Dianna’s Family Favorite: Zucchini Crisp…What?

I know, I know… Zucchini Crisp…. it sounds horrible

but there’s a secret to zucchini

The secret is to cook the zucchini slices in lemon juice & honey.  The result is that it tastes like apple slices.   So Zucchini Crisp really tastes like Apple Crisp

zuchinni crisp


This recipe was eaten often in my house growing up because it was a way to use up the Big Zucchinis from the garden.  But we loved it so much my mom would freeze sliced zucchini, in the right proportions for the recipe and make it year round.  Rarely did a family gathering not include Zucchini Crisp.


  • Make sure to peel off all the green skin – no one wants to see Zucchini Green in their “Apple Crisp”
  • Slice the zucchini lengthwise & scrape the seeds and spongy center with a large spoon
  • Cut the zucchini halves into long strips – about the width of a typical apple slice.  Then slice the strips into small slices.  I like mine to be about 1/4″ thick. It’s amazing…. they really look like apple slices
  • Taste the zucchini slices after you cook them in the lemon juice & honey – make sure they are sweetened & spiced to your liking.   If not add a little more honey,nutmeg or cinnamon.

 Knox Family Recipe

Filling Ingredients

  • 8 cups peeled, seeded, & sliced zucchini (cut like apple slices)
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Topping Ingredients

  • 1-1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • Whipped cream or ice cream, optional


  • Place zucchini and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender, about 15 minutes. Add nutmeg, honey, and cinnamon; blend until well blended, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.
  • For topping, combine brown sugar, flour, oats and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over zucchini. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. Yield: 12-16 servings.


Updated & More Healthy Version of Zucchini Crisp

  • 4 cups zucchini, peeled, seeded, & sliced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or agave nectar

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup cold coconut oil or butter (or half of each)
  • 3 tablespoons finely shredded coconut
  • 1-2 tablespoons flax seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 375°F. In a bowl, mix together the sliced zucchini, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and honey.  Pour mixture into a greased baking dish or ramekins for individual portions.

For the topping, combine the light brown sugar, oats and flour into a bowl, then mix in the coconut oil until crumbly. Sprinkle the mixture over the zucchini slices. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the zucchini is tender and the top is golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Total Time: 60 minutes
Yield: makes 6 servings

Giant Summer Squashes can take over the garden….

Late summer can mean only one thing……

                              Too Many Giant Summer Squashes

    So what to do with the Giant Summer Squash…….

That is the real question!!!

First of all you need to FREEZE some of that yummy summer squash to enjoy when summer is long gone.    It’s so easy to freeze you won’t beleive it.  Click here for freezing instructions

But there are so many great ways to enjoy those big squashes  Click here for the recipes

A perfect pocket of Yumminess – Baked Sheepnose Heirloom Peppers

Baked “Sheepnose” Heirloom Peppers w/ Cheddar Cheese

 peppers & cheese 2
These little sweet beauties are so delicious!  I love that they can be eaten while green or allowed to sweeten more to a red pepper. The walls of the pepper are thin so there is a good pepper to cheese ratio.
Cