Farm Stand Spring Vegetable Tart

Farm Stand Spring Vegetable Tart

This delicious tart is filled with eggy ricotta, parmesan, oven roasted eggplant and peppers, then topped with cherry tomatoes, cream, and fresh thyme before baking. Serve with a sprinkle of chives or chive flowers.

1 pie crust, homemade or store purchased
3 eggs
½ cup mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, leaves only
1 cup heavy cream
olive oil for oven roasting
½  red pepper, thinly sliced
½  yellow pepper, thinly sliced
2 small baby eggplant, sliced into ¼” rounds
Kosher salt
8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup parmesan cheese plus one tablespoon
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¾ cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup spinach leaves
8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
Fresh chives, snipped into small pieces


Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Place the crust in a 9” deep dish pie pan. Rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. To blind bake the crust – prick all over  the crust with a fork. Line the pie crust with parchment or non-stick foil and add pie weights or beans. Add to the oven and blind bake for 12 minutes.

Remove the foil/parchment and the pie weights. Place back in the oven and bake 2-3 minutes more until lightly browned. Combine one egg with 1 tablespoon of water and whisk together. Remove and brush the inside of the crust with the egg wash. Bake 5 minutes to set the egg. Remove and add the mozzarella to the bottom of the crust. Place back in the oven to melt the cheese for 5 minutes. Take the crust out and set aside.

Place the cream in a small saucepan and add half the thyme. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and set aside while you finish the pie.

Place the peppers and eggplant on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake for 10 minutes, turn over and bake 10 minutes longer. Remove and set aside. Reduce the oven to 375˚F.

Combine the ricotta, remaining 2 eggs, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and whisk together. Add on top of the cheese in the pie pan, then sprinkle the green onions over the ricotta mixture. Lay the spinach leaves over the green onions,  then top with the oven-roasted eggplant and peppers. Pour the cream mixture over the top. Place the cherry tomatoes, cut-side down, into the cream and sprinkle the remaining thyme and parmesan cheese over the top. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour.

Remove and cool 45 minutes to one hour. Top with fresh snipped  chives and serve warm. Makes 6-8 servings

Peanut Noodles

Peanut Noodles

Using only the stove top and a blender, Sesame and Peanut Noodles are the perfect spring dinner. Loaded with peanut butter, sesame oil, ginger, and red pepper, the healthy wheat noodles are complemented by crunchy celery, peanuts, and green onions. As a healthy, meat-free meal, they can be served as a pasta entree, tucked into a lettuce wraps, or in Asian Spoons as an appetizer.


Sesame & Peanut Noodles

12 ounces udon noodles or whole wheat thick spaghetti
¾  cup creamy peanut butter
¼  cup unseasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
1 large garlic clove
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
½  cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves only
½ cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced


Using the directions on the package, prepare the noodles. Drain and rinse under cold water until cooled. Allow to drain well and add to a large bowl.


While the noodles cook, add to a high-speed blender the peanut butter, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, crushed red pepper, ginger, and garlic. Process until very smooth. Toss the celery and half the peanuts with the noodles. Pour the peanut dressing over; toss to mix in well. Add warm water as needed, up to ¼ cup, to loosen the sauce.  Top with the remaining peanuts and green onions. Serve 8 or add to Asian spoons for 24 one-bite appetizers.

Pasta with Halloumi Cheese and Oven Roasted Vegetables

Pasta with Halloumi Cheese and Oven Roasted Vegetables

Yummy pasta tossed with pan-fried Halloumi cheese, roasted veggies, fresh rosemary, toasted ciabatta croutons, and cherry tomato mushroom sauce. Then topped off with a squeeze of fresh lemon, basil leaves, and parmesan cheese.  Halloumi cheese is a semi-hard, unripened, brined cheese made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk, and has a high melting point allowing it to be sautéed long enough to develop a crispy exterior.

½ small loaf ciabatta bread, cut into small cubes
1 yellow pepper, cut into ½” pieces
1small red onion, sliced into thin wedges
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided plus extra
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 lemon, zest and juice
Kosher salt
16 ounces Campanelle pasta
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 package halloumi cheese
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, minced
½ cup thinly sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
Parmesan cheese for topping

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Slice the crusts off the ciabatta bread, then cut into ½” cubes and place into a large mixing bowl. Cut the pepper in half, remove the seeds, cut into ½” square pieces, and add to the bowl. Peel the onions and cut into thin wedges then place in the bowl.

Drizzle in 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and the chopped rosemary into a small bowl. Using a rasper grater, finely grate the lemon zest into the small bowl, add a large pinch of salt and whisk everything together. Pour the mixture over the bread and vegetables, tossing them well so everything is coated. Lightly coat a sheet tray with oil and pour the vegetable onto the sheet tray. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. While keeping one cup of the pasta water, drain the rest, and set the pasta aside.

While the pasta cooks, add the remaining olive oil to a pan set over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes until soft. Add the halloumi cheese and sauté for 2-3 minutes until golden on all sides. Remove and keep warm.

Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan and sauté until they pop. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and tomato paste with ½ cup of pasta water and cook until incorporated and a smooth sauce forms, about 3-5 minutes. Add the roasted vegetables with bread and any liquid in the pan to the tomato mixture. Cook until incorporated, add the pasta and the sautéed Halloumi cheese, then squeeze the fresh lemon over the pasta, stir in. If needed, thin the sauce with the remaining pasta water. Top with fresh basil, parmesan cheese, and serve.

