Almost-Guatemalan Stuffed Squash

Stuffed Summer Squash

One of the fortuitous by-products of writing about food is that friends and acquaintances share tidbits of all sorts.  Emails arrive with bold promises:  Best Brownies Ever!  Incredulity:  Beet Cake?  And practical advice:  Dinner Tonight.  I pour over old family recipes, tips for massaging kale and recipes for tasty green smoothies even kids will love—treasured food secrets, every one.  The more I read, the more I’m struck by what I don’t know about food—and the wealth of what my fellow cooks are willing to share.

The correspondence keeps me plugging away some weeks—like a letter from home invariably will on a lonely stretch at over-night camp—and offers nuggets to ponder just when I’d thought the bottom of the barrel had been scraped.  Earlier this summer I received just such a note from my friend, Liana.  For the past two summers she and her three daughters have ventured to the colonial city of Antigua, Guatemala, to spend a month immersing in the language and local culture.  And of course, the food.

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Thai Peanut “Noodles”

Thai peanut noodles

This week we welcome back health coach and Freshness Farms participant, Christine de la Cruz, as our first guest writer of this summer season.  Check out Christine’s earlier post on juicing and healthy eating.  This week she shares an ingenious dish that fashions “noodles” from summer squash.  Diners of all ages will adore these sneaky noodles, bathed in a nutty, Thai-inspired sauce—and be none the wiser about their vegetal identity.  

Be sure to stay tuned for more guests throughout the next few months…

Do you, like most Americans, love pasta? I know my family does. Pasta is one of those go-to meals we are all looking for, that EVERYONE will eat. I love pasta too, but it doesn’t really love my thighs. As soon as I eat a comforting bowlful, I immediately feel a bit fluffy and bloated. I don’t like feeling fluffy. Or bloated. Well, guess what? I’ve found a way to have my pasta and eat it too.

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Springy Summer Rolls

Spring Rolls

Whether you call them spring rolls, summer rolls or even plain old salad wraps doesn’t really matter—unless you feel the need to be culturally precise.  Whatever name you choose, Vietnamese-style rice paper wraps are an irresistibly fun and tasty, hands-on approach to pushing fruit and vegetables.  Call it sneaky if you want, but what kid (or adult) doesn’t embrace the idea of choosing the food on their plate—and having the chance to play with it, too?  Pull out all the veggies, Mom.  This is the day you’ve waited for.

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A Mystery in Layers

We love a mystery. Preferably with a trail of clues, a touch of suspense and opportunities to toss our who-done-it theories around at the dinner table like amateur sleuths. This journal has chronicled such before—tales of monster zucchinis, mystery vines and compost packages. It’s been a while though, so when our youngest decided to clean her room recently it was only fitting that a puzzle emerge—along with a mountain of dirty socks.

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A Gluten-free Guest: Roasted Seasonal Vegetables with Pesto

Gluten-free is one of the hottest cooking topics around—and no longer the exclusive realm of those with celiac’s disease or gluten-intolerance. More and more diners are looking for strategies to cut down on wheat and grain products.  With that in mind, this week I’m delighted to welcome guest blogger, E. Chloé Lauer, an expert on gluten-free cooking and nutrition. Chloé has an enthusiasm for clean eating that’s infectious, and her approach is both practical and easy. And simply delicious. Chloé’s recipe prompted me to take a peek at our archives, to see how we stack up in the gluten-free world. You’ll notice a new gluten-free tag in our recipe index this week (right side bar), that should make it easier to identify wheat-free recipes. Watch how the category grows as I slog through the files over the next few weeks. 

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