Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Stuffed Pattypan Squash

Have I mentioned how much I love our CSA? I think I have! Another reason why I love our CSA is the variety of veggies we receive each week. Last week there was zucchini, summer squash, kousa squash and some adorable little patty pan squash. I made sure to grab 4 patty pan squash because I had an idea. After chatting with another CSA member about patty pan squash I had decided that the next night I would make stuffed patty pan squash! I couldn't wait!

You would know if you have seen patty pan squash before because they look like little yellow flying saucers. They are similar to summer squash in flavor and texture and can be cooked the same. If you have a chance pick some of these squash up at your local farmers market and give them a try. Here is the recipe. While cooking and eating these stuffed squash I was thinking about how many variations there are for these. For example if you wanted more of a mexican dish you could use black beans and rice and season with cumin a chili powder. As always let me know what you think of these stuffed flying saucers and share your thoughts on other variations as well. Enjoy!


  • 4 Patty pan squash
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 can or 2 cups of cannellini beans
  • 1 box of Chopped Pomi Tomatoes or 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook quinoa according to directions.
  3. Cut tops off of the squash and scoop out the pulp. Roughly chop the pulp.
  4. Pour some of the tomatoes in the bottom of a square baking dish. Place the hollowed out squash in the baking dish.
  5. Heat oil in a pan. Add onion and garlic and sautee until tender.
  6. Add squash, tomatoes, beans and cooked quinoa.
  7. Season to taste with oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Allow mixture to cook for about 10 minutes.
  8. Fill each patty pan squash with the squash mixture.*
  9. Cover with foil and bake for 40-60 minutes or until squash is tender.
  10. Remove foil and sprinkle the tops of the squash with cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
*There will be extra filling. Save this for another night and serve as a side dish or use as a filling to make stuffed peppers.

Hollowed out squash and ingredients ready to be cooked.
Squash in the pan ready to be filled.

Stuffed and ready to go in the oven.
Done! I was so excited I forgot to take a picture of all four before eating them:)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Roasted Beet Pizza

I went to dinner one night at Flatbread Pizza Co.http://www.flatbreadcompany.com with my family. We had this amazing vegetarian pizza with roasted beets. It was fabulous!! I have never had pizza with beets on it nor have I ever thought about putting beets on pizza. Ever since eating that pizza I have been determined to try and make it at home...because that's what I do:). Once the weather starts to warm up around here I start making my pizza outside on the grill. I think I like it better on the grill! The crust is nice and crisp. I use a pizza stone and I will go into detail on how to properly cook pizza on a stone on the grill. So if you're interested in trying this fabulous pizza, and I recommend that you do, continue to read on and go for it!

First thing you'll need is pizza dough. I have been making pizza dough for a while now. I have tweaked my recipe slightly over time and now I have it just right. Here's the recipe for the pizza dough.

Pizza Dough

  • 1 packet or 2 teaspoons of Instant yeast
  • 2 to 3 Cups of White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 teaspoons of Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of Whole Ground Flax Seed Meal*
  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Honey

  1. Combine water, oil and honey and microwave for 1:30.
  2. Combine 2 cups of flour, yeast, salt and flax seeds in a mixer bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Add water mixture to the flour mixture.
  4. Mix on setting 2 until all ingredients combine.
  5. The mixture will most likely be sticky. Add flour 1/4 cup at a time and allow to mix before adding more.
  6. Continue to add flour until a ball forms and cleans the sides of the mixing bowl.
  7. Mix on setting 2 for 6 minutes. Set a timer and walk away! The kneading process is important.
  8. After the dough has been kneaded place into a bowl greased with a little olive oil. Cover with saran wrap and let rise for at least an hour.

*Ground Flax Seed Meal are rich in fiber, lignans(antioxidants) and omega 3 fats. I add this to all of my baked goods for added nutritional benefits. They hardly add any flavor so go ahead and throw some in your pancake or waffle mix, baked into bread or muffins or sprinkle on hot or cold cereal. I even add it to my chocolate chip cookies! You will find it with the Bob's Red Millhttp://www.bobsredmill.com products in your grocery store.

