zucchini pasta, kalamatas, sun dried tomatoes,basil and more

Here’s another summer dish that’s fitting for dinner and a great one to take to a potluck… How many of you go to potlucks? It’s a regular thing here on Orcas Island. We don’t have a lot of entertainment.I think this zucchini pasta loaded with kalamatas, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and red onion should peak the interest of the paleo and plant based eaters alike! And anyone in-between for that matter.

wendyellenthomas.comI got this handy dandy spiralizer that I’m sure I mentioned last summer. or did I?

zucchini pasta, kalamatas, sundried tomato and basilThis thing rocks. I’m watching my zucchini plants blossom and literally can’t wait to harvest the first few baby zuchs. I cherish this anticipation and basically block out what happens after about the 100th green or yellow fruit. That’s when the livestock start doing the squash dance. Here are summer squash plants-

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See those little yellow guys?

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I turned about 5 medium green and yellow fruits into ringlets.  It’s a good idea to salt your zucchini (about ½ tsp) and give it 20 minutes to sweat then strain it. Worst case you don’t, and you end up with some liquid to make dressing with. Chop up one can of drained artichoke hearts…

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and about a half a jar of sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil. Slice onions…

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And chop/slice roughly ¾ of a cup of pitted kalamata olives. I try to get artichoke hearts, tomatoes and olives by the case as it almost makes them affordable when you buy in bulk. Any one of these ingredients crank up just about anything a couple notches.

Lastly, a handful of fresh basil leaves…

wendyellenthomas.comSimply toss it all together and dress with a ⅓ cup of olive oil, half a fresh lemon and a splash of white wine vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste-

Recipe:

  • 5 medium zuchinni spiralized, cut on a mandolin or try using a julienne peeler
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 drained can artichoke hearts chopped
  • ½ packed cup of sun dried tomatoes chopped
  • ½-¾ cup kalamata olives chopped
  • ¼-½ sliced medium red onion
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon (throw a little zest in there too if you’d like)
  • splash of white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional- 1 clove pressed garlic

This really doesn’t need a printed recipe, trust me- save the paper. Just have a go at it and plus or minus the ingredients you like. Make it your own.

Simple,fresh, healthy and full of flavor.

zucchini pasta, kalamatas, sundried tomato and basil-5And here is the farm in early June- the garlic is outrageous. I’m hoping the soil wasn’t too fertile. We’ve got some hefty stalks.

garden 6-4-15Ollie wanted potatoes this year… and potatoes he shall have. We gave up a lot of real estate for 4 ROWS! Usually I plant 2 sides of 1 row but this year decided to give them lots of room. German butterball, Yukon gold, Pontiac red, and 2 varieties of fingerlings

garden 6-4-15-6Greens are doing great, weeded and mulched…

garden 6-4-15-8But wanted to throw this in so you see all parts of the garden… kind of like me. You think you are looking at a bed of weeds and that’s partly true. But there are soon to be sweet strawberries in there. My theory was the birds won’t find the berries in all those weeds. Really this bed will be turned over this fall. It’s just too full of buttercup but due to lack of time I thought I’d try out my rationalized theory:)

garden 6-4-15-9See what’s hiding in there- don’t tell the birds

garden 6-4-15-10Here’s a couple favorite roses in the landscape. A little thorny tea rose…

garden 6-4-15-16I focus up on them to avoid looking down at the weeds that need attention… This massive wild rose is breathtaking every year.
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And the kids are growing…

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oh this sweet face…

garden 6-4-15-13Have a lovely beginning of summer

got GOATS!

Hi campers! How was your spring? We are busy little monkeys around here. I took an unspoken blogging “break”… lots of real time action for us has meant putting my photos and writing on the back burner.

