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The Value Of Humble Seed: We ExSeed Expectations!

April 29th, 2014

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Imagine opening one palm full of conventional, store bought seeds, and the other with Humble Seeds. Would you be able to spot the difference? Most probably not. But is investing in Humble Seeds worth it? Absolutely! While your two hands full of seed may look the same, only conventional leaves the buyer with numerous unanswered questions: For starters….

*How long were the seeds in the store for? 

*Were they exposed to the sun, rain and other elements? 

*Were they seeds genetically modified? 

*Or perhaps inoculated with pesticides? 

*What other chemicals were these seeds treated with?

*Is there a possibility that these seeds were hybrid or pollinated in a controlled environment, and are now unable to regenerate a seed for future planting? 

In essence, life is like a package of store bought seeds, you never know what you’re going to get. We soon begin to realize that all seeds are not alike.

The Difference Humble Seed simply doesn’t leave unanswered questions. It’s a relief for so many of us who care about what ends up on our plate. We do this by ensuring all of our seeds are non- GMO and non-hybrid quality. We also feature numerous organic and heirloom varieties in each seed kit. In addition, all of our products are carefully stored within temperature controlled environments prior to being shipped directly to your home or business, ensuring the most reliable seed available with the highest germination rates.

Furthermore, our seed offers…

*Fresher herbs, fruit, and vegetables with more nutritional value than their store-bought counterparts.

*FDA food-safe containers, along with our re-sealable Mylar® bags, keep seeds fresh in between plantings, allowing you to plant now or later.

*Seed without the direct exposure to chemicals 

*An opportunity to save money by purchasing seeds in bulk and growing your own foods.

*More family engagement around a backyard experience, and an opportunity to educate children on the importance of gardening for a sustainable way of living.

*A chance to learn how to garden using organic growing practices. 

*An opportunity to sustain yourself with garden know-how in case future disasters deplete our nation’s food supplies. 

*Open-pollinated seeds, meaning all seeds are pollinated the way nature intended. 

*We offer our seeds in themed, bundled kits. When you purchase a garden kit, you get to choose from a variety of carefully themed packages that are convenient and wonderful for busy lifestyles. Whether you are a spicy food fan and prefer a variety of hot and spicy chilies, want to grow your own herb garden, or you’re someone who desires the freshest and most nutritious vegetables to choose from; Humble Seed has a package that will suit your gardening needs for all growing regions within North America.

Our Full Line of Themed Seed Kits

Uncle Herb’s Favorites

Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles

Veggin’ Out

The Producer

Other Popular Items You Might Like

Haven Brand Natural Brew Tea

Humble Seed Garden Planner

We’d love to know: What are reasons you choose Humble Seed over conventional seed?

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed. We’re also proud to say we have taken the Safe Seed Pledge!!

Does starting your first garden seem too overwhelming or you have limited space? Check out this option: The Tower Garden Aeroponic Growing System.

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Let’s all give thanks to the parsnip!

November 19th, 2013

Parsnips

Are we the only ones who love root vegetables in the fall? While we all enjoy our standby potatoes and carrots – we are having a love affair with parsnips lately. Who can deny their sweet flavor and versatility? Here are eleven facts we found pretty darn interesting about our beloved Lancer Parsnips (and here’s where to find them).

1. Cultivated in Europe since ancient times and a relative of the carrot, the ivory-colored, fibrous parsnip offers sweet, nutty flavor and celery-like fragrance.

2. It can be harvested through the end of November, and if you wait until after the first frost of the year, you’ll find that they are delightfully sweeter, because cold temperatures turn the parsnip’s starch into sugar.

3. Because parsnips are so fibrous, they’re generally cooked before eating. Parsnips are the sweetest of all the root vegetables and easy to prepare.

4. Parsnips are chocked full of vitamin C, which is essential for building healthy connective tissues, teeth, gums, and the immune system.

5.  The parsnip is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. It is also rich in vitamin K, folate, and manganese.

