Savoury Pumpkin Feta and Seed Muffins

Savoury Pumpkin Feta and Seed Muffins


Savoury muffins are a great way to curb your urge to snack while incorporating a serving of healthy veggies into your diet. But why hit the corner cafe for your muffin fix when you can make a large batch at home, saving money and packaging waste?

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups cubed pumpkin or butternut squash, 1/2-inch cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large handful of baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup cubed feta
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup rice milk or other milk
  • 2 1/2 cups spelt flour or wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use the butter to grease a 12-hole muffin pan or 2 loaf pans and set aside. Alternatively you can make this recipe into a loaf.

Sprinkle the olive oil and some salt and pepper over the squash. Toss well and turn onto a baking sheet or roasting pan. Arrange in a single layer and bake for 15 – 25 minutes or until cooked through entirely. Set aside to cool.

Transfer two-thirds of the squash to a large mixing bowl along with the spinach, parsley, sunflower seeds, Parmesan, two-thirds of the feta, and all of the mustard. Gently fold together. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and milk together and add to the squash mix. Sift the flour and baking powder onto the squash mix, top with the salt and a generous dose of freshly ground black pepper and fold together just until the batter comes together, be careful not to over mix.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, filling each hole 3/4 full, top each muffin with a bit of the remaining squash and feta. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops and sides of the muffins are golden, and the muffins have set up completely. Let cool for a couple minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm with a salad or soup.

Makes 12 muffins or two loaves for slicing. Loaves may take 60 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness.

Adapted from a recipe in Martha Goes Green by Rosie Percival and Ruth Friedlander. 

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Berry Jam

Berries were on sale today, so I bought some extra to try out a recipe and make some small batch jam. I usually like to buy berries on sale to freeze to use when I make berry tarts for my potluck loving co-workers. There really is no such thing as extra berries actually.  The berries we get in our CSA boxes barely last the trip home, according to some share members.  They are the best travelling snack! 

This jam can be made with any combination of berries.  This recipe makes 2 cups of jam.  It is tart and sweet at the same time.  I like it with cold chicken in a sandwich or on the side with roasted meat.  Give it a go with peanut butter on toast. It is perfect on a cracker with cheese for a snack or charcuterie hor d’oeuvres. I put mine in tiny yogurt jars to give as gifts to friends.



5 cups of berries (I used 2 6oz boxes Blackberries and 13oz Strawberries

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 good squirt of lime or lemon juice.

In a saucepan, put all ingredients. Chop the strawberries in quarters.  Use a wooden spoon to mash the berries as they cook.  Bring all to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer stirring often.  Cook for 40 minutes.  

Jam is done if it sticks to the wooden spoon and slowly runs off.  Alternatively, place a small dish in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Place a tiny amount of jam in the centre of the dish and wait a minute.  Take your finger and draw a line through the jam.  If the jam does not run back towards the centre it is ready or “set”.  

Place jam in jars and let cool at room temperature.  Store in fridge or freeze what you think you may not consume within 2 weeks.

If your jam turns out to be runny, consider this to be not a failure but an amazing topping for ice cream or stir into yogurt for a yummy dessert…

Want to make a syrup for mixed drinks?  Simmer this mixture for 20 minutes, strain through a fine mesh metal strainer and place in the fridge for cocktails and iced teas or freeze if using it later than 2 weeks.  Leftover fruit can be used again with yogurt or creme fresh and crackers.

Enjoy L.L

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Grilled Lettuce


At this time of the season, we are usually overrun with lettuces in our box. Some of us find it hard to eat enough salads and keep up with the awesome variety we receive each week. Here are some ideas to impress your dinner guests or to just enjoy along with your summer barbecue foods. Grilled Romaine is very tasty and visually appealing.


Hot and crisp, a little char with browned ruffled edges. Tender on the inside, yet still some crunch. A drizzle of good olive oil, a splash of bright lemon or lime juice, and a dusting of fresh shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. Occasionally, I like to sprinkle crispy smoked bacon pieces and crumbled blue cheese for some extra zing. Play with garlic infused oil, or Chili infused oil for grilling and drizzling just before serving. All of these things are what make it an Italian Grilled Romaine Salad, sealed with the signature, “bellisimo” fingertip kiss.

This technique is pretty much foolproof, but here are a few things to keep in mind, just to make sure:

  1. Slice Romaine lengthwise. This keeps the leaves connected to the core, thus your leaves staying together, nice and firm.
  2. Make sure your grates are clean, and brush them with a little oil.
  3. Turn that grill up to medium high, no need to be shy. This will give the lettuce those beautiful sear marks and infuse a smokiness. GRILL for 3 to 5 minutes each side.
  4. Don’t forget the fresh lemon or lime juice at the end. This is key to making the natural flavours of the lettuce sing, and brightens the entire dish.
  5. Topped with a squirt of aioli sauce or your own mixture of mayonnaise, garlic and dry mustard for added level of flavour.
  6. Top with sliced egg pieces or chickpeas or any protein to make this a meal.

