Posts tagged with vegetable

Vegetable Lasagna

Posted on June 17, 2016 by Leave a comment

One of our favorite summer dishes is Vegetable Lasagna. You can really make this any time of year with produce from the grocery store, but using the fresh picked vegetables from your own garden extends the adventure of growing your own food. What you pick from the garden varies and so you are “inspired” to adjust the recipe to what vegetables you have on hand. Our recipe is focused around summer squash, eggplant, and tomatoes, but the combinations you can use are many. This is a baked, layered dish and the number of layers will vary depending on your pan size, number of people to feed, etc. Of course, you can add meat to this recipe!

Basic Ingredients; Squash, Eggplant, Fennel bulb, Onion, Fennel seed, Peppers, Tomato sauce, Bread crumbs

Basic Ingredients; Squash, Eggplant, Fennel bulb, Onion, Fennel seed, Peppers, Tomato sauce, Bread crumbs

Ingredients:
1) Extra virgin olive oil
2) Bread crumbs
3) Onion
4) Peppers (almost any kind or combination)
5) Squash (Yellow, Zucchini, or similar)
6) Eggplant (we prefer the Chinese long purple, if you can find them or grow them)
7) Fennel bulb sliced or diced (optional)
8) Parmesan cheese grated
9) Fennel seed (optional)
10) Salt
11) Pepper
12) Pasta sauce, fresh tomatoes or a combination (if you use only fresh tomatoes, then you also need to add typical Italian pasta sauce seasonings)
13) Mozzarella cheese grated or sliced

Note: Fennel seed is the main spice in Italian sausage which gives it it’s distinct flavor.

Putting it all together: (pre-heat oven to 325 degrees)
1) Pour and spread a thin layer of olive oil on the bottom of the baking dish.
2) Sprinkle a thin layer of bread crumbs.
3) Add a thin layer of diced onions.
4) Add a handful of diced peppers (we used a mild green pepper).
5) Spread a layer of sliced squash (we used yellow and zucchini).
6) Spread a layer of sliced eggplant.
7) Dice or slice one half of a fennel bulb and spread evenly.
8) Sprinkle a teaspoon of fennel seed evenly.
9) Season with salt and pepper.
10) Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese
11) Add spoonfuls of pasta sauce.
12) Repeat the same layers for multiple layers.
13) When finished with the top layer, spread pasta sauce thickly over the entire top of the casserole.
14) Bake for approximately 1 1/2 hours and remove to add mozzarella cheese.
15) Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the mozzarella cheese is melted and browned to your satisfaction.
16) Bake at 325 degrees.

First Layer, bread crumbs, peppers and onions

First Layer, bread crumbs, peppers and onions

Yellow Squash

Yellow Squash

Zucchini

Zucchini

Diced Fennel Bulb

Diced Fennel Bulb

Chinese Eggplant

Chinese Eggplant

Grated Parmesan

Grated Parmesan

Add some sauce in a middle layer

Add some sauce in a middle layer

Fresh tomatoes are always good!

Fresh tomatoes are always good!

Top layer of pasta sauce

Top layer of pasta sauce

Add cheese 12-20 minutes before taking out of the oven

Add cheese 12-20 minutes before taking out of the oven

Ready to eat!!

Ready to eat!!

Vegetable Lasagna!

Vegetable Lasagna!

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Rutabagas – cooking two ways

Posted on March 23, 2016 by Leave a comment

There are at least two main ways to prepare rutabagas for recipes; roasting and boiling. When we harvest at the garden, we cut off the tops and roots and then wash the bulb. We add the tops and roots to our composting effort. In the kitchen, we use a peeler to remove the outside layer and get down to the “meat” of the bulb. Rutabagas can be roasted alone or with a combination of other root vegetables like, carrots, and parsnips. Boiled rutabagas can be served mashed with butter or included in soups and stews and boiled as the soup cooks.

Peeling the rutabagas

Peeling the rutabagas

Roasted Rutabagas

Ingredients
1) Peeled cubed rutabaga in 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes
2) Extra virgin olive oil (or the oil of your choice)
3) Salt
4) Pepper

Cubed rutabaga for roasting

Cubed rutabaga for roasting

Putting it all together
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2) Place cubes in a gallon size zip lock bag
3) Add enough oil to coat the cubes
4) Add salt and pepper to taste
5) Zip the bag, leaving space for air and shake to coat the cubes with oil, salt & pepper
6) Pour the cubes on a baking sheet
7) Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, checking for doneness before taking out of the oven

Roasted rutabaga mildly sweet and delicious

Roasted rutabaga mildly sweet and delicious

Boiled Rutabagas

Ingredients
1) Peeled cubed rutabaga in 3/4 to 1 inch cubes
2) Boiling water

Simmering rutabagas for mashing

Simmering rutabagas for mashing

Putting it all together
1) Either add the rutabaga cubes to boiling water or bring the water to boil with the rutabaga cubes in the water
2) Once the water is boiling, boil for about 30 minutes, checking for doneness, before removing from the heat
3) Drain the cubes
4) Mash the cubes like for Mashed Potatoes
5) Serve with butter on the warm mashed rutabagas
6) Add salt, pepper, and/or other seasonings to taste

