root veg salad, bison kale meatballs and spelt banana bread

and so seeding begins… after a snowy beginning to May we are finally in the fields…  my mother-in-law handled meals this weekend and now it’s my turn to get the supper bags out to the farmers…

seeding is a bit different than harvest as far as a crew to feed goes…  the amount of supper bags doubles in harvest so I’ve always viewed seeding as a time for more interesting, healthy recipes due to the fact that I’m sure all these farmers are trying to get their bodies in shape for the beach this summer…

starting with salads… I am on a salad kick lately and so far everyone seems to be enjoying it!

homemade salad dressing not only tastes better but is really, really easy to make…  step one – get a Vitamix… step two – put ingredients in the Vitamix…  step three – turn the Vitamix on and blend…

did I also mention I like to get chickpeas into as many recipes as possible? if only we grew chickpeas like we do lentils I could save a lot of money!

root veg salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups carrots, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups parsnips, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups beets, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • olive oil
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups arugula

Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

  • heat oven to 425 degrees
  • place cut vegetables in a large bowl with oil and toss
  • pour out onto parchment lined baking sheets
  • season with cumin, salt and red pepper flakes
  • roast in oven for 15 minutes
  • add the onions and chickpeas
  • roast for 20-30 more minutes or until the vegetables are soft
  • toss the roasted veggies and chickpeas in a large bowl with arugula
  • serve immediately with dressing on the side or drizzled over the salad
  • for the dressing – place all ingredients in a Vitamix or blender
  • pulse on med/high until it appears creamy

I recently turned vegetarian (for like the third time – third times a charm right?)…  so it is difficult for me to have to supply the farmers with meat – but my farmer insists so it at least has to be healthy, well raised meat I’m delivering to them…

these meatballs are a mixture of what was in my freezer…  venison (my oldest son’s deer he shot), bison (from our neighbours) and beef (again from other neighbours)

I like to think these meatballs are almost a superfood… packed with eggs, kale, almond flour…  doesn’t get much healthier than that!

the worst thing about making meatballs is how much time it takes to form them… this is where the ice cream scoop comes in handy…  and gets the job done in half the time!

I like to bake these in the oven and throw them into a crockpot with a marinara sauce…  if you don’t have time to make a marinara sauce, a store bought one does the trick!

bison kale meatballs

  • Servings: roughly 48 meatballs
  • Print

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

  • 2 lbs ground bison
  • 1 lb ground venison
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups finely minced kale, no stems
  • 1 cup almond flour (or Panko breadcrumbs)
  • 1 bulb garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes

Marinara Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:

  • in a large bowl, combine ingredients and mix well with hands
  • using a medium ice cream scoop, scoop meat mixture onto parchment lined baking sheets
  • place in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes
  • in a crockpot on warm, place marinara sauce and place the meatballs in there until you need to use them
  • serve over pasta

lastly… dessert… sort of…  it is baking and has butter so lets say it is a dessert…

my mom was recently in Mexico and brought me home my favourite thing from Mexico….  vanilla!

(I know some of you might have anticipated the answer to be tequila but this is how much I love Mexican vanilla)

spelt walnut banana bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups spelt flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 7-8 bananas, mashed
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup golden raisins

Directions:

  • heat oven to 350 degrees
  • spray two 8×4” loaf pans with PAM spray
  • combine dry ingredients
  • in a mixer, beat butter, sugar and eggs
  • add the dry ingredients and combine
  • add bananas and vanilla
  • fold in walnuts and raisins
  • pour evenly into the two loaf pans
  • bake for 60 minutes
  • transfer to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, flip to remove the loaves from the pans and let cool

happy seeding to all the farmers out there!

morning meatballs 

when someone says to you ‘I just can’t find the time for that’ … what is your reaction?

