Local Eggs Florentine

Eggs Florentine

You don’t have to travel to Italy to enjoy local Eggs Florentine. As Farmers Markets open across the Midwest, and other parts of the country, eating locally has just got easier. The following dish (made from a simple recipe that I found in Domino Magazine) is a great one to serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I started with a crusty whole wheat locally-baked bread. (The bakery uses ingredients in nearby states — not many of the ingredients found in bread are available in Indiana.) Next, I spread on some Fromage Blanc from Traders Point Creamery (although recipe calls for Ricotta and Parmesan cheese). Atop that, I laid some lightly sauteed spinach from my parents garden and a fried egg (fresh from Phelps Family Farms stand at the Carmel Farmers Market).

The result was a hearty, rich and healthy dish. Bellissimo!

Posted in Going Local,Recipes by Rhaya on June 7, 2008 | Permalink | 1 Comment

*Reader’s Recipe* Asparagus & Eggs Any Time of Day

Eggs & Asparagus

After my post about Asparagus a few weeks ago, we received an email from Aly, in Florida who said she “grew up on asparagus and eggs as a breakfast, lunch or dinner option” and included the recipe below for a tasty asparagus and eggs dish. I loved the egg and asparagus combo and have made it several times already. It’s especially good with a little shredded local cheddar cheese over the top and a toasted slice of my favorite olive loaf bread from our farmer’s market.

Asparagus & Eggs
serves 2

  1. Saute some cut up asparagus in a small amount of olive oil and a couple of cloves of garlic, sprinkle some dried oregano, salt and pepper over it as it cooks.
  2. While the asparagus cooks, whisk 4 or 5 eggs in a bowl, adding a little milk.
  3. Pour the eggs over the asparagus and let it cook for a few minutes until the eggs are done. (You can see from the picture above that I ended up scrambling mine as the eggs set.)
  4. Top with fresh tomatoes and enjoy with some crusty Italian bread

Thanks for the recipe Aly!

Do you have a favorite tip or recipe you would like to share? Go ahead and send it our way, we’ll give it a whirl in our “test kitchen” and if we like it, we just may post about it!

Posted in Going Local,Recipes by Liz on April 30, 2008 | Permalink | 3 Comments

Dip Into Something Different

Edimame Dip

It may look like guacamole, but if your taste buds are expecting avocado, they’re in for a surprise. When I first saw this recipe for Edamame Spread on The Daily Green, I thought that it sounded right up my alley. It’s base was one of my favorite legumes, and the ingredient list was short and simple.

I’ll admit it was a little difficult to get the desired consistency (I don’t have a food processor) and my husband gave me the “Are you serious?” look when he saw me tossing edamame in the blender, but with a little patience and a lot of pulsing, I got the consistency to be where it was supposed to be.

Follow the full recipe here, or use my version below, which is cut in half, and uses less oil. Next time, I will probably use even less (or an alternate?) oil, in hopes of making it a little healthier.

Edamame Dip

1/2 lb shelled soybeans
2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2/3 cups canola oil
salt and pepper
rice crackers for serving

1. Cook soybeans on the the stovetop until tender and then drain water. (1/2 pound took less than five minutes.)

2. In a food processor (or blender!), mix all the ingredients. Serve with rice crackers and enjoy!

Posted in Recipes by Rhaya on April 17, 2008 | Permalink | 2 Comments

“Beet” this Salad

Beet Salad 

I have never had any desire to eat beets in my entire life, that is, up until I kept bumping into them at the farmer’s market and the co-op every week.  But I have to admit that I even bought a few here and there; they ended up sitting in the drawer of my refrigerator until they were so old I decided they were no longer good!  Shame on me.  

But one day I came across a “Rawsome Beet Salad” in the “to go” section of the deli at the co-op,  I decided to give it a whirl, and it was delicious! Slightly sweet with an earthy crunch, these beets were starting to win me over despite their ugly exterior.  I then came across a few juicing recipes calling for beets and after reading a little more about their great nutritional profile, (protecting against heart disease and cancer), the rest is history. 

One of my favorite beet recipes is a raw Beet & Carrot Salad.  Ever heard of eating all colors of the rainbow?  This salad (pictured above) incorporates raw beets into a hearty vegetable salad using a variety of chopped beautiful veggies and is a combination I came up with based on that first encounter with beets from the co-op and a recipe in a book by Natalia Rose

Raw Beet & Carrot Salad

Mix the following ingredients in a big bowl and let sit to marinate for about 15 minutes before serving.  Feel free to modify adding more or less of something to suite your own taste, I even like to add a few shavings of raw cheese over the top of mine.

