Category Archives: Recipes

Green Beans and Kids Eating Them

Thanks for all your nice comments on my last post. Things have been spotty here lately and for that I apologize. I’ve missed you all terribly and appreciate your love notes.  And, you guys have some very clever ideas.

So, as promised, here’s how you make the green beans. Throw a bunch on a cookie sheet and pour on a little olive oil. Rub them around with your hand to get them all stirred up. Salt them. I like lots of salt. Put them in the oven set to 425 F for about 7 minutes. Stir them up. Put them back in for another 7 minutes. Ta-da. Make lots. They’ll go quickly.

If you want something a bit more precise, you can go here.

On another note, kale chips? Really? I hear they’re awesome but have not had a positive experience. Someone convince me. Email me or leave me a comment with a recipe if you have one that works.

Next week: kale rice.


Vegetables and Kids Eating Them

Do your kids eat vegetables? If so, which ones and how are they prepared?

If you don’t have kids, what are your favorite veggies and how do you like them best?

My kids are good eaters who are mostly fond of veggies. We exist primarily on roasted sweet potato/yam wedges, roasted parsnips and roasted green beans. I tell you what, those green beans roasted in salt and olive oil taste better than French fries. We’re also very fond of kale rice, carrot-orange soup and, good old, steamed broccoli. Little K can eat a good 2 cups of kale rice for dinner and Jo can eat carrot soup as fast as I can make it. Sometimes I pour it into a mug so she can drink it. We’re crazy like that.

Tell me about your faves and over the next few months I’ll plan to share my favorite recipes with you. Deal?

Three Sisters Stew

I’m long overdue to share some culinary genius with you guys. Of course, this genius is not mine but from my favorite cookbook, Feeding the Whole Family. It’s a vegetarian stew that’s meaty and filling. Josie can’t get enough. If you use delicate squash, you don’t have to peel it. You can just scrape out the seeds, chop it up and drop it in.


  • 1 cup dried Christmas lima beans, soaked 6 to 8 hours and drained
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2-3 cups winter squash peeled and cut in chunks
  • 1 (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1.5 cups fresh or frozen corn


  1. Place beans, 2 cups of stock and 1 teaspoon of cumin in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until beans are tender (50-60 minutes).
  2. Heat a 4-quart pot to medium, add oil and saute the remaining cumin oregano and cinnamon for 30 seconds. Add onion, salt, and garlic; saute until onion is soft (5 minutes). Add squash, tomatoes, and chili powder, bring to a simmer and cook until squash is soft (about 20 minutes). Add 1/2 to 1 cup stock if mixture is dry. Add cooked beans and corn; simmer until corn is tender. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Awash in Squash

Garden Update: first it was the broccoli, then the greens, now we’re awash in spaghetti squash. The vine took over the 4’x10’ bed then tried to crawl across the aisle and up the bean trellis. A few weeks ago I noticed that the vine had withered and died and I decided that even though they were still a little under-ripe it was time to bring them inside. I had 8 of them lined up along our kitchen counter.

I think we may hand a few out at Halloween. Here kid, have a giant under-ripe squash. Boo!

Or maybe we’ll hand out kale. The kale I planted in the spring never bolted, it’s still growing and producing. A few weeks ago, I thinned out a few plants but I still have three. They’re taller than I am. I tied their stalks loosely to stakes so they won’t blow over. I expect them to walk into the house and curl up next to the fire any day now.

Hey kid, would you like a Reese’s peanut butter cup or… a stalk of kale?

Anyway, what are you awash in this fall? Are you planning to grow anything over the winter?

Here’s one of my favorite spaghetti squash recipes. It’s kind of like lasagna only without noodles and with squash so really nothing like lasagna. Forget I said that. Of course, it’s gluten-free. I made a Josie a special dairy-free section without the cheese.

Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Gratin with Tomato Sauce


  • 1 2 lb spaghetti squash
  • 1 lb ground buffalo (or beef)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 28oz cans whole tomatoes drained and chopped
  • 3 oregano sprigs
  • 3 thyme springs
  • 1/2 c grated Parmesan
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 15oz carton ricotta


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Pierce squash with a fork and place it on a baking sheet. Bake for at least an hour or until tender. Cool. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Throw away the seeds and use a fork to remove spaghetti-like strands to measure 4 cups.
  3. Brown ground buffalo (or beef) in a frying pan.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, crushed red pepper, tomatoes, oregano and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Discard oregano and thyme sprigs. Mix in browned buffalo, Parmesan, and remaining salt, pepper, oregano and thyme.
  5. Layer squash, tomato and buffalo mixture, and ricotta cheese in a 9×13 baking dish. Bake at 400 for 50 minutes.