recently… due to a pretty intense winter depression fuelled by being ‘holed up’ in a rink booth and wishing to get outside more… I made the impulsive decision to register in a half-marathon for the end of May and start training…

the training involves smaller runs throughout the week and then one long run on Sunday (which is Monday for me)

the fun part of training is getting my workouts all written down on the calendar, eating meatballs for breakfast and buying a new running outfit and shoes…

the not so fun part is running… and running… and running…

I feel I need to mention that I have attempted to train for a half-marathon before… I got half way through day one of training and quit…  so don’t hold your breath…

when you tell people that you are attempting to run a marathon, there is always going to be that one individual in the group who says…

“I would never have the time to do that”

I’ve started working on my replies… because this is not the first time in my life that comments like that have been directed my way and I’m positive it won’t be the last…

so I respond with “I actually have a lot of time on my hands”… or “you make time for what you love… am I right?” …  or “I neglect a lot of other things in my life” … or “did you know I am a stay-at-home farmer’s wife?”

when you tell someone how busy you are and how you don’t have time for things… what do you think you are really saying?

are you giving yourself a little compliment that you are better because you are busier than the person who takes a yoga class?

when you say you don’t have time to read or watch tv because your evenings are so busy are you telling the person who does those things that they should up their ‘busy game’ and stop being so lazy?

do you think that by-standers who now suddenly realize how busy you are and how valuable your time is are going to ease your burden and assist you in your daily struggles?

when you see some people coming… you almost want to get the jump on the conversation and ask them “busy week?”… just to get the ball rolling in the direction they are going to steer the conversation anyways…


the craziest thing is some people who are very, very busy never talk about it… it’s like they are too busy to even say it… yet oddly enough, everyone knows how busy they are, even without them saying it…

the weird thing about it is that I am insanely competitive…  but not in this area…  you win… go ahead and win… be busier than me…

do more… be more… work more…  go right ahead…

just one request… stop talking about it…

if you want to be the busiest… then be the busiest…  just don’t keep having to tell everyone how  swamped you are…

you’ve already won…

now just enjoy your victory quietly please…

or perhaps – and this thought just occurred to me – you are really just looking for a hug…

in which case you are looking in all the wrong places…  keep moving along… quietly…

turkey apple morning meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg Lilydale Extra Lean ground turkey
  • 2 apples, grated
  • 1/2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (or you can use pistachios)
  • 3/4 cup Craisins

Directions:

  • mix ingredients together
  • with a medium ice cream scoop, scoop out meatballs onto a parchment lined baking sheet
  • bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked with no pink in them
  • serve with bbq sauce or ketchup if desired

meal to the field #3 

my days are spent with mundane chores that I try to value and appreciate… making lunches, organizing plans for the day, making beds, cleaning bathrooms…. and then I get to cook…  now I didn’t always love it… but when you have to do something – you make a choice – love it or get through it…  I have found it to be my artistic get-a-way from the ordinary of life…  and the fact that it is my job is really nice…  

Amie Chalmer’s gave me this recipe for 9 Grain Bread many years ago… I was so horrible at making bread that I have not attempted it until this harvest…  and even though it wasn’t well crafted it tasted great!

Amie's 9 Grain Bread

Ingredients

– 1/2 cup lukewarm water

– 1 tsphoney

– 2 tbsp dry active yeast

– 3 1/2 cups warm water

– 1/4 cup honey

– 1/2 cup canola oil

– 2 tbsp lemon juice (around 1 lemon)

– 4 tsp salt

– 2 cups Roger’s 9 Grain flour

– 10 cups Roger’s all purpose flour (more if needed)

Directions

– dissolve yeast and 1 tsp of honey in water and let stand 10 minutes

– in mixing bowl, add water, honey, oil, lemon juice and salt and mix

– add yeast mixture and mix

– add about half the flour and mix with dough hook

– add remaining flour (up to the 9 cups of all purpose) and mix until it is just together

