Ramps or Wild Leeks

RampRamps  or Wild Leeks can be sliced thin to give an amazing flavour twist to a Spring salad. The very hardy may simply eat them raw. Or use them in cooking where a deep Earthy flavour is what you are after.


  • 3/4 pound ramps
  • 1 (3- to 3‚-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 pound small potatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch asparagus cut in 1″ pieces (optional)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine OR chicken broth
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Trim roots from ramps and slip off outer skin on bulbs.  Cut off and reserve leaves, leaving white bulbs attached to the slender pink stems.  Put leaves and bulbs in separate bowls.

Pat chicken dry. Put in a flame-proof large shallow roasting pan, without crowding, and surround with potatoes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and rub all over to coat evenly. Arrange chicken skin sides up and season with salt and pepper. Roast in upper third of oven 20 minutes.

Toss bulbs with remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and season with salt. Scatter bulbs around chicken and roast mixture until breast pieces are just cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer breast pieces to a platter and keep warm. Roast remaining chicken and vegetables 5 minutes more, or until cooked through. Transfer to platter and keep warm, loosely covered with foil. (If crisper skin is desired, broil chicken only, skin sides up, about 2 minutes.)

Pour off fat from roasting pan and straddle pan across 2 burners. Add wine and deglaze pan by cooking over high heat, scraping up brown bits.

Boil wine until reduced to about 1/4 cup and add broth. When broth boils, add ramp leaves and asparagus and stir until wilted and tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with tongs and add to chicken. Boil pan juices until reduced to about 1/2 cup and pour around chicken.

More Ramp recipes;

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Violet Syrup

DSCF6400 Violets are in abundance during the spring.  A virtual carpet of purple on the lawn.  If you are lucky enough to have a pesticide and herbicide free lawn, you too can make your own violet syrup. The syrup is quite special and very pretty and can be had on freshly made pancakes with a dusting of powdered sugar and adorned with delicate sugared candied violets or added to a butter cream icing recipe for a special delicate flavour. It is also enjoyed as a Violet Spritzer when added to Sparkling Water. Some put it over ice cream, pound-cakes, corn bread and many other awesome things! My friend loves to use it to sweeten her tea. 


The syrup is very easy to make, and a bit time-consuming.  You need rather a large amount of fresh violet petals, removed from their tiny green stems. Pick a large quantity on a fresh spring day, just after the morning dew has burnt off from the warming sun.  

  • To make this fascinating syrup, the fresh prepared violet petals are covered with boiling water in a glass bowl or large jar. Let them stand and infuse for an entire day.
  • It is then strained into a measuring cup to remove the petals, which are discarded. The water will be a pretty bluish hue.
  • For every cup (8 oz / 250ml) of the coloured water, you add 2 cups of sugar (organic if you have it) and the juice from half a lemon. You put it in a pot, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and simmer for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved and slightly thickened. About 10 minutes. You will see the colour change to the most beautiful shade of magenta, purple.
  • Remove the hot liquid from the heat, pour into pretty sterilized jars, label and seal and store in refrigerator or in a cool place for up to 12 months.

In “Stalking the Healthful Herb.” According to Euell Gibbons, violets are “nature’s vitamin pill” containing 150mg of vitamin C per 100g of blossoms, three times the amount of that in oranges weight for weight.According to Gibbons, ancient herbalists used violet syrup to cure epilepsy, pleurisy, jaundice, consumption, insomnia and more. He found that it had demulcent and expectorant properties, making it a tasty cough syrup.

To make Candied Violets, take a look at this recipe I found: How To Make Candied Violets

Here are another two versions of Violet Syrup you may wish to try….

Violet Syrup (With Honey)

1/2 pound/225g fresh violets 2 cups/500ml water 2 cups/500ml honey

Enlist all the help you can to pick violet blossoms. Boil water; pour over blossoms; cover. Let steep overnight in non-metallic container. Strain out flowers. Reserve purple liquid. Combine violet infusion and honey. Simmer gently, stirring, for ten or fifteen minutes, until it seems like syrup. Fill clean jars. Cool. Keep well chilled to preserve.

Violet Syrup (With Sugar) 3 ounces (about 4 cups) stemmed violets 2 cups water About 2 cups sugar

Combine the flowers and water in a saucepan. Simmer the contents, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a dampened jelly bag. You can squeeze the bag, when it’s cool enough to handle, to extract more liquid. Then measure the volume of the liquid, and combine it in a preserving pan with an equal volume of sugar. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Raise the heat to high, and bring the syrup to a full boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Funnel the syrup into a bottle. Store the bottle, tightly capped, in the refrigerator

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Zesty Ginger Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Sweet Potato and Ginger SoupWould you like a soup that will not only stick to your bones, but warm you up from the inside out in a pleasant way?  Try this Zesty Ginger Butternut Squash Soup.  This soup makes for a great meal that is easy to digest and is nutrient dense.  Simply sprinkle parmesan crusted bread cubes or toasted sunflower seeds on top for an extra bit of crunch.  A light tossed salad with plenty of fresh greens and a simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing on the side will complete this easy to prepare meal.