My vegetable beds have gone totally Darwinian – the squash, melons and cucumbers are all tangled up in each other, the kale is five feet tall, and the spaghetti squash vines have taken over one bed and are reaching over the aisle and climbing the green bean trellis. It’s scary out there.

Here’s the problem: I can’t throw away vegetable starts. I don’t do seeds unless they can be planted directly into the beds. When the season is right, I go to the local nursery and buy a variety of organic starts – whatever sounds good. This means I buy six or eight plants when I usually need about three or four.

Take kale for example, I bought a container of six, but when planted the recommended 18” apart I only had room for four. It seemed like there was so much empty space and the starts were so itty-bitty. I couldn’t just throw them away. I imagined my baby kale crushed in the yard waste bin. So, of course, I planted all of them about 12” apart and planned to thin out the smaller more sickly ones later. When that time came they were all so healthy and doing so well. How could I rip such a lovely food-producing plant out of the ground and throw it away? Do you see? This same thing happened with the onions, leeks, chard, kale, all manner of squash, celery, beans, and the lettuce. There’s some crazy shit going on out there.

So now, instead of broccoli, I am awash in chard and kale – greens, greens everywhere. I bring a cooler full to the Wednesday night sailing races and I walk around the parking lot, just me and my bunch of greens, pushing them on anyone who will take them. I add kale to everything – pea soup, stews, spaghetti, and, yes, it was not my proudest moment, but I even add them to tacos.

I’m constantly on the lookout for good greens recipes. I’m fond of a white bean and chard or kale soup and also Martha Stewart has an awesome recipe for brown rice and chard risotto, wrapped in a blanched chard leaf (like a burrito) and topped with tomato sauce. It’s great but exhausting to make.

My new favorite is this one. I substitute chard for spinach and it’s oh so good. Rice, onion, egg, chard and lots of cheese baked together? Really, you can’t go wrong.

Have you got any good greens recipes for me? Please, please help me with our chard consumption. I’m begging you.

Suspense (and BPA-free Canned Tomatoes!)

I know you’re all dying for another weekly installment in the stuff that grows on docks series. I did a lot of crawling around on slippery wood to get these pictures. People thought I was crazy, but I think I got a few good ones. You’re all in for a real treat.

Do you see how the moss follows the wood grain on that top plank?

In other news, there’s an interesting conversation about how to avoid BPA in canned foods going on here in the comments section. Rachel provided a source for BPA-free tomatoes. Thank you Rachel! Of course, they’re not organic. Sigh.

I made this for dinner on Monday. It was really good. I made enough for two dinners but Josie and I ate all the mushrooms the first night. I guess I should make more mushrooms. Maybe I could find some growing on docks and harvest them.

Oh, and look here, I’m famous. Me, Wednesday night, just after finishing my photography expedition.

Curried Quinoa Salad

Hey, I’ve been working on a little sumpin’ sumpin’ over here. Primarily, I think my RSS feed is finally fixed. If you haven’t had any problems: disregard. If you have had problems: try it again. Let me know if it doesn’t work (but maybe wait until Monday because I’ll be really annoyed and I’d hate to ruin my weekend).

Nothing wrong with eating a little bird seed every now and then.

Oh, I’m just kidding. It’s millet that’s in bird seed, not quinoa.

As promised: A couscous recipe that I’ve modified to quinoa to be gluten free. Even if you eat gluten, you should try it. It’s easy and good. 

Recipe: Curried Quinoa Salad


  • 1/2 c quinoa
  • 1/2 pound green beans
  • 1 c chopped seeded cucumber
  • 1/2 c shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c dried currants
  • 1/4 c sliced toasted almonds
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley

Yogurt Dressing

  • 1/2 c plain yogurt
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric


  1. Rinse quinoa and put in a saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer until water is absorbed (10-15 minutes).
  2. Cut beans into 2-inch pieces and steam for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.
  4. Stir together quinoa with all the other ingredients and dressing. Serve warm or cold.

