tag: seasonal

fresh chamomile tea

i was delighted to find a bundle of fresh chamomile in our csa box this week. when i saw it i said, oo, pretty flowers! (typical newbie) when my sweet farmer gal said oh no, that’s chamomile! of course, i immediately squealed and asked for instructions on what to do with the beautiful blooms.

in season: fresh chamomille tea

so here it is, straight from the farmer’s mouth:

keep your chamomile fresh in a vase for 2-3 days, but then bundle it and hang to dry.

for tea:

pluck off 2-3 teaspoons of flowers right at the base of the bloom.

steep in hot water for 5-10 minutes and drink before bed.

in season: fresh chamomille tea

i’ve been a long time drinker of bedtime tea, but this fresh chamomile puts me to sleep like nothing i’ve ever tried. it’s soothing, tasty and warming.

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Posted by in simple living

10 grocery shopping tips for a whole foods approach by now, you probably know that i eat a whole foods, plant based diet (especially if you follow the dinner ideas posts or recipe page!). one of the ways that i make eating this way possible, is by following a few rules at the grocery store and farmers market. some may seem obvious, others a little wacky, but below are the top 10 tips i follow when shopping for grub.

10 reasons to blog ahead (1) buy whole ingredients. look for items that contain only one ingredient in them (squash, polenta, quinoa, soybeans). if you must buy items that have more than one ingredient, look for a short ingredient list (6 or less ingredients) that contain nothing but whole foods. basically, if you can’t pronounce or grow it yourself – then don’t eat it.

 

10 reasons to blog ahead (2) stay on the outskirts of the store. buy shopping the outer edges of the store, you’ll be much more inclined to pick up fresh ingredients, and steer clear of the packaged and processed foods.

 

10 reasons to blog ahead (3) buy a foreign ingredient. i seriously do this nearly every time i go to the store! pick up a new fruit or veggie that you’ve never cooked with before, and i promise you’ll find some new favorites.

 

10 reasons to blog ahead (4) go to the farmers market. do the bulk of your shopping at your local farmers market and use the grocery store to supplement it.

 

10 reasons to blog ahead (5) check the country of origin. most fresh produce and packaged goods will let you know where it came from. the closer the better!

 

10 reasons to blog ahead (6) look for color. the more colorful your cart the healthier you’ll be (and colored cardboard doesn’t count!).

 

10 reasons to blog ahead (7) shop organic. you, your family and our planet will be much healthier for it.

 

10 reasons to blog ahead (8) shop what’s in season. know what’s in season in your area and eat locally. watermelons should only be eaten in the summer, and butternut squash only in the winter.

 

10 reasons to blog ahead (9) minimal packaging. look for items that either have no packaging (fresh produce and bulk items) or come with minimal packaging.

 

10 reasons to blog ahead (10) 10) look for alternatives. start noticing the alternatives that your local store or health food store carry. do they have almond milk? coconut creamer? earth balance butter? coconut oil? research the healthier alternatives and start using them.

 

do you have any favorite shopping market tips? i would love to hear them, i’ll meet you in the comments section!

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dinner ideas 6.1.12

June 1, 2012

Posted by in dinner ideas

vegan dinner ideas

hello, sweet potatoes! this week, our csa box included: raspberries, beets, snap peas, lettuce, parsley, carrots, onions, rainbow chard, strawberries and escarole. i’ve been making spanakopita so much that i don’t think you’ll be seeing that on our menu again for a while (though it is so yummy!). my favorite this week was probably the grilled salad.. who knew grilled lettuce tasted so good?! hint: be looking for these veggies at your store or farmers market- they’ll have most likely traveled less distance to get to you!

monday: grilled romaine salad with veggies and berry cobbler
tuesday: spinach spanakopita with roasted carrots (triangle style)
wednesday
: grilled veggie kabobs with birthday cake (& more birthday cake)
thursday:
stir fry rice noodles with tofu and veggies
friday:
coconut rice with lemon agave stir fry

what was on your plate this week? any favorite recipes you’d like to share?

follow this foodie we follow a whole foods, plant based diet. the dinner ideas posts are a way for me to log our dinners, how we make eating this way easy, and hopefully inspire you to try some new things as well. they are always meat free, dairy free and often gluten free. you can follow the posts here, and i encourage you to share your favorite recipes with us as well!

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dinner ideas 5.25.12

May 25, 2012

Posted by in dinner ideas

vegan dinner ideas

hello, sweet peas! this week, our csa box included: beets, snap peas, lettuce, parsley, carrots, leeks, kale, rainbow chard, strawberries and spinach. boy, do i love spring veggies! we had somewhat of a light menu this week, but definately found a few new favorites. hint: be looking for these veggies at your store or farmers market- they’ll have most likely traveled less distance to get to you!

monday: lemon dill tofu with jewel toned pancakes
tuesday: spinach spanakopita with roasted carrots (triangle style)
wednesday
: lentil walnut loaf with roasted asparagus and grilled peppers
thursday:
layered eggplant and zucchini casserole
friday:
collard green enchiladas

what was on your plate this week? any favorite recipes you’d like to share?

follow this foodie we follow a whole foods, plant based diet. the dinner ideas posts are a way for me to log our dinners, how we make eating this way easy, and hopefully inspire you to try some new things as well. they are always meat free, dairy free and often gluten free. you can follow the posts here, and i encourage you to share your favorite recipes with us as well!