Any squash will work for this recipe.  If you do not have squash on hand, use Sweet Potatoes or Pumpkin.  In a pinch canned pumpkin will suffice.  Taste improves if you make it ahead of time and reheat at serving time.  Depending on how thick you wish your soup to be, depends on how much stock you use.

  • 1 red onion
  • 1 apple or pear
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 2 carrots peeled
  • vegetable stock or chicken stock,  unsalted
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • Dash ground cloves

Finely chop the onion, apple, garlic, and ginger.  Add to a pan with olive oil, and a pinch of salt.  Sauté on a mid to high heat until the onion softens.  Dice the butternut squash, discarding the seeds.  Slice the carrots.  Add these two ingredients to the pot.  Stir well, then add enough vegetable stock to cover all the ingredients.  Simmer well, until the squash is soft.  At this stage, add the spices. Put the soup into a blender, or use an immersion blender and blend into a vivid orange, spicy soup.

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 30,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Dunking Ginger Snap Cookies an Old-Fashioned Favourite

DSCF6795 Fill the house with the great scents of homemade baking this season!

These old-fashioned ginger snaps can be made large or small, depending on how you want to eat them.  I rather enjoy them with a cup of tea or hot cocoa, dunking them before every bite.  On occasion I have used them as an addition to a cheese tray, as the ginger cookies pair quite well with sharp old cheddar and a glass of red wine.

You may use a hand blender in preparing this recipe, though you will need to finish it off by hand. I prefer to use the traditional wooden spoon and choose to knead the dough to get all ingredients blended well. This recipe does give a rather good workout for the arms and hands. You will know you have accomplished something at the end of baking day when you make these wonderfully tasty cookies.


  • 3/4 cup butter softened or shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1 cup sugar, (I used brown sugar)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour, (I used white spelt flour)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

DSCF6796Place the butter into a mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar. Beat in the egg, and dark molasses.

Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt into another mixing bowl. Stir the mixture to blend evenly.

Sift 1/3 of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients mixing bowl; stir to thoroughly blend. Sift in the remaining flour mixture, and mix together until a soft dough forms. You may need to knead it with your hands to get all the flour blended in. Pinch off small amounts of dough and roll into 1 inch diameter balls between your hands. Place 2 inches apart on an un-greased baking sheet.  Flatten balls with the bottom of a juice glass which has been dipped in sugar.

Bake in preheated oven until the tops are rounded and slightly cracked, about 12 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack. Store in an air tight container.

Enjoy one of the most simple yet tasty cookies you will ever make!  L. L

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Roasted Squash and Tomato Soup with Cumin and Rosemary


A gorgeously coloured and deep-flavoured soup to make in the autumn when pumpkins, squashes, bell peppers, and tomatoes are at their very best and most seasonal.  The cumin, rosemary, and paprika add a smoky flavour that seems to fit the mood of the season.  This is  delicious served with some chile cornbread or a quick bread loaf studded with intense nuggets of sun-dried tomato.


  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds, plus extra ground cumin to taste
  • 1 cup ripe tomatoes, skinned and halved
  • 1  prepared squash, cut into 1” pieces any variety
  • 2 medium red bell peppers halved and seeded
  • 1 small head of garlic, cloves separated but left unpeeled
  • 2-3 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Leaves from 2 small rosemary sprigs, removed from the stalk and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste (optional)
  • Pinch of crushed, roasted cumin seeds to serve
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the oil.  Put the onion slices at one end and scatter over the crushed cumin.  Arrange the tomatoes, cut-side-uppermost, over the onions.  Put the squash and bell peppers at the other end of the baking sheet with the garlic.  Drizzle the vinegar over the tomatoes, season everything with a little salt and some lack pepper and finally drizzle the remaining oil over everything.  Roast, uncovered in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, stirring the squash once.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Pop the garlic cloves out of their skins into a large saucepan.  Scrape all the roasted vegetables into the pan with the oil and add the rosemary and paprika.  Stir over low heat for 2-3 minutes and then add the stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and let simmer gently for 5-6 minutes.  Let cool a little then process until smooth.  Adjust the seasoning with more cumin, salt and/or lime juice as necessary.

Serve piping hot, drizzled with a little extra oil and with a sprinkling of crushed roasted cumin.

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Delicious from “Tops to Bottoms” Beet Soup

Variety of BeetsBeet Soup! So full of flavours, this sweet and brothy beet soup is simple to make and simply delicious. A refreshing soup you will simply have to make and keep coming back for multiple bowls full.  I am not generally a soup fan, so therefore when I discovered this soup from my next door neighbour Terry, I simply had to share this quick and easy healthy lunch or appetizer.


I have used purple beets, golden beets and even chioggia red and white beets for this recipe. This broth is full of nutrients, the beets are full of iron and the lemon in the recipe aids in the absorption of the iron into the body.

  •  1 onion peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 apple peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 6 – 8 beets peeled and chopped fine in food processor
  • 1 carrot peeled and sliced
  • 1 container low sodium vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • All the beet tops and stems from the above beets
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon.

In soup pot gently sauté onion and apple in the oil until onions start to soften.  Add beets, carrots, stock and water.  Bring soup to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the beet tops and stems and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.  Add lemon juice and serve.

