Life and Garden Update + A Giant Summer Salad

For all of last month, I did something I’ve never done since I started this site: I took a break from blogging, complete with not posting on my Facebook page, logging into Pinterest, or doing any other of the tasks that seem to be required these days if one wants to keep a steady stream of traffic coming to visit their blog.

I needed the break and I’m really glad I took it. Stepping away from blogging gave me time to reflect on how different my life is now from when I first started Healthy Green Kitchen. Some examples: when I started blogging, my kids were pretty young and now they are teenagers; I was casually doing karate and now I am competing in powerlifting. I was content to sit in front of the computer for many hours every single day working on this blog and now I am not (there are simply too many other things I want to do, including becoming a nutrition and strength coach…I am currently taking the steps necessary to make this happen). I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can switch things up here to better reflect the current state of “me”. I don’t quite have it all figured out; I’m trying to just be patient and see how things here naturally evolve.

winnie abramson garden

winnie abramson garden

Something else that’s evolved quite a bit since I started this site is my garden. After focusing on expansion year after year, my husband and I recently made the decision to change direction a bit. We had built so many raised beds for veggies: I really couldn’t keep up with all the maintenance. So we made the garden smaller in order to create a space that’s more manageable. We also fenced in portion of of our yard next to the garden to accomodate five fruit trees (2 varieties of heirloom apples, 2 varieties of plums, and one nectarine) and more room for our chickens to roam.

plums_

It’s been raining a ton, so I haven’t had to water much, which is always nice. I am of course looking forward to our first cukes, tomatoes, etc. In the meantime I’ve been enjoying lots of fresh herbs, radishes and all sorts of greens daily. Here are some garden photos…I’ll share more as the summer moves along!

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Weelicious’ Fruit and Seed Bars

I’m participating in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) which means I’m blogging every day of November, 2013!

Weelicious is a charming site dedicated to feeding kiddos run by the lovely Catherine McCord. Catherine has also written two Weelicious cookbooks: Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes and Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals. The recipe for Fruit and Seed Bars that I am sharing today was adapted from Weelicious Lunches.

fruit and seed bars 2_text

What I most appreciate about Catherine’s blog and her books is that the recipes are creative yet simple. In addition to these bars, I made her homemade fruit leather and it was terrific! I honestly had no idea it was so easy to make your own fruit leather.

book 1_

These bars are super quick to throw together and they are very yummy. I like them as is, slathered with additional nut or seed butter, and also crumbled into a bowl and splashed with some milk (like granola). Catherine’s recipe in the book calls for sunflower butter so her recipe is 100% nut free and appropriate for those with nut allergies. Note that I substituted cashew butter because that’s what I had on hand (so these are not nut-free).

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Honey From Our Bees! (And Apple Raisin Challah)

It’s been a little over a year since I started keeping bees.

As I explained in this post back in July of 2011, I knew it was going to be a while before we’d be able to harvest honey from our hive. The bees need to have a good stash to get them through the winters, so it’s not right to take what they require to survive. I thought we might have to wait until next year, so I was pretty ecstatic when my bee “guru” Chris determined it was fine to pull out a few frames last week.

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Roasted Onions Stuffed with Curried Black Quinoa

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The National Onion Association for Kitchen PLAY. I am being compensated for my efforts; all opinions are 100% mine. Storage onions have a low moisture content and thick skins, which makes them perfect for cooking techniques such as braising, caramelizing, and roasting (spring onions, … Read more

Coconut Raisin Scones (Gluten-Free and Vegan)

gluten free raisin scones

Welcome to the May Gluten-Free Ratio Rally! Lauren is the host this month, and our “assignment” was to make scones. I’ll get to these coconut raisin scones in a moment but first let me tell you about the Ratio Rally. The purpose of the Ratio Rally is to get us more comfortable and confident baking … Read more