Wednesday, 19 April 2017 00:00

Party potatoes are a tradition at all of our family functions. With a little prep work, they are easy to make and quick to serve. The recipe can be modified to suit many taste preferences—try adding peppers or different veggies for a new twist.

1 package frozen, cubed hash browns (2 lbs.)
1/2 cup melted margarine or butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
1 pint sour cream
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1. Thaw the hash browns.
2. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a bowl, and place in a baking pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Serves approximately 10–12. Enjoy!


Tuesday, 07 February 2017 00:00

Recently, I wrote about a tasty veggie recipe made with cauliflower, a vegetable I’d be happy to never eat raw. But today, I’ll be sharing a recipe starring a vegetable I recently discovered that I love, love, love! Brussels sprouts—fun to say, and great to bake. I can’t really express why I love this vegetable so much; perhaps it’s a mixture of its unique, slightly taste, and how spices complement it. I wanted to explore and see what unique recipes I could find for these tasty little buds.

The first recipe combines two foods I love: Brussels sprouts and Gouda cheese. If you too are a cheese lover, you might like to try making some Smoky Brussels Sprout Gratin. With a few more steps than throwing some half-cut seasoned Brussels sprouts in the oven (although I’d happily settle for that, too!), this recipe lets those green buds of heaven swim in a rich, thick Gouda cheese sauce. I’d recommend adding a touch of garlic to make this dish pop even more.

If you want something sweeter, I’d recommend trying some Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes with Walnuts. Mixing bitter with sweet, and a light hint of nut, this dish is tasty to eat and easy to make. Just drizzle a generous amount of olive oil, balsamic oil, and thyme onto the sprouts and grapes, and let them bake. Make sure to toss in the walnuts after you pull that green goodness out of the oven.
For those seeking some protein with their sprouts, surprisingly, they complement couscous well. Israeli Couscous with Brussels Sprouts is another easy-to-make and light dish. This recipe asks that you separate the leaves of the Brussels sprouts and cook them individually, as you will incorporate the cooked leaves into the couscous. Mixed with olive oil, lemon zest, and freshly ground salt and pepper, this is a must-try for all veggie lovers.

If you like a pizza version of the previous recipe, then you’ll love some Brussels Sprout Lemon Pizza. This recipe does require a cast iron skillet, but if you happen to have one and are willing to work with pizza dough, this is an awesome dish. Pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, Romano cheese, Brussels sprouts leaves, and thinly sliced lemons—this is a dish I could happily eat for the rest of my life.

This last dish is sweet, spicy, and easy to execute. If you’re not up for several steps, but still want to try something on the adventurous side, you’ll love some Brussels Sprouts with Maple and Cayenne. Simply toss the sprouts in olive oil and some salt, let them roast, and in the meantime, combine the maple syrup and cayenne pepper together. When the sprouts are just about done, pull them out, and drizzle that awesome sauce all over them. Let the sprouts roast for about a minute, and voilà! Sweet, spicy, easy!

All right, new recipes to try! I can’t stop my mouth watering at the thought of all of them. I think my next grocery trip will consist of a LOT of Brussels sprouts.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017 00:00

Greetings, fellow chefs! I’m back with another tasty veggie recipe. I’m not generally a huge fan of cauliflower, and I won’t eat it raw. However, on a recent trip with my husband to California Pizza Kitchen, I tried something I didn’t think I would like, but loved instantly. I then searched the internet for what I hoped would be a good-enough substitute recipe. Today, the internet did not disappoint.
If you like cauliflower, or buffalo wings, or both (or, like myself, neither), you’ll love sinking your teeth into these cauliflower buffalo wings. A delightful oxymoron, as buffalo wings are usually neither healthy nor vegetarian, this dish is a tasty blend of spice and creamy goodness with its complementary bleu cheese avocado sauce. Surprisingly addictive, and exactly the right texture (who would have thought?), this is an easy recipe for entertaining guests or just a tasty snack for yourself.

I recommend adding a side of celery, as that’s what usually pairs with buffalo wings, but also I just like celery. I just might make a tasty batch this weekend. Hope you folks give this a try and enjoy!

