Week 11: Here Come the Tomatoes!

I love lining up the different varieties of tomatoes we get from Groundswell, and then getting to work! This week features a spicy tomato salsa, a no-cook olive tomato sauce that couldn’t be easier, cucumber-tomato salsa, skirt steak with bloody mary tomato salad and tomato poached eggs with kale and wheat berries. You should have no problem using all of your tomatoes with this week’s line-up of options!

Spicy Tomato Salsa

6 lbs. tomatoes
3 c. diced red onion
1 1/2 c. chopped cilantro, tightly packed
15 cloves garlic
12 jalapeños, seeded and diced
1 TBSP salt
3/4 tsp. dried chili flakes
3/4 c. red wine vinegar

Blanch and peel tomatoes and dice into 1/4 inch pieces. Combine all ingredients into a large sauce pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, until it thickens. Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and cap. Process for 15 minutes in boiling-water canner.


Pasta with no-cook Tomato Sauce
Recipe Credit: Real Simple, August 2014

1 1/4 lbs. ripe tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 c. pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1/3 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
kosher salt
3/4 lb. spaghetti
torn fresh basil, to serve
parmesan, to serve

Combine tomatoes, anchovies, garlic, olive oil, red pepper and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until the flavors meld, at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Add to the bowl with the no-cook tomato sauce and serve with basil and parmesan.


Cucumber-Tomato Salsa
Recipe Credit: Moosewood Restaurant Favorites Cookbook

2 c. diced fresh tomatoes
1 c peeled, diced cucumbers
1/4 c. finely diced chives, scallions or red onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried oregano
1 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 TBSP minced fresh parsley

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add more salt and black pepper to taste. If  you use dried oregano, let salsa at least 10 – 15 min before serving. Excellent with falafel and veggie burgers.


Skirt Steak with Bloody Mary Tomato Salad
Recipe Credit: Smitten Kitchen

2 1 1/2 pound skirt steaks
Kosher salt
4 teaspoons (packed) brown sugar, light or dark
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil (for brushing)

1 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar, divided
2 pounds cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (from about 3 pints or 10 ounce containers)
1 cup chopped celery hearts (inner stalks and leaves; from 1 bunch)
1/2 cup chopped brined green olives plus 2 tablespoons olive brine
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare steaks: Arrange steaks on large rimmed sheet or cutting board. Mix 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, dark brown sugar, paprika, cayenne and freshly ground black pepper together in a dish. Rub all over steaks and let them marinate in this rub for 1 to 3 hours, covered in the refrigerator. Remove steaks from fridge 1 hour before you’re ready to cook them, to bring them to room temperature.

Prepare salad: Pour 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar over onions in the bottom of a large bowl and let them sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will temper the onion’s bite. Add tomatoes, celery and olives. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, reserved olive brine, horseradish, Worcestershire, pepper sauce and celery seeds in a medium bowl. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking constantly until combined. Add to tomato salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until needed, and up to 4 hours in advance, if covered and refrigerated.

Cook steaks: Preheat a charcoal grill to medium-high or a gas grill to the highest heat. Brush grill grates with oil. Grill steaks for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into 1/4-inch thick slices, against the grain.

Alternately, cook the steaks inside: Heat a large cast-iron skillet on medium-high to high and coat bottom with oil. When oil begins to shimmer, place steak in skillet and do not move it for 5 minutes. Turn it once, and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare. Repeat with second steak. If your steaks are too large to cook in one piece, you may halve them to fit. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into 1/4-inch thick slices, against the grain.


Tomato Poached Eggs with Kale and Wheat Berries
Recipe Credit: Whole-Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 Anaheim chiles, stemmed, seeded, and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 – 2 1/2 cups very finely diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 cup cooked wheat berries (boil in salted water for about 30-40 minutes until tender but chewy)
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (I didn’t have a lemon so I left this out)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
5 to 6 large eggs
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Flaky salt
Red pepper flakes

In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, warm the oil until it shimmers. Add the onion and saute´until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chiles and continue to saute´for 3 to 4 minutes more. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, cooked wheat berries, capers, cumin, paprika, lemon zest (if using) and kosher salt and stir to combine. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat until the sauce just starts to thicken, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

Stir in the kale and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until the color brightens and the leaves soften. Carefully crack the eggs evenly around the pan. Cover and gently cook until the whites are firm but the yellows are runny, 6 to 8 minutes.

Top with crumbled feta. Serve with flaky salt, olive oil for drizzling and chile flakes for heat.

Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Week Nine: Dips and Summer Fare

Having just picked up a zucchini that is half as big as my two-year-old, I think it’s safe to say we need some great recipes to enjoy the abundance from the farm! This week features a basil pesto (use some now; freeze some for later), a tzatziki sauce for your cucumbers, green bean casserole, summer squash pasta bake and one pot kale and quinoa pilaf. What else is everyone making? Feel free to e-mail me at kitchenbeet.penelope[at]gmail[dot]com with your favorites. I’d love to do a round-up with your go-to recipes if you’d like to share with the rest of the group!

