a good harvest
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« March 2014 »
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Education and Values
Harvest Hills Farm activity
Home Environment
Nutrition and food safety
Saturday, 22 March 2014
Corned Beef Hash from St. Paddy's Day leftovers!
Topic: Recipes

I am such a lucky girl--my sister Chris is visiting and loves to cook--

and I had leftovers from a traditional St. Patrick's Day boiled dinner--

you know, corned beef, poataoes, carrots, cabbage... 

So, look what Chris cooked up!

And--here's the recipe!


 Corned Beef Hash

Requires about 1 lb. of leftover corned beef , leftover carrots and cabbage!

Start with the following non-leftovers:

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced

1/2 onion, chopped

Sauté the above

Chop the following leftovers from St. Patrick's Day:

the leftover corned beef (about 1 lb), carrots (1), cabbage (1/3) and add to pan.

(Note: adding potato is traditional BUT we're keeping this lower carb, too!)

Cook on medium high 10- 15 min.  

Add some additional pepper, fresh chopped parsley & salt lightly.



And ...don't you just LOVE this closeup? 





Posted by Karen at 12:11 CDT
Updated: Saturday, 22 March 2014 12:12 CDT
Share This Post Share This Post
Thursday, 20 March 2014
A Veggie Dinner from leftovers?
Topic: Recipes

A Veggie Dinner from leftovers?

Why not? Tonight I had no time, but I had a leftover sweet potato and some baked beans. I also had a frozen package of Amy's vegetarian enchiladas, a nice pre-made-for-one main course.



Of course, if you're not eating “solo” then you really should create your own “Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas” which can be done with no difficulty at all.

All you'll need is some corn (or other whole grain) tortillas, a can of enchilada sauce, and some veggies to oven-roast.

Roasted Vegetables for Enchiladas

Parchment paper to line a baking pan.

Assorted vegetables, fresh or frozen, cut into diced-sized pieces. Suggest: corn kernels, zucchini, onions, bell pepper-any color, potato, eggplant, canned—rinsed and drained—beans,

Put diced vegetables into a mixing bowl. Toss veggies with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, a few cloves of minced garlic, salt and pepper—until coated.

Spread vegetables on the parchment lined pan and roast at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until cooked.

Remove veggies back to mixing bowl. Mix vegetables with ½ can of enchilada sauce.

On an open tortilla, place about 2 Tbsp of the vegetable mixture.

Roll the tortilla. Place in a fresh baking pan.

Cover rolled enchiladas with the remaining ½ can of enchilada sauce.

Bake at 350 degrees until heated through.


Sprinkle with your choice of shredded mexican cheese blend. Add sour cream, guacamole, etc.

Add sides—baked sweet potato, plantains, refried beans, baked beans—maybe some cooked greens or cole slaw or green salad--and similar, are all great ideas.

Posted by Karen at 17:59 CDT
Updated: Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:11 CDT
Share This Post Share This Post
Saturday, 15 March 2014
Vegetable Lasagne
Topic: Recipes

I am still craving vegetables and so happy to remember my home-canned foods from last Summer that remain "garden-fresh".

I've been drinking the wonderful Tomato juice cocktail (my piano teacher's recipe that's in past blogs). Last night, I made Vegetable Lasagne and used a quart of my homemade marinara sauce (that recipe is also in past blogs.)

Here's the recipe for Vegetable Lasagne!


Vegetable Lasagne

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray prep baking dish.

6 lasagne noodles, cooked

8 oz. shredded Italian blend cheeses

Shredded Parmesan cheese, 2-3 Tbsp.

Saute the following together, until cooked, in 2-3 Tbsp olive oil:

2 carrots chopped, 1 small onion chopped, 4 oz. portabello mushrooms, chopped.

Add 2 oz. chopped black olives.

Open 1 quart of marinara sauce (hopefully your homemade marinara sauce!), pour about ¾ cup sauce on bottom of lasagne pan, then add remaining marina sauce to above vegetables and mix in. Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl combine:

10 oz. chopped fresh spinach, which has been sauteed in 2 Tbsp. Olive oil, with 4 large cloves of chopped garlic and a couple sprinkles of nutmeg

2 eggs

15 oz. Ricotta cheese

1/2 tsp salt , 1/2 tsp. Red pepper flakes

Assemble lasagne as follows:

Layer ¾ cup of plain marinara sauce on bottom of pan (see above).

Layer 3 lasagne noodles.

