly a rewarding and fun experience. I encourage you to give it a try.
Happy and Healthy Gardening! 
Stay tuned for more GardenCuizine recipes, photos and videos

Monday, September 1, 2014

Today's Labor Day Harvest: Heirloom Veggies Galore! #GardenCuizine

Heirloom Veggies Galore
Today's Labor Day Harvest
9/1/14

Labor Day weekend is a good time to preserve fresh vegetables. Today in our garden we have dahlias almost ready to bloom, basil going to seed (already froze lots of pesto), more potatoes waiting to be dug, and kale and herbs for picking. Today's harvest included a few colanders full of Turkish eggplant, garlic chives, hot peppers, and lots of juicy, Jersey, organically grown, heirloom tomatoes. We have to use the tomatoes up asap since they spoil fairly quickly and fruit flies are hanging out. Any ideas?

So far we've enjoyed tomatoes on sandwiches, salads, in omelets and combined with chopped peaches in salsa that tastes great with grilled chicken, fish or pork. If you're like us, when you grow your own veggies, especially tomatoes, you may find that you can't eat them fast enough! Canning and preserving recipes come in handy.

Rather than pasta sauce, salsa, or preserving tomatoes whole or chopped, I'm thinking of making soup. Homemade cream of tomato soup should be delicious and freeze well. And, it will be nice to have a nutritious taste of the garden during the fall and winter.
 

Happy Labor Day!
Blog post Copyright (C)2014 Wind. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tarahumara Popping Sorghum * Make half your grains - Whole Grains! #GardenCuizine

Tarahumara 
Popping Sorghum is blooming!
So far I'm really enjoying growing this interesting whole grain in our garden. Sorghum stalks grow tall like corn. The leaves have a distinct white stripe down the center. The plants bloom a tassle-like top, which reminds me of wheat, but it's wheat-free. 

Sorghum's white seeds can be harvested, dried and ground into gluten-free sorghum flour or popped like popcorn. Sorghum flour as an ingredient works well combined with other grains; it's especially good in recipes for pancakes or bread.
Photo Copyright (C)2014 Wind. All rights reserved.