Basil-Walnut Pesto
Recipe credit: themessimake on Food52

  • 1bunch basil
  • 1/4cup toasted walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2teaspoon sea salt (add more if needed)
  • 1/4teaspoon black pepper (optional)
  • 3/4cup extra virgin olive oil (add more if needed)
  1. Place all ingredients (EXCEPT the extra virgin olive oil) in a food processor.
  2. Slowly drizzle the EVOO through the feed tube while the food processor is on.
  3. Continue running the food processor until a desired consistency is reached. I like the pesto to be a bit gritty rather than smooth, I like the texture that the tiny pieces of walnuts create. So I watch the pesto closely so it doesn’t get smooth and pasty.


Tzatziki (Cucumber sauce)
Recipe credit: Kayln’s Kitchen

3 cups Greek Yogurt (or regular plain yogurt, strained as described above)
juice of one lemon (about 3 T)
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 medium cucumbers, seeded and diced
about 1 T kosher salt for salting cucumbers
1 T finely chopped fresh dill (can substitute mint leaves for a slightly different version)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

If you don’t have Greek yogurt, strain plain yogurt as described above. Peel cucumbers, then cut in half lengthwise and take a small spoon and scrape out seeds. Discard seeds. (If you use the small seedless or European cucumbers with few seeds, you can skip this step.) Slice cucumbers, then put in a colander, sprinkle on 1 T salt, and let stand for 30 minutes to draw out water. Drain well and wipe dry with paper towel.

In food processor with steel blade, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir this mixture into the yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend. (This resting time is very important.)

This will keep for a few days or more in the refrigerator, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it. Use it for greek pitas, greek pitas, lamb kabobs and more!


Fresh Green Bean Casserole
Recipe credit: The Pioneer Woman

  • 2 pounds Fresh Green Beans, Ends Cut Off
  • 4 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/4 Inch Pieces
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 whole Large Onion, Chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 2-1/2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Half-and-half
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Sliced Pimentoes, Drained
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Chicken Broth If Needed For Thinning

Cut green beans in half if you like pieces to be a little smaller.

Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they’re cool and set aside.

Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. If sauce is too thick, splash in some chicken broth as needed. Turn off heat.

Add pimentos to pan, then add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.


Summer Squash Pasta Bake
Recipe credit: Smitten Kitchen

Herbed Summer Squash Pasta Bake

Serves 4, heartily, as written

8 ounces pasta, any shape you like
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (you won’t need this yet, but better to zest before juicing, to avoid grumpiness)
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large or 5 skinny scallions, sliced thin and white/pale green parts and dark green tops in separate piles
Pinches of red pepper flakes, to taste
3 tablespoons (25 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk, ideally whole but low-fat will also work
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
1 tablespoon finely chopped mixed herbs of your choice
Salt and more pepper to taste
3/4 cup finely grated parmesan or aged pecorino romano cheese, divided
4 ounces (115 grams) mozzarella, cut into small cubes

Cook the pasta: If you’ve got an oven-save 3-quart deep skillet or braising pan, use it here and you’ll only need one pot for the whole recipe. Otherwise, bring an medium/large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 1 to 2 minutes before perfect doneness. Drain and set aside.

Heat oven: To 400 degrees.

Prepare the squash: Heat a large skillet or the pot you just used to cook your pasta to high heat. Once hot, add olive oil, and let it heat until almost smoking. Add sliced squash, season it with salt and pepper flakes and let it sear underneath, unmoved, until golden brown. Continue to saute until browned and somewhat wilted, about 10 minutes, trying to get some color on each layer before moving squash around. Transfer to a bowl and squeeze lemon juice over bowl. Add more salt or pepper if needed.

Make the sauce: Reheat your the same pot over medium heat. Melt butter in bottom of pan. Add scallion white and pale green parts and garlic and let sizzle for 1 to 2 minutes. Add flour and stir until all has been dampened and absorbed. Add milk, a very small splash at a time, stirring the whole time with a spoon. Make sure each splash has been fully mixed into the butter/flour/onion/garlic mixture, scraping from the bottom of the pan and all around, before adding the next splash. Repeat until all milk has been added, then add lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste. Let mixture simmer together for 2 minutes, stirring frequently; the sauce will thicken. Remove pan from heat and stir in half of chopped parsley, all of mixed herbs and reserved scallion greens. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Assemble dish: Off the heat, add drained pasta, summer squash, 1/2 cup grated parmesan and all of the mozzarella to the pot, stirring to combine. If pan is ovenproof, you can bake your final dish in it. If not, transfer mixture to a 2 to 3 quart ovenproof casserole or baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan.

Bake: For 25 to 30 minutes, until edges of pasta are golden brown and irresistible. Sprinkle with reserved parsley and serve hot. Reheat as needed.

To freeze: Let dish fully cool to room temperature, then transfer, wrapped well, to the freezer. Let defrost in fridge for a day before rewarming in oven. If I have time, I like to rewarm at a lowish head (300 to 325 degrees) with the foil on, then finish it for the last 10 minutes or so at a higher heat without the foil to restore some crisp.


One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf
Recipe Credit: deensiebat at Food52

2cups salted water

  • 1cup quinoa
  • 1bunch lacinato kale, washed and chopped into 1″ lengths
  • 1 meyer lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1tablespoon toasted walnut oil
  • 3tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4cup crumbled goat cheese
  • salt and pepper
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat until it is just enough to maintain a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then top with the kale and re-cover. Simmer another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to steam for 5 more minutes.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, take a large serving bowl and combine half of the lemon juice (reserving the other half), all of the lemon zest, scallions, walnut oil (you can substitute olive oil if you desire), pine nuts, and goat cheese.
  3. Check the quinoa and kale when the cooking time has completed — the water should have absorbed, and the quinoa will be tender but firm, and the kale tender and bright green. If the quinoa still has a hard white center, you can steam a bit longer (adding more water if needed). When the quinoa and kale are done, fluff the pilaf, and tip it into the waiting bowl with the remaining ingredients. As the hot quinoa hits the scallions and lemon it should smell lovely. Toss to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper, and the remaining lemon juice if needed.

