Basil Explosion Pasta Salad

So per Monday’s post, Great Grandma’s Bastardized Pigeons, here is the recipe for the pasta salad.

1 box or bag cooked tri-color veggie pasta
1 head of organic, local kale washed and cut into thin ribbons
1 pint organic, local cherry tomatoes – halved
3 local, organic garlic scapes thinly sliced
1 can organic red beans
1 cup organic corn
1/2 a lime’s juice
3-5 sprigs of thyme (I used golden thyme from the garden. It’s lime-y)
As many basil leaves as you have! (I used sweet Italian from the garden – next time I’ll use two different types.)
Olive oil & Salt and pepper TT

1. Cook pasta, drain, let cool.
2. Add the scapes, beans and kale to a saute pan over medium heat with a bit of olive oil.
3. Once the kale starts to wilt, pull it all from the heat. Let it cool.
4. Add together the pasta, contents of the saute pan, tomatoes, corn, and herbs – you can cut the basil, or leave it whole – it’s up to your preference. I ripped the leaves in half. Drizzle with olive oil and half of a lime’s juice. Mix altogether, salt and pepper to taste,  and let cool in the fridge. “The longer it sits, the better it gets!”


Clockwise: Beets, Kale, Arugula, Green Beans, Peas, Butter Lettuce x2, Oregano

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Shameless Music Promotion!

Wasabi King’s Submission in Camp Bisco – Battle To Play Bisco Contest.

The above link is to a song my fiance, Eric, (who enjoys all this yummy food!) wrote. He worked really hard, and I know he would appreciate it if you listen and then vote! Thanks to anyone who reads this! 🙂 I’ll send some good karma your way for the vote!

​Great Grandma’s Bastardized Pigeons

Sorry folks, bad timing for a family emergency this past week. Back to our regularly scheduled programming!

So my great grandma used to make these things that she called “pigeons” – which sounds really gross, but really it is just a “stuffed pepper (or cabbage sometimes) gone Dutch.” As an adult, I find myself reverting to a lot of recipes I grew up on, but Kelyn-izing them to be healthier/more in line with what I like. To this end, below is my pigeon recipe. My grandma used to boil her rice in chicken broth, which gives great flavor, so this is something to try if you have it around. She also used Beef, if turkey isn’t your thing. We ate ours with a big garden salad and leftover Basil Pasta Salad (post to follow for this). Delicious!

6 large, organic, green peppers with the center stem cut out
Olive Oil
1 pound “all natural, grass-fed, free range” ground turkey
1 organic, local carrot – diced or shredded – I shred them
1 organic, local onion – diced
2 organic, local garlic scapes diced(or you can use regular garlic)
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup local, organic smashed tomatoes ( I put them in a bowl and mash with a potato masher)
1/2 cup all natural, shredded, reduced fat jack or cheddar cheese
4-5 large, local sage leaves chopped
3-5 sprigs of local Thyme (depending on how long they are)
3-5 sprigs of organic, local  parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 375. Brown your turkey over medium high heat with your carrots, garlic scapes, and onions in the pan. When you drain it, just be careful to not lose the veggies!
2. Add the rice, herbs and smashed tomatoes to the meat and veggies in the pan.  Stir through. It is ok if it is a bit runny, it will firm up in the pepper, but mostly it should be pretty good.  Salt and pepper to taste
3. For the peppers, I usually drop some oil in each, and then rub it around inside and out with a silicon brush to coat it. If you like really well-cooked peppers you can put them on a foil lined pan empty, and cook for 5-8 minutes before stuffing to soften them up. If you prefer a more crunchy texture, you can just fill them up and put them in the oven. We eat them a bit crunchy.
4. Cook for 30-35 minutes (depending on the pepper thickness) until they turn a lighter green. Pull them out, and top with a sprinkle of cheese on each. Put back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
5. Let sit for a few minutes before serving so that they cheese can set. Voila! I can feel my grandma turning over in her grave going “No beef! No lard! No way!…and you add cheese! Pshaw…”, but in this day and age, I can only hope she would understand!

Normal CSA Requests: salad mix, radishes, arugula, broccoli
Extra CSA Requests: beet greens x2, beets, garlic scapes

Kale Chips

I’ve heard rumors of “tasty” kale chips – just as delicious as potato, and so I thought I should give it a go this weekend. The results? They need some developing. Eric, the fiance, loved them “as is”, but for me it wasn’t quite there. Here’s what I did recipe wise.

Most of one head of organic, local kale
Organic Olive Oil – a drizzle
Sea Salt and 4 color pepper to taste

*I did not preheat my oven totally. I let it go for about 4 minutes, then threw them in there. I don’t know if this helped or hindered my process. I set it for 300.

1. Wash kale well and fully dry – otherwise they won’t be crispy. I laid mine out on paper towels, and patted dry every 5 or so minutes. Took about 20 minutes overall until I felt they were good.
2. Rip the kale leaves from the center stalk at the bottom. You can leave the little central vein at the top, but anything thicker than about 1/8 of an inch, discard (or feed to your chickens!). My bigger pieces were tastier. Put in a large bowl.
3.  Drizzle kale with olive oil. Toss with tongs gently until coated.
3. Line 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil. Place the kale leaves on the sheets, preferably with no leaves touching one another. If they overlap they lose the crunch.
4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Since this was my first attempt I wanted to keep it simple to see how they would taste relatively unencumbered.  I will say though, that I think there may be some better options here. Maybe curry, chili powder, or garlic next time.
5. Bake until crispy, checking occasionally.  Mine cooked relatively evenly, so I pulled them all after just 20 minutes. A few were a tad too crunchy though, so consider pulling done ones in batches. I will consider this for the future.They will be light as air when finished, nearly floating off of the trays.

Overall, I felt these were not OK on their own. Eric gobbled them down like candy though, so there is some merit to just salt and pepper. I got bold, and made a dipping sauce out of what was around. The sauce was good anyway, but would have been better with 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup mayonnaise instead of all mayo. With the sauce I assisted in eating nearly a whole head of kale in minutes.

1/2 cup Smart Balance Mayo
1 tsp lime juice
1-2 tsp fresh dill
1/2 tsp garlic granules/powder
Salt and pepper TT

Mix it all up and dip!

Community Supported Agriculture

CSA #2 Clockwise starting with the radishes, beets,  spinach, winterbor kale, chives, salad mix, frisee, Lacinato kale, strawberries in the center.

What is a CSA? Community Supported Agriculture is a healthy, local way for you to be a real part of what you eat.  You pay a given amount of money up front before the planting action gets going, the farmer uses the money to plant and grow,  and then for a fixed amount of weeks you are given a “share” of the farms products. Sometimes, when the season is good, you are even offered extras. The photo above is our half share plus extras. We have 22 weeks, and we are on week 2.

We pick up our CSA on Wednesdays, so as a visual representation of how awesome weekly, organic, fresh picked vegetables are, I will be putting a picture and listing up on Wednesdays. This will hopefully encourage everyone to consider a CSA next season!

This is the kick off of  “What’s Cookin’ Wednesdays” (I know… today is Thursday…but in the future this is what it will be.), where you see my palette for the week.


Bean Salad

I love quick and easy bean salads. I made one last night that knocked both of our socks off, so I figured it would be good to blog.

Bean Salad – now known as crack salad in our house because of its addictive properties.


1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 organic avocado
2 organic, local garlic scapes sliced thin
1 can”all natural” corn – about 11 oz. drained and rinsed*
4 medium to large mint leaves (I used apple mint from our garden)
1-2 tsp cilantro
sea salt
organic olive oil

1. Cook the beans in advance with 1 tsp of cilantro, the two scapes and a splash of olive oil. Cook approximately 8 minutes, then let cool in the fridge (if in a time pinch).
2. While the beans cook, slice the avocado. I use grid slicing for nearly everything. I take one half and slice thin vertical lines, then go across horizontally, then trace the perimeter with the knife. You can either just “flip out” the avocado then, or use the knife – but either way you get nice sized pieces.
3. Put the avocado in a large bowl. Add the corn, 1 tsp cilantro, a grind or two of sea salt, and tear up (or cut up) the mint into tiny pieces. Refrigerate.
4. Once your beans are cooled down, toss them into the mix. garnish with a mint leaf if going for fancy.

*Corn is single handedly one of the scariest GMO crops. Just because it is local, or touts being “all natural” doesn’t mean it is OK. More on GMO’s later.

