Summer Vegetable Soup

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Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you can’t go for a warm bowl of soup every once in a while.  Especially on those rainy days.  This summer veggie soup is filled with all the summer veggies, protein and healthy fats to keep you nourished and refreshed and is the perfect comfort food.

For this recipe I used chickpea pasta which I find works out better if cooked separately then added into the soup at the time of serving because bean pasta’s and gluten free pastas tend to break apart easily and wheat based pastas over expand and absorb all the delicious broth.

Ingredients

1 medium carrot peeled and diced or sliced

1 celery stalk chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/2 large zucchini cut into 1/2 inch moons (about 1 cup)

1/2 large yellow summer squash cut into 1/2 inch moons (about 1 cup)

1 medium ripe heirloom or garden tomato diced

2 tbsp. olive oil

juice of half a lemon

1 cup cooked kidney beans

4 cups vegetable broth

1 avocado

bunch of cilantro roughly chopped

1 cup pinwheels, shells or elbow pasta cooked al dente (I used chickpea pasta)

salt and pepper to taste

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In a large pot heat olive oil on medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion, carrot and celery and saute for a couple of minutes until slightly tender. Add garlic, zucchini, squash and tomato then continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes tossing frequently.  Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 15 mins. Add beans, lemon juice, salt and pepper and let simmer for another 4-5 mins.  Remove from heat and serve into bowls. Add as much of the cooked pasta as you like and top with avocado chunks and fresh chopped cilantro. Serves 3-4.

 

 

Sweet Potato & Zucchini Potato Pancakes

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These crispy veggie packed sweet potato and zucchini pancakes are a great addition to any meal. I usually like to eat them for breakfast with eggs, tomato, chick peas and avocado but I also like to serve them as an appetizer along with Greek yogurt, apple sauce, or even smashed avocado or tahini.  I have always loved potato pancakes growing up. My Polish grandma used to make them with white potatoes and onion and we used to eat them with applesauce and sour cream.  I gave them a healthy twist that’s just as delicious and even more satisfying.

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Ingredients

½  potato sweet or white any type

½ medium zucchini

1 egg or equivalent ex: flax, chia

Tbsp. coconut flour or flour of choice

2 chopped scallion stalks

½ tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

1 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil

Grate the zucchini in a large bowl then place on thick layer of paper towels. Press out as much of the juice as possible through a fine strainer or with dry paper towels. Squeezing out all the juice prevents the pancakes from falling apart while cooking. Add zucchini back into the bowl. Grate the sweet potato and add into bowl with zucchini. Add in egg or egg substitute equivalent, chopped scallions and salt and pepper. Combine well then add coconut flour (or all purpose) to help bind any excess juice. Heat 1 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil on medium high heat until hot.  Add heaps of mixture to pan and shape into pancakes. Cook on both sides until golden and transfer to paper towels to remove any excess oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Makes about 8 pancakes. Serve with smashed avocado, Greek yogurt or applesauce!

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Serving suggestions

 


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Caulibroccoli Tabouli

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Grilled Corn, Tomato & Avocado Salad with Hemp Seeds

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Memorial Day and A Taste of Summer

Memorial Day is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May. It honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. To many it’s also considered the unofficial start of summer.
A time when seasonal produce starts growing strong and the farmers markets are far from scarce. A time to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family and grilling season comes into play. Nothing like serving up refreshing summer salads filled with fresh flavors alone or as a side dish to complement any BBQ.

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My love for Village Farms tomatoes is real with so many different vibrant and delicious types to choose from. With just the right amount of sweet and savory to level out my taste buds they are extremely versatile and filled with many health benefits. They are rich in lycopene and full of other essential nutrients and antioxidants. So really what’s not to love?
When choosing tomatoes I make sure they are firm and deeply colored with a sweet earthy smell. I store them at room temperature and lay the larger tomatoes stem side down. This helps to keep the tomato fresher longer. I let them ripen so they are slightly soft, juicy and bursting with flavor in my dishes. One of my all-time favorite tomato pairings is avocado. The sweetness of the tomato with the creaminess of the avocado creates a medley of goodness. Nothing like a good slice of toasted sour dough with mashed avocado and ripe tomato.
Village Farms True Rebel Mix® tomatoes are just right because they contain a mix of 4 to 6 exclusive varieties each with a distinct shape and flavor and they create a beautiful and colorful presentation. They are greenhouse grown and hand-picked so each one is simply perfect.

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This Grilled Corn, Tomato & Avocado salad with hemp seeds screams everything summer and is filled with refreshing flavors. The smokiness of the grilled corn, the citrusy burst of the lime, the fresh cool flavor of the cilantro and the nuttiness of the hemp seeds combined with the sweet tomato and creaminess of the avocado create a luscious burst of mouthwatering goodness.

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Grilled Corn, Tomato & Avocado Salad with Hemp Seeds

1 1/2 cups Village Farm True Rebel Mix Tomatoes halved or sliced 1/2 inch pieces
1 slightly firm avocado cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 ear of grilled corn shucked
juice of one lime
2 – 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. hulled hemp seeds
large bunch of cilantro chopped
1/4 cup red onion or shallot chopped
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste.

Toss tomatoes, corn and red onion with hemp seeds, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil until combined. Fold in the avocado and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well so all the flavors incorporate together and store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Can also be stored for 3-4 days in an air tight container.

Cool Cucumber Melon Salad

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1 1/2 Village Farms English Cucumber sliced in 1/4 inch coins
1 1/2 cups cubed watermelon
1 1/2 cups cubed cantaloupe
1/2 cup fresh mint roughly chopped
2 cups arugula
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 to 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
salt and black pepper to taste

Add cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, arugula and mint into a large bowl and combine. Toss with olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Top with crumbled feta. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve or store in air tight container up to 3 days.

Nourish Bowls

IMG_7674What is a Nourish Bowl? A well balanced bowl filled with a combination of nutrient dense veggies, fruits, clean carbs, healthy fats and quality proteins that can be eaten as any meal of the day.  The additions of healthy oils, citrus, vinegar’s, seeds or nuts not only makes it taste delicious but makes it even more filling and nutritious.  When I build a nourish bowl I try and think of a theme which helps me create the most perfect flavor combination.  A “Mediterranean Bowl” is one of my favorites filled with fresh greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and feta cheese perhaps adding some chicken, chickpeas or falafel for the protein and a drizzle of olive oil with red wine or balsamic vinegar.  Another is a “Southwest Bowl” with quinoa or whole grain rice as a base then loaded with fresh Mexican flavors like peppers, onions, corn, avocado, cilantro lime and salsa.  Perhaps a bowl filled with Asian flavors or a fun themed bowl like a “Pizza Bowl” filled with arugula, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, grilled chicken and a drizzle of balsamic with whole grain or gluten free garlic bread sticks and some marinara sauce for dipping.

These are just some examples of how you can create the perfect Nourish Bowl.  I will be adding more nourish bowl ideas daily so please be sure to check back.