Healthy Eating

From My Garden | Radishes

July 13, 2015

Everything Golden

Mexican Inspired Slaw

This is a good recipe if you need to use up some garden veggies; and in my case its radishes. I mentioned in a previous post that this summer I limited my radish count to one small row only about 4 feet long. I had plenty for garnishing salads, snacking and then some. So to use the remainder of my harvest, I decided to make a Mexican inspired slaw.

It’s a simple recipe, basically your jar is a catch can for all your favorite vibrant veggies. You let them marinate in a vinegar base for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours; the longer you can wait the better! I keep my jar in the fridge for a couple days and use the slaw for different dinners throughout the week.

Juicy beef burgers topped with avocado and slaw. Blackened cod fish tacos garnished with slaw. Nachos covered with slaw. You get the gist!

radishes

Ombre

This handmade Soleri dress selected by Everything Golden is a dream. Throw on anytime, any day. Wear with leggings and a sweater in the cool air or simple sandals or barefoot in the heat. It’s the perfect companion for gardening and foraging. Extra large pockets will hold plenty! It’s handmade in Asheville, NC by Shelter. The fabric is an easy to wear woven cotton that has the feel of linen without the wrinkles. One size fits all (or most)! For sale here.

Mexican Inspired Slaw

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1 savoy cabbage
1 red onion
1 jalapeño, seeds removed
2 carrots
7 radishes

2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1/4 c. granulated sugar
Zest of 2 limes
1 tsp salt and pepper
11/2 c. white distilled vinegar

HOW TO MAKE IT

Thinly slice cabbage, red onion and jalapeño. Thinly slice carrots and radishes (I used a mandolin). Place all veggies into a 4 quart (1 gallon) glass jar with a lid. I use my sun tea jar.

Turn stove top to medium heat. In a medium sauce pan, add grated garlic, lime zest, sugar, salt and pepper and vinegar. Using a mortar and pestle, grind cumin and coriander seeds. Add to vinegar mixture and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Pour over veggies. Seal, shake and wait!

Mexican Slaw

From My Garden | Spinach + Radish

June 28, 2015

from my garden

So its begun…..the summer series ‘F R O M   M Y   G A R D E N’. And I am incredibly excited to announce my partnership with Mariah, Owner and Designer of Everything Golden. If you haven’t checked out her site, head there now, you will find a curated collection of vintage + handmade. Mariah and I will be working together crafting must have summer outfits and recipes to carry you through the best months of Montana!

I am sharing a recipe for a grilled garden salad with my last picking of spinach and radishes. I enjoyed three cuttings of spinach. The first, big vibrant leaves that I managed to only salvage half of due to an afternoon hail storm that swept through the valley. The second was everything I could hope for. And the last harvest, equally as tasty as the prior, I also only enjoyed about half as I was competing with its schedule to seed. Even so, I still had too much spinach from all three harvests and shared bunches with family.

Last summer, I planted all my lettuce varieties at the same time, early May. So at this time last year, I was trying to not only eat spinach but also kale and a variety salad mix lettuces. So this summer I staggered my lettuce planting dates so I have a continuous supply of different leafy greens all summer long. My spinach is done, the mixed greens are next and the lacinto kale to follow.

I also learned last summer, that even though I enjoy radishes, I always seem to plant wayyyy too many. So this year, I only planted one row about 4 ft long and that was just enough.

Garden Salad

Everything Golden

In case you’re wondering; I grew Goliath Spinach from Gurney’s and Cherry Belle Radishes from Home Depot.

The silver and gold dress is for sale on the Mercantile here. It’s vintage, which means there’s only one, so get it before its gone!

Grilled Garden Salad | Spinach + Radishes // Serves 4

WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR THE FIXINGS
2 yellow peaches
2 chicken breast halves
4 handfuls spinach
1/3 c. toasted walnuts
1 or 2 radishes

WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR THE DRESSING
½ clove of garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. agave nectar
¼ c. milk kefir or buttermilk
1/8 c. extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Honey for drizzling

HOW TO MAKE IT
Heat grill to high. Drizzle the chicken breasts with olive and generously salt and pepper. Cut peaches into halves and brush with oil. Grill peaches until golden brown and just cooked through. Only takes about one or two minutes. Don’t take your eye off them! Grill chicken until cooked through. Depending on the heat of your grille this may toake 8 to 10 minutes. Allow peaches and chicken to rest before slicing.