I can not wait to hear how much you enjoy playing with lettuce on the BBQ this season.

you may also enjoy this article for more yummy ideas:

Enjoy! L.L.

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Pickles, Pickles, Pickles and More Pickles

Ever made Homemade Pickles? Know how simple it really can be? Summer and Pickles go hand in hand, but who has the time to make a huge bunch of pickles? These recipes are for quick Small Batch Pickles. You can pickle almost any vegetable. Use these recipes and try pickled onions, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots (with ginger and lemon peel), green beans and asparagus. A Summer Bloody Caesar is best enjoyed with a fresh made pickle! Pickles can be saved for at least 2 months in your refrigerator but seriously I do not think they will be in there for too long. No need to sterilize jars and lids, although I would at least boil the jars for 10 minutes on the stove top in a large pot of water or put them through the dish washer. I always use glass bowls with tight fitting plastic lids when making pickles for the fridge, but good old jam jars or any sealer jars will work just fine. These pickles are great for burgers, pulled pork, sandwiches and even on the side with a cold beer at a picnic or in your every day lunch box. The Bread and Butter Pickles you can eat right out of the jar they are so good! To quickly cut even slices of cucumbers (straight or crinkle cut), you could use a mandolin. You can also use a crinkle cut knife found at most kitchen shops for a fun looking pickle.


Our friend Jeannette has shared her Mom’s “secret recipe”. Thanks Jeannette! This recipe does not need to be refrigerated but consumed within a few months.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup pickling vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pickling salt
  • Garlic cloves
  • Sprigs of fresh Dill or 1 tsp Dill seed

Wash and put cucumbers on ice overnight in the fridge. Next day, make a brine. Boil vinegar, water and salt. Put a garlic clove and a spring of dill in a hot sterilized jar. Cut cucumbers into 4 lengthwise if you like spears or into chunks or slices for sandwiches and place in jar. Put more dill on top. Pour brine until it covers the cucumbers in the jar. Seal immediately and put jar upside-down on a tray to cool. Repeat until all cucumbers are in jars. Ready in 3 to 4 weeks. Any left over brine can be kept and used for another batch.


This recipe is for one jar of pickles. You can alter the recipe for more jars. This one has a zing of flavour!

  • 3 pickling cucumbers 4-4 1/2″ long, but no longer or sliced 1/4″pieces
  • fresh dill a few sprigs per jar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed with the side of a knife
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp whole mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns

Wash cucumbers and cut into spears or slices. Pack into a wide-mouth pint-sized canning jar, or any clean glass jar. Since these are refrigerator pickles a canning jar is not necessary. Tuck several sprigs of dill in between the cucumbers.
In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, garlic cloves, salt, sugar, mustard seeds, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Pour liquid over cucumbers in the jar. Make sure to include all the mustard seeds, peppercorns, and garlic. If you are using a slightly larger jar and the liquid doesn’t fully cover the pickles, fill the rest of the jar up with water.
Close the jar and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours but preferably 48 hours. Enjoy!

These are not shelf-stable, so they will need to be kept in the refrigerator. They should keep in the refrigerator for about two months, if you don’t eat them all before that!


My dad always enjoys the fresh cucumbers every summer in a bath of fresh water, vinegar, salt and pepper. Here is a slant on that simple recipe….prep time 5 minutes. Want it spicy? Add a hot pepper!

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vinegar (rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, even white wine vinegar will work)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons sugar – only if you are looking for a sweet pickle
  • 1-2 Tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups Sliced Cucumbers
  • Sliced Green Onion

Place all in a glass bowl and let soak for at least an afternoon, but overnight is even better. At time goes on the veggies will be less crisp, but still enjoyable. As the pickles get eaten, you can keep adding fresh veggies to this mixture, just allow some time for the flavours to develop! Enjoy


Sweet, spicy, fresh and tangy and ready to enjoy the next day!