Some folks add a dollop of greek yogurt to the soup for a dollop of protein


This is so good, I can’t get enough of it!  L.L

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What to do with Melon? Melon Soup, Melon Bread and more

Galia Melon


Refreshing melon chilled, sliced with a little french vanilla ice cream on the side is a true summer treat. Aside from simply slicing and eating, there are many ways to enjoy and play with melon.  Melonade is very refreshing and can be made into a popsicle. Melon salads are fun with fish or chicken and the melon bread recipe is a must to try your hand at baking.  Very moist with a crusty outside layer, served warm or cold it is delicious.  At your next get together, impress your table guests with melon soup as a starter. My good friend Mike gave me this, his favourite summer soup recipe.  It will not only be a great conversation piece, as you serve the soup using the melon rind as a bowl, but a fabulous and simple way to get the taste buds started and ready for a wonderful meal.


Tasty and refreshing, any melon will make a fabulous addition to your lunch or dinner party.  Cantaloupe and honeydew are among the favorites. Omit the water and make a melon popsicle by pouring the mixture into popsicle forms. 

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups fresh water
  • 1/2 melon of your choice chopped coarsely
  • 5 Tbsp lime juice

Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in small saucepan and boil until sugar is dissolved.  Let cool slightly.

Puree melon with the remaining 2 cups water and blend in food processor or blender until smooth.  Pour through a sieve into a pitcher, using a spatula to push mixture through the sieve. Stir in the sugar syrup and lime juice. Serve over ice. Garnish with fresh mint if desired.


  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 cups cantaloupe cut in 1” square pieces
  • 2 cups watermelon cut in  1” square pieces
  • 2 cups honeydew melon cut in 1” square pieces
  • 1 cup baby grape or cherry heirloom tomatoes halved, or regular tomato cut in chunks
  • 1 cup fresh basil torn into pieces.

Whisk vinegar with honey and salt in a large bowl.  Season with fresh pepper.  Add melons and tomatoes and stir until well coated.  Stir in basil and serve immediately.


  • 4 cups melon, casaba, honey-dew or cantaloupe
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 Tbsp ginger freshly grated
  • 1 pinch salt

Place casaba melon, coconut milk, lime juice, ginger, and salt in a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.


Try this raw, gourmet soup! It is fast, fresh and fancy!  This curried fruit soup with the distinctive spiciness of the curry powder and the fruity sweet lusciousness of the ripe melon adds to the perfect meal on a hot summer day and can also be quite comforting on a cold day! It looks gorgeous, is very satisfying and tastes heavenly. Give it a try as an appetizer or at the end of a meal!

  • 1 Cantaloupe melon
  • 1⁄2 Teaspoon medium or mild Curry powder
  • 1⁄2 Teaspoon Ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 Teaspoon Garam masala

Cut melon in half and scoop out fruit, keeping the rind in tact to form to use as a bowl for serving.

In a blender or food processor combine all ingredients and blend.

Ladle the soup into melon bowls and chill well.


Light and moist, serve warm or chilled. Make a loaves and freeze or alternatively, purée extra melon purée and freeze to make bread after melon season is over. 

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup olive oil, light tasting
  • 2 cups organic white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cantaloupe – peeled, seeded and pureed
  • 3 1/2 cups spelt flour or 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, vegetable, sugar, vanilla and cantaloupe. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger. Stir flour mixture into cantaloupe mixture; stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into center of a loaf comes out clean. Meanwhile, combine butter and brown sugar. Heat for 3 minutes, stirring at 1 minute intervals; mix in pecans. Pour sauce over warm bread. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.

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Zucchini Salad, casserole and more

squash-zucchiniLow carb eating this summer involves zucchini. This tasty summer vegetable is so versatile by the fact that you can prepare and eat it in a multitude of ways. Stuffed, baked, sautéed, grilled, steamed, boiled.

The zucchini has a delicate flavour and requires little more than quick cooking with butter or olive oil, with or without fresh herbs of any sort. The skin is left on. Quick cooking of barely wet zucchini in oil or butter allows the fruit to partially boil and steam, with the juices concentrated in the frying when the water has gone. Zucchini can also be eaten raw, sliced or shredded in a cold salad, as well as lightly cooked in hot salads. Mature larger sized zucchini are well suited for cooking in breads. Have a try with oven baked Zucchini Fries.

Try the Zucchini Bingo Casserole for a sure-fire hit in the kitchen.


Light and low carb, this summer salad is refreshing as a side dish or added to a wrap for a quick-lunch.  Try this combination on top of fresh made pasta for dinner.

  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced or cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp hot red chili flakes, optional
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Peel long strips from zucchini, rotating while peeling.  Stop before reaching the seeds.  Divide among 4 plates.  Top with tomatoes and feta.  Set aside.

Whisk the rest of the ingredients together and drizzle over salads.  Serve chilled.

Try tonight some ZUCCHINI FRIES


To some people, cooking is child’s play.  For those who like to play in the kitchen, here is a new form of bingo.  The resulting jackpot is a casserole, just like Mom used to make.  