In a small mixing bowl, grate the garlic and add mustard, agave, cinnamon and nutmeg, salt and pepper and milk kefir. Whisk in the olive oil and continue whisking until emulsified.

Rough slice the spinach and lightly toss with dressing. Top with sliced peaches and chicken, chopped walnuts, and thinly sliced radishes (I used a mandolin).

Drizzle with honey for a little extra sweetness! Nothing beats grilled summer peaches + honey!

Everything Golden Vintage Silver and Gold Dress

Watermelon + How to choose the right one

June 14, 2015

How to choose the right watermelon

watermelon

It’s amazing how far a watermelon will take you through the week when you don’t want to cook. And lately I haven’t wanted to cook. Luke has been gone during the week, the air is hot and there is always something to do or get done. It’s summertime, which means retire the oven and break open the watermelon!

So this last week, I ate bowls and bowls of watermelon; for a 10 o’clock snack, for lunch, then for dinner and well if I needed dessert, it was watermelon. I like to squeeze fresh lime juice on my watermelon. Try it, I promise you’ll love it. I also like to cut equal sized cubes of watermelon, avocado and fresh mozzarella; arrange them beautifully like this, squeeze a little lime over the top, add some chopped basil and/or mint and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Yes, salt and pepper! Again, pretty much ate this for lunch every day last week and its probably on the menu this week too. Ha.

Now for the important stuff; How to choose the right watermelon. No, I don’t go around thumping and tapping every watermelon like a bongo drum! I do agree, the ‘sound test’ may give you some insight on a watermelon’s ripeness, but I don’t use it because I think it’s too subjective and well I think it looks silly! Below is my simple method.

Buy in Season….Don’t be tempted, May through September are the months.

Weight…………The ripest watermelons contain the most water and since watermelons are about 90 percent water, it should be incredibly heavvvvvvvvvy for its size.

Color……………Dark green and matte. Again, don’t be tempted, if they’re shiny, they’re not ripe.

Field Spot……..Don’t forget to look for the field spot. This is where the watermelon sat on the ground and ripened. It should be creamy yellow. If it’s white or nonexistent, put it back, it was picked too early.

Sap………………Check the ends of the watermelon (brown spots) for what looks like oozing sap. This step will weed out most your picks. There are always a couple oozers, but not many.

Shape…………..Obviously, don’t pick a watermelon with bumps, bruises, cuts, dents etc.

H A P P Y     H U N T I N G

Oh, and that reminds me. I went to my nieces dance performance last night and the younger kids (ages 3 to 6) were spotlighted with a name introduction and a question. So each kid would walk on stage, state his/her name and age in the microphone and answer the question; what do you want to be when you grow up. We are going to have a lot of doctors, vets and teachers but this one little boy, so adorable, said he wanted to be a hunter and a loving husband. Only in Montana, Ha!

Watermelon

Spring + Gardening

May 4, 2015

Potato Frittata

I started gardening about 3 weeks ago. A neighbor and master gardener told me that Good Friday is a date worth noting for planting root and frost tolerant vegetables. I was about a week behind but still feeling ahead since last year I didn’t start working the ground until mid May. Veggies that can be started outside earlier than most are the root vegetables like potatoes, radishes, beets, carrots, turnips, kohlrabi and rutabaga with the addition of some frost tolerant veggies like peas, the cabbage-family and collards. So my first planting of the year included peas, radishes, beets, kale and spinach. I may have been on the cusp with my collards, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. The radishes were the first to germinate, followed by the peas and then beets. The weather has been favorable so I am hoping for a growing spurt.

I started my indoor seedlings about two weeks ago. This included an assortment of peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and melons. The cucumbers germinated first and the melons and tomatoes followed suit shortly after and the pepper family has been little slow. I think they may need a little more sun and warmth than what my home may be providing. I will keep you updated. I plan to transplant these starters outside around the end of May or early June. Basically once there is no chance of a frost, which in Montana, is a really hard date to predict!

I ordered all my seeds from Gurney’s and Rare Seeds and purchased some packets from Home Depot. If you haven’t flipped through a Rare Seeds catalog, I highly recommend you request a free catalog. It is a 200+ page color catalog that is sure to inspire you in the garden. Rare Seeds also pledges as a company that they do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants.

