Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Grilled Pizza Crust (Whole Wheat Pizza Dough)

  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 package (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray

In a large bowl, combine molasses and yeast with 1 1/3 cups lukewarm water. Stir. Set aside until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Add salt and oil and stir. In a separate bowl, mix flours together. Add yeast mixture to flours and stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms. Divide dough into 8 portions. (Freeze any unused dough.)

Using hands, roll dough into balls, coat fully with cooking spray and set aside. Prepare a charcoal, gas or stovetop grill. Grill should be very hot. Position grilling rack 3 or 4 inches from heat source.

Flour a baking sheet. With hands, flatten a ball of dough into an 8-inch circle on baking sheet. Using fingertips, gently lift dough, and set it on the grill. When dough puffs and underside stiffens (about 1 minute for gas or charcoal, several minutes for stovetop grill), flip crust with a spatula; move to the coolest part of the grill. Top accordingly. 

Of course, you can always bake this crust in the oven instead of the grill.  Preheat the oven to about 450 degrees and pop in until starts to brown.  Sprinkle a little cornmeal on your baking sheet or stone to keep from sticking. Cool slightly before topping your pizza.  Use as you would any pre-baked pizza crust. 

Makes 8 individual crusts or a couple of bigger ones.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Collection of Squash Recipes

Version #1

  • 2 cups grated squash
  • 1/4 cup self - rising flour
  • 1/3 cup self - rising cornmeal
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Spoon out into hot greased frying pan (I use olive oil). Brown both sides. Drain on paper towel. 

Version #2

  • 3/4 pounds squash, about 2 medium, cubed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • vegetable oil

Add squash to saucepan and cover with salted water. Cook, covered, 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash enough squash to make 1 cup. Combine squash and egg and blend well. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt, stir well. Add squash mixture and onions, stir until blended. Drop squash mixture by level tablespoon into hot oil. Cook until golden brown, turning once. Makes about 2 dozen.

SQUASH PIE (Crustless Quiche)
This recipe is as easy as it gets. If you have a blender, food chopper or food processor, it is even easier. This pie is a good starter to build a meal around. Makes a great easy to carry lunch for work, too. It also freezes well. I make double or triple recipes and bake up to 10 pies at a time and freeze all but what we keep out to eat. If you just wrap well, they will keep for a couple of months in your freezer. To reheat:Pop out of the pan and microwave for 2-3 minutes or heat in the oven at about 300 degrees.

What you need:

  • 3 cups of finely chopped or grated Squash (Yellow, Zuchinni, Patty Pan or a combo)
  • 4 eggs or equal measure of Egg substitute, slightly beaten
  • 1 Cup of Baking Mix (make your own or use Bisquick)
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Med. Green pepper, sweet or hot, finely chopped (Optional)
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or another hard cheese)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

**Try adding a little seasoned salt or other spice mixes for a change of taste. Or, if you are not vegetarian, add a little crumbed bacon or cubed ham. Just don't overdo the meat.** Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare at least two 9 inch pie pan (my prep is to spray with olive oil from my Mr. Misto). In a large bowl, mix throughly the squash, onion, peppers, cheese and eggs. Gradually add the baking mix, until the mixture resembles a batter. If it seems to be too dry, add water, no more than a teaspoon full at a time. Pour mixture into your pie pans, no more than 3/4 full...this pie will rise as bakes and fall again when starts to cool off. Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving. I serve like a quiche, with a cold salad and fresh fruit on the side. You can also make this recipe in tiny tart or individual sizes for appetizers or carry along lunches. It isn't too bad cold either. 

Squash with Ricotta Filling

(This is an easy recipe to cut proportions on...)

  • 8 zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 2 onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant, cubed
  • 2 zucchini, cubed
  • 2 medium yellow squash, cubed
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and cubed
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft. In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the zucchini in batches until slightly browned on all sides. Remove the zucchini and place in the pot with the onions and garlic. Saute all the remaining vegetables one batch at a time, adding 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet each time you add a new set of vegetables. Once each batch has been sauteed add them to the large pot as was done in step 2. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme and cover the pot. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and parsley to the large pot, cook another 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning.

Squash Bread
I prefer this to zucchini bread. Makes amazing muffins!


  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded summer squash

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs until fluffy. Beat in the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Gradually mix in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Fold in the squash. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  

Italian Summer Squash Polenta Bake

This must be Southern Italian since it has grits (polenta) in it.

  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced
  • 1 large yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pinch garlic salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (18 ounce) package prepared polenta

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Saute carrots, zucchini, squash, onion and bell pepper in a large saucepan with a small amount of olive oil. Season with garlic salt and pepper. Saute vegetables for approximately 5 minutes and pour in spaghetti sauce. Stir, cover and simmer until vegetables are slightly tender. Slice polenta into 1/2 inch circles and season with garlic salt and pepper. Heat enough oil in a medium skillet so as to completely cover the entire bottom of the pan. Pan fry seasoned polenta in hot oil, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from oil and layer the slices in a large casserole dish. Spoon the vegetable mixture over the polenta and then sprinkle with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake casserole for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. 

Cream Cheese Basil Summer Squash


  • 3 medium squash, cubed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • salt to taste

DIRECTIONS: In a glass serving dish, combine the squash pieces and garlic. Season with salt, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 5 to 8 minutes on high, or until tender. Stir after every 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle the cream cheese over the top, and return to the microwave, uncovered for about 1 minute, or until the cheese is melted. Stir until the cheese is smooth and blended into the squash. Let set for a minute or two before serving. 

Southwest Squash Casserole

  • 2 pounds squash, cut in 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 sweet onions, quartered and separated
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips

DIRECTIONS: Lightly grease a large casserole dish. Arrange the squash, onions, and red bell pepper in the dish. Place in the microwave, and cook on High 10 minutes, stirring once, until tender. Gently mix the mushrooms, green chile peppers, jalapeno peppers, cheese, and sour cream into the dish. Sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips. Cover dish, and cook in the microwave 10 minutes on Medium-high power, or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.


  • 2 pounds Summer squash or zucchini
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped mild green chiles, with liquid
  • 2 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 8 ounces shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups tortilla chips, crushed

Slice squash 1/4-inch thick. Place squash and onions in a 3-quart casserole. Cover and microwave on HIGH 9-10 minutes, stirring once. Add chiles, cheese and sour cream; stir gently so squash will not be mashed.

Patty Fact: This vegetable is one of the "three sisters" (corn, beans and squash) that the Native Americans grew as part of their staple diet. The type of white scallop squash that we grew is relative unchanged from the original wild version that was originally cultivated over 3000 years ago, possibly longer. Not only is it an heirloom, it is a piece of human history. 
*This recipe is for one baked large (up to 1 lb) patty pan, used as a vegetarian main dish. Just multiply the recipe by however many you need to prepare. Use smaller patties if using as side dish. If you can get them, the yellow or green patties make great looking dinner party food. 

What you need:

  • 1 large Patty Pan (Scallop) Squash
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 C. chopped peppers, your choice sweet, red, green, hot or not
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped or garlic oil to taste
  • Olive oil for sauteing the veggies.
  • 1 Cup Cooked Brown (or any) Rice
  • 1/4 C. Grated Cheese, your choice, but mild cheddar is good.
  • Salt and pepper 

Preparation of the Patty Pan
Wash squash thoroughly. Slice a thin slice off the bottom to make the patty sit on a plate without wobbling (or you can turn the other way, depending on how your patty is creative!). Take a sharp knife and remove the inside of the squash by piercing the shell and cutting in a circle (as if removing a core); you want to remove the entire inside of the squash, leaving enough thickness of the shell to create a "bowl" for your filling. Set the flesh aside. You can then take a spoon and scrape the inside of the scallops out if you choose. That leaves a bigger cavity to fill and you should adjust your recipe accordingly.

