Garden Bounty


This year we were so excited to have a yard, it meant we could grow our very own garden full of vegetables and even flowers.  We started planting back in late April, we built a raised bed for a variety of veggies including spinach, Italian lettuce, carrots, beets, green peppers, and cucumbers.  As you can see above, all of our patience and watering work has paid off in BEETS!  Soon, we will be creating a delicious recipe to include these little gems.


Ratatouille Sub


It sounds weird, but this mixture really produces a sandwich that easily rivals a meatball sub and even exceeds it!  This recipe is oh so easy and very budget friendly; and look how pretty it is when ready to be baked.

Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook


1 long, thin eggplant ( Japanese variety)

1 long thin zucchini

1 long thin yellow squash

1-2 red bell peppers, long and narrow if you can find them

1/2 small yellow onion

1 cup tomato sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil


Red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

2- 8 inch sub rolls, we use whole wheat Turano brand


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare the vegetables.  Trim the ends of the eggplant, zucchini, and squash, with a mandolin, slice each in to 1/16″ thick.  Carefully trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the flesh in tact to make a tube.  Thinly slice crosswise, thinly slice the onion as well.  In a 2-quart baking dish, spread the tomato sauce, stir in the minced garlic and sliced onion, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, a few pinches of salt and red pepper flakes to taste.  Arrange the slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red peppers so that they overlap and show a bit of each ( see picture)  Drizzle the remaining olive oil and the thyme.  Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake about 15 minutes more with the oven increased to 425.  Split the sub rolls and warm up for 5 minutes in the oven, top with cheese if desired and then layer the vegetables on top of your rolls including the tomato sauce and enjoy!!

“Marinated” Kale and Green Bean Salad

Veggie side recipes are abundant, but often never tried out- we all have our favorite ways to eat veggies and usually seeing a recipe like this one seems too much work.  But we made this semi marinated, and served it hot because that’s what we wanted with our dinner.  It’s important to know that you can alter recipes to suit YOU.  So here we have not really marinated the Kale but rather sautéed it with the flavors from the recipe, tossed with steamed green beans and parmesan, wa- lah delicious, fresh with a spicy kick veggie side, that can easily be brought to your Thanksgiving table feast!

Marinated Kale and Green Bean Salad

Adadapted from Bon Appetit: If you want to do this the cold way, BA says “the longer the raw kale sits in its lemony vinaigrette, the more tender it will become. If you prefer a crisper salad, let it sit for an hour or two; for a softer texture, chill it for up to 1 day.”


  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large bunch Tuscan kale, center ribs and stems removed, leaves cut lengthwise into 1/2″ strips (about 8 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • Ingredient Info

    Tuscan kale, also called black kale, dinosaur kale, Lacinato kale, or cavolo nero, has long, narrow, dark-green bumpy leaves; it’s available at farmers’ markets and some supermarkets.


  • Heat a large dutch oven skillet over medium heat with Olive oil.  Add kale lemon juice, honey, and red pepper flakes and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Once the kale is bright green and slightly tender remove from heat and put in a large serving bowl.
  • Cook beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain beans.
  • Add beans to kale and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with grated cheese.

Sage Rubbed Pork Chops and Pickled Peach Relish


Our subscription to Food and Wine pays off- this recipe is a real gem.  It’s summer, it’s HOT out, and this combo of seared pork with cool peach relish is a full of interesting, unique and down right refreshing flavors!  On it’s own, the peaches are strange, but take a bite with the pork and it’s like they are meant to be together forever ( like us!) Please give this a try and let us know how you like it!

Sage-Rubbed Pork Chops with Pickled Peach Relish

Adapted from Food and Wine
  • ACTIVE: 35 MIN
  1. 2 cups white wine vinegar
  2. 1 1/2 cups water
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  5. 1 bay leaf
  6. 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, plus 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  7. Kosher salt
  8. 4 large ripe but firm peaches, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  9. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  10. 20 small sage leaves, plus 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  11. Four 1-inch-thick, bone-in pork rib chops (10 to 12 ounces each)
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the white wine vinegar with the water, sugar, mustard seeds, bay leaf, 1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns and 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Put the diced peaches in a large, heatproof bowl and pour the hot brine over them. Let the peaches stand for 1 hour, then refrigerate them for about 30 minutes, until the peaches are chilled.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil with the chopped sage, coarsely ground pepper and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of salt. Rub the mixture all over the chops and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the chops to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned, 3 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 5 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat nearest the bone registers 145°. Transfer the chops to a plate to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the sage leaves and cook over moderate heat until crisp, about 1 minute per side.
  5. Put a pork chop on each plate. Using a slotted spoon, top each chop with about 1/2 cup of the pickled peaches. Garnish with the fried sage leaves and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The pickled peaches can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Strawberry Pie



We got this amazing deal on a container of strawberries, fresh and smelling great, and 4 pounds for $5.  Could you say no?  This pie had to be made so the strawberries wouldn’t go bad- and since we are weeks away from the BIG wedding day, we are trying to be mindful and eating well, so we turned to our Eating Well cookbook for this healthier version of a classic, we omitted the rhubarb part because we didn’t have any, but you can follow the original link below if you want it back!  The crust was buttery and tender and all it should be, yet had more flavor because of the whole wheat.  The super sweet filling was perfect for our strawberries, we enjoyed the pie for breakfast one morning, dessert the next evening with homemade low fat ( real) vanilla ice cream and the evening after that… and you know how it goes.  Give healthier a try and you won’t be disappointed!


