Oct 192016

Carrots. Spuds. Sprouts. Simple.


easy roasted vegetablesTake some vegetables. Cut them up in sizable chunks. Season them. Roast Them. Eat them. Share them with friends.

This dish never fails and can be a meal on it’s own or a hearty, healthful side. This recipe makes a lot and reminds us about everything great about vegetable gardens!

Skill: Intermediate
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Grating, chopping, processing, skillet frying
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots cut into 1-inch thick pieces
  • ½ pound Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch thick wedges
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch thick wedges
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Slice carrots into 1½ inch thick pieces.
  3. Cut brussels sprouts in half lengthwise.
  4. Slice red potatoes into 1½ inch slices.
  5. Slice sweet potatoes into 1½ inch slices.
  6. Place vegetables into a large bowl.
  7. Pour oil into bowl.
  8. Add oregano, thyme, basil, salt and pepper.
  9. Stir vegetables until all vegetables are well coated with oil and herbs.
  10. Spread the vegetables evenly onto a large baking sheet.
  11. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes.

Serves 6-8”

Oct 182016

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce


Occasionally, though not often, we concentrate a little less on the “Garden” and a little more on the “Candy” in Garden Candy.

This Pumpkin Spice Caramel is without a doubt, candy. And it’s delicious. If you know a Pumpkin head, this is the caramel sauce for them. We made it with our own, homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice.

It’s a wonderful hostess gift for autumn gatherings. This recipe makes about 3-1/2 to 4 cups. Enough to fill three 1/2 pint mason jars and still have some for tasting! Will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks. If it’s too thick to poor, pop it into the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds—then you have warm wonderfulness to top your ice cream, cakes & muffins or fruit. Stir a little into your oatmeal, if you can stand that much sugar so early in the day!

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition:♥♥♥♥ 
Skills: Measuring, melting, stirring
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


Whips up in not time - easy as Pumpkin Pie Spice!

Makes a perfect, fast and thoughtful hostess gift.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a heavy skillet, cook sugar on medium heat until melted. It will start out dry, then will get clumpy, then turn brown as it melts. The aim is for it to be completely smooth and deep brown.
  2. Add butter and stir quickly. Mixture will bubble.
  3. Once butter is completely melted, add the heavy whipping cream. Again the mixture will bubble, just keep stirring. Cook at this boil for an additional minute, then remove from the heat.
  4. Add the pumpkin pie spice and salt. Stir until spices are well blended.
  5. Pour into a heat proof containers, like glass jars.
  6. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Garden Candy Recipe Jar orangeNote: Mixture is EXTREMELY hot when being poured from the pan! Do not attempt to taste it before it is completely cooled.

Oct 172016

Comfort Food. What’s Yours?

Because here in the northern hemisphere we’re heading into winter and the holidays, you’ll start to see a lot of recipes for what you might classify as “comfort foods.” Like the Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce we just posted. Did you see that? I’m mean, really. It’s a full on edible embrace.

This got a few of us talking and sharing the recipes and dishes that bring us undeniable joy in ways that transcend ingredients—often dishes that whisk us back to childhood.

Garden-Candy-Conversations-artwork-singleSo we want to know. What are some of your comforting foods or nostalgic dishes. And what makes you so attached to them?

Oct 162016

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice


You’re all set to make that pumpkin dessert and realize, you don’t have the Pumpkin Pie Spice called for in the recipe – or do you?

A few measured scoops of some pretty standard spice rack ingredients and you’re good to go! You’ll want it when making this delicious mixture: Pumpkin Pie Spice Caramel Sauce

You can also mix this up as a last minute hostess gift to take to your next autumn gathering. Stir it into a jar, top with a bow.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Measuring, stirring
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves.
  1. Mix the spices together in a small bowl.
  2. Store in a clean small jar or spice container

There you have it. Easy as pie. Easier, actually. Use in your next dishes that call for pumpkin pie spice seasoning.

Five readily available spices that makeup Pumpkin Pie Spice

 

Oct 162016

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Treats


2 ingredient Pumpkin Spice MuffinsSimply substituting a can of pure pumpkin for the oil, eggs, and water called for on the box of Spice Cake mix get’s you a tasty sweet snack in a snap.

These are the treats you make the next time your child forgets to tell you it’s their turn to bring class snacks. Delicious with Lots of vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and less fat! It’s almost health food. 🙂

No matter which physical form your pumpkin spice treats take: muffins, cookies, or kisses, let them cool completely, then store in an airtight container. We swear these are even better the next day.

