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Recipe: Summer Pasta Salad

summer-pasta-salad

This pasta salad is one of my favorite potluck contributions. Because of the fact that the pasta has to be completely cool - at most room temperature - before assembling the salad, it’s a great dish to start at night and finish the next day. Here’s a recipe for a great Summer Pasta Salad:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lb smallish, shaped pasta (rotini, farfalle, macaroni, anything small and easily fork-able)
  • 1/2 bottle of Italian dressing (not creamy)
  • 4 T Salad Supreme
  • 1 12 to 14 inch cucumber or two smaller ones, peeled and seeded
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 4 ounces Provolone cheese (this is usually 4 slices of prepackaged sliced cheese)
  • 4 ounces salami (again, usually 4 slices of prepackaged sliced meat, but this can also be 4 ounces from a whole salami)

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Recipe: Sauteed Corn, Spinach, and Green Beans

Sauteed corn, spinach, and green beansI prefer to have vegetables prepared with every dinner that I serve my family, so it is nice to come across a recipe that is easy to prepare while the entree is cooking away. True, the kids may pick and choose which veggie is their favorite, as my 4-year-old would, but I enjoy all three as I hope your family will. This recipe calls for frozen vegetables to save time, but I always love to use fresh when given the choice…up to your preference.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pkg. 10 oz. frozen corn kernels
  • 1 pkg. 10 oz. frozen cut green beans
  • 5 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • coarse salt and ground pepper

Preparation:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high, add corn and green beans, and cook about 4-6 minutes, until green beans are warmed through. Next add the thyme and spinach, seasoning with salt and pepper. Toss until spinach is wilted, about 1-2 minutes, then stir in the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in a bright dish for added pizazz.

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Wanting To Live A More Organic Lifestyle

Posted by Jenni Burns Categories: Farming, Health, Trends, Organic, America,

Strawberry

Many people would love to buy produce, organic meat, and live a more wholesome life. But what stops most of us? Money, time and space. The mindset I’ve struggled with is, “I can’t buy organic because it’s too expensive,” or “I don’t have the space to have a because we have such a small yard.” My husband, Chris, found this website called Path to Freedom, that really challenges those limiting mindsets. The website is put together by a family who lives in urban Pasadena, California. This family has turned their small 1/5 acre lot into a rich garden with around 400 varieties of edible plants, supplying nourishment for them as well as a sustaining organic produce company. I found this site interesting and extremely inspiring. Take a look at their site and see if it doesn’t inspire you to turn your rose bushes into string beans!

Read More | Path To Freedom

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Blackberry Salad Dressing Recipe

Blackberry Dressing

My friend Crystal is a creative cook, and she came up with this recipe when we were over for dinner the other day. It was amazing! I was so glad when she shared the recipe with me. We enjoyed this dressed over a lush bed of greens tossed with candied pecans and dried cranberries, the was to die for! I plan to share a pasta recipe from Crystal later this week.

BLACKBERRY DRESSING


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2-34 cup apple cider vinegar

Directions:
Puree,  douse a bed of delicious greens, and enjoy.

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Recipe: Diced Rainbow Fruit & Veggie Salad

Salad

My husband Andru has come to the realization that a lot of the food we eat on a daily basis contains a lot of sodium. Not because I have chosen to dash everything we consume with a bit of salt here and there, but because some foods come into our home with so much added salt through processing. He was fuming about how he had chosen to purchase some soup simply because the label said “Organic” because in our mind set “organic” is supposed to mean good for you, but that is not necessarily true so he went off in a tirade after reading the label and seeing that in a one cup serving of this “good” soup there was 980 mg. of sodium, 41% of the sodium we need for the day in one cup of delicious death. He was very concerned that this percentage was in relation to an adult’s body mass, not a 3 year-olds tiny frame. How much sodium can a toddler take before a salt-induced coma? Anyway, to alleviate his worries, he is on a mission to eat more foods that are “living”, meaning less meat and processed foods and more fruits and vegetables.

