Category Archives: Seasonal Recipes

Seasonal Recipes,

Seasonal Recipes ** New recipes for Kale Chips!

lacinato kale_dino kale_kale chips

Lacinato Kale (aka Dino Kale) and Red Russian Kale Fresh Picked!

What to do with all that kale that came in the last CSA (Community Supported Agriculture co-op box of vegetables) or in my case all the kale that just kept growing into 4 foot high bushes?

Making chips is my favorite thing to do with kale. I just created a new recipe using coconut oil. I can’t stop eating the chips! The recipe using olive oil is really good too. Be sure to adapt either of these recipes to both your taste and what you have on your kitchen or pantry shelves. If you don’t have Brazil nuts or macadamia nuts then cashews fill in fine for either recipe. I think almonds would work well with the first version and walnuts with the second as well. Some people are not a fan of nutritional yeast, if you don’t like it then delete it from the recipe. Also, I use whatever kale I have which for me is Lacinato kale (aka Dino kale) or Red Russian kale. All the kale I’ve used make great kale chips.

For both versions tart with 2 bunches of kale and remove the tough spine then tear into bite size pieces. Keep in mind that they will shrink in size as they dehydrate.

 

kale chips

Coconut Macadamia Nut Kale Chips

Version #1

In a blender or food processor chop fine:

  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

In a small bowl stir together:

  • 3 T coconut oil
  • 2 T Nama Shoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce) or 1 tap. Salt

Massage into prepped kale

Sprinkle macadamia/nutritional yeast mixture into kale and coat kale evenly.

Lay kale out on dehydrator screens in a single layer or on cookies sheets and put in the oven.

If you have a dehydrator set it on 115 degrees for 4-6 hours. If you don’t have a dehydrator set oven on lowest setting and dehydrate in oven taking them out when they are crispy.

Version #2

Mix in blender or food processor :

  • 1 cup Brazil nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

In a small bowl stir together:

  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T Brags liquid Aminos or 1 tsp. Salt

Massage into prepped kale

Sprinkle Brazil nut/garlic/nutritional yeast mixture into kale and coat kale evenly.

Lay kale out on dehydrator screens in a single layer or on cookies sheets and put in the oven.

If you have a dehydrator set it on 115 degrees for 4-6 hours. If you don’t have a dehydrator set oven on lowest setting and dehydrate in oven taking them out when they are crispy.

One last tip (and confession) – sometimes I don’t get around to putting my chips away right when the dehydrator goes off and they get a little soft. I’ve discovered that if I turn the dehydrator back on for another 20 minutes or so they crunchy comes back and then I put them away.

 

 

GARDEN JOURNAL ** Preserving your harvest: 3 quick ways: Dry it! Ferment it! Freeze it!

3 Quick Ways to Preserve Your Harvest

3 Quick Ways to Preserve Your Harvest

I’m so happy to have all these tomatoes, all these apples and all this basil AND I’m in the middle of getting ready to be on the Julian Arts Guild Studio Tour October 19th and 20th, so I don’t have a lot of time. Here’s my answer . . . 3 quick ways to preserve what I just harvested.

GARDEN JOURNAL ** How to make “Sun-dried” Tomatoes

For all those great “sun-dried tomato” recipes I keep jars of dehydrated tomatoes on hand all winter. Simply slice the tomatoes, as thin as you can without having them fall apart, and put them on a drying rack. This can be done in the oven on a very low setting, in any type of dehydrator (you can often find the tower type at thrift stores) or invest in the Excalibur 9 tray food dehydrator, my favorite because I have so much to dry these days. Drying times will vary depending on the amount of humidity in the air and on the amount of heat you use (lower is always better keep the healthy enzymes in the tomatoes alive). If you invest in an Excalibur be sure to get the one with the built in the timer, it really comes in handy.

Making Sun-dried tomatoes

Dehydrating Tomatoes

Tomato slices ready to go into the dehydrator

Tomato slices ready to go into the dehydrator

GARDEN JOURNAL ** How to make Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

I’ve been experimenting with fermenting lately so I thought, since I have all these apples, I would try my hand at making raw apple cider vinegar. It seems pretty basic as long as you get Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar for starter. You can find Bragg’s at health food stores.  Use Bragg’s because it has the live “mother” in it.  The “mother” is the ingredient that gets the fermenting process going successfully. I looked up making apple cider vinegar, and found that recipes varied from mixing ½ Bragg’s with ½ half apple juice (raw apple juice if you can get it) to ¼: ¾ ratio. I compromised on 1/3 Bragg’s:2/3 raw fresh juiced apple juice. I covered the jar with cheese cloth and put it on my hall pantry shelf (a shelf that stays cool and dark most of the time). It supposed to take about 2-3 months to turn into apple cider vinegar. We’ll see how it goes!

Juicing Apples to make Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Juicing Apples to make Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

GARDEN JOURNAL ** How to make a Quick Basil Pesto

Making Fresh Basil Pesto

Making Fresh Basil Pesto -The glass of red wine is not part of the recipe but it goes well with the pesto once it’s done!

I made pesto with all the basil that needed to be picked now (or it was going to start flowering and go to seed).  The recipe I use is quick, versatile and easy to adapt to what I have on hand.

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts – Pine nuts are traditional and my favorite but they are hard to keep on my pantry shelf because we eat them up so fast around here. My second choice is walnuts and third choice is almonds. They all make tasty pesto.
  • 3 cloves of garlic – I’ve used elephant garlic, hard neck garlic and soft neck garlic. They all work, just keep in mind that some garlic is hotter or stronger than others, be sure you use one that is to your taste.

I put the nuts and garlic in the blender or food processor first to chop them up then I add:

  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves – It works best if you chop up the leaves a bit before tossing them in
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Now pour in 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil– I use organic cold pressed extra virgin oil which is what I keep on the shelf. Again, use what you have to make your pesto.

So at this point you may be asking “where’s the cheese?” If you are vegan you can make pesto without cheese, it tastes great! If you want traditional Basil Pesto then you’ll add Parmesan cheese.

If you’re going to use your pesto within in a week and not freezing it than add 1/3 to 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese depending on your taste. The Parmesan cheese can be pre-grated or you can buy a chunk and grate it by hand. IF you are freezing the pesto, to be used later into the fall and winter, then don’t add the cheese now. It’s better if you add the cheese after you thaw it out.

I freeze pesto in small containers and thaw it out to put on wraps, mix into zucchini dishes and if I slide off the gluten free diet I have it on pasta.

The original of this recipe can be found in the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home cookbook

SEASONAL RECIPE ** How to make Refrigerator Dill Pickles. It’s easy!

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Mixed Cucumbers for Refrigerator Dill Pickles

I grew and gleaned (with permission) from my neighbor’s garden a mixed batch of about 15 medium to small cucumbers for making 7 pints of refrigerator dill pickles. Some of my cucumbers I left on the vine too long and the seeds got big and tough so I had to put those aside to dry for seed saving.  Only 3 of my cucumber plants made it this year. I’ll plant at least a dozen small (approx. 1o”x10”x 4” high) hills of 3 cucumber plants each next spring to make sure I have enough cucs for pickling, but if you don’t have that much space in your garden plant what fits and make small batches of pickles.

I made dill pickles last year and they were a big hit. They are well worth delegating real estate in the fridge and to tell the truth 7 pints usually gets eaten (or given away to friends and family) within a month although they last up to 2 months in the fridge. I did notice as they aged they lost some of the crunch.

You will need:

6-7 Sterilized Mason jars – You can sterilize your jars in a water bath of boiling water or in the dishwasher – Use Ball brand or Kerr jars with coated metal lids with rings. For refrigerator canning I reuse lids I have on hand (when I can veggies and fruit in a hot water bath I ALWAYS use new lids to be sure food stored on pantry shelves stays safe to eat months later). Simmer (not boil) your coated metal lids for 5 minutes for sterilization. (Note: you can now buy BPA free lids)

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Ball jar, magnetic lid lifter, jar funnel, coated metal lid and ring

magnetic lid lifter comes in handy to lift lids that have been simmered.

Large wooden or plastic spoon  

jar funnel comes in handy too. Not just for this project but for all canning projects!

Cucumbers: Exact amounts are not necessary when making refrigerator pickles. Ideally you want about 15 small to medium dark green, firm, warty looking cucumbers to make 6-7 pints of pickles.  Bloated cucumbers, cucs that are puffed up so the bumps are all flattened out, are overripe and soft pickles. You can use regular cucumbers or pickling cucumbers, pickling cucumbers have a bit more crunch to them. I use what I have on hand; just don’t use the “burpless” variety. Frankly not all my cucumbers were ideal for this batch and the pickles still came out tasting good and crisp! You can cut them up any way you like. I do spears, rounds and chunks, I like variety. For spears cut them so you have about ¼” to spare at the top of the jar.

You can buy pickling mixes but I like to make my own. It’s really easy.

Combine the Mix ingredients listed below in a non-metallic bowl:

2 cups vinegar – It can be apple cider vinegar, white distilled or a combination of both depending on your taste. I used white distilled this time. Hopefully I will scrounge up more cucs before the end of summer to make a batch with apple cider vinegar just for variety.

1/3 cup organic sugar – Amount of sugar can be adjusted to taste and tolerance for sugar.

1/3 cup salt – not iodized. Sea Salt or Kosher Salt works best.

½ cup packed fresh dill – I use leaves and green dill seeds from the dill in the garden. I don’t use the dried seeds.

3 white onions – I was out of white onions and so I used scallions (the bottom white part of the scallion) which I had in the garden. They worked just fine.

3-4 chopped up cloves of garlic –This is to taste. If you like garlicky pickles double the amount!

1 tsp dry mustard seed –I’ve also seen recipes that used celery seed instead, experiment and use what you have in the cupboard.

Heat the Mix in a non-metallic pan, glass or ceramic is best. Teflon works too, just not my first choice. Cast iron, aluminum and stainless steel pots all react to the vinegar and make your pickling solution turn cloudy. Heat your mix to just barely simmering for only a minute or two. This releases the flavors of the dill, garlic, mustard seed and onions into the vinegar solution. Some recipes don’t call for the mix at all so if you are into all raw you can skip heating the mix.

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Time to pack the jars!

If you have them put one grape leaf in the bottom of each sterilized jar. The tannins in grape leaves inhibit the pectinase enzyme (a chemical that breaks down and softens the structure of the pickle and you end up with less crunchy pickles). Some folks say this is not necessary but if you have grape leaves why not? If for no other reason the leaves look pretty in the jars!

I like to put some of the mix in the bottom of the jar and then pour the rest on top.  I had enough mix to fill most of the jars about half full. The ones that were a bit short I added more vinegar to make the jars all half full then I topped them off with drinking water up  to a ¼ inch from the top. I use filtered water. I sealed them with the sterilized lids, let them cool down on the counter then popped them into the refrigerator. Now the hard part…wait 48 hours before eating!

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Pickles packed in white distilled vinegar, dill, onions, garlic and mustard seed.

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Jars filled with dill pickles ready to put into the fridge.