6. Prior to planting, soak parsnip seeds in water for 24 hours for optimal germination.

7. Starting the parsnip seed outside is recommended. Plant in late spring or early summer about four months before the first frost. Harvest anytime between June and late November.

8. They can be sliced up or left whole when baked or boiled, and mashed with butter and cream. Try slicing parsnips into big chunks and steam like carrots.

9. These root vegetables are a delicious addition to roasts, soups and stews.

10. Flavors that complement this root vegetable include: allspice, brown sugar, chives, cinnamon, ginger, maple syrup, nutmeg, rosemary, and sage, to name a few.

11. Parsnips are especially wonderful when mashed with butter, cream, and spices – feel free to include potatoes in the mash too. This side dish is perfect for pairing with roasted meats:

Mashed Parsnips

(Serves 4)

  • 2 pounds parsnips, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Place parsnips in a large saucepan then cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt to the water. Bring to a boil, lower heat then simmer for about 12 minutes or until parsnips are very tender. Drain parsnips then place in a food processor. Add butter nutmeg, cream, and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt; Process ingredients until smooth.

 

Roasted Parsnips with Cinnamon & Parsley

10 medium parsnips (appx. 1 – 1.5 lbs)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. coriander

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. sea salt, or more, if desired

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 TBS. chopped fresh parsley

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Peel the parsnips and cut each into 1-inch pieces crosswise, then cut the thicker pieces into halves or quarters to get chunks of roughly equal size. If the core seems pithy or tough, cut it out. You’ll have about 4 cups.

Arrange the parsnips in a single layer in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Combine the cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir to mix. Sprinkle the spices evenly over the parsnip slices and toss until well coated.

Roast until tender and lightly browned on the edges, appx. 35 to 45 min., stirring once or twice during cooking. Sprinkle with the parsley and lemon juice and toss well. Taste and season if necessary before serving.

 

Readers…we’re curious how your parsnips did this year? What are your favorite ways to use them? 

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed.

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How To Prep In An Apartment Or Small Living Space

September 25th, 2012

If you’ve ever watched the posted videos from the apartment dwellers who survived the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, you’ll understand the importance of prepping, even when in an apartment. Many of the dwellers had little to no food in their refrigerators (since they ate out much of the time), and found their water contaminated. Limited space in an apartment means you may have to be more selective and creative when prepping for a disaster. But remember, the steps you take now can mean all the difference in a survival situation. Here are a few tips to get your started:

How To Plan An Apartment Garden

Start by saving now for a small garden, and reserve money each week. Use recycled goods to keep costs at a minimum, and begin saving soda bottles, yogurt tubs, food jars, etc., for later use as containers. Garage sales and thrift stores may also have some useful items.

It’s wise to carefully plan out your space, and work with what you have. Most apartments have a balcony or patio – but also consider using the space near a sunny window, or on the rooftop if available. Need some guidance on how to garden in small spaces? Find websites or blogs that detail their successes with container gardening, and take notes on what practices they used. You’ll likely discover small tips, like growing plants vertically which can manage small spaces better, and yield a crop comparable to larger garden spaces.

Invest in seeds that are non-GMO and non-hybrid, and store them in waterproof and rodent proof re-sealable containers. This will ensure long-term food storage, leaving the option of growing seeds now or later.

How To Store Food When Space Is Tight

Getting creative is a must when storing food in an apartment. Consider any unused space as a potential place to store food – under the bed, linen closets, storage lockers, or shelving units can hold dozens of cans and survival items. If you truly have limited space, try living minimally (that is, without unneeded items or furniture that take up space). You may find it challenging to give up some possessions in your home, but remember that it may mean the difference between surviving and thriving if a disaster strikes.

When storing food, remember to:

1)    Keep dry food up high. Keep all dry food up high and away from the ground to prevent water damage or problems resulting from high trafficked areas.

2)    Keep food away from sunlight. Sunlight can destroy the nutrients in food and cause internal temperatures to rise and fall in a container.

