Maple Roasted Rhubarb

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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….

MAPLE ROASTED RHUBARB

  • 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

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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.

SWISS CHARD PESTO

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

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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.

CUCUMBER AND WATERMELON 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.

TASTY KALE SALAD

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

Vinaigrette:

  • 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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