Tuna Stuffed Tomato

Easy and healthy meals are must for those who seem to always be busy. This tuna stuffed tomato recipe is one of my favorites to make on a night that I want an easy dinner and are great for prepared lunches for the week. Tomatoes are plentiful at the farmers’ markets right now and make this recipe extremely easy to throw together. The best part about this recipe is that you can switch it up to suit the flavors you are looking for with different spices or additions (diced apples and walnuts sound delicious too!).

Serves:1

Ingredients

1 large tomato

1 packet or tin of tuna

1/2 small red onion diced

1 1/2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise (Veganaise is a good option for those looking to make this egg and dairy free)

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Pinch and sprinkle of paprika

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

Cut the top of the tomato off and hollow it out, removing the seeds.

In a bowl mix together the tuna, onion, mayonnaise, and spices.

Fill the tomato with the tuna salad.

Sprinkle with paprika.

Enjoy!

 

Vendor Spotlight: Shagbark Farm

Shagbark Farm out of Rochester, New Hampshire is an organic vegetable farm that has been in business since 1986. They attend summer farmers’ markets in Dover (Wednesdays), Durham, and Portsmouth and winter markets in Greenland, Rollinsford, Newmarket, and Berwick. The farm is located in both Rockingham and Strafford counties and offers a great variety of organic fruits,vegetables, flowers and local honey.

When attending farmers’ markets, Shagbark Farm always has a great selection of seasonal produce. Right now you can find things like tomatoes, husk cherries, peppers, onions, potatoes, flowers, and more! The husk cherries are a great snack and peeling of the husk is extremely easy. The staff is very knowledgable and always willing to answer questions, so make sure to stop by their tent at the farmers’ markets to say hello and check out all their amazing produce on offer.
You can find them online on Facebook.

Pumpkin Soup

Walking around the farmers’ market it’s easy to see that fall is well on its way. Pumpkins are starting to pop up at different farm tents, the fall breeze is starting to roll in, and produce is plentiful. So what could be more perfect to ring in the new season than a warming pumpkin soup recipe?
Let’s start the soup with a fresh pumpkin and make our own puree. To make this recipe you will need a total of 2 1/2 pounds of pumpkin. To make it easier on yourself you can cut the pumpkin(s) in half, remove the seeds ( I like to save for later to roast as toppings or snacks), and roast the pumpkin at 400 degrees for an hour. If the pumpkins are smaller than you can reduce the time (just make sure the pumpkin is fork tender before removing from the oven. Once the pumpkin is fully cooked, fork tender, and cooled, you can remove the skin and chop into smaller pieces to add to a food processor. Process the pumpkin until it resembles a smooth puree and set aside for later.
Ingredients
  • Puree of 2 1/2 pounds of pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup of cooked butternut squash
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 can of coconut cream (14 oz can)
  • 1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon avocado oil

Directions

  1. Add avocado oil, onion, ginger, and garlic to a pot and sauté until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add cayenne pepper, thyme, and cinnamon.
  3. Add the coconut cream and vegetable stock and mix well.
  4. Add the pumpkin and butternut squash.
  5. Bring to a boil, and let simmer on low for 10 minutes (stirring well through out).
  6. Add the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth.
  7. Sprinkle a little cinnamon over the top and enjoy!

Photo of pumpkins from: Hollister Family Farm’s tent at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market.

Photo of soup from flickr.

Stuffed Peppers

Peppers are in season and plentiful at the farmers market right now in many varieties and colors. In the spirit of shopping for the season, what could be better than a good old stuffed pepper recipe? These are great for an easy weeknight recipe or to meal prep for work the next day as well. They can be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 2-3 days, but anything beyond that the pepper might be a little soggy and make the filling have a bitter taste.

Recipe

Ingredients

2 large peppers of your choosing (I used orange bell peppers)

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 small yellow onion chopped

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 cup diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 pound cooked ground beef or ground sausage cooked (nutrition facts reflect ground beef)

1 teaspoon oregano

Salt and black pepper to taste

Your choice of cheese to sprinkle over the top (nutrition facts reflect mozzarella)

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare rice according to packing directions and brown ground beef.

Sauté chopped onion in a pan with olive oil until translucent.

Mix together diced tomato, tomato paste, oregano, salt and black pepper in a bowl (You can blend together if you want a smoother sauce).

Add onion, ground beef, rice, and tomato mixture to a bowl and mix together.

Chop the tops of the peppers off (don’t throw away) and remove the seeds.

Stuff the peppers with the tomato sauce, beef, and rice mixture (it’s okay if you have extra, because you can enjoy that on the side).

Line a baking dish with parchment paper.

Place peppers in the dish and put the tops back on.

Bake for 25 minutes, and then remove the tops.

Sprinkle with cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve with tops on and enjoy!

Photo of peppers taken from: Hollister Family Farm’s tent at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market.

 

Vendor Spotlight: Hickory Nut Farm

Hickory Nut Farm out of Lee, New Hampshire is a small family owned and operated farm founded in the year 2000. Two married architects became goat farmers and the rest was history. Goat milk products have been used by humans for up to 10,000 years, and contain protein, vitamins, and minerals like phosphate and calcium. Goat milk also has shorter fatty acid chains than cows milk making it easier to digest. All Hickory Nut Farm products are individually crafted in small batches, and include goat milk cheese, soap, yo-goat-gurt, and candy.

Hickory Nut Farm states the benefits of consuming goat milk cheese include but are not limited to it being lower in fat, having metabolism boosting properties,  being higher in calcium, containing probiotics, and that it is higher in minerals. When creating a cheese, it is formed into cheese rounds and stored in the Hickory Nut Farm cheese cave for up to 2 months (how cool does a cheese cave sound?)! The underground environment gives the cheese the perfect conditions including temperature and humidity. The milk is not pasteurized so expectant and nursing mothers should not consume. Soaps are made with goat milk, coconut, palm, canola, and olive oils and scents can be added. They allow custom orders for soaps for special occasions and only ask for 2 months notice prior to you wanting it complete.The fudge is made with a 6 ingredient base including sugar, goat milk, cocoa, butter, vanilla, and salt (special flavors or varieties are available as well). The yogurt made from goat milk, or as they call it “yo-goat-gurt,” is created without any additives, flavorings or sweeteners. You can also come to the farm between February and May to bottle feed the little baby goats, which would be a great family outing!

Soaps, cheeses, and candy are available at the stall store, online, and local farmers markets. The summer farmers’ markets you can find them at include Lee, Exeter, Portsmouth, York ME, Concord NH, Copley MA, Amesbury MA, and Needham MA. In the winter they can be found at markets as well in Exeter, Rollinsford, and York. You can find Hickory Nut Farm online on their website , and Facebook. Next time you are at the farmers market make sure you stop by their tent to say hello and check out all their products.

Apple Chips

Apples are finally at the farmers markets and I have been thinking of ways to incorporate them into my daily diet that are a little different than just having an apple on its own. These apple chips are super easy to make but do require a time commitment. They are so worth it in the end though!

 

Ingredients

2 apples of your choosing

Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice for sprinkling (You can use what ever seasonings you desire)

 

Directions

Set the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wash the apples.

Using a mandolin slice the apples starting at the base so that the core is center. If you don’t want seeds in your chips (very easy to pop out of the chip while eating) you can core the apple before starting.

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon sheet.

Lay the apple slices flat on the baking sheet (you may need more than one sheet).

Sprinkle with your choice of spices.

Bake for 1 hour and then flip, sprinkle the other side with your chosen spices.

Bake for another 1 1/2-2 hours.

Let sit for 5 minutes and enjoy!

 

Photo taken of apples from: Applecrest Farm’s tent at the Portsmouth Market.

Photo of apple chips from here.