The Filling
Take the flesh that you removed from the squash and chop it finely or grate it. Finely chop some onion, green and/or red peppers. Saute the squash, peppers, and fresh garlic (optional) in olive oil until barely cooked, leave the onions and peppers crispy. Add 1 cup of cooked brown rice and stir throughly. Season this mixture any way you like. Simply salt and pepper is good, but try using dried herbs, seasoned peppers and salts, etc. This veg-rice mixture is very basic and a perfect way to create your own version. Stuff the hot mixture into your squash shell, wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees until you can just stick a fork into the shell of the patty. Open the foil, spinkle with grated cheese if you like, and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted (just a bit, careful not to burn the cheese.) Serves one as a main dish. 

Smaller squash can be stuffed as a side dish. Optional additions to the stuffing mixture include spinach, artichoke, green peas, grated carrots, the possibilities are pretty endless. You might even substitute an herbed stuffing for the rice. Also try using this recipe to stuff zuchinni or marrow squash, even winter squash like acorn or butternut. As with many of my recipes, I urge you to be creative! The worst thing that can happen is that you make an inedible dish and you learn something from what you did wrong.

A Really Good Alternative Filling
For those of you who do not fear eating pasta (ergo carbs),here is an interesting alternative to this stuffing that I make using couscous. This delectable miniscule pasta is indigenous to North Africa, where it is traditionally made by hand by Berber women. (of course, here in the U.S. it is machine-made). Couscous (the pasta) is served with a stew that is also called a couscous. Not to be confused with a "cousa". Whole wheat couscous is readily available and I even buy one that is made with sundried tomatoes, basil and carrot, and is tri-colored as a result. It is a good summer dish, for when you want something a little bit hearty, because it cooks so quickly you hardly have to heat the stove up. It is also great as a cold dish, such as tabulleh. 
To make the couscous alternative, just follow the above recipe up to the part where you wouldadd the brown rice. Instead, prepare whatever amount of couscous you need for the number of servings you are preparing (Directions and measures should be on the package.) Add about a tablespoon of a really good Indian curry powder (get the real deal, you will see a huge difference) and a little more water if your mixture gets a little dry after adding the curry, about a tablespoon at a time. Mix everything together and stuff back into the shell and complete cooking according to above recipe. Using a hot pepper with this version really spices it up. Just be sure you  leave out the cheese....there is a reason why you never see cheese curry recipes.

This recipe is a great quick vegetarian main dish or you can alter it just a bit and it becomes a side dish. I love to make this on those rare days in summer when it is rainy and gray. I add more garlic than this recipe calls for (up to 6 cloves) which really revs it up.

What you need:

  • 2 med or one large zuchinni, thinly sliced
  • 1 med onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 med green or red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 med fresh tomatoes* or 2 large ones, peeled and quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Olive Oil for sauteing
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian herb mixture
  • or use just oregano and/or basil, fresh or dried, to taste
  • 1 Cup Bread Crumbs**, preferrably seasoned
  • 1 Cup Cheese (your choice but I prefer parmesan and romano)
  • Sugar
  • Salt and pepper 

Slice the onion and pepper into nice thin round slices. Chop the garlic finely or you can use equivalent in another form. The garlic is a matter of taste. Adjust to your liking. Saute the zuchinni, onions, peppers and garlic in olive oil until veggies are just starting to soften, do not overcook. Reduce heat to med-low.

Add tomatoes and cook until mixture is like a thick soup (should be about 10 minutes or so.) Season with salt, pepper and Italian herbs. (If using fresh herbs, a small handful is fine, if dried about a tablespoon.)A half teaspoon of sugar added here will help to balance the flavors, but is not necessary, if you don't do sugar. Stir occasionally so it doesn't stick to pan or burn.