Roasted Beet Pizza

  • Pizza Dough (If using store bought dough, allow it to rise to room temperature before placing on a pizza stone)
  • 1 bunch of beets, roasted and sliced
  • beet greens, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • plum tomatoes, sliced
  • fontina cheese, grated
  • balsamic glaze
  • salt and pepper
  • cornmeal

  1. Place a pizza stone on the grill and preheat on high. It is important that the stone is heated with the grill not placed in after it is heated! Cut the stems off of the beets and save the greens. Rinse the beets and place them into a foil pouch drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the foil pouch on the top wrack of the grill and cook for about an hour. Check the beets every so often to see if they are done. If you're not using the grill you can roast the beets in the oven at 400 degrees for an hour. 
  2. Remove from grill or oven and allow to cool slightly. Run the beets under cold water and slip the skins off then slice.
  3. Once the dough has risen for an hour, punch it down in the bowl. My pizza stone is small(about 12 inches) so I divide the dough in two. Spread the dough onto a pizza pan or cutting board greased with olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle some cornmeal on the pizza stone. Place the dough onto the stone.
  5. Top with beet greens, beets, tomatoes, red onion and fontina cheese. Close the lid and allow to bake for about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Remove pizza from stone onto your pizza pan. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze.
  7. Slice and enjoy!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

New Year= New Goals!

Happy 2013! I hope everyone had a great holiday season filled with family, friends and of course FOOD! What is the holiday season without all that delicious food? Now that the new year has arrived so have new goals and resolutions. My main goals for this year is to eat even less processed foods and to cut out even more sugar and white flour. Another thing I really want to get into is juicing. Of course I would need to purchase a juicer first but that is only a minor detail! Once I start my journey I will share my juicing thoughts and recipes along the way.

I know that many people have resolutions that involve food and exercise. So my first recipe that I'm going to share for the new year is homemade bread. I have been making bread for about a year now and I really enjoy it. The benefits of homemade bread without any preservatives and high fructose corn syrup outweighs the time and precision needed to achieve a perfect loaf. Take a Sunday afternoon and set aside some time. You can make several loaves which you can freeze and defrost as needed in the following weeks. Give it a try! I know it can be intimidating working with yeast but once you've got it down you will be able whip a few loaves in no time!

A few notes about ingredients:

The following recipe uses white whole wheat flour. This flour has all the benefits of 100% whole wheat flour with a more mild and light flavor. Once you master this recipe we can move on to baking 100% whole wheat bread. *You cannot substitute whole wheat flour for white flour. Whole wheat bread is a different recipe!*
I also use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast. When using instant yeast you only need to allow the dough to rise once instead of twice. This will save you an hour of rising time! If you are going to use active dry yeast you would need to follow a different recipe.
Two ingredients that you can leave out are the whole ground flax seed meal and vital wheat gluten. You can purchase these both at your regular grocery store. Market Basket carries them both. Look for them with the other Bob's Red Mill products. The flax seed meal adds fiber and omega 3. The vital wheat gluten is helpful for baking breads made with course, whole grain flours and cereal. It basically helps with the rise and elasticity of the dough. It is also 75% to 80% protein! Bonus!


  • 3 cups of white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur Flour)
  • 3 tablespoons of whole ground flax seed meal
  • 2 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk (skin, 1%, 2% or whole)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons of melted butter

  1. Add all dry ingredients to your stand mixer and give it a quick mix.
  2. Melt the butter and warm all liquid ingredients to about 110 degrees. Usually this is about a minute and a half in my microwave.
  3. Add liquid to dry mixture. 
  4. Turn the mixer on to the number 2 setting. 
  5. Mix until all ingredients are combined.
  6. The dough will start to form into a ball. Be patient! 
  7. Once the dough ball has formed it should start to "clean" the sides of the bowl. If the dough is sticking you may need to add more flour. Only a a little at a time. If the dough is to dry add a little warm water.
  8. Once the ball is formed and is the right texture set a timer for 7 minutes. 
  9. Allow the dough to mix for the full 7 minutes!
  10. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface and shape it into an 8 inch log.
  11. Place the log into a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. Cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap.
  12. Allow the bread to rise for about an hour until it's crowned about 1" above the edge of the pan.
  13. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and cool on a rack before slicing. You can also rub a little butter on the crust when it's still hot. This will make the crust a little softer.
  14. Store in a plastic bag at room temperature.
The bread should be consumed within a week. This bread is great for sandwiches and toast. I hope that you will be willing to give homemade bread a shot! You won't regret it! As always let me know how you do! Happy baking:)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pad Thai

