Aquaponic Cauliflower

Living a ketogenic lifestyle, we use cauliflower in many forms like mashed and riced as well as using it in pizza crust.  This is a great substitute for pastas and grains.  We planted seeds June last year and didn’t realize how long cauliflower takes to mature.  We noticed heads in October and they were a wonderful size in November.  Here is what they looked like.  Great looking and tasting vegetable.

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Sausage with Hot Coleslaw

I was able to use the cabbage out of our aquaponics garden for this great recipe. I really enjoy cabbage whether it is cooked or raw. Give this recipe a try for a nice warm family dinner.

1 lb. Sausage (Polish or smoked)
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
3 green onions, sliced
4 c. cabbage, thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
½ tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Sugar
3 Tbsp. Vinegar
Chopped parsley for garnish

 

Heat vegetable oil in a heavy skillet. Add green onion, cabbage and carrot. Cook and stir until cabbage is crisp-tender.

Add salt, sugar and vinegar. Cover. Simmer for 5 minutes. Arrange sliced sausage on slaw. Cover. Simmer 10 minutes.

Arrange hot slaw and sausages on platter. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with mustard if desired.

Taco – Vodka – Kale Day

 

 

Today there are 3 items to celebrate: Tacos, Vodka & Kale. We do love our cheese taco shells. These are very tasty and you can put any of your favorite ingredients like catfish nuggets with tartar sauce.

 

 

 

 

Vodka is one of those alcohols that can be mixed with just about anything. Click this link for Lemon Mint Cocktail recipe.

 

 

 

We have been growing kale in our aquaponics garden. We like kale in salads or sauteed with onions or bacon. I have also tried making kale chips in a skillet with oil. That was dangerous with the spattering grease – ouch! The safest way to make kale chips is to bake them in the oven.

Happy Labor Day

Most of us believe the Labor Day is just a celebration for all of us that work every day. However, it started out in a violent manner involving a  labor union. Check out the history of Labor Day. Today also signifies the end of summer and for many the beginning of the school year. Does anyone remember when you weren’t supposed to wear white (especially white shoes) after Labor Day? I don’t believe that is true anymore.

How do you celebrate Labor Day? We will be having Jalapeno & Cheddar Dogs, Smoked Sausage and Lit’l Smokies with bbq sauce. For sides we will have homemade french fries or chips and a cucumber & tomato salad from the garden. If I get real ambitious, maybe I’ll make some homemade ice cream.  Yummy!! Mouth is watering – can’t wait!

Garden

Yesterday I shared a picture of a large zucchini from our garden. It is that time of year when you are eating fresh vegetables. They seem to taste better when you get them fresh from the garden. Here is a picture of a large zucchini, some Early Girl tomatoes and a few tomatillos. The tomatillos are volunteers. We did not plant any the last couple of years but they keep coming up in the summer.

National Eat Your Vegetables Day

Just started my new driving job today.  The ideal job – work 2 days, Saturday and Sunday, then have 5 days off. Money is good and it is driving locally. This means my weekend posts will be done late in the day or maybe even skipped if I don’t get home in time.

Since today is National Eat Your Vegetables Day, I thought I would share this picture of a zucchini from our garden.  Bigger than a steak knife and tastes delicious.

Jamaican Chicken and Swiss Chard

We have a lot of Swiss chard in our garden. When I saw this recipe in Shape magazine, I cooked it up.  The heat from the jalapeno was just enough to give the chicken a little kick. Very tasty.

2 ½ lbs. Bone-in chicken pieces
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 scallions, roughly chopped
½ jalapeno, seeded
2 tsp. Ground allspice
3 garlic cloves, peeled
6 Tbsp. Water
1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. Fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 red potatoes
2 large carrots
1 bunch Swiss chard, cut into 1” strips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prep a cookie sheet with foil or parchment and place chicken in the center of the pan. Season with salt & pepper.