At this point, this recipe can be used as a simple side dish. To make as a main dish casserole, complete the rest of the recipe.

Using a small oven-proof casserole dish, spray or wipe with olive oil,to reduce sticking. Line the bottom of the casserole with a layer of bread crumbs. Seasoned ones work the best but any kind will do. This layer needs to be about 3/4 to one inch thick. Next, add a layer of cheese, not as thick as bread crumbs. Spoon your hot tomato-zuchinni mixture over these layers. Add another layer of bread crumbs (not as thick as first layer) and more cheese on top of that. Continue to layer, making sure that the final layers are bread crumbs and cheese on the top. Bake this uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until top begins to brown slightly. Let it rest just a bit before serving.

*You can always use canned tomatoes, if you do not have fresh. One 16 ounce can should be perfect for this recipe. f you are making for more than 2 people, just increase the recipe. If you find you would like to make it thicker, add more cheese and breadcrumbs. You get the idea.

Seasoned Bread Crumbs
**Try making your own breadcrumbs. Bread that is too stale to eat is perfect to use. I take the bread and cut into cubes, then saute in a just little butter (or olive oil, depends on the mood, you know) and garlic. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. You can also make all kinds of seasoned crumbs, just by seasoning with herbs and spices. Try adding a little pesto...that makes amazing bread crumbs, especially for this dish. 

Toss frequently while sauteing. After they are nice and coated and just beginning to turn brownish, I put them on a cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees in the oven until completely toasty. How long that takes depends on how much butter you used and how saturated they were. They will not be dry like store bought crumbs, but boy are they tasty. Use your hands to crumble them when they are cool enough to handle..that is the fun part. Even though not fine crumbs, they give this recipe a kind of rustic character. If you want them finer, use the blender.

Or don't crumble at this point and you can use them as croutons in your salads. Store crumbs or croutons in an airtight container. If you want to make them ahead or in quantity, store container in freezer. I don't recommend long term storage (more than a couple of days) for croutons, unless you are willing to re-toast them before you use them, but the crumbs will do fine, since you can add them straight from the freezer to your recipes.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

This week at the farm...

This week has been really hectic for everyone here at the farm.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, many of our summer veggies are just on the verge of breaking out for their seasons.  Early harvests last week were small, not enough to go around to the membership but that is about to turn completely around. Looking forward to the summer harvest being in full swing! So many possibilities for a "dyed in the wool" foodie!

Green beans, yellow wax beans and zucchini have decided that this is going to be the week they shine and we began harvesting those in earnest today (yes, we are here working in the field every single day). Cucumbers seem to be thinking about whether to take up the challenge and get into the race. Tomatoes are just hanging back waiting for their chance to make their move. Picking a few pounds a day now and every day that increases.  The tomatillos are covered in tiny fruit now and I can't wait to share my favorite Rick Bayless recipe for roasted tomatillo salsa with everyone.

The eggplants have tripled in size in the last week or so and are going to be 2-3 feet tall before you know it. They will be blooming before you know it!  I am starting to see tiny peppers on the plants now and the onions have really grown after the last really big dousing of rain we got here a week or so ago.  Cauliflower is coming along, too. There is a new type of kale growing, that may be ready for harvest soon, as well as a new crop of Swiss chard. Our second crop of snap beans, the Dragon Tongue beans,  have poked their heads up out of the soil now.Herbs like dill, cilantro, lemongrass and basil are growing like mad at the moment. In other words, there are so many things in the field at the moment, getting ready to come into their harvest seasons, it is going to be hard to keep up before too long.

Also, we are planning our fall season right now.  Many of the beautiful greens we had early in the season will return this fall. Things like spinach, mixed salad and braising greens, arugula, broccoli raab, was well as things like kohlrabi, winter squashes, turnips, rutabaga broccoli and other cole crop are great fall veggies and always welcome.

