Tag Archives: vegetables

Day 18: Chard Couture

Charlotte Cha-Cha's

Day 18: Chard Couture.  I think Charlotte looks fabulous in this elegant gown of rich green and pink Swiss chard.

I must apologize to the artist who created the paper doll.  I found her online and when I tried to find the site this evening after my choir rehearsal, I couldn’t find it.

Chard Couture

Her curly kale petticoat is peeking out from under the hem of the chard gown.  She has a wrist full of eggplant bangles and her clutch is beaded in pale green cucumber seeds.

Her high-heeled pump is of basil leaves adorned with blackberries.

Last year on Day 18 I did this Secret Banana Message.

The year before that, my project for Day 18 was a Father’s Day Card & Ribbon.

Thank you for visiting.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

What I Ate In One Week, Part II

Fried Egg

Welcome to Part II of my photo journal of the food I ate last week.  This is the more indulgent portion of the week, what with an extra day off and a great trip to the San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace.  It kind of balances out the first part of the week.

Friday morning: Fried Egg Friday!  I used to eat whole eggs 3 or 4 days a week but in the interest of my health, I now have one fried egg per week.  This week: 1 fried egg on a toasted, whole-grain sandwich thin, sauteed chard, with a dish of sliced apples and bananas.

Drippy Egg Yolk

Sampling tasting olive oil at McEvoy Ranch Olive Oil, at the Ferry Building Marketplace.

Bread 'n Oil

Lunch: Spring Rolls and peanut sauce from Out the Door.  Yummy.

Spring Roll

Now, more samples while walking around the Marketplace.

Delicious almond brittle with dark chocolate from Alfieri Fruits & Nuts. We bought some to take home.  The gentleman who was handing out samples gave me a bemused look when I stopped to take a picture before I would take a taste.

Almond Brittle

A handful of kumquats from Farm Fresh to You helped me feel like I was eating something healthy.  Have you tried kumquats before? The skin of a kumquat is the sweetest part and the flesh can be quite tart. I like them but these ones were a little more tart that I prefer.  But good.


At Cowgirl Creamery they gave out samples of Effie’s Oatcakes, a little cookie that reminded me of a cross between graham crackers and shortbread. I just looked at the site for the oatcakes and saw a picture of s’mores made with them.  Oh, my.  That sounds like a perfect combination.

They were giving out milk too, for that cozy milk ‘n cookies vibe.

Milk & Oatcakes

As if all this snacking wasn’t enough, we had some soft serve vanilla ice cream from Gott’s Roadside.  Luckily for me, Rem was willing to share a few bites so I didn’t have a whole serving of my own.

Soft Serve

Curiosity convinced us to try “Mo’s Dark a Bar“, a bacon-dark chocolate bar that we picked up at Farm Fresh to You earlier.  It was a very small bar (1/2 oz.), but for me, a big disappointment.  Neither of us could taste bacon.  Now I know and I don’t need to try it again. Whew.

Bacon Bar

We left the Marketplace and took the ferry back to Marin.

Amazingly, I got home hungry.  So, I had 1/2 a banana and a delicious roll picked up at the Marketplace, which held me over until dinner.

The roll, from The Acme Bread Company was called Edible Schoolyard, made from 100 percent stone-milled organic whole-wheat flour, rye pumpernickel flour, honey,  and salt.  I will look for the Edible Schoolyard loaf another time – it is a winner.

Bread & Banana

Dinner: Leftover rice noodles, tofu and chard with red cabbage, apple, fennel and carrot slaw.

Tofu & Slaw

Saturday breakfast: Cereal, banana and 2% milk.


Snack: A little handful of nuts.

Handful o' nuts

Lunch (with mom): Big green salad with cucumber, tomato, carrot & avocado topped with turkey-ham salad and hard boiled egg.  On the side: whole grain Ritz crackers and a little fruit salad of grapes, tangerine & blueberries.