Goliath Spinach, Gurney’s
Black Magic Kale, Gurney’s
Chioggia and Golden Beets, Rare Seeds
Cherry Belle Radish, Home Depot
Sugar Ann Snap Pea, can’t remember where I purchased this seed packet. It was leftover from a year or two ago.

Heirloom Rainbow Blend, Gurney’s
Chocolate Cherry Tomato, Gurney’s (of favorite of mine)
Habanero Hot Pepper Blend, Home Depot
Big Thai Hot Pepper, Home Depot
Tangerine Sweet Pepper, Home Depot
Cucumber Muncher, Home Depot
Sugar Baby Watermelon, can’t remember where I purchased this seed packet. It was leftover from a year or two ago.

Note: It is important to store any leftover seeds in a cool, dry and dark place. I usually place them in my fridge but a cool basement would also work. The seeds must be dry so if you are concerned add a small packet of silica gel to the container or any other moisture absorbent like powdered milk or rice. Certain seeds have a longer shelf life than others. For example, corn and onions may only last 1 or 2 years at best while beans, carrots, lettuce, peas and radishes may keep in your fridge for multiple years. Below is a list of common vegetables and their respective shelf life.

5+ yrs…..Beets, cucumbers, tomatoes.
3 to 5 yrs…..Beans, peas, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, carrots, lettuce, okra, peppers, radishes, spinach, turnips and watermelon.
1 to 2 yrs…..Sweet corn, leeks, onions, parsnips and parsley.

Above are some gardening essential from the Mercantile. Click to shop.

I used this boot tray from Target to hold my indoor starters so I wouldn’t ruin my wooden table when watering.
DIY chalkboard seed makers here or just buy these simple markers for $6 or these copper markets for $10.
These watering cans are worth showing off.
Dreaming of summer picnics with this handwoven tote.
Saving for this porcelain berry bowl.
Still looking for a great pair of gardening gloves that do not make my hands stink.

Frittata

Baked Potato Frittata

I also thought I would share another asparagus recipe. This is my go to when I have a baked potato leftover from the night before. It might be a good addition to your Mother’s Day brunch menu!

Baked Potato Frittata with Asparagus & Lemon // Serves 2 or 3 as a meal or 8 to 10 as a side

6 eggs
1/2 c. whole milk
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
Handful of asparagus spears (9 oz. or 25 skinny spears)
A baked potato from the night before
1/3 c. feta

Preheat broiler.

In a glass mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, whole milk, cayenne pepper, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Set aside.
Wash and snap off ends of asparagus spears. Cut into 1/4 inch pieces and add to egg mixture. Thinly slice potato.
Spray or butter a 10-inch nonstick skillet. Layer potato slices on bottom. Pour egg mixture over the top. On medium heat, cook until egg starts to set and you can run a spatula around the edge of skillet, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the top with feta and broil until the top is set and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let the frittata stand 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittata from the sillet and slide onto a plate or cutting board.

Note: If you do not have a leftover baked potato you can use one or two Yukon Gold potatoes. You will need to soften the potatoes by parboiling or sauteing prior to layering the slices on the bottom of the pan. If you choose to saute in olive oil, be sure to just soften the potatoes not fry. You don’t want crispy potatoes. The recipe turns out equally delicious but this step does add a little time to otherwise an incredibly quick recipe.

Asparagus

Spring + Salad

April 24, 2015

I think Spring has finally sprung at the Cooper Hereford Ranch.

We finished seeding the spring wheat last week. The pastures are showing signs of life; hopefully this means we can stop feeding hay in the next couple of weeks if Mother Nature delivers some moisture. We are busy servicing pivots and wheel lines and burning ditch in preparation for the irrigation season. And, I almost forgot, since it feels like a decade ago, that we are just about finished breeding all the heifers and cows. The process started in mid March after the Annual Bull Sale. Whew, it’s time consuming.

If you enjoy the ranch updates, I typically post more photographs on Instagram. Follow me here if you want to get your daily dose of ranch life!

Cooper Hereford Ranch Mountains

Cooper Hereford Ranch Sunrise

Since it’s officially Spring, that means there is an abundance of asparagus spears available at the markets. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables and I especially like to incorporate it into salads. I made a side salad using asparagus for Easter dinner and since then I have made it a couple different ways.

