Go With What Ya’ Got

There’s a great segment on Martha Stewart Radio called “Use It Up.”  It’s part of the Everyday Food hour where host Sandy Gluck asks callers what they have in excess and offers ways to create recipes around it.  During the week I find this particularly helpful when we’re short on time and have to rely on what’s already in stock.  With farmers’ markets in season, I tend to have something on-hand which is fresh, but that doesn’t mean my culinary creativity keeps in step.  So in our house it’s called “go with what ya’ got.”

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Corn and Zuke Frittata

I think almost every grower I buy from at the farmers’ market has an abundance of zucchini right now.  So, hey, being a team player…I give.  But today the real star is corn.  Sweet and in its prime, corn makes a wonderful addition to everything – from chowder and pasta, to salads and frittata.  Of course, just eating it right off the cob is the pure essence of summer, especially with a dab of herb butter. Click to continue reading »

Cauliflower "Couscous"

This is a WOW dish from chef class.  Cauliflower made as ‘couscous’ with fresh herbs from the garden.  It’s a great substitute for any grain, or simply as a fun accompaniment to fish, chicken or pork.  Cauliflower is a brain food – not only because it looks like one – but because it contains Omega 3s.  It’s also high in B vitamins which combat stress, and the sleep-promoting tryptophan.  With only 29 calories per cup, its ideal for anyone wanting to maintain weight control…and so tasty, too!

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Cilantro and Arugula Pesto

There is much to celebrate this week.  Summer solstice, Father’s Day, and the end of school (not for me yet.) Even though the days are now getting shorter, summer solstice is a wonderful transition of seasons. My herb garden is loving the switch from spring to summer, especially the basil and chives.  And herbs provide so much more than just wonderful flavors.  They offer a full array of health benefits and act as ‘booster foods’ when combined with butter or olive oil as vibrant summer toppings…

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Anatomy of Fresh Juice

Just look at those fabulous colors! And when you think about it, they really are available in almost every season.  This week I am attempting another cleanse, but I’ve changed my approach on how to view it.  Instead of looking at it as deprivation, I decided to embrace it as consuming the bounty of spring flavors.  And sometimes my juicer runneth over with a rainbow of goodness…

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Spring Quinoa "Risotto"

No matter where you live (save south of the equator,) asparagus is in full ‘bloom’ right now and bursting with flavor at all the farmers markets. There are a zillion ways to prepare it (altho I haven’t found one for dessert – YET:) and it blends with so many complimentary vegetables.  I’ve combined asparagus with a few different ingredients to make up a creative version of ‘risotto,’ using quinoa.  But first – health bennies! Click to continue reading »

Avocado Pudding

Happy spring! In our continuing ‘celebration’ of all things green, today’s feature is the avocado.  This is the beginning of the season in California for the Hass variety, whereas in Florida, the green skinned variety is best in the fall.  Hass avocados are a tad richer and creamier than the other varieties.

Besides being delicious, avocados are a super food for the heart.  They are high in ‘healthy fats,’ containing oleic acid – a monounsaturated fat said to help lower cholesterol.  They are also high in potassium which regulates blood pressure, and high in folate which contributes to reducing women’s chance of heart failure.  (Heart attacks are the number one cause of death for women over age 65.)  Click to continue reading »

O'Fennel and Cabbage

As a good Irish girl, I’ve decided to go green this month.  OK, every month, but I mean with regards to my material here.  As you know, this site is dedicated to whole foods in season – and this week’s feature is fennel.

Fennel is a relative of  the celery family and a wonderful healing food.  Sweet fennel, also known as anise, offers a licorice flavor and is mostly used as seed which was made into ‘gripe water’ for babies to soothe their bellies.  Chewing on the seeds acts as an adult digestive aid and breath freshener. Click to continue reading »

Beet Risotto

You can’t beat beets.  I think I have at least one almost every day.  They’re even good for dessert – yep, I made a chocolate beet cake for Valentine’s Day that was 2 DIE 4.  (Let me know if you want the recipe.)

I bet you guessed that beets are highly nutritious.  They are a super antioxidant and a special friend to the liver (in wine country, that’s a really good thing.) Other nutrients include free-radical scavenging manganese and copper; energy producing iron; and bone-building phosphorus.  And, according to Paul Pitchford, author of the fabulous book “Healing with Whole Foods,” beets strengthen the heart, sedate the spirit, improve circulation, purify the blood and relieve constipation.  Click to continue reading »

Red Cabbage and Carmelized Fennel

This is my favorite time of year for cooking because I can justify spending more time in the kitchen.  A: it’s the warmest place in the house, B: I can watch chefs on TV for inspiration  – in the name of ‘research,’  of course, and C: it’s where all good things come to life.  I have held on to one recipe for a couple of years and when we decided on a dinner to include Fatted Calf green sausages, well this accompaniment had to happen. Click to continue reading »