  • 8 medium sized cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 3 tsp mustard seeds (peppercorns optional)

In a large bowl, combine cucumbers and onion with the salt. Chill for 1 hour. After one hour, rinse cucumbers and onions under a cold water tap several times and drain. Pack cucumbers and onions snuggly in glass jars. Put all remaining ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a rolling boil making sure all sugars are dissolved. Remove hot liquid from heat and pour into the jars just to cover the cucumbers and onions. Let jars stand 30 minutes until cool then seal and put in refrigerator. Let stand at least over night. Enjoy! YUMMMMMMM

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Peas, Sugar Snap Peas

These peas are certainly a seasonal treat.  Savour them fresh while they last!  Like sweet corn, they are at their best enjoyed immediately after harvest. Sugar Snap Peas are one of three different types of peas.  Shell peas, need to be removed from their pod before eating. Snow Peas are an edible young flat pod with immature peas inside.  Sugar Snap Peas have sweet edible pods and peas.


Remove the stem and pull down along the spine of the pod to remove the “stringy” part on the side.

Eat young fresh snap peas raw.  Put out a heaping bowl of them for snack or meal time or cut into salads or steaming hot rice for a crunchy rice dish. OR, they can be boiled in a tiny amount of water for 2 to 4 minutes then drizzled with sesame oil and sesame seeds and a squirt of lemon juice . Sautéd in a pan with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Stir fried with onion, mushrooms, or toasted nuts and fresh herbs. Make a fresh pea soup or a Fresh Pea Pod, Broccoli and Rice Salad. So tasty.


  • 1 onion chopped, saute in 1 tablespoon olive oil until tender (10 minutes)
  • 1 potato chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups water or broth (there are some nice broths such as mushroom or pho)
  • 1 tsp salt if not using broth

Add to saucepan and cook over medium heat until soft, 15 minutes

  • Pint of Sugar Snap Peas or as many peas you have…I have used regular podded peas frozen during mid winter.

Add and cook until bright green. Puree in blender, with immersion blender or food processor. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt. Serve warm.  Optional garnish with a dollop of sour cream or plain full-fat yogurt or a sprinkle of fresh dill or parsley.


Great for taking on picnic lunches or tossing in a lunch box for work. I like to make this and eat hot as a side dish with chicken or ribs.

  • 1 package or 6 oz long-grain and wild rice (or what rice you choose)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli, (I like to use stems as well)
  • 1 sweet pepper, red, orange or yellow (optional)
  • 1/3 cup sliced red or green onion
  • 1/4 cup Italian salad dressing (or your own vinegrette with olive oil, vinegar, basil and garlic)
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper (if you have it) or regular pepper
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups edible pea pods, sugar snap peas or snow peas
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds

Prepare rice according to package directions. Cool slightly. Steam broccoli until crunchy-tender. Toss with remaining ingredients and refrigerate until cold.


Happy Eating, L.L




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Maple Roasted Rhubarb


I was just given some fresh rhubarb from the farm and tried playing with ideas on how to make a stewed rhubarb without burning it.  I usually leave it too long on the stove.

This Photo of a Recipe I played around with and created I posted on Facebook and seems to be spreading faster than ever, so I thought I had better put it up on the blog. This is the Easiest recipe you will ever find, other than the recipe for boiling water….


  • 6 stalks of Rhubarb, cleaned and chopped into pieces as short or long as you wish
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup, or more if you have a particularly sweet tooth
  • Squeeze of fresh Lime juice

Place all in a covered dish and bake at 350 degrees in the oven and walk away for 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size of your rhubarb.  Done

I love to serve this hot from the oven.  I put it over ice cream.  You could add whipped cream if you so desire and some nuts to make it pretty.

I would serve it cold for breakfast with yogurt on top and a bit of granola.  Or, cold as a sauce over some pound cake for dessert.  I really enjoy a dish of rhubarb beside my breakfast toast or at lunch with a hearty artisan style grilled cheese sandwich.  This rhubarb roasted becomes a great partner hot from the oven poured over pork roast or chops and roasted chicken as you would a gravy.

Rhubarb, you are such a versatile Vegetable!  Thank you


L.L (Lady Locavore)


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Basil Mint Sauce


Basil Mint Sauce is great to have on hand and so versatile.  A taste of freshness.  I have used this combination as a marinade for roast Pork, Lamb or Chicken.  I have used it fresh as a dipping sauce for barbecued Lamb Chops and oven-baked Chicken Wings. I have put it into a Pasta Salad along with fresh radish, cucumbers and spring onions. Tossed with potato wedges for oven-baked fries. Poured over chopped Tomatoes with fresh bocconcini or mozzarella cheese. Recently I have used it as a relish over gourmet burgers with a touch of horseradish.

  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 bunch fresh basil or lemon basil (my favourite variety of basil)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed (juice)
  • 1 small clove garlic

Blend well in food processor.  Let sauce sit for an hour at least before using.  Store in a glass jar in the fridge.

