Recipes

I love to eat almost as much as I love to garden.  I have posted these recipes in past Blogs but looking back now, they were not easy to find.  So here they are again.  Please feel free to share your creations with me too!   Hungry girl, Ellen

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Oatmeal Hockey Pucks

Caldo Verde (Green Soup)

“Taste of Thai” Appetizer

Quinoa & Kale Salad

Orange Scented Chocolate Zucchini Cake

My favorite Cucumber Soup

Baked Summer Squash

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Spring is so busy for me.  “Oatmeal Hockey Pucks” are the perfect take-along, not-too-sweet, mini-granola snack that I can take with me anywhere.  They are made entirely with oatmeal and no flour.  I make a batch and freeze them so they are ready to go.  Many thanks to the Greensboro News and Record for publishing this recipe several years ago. It has always been a favorite. (A printable version of the recipe is here:  Oatmeal Hockey pucks )

Oatmeal Hockey Pucks

6.75 cups oatmeal  (I use 1 minute oats.)
1.5 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp melted butter

 Preheat oven to 375.
Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients.
Stir together. Press into 2 mini muffin pans of 24 each.
Bake 14-15 minutes. Makes 48 minis.

Grow flowers, Eat cookies, Be Happy!

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Caldo Verde (green soup)  takes advantage of abundant, colorful winter/spring vegetables. It is fast and easy, and so beautiful you would be proud to serve it at your next dinner party.  If you are a stranger to kale, this is the time to try it out! Among the list of “super foods”, kale is truly the most nutritionally dense scoring a 1000 on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI). The recipe is below. Click here for an easy to print .pdf version:  Caldo Verde.pdf  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

1 lb. chicken sausage links, sliced bite size
(Costco’s Amylu brand Andouille Chicken sausage or the Italian turkey sausage from Whole Foods’ meat counter are good choices.)
2 onions, peeled & chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 large turnips, peeled & cut into 1” pieces
(You may substitute potatoes, but turnips have far better flavor & texture here.)
3 large carrots, sliced
1 lb. fresh kale, stems removed & leaves shredded
3 cups chicken broth + 1 cup water
¼ tsp red or black pepper
2 tsp ground oregano

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pan, brown the sausage and drain.  Add onion and cook about 3 minutes until soft.  Add garlic, carrots, turnips, chicken broth, oregano and pepper. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until carrots are barely tender. Add kale and cook about 8 – 10 minutes longer so that it is tender but still bright green.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

 

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“Taste of Thai” Appetizer

Organically grown greens like Collards & Kale are packed with more nutrition than almost any other vegetable!  Even if you were never a fan of collards, you may be very surprised by this appetizer from the “Taste of Thai” restaurant (Westover Terrace & Mill Street in Greensboro.) It is sort of like a lettuce wrap, only with 4” squares of fresh collard leaves!  The idea is to set a leaf in the palm of your hand and fill it with a little of each of the condiments below, add a drop of sauce, then roll it up and eat it.  Forget trying this with lettuce – nothing really nothing works as well or tastes as good as a deveined collard leaf!

TasteofThai appetizer

Here is what’s in each little dish: peanuts, tiny pieces of fresh lime (including the rind), unsweetened coconut, fresh chopped onion and ginger root.  I guessed at the sauce, but about half Hoisin sauce and half Asian Sweet & Sour sauce is perfect.  Each bite is such a burst of flavor, you cannot believe it could be so good for you!

 

 

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Quinoa & Kale Salad   (Click here for a printable version: Kale & Quinoa Salad)

Surprisingly, Kale can be delicious when eaten raw too.  This salad makes the perfect lunch!

1 cup Quinoa, cooked and chilled
(Rinse quinoa in warm water a few times before cooking to remove it’s natural bitter coating.)
1 large bunch of fresh Kale
1 -16oz can of Chic peas, drained
1/3 cup Craisins
1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
6 oz Feta cheese

Dressing:
¼ c. Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Agave nectar or honey
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Salt
½ tsp pepper or chili powder

Remove ribs and tough stems from Kale and tear into 1” to 2” pieces.  Add dressing to kale and “massage” it with your hands until it is thoroughly coated and kale is wilted.  Add remaining ingredients.  Serve cold.  This makes a big salad that keeps a few days in the fridge.

 

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Orange Scented Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This is one of many wonderful “garden” recipes from “The Cultivating Cook” cookbook published by the Guilford County Extension Master Gardeners.  (The cost is only $6 and you can call the Guilford County NC Extension office to see if they still have it in stock.)  Here’s how to make it…

2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 ¾ cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 cups finely shredded zucchini
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup chocolate chips
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

  •  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease & flour a 10-inch spring form pan.
  • Sift together first 6 (dry) ingredients. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl combine sugar, oil, orange zest, vanilla & eggs. Mix well. Stir in the shredded zucchini and buttermilk.
  • Add dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture. Mix well; do not beat. Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Pour into prepared pan & bake about 35 or 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool about 20 minutes before removing from pan. When cake is completely cool, dust with powdered sugar.   Serves 8-10.

Note: This recipe will also work just fine with yellow squash, patty pan or scalloped squash.  The spring-form pan is optional.  (Just admit that it is CAKE and rejoice that it contains anything as healthy as zucchini!)

 

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My favorite Cucumber Soup – This recipe was shared by my friend Inara Zandmane after she served it for dinner.  I have made it (over & over again) every summer since.  It is amazing that anything so healthy can taste this good!  I hope you love it too.

6 large cucumbers, peeled and shredded or finely chopped in a food processer (No need to drain the juice.)
2 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled, minced & crushed
1 tsp salt
½ cup raw walnuts, finely chopped
2 -3 cups Greek yogurt

Combine all ingredients.  Garnish with whatever fresh herbs you have in the garden – minced mint, chives, dill or parsley.  Serve cold.  This keeps several days in the refrigerator and is totally refreshing after a hot day in the garden!

 

 

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Baked Summer Squash

There is no point bragging about summer squash because every gardener has loads of it in early summer!   Here is a great step-by-step guide for how to prepare zucchini or yellow squash to freeze or to use for fritters or breads – or my baked squash!   http://www.agardenforthehouse.com/2012/07/how-i-freeze-zucchini/  (You will find other handy cooking and gardening ideas here too!)

Here is Jim’s favorite way to eat squash – disguised in a yummy casserole that tastes similar to corn pudding.

  • 2 ½ lb summer squash shredded & salted, and reduced to 1¼ to 1 ½ lbs
  • with the water squeezed out
  • 1 small onion, finely shredded
  • 1 pkg of Jiffy corn muffin mix (or other brand of your choice)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg

Combine all ingredients. Pour into a shallow greased baking dish (a 9”x13” or 10” round works well). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  This is equally good reheated the next day.

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