Individual Potato and Onion Pizzas

Individual Potato and Onion Pizzas

End winter with this great comfort food dish. Layers of cheese, potatoes, and onions are topped with rosemary, and crushed red pepper. Then we baked the pizza to perfection before topping it with fresh parsley.

Pizza Dough
2 packages dry yeast
1 tablespoon of honey
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to oil the pan
3 cups of bread flour, plus extra if needed
2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 cups grated monterey jack cheese
1 pound unpeeled small fingerling potatoes
6 garlic cloves
6 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
2 small red onions, sliced very thin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 ½ teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

To make your own pizza dough – use a stand mixer with a dough hook and combine the 1¼ cups of warm water (must be between 100-110 degrees for the yeast to bloom), yeast, honey, and 3tablespoons of olive oil in the mixer work bowl. Allow the yeast to dissolve and bloom for about 5 minutes. Then add 3 cups of bread flour topped with 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and mix on medium-low until combined. Continue kneading the dough in the mixer work bowl for 10 minutes, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary, to keep it from sticking to the sides of the bowl until it forms into soft smooth dough. After 10 minutes, pour the dough onto a floured surface and knead it by hand until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow it to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees; cover 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

Slice the small fingerling potatoes, very thin. In a large sauté pan, cook the garlic cloves over medium heat in 4 tablespoons olive oil for three minutes; remove and discard the garlic. Add the potatoes in a single layer to the sauté pan and cook until crisp and cooked through for about 5 minutes; remove and cool briefly.

Turn the dough out on a floured board. Cut the dough into 6 even pieces and let rest, covered with a towel for 10-15 minutes. Stretching the dough, shape each piece into an 11-12” circle and place on the parchment paper. Per pizza, brush lightly all over with olive oil and sprinkle over a pinch of salt. Top each one with ¼ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese, then 1/6 of the potatoes, then top with another ¼ cup cheese. Sprinkle 1/6 of the sliced red onion over the cheese then top with 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary and a pinch dried crushed red pepper

Bake one sheet pan at a time in the center of the oven for 10-12 minutes until the crust is browned on the bottom and sides. Remove from the oven and top with the parsley. Makes 6 pizzas.

Pasta Power Bowl

Pasta Power Bowl

Keep your healthy month going with this great tasting Pasta Power Bowl. High in vitamins and protein, the types of pasta we used provide 3 servings of Vegetables and 25 grams of Protein. So, the easy to make seared tomato topping is just a yummy fiber bonus!

8 ounces Ancient Harvest POW! Red Lentil Pasta
8 ounces Ronzoni Super Greens Rotini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Following the package directions, prepare the pasta in separate saucepans. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and sauté until the skins blister. Crush the tomatoes and add the garlic, tomato paste, and salt. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Add the pasta to warm bowls, top with the tomatoes and sprinkle with the green onions, cheese, and parsley. Makes 4 servings

Winter Grain Bowls

Winter Grain Bowls

After an indulgent holiday, everyone is looking for a tasty way to get on a healthier track in the new year. Grain bowls are an easy and delicious way to get started. You can make them with your favorite grains or try some new ones using this simple recipe. Be sure to choose lots of veggies in different colors for flavor and nutrition. So select your favorites and assemble your grain bowl – they taste great warm, cold, or room temperature.

Choose a grain such as brown rice, quinoa, farro, barley, millet, or spelt. Following the package directions to prepare your grain, plan on cooking ½ cup per bowl, and replace the water with vegetable or chicken stock to add extra flavor. Place your cooked grains in the bowl and top with your favorites listed below. For our photos, we used brown rice, quinoa, and farro in our sample bowls.

Choose a protein such as 1/3 cup beans, 3 ounces cooked omega 3 fatty fish – like salmon, 4 ounces cooked chicken,  1-1/2 ounces of cheese, an egg, 3 ounces of tofu or 1 ounce of nuts or seeds. In our photo samples, we used salmon, chicken, black-eyed peas, cannellini beans, lentils, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and walnuts.

Choose lots of vegetables such as oven-roasted kale, sweet potatoes, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or cauliflower. Add some raw veggies too such as radish, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, fennel, cucumber, sprouts, scallions, and salad greens. For our bowls we used roasted kale, sweet potatoes, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes; plus, fresh bell peppers, carrots, cucumber, and scallions. See our vegetable roasting recipe below.

Choose a fat such as 2 tablespoons nuts or seeds, ¼ cup olives or ¼ avocado. Or add 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or any healthy nut oil, any healthy salad dressing or use our easy lemon dressing.

Top with fresh herbs or spices for additional flavor. Sprinkle your bowl with parsley, thyme, cilantro, basil, dill, mint, or oregano. You can also add minced ginger, lemon zest, or red pepper flakes.

Easy Lemon Dressing Combine 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest with 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk in 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Toss 1 tablespoon with the grains or beans, or pour over the finished bowl. Makes 4 servings

 For oven roasted vegetables: Preheat the oven to 400˚F, toss two cups of vegetables in a tablespoon of olive oil, spread evenly over a foil-lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. and roast until lightly browned and tender. Thicker veggies will take 20-30 minutes. Thinner or leafy, such as Kale and asparagus, will take only 10 minutes.