To start, melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 cup sliced zucchini and 1 sliced onion.  Saute until barely tender, about 3 minutes.  Next make a selection from each category to make a prizewinning dish.  For example B-3, I-9, N-4, G-7, O-8 creates an Italian-style casserole with spinach noodles, veal, cheese and tomatoes.  Combine all in a casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. From the Classic Zucchini Cook Book, Andrea Chesman.

Vegetables 1 cup, chopped Meat,     1/2 pound, cooked Sauces,             1 cup Base,             1 cup, cooked Top,      1/2 cup
1.  Peas,            celery 1.Chicken, chopped 1. Bechamel 1.Spaghetti squash 1. Bread         crumbs
2.Tomatoes, mushrooms 2. Ground      Lamb 2. Mornay 2. Rice 2. Bread crumbs, cheese
3.Tomatoes & eggplant 3. Turkey, chopped 3. Fresh Tomato 3. Barley 3. Crushed potato chips
4. Summer squash, celery 4. Ground pork 4. Sour cream 4. Noodles 4. Cracker crumbs
5. Tomatoes      & corn 5. Tuna 5. Sour cream & tomato 5.Macaroni 5. Grated       Swiss
6.Tomatoes & green peppers 6. Ham, chopped 6. Chicken Veloute 6.Spaghetti 6. Grated Parmesan
7. Green peppers, carrots, celery 7. Bacon, crumbled 7.Mayonnaise 7. Spinach noodles 7. Grated Romano
8. Peas, mushrooms 8.Ground Beef 8. Cheese 8. Acorn squash shells 8. Grated Mozzarella
9. Green peppers, celery 9. Ground Veal 9. Custard 9.Scooped-out Zucchini shells 9. Grated Cheddar
10. Green peppers, mushrooms 10.Ground pork sausage or Italian sausage 10. Tomato & Cheese 10. Bulgur 10. Grated Gruyère


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Zucchini Cake

Zucchini Cake 'n Ice Cream

Zucchini Cake ‘n Ice Cream

Need to disguise zucchini so your kids will eat it? Treat the kids to this cake and they will think you have flipped. They will not even know it is there, especially if you peel the zucchini first. I have shredded it very fine and the texture is not even noticeable. This cake is so moist it will satisfy the most fussy of eaters.  Use this “Kid Approved” recipe and you will never go wrong.

Zucchini Cake is great for snacks and picnic desserts. Easy to prepare and freeze for times when you are in a rush for something special at work. If you are overwhelmed with zucchini, why not shred it and freeze it in the exact amount needed for the recipe, and when you are ready to make it, just thaw, squeeze out the moisture a bit and put it into your recipe. Alternatively, this cake freezes well too.  Make it in a square pan or round coffee-cake pan. Top this cake with butter icing or a glaze or just powdered sugar, the decision is yours to make.


2 1/2 cups spelt flour or 2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar, I use less…
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp grated orange peel (optional)
2 cups peeled, shredded zucchini
1/2 cup rice milk or regular milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips and/or 1 cup walnuts or pecans
glaze (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees
1. combine dry ingredients and set aside
2. beat together, butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs to the batter and sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla, peel and zucchini.
3. Alternately stir the dry ingredients and the milk into the zucchini mix, with the nuts at the last.
4. Pour the batter into a greased and flour-dusted pan. I use a large baking pan. Some use a bundt pan. Baking depends on the size of pan used. Bake in oven for about 50 minutes (test at 45) or until a wooden pick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes if turning it out. let cool thoroughly.
5. Drizzle glaze over cake.

Glaze: Mix 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 tbsp milk and 1 tsp vanilla. Beat until smooth.

*I believe this recipe will make two Zucchini loaves if put in loaf pans. Watch the baking times as they will vary.

**I never use the optional items, but put them in just in case you would like to try them.

Sure to be a hit this season with all that Zucchini around!  Enjoy L.L #localfood, #CSA, #organic, #LdnOnt

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Gooseberry Jam and Sauce

DSCF6498Gooseberries are slightly sour slightly sweet berry which is very high is acid content which also helps to make a great sauce without adding gelatin to the recipe.  Gooseberries can be used baked in pound cake recipes and muffins as you would use rhubarb chunks or cranberries.  Give a whirl at making your own jam or sauce.


Great on toast or tea biscuits with fresh butter.  This jam is also wonderful with sharp old cheddar on a rustic cracker as a sophisticated taste treat.

  • 1 cup gooseberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

DSCF6487Bring ingredients to a boil, lower heat a little bit and let thicken, stirring often.

DSCF6494Test on a cold plate to see if jam is setting.  Place a plate in the freezer for 5 minutes.  Remove and pour a small amount of jam on the plate and put back in the freezer for 3 minutes. If you can draw your finger through the jam and it does not run back together quickly, it is at the jam stage.  Remove from heat and put in jars.  Process jars as you would for preserves, or if making a small batch, keep well sealed in the fridge.

Amounts can be increased as needed.


Make a Gooseberry Applesauce to eat chilled at breakfast or for dessert or served hot with chicken or pork chops.

  • 4 apples, cored and peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup gooseberries
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Put all ingredients in a heavy bottom pan.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened, mashing the mixture while stirring.

Alternatively:  Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high setting for 3 hours.  Stir occasionally, mash to desired consistency.


Serve with roasted pork, grilled chops, any baked or grilled fish.