Saturday Salad

And Mom’s homemade oatmeal cookies.

Oatmeal Cookies

Later that afternoon: jellybeans.


Dinner: Delicious grilled hanger steak picked up on Friday at  Golden Gate Meat Company, sauteed kale, steamed green beans with lemon, cherry tomatoes and Acme Bread Company herb slab.  All the more delicious because Rem cooked (thanks).

Steak & Greens

Snacking while blogging: Chocolate covered sunflower seeds.

Seeds. Chocolate.

Dessert: Greek yogurt with blueberry jam.

Yogurt 'n' jam

Last day!

Sunday breakfast: Egg white-veggie-tofu scramble with baked tofu, chard, cherry tomatoes and cilantro with toasted herb slab & honey plus prunes.

Tofu veggie scramble

Snack (just home from the Farmer’s Market): Kumquats – better than the ones at the Ferry Building Marketplace.

More kumquats

Trader Joe’s taste: Tater tot and sausage.

Tater Tot & Sausage

Lunch: Juice! Kale, chard, cucumber, celery, fennel, apple, orange, grapes, lime & mint.


Green Juice

Snackies: Ritz 100 calorie snack mix and fresh peas.

Snack Pack


Dinner: Halibut with lemon and whipped butter, toasted herb slab, Greek salad and an artichoke with lemon/olive oil mayo dipping sauce.

Fine Fish Dinner

Dessert: a piece of that heavenly Almond Brittle with dark chocolate.  I ate it before taking a picture so here is the picture from Friday.

Almond Brittle

That is it, every bite.

On Sunday morning I did a big shopping at the Farmer’s Market.  I hadn’t been in weeks and it was wonderful to walk the aisles, picking up fresh, delicious produce for the week ahead.  I’m all stocked up for the week ahead.

Market Basket

Thank you for coming on by.


Filed under Cooking, Life


I love pesto.  I’ve had a few simple variations and I love those too.  Basil + garlic + nuts + cheese + oil is such a winner that I haven’t strayed very far from the classic, but I would probably also be very happy with other versions.

Lucky for me I was walking with my mom a few weeks ago and just when we were going back up the driveway her neighbor said she was cutting back her basil plants.  “Would you like some?”, she asked us.  Before mom had a chance to speak I was through the garden gate.

An armload of aromatic basil and a few heads of garlic later and I knew a batch of pesto was in the making. I’ve since polished off that first batch and made a second one today because I enjoyed the first so much.

Pesto is classically made with fresh basil, pine nuts, Parmesan or Romano cheese, garlic, olive oil and salt.  Some people like and use more garlic.  I didn’t have enough pine nuts so added some toasted, slivered almonds to this batch.  I’ve seen it with lots of oil and less of everything else, but I prefer a thick pesto with lots of texture and lots of all the goodies that make it so delicious. A colleague mentioned a recipe her brother had made with plenty of heavy cream.  Sounds lovely and very decadent.  Here is my recipe.



1/2 cup pine nuts – (you can substitute almonds, walnuts or other nuts for all or part of the pine nuts)

1 to 2 cloves garlic – one good sized clove is plenty for my taste buds

2 to 3 packed cups basil leaves – basil in the store and farmer’s market comes in all different size bunches and to make a batch of pesto you will probably need 2 or 3 bunches.  My first batch probably had 4 cups of leaves.

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup olive oil

salt to taste (the saltiness of the cheese and your own personal preference will determine how much salt you add – taste first and add less than you think to start – you can always add more later but it is difficult to fix if you put in too much in the beginning)* see note further down


I don’t always take the time to toast the nuts but it does add a nice layer of flavor.  The last batch I made was with already toasted almonds.  Toast nuts in a dry pan on medium heat, watching carefully and stirring often to keep from scorching.  They go quickly from not quite toasted to burnt, so keep a careful watch.

Put nuts and peeled garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade and process until the nuts and garlic are finely chopped.