Tired of pumpkin flavors? (It happens to the best of us.) How about this chocolate version with no detectable pumpkin overtones.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Mixing, baking
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


Ingredients:

  • 1 15oz can pure pumpkin
  • 1 box Spice Cake Mix
  • Non-Stick cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 400° F.
  2. In a large bowl mix the pumpkin and cake mix together until well blended.
  3. Spoon equal amounts of thick batter into each cup of a 12 cup muffin pan that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Note: WE used a pasty bag with a large fluted tip to pipe the batter into the tins. I made for a more pleasing shape.
  4. Bake for 14-16 minutes.

Garden Candy Recipe Jar orangeNote: A lot of kids in the class? Use a pastry bag and pipe small solid circles on a non-stock pan. Bake for only 8 minutes. What? You need to feed an army? You can! By piping out many small dollops with a fluted pastry tip – like little kiss shapes. Bake for 4-5 minutes.

2 ingredient Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Oct 142016

No Fail Friday: Dog Team Tavern Horseradish Dip


Here’s a super quick cottage cheese dip with a little kick. This is one of two recipes we have from the late, great Dog Team Tavern which sadly burned to the ground in September 2006, leaving many local and tourist tummies heartbroken.

Dog Team Tavern Relish WheelBesides huge portions, another part of what made the restaurant legendary was their celebrated 3′ tall rustic “relish wheel” which waitstaff rolled right up to your table. Offerings in the wheel included this dip, along with corn relish, beets, sauerkraut, and apple butter.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Mixing, measuring
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb small-curd whole milk cottage cheese (not low-fat)
  • 1/4 cup good-quality bottled horseradish (or 1/8 cup freshly grated horseradish root)
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed, fresh if you have it but a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of dried will do
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients, cover and refrigerate for several hours.
  2. Check the seasoning before serving, adding more cottage cheese or more horseradish if necessary, to suit your taste.

Serve with crudité, your favorite wavy potato chips, or any suitable dippables!

Horseradish Cottage Cheese Dip goes as well with chips as it does with cruditeVersatile Cottage Cheese and Horseradish Dip

 

Oct 132016

Cheddar Rosemary Soda Bread


Cheddar Soda Bread wrapped in a clean dish towelWe make soup, so we make soda bread. Why? Because it’s so so easy and it goes so so well with a variety of soups and stews.

This recipe mixes up in a flash whether using a stand mixer or combining by hand in a regular mixing bowl with a dough mixer. The traditional buttermilk has bee swapped with yogurt and regular milk – mainly because we tend to have those things around the house more often and one never knows when soda bread will be required. If you prefer buttermilk – go for it – replace the yogurt and milk with 1-1/4 cup buttermilk. Both versions are terrific.

By letting the bread cool in the pan while wrapped in a clean dishtowel, the inside can continue to cook while the cooling process begins.

One cooled—at least 20 minutes—go ahead and enjoy. The cheddar flavor brings so much to the table that you can forgo slathering it with butter, unless you don’t want forgo it, and we totally get that.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥♥
Skills: Grating, maturing, baking
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups Unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 8 ounces sharp or extra-sharp cheddar, grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8″ cast iron skillet or a 9″ round pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  3. Add the butter, working it into the flour until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Add the grated cheese and the rosemary, stirring to incorporate.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk and egg, then add it to the dry ingredients, stirring only until everything is moistened.
  6. Spread the sticky dough into the pan.
  7. Bake the bread for 50 to 55 minutes..
  8. Remove the bread from the oven.
  9. Wrap the the entire pan in a clean kitchen towel and let the bread cool that was for at least 15 minutes, then let it cool another 10 minutes before cutting the bread. It mat be crumbly if it’s cut while it’s still hot.

Yields 1 loaf.

Oct 132016

Seven Smart Soup Freezing Tips


Soups are so easy to freeze, so go ahead and make that big pot full of goodness—even if you’re dining alone tonight. Store the rest for later. Here are some of our favorite tips for successful soup freezing.

Follow these simple pointers and months from now you’ll be enjoying soups that are as satisfying as they day they were made.