Enjoy!  L.L

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Swiss Chard Pesto

Red Swiss Chard

Red Swiss Chard

As great as traditional basil is, it’s not the only kind of pesto.  Parsley arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and even carrot tops can be used to make pesto, and are abundant most any time of the year.  The swiss chard stems are too fibrous for the pesto, so keep them for a nice saute with olive oil, salt and pepper and enjoy another tasty side dish.


Use this fresh tasty pesto with any kind of pasta, on top of grilled chicken, grilled vegetables, pizza, tomato and mozzarella salad or on crusty bread.  It is excellent mixed into chopped hard boiled eggs for egg salad.  Spread on sandwiches, grilled cheese or corn on the cob.  It is amazing in vegetable soups and risottos.

  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard leaves torn into pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon plus the juice
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds
  • Handful of fresh cilantro or basil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a food processor, combine chard, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and 2 large pinches of salt.  Pulse a few times.  Add the sunflower seeds and cilantro and pulse again.  With machine running, add the oil in a slow stream an process until incorporated. Transfer pesto to a medium sized bowl and stir in cheese.

If you are not using the pesto right away, cover the top with a thin layer of olive oil.  The pesto will keep covered in the fridge for a week or frozen for up to a month (just omit the cheese and add it in just before serving)

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Cucumber and Watermelon Salad


Watermelon on the Barbecue? Yes! 

Grilled watermelon has a refreshing unique smoky and sweet taste. A perfect melding of summer’s flavours, the result is simply splendid. Grilled watermelon is easy to prepare and may be used in a variety of different dishes, from sweet to savoury.

If you are grilling,  why not consider putting the watermelon on the grill on the side while cooking your main dish.  It gets a smoky edge and  tastes almost meaty.  Cut the watermelon into larger pieces so they don’t drop through the rack, brush the rack with olive oil and grill over medium heat until lightly charred about 2 minutes per side.  Cut watermelon into smaller pieces before mixing with the cucumbers.

Enjoy it as is, straight from the grill.  You can put it into a traditional fruit salad, or drizzle it with a mixture of liquid honey and lemon juice for a sweet dessert.  

I like to combine grilled watermelon with different cheeses, some nuts, a vinaigrette or balsamic vinegar combined with salad ingredients like cucumbers, greens, sweet onion, olives, mint, you name it, for an elegant twist on the summer salad.


  • 1 large shallot cut into thin rings
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light tasting olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 cups of bite-sized watermelon pieces, seeded (grilling is optional)
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 4 oz parmesan cheese

In a large bowl combine shallots, vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes to soften flavours.  Whisk in the oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Add the watermelon and cucumbers and gently toss to combine.  Check the seasonings and then divide the salad among plates or bowls.  With a vegetable peeler, shave a few long slivers of cheese over each portion and serve.

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Tasty Kale Salad

11246024_836436116436771_5452422847574361426_nLately I just can’t seem to get enough green, curly kale into my system.  Actually Curly or Dark Russian long leafed, Red kale, doesn’t seem to matter.  I am power–chowing this nutrient dense super food like it is the latest fad. There’s plenty of chewing but I Gotta Have My Greens!

If kept in a cold spot in the fridge, wrapped in a wet paper towel inside a Ziploc bag Kale will not only keep longer, it will become slightly sweeter to taste.  The key with kale is to remove the curly leaves from the huge rubbery stem.  Stems are good treats to give to your dog as a chew stick.  Chop the kale and have plenty of other greens, nuts, seeds and fruit on hand for a real satisfying meal.

Particularly interesting lately, is my desire to have my kale raw and in salads. I have also learned that those pesky unpopular Brussels Sprouts are rather tasty raw.  Like tiny cute cabbages, also when kept cold will sweeten up.  Sliced very thin with a food processor or mandolin they add some added crunch to a tasty Kale Salad. 

I enjoy chopped fresh kale as a replacement for romaine lettuce in a classic Caesar Salad with bacon bits and croutons.  Add some protein like grilled chicken on top can make it interesting.

Kale chopped and tossed into pasta water during the last five minutes of cooking time is an easy way to get wilted greens on the table topped with your favourite pasta sauce or drizzled with oil and garlic and parmesan cheese, fresh ground pepper, a squirt of fresh lemon juice, a few pine nuts or walnuts to finish off the flavours.  So fresh, flavourful and such a gourmet-style dish, enough to impress your dinner date or family in an instant.


The addition of raw sweet beets, golden or purple will jazz up the look of your salad and give it a sweet edge.  Sliced red or orange peppers are a real hit too.  Fresh roasted almonds are a nice touch as well for added protein.   I have used cold rotisserie chicken or hot-off-the-grill chicken on top of the salad just before serving to make it a complete one dish meal.