Have a great week!

Week Six: The Moosewood Edition

During a road trip this past weekend, I had the opportunity to eat at Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY. I’ve been a fan of their cookbooks for a long time, so it was pretty amazing to be in their restaurant space and eat their delicious, flavorful and unpretentious food. I picked up another one of their cookbooks, so this week’s recipes will include four from their collection, and a Chard Burger that sounds great from Farmer Tom!

Sugar Snap Peas and Radishes with Orange & Mustard
Coconut oil
Sugar Snap Peas
Freshly squeezed orange juice
Orange zest
Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper

Using whatever amounts you have on hand, stir together orange juice, orange zest, Dijon mustard and salt. Saute sugar snap peas (or snow peas) and sliced radishes in coconut oil for a minute. Add some water and cook until just tender. Drain and add the orange juice, zest and mustard. Top with scallions, and season with salt and pepper to your tastes.


Chopped Broccoli Salad
4 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. maple syrup
4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 c. currants
1 c. seeded and finely chopped bell pepper
2 TBSP sliced scallions or snipped fresh chives

Slice off thick bottoms of broccoli. Finely chop the forest and small step shoots. Cut larger stems lengthwise into halves or quarters and then thinly slice.

In a medium serving bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sweetener, vinegar, salt and black pepper. Fold in the broccoli, currants, bell peppers and scallions.chives. Set aside to allow flavors to meld for at least 30 minutes.


Asian Slaw
3 cups thinly sliced cabbage (pick your favorite – Chinese Cabbage, Bok Choy, Green)
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped scallions

2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
2 TBSP vinegar (rice, white or apple cider)
1 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 TBSP soy sauce
2 tsp. brown sugar
dash of chili oil or Chinese Chili Paste

Combine cabbage, carrots and scallions in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss well. As a variation, you could wilt the slaw just a bit by heating the oil up and tossing it over the vegetables with the rest of the dressing ingredients.


Pasta Primavera
1 pound pasta (such as penne)
1 TBSP olive oil
6 garlic cloves or garlic scapes
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
2 small zucchini, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. salt
1 cup freshly shelled peas
1/2 cup sliced fresh basil
ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano

Boil water for the pasta. In a large skillet or pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic, red onion and carrot sticks. Saute for a minute or two, stirring. Add the bell peppers and zucchini and continue to saute for a few minutes.

Start cooking your pasta if you haven’t already!

Add the tomatoes and wine, which will quickly bubble and steam. Add the salt and finish cooking the veggies until just tender. Stir in the peas and basil. Season with black pepper and salt, if needed.

When the pasta is al dente, drain it, reserving about 1/4 cup of the cooking water. In a large bowl, toss pasta with half the grated cheese and reserved cooking water. Drizzle the pasta with a little olive oil. Top the pasta with the vegetables and sprinkle on the rest of the cheese. Enjoy!


Farmer Tom’s Chard Burgers
I love this great idea from our wonderful farmers:

1. Saute one bunch of chopped chard stems for 10 minutes.  Add chard leaves and saute 10 more minutes.
2. Mix 1 lb.beef hamburger, thawed, with cooked chard, 2 T salsa and 1 T refried beans
3. Add 1 tsp each of oregano, black pepper, turmeric, cumin & salt or your favorite spices
4. Thinly coat bottom of pan with oil to fry each batch of burgers (the added ingredients make them stick without oil)
5. Fry at medium heat
Picky kids will love this!  Our 3-year-old son has a strict “no leaf” policy, but gobbles these up.

Happy “Hallo-green”!

Hello members, welcome to week 22! You made it! Give yourself a pat on the back for cooking your way through an entire CSA share.  Beth and I picked recipes with an indulgent, yet healthy twist to celebrate what a bountiful, delicious season it has been.  We tip our hats to all the farmworkers who grew, harvested, and delivered the produce, and to the members for checking the blog each week.  Consider signing up for Winter CSA, you’ll miss fresh greens before you know it!


Kabocha Squash Waffles (or pancakes)

We doubled the recipe from the original website.  You can double it again for a family of 4.  The batter will also work for pancakes if you don’t have a waffle iron.

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup kabocha squash, peeled, cooked, and mashed (or other winter squash)
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 4 Tbsp milk
  • sweetener, optional
  1. Vigorously blend all ingredients in a bowl by hand, or mixer, or blender.
  2. Heat waffle iron and follow directions for pouring waffles.
  3. Serve warm and enjoy!

