Summer Vegetable and Bacon Casserole

This lovely medley of fresh vegetables is savory and satisfying. You may cook it just until the green beans are tender-crisp, or longer if you prefer.

In a cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet, begin cooking the bacon over medium/low heat. Add the onion, pepper, squashes and cook, stirring, until the bacon is well done.
In a bowl, combine the sauteed mixture, the other vegetables and seasonings. Stir well.
Pour into a buttered casserole dish.
Top with grated cheese and then the bread crumbs.
Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.
Check a piece of green bean to see if it is as tender as you like. If not, bake 10 minutes more and test again.

Summer’s Bounty Ratatouille

Lots of eggplant? Too many summer squash? Here is a quick and easy dish with a classic French twist. Slow cooked veggies with tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers makes a great side to any roasted meat or alone with a slice of crusty bread. Also, a great dish when you are on the go.

Place diced eggplant and zucchini in an colander and salt it. Let veggies drain for an hour. In a cast iron pan, saute bell pepper and onion. Place in a slow cooker. In same pan, saute egg plant and zucchini until golden brown. Place cooked veggies in slow cooker. Add crushed tomatoes, basil, thyme, and rosemary. Season with salt an pepper to taste. Cook for 6 hours. Serve with roast beef, lamb, or alone with a crusty loaf of bread.

Crunchy Baked Zucchini

This recipe makes a fun side dish that has wide appeal. I avoid using the store bought cooking sprays in the cans as they use cheap oils and added junk that I don’t want. Nor Pro makes a “Mr. Mister” that I use for my oil spraying needs. The oil aids in browning in this recipe, which gives a better appearance, texture and flavor. I make my own bread crumbs from bread failures (bricks) and keep them in the freezer so they are ready to use.

Combine sprouted flour (see my recipe for home sprouted flour), cheese, bread crumbs and seasonings. Coat each zucchini round in beaten egg, then in flour mixture, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with oil. Once laid out, spray the tops of each round with oil and bake for 18 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve with ranch dressing.

Kohlrabi Fries

Kohlrabi (or German turnip) is actually of the cabbage family and is a good source of fiber, Vitamins C and B6, Copper, Manganese, Magnesium, and Phosphorus. It’s also gluten-free and GAPS and Paleo legal. We call these Baby Fries because they’re only a couple inches long.

Preheat oven to 450º. Peal & chop kohlrabi bulbs. Be sure to really peel them well or you will end up with tough fries.
If your oil is solid, melt it, then pour over fries and toss to coat. Lay the fries in a single layer on a baking sheet. Generously sprinkle seasoning over fries.
Bake for 20 minutes or until browned. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Mock Mac ‘n Cheese

A grain-free version of a classic favorite! This is a really tasty dish that satisfies the craving for something hot and cheesy…cauliflower makes a great stand-in for pasta!

Steam cauliflower for 10-15 minutes until crisp-tender, and then drain well.
Melt butter in a saucepan, and then add arrowroot, salt, dry mustard, tarragon, and nutmeg, stirring until bubbly. Slowly whisk in milk, and let the mixture thicken.
Stir in cream cheese and cheese, then turn off heat and add sour cream. Mix with cauliflower, and then pour into a buttered 9×13 baking dish. Mix together almond meal with garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika, then sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until browned and bubbly. Serve in bowls or with a slotted spoon, as there is lots of yummy cheese sauce in the bottom of the pan!

Wilted Swiss Chard

Adding a bit of healthy fat to vegetable dishes is very important so that the fat-soluble vitamins can be absorbed by the body. Here is a quick and simple way to cook Swiss Chard.

Carefully wash the Swiss chard and shake it over the sink to remove excess water.
Dice the green onion and mince the garlic
Lay the chard on a cutting board with the stalks lined up together. Slice the thick stalk portion into 1/2 inch slices.
Roll the leaves together and then slice them into 1/2 inch slices and then cut a few times in the other direction.
In a cast iron skillet, on low heat, melt together the olive oil and butter.
Add the onion and garlic. Saute’, stirring for 3 minutes.
Add the sliced stalks and saute’ for 3 more minutes.
Add the leaves and saute’ for 3 more minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste – generously!

Potato Dumplings

Umm, this side dish takes you back to the old country. Serve these with your favorite hearty meat dish.

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool.
Mash potatoes and then add eggs, flour, breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper. Add more flour if dough is sticky, maybe another 1/4 c.
Mix until combined.
Fill pot up with water and bring to a boil. Using a spoon, or a medium sized scoop shape dumplings. Wet your hands if you need to prevent dumplings from sticking. Place dumplings in boiling water and cook until they float, about 3 minutes. Remove from water with slotted spoon and drain.
In a cast iron frying pan melt butter. Brown dumplings in butter, using small batches. Once browned serve, immediately.

Vegetarian Creamy Cabbage

A mild side dish that goes well with almost any main (grass-fed, sustainable of course) meat dish. In fact, I thought about it as I was typing and I would suggest it goes well with ANY meat dish!

Cut up cabbage and bell pepper into strips and place in a pot large enough to accomodate the vegetables.
Coat in butter, add water, salt, pepper and herbs de province and turn to medium heat.
Cover and steam for 8 minutes or until cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally.
Add cubed cream cheese and stir in until creamy.

Creamed Rainbow Chard

Talk about eating the rainbow. I love preparing chard for my family. They range from dark greens to oranges, to reds. In this recipe you untilize all of the chard, including the stems. It is very tasty and delicious. It is also kid-approved! Fresh spinach works really well too.

Remove the leaves from the stems (something the kids can do)
Chop stems finely and set aside
Chop leaves of chard and set aside.
In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil.
Add stems to olive oil and saute until tender, five minutes.
Add garlic, then add leaves sauteeing for another five minutes
Salt and pepper taste.
Add cream and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
Serve immediately

Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Delicious spinach stuffing on portobello mushrooms. Easy to make and tastes great!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
Add half of oil and the garlic.
Season caps with salt and pepper, to taste, remaining olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
Transfer caps to a cookie sheet sprayed with olive oil.
Add spinach to the skillet and let it wilt.
Cut artichoke hearts in half and add to the spinach.
Season veggies with salt, pepper and thyme.
Remove skillet from stove top and combine stuffing with grated cheese.
Top each mushroom with 1/4 of the filling.
Place cookie sheet with mushrooms in oven for 10 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

A fast, easy, delicious side dish, can use many kinds of veggies though brussel sprouts are featured.

Cut your veggies into similar sized pieces. I quartered the brussel sprouts.
Heat skillet (with a lid) on medium. Melt your butter (or whatever fat you’ve chosen).
Add your veggies and stir gently (just gently enough to not mangle them).
When I’m sure everything has been coated in butter, I cover it and reduce temp to med-low. Let it steam/cook/saute, whatever it’s doing under there that results in tender yumminess!
I check tenderness after about 7 minutes, but it’s not usually done yet. 🙂 When tender, add your sea salt and pepper.
Serve to happy family! 🙂