Cooking is fun. Eating is funner. I cook, photograph and write these recipes.
Everything I post on this blog I make from scratch using fresh wholesome ingredients.. I've been cooking since I was a little kid.

My recipes are based on trial and error, along with studying cookbooks, family recipes, blogs and cooking shows.

Some of the veggies and herbs I use are grown in my garden. Yay sustainability!
I'm working on making my yard into an edible landscape. It's really fun to go out in the garden and pick your veggies for dinner!
I'm helping as many people as I can to plant edible gardens in their yards too. It's hard work but it's really fun!



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    11 posts tagged meatless monday

    Rainbow Chard Quiche with Buttery Corn Flake Crust

    This quiche was made with Rainbow Chard from our edible garden. The corn flake crust was a delicious experiment. I used up the last of the flour to make this crust and forgot to save some for rolling out the pastry dough. I wracked my brain and came up with the idea to blend organic corn flakes in the food processor until very fine, and use it as the flour to roll out the dough. It’s the best experiment I’ve ever tried. Please try this technique! It’s so good, flaky, crispy and tasty! 

    Heat oven to 400.

    In a mixing bowl, sift 1 cup flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar. Grate 1/2 stick cold butter into it with 2 tblsp coconut oil. Mush together with your fingers until pea sized bits form. Add 2 to 3 tblsp ice cold water and mix together until just combined. Form into a disk, cover and chill for 20 minutes.

    While the pastry dough rests in the fridge, Saute 1 small chopped onion and 2 - 3 cups chopped chard, stems and leaves, in a skillet. Season with salt and pepper.

    Scramble 4 eggs with 1/2 c milk. Add fresh grated nutmeg to the egg mixture.

    Grate about 3/4 cup cheese, I used cheddar, swiss and parmesan.

    Pulverize organic corn flakes in a food processor until fine and floury. 

    Dust the surface of a large cutting board with the corn flake flour, place the chilled disk of dough on the board, top the disk with more of the corn flake flour and roll into a circle about 12 inches in diameter, adding more of the corn flake four as needed. The corn flake flour and crumbs will press into the pastry and become one buttery flaky delicious crust once baked. Yum!

    Press the rolled out crust into a buttered pie pan. Press gently into the pan and shape the edges. Add the sauteed vegetables, then the grated cheese, and pour the egg mixture over it. Bake at 400 for 1/2 hour or so until a toothpick comes out clean. Yum!

    Baked Falafel Sandwich with Garlicky Tahini and Cucumber Yogurt Sauces

    Home made fast food, (also known as slow food), is the best! This was so delicious! I made two sauces for the topping using lots of fresh garlic and lemons. This takes a little time to prepare, but it”s easy to do. You can prepare all of it ahead of time and pop the falafel and pita in the oven when it’s time to eat. So, at least that part is fast.

    I cooked the falafel in the oven instead of frying. You can do it either way you prefer. They came out delicious oven fried, and baking it saves a lot of fat calories.

    Heat oven to 400

    In a food processor, pulse 1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas, add 3 - 5 cloves crushed garlic, a handful of fresh parsley and fresh chopped cilantro, juice of 1 lemon, 2 tblsp. olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and 1/4 tsp celery salt. Scrape down the sides a couple times and pulse until crumbly. 

    In a mixing bowl combine: 1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 medium onion, minced (about 1/2 cup), 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander and 1/2 tsp cayenne or chipotle chili powder (optional). Fold the crumbled bean mixture with all these ingredients until just combined.

    Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil spray. Drop tablespoon sized dollops onto the cookie sheet. Spray each one with olive oil spray. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and flip each one over, being careful they don’t break apart. Spitz with a little more olive oil spray and return to the oven. Bake an additional 5 to 8 minutes until crispy and golden brown.

    While the falafel bakes, set up two small bowls. Add fresh crushed garlic to each bowl. In one bowl add 3 or 4 chopped persian cucumbers (the small ones), 1 small container greek yogurt, 1/4 c fresh lemon juice, 1/4 tsp sugar, 2 tblps olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1 tsp dried dill.

    In the other bowl, add tahini paste to the garlic along with fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper, and 2-4  tblsp water to thin it to desired consistency. 

    Slice tomatoes, slice sweet Hawaii or red onions into slivers, wash and spin lettuce, and grate carrots, I used purple carrots because that’s what I had in my fridge.

    Toast pita bread in the oven wrapped in foil for a few minutes. Serve the falafels in the pita garnished with the carrots, onions, lettuce and tomatoes and topped with the cucumber yogurt and tahini sauces. Yum!  

    Parmesan Crusted Kale, Leek and Potato Cakes with Red Quinoa and Meyer Lemon

    This was my delicious lunch today. These were amazing! They kind of tasted like a healthy  version of tater tots, only better. This is one of those dishes where every bite you go, “Mmmh! Ohmygodisthisgood, mmmpfh” And then you devour it. I’ve been trying to eat nutritious food in order to be cured from a cold. The Kale in these crispy treats was grown in our back yard garden. I love growing winter vegetables. Rain + Seeds = Free Food.

