Monday, July 30, 2012


a recipe from the Vitamix collection


4 medium carrots, halved
1/4 small onion, peeled
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp. oil - I omit this, use a bit of water or veg broth instead
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of white pepper
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger root, peeled, chopped
1/3 cup light silken tofu
2 cups vegetable broth

DIRECTIONS if using the Vitamix:

Place carrots, onion and garlic into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.

Select Variable 1

Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 4 or 5

Blend for 10 seconds or until chopped.

Heat the oil (if using) in a small pan and saute chopped ingredients until onion is clear and carrots are tender.  Add a little broth, if needed.

Place remaining ingredients into the Vitamix container, add sauteed ingredients and secure lid.

Select Variable 1

Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.

Blend for 3 to 4 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from the vented lid.


Chop the vegetables and saute in a saucepan.

Add the sauteed vegetables all other ingredients to a blender and puree together until very smooth.

Put the soup mixture into a saucepan and heat till ready to serve.

does it all!  chops, purees AND cooks
comes out ready to eat, thick, creamy and delicious


And the produce just keeps rolling in.

first ever Asian pear

Monday, July 23, 2012


burger pictured here with two types of tomatoes,
red onion and vegan mayo, all on a whole wheat roll
Dreena Burton's recipe from the Summerfest 2012


2 cans (14 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped.
1 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 Tbsp. red wine or balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3/4 cup green onions, sliced, using green portion
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 to 2 1/2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/3 to 1/2 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped


In a food processor, combine the kidney beans, garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, and mustard.  Pulse until pureed.

fresh oregano

all in the food processor

Add the green onions, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste, and process to break up and blend.

Add the oats and pulse to begin to incorporate.  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the olives. 

Refrigerate the mixture for 30 to 45 minutes, then shape into patties with your hands.

I used a griddle on my stove top and did not need the use of oil except for a spray of PAM olive oil.
Cook over medium or medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Makes 7 to 7 patties.

the "meaty" mixture

cooked until golden brown

Saturday, July 21, 2012


use as a filler for lettuce wraps OR as a taco filling

1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oregano
14 oz. water
1 cup salt-free salsa, use my recipe listed on the blog
salt-free seasoning to taste OR salt


Put everything in the crock pot and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed.

This taco filling can be used and where you would normally use a meat taco filling, such as in taco shells and on salads.

the everything thrown together in the crock pot

the cooked "taco" filling / I used mine in lettuce wraps

Thanks to Chef AJ for her great recipes and lectures at the 2012 Summerfest.  I'll definitely be making this one again.

Friday, July 20, 2012


boil or steam the whole peeled organic carrots

I got this recipe from a lovely woman that I met at Summerfest 2012.  Penny told me her sister-in-law originally made these as a joke.  Penny and husband liked them so much, they started eating them regularly.  I made them last night for the first time, LOVE THEM.  They are meant to be served on a whole wheat roll with "the works" but I served them as a side dish.  Next time I'll try the rolls.


4 carrots - cut bun length
1 Tbsp. sesame oil or olive - I do not use any oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. tamari
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. liquid smoke
pepper to taste


Boil water, add carrots, cook till you can pierce with for, run cold water on them, drain. (or steam)

Mix together the marinade and add the carrots for a few hours or up to several days.

Grill or may heat in 350 degree oven 10 - 15 minutes.

Penny says to save the marinade and boil more carrots so that you can have a continuous supply.  We both use the Forman electric grill.  It's sooooooooo easy.

grilling the dawgs with foil-lined parchment paper filled with greens etc.

parchment wrapped grilled greens with carrot dawgs

2nd batch served as the intended use / HOT DAWGS
with all the fixings
these would be great served with my butternut squash fries

Thursday, July 19, 2012


use fresh herbs for high quality
pictured:  basil, oregano, thyme, fennel


1 1/4 lbs. vine-ripened tomatoes, unpeeled and quartered
12 basil leaves
1 sprig oregano
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs Italian parsley
1/2 tsp. sea salt
lots of fresh ground pepper


Place the tomato pieces, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until finely chopped.

puree in the food processor,
better yet, use a Vitamix

Scrape the sides of the bowl.  Then process until pureed, about 20 seconds.  Do not over-process or the tomato puree will become lighter in color and yield a less-attractive cocktail. 