Skill: Easy
Skills: Portioning, freezing, labeling
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


  1. Don’t overcook the vegetables. It’s best to undercook the veggies in a soup you’re planning to freeze, as they’ll continue to cook when you’re warming your soup. Potatoes for example can turn to complete mush in reheated soup if they’re fully cooked. If you’re making a soup for now and later, ladle out the portion that will be frozen just before the vegetables are cooked all the way through.
  2. Nix the Cream. You will be much happier serving your thawed, reheated soup if you add the dairy—cream, milk, soft cheeses—while you’re warming it up.
  3. Hold the pastas. Frozen pasta in soup can turn your meal into gruel when reheated. Boil it fresh and add it during the reheating stage.
  4. Hold back ingredients called for at the end of the recipe like fresh herbs, eggs, cream (see #2). These will all be better added before eating, not before freezing.
  5. Note the amount of soup in a portion , especially stocks that will be used in other recipes. Use zipper seal bags. You can freeze your soup in any freezable container you like, from plastic food storage containers to mason jars, but we like the space-saving efficiency of zipper seal bags. Simply fill, seal, lay on a baking sheet that fits in your freezer. With the soup frozen flat, it’s stackable, or can slip vertically between other things.
  6. Freeze in measured portions. This is especially useful for soups and stocks, but makes sense for all your freezing. Rather than dump an entire pot of soup into a two gallon freezer bag, portion it out in smaller quart bags so you can thaw as little or as much as you need when it’s time to enjoy it.
  7. Label, label, label. Mark your containers with all the important information: type of soup (you’d be shocked by how similar different soups look when frozen!), date, and notes for what to add at the reheating stage, (especially helpful if someone other than you will be reheating the soup).

Leave instructions for reheating and add-ins so other family members know what to do

What practices do you follow when freezing prepared foods?

 

Oct 102016

Great Pumpkin Devil Muffins


Simply substituting a can of pure pumpkin for the oil, eggs, and water called for on the box of Devils Food cake mix get’s you a tasty sweet snack (with no detectable pumpkin flavor) that you can feel good about eating. Lots of vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and less fat! Here’s the same quick method for a Pumpkin Spice flavored happy ending.

This healthful snack hack was sent to us by Amanda, a long-time Garden Candy friend and follower. Imagine cutting out all those calories and fats and still getting a satisfying cocoa muffin to quell those chocolate and cake cravings. Pssst. We bet you the the kiddies will never catch on. Do try this at home.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Mixing, baking
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


Ingredients:

  • 1 15oz can pure pumpkin
  • 1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • Non-Stick cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 400° F.
  2. In a large bowl mix the pumpkin and cake mix together until well blended.
  3. Spoon equal amounts of thick batter into each cup of a 12 cup muffin pan that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.
Oct 072016

Sautéed Gnocchi with Tomatoes


Just when all the vines in the garden were looking bare and we were ready to say goodbye to the deliciousness of a homegrown tomato until next season, our wonderful neighbor surprised us with a bowlful!

Between that gift and some amazing weather making an appearance and it’s feeling like August all over again! Tomatoes are such a wonderful vegetable! All you need to do is slice them and sprinkle them with some salt and pepper to enjoy their flavor, but if you want to add them to your next dinner here’s a pasta dish that is so fast you don’t even need boiled water to make it.

The secret is in the store-bought gnocchi. Turns out you can enjoy their flavor just as much by skipping the pot of water and sautéing them with olive oil in a frying pan and tossing the remaining ingredients in once they’ve begun cooking. When the weather cools down you can just switch out your fresh tomatoes for the sun dried version in olive oil and you’re all set. Don’t you love one pot cooking?

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Grating, chopping, sautéing
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 lb of gnocchi (store bought, packaged works really well)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut in to large chunks, discard some of juice and seeds
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • a dozen or so large basil leaves, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan, grated

Directions:

  1. Swirl some olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook for 1 or 2 minutes.
  2. Add the gnocchi and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to brown slightly.
  3. Add tomatoes, olives, salt and pepper. Stir another minute or 2 until hot and the tomatoes just begin to soften.
  4. Stir in the basil and parmesan until the cheese just begins to melt.
  5. Drizzles a little more olive oil over the pasta and give it one last stir before you serve.
Oct 022016

Quick Kale & Walnut Pesto


If you’re a pesto lover, don’t overlook the earthy flavor of kale pesto. It’s a bit sharper tasting than Basil, but it also packs a more nutrient-rich punch.

You’ll whip it up in no time at all and it will keep for weeks in the tightly covered in the refrigerator.

