Panzanella with Sun-dried Tomato Dressing


When I think of summer I think of tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh Gazy Brothers Farm veggies.   Panzanella is a great way to use leftover veggies and bread.  It’s also a wonderful salad to bring to picnics and outdoor events.

For this particular recipe I started with a basic panzanella recipe from Ina Garten.  Instead of a simple oil and vinegar dressing  I made a sun-dried tomato  vinaigrette .  I really love the flavor and intensity that sun-dried tomato brings to any basic vinaigrette recipe.   Sun-dried tomato vinaigrettes can be used thru the summer as a way to add a depth of flavor into any summer salad; like this panzanella.

Panzanella Ingredients:                                                                                                 010755235d3c80e24995c66dc19c79f908ac68f84e

1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped


Ingredients for the vinaigrette:

01a613086b73990d0e39ad4521e15e7c92670ba2293-4 heaping tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 garlic clove, diced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Drizzle bread cubes with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place on sheet pan and toast in 325 degree oven until golden brown. It usually takes 10-20 minutes.  Make sure to keep your eye on it doesn’t burn.01b7077b9f2532dcbe13d0a4a578dee59b6876a931

Make the vinaigrette by adding sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, and garlic in food processor blender.  Pulse to combine.  Add cherry tomatoes and olive oil – blend till smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.


In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, and basil.


Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette.  Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.




Broccoli Packets with Garlic Lemon and Cheese

Easiest summer cooking method IMO is packet cooking, so why not fresh broccoli with garlic and lemon cooked on your grill or in your oven.

Recipe inspired by Pillsbury which would work also nicely for several vegetables such as cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini and squash.

1 head broccoli (fresh, cut into large florets, and slice stem and include)
1/2-1 lemon, juiced over broccoli (roll the lemon to release the juices before cutting/squeezing)
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese (shreaded or grated)
1-2 tsp garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic)
Oil spray (or 1 tsp olive oil, drizzled)
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional)

This is easy-peazy to do. Wash broccoli, cut into large florets and be sure to slice the stems and include. Place broccoli on a large piece of oil-sprayed aluminum foil. Squeeze lemon over broccoli, sprinkle with garlic, pepper, Parmesan cheese and for extra heat sprinkle some red pepper flakes.

Close foil packet by folding top and slides together, leaving some space for expansion as it cooks. Place in indirect heat on the grill for 15 to 25 minutes depending on heat of grill and how crispy or soft you like the broccoli.

Serve immediately but any leftovers are delicious cold, so cook a double batch if you can.




Slow-Cooked Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions
Caramelized Onions are sweet and delicious and easy to make in a slow cooker overnight or all day long.

Once you peel and slice the onions they slowly sweat in the slow cooker releasing fluid (since they are about 75% water), then they caramelize and brown. The final step is important when the cooking continues with the slow cooker uncovered. Outcome is simply heavenly.

1 lb Yellow Onions (sliced 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch)
1 lb Spanish Onions (sliced 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch)
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tbsp Salt (or to taste)

You have a lot of onions at home – what do you do?

Step 1: Peel and slice onions, toss with oil and salt.

Sliced onions in crockpot
Step 2: Cook on low in covered slow cooker for 8-10 hours (or at 190F in the oven), then cook for an additional 1-3 hours uncovered to reduce the liquid released by the onions. If you want it more like Onion Jam cook longer.

caramelizing onions in crockpot
TIP: You can create a quick caramelized onions by sauteing sliced onions with a little baking soda. This does work but creates a softer, mushier texture which is good to mix into dips.

Chicken Enchilada

Photo Aug 20, 7 28 57 PM (1)
1 batch of tomatillo salsa
1 lb ground chicken
flour tortillas
cotija cheese
cilantro crema – sour cream blended with juice of 1/2 lime and a splash of heavy cream.  Add chopped cilantro and use to garnish

Step 1 – Saute ground chicken. Take off heat and mix in 1/2 cup of salsaPhoto Aug 20, 7 19 22 PM

Step 2 – Cover bottom of  baking dish with a few spoonfuls of salsa.  Take 1 -2  tablespoons of meat mixture place in center or wrap and roll.   Place roll seem side down into baking dish and cover with salsa and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes – till cheese is brown and enchilada is bubbling.Photo Aug 20, 7 19 50 PM

Step 3 Garnish with cilantro and crema to taste.Photo Aug 20, 7 28 57 PM



Tomatillo Salsa

Photo Aug 20, 5 57 29 PM

3 Tomatillos
1 Jalapeno
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1 serranno chili pepper
1 red chili pepper
olive oil
bunch of cilantro

Step 1 – toss vegetables with olive oil and roast in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes Photo Aug 20, 5 16 34 PM

Step 2 – Blend roasted vegetables with cilantro and juice from the lime in blender.