  • 1 cup gooseberries, untrimmed
  • 1/4 cup  water
  • 1 strip thinly pared lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, or a pinch of dried
  • 1 teaspoon fresh butter

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine gooseberries, water, lemon rind, sugar and ginger. Cook until berries are soft and somewhat reduced, watching so they don’t scorch.  Add butter, stir until glossy looking. Spoon into a pitcher to serve.

Recipe can be doubled.

Enjoy your Gooseberries! #CSA, #localfood, #locavore, #LdnOnt L.L

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Tomato Pasta Salad with Tomato Salad Dressing

tompastasaladSummer time and the living is easy…..So is this recipe for Tomato Pasta Salad.  Take it to your next picnic.  Add some grilled meat or veggies on the side and you have a nice meal. Cilantro and cumin are a staple in my spice pantry.  Delicious.


  • 8 oz medium-sized and spiral or penne shaped pasta
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups diced 1 inch-sized tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 english cucumber cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons sumac or ground dulse (optional)
  • 1-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Tomato Salad Dressing

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add the pasta and 2 tablespoons of salt.  Stir, and then boil for 8 to 10 minutes.  Drain the pasta into a colander and let sit for 5 minutes, do not rinse.

Combine the tomato, onion, cucumber, olives, cilantro, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl.  Mix well.

Add the pasta to the bowl of vegetables and mix well.  Add 1/4 cup of the tomato dressing and mix again.

Taste the salad and adjust seasonings by adding additional cumin, lemon juice, salad dressing and salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.

This recipe would be great with some fresh mint or fresh basil or dill torn over the top.  Some feta cheese would be a nice addition or fresh mozzarella.


  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the tomato juice, vinegar, onion, mustard, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, and the oil in a blender or food processor.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Blend for 1 minute to mix well.

Taste and add additional sugar or more salt and pepper if needed.  Process until combined, about 15 seconds.  Serve immediately.  Store left-overs in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


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Tomato Pancakes

tomato pancakes1_4Why do we add only fruit to our pancakes?  Actually, tomatoes are fruit. This is an old heritage recipe that should never have been forgotten.  The secret of these delicious pancakes is to use chunks of fresh summer tomato thoroughly drained of juice.  Bacon or sausage makes a perfect accompaniment, or just serve with maple syrup or a zingy chutney.


Try this recipe with green un-ripe tomatoes or beautiful ripe orange, yellow or red tomatoes.

  • 2 cups chopped drained fresh tomatoes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups rice milk
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 4 teaspoons organic sugar, optional if you want a savoury pancake
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons light olive or vegetable oil or butter

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.  Stir together the tomatoes, eggs, 1 cup of the milk and oregano.  Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in the centre and stir in the tomato mixture to make a thick batter.  If the batter is too thick, add some or all of the remaining milk to achieve a thick, smooth batter that pours slowly from a spoon or pitcher.

Grease a griddle with oil and set it over high heat.  When the oil is hot, lower the heat to medium and spoon on portions of the batter to form pancakes about 4 inches in diameter.  Flip the pancakes when the edges are dry (the centers will still be wet), after 3 to 4 minutes. Cook the other side for 3 minutes, until both sides are golden. Keep the first pancakes warm in the oven while you continue making pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve immediately.

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Organic Chocolate Covered Quinoa Chip Cookies – Wheat-Free

DSCF6440These dark little chocolate pearls are perfect for a little something chocolate. Chocolate covered quinoa, what a concept! Cover anything in dark chocolate and it’s great according to me.  Other than eating them alone as a snack, a pinch at a time, what do you do with these tiny, little chocolate spheres other than as a sprinkle on a cupcake or on a cake? Warm and fresh from the oven these homemade cookies are so rewarding. Soft, yummy, slightly sweet and nutty. This recipe is certainly a unique approach to the classic chocolate chip cookie. Looks deceive, as these soft-centered bits of chocolate morsels only “appear” to be decadent.


The chocolate covered quinoa provides a nice addition of protein, antioxidants and fibre. Wheat-free, dairy free and as close to organic as possible. Great for a treat or afternoon snack with a biscotti like texture. Paired with your favorite cup of tea, coffee, red wine or choice bourbon these cookies are sure to satisfy the most elegant palette.  

  • DSCF6436DSCF64461 cup organic butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown organic sugar
  • 1/2 cup white organic sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups white organic spelt flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups organic rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup dark chocolate covered quinoa pearls

DSCF6443Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto un-greased baking sheets.

DSCF6433Bake in preheated oven for 15- 22 minutes, depending on the size of your cookie. Cookies will have a slight brown appearance around the edges. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Where do I find chocolate covered quinoa you ask? My local Sunripe Specialty Grocery Store  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sunripe/157148064324538  check out your local bulk or natural food stores.

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Veggie Bean Burgers from Scratch

DSCF2105Burger Season is here.  Who can resist a homemade veggie burger?  How about a veggie burger for the Barbecue?  Make plenty and have them on hand for those impromptu get-together times with friends.  These simple burgers can be made from almost any medium or large bean.  Favorites are chickpeas, black beans, and red beans, but I find that these recipes are also a good place to experiment with heirloom beans from the farm, such as red calypso beans, romano beans or moon beans. Feel free to use a combination of beans.