Vendor Spotlight: Fat Peach Farm

Fat Peach Farm out of Madbury, New Hampshire is a small scale, mixed production farm with 100 different varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. They also offer a large variety of maple syrup that is harvested from trees on the property and then produced in their Sugar Shack. Fat Peach Farm uses no synthetic chemicals and follows organic production methods in the growing of their crops. They have a focus on healthy soil and resource conservation and use permanent raised beds to grow their crops, to learn more click here. You can find them at the Dover Farmers’ Market in Henry Law Park on Sundays, and in their farm store that is open for one more date this season (September 12th from 2:00pm to 8:00pm). Next time you attend the Dover Farmers’ Market in Henry Law Park make sure you stop by their tent to say hello and check out all the amazing things they have to offer.

Fat Peach Farm also hosts a series of events called Films on the Farm. There’s one more film on the farm scheduled this year for September 12th. A donation of $5 to support the network of Free Little Libraries is suggested, and the film that is scheduled to be shown at 8:00pm is A Tuba to Cuba. They have popcorn, but you can bring your own snacks and it is suggested to bring a blanket because the event is outdoors. You can also show up early at 6:00pm to socialize, or for beer and badminton.

You can find Fat Peach Farm online on their website, Instagram, and Facebook.

Easy Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast

As we make our way into fall and say goodbye to summer, cooler weather is just around the corner. Many families become busier with school and work around this time of year, so I thought I would share a recipe that takes minimal time and can cook in the slow cooker all day with out any worry. A beef pot roast was used for this particular recipe, but this can be modified to suit any other meat as well.

 

Ingredients

1 small pot roast (about 2 pounds)

1/4 cup diced tomatos

5 small potatoes cut in chunks

2 medium carrots cut in chunks

1 small yellow onion chopped

3 small garlic cloves

1 teaspoon rosemary

1/2 teaspoon sage

1/2 teaspoon thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Water

 

Directions

Place the pot roast in the slow cooker.

Add the chopped vegetables and garlic to the sides of the pot roast.

Pour the diced tomatoes over the top and sprinkle over the rosemary, sage, thyme, and a little salt and pepper (you can add more salt and pepper after the meal has been prepared).

Fill the pot with water or a broth of your choosing ( try to look for a low sodium option) so that it is just covering the vegetables but not the entire pot roast.

Put on high for 7 hours then for the last hour reduce to low.

The meat should be pull apart tender and can be enjoyed as is or with rice for a meal.

 

 

Vendor Spotlight: Dani Lee Pottery

This week’s vendor spotlight is a little different, because we are not discussing a farmer or food producer, but a potter. Dani Lee Pottery can be found at farmers markets including Portsmouth, Derry, and Dover (Sundays), for more information on dates and locations you can click here. Dani Lee is 24 years old and has been doing pottery for 5 years. She owns her own wheel and kiln and her studio is located in Exeter Station Properties. Creating pottery can be a lengthy but rewarding process but you can tell she truly loves her craft. The process starts with the clay that comes in boxes that are 50 pounds! Dani Lee then separates them into smaller pieces in the shape of a ball that will eventually become mugs, bowls, and other creative things.

One of the formed balls then gets thrown on the wheel to begin the process. It drys for 1 to 2 days to become “leather hard,” dry enough to handle but wet enough to mold. She then trims unnecessary pieces off and allows the piece to dry until “bone dry,” at this stage it’s called greenware. After becoming bone dry, pieces go in the kiln which is set to 1950 degrees Fahrenheit to become what is called “bisqueware.” Once cooled, the glazes get painted on, she then loads them into the kiln which is 2222 degrees Fahrenheit. This stage allows the glaze to become glass and the clay becomes water resistant. This second firing process takes 6.5 hours and the cooling takes 8-10 hours before Dani Lee can open the kiln and see her finished product. Though a lengthy process, the end product is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Next time you’re at the farmers market make sure you stop by her tent to say hello and look at her art. You can also find her online on her website, Instagram, and Facebook.