My sister’s are always requesting more salad recipes. I make salads often but find myself rarely writing the recipes on paper. I am typically a very detailed and precise person but when it comes to salads the recipes usually sound something like this; a lot of asparagus, a couple handfuls of spinach, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and white balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of feta. Not the easiest recipe to follow, unless of course that is exactly how you like to cook….a little of this and a little of that! So this recipe, or lack of, is my way of encouraging you to color outside the lines. So I am merely providing you flavors and textures that compliment each other and I am asking you to  add as little or as much as you like until the salad looks and tastes just right. Who really likes to follow a recipe anyways. Don’t we just want to be inspired?

Asparagus

Spring Salad

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
A lot Asparagus
One pickled red onion (see below)
A couple handfuls of spinach
One cucumber, seeded and cubed
As much hard boiled egg as you like
Enough feta
Enough crispy Prosciutto Bits (see below)
A couple cups of cooked Farro

THE BASICS
The first couple of times I made this salad I simply tossed the asparagus, pickled red onion, spinach and cucumber with equal parts of quality extra virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Then I garnished with quartered hard boiled eggs, feta and crispy prosciutto bits. It doesn’t get any easier!

A later version included cooked farro in lieu of the crispy prosciutto bits. If you haven’t tried farro yet this salad is a great introduction to the grain. Not only is it delicious in salads but I also like to use it in soups and baked pasta dishes. I buy the quick cooking farro that only takes about 10 minutes on the stove top. I tossed this salad with a four herb vinaigrette. Basically I whisked together extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and zest, dijon mustard, garlic and finely chopped rosemary, tarragon, thyme and oregano. Very fresh and clean, the essence of Spring.

Pickled red onion is delicious and something I eat often on tacos, burgers and tartines. Something about the tangy bite from the vinegar that I just can’t get enough of.
To make, it’s quite simple. In a bowl, add 1 c. of vinegar and 2 Tbs granulated sugar. Whisk until sugar dissolves. Add 1 tsp. whole mustard seeds and salt and pepper. Add one thinly sliced red onion to the pickling liquid and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Prosciutto bits are equally delicious and can be used to garnish just about anything. It gives a dish that salty crunch that everyone loves. To make, set the oven to broil. Spray a baking sheet and lay a couple strips of prosciutto on the greased baking sheet and broil for about 3 to 5 minutes until crispy. Transfer prosciutto to a plate lined with paper towels. Crumble.

Spring Salad

Salad with asparagus

WHAT”S HAPPENING
Looking forward to learning from Jody Engstrom with My Nutrition Living next Tuesday April 28th at Bridger Kitchens. She is teaching her dairy and non-diary ferments class. Think yogurt and beyond!
If you are local to Bozeman, join me at the Emerson Cultural Center on May 7th for this event.
Recently purchased these jeans and this swimsuit. Tip: Recycle your old jeans at Madewell stores and you’ll get $20 off a a new pair.
Don’t forget about the Derby. Check out this L.A. based hat designer here and make mint juleps with this recipe and use these pewter cups.

Simple Weekday Salad

November 12, 2014

Simple Lunch Salad

I have been thinking a lot about what healthy living means to me. Eating whole foods, plenty of exercise, a good night’s sleep, rest (not to be confused with the prior), giving and receiving love, belly aching laughs, feeling self-worth, sunshine and so forth. Listed in no particular order because all equally important for my physical and mental health. I am wondering though, is it possible to be successful at all of these things? Seriously, it’s a lot to ask. Sometimes I don’t sleep well when my husband snores and sometimes I don’t want to ‘feel the burn’ in my thighs. I guess health is no exception, results require self-discipline, motivation, and hard work. So every day I try to be healthier than the day before. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. But every day is a new day and I try to remind myself if I have my health, I have everything.

This recipe was inspired by a lunch I devoured in Cape Town. I cannot remember the name of this part market part café but I remember  thinking “I want to own a place like this”. It was the perfect place to share espresso and cake with a girlfriend, buy a gift on the fly, grab fresh flowers, read a book and drink a Pinotage, and stop for lunch every day! The lunch menu varied daily and was displayed in beautiful ceramics on a large wooden farm table. Maybe some day I can call it my own.