This recipe is being added by special request. I'm so glad I was asked to post it because it's so good and I'm really excited to share it with you! 

I LOVE Thai food!! My husband LOVES Thai food!! If you love Thai food as much as we do you are in luck because this is THE best Pad Thai recipe hands down. When I was working as a pre-k teacher, we were treated to a staff appreciation dinner every year. The parents would make all kinds of wonderful dishes for us to enjoy. One of the parents made a chicken and shrimp Pad Thai. Being vegetarian I was unable to try it. I was very disappointed, however, my co-workers did try it and said it was fantastic! We asked the parent for the recipe, but she didn't have one. She just made it the way she had always made, probably passed down from relatives. Since she didn't have a written recipe she searched at the library and found a recipe that matched hers. She photocopied it and brought it in to school a few days later. I am so glad she went through all the trouble! I will never try another Pad Thai recipe again!! 

This recipe calls for shrimp and tofu. When I make it I only use tofu because that's what we like. You can just use shrimp or you could use chicken or shrimp and chicken. Either way I'm sure you will love it just as much as we do! Here it is.

  • 1 package of dried rice noodles (I use the wide ones)
  • 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar (I have also used light brown sugar and haven't noticed much of a difference)
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine or white vinegar (I recommend rice wine)
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 pound fresh large or fully thawed frozen shrimp, cut into 1 inch pieces 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 5 or 6 sprigs of cilantro
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced 
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 pound bean sprouts (about 3 cups)
  • 1 ounce of firm tofu, cubed (when I make this I use a whole package of tofu)
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten

  1. Place the noodles in a large bowl. Cover the noodles with warm water and push them down to completely submerge. Let soak for one hour. ( You can boil the noodles, however, I recommend the soaking method. They don't get mushy that way. You can soak them while you prep everything else.)
  2. In a small bowl, mix the juice of one lime, fish sauce, brown sugar, rice wine, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, and ketchup. Set aside.
  3. Cut the other lime into wedges for garnish.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan (I suggest using a non-stick pan) over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the garlic and stir fry for about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the shrimp and tofu and stir fry for about 4-5 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through and the tofu is lightly browned. (I brown the tofu in oil before the garlic. I then remove the tofu and add it later. This way the garlic doesn't burn while I'm waiting for the tofu to brown.)
  7. Add the drained noodles and stir fry until they are evenly coated with the oil.
  8. Add the sauce and stir fry for 3-4 minutes or until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed into the noodles.
  9. Push the noodles aside to open up the center of the wok or pan.
  10. Add the beaten eggs and cook without stirring for about 1 minute or until the eggs begin to set.
  11. Add the peanuts, bean sprouts, green onions and bell pepper, and stir fry until all the ingredients are well combined and the eggs are broken up and cooked. This will take a few minutes so be patient!
  12. Serve hot on a large platter and garnish with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.
I would of course share the information about the book that this recipe came from but I don't know what it is. All I have is photocopied pages. I have tweaked this recipe to make it just right for us and that is what I've shared with you. If you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go you will be surprised how easy this recipe is! It's totally worth it! Give it a try and, as always, let me know how it turns out.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vegetable Loaf

We are back from our vacation. While it's good to be back to reality, it is also sad not waking up to the ocean. I love Maine! We spent a week in Beals, Maine. It's a little fishing community about 5 1/2 hours from home. It was peaceful, relaxing and it was a nice break from all the modern technology that we are used to! We didn't have cell phone service, Internet service or TV. It was great! We just made sure we got the local newspaper each day so we knew the tide schedule as well as the weather. 

