I am exciting to be back to Friendly Food and all of my friends here on this blog! I have been locked out for nearly 2 years, unable to retrieve my password after my email went down, but alas! I have found it and I am back!
I hope everyone has been super awesome and finding ways to bring comfort and healing through cooking and food preparation! So much has changed in the past two years, and no doubt everyone is a little on edge now a days with the current world situation.
As we near our one year anniversary of being stuck at home due to the COVID pandemic here in Canada, I have really started to change my way of thinking when it comes to food. I still eat mostly keto and fresh local foods as often as possible, but after a couple of shortages on things like meat, it really makes you open your eyes to a world of preservation and sustainability!
You will find my posts have changed to adapt these new realizations as I start exploring new ways to stock my pantry, grow my own food and work with farmers as often as possible. I believe I am not the only one who has been having these same thoughts, so I hope we can all learn and grow (lol, no pun intended) together in this new world of uncertainty.
So how have my friends been holding up? Anyone else wondering how long you can store a potato or what you can and cannot freeze dry? 😉
I have been really excited about all of the cucumbers that have been coming out of the garden lately! Fresh, beautiful little green cylinders that make great pickles, relishes, eye masks and of course, salads!
If you are like me, lettuce salads are great, but sometimes you just crave something different! Something fresh, juicy and light. May I offer you a simple recipe for cucumber salad to curb that craving?
Now let me start by saying one thing right away….the longer it sits the better. So if you are having a dinner party and want a side dish that you can prepare ahead of time, this is your recipe! It pairs well with anything off of the BBQ for amazing summer entertaining!
Fresh Cucumber Salad
This recipe serves 3-4 as a side dish, but feel free to double (or triple it) because remember, the longer it sits the better! Also makes a great lunch the next day.
3 small or 1 large cucumber
Handful of fresh dill (big handful)
1tbsp sour cream (or greek yogurt)
1tsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste ( my taster likes lots!)
Just mix everything together and let sit in the refrigerator.
Like I mentioned, let sit for at least 4 hours. Overnight is so much better though!
I have seen a lot of people say cucumber salad doesn’t have much flavour, but my guess is they didn’t let it sit long enough!
So if you are like me and have lots of cucumbers and dill in your garden, you might be serving a lot of this recipe! It tastes like summer, it is perfect to prepare ahead and perfect for hot summer days!
Do you grow your own garlic? Did you know that the entire plant is not only edible, but super delicious!!
We have a good amount of wild garlic in our gardens, and other then looking pretty, I was never sure what to do with it. After some research, I learned that the options are endless!
Not only are the scapes (the curly tops that sprout up a month or so before you can harvest the bulbs) edible, they have such a fresh garlicky taste, you can eat them raw or fry them up with some salt and pepper. I enjoy adding them to stir frys too. Yum, yum, yum!!!
I have been craving pesto BBQ chicken for a while, and thought “scape pesto??” Turns out it is actually a thing!! There are lots of recipes out there that are very different, and I am sure very delicious! My recipe was purely based on what I already had in the house and let me tell you….I wouldn’t change a thing!
Garlic Scape Pesto (per cup of chopped scapes)
1 cup garlic scapes
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup walnuts
1/3 cups olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash and roughly chop the stalks (separating the flowery tops) I cut mine at the point where the stalks started to feel tough. It is a little late in the season and they got tough about 4-6 inches down.
Cut off the tops above the flowery bulbs. They have a spicy garlicky taste the added great flavour to the Pesto!
Save the flowery bulbs to plant more garlic!
Place scapes, cheese, walnuts, salt and pepper to food processor and pulse. Slowly add oil until you have a desired consistency.
It seems just like yesterday that I anxiously published the post Little Lettuce Going to Feed Me Someday. This is my first year growing Lettuce in my garden and I was so excited to start harvesting fresh, yummy salads everyday!
Well, just a couple of weeks later we have SO MUCH LETTUCE! I hate the idea of wasting just one leaf, so I am trying to incorporate it into all of our meals.
I decided it would be good to know what nutrients and benefits come from eating lettuce (especially since it is now my number one food intake!) I was pleasantly surprised with what I read that it makes me want even more of the leafy green goodness!
What I Learned About Lettuce
Although most people think of lettuce as just “rabbit food”, it contains energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and sugars. It can be a full, nutritious meal!
Lettuce lowers cholesterol levels that often lead to cardiovascular disease.
Minerals found in lettuce include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc along with vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B-6, C, A, E, and vitamin K.
Lettuce can actually aid in anxiety control because it contains anxiolytic properties.
Lettuce contains anti-inflammatory properties to help control inflammation.
Lettuce supplies antioxidants, which are necessary in a healthy diet.
Lettuce also has anti-cancer properties.
Last but not least, Lettuce is so versatile and delicious. You can eat it with pretty much anything (well, maybe not oatmeal) and it is so easy to grow, there really isn’t an excuse not to!
Yesterday I went out into the garden and was delighted to see I could pick my first harvest! Whoa Hoo!!!!!
Although I only got a handful of raspberries and enough lettuce to make an awesome salad for lunch, I did get a bunch of cucumbers, fresh dill and garlic! What was a girl to do? Make refrigerator dill pickles of course!!!
I will never can pickles. I just don’t see the point to cooking them and turning them soggy. Refrigerator pickles are super fresh, crunchy and only take a couple days to become delishous! They last up to 12 weeks in the fridge (if you don’t eat them by then) and you can play around with flavours since they are so easy to make! This jar only took me 15 minutes!!
Quick Garlic Dill Pickles (makes 1 quart)
3-5 small pickling cucumbers (enough to pack them in there good)
2 chopped cloves of garlic
Fresh dill, or dill seed
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp crushed peppers
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup cider vinegar
Just put everything into a jar, top up with water to the rim and let sit in the fridge for 2 or 3 days and enjoy!!
This is a starter recipe for me. Depending on your taste, play around with mustard seed, regular vinegar, other spices, etc. It is so easy to make these, you can make a jar in less than 15 minutes, so get creative!!
In my opinion, if you plant something in your garden, ideally, you should be able to eat it. Gardening takes water, valuable time and money to grow, so you minus well reap the rewards!
There are so many beautiful herbs and vegetables that have flowers and look just like other perennials you can spend hundreds of dollars on (but can’t eat). If you plant the right ones together, they can come into bloom in a timely manner, ensuring your gardens are always bright and colourful!
In the past couple of years, I have been slowly replacing greenery that offers no nutritional value with delicious AND pretty plants in my gardens!
I love planting herbs! They are probably the prettiest and tastiest plants. In addition to my chives, mint, dill, parsley, sage and basil, I have added lavender, oregano and thyme this year. It just adds so much beauty and it is amazing to add to a salad.
As part of building a sustainable lifestyle, we want to grow as much food as we can for ourselves! Having roses, daisies and gardenias are nice, but at the end of season, all they were good for was to look at and then chop down. I would much rather eat the plants that I spend so much time watering, pruning and weeding!!