Carrots, beets, snap peas are reaching the end of their spring season and will be gone before you know it, which is as it should be.  Seasonal eating is all about what is growing in the proper season without forcing it to grow out of that season.

Everyone have a great week and I can't wait to see what we will have for the coming week!

Remember, you are what you eat, so eat happy!


Eat seasonally!What does this mean for you?

To enjoy the full nourishment of food, you must make your menu a seasonal one. In different parts of the world, and even in different regions of one country or even one state, seasonal menus can vary. But here are some overriding principles you can follow to ensure optimal nourishment in every season:

  • In spring, focus on tender, leafy vegetables that represent the fresh new growth of this season. The greening that occurs in springtime should be represented by greens on your plate, including Swiss chard, spinach, Romaine lettuce and other spring greens.
  • In summer, stick with light, cooling foods in the tradition of traditional Chinese medicine. These foods include fruits like strawberries, apple, pear, and plum; vegetables like summer squash, broccoli, tomatoes, and corn; and spices and seasonings like peppermint and cilantro.
  • In fall, turn toward the more warming, autumn harvest foods, including carrot, sweet potato, onions, and garlic. Also emphasize the more warming spices and seasonings including ginger, peppercorns, and mustard seeds.
  • In winter, turn even more exclusively toward warming foods. Remember the principle that foods taking longer to grow are generally more warming than foods that grow quickly. All of the animal foods fall into the warming category including fish, chicken, beef, and lamb. So do most of the root vegetables, including carrot, potato, onions and garlic.  Eggs also fit in here, as do corn and nuts.
In all seasons, be creative! Let the natural backdrop of spring, summer, fall and winter be your guide.

(Excerpt from The World's Healthiest Foods)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Beets with Onion and Cumin  (Follow this link to the recipe)

Three Berry Trifle with Mango Custard

Easy peasy dessert that looks like you spent hours on it.  Looks beautiful in a clear glass bowl with straight sides, too. Can also be made in a loaf pan.


  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into thick slices
  • 2 pint raspberries  (You can use any combination of berries you like.  This recipe makes a HUGE trifle, so you can half the ingredients to make a smaller one.) 
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup of mango (I used fresh, canned might work if you drain it well) 
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar + 1 teaspoon  additional sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 store bought pound cake, sliced 1/2-inch thick  (Angel food cake or lady fingers don't work quite as well.)


Wash and prep berries. Place the berries into a large bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar. Lightly toss.  Let berries sit for about 10 minutes. This will allow the sugar to draw the juice out of the berries and create a thin syrup. Pour the syrup off into a small container and reserve for next step.

In a clean bowl, whip half of the cream with the mango, the syrup reserved from the berries and the vanilla until it thickens to a custard like consistency.  (I use my Magic Bullet and this part takes about 3 minutes). 

Prepare the second half of the whipped cream for final layer.  (Whip the cream with a teaspoon of sugar until stiff peaks form.) 

To assemble the trifle, spoon a layer of the mango custard into a large glass bowl. Add a layer of pound cake,  breaking the slices into pieces that fit. Then soak the cake with a layer of berries and their juices. Keep  going to make 3 or 4 more layers, depending on the size of the bowl, finishing with a layer of plain whipped cream. 

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

This is one of my own recipes and I make many variations of this recipe.  Try adding mint to the whipped cream or create another "custard" to go between the layers.  I actually like this recipe better than classic shortcake.


Lemon Basil Cookies
1 cup fresh lemon basil leaves 
1 3/4 cups sugar (divided)
1 lb. butter, softened
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbs. lemon zest
1 large egg
6 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°. Pulse basil and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor or blender until blended.

Beat butter at medium speed in mixer fitted with paddle attachment until creamy. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating well. Add lemon juice and egg, beating until blended. Gradually add flour and basil mixture and continue to beat until mixed.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat. Flatten balls slightly with bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.

Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

Friday, July 4, 2014