Add basil and pulse until the leaves are finely chopped and mixed with the nuts and garlic.

Add cheese and pulse to combine.

With processor running, add oil in a steady stream, stopping to scrape down sides of processor bowl a few times as needed.

Taste and if desired add salt and pulse to combine.

Note about salt: I made a batch of pesto recently and put salt in with the nuts in the beginning.  Not a great idea.  The particular brand of Parmesan cheese I had was very salty and when I took a taste of the finished pesto it was extremely salty!  I didn’t have any more basil but I did have some fresh parsley in the fridge, and more nuts in the cupboard.  I added parsley to the food processor along with another quarter cup of nuts and the results were really wonderful.  It was still on the salty side but it is a sauce that I use often but with a light hand.  This “rescued” batch was really good and was still bursting with flavor.  I couldn’t detect the parsley and I didn’t have to throw out the yummy sauce I’d made.

(I wish you could smell this stuff – it is so fragrant and so delicious!)

The resulting Pesto Sauce should be pureed but with some texture to it.  I understand it freezes well but can’t advise you on that as I just scrape it into a jar and keep it in the fridge, stirring it into pasta, topping pasta and pizza with it and dressing salads and other vegetables with pesto alone, stirred into mayo or hummus or shaking it in a jar with lemon juice and olive oil.

One of summers prodigious growers is zucchini.  I sliced several slender squash from the Farmer’s Market thin using a mandoline slicer from Benriner, than sauteed them and topped the resulting ribbons with fresh pesto.  Delicious.

Thank you for coming by.  Thanks for the ongoing interest and support – this is my 200th blog post!


Filed under Cooking

Day 13: Vegcycle

Theme for Day 13: Bicycle. This was assembled after dinner sitting at the table.

Food stylist: Dianne.  Photographer: Rem.  Side note: Rem is also doing 30DoC and all his creations are photos.  It was a team effort. I used tomato slices, asparagus, yellow and red bell pepper, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower and cucumber.  Play with your vegetables.

I tried a DIY Magic Shell Chocolate Sauce but was kind of disappointed.  I’m also tired so I’m calling today done and will write about the sauce another day.

Thanks for stopping on by.


Filed under 30DOC, Cooking, Crafts

Muffin Cup Quiche

I’ve been doing some Easter crafting lately, using blown eggs and empty eggshells filled with candy.  So I needed to make something with the raw eggs.   Scrambled eggs are one easy answer but I wanted a little more pizazz.

Making small quiche in a muffin pan was what I decided to do.  Before I go on, I have to tell you that these really aren’t the best recipe for using up a bunch of eggs.  They have a higher crust-to-filling ratio then a standard full-size quiche would have so if you are looking to use up a bunch of eggs, make a standard quiche.  But these are a nice size, look and taste great and freeze well.

Oh, and the other thing I should mention: I’m not really giving you a recipe.  Just some suggestions.

Other ideas for using up eggs include a bread pudding-like baked French Toast, Dutch Baby (a puffy baked pancake) or a strata made with spinach and cheese.

Muffin Cup Quiche

Frozen Crust – defrosted according to package directions (or use homemade crust)

Nonstick Spray

Various Vegetables for filling– such as asparagus, mushrooms, broccolini, chard, onion

Cheese – cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan and feta are all good choices


Salt and Pepper

Herbs or Spices if desired


Bacon (optional) cooked until crisp and drained

Set oven temperature to 375.

For these little quiche I used frozen dough from Trader Joe’s but you could use your favorite crust recipe. After it was thawed, I unrolled it and while it was still covered in plastic I gave it a quick roll with a rolling pin to smooth out some cracks and make it just a bit bigger.  Peel plastic off dough.

Spray the muffin tins with nonstick spray and use a glass or round cookie or biscuit cutter to cut circles out of the dough.

Press dough circles into muffin tin.

Prepare your filling: for one batch I used mushrooms and asparagus with cheddar and Parmesan cheeses.  The second batch was a combination of broccolini, red onion, Swiss cheese and bacon.  Yummy!