Cheesy Bacon and Kale Potato Skins

  • 5 slices of bacon
  • 5 medium russet potatoes (or potatoes you have on hand)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 5 ounces of kale
  • 3/4 cup almonds or pine nuts
  • 1 handful of basil leaves or other fresh herbs
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of any kind of shredded cheese
  1. Bacon: fry bacon until crispy.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.  When cool enough to handle, crumble into small pieces and set aside.
  2. Potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Wash and dry the potatoes.  Rub or brush them with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. When cool enough, slice potatoes in half, scoop most of the insides out (save for another recipe, like mashed potatoes) but leave a little bit attached to the skins to hold their shape. Melt the butter and combine with the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Rub or brush the inside and outside of the potato skins with the butter/oil and bake for 10 more minutes, insides up, until crispy.
  3. Kale: In a food processor, pulse the kale, nuts, chickpeas, herbs, olive oil, parmesan, garlic, and salt until smooth.
  4. Assembly: Fill each of the skins with the kale mixture.  Top with bacon and shredded cheese.  Bake 10 more minutes or until cheese is melty. Sprinkle with extra herbs or bacon before serving if desired.

Sneaky Carrot Cookies 

  • 2 bananas
  • 3 Tbsp almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (or your favorite dried fruit)
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mash the bananas in a mixing bowl.
  2. Stir in the nut butter and then applesauce.
  3. Add the remaining ingredient then stir to combine.
  4. Place spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet and flatten slightly with the back of a spatula. Bake 10-14 minutes until nice and firm.

Cranberry, Butternut and Brussel Sprout Brie Skillet Nachos

  • 1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  1 teaspoon brown sugar
  •  pinch of salt and pepper
  •  1 cup brussels sprouts, sliced thin (into shreds)
  •  2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  •  1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  •  2 teaspoons chili powder
  •  1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to your taste)
  •  1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  •  1/2 cup dried cranberries
  •  8 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (may sub another white cheese, but fontina is so good!)
  •  8 ounces brie, sliced
  •  1 bag tortilla chips
  •  4 ounces gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled (for topping)
  • Cranberry sauce/syrup: 1 cup pure cranberry juice, 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add the olive oil. Add butternut squash, sprinkle with 1 tsp brown sugar and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently to avoid burning for 15 minutes or until squash is fork tender.  Add brussels sprouts, garlic, thyme, chili powder, cayenne, crushed red pepper.  Continue to cook another 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the squash and the sprouts are beginning to caramelize all over.  Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in dried cranberries. Slide the mixture onto a plate.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. In the same skillet you cooked the veggies in,  add 1/3 of the chips and 1/3 of the cheese (a little brie, a little fontina) and 1/3 of the veggie mixture. Repeat this 2 more times until all of the cheese and veggie mixture have been used.
  4. Place the skillet in the onion and bake 7-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with gorgonzola cheese.  Drizzle with cranberry syrup and serve.
  5. To make the cranberry sauce/syrup place the cranberry juice and 1 Tbsp brown sugar in a small sauce pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook 5-8 minutes until mixture is reduced and syrupy. Serve with the nachos.

Sweet Potato Pomegranate Salad

Try this recipe with roasted winter squash cubes if you are out of sweet potatoes.  Or visit Groundswell at the farmer’s market to stock up on sweet potatoes.  (I also highly recommend the Red Norland potatoes from Green Wagon.  Chad the owner used to work for Groundswell.)

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

For the dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate juice
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place sweet potatoes on large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until potatoes are well coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until potatoes are tender.  Remove from oven.
  2. Place sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Add pomegranate arils, pepitas, and feta cheese.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together, drizzle over sweet potato mixture.  Toss gently and serve.


1 Potato, 2 potato

Greetings members, did you enjoy the bag of potatoes in the share last week?  We included 2 potato recipes this week.  Did you enjoy all the bell peppers in the share last week?  We’ve included a stuffed bell pepper recipe.  Also, a tomatillo salsa recipe that calls for sweet corn, and a kale salad variation that uses tomatoes.

Baked Potato And Greens Soup (From Veganomicon by Moskowitz/Romero)

Serves 6

  • 6 baking potatoes (or any kind of Groundswell potato), about 2 lbs. worth
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion (or scallions) chopped into thin, long strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or more broth if you prefer)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups of kale, torn into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened soy or almond milk
  1. Bake the potatoes, preferably the night before: preheat oven to 350 degrees, poke potatoes with a fork a few times, wrap in tinfoil and bake for one hour or until easily pierced with a fork. Let cool, place in fridge.  The day of soup making get them out and slice into 3/4 inch chunks.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the onions and cook until brown.  Then add garlic, fennel, thyme, sage, salt and pepper.  Cook for 2 more minutes, then add wine to deglaze the pan.
  3. Add the potatoes and broth, cover, and lower the heat.  Bring to a low boil.  Mix in the kale, cook 15 to 20 more minutes.
  4. Use a potato masher to mush up half the soup, but do not use an immersion blender.  Add the soy milk and stir.  Ladle into bowls and enjoy.

Oven Fries

Lately I have found that preheating the baking sheets helps give a crispy texture to the potatoes while also preventing them from sticking to the pan.  I learned about this at a cooking class from Jim LaPierre, a chef from the Saugatuck area.