The Food Mini-Series

Nothing to do with anything.

A few more of my friends have gone gluten-free, and I’ve been thinking about diets and nutrition and giving a lot of advice and (hopefully) support. Being gluten-free seems so easy to me now (six years later) that I’ve almost forgotten what they’re going through.

All this and the changing of the seasonal produce from winter squash and sweet potatoes to lettuce and green beans has been stirring up thoughts on nutrition and diet. I can feel a series of food-related posts coming like a storm brewing.   

I have a friend who is particularly fond of the television mini-series, claiming that because they are longer than movie you become more invested in the story, and because they have endings, unlike a regular series, they provide answers. (Curses to Lost for making me wait this long for answers). She makes a valid argument. Maybe we should return to the days of classics like Mother May I Sleep With Danger?

Anyway, if you haven’t noticed by now, I seem to be fond of the mini-series of posts. The things I want to explore are generally too complex for one post but eventually I run out of things to say. So, for now I’ve included a recipe. Perhaps it’s the beginning of another mini-series. I’ll have to come up with a name… Any ideas?

The recipe: it’s chicken. It’s easy and good and (of course) gluten-free. Enjoy! 

Recipe: Five-Spice Roast Chicken


  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 cut-up chicken (8 pieces; about 3.5 pounds)
  • 1 large onion, peeled, cut into 16 wedges


  1. Combine garlic, salt, olive oil and Chinese five-spice powder in a large bowl. Add chicken pieces and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 F. Arrange onion wedges in 13x9x2-inch roasting pan. Arrange chicken, skin side up, atop onions. Roast until chicken is cooked through, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 50 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and let rest 10 minutes. Arrange chicken and onions on platter and serve.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup



I love fresh soup and I’m convinced it cures almost everything. This one is made without any stock so it is quick and easy and a good way to eat lots of vegetables. I give it to Josie in a cup so she can get more down faster since these days her butt is only in the chair for about 20 seconds before she decides she’s completely through and I have to go back to reading her fish book while she asks me if each fish is happy or sad and why or why not, and if, in fact, the bubbles are happy or sad, and I have to explain why the bubbles don’t have feelings while wondering if I should just give up and tell her the bubbles are happy and be done with it.

Anyhoo, the soup is good. Lots of veggies eaten quickly. It’s also easy and yummy. I’m not super-fond of curry so I use half of the recommended amount. It’s from the Café Flora Cookbook. They recommend toasting and grinding your own spices. Yeah, that would be nice. I just use regular ground spices and it works well enough.   


  • 1 medium butternut squash (2.5-3 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion minced
  • salt
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced, peeled, fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons curry (I only use 1)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Optional: pinch of cayenne pepper or hot sauce


  1. Peel the squash and cut it in half. Remove the seeds, and cut squash into 1 to 2 inch chunks.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and saute until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring several times. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook 2 minutes more.
  3. Add the curry powder, cumin and coriander, and sautee for 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Add 4 cups of water, the squash, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook, covered, at a low boil until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and puree the soup in batches in a blender, being careful to fill the blender jar no more than halfway.
  5. Return the pureed soup to the pot, add the coconut milk, and bring just to a boil. Take the soup off the heat, add the lime juice, and salt to taste. Add cayenne or hot sauce if you want and serve.

Pork, Not Ham

Oh yea, I loves me some tacos

It’s got pork, salsa and chocolate in it. Did you hear that? It’s got chocolate in it. I often overcook a yam and mash it up along with some black beans and wrap it all up in a corn tortilla. Yum, yams. OK, maybe not your thing. Skip the yams if you want, but perhaps you should think about eating more orange vegetables. Seriously, when was the last time? I thought so…

Recipe: Slow Cooker Pulled-Pork Tacos


  • 2 cups store-bought salsa, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Salt
  • 1 – 2 1/2-pound boneless pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 c fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 c sour cream
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. In a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, combine the salsa, chili powder, oregano, cocoa and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the pork and turn to coat.
  2. Cook, covered, until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily, on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  3. Twenty minutes before serving, heat oven at 350 F. Stack the tortillas, wrap them in foil, and bake until warm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, using 2 forks, shred the port and stir into the cooking liquid, serve with the tortillas, cilantro, sour cream, lime and extra salsa.

Recipe from Real Simple Magazine.