Trim the vegetables and slice or chop into pieces. Heat a pan and spray with nonstick spray.  Saute vegetables until tender.

Dice or shred or crumble or slice up some cheese.  Put a bit of cheese in each muffin cup.  Add a few pieces each of mushroom and asparagus (or whatever vegetables you are using) to each muffin cup.

Beat eggs together and season as desired. I just used salt and pepper.  I had a whole bunch of eggs from my craft projects so I measured 1.5 cups of beaten egg.  (This was too much and I could probably have done with 1 to 1.25 cups – it will depend on both the size of the eggs and the size of the muffin cups.)  Add milk – I used 3/4 of a cup of milk.  This was enough egg and milk for 24 muffin cup quiche.

Scoop egg and milk mixture into a glass measuring cup and pour into  muffin cups.  Fill cups about 2/3 full.  Sprinkle additional cheese on top or add small pieces of cooked bacon to each cup.

Bake about 18 to 22 minutes or until puffy and set.  It will depend on the size of your muffin pan.

Each crust was enough to make 12 circles of dough (I rerolled the scraps for the last few) and I refrigerated the second disc of dough and made the second batch a day later.  The quiche froze well in zippered freezer bags and I could reheat a few in the toaster oven.  I really love crust so I particularly like this size quiche.  A few quiche with a salad and dinner is ready.  It was great having these in the freezer and I made enough to share some with my parents.

Thanks for the visit.


Filed under Cooking

Roasted Root Vegetables

Corned Beef and Cabbage was on the menu for St. Patrick’s Day dinner at my parents house.  That  menu is usually rounded out with potatoes, carrots and onions.  I suggested roasting the veggies and my mom thought it was a great idea, especially since I was happy to do most of the cooking.

She had new potatoes, onions and carrots and I picked up parsnips and beets.  I also had a loaf of corn rye bread baked on Friday from Green Gulch Farm.

Roasted Root Vegetables


A combination of root vegetables – I used the following but sweet potatoes and celery root would have both been good additions.



New Potatoes

Beets (I used both gold and Chioggia Beets)

Olive Oil


Rosemary (optional)


Set oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Scrub the carrots, parsnips and potatoes.  Scrub and trim the beets but don’t peel them – they will roast in foil and the skin slips off easily after roasting.

Trim off the long, thin roots from the beets. Tear off a large piece of foil and wrap one type of beets in it, crimping the sides.

I like to wrap them separately so the golden beets aren’t stained pink from the juices of the red beets.  If you have more than one type, wrap others in foil.  Put foil packet in a baking pan to catch drips, and put in oven.

Roast until tender.  This depends on the size of the beets – the smaller beets were done in about 40 minutes, the large ones took an hour.

Cut potatoes – if small just cut in half but larger ones can be cut into quarters or sixths.

If you are cooking at your parents house, pick some fresh rosemary from the beautiful plant in the backyard.  Don’t casually step from the terrace to the slippery wooden deck because you might fall.  It is better to be careful and go down the stairs holding the railing.

Cover large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Drizzle potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and finely chopped fresh rosemary if using, and toss together. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet.

We were having onions with our dinner so before putting the pan in the oven I peeled two golden onions, cut them in wedges and added them to the end of the pan.

Peel the carrots and parsnips.

Trim the ends and cut into chunky pieces.  Put on parchment-covered baking sheet, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and toss together.  Arrange in single layer and put in oven to roast.

After 10 or 15 minutes you can turn the vegetables but they’ll be ok if you just leave them to roast until they are tender. Start checking after 20 minutes or so.  They should be tender when tested with the tip of a knife. The onions were the first to come out of the oven, tender and sweet.

Take the beets out to check – carefully open foil and poke with a knife.  If they’re cooked through, let cool enough to handle and slip the skins off with your fingers.  Some may need a little trimming with a knife.