We often, but don’t always, toast our walnuts for 10 minutes at 350°, tossing once. Yes, it adds one more pan, and one more step but to this quick recipe but it can add a welcome toasty tone to your pesto. That said, toasting the walnuts is not essential—feel free to skip it if you’re in a hurry or just not in the mood to turn on the oven.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: chopping, grating, processing
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale, center ribs and stems removed
  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted if you like (see comment in intro above)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Pack all ingredients into a food processor fitted with a chopping blade.
  2. Process until a smooth paste.

That’s it. This pesto is great served over pasta as in this dish: Butternut Squash and Kale Pesto, spread onto bread, as a topping for poultry, or stirred into soups.

Fresh kale, parmesan, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and walnuts blended into pesto

Oct 012016

Kale and White Bean Soup Three Ways


Super delicious Kale and White Bean Soup with polish kielbasa

Our “meatier” version with polish sausage.

This soup is destined to become your go-to fall/winter favorite. You can’t ask more from essentially a one-pot meal that’s this incredibly flavorful and nutritious (that part can be our secret.)

Our very versatile recipe delivers both vegetarian and carnivore happiness – even from the same pot if you simply divide it before adding any sausage. Want a vegan version? Just leave out the sausage and cheese all together. Even in it’s barest form this is a truly worthwhile dish.

Really, if there’s one recipe you try on our website – this might be the one. A meat-eater, vegetarian, and vegan walked into a bar – and you had no problem feeding them all. (Need it gluten-free? Swap the Orzo for a second can of beans or two cups of cooked rice stirred in at the end. Done!)

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥
Skills: Grating, chopping, simmering
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 15.5-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 4 cups (32 oz.) vegetable stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 bunch kale, (we used Lacinato) thick stems discarded and leaves cut into skinny strips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • cup grated or shaved Parmesan (2 ounces), plus 1 piece rind (optional)
  • tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1 package polish Kielbasa sausage or other sausage like Chorizo (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, celery, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the beans, pasta, kale, rosemary, vegetable stock, water, and Parmesan rind (optional).
  4. Cover and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer until the pasta and kale are tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the Parmesan rind.
  7. Stir in the lemon juice and a few red pepper flakes.
  8. Stir in sausage until heated through (optional).
  9. Sprinkle with the shaved Parmesan before serving, (optional).
Oct 012016

Essentials: Baking & Peeling Butternut Squash


If we’re honest, we have to admit we don’t like peeling winter squash either. So we get around it whenever we can, and here’s one way.

The next time you’re preparing squash that will be used in it’s mashed or pureed form—like in soups or lasagne—try this:

Skill: Easy
Skills: Cutting, roasting, peeling
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F
  2. Cut the squash in half.
  3. Remove seeds and pulp.
  4. Lightly coat cut side with oil or cooking spray.
  5. Lay squash on baking pan cut side down.
  6. Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until a fork slides through the skin and into the flesh very easily and the skin is browned and blistered.
  7. Remove from the oven and let sit a couple of minutes until the skin starts to wrinkle.
  8. With the prong of a fork, pierce the skin at a blistering/wrinkled spot and carefully lift the skin away from the flesh. The skin should peel off in good size pieces.  You probably guessed it, the squash is still hot at this point, so be careful.
  9. Continue removing all of the skin.
  10. Discard skin and use the flesh in your recipe.

There you go. Cooked, peeled squash with not a bit wasted.

Butternut squash baked, ready to be easily peeled

butternut squash no fuss peeled

 

Sep 302016

Roasted Cauliflower and Cherry Tomatoes With Goat Cheese


Cinnamon and coriander bring an exotic flavor to this hearty side dish or complete mealAs life would have it, I opened the fridge in search of something for dinner and found myself staring at three very familiar ingredients, again: cauliflower, roasted garden cherry tomatoes, and goat cheese.

After a little searching for an interesting recipe I wound up tweaking a couple of roasted cauliflower dishes that I came across based on ingredients I had in the house. And I scored!

I loved the cinnamon and coriander flavors in this—they brought an almost exotic essence to an otherwise simple dish. I had originally intended to pair this with leftover grilled chicken (because we have that in the fridge a lot too it seems) but it was so good by itself I had it as my entire meal.