Now that we are back to reality I can share another wonderful recipe with you! This recipe comes from the Farmer Dave's website. http://www.farmerdaves.net/ This is the farm where we participate in the CSA. There is a recipe blog for members to share recipes that use all the fabulous veggies we receive each week. This recipe is from Farmer Dave's mom. I like it because you can use whatever veggies you have on hand that week. 

  • 1 pound of fresh spinach or swiss chard
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 2 cups of zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup of onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 3/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook spinach, or chard, until wilted. Press out as much liquid as possible.
  3. Heat oil a large saute pan. Saute zucchini, onions, celery and garlic until tender.
  4.  In a bowl, mix eggs, cheese, spinach and bread crumbs. Stir in sauteed vegetables.
  5. Place into a greased loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 1 hour.

Give it a try and, as always, let me know what you think! Happy eating!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Roasted Beet Risotto

We've been getting beets every week in our CSA share. I love beets! They are so sweet they taste like candy! I usually roast our beets and just enjoy them that way. I did, however, do some searching for new beet recipes. I found this recipe and gave it a try. We all really enjoyed it. I haven't done too much with risotto so I was a little nervous that it would turn out mushy. To my surprise it didn't! I think they key is to stir, stir and stir while adding the broth a little at a time. If you have the patience to do that then I think this dish will be successful for you as well. One other note. Hopefully those of you who have a CSA or buy your beets at the grocery store, keep the greens! Chop off the greens leaving two inches from the beet and store in a Ziploc bag. You can use the greens just like spinach, swiss chard or kale. My husband enjoys beet green omelets on the weekends!

Roasted Beet Risotto


  • 3-5 medium beets (1 1/2 pounds with greens), trimmed, greens chopped and set aside
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  1. Put oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees
  2. Tightly wrap beets in a double layer of foil and roast on a baking sheet until very tender, about 1 hour. Cool to warm in foil package, about 20 minutes.
  3. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel them, discarding stem and root ends, then cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  4. Cook onion and garlic in oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. 
  5. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
  6. Stir in 1/2 cup of broth and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until the rice is just tender and creamy looking, about 20 minutes.
  7. Stir in beets, greens, salt and pepper and stir until heated through. Stir in cheese and remove from heat.
This dish was yummy and pretty as well. All of the rice turned a beautiful shade of dark pink from the beets! Give it a try and as always, let me know what you think! Enjoy!

Tex-Mex Summer Squash Casserole

Okay so it's been two weeks since my first 'weekly recipe' post! Sorry about that! I'm going to try my hardest to post one recipe a week. Since I didn't post one last week I'll post two this week!

The regular shares at our CSA pick up this week got ten squash!! That's a lot of squash! There was a choice between summer squash, cousa squash and zucchini. I plan on grating the zucchini and freezing it in two cup portions so I can use it to make zucchini bread later on. I also took a lot of summer squash.  If you have an abundance of summer squash or you really love it, try this recipe out. This was a really tasty dish and low-cal as well. Give it try.

Tex-Mex Summer Squash Casserole


  • 2 1/4 pounds summer squash, quartered lengthwise and thinly slices crosswise (about 10 cups)
  • 2/3 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 4 ounce can of chopped green chiles
  • 1 4 ounce can of chopped jalapenos, drained (about 1/2 cup) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided (about 7 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup mild salsa
  • 4 scallions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Combine squash, onion, chiles, jalapenos, salt and 3/4 cup cheese in a large bowl. Sprinkle with four; toss to coat. 
  3. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish and cover with foil.
  4. Bake the casserole until it's bubbling and the squash is tender, 35-40 minutes. 
  5. Spoon salsa over the casserole and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Bake, uncovered, until golden and heated through, 20-30 minutes. 
  6. Sprinkle with scallions and red onion.
If you like Mexican food I think you will enjoy this dish. This makes twelve servings and is only 101 calories per serving!! Enjoy!