Next up – carrots and parsnips.

The potatoes finished last.

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and fragrant with rosemary.  I couldn’t resist a piece.

Boiled cabbage can get overcooked and soggy so though I’d never tried roasting cabbage I decided I’d give it a go. Though it was good, I should have cooked it longer.  Next time.

The finished meal: corned beef that my mom cooked surrounded by colorful and delicious roasted vegetables.



Filed under Cooking

Breakfast Frittata

I like eggs for breakfast and I choose to eat egg whites more often than whole eggs because I think they’re healthier. To make the egg whites more interesting I usually scramble them up with some vegetables and usually a little cheese.  A few weeks ago I got the idea that if I made a frittata on Sunday, it would take care of making the main part of my breakfast for the whole week!

The following recipe is very flexible.  I saute some veggies including some dark, leafy greens like arugula or chard, I beat one egg together with some egg whites, throw in a little feta cheese (loaded with flavor so I don’t need a lot), add some diced up veggie sausage patties, pour it into a baking dish and bake.

Breakfast Frittata


1 large egg

1 cup egg whites


herbs, such as basil, oregano and/or thyme

black pepper to taste  (with the feta and veggie sausages I don’t find this needs any additional salt)

nonstick spray

5 to 7 mushrooms (If you don’t like mushrooms, use some zucchini), cut in thick slices

2 or 3 green onion, cut in thin slices

1 or 2 stalks of celery (optional but good – fennel is also good), diced

2 to 3 cups chopped greens or green vegetables (I like arugula, chard, spinach, kale and even broccolini)

1/4 to 1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

2 veggie sausage patties, (I like both Morningstar Farms and Trader Joe’s brands), defrosted in microwave and diced


Turn oven on to 400 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the whole egg with the egg whites.

Add a good sprinkle of paprika  and a big pinch of dried herbs (I like thyme), and a grind or two of black pepper, and whisk together.  Set aside.

Spray a large saute pan with nonstick spray and add the sliced mushrooms and cook on medium high heat.

Once they start to brown, add in the green onions and celery if you are using it (for the frittata in the photos I was using fennel), and saute another minute or two.

Add your chopped greens to the pan and cook it enough to wilt them a bit.  Stir in the diced red pepper and cook another minute.  Remove from heat.

Stir the cooked vegetables into the beaten egg mixture.  Stir in the crumbled feta cheese and diced vegetable sausage.

Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.  I use an oval glass dish that is about 7.5 inches by 10.5 inches on the bottom.

Pour the egg -vegetables mixture into the baking dish.

Bake until puffy and set, about 18 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before cutting into 6 portions.

Enjoy with whole wheat toast and fresh fruit.

Heat one portion for 50 seconds in the microwave for a really fast, healthy and easy breakfast.


Filed under Cooking

This Is Really Juicy!

So that got your attention.  Did you think I had some big news?  Or hot gossip??  I just wanted to tell you about our latest caper.

It all started when Rem and I went to the Rafael and watched a documentary called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”.  You can learn more about the film on their site but suffice it to say we were intrigued and inspired enough that we bought a juicer.  A  Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus to be specific.  And we’ve started The Great Juice Adventure!

Some people go on a juice “fast” but fasting means to abstain from food.  Others go on a “cleanse” which sounds so clinical and unpleasant to me.  What we’re doing is juicing loads of fresh fruits and vegetables and consuming the juice.  For ten days.

Rem started a day before me so he’s on Day 4 and I’m on Day 3.  We juiced 2 x per day as part of our transition prior to going all-juice partly to try different blends of fruits and veggies and partly to ease into it.  I’m feeling  low energy today (better after my morning juice) but from what we’ve learned, that is to be expected.  We’re curious to see what else will happen.

Since I’ve been eating more wisely and making better food and activity choices I’ve been eating a lot of fruits and vegetables and I savor the taste of veggies.  Rem has been struggling more with the taste but  I’m having fun creating interesting combinations and with trial and error, we’re finding  what works for us.

