Tuesday, 22 Oct 2019

I love handbags.  Some women like shoes – I like handbags.  I have enough handbags that I could probably open a store and easily have enough inventory for a year.  I also collect stamps and little wooden boxes – weird, I know.  Apparently I collect cauliflower too.  Last week I opened my vegetable drawers and found I had 3 heads of cauliflower – that’s A LOT of cauliflower.  I used a bunch in my salads, shredded a whole head and made Crispy Fried Rice and even steamed a bunch for dinner one night.  Even after all that I still had a good amount of cauliflower left.  I Googled around for some recipes and got inspired after seeing a few for cauliflower couscous.  I love the way it turned out – perfect for summertime!  Enjoy.

I hope all you father’s out there had a great Father’s Day this past weekend. I had been reminiscing this past week of previous Father’s Days remembering how after church on Sunday we would all gather at my mom and dad’s house to cook out. Along with whatever was being cooked on the grill there were always fresh vegetables just picked out of my dad’s garden and strawberry shortcake made with his homegrown strawberries. What great memories!

I bet most everyone has had potato pancakes or at least heard of them and they are delicious, but now that I’ve tried Root Vegetables Pancakes regular potatoes have taken the back seat to these colorful and tasty little cakes. I’ll be the first one to say that beets have been, at best, on my ‘tolerated’ list of vegetables. They have certainly never been a star attraction. Lately though I’ve been using them in some different ways and found that they are delicious when prepared well. In this recipe beets are combined with carrots, onions and spices and held together by garbanzo flour which also adds a rich flavor as well as protein. Perfect as a side dish or as a meal paired with a fresh green salad.

We all have those days where everything just goes wrong or we don’t feel well or it’s just Monday and going back to bed sounds like heaven.  Days like that call for soup – but not just any soup – Miso Ramen Soup!  One bowl and your worries will be gone.  This stuff is powerful.  It’s amazing how good you feel after just one bowl!  Maybe it’s the fact that miso is bursting with health benefits.  Not only does it contain healthy doses of vitamin E, vitamin B12 and protein but it also has been shown to reduce the risk of breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer.  Miso has a very alkalizing effect on the body and strengthens the immune system to combat infection. Its high antioxidant activity gives it anti-aging properties as well.  It’s the new ‘chicken soup’ for the soul!

Castroville California is known as the artichoke capitol of the world. Did you know Marilyn Monroe was once crowned the Artichoke Queen in 1947? What does this bit of trivia have to do with this recipe? Nothing really but some good to know trivia about artichokes would be that the artichoke is a low-calorie, nutrient-rich vegetable that is an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, and a good source of folate and magnesium. Artichokes also are a natural source of antioxidants.

The next time you score fresh corn on the cob at a great price get some extra and make this bright and flavorful salad. Grilled corn is the heart of this salad but it doesn’t stop there. The tangy basil dressing is the perfect contrast to the sweetness of the corn and tomatoes. This salad is really simple to make and is a great side to almost any entree.

Most people think of lettuce and boring veggies when it comes to salads but they can be so much more than that.  They can be warm and comforting.  Hearty and flavorful.  And forbidden?  If it’s forbidden you know it must be good!  Forbidden rice is actually very high in nutritional value and contains 18 amino acids, iron,  zinc, copper, carotene, anthocyanin and several other vitamins. The grain has a similar amount of fiber to brown rice and like brown rice, has a mild, nutty taste.  I’ve been using quite a lot of forbidden (or black rice as it’s sometimes called) rice lately.  My kids think it’s great eating ‘forbidden’ rice and I love it’s hearty texture.  Our nights are still very cool here in Southern California and this salad is perfect for those nights.

I love living in California where just about everyone has fruit trees growing in their backyards.  If you know enough people you can easily have everything on hand to throw together an awesome fruit salad!  This week my friend Kara was kind enough to share some of their peaches with me.  Aren’t they just beautiful?!

Remember those MONSTER tomato bushes I told you about?  The ones that engulfed my chives, parsley, blackberry and raspberry bushes?  Well, they are now bursting with ripe little cherry tomatoes.  More than I know what to do with.  I’m pretty sure my kids will run away screaming if they see tomatoes on their plate at dinner one more night.   With all the picnics, potlucks and summer get togethers going on I decided to whip up a refreshing salad and share the tomato love.  Plus, this dish is best served at room temperature so no worries with having to keep it cool and refrigerated while at a gathering or outdoor venue.  And if you don’t have a backyard filled with cherry tomatoes – COME TAKE MINE!!!  I’m up to my eyeballs in tomatoes!  Someone save me!

“Summer lovin’ had me a blast. Summer lovin’ happened so fast” (Grease-Summer Nights). I love summer. I love summer salads. I live on salads all year round but I especially enjoy salads in the summer with the fresh seasonal produce that isn’t available in the winter. Corn is one of my favorite summer ingredients so I paired it with a few other favorites like sweet potato and leeks and as if that isn’t enough to cause some summer lovin’ then the creamy, tangy dressing will make you want to break out in a chorus of “Hopelessly Devoted to You”.