I recently made a promise on my blog’s Facebook page that if I got 10,000 “likes” before the end of May, I would host a giveaway. Well, I reached that goal (and then some), so here you go!

For this giveaway, I decided to put together a package of things I love from Amazon.com…that way, I can easily arrange for it to be shipped right to the winner! This giveaway is sponsored by ME. I am paying for all the items and the shipping. I hope you all like everything I chose because these are some of my favorite things…here’s what the giveaway includes:

10K Facebook Fan Giveaway at www.healthygreenkitchen.com

1. Ball Jar Heritage Collection Pint Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 6 (These are gorgeous and have so many uses in the kitchen; their value is $10.77.)

2. Navitas Naturals Raw Cacao Powder (Organic) (I adore this stuff and use it in place of traditional cocoa powder; the value is $11.00)

3. Light Gray Celtic Sea Salt®, Coarse Ground, 1 lb. (My favorite wholesome sea salt; the value is $6.11.)

4. Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat, 11 5/8 x 16 1/2-inches, Half Sheet Size (Silpats are just awesome for baking; the value is $23.01)

5. Garden of Life Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (32 oz.) (This is my personal favorite coconut oil; the value is $19.13.)

6. Cast-Iron Melting Pot, 14-Ounce (Cooking in cast iron is healthy and this little pot is perfect for melting butter and chocolate; the value is $14.18.)

I will not make any substitutions for the above items…it’s simply too complicated for me to swap stuff out if you don’t like what I chose. So hopefully you do like it, and guess what? As a bonus, I will throw in a copy of my forthcoming book…One Simple Change. It won’t be out until December, but when it is, I will mail you a signed copy!

Again, this giveaway is sponsored by ME. I am paying for all the items and the shipping as a way to thank to you all for being awesome! The total value of this package including the shipping is about $100. Note that his giveaway is only open to my readers in the USA.

To enter this giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter widget below to sign up for my mailing list. This will ensure you receive my blog email updates and my weekly newsletter. You may unsubscribe at a later date (though I hope you won’t!), but you must be signed up in order to be eligible to win the giveaway. You may gain optional entries for liking my facebook page, following me on twitter, and commenting on this post. GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I adore strawberries. I’ve been waiting ever so patiently for the ones in my garden to ripen; yesterday I picked some and the wait was more than worth it…they’re fantastic.

Homegrown strawberries from Healthy Green Kitchen

I could definitely eat plain strawberries warmed from the sun all day long, but I also love to use them in all sorts of recipes. If you feel the same way, here are 10 ways to use the red beauties.

1. In a Green Salad with Goat Cheese and Almonds
2. Roasted with balsamic vinegar and used as a topping for Crostinis (from Nutmeg Nanny)
3. In a Strawberry Sorbet with Mint (from Nourished Kitchen)
4. Baked into a beautiful Strawberry Pie (from Brooklyn Supper)
5. Atop classic Strawberry Shortcakes (from Smitten Kitchen)
6. Blended into a creative Strawberry Shortcake Milkshake (from A Spicy Perspective)
7. Roasted and churned into Strawberry Ice Cream (from Zoe Bakes)
8. In refreshing Strawberry Coconut Popsicles (from The Coconut Mama)
9. Transformed into an all-natural Homemade Strawberry Soda Syrup
10. Cooked into a Spicy Strawberry Jam

What’s YOUR favorite way to eat strawberries?

Chachouka

Chachouka is a North African tomato and pepper stew with eggs. I’ve read that it’s also popular in homes throughout Israel, where it is known as Shakshuka. I’ve seen it pop up on some of my favorite food blogs over the years but I didn’t get around to trying it myself until very recently. I’ve no idea why I waited so long: I keep chickens so I always have eggs, and it’s so very easy to make.

This particular Chachouka recipe comes from a stunning new vegetarian cookbook called River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes. I received a review copy from Ten Speed Press and I’ve been cooking from it quite a bit lately: I made the Potatoes Dauphinoise (page 60) the other night and my family went crazy for them.