If ever called upon to cook for a crowd in a pinch, multiply this recipe by three, and use three full cans of different beans bought from your local grocer.

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked beans
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup good quality grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, plain or grainy
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup toasted spelt bread crumbs, plus more if needed or substitute with ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, mash the beans using a potato masher or fork.  Fold in the eggs, parsley, Parmesan, mustard, salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Fold in the breadcrumbs, adding more if the mixture is too loose.  Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes for the crumbs to soak up some moisture.  Adjust seasonings.  Shape into 4 patties.

In a oven-safe skillet or non-stick sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the patties and cook until browned on each side, 6 to 10 minutes in total.  Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the burgers are firm and cooked through.


What’s a cookbook without at least one calorie bomb?  I’ve had veggie burgers at pubs and restaurants that taste just a little bit too good.  When I probed the waitress at one restaurant for what exactly makes it so good, what she told me – a combination of beans, cheese, chili powder – didn’t seem to completely add up.  I finally figure out the secret of the pub veggie burger: like most everything else on a pub menu, it was deep-fried.  (Do note my restraint in frying these in only an inch of oil rather than fully submerging them.)

  • 1 onion
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked beans
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs for a crunch
  • 1 cup grated nice-melting cheese such as pepper jack, Muenster, mozzarella or Fontina cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Peanut, canola, or vegetable oil for shallow frying.

Combine the onion, eggs, beans, chickpeas, chili powder, and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and fold in the panko, cheese, and parsley.  Shape into 8 patties.

Heat 1 inch oil in a deep skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Cook the patties in batches to avoid crowding, turning once, until uniformly browned, 8 to 12 minutes total.  Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate or flattened paper bag to drain off excess oil.


I took this recipe idea from Martha Stewart’s recipe collection and altered it to become more nutritious and easier to work with.


When summer barbecue season is on, consider grilling your veggies to go along with your veggie burger.  Nothing better than grilled red or orange peppers and onions on a veggie burger. 

  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 scallions, or green onions trimmed
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, optional
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped, optional
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise or greek yogurt
  • Whole-wheat English muffins or ciabatta buns, pita bread…. and lettuce, and grilled veggies to serve with burgers

Heat grill to high. In a food processor, combine chickpeas, scallions, ground almonds, and spices. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse until roughly chopped. Remove half the mixture to a bowl; add egg to food processor. Process until smooth; add to reserved mixture in bowl, and mix well.

Form the mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. Brush each side generously with oil; grill until charred, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve the burgers on English muffins with lettuce, mustard, and mayonnaise and fresh grilled veggies of your choice.

burger grilledEnjoy! L.L.

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Triple Cord Tomato Challenge

TF-0124-2Calling all Triple Cord CSA Summer 2013 Members.

All you green thumbs and plant whisperers, this is for you!

On the first veggie night, the Miller Family gave each of us a special heritage tomato plant. The Tomato Challenge is on to see who can produce the prettiest, the largest or most creative tasty tomatoes in London.

Give your plant a cute catchy name, nurture it, water it, and eat it, but before you do, send your photos in throughout the summer to ladylocavore@hotmail.com along with your description and your progress to enter the contest.  Winner will be announced come September 1st.  Winner will receive one of my giveaway cookbooks.

What is your favourite tomato name? Either being tantalizing, intriguing or just plain tickles the funny bone, I am partial to Jethro-Tall or Ruby Red, or how about “Tom-Tom the Tomato Mawn” (Jamaican accent required..).  If you could name a tomato variety yourself what would it be?

heirloom-tomatoes-istoc39e1Here are some ideas on how to coach your tomato plant to give you some pretty awesome tomatoes.

It seems tomato plants need to move and sway in the breeze, to develop strong stems. Provide a breeze by turning a fan on them for 5-10 minutes twice a day.

Tomatoes love heat. Cover the soil area with black or red plastic or mulch. Mulching does conserve water and prevents the soil and soil born diseases from splashing up on the plants. Those extra degrees of warmth will translate into earlier tomatoes.

Bury tomato plants deep in the planter than they come in the pot, all the way up to a few top leaves. Tomatoes are able to develop roots all along their stems.

Once the tomato plants are about 3′ tall, remove the leaves from the bottom 1′ of stem. These are usually the first leaves to develop fungus problems. They get the least amount of sun and soil born pathogens can be unintentionally splashed up onto them. Spraying weekly with compost tea also seems to be effective at warding off fungus diseases.

IMG_0682Pinch and remove suckers that develop in the crotch joint of two branches. They won’t bear fruit and will take energy away from the rest of the plant. But go easy on pruning the rest of the plant. You can thin leaves to allow the sun to reach the ripening fruit, but it’s the leaves that are photosynthesizing and creating the sugars that give flavor to your tomatoes.

Water your potted tomato plant daily when it is fully mature and on warm summer days. Stop watering when you see liquid emerging from the bottom of the pot into the plastic tray beneath the pot. Give plants a gentle shake when blooms begin arriving to encourage pollination.