In order to support his new found revelation, I decided one night to come up with a raw fruit and vegetable salad that is delicious despite not being smothered in dressing—and I aptly named it Rainbow Fruit & Veggie salad because after all was said and done, I threw in so many different colors of fruits and veggies, it became a taste sensation for the eyes. I was very tempted to add a touch of sugar to the natural dressing mixed in, but then thought, well that defeats the whole purpose, so instead added some strawberries for that touch of sweetness. Voila…a new recipe was born, and Andru loved it and the kids seemed to like it also, thank you strawberries. It is a great side dish and the recipe can be varied in so many ways, I added raw zucchini when I made it a second time and it was a hit at our Fellowship meal after church. I hope it pleases your taste buds also!

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Lentil Curry Vegetable Soup Recipe

Lentil Curry Soup

Last year my husband and I were on a raw food kick. We bought a great book called, “The Raw Food Detox Diet” by Natalia Rose - that is where I got this recipe. My husband and I have begun a slow journey of becoming healthier people. We are trying to regain ground for ourselves at the same time as we teach our children the many benefits of eating healthy. One of the main points in this book, “The Raw Food Detox Diet,” is that we need to eat in such a way that our meals will exit our bodies in a timely manner. But equally important, we want our food to give our bodies the maximum amount of nutrients possible. One of the ways we can do this is by not eating starchy foods and meats together as they take much longer to digest when eaten together. This recipe is a great, “quick exit meal,” not raw, but definitely a great source of nutrition and it tastes great. I will be sharing more thoughts about this book in later entries, so look forward to hearing more from me on the subject of the .

 

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BBQ Tofu Recipe

Tofu

This recipe was passed to me from a friend who has been a all her life. So, needless to say, she has an arsenal of delicious veggie recipes that I have gleaned to add to the eclectic bunch that I rotate throughout the week. I love this particular recipe for because everyone (including my kids) who has tried it, loves it. And it makes tofu taste like you would never believe. It has a few ingredients that one might seem would not be paired together but all of the flavors blend so well and it is a recipe to be tried on the naysayers of tofu. It is a meal that needs an extra day to prep, but it is so easy and foolproof. It is a healthy, protein packed meal that you will feel good about feeding to your kids. Serve it on top of white or better yet, brown rice; I like to add a green vegetable on the side to add that bit of color to please the eyes as well as the palate. I usually go with broccoli or green beans, but also love asparagus lightly sauteed with some olive oil and kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

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September Eat Local Challenge

Local FoodIn my searching for lemons the other day I came across something that I thought was really interesting. The Eat Local Challenge, is a 30-day challenge to eat from your local foodsheds as well as preserving September’s harvest for the winter months. There is nothing better than eating fresh produce that was grown and picked this week at the farm down the road, except maybe growing it yourself! Another aspect of The Eat Local Challenge is to get the message out about the farmers in your area. You can help advertise locally by blogging about what you’ve enjoyed and you can add photos you’ve taken to the flickr Eat Local Pool.

My family and I love to visit our local Farmer’s Market on Saturday to drool over all the delicious fruits, vegetables, freshly baked breads, and wonderful cheeses, as well as all the beautifully handcrafted pieces! Then we usually sit down to enjoy a crepe or two while the kids dance to the country music. It’s a lot of fun, hopefully we will make it this coming weekend and will post some photos! There is something great about community. I think what I love the most about the local markets is that you can shake the hand who planted the veggies you are going to take home to prepare a delicious meal for your family. So this is just a reminder, go and support your local farmers this September, shake their hand and tell them how much you appreciate all their hard work, because without them most of us would go hungry!

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Storing Garden Abundance: Freezing

Posted by Janie Franz Categories: How To, Storage Tips, Fruit, Vegetables,

Canning JarsIn years past, almost every woman in America canned or dried garden produce. Some of us still do today. With the advent of bigger and better freezers, more people have opted to freeze fruits and vegetables. You can still get great information about canning and freezing from your County Extension office in your city or town. Or, you can go to the library and find books about canning safety and recipes to use with a pressure cooker or water-bath canner.

Most fruits and vegetables can be blanched briefly in hot water and then put into freezer bags. Label each bag with the contents and the date it was frozen. Freezer bags can be stacked easily or put into cartons in the freezer.

Herbs can also be frozen. Wash them well, pack in small quantities, and freeze them as flat as you can.  You can usually break off a bit as you need it. Frozen herbs are best used in foods that will be cooked.

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