Rutabagas two ways

Rutabagas two ways

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Seed, Fruit Trees, and Plant Catalogs

Posted on January 29, 2016 by Leave a comment

Around the end of the year and certainly in the month of January, seed catalogs start arriving in the mail if you are on the mailing list. We have received these catalogs for many years. It is a great source of entertainment for us to read through these catalogs and watch as new and improved varieties appear and other less popular varieties disappear from these catalogs. Seed catalogs are a great source of information about when to plant, how deep to plant, harvest date, and many other tidbits of information that help you successfully grow the seeds. Catalog seeds many times have more seeds in the packet, for the same or a lower price, compared to retail store packets.

One misleading designation on many of these catalogs is that the seed is non GMO. This is a non issue with probably 99% of the catalog listings. GMO crops are mostly limited to major agricultural crops like corn, soybeans, cotton, alfalfa and a few other crops which would be unlikely to be grown in a home garden. We are not aware of any GMO sweet corn commercially available through a seed catalog. You can basically ignore the GMO issue in these catalogs. Additionally, there is no evidence to support that GMO crops are harmful to humans. We are supporters of GMO crops!! GMO crops are necessary to feed the total world population!

R.H. Shumway's

R.H. Shumway’s

R.H Shumway’s
Catalog Fulfillment Center
334 W. Stroud Street Ste. 1
Randolph, WI 53956-1274
800-342-9461
www.rhshumway.com

Each different seed catalog company seems to specialize in some aspect of seed sales. Some these companies not only offer seeds for commercial vegetable producers as well as home gardeners. Some specialize only in home garden seeds. In the commercial catalogs, not all the seeds are offered in packet sizes for home gardeners.

Stokes Seeds

Stokes Seeds

Stokes Seeds
PO Box 548
Buffalo, NY 14240-0548
800-396-9238
www.stokeseeds.com

Harris Seeds has a great catalog for both commercial producers and home gardeners.

Harris Seeds

Harris Seeds

Harris Seeds
355 Paul Road
P.O. Box 24966
Rochester, NY 14624-0966
800-544-7938
www.harrisseeds.com

The Totally Tomatoes seed catalog focuses mainly on tomatoes and peppers.

Totally Tomatoes & Seeds n Such

Totally Tomatoes

Totally Tomatoes
334 West Stroud Street
Randolph, WI 53956
800-345-5977
www.totallytomato.com

Seeds n Such is a small catalog that offers a variety of seeds with an affordable combined offer packet price and a good number of seeds per packet.

Seeds n Such

Seeds n Such

Seeds n Such
PO Box 1
Graniteville, SC 29829
803-663-1501
www.seedsnsuch.com

One of the benefits of buying through the mail or ordering on line from a seed catalog is that there are sometimes more than one packet size. You also have a great deal more variety choices. Sometimes there are early order discounts or quantity discounts.

Vermont Been Seed Company

Vermont Been Seed Company

Vermont Bean Seed Company
334 W. Stroud St.
Randolph, WI 53956
800-349-1071
www.vermontbean.com

Some seed catalogs do a very good job of explaining how to grow each crop category. These tips can make a big difference specially if you are a beginning gardener, although long time gardeners can learn too. This is very true if you are going to plant something you have not grown before. Additionally, seed catalogs usually have a section dedicated to products and gadgets that may help you grow better or accomplish tasks more efficiently.

Territorial Seed Company

Territorial Seed Company

Territorial Seed Company
P.O. Box 158
Cottage Grove, OR 97424-0061
800-626-0866
www.territorialseed.com

This is the first year that we have received a seed catalog specializing in organic seeds. Although we feel that the benefits of organic gardening are greatly exaggerated, it is good to have seed a company attempting to meet the demands of this growing market.

Seeds of Change
PO Box 152
Spicer, MN 56288
888-762-7333
www.seedsofchange.com

Seeds of Change - organic seeds

Seeds of Change – organic seeds

Most gardeners that purchase seeds also have an interest in planting small fruit and fruit tree transplants. Stark Nursery acquired many of the varieties that were previously sold by Miller Nursery in Canandaigua, NY. Miller Nursery ceased operations about two years ago. We have been a big fan of Miller Nursery as well as Stark Nursery.

Stark Bro's for Fruit Trees

Stark Bro’s for Fruit Trees

Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co. (Apples, Peaches, Apricots, Pears, Grapes)
PO Box 1800
Louisiana, MO 63353
800-325-4180
www.starkbros.com

Another of our favorite nurseries in Nourse Farms. In our opinion, Nourse is the preferred supplier on the east coast for strawberry, raspberry, and other small fruit and vegetable varieties including rhubarb, horse radish, and asparagus.