  • 4 cups kale, ribs removed and finely chopped (about 1 bunch)
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts thinly sliced
  • 4 med grated cooked or raw red or golden beets or thin sliced sweet peppers
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds and pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or 1 chopped fresh apple or pear
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled – optional


  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Enjoy. L.L

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The Best Homemade Wholesome Bean Burgers

IMG_0063Yum.  I cannot brag enough about how good this extraordinary yet simple burger recipe is. I created this burger on my quest for the best veggie bean burger recipe by  putting together the best ingredients of a few recipes and using our CSA dried beans.  The texture is amazing and holds nicely.  This is the best that I have found so far.  Topped with melting mozzarella and nestled in between a warm toasted bun with fresh slices of tomato, lettuce and maybe even a bit of mustard, and this is a fabulous meal. I am enjoying avocado in my burgers lately.  Have a bit of cider on the side or a cold beer, sit back and enjoy! WHOLESOME BEAN BURGERS Best eaten fresh made and hot off the grill or frying pan while charred and crispy.  Can be satisfying without the bun along with a side of brown basmati rice and fresh salsa.

  • 1 cup dried beans any variety
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 onion or scallion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or ground almonds
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon each, cumin and chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 6 good-quality hamburger buns
  • avocado slices, tomato slices, lettuce leafs

Put beans, onion and water on stove and bring to a boil.  Turn off heat and allow to sit for 1 hour or leave to sit overnight.  Bring back to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour until beans are tender and slightly firm. Let cool to room temperature. Drain beans and put in food processor along with the breadcrumbs, egg, pepper, spices of your choice and garlic. Pulse until mixture starts to form together.  If it doesn’t start to form a ball, add more bread crumbs or ground almonds so it holds together and is not wet. Divide into equal portions and shape into 4-inch patties.

Warm the buns in a 300 degree F oven for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive or canola oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook, turning only once, until a crisp brown crust forms on both sides, about 6 minutes total. If you’ve chosen a burger that gets topped with cheese, add it now. Cover the skillet, turn the heat to low, and let the burgers continue to cook until the cheese melts. Top the burgers as desired.

Variation: Grill Method

Heat  burners of a gas grill on high. Lightly brush the tops of the patties with oil. Place the patties on the hot rack, oiled side down, cover, and grill until spotty brown, about 3 minutes. Lightly brush the tops with oil and flip the burgers. Replace the cover and continue to grill until the burgers are spotty brown on the second side, about 3 minutes longer. If you’ve chosen a burger that gets topped with cheese, add it now. Place the buns on the grill rack, turn off the heat, and let burgers and buns continue to cook until the cheese melts and the buns are warm. Top the burgers as desired.

Burger Options (use these extra flavorings to embellish the basic burger):

The Classic: Make the burgers without any extra flavouring and cook according to Stove top or Grill Method, topping the burgers with 6 thin slices of sharp Cheddar cheese when instructed. Stir together 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon coarse-grain mustard; spread over warm buns and dress the burgers with green leaf lettuce, lightly salted tomato slices, and thinly sliced red onion. Serve with ketchup.

The Southwestern: Mix in 1/2 cup prepared salsa, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro before forming the burgers. Cook burgers according to Stove top or Grill Method. Mix 2 mashed avocados with 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread over warm buns and dress the burgers with lightly salted sliced tomatoes and thinly sliced red onion.

The Neapolitan: Mix in 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar before forming the burgers. Cook the burgers according to the Stove top or Grill Method, topping the burgers with 6 slices mozzarella cheese when instructed. Stir together a generous 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup pesto. Spread over warm buns and dress the burgers with lightly salted sliced tomatoes.

The Curry: Mix in 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup Major Grey’s chutney (mincing any large mango pieces), and 1 tablespoon curry powder before forming the burgers. Cook the burgers according to the Stove top or Grill Method. Spread chutney over warm buns. Dress the burgers with cilantro and pickled carrots (4 peeled and coarsely grated medium carrots tossed with 4 teaspoons rice vinegar and a big pinch of salt).

The Cajun: Mix in 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, 2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, and 2 teaspoons Cajun spice before forming the burgers. Cook the burgers according to the Stove top or Grill Method. Dress the burgers with slaw (4 cups shredded cabbage mixed with 1/2 cup finely diced bell pepper, 2 thinly sliced scallions, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 4 teaspoons cider vinegar, and 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning).

The Tahini: Mix in 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons tahini, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, and 1 teaspoon ground cumin before forming the burgers. Cook the burgers according to the Stove top or Grill Method. Dress the burgers with tzatziki (1 cucumber-grated and squeezed dry-mixed with 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt, 2 minced garlic cloves, 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste).