Makes a decent serving for 2 people and 2 servings for lunch

  • 2-3 lbs. of potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried herbs: rosemary, thyme, sage, your choice
  1. Wash and slic the potatoes into wedge/fry shapes.  Soak in a mixing bowl with water for 10-15 minutes.  While soaking the potatoes, put 2 baking sheets into the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
  2. When the potatoes have soaked, pour them out and spin dry in a salad spinner or pat dry with a towel.  Toss them in a new mixing bowl (or dry the other one and re use it) with olive or grapeseed oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and crumble 1/2-1 tsp of dried herbs over them.
  3. When the oven has preheated, put your oven mitts on like you are Muhammad Ali  getting ready for a fight.  Quickly take the heated baking sheets out and place on the stovetop.  Transfer the potatoes, half to each sheet.  They will sizzle! That’s ok.  Put them back in the oven as fast as you can.
  4. Roast them for about 20 minutes.  In our oven the tray in the middle is usually done, and I put the top tray on the middle rack and roast it another 5 minutes.
  5. Divide one tray’s potatoes between two plates, add ketchup in the preferred method (pool on the side or Jackson Pollock painting) and enjoy.
  6. Put the second tray’s potatoes into leftover containers, eat them the next day while thanking our ancestors for finding starchy root vegetables.

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

This recipe has some ingredients you can leave out (celery and greens) or substitute, or make again when Groundswell celery comes in! Also consider substituting Groundswell tomatoes for canned.

  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ribs of celery chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin (or less, depending on your feelings about cumin)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of spinach or salad greens, chopped
  • 2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes, liquid reserved
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup of quinoa
  • 4 large red bell peppers, or their equivalent in small, medium, purple, green, etc. Cut in half with seeds removed.
  1. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in pan.  Add the onion and celery, cook 5 minutes. Add cumin and garlic, cook 1 minute. Add greens and tomatoes, cook 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  2. Add black beans, quinoa, and 2 cups of water. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked. Optional: add 1 cup of cheese.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour liquid from tomato cans into a baking dish.  Scoop about 3/4 cup of quinoa into each pepper and place in baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake 1 hour.  Remove foil, sprinkle 1 tbsp of cheese on each pepper if desired.  Bake 15 minutes or until pepper tops look browned.  Remove peppers, let stand 5 minutes, and serve.

Warm Kale Salad With Honey and Lemon

  • 8-10 cups of kale, washed and dried
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of one lemon
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1-2 tsp honey
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 large sweet bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  1.  Saute onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until soft.
  2. Add lemon juice, zest, honey, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the bell pepper, cook for 1-2 minutes to reduce the lemon juice slightly.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook only until they are warm (keep them from bursting)
  5. Add the kale, toss in the pan, remove from heat after 1 minute or when kale has begun wilting.  Serve with crumbled feta.

 Fresh Corn and Tomatillo Salsa

  • 1 1/2 cups husked and chopped tomatillos
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
  • 6 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 chopped Jalapeno chile, seeds removed (or seeds in for more spice)
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  1. Place tomatillos in microwavable bowl, microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Put in freezer 10 minutes to cool.
  2. Coat non-stick skillet with cooking spray, cook corn over medium high heat for 2 minutes.  Transfer to bowl, put in freezer 10 minutes to cool.
  3. Combine cilantro, Jalapeno, and lime juice in a bowl.  Add tomatillos and corn, mix well.  Salt and pepper to taste, serve with tortilla chips.


Some closing thoughts…

Hello All,
What an amazing season of produce and hands on learning!  I was in absolute glee over this years share.  Thank you to Groundswell and their hard working staff for making it happen. Hats off to you! 

This 2013 Groundswell CSA blog page was my first opportunity to blog, and I have to say, wow….what a learning curve! I had taken an oath to myself promising to take all my own photos  and to not use any old standby recipes, but to try all new dishes.  I really wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone, although a few old favorites still made their way on to the page. Thank you for coming along for the ride!  I hope you found a few new favorites for your recipe book, along the way.
 To close out the year, I have included two new recipes that I have just lobbed on to and hope you will give them a run too! 

Cheers and best wishes to you!


Grated Carrot Salad with Dates and Nuts
serves 3 as a side dish

2 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 medium size carrots, grated in food processor
1/4+ cup pitted dates, chopped
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, walnuts or almonds, chopped
1 Tbs shredded mint

  • Using a dry skillet on low heat, toast the cumin seeds until fragrant, about 5-8 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the seeds to a bowl.
  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients, add the cumin seeds and set aside.
  • Mix the carrots, dates, pistachios and mint together in a bowl. Pour on the dressing and toss till fully coated.


Cranberry/Cilantro Salsa
serves 4 as an appetizer

1 (12 oz.) bag of frozen cranberries
1 bunch of cilantro
2 scallions, thinly sliced
pinch of salt
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, and finely chopped
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup maple syrup

corn tortillas and sour cream for serving

  • Place all ingredients into a food processor and just pulse a few times until the berries are cut up to your liking.  Enjoy!  (I am sure not as much sour cream is needed as shown in my photo, but it is soooo tasty! Really balances the acidity of the berries.)
  • I made this numerous times over the last two weeks and noticed that if you over pulse, it goes from a salsa to a puree, which I didn’t enjoy.   Although,…the puree would be fabulous with leftover turkey for sandwiches, (think Thanksgiving!).

Final thoughts

It’s been a great year for exploring vegetables in our family. Here are a few more tidbits we’ve learned.

1. The best way to cook brussel sprouts is to caramelize some onions, put a little maple syrup on them, dice and crisp up some bacon, and toss it all with the sprouts and a bit of garlic. Put it in the oven (350) for 10 minutes to cook through. This makes a great side dish!

