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Recipe of the Week – Zucchini Soup

By | Apple

Once the zucchini are ready, there is quickly an overabundance of them!  Luckily, there are so many ways to cook and prepare zucchini.  This soup recipe takes me back to my childhood, as it is a lunch dish that my grandmother made (and still does) weekly throughout the summer months.  I have taken on the tradition and make it soon as I have enough zucchini to do it!  It’s a family favourite, and we hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

3-4 zucchini, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 celery, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 small potato, chopped.
3.5 cups of broth (chicken or vegetable)
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the carrot, onion, celery and garlic, and cook until soft, about 4 minutes or so.  Add the zucchini and potato, along with the broth.  Bring to a boil, and once boiling, reduce to a simmer.  Add the thyme (make sure to remove the leaves from the stem first!), salt and pepper and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Puree the soup with either an immersion hand blender or blender.  This makes a large batch, so you can store any leftover soup in a glass jar in the fridge.  Enjoy!

Recipe of the Week – Grilled Zucchini

By | DIY, Plants, Recipe

Summer vegetable harvest is here!  I was so excited to pick two beautiful green zucchini tonight! There are so many ways I like to prepare zucchini, but the quickest and easiest way to do it is to grill it! It’s a great side dish to go along with any meal.  Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

1-2 zucchini

olive oil

salt, pepper and chili flakes (or any other spice you like)

 

Directions

Preheat BBQ to high heat. Slice zucchini lengthwise, about 1/4” thick. Place in a shallow dish and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt, pepper and a sprinkle of chili flakes. Place zucchini on hot BBQ and let cook for about 4 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 3-4 minutes (or until the slices soften up). Serve and enjoy!

Recipe of the Week – Pizza with Beet Greens & Basil

By | Apple

Today was maintenance day in my vegetable garden, and as I was thinning out the beets, I was thinking of all of the different ways that beet greens can be used.  Their delicious flavour is a perfect way to switch up any other green – they are so versatile!  I picked some fresh basil, and thought these two combined would be the perfect topping for pizza.  I can’t wait to make this again in a few weeks once more of my garden produce is ready.  I love to make garden pizzas in the summer – so much variety with toppings!  For now, hope you enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients

Pita bread (or you could use any pizza crust base)
Pizza sauce
Mozzarella cheese
Your favourite pizza toppings – I used sliced zucchini and tomato
One small handful of beet greens
One small bunch of fresh basil

Directions

Preheat your oven on broil.  Prepare the pizza.  I like to use pita bread as it is a thin crust and doesn’t take long to cook!  Spread your pizza sauce over the pita bread and top with your favourite toppings.  Finish off with the mozzarella cheese.  Put the pizza on a baking sheet and into the oven for 3-4 minutes – watching that it doesn’t burn.  You’ll know it’s done when the cheese is melted and slightly browned.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the beet greens and basil.  Enjoy!

Recipe of the Week – DIY Hummingbird Food

By | Apple

We changed things up this week and thought we’d share a different kind of recipe!  I was making a batch of hummingbird food and wanted to show you how easy it was.  Just two ingredients – sugar and water!  We love watching the hummingbirds come to our feeders all summer… they are such amazing birds!  We hope this recipe inspires you to whip up a batch and have some friendly visitors in your garden this summer!

 

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
4 cups water

Directions

Mix sugar and water in a saucepan and put on the stove over medium-high heat.  Heat up the mixture and stir to help the sugar dissolve.  Once the mixture hits a soft boil, the sugar will be dissolved and you can remove the saucepan from the heat. Allow your mixture to cool.  Once cool, fill up your hummingbird feeders and hang outside.  Store any remaining hummingbird food in the fridge for up to one week.  *Note: you can adjust the amount of hummingbird food you make, as the ratio is one part sugar to four parts water.

Recipe of the Week – Strawberry Chia Jam

By | DIY, Honey, Recipe

I feel like it’s officially summertime once strawberry season starts!  Strawberries are a favourite here in our home, and I’m always trying new ways to prepare them.  And while everyone loves jam, I am not always crazy about the amount of sugar in it.  A few years ago I came across a jam recipe using maple syrup as a sweetener, and chia seed as a thickening agent.  I played around with different recipes, and came up with one that is sweetened with our honey, and has the perfect amount of chia seed to make the best jam texture!  It’s so good, and guilt free!  Enjoy!

Ingredients

8 cups of chopped fresh strawberries
1/4 cup of Marlin honey
4-5 Tbsp of chia seed

Directions

Add the strawberries to a saucepan over medium heat and add the honey.  With a potato masher, mash the strawberries.  Mash as much as you would like – I like a chunky jam, so I only mash a little bit.  If you like a smooth jam, mash until the there are no chunks of berries left.  Cook over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, to get rid of some of the excess liquid.  Remove from heat and add the chia seed.  Stir the jam.  Let sit for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  You will notice the jam start to thicken up.  Pour into jars, let cool, and store in the fridge.  At the end of the day, you will notice the jam is quite thick and perfect to spread on toast or muffins!  *Note: since this jam does not contain any sugar or preservatives, it does not store in a pantry.  Keep refrigerated and eat within 7-10 days.  I keep one jar in the fridge, and put the remaining jars in the freezer.  This jam freezes beautifully and can be thawed in the fridge.  Hope you like this healthy and naturally sweetened strawberry chia jam!

