Category: Recipes

Tasty Tomatillos

With fossil records dating back 52 million years ago in Patagonia, Argentina, the tomatillo (genus Physalis) is one historical fruit. This member of the Solanaceae family, which consists of all nightshades including tomatoes, potatoes, tobacco, peppers, and eggplants, was cultivated by the Aztecs and has been a staple food for areas in and south of Mexico. This tangy little summer annual, resembles a tomato, but stands out because it wears […]

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Charismatic Cauliflower

two beautiful cauliflowers

Brassica oleracea, the cool season crop cousin of the cabbage is completely captivating, and is commonly called cauliflower. Say that five times fast! That may get complicated, but the cauliflower would understand that. That’s because this member of the Brassicaceae family (mustard family) along with kale, cabbage, broccoli, and broccoli rabe, is known for being a temperamental grower. Complexities of Cultivating Cauliflower If you decide to plant cauliflower, and I […]

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Strawberries

Bush of red strawberry growing in a garden

Beautiful, red, sweet, and juicy, this brilliant berry is adored by many. It’s a common site in stores and farmers markets, and sought out for its bright color and scrumptious sweetness. Even the scent of the strawberry is quite popular and mimicked in many beauty products, candles, and cleaners. While the strawberry is rather popular today, it has been around since antiquity, growing wild and used mainly as an ornamental, […]

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Cooking the Three Sisters: Maize, Beans and Squash

Maize, beans and squash form the famous polyculture known as the Three Sisters. Grown from Mexico to Chile, from ancient Incans to modern natural farmers, the trio cooperates symbiotically in the field. It also does so in the kitchen: three simple yet delicious dishes combine as a wholesome meal. Taught by Juan, a natural farmer in the mountains above Cali, Colombia, who learned it from an old campesino, who said […]

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Cucumbers: Cat Assassins?

You may have seen videos going around on social media showing cats being terrified by Cucumis sativus sneaking up on them. While this may sound like a vicious predator of the domestic feline, in reality, it’s the modest cucumber. While not an actual danger to your cat, although cats may disagree, the cucumber is a creeping vine plant member of the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes pumpkins, zucchini, and various melons. […]

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Inimitably Asparagus

There are so many things that make Asparagus one distinctively unique vegetable. From the way it tastes to the way it grows, nothing is typical for this peculiar perennial. Once grouped together in the same Liliaceae (lily) family as onions and garlics, asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is now separated out into the Asparagaceae family. While asparagus may have just been relatively recently reclassified, it’s nothing new in the world of vegetables […]

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The Incredible Edible Eggplant

Solanum melongena is referred to by many different names depending on location. Some may refer to it as aubergine, brinjal, or, as I call it, the eggplant. This member of the nightshade family is related to potatoes, tomatoes, and tobacco, and comes in dozens of varieties, with colors ranging in hues of white, green, and purple. Eggplant History The eggplant has its origins rooted in south and eastern Asia, with […]

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Red Radicchio

Radicchio (Cichorium intybus) is a perennial plant in the chicory genus that falls within the Asteraceae/Compositae (aster) family that includes the daisy and dandelion, amongst other composite flowers. This cultivated version of chicory, sometimes called red or Italian chicory, is a beautiful burgundy color leafed vegetable with white veins. Hailing from Italy, radicchio comes in several varieties that are usually named for the area of Italy they originated from. Benefits […]

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Unique Little Creatures

Mushrooms aren’t plants or animals. In fact, mushrooms are within their very own kingdom known as Fungi. They appear to grow like plants, yet lack the many key components of plants such as roots, seeds, chlorophyll, and the ability to produce their own food. Like animals, they consume their food, but not by grazing or hunting. They break down organic matter, similar to bacteria. This action helps to recycle nutrients […]

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Spinach for Happiness

Gardening is done many reasons. Some garden for the beauty of it, the need for food, to reduce chemicals ingested, to draw in wildlife, and the list goes on. Whatever the reason is, gardening should always lead to happiness. Happiness from our garden not only comes from the Zen of physically gardening, but also from the healthful produce we harvest. Eating foods high in vitamin and mineral content, as well […]

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Tigger Melons

Sometimes referred to as the tiger melon, these fiery looking little cuties are striped and colored as their namesake suggests. While they don’t bounce to and fro, they do indeed liven up the garden and kitchen. Tigger Melons, Cucmis melon, are a smaller heirloom melon that grow up to 1lb. and fit nicely in the palm of your hand. These vibrant colored melons are thought to have first been discovered […]

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Shallots: The Fancy Vegetable

If you are peruser of recipes you have undoubtedly come across the term shallots. Shallots are often in dishes that are savory and lean towards the gourmet and fancy side of the culinary spectrum. They are subtle in flavor and add just the right note to enhance or bring out the flavor of other fine foods. What exactly is a shallot? Shallots are a member of the Liliaceae family (Lily […]

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