Layer ½ of Ricotta cheese mixture.

Layer 4 oz. shredded Italian blend cheese.

Layer 1/2 marinara-vegetable mixture.

Layer. 3 lasagne noodles.

Layer remaining ½ of Ricotta cheese mixture.

Layer 4 oz. shredded Italian blend cheese.

Layer remaining 1/2 of marinara-vegetable mixture.

Sprinkle 2-3 Tbsp. Shredded Parmesan.




Bake at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes until set. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. 



Posted by Karen at 14:01 CDT
Share This Post Share This Post
Sunday, 9 March 2014
Staying with Vegetables (Lent you know)
Topic: Education and Values

You'll remember that I am very sensitive to nutrient-dense meal plans right now. My trip to Uganda remains in the foreground of my thinking, I am compiling the journal and will share when it's in a readable state. Right now, it's still an emotional state. I am still  shell-shocked and emotionally connected. 

What I've shared so far is the sad lack of diversity of crops, resulting in vitamin and mineral deficiencies...and resulting in actual deficiency syndromes in the people who are otherwise blessed by their two growing seasons!

Today, I'd like to remind all of us to ...1--remember the Ugandan people in your prayers during Lent and 2-- incorporate healthy options into our diet, especially be reminded of our vegetables during those meat-less days in Lent--


Our dinner last night--what a super Saturday night spread! Marvelous Black Bean burgers with spicy sauce, raw onions and a broccoli slaw, and carrot casserole.

 Here's the recipe for Carrot Casserole:

Carrot Casserole

Peel and chop 2 lbs. of carrots (Give those peelings to your chickens!)

Boil carrots until tender, drain.

Cook separately--1 small onion chopped, 2 cloves of garlic and 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped, in 2-3 Tbsp olive oil, until translucent.

Combine this with the carrots and 1 can of Cheddar cheese  condensed soup (alternatively, you can make 10 oz of cheese sauce),

Prep a baking dish with spray oil  and place carrot mixture in the pan.

In a skillet, melt 1/2 stick of butter and saute 1 cup of cornflake crumbs (or bread crumbs.)

Sprinkle crumbs on top of carrot mixture.

Add additional shredded cheese as desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 








Posted by Karen at 14:04 CST
Updated: Sunday, 9 March 2014 14:09 CST
Share This Post Share This Post
Saturday, 1 March 2014
Thanksgiving Dinner
Topic: Education and Values

I'm BACK! Time for a Thanksgiving dinner...

 Thanksgiving Dinner

when you realize you're thankful for everything in your life

I just returned from 16 days out of the country, on a humanitarian mission to northern Uganda. Sometimes it takes leaving one place to recognize what you've left behind. You see things better from a distance. I can tell you the trip was life changing for me and I sincerely hope I was helpful to the people I had the privilege of serving. 

I functioned for the first week as a physician, working alongside the Medical Director of St. Luke's Angal Hospital in Nebbi District,northern Uganda.  My work involved seeing patients in their OPD (outpatient department, the emergency and walk-in clinic), the isolation ward and cholera tent and serving as a physician-mentor.

The second week I functioned in my farmer role, teaching nutrition, crop diversification to provide nutrient dense foods, food safety and HACCP methodology. My final lecture to community women addressed their greatest and immediate health threats and nutrition.

I kept a detailed journal and will share stories in future posts. But for today, I simply want to share a reminder that we all need to periodically express thanksgiving for the many blessings we have. I made a Thanksgiving dinner last night and invited friends over to do just that.

The Alur tribe, the group of people we served in this mission, is geographically located about 20% in Uganda and 80% in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were converted to Catholicism by Italian missionaries in the late 1800s, and who have stayed with the community, building their church, school, and hospital. (Interestingly, the tribe since its historical beginning in 850 AD has always been monotheist). Christianity has grounded their ethics and the basic concept of responsibility for one another. This made it easy for me to teach farmers the need for them to be the nutritionists and educate their market to the need for new crops to provide needed nutrients.

The British occupied Uganda and had taught them European farming techniques, so they all knew how to save seeds, amortize soil, do no-till gardening, etc. What they lacked, and I hope was able to provide, was the concept of a nutritionally complete diet from produce, grains, legumes-- (I'll leave the discussion about livestock to future posts.) We also addressed nutritionally vulnerable groups and food safety in detail. They “got it” and I feel confident will implement the suggestions. I was fortunate to have the minister of Agriculture and a NGO official involved in setting up community gardens send 20 trainers to my seminars. The minister of Agriculture has also taken the 120 packets of heirloom seeds and materials to start 600 new nutrient dense plants of various types and will distribute the seedlings to these farmers for the upcoming growing season to try. If they like the products, they know how to save seeds to keep them going.