Adapted from Eating Well



  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour , (see Note)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for sprinkling (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup FAGE 0% Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 large egg white, beaten, for brushing


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons instant tapioca
  • 6 cups sliced fresh or frozen (not thawed) strawberries , (about 2 pounds)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt


  1. To prepare crust: Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and, with your fingers, quickly rub them into the dry ingredients until smaller but still visible. Add sour cream and oil; toss with a fork to combine with the dry ingredients. Sprinkle water over the mixture. Toss with a fork until evenly moist. Knead the dough with your hands in the bowl a few times”the mixture will still be a little crumbly. Turn out onto a clean surface and knead a few more times, until the dough just holds together. Divide the dough in half and shape into 5-inch-wide disks. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. To prepare filling: Just before you’re ready to roll out the dough, process tapioca in a spice grinder, mini food processor or blender until finely ground. Combine with strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl; toss well to combine.
  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and place a foil-lined baking sheet on the rack below; preheat to 425°F.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; let stand for 5 minutes to warm slightly. Roll one portion between sheets of parchment or wax paper into a 12-inch circle. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Peel off the remaining paper. Moisten the outer edge of the dough with water. Scrape the filling and any accumulated juices into the crust.
  5. To prepare lattice top: Roll the remaining dough between sheets of parchment or wax paper into a 12-inch circle. Peel off the top sheet. Cut the dough into 1-inch strips using a pastry wheel or a knife. Lift off every other strip and lay them on top of the pie, leaving about a 1-inch gap between strips. Use the shorter strips for the edges and the longer ones for the middle of the pie. (You may not need to use the outermost strips.) Fold back the first, third and fifth strips of dough to the edge of the pie. Place a shorter strip of dough across the second and fourth strips, about 1 inch from the edge. Unfold the folded strips over the crosswise strip. Fold back the second and fourth strips over the first crosswise strip. Place another strip crosswise, about 1 inch from the first. Unfold the strips over the second crosswise strip. Continue folding back alternating strips and placing crosswise strips until the top is covered with woven strips. Trim any overhanging crust. Crimp the outer edge with a fork. Brush the dough with egg white; sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar (if using) over just the lattice top, not the outer edge.
  6. Bake the pie for 20 minutes. Then rotate the pie 180 degrees and lower the oven temperature to 325°. Continue baking until the crust is golden and the filling is beginning to bubble, 30 to 35 minutes more. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving.


  • Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate dough for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 6 months. | Equipment: 9-inch pie pan
  • Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods. Find it in the baking section of the supermarket or online at and and


Per serving: 294 calories; 10 g fat ( 4 g sat , 3 g mono ); 14 mg cholesterol; 47 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein;3 g fiber; 82 mg sodium; 169 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (70% daily value), Folate (16% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1 carbohydrate (other), 2 fat



Summer Corn Salad


At long last, warm long summer days have equated to summer vegetables popping up at the farmer’s market!  Knowing we wanted a fresh salad for a side to serve with dinner, we hurriedly picked out the best summer staples- corn on the cob, basil and zucchini.  We just barely made it through the tents when the wind kicked up and sky turned black, another summer favorite- summer storms that fly in as quickly as they go…  Not to worry, this salad  will certainly brighten any stormy summer day- it’s our very own concoction so please comment and try it out, we’d love to hear what you think!


4 ears of corn, husks removed

1 medium yellow zucchini, diced

1 medium green zucchini, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 serano, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 teaspoon salt ( or to taste)



In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except for the corn.  Cook your corn by rapidly boiling for 8-10 minutes in a large pot, then remove the kernels when the corn is slightly cooled but still warm.  Make sure the bottom of the cob is flat. If it has a round tip, slice it off. Hold the cob upright on the board. Run a large sharp knife down the side of the cob cutting off the kernels. Cut as close to the cob as possible. Rotate the cob in your hand and continue to cut all four sides of kernels off.  Toss the corn kernels in to your bowl and adjust salt/ pepper seasoning to taste.


Orange-Pistachio Wild Rice Salad

As hinted before in our last quinoa post we made a favorite recipe of ours with our large amount of excess oranges we had on hand… for some reason?   Anyhow, this combination of nutty delicious wild rice and crunchy pistachios, with fresh basil and oranges, is truly unique and so so satisfying it is hard to call it a salad, yet here it is.  This is so easy to make for a busy work week, just cook the rice while you are watching a movie on the weekend, or while you enjoy dinner tonight in anticipation of a ‘salad’ tomorrow.  If you do cook it after work, it will take 1 hour for the rice to cook and 1 hour ( minimum) for it to cool.  If you want to, you can serve it warm ( heck we have!), I found that the oil in the dressing doesn’t work as well in that application however- so drizzle a bit on top before eating and then add some in the next day when it all as cooled off.  This keeps very well for 5-6 days, and is super portable for lunches ( no micro action needed!), and it is filling enough to be called dinner- you can’t lose with this salad!!  What is your go-to salad dish?  Do you make your own salad dressings?  Let us know!
Orange-Pistachio Wild Rice Salad

adapted from Ellie Kreiger So Easy
6 servings

2/3 cup brown rice
2/3 cup wild rice
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 oranges, peel and pith removed, segmented and sliced (about 2/3 cup)
10 large basil leaves, sliced into ribbons (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup chopped pistachios, lightly toasted
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

For the dressing:
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine brown rice, wild rice and chicken broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all water is evaporated and rice is fully cooked, about 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely, or overnight.

When rice is cool, add orange slices, basil, red onion, pistachios and orange zest; mix to incorporate.

For the dressing:

Combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, orange juice, mustard, honey and salt in a metal bowl and whisk to incorporate.

Pour over rice mixture and toss to incorporate.