We had a couple of kids last month! Basically from November 20th when our Nubian doe, Shirley had her “encounter” with Jimmy Mac until about 2 weeks before Shirley gave birth- I wasn’t 100% sure the deed was done. After all, the moment consisted of little foreplay and lasted about as long as the time it took Ollie to unscrew his coffee cup to check how hot it was. We had anticipated a little kickback time and literally it was done as he screwed the cap back on. But then Rocky and Jane happened April 22nd…

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goats 5-15-4Earth Day presents and Ollie’s birthday… so birthday lunch was postponed and we pretty much stayed close to home all day.

goatsI of course have spent loads of time reading and watching videos on goat births. We even spent a couple days with our friends at Mountain Lodge Farm near Tacoma. They birthed about 200 kids this year. We witnessed 5:)

goats 5-15-5I had the birthing kit ready. Only thing I didn’t get was the rubber gloves and K-Y Jelly. And in our little town I missed hearing the nervous chuckle that would have likely ensued at the checkout of our one and only pharmacy.

goats 5-15-12I looked out that morning from our porch like always and saw everyone but Shirley hanging out like they  do… waiting for the gate to open and us to appear. The difference was, I swear, they were all staring into the shed.. The sheep, Helen and Irene, and the other goats, Dinah and Nena looked in there like some kind of cruel and unusual punishment had just happened. I threw on some boots and yelled out to Ollie- IT HAPPENED!

goats 5-15-3And sure enough after 5 months and looking like this at the end-

shirley April 17

There were 2 little goat babies in the shed surrounded by a lot of goo…. Not in the nice, sanitary, freshly hayed “birthing suite” I had prepared in our barn that is really more of a shop- so I had moved work benches around to to create. With the buckling almost dry and the doeling still damp, we did get them into the barn and I started reading my printed materials on newborn kids.

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They were slow to walk- was this normal? Now I think I could say yes. Jane seemed to be born second and was a little weaker. We actually milked a little colostrum, the liquid gold, and pumped it in her mouth to get her going. Then I held them up to her to start. After just a few days of me not interfering, or of wondering if they were getting enough milk, or if they were nursing out of both sides… once I let nature actually do its thing… there was a lot of this going on-

We decided to have these kids be “dam raised” meaning they will stick with their mom to nurse and learn the way of the goat. We spend a lot of time handling them and playing and they are not shy to come to us- especially for morning and evening snuggles. Yes- I know what you are thinking but you would so do the same. And trust me- if you had one in your arms you would be swaying it like a baby stomach down… You don’ t even realize it.

goats 5-15-11Janegoats 5-15-7Rocky

goats 5-15-6They have already learned the joys of rough cut siding.

goats 5-15-9And who has been the most patient with these little creatures? Dinah. She’s getting her rub on too- It’s a thing with goats. Well hell- we all like it. Right?

goats 5-15-10Ollie did get his annual ultimate strawberry shortcake  birthday cake that night.

wendyellenthomas.comBut it had a little less fussing around than this one- This pic has been like a blog hit royalty check on Pinterest!

Strawberry cake-12So we’ll say good bye now and try to check in at least a few times this summer! Enjoy:)

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Happy New Year

Finally. Your new year probably started a couple weeks ago. But our first week felt like a hiatus between the lines of time. Now we are looking ahead at travel plans to NYC for the Gift fair. Excited to get back on track with yoga and exercise… you know that momentum of righteous resolution. After days of barely having any appetite my buds re-calibrated post holiday to not needing so much sweet and I already dropped my holiday mid waist luggage.