I recommend cooking your Chachouka in cast-iron skillet. That way, you can easily transfer it from the stovetop to the oven. (Don’t have a cast-iron skillet? You need one! I’ve had mine for a long time, but it is similar to this one.) Chachouka makes a great brunch, lunch (or light dinner) for 2 people (or maybe 4, if you serve it with a hearty salad, chunks of sourdough bread, etc). Cold leftovers are also quite tasty for breakfast.

Chachouka

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*Disclosure: This post is part of my ongoing relationship with the folks from California Endive Farms. I receive complementary boxes of endive and I am being compensated to develop recipes to share with you; all opinions expressed here are 100% mine.

Grilled Eggplant Dip | Healthy Green Kitchen

Since partnering up with California Endive Farms last year, I have enjoyed more than my fair share of endive. I love having a constant supply in the refrigerator, especially in the winter and early spring when my own garden is sleeping. I have showcased a few different cooked endive recipes here on the blog (such as this one and this one), but I also really love endive raw. It is great in salads (like this and this), and the leaves are the perfect receptacle for filling with all sorts of delicious and healthy dips.

This Grilled Eggplant and Cilantro dip was inspired by the recipe for Charred Eggplant with Chile Sauce and Tahini that I found in the May 2013 issue of Saveur magazine. It’s incredibly easy to make and it’s tasty as part of an appetizer spread (shown here with endive leaves, pita chips, and some walnuts). It’s also great in place of more typical condiments in a sandwich.

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Did you know that lilacs are edible?

Lilacs from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

They are so crazy beautiful and they smell SO good…I absolutely swoon when my bushes begin to bloom. I get a big sad face on when all the flowers drop, so I decided to preserve some of them…in honey!

Lilac honey from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

Have I told you yet about how my bees died? (Cue the sad face again.) Yes, it’s true. My hive was infected with a very bad case of mites in the fall and it made the bees weak and unable to survive the winter. I liked keeping bees alot, so I am really bummed. I will probably get some new bees in the future: not this year, but maybe next.

Anyway, I had to clean out the hive and squeeze all of the honey out of the frames a month or two ago. It was a big job, and a messy, messy one, let me tell you. But I ended up with lots of glorious, dark, raw, unfiltered honey that I’ve truly been savoring. I used that honey to make this recipe.

Making lilac honey is very simple. To make it, just remove lots of (clean and dry) flowers from the lilac stems and pack them into a glass jar (I used one of my teeny Weck ones). You’ll be surprised how many you can fit in the jar if you REALLY pack them in (ie don’t just fill the jar…stuff the jar!). Once your jar is very full, pour honey over the blossoms. Start by pouring just a little, let it settle in amongst the blossoms, then add some more. Repeat until you can’t fit any more honey in the jar. When you check on your honey a day or so later, you will see that the blossoms have all floated toward the top of the jar. Give it a good stir to distribute the blossoms throughout before use. You can use the honey at any point- it does not need to steep, though it’s fine if it does.

Lilacs have a flavor faintly reminiscent of citrus, and they may be a little bitter: I think the honey tempers this bitterness nicely. Lilac honey can be enjoyed on toast, biscuits, muffins, scones, etc. You can also just eat it off a spoon (local, raw honey can be helpful for spring allergies). If you don’t want to make lilac honey, other ways to use lilacs include tossing them into salads or drinks, candying them, or see the recipes I’ve linked to at the end of this post.

Lilac Honey from Healthy Green Kitchen

I want to thank everyone for entering my Weck jar giveaway. I have notified the winner, but if you’d like to receive a discount on Weck jars (plus free shipping if you spend more than $50), you may go ahead and use this link provided by Annie over at Mighty Nest. When you check out, type WECK10 in the promo box to get 10% off. The coupon is good for one week from today.

More recipes featuring lilacs:
Lilac Ice Cream from Cookblog
Lilac Cream Crepes from Taste of Home
Lilac Jelly from Morgan Botanicals

More info on lilacs:
The Secrets of the Lilac by Jeanne Rose
Lovely Lilacs at Care2.com