In a blender, process the scallions, jalapeno, pepper, allspice, garlic, water, 1 tablespoon thyme, and ¼ teaspoon salt into a smooth paste, adding some olive oil or additional water if needed.

Coat chicken with the marinade, placing some between the meat and skin if possible, and set pan aside. Cut potatoes into 1 1/2” cubes and carrots into 1 1/2” pieces and place around the chicken. Drizzle vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons thyme and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Top pan with thyme sprigs.

Transfer pan to the oven. Toss chard with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. After 35 minutes, add chard to the baking sheet on top of the carrots and potatoes. Continue cooking until chicken skin and chard are crisp and the other vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes more.

 

Butter Lettuce

Earlier this week I shared some pictures of our aquaponic gardens.  We put the roots of a live butter lettuce in the water hoping it would grow.  Voila!  Yesterday it had 2 little sprouts.  That means we will have butter lettuce and watercress as well as the romaine, Swiss chard and kale.  Salads and more salads in our future.

Aquaponic Garden Plants

Last year I introduced you to our aquaponics garden.  We had to remove the watercress because it took over the garden.  Just this week we finally removed an overgrown Swiss chard plant.

 

We purchased some watercress and butter lettuce at the store this week and planted them in our large new pool.  The hope is that the watercress will cover the pool, reduce the algae and provide food for us as well as the fish.

 

 

 

 

Hoping this year to have some great vegetables growing. Have you started your garden yet?  What are you growing?

Eat Your Vegetables Day

I have learned to enjoy quite a few different vegetables like watercress, Swiss chard and kale.  These are very good for you and can be eaten raw or cooked.  Here are pictures of these growing in our aquaponics garden.

Watercress

Watercress 6-17-16 (2)

Swiss Chard

SWiss chard 6-17-16 (1)

Kale

Kale 6-17-16 (2)

***They come in every color of the rainbow, almost every believable shape and size, and the flavors they bring to the table are absolutely astounding. Whether you’re just talking about the staple vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions that we all get from the store, or the diverse range of vegetables that come from around the world like Bok Choy and watercress, we’ve all been eating them our whole lives. Eat Your Vegetables Day is dedicated to getting people eating their veggies, and also in spreading awareness of their diversity and necessity in a healthy diet.

History of Eat Your Vegetables Day
The history of Eat Your Vegetables Day starts with an awareness of nutrition and the role it plays in a healthy lifestyle. Vegetables have always played an important role in the lives of humans, all the way back to when we were simply hunter gatherers. Vegetables were one of the hallmarks of civilization, and are arguably the reason we settled and stopped being nomads, we couldn’t travel anymore when we planted our crops, we had to be there to tend them as they grew.

As we cemented our ability to produce them they stopped being an opportunistic part of our diet, and instead became a foundation part of our culture and cuisine. As time went on we established that there were benefits to eating them, better health and growth, but it wasn’t until much later that science confirmed what we already knew.

Eventually it was established that yes, they were a vital source of nutrients that were hard or impossible to get form an animal source. These nutrients can help to prevent heart disease and decrease bone loss, offset diabetes, and even improve the health of your hair and skin.

How to celebrate Eat Your Vegetables Day
Well the easiest way to celebrate Eat Your Vegetables Day is to ensure that vegetables play a major role in your diet for the day. To make sure you’re getting enough ensure that you’re eating at least a half a cup of each vegetable you decide to consume, or a cup of a medley. Think vegetables can’t be delicious? We have the simplest recipe to prove you wrong. Just take an equal mixture of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots and steam them until tender. Then layer them in a casserole dish with seasoning salt, cheddar cheese, and sunflower seeds and place them in the oven to bake until the cheese is melted. If that doesn’t make you believe that vegetables are delicious, we don’t know what will! So get out there on Eat Your Vegetables Day and gobble down a tuber, munch on a leafy green, or serve up a nice bowl of legumes.

 

***https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/eat-your-vegetables-day/