Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Carrot flower Hummus tasting ✿ Owl Sandwich ✿ Kids nutrition education @InspiraHN #GardenCuizine

Last nights event at Family Success Center Vineland was a success for families. SPLI Students from Cumberland County College provided the program. I was consulted as the dietitian from Inspira Health Network to review the nutrition education materials and recipes, and answer any questions by families. Both kids and parents were tuckered out with smiles after the fun, physical activity segment by PJ Ragone from Inspira Fitness Connection PIT program. Great job CCC Visionaries!
Kids learned about the food groups and healthy eating, making and tasting healthy foods, including whole grain bread, low fat cheese, hummus and olives. Olives were used in light Babybel cheese ladybugs (not shown).
Blog post and photos Copyright (C)2014 Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Italian Easter Bread #GardenCuizine #HappyEaster

Italian Easter Bread
Our family tradition is to bake 2 large rings of Sicilian Easter Bread on Easter Sunday. Fruit is added to the dough. This year I added chopped dates, anise seeds and candied orange. Uncooked eggs are added to the dough braid and bake in the oven. Eggs baked in the oven usually come out perfectly hard cooked. This year was the first time I ever had an egg explode during baking! Luckily, it was only one egg and it exploded near the end of baking with only a part of the shell coming off.

In trying to figure out why the egg exploded, I've concluded that in past years I have often peeked into the oven (heat escapes) to look at the bread. This year I never opened the oven at all and heat never escaped. It seems that 350° F is too high a temperature to bake eggs. I now recommend baking the bread for the first 20 minutes at 350° F then reducing the temperature to 325° F for the remaining baking time to avoid risking an egg burst.
Happy Easter!
My revised recipe for whole grain Italian Easter Bread is posted here.
Photos and blog post Copyright (C)2014 Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sowing seeds in April yields summer garden harvests and beautiful gardens #GardenCuizine

Still Plant Seeds in April

Start planting seeds both indoors and out in March and April. Plants that can tolerate cooler growing temperatures can get planted outside, while frost sensitive plants are best getting their head start indoors. I've been planting seeds indoors under fluorescent lights since St. Patrick's Day and during National Nutrition Month.

Any seedlings started indoors under lights can then be planted outside Mother's Day or after, when the danger of frost has passed. Resist the temptation to plant plants directly outdoors now in this 80 degree early Spring weather. If you heard today's forecast - cooler air is on the way, which is more seasonal for early Spring.

Sowing seeds in April brings rewards later in the season. Rewards come in many forms, especially the personal gratification that comes from nurturing a plant from seed, and seeing the mature plants yield nutritious crops. Cooks know how wonderful it is to stoll outside for fresh veggies or a few snips of fresh herbs on demand. Growing and adding perennial and annual flowers make any yard and veggie garden look wonderful and inviting too. Inviting not just to you and your family and friends, but to wildlife, including butterflies and hummingbirds.

Below lists more plants that can be grown from seeds, followed by the number of days to germination, which will be updated as they germinate. You may notice that a few of the seeds are duplicates from previous posts. This could be because our cat(s) ate the first round of grass-like seedlings! Or, the seeds failed to germinate the first time around, which can happen if the seeds are old, or if they were exposed to too much light or air.

  • Yvonne's Red Salvia: 10 days
  • Italian Parsley
  • Heirloom Tomato Berkeley tie-dye (beefsteak with metallic green stripes): 9 days
  • Purple Majesty Millet
  • Basil 'Green Bouquet': 5 days
  • Hollyhock Peaches and Dreams
  • Zinnia Queen Red Lime: 2 days
  • Heirloom Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate (Polygonum orientale) a 6-9 foot annual
Blog post and photo Copyright (C)2014 Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Zucchini and Onion veggie side dish #GardenCuizine

Zucchini and Onion 
veggie side dish
Stir fried zucchini and onion direct from your garden or your local market makes a quick cooked vegetable that is easy to prepare and can be on the table in less than 20 minutes. This is one of our favorite veggie side dishes for dinner. We served it tonight with sea bass and freekeh.

Serves 3-4
2 medium zucchini
1/2 large onion
2 tablespoons canola, peanut or olive oil
a few drops hot sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together
Simply rinse and slice the zucchini in 1/4-inch rounds. Peel and slice the onion. Heat oil in a wok or skillet; add zucchini. Stir fry for a few minutes, then add the onion. Stir until the veggies begin to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Push the veggies to the outer edges of the pan or wok and add the garlic and ginger. Stir to cook and incorporate flavors.

For a complete meal, serve hot with 3 to 4 ounces low fat protein and a serving of whole grain, such as freekeh, rice or quinoa.

Buon appetito!
Related Links

Zucchini: A Growing Guide
Photos and recipe blog post Copyright
©2014 Wind. All rights reserved.