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.


With the garden in full swing, Gazpacho is the perfect summer dish. It is served cold when you really don’t feel like a heavy meal. Serve it with some crust olive oil and garlic bread or your favorite chips.



1 large Asian or Japanese or English cucumber, cut into chunks, keep the peeling on as these are thin skinned vegetables.

1 green pepper, seeded and cored

1 red or yellow pepper, seeded and cored

4-6 Roma type tomatoes or 1-2 larger ones, seeded

1 red onion

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

 Seasoned tomato juice or Bloody Mary mix if you like spicy

Approximately 3-4 cups (use amount you would like thickness to be)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup good white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

fresh ground pepper to taste

1/4 cup parsley or cilantro, chopped

1/2 lime juiced

Roughly chop the vegetables or use food processor. Be very careful to not over process, keep vegetables finely chopped. Put in a large bowl or pitcher.

Add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings as needed and thickness desired.  Mix well and let chill at least two hours before serving. The longer it rests, the better the flavors meld.





kale blackberry salad with Rosemary Almonds


Blackberry Kale Salad with Rosemary Almonds

4 cups baby kale or any type of salad greens you like
1 cup blackberries
1 avocado, sliced

Rosemary Almonds

4 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Add 1 teaspoon honey to dressing if desired

Rosemary Almonds

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup sliced almonds
pinch of Himalayan salt
pinch of  fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped very finely
2 teaspoons honey

In a heavy cast iron pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil and the almonds. Keep the pan moving as the almonds begin to get toasted. As the nuts start to brown, salt, pepper and rosemary. Toss for one more second then add the honey. Stir until all of the almonds are coated. Continue for just a few more seconds, remove from the heat and allow the nuts to cool in the pan for just a few minutes. If you take off the heat too early the honey will be sticky so let it caramelize just a couple seconds.

Check this recipe out I posted for rhubarb muffins. Was a good one!


Watermelon and Feta


What a wonderful combination. If you have not tried this you certainly must. When you combine the saltiness of the feta cheese and watermelon and add a bit of fresh spearmint with some good quality aged Balsamic then you have a great salad or skewer them for an appetizer. Such a great flavor combination.

It is as easy as that!!


Pasta with Basil Pesto, Chicken and Olives

pesto pasta

I made this dish in one skillet and used leftover olives, chicken and ramps (the best tasting onion/garlic found in the woods)


Your favorite pasta (about 1-1/2 to 2 cups)

4 frozen basil pesto cubes

Sliced green or black olives (I prefer Castelvetrano)

Cheddar cheese

Parmesan cheese

salt, fresh ground pepper

ramps (or you can substitute a clove of fresh garlic)

leftover chicken cut into chunks

a dash of pepper flakes or cayenne pepper


In large skillet, bring 4 -5 cups water and 2 teaspoons or more of salt to a boil. When Al dente, and still some water in pan, add the chicken frozen basil cubes and olives. Add more water if needed. Season with salt and pepper and bit of garlic powder, add chopped ramps and pepper flakes.

Stir until all is well combined.  Taste for seasoning. Add cheeses and serve.

               MZ_ProductImage_Castelvetrano_1Ramps and Olives                                images

*This also makes a good cold pasta salad!

Refrigerator Salad

Sometimes you just have to eat leftovers. But they do not have to taste like leftovers!

This was a very quick salad, mixed with a lemon olive oil dressing in a flash. If you have left over vegetables in your fridge- quick make this salad before they go to waste!

refrigerator salad 2


Refrigerator leftovers I had on hand:

green beans


shredded carrots

fresh parsley

I added one can each of chickpeas and black beans. Mix in a large bowl.

Make Dressing:

1/4 to 1/3 cup lemon infused olive oil (available at Crow River Winery)

1 tablespoon of your favorite vinegar- try one of these:

Balsamic, pear, champagne, or red wine.

Salt and pepper to taste

fresh lemon zest if you have some


Coconut Milk with Spices

coconut milk drink

Turmeric and ginger, both rich in antioxidants, also work well together with the butter. There are many recipes available for this drink. Many names are also given to this drink. It is a healthy drink to warm you up.


1 ½ to 2 teaspoons fresh preferably organic turmeric

1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated

1 cup fat coconut milk (not light)

1 cup coconut water

1 tablespoon honey (divided amongst cups)

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon clarified butter


In small sauce pan add turmeric and ginger, stir until mixed well. Add the butter and mix well with whisk. Pour the coconut milk and coconut water into a saucepan, whisk until well mixed, have pan on low until all mixed. Turn the heat up to medium-high and warm the ingredients together until little bubbles just begin to be seen. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan, allowing the turmeric and ginger to steep about 3 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer or tea strainer into cups. Stir in the honey and continue stirring until it dissolves. Serve warm.