The Five-Spice: Mix in 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons five-spice powder before forming the burgers. Cook the burgers according to the Stove top or Grill Method. Spread the buns with Thai sweet chili sauce. Dress the burgers with cilantro sprigs and pickled cucumber (1 thinly sliced hothouse cucumber, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, and salt to taste).

Notes and Tips: – Not every type of bean works for these. When you are using a mix of mashed and whole, the smaller ones, like black beans, white beans, pinto beans, and black-eyed peas, hold together better than bigger legumes like cannellini beans and chickpeas.

– You can add fresh herbs, spices, and flavorings as seen in many of the variations, but the classic is flavored simply-just garlic powder and black pepper-and since most canned beans have already been seasoned, there’s no need to add salt.

– For an even quicker bean burger, substitute 1 can (16 ounces) vegetarian refried beans for one of the cans of beans and reduce the eggs from 2 to 1.

– Fork mashing 1 can of the beans helps the patties keep their shape; leaving the second can whole lends appealing texture to the burgers.

Also, see other recipes from Lady Locavore:

Veggie Bean Burgers from Scratch

Squash Veggie Burgers

Healthy Burger Toppings

Take a look at this awesome article put out by the The Culinarium blog, Dried Heirloom Beans

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Harvest Butternut Squash with Almond-Pecan Parmesan

IMG_0002Squash, such a versatile vegetable, enjoyed by vegans and omnivores alike.  I enjoy the fact that I can have it both as a main-course meal and as a dessert, but of course not in the same meal.  Did you know you can use butternut squash as you would use pumpkin for biscuits, loaves, soups, cakes and pies? Try it in your next chocolate cake recipe.  You can stuff the squash with your best meatloaf recipe and bake for 40 minutes.  You can even cube the squash and throw it in your best curry recipe for an added bit of yumm.  Steamed and added to chicken broth in a food blender with a bit of butter makes a nice bisque.


Caramelized roasted butternut squash and thin strips of kale are topped with toasted almonds, pecans and parmesan.  The hardest part of this recipe is chopping up the squash.

If you don’t have kale, use collards, or spinach, blue cabbage.  It’s your choice.

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/12 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup kale chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly oil 3 quart casserole dish.

Peel the squash, remove seeds and chop into 1” chunks and place in casserole dish.  Cover dish with a lid or foil and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until fork tender.  Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine almonds, pecans, oil and salt and pulse until chunky. 

When squash is fork tender, remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees.  Carefully fold in the chopped kale and sprinkle with nut mixture.  Bake for 10 minutes uncovered until nuts are lightly toasted and kale is wilted.

Recipe adapted as found in Oh She Glows Cookbook Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out.

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Corny Corn Bread

DSCF1994Looking for a nice breakfast idea or something easy to pack into your lunch bucket?

I believe this recipe would be great for kids lunches, for back to school or work where you have to take a lunch box or eat on the go.  You can eat it with your fingers and have it with a piece of string cheese and an apple perhaps.  It is also great made without the corn, which is then called “Johnny Cake” and used for breakfast with butter and maple syrup poured over top.  Always a favourite in my house.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

  • 3 eggs

Crack eggs into a small bowl. Beat well.  Add eggs to large mixing bowl.

  • 2 cups milk, yogurt, rice milk, almond milk or combination
  • 2 cups corn (off the cob) optional

Add to mixing bowl and stir together.  Pour into greased casserole dish, square baking pan or mini bread pans. Bake in preheated oven 40 minutes.  (Toothpick inserted in center should come out clean.) Cut into wedges and serve.


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Zucchini Cake with Lemon Glaze


Having trouble disguising zucchini cake? Really, who needs to hide zucchini?  Mom’s do, (some moms like me) and here’s the trick.  Peel it before you shred this summer squash by hand or in the food processor.  The bits of green will be gone, and those folks who “think” they do not like zucchini cake will not even notice it is there. Tried and true!  Been there!  Done that! It took my kid years to discover that that cake I had been serving to him for a treat was indeed that dreaded vegetable…zucchini. If you see him, do not tell him. I believe he maybe still does not know; even to this day. Which always begged him to wonder why mom was serving cake again.  Hmmm… not her usual style to go all out like that… (tee-hee)….


  • 1/4 c extra light virgin olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 3/4 c organic granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 T fresh Lemon Juice, divided
  • 1/4 c low-fat vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 c shredded zucchini, green or yellow
  • 1 c chopped almonds or walnuts
  • 1 c powdered sugar

Oven 350 degrees F.  Coat an 8″pan lightly with butter.

zucWhisk oil and eggs in a large bowl.  Beat in sugar, zest, 2 T lemon juice and yogurt.  Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; mix until combined.  Stir in zucchini and nuts.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Stir sugar and remaining 2 T lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth.  Pour over cake and spread to edges.  Allow a little to trickle over the edge of the cake.  Makes 8-10 servings.