We nursed a gnarly flu with the following arsenal… This is how we do it.

herb pharm herb blend Herb pharm echinacea goldenseal blend. I’ll take this 2-3x dayIsland Thyme respitory balmLocal Island Thymes‘ respiratory balm. Made by friends of mineflu remedies Digital thermometer- I’m obsessed with taking my temp. And a myriad of items for symptoms.Hoffman honey Loads of this honey in fresh ginger and lemon tea. Strong and spicy and soothing.Emergen-C Sucking the Emergen-C’s down every few hours. I’m not too concerned with the extra marketing of ‘joint health’ but we like the citrus flavor:)Manuka honey The honey loquat syrup is great for chest and coughs. The Manuka honey from New Zealand, supposedly high in healthy anti-bacterial microbes.fresh lemon and gingerThe fresh ginger I peel and slice thin and boil/simmer in water. I’ll add juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lemon and a couple tablespoons of raw honey. I drink it hot. I love that stuff.

quick chicken soupWhen I’m really down and out I eat homemade applesauce. My first meal this week was some chicken stock from the freezer thawed with the addition of a little chicken breast, carrots, shitake mushrooms, carrots and spinach. Maybe a little left over rice in there too.

Then I moved onto a healing beef bone broth with spinach, mushrooms, kimchi and a poached egg and avocado. This was a lovely meal I won’t wait till I’m sick to make again. I made the bone broth overnight in the crockpot with short ribs and soup bones and the general aromatics- onion, carrot, celery, parsley, bulb of garlic, peppercorns. I’ll cook it 12 hours overnight and strain. I then just shred a little of the short rib meat to add in to the broth. Healing and tasty.

Hope your 2015 is off to a good start!

bone broth, kimchi, poached eggLast but not least one little farm shot. Not our farm but some baby calf buddies nearby. They are still skiddish but so sweet!

baby calf buddies

raw nutty seedy nibbles

Hello again…

Summer is winding up and we are flush with garden vegetables and fruits yet, I still love to make these raw nut and seed bars. They are a nice fit after yoga or to help fill in the hunger gaps creeping into my afternoons. I’m one of those people that rarely awaits the pang of hunger. Now and again I like to feel it… but rarely.

Print: {organic raw nut and seed bar}
raw bars - wendyellenthomas.comI use a base of almonds, cashews and dates and sometimes hazelnuts get thrown in depending what’s on hand. I find the cashews help a little more with binding and it’s important for it not to be too dry or they really crumble apart.  I’ve tried my new vitamix (which I LOVE) but really this recipe is working better in the cuisinart.

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I’ll start with the nuts and dates- brace yourself as it’s a bit noisy and disconcerting to get them crunched up and mixed. My favorite dried fruit to add is cherries. We had a lot dried from 2013. This year I under-ordered and we literally consumed about 20# in a couple weeks with little help from outsiders. I’ve looked up loads of these raw bar recipes and there is a lot of trading ingredients in and out. This is what we like at the moment but I encourage you to experiment.

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From there it’s pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, coconut… and why not a few chia and hemp seeds while we’re at it? I do use a little maple syrup for further sweet and bind factors. I’m done with agave- read more from Andrew Weil here or from here. And to continue that side note, here is an interesting sweetener comparison.

Lastly, comes the dark stuff. Cocoa nibs which are still A-OK on my list and raw cocoa powder. oh and a wee pinch of sea salt:)

nut and seed bars-6Then it’s hands on. I line a glass dish with either parchment paper or plastic wrap.

nut and seed bars-8The nut and seed mix is pressed into the dish.

nut and seed bars-9Then covered with plastic wrap and I take a small glass and roll it over the top to really get it glued together.

nut and seed bars-10It spends a night in the fridge before getting cut into squares and boxed up for grabability from the fridge.

nut and seed bars-11I’ll take these to work in a little plastic baggy. There solidity often depends on the batch and how long they are out of the fridge. I’d be lying if I said they hold together like a Lara Bar. But you can easily squeeze it back together to pop in the mouth and the taste is great.

I’ll end on a farm note…

Here are a couple shots of animals at play… sort of… it might induce your curiosity and for sure make you smile. Otis loves Helen. They are working on their mode of interaction.

Otis and Helen 2-3

 

Otis and Helen

I’m still keeping him on a leash so we have control if he gets too excited. The goats are not interested as of yet. But Helen I think likes Otis too:)

Otis and Helen-2

 

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