I harvested my last row of spinach a week ago. Pretty happy to be eating fresh greens from my garden in November. I recently requested a building project from my husband so if I am lucky I might be harvesting more fresh greens throughout the winter. Fresh spinach keeps well, even when dressed, so its perfect for a workday lunch.. The beauty of this salad is its simplicity without compromising taste. The sweet and hot cherry peppers are key. They make all the difference. I bought mine from Trader Joes during my last visit to CA. I have not searched for them around here but my first stop would be Front Street Market.

Simple Weekday Lunch // serves 4

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Juice of 1 lemon and zest
1 Tbs. bean liquid from can
½ tsp sardine paste
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed and unfiltered)
1 15 oz. can butter beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz. sweet and hot cherry peppers, sliced
4 handfuls of spinach
4 oz. feta
White balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil

HOW TO MAKE IT

In a glass bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and zest, bean liquid, sardine paste and chopped rosemary. Slowly add olive oil while whisking to emulsify. Add beans and peppers to marinade and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Toss spinach with white balsamic and olive oil. Crumble feta over top and add a large scoop of beans and peppers on the side. I used one handful of spinach, a splash of white balsamic and a drizzle of olive oil, and an ounce of feta per salad.

Big Sky

I had to share a couple photos of the Montana sky. This last month I have woke to a different colored blaze shining through to my kitchen. The perfect way to start the day. Rise and shine!

Food & Farming – Four Bean Salad

September 4, 2014

Four Bean Salad

My mother brought me leftovers from her annual quilting party. FOUR BEAN SALAD. She said it was bright in color and I should give it a try. She thought I might want to blog about it. Well she was right, and typically I am not a multi-bean salad doer. Thanks for sharing your recipe Maureen!  I ate four bean salad for four days. No joke!

I decided to adapt the recipe every so slightly. Decided it was the perfect recipe for all my fresh garden beans. I used 1 lb. 12 oz. of beans but any weight close to that would work just fine. The recipe shows this salad serving 6 to 8 people, true when eaten for a light lunch or dinner. But if served as a side salad, it is plenty for a picnic or BBQ gathering. And speaking of picnic and BBQs. This salad is ideal for entertaining or the outdoors. Best made ahead of time and tastes better with each marinating day. Like I said, I ate it for four days and equally pleased on the last day!

Head to the Farmer’s Market this weekend and buy a bag of beans!

FOUR BEAN SALAD // Serves 6 to 8
Adapted from Maureen Nordahl

1 lb. 12 oz. fresh beans (I used a mix of green and yellow wax beans)
1 ½ c. sweet onion, about 1 large onion
1 bell pepper, I used orange
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can kidney beans

VINAIGRETTE

½ c. distilled white vinegar
½ c. grape seed oil or any other neutral salad oil
½ c. sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. dry mustard
½ tsp. tarragon
½ tsp. basil leaves
2 Tbsp. parsley leaves

Wash fresh beans and snap off ends. Blanch fresh beans in a large stock pot of well salted boiling water until bright green and yellow in color and tender crisp, roughly 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and shock in a bowl of ice water to halt further cooking. Drain beans from ice water and cut beans in thirds.

Dice onion and bell pepper. Drain and rinse canned beans. Add all ingredients to a large serving bowl.

Whisk together all ingredients for the vinaigrette and pour over salad. Toss so everything is well coated. Refrigerate for a couple hours before serving. The longer it marinates the better!

Harvesting Wheat

Haying

We finished harvesting the wheat yesterday. What a relief since the weather has started to turn. The mornings and evenings are chilled and the afternoon air feels like Autumn. We have yet to finish the second cutting of hay. Typically we are finished with this mid August. But unusual weather patterns has extended the haying season. Fingers crossed for some warm afternoons. For the hay and for me!

No Bake Gluten Free Dairy Free Raspberry Tart

August 8, 2014

Part 3 of the Vogue Gardening Series features fresh raspberries.

Vogue Gardening

I have been picking raspberries for a good week now thanks to my good friends. Their garden is beautiful and their raspberry bushes are plentiful. The bushes were transplanted from the family farm in South Dakota. I was lucky enough to get a number of starters from them this Spring. Though alive and well, I can’t say my raspberry bushes were quite as bountiful as theirs. Perhaps in a couple years, til then, thanks for sharing your harvest.

When fruit is picked ripe and succulent straight from the tree/bush I resist changing its form from pure and fresh. I like to eat it raw so I can taste the freshness highlighted from a garden harvest. So this dessert is piled with fresh raspberries. Nothing to muddle the flavor but a hint of coconut and slight nuttiness from the crust. That’s why I love it. And who though gluten free and dairy free could taste so darn good.