Nourse for small fruit plants

Nourse for small fruit plants

Nourse (small fruits, asparagus, rhubarb, horse radish)
41 River Road
South Deerfield, MA 01373
413-665-2658
www.noursefarms.com

Indian Berry & Plant Co.

Indian Berry & Plant Co.

Indiana Berry & Plant Company (Strawberry, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Grapes)
2811 Michigan Road
Plymouth, IN 46563
800-295-2226
www.indianaberry.com

Park Seed Co.
3507 Cokesbury Road
Hodges, SC 29653
800-845-3369
www.parkseed.com

Park Seed

Park Seed

Burpee
W. Atlee Burpee & Co.
300 Park Avenue
Warminster, PA 18974
800-888-1447
www.burpee.com

Ball Horticultural Company
622 Town Road
West Chicago, IL 60185-2698
800-879-2255
www.ballseed.com/webtrack

Adaptive Seeds
25079 Brush Creek Road
Sweet Home, OR 97386
541-367-1105
www.adaptiveseeds.com

Botanical Interests
660 Compton Street
Broomfield, CO 80020
877-821-4340
www.botanicalinterests.com

Burgess Seed & Plant Co.
1804 E. Hamilton Road
Bloomington, IL 61704-9609
309-662-7761
www.eburgess.com

ChilePlants.com (seasonal) (plants not seed) (best selection of eggplant varieties)
Cross Country Nursery
PO Box 170
199 Kingwood Lockdown Road
Rosemont, NJ 08556
908-996-4646
www.chileplants.com

Companion Plants (herbs, dyes, culinary, medicinal)
7247 N Coolville Ridge Road
Athens, OH 45701
740-592-4643
www.companionplants.com

Dixondale Farms (onion plants)(Yello Granex “Vidalia” onions)
PO Box 129
Carrizo Springs, TX 78834
877-367-1015
www.dixondalefarms.com

Grandpa’s Orchard LLC (fruit trees)
PO Box 773
Coloma, MI 49038
877-800-0077
www.grandpasorchard.com

Irish Eyes Garden Seeds (potatoes)
5045 Robinson Canyon Road
Ellensburg, WA 98926
509-933-7150
www.irisheyesgardenseeds.com

Johnny's Selected Seeds

Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Johnny’s Selected Seeds
955 Benton Ave.
Winslow, Maine 04901
877-564-6697
www.johnnyseeds.com

J.W. Jung Seed Co
335 S. High Street
Randolph, WI 53957-0001
800-274-5864
www.jungseed.com

Raintree Nursery (west coast fruit tree nursery)
391 Butts Road
Morton, WA 98356
800-391-8892
www.raintreenursery.com

Royal Anne Organics (garlic)
4320 Royal Anne Drive
Hood River, OR 97031
503-432-1822
www.royalanneorganics.com

Sand Hill Preservation Center (Preserving old cultivars)
1878 230th Street
Calamus, IA 52729
563-246-2299
www.sandhillpreservation.com

Seed Savers Exchange
3094 N Winn Road
Decorah, IA 52101
563-382-5990
www.seedsavers.org

Seed Treasures (heirloom/open-pollinated/non GMO
8533 Co 25
Angora, MN 55703
no phone# found
www.seedtreasures.com

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
PO Box 460
Mineral, VA 23117
540-894-9480
www.southernexposure.com

Sow True Seed
146 Church Street
Asheville, NC 28801
828-254-0708
www.sowtrueseed.com

Tomato Growers Supply Co.
PO Box 60015
Fort Meyers, FL 33906
800-345-5977
www.tomatogrowers.com

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Simple Vegetable Soup!

Posted on October 28, 2015 by Leave a comment

Sometimes a simple vegetable soup makes a great meal and leftovers too! This is an easy soup to make and is really good for you! We bought a medley basket of vegetables from a local farmers market that contained late summer season vegetables including, potatoes, cabbage, peppers, carrots, beets, onions, and sweet corn.

Simple Vegetable Soup!

Simple Vegetable Soup!

We didn’t use all the vegetables, but here is what we did use to make our soup. It is somewhat similar to a minestrone soup without any pasta. This is a Freestyle recipe so you can add what ever quantities of each ingredient that you please.
– Onions
– Carrots
– Celery
– Tomatoes
– Potatoes
– Cabbage
– Cannellini beans (canned)
– Salt & Pepper
– Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
– Parsley (optional)
– Pasta (optional)
– A touch of hot pepper (fresh, dried, or hot sauce)

Put all the cold ingredients in the pot with just enough water to cover the vegetables.
Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for just 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
After 15 minutes the vegetables should all be cooked (but not over cooked).
The soup is ready to serve!!

Soup Fresh Out of the Pot!

Soup Fresh Out of the Pot!

We added a little parmesan cheese and you could add some fresh chopped parsley. The soup was delicious!! Since we made a big pot of soup we ate it for several meals later in the week.

Add a Little Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese!

Add a Little Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese!

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