Making clarified butter or otherwise called Ghee:

Place the butter in a heavy saucepan and melt slowly over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Skim the foam from the top, and slowly pour into a container, discarding the milky solids in the bottom of pan. What makes clarified butter so great is its higher smoke point. It is also wonderful to cook and saute with.


Healthful benefits of Turmeric include relief of arthritis, controls diabetes, reduces cholesterol levels, an immunity booster, heals wounds to name a few.

Ginger relieves the stomach of gases and also has inflammatory effects along with settling the stomach.

Fats & Oils — The Basics!

What is what and how important is it to know about fats and oils in your diet? A lot. I think Nourished Kitchen (  says it best below. Yes, I use lard in some cookies and pie crusts, and it is not hard to render it yourself. My mother-in-law and grandmother did it most of their lives and always had the best tasting pie crusts!


Olive Oil. Olive oil is one of the most highly adulterated foods in the world, and often cut with less-expensive vegetable oils.  I recommend purchasing your olive oil producer-direct, from companies who take pride in not only the quality of the oil, but how the groves are cared for, and how the oil is produced.  You can find good olive oil here.

Ghee.  Ghee is clarified butter prepared according to Indian and South Asian traditions.  Pure butterfat, ghee is free from milk solids and is shelf-stable.  It is a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins, and conjugated linoleic acid.   Pure Indian Foods produces traditionally prepared ghee from grass-fed cows as well as spiced ghees.  You can purchase it directly from Pure Indian Foods here.

Lard, Tallow, Schmaltz and Rendered Duck Fat. We recommend cooking with lard from pasture-raised pigs (find it here).  We also frequently use the rendered fat of ducks, chickens and geese which is high in monounsaturated fat, the same heart-healthy fat found in olive oil and avocados.  You can find rendered duck fat online, as well as schmaltz (chicken fat), and goose fat.

Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is well-suited to baking and higher heat applications due to its high concentrations of fatty acids.  Coconut oil is a rich source of lauric acid, thought to support immune system health.  We purchase organic, virgin coconut oil online in bulk.

Cold-pressed Nut Oils. In addition to animal fats, coconut and olive oil, I also serve cold-pressed, unrefined nut and seed oils as finishing oils over salads and vegetables, including pumpkin seed oil, sunflower seed oil,  avocado oil, and walnut oil.

Oven Roast Beef

I have come to really like roast beef in the oven instead of a crockpot, perfect for a snowy afternoon. Put some whole carrots, potatoes and onions in the roaster to make it a meal. The whole house warms up with a scent and warmth that is so comforting.

roast beef


1 3-4 pound roast

thinly sliced fresh garlic – 2- cloves

extra virgin olive oil

salt and fresh cracked pepper

enough garlic powder to sprinkle both sides of roast

a few drops of Worcestershire sauce

2 cups beef stock (beef broth) (and more to make gravy)

3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder

1 bay leaf

fresh carrots, baby red potatoes

1-2 onions sliced



1/4 cup sour cream

1-2 teaspoons horseradish

2-3 teaspoons of stone ground mustard

Mix all together with fork or whisk. Adjust ingredients to your taste.

Serve on top of the roast beef.


How to:

Rub roast with salt, pepper and garlic powder

Cut slits all over roast with a sharp paring knife, insert fresh garlic slices into slits

Prehheat oven 3o 350 degrees.  a cast iron skillet or skillet large enough for roast beef. Sear both sides of roast. It should be a golden brown on each side.

In roasting pan pour beef broth. Set roast into pan.  Add dashes of Worcestershire sauce and bay leaf. Add sliced carrots, potatoes, onions. Cover pan with cover or tin foil.

Set pan into oven. Cook for at least 2 hours. Check for liquid periodically add water if needed. Liquid should be about one-inch. Turn oven down to 300 and keep roasting until the meat falls off the bone, baste a couple times with the juices.

When ready to serve. Take liquid out of pan and pour into a skillet. Add more broth to make about 2 cups. mix Cornstarch and a bit of cold water to make a paste about the thickness of chocolate syrup. Heat broth until almost bubbling. Whisk in cornstarch and stir until thickened. Take off heat. Let sit a couple minutes. while you make the mustard sauce.

Use the gravy on the potatoes that are smashed slightly with a potato masher. Coat the carrots with more butter and sprinkle generously with fresh or dried parsley.




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