3)    Keep food in a cool, dry location. Cool, dry places provide the optimal environment for food to stay well preserved.

How To Plan Emergency Gear In An Apartment

Since space is limited, it can get tricky finding ways to store different kinds of emergency gear. Instead, stick with gear that is necessary and has multiple uses, and check our list below.

A Multi-Tool - a multi-tool can provide a screwdriver, pliers and an assortment of knives all in one.

Can Opener(s)  – food is necessary for survival, store at least two of these.

Portable Water Filter – water must be filtered or boiled if you suspect it’s contaminated.

Solar Charger – small devices can become fully charged even in the absence of power.

Duct tape – with its dozens of uses, duct tape can repair tears, seal up windows, pack up boxes, and more.

Other useful items: flashlights, a weather radio, hiking shoes, USB flash drives, emergency preparedness books, first aid kit, rain gear, lighter or matches, self protection such as pepper spray, and small hygiene items.

To learn more, see our guide to canning, as well as our other emergency preparedness posts:

Canning 101

Five Tips For Prepping

Tips For Sustaining A Survival Garden

Survival Gardening: How To Boost Your Disaster Preparedness 

***Preppers and gardeners:  What are your favorite tips for prepping in a small space? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

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Guest Blog: My fight against GMOs-The Agtivists documentary

September 17th, 2012

My name is Zofia Hausman and I am a British film maker and human rights activist. I am in the process of producing a documentary that will take a critical look at the prevalence of genetically modified organisms and the bio-tech industries that have monopolized our food supply.

The film will delve into the work of The Agtivists, four American pioneers who have put their lives and reputations on the line to challenge the corporate control of our food supply. It will reveal groundbreaking new research, helping us to understand how GMOs, crops that have had their DNA altered in a laboratory by the addition of genes from other plants, animals, or bacteria, have an impact on every single human being on the planet. You probably aren’t aware that 70 percent of ingredients in our supermarkets contain genetically modified organisms – many countries have banned or severely restricted the production of GMOs, but here in the United States, the companies producing our food don’t even have to mention them on the label.

This type of genetic modification is experimental and largely untested, and over 80 percent of the transmuted crops are being designed to withstand direct application of herbicides and pesticides – chemicals that end up on your plate. What evidence we do have is not reassuring – take GMO corn, for example. Genetically modified Bt corn, which contain an EPA registered pesticide, is engineered so that when corn worms bite into the ear of corn, their stomachs explode. These Bt pesticide toxins have been linked to cell membrane death and leaky gut, as well as kidney cell damage in humans. They have recently been found in the blood of 93% of pregnant women tested, as well as 80% of their unborn babies. Other GMOs such as sugar, canola and soy have also been genetically engineered to tolerate high levels of a chemical called glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp. This chemical is being linked to birth defects, inflammatory bowel disease, certain cancers, and organ damage as well as environmental problems.

We have a right to know what we are putting into our bodies, but right now we are ingesting these toxins without our consent and involuntarily participating in what some scientists believe to be the greatest human experiment in the history of mankind. My goal is to finish this film as soon as possible, so we can release this information to the world and give everyone an opportunity to become conscious consumers. In this war on GMOs, information is power.

I invite you to join me on this journey and become a sponsor of The Agtivists and an integral part of the larger solution. We can no longer rely on our governments to stand up against corporate agendas; it is we, the people, who must take action to ensure a just and cooperative world. It is up to us to bring an end to this human experiment and reclaim our food supply! Please help by spreading the word with your friends, family, and professional networks. We are all in this together, and what we need right now is each other.

Watch the trailer to the film here: www.indiegogo.com/agtivistsmovie

You can learn more about the film at our Facebook and Twitter pages: www.facebook.com/agtivists and www.twitter.com/agtivists

Sincerely,

Zofia Hausman, Director, The Agtivists

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Get Crafty With Your Container Garden

April 16th, 2012

 

If you love quirky art projects, or inventive ways to display your gorgeous garden, then perhaps simple terra pots will seem a little “wah-wah” once you read these makeshift garden alternatives. A makeshift garden uses untraditional containers to display flowers, herbs, vegetables and peppers. The possibilities are endless! Which makeshift garden ideas are your favorite?

