Real Food Travel Portland Maine

Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine has it all. A beautiful harbor feeds into the Atlantic Ocean, and cobblestone streets of the Old Port wind among funky shops and galleries. Breathtaking views of harbor islands and beautiful architecture compete for one’s attention. Outdoor adventures beckon year-round. And then there’s the food. Portland is a locavore mecca. Locally sourced food is the norm in the city’s restaurants, which number in the hundreds. Known as one of the top foodie destinations in America, Portland boasts impossibly fresh seafood delivered daily to the port. Food trucks are everywhere, and local farms and food producers supply a good portion of the city's food. My family recently visited … [Read more...]

Tomato Frittata

tomato frittata rfrd 300

I recently became the proud new owner of an Excalibur dehydrator. It was perfect timing with this month’s Recipe Redux challenge, “Get Your Dehydrator On.” Dehydrating produce when it’s in season is a budget-friendly way to stock up for the winter. I get so much produce during the summer from my farm share, and I've been wanting to use a dehydrator to process the excess. I’m still experimenting with my new machine, but one of my successes thus far is dried cherry tomatoes. My farmer grows the sweetest, most delicious cherry tomatoes. We get the orange sungold variety as well as the bright red ones. Some weeks, I come home with several pints of these goodies. They’re so simple to … [Read more...]

Real Food Meal Plan Week 32

Real Food Meal Plan Week 32 | Real Food Real Deals

I did a little experiment last week. I cut out all added sugar from my diet for the week, including maple syrup and honey. I also avoided dairy, gluten, and all processed food. While I don’t eat a whole lot of these foods normally, I thought it would be good to reboot my system with a very clean menu for a week. I also wanted to remind myself that there are lots of healthy snacks without sugar in them. I feel great, but of course I was daydreaming about pumpkin cake all week. That will be on my dessert agenda this week for sure. We’re coming to the end of the summer vegetables in these next few weeks, and the fall harvest is around the corner. As the weather gets cooler, I’m looking … [Read more...]

Eggplant Bolognese

Eggplant Bolognese

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

pumpkin brownies 300

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...]