Recipe of the Week – Radish & Cucumber Salad

By | Apple

Summer vegetable harvest has begun!  My sister gave me some beautiful radishes from her garden, and I couldn’t wait to make my first summer salad with them.  I love growing radishes since they only take a few weeks from seed to harvest.  I also love their spicy flavour and crunch!  We hope you enjoy this easy salad that can be put together in minutes!

Ingredients

3-6 Radishes
2-4 Mini cucumbers
1-2 Tbsp Fresh dill, chopped
Olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Maple Syrup
Salt and Pepper

Directions

Using a mandolin or a knife, thinly slice the radishes and cucumbers.  Add to a bowl and add the dill.  Next, prepare the dressing.  I usually make a large batch of dressing because it stores nicely in the fridge.  Mix two parts olive oil to one part apple cider vinegar.  Add a good splash of maple syrup to sweeten it, and finish with salt and pepper to taste.  Shake it up in a jar.  Pour over the salad – just use enough to coat the radishes and cucumbers.  Toss and serve.  Enjoy!

Recipe of the Week – Herb & Parmesan Noodles

By | DIY, Garden Centre, Plants, Recipe

Our herb garden is growing so well, so we thought we’d share with you a delicious way to use up some of your homegrown herbs!  The nice thing about this dish is that you can use any fresh herbs that you have on hand.  This noodle recipe can be a main or a side dish, and customized to your liking!  It also makes great leftovers for lunch!

Ingredients

1/2 box of spaghetti noodles (or any noodle of your choice)
1 cup of fresh cut herbs, chopped (assorted – I like to use parsley, basil, chives, thyme and oregano)
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions

Cook noodles according to package instructions.  While the noodles are cooking, chop the herbs.  Once the noodles are cooked, drain the water and return the noodles into the pot.  Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on the noodles.  Add the herbs and the parmesan cheese.  Stir so all of the ingredients evenly coat the noodles.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

Recipe of the Week – Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

By | Plants, Recipe

When asparagus season arrives, so do the kitchen experiments!  We are always trying new ways to eat asparagus.  This veggie can be cooked so many ways.  Side dishes, main dishes, in soups, in casseroles, or my favourite – in an appetizer!  Our bacon wrapped asparagus will help you have the most talked about appetizer at your next spring party!  It can easily be prepared in advance, and then cooked once your guests arrive.  Give it a try!

Ingredients

12 asparagus spears – washed and trimmed
6 slices of bacon – halved lengthwise

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375 F.  Lay the halved slice of bacon on a cutting board, and place the asparagus on top on an angle.  Wrap the bacon around the asparagus.  Place on a wire cooking rack, with the end of the bacon facing down on the rack.  This will help keep the bacon in place.  Repeat for all 12 pieces of asparagus.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Take out of the oven and flip each asparagus spear over.  Bake 10-15 minutes longer, until bacon is crispy and cooked to your liking.

Recipe of the Week – Green Smoothie

By | Apple

Kale is such a versatile green!  It can be used to make both sweet and savoury dishes and it can be eaten raw or cooked.  It is so delicious!  It is also so easy to grow!  I’m already harvesting what I have planted this spring, and it will keep growing all summer and fall.  Some years I’m still picking it into December!  One of our favourite ways to eat kale is in a morning breakfast smoothie!  Over the years, I have tried green smoothies so many ways, and this recipe is my go-to! You’ll notice this recipe doesn’t have exact measurements – feel free to adjust the amounts of each ingredient to suit your taste buds best!  Hope you like it!

Ingredients

1 large handful of freshly harvested kale
1 frozen banana
1 handful of frozen pineapple (or any other frozen yellow or light coloured fruit such as mango or peaches.  Berries will work too, but they will turn the smoothie brown!)
1 small handful of frozen avocado
1-2 dates
2 large spoonfuls of plain yogurt
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
2-3 cups of water

 

Directions

In your blender, add the frozen bananas, pineapple and avocado.  Next, add the yogurt, dates and hemp seeds.  Fill the rest of the blender up with kale.  Add 2 cups of water.  Blend on medium-high speed until smooth.  Add more water as needed to reach the consistency you like.  Enjoy!

Recipe of the Week – Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

By | Apple

Spring salads are my favourite!  I love going out to the garden, harvesting some greens and making a salad with a lovely vinaigrette.  Spinach is also an amazing crop to grow – it is so versatile and these nutritious greens love this cool spring weather.  In the spirit of spring, and the fact that the greens are growing so nicely, we thought this week we would share a spring salad recipe!  This recipe is from the kitchen of my sister-in-law.  She makes this delicious salad – and it’s always a hit at family gatherings!  It is also so simple to make!  We hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp of sugar
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp each of poppy seeds, sesame seeds and chives
Dash of salt and pepper
Fresh cut spinach
Freshly sliced strawberries

 

Directions

First, make the dressing.  Whisk together the oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.  Next, add the sugar and honey.  Finally, add the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, chives and salt and pepper.  Whisk together and set aside.

Assemble the salad by adding the spinach to a bowl, and topping with the strawberries.  Toss the salad with the poppy seed dressing.  Enjoy!