My garden cantaloupe are abundant this year – what a great celebration! Cantaloupe are as healthy as they are delicious, low in calories yet full of Vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. Alas, Continue reading
Rich, earthy stews with layers of warm and savory flavors are ubiquitous with autumn. This pumpkin stew makes good use of one of the most wonderful offerings of late season gardens… pie pumpkins. It’s so flavorful that omnivores won’t even notice how the dish is entirely vegan.
Deconstructing the stew, i.e. layering the stew over slices of roasted pumpkin instead of mixing the pumpkin into the pot of stew itself, is an awesome way to preserve the satisfying texture of freshly roasted pumpkin. Try this for your next Meatless Monday. Three cheers for autumn!
Ingredients (Serves 4 with leftovers)
1 pie pumpkin, 7 or 8 inches in diameter Continue reading
Few foods are more satisfying on an autumn afternoon than a bowl of fresh tomato soup with the last of the garden tomatoes. This recipe is simple to prepare, and doubles easily for freezing or canning. Yes, it’s safe for water bath canning, to enjoy throughout the winter! Enjoy.
Ingredients (Makes one large pot; recipe can be easily doubled OR cut in half) Continue reading
Left: Spicy Zucchini Pickles Right: Garlic Dill Zucchini Pickles
My garden zucchini plants went bonkers this year. I’ve already made zucchini apples (a favorite around here), zucchini boats, and several zucchini-enhanced baked goods. With the last of my garden zucchini – because I am uprooting the plants to make room for a late crop of onions – I’m making Easy Zucchini Pickles.
Crisp and tangy, these pickles will stand up to any cucumber pickle, I promise. Let’s get started!
Ingredients (Makes approximately 4 quarts)
2 large (approximately 16 inch) or 3 medium (approximately 12 inch) zucchini
4 cups water
4 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup salt
1/4 cup white sugar
16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
For garlic dill pickles: 16 heads of fresh dill -or-
For spicy pickles: 12 Thai chili peppers, scored lengthwise
Step 1) Wash zucchini and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds. Slice Zucchini halves crosswise into 3/4 inch slices, then cut each slice into 2 inch pieces. Set zucchini pieces aside in a large bowl.
Step 2) In a large pot, combine water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic. Bring brine mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat to simmer.
Step 3) Pack zucchini pieces into sterilized quart jars, layering a head of dill (or a chili pepper), about 1 cup of zucchini, and about 1/2 cup of brine at a time. Don’t be afraid to really stuff the zucchini into the jar, 1 cup at a time! The back of a tablespoon can be useful for packing zucchini.
Step 4) Leave 1/2 inch head space at the top of each jar (no zucchini should be “poking up” into that last 1/2 inch of space). Make sure zucchini is covered in brine, and tap the jar (or poke with a chopstick) to remove air bubbles.
Step 5) Cover each jar with a sterilized lid and band. For refrigerator pickles, place jars in the fridge. For canning, place jars in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.
Your zucchini pickles will taste best after one week. Enjoy!
Do you have five minutes? Great – because that’s about how long you need to prepare this delicious Salsa Chicken! Two ingredients + one slow cooker = a delicious dinner that you can prep early and forget about for a few hours.
Here at Crowded Earth Kitchen, we Continue reading
If you’re waiting longingly for October to enjoy the savory taste of roasted pumpkin seeds… no need. One of the best kept secrets among frugal cooks is that ALL melon seeds are edible! The seeds from pumpkins, winter squash, watermelon (yes, watermelon), cantaloupe, honeydew, etc. are not only edible, they are chock full of Continue reading
It should come as no surprise that Crowded Earth Kitchen features at least one or two new eggplant recipes every summer. When you emphasize “fresh” and “frugal” in your kitchen, eggplant has a way of emerging as a frequent star. This summer, as these lovely purple beauties make their way from our garden to our table, we’re trying something new. Italian Marinated Eggplant is best served cold as part of an antipasto platter, with a side of crusty bread, or as a salad ingredient with fresh mozzarella (shown above). Enjoy!
Ingredients (Makes 1 quart)
1 large or 3 small eggplant Continue reading
For some reason, fried rice has always sounded complicated. It’s not. The trick is to cook the rice the day before and refrigerate it overnight. It is much easier to stir-fry cold, day old rice. Trust me on this, and dive into this delicious, Thai inspired treat!
Ingredients (Serves 4 with leftovers)
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
2 cups Jasmine rice, cooked to package instructions and refrigerated overnight
1 cup diced, fresh pineapple Continue reading
Delicious, very easy to prepare, and uses up a few famously prolific garden zucchini – what’s not to love about Zucchini Boats? Medium sized zucchini, 10 to 12 inches long and about 3 inches in diameter, work well for Zucchini Boats. If you happen to find a “baseball bat” sized zucchini lurking in your garden (it happens), you can use it in this recipe, just add a few minutes to the baking time.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
2 medium sized zucchini, halved lengthwise and seeds scooped out Continue reading
During the height of summer, fresh spring rolls are a refreshing afternoon lunch. Spring roll wrappers used to be tricky to find, but as Asian cuisines have increased in popularity throughout the US, these wrappers have become readily available in supermarkets and online. This recipe uses other easy to find ingredients as well. For the cooked chicken, either a can of chicken or part of a supermarket rotisserie chicken will work. For the noodles, feel free to experiment! I really enjoy Japanese sweet potato noodles, but a cooked package of instant ramen noodles will work just fine. Have fun!
Ingredients (Makes 12 Spring Rolls)
12 round spring roll wrappers (rice paper)
1 cup cooked chicken cut into small cubes
3 ounces cooked noodles cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons chili vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 inch piece of ginger, finely grated
Step 1) In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the five sauce ingredients. Fold in chicken, noodles, cabbage, carrot, and peanuts.
Step 2) Place about 1 inch of water in a 12 inch skillet and bring to a simmer (not a boil) over medium heat.
Step 3) When water is hot but not boiling, place ONE spring roll wrapper in the water for 2 SECONDS (really… just two seconds). Use a spatula to gently remove the spring roll wrapper from the water and place it on a wood cutting board. Gently smooth out the wrapper; a few wrinkles are fine. If parts of the wrapper are still hard, you can dip the wrapper in water again for an extra second.
Step 4) Place 1/4 cup of filling in a small rectangle near the center of the wrapper.
Step 5) Fold the sides of the spring roll wrapper over the short sides of the rectangle of filling, as shown. Then, gently roll the spring roll from top to bottom, sealing the filling inside of the spring roll. The wrapper will stick to itself and form a nice seal.
Step 6) That’s it! Repeat steps 3 – 5 until you run out of filling.
Spring rolls are a FRESH food and are best enjoyed within a few hours of rolling (store in the refrigerator if not enjoying immediately). Try dipping your spring rolls in soy sauce, plum sauce, or peanut satay sauce – delicious! Spring rolls are inherently low in fat and are gluten free. You could also omit the chicken and add some shredded greens for your vegan friends. Have fun!
Happy New Year, Friends! This month we’re focusing on delicious, healthy, EASY meals here at Crowded Earth Kitchen! A hearty serving of today’s Healthy Cherry Quinoa Bowl weighs in at only 225 calories yet offers up 26 grams of protein and a big punch of Vitamins A, B-complex, and K. Let’s get started! Continue reading
Korean Bibimbap is a surefire crowd pleaser. The combination of white rice, vegetables, marinated beef, chili pepper paste, and egg is hearty, delicious, and can be tailored to the palate of each of your dinner companions. Love all the veggies and knock-your-socks-off spice? Great! Prefer your food mild and hold the greens? That’s fine, too! Let everyone prepare their own bowl, and everyone will be happy. Let’s get started!
Ingredients (Serves 6)* Continue reading
Guess what? You don’t need sugar to make excellent – and I mean EXCELLENT – applesauce, pear sauce, or as we’re making today, Apples ‘n Pears. You don’t actually need a Continue reading
Hearty potatoes, earthy leeks, rich butter, and savory broth combine perfectly in this recipe to offer a lush, warm autumn meal. You’ll be impressed with how simple this soup is to prepare, leaving you plenty of time for carving pumpkins, jumping in piles of leaves, or enjoying an evening fire.
If you haven’t cooked with leeks Continue reading
October is the perfect time of year to take advantage of the abundance of pie pumpkins everywhere. The pumpkins featured in this recipe were Continue reading