Liquid Fertilizer. Some gardeners create their own liquid fertilizers by soaking bags of aged compost in water and straining the resulting liquid. Garden centers also offer organic liquid formulas based on fish emulsion or seaweed. Liquid fertilizers are especially useful for feeding vegetables by applying it to the plants themselves rather than the soil. The method, known as foliar feeding, quickly delivers nutrients to the plants through its leaves. The Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening recommends liquid fertilizers for container-grown vegetables and for mid-season feeding of vegetables, such as pole beans and tomatoes, that bear crops over a period of several weeks.

Periodically position the limbs of your tomato plant over the appropriate part of the cage as your plant grows. Control pests by mixing 1 cup vegetable oil and 1 tsp. liquid dish detergent. Mix with 1 cup water and pour into a spray mist bottle. Spray this mixture every 10 days to control aphids, mites, scales and other insect pests.


  •  8 medium tomatoes
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 T chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 small bunch basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • spaghetti for 4

Peel tomatoes.  Chop and seed.  Let drain.  Combine oil, garlic, parsley, basil and salt.  Add tomatoes and mix well.  Cover and set aside at room temperature.  Cook spaghetti.  Drain, place in pasta bowls and pour tomato mixture over, toss well. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Good Luck Everyone!  L.L

Read more: How to Care for Potted Tomato Plants | eHow http://www.ehow.com/how_5767953_care-potted-tomato-plants.html#ixzz2U8UOrZ6o

CSA Members Submissions :

RisiJessica N “week 1, My Tomato Plant”

1069938_10201542697753943_1498002862_nLorna D “Here is my tomato plant today with six green tomatoes. I have already picked one ripe tomato a few days ago.”



first tomato“Here is my First Tomato of the Season.  It came from my plant that I have named “Larry’s Lovely Heritage” tomato. The taste is exquisite and there are plenty more on the way”. Lady Locavore.

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Killer Kale Recipes

DSCF1887What’s old is new again, and very healthy.  So much green, sure does a body good! Kale is on the chic list in all the fine and fancy bistros. Kale, everyone’s talking about it and putting it in and on practically everything! Hey, why not?  This leafy green packs a punch when it comes to being good food and good for you.

Long used in North America as an ornamental garden plant for borders and walkways, Kale has come a long way from the flower garden to the vegetable garden and now into our daily nutrient food source.

Kale has long been a staple food in Europe for centuries as a peasant food. Until the end of the middle ages, kale was one of the most common veggies in Europe.  During World War II, the British adopted it for their dinner tables because of its important nutrients and it was easy to grow. Scotland used it as a staple food due to the tough, cold and hearty growing conditions kale can withstand.

Fresh young crispy Kale can be used raw in salads. Mature leaves and stalks are typically cooked or sautéed. Many kitchens are using it in soups, stews, salads, pizza, and pasta. It is also used in a variety of traditional recipes with potatoes, green beans, poultry, and meat. Fresh kale juice is quite popular among juice bars everywhere. Foodies are making amazing smoothies with Kale! Try a Kale, Pineapple and Almond Milk combo.


  • 1 pound kale (about 2 bunches), large center ribs and stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pkg spaghetti
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Rinse kale. Drain; transfer to bowl with some water still clinging.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add sliced garlic and sprinkle with salt; cook until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add kale and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss until wilted, about 3 minutes. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking until kale is very tender, stirring occasionally and adding water by teaspoonfuls if dry, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in medium pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add cooked spaghetti to kale mixture in pot. Add lemon juice and 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid; toss to combine, adding more liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry. Sprinkle spaghetti with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.


  • 8 cups packed coarsely chopped kale leaves, (about 6 large leaves)
  • 12 oz fettuccine or other long pasta
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 red pepper, halved crosswise and cut in thin strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour or spelt
  • 1 1/4 cups 5% or 10% cream
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp grated Canadian Parmesan cheese

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook kale for about 3 min or until bright green. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, remove kale from water and transfer to a colander to drain well.

Bring pot of water back to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; sauté onion, red pepper, garlic, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper for about 5 min or until softened. Add kale; cook, stirring often, for about 3 min or until kale is tender. Add lemon zest.

Whisk flour into cream; gradually stir into skillet. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, for 2 min or until slightly thickened.

Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat. Season to taste with lemon juice, pepper, nutmeg and up to 1/4 tsp (1 mL) more salt. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan.


An amazing alternative to potato chips which are showing up on store counters everywhere.  Make your own for a fraction of the cost.

Wash and pat dry kale leaves.  Tear into smaller pieces.  Toss with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake 375 degree oven until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes.



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 cups kale (about one bunch), stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup soaked cooked beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 chopped fresh tomatoes or handful of cherry tomatoes, pierced with a pick.
  • 4–6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp vinegar, rice vinegar, sherry or wine
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottom pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 5 to 7 minutes until lightly browned; add red bell pepper, carrots, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium. Add potatoes, kale, beans, tomatoes, chicken stock, salt and pepper; simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Add additional water or stock if mixture becomes too thick. Before serving, stir in vinegar and garnish with rosemary.


This spicy tomato smoothie provides all the healthiest and tastiest things about a bloody mary without the alcohol.