1. Decorative Chair – use a decorative dining room or patio chair and refurbish it to display your garden! To make your own garden chair, you’ll need to remove the seat and create a space to display your plants. Plant your favorite herbs, flowers or even small vegetables. (See a full tutorial with pictures here)

2. Vintage Bicycle – Give a vintage bicycle new life and make great use out of the front and back end baskets.  You may also add smaller baskets to the seat or pedals.  Fill each basket with coconut fiber and potting soil.  Plant your favorite herbs, flowers and small vegetables.

3. Picnic Basket – How often do you really use a picnic basket, perhaps twice a year? Give yours a full time job and allow your plants to be beautifully displayed from its openings.  Any sized picnic basket will work just fine, and remember to fill it with a good quality potting soil.  Plant a variety of herbs, flowers, small vegetables or even chilies for larger baskets — how creative is this basket?

4. Bird Bath – Old or unused ceramic birdbaths make wonderful displays for gorgeous herbs and flowers. Be sure to carefully drain holes at the bottom for proper drainage.

5. Dresser Drawers and Crates –  Distressed wood drawers and wine crates can create a unique, vintage feel in your garden or home. Be sure to drill holes at the bottom for proper drainage, and see this example.

6. Wheelbarrow – If you no longer use a wheelbarrow, don’t give it away! They create a quirky, rustic look when flowers, herbs and vegetables are displayed from them. Plant your favorite herbs, flowers or small vegetables. (See this tutorial)

7.  Toolbox – Using toolboxes to display your garden can create a fun conversation piece next time you have guests over.  Remember to drill in drainage holes, and fill the toolbox with potting soil.  This is a great idea for a small herb garden.

8. Used Tires – Some prefer using 1 – 2 tires for smaller gardens, while others stack several to create a tower of plants for display. Leave the tires as is for a recycled feel, or spray paint each for a decorative edge. Some studies show that used tires have the potential to release harmful chemicals in warm temperatures.  Therefore, inedible plants are recommended, and never display them in an enclosed area or in-doors. (A beautiful photo here)

9.  Tree stump – Tree stumps can be unsightly and difficult to mask. Why not make lemonade out of a lemon?  They can be quite beautiful with a variety of flowers and herbs rising out. Creating a makeshift garden out of a tree stump is a little more challenging – but well worth the effort.  This how-to gives thorough step-by-step instructions.

10.  Picture Frames – Picture frames filled with small plants can make a boring fence instantly adorable and functional! Window box frames work best, or use any frame with additional width to fit small pots with herbs or flowers. (A gorgeous example here)

 

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The Value of Humble Seed: We ExSeed Expectations!

November 16th, 2011

In the number of years of growing our own herbs and produce, on occasion we may have all purchased seeds from a grocery store or garden supplies store. As we brush off the dust that has settled on each package, one may notice the seeds looked quite normal and were ridiculously cheap. But as the plants begin to grow in size and take shape, one cannot help but grow weary of what our families are actually eating. It is difficult not to wonder: how long were the seeds in the store for? Were they exposed to the sun, rain and other elements? Were these
seeds genetically modified? Or perhaps inoculated with pesticides? Is there a possibility that these seeds were hybrid or pollinated in a controlled environment, and are now unable to regenerate a seed for future planting? In essence, life is like a package of store bought seeds, you never know what you’re going to get. We soon begin to realize that all seeds are not alike.

