Swiss Chard, Wild Rice salad with Orange Dressing

rainbow chard salad 2

This is an earthy wild rice salad with sauteed shallots, rainbow chard, orange slices (try blood orange if available), dried cherries, sunflower or pinenuts and an orange vinaigrette. In this recipe I used rainbow chard that I had frozen from my garden. Using blood oranges in season makes this a fun and different salad.

Make the vinaigrette first:

1 Tablespoon orange zest, plus about 3 tablespoons juice

2 Tablespoons minced shallot

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/2 cup or more extra virgin olive oil

In a pint canning jar, put the orange juice, zest, shallot, mustard, salt and shake until well combined. slowly add olive oil and whisk until emulsified or you can add all the oil and shake very vigorously until well emulsified and thick.


1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice

salt to taste

1/2 cup sunflower seed or pine nuts

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 shallot, sliced

1 bunch of rainbow chard, chopped or 1 package of frozen thawed and drained

1/2 cup dried tart cherries

3 medium oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds

2 Tablespoons minced green onion or chives


Cook 1 1/2 cups of wild rice according to instructions. Drain and ad 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette to rice in a large bowl.

Over medium heat in a skillet, Add the nuts of your choice and toast ever so slightly. Set aside nuts. Add olive oil to pan with shallots, saute for about 2-3 minutes or until edges are just starting to brown. Add the chard, along with a bit of salt and pepper. Saute until the chard is wilted, add some more olive oil if desired.

In large bowl add rice, and sliced oranges, mix in chard.  Save a couple slices of oranges for each plate.

Plate salad, adding in some oranges, more dressing, top with nuts and green onions.

rainbow chard

Frozen Rainbow Chard from My Garden in Skillet with Shallots


Red Cabbage, Blueberry, Garbanzo Bean Salad with Blueberry Tahini Dressing
re cabbage blueberry dressing
I still have cabbage in the fridge from my garden last fall, so I want to get it used up as soon as possible. Luckily the red cabbage keeps very good when wrapped well and kept in the downstairs refrigerator. I love this dressing, it is sweet and tastes great. You could substiitute any berries in season such as raspberries, strawberries or blackberries. Use those same berries in the actual salad and change from red to greeen or Napa cabbage.
Be sure to place the greens on the plate before topping with the mixed salad, if you keep the greens in the salad they will get limp.
  • ½ a red cabbage, very finely sliced
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 handfuls of  mixed organic salad greens per plate
  • 1 small handful of blueberries per plate


  1. Mix up the chickpeas, nuts, red cabbage and dried cherries in a large bowl.
  2. Place the mixed greens in each serving bowl and top with the cabbage mixture and a handful of small blueberries.
  3. Make Tahini dressing and top salad with dressing

Blueberry Tahini Dressing


3 Tbsp tahini paste

3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice and one lemon zested

1 Tbsp Braags apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. himilayan salt or to taste

1/4 fresh ground black pepper, or to taste

small handful of blueberries or at least 6

3 Tbsp pure maple syrup, or to taste

Blend in all ingredients in blender or a magic bullet. Serve on salad. So yummy!

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes with Elderberry Blueberry Topping

oatmeal banana blueberry topped pancakes


3/4 cup old fashioned oats

2 medium bananas, mashed

1 1/2 cups milk

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

1 egg

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup chopped pecans, plus 2 tablespoons to garnish

butter, for the griddle or skillet


1 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup elderberry jam

Optional: to make thick sauce. Mix about 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1/8 cup water and stir into bubbling blueberry mixture.

Toasted coconut


In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, bananas, and milk. Set them aside to let the oats soak and soften.

Preheat a pancake griddle or skillet over medium low heat. Can raise heat a bit, be careful to not burn.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, kosher salt, and baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Beat the egg and oil into the wet oatmeal mixture, and then pour the wet mixture into the dry. Stir until just combined.

Butter the preheated surface and then pour the batter out about 1/4 cup at a time.

These pancakes will need to cook a little longer on the first side than most, so wait until the entire exposed surface is bubbly and the edges start to look as though they are cooking through. Don’t put on too high of heat or they get dark. Keep on medium low heat and cook longer as above.

Flip to cook the second side and then remove the pancakes to a plate. Keep in preheated 200 degree oven.