    For this dish I combined 3/4 cup leftover mashed potatoes with thinly chopped leeks (white and lightest green parts only, sliced in half first and rinsed to get rid of any sand and dirt, then sliced crosswise) and 2 cups blanched kale, which I rinsed in a mesh strainer then pressed out all the water from. I mixed this with 2 eggs, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 tsp dried dill, 1/2 tsp flour, and salt and pepper. I pressed the patties in a ring mold and then dusted them with a combo of bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese before frying in butter & olive oil. I cooked red quinoa on the side, and dressed the whole plate with a giant squeeze of fresh Meyer Lemon juice, also from our back garden. These were so much more tasty than I thought they’d be. Did I mention that this was delicious?

    Happy New Year Tumblrs! Please have the Best and Most Fun Year ever! 

    Cheesy Eggs Baked in Tomatoes with Pita Toast

    It finally got cool here and we can turn the oven on. Yay Autumn! This is a delicious, cheesy and very easy dish. It also looks very pretty if you’re having people over for breakfast.

    Cut around the core of the tomato and discard. Cut a wide-ish circle into the tops of however many tomatoes you’re cooking and scoop out some of the tomato, creating an opening big enough to hold an egg. Chop the parts you scooped out and mix with slivers of garlic, salt & pepper, basil and olive oil. Drizzle some of the juice from this garlicky mixture into the cored tomato to give it flavor as it bakes. Place the chopped mixture in the bottom sides of a small oven proof dish, one oven proof dish per tomato. Place the cored tomato in the center and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes.

    Remove from the oven and crack an egg in the center. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and julienned basil. Return to the oven and bake an additional 10 or 15 minutes until the egg is cooked, cheese is melted, and the tomato is soft and bubbly. Add pita bread to the oven for the last 3 or 4 minutes of baking to toast. Yummy!

    Lemony Stozapretti 

    This pasta dish is delicious and easy. You can use any kind of pasta you like for this. I used this beautiful Stozapretti from the Italian deli in my neighborhood. This is one of my favorite ways to eat broccoli. I usually don’t love steamed broccoli, but the parmesan cheese, chopped herbs and olive oil give it a really delicious flavor. 

    Boil salted water for pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions. Add pieces of broccoli to the cooking pot in the last few minutes of cooking. Drain the broccoli and pasta.

    Rub a serving dish with a cut garlic clove. Add the pasta and broccoli to the dish, season with freshly ground pepper, chopped basil or parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and lots of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and serve. Yum!

    Breakfast Tacos

    I made these delicious vegetarian tacos for breakfast after having too much meat on vacation, and after going all the way to Texas and not enjoying any Mexican food while I was there. Short vacations are hard because you don’t have time to do all the things you want to do. I crave Mexican food, so hopefully I’ll get to go to Austin again soon and enjoy some authentic flavors. Until then, I’ll keep making my own and going out to my favorite southern CA Mexican places.

    These tacos are made with crisped potatoes, sweet garden tomatoes, savory spices and crunchy lettuce. Yum!

    In a skillet, Add 1 or 2 tblsp olive oil and 2 or 3 diced organic red potatoes, depending on how many you’re cooking these for. Add 1 diced sweet onion, season with celery salt and pepper. Saute the potatoes and onions until crisp and cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add 1 crushed garlic clove, a pinch of smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp Ancho chili powder, a sprinkle of coriander powder, and a dash of cumin. 

    Slice tomatoes and avocados, grate cheddar cheese, wash and slice lettuce, chop cilantro.

    Heat taco shells in a low  325 oven for 3 or 4 minutes.

    Serve your potato tacos with plain yogurt, olive garnish, lemon wedges and hot sauce. Yum!

    Lemon Garlic Linguini with Baby Artichokes, Beets and Sugar Snap Peas

    Sometimes when I harvest vegetables from our garden, I feel like one of the chefs on that cooking show where they have a basket of disparate ingredients and they have to cook something delicious using all of them.

    Today’s harvest was baby artichokes, beets (with beet greens) and sugar peas. I decided to make beet green & sugar snap pea linguini with garlic caramelized baby artichokes and cooked beets on the side. It was lemony, savory, fresh and delicious!

    Clean artichokes by cutting stems and tops off, tear away the bottom leaves, cut the thorny tops of the leaves with kitchen scissors. Place them immediately in water with 1/2 a lemon squeezed into it. (Lemon water prevents discoloration.) Season with salt and pepper. Peel the beets, reserving the leaves. Cover and simmer the artichokes and beets in the lemon water.

    Boil another pot of salted water for pasta.

    Once the veggies are tender, remove from the hot water. Cut the artichokes in half and remove choke (if there is any). Chop 1 or 2 shallots. Add a little olive oil to a cast iron skillet and sauté the artichokes on medium heat with the shallots, letting the flat side sear onto the bottom of the pan to develop sweetness. Once the flat side caramelizes, turn them over and add some chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper. 

    Stem and chop the beet greens. String and chop the peas. Add the peas and greens to the skillet once the artichokes are cooked. Cover and let steam for a few minutes.

    Cook any pasta you like, I used organic linguini that was on sale. Serve the veggies over the pasta with a squeeze of lemon, red pepper flakes to taste, and some fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano.   Yum!

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