Photo Aug 20, 5 52 43 PM

Store salsa and use as dip for chips, add to tacos, taco salads, or enchiladas

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
6 to 8 serving

strawberry rhubarb 7

1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Zest of one lemon
1/4 pound (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 quart strawberries hulled & quartered
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt
optional: 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste or extract & 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugars and lemon zest and cut in softened butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Refrigerate until needed.

strawberry rhubarb 2

2. Prepare filling: Toss rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt into 9 inch dish.  I prefer pyrex or ceramic dishes.

strawberry rhubarb 6

3. Remove topping from refrigerator and cover fruit thickly and evenly with topping. Place dish on a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes.

strawberry rhubarb 7

Powerhouse Rainbow Chard Sauté

Photo 6
Powerhouse your diet – add green leafy, yellow/orange, citrus and cruciferous items to our diet.

Why? Reduced risk of chronic disease, plus they are packed with nutrition to fuel our bodies and minds.  But the most important reason is they are easy to use, quick to cook, and oh so tasty.

Also, this is a great prep ahead and cook last minute dish.

You can switch these ingredients for so many variations, whatever is fresh and strikes your fancy at the farmers market or CSA basket. Try substituting chard for beet greens, spinach, chicory, leaf lettuce, watercress, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, kale, or arugula and you’ll still get that same great powerhouse punch.

Check out these other powerhouse foods studied for their nutrient density by the CDC.

Yield: 3 servings

Rainbow chard, 1 bunch, chopped (~5 cups)
Onion, ½ large, chopped
Green garlic, 2 stalks, sliced in rounds
Baby Bella mushrooms, 2 cups
Salt and Pepper to taste (or ¼ teaspoon each)
Coconut oil, 1 teaspoon
Optional: Orange peel (can be added during sautéing for brightness)

Step 1: Prepare the chard by washing, spinning damp dry, and roughly chopping. Discard the toughest part of the stem; the rest softens a bit in cooking, but some prefer to remove the stem entirely.

Photo 3

Step 2: Chop onion half, slice mushrooms, and slice green garlic stalks into rounds. (We include the green tops of the stalks – yummy.) If you are preparing more items, you could hold ingredients at this step until a few minutes before eating for best flavor.

Photo 1

Step 3: Sauté onion, garlic, and mushroom in oil for 5 minutes to soften.

Photo 2

Step 4: Pile on the chopped chard and sauté, watching and turning the chard periodically and cooking until just wilted down and tender – you want to give this a quick cook so that you retain as much nutrition and flavor as possible.

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Step 5: Salt and pepper to taste, toss thoroughly. Eat and enjoy.

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Serving suggestion – this makes a great breakfast or brunch dish with a poached or fried egg on top.

Nutrition Analysis
Recipe yields 3 servings. Per serving, using ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper: 51 calories, 8 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams dietary fiber, 2 grams total fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 3 grams protein, 503 milligrams potassium, 329 milligrams sodium, 189 micrograms vitamin A.

Eggplant and Zucchini Lasagna

Fresh vegetables make all the difference to the taste of this lasagna. See it being made and then try it yourself!

Ingredients (serves 4)
2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise

1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise
Optional: 1 large portabella mushroom, cubed
1-1/2 cups pasta sauce or seasoned crushed tomatoes
1 cup mozzarella cheese, cubed or shredded
2 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp roasted garlic powder (or fresh garlic clove minced)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp lemon extract (optional, if you like lemon ricotta)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees. Slice zucchini and eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Salt and pepper them to taste and bake on an oiled baking sheet until tender, about 8-10 minutes per side – but timing varies so watch for doneness. While that is cooking combine the ricotta cheese with the beaten egg, garlic, onion, basil and lemon extract, then salt and pepper to taste. Now create the masterpiece – layering sauce, eggplant, zucchini, mozzarella cheese (reserve 1/3 cup for topping). Repeat process until vegetables are stacked. Top with 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes covered and then 5 minutes uncovered to brown cheese. Let cool 10 minutes to help it set and distribute liquids.

Note: because this is vegetable based there is extra liquid – very tasty liquid. After refrigerating the liquid seemed to magically disappear and the leftovers were even tastier.