2. Our favorite soup recipe is standard chicken noodle (or rice, or quinoa). We always make a pot of soup after we have cooked a whole chicken (the rotisserie chickens from the supermarket work too) earlier in the week. It’s a favorite Sunday meal. We take the remains of the chicken and put it in a soup pot with a few bay leaves and lots of water. Boil for 3-4 hours, adding water as needed. Remove chicken from stock, pick the meat off the bones and return to pot. Add an onion, some carrots, celery, some diced kale, and whatever seasonings fit your tastes (we like Costco’s no salt seasoning). Add noodles, rice or quinoa about 30 mins before serving.

3. Cut up green peppers and spread peanut butter on them for a quick, healthy, and surprisingly scrumptious snack!

That’s all for me on the blog this year. I hope you have found some ideas along the way to incorporate into your family’s menu! It’s been a pleasure to write, and thank you for reading!

Fall Food

As the fall weather really sets in, there is a real comfort in cooking. The pace of life seems to naturally slow down as the weather changes. My family’s eating habits shift as well to very savory, slow-cooked meals.

This year has been a great growing year for my family and our CSA relationship. Although I am still learning to use everything each week, we have added many new recipes to our family’s meal lineup. A change is happening in my son’s eating habits as well, as when the CSA season started, I believe he survived on air. But now he tries most of the food that we give him. He has helped prepare many dishes in the kitchen, and he eats a wide variety of vegetables (lately he’s developed a vendetta against peas though).

Pumpkin is a vegetable that we dove into last year. Up until that point neither my husband nor I had ever actually cooked a pumpkin. Sure, we carved many, but they were decorative, not edible (except of course, the seeds, which I will touch on later). `

Check out this link if you have questions about turning a whole pumpkin into a much better version than the canned stuff: http://chefinyou.com/2009/10/pumpkin-puree-recipe/

Harvest Pumpkin Soup

original source: http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/2011/09/harvest-pumpkin-soup/

Rich and creamy Harvest Pumpkin Soup is sure to warm you up when the air turns crisp.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus extra as needed
2 cups water
1 (15-oz) can pure pumpkin purée
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Blue cheese crumbles
Toasted walnuts
Pumpkin seeds


In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander and nutmeg and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the broth, water, pumpkin and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the flavors have melded.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before working in batches to purée the soup in a blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the soup to a clean pot. Stir in the half-and-half. (additional broth may be added as necessary to adjust the soup’s consistency) Heat the soup gently over low heat until hot (do not boil). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into serving bowls and sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles, toasted walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Nutritional Information per serving (1 cup): 140 calories; 7 grams of fat; 4 grams of saturated fat; 3 grams of protein; 18 grams of carbohydrates; 4 grams of fiber;15 milligrams of cholesterol; 300 milligrams of sodium.

Source: adapted from USA Today originally from Soups, Stews & Chilis

Pumpkin can be turned into ravioli as well (and pasta for that matter)…

Easy Pumpkin Ravioli

Take a small pumpkin and made a puree out of it. On the stovetop add heavy whipping cream to taste (1/2 package or so) and whatever spices you prefer (we like curried spices in this dish, but sweet spices like nutmeg and maple syrup would be tasty too). Make the ravioli out of wonton wrappers, flash boil and saute. The result is delicious!

My husband brews beer for a living, and recently, he brewed a beer in collaboration with other local brewers centered around the theme of pumpkin. Besides using the pumpkin itself, my husband engineered this pumpkin seed recipe to put into the brew. He was hard pressed to get the seeds to the brewery before Gus and I ate them all. They are deliciously sweet and a bit savory! (The seeds that escaped our mandibles ended up ground and put into beer, which I am anxious to try!)

Pumpkin Seeds

Coat with 2tbsp maple syrup
Remove from smoker
Coat with 2tbsp maple plus a pinch of salt
Spread on greased cookie sheet
Bake at 350* till golden and caramelly, stirring occasionally

We have had so much eggplant this year, and using it has been a great adventure in our house. It  has been the vegetable that we have had the most surprising luck with (neither my husband or I were big eggplant fans to begin with). We found this crockpot recipe that turned out a nice little dish to eat with Naan bread. Albeit, I would recommend this as a side rather than a main course.

Punjambi Eggplant and Potatoes

Original source: http://www.theperfectpantry.com/2011/07/recipe-for-slow-cooker-punjabi-eggplant-with-potatoes.html

Slightly adapted from The Indian Slow Cooker, this recipe serves 8 (can be halved).


2 medium eggplants, stem end removed, cut into 1/2-inch dice (approx. 10-12 cups)
1 large Idaho or Yukon Gold potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium yellow or red onion, peeled and chopped
1 tsp ginger paste (or grated fresh ginger root)
6 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground red chile pepper
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp kosher salt, or to taste
1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, to taste


Combine eggplant, potato, onion, ginger, garlic, jalapeño peppers, cumin, ground chile pepper, garam masala, turmeric and oil in a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker. Stir as best you can to distribute the spices and oil. (The smaller cooker will be frighteningly full, but don’t worry; the eggplant will cook down.) Cook on HIGH for 2 hours, stirring after 1 hour.

After the first two hours of cooking, stir well. There should be a nice amount of moisture in the cooker, and the eggplant should have collapsed a bit. If there is plenty of liquid in the pot, continue cooking on LOW for 30 minutes, uncovered. If there’s not much liquid, cook on LOW for 30 minutes with the cover on.

Add the salt and cilantro, to taste. (Salt added during the cooking will draw more moisture out of the eggplant, so it’s best added at the end.)

