Low Tunnel Update

IMG_20141011_190339283_HDRThis weekend the snow was gone and it peaked 50 degrees.  The soil in the cold frames was warmed up a bit (55 degrees from 40) so I planted some lettuce, claytonia, spinach and kale in there (winter varieties).

The low tunnels have been secured since we put them in. They have carried a load of snow and withheld some wicked winds. I was dying to know how things were doing in there. Plus it was sunny and warm with a bit of rain in the forecast for the afternoon so it was perfect timing to open them up for the day.

Here is what I saw!

Brocolini & broccoli, collards and brussel sprouts…

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brussel sprouts

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Cabbages…purple, green and pok choi

cabbages

Every one looks happy and growing except the cauliflowers. They are growing, but their leaves are turning white– not yellow but white. Hopefully a little research will tell me what they are lacking and experiencing.

They all enjoyed the warmth and the gentle rain in the afternoon. We covered them back up to protect them from the 40 + MPH winds we are expecting today. I am happy to see they are doing well. It was fun to peak for a bit!

Happy Unleashing!

FGU

First Fall Dinner!

I have been creating dishes with tomatoes, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, beans and basil for several weeks now. As much as I love all that, I must admit that the taste buds have been craving some fall flavors. I teased them with a sweet potato last week, but that is about all I have ventured into so far thjs fall.

Yesterday however was a very cool, cloudy day. I had jeans on, a long sleeve shirt and even had to shut the windows to get the chill out.  Football was also on the schedule to watch last night. And then it all came together. Thanks to daughter Rachael and a late text message she sent me for a over the top Acorn Squash Recipe from Guy Fieri, I was on my way to releasing fall in my kitchen!

You halve and hollow out the acorn squash ,add a bit of olive oil, S&P and they are ready for roasting. One of the first things I loved about this recipe is that you use the seeds also. While the squash is roasting, you roast the seeds to sprinkle on top at the end. These roasted up beautifully.

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In the meantime, you prep your filling. It is a delectable mix of cabbage, peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms and seasonings. (don’t forget to get the full recipe here) I did make a couple of tweaks– I added 1 tsp of fennel, because I really love fennel with cabbage. I also sauteed the cabbage a bit longer. I wanted it to caramelize a bit— it was totally worth the extra time!

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This cabbage mixture is so good! Hubby said we need to have it as a side with many things. This would go great with sausage or pork chops; or with veggies like sweet potatoes and green beans. It was delish! I am really happy that we had some of the filling left over–it may be lunch today!

You fill the squash up, add some goat cheese and the roasted seeds and pop it under the broiler for a few.

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Hit it with a bit of parsley on the way to the table and it is FANTASTIC!

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Today I am back to green beans, basil and tomatoes. BUT NO complaints here! I love these things and will love them in the coming months when I am tiring of fall cuisine and need to open up my summer taste buds.

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Happy Unleashing your taste buds today. What’s for dinner?

FGU

 

 

 

 

Roasted Veggie Bowl

We may be snowed in but we have lots of veggies and grains in the house so that means some good eating!

Real Simple magazine had an article on healthful bowls in their last issue. They listed ingredients to stock your pantry with and then select something from a variety of categories to come up with a delicious and nutritious meal. Our pantry just about looked like this list, so I thought it was perfect for me to try out.

I made a “Roasted Veggie Bowl with Farro and Greens” last night and I just have to brag here and say it was fantastic.  Real Simple gets much of the credit for certain.  I am so glad they inspired me with this (and a couple more that are coming up!)

Here we go:

First I roasted butternut squash (1/2 of a large one), 1/2 head of cauliflower, 1 zucchini and 1 purple onion.  They simply had a bit of olive oil , salt and pepper on them.  They roasted at 400 for about 35 minutes.

While they were roasting I put a handful of fresh spinach and sliced purple cabbage in a bowl.  Neither of these got cooked in any way.

I cooked some farro according to the bags instructions.  My bag was from Trader Joes and is 10 minute farro which makes eating this not only yummy, but quick and easy!

A handful of sliced almonds got scattered in a hot skillet to toast them a bit and I grated a bit of sharp cheddar cheese.

The last thing to do was make some Buttermilk Ranch dressing.  I am not a fan of bottled ranch but homemade is another story!

Buttermilk Ranch:

  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 1/4 C Mayo
  • 1 smashed garlic glove
  • a handful of parsley chopped up (you could really use any fresh herb on hand that you like)
  • S&P

Whisk that and you are set.

OK— assembly time!  Grab that bowl with the spinach and cabbage in it. Put a generous spoonful of farro on next. A couple good portions of the roasted veggies are next in line.  Top off with a little shredded cheese and some almonds.  A ladle of your Buttermilk Ranch Dressing tops it off.

You have heaven in a bowl.

cauliflower bowl

This was really good and was packed with the food groups and nutrition.  It was awesome!  More are coming in the next days as I combine some other things from my pantry in a one bowl meal.

Happy Unleashing (in your kitchen),

FG