Vegetarian Indian Burritos

When you don’t know what else to do with it, burrito it. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. Fortunately, the fiance is cool with this theory as well, so burritos abound in the cabin! This

is how Indian Burritos were created. We had excess spinach, garlic scapes, and arugula from our first CSA shipment, and I wanted to create something different. I was also feeling mighty lazy though, and so burritos it was.

Since this is my first official post, I should state from the start that I use colorful units of measurement, as well as standards. If you need something in an actual size, I will attempt to convert. I got this habit from my great-grandmother, who has recipe cards that read “a walnut of lard, my small brown dish of sugar, the shallow parfaits glass full of milk”, I will never lead you so far astray as this, but a handful of spinach greens is a handful of spinach greens.


The second round with cheddar – I liked the mild cheeses better for this.

2-4 10″ All Natural Burrito Fajitas (2 humungo burritos w/leftover rice and beans or 4 normal size)
2 organic, local, garlic scapes thinly sliced
1/3 -1/2 cup chopped organic onion (your preference)
1  organic, local, yellow pepper cut into bite sized pieces
1 very large bursting at the gills handful of fresh, cleaned, local, organic spinach
1 very large bursting at the gills handful of fresh, cleaned, local, organic arugula
1 TBSP Organic Olive Oil
1 15.5 oz can organic red beans (low sodium if able) drained and rinsed
1 15.5 oz can organic black beans (low sodium if able) drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked and prepared brown or long grain and wild rice
2 Tbsp Curry of your choice – I used yellow (One TBSP should be stirred into the rice when it is finished)
Salt and Pepper (tt)
(optional) Cheese – Gruyère would be stellar – but any mild or white cheese would be ok. We used Muenster and it was pretty good.

1. Put your beans in a pot with 1 TBSP curry and a splash of Olive Oil. Cook on medium-medium high heat for 8 -10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can let these go for up to a half hour over low-medium heat if you would rather.
2. Heat up a skillet over medium to medium low heat. Add a TBSP of oil, cook the scapes, yellow pepper, onion, arugula and spinach until spinach is gently wilted, stirring occasionally. I add a bit of salt and pepper about halfway through. This takes about 5-8 minutes.
3. While things are cooking, warm your tortillas. I’m spoiled and have a warmer drawer, so I just pop them in there on low to heat for about 5 minutes. You can also zap them in the microwave (I know, I know) for 20 seconds or so.
4.) Everything should come together around the same time. The veggies are sensitive – don’t – them, but the beans are OK to hang out over low heat for awhile. I like to add things to the tortilla in this order: Cheese (optional), veggies, rice then beans. You can certainly top with your favorite sauce (my fiance likes salsa on everything) – but I love this just how it is.

Dawn of a New Food Era

ImageDid you ever see a vegetable or fruit at the farmer’s market or grocery store that you wanted to try, but all you could think was “What the heck do I actually do with that?” This is the blog for you. I am a proponent of healthy eating, and my focus is always organic and local foods. I’m part of a local, organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), I work for a local, organic Farmer’s Market, and we grow some goodies in our organic garden (as well as having free range eggs from our chickens – Bebop, Shredder and Rocksteady). Also, I have a bit of culinary school under my belt, and am a foodie to the max. Through many years of dinner parties (that started in college with red beans and rice suppers and have now morphed into large scale theme nights), everyone has referred to my abode as “Kelyns’ Kitchen”. It’s not the fanciest name, but it is good, honest, from-the-earth cooking, and so a good, honest name seems to work.

Anyway, this serves as a disclaimer as well – not everything I use is organic, local or all natural. I really wish it was, but for some things there just isn’t a good option for me yet. I will tell you in recipes what is and isn’t organic/local, so that you can get a true and accurate picture of how this goes.  I do stay away from anything really processed, and I would say at least 99% of our groceries are “all natural” – although that phrase can be mighty misleading. So don’t be scared of new produce, enjoy perusing my real life recipes, ask questions if you have them and I am happy to take comments or suggestions to make things better. My goal is to be a resource to the community (and gee, if this takes off, maybe the region!) for recipes, healthy eating trends, and general food knowledge.

This blog is here to serve our community as a resource for healthy eating. Since I seem to have my hands in everyone’s organic pots, it made sense to consolidate and start a blog! Follow my adventures through new produce with the CSA and my part-time job, and hopefully try some new things. Cheers!


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