My point about the Thanksgiving dinner—see how we have diverse food groups in a typical dinner? Good protein source, colorful sides. Especially note those sweet potatoes at the top. The Alur grow sweet potatoes and yams but in a sad, ironic twist, they are white and devoid of beta carotene. Consequently, the population suffers from “preventable blindness” because they have no access to orange produce. Another problem associated with vitamin A deficiency is loss of immune function due to T cell dysfunction—in a population burdened by HIV/AIDS. Needless to say, I concentrated on this nutrient, but also provided information on all essential vitamins and nutrients and what to grow for your community's health.


 For today, let me share this quick recipe for glazed sweet potatoes (though a quick microwave bake with butter, salt and pepper sounds good too!).


Clean and place about 4 lbs. of sweet potatoes in a pot to boil about 15 minutes, tender but still firm.

Discard the water, and peel the skins from the flesh of the potato. The skins should come off easily.

Cut the potatoes into quarters or wedges.

In a large skillet, melt one stick of butter. Add ½ cup of orange juice and ½ cup brown sugar.

Bring to a simmer and add the cut up sweet potatoes, turning to coat and heat through.

Posted by Karen at 10:20 CST
Share This Post Share This Post
Thursday, 6 February 2014
Beef Stroganoff- hearty simplicity!
Topic: Recipes

 Beef Stroganoff...

Here's yet another deceptively easy crockpot recipe that you can start before work, then come home to the beautiful fragrance of a home-cooked dinner. And you likely have all the ingredients in the house right now.



Beef Stroganoff (in the crockpot)

Prep crockpot liner with a light spray-oil.

Mix together: 

2 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized cubes

1 can of Golden Mushroom soup, undiluted 

1 can drained sliced mushrooms

1/2 small onion, chopped (optional)

salt, pepper,dried thyme

Cook together on "Low" at least 8 hours.

About 15 minutes before serving, stir in:

2 Tbso, flour, stirred into 1/2 cup of sour cream.

Stir the sour cream-flour blend into the stroganoff in the crockpot. Allow to cook together until sides are ready. 

Beef Stroganoff is usually served over cooked egg noodles. However, I decided to do this dinner over brown rice. Plated in a large dinner bowl, my side green vegetable is steamed Russian red kale (had it in the freezer, blanched, from the garden last Summer!) over which I drizzled a little vinegar and oil.

 Hmm...Beef Stroganoff with Russian Red Kale...

inspired by Sochi 2014??? 


Posted by Karen at 09:09 CST
Updated: Thursday, 6 February 2014 09:13 CST
Share This Post Share This Post
Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Broccoli Cheese Soup
Topic: Recipes

Apparently the gopher saw his shadow, thus 6 more weeks of Winter.

Oh, that we could be so lucky and only have 6 more weeks and not 3 more months, which is what I suspect will turn out to be the fact...

So, I think we need to be reminded of an easy recipe for a hearty soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup. Note that you can substitute frozen Cauliflower for the Broccoli or even choose a Broccoli-Cauliflower blend! 


 Broccoli-Cheese Soup

6 servings

Saute together in a soup pot in 2-3 tbsp. Olive oil:

½ onion, chopped fine

1 stalk of celery, chopped fine

1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine


32 oz chicken broth

16 oz. frozen, chopped broccoli

2 carrots, chopped into smaller pieces

Salt, pepper and parsley

Simmer with lid on until the broccoli and carrots are throughly cooked and soft about 30 minutes.

Stir in:

2 Tbsp. Flour mixed in 1 cup of milk

Simmer additional 5 minutes, while stirring.

Then, stir in:

8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Pulse with the immersion blender, directly in the pot,a few times to puree some of the soup, especially the larger pieces, leaving smaller pieces intact.



Posted by Karen at 10:03 CST
Share This Post Share This Post
Sunday, 2 February 2014
Superbowl Roast Beef Sandwiches
Topic: Recipes

I know it's last minute...

But, here's a quick idea for tonight's game menu. (Remember, you have to work tomorrow so you don't want everyone just eating snacks for dinner!) 