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Golden Beets

golden beetGolden Beets…they are the best…they do not bleed and can be cooked by steaming or a sauté, amazing in soups too. One way to make it a quick side dish is to peel it and cut it up like you would home-fries in little pieces, then put in a sauce pan with a lid and about 1/2 cup water and a drizzle of olive oil. Heat up to a boil, and then sauté on medium heat in the liquid for about 9 minutes. Then take off the lid and continue to cook until tender. Throw on a bit of butter and eat…yumm… a tiny bit of salt and pepper if you wish…

Golden beets have an amazing sweetness. They tend to be a bit sweeter and taste a little less earthy and more mellow in intensity than Red beets. Thanks to its beautiful yellow colour, lightly steamed Golden beets can brighten up any food dish and look beautiful in all kinds of salads. This humble root vegetable is a welcomed contributor to our plates.


Beets and carrots are such companionable vegetables. They go together “grate” in this simple salad. Such flavourful veggies need only light embellishment — just a little added sweetness, plus the tartness of lemon, which brings out their flavours.

  • 2 medium golden beets, peeled and grated and par-boiled…see below
  • 4 large or 6 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (2 to 4 tablespoons), to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Leaves from a few sprigs minced fresh herb of your choice, such as
    parsley, cilantro, or dill, or a combination

Combine all the ingredients in a serving bowl.  Allow time to let the salad stand (at room temperature or refrigerated), so that the flavours can blend.

Note: If you like beets partially cooked (they’re also easier to peel and cut that way), you can simmer them whole in water to cover for about 5 to 8 minutes. Or, place them in a heat-proof container with a very small amount of water; cover and microwave for 2 minutes per beet.  With either method, don’t cook for too long — you want to be able to pierce through maybe 1/4 inch, with resistance. Peel and cut the beets into chunks once they’re cool enough to handle, before grating them.


I have used this recipe for purple beets, golden beets and choggia (red and white) beets. I always enjoy cinnamon sticks with mine, although the liquorice taste from the star anise may be a pleasant change in flavour. 

  • 6 medium golden beets, steamed until tender
  • 2 1/2 cups rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1  cup granulated sugar (I have used less)
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 4 star anise or cinnamon sticks

Pack beets in clean sterilized jars, either cut in slices or chunks. If beets are tiny, leave them whole. Boil vinegar with sugar, water and star anise or cinnamon until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes.  Pour into jars add star anise at the top and cover with lids.  Let cool completely and refrigerate up to  2 weeks.

Also, try this amazing tasty and awesomely good for you “Tops to Bottoms” Beet Soup

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Romanesque Cauliflower, Broccoflower, Romanesco…it’s all the same

DSCF2041Isn’t this the coolest looking vegetable? I like when they show up in our CSA boxes. Some call it Romanesque Cauliflower, Broccoflower or Romanesco Broccoli. I like it raw with dip or steamed with a huge dollop of butter melting throughout the little “christmas tree” shaped pieces.

There are many different kinds of green cauliflower, and several are the result of the cross-pollination of broccoli and cauliflower.

Broccoflower is generally milder, more tender, and slightly sweeter than either broccoli or cauliflower. For those reasons, they are delicious raw, and make a great, conversation-starting addition to crudités platters.

Broccoflower can be substituted for cauliflower or broccoli in any recipe that calls for them. Beware of overcooking. Just like broccoli, broccoflower can become stringy and unpleasant when overcooked.


  • 1 head broccoflower, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

In large pot of boiling water, cook Broccoflower until tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and transfer to large bowl. Add Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, butter, salt and pepper; toss.

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Asparagus and Kale Salad with Slivered Almonds

4722_82948300980_650935980_2372257_6023578_nSpring always brings Asparagus, but it won’t last for long, as it is a spring-only vegetable, so enjoy it while it lasts. This herbaceous green veggie is tender and sweet, and it’s chock-full of nutrients, too. Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, and is loaded with vitamins E, C, A, and K. Asparagus and dark leafy greens such as kale are both are high in vitamin B12, and kale is a great source of calcium as well, which is essential for strong bones.


This delicious and hearty salad combines both of these nutritious veggies, and it’s easy to make. Add grilled chicken, shrimp, or grass-fed water buffalo or beef steak to make it a complete meal.

  • 1/4 cup almond slivers, toasted
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears, chopped diagonally, 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • Shaved parmesan

Toast slivered almonds in a small pan on medium heat, stirring occasionally for three minutes or until golden. Set aside.