Wednesday, 05 October 2016 00:00

This cucumber salad is a cross between a coleslaw and a Waldorf salad. It is tangy and sweet. Quite a nice salad for using up those extra garden cukes. It is light and satisfying


1 cup walnuts

1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/2 cup Veganaise

1 -2 tablespoons mustard

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1 to 2 cucumbers

1 apple

1 carrot


Wash the walnuts and set aside to drain. Put the Veganaise and mustard and half of the vinegar in a bowl . Add a bit more vinegar or mustard till you get it to your preferred tanginess. Add the caraway seeds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds, and mix. Let the sauce marinate while you chop the vegetables. Grate the carrot in thick slices using a carrot peeler. Cut the apple up into small pieces. Cut the cucumber into 1/2 inch slices, and then in quarters. Mix the vegetables into the sauce and nut mixture, and you have salad!


Friday, 03 June 2016 00:00

Eating seasonally is a wonderful approach to sustainability as well as healthy living, but it certainly has its challenges. Annual gardeners have probably experienced zucchini, string bean, or arugula burnout at least once in their lives, and sometimes we all just want a tomato on our sandwich—even though it’s December.

Here at Easy Valley Farm in Rogue River, we have an abundance of beautiful kale right now. I am not a huge fan of kale, but I know I should be! It’s packed with vitamins and nutrients, it’s completely versatile, and it’s easy to grow and cook with.

I am determined to take advantage of our backyard this season, so here are a few things I’ve recently done with kale that have helped to avoid kale burnout. Some are familiar recipes; others are first attempts that will definitely be repeated as the season progresses.

Kale salad – Simple and hearty. A key step is to “massage” the kale with a little olive oil for a few minutes. This breaks down the leaves to make it more like a lettuce salad. After massaging, play around with ingredients to make it even more delicious. A little salt, pepper, and balsamic is nice. 

Olives and feta are another great option, as are apples and walnuts; we also recently tried an Asian version, which was absolutely amazing.

(Not a fan of cold salads? Check out Mirna’s recent post for warm kale salad.) 

Kale chips – Perfectly crunchy, and far less expensive when you make them at home. 

After de-stemming and coarsely chopping the kale, you’ll want to make sure it’s as dry as possible. This will ensure that the chips don’t get soggy when you store them. Toss the kale with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Add chili pepper or red pepper flakes if you choose. Dehydrate at about 135 degrees for 4–6 hours or until crispy. (Sorry, non-dehydrator folks, but I’ve honestly never had luck with the oven method. If you have, leave a comment with your tips!)

Frozen kale – Great for soups, smoothies, egg dishes, and any other reason you’ll need kale throughout the year. You have three options here. One: wash and spin the kale, then stack it in layers in freezer bags. It will easily break apart when you need a chunk for your dish. Two: sauté in a little olive oil, and freeze in small batches. Compared to the first option, this one saves a little final cooking time and freezer space. Three: purée with a little water, freeze in ice cube trays, and store in freezer bags. 

I love this ice cube method for kale, spinach, herbs, tomatoes, and so on. The cubes store well, and, if properly frozen, keep their flavor for months. (Some folks say that puréeing impacts the amount of nutrients, but I don’t worry so much about that, since I eat so many veggies on a daily basis as it is.)

Green smoothies – Like many of our other recipes, our go-to smoothie is based on a recipe by Joy the Baker. Blend a banana, a handful each of kale and spinach, a tablespoon or two each of peanut butter and honey, and about a cup of milk (dairy, almond, soy, whatever). I had my doubts about green smoothies, but I was totally sold four years ago, when we first tried this! If only bananas and peanuts were local…

And… that’s all I’ve got. They all taste great, but we’ve still got heaps of kale! Help me out—what’s your favorite kale recipe? 

Saturday, 30 April 2016 00:00

I have never been a fan of salads—there's something about that cold lettuce.  The bleu cheese, chicken slices, gorgonzola, black olives—pretty much you name it—were fine, but who needs lettuce for that?

But warm greens are like a salve to my palate and throat, and the queen of those greens is KALE.  

I mean, who knew, right?  According to an article on, kale is a superfood, a dark green vegetable packed with vitamins, fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorus, protein, folate, and niacin.

And how do I like my kale?  This rather easy-peasy way:

  • Coat bottom of the frying pan with olive oil or avocado oil (avo oil burns better and hotter, and has fatty acids and antioxidants).
  • Add the kale.
  • Throw in some tamari sauce (no gluten), paprika, and minced garlic (very little, about half a teaspoon).
  • Add water—I take the frying pan cover and run it under the faucet to fill the bottom of the cover with liquid.
  • Cover the frying pan, cook the kale on medium heat, and let it soften.
  • When satisfied with its softness, take the cover off, let the water evaporate, and let the kale get crispy—yum.
  • Or you could just eat it soft and hot and sprinkle some flax and chia seeds on it—also yum.