  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 shakes celery salt
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 1 tsp Bragg’s soy sauce
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • 2 leaves of kale or more…

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Adjust spices to taste, pour, and top with a stock of celery. Cute umbrella optional.


recipe gathered from



  • 2cups salted water
  • 1cup quinoa
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and chopped into 1″ lengths
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted walnut oil or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese or Feta
  • salt and pepper

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.
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, pine nuts, and goat cheese.
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.

One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf

More Kale Recipes

Kale for Everyone…more recipes

#kale, #local, #CSA, #organic,

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Fresh Spinach-Basil Dressing/Sauce

DSCF5163With the abundance of spinach available during the summer months, try this unusual green dressing to top your garden salad with or mix it into a fresh pasta or quinoa salad. Culinary experts particularly enjoy it drizzled over steamed tiny new-potatoes instead of butter.  My thought is to spread some over lightly toasted crusty bread as a nice addition to the dinner table like bruschetta.  At your next BBQ, pour a generous amount of this sauce over freshly grilled beef or lamb. Give this recipe a try and see how many ways you can incorporate it into your daily meal planning. Is you mouth watering yet?


  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon flaxseed oil
  • 2 Tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Salt and pepper

Mix spinach, basil, green onions, oils, vinegar, honey and cayenne in a blender or small food processor until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Enjoy, L.L

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Healthy Chicken Burgers


Chicken burgers are a lot lighter tasting than beef burgers. These burgers use Asian herbs and spices for lots of added flavour and sunflower seeds for a healthy crunch.  Make sure the burgers are thoroughly cooked if you barbecue them.  Serve with a tossed salad of mixed greens and watercress.  I have used the recipe for a nice meatloaf and for slicing later in sandwiches.  Excellent for mini meatballs for appetizers and in soups.

  • 2 large free-range chicken breasts, boneless and skinless and coarsely ground (1 1/4 lb.)
  • 3 Tbsp husked sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (optional)
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste (optional)
  • 4 hamburger buns, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 2 Tbsp pickled ginger (optional)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place chicken, sunflower seeds, green onions, ginger, cilantro and soy sauce in a large bowl and mix by hand until well combined.  Place a 4 inch ring mould or cookie cutter into the baking sheet.  Spoon enough of the chicken mixture into the mould and fill it 1/2 inch full.  Repeat until you have 4 equal rounds.  The burgers can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 hours.

Preheat the barbecue to high heat.  Just before grilling, brush burgers with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to medium and grill burger for 5 to 6 minutes per side.  Check for doneness with a meat thermometer: the internal temperature of the meat should be 160 degrees F.

If you prefer, these burgers can also be fried.  Preheat a frying pan on medium heat and then add 2 Tbsp of oil.  Place the burgers in the pan and cook until the bottoms are browned, 4 to 5 minutes.  Turn them over and continue cooking until they are firm to the touch, another 5 to 8 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and wasabi paste.  Set aside.

Gently toast hamburger buns on the grill.  Spread each half with some of the wasabi-mayonnaise mixture, then place a hot hamburger on the bottom half of each bun.  Top the burgers with 1 Tbsp alfalfa sprouts, a dollop of Beet Ketchup, a few slices of pickled ginger and the top half of the bun.

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Big Bowl Soup With Pasta, Pan-fried Butternut Squash and Garden Fresh Greens

Big Bowl Soup with Pasta, Pan-fried Butternut Squash and Garden Fresh Greens

This is a quick and easy whole meal-in-a-bowl.  Especially great when there is a sick someone in the house during cold and flu season.  This soup will cure what ails you.

If you are not sick, it is a good prevention soup, so full of nutrients.  It also takes no time at all to make, so it is good for those nights when you are on the run.  The pan-fried Butternut Squash gives the soup an added rich flavour.


This soup is guaranteed to heat up your heart and soul!

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 package Kamut penne pasta or any noodle
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed chili peppers (optional)
  • 2 eggs beaten, (yolks optional)
  • 1 bunch of greens, Bok choy, tatsoi, swiss chard, spinach or a combination

Heat in a soup pot the stock over medium heat.  Meanwhile cook pasta in boiling water for 8-10 minutes until al-dente or just cooked.

Slice the top cylindrical part of butternut squash in 1/4” round slices and peel off skin. Using a skillet, drizzle oil in the pan and bring to medium-high heat. Place squash rounds in the pan, sprinkle chili peppers over the squash, and allow squash to brown on both sides, 5-6 minutes per side.

Beat eggs until frothy, gently and slowly drizzle into hot broth, stirring constantly but gently to allow egg to form into ribbons.  Allow broth to simmer.


Into the soup pot which is simmering, place the cooked pasta and stir.  Top with the lightly browned squash rounds.  Chop into 1” pieces, the greens of your choice.  Toss the greens over the squash.  Cover soup pot and simmer for 5-10 minutes just so the greens become wilted and slightly crunchy.  Stir soup gently to incorporate flavours and serve in large soup bowls with a crust of bread, and you have a quick, filling, heart and body warming lunch or dinner.

I love to drizzle a bit of sesame oil on top just before serving.  The aroma is fabulous and the soup takes on a whole new dimension with Asian overtones.

Some folks like to add a bit of hot sauce or hot chili oil in individual bowls, served to taste.

Enjoy this soup.  You will be glad you made it!

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