Oven-Dried Tomato Slices

Eat Well Edibles Grow Well Recipe

Popping in today with simple summery trick for you.

Of the ten tomato seedlings I raised, only one survived into adulthood — a yellow pear that, like every other tomato planted in this garden over the years, woefully underperformed. Fortunately, the market doth provide. In this instance, it provideth too much, and where ripe tomatoes are concerned, time is of the essence.

Tomatoes with greens, in omelets, on pizza in slices or as homemade sauce, eaten in thick wedges with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. They’re all on heavy rotation, but I wanted to try a new technique: oven-drying. Great to make the most of a windfall of beautiful, ripe summer tomatoes, but also to improve the dull taste of those not quite ripe, or even those purchased out of season that travelled a long, flavor-sapping distance to the supermarket.

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Composed Thai Steak Salad

Eat Well Edibles Grow Well Recipe

Happy summer, Friends!

When things heat up, we’re suckers for garden-driven recipes. Bonus points for those that don’t require cooking.

This gorgeous little number is refreshingly vibrant, with flavor notes pulled from the Thai cuisine playbook: sour lime, spicy chillies and ginger, salty fish sauce, and a hint of sweet maple. I just love how light, lovely and low-key it is — literally whisk, slice, plate, and voila.

Beef summer salad

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Spiked Chorizo and Black Bean Chilli with Chipotle, Roasted Garlic and Plantain

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Cooked low and slow, this spicy twist on classic bean and meat chilli — with a shot of bourbon for good measure — is guaranteed to satisfy even the heartiest of eaters on the coldest of days. A perfect stick-with-you meal that fills your home and your belly with delicious warmth.

The recipe I’m sharing today features sweet roasted garlic, zucchini and summer squash, plantain, smoky chipotles in adobo, banana peppers and, for depth, two types of tomatoes — fire-roasted and sun-dried. To suit your taste and availability, you can vary these with in-season winter squash, dark leafy greens and sprouts, or root veg like parsnips, rutabaga, sweet potato and beets. Dried oregano, nutmeg and cinnamon add to the complex layering of classic Mexican flavors, and a scattering of fresh cilantro leaves cool and refresh as the finishing touch.

We used lean pork ground at home and seasoned in the style of chorizo, but you can use meat from fresh chorizo sausages purchased from a butcher. To make it vegetarian, omit the chorizo and stick with the black beans (canned or home-cooked from dry), or pump up the protein with additional beans, cooked lentils, or pan-seared tempeh or tofu crumbles.

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Adopting a Mediterranean Eating Style + Sunny Yellow Chopped Salad

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

The traditional Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world. Years of research confirm myriad benefits, particularly for our hearts, brains and span of life.

May is set aside to celebrate the Mediterranean diet, and I see no reason not to adopt these health-promoting — not to mention delicious, sustainable and affordable — eating habits for the remainder of the month and beyond!

What does this style of eating look like?

At its heart the traditional Mediterranean “diet” — as in eating pattern; not restrictive, calorie-counting regimen — is a healthy and balanced way to eat. It’s primarily plant-based, focusing on simplicity, freshness and, whenever possible, foods that are locally grown and produced.

+ Heavy emphasis is placed on a variety of fresh veg and fruits, whole grains, as well as healthy fats, such as those from olive oil, seeds and nuts, olives, and occasionally cheeses or yogurt. Lean proteins, predominantly beans, legumes, fish and shellfish, are also highlighted.

+ Red meat is treated more like a “garnish” than the main event, and sweets are saved for special occasions. Highly processed foods and beverages are taken sparingly, if at all.

+ Water is the main beverage. A glass of wine — if appropriate for age and stage — is common in moderation.

What are the benefits? 

In moving toward or fully adopting this style of eating your diet will receive significant bumps in healthy unsaturated and omega-3 fats, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals. On the other end, the limitation of high fat meats, sweets and processed items results in far fewer refined starches and sugars, and unhealthy saturated and trans fats.

Eating seasonally and locally not only ensure that you save money, support farmers and promote community economic stability, and contribute to energy conservation and sustainability, but also that your products are the freshest, best-tasting and most nutritionally complete.

It may be that the myriad health benefits are not solely a result of diet. Of equal importance to the foods eaten is the ritual of the mealtime itself. Meals are a time to sit and slow down, savor the flavors, connect and share time with family and friends, rather than eating on the hoof, at a desk or alone at the counter. Simple cooking methods are typically employed, and the concepts of celebration and heritage are cherished. Moderate, regular physical activity is often a necessary part of daily life in these regions, but is routinely done for pleasure as well.

Taken altogether, it’s easy to see how the traditional Mediterranean eating pattern — lifestyle — has earned its acclaim as one of the healthiest in the world.

Yellow salad_HGN

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