Finally we come to a dish that my husband “invented” last year that has been a great way of using up vegetables in a delectably different way. The idea stemmed from my husband’s interest in learning how to make a decent risotto (a dish which takes a bit of care and patience to execute well). Rather than using rice to make a risotto, we decided to go a different route.


Cube any root vegetables that you have on hand (sweet potatoes, celeriac, carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, potatoes, even squash works). We also add dried mushrooms (fancy varieties) to the mix.

Place all the vegetables in a saute pan on the stove and cook it while adding chicken (or vegetable, both are tasty) stock to the vegetables. We tend to use between one and 2 quarts depending on the amount of vegetables that we begin with. The idea is to keep adding stock until the vegetables are all cooked to tender. But the result is a sort of “hash”.

Once you are nearly done cooking the dish, stir in a cheese (we prefer aged white cheddar or bleu). Serve.

Thanks for reading this season! Cheers!

The onset of comfort foods

As October approaches, my kitchen becomes a place of comfort. Throughout the fall and winter we cook dishes that take a long time to cook, and I love how the warmth from a simmering soup on the stove can fog up the windows throughout our house. 

This first recipe is a favorite in my house. There is a Chinese restaurant in Alpena that serves this soup, and somehow my mother got her hands on the recipe. Once word got out on Facebook that I had a recipe for this soup I was bombarded with requests from hometown friends who had moved away to share it. Trust me, it is delicious!

Russian Soup

Double this for a HUGE pot.

  • 2-3 lbs stew beef
  • 1 1/2 Qt H2O
  • Med onion chopped
  • 2 t Worchestershire sauce
  • 6 cubes beef bullion
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 1-3 sliced carrots
  • 1/2-1 head cabbage (med)
  • 3/4 c. Western salad dressing
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 4t soy sauce
  • 1/8 t white pepper
  • 2 cubed potatoes

Bring everything but potatoes and cabbage to boil, add potatoes. Simmer 2-3 hours. Add cabbage 30-45 min before serving

Lentil Soup with Mustard Greens

Original post:http://elisebakes.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/lentil-soup-with-mustard-greens/

Yield: 8-10 servings / Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 45-60 minutes

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 3/4 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 9 cups water or stock
  • 4 cups mustard greens, stemmed and torn
  1. Heat olive oil in your soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are translucent (~5 minuties).
  2. Add water and the remaining ingredients to the pot.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
  4. Simmer for 30-35 minutes, until lentils are tender.

Beet and Fennel Soup with Kefir


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped fennel bulb
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 large (2 1/2-to 3-inch-diameter) beets, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup unflavored kefir
  • Additional unflavored kefir
  • Fennel fronds (for garnish)

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion, chopped fennel, and fennel seeds. Sauté until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add cubed beets and stir to coat. Add chicken broth and bring to boil. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until beets are tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Puree soup in batches in blender. Return to same saucepan. Whisk in 1 cup unflavored kefir and season soup with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Rewarm soup.

Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with additional unflavored kefir; garnish with fennel fronds.

My husband hates cauliflower. I made this dish one evening before he got home and he raved and raved about how delicious it was. This is  a great Indian side dish, and a good

Indian Cauliflower Mash, or Aloo Gobi Mash
Original post: http://www.spiciefoodie.com/2011/04/24/vegan-indian-cauliflower-mash-or-aloo-gobi-mash-2/

  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into large florets
  • 4 small potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • small piece of fresh ginger, ginger and finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red chile, finely chopped
  • 11/2 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • extra chile powder, optional *
  • salt & ground black to taste
  • finely chopped chives, chiles and/or fresh cilantro to top, optional

 Boil the cauliflower and potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside. Heat the oil and cook the onion until soft and translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and chile and saute for another 3 minutes. Place the boiled cauliflower and potatoes into the pan. Add the remaining spices to the pan. Use a potato masher and mash until the vegetables have broken up into a thick mash. I left a few chunks of both the potatoes and cauliflower for a chunky texture. Stir to combine all ingredients well, and cook for another 10 minutes.

Since I included a recipe that won my husband over, this is a great way to get my kid to eat squash. We froze this in individual servings for a quick kid-lunch.

Dreamy “Mac & Cheese” Spaghetti Squash

Original Source: http://joandsue.blogspot.com/2013/01/dreamy-mac-cheese-spaghetti-squash.html


  • 1/2 Tbsp flour
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk (1%)
  • 1/4 cup Tex Mex blend shredded cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups spaghetti squash, cooked
  • 1 slice green pepper, finely diced
  • 1 green onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp frozen peas
  • 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 350. Spray a small casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together flour and salt & pepper. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in Tex-Mex cheese until melted and smooth.


That’s it for this week. Cheers!

Back to school

Summer is quickly winding down and (at least for me) the comfort of the school year routine is settling in. Although I have much more time in the summer, I find it much easier to plan and execute regular meals during the school year. It is wonderful to continue to receive awesome produce weekly from Groundswell throughout the transition from summer to fall. Fall signals an eating transition in our family to warmer, comfort fare, and Groundswell’s bounty ensures that we are still getting lots of vegetable goodness into our diet.

I hear that people get together to watch some sort of game, possibly played with a swine carcass…I don’t know too much about all that, but here are two healthy and tasty dishes appropriate for appetizers.