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last week we got some huge green leaves in our csa box. full disclosure: i had to text our farmer to make sure i knew what they were! but boy, am i glad i did. not only did she tell me that they were collard greens, but also her favorite way to use them: as tortillas! needless to say, these collard green enchiladas were born.

pssst. these are vegan & gluten free!

collard green enchiladas

collard green enchiladas

9-12 large collard green leaves
1 tbs coconut oil (or other cooking oil)
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 med. carrots, chopped
2 med. zucchini, chopped
2 tbs chili powder
1 tbs cumin
1 can black beans
2 cups brown rice (cooked)
salt and pepper to taste

collard green enchiladas

 

preheat oven to 375°F.  steam your collard greens (i used a veggie steamer) until tender, about 8-10 minutes. make sure to not steam them too long (else they’ll fall apart!), but just long enough to make them pliable enough to roll up.

meanwhile, add the oil to a heavy frying pan and place over medium heat. add the onions, garlic, carrots and peppers and cook until the onions are translucent, about 8 -10 minutes. add the zucchini, chili powder, cumin, salt & pepper and stir fry for 3-4 more minutes.

add the black beans and brown rice and stir together, tasting to see if you need to adjust any seasonings. set aside.

place one collard green leaf on a chopping block and dip rice mixture into the middle. roll up (like an enchilada!) and place in a 9×11″ baking dish. continue until you’ve used all of your collard greens (top with vegan cheese, if you want!). bake for 25-30 minutes and serve with guacamole and salsa. enjoy!

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dinner ideas 5.18.12

May 18, 2012

Posted by in dinner ideas

dinner ideas

happy friday, sweet potatoes! this week, our csa box included: snap peas, fava beans, cabbage, strawberries, spinach, parsley, leeks, lettuce and rainbow chard. yum! you’ll find these ingredients intermingled in this week’s food adventures. hint: that’s probably what’s in season near you as well, so be looking for these items at your store or farmers market- they’ll have traveled less distance to get to you!

monday: leftover husband’s healing stew with orange wasabi fries
tuesday: black eyed pea burgers with an avocado & strawberry salad
wednesday
: grilled tofu with ratatouille veggies
thursday:
root veggie chowder with collard ribbons
friday:
snap peas with cucumber and ginger with vegan brownies for dessert!

what was on your plate this week? any favorite recipes you’d like to share?

follow this foodie we follow a whole foods, plant based diet. the dinner ideas posts are a way for me to log our dinners, how we make eating this way easy, and hopefully inspire you to try some new things as well. they are always meat free, dairy free and often gluten free. you can follow the posts here, and i encourage you to share your favorite recipes with us as well!

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dinner ideas 4.11.12

May 11, 2012

Posted by in dinner ideas

dinner ideas

happy friday, y’all! this week we got our very first csa box of the year -yaaahooooo! inside we found: snap peas, fava beans, cabbage, collard greens, strawberries, spinach, parsley, leeks, lettuce and broccoli. so that, my dears, are what you’ll find in this weeks recipes! hint: that’s probably what’s in season near you as well, so be looking for these items at your store or farmers market- they’ll have traveled less distance to get to you!

monday: husband’s healing stew (to help mend his collarbone!)
tuesday:  grilled veggie kabobs and a big ‘ol salad
wednesday: asparagus, snap pea and avocado pasta (leave off the parm!)
thursday: spinach spanakopita (our favorite this week!)
friday: orzo and snap pea salad with grilled fava beans

what was on your plate this week? any favorite recipes you’d like to share?

follow this foodie we follow a whole foods, plant based diet. the dinner ideas posts are a way for me to log our dinners, how we make eating this way easy, and hopefully inspire you to try some new things as well. they are always meat free, dairy free and often gluten free. you can follow the posts here, and i encourage you to share your favorite recipes with us as well!

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vegan spinach spanakopita hello, sweets! this week arrived one of my all time favorite mags, vegnews (the only vegan mag out there) and with it, possible my new favorite recipe: layered spinach spanakopita!  i made it last night and it turned out amazingly scrumptious. here’s the recipe!

vegan spinach spanakopita:

2 tbs water
1 cup chopped scallions
8 cups fresh spinach
1 1/2 cup drained herbed tofu feta (see below)
1/3 cup fresh dill
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbs fresh parsely
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
12 sheet phyllo pastry

directions:

1. add water to a large pot over medium heat, then add scallions and spinach. cook until spinach is wilted (you might have to add spinach in batches as they begin to wilt). once wilted, set aside and let drain, squeezing out as much moisture as possible.

2. in a large bowl, combine spinach, herbed feta, dill, nutritional yeast, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

3. preheat oven to 350°f. lay 1 sheet of phyllo pastry in the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13″ pan. brush a light layer of olive oil on the sheet, than add another. continue layering in this way (brushing between each sheet) until you have 6 sheets down.

4. spread the spinach mixture evenly in the pan and continue the layering process with 6 more phyllo sheets.

5. sprinkle the top with water to keep the sheets from curling and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top become lightly browned. enjoy!

vegan spinach spanakopita

above is the recipe for the herbed tofu feta. it’s amazing! make it ahead of time and use it on salads and anytime feta would be called for. yum!

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