Eggplant Bolognese

eggplant bolognese 300

My farm share is such a godsend. I used to eat the same few vegetables over and over. I didn’t know what to do with all the other stuff at the grocery store, so I stuck to “safe” things like broccoli and carrots. Now that I belong to a CSA, I eat a much wider variety of vegetables. I don’t actually love them all, but I still eat them. You can't eat a varied diet if you only eat your favorite foods over and over. Eggplant isn't at the top of my "favorite vegetables" list. While I don’t enjoy eggplant straight up, I’ll eat it without complaint if it's disguised in a recipe. This Eggplant Bolognese is the perfect example. Eggplant gives pasta sauce a bit of bulk, but you don’t … [Read more...]

Real Food Meal Plan Week 31

Real Food Meal Plan Week 31 | Real Food Real Deals

A few weeks ago, I shared about my excitement when someone left 7 pounds of tomatoes in the trade bin at my farm share. Well, the tomato trader was back again this week, and just in time for me. I can’t believe my luck. It was only 5 pounds this week, but I’m still excited. I’ll be making a batch of fresh marinara for the freezer, and I’m also going to try this Tomato Basil Chicken Stew from Gimme Some Oven. We have some old favorites for the rest of the week, including burgers and French toast. I’m looking forward to trying the shortcut eggplant parmesan from the 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook. We have several family members who don’t love eggplant, but hopefully this recipe will … [Read more...]

Apple Recipes

20 apple recipes sq

Apple season is one of the reasons I love living in New England. There are so many orchards around, and we go apple picking as a family every year. The cider donuts are a treat we always enjoy at the orchard, but they're not exactly healthy. This round up includes 20 healthy apple recipes that take advantage of this yummy fall delicacy. I tend to think of baked goods and applesauce when I come home with several pounds of apples. But apples are a great addition at mealtime too. This list includes several savory dishes to put on your dinner plate, as well as sweeter options for breakfast, snack time, and dessert. A few of the recipes include a little brown sugar, and I recommend … [Read more...]

Chocolate Spritz Cookies

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These chocolate spritz cookies are a delicious treat. They’re soft and not too sweet - just how I love my cookies. I’m happy to be partnering with OXO to share this spritz cookie recipe. OXO is one of my favorite brands when it comes to small kitchen gadgets. Their quality is always great in my experience, and all their products come with a lifetime warranty. I recently met an OXO representative at a conference, and I asked her, “Does the lifetime warranty apply to a salad spinner that my toddler son played with ALL the time until he broke it?” She said yes, it would have been covered. Too bad I didn’t know that back then, but happily the replacement I bought years ago is still … [Read more...]

Pumpkin Brownies

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I love brownies. I’ve tried many, many different brownie recipes over the years, and even the failures tasted pretty good. So it’s with a dose of reverence that I say: These may very well be the best brownies I’ve ever made. After I tasted the first one, I was tempted to drive to my children’s school to pull them out early. I wanted to confirm that these were as good as I thought they were. The kids are my trusted critics. I didn’t drive over there, though, but instead distracted myself with other tasks as the day wore on. When the end of the school day finally came, my son (who doesn’t love chocolate, and can’t stand anything “dark chocolate”) and my daughter (the dark chocolate … [Read more...]

Real Food Meal Plan Week 28

real food meal plan week 28

It’s back to school week for my family. The kids would love to have a couple more weeks off, but reality is setting in and alarm clocks will be ringing this week. Fortunately, we have a few fun days planned before they go back to school, including one last day at the beach. I’ll pull dinner out of the freezer on Monday when we come back from the beach. It’s so nice to have a supply of meals ready to go for days like these. We’ll celebrate the first day of school with a grill dinner of burgers and corn on the cob, with maple berry skillet cake for dessert. I’m also looking forward to my 9-year-old daughter making lasagna for us one night. That’s her specialty. Real Food Meal Plan Week … [Read more...]

How to Make Protein Bars

chocolate coconut protein bars

The season of packing school lunches is here again. The old classic PB&J is an easy fallback, but it’s important to embrace variety and mix up what goes into your children’s lunch boxes. This month’s Recipe Redux is full of ideas for “brown bag bars and bites.” Learning how to make protein bars is one of the best things you can do to keep the lunchtime meal varied and fun. Homemade protein bars are perfect for kids. They taste like dessert, but they can be filled with healthy ingredients to keep children satisfied and energized throughout the school day. They work at snack time as well as lunch. Sweetened by dates, these bars can also be shaped into small squares or balls to fit … [Read more...]

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

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Homemade ice cream is one of my favorite summer treats. I do like going out for ice cream with my family on occasion, but there’s just something special about making it yourself. Unlike at an ice cream shop, the flavor possibilities are endless. You can make whatever kind you want and invent flavors that haven't been dreamed up before. It takes great patience as you wait for the ice cream to solidify in the freezer. It feels like an eternity. But then, it’s finally ready. And it’s so creamy, so good. I can’t imagine summer without homemade ice cream. This chocolate peanut butter ice cream is adapted from a recipe in the Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book. … [Read more...]

Real Food Travel Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia

Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

Annapolis Valley is the agricultural heartland of Nova Scotia. Hundreds of farms here produce the bulk of fresh produce enjoyed throughout the province, and the area is especially known for its vineyards and orchards. Just over the valley is the dramatic Bay of Fundy. This beautiful area boasts the highest tides in the world, with the water level changing up to 50 feet each day. The Valley is a great place to visit during a vacation to Nova Scotia. Its slow pace and beautiful scenery make it a relaxing destination. With so many farms in this area, there are a wealth of restaurants and markets featuring locally grown food. And with the Bay of Fundy nearby, fresh seafood is a delicacy here, … [Read more...]

Cherry Tomato Ricotta Pasta

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This Cherry Tomato Ricotta Pasta is a delicious way to feature those little tomato gems that hit the markets in the middle of summer. This dish is simple and basic, but it tastes like a fancy restaurant meal. We returned from vacation a few weeks ago on the eve of my husband’s birthday. I had little energy for cooking a birthday dinner as I faced a nearly empty pantry and refrigerator. I did have a pretty pint of cherry tomatoes from the farm, though, which reminded me of a pasta recipe I used to make from Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express. That recipe inspired this dish, and my family loved it. One of these days, you really should try making your own ricotta. I know it sounds like a big … [Read more...]