Because I want to keep this interesting I decided to try many different things.  Some ingredients I was fairly skeptical of (kale, sweet potato, fennel) but found perfectly tasty.   Others (cabbage) have been dropped from the ingredient list (shudder).  Granny Smith apples, pears, carrots and celery have all been stalwarts and one of them is in just about every juice I make.  I’ve learned to add things like lemon in increments and taste before added too much and that a piece of ginger, some lime, or a handful of cilantro or mint leaves can be the difference between a so-so juice and a really delicious one.

Following are some…well, not recipes because I didn’t measure everything precisely, but some blends that I’ve enjoyed.  Yields vary according to the size of the fruits and veggies used as well as the type of juicer used.

We start our day with a fruity one but include some veggies too.

Breakfast Blend Juice

6 carrots, scrubbed and ends trimmed

2 Granny Smith apples, quartered and cored

1 orange, peeled

1 tangerine, peeled

1/2 beet, scrubbed and trimmed

about 4 large strawberries, stemmed

a handful of red grapes

1/2 cup of pineapple chunks

Juice together. Stir to combine.  Enjoy!

Drink Your Greens (this is pictured above and is also the earlier picture showing the separate red and green colors)

This is bursting with nutritious and flavorful ingredients.  One sip and you can taste the vitality.  It reminds me of a tree with buds bursting into green leaves.

6 kale leaves, washed, ends trimmed

4 large chard leaves, washed, ends trimmed

A handful of beet greens, washed

1 zucchini, trim ends

2 Granny Smith apples, quartered and cored

2 stalks celery, ends trimmed

1/2 lime, peeled

about 1 inch piece of green onion

1/2 small bunch of cilantro

Juice together. Stir to combine.  Taste and add more lime or cilantro if needed.  Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Sunshine

I really wasn’t sure about sweet potato juice. But Rem and I both like this sweet juice spiked with citrus and ginger.

1 medium garnet sweet potato, scrubbed and ends trimmed

4 carrots, scrubbed and ends trimmed

4 stalks celery, ends trimmed

1 Granny Smith apple, quartered and cored

1 orange, peeled

1 tangerine, peeled

1 red bell pepper, quartered and seeded

about 1 inch piece of fresh ginger

Juice together. Stir to combine.  Enjoy!

Gazpacho Juice

I love gazpacho and this has that flavor plus the nutritional punch of added greens.

1 cucumber, peeled

3 tomatoes, cored and cut to fit juicer feed chute

1 red bell pepper, quartered and seeded

1 Granny Smith Apple

4 kale leaves, washed and ends trimmed

2 chard leaves, washed and ends trimmed

1 inch piece of green onion

1/2 lime, peeled

1/2 bunch of cilantro (or basil)

small piece of chile pepper

Juice together. Stir to combine.  Taste and add more lime or cilantro if needed. Enjoy!

Fennel and Fruit Juice

This is a beautiful jade green juice that is sweet and refreshing with the distinct licorice flavor of  fennel.

1 bulb of fennel, ends trimmed and cut into pieces to fit juicer feed chute

about 1 cup packed spinach leaves

3 leaves kale, washed and ends trimmed

1 pear, quartered and cored

1 Granny Smith apple, quartered and cored

1/2 lime, peeled

Juice together. Stir to combine.  Enjoy!

Cantaloupe and Carrot Juice

I fixed this for Rem this morning and he said it was enjoyable: “semi-sweet and fruity”.

4 carrots, scrubbed and ends trimmed

about 2 cups of red grapes

about 1 cup of cantaloupe chunks

Juice together. Stir to combine.  Enjoy!

If you are interested in more information you can check out this site: Join the Reboot.  It was started by Joe Cross, the subject of the documentary as well as the Executive Producer and Co-Director.  It has nutritional information, reboot guidelines, recipes and community forums.

As always, thanks for stopping by.


Filed under Cooking, Life