Kale Ricotta Dip (adapted from Whole Foods)

Healthy Holiday: Creamy Low-Calorie Kale Dip

1 bunch green kale, stems and tough ribs stripped out and discarded, leaves sliced
1 small onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
Lemon zest to taste
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste


  1. In a large saucepan, combine kale, onion, garlic and 1/4 cup water. Set over medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 12 minutes; add more water a tablespoon at a time if the pan dries out.
  2. Transfer vegetables and any liquid in the pan to a food processor or blender and let cool a few minutes. Add ricotta, parmesan, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper flakes. Process until smooth.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

Tomato Pesto Bites

Original source: http://www.pipandebby.com/pip-ebby/2011/1/18/tomato-pesto-bites.html

Hollow out about 30 or so cherry tomatoes

Invert the tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Set aside to allow for the tomatoes to drain.

For the filling, combine the following ingredients in a food processor:

1/2 of a medium avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 oz. cream cheese

1 Tbsp. basil pesto

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Cover and process until just combined.

Place tomatoes on a serving platter and spoon the filling into the tomato cups. If needed, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil before serving.

I‘d like to share three main dish ideas this week. The first, and by far the easiest (and Gus’ favorite) is:

Pasta with carbonara sauce.

Cut up and saute vegetables of your choice, and cook pasta.

When veggies and pasta are all done, add them together. Carbonara sauce is very simple, take a couple of teaspoons of butter and 2-3 whipped eggs. Add butter to mixture first and then the eggs. Stir the heck out of it.

The eggs won’t “cook” like scrambled eggs, but will form a delightful sauce! So simple-so “fancy!”

Zucchini Fettuccine with Kale

Original source: http://www.foolproofliving.com/zucchini-fettuccine-with-kale/

Zucchini Fettuccine with Kale

  • 4 medium size zucchini, washed and peeled like fettuccini noodles
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 bunch (4-5 leaves) kale, washed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 scallions, chopped (both white and green parts)
  • Handfull of walnuts
  • 2 tablespoon hemp seeds (optional)
  • For the dressing
  • 2 tablespoon mayonaise
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Black pepper
  1. Place the zucchini ribbons into a colander, add salt and let it drain for 15 minutes.
  2. In a large pot put some water and, using a steam basket, steam the kale for 5 minutes. Take it out and let it cool. Once cooled, chop it into small pieces.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add onions and cook until they are fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the yellow pepper, garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the zucchinis, mix and cook for 6-7 minutes. As they cook, they will soften and will start looking like noodles. Place them in a mixing bowl.
  5. Add the chopped kale and scallions in the mixing bowl.
  6. To make the dressing: Mix mayonaise and red wine vinegar in a small bowl. Season it with freshly grounded black pepper.
  7. Drizzle the zucchini and kale mixture with the dressing. Add a handful of (or more) walnuts in and mix.
  8. When ready to serve sprinkle it with a tablespoon of hemp seeds.

Cilantro Cream Chicken (Adapted from Wish Bone)

Original Source: http://www.momstestkitchen.com/2012/11/cilantro-cream-chicken.html?m=1

  • 1 & 1/4 pounds chicken tenderloins
  • 1 cup Italian dressing
  • juice from 1 small lime
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced


  1. Combine the Italian dressing, lime juice & about 2 tablespoons of the cilantro. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mix, pour the remaining marinade over the chicken & vegetables in a Tupperware containers or gallon Ziploc bags. Turn the chicken to coat & marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour up to overnight. I kept my chicken & veggies in two separate bags.
  2. Add the remaining cilantro to the reserved 1/4 cup of marinade & combine with the 1/4 cup of sour cream. I gave mine a quick blend in my food processor. Chill until ready to serve.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Remove the chicken & vegetables from the marinade, discard the remaining marinade.
  4. Saute chicken until the chicken is no longer pink & juices run clear. Add the vegetables to the chicken after the first few minutes and cook until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Serve the chicken & veggies over rice & topped with the Cilantro Cream Sauce.

Finally it’s dessert time! This bread is a filling bread that is sweet enough to entice, but healthy enough to justify. This would make a great on-the-go breakfast bread, sliced up and frozen until needed.

Lightened-up Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Original Source: http://www.happywifehealthylife.com/2013/08/15/lightened-up-double-chocolate-zucchini-bread/


1 egg and 2 egg whites

1/4 cup agave (If you don’t have agave, honey is fine)

1/4 cup applesauce

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)

2 cups zucchini, grated

2/3 cup chocolate chips (Shaken in 1 tablespoon flour – this prevents chips from sinking to the bottom of the bread)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together egg, egg whites, agave, applesauce, coconut oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract.  Add baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and whole wheat to the mix and beat just until combined.

Carefully fold in grated zucchini and chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a lightly greased loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until center is fully cooked.


So that’s been the traffic in my kitchen! Hope all is well in yours. Cheers!

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Groundswell Community Farm grows over 40 different crops and 200+ varieties, to provide our CSA members and Michigan restaurants with an amazing array of colorful and flavorful veggies.

Copyright © 2019 Groundswell Community Farms. All rights reserved. Site by CurlyHost.

Groundswell Community Farm grows over 40 different crops and 200+ varieties, to provide our CSA members and Michigan restaurants with an amazing array of colorful and flavorful veggies.

Copyright © 2019 Groundswell Community Farms. All rights reserved. Site by CurlyHost.