 Crockpot Roast Beef

Lightly spray-oil the crockpot. 

Place a 2-3 lb. round or sirloin tip roast in the crockpot.

Add 1 can of undiluted Golden Mushroom Soup (if you want a thicker gravy)

OR--Add 1 can of undiluted French Onion soup (if you want an "au Jus" type gravy)

Cover the crockpot, cook on low until game time (about 8-10 hours-you can't overcook). Do NOT be tempted to dilute the soup or peek or add any water!

When ready to serve, take the roast out to a platter, allow to rest about 10 minutes, then slice thinly for sandwiches.  Return slices to the crockpot and gravy to keep warm until your side dishes are ready.

IF you want a thicker gravy, when the meat is on the platter, whisk in a rounded tablespoon of flour directly into the crockpot juices, until thickened.




For sides--

how about a vinegar-and -oil or creamy cole slaw (mayonnaise, cider vinegar, salt, pepper, onion powder, dillweed) 

maybe some "doctored up" smokey baked beans?

and "cheesy potato casserole" (those boxed potato casseroles are not a bad idea and when you sneak in some kale or spinach, they'll never know) 

 Have a great Game Night!


Posted by Karen at 09:30 CST
Updated: Tuesday, 4 February 2014 10:09 CST
Share This Post Share This Post
Saturday, 25 January 2014
Salmon Patties
Topic: Recipes

One more delicious way to use canned salmon (and increase your intake of protein, omega 3 fatty acids, B and D vitamins, calcium and selenium)...

Even "non-fisheaters" will love these patties which crisp up very nicely with their super light coating of cornflake crumbs, pan-fried in olive oil. 

Keep the last 3 posts in mind when you are looking for those family favorites during meatless Fridays in Lent. 


Salmon Patties

makes 6 patties

Saute ½ small onion and one stalk of celery, chopped finely, in 2 tbsp olive oil. Allow to cool.

Place 2 cans (7.5 oz or one 15 oz) of Red Sockeye or Pink Salmon in a bowl, draining excess water off first.

Add to the bowl with salmon:

Onion and celery, prepped as above

2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise

1/3 cup of corn flake crumbs

1 egg

1 Tsp. Dried Dillweed

Ground black pepper

Combine these ingredients, breaking up the larger, soft bones, with your fingers or spoon. Form into 6 patties, and then lightly dredge each patty into an additional small amount of cornflake crumbs, to coat both sides of each patty. Note this is really lightly done with only about a Tbsp of crumbs used in total on the 6 patties.

Cook immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready for use.

Fry patties in a skillet with 2-3 tbsp olive oil, turning once, about 5 minutes on each side over medium high heat to cook to an interior temperature of 155 degrees (until inside is light pink and fully cooked.)

Serve with a dipping sauce of mayonnaise, lemon juice and dillweed, or a prepared sauce such as tartar sauce or other dipping sauce of your choice. Round out the meal with a great salad or coleslaw (I have a slaw with shredded red cabbage, broccoli and carrots) and maybe some greens like the steamed, chopped spinach which I've sprinkled with a little cider vinegar.



Posted by Karen at 08:59 CST
Share This Post Share This Post
Thursday, 23 January 2014
Salmon Loaf
Topic: Recipes

Sticking with the salmon theme from last post...maybe you didn't have a salmon filet in the freezer, but you have this instead:


If so, then why not try this recipe for salmon loaf, made like a meat loaf but with canned salmon instead-- still packed with omega 3 fatty acids, protein, B vitamins and selenium!


 Salmon Loaf

(serves 2-3, easily doubled)

Prep a pyrex or glass pan with oil, Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine the following:

2 small (7.5 oz) cans of Red Salmon, with the juice, break up the chunks into pieces

1 egg

½ cup each, finely chopped onion and sweet pepper (green, yellow, red or combination)

½ cup breadcrumbs (or corn flake crumbs, if wheat sensitive)

Seasonings: dried dillweed, ground black pepper or lemon pepper.

Mix together and form into a loaf.

Bake at 350 degrees about 45-50 minutes (if doubling, then allow 1 hour.)

Let sit about 5 minutes before cutting and serve with a dipping sauce—your own blend of mayonnaise, lemon juice and dillweed-- (or bottled Ranch or Green Goddess dressing or tartar sauce?)

Posted by Karen at 07:49 CST
Share This Post Share This Post

Newer | Latest | Older