The Difference: This is why Humble Seed has a different philosophy that allows you more control over your gardening and what ultimately goes on your plate. We do this by ensuring our seeds are non-genetically modified and non-hybrid, we feature numerous organic and heirloom varieties as well. In addition, all of our products are carefully stored within temperature controlled environments prior to being shipped directly to your home or business.  Our convenient garden seed kits offer you the ability to:

  • Grow herbs and vegetables that are fresher and more nutritional than their store-bought counterparts.
  • Save money by purchasing seeds in bulk and growing your own foods.
  • Engage your family around a backyard experience, and educate children on the importance of gardening for a sustainable way of living.
  • Learn how to garden in convenient, inexpensive, and informative ways.
  • Sustain yourself with garden know-how in case future disasters deplete our food supplies.

Themed Bundled Packages:
When you purchase a garden kit, you get to choose from a variety of carefully themed packages that are convenient and wonderful for busy lifestyles. Whether you are a spicy food fan and prefer a variety of hot and spicy chilies, want to grow your own herb garden, or someone who
follows a raw, vegetarian or healthy diet and desires the freshest and most nutritious vegetables to choose from; Humble Seed has a package that will suit your gardening needs. We also offer The Producer, a bulk seed kit with a vast array of fruits and vegetables for larger gardens.

Safe Packaging: Our seeds are never exposed to harsh conditions and are stored in environmentally controlled conditions until shipping. This ensures optimum germination when planting. Before being shipped, seeds are packaged in re-sealable Mylar® bags which provide further seed protection, as well as the opportunity to plant right away or in the future.

We Believe In Open-Pollinated Seeds: Humble Seed features seeds that are open-pollinated. This means that each seed is naturally pollinated by birds, insects, wind, and other natural processes. Outside of our jalapeno, hybrid parent plants are never used, and your seeds can be harvested and re-planted, producing the same plant as the parent.

Guaranteed Non-GMO Seeds: We use only non-GMO seeds and ensure that seeds were never genetically modified or changed, and will traditionally grow the same plant in which originated. Non-GMO seeds also contain the maximum amount of nutrition a human needs to sustain vitality and good health. How much do you know about Genetically Modified plants and seeds? Take the quiz below!

Test your GMO Knowledge!  Quiz yourself with these True-False and Multiple Choice questions.

 

1. What are three of the most common genetically modified foods?

a. corn, soy and potatoes

b. broccoli, soybeans and carrots

c. almonds, green beans, tomatoes

d. Walnuts, parsley and kiwi

 

2. (True or false) The top five most common genetically modified foods are genetically modified to produce their own insecticide.

 

3. Which television network showed a poll that found 93% of people want the government to require labeling on GMO foods?

a. NBC

b. ABC

c. ESPN

d. The Food Network

 

4. (True or false) In the genetic modification process, biotech scientists often use viruses and bacteria to invade cells of plants and in-plant foreign genes.

 

5. Based on animal research, what problems can result from consuming GMO foods?

a. reproductive problems

b. infertility

c. auto-immune
diseases

d. all of the above

 

6. (True or false) One way to identify GM seeds is to simply look at the package.

 

Answers: 1)a, 2)True, 3)b, 4)True, 5)d, 6)False

 

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The Versatility of Swiss Chard

November 9th, 2011

                                                          The Versatility of Swiss Chard

When we envision Swiss chard, we may associate it with Switzerland.  Instead, we should picture this vitamin rich, green leafy vegetable devoured by those that live in the Mediterranean.  Places like Spain, France, Monaco, Italy and Greece all consider Swiss chard a staple.  And it is no wonder why it is so loved in there region; it is rich in calcium, potassium, vitamins A and C, beta-carotene and carotenoids – a pigment that studies show helps prevent against degenerative eye problems.  This leafy green has also been linked to helping balance blood sugar levels, and those with Alzheimer’s. Looking to include more minerals in your diet? Swiss Chard has a whole host of them, including copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus.  It is not a mere coincidence that those living in the Mediterranean region are some of the healthiest people in the world! It is clear that this leafy green vegetable is a powerhouse of nutrients just waiting to be served up for a healthy family meal.