Sauté asparagus in olive oil with a pinch of salt and cracked fresh black pepper for 2 to 3 minutes, just until they lose their raw edge. Set aside.
With your hands, massage kale in a medium bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of sea salt.
Plate kale on a platter. Top with the asparagus and almonds, and freshly shaved parmesan. Enjoy!


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Stuffed Collard Rolls

StuffedcollardsEat Your Dark Leafy Greens!

Here is a very cool way to use Collard Greens. Most of the time collard greens are braised, steamed, sautéed or fried.  Collards are tough and leathery greens. They may be the heaviest and thickest greens we know how to cook. They simply have to cook for longer times, with more liquid, in order to be tender. So nearly every classic recipe for collard will call for braising, simmering, or baking for an extended period of time.

This is in contrast to more tender greens like spinach or even kale, which will break down quickly when sautéed or steamed. But this is also what makes collards so delicious: they hold their shape and chewy texture even after long cooking with meats, broth, and other delicious things.


You can use your own favourite cabbage roll recipe for this filling.  Making these spawns a whole new way of eating collards.  There are an endless variety of stuffing ingredients you can put inside these tasty green bundles of nutrition.

  • 8 collard leaves, a little bigger than hand size
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked white rice or cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken or cooked pulled chicken
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, seeded
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of your favourite seasoning
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or tomato juice

Blanch the collard leaves in boiling water for about one minute. Rinse, cool and pat dry.

Brown the ground meat in a sauté pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go until it loses its pink colour. If using cooked shredded chicken skip this bit.

Add the onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper, tomato and seasoning to the meat and sauté until the vegetables soften a bit. Cool the mixture to room temperature.

Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the cooked rice or quinoa and beaten egg.

Place a medium to small mound of the mixture just above the base of the collard leaf. Roll up the bottom, tuck in the sides and roll the rest of the way.

Repeat for the remaining leaves and place in a shallow baking dish. 

Pour the quarter cup of broth or juice over the casserole, cover tightly and bake at 350F for about 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature.

A 1-cup serving of collard greens offers 5.2 grams of protein, 7.6 grams of fibre, 268 milligrams of calcium, 2.2 mg of iron, and 14,440 International Units of Vitamin A.


MORE Healthy Collard recipes can be found here:

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Share Holder Comments

06302011Here are some Share Holder Comments to Lady Locavore and Triple Cord CSA:

“I just have to say your emails make the whole CSA experience that much better, the goodies are wonderful but you get us so pumped for every week! I feel like a kid excitedly waiting for the email with the big list and then getting to open the beautiful  box of goodies, smelling and touching everything :). This is our first time but we’re hooked forever! You make it a family type of experience :)” M&J P

“It’s been a terrific food experience – I appreciate the recipes that you share – the eggs have been awesome too!” MH

“I wanted to say that we have been really pleased with our experience. We have tried new things as well as increased our veg Intake nicely
Pick up is easy and convenient. 
Sooo fresh!” KB

New Member Dianne wrote :”My husband mentioned the other night at dinner how everything tastes so much better. Anyway, we wanted the families involved to know how much we are enjoying everything and trying some new things. We enjoy reading the newsletters as well and love all the recipes you include in the emails.”

“Just an FYI – I’ve LOVED this program and am recommending to everyone that they join in on the fun! 🙂 I’m also registering for a full share for the fall as well as the eggs.  I think I will order the 2 dozen as we go through 1 dozen per week.
Thank you so much for all you have done to keep my family healthy.
All the best,
N F (happy customer!)”

B M writes: “We are loving our CSA boxes and will be signing up for the fall CSA today. Thanks for your tips and your blog. I am getting good use from the information you share.”

“Got our third box…traded rhubarb for flowers to give to our neighbour who is dying of cancer…what a treat, fresh greens, radishes and onions in a salad for supper… Ate the last of last weeks box in a stir fry last night. Loving it ..” RQ

“So excited!” JH

“already ate my first asparagus I picked up today…was so tasty!” ML-H

“extremely pleased with our first box! We are very happy to be supporting local farmers and look forward to picking up our fresh organic produce every week.
Please forward this on to the families  “

“It was so great to start up again this week. I was so happy to see root veggies so early in the season. After reading the newsletter I now understand how this is possible. It is greatly appreciated. Greens are wonderful after a long winter but potatoes and carrots, simply awesome.” MO

“I am so pleased to be on the receiving end of this quality produce.
I don’t know exactly what I am eating but so far so delicious. “

“The selection of vegetables is beautiful. My husband can hardly wait to try the duck eggs! I am so glad my daughter found you on the Internet.”

“We really want to support the idea to be more local and sustainable in our things and so we enjoy this possibility very much. Everybody is excited about the quality and taste of the food.”

“I am happy because it is almost Thursday!”


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