This no bake tart is incredibly quick and easy.  Dessert without the repercussion of a hot house is incredibly nice during these dog days of summer. If you prefer something a little richer and more decadent, I could definitely taste this crust with an ice cream filling and chocolate sauce drizzled over the raspberries. Just a thought if you aren’t counting calories. Cause who really does, right?!

Vogue Gardening Raspberries

No Bake Gluten Free Dairy Free Raspberry Tart // serves 8 // Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen

Crust

9 dates, pitted
1 c. toasted almonds
1 c. almond meal
2 Tbs. butter, melted (coconut oil for dairy free option)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla

Add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until coarse and sticks together when you pinch it with your fingers. Depending on the moisture in the dates, a tablespoon or two of cold water might be needed.
Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper. Pour mixture into pan and press into an even layer.

Coconut Cream

1 can coconut cream or full fat coconut milk, refrigerate over night
3 Tbs. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla paste or extract
4 c. fresh raspberries

Scoop coconut cream out of can and discard liquid or use for smoothies or something of the sort. In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat coconut cream on medium high just until peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until peaks form.

Spread coconut cream in an even layer on crust. Sprinkle 1 1/2 c. of raspberries on top and gently press into coconut cream. At this point I like to freeze for about 1 hour to get a good chill on the coconut cream. Remove from freezer and top with remaining raspberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Store covered in the fridge for a couple days, if it lasts that long!

I used Trader Joe’s coconut cream. I absolutely love it. I have not found coconut cream anywhere else. So if you do not live near a Traders than use canned full fat coconut milk. Don’t forget to refrigerate over night so the cream can separate from the liquid.

Raspberry Tart a Pitchforks & Pomegranates

Introducing the Vogue Gardening Summer Series

July 16, 2014

Vogue Gardening

I try to eat seasonally. It’s the only way to taste food in its purest form. I believe recipes should be inspired by the colors of farmer’s markets and gardens. Depending on where you live, this is easier said than done. When I lived in California, farmer’s markets were a weekly ritual for me. Now residing in the countryside of Montana, I find it rewarding to eat from my own garden. The growing season is short, starting with lettuce varieties in May and ending with a plethora of squash in October. So I have decided to celebrate the colors of summer and my gardens bounty with a Vogue Gardening Summer Series. Each garden harvest will feature a recipe and fashion photo pairing. Why food and fashion, because both are a beautiful display of color, texture and pattern. And I like the juxtaposition of a fashionable woman in a country garden. So brace yourself for vibrant outfits and food flair in the coming weeks.

Vogue Gardening Summer Series

I planted my first batch of leafy greens in early May. Maturity dates varied around 40-60 days. So I was eating fresh garden greens in early June. I harvested two cuttings on almost all the varieties. After that some of the varieties started to bolt. I planted a second group that included my favorite varieties in early June. So that batch has been ready since early July. You can imagine how many fresh salads I have been making in the last couple of months. And there seems to be  no sign of slowing down. So if you are local and want a fresh bag of garden greens give me a shout. I would love to share the bounty!

Some of my favorite garden greens planted this year include:

Goliath Spinach, think spicy green harissa
Black Magic Kale, eat stems and all
Tangy Mesclun Mix, perfect for salads
Black Seeded Simpson Heirloom Lettuce
Marvielle of Four Seasons Lettuce, a reliable butterhead variety
Bibb Lettuce, delicious crispy leaves

Garden Greens

With garden greens being the featured harvest, I have included the recipe for my go-to vinaigrette. My sisters are always asking me how I make such tasty salad dressings. I think the key to any dressing is quality oil. Most my dressings include olive oil but certain salads might call for a mild less flavorful oil like grape seed or on the flip side an oil with a dominant flavor like sesame or walnut. But in my opinion,whatever oil is being used buy quality. For the use of condiments and vinaigrettes I think it is important to select an Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a dark container with a natural peppery finish and a deep green aroma of grass. I look for less expensive oil for cooking. Look for labels like cold pressed, unfiltered and organic. There are lots of specialty stores that allow you to taste the different varieties before purchasing. This is important since they are so expensive. And remember to store the oil in a corner in your kitchen that is cool, dry, and dark.