When choosing seeds to grow, it is easy to pass up the Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard for a leafy green we are all familiar with leaf lettuces and cabbages.  But we at Humble Seed find Swiss chard to be just as versatile due to its soft leaves and subtle flavor. Many also find it tastes less bitter than Collard, Kale and Mustard greens.  So what are you waiting for? The Producer features Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard, and is just one of our premium seed kits that offer heirloom, certified organic, non-GMO, and non-hybrid seeds to choose from.

Planting Guide

Season: Swiss chard does not grow well in the heat, making it a cool weather vegetable.  Grow these leafy greens at the end of summer, fall and spring.  These plants grow best at temperatures never above 75 degrees F, and not below 32 degrees F. Therefore, avoid winter planting, and cover plants during cold frosts. Also, keep in mind that the maturity rate of the plant ought to be at least 2-3 weeks before the first snow.

Soil: Fertile soils that drain well work best for Swiss chard.  To prepare the soil just prior to planting, add well-composted organic matter, an all purpose fertilizer, and/or a cow manure tea to ensure the soil is nutrient rich.

Placement & Planting: Be sure to find an area exposed to direct sunlight before planting.  For container gardening, plant seed ½ – 1 inch deep in fertile, well-drained soil. When transplanting (plants should have 3-4 true leaves) or growing Swiss chard in a larger garden, plant 6 inches apart, and leave a foot between each row.

Watering: Provide 1 inch of water a week, or 2 inches during warmer days.  If you notice any flowers appearing, this means the plant is getting too hot.  If this occurs, prune the flower stalks to prolong the harvest and provide more water.

Harvesting: When the moment of truth arrives, harvest when leaves are about 5-6 inches in length. Leave 2-3 inches of stalk in the soil, and trim away any unwanted leaves that may be impeding the growth of any new growth. Store the leaves in the refrigerator for as long as 2 weeks.

Recipes:
Looking for some fresh ways to use Swiss chard? Your taste buds will do a happy dance once they taste these recipes!

*The Basics: As Fraulein Maria says in the Sound of Music, “Let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start.” With that in mind, the whole Swiss chard plant is edible, and you can enjoy it raw, sautéed, braised, steamed, or in soup. However, many prefer to eat just the tender leaves over the crisp stalk. Therefore, remove the stalk and any ribs if you are looking for less crunch.

Stuffed Shells with Oyster Mushrooms and Swiss Chard
This is an absolutely delicious dish with brain boosting oyster mushrooms and nutrient rich Swiss chard.  Bonus: the calories and fat normally found in stuffed shells do a disappearing act!  View how-to pictures here.  
(Serves 4-5)

3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
8 large oyster mushrooms, chopped
1 bunch of Swiss chard, chopped
1 pinch nutmeg
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt to taste
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 large lemon, juiced
1 package pasta shells
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1-2 T vegan Parmesan cheese
1-2 teaspoons parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil for cooking

Method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta shells for approximately 10-15 minutes in boiling water and a little olive oil.  Allow pasta shells to boil until el dente. Drain water and carefully set pasta shells aside. Heat a skillet on medium high heat with olive oil and add onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt.  Once the onions are translucent, add the oyster mushrooms and another pinch of salt.  Allow the oysters to soften (about 4-5 minutes). Stir in the Swiss chard, a pinch of salt, red pepper flakes, and the nutmeg.  Allow mixture to simmer until the chard is wilted (about 5-6 minutes). Stir in pine nuts and lemon juice.

Pour 1/4 of the tomato sauce into the large casserole dish.  Carefully stuff each shell with the vegetable mixture, and set each shell in the dish.  Neatly line up the shells until you have used up the vegetable mixture. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the shells, and place tomato slices (about 6 needed) on top of the shells.

Lightly place tin foil over the casserole dish, and bake for 20 min.  Once done, take off tin foil, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.  This will give your dish a nice rustic appeal.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley.  Serve immediately.