1 beet, julienned on a mandoline, or shredded
1-2 carrots shredded
1/2 cup broccoli florets, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup pepper (any color), chopped
5-6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 
juice of half of a lemon
1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
dash of salt and pepper

Just a warning: beets have an intense red color that can stain your fingers and countertops, so clean up quickly after working with them.

Posted in Going Local,Recipes by Liz on April 16, 2008 | Permalink | No Comments

Asparagus Season


It seems as though spring has finally sprung here in upstate NY (thankfully!) and so marks the coming of asparagus season. Since it’s available seemingly year round in some of our big-box groceries these days it may be easy to forget that the freshest, most tasty, asparagus shows up right about now if you are getting it locally. But it’s only available for a relatively short period, usually only around 6 weeks in most parts of of the U.S.

Aside from its delicious flavor and versatility in many dishes(see the recipe links below for some simple dishes and downright daring ways to try asparagus), there are many nutritional benefits to these beautiful spears. Asparagus is an excellent source of Folate and Vitamins A, C, and K, just to name a few.

To pick up some of your own, look for bright green stalks with plump, tightly closed, tips. To store, before sticking them in the refrigerator, rinse with cold water, pat dry and wrap the base with the damp paper towel or store standing up in about an inch of water. Eat within 2-3 days for the best flavor and nutritional value.

As I already mentioned, asparagus lends itself to many types of dishes; you can eat it raw, boil it, steam it, stir-fry it, the possibilities are endless. I like to toss some chopped spears in with scrambled eggs or serve the whole spears as a side dish by roasting them in the oven (about 10 mins. at 450) with a touch of olive oil and seasonings like thyme and rosemary.

Here are few other suggestions to help you take advantage of asparagus season this year:

Posted in Chew On This,Going Local,Recipes by Liz on April 8, 2008 | Permalink | 1 Comment

Ginger Peanut Soup

Peanut Butter Soup

Hopefully you look beyond the photo that corresponds with this post and trust me when I say that this soup really is one worth trying. I was inspired by Liz’s peanut butter post, but must admit, I was very skeptical…. peanut butter with tomato? Onion with coconut? I was willing to try it, but prematurely apologized to my husband that it might not taste that great. Boy, was I wrong.

I followed the exact recipe from VegWeb.com only I used tofu instead of cauliflower. (My husband is not a cauliflower fan, plus I like how tofu really soaks up the flavors). I used veggie stock instead of water, and also added the suggested coconut. The final product was so flavorful, and still tasted just as good (if not better) as leftovers the next day!

Posted in Recipes by Rhaya on April 7, 2008 | Permalink | No Comments

Nori – The Easy Way

Nori Wraps

Nori is probably most commonly known as that little black wrapper that holds sushi rolls together.  But it’s not just a handy wrapper for your sushi, it’s actually another sea vegetable that is packed with all kinds of good stuff like iodine, vitamin K, a wide range of minerals, protein and lignans (cancer protecting plant compounds).   

I do like sushi, but have been slightly intimidated to try it at home, and now thanks to some inspiration from this recipe at Domino Magazine, I have found a quick and easy way to get a little more sea veggies into my diet. 

Instead of using a sheet of nori to roll everything up into a neat, little, cylinder shape, this method uses a big leaf of romaine to hold everything together and puts the nori on the inside.  The nori is first smeared with a miso paste and then used to line the romaine before piling on lots of other veggies and sprouts,  so you end up with more of a wrap (or a taco depending on how full you make it) than the traditional roll.  In the wrap pictured above I used a favorite Sweet White Miso with carrots, sprouts, avocado, scallions, and a dash of cayenne pepper. It was not only quick, but delicious and satisfying too.

Sea veggies like nori can also make a great addition to salads and soups boosting the nutritional value and adding a natural salty flavor.  To learn more about other sea vegetables check out this great primer from a co-op in California.  

Posted in Chew On This,Recipes by Liz on April 3, 2008 | Permalink | No Comments

Traditional Spinach Salad

Spinach Salad

While Liz likes to drink her spinach, I like to take mine as a salad for lunch. Spinach salads pack more of a nutritional punch than lettuce because not only is spinach high in iron, but it also is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6. As a member of the dirty dozen list, it is recommended that you buy organic spinach. Additionally, if you can get it locally, you are less likely to have to worry about national recalls.

