img_8022

Farfalle with White Eggplants and baby portobello mushrooms

The end of summer is fast approaching, (technically Autumn is officially here, but it still feels like summer).   As we herald in the Fall season, we must come to terms with the inevitable fact that the garden is slowly but surely getting ready for its deep slumber.  To give you an idea, this year’s yield was chock full of veggies with beets, white eggplants, garlic, onions, various colored tomatoes, carrots, okra, peppers, swiss chard, zucchini, squash and pumpkins to name a few.  I’ve already harvested fresh herbs for the winter.  There are various methods of doing this, everyone does it in a different way.  I like to freeze some of my herbs that I chop up and place in an ice cube tray.  I then add either olive oil or stock and freeze the cubes.  I pop them into a ziploc bag, date them and enjoy them through the winter months.

(more…)

img_8160

Zucchini boats with sprouted tri color quinoa and corn

Those of you who have been following Safari of the Mind this past summer will know that I’ve been inundated with fresh vegetables from the garden where I volunteer at.  We have about 6 raised beds with an assortment of vegetables.  There’s nothing quite so satisfying than picking your own fresh produce that you’ve toiled so hard at.

(more…)

img_8148

A simple but scrumptious Toffee recipe

Allowing oneself life’s simple pleasures every so often is high on my agenda.  Sometimes I go through phases when I allow myself such indulgences.  My no-guilt period goes flying out the window, I crave carbs and sweet delights.  I try my darnedest to adhere to rules I set for myself, but they don’t always work and I fall off the wagon.  Do you ever find yourself in such a dilemma?  I know I do.  This was a case in point.  I had taken these moreish toffee squares for a dessert on 2 different occasions and naturally I made a batch to keep :)  They were quite a hit.  The recipe is very simple and pretty versatile.  You can add whatever strikes your fancy.

(more…)

IMG_8135

Cuban Pork Roast

We had a real hankering for a roast of sorts this past weekend.  Except for a whole roast chicken with trimmings, we don’t tend to cook roasts as much as we used to.  We do enjoy a nice lamb roast every once in a while, but it had been years since I’d cooked a pork roast.  So I thought, I’d go all out and cook it Cuban style, complete with black beans, rice and plantain rounds pan-fried in olive oil for sides.  Let me tell you, this pork roast was extremely flavorful, tender, smoky and juicy.  It had just the right amount of seasonings, spiciness and zest to make it a one hit wonder!  It is all in the marinade folks (which I left overnight in the refrigerator).  Look at that charred  top, I loved it.   Serve it up with Cuban mojitos and you’ll think you’re on the beaches of Cuba, with island music ringing in your ears🙂

(more…)

IMG_8006

Chocolate Beet Cake with chocolate ganache

I’m presenting another recipe today using some of the fresh produce in the garden.  A moist Chocolate cake with beets. This is a wonderful cake with the intense, rich, deep-dark flavor of chocolate!I must confess when I first heard of it, I couldn’t imagine beets in a cake, but you’ve got to believe me on this one.  The beets make this cake moist without really overpowering the  taste.  Think beet cake is strange?  Think again.  Much like carrot cakes and zucchini breads, this beet cake fulfills all that and more.

(more…)

IMG_7984

Swiss Chard, Beet Greens and Ricotta gluten-free muffins

Here I am, back again sharing why I’ve been so busy in my kitchen lately.  All the produce that the garden is generating at an alarming rate has to be turned into something nutritious, flavorful and freezable (Is that a word)?  So today I will be presenting these yummy gluten-free muffins.  I’ve used swiss chard here, in addition to the green tops of the beets that I had saved in the refrigerator.  The vivid and striking colors, texture and taste were just amazing!  Being gluten-free, you know the lack of carbs should definitely be an asset on the waistline, so don’t hesitate to reach out for seconds.  Eat these muffins for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a side salad or just a snack.

(more…)

IMG_7957

No-churn Mango ice cream with pistachios and a hint of cardamom

When life gives you mangoes, there’s just a whole range of ideas and recipes that sprout to mind.  Mango shakes, mango sorbet, mango yogurt bark, mango lassi (the famed Indian drink), mango popsicles, mango salsa, you get the idea.  There’s nothing quite like a juicy, sweet mango.  This exotic fruit is native to South East Asia where it has grown for many years.  Mangoes are now grown in many parts of the tropical and sub-tropical world including Africa, Mexico, the Caribbean, and parts of the USA.   It is by far my favorite fruit and come summer, the supply is endless.  I thought to try this simple, no-churn recipe that will have your taste buds begging for seconds.  No-churn ice creams are very popular now, gone are the days when you needed an ice cream maker to make these frozen treats.  The mangoes I used were from Mexico.

(more…)