Veggie Chicken Foil Packets with Savory Broth

Foil packets are delicious, easy, plan ahead, throw on BBQ or in oven!

Flavor combinations are limitless – you pick what’s fresh and how you want your broth flavored. This variation is OKRAlicious! This recipe serves 4 but is easy to size up or down.

Chicken packet
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup okra, sliced into rounds
1 cup yellow and red peppers, chopped
1 cup green beans, chopped
2 carrots, cut length-wise in strips
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
4 tbsp Italian dressing
4 tbsp white wine
Minced chives
Fresh or dried herb – fresh is better if you have it
Salt and pepper to taste
Aluminum foil, 4 sheets – extra heavy is preferred

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375.
Chop vegetables and prepare foil by spraying or brushing with oil.
Step 1: Ingredients
Step 2: Make the vegetable bed by adding 1/4 cup each of green beans, onions, and carrots to sprayed foil sheet. Sprinkle with chives.
Step 2
Step 3: Salt and pepper chicken and layer on top of vegetable bed. Top chicken with 1/4 cup mushrooms, peppers and okra. Sprinkle any additional fresh herbs or seasoning you enjoy now, and some more salt and pepper to top layer of veggies.
Step 3
Step 4: Drizzle each packet with 1 tablespoon Italian dressing (or whatever flavor combination you prefer, such as lemon or lime juice).
Step 4
Step 5: Crimp edges together to make the foil packets.Step 5
Step 6: Place packets on cooking sheet and put on center rack of preheated 375F oven.  Alternatively throw the packets on the BBQ.
Step 6
Step 7: Unwrap hot packets carefully and serve in a bowl being careful to pour all the delicious broth from the packets into your bowl – yum. Eat and enjoy!
Step 7

Winter Squash – 3 Ways

Love winter squash? One squash, three different ideas! It’s easy to be creative with an ingredient that’s so versatile. We turned one winter carnival squash into three different recipes – and the fun is each recipe builds on the other, so you can even turn one recipe into the next. Feel free to substitute any winter squash – it will be equally delicious. Pick what you’re in the mood for – or try all three!

Let’s get started!

Recipe 1 – Baked Stuffed Squash with Apples and Onions StuffedSquash
1 carnival squash (wash the outside, cut in half, reserve seeds for Recipe 2)
1 apple (we used gala)
Zest of 1 lemon, juice of half a lemon
Quarter red onion, chopped fine
Half teaspoon vanilla extract
Quarter teaspoon salt
Quarter teaspoon cinnamon
Eighth teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon butter (separated in two pieces)

If baking squash seeds (see recipe 2, below) while prepping this recipe, raise oven temperature to 375°F after removing the seeds from the oven. Otherwise, preheat oven to 375°F.
Wash the carnival squash, apples, lemon, and mince red onion.
Cut squash in half, remove the seeds and use in recipe 2.
Place seeded squash face up on baking pan, lightly salt and then fill with minced onions and apple pieces.
Top each squash half with half a teaspoon of butter.
Drizzle one-quarter teaspoon vanilla extract over each half. Sprinkle halves with cinnamon and nutmeg. Drizzle with honey. Zest the peel of one lemon, sprinkle on each squash half. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over both squash halves. Lightly salt squash again.
By the time you have prepared these halves the Toasted Squash Seeds will be done. Take out and taste – yum! – either crack open and enjoy seed within (or some people even eat the entire crunchy seed).
Raise the oven temperature to 375°F and preheat.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, then remove and smell the goodness!
Now time for Recipe 3! (If you have any left after this comes out of the oven!)


Recipe 2 – Toasted Squash SeedsToastedSeeds
Carnival squash seeds (from recipe 1 prep)
Salt or other desired seasoning

Preheat oven to 275°F.
Place seeds on a baking sheet, salt or season them, and cook in the 275°F oven for 20 minutes. Don’t worry about removing all of the pulp, it toasts nicely and tastes great!


Recipe 3 – Cream of Squash SoupSquashSoup
Finished Baked Stuffed Squash (from Recipe 2, above)
Coconut creamer (or any liquid to thin puree into soup)
Additional salt and pepper, to taste

Remove skin from the Baked Carnival Squash with Apples and Onion.
Place cooked ingredients in blender, or food processor.
Puree and add coconut creamer (or other liquid, such as milk or stock) until it reaches your desired thickness. This can be a thick, creamy soup or thinner consistency, depending on your preference.
Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.