Spinach Salad

This spinach salad is based off of the traditional spinach salad, with a few adjustments. Start with some organic spinach. Sprinkle on some shredded mozzarella. Add a little protein with it with a local, free-range hard-boiled egg. Next add some sliced crimini mushrooms. (I get mine locally from Homestead Growers, via Farm Fresh Delivery). Crimini Mushrooms are very flavorful and have more nutrients than the common white button mushroom.

For dressing, skip the typical Ranch Dressing that is usually served with this salad, and opt for a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead.

Posted in Going Local,Recipes by Rhaya on March 18, 2008 | Permalink | No Comments

What Kind of Green Are You Having Today?

Swiss Chard

Would you believe that I put the entire pile of swiss chard and kale pictured above in a smoothie this morning for breakfast? Yep, just that, blended with a little water, a banana and a half, and some fresh mint leaves for a delicious “green smoothie” breakfast. Why? Well, while many people will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with green beer, I decided to do a different kind of green this year – a 3 day Green Smoothie Queen Challenge.

The Green Smoothie Queen Challenge is the brainchild of two wildly creative ladies who call themselves the Raw Divas. The purpose is to get into the habit of eating more leafy greens by incorporating them into smoothies. Because who doesn’t like a smoothie? Greens are fairly absent in most people’s diets but are actually an amazing source of not only vitamins A, C, and E, and minerals such as Calcium, but fiber and even protein too. And, according to the Divas, they are wonderfully energizing. The rules are simple: commit to just 3 days and replace just breakfast with smoothie or go all day.

After only signing up last Thursday the Raw Divas have already sent me a few encouraging emails complete with tips, recipes and a shopping list to get me prepped. Similar to my Banana Fudgie Sludgie, these smoothies incorporate fruits (to assist in the flavor department) with a big bunch of any of the typical leafy greens like kale, chard, spinach, lettuce, celery and even parsley. The smoothies make a wonderful vehicle for getting all the benefits of leafy greens with little digestive work, which leaves you with leftover energy and lots of fresh little nutrients going to work in your body.

Get on the Raw Divas’ mailing list if you want to participate in the next challenge. Until then, try the Banana Fudgie Sludgie or some of these green smoothie ideas. Play with different greens and fruits and adjust the ratios to suit your liking, as it’s really just a concoction of a little bit of water, fruit and lots of leafy greens. I’d love to hear about what you come up with!

Posted in Chew On This,Recipes by Liz on March 17, 2008 | Permalink | 1 Comment

The “Raw” Burger

“Raw” Burger

No, it’s not raw meat, we said this was veggie burger week after-all, but this burger is “raw” because it has not been cooked over 118 degrees.  You may have already heard of the raw foods diet, in fact, a book that I picked up a little over a year ago about this type of diet was part of the inspiration behind this site.   

A raw foodie’s diet is typically a vegan diet consisting of uncooked fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and various super-foods like goji berries.  It’s based on the idea that by not cooking food beyond a certain temperature, the enzymes and all the other good stuff in these foods remain “alive” and are better suited to nourish your body in this state.  Thus, raw recipes that are designed to mimic the traditional favorite cooked foods like the burger pictured above will usually call for a dehydrator instead of an oven to achieve a “cooked” texture in order to avoid actually having to cook the food.

This recipe is straight from one of my favorite raw food cookbooks, Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen (this burger is pictured on the cover) by Ani Phyo, which has tons of simple, tasty raw creations that I have been experimenting with over the past year like this one.   But this was my first attempt at her “Sun Burgers” which came pretty well and tasted even better after dehydrating for about three hours.  Phyo also lists in the book a raw Sesame Sunflower Bread recipe for the bun and even has a raw ketchup and mustard!   

Ani’s Sun Burgers
from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen 

2 stalks of celery, finely chopped, about 3/4 cup
1/4 c yellow onion, chopped
1/2 c red bell peppers, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. oregano, fresh or dried
1 c sunflower seeds, ground
1/2 c flax seeds, ground
1/2 c water

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, adding the water last.  Form four balls and flatten into the burger patty shape.  You can enjoy as is or dehydrate for about three hours.

My only complaint is that the bread recipe she suggested for the bun was made up of predominately the same ingredients (but in different amounts) which made the Sun Burger and the bread a bit overwhelming together.  Next time I would either find a new “bun” recipe, make it an open face burger with a portobella mushroom cap or I would crumble it up over a salad. 

Posted in Recipes by Liz on March 13, 2008 | Permalink | 2 Comments

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