Amanda from HeartBeet Kitchen is one of the sweetest bloggers I know, and I’ve fallen in love with her new cookbook: Smitten with Squash (Northern Plate). Since my squash plants are incredibly prolific this year, I am so grateful for this resource. It has many, many wonderful-looking recipes for both summer and winter squash.

Tomato and Squash Cobbler | Healthy Green Kitchen

The first recipe I decided to try was the Tomato and Summer Squash Cobbler: I served this last weekend at my family birthday dinner. I used a combination of Sungold and regular cherry tomatoes (the Sungolds were from my garden but I didn’t have a whole pint of ripe ones so ended up buying the others) along with homegrown pattypan squash and zucchini.

garden veggies | Healthy Green Kitchen

I also grew the thyme, onion, and garlic!

thyme, onion, garlic | Healthy Green Kitchen

The flavors of the tomatoes and squash really deepen in a beautiful way when they are baked…this dish is SO delicious.

veggies in pan | Healthy Green Kitchen
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sunflower

It’s been almost a month since I last wrote a blog post: I don’t think I’ve ever taken this long of a break! Why the silence? No particular reason except that I’m having a fun summer ;)

I haven’t taken any big trips or done anything super exciting: I’ve just been tending to (and eating/cooking from) my garden,

evening garden | healthy green kitchen

borage

cukes, tomatillos, pattypan

harvest

flowers

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The strawberries I recently planted haven’t fruited yet, but that hasn’t stopped me from eating a whole lot of local strawberries this season already. Lately I am buying them from a few different farm stands in my town and they are fabulous.

strawberries | healthy green kitchen

I love eating them “as is,” but use them in all different recipes, too.

Strawberries are pretty fragile: in the past, I’ve sent far too many to the compost because I didn’t store them properly. But that was before I was really tuned into the food waste issue…things are different now! Since I’ve been writing posts to help promote Glad’s #SAVEITSUNDAY program, I’ve really learned a ton about food protection, including how best to store strawberries.

How to Prep and Protect Strawberries:

When you get your berries home from the grocery store/market, or even if you pick your own, you want to avoid washing them before you store them (wash them right before eating/using in a recipe instead). This helps stave off the molding that can happen due to the moisture the strawberries soak up when you wash them. Place the unwashed berries in a single layer in a bowl, on a plate, or in a glass or plastic food protection container, like GladWare, that you’ve lined with a tea towel (or paper towel).

protecting strawberries | healthy green kitchen

Seal the container and keep on the countertop if it’s not too hot in your kitchen and/or it’s just for a few hours. Otherwise, store them in the refrigerator. (Source: Glad)

Before you even head out to purchase your strawberries though, it’s a good idea to have a plan for how to use them. This will allow you to buy the proper amount! (But if you end up with too many, never fear…just trim them and freeze for adding to smoothies and such).

What To Do with Strawberries:

Here are some of my recipes that use strawberries along with recipes from blogging buddies. And scroll down for a simple strawberry jam recipe that you’re going to love.
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I am so happy to finally give you a little peek at my 2014 garden, the place where my husband and I have been working our butts off most weekends for the past few months.

garden lead photo

Here’s what it looked like earlier this spring…
March 21, 2013:

march garden 1

April 20, 2013:

april garden 1

april garden 2

The top photo in this post and the photos below show what it looks like this morning!
June 23, 2014:

garden in bloom 1

garden in bloom 2

garden in bloom 3

(Want to see what it looked like 5 years ago when we got started? Check out this post.)
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Once a month, I excerpt a chapter from my book and partner with the folks from MightyNest on a related giveaway. This month, I’m focusing on the health benefits of eggs. Read on to learn more about how nutritious eggs can be…you’ll also have the opportunity to enter a giveaway for some great cookware!

eggs in basket | healthy green kitchen

Eggs are among the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. Though many people worry about the cholesterol in eggs, this concern is generally unfounded: eating eggs won’t cause you to develop heart disease and there’s probably no reason for you to limit eggs in your diet, especially if you enjoy them. The key is to choose eggs of the highest quality in order to take advantage of all the nutritional benefits they offer.
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