Skill: Intermediate
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Chopping, slicing, roasting,


Cinnamon and coriander bring an exotic flavor to this hearty side dish or complete meal
Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ – ½ cup roasted cherry tomatoes
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped fresh chive

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Cut away the bottom of the cauliflower stem and trim off leaves.
  2. Slice cauliflower into 1/3 inch thick slices, letting the florets on the edges fall off.
  3. Toss cauliflower, including any small bits, with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on baking sheet in an even layer.
  4. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once
  5. Transfer to a large bowl.
  6. Turn oven down to 350° F
  7. Heat remaining oil over medium heat in a medium-size skillet and add onion.
  8. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt , garlic and thyme and continue to cook, stirring, up to a minute longer until garlic is fragrant.
  9. Stir in tomatoes, cinnamon, ground coriander seeds, and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Add onion mixture to bowl with the cauliflower and stir everything together.
  11. Scrape into an oiled baking dish or gratin.
  12. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, then add all but two tablespoons of the goat cheese. Beat until blended.
  13. Pour egg/cheese mixture over cauliflower. Stir to incorporate.
  14. Sprinkle remaining goat cheese on top.
  15. Top with chives.
  16. Bake 20 minutes, until top is beginning to brown.
  17. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
Sep 232016

Chef Tip: Tearless Onions

If slicing onions brings you to tears, you might reduce the irritation with these simple tricks:

  • Keep your onions refrigerated.
  • Or freeze the them for about 15 minutes before cutting.
  • Keep as much of the exposed parts of the onion against the cutting board as possible.
  • Throw fashion to the wind and wear a pair of fitted safety goggles.
  • Chewing gum works for some people. Not so much for others.

 

Sep 212016

Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash Slices


I’m picking up a friend’s share of produce at the local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this week and her directions for me included “bring heavy bags.” I thought that was just a fun and amusing piece of advice until I saw what I would be getting: potatoes, carrots, onions, squash, apples, grapes and of course kale! No delicate July lettuces and herbs. No mid-summer grape tomatoes. Just as the temperature outside turns from hot to warm and then warm to cool, the crops shift as well from the fast growing to the wait-all-summer-to-pick produce. And if you’re like us, your mindset is shifting too, from wanting that light salad on a 90 degree day, to now thinking about those heartier foods.

acorn squashSo just because summer has officially come to a close, don’t give up on your local farmers’ markets and their offerings – they are still in full swing! Most will still be selling for at least a month or so and are well worth the visit.

While you’re there, grab an acorn squash and make this remarkably easy and tasty side dish!

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥
Skills: Slicing, roasting
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash is so so easy and quick
Ingredients:

  • 1 medium acorn squash – seeded, and sliced into 3/4 inch wedges
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • fresh thyme
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. Lay the squash slices on baking sheet and coat lightly with olive oil on both sides.
  3. Sprinkle with thyme,  salt, pepper and parmesan.
  4. Roast the squash until golden brown and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Sep 192016

Roasting Cherry Tomatoes


They keep coming – we keep cooking.

slicing cherry tomatoes for roastingThe umpteenth batch of cherry tomatoes that we plucked from the garden didn’t got into soup or salads. Nor were they snacked on right off the counter – they were slow roasted with a little olive oil, salt pepper and thyme. You could use rosemary, or you could skip the herbs all together.

Once you start smelling these little gems roasting to into deliciousness, you will be glad you took the tiny bit of time it takes to get these babies into a form you can keep, that still keeps all their flavor – in fact deeply enhances it.

Make more than you think you can eat. Really. Eat one and we guarantee you will find all sorts of ways to use up the sweet flavor-packed morsels. Toss into salads, top your favorite pizza, or just pick ’em out of the jar.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: slicing, roasting
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


Ingredients:

  • Cherry Tomatoes, as many as you like
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Thyme or Rosemary (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 225° f
  2. Cut all of the tomatoes into halves
  3. Spread tomatoes cut side up onto a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment.
    Garden Candy Recipe Jar orangeNote: If you don’t have parchment, use a glass baking dish glass dish instead of a baking sheet. The tomatoes may stick, it’s better to have them stick to glass that you can scrub if necessary.
  4. Drizzle a very small amount of olive oil over the tomatoes.
  5. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, and herbs if you’re using them.
  6. Let roast for two to two and a half hours, checking after about 90 minutes. The tomatoes will look shriveled and dry when they’re done. You can adjust the roasting time to your liking. Longer for drier, crispier tomatoes, less for softer.
  7. To store put them in an air proof jar and cover with olive oil. Will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.

Slow roasted wonders: cherry tomatoes

slow roasted cherry tomatoes preserved in olive oil

Sep 152016

Roasted Cauliflower and Cherry Tomato Pasta


Honestly we weren’t planning to post this, we were just making dinner and went with this because we still have cherry tomatoes bursting out of the garden like crazy and we had a head of cauliflower that we wanted to use. It’s loosely based on Alton Brown’s Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower recipe –  The only suitable pasta we had on hand was whole wheat rotini so that’s what we used.

