Posts from March 2015

Broccoli and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing





With the spring solstice comes the shifting of garden season here in Florida. We’ve had glorious days recently, and it caused my winter plants to start reaching their green heads towards the sky. Long and leggy they became, putting on flowers like they’re born to do. I don’t have long before my lettuce and broccoli becomes too bitter (or flowery) to eat, and the cycle of pulling and replanting will commence.

This recipe made use of both my broccoli and lettuce, and some smoked kokanee salmon I found in my freezer. You can use cooked chicken, canned tuna, garbanzo beans, or other protein, too.


1 bunch/bag mixed green lettuce leaves
1 avocado
1/2 cucumber, sliced thin
1 head broccoli
1 fillet smoked salmon
2 T sesame seeds

For the dressing:
4 T yogurt
2 T miso paste
2 T rice vinegar
1 T soy sauce
juice of 1/2 a lime


First, bring a pan of salted water to a boil in order to blanch the broccoli. Chop it into florets. Get a bowl of ice water ready. Combine the other ingredients into a bowl. Add the florets to the water for one minute. Take the broccoli from the boiling water and put into the ice water to stop the cooking.

Add this to the salad. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar. Shake vigorously and pour over the salad right before serving.

Lemongrass Ribs




Lemongrass, like me, doesn’t do well in cold weather. Since our few days of below freezing weather about 6 weeks ago, our crop of lemongrass right now looks like a pile of straw. But green stalks are poking through! It’ll all grow back before long, but I figured I’d make use of some of the young tender stalks now.

I got this recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop; I had never tried ribs in the crock pot before, and they turned out tender and delicious with the Asian sauce. GP’s recipes: thumbs up! GP’s recommendations for $2,000 cashmere sweaters: debatable.


4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 3-inch piece ginger, chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 bunch of cilantro (split in half)
1 T sriracha
2 lemongrass stalks, roughly chopped
3 T brown sugar
3 T fish sauce
1 T soy sauce
1 T lemon juice
3 pounds baby back ribs
chopped cilantro, sliced scallions, and toasted sesame seeds, for garnish


Combine the first 10 ingredients in a blender. Pour that over your ribs, and stick everything in a crockpot and cook on slow for 6-8 hours. Before serving, GP roasted them in the oven on 450 for about 10 minutes, and put the sauce in a sauce pan; those steps are optional I think. Just take out of the crock, sprinkle chopped cilantro and sesame seeds on them for garnish, and serve with polenta, potatoes, or rice.

Avocado Kale Salad




Our fellow garden-enthusiast and food-loving friends, Lauren & Jason, have vegetables now in their prime. Recently, Lauren made a salad with their kale that was divine. Jason said once that eating kale is the opposite of smoking a cigarette: eating it will add a day to your life. Even if that is a farmer’s tale to get someone to eat their greens, I’ll gladly take it!


1 bunch kale
2 avocados
1 lemon, juiced
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 T olive oil
1/4 c roasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 c dried cherries


First, remove the stems from the kale, and chop in bite sized pieces. Add the olive oil and vinegar to the squeezed lemon juice, and pour over the kale. Massage the juice into the leaves. Let sit for at least 4 hours to allow the lemon juice acid to “cook” the leaves. When ready to serve, take two avocados, peal and chop them, and mash it in a bowl. Add the mashed avocado to the kale by massaging it into the leaves with your fingers. Add the S&P, pumpkin seeds, and dried cherries, and serve!

Grilled Snook with Tomato Salsa



For once, when we had my parents in town from the chilly Midwest in March, the weather was glorious! No rain! Eighty degrees! AND the fishing was phenomenal. We went down to Anna Maria Island like last year to indulge in it all. Gary and my dad and the two Johns had an epic morning in the Gulf: they caught 17 redfish (among other kinds), with only 3 keepers being in the slot–they had to be less than 18” or more than 27”–all the rest were too big! Good job guys!!

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 1.39.05 PM

{Some happy, happy men!}

Gary and I were fortunate to bring home some fillets of redfish, snook, and sea trout. The recipe here was made with snook. So, I didn’t help out with the catching of the fish, but I did grow absolutely everything else there on my plate. I guess we need both the hunters and the gatherers in the world, eh?


For the fish:
2 large fillets (or 4 small fillets) of snook, or another white flaky fish
1 T chili powder
1 T paprkia
1 T cumin
Red pepper flakes
1-2 T coconut oil (or butter)

For the salsa:
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro
2 T olive oil


First, season your fish. Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Pat dry the fillets of fish. Put the rub on each side of the fish. Set aside. Next, make the salsa. Chop up all ingredients, put in a bowl, and add olive oil and S&P.

To cook, heat a large skillet over the stove on high heat (or the grill, like we did). Once hot, add the coconut oil (or butter). Put fillets in the skillet. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes, according to thickness. It’s done once it’s flaky all the way through.

Serve with salsa on top. I paired it with roasted cauliflower, but it would be tasty with rice or polenta, too.




Last night we attended an oyster-shucking and good Southern folk gathering at our friends Lauren and Jason’s house. The excellent food & company paired with watching the moon rise above the palms in their beautiful yard was beyond lovely.

To compliment the potluck, our friend Sam was the mixologist for Palmoas, a cocktail made from fresh grapefruit juice that Gary, Sam, & I juiced this past week from our neighbor’s tree. The image below shows only a fraction of the grapefruit that we picked and squeezed; we estimated we juiced around 350. Not joking. After buying out all the stores of their tupperware, and freezing as many quarts as would fit in our large freezer, and giving some away to all the neighbors and friends who would take some, it seems really crazy that we went to all this trouble. But we now are set with grapefruit juice for the year! Let the recipes commence!


Ingredients (makes one drink):

1 1/2 oz tequila
1/2 oz simple syrup (or agave syrup)
2-3 oz grapefruit juice (or juice of half a grapefruit)
1 oz (or so) seltzer


Combine, shake, serve, enjoy!


Pecorino Pasta with Cauliflower




One of my favorite things about having a garden is that it allows me space to grow heirloom plants. Heirloom varieties are plants that were cultivated by our grandparents and generations before, but because they maybe don’t have long shelf life or aren’t the prettiest, the plants now are not widely grown. However, heirloom plants often have great flavor! And, if you’re going to all the work to grow a garden, why not grow something that you can’t find at the grocery store, like purple cauliflower! So, although purple cauliflower tastes almost the same as it’s white cousin, it’s WAY more fun to eat.


1-2 heads of cauliflower (white will work just fine)
1 lb shell pasta
3 T olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4-1/2 t red pepper flakes
2-3 anchovy fillets
1/2 c grated Perorino Romano cheese
1/4 c chopped parsley


Turn on the over to 350 degrees, and get a pot of water boiling for the pasta. Chop the cauliflower into florets, and put in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Put the cauliflower on a baking sheet and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.

While the cauliflower is cooking, cook the pasta according to the package directions. When done, reserve 1 cup of liquid, and drain the rest. Set aside. In the same pot, heat the oil over medium heat, and add the chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, and anchovies. Cook for about a minute. Add the pasta, cheese, S&P, and 1/2 c cooking liquid. Toss with roasted cauliflower, parsley, and more cheese.

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