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May 042015

Spiralized Zucchini Pasta

Everyone in the family will love spiraled vegetables, or, if you’re trying to get more goodness into your 4 year old we won’t snitch if you call it “schetties,” and they’ll never miss actual spaghetti. Once you try this dish, neither will you. To make this dish you will need a “Vegetable Spiralizer

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: spiralizing, sauteing, slicing, shredding

Spiralized Zucchini Pasta


  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • pint of grape tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • parmasean cheese for garnish


  1. 1. In a large frying pan, add a few tablespoons of olive oil and the butter and heat until butter is melted.
  2. Add onions and cook on medium until the onions are softened, but haven’t begun to brown yet. About 5 minutes.
  3.  Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes.
  4.  Add the zucchini and sauté the entire mixture until the zucchini begins to just barely soften, About 3 minutes.
  5.  Add the tomatoes and continue to cook until they just begin to soften.
  6. Put portion on plate and sprinkle on cheese if desired.

2 servings (as main dish)

Jun 232015

Creamy Garlic Scape Pesto and Zucchini Noodles

Upon opening the fridge tonight I happily discovered a full cup of Garlic Scape Pesto leftover from the weekend. On Saturday we ate it with cream (as outlined in this recipe) over ricotta-spinach ravioli and it was so delicious I immediately wanted more of it. But, you see. Sigh. There’s this dress. A dress I am trying to encourage to “fit better” for an upcoming trip to Italy. With that in mind, I chose to instead make a meal with fewer calories—and fewer carbs. I’m banking those carbs for Milan and Tuscany. Can you blame me? I unwittingly brought 5 pounds of Rome home on my, um…hips, a few years ago; I know what to expect in Italy.

Not feeling overly creative I went with easy. You guessed it. Zucchini noodles were once again a perfect stand in for the linguini I originally considered. That knocked the pasta calories from 300 to about 30 by going vegetable instead. And the carb count went from 14% to 1% of my daily allowance by making the swap.  Yes, I probably didn’t need to lick the pan clean with my fingers but the pesto cream sauce was that good and I was home alone. Besides, the dress stretches.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Spiralizing, sautéing, simmering


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons Garlic Scape Pesto
  • 4 small or 3 medium zucchini
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sprinkling of Parmesan or Romano cheese (optional)


  1. Cut the ends off each zucchini and spiralize into thin vegetable noodles, set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a pan over medium-low heat.
  3. Stir in cream until well blended.
  4. Add pesto and whisk slowly until well blended. Let simmer on low to thicken a bit, stirring frequently.
  5. Stir in zucchini.
    Garden Candy Recipe Jar orange(Note: If your zucchini is a little past peak, it might have excess moisture in it when spiraled, blot with paper towel. Freshly ripe zucchini does not seem to have extra liquid when spiral sliced.)
  6. Let zucchini warm in the pan for about 5-7 minutes, longer if you want it very soft. We like ours to hold some al dente crunch.
  7. Salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Transfer to serving plates.
  9. Sprinkle with grated cheese. (optional)

Serves 3-4

Jun 082015

A Tale of Two Slicers

Veggetti Vegetable Spiralizer

The Veggetti

We’re always on the lookout for the best kitchen tools to make any job easier, or at the very least, more fun. Enter the spiralizer, or whatever you want to call these little vegetable slicers that transform that uninspired zucchini into delightful vegetable noodles.

We love spiralizing vegetables and enjoying them in both raw salads and sautéed dishes, replacing that carb-laden spaghetti in pasta dishes.

Christine recently took two popular spiral vegetable slicers for a spin, making veggie noodles from the four most commonly spiralized vegetables: yellow squash, zucchini, carrot, and cucumber. We chose these two slicers, The Veggetti (yes that’s the real name) and the Microplane, because they’re readily available and, at around $15, are affordable additions to your kitchen tool arsenal.

Microplane Spiral Slicer

The Microplane

For those who’ve never spiralized a vegetable you’ll see just how easy and fun it can be. And in our side-by-side comparison between the two you can get an idea of which slicer would be best for you.

If you’ve used other slicers that you love—or don’t—we’d love to hear about your experiences (and favorite recipes!).


May 052015

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Subscriber Marie in Connecticut is the lucky winner of this lovely trio of handmade soaps from Dorset Daughters, a Vermont soapmaker known for fine, small-batch soaps. One Lavender with Rosemary & Clary Sage, one Vermont Milk & Honey Oatmeal, and one Lemongrass with ground apricot seeds will be delivered to her door. Perfect for wash up after digging into your garden!