Transfer to a bowl and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes so the flavors develop.

NOW at this point you either have a very fine tomato juice (Vitamix) OR you have a juice with way too much texture for my taste.  My Vitamix hasn't arrived YET so I put all of this through a strainer.  The result was smooth and delicious.

this can so easily be turned into a blood mary


necessity is the mother of invention:
lots and lots of food available in my garden, hence:

greens mixture

mixed well together to incorporate the sauces
and spices

mixture laid out on foil-wrapped parchment paper
I secure my ends with bull-nose clips


an assortment of greens, 1 large bowl; I used Swiss chard and beet tops
1 red onion, cut in slivers
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
1 green pepper, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3 long green onion stems, cut into small pieces
fresh fennel fronds
fresh oregano
fresh parsley
fresh thyme
salt and pepper
fresh ginger
fish sauce (omit if vegan)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice


All the herbs are to taste; you can't ruin this one. 

Mix all ingredients together.  Place onto a large piece of parchment paper.  Wrap up and secure the ends, using bull-nose clips. 

If using the foil-lined parchment paper, then just put right on the electric grill or in oven.  For regular parchment paper, place it on a cookie sheet or baking dish.

Cook about 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve with brown rice.

I served mine with carrot dawgs.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


handy to have / snack size zip-lock bags

For those of you that like starting the morning off right with either fruit shakes OR green smoothies...a must have is the frozen banana. 

Think ahead...let the banana ripen to the point of having some dark spots / better flavor. 

Peel the banana, for easier handling later. 

The snack-size zip-lock bag is perfect for holding one banana.

When some of the fruit is frozen, the need for ice decreases, a nice chilled thick shake will result. (frozen peaches are also good in smoothies and sorbets)

These bananas can also be used in baking...especially good in banana bread.


Inspired by Summerfest 2012 to be oil-free, I've adapted my pesto recipe.

my green dinner:  garden beans and oil-free pesto
on whole wheat noodles


2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup pink beans (can use white or garbanzo)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Vegan Parmesan cheese


Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.

Put the beans in a cup and add the water till it measures 2/3 cup. 

Add this to the food processor and blend.  Add more water for desired consistency. 

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.  Serve over pasta or use with appetizers or a sandwich spread.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


these raw looking green striped tomatoes are actually ripe and very very sweet

some of the varieties growing in my garden...  the yellow are super-sweet

SAD the tomato plants came down.  Production was almost non-existent, of late,  and the weather has become way to hot for the poor babies to survive.   Now I'll focus my attention on the eggplants, peppers and okra.  The freezer is stocked, the possibilities are endless.  Tomorrow I'll work at cooking up my last 7 lbs of tomatoes.

Can't wait till fall; the sweet potatoes are running everywhere.  Reading up on how to cure much to learn.  The journey continues.

the last 7 lbs of tomatoes, already cooked into a salsa and frozen


this time served without the roll

YES, this recipe is THAT good.  Made it again already.  I stuffed avocado halves and served with my fresh sliced tomatoes.  I use the lettuce to make wraps.  The high content water of the iceburg makes this an incredibly light and delicious lunch or snack.  So satisfying.

Check my blog of 7-8 and get this recipe.  

Monday, July 16, 2012


This salad is a mix of everything healthy added to your shredded garden greens.

"the healthy everything"

my greens today were beet tops and Swiss Chard (still producing after 8 months)

My salad included:

Goya's pink beans, 1 can, drain and rinse well
1 jar artichokes, drain, rinse and chop
green onions, from the garden, chop
diced tomatoes
frozen corn, thaw and cook slightly

Mix this with:   the greens and top with my salsa


Sunday, July 15, 2012


one mornings harvest


2 Tbsp. water
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
4 green tomatoes, chopped
4 red tomatoes, I used cherry tomatoes and estimated the equivalent amount
1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
7 cups vegetable broth
about 6 whole wheat lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
salt and pepper to taste


In a stockpot heat the water over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, saute until soft.

Stir in the cumin, tomatoes, and corn.  Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Stir in vegetable broth, reduce heat to low and cook about 45 minutes. 
At this point I like to use the immersion blender and roughly puree...leaving chunks.

