Coleslaw with Dill

This sweet and tangy coleslaw is free of refined sugar and makes a quick and easy side dish to any summer picnic or barbecue. Coleslaw tastes best when it has time to chill in the refrigerator before serving, so you can make it ahead of time.
Salting the cabbage first helps to draw out moisture so that your coleslaw does not become soggy. Simply chop the cabbage, sprinkle with salt and let sit until enough water is released.
I love mayonnaise, and while there are other coleslaw recipes that omit it, this is not one of them. I use Duke’s Mayonnaise because it is the least processed mayo I have found, but feel free to use your own homemade or other brand.
The dill was fresh picked from my grandparent’s garden and it adds a soft citrus flavor to the dish.
The celery seed is completely optional if you do not have it on hand, however, any dish that has mayonnaise should have celery seed. My grandma used to make the best macaroni salad with celery seed and it was absolutely delicious and the same goes for coleslaw.

Coleslaw with Dill

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
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Ingredients

  • 1 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
  • ½ tsp celery seed

Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and toss together.
  2. Chill until ready to serve.

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Clean Eats: Make or Buy

Peanut Butter

I love peanut butter and I was surprised to find that some brands contain sugar and an assortment of other unnecessary ingredients.  A clean jar of peanut butter will contain just one ingredient:  peanuts.  Clean peanut butter may separate more than its unclean counterpart, but a good stir will have it good to go.  If you have a food processor, you can also make your own.  I like to add a little honey to mine to give it some extra sweetness.

Make or Buy:  Both.

Salad Dressing

Some salad dressings contain processed ingredients including high fructose corn syrup and sugar.  However, there are many that are almost as healthy as homemade.  Check the ingredients to be sure what you are eating is clean.  It is also very easy to make your own clean and tasty salad dressing.  Mixing olive oil and vinegar is a quick and easy salad topper.

Make or Buy:  Both.

Soup

Canned soups contain ingredients such as sugar, MSG, processed pastas, and other processed ingredients designed to prolong shelf life and improve flavor.  Homemade soup is not only healthy; it is also very easy to make.  Soup is also versatile; you can exchange ingredients with what you have one hand.  Soup also makes a perfect freezer meal that can be thawed and reheated.

Make or Buy:  Make.

Yogurt

Yogurt has many health benefits and is very good for you.  You can mix it in smoothies, pancakes, salads, and of course, it makes a tasty snack by itself.  Making yogurt can be a time consuming and tedious process.   The ingredients are simple:  milk and a culture.  However, you must heat the milk to a specific temperature, then cool it to a specific temperature before adding the culture.  The yogurt then needs to incubate.  While some may find this an enjoyable process, it is much easier to check the ingredients on yogurt at the store and purchase it.

Make or Buy:  Buy.

Bread

This is a tricky one.  Most store bought breads are highly processed and even the ones claiming to be healthy contain sugar.  Even though homemade bread takes only a few simple ingredients, I have found that I am not very good at baking bread.  It takes a lot of practice to become good at baking bread and I am not there yet.  One day I will be proficient at making bread, but until then most of the bread I eat goes toward my 20% of unhealthy choices.  I have recently discovered a sandwich bread (pictured above) that uses whole grains and cane syrup and while it is more expensive than other brands, it is the cleanest bread I have found.

Make or Buy:  Make, if you can.

Cheesy Cabbage Fritters with Yogurt Sauce

I love making up recipes but they do not always work out.  I have never cooked with cabbage before so I wanted to make something unique, but fairly simple with it since it came in this week’s CSA.  My dad makes what he calls “Poor Man Crab Cakes” which are made with zucchini instead of crab meat.  I thought, why don’t I make something similar with the cabbage?  I also had some of the goat cheese feta still left and the garden is currently bursting with herbs.  It seemed like the perfect recipe in the making.

I believe the problem stems from not drawing enough water out of the cabbage and using fresh herbs, which also contain a bit of moisture.  The resulting mixture was just too wet.  I could have used more flaxseed, but I did not want to make it too dry and take away from the other flavors.  I might also use less feta next time as it made the fritters almost too salty.

The yogurt sauce turned out pretty good, though, and it was definitely needed for dipping.  My dad ate almost half of the fritters I made, so they are not all that bad, just not perfect yet.

Cooking is about having fun and stepping outside of your comfort level.  There will be mistakes, there will be dishes that don’t turn out, but there will also be successes and you may discover a flavor combination that you love.  I am always up for trying new things in the kitchen and sometimes it just takes practice to get things right.  The cabbage fritters is one of those recipes that I am going to need to come back to after I have refined my technique, but for now, below is the exact recipe I followed.

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Cheesy Cabbage Fritters with Yogurt Sauce

For the fritters:

  • 1 cup grated or chopped cabbage
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp milled flaxseed
  • 1 tsp chopped basil
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt

For the sauce:

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp chopped mint
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Place the grated or chopped cabbage in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let sit a few minutes and squeeze out the excess water.
  3. Whisk the egg with the herbs and flaxseed.
  4. Mix the egg mixture with the cheese and kohlrabi.
  5. Form 1 1/2” balls and place them on a parchment paper lined baking pan. Flatten them with a fork.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  7. While the fritters are baking, prepare the yogurt sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve the fritters with the yogurt sauce.