Swiss Chard Salad With Garlicky Pommes De Terre

(Serves 4 )Take a mini-mental vacation to France and make this delicious and unique salad.  When we visited France, we saw Parisians in cafes just about everywhere devouring this salad.  View how-to pictures here.

Ingredients:
5-6 stalks Swiss chard, de-ribbed and chopped well
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 avocados, sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 Yukon Gold potatoes (or other small potatoes)
5 cloves garlic
4 slices smokey Tempeh bacon
parsley for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
1 baguette, sliced

Miso and Herb Vinaigrette

¼ cup red wine vineger
¼ cup chopped basil
¼ cup fresh parsley
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. mellow white miso paste
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
cracked pepper
salt

Method:
Arrange your Swiss chard, tomatoes and avocados on a plate. Heat a large skillet on medium high and add the olive oil.  Stir in potatoes and season lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté the potatoes for at least 10 – 15 minutes, or until browned and tender. When potatoes are almost finished cooking, add garlic and a touch more olive oil. Sauté the garlic and potatoes for the remaining few minutes.

While potatoes are simmering, make your dressing and brown the tempeh bacon.  For the dressing, whisk together all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  The end result is purposely a little chunky from the herbs.

Assemble the salad by adding the browned tempeh bacon to the Swiss chard, and pile the potatoes high on top.  Add the freshly chopped parsley, and dressing.  Slice the baguette and offer it on the side of the salad.  The French never go without a side of baguette!

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Greek Yogurt with Summer Squash

June 8th, 2011

This cool summer dish is a healthy addition to any meal, or substantial enough to be served on its own. The beautiful colors, sweet and creamy texture orchestrate wonderfully on a warm summer day.

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash (halved) (pumpkin, acorn squash or even yams will work as well)
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon white truffle oil (Truffle oil is pricey and the recipe will work without it, however it really adds complexity and richness to the dish)
1/4 cup pistachios
3 tablespoons minced chives
Parmesan shaving for garnish (Pecorino or Romano)

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven at 375. Then remove all of the seeds and pulp from the 1/2 squash, and cover in olive or grape seed oil.  Roast at 375 for 20-25 minutes.  The squash should be firm but yet fork tender.    Let the squash cool at room temp.  Once it has cooled, cut the squash into 1/4 inch size pieces and toss with chives, pistachios, white truffle oil and plain greek yogurt.  Garnish with the shaving of Parmesan.  Super quick and simple yet full of nutrients and FLAVOR!  This recipe really allows the sweet buttery taste of the squash to shine through. Also you can chill the squash before you serve for an even firmer and cooler dish! Enjoy

About Katheryne:

Sustainability is very important to me because I believe that we should take care of the planet that gives us so much. Love the earth and it will love you back. Know where your food comes from; be informed about what you are consuming. By choosing to eat organically grown produce the impact that you are making on the environment and your own health is a positive one.  Living sustainably to me, is not about  what you are giving up, it’s about all that you get! You can check out my website here http://katherynecooks.com/ and please be sure to “like” my Facebook page!

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Summer Beet Salad with Peach Vinegerette

May 18th, 2011

As we approach warmer weather, nothing beats a great salad for a delicious meal.  This recipe pairs beets with arugula creating a salad that is full of flavor as well as healthy benefits.  The benefits of beets have been shown to improve anemia, blood circulation, cancer, and various heart diseases.  In addition, arugula is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, folic acid, calcium, manganese and magnesium. Here’s the recipe, and here’s to healthy eating!