Return to the burner.  Add the noodles and continue to cook another 9 minutes. 

Season with salt and pepper.  I LOVE this served with fresh squeezed lime juice.

a wonderful way to cook an abundance of tomatoes
SOOOOO tasty


A couple of quiz questions from the Food Network Magazine:

1.  According to the National Restaurant Association's Chef Survey, what is the top dessert trend for 2112?

ice cream

2.  Which of these typically has the smallest profit margin?

mixed green salad
rib-eye steak

3.  A product can travel _________ miles and still be considered "local".


1.  ice cream, Artisan and house-made
2.  steak, restaurants often break even or lose money on steak dishes
3.  400 miles
Bottom line?  Shop at your local farmers' market and get to know the real locals.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


so simple, so good

What's better than fresh peaches?  Try this quick simple combination for breakfast or lunch.

Spread 1/2 flat bread with almond butter and a layer of fresh peaches.  You can't eat just one!

(or make a sandwich for easier handling)



I attended over 8 hours of cooking demos.  From those demos and lectures, a myriad of cookbooks emerged as "the" books to purchase.  I ended up buying, in my opinion, the very BEST two. 

Let Then Eat Vegan! by Dreena Burton is a sweet little book filled with very inventive tasty recipes.  She has a dynamic personality and its reflected in the food.  Canadian born, Dreena has been creating vegan recipes for 20 years.  She uses only whole ingredients, works with fresh, NO processed vegan substitutes or white flour. Dreena has three children so a lot of her recipes are very kid friendly.

Unprocessed by Chef AJ, contains over 100 easy, delicious, nutrient-rich and gluten-free recipes.  I attended the class that challenged us to take the UNPROCESSED CHALLENGE.  One lovely young woman in the audience had already lost 150 pounds.  If you want to eat extremely healthy AND/OR you want to lose weight...try this book.  Warning:  OIL is an absolute NO NO.  Chef AJ offers a basic 6 salad dressing, NO oil.  I'll share this with you on a future blog.

Friday, July 13, 2012


ripe avocado cut and seasoned, now into the freezer

Try this one at lunch or snack time for a quick healthy pick me up.  This is a good way to use avocados when they start to all ripen at the same time.  Now buying the huge bag at Costco finally makes sense.

Sprinkle avocado slices with chile powder and sea salt.  Freeze up to 4 hours.  Serve

I just might be trying one of these in my next bloody mary.


Brother Jon knows I'm totally into my garden and harvesting all that I can gather.  Received some great information from him this week regarding saving a garden's harvest AND links to many recipes for the use of this harvest.

Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences offer this site to help us preserve fresh foods and do it safely.  New to their site this year is the Food Preservation Blog, updated regularly with tips that home food preservers can use as the gardening season progresses.

This site contains excellent articles on food safety, with specific questions being asked and answered.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


each pancake contains a slice of apple
inspired by the Food Network magazine


buckwheat pancake batter to make 6-8 pancakes
2 apples, skin on but cored and sliced about 1/3 inch thick


To the pancake batter, add the cinnamon and vanilla.

Place apple slices on the griddle. Cook on medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. (I've only made these once; it might be a good idea to just par cook in microwave to soften)

After apple slices are starting to brown, carefully ladle some pancake batter over each apple slice.

When the bubbles appear, flip over and cook on the other side. 

Serve with Agave, date syrup OR my blueberry compote (see blog).

side one is cooking with the batter

turned and awaiting side 2


The Community Garden, Shrewsbury, NJ
check it out

This is the most amazing project.  I visited and supported this garden while I lived in NJ but it is OH so expanded.  Students of Rumson Country Day volunteer their time to plant and work this vegetable and herb garden.  These local students  work with nature learn the benefits of growing and helping those in need.  Hence, the name, From Seed to Need.  These students plant, water and maintain this now very large garden.  Seating is available for the public to rest and ponder. 

Check out their site and contribute if you can.

For those of you that may never see this garden nestled in a shopping center parking lot, I offer these pictures.

strawberries in containers

beautiful grapevine entryways

a place to sit and ponder

container gardening

neatly planned walkways

an abundance of flowers and producer

shopping center in site

beauteous palm

marigolds and Swiss chard

peach tree

I love this view