Subscriber Giveaway - Dorset Daughters Soap

Becki in Vermont was the winner of this handy vegetable spiralizer.

Here are a few of the dishes we made with ours:

Fiddle Heads & Ramps
Raw Rainbow Ribbon Swirl
Zucchini Pasta

Vegetable Spiralizer

May 052015

Hot & Cold on Fiddleheads & Ramps

Nothing says spring in the country like foraging for wild food. Fiddleheads are a real favorite. Their complex flavor reminds us of broccoli mixed with asparagus and then mixed with spinach. Or something like that. It’s an earthy, nutty taste when cooked. There’s no “right” way to treat a fiddlehead. Boiling, sautéing, roasting all work. And everyone has their favorites. In this recipe we roast them.

Ramps (wild leeks) have a natural, mild-medium onion flavor. In this dish we use the whole delectable plant, including the leaves.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: spiralizing, sauteing, slicing, roasting

Garden Candy Recipe Jar orangeNote: If you’re fiddleheads are freshly harvested they need to be cleaned. To start, soak them in cold water then drain the whole bunch. Rinsing fiddleheads individually is the easiest way to remove the brown papery skins.

Ramps (Wild Leeks) are as easy to clean as any green onions. Running under cold water to remove dirt, sometimes peeling away the thin outer most layer.

Hot Fiddleheads & Ramps with Zucchini NoodlesRecipe I: Roasted Fiddleheads & Ramps with Zucchini Noodles


  • 1 pound fiddleheads, cleaned (Asparagus is s fine substitute)
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 small-medium  zucchini
  • 4-6 Ramps
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese
  • lemon zest to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh chives, snipped


  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Slice white and red parts of the ramps thinly, setting aside the leaves.
  3. Toss ramp slices and fiddleheads in 2 tablespoons olive oil to coat.
  4. Spread them in a single layer onto baking sheet and roast in oven for about 8-10 minutes, until tender. The ramps may get brown and crispy, that’s fine. (This can be done before hand, leaving the cooked fiddleheads at room temperature.)
  5. Chiffonade the ramp leaves, set aside.
  6. Spiralize the zucchini into noodles.
  7. Heat remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil in sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  8. Add zucchini noodles and sauté for no more than 4 minutes. We want them warmed through but
  9. will a little snap still in them.
  10. Reduce heat to low.
  11. Add fiddleheads and ramps to the pan and toss until heated through.
  12. Sprinkle with chiffonade of ramp leaves.
  13. Add the parmesan cheese, stirring until incorprated.
  14. Sprinkle with fresh lemon zest.
  15. Top with chives.

Serve immediately. Serves 2+

Fiddleheads & Ramps Pasta SaladRecipe II:  Chilled Fiddleheads & Ramps Pasta Salad

(Here’s the trick: make more than you need of the hot version and save some of the fiddlehead and ramp mixture for the next day and you can make this light, cold pasta version. The basic recipes are nearly identical.)


  • 1 pound fiddleheads, cleaned (Asparagus is s fine substitute)
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 4-6 Ramps
  • ½ -¾ cup parmesan cheese
  • Lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Snipped Chives (optional but worth it!)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Put a large pot of salted water to boil.
  3. Slice white and red parts of the ramps thinly, setting aside the leaves.
  4. Toss ramp slices and fiddleheads in 2 tablespoons olive oil to coat.
  5. Spread them in a single layer onto baking sheet and roast in oven for about 8-10 minutes, until tender. The ramps may get brown and crispy, that’s fine. (This can be done before hand, leaving the cooked fiddleheads at room temperature.)
  6. Chiffonade the ramp leaves, set aside.
  7. Cook linguini as directed for al dente. Once cooked drain and rise pasta in cold water to halt further cooking and cool.
  8. Transfer pasta to large serving bowl.
  9. Stir in tablespoon of olive oil.
  10. Mix in fiddleheads and ramps.
  11. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
  12. Sprinkle with chiffonade of ramp leaves.
  13. Sprinkle with fresh lemon zest.
  14. Top with chives.

Serve at room temperature, or chilled. Toss before serving. Serve 4 luncheon servings, or 6 appetizers.

May 042015

Let’s Do the Twist

If you’re not spiralizing your veggies yet folks, it’s definitely time to get on board! We here at Garden Candy have been spiralizing for a while now and all of a sudden we’ve noticed it’s become all the rage. There is even a certain Hollywood starlet who is having a great time with this fun gadget, but the one she is using, from a company called Hemsley and Hemsley is $65. That model is surely worth every penny, still, we opted for the $15 version you can buy at any home or kitchen supply store. We got ours at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Whichever you choose, we promise you’ll have a good time with it.

Spiralize Zucchini with onions and tomatoesIf you’ve never used a spiralizer, our version basically looks like a pencil sharpener for food with two ends, one makes slightly thicker strings than the other. And while I’d like to pretend that there is a lot to learn to use this gadget, there really isn’t. If you can sharpen a pencil or crayon, you can spiralize any vegetable that fits into the opening. We love zucchini because it stands up well to cooking, but so do carrots, all kinds potatoes, beets, turnips, apples, and honestly just about any firm vegetable or fruit that you like eating.

Why spiralize? Why not? It’s a really fun gadget to work with and brings a whole new texture to the food you’re eating. You can use it for food you’re going to cook or even eat raw and you can spiralize enough to feed an army in about 5 minutes, but if you’re like me, after that you’ll be opening the fridge and looking for new things to turn into fun little curly q’s.

My first use of this gadget actually became one of my favorite dishes. I was thinking I would spiralize some zucchini to make a basic side dish, but then with a little garlic, onion and tomato added in, it was clear that I not only had an entrée, but one that handily replaced carb-laden pasta.

Go grab yourself a spiralizer. It doesn’t matter which model or how much it costs. We don’t judge. We do promise you’ll have a good time with it.

Garden Candy Recipe Jar GreenGrab the Recipe

Apr 132015

Meatless Monday: Eggplant Sandwich

Eggplant Zucchini Onion Roasted Peppers and pesto with mozzarellaThis is a hearty sandwich that “eggplant haters” love. Seriously. We’ve served this to people who swear they don’t like eggplant. And voila! It’s their new favorite sandwich.

It’s easily grilled, or sautéed in one pan and puts a little gourmet in a effortless meatless supper. It eats more like a burger than the fabulous collection of vegetables it is. Serve it to your eggplant skeptics and let us know how they like it!

Level: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥
Skills: Slicing, Sautéing,

Eggplant & Veggie Sandwich

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1/2  zucchini
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • roasted red peppers (jar is fine or make your own)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh mozzarella (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons pesto
  • 4 ciabatta rolls (or your favorite bread)
  1. Peel eggplant and slice into 1/2 inch slices.
  2. Slice (or spiralize!) zucchini.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick pan.
  4. Add eggplant slices and onion to pan and sauté, turning occasionally.
  5. Add zucchini to pan.
  6. Continue cooking all vegetables until eggplant is browned on both sides and onions are caramelized.
  7. Remove eggplant slices from pan and place one on each bottom half of roll.
  8. Top each with zucchini, onions, roasted peppers.
  9. Add cheese (if using) and a tablespoon of pesto.
  10. Cover with top of roll.

Serves 4. Dig in!

Apr 112015

Raw Rainbow Ribbon Swirl with Peanut Sauce

Raw Rainbow Ribbon Salad DetailThis may be the most beautiful salad you ever make, Bright, colorful spiral ribbons of fresh raw vegetables are impossible to resist. You can pair this with a variety of dressings but we especially like a Spicy Peanut Dressing. By using Tamari it’s gluten-free dish. If soy’s not a worry, regular soy sauce is perfect.

Skill: Easy/Intermediate
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥
Skills: slicing, spiraling, measuring
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!

Rainbow Ribbon Summer Squash Salad

  • 1 small zucchini (green summer squash)
  • 1 small yellow summer squash
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
  • cilantro, chopped to garnish


  1. Slice both summer squash in half crosswise
  2. Use a spiralizer to make ribbons of squash. Trim long ribbons in half for easier eating.
  3. Add all ingredients to salad bowl and toss well to mix
  4. Top with cilantro.
  5. Serve in small salad bowls.
  6. Add dressing at the table.

Spicy Peanut Dressing

  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy (tamari works great too)
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons dark sesame Oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil (optional though not for us!)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  1. Directions:
  2. Put peanut butter in a large bowl and microwave for about 15 seconds to soften.
  3. Remove from microwave. Careful the bowl may be hot.
  4. Add say, water ginger, garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, scallions, and chili oil.
  5. Stir until well combined.

Dress salad just before eating, Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.