Salad:
4 medium bulls blood beets (roasted or boiled and peeled)
2 oz of crumbled Queso fresca cheese (may substitute with mild feta)
1/4 red onion sliced super thin
1/4 cup pistachios
4 cups or organic arugula

Dressing:
1 organic medium yellow peach (frozen also works if not in season)
3 Tbsp. grape seed oil (extra virgin olive oil can be used to substitute)
3 Tbsp. champagne vinegar (White vinegar will do, as well as white balsamic)
3-5 drops of Umi plum vinegar (not necessary, however adds a great flavor)
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:
Roast your beets at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until fork tender. Cover the beets with olive or grape seed oil, and sea salt prior to baking and wrap in tinfoil to put into the oven. I’m sure that they can be boiled as well, I however find roasting them to bring out the sweet earthy flavor more.
After the beets have been roasted, peeled and cooled, cut them into 1/4 inch cubes.  Toss them together with the thinly sliced red onions and let them absorb each others flavors while you prepare the dressing.  In a blender combine the peach, oil, salt, champagne vinegar (white vinegar), and Umi plum vinegar (optional). Blend on pulse until everything has come together into a creamy peach color.  In a large bowl toss the beets, half of the dressing and the pistachios together until all of the beets are coated in dressing.  Plate with a handful of arugula and then sprinkle  the crumbled queso fresca (mild feta) and splash a bit more dressing on top. Viola you have a super simple summer salad that has the perfect amounts of creaminess, sweetness, tartness, and crunch!

About Katheryne:


Sustainability is very important to me because I believe that we should take care of the planet that gives us so much. Love the earth and it will love you back. Know where your food comes from; be informed about what you are consuming. By choosing to eat organically grown produce the impact that you are making on the environment and your own health is a positive one.  Living sustainably to me, is not about  what you are giving up, it’s about all that you get! You can check out my website here http://katherynecooks.com/ and please be sure to “like” my Facebook page!

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Guest Blog: Jerry’s Garden- GM(n)O

March 17th, 2011
 

 

Hi Everybody!  Hope you’ve all been well since my last article!  In this article, I’ll be talking about GMO foods—especially fruits and vegetables.  There are many reasons why genetically modified foods are not good for you.  But before we even delve into all that, it’s important for all of us to understand what GMO food really is.

Genetically modified foods, or GMO foods, are any kind of food that has purposely had specific changes made to its DNA. These changes have been made by humans and are not brought about by natural means over time. It’s natural for all organisms to change over time, whether it’s an extremely gradual change, or a relatively quick change caused by mutations, radiation, and other environmental factors.  These changes help the organism adapt to its environment and typically make it stronger.

With genetically modified foods, human interaction forces the organisms to change–unnaturally.  Certain genes in the organism’s make-up are purposely removed or introduced to the organism’s DNA. Whether it be a gene to help the organism grow faster, brighter, juicer, etc., the bottom line is, it is certainly not natural.

The theory and reasoning behind GMO foods is such: If humans can manipulate nature, and produce foods that are “better” for us, then the end result will surpass the questionable means and we (humans) can benefit from these “better” foods.

However, many studies have shown that GMO foods are less nutritious and can actually be harmful to humans and other animals. Lab rats fed GM foods were shown to develop lesions in their stomachs and other intestinal problems. GMO foods have also been shown to cause liver, kidney, and heart damage in mammals.

In addition, many GMO fruits and vegetables are much lower in the nutrients found in non-GMO foods.  Some of these include calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamin C.  Studies have shown that over the last two decades, these nutrients have been on a steady decline in our fruits and vegetables! What is the point of eating fruits and vegetables if you’re not getting any of the nutrients normally derived from these plants?!

The draw to GMO foods is, of course, that they grow faster and produce more.  But we can’t just look at the short-term benefits of these foods; we need to consider the long-term effects as well.  And I truly think that anyone who does their research and discovers the long-term effects of these foods will be willing to wait a bit longer and eat a bit less!

About Jerry Greenfield:

Jerry Greenfield

 

My number one focus is growing my own food. I don’t think that really counts as a hobby.  For some people it is, but for me, growing my own fruits and vegetables and saving my own seed is the key to survival. The only person you can count on is yourself, if you ask me. The government is trying to help us all with GMOs and welfare, but it’s all a crock. I also like to build things and read Transcendentalist authors from the 1860s.

Connect with Jerry via his blog and Facebook page: Grow Like Crazy

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