– turn out onto floured surface and knead by hand and form into a ball

– grease a bowl and place ball of dough in it and grease top of dough

– cover and let rise for 50 minutes

– punch down and shape into 8 round balls

– place on a baking sheet (greased or parchment paper lined)

– cover with tea towel and let rise 45 minutes

– bake at 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until bread is done

– cool on a wire rack


this salad is very easy to get together and is a staple around our house – nothing to do with our love affair with bacon – but it is very yummy…

Tossed Salad with Bacon, Tomatoes, Croutons and Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

– 1-2 bags mixed green lettuce

– Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

– 2 pkg bacon, cooked and cut up

– 1/3 block of cheddar cheese, grated

– 1 container grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half

– croutons or peanuts or pecans chopped

Directions

– assemble salads in individual containers in the order of ingredients listed

– keep in fridge until ready to pack up

I have made this cake just about every harvest… partly because my mom would bring out peaches from BC that I would use instead of nectarines… partly because cake and fruit is the perfect combination

Nectarine Upside Down Cake with Whipped Cream

Ingredients

For Cake:

– 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

– 4 cups nectarines, cut into 1 inch chunks (around 6 nectarines)

– 3 cups all purpose flour

– 3 tsp baking powder

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1 tsp kosher salt

– 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

– 1 1/4 cup sugar

– 4 large eggs, room temperature

– 2 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

For Whipped Cream:

– 500 mL whipping cream

– 1 pkg Whip It

Directions

– preheat oven to 325 degrees

– place 1/4 cup butter into 9 inch round cake pan 2 inches deep

– melt in oven, remove and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the butter

– arrange fruit over the brown sugar mixture in pan

– in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt

– beat butter with sugar and then beat in eggs one at a time

– beat in vanilla and then dry ingredients

– with a spatula, spread the cake mixture over the nectarines

– bake until cake is dark golden brown and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean…  1 hour 10 minutes

– let cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes

– run an knife around the edge and invert cake onto serving plate

– cut and scoop into containers

– for Whipped Cream, chill beater and bowl in freezer if possible

– pour whipping cream in bowl and the package of Whip It and beat on med/high until it forms soft peaks

– put a large dollop on room temperature dessert in container


main course… again a classic to take the the field…  if you have time make your own meatballs… if you don’t, buy them from a good meat store and it saves you a lot of time…

Meatballs with Peppers & Pineapple and Rice

Ingredients

– 2 1/2 ground beef

– 1 whole onion, diced very finely

– 2 whole eggs

– 1 cup Panko bread crumbs

– 2 tsp kosher salt

– ground pepper

– 1 tsp crushed red pepper

– 1/2 cup all purpose flour

– canola oil, for frying

– 6 green bell peppers, diced large

– 3 cups fresh pineapple chunks (or 2 cans of pineapple chunks and juice)

– (I used a whole plastic container from Costco of pineapple)

– 3 cups beef broth

– 4 tbsp soy sauce

– 1 cup white wine vinegar

– 2/3 cup sugar

– 3 tbsp cornstarch

– kosher salt

– Basanti Rice

Directions

– combine beef, onion, egg, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and red pepper flakes

– mix in a large bowl with hands

– roll into small balls and put on a cookie sheet

– freeze for 15 minutes or longer (they are fine totally frozen)

– (in a pinch, use frozen store bought meatballs)

– pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

– cook meatballs in two 9×13 pan for 20 minutes

– strain the meatballs

– add half of the peppers and pineapple chunks to the bottom of the pan

– place half cooked meatballs on them and then the remaining peppers and pineapple chunks

– add sauce and return to oven for another 20 min

– serve on cooked rice

 and there goes the farmers…  I quickly hand them and the truckers and grain cart drivers their suppers that I have so carefully packed… only to see a few of them swinging them around like they are trying to hook them through a peg to help them get back up into their combine… or hear that a trucker didn’t eat his until 4 hours later…  but I tried… I gave it my best attempt and do with your supper as you see fit…