I make this vinaigrette a lot. Right now with all the lettuce varieties from my garden I make it weekly and refrigerate it. This way I always have quick lunch or dinner on hand. Its simple, fresh and tangy. In my opinion, it makes all garden greens pop. It’s also quite versatile. I often drizzle a little on my morning fried egg or add to beans and asparagus. I think you will find all greens take a liking to it, just get creative!

Kate’s Go-To Vinaigrette

1/2 c. lemon juice, approx 2 lemons
1 Tbs Sauvignon blanc or another crisp clean white wine
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp grated ginger root
1-2 garlic cloves (to taste), grated
1/4 c. olive oil

Add lemon, wine, mustard, ginger and garlic and give a quick whisk. Continue whisking as you pour in the oil. It’s that easy! I like to grind salt and pepper on the salad rather than in the dressing.

Kate's Go-To Vinaigrette

Cleanse – Quinoa Veggie Bowl

July 1, 2014

Cleanse-Quinoa Veggie Bowl

About a year and half ago, I committed myself to a cleanse. I gave up dairy, gluten, alcohol, coffee and sugar. And when I say sugar I mean all sugar. So that includes fruit, most condiments, and natural sweeteners like honey. And since that wasn’t enough I decided to even practice food combinations for better digestion, portion control and incorporate fermented foods. Was I crazy. Maybe. But also just highly motivated and was in an unique time of my life that allowed such a change of lifestyle. To my surprise, the cleanse lasted for 5+ months and I adopted many of the healthy habits into my lifestyle. It was hard, no doubt. But I was seeing major results and was addicted to feeling and looking better everyday.

I have been wanting to cleanse again. I have been carrying a couple extra lbs from the South Africa trip and have also been feeling the need to get a better handle on my sugar intake. I know I won’t last 5+ months so I settled on 30 days. And it still took me 2 months to mentally motivate and prepare myself. This cleanse it is not easy, but definitely doable. I mean who likes giving up rhubarb raspberry swirl bread for breakfast?

So I started this cleanse with weaning myself of processed sugar for one week. This helped me ease into the cleanse. Then a week ago I started the rest. This first week wasn’t too bad until I decided to do some baking over the weekend. I made a batch of chewy gooey brownies for my husband and co-worker. Surprisingly enough I had no problem with the brownies. There was no question that those weren’t on the diet! But I had two bananas in the fridge that needed to be desperately mashed into a baked good. I decided I would make some healthy muffins that I would freeze and eat as a snack when I came off the cleanse. The chocolate coffee peanut butter muffins are delicious and the recipe can be found here. They have no processed sugar (just banana and peanut butter), no gluten, and no dairy. Since these are healthy muffins in my mind, I kept thinking I should eat one. Thank God my husband was around this weekend to monitor. All two dozen are safe in the freezer. But now I know, if I bake in these next 20 days. Load it with refined sugar and gluten!

Today is day 10 of the cleanse and I have lost 4 lbs and feel less of an urge to eat chocolate cake for breakfast. On Instagram, I am posting daily photos that promote clean eating and healthy bright living. In doing this cleanse, I am hoping to inspire others to join #kateschallenge to feel and look their best.

limes

There is nothing original about quinoa and veggies but I promise you this dressing is something special. It’s completely natural with no sugar. And trust me, you can’t buy that in your local grocer. You may have extra dressing when you make this recipe but I found it equally appetizing on a chicken salad. Plus this recipe abides by all the rules of the cleanse.

Quinoa Veggie Bowl / serves 4

2 bell peppers (I used 1 red and 1 yellow)
1 sweet or yellow onion
2 celery ribs
2 carrots
1/4 c each of red and white quinoa
1-2 Tbs. high heat oil

Dressing

3 limes
1-inch piece of ginger
1-2 garlic cloves depending on your taste
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1 Tbs. Bragg’s liquid aminos
1/4 c. olive oil
Salt to taste

Cook quinoa per instructions. I used 1 c. of water for the 1/2 c. of quinoa.

While quinoa is cooking, make dressing. In a bowl, juice limes and grate ginger and garlic. Add curry powder, Braggs, and salt. Give a whisk and then whisk in olive oil.

Wash and slice onion, celery and peppers. Slice all veggies to a similar thickness. Add high heat oil to wok. I used a spicy macadamia nut oil. Heat on high and add veggies. Cook until veggies are tender crisp.

Peel carrots, add quinoa to veggies and pour dressing to taste.

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