Archive for September, 2013

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marigold and mint tea

IMG_3887I have six different kinds of mints growing in pots of all sizes in my backyard. I harvested the mint at the beginning of August and since then the plants have grown again beautifully in time to harvest again before the first frost.  I add mint to many dishes, but mostly I dry it to be used all year to make tea. Here I added marigold petals, which add color and a spicy tang.

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ingredients

a handful of moroccan mint

petals of two marigolds (save a few for garnish)

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place mint and petals in a tea pot

pour freshly boiled water 

cover and steep for five minutes

strain and serve

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pepper plant leaves salad

IMG_4105A few weeks ago was the first time I ate pepper leaves. My mom’s caregiver, Maila, made a Filipino dish called Tinola.  This is a soup made with chicken, ginger and pepper leaves. The soup was delicious, and the pepper leaves were fabulous. Very similar to spinach only better. I have a few pepper plants in my garden this year that did not produce many peppers, which is great because I am using the pepper leaves instead. The leaves you see here are from a “Peruvian Pepper Plant”. When I plan my garden next year, I will definitely plant more pepper plants so that I can harvest more of the leaves.

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I cooked the leaves a few times wanting to use them in different recipes, but they were so good we just ate them alone with a little salt, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some chopped garlic.

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ingredients

pot of boiling salted water

bunch of pepper leaves (bell peppers, peruvian, chili, shepherd)

1 or 2 chopped garlic cloves

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place the leaves in the boiling water and cook until the leaves become a deep dark green

drain and add more salt if needed and garlic

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Zucchini rampicante are a very versatile vegetable. They can be stir fried, roasted, stuffed, grilled, boiled, or pureed. They can be shredded and added raw to rice, pasta, quinoa or any other grain you like. Today I decided to make some zucchini parmesan. If you’ve ever made lasagna or eggplant parmesan, you’re good to go. Just slice the zucchini into 1/4″ slices and used these instead of the lasagna sheets or the eggplant slices.

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This variety of zucchini have seeds only at the bottom. The rest of the zucchini has no seeds. IMG_3728Start by putting sauce at the bottom of the pan followed by the zucchini slices. Sprinkle parmesan cheese, other herbs and spices you like and continue with more sauce and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake. Uncover for the last ten minutes.

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