Put blueberries and jam in small sauce pan, bring to  boil and let simmer until slightl thickened. If you would like them to be very thick, see above on how to make the sauce thicker.

Sprinkle toasted coconut on top of buttered pancakes for eating!

This is a great tasting combination of vegetables. It has a sweetness with the apple chunks, yet a unique flavor with the coconut milk. 

moroccan sweet potato, beans stew


3-4 cups vegetable broth, can use chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, chopped
5 mini peppers (buy the combo pack, use any colors) slice into pieces
2 Honey crisp apples, peeled, cored, diced
1/2 cup salsa verde or green chilies in can
 1 1/2 cups canned tomatoes, or 1 14-oz. can Muir Glen roasted tomatoes
1 15-oz. can chick peas, rinsed, drained
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon red curry paste, or to taste
A pinch cinnamon and cumin
Himilayan salt and pepper, to taste

Before serving stir in 2 cups baby greens or place in bottom of bowl and spoon in stew. Add some fresh cilantro and Greek yogurt if desired.

Red and Green Holiday Salad with Mustard  Vinegar Dressing

holiday salad

A salad is a must to compliment a meat with the holiday meal. this salad has red, green and white so it is the perfect colors to add to your holiday plate. You will want to make this salad often this time of year as pomegranates are plentiful.


2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted with organic sugar
1 cup pomegranate arils
3-4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Toast nuts with a tablespoon of organic sugar and set aside. They can burn easily so watch carefully.
  • Whisk all dressing ingredients in a bowl to blend well. Place  pears and pomegranate seeds and dried cranberries in bowl, add 1 teaspoon or two of dressing and let sit a bit to give cranberries some moisture. Add spinach, drizzle with desired amount of dressing then toss to evenly coat. Top with nuts and feta. Serve immediately. This salad will not keep well so eat it up!

Patty pan squash are an under used vegetable. They are more of a summer squash type in taste and texture. I plant them in the garden and they are widely available at Farmer’s Markets.

This recipe really makes a meal, if you wanted protein add some pre-cooked Italian sausage or use some leftover chicken and just stir into the rest of the ingredients before stuffing.

Quinoa Stuffed Patty Pan Squash



cooking spray

6-8 pattypan squash (6 if they’re large, 8 if they’re smaller)

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

2 small tomatoes, diced

2 ears of corn, kernels removed

1/2 c. vegetable broth

1 1/2 c. cooked quinoa (which is about 1/2 c. uncooked)

1 chipotle pepper (fresh from the garden or use 1 tsp dried)

salt and pepper to taste

3/4 10 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 c. coarsely chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 11 baking dish with  cooking spray.

First, hollow out your pattypan squash. Slice off the stem end, then scoop out most of the insides. You want about a quarter-inch shell remaining. Discard as many of the seeds as you can, but reserve 1/2 cup of chopped squash insides. Place the pattypan squash in the baking dish.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin and oregano and cook 1 minute more. Add reserved squash insides, tomato, and corn and saute for 3 minutes, then stir in broth, quinoa, chipotle pepper, and adobo peppers, 2 teaspoons or more if you want it spicier). Continue to cook on medium-high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Divide filling into pattypan squash. Pour 1/2 cup of water into bottom of baking dish, then cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes or until squash is tender. Top with parsley and more cheese before serving.

Salted Caramel Cashew Bars

cashew bars

Who doesn’t love caramel and salt? I used raw cashews in this recipes and sprinkled with sea salt.

If you can’t find rice syrup you can substitute corn syrup but not my favorite ingredient to use. Rice syrup is usually in the whole or natural food section. This makes a 9×9 pan double for 9×13 as in my photo above of my bars. If you want to keep for more than a few days, put in fridge but let warm up before eating so caramel is soft.


Shortbread crust
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
⅓ cup powdered sugar 
1-½ cups all purpose flour- spoon lightly into cup and level with knife
¼ tsp baking powder
Salted Caramel
1 cup  organic granulated sugar
3 tbsp rice syrup or light corn syrup
⅓ plus 1 tablespoon cup heavy whipping cream 
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp coarse sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)
1-1/4 cup  raw roasted cashews- roast in skillet and sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt.
Shortbread crust
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.  In a 9X9 inch pan,  Spray bottom and sides  throughorly with vegetable spray and set aside. Cream together butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together flour and baking powder.
Beat the dry ingredients into the wet for several minutes until it is no longer crumbly and forms a dough ball.
Using your hands, press the dough into the bottom of the 9X9 pan. Works easier if you wet palms slightly.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until edges are just starting to brown. Allow to cool.
Salted Caramel
In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, stir together the sugar and rice syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Once the mixture becomes liquidy and begins to simmer, do not stir. Allow to simmer for 4 or so minutes, until it turns a dark amber color. If it starts to caramelize faster on one side than another, gently swirl the pot to mix. 
Stir in the butter, and gently pour in the cream, vanilla and salt, this will bubble, stir with a clean spatula. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another two or so minutes until it thickens slightly.
Stir in half of the cashews. Pour the caramel/cashew mixture over the cooled shortbread crust. Tilt the pan to get the base completely covered. Scatter additional cashews and sea salt.
Allow to cool for 30 minutes and store in airtight container.
cashew bars

Kale, Apple and Cheese Salad with Lemon Dressing

Kale Salad

Kale is one of those vegetables that last long into the fall months in the garden. I fresh picked a handful for my salad tonight. Here is a simple salad with kale.


1 large handful of kale

1 large apple, I like honey crisp, zestar, sweet tango (the sweeter compliments the other ingredients)

1/2 cup mixed shredded cheese- I used a Irish cheddar and sharp cheddar

1/4 cup toasted almond slices

Place all above into a large salad bowl. Then make dressing.


  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 very small garlic clove, puréed or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5-6  tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • a touch of honey

Mix all ingredients in a mason jar, shake and pour over salad.


Avocado Pesto Couscous Salad

avocado pesto salad

Avocado makes a great pesto and when they are combined with  couscous and tomatoes. This recipe comes together very fast! Check your local farmers market or garden for using any vegetables you like. Couscous can be found with noodles or with natural grain type merchandise.


2 cups of cooked couscous

2 cups cherry and/or Sungold tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup of fresh corn kernels (cooked- use a cob of leftovers)


2 ripe avocados

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

2 cloves of garlic

Kosher or sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon juiced

lemon zest from lemon


In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook couscous according to instructions and drain well.

To make the avocado pest, combine avocados, basil, garlic, lemon juice, zest, Parmesan cheese,  season with salt and pepper. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine couscous, avocado pesto, tomatoes and corn or other vegetables if desired. Stir well. This will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week. Make sure if you refrigerate you put a piece of plastic wrap directly over the pasta to keep the air from turning the avocado from turning color, it may still do so. Just restir when serving.

Serve as soon as possible as the avocado blackens with exposure to air

Raw couscous




Bean, Avocado, Garden Vegetable Salad with Lemon Dressing

Bean and summer Vegetable Salad



1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2-3 tomatoes of your choice, cut into chunks,

1 can cannellini or chick peas – rinsed

1 can black beans – rinsed

1 -2 large cucumbers sliced into chunks

2 avocados, cut into chunks

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Chop the following and sprinkle into salad: Chives, garlic chives, fresh thyme



½ extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup fresh lemon juice (one lemon)

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1 cloves garlic minced

1 -2 tablespoons fresh basil

1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano

Salt and pepper to taste


In a salad bowl, toss together tomatoes, beans, cucumbers. Add avocado, parsley and toss gently. Gradually add dressing until desired amount is stirred into the salad.

To make the dressing:

Put all ingredients in mini blender or other blender, blend until mixture is well emulsified.

Try to eat in a couple days, tastes best the same day!

Eggplant and Tomato Salad

Eggplant and tomatoes are a great combination, especially when adding the rest of the fresh garden ingredients. This salad is also great to use as a dip or spread. Grill a large slice of Ciabatta bread that has been seasoned with garlic oil. Spread the goodness on.

eggplant salad


2-3 medium to large eggplant – grilled then skins and seeds removed, then mashed slightly

2 cups cherry and Sungold tomatoes cut in half

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon capers

Feta cheese if desired


½ cup parsley with stems torn off

¼  cup basil, with stems torn off

2 large garlic cloves

¼ olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

½ lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon capers

Place eggplant and tomatoes in bowl, salt and pepper, add parsley and stir.

Make dressing by adding all ingredients to blender, blend finely. Add to eggplant and tomato mixture and stir well. Taste for salt and pepper and season accordingly.   Sprinkle on cheese. Serve with crackers or toasted ciabatta bread.

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