Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Strawberry Jam

I just couldn’t help myself. 

I’ve been on vacation this week, enjoying my time off in the garden and getting some odds and ends done at home.  The weather has been overcast and or rainy all week, but I’m good with that.  I’m not a lover of the heat so this weather works for me, and it makes it easier to deal with the overgrown mess that is the flower beds around here.  The wet ground makes it much easier to pull out those pesky weeds. 

The veggie garden is coming along nicely.  I thought I was going to lose a lot when hurricane Arthur visited a couple weeks ago, but everything survived and has for the most part recovered nicely.  So far I’ve harvested, bok choy, mixed greens, kale, early turnip, radish, and garlic scapes. Still waiting on the tomatoes, cukes, cabbage, brussel sprouts, onions, peppers, potatoes and zucchini.  I didn’t want to let those garden spaces sit empty so I just planted some more radish, mixed greens, and peas a couple of days ago for a second harvest, and they have sprouted already.

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One of the the yummy things I wait all year for is our amazing Valley Strawberries.  These little red bundles of deliciousness just can’t be beat.  If only they were around longer. 

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There were a couple of boxes hanging out in the fridge that seemed to be destined for some jam.  Since I can’t make traditional jam to save my life Chia jam is a perfect solution.

Strawberry Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Jam

1 pound fresh strawberries

2 –3 tbsp local honey or maple syrup

2 tbsp chia seeds

1/2  tsp vanilla

squeeze of lemon (optional)

Wash, hull and chop strawberries. I pulse mine in the blender or food processor a few times to speed the process up since strawberries take a little longer to break down than other berries, but you can skip that step if you like.


Place chopped berries, and sweetener of choice in a pot over medium heat.  Mash with potato masher once they start to heat up (if you didn’t blend first) to get desired consistency. Bring to a boil add chia seeds, turn heat down to a simmer.  Continue to cook for another 5 – 7 minutes,  stirring frequently.  you can cook a little longer if the mixture still seems very liquid.  Remove from heat, add vanilla and squeeze of lemon if using.  While it’s cooling the magical chia seeds will do their job and thicken it nicely.


Store in fridge to use right away or freeze for later use.


Enjoy, have a qreat day!

~~ Jackie

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tabouli Inspired Quinoa Salad


Summer is finally underway.  Last week was super hot, then Arthur blew in yesterday, and seems to still be hanging around based on the winds outside.  The wind and salt spray were not kind to the garden.  I think I lost most of my peppers and a number of tomato plants.  The chocolate tomatoes seemed to fare the worst.  Time will tell I guess.

Last weekend was my first trip to the Market in a while.  So many yummy things to chose from.  The number one thing on my list was Valley strawberries.  I wait all year for these delicious little berries and they never disappoint.  There really is nothing better.

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Other fresh finds – Beets, carrots, green onions, feta, free range eggs, zucchini, herbs, and sprouts

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Included in the purchases was a huge bunch bouquet of Italian parsley, that was supposed to be destined for Tabouli until I realized I didn’t have any tomatoes.  So I was forced to improvise.

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Tabouli Inspired Quinoa Salad

Amounts are approximate.

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

Shredded purple cabbage, chopped or julienned carrots, diced yellow pepper, chopped green onions

1 1/2 cups chopped parsley (more or less to taste)

juice of 1 very juicy lemon (about 3 tbsp)

xtra large clove of garlic minced or (2-3 small cloves)

EVOO to taste (2 – 3 tbsp)

salt & pepper

RInse quinoa very well, and prepare per package instructions.  Let cool completely.  I always rinse my quinoa well,even though most says it’s already rinsed.  I still find it has a bitter taste if I skip this step.  I also almost always toast it first before adding the water.  Just place in the dry pot over medium – med high heat until slightly toasty.

Whisk oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper until well combined.  Add cold quinoa, veggies, and parsley.  Mix well.

There is a lot of healthy goodness in this salad.  Did you know 100 grams of parsley contains more vitamin C than an orange. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin K, A and folate.


This type of salad is easy to change up, add more or less garlic, more cabbage, less peppers more lemon.  Make it your own, get creative and enjoy!

~~ Jackie