 

CSA Week 5 & Whole Wheat Pasta with Salmon and Peas in a Lemon Butter Garlic Sauce

Week 5 of the CSA from Strite’s included lettuce, cherries, cabbage, peas, beets, and basil.  If I have not mentioned it before, I split each week’s CSA with my friend.  I still have lettuce left over from last week and I am growing basil in my own garden, so I gave her all the lettuce and basil.  I kept the cabbage and split the rest evenly with her.  I plan on making red beet eggs with the beets and something special with the cherries.  I have an idea for the cabbage, but I do not have all the ingredients yet.

Week5

For lunch yesterday, I made the following pasta dish and it was delicious.  Feel free to toss in some Parmesan cheese if you would like.  I bought a ten pack of salmon filets for $10.99 at the grocery store.  They are individually packaged so they are very easy to prepare.  You can chop up the peas if you would like, but I did not.

Whole Wheat Pasta with Salmon and Peas in a Lemon Butter Garlic Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients

  • 8 oz whole wheat pasta
  • 1 cup peas
  • 2 salmon filets
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove minced garlic

Directions

  1. Prepare the pasta according to directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp butter and olive oil in a pan over medium heat and bake the salmon filets approximately 3-4 minutes each side.  Shred and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, reduce heat to medium low and toss in the peas and sauté until as crispy or tender as you prefer, approximately 5 minutes if you like them tender.
  4. In another small pan, combine 2 Tbsp butter, lemon juice and garlic and stir until butter is melted and garlic is soft and translucent.
  5. Toss the pasta, shredded salmon, and snap peas with the lemon butter sauce. Serve.

 

Aphids on my Broccoli

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My co-worker’s broccoli

My co-worker’s broccoli is coming in nicely.  My grandfather’s broccoli has already been harvested.  My broccoli has aphids.

Aphids are destructive little bugs that feed on garden plants.  Aphids like broccoli, spinach, beets, lettuce, squash, potatoes, and other vegetable plants.

Perhaps one of the reasons my grandfather does not have aphids on his plants is because the dill my grandmother planted long ago has grown all along the outskirts of his garden.  Dill is one of a few flowers and herbs that attract ladybugs.  Ladybugs like to eat aphids.  Along with dill, fennel, marigold, chives, and calendula are ladybug attractants.  I do not have any of that in my garden and haven’t noticed a single ladybug.  I also read that garlic and onion plants deter aphids because of their strong smell.  I have a few of these growing in my garden so I may replant them closer to my broccoli.

Since I have not got any ladybugs to take care of my aphid problem, I had to go another route.  If you have only got a few aphids, you can pick them off yourself, however, if you have a lot, you’ll need to treat them.  I added a few teaspoons of dish soap to a spray bottle with warm water.  I then sprayed the aphids as well as both sides of the leaves on my broccoli plant.  After about an hour, I rinsed the soapy mixture off the broccoli so that the leaves are not damaged.  I hope that by killing the aphids, my broccoli plant will continue to grow and flower.

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My broccoli right after spraying with the dish soap and water mixture

Beet and Asparagus Salad with Feta and Lemon Balm Vinaigrette

I absolutely love beets so when I received them along with a head of lettuce in the CSA from Strite’s this week, I immediately knew I would be making a salad. The asparagus I used was what was remaining in my grandparent’s garden. I prepared the lemon balm vinaigrette earlier in the week to save time.
Strite’s also carries a variety of goat cheese from a place called Camelot Valley in Dover, PA.2016-06-17 10.21.06
Jennifer Bradbury raises Nubian goats on a 10 acre tract and is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. From Camelot Valley’s Facebook page, “Our herd of registered Nubian goats have been born and raised in the heart of York County, Central Pennsylvania since 2004. The grain and hay and forage they eat is all a product of the bounty of the land, and the hard work of local farms and families.” For more information on this local fine artisan goat cheese and all the different varieties of cheese available (and also cute goat pictures) visit Camelot Valley.

Beet and Asparagus Salad with Feta and Lemon Balm Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
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Ingredients

  • ½ pound asparagus, cut in 1” pieces
  • 3-4 beets, washed and halved
  • 1 head of lettuce, chopped
  • 3-4 1” pieces of feta, crumbled, makes about 2/3 cups crumbled
  • Lemon Balm Vinaigrette

Directions

  1. Place the beets in a medium sized pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes. Drain and rinse and cut in small cubes. Allow to cool.
  2. While the beets are cooking, take another small pot filled with water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse. Allow to cool.
  3. To make a full meal for two, divide the lettuce onto two plates. Top with an equal amount of beets and asparagus. Add 1/3 cup of feta to each plate. Drizzle on the lemon balm vinaigrette.
  4. To serve as a salad with a meal, toss all ingredients together in a large salad bowl and serve.

Lemon Balm Vinaigrette

I highly recommend growing lemon balm in a container otherwise it can quickly grow out of control and over run your garden. Case in point:2016-06-15 09.55.05.jpg
Lemon balm makes a great insect repellent. It also makes a very tasty tea. This was fine until I realized I have more than enough lemon balm to make pitchers of tea for everyone in my neighborhood. I began to brainstorm other ideas to use at least of portion of my lemon balm jungle.
Homemade salad dressings are simple and clean. I also have oregano and garlic growing in my garden so I combined them with the lemon balm and few other ingredients to create this refreshing vinaigrette.
Serve it over vegetables, pour it on a salad, or marinate a chicken before popping it on the grill. I combined all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid and simply shook it to combine everything. As with all vinaigrettes, you may see some separation. Just give the jar another shake and the dressing is good to go!
P.S. I am trying out a short code for formatting the recipes, let me know if you like it!

Lemon Balm Vinaigrette

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped or dried lemon balm
  • 1 clove fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all and shake well.


Note: This can be stored in the refrigerator up to one week.