When it came out of the oven it really wasn’t much to look at but we snapped a (not great) photo of it anyway. Very glad we did because as unimpressive as it is to look at, it was delicious. We finished the entire skillet – two of us. (Yeah, that good.) Just a reminder that sometimes you can start with a recipe, mix it up with your own ideas and ingredients and tah-dah! A new dish you’ll make again—possibly as early as tomorrow having all these cherry tomatoes! 

Skill: Intermediate
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: sautéing, baking, boiling
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, broken into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 lb. rotini pasta (tricolor rotini would be great here, we used whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° f.
  2. Toss the cauliflower with oil and 1 teaspoon salt in a 10″ cast iron or other oven-proof and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, carefully stirring halfway through.
  3. Meanwhile cook pasta as directed for al dente, or  even a minute less for firmer bite. Remember to reserve about a 1/2 cup of pasta cooking liquid when draining the pasta.  Set aside.
  4. Remove cauliflower skillet from oven and place stovetop over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, garlic and red pepper flakes and until tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer the cooked pasta into the skillet with the cauliflower mixture followed by a 1/4 to 1/3  cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir in Parmesan and cheddar cheeses.
  6. Top with bread crumbs.
  7. Return the skillet to the oven and cook another 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bread crumbs are golden brown.
  8. Cool slightly before serving.
Sep 092016

15 Minute Turmeric Tomato Soup


This is a great recipe that adds a nice twist to traditional Tomato Soup, and is ready in 15 minutes. Who doesn’t love that? The recently touted benefits of turmeric for inflammation and cancer treatments shouldn’t be overlooked but are really just a bonus. This soup is tasty.

Serving suggestions for variety:

  • Serve along side a few slices of rustic bread, buttered.
  • Couple it with grilled cheese with cheddar or American on wheat.
  • Pair it with a crisp kale salad for some added vitamin K love.
  • Top it with crumbled bacon.
  • A scoop of cooked rice makes this soup even more comforting.
  • Add some fresh pasta—perhaps Ditalini or Mini Shells.
  • Beef it up with leftover meatballs, or even chunks of leftover hamburgers.
  • Dollop with a spoonful of cream sour cream.

You can add whatever you fancy. And we’d love to hear about your additions in the comments below.

Oh, did we mention this soup is perfect for freezing? You’re not going to have those cherry tomatoes forever. Mix up this in double batches and freeze it for those chilly winter nights when you want to snuggle up with some arm flavors of summer. Just let it cool a bit then portion it to your liking and tuck it in the freezer.

Just don’t do what we did…don’t serve it using a white plastic ladle…it might wind up a yellowy orange. Perhaps permanently. Ours did.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Dicing, chopping, sautéing, blending
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, rinsed and cut in halves
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (don’t drain)
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (or, we used 2 tablespoon fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Sauté onion and garlic in coconut oil over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add turmeric, cherry tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are soft. (5-7 minutes)
  3. Add diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, apple cider vinegar, and basil.
  4. Bring to boil on medium-high heat, then cover and let simmer on low heat for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Transfer in batches to a blender, blend until smooth or use an emersion blender and blend until creamy.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
Aug 302016

Crunchy Pita Chips


You’re never far from a delicious, healthier than chips snack that will satisfy your crunch craving if you keep a package of pita bread in your pantry. Pita bread quickly transforms into a wonderful snack that you can decide how to flavor based on your mood or what you’re serving it with.

We used cumin and coriander in this recipe for a Middle Eastern taste, but chili pepper, cayenne, or just salt are other equally tasty possibilities. Experiment!

Another aspect of pita chip snacks that you’ll love – the price. A pack of six loaves will make a bowlful of chips and costs and in most areas will only set you back $1.50 or less!

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Slicing, seasoning, baking
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


  • 3 whole pita loaves
  • olive oil
  • cumin
  • coriander
  • sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Slice each pita loaf into eighths, creating triangles.
  3. Carefully open the folded triangles and separate them into two pieces by tearing or cutting them at the wide end.
  4. Arrange on a baking sheet.
  5. Lightly brush (or spray) each triangle with olive oil.
  6. Sprinkle salt, cumin and coriander on all the chips.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Keeping an eye on them as the bake as they’ll burn quickly if left unattended for too long.

Seasoned homemade Crunchy Pita Chips

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