Every year we make a trip right over the border to visit our favorite Wisconsin apple picking spot. We load up on apples and cider doughnuts, say hello to the goats and visit the famous “Big Cheese.”
It is a wonderful tradition shared with my husband’s family. We get there as soon as it opens in the morning and get out before the crowds get out of hand and the bees attack. There are always more apples than I intended so we eat a lot of apple dishes in September and October!
Baking an apple pie is another part of the tradition. I try to make the crusts the day before we go so we can have a homemade pie the same day we pick. My lovely sister-in-law gave me an apple peeler/corer/slicer which makes prepping the apples go much quicker. I highly recommend using one if you have lots of apples that need peeling.
It is always a great day and a great way to welcome fall in our home.
The recipe I use is adapted from The Joy of Cooking, All About Pies and Tarts, cookbook.
Sweet corn is in season and we have been seeing roadside stands pop up all over the place. So yummy and so nostalgically summer. I hope you are supporting your local farmers and picking a few ears. I stopped by the local Huntley Farmer’s Market and picked up my ingredients from Johnson MicroFarm, Trogg’s Hollow and Providence Farm. I do love the traditional corn on the cob, but here is a recipe with a few more ingredients to brighten your dinner table. Enjoy!
Recipe for Sweet Corn Salad
4 ears of sweet corn, cooked
1 medium tomato
1/4 c diced zucchini
1T extra virgin olive oil
2t white wine vinegar
pinch of pepper
1/2t garlic powder
Cut corn off the cobs. Diced tomato and add to corn. Mix in diced zucchini. Set aside. Combine oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pour over corn mixture. Add microgreens and basil on top and lightly toss. Delicious!
As I am sure you do, I am having mixed feelings about school starting up again here soon. I am eager for a little more structure to our days but I am not looking forward to the constant running around. Back to school means back to packing lunches…not my favorite task by any means. My kids are not huge sandwich eaters, so I am always looking for new ideas that provide healthy but tasty meals that can be eaten in the short 20 minute lunch period. Here is some inspiration for you!
- Use “bento box” style lunch containers. These worked great for us last year. One box, all the food. This is not so good if you want to send something hot, like soup or pasta though.
- Use a thermos to send hot soup, pasta, rice, etc. It is a nice change of pace and hey, maybe you can send leftovers from the night before! I boil hot water and fill the thermos and cover. I heat up the food. I empty the thermos of hot water and add the hot food. I think this helps keep the food warmer longer.
- Try a homemade “lunchable” Cut up your own cheese, veggies, meat and send with some whole wheat crackers, like triscuits. Besides being a healthier cracker, they do not break as easily as other crackers!
- Wraps are a hit and so easy. Use a whole wheat tortilla and fill with veggies, meat, and cheese. Roll up and slice into smaller pieces.
- Raw veggies with dip or hummus are a great addition to lunches.
- When sending fruit, think ahead. Younger kids may have a hard time or spend a long time peeling fruit. Send cut up and ready to eat.
- I always recommend sending water to drink. Kids can fill up on their food, not beverages.
- Popcorn and rice cakes are crunchy and healthy side options.
- Send non-lunch food. Breakfast food is fun- send cereal!
- I love granola bars in the lunchbox. Try Homemade Granola Bar Recipe
- Pasta salad or a grain salad can be a way to get in veggies and protein.
- Don’t forget to send any utensils they may need.
- Keep the food cool with ice packs! Also if sending a water bottle, freeze it the night before and it can defrost in the lunchbox, keeping food cool.
These are just a few quick tips and ideas. Watch for more as the school year goes on!
A little while back, I posted a picture on Instagram of this salsa, but I am finally getting around to adding the recipe. I had to taste test it before I shared! It is delicious and actually keeps well for several days in the fridge. I thought it might get soggy but I was wrong. This is a super healthy addition to any meal. Strawberries are packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin A and fiber. Watermelon also contains Vitamins A and C as well as lycopene, a powerful anti-oxidant.
Here is a super-easy and quick recipe to push you into summer. Short post today but don’t worry I am working on a couple new ones for you all, stay tuned!
Strawberry Watermelon Salsa
1 cup diced strawberries
½ cup diced watermelon
½ jalapeno finely diced
¼c red onion finely diced
1-2T finely chopped cilantro
Juice of one lime
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
Great on chicken or fish or served with chips.
Enjoy and Happy Summer!
Quinoa, the ancient Incan grain, has become a huge hit these days and for good reason. This gluten-free, pseudo-cereal (actually related to beets, chard and spinach) is high in fiber and protein. It is also one of the only plant foods considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids. These are amino acids which cannot be made in the body, so must be consumed via food. Quinoa keeps you feeling full longer because of the high fiber content. It has a nuttier flavor than other grains, giving it a unique taste.
When I first tried quinoa, maybe ten years ago, no one could pronounce it and it was not available in many grocery stores. There were very few recipes out there and no products made from quinoa. Now it is being used to make gluten-free pasta, cereals, granola bars, chips- and the list goes on! I still think it is best to consume it in the natural state, but some of the newer products are great for the gluten-free community.
Here is my go-to quinoa recipe. It is a version of the very first quinoa recipe I ever tried. I have adapted it over time and it actually changes depending on what I have in the fridge. It is great as a side dish or can be enjoyed as a meatless main meal- it is definitely filling enough! We enjoy it cold or at room temperature. Nutritional information does not include the optional add-ins.
Serves 4 large portions
1c uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
2c water or broth
1 cucumber diced
1 bell pepper diced
1 tomato diced
1 green onion chopped
1T olive oil
2T red wine vinegar
3T various herbs- basil, dill, oregano- etc (3T total)
salt and pepper to taste
Optional- feta or bleu cheese, nuts or seeds
Bring water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, let cook until water is absorbed- around 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Add all the other ingredients. Let cool completely in fridge, covered. Before serving, let sit out of fridge for 30 mins, if desired.
Nutrition Information: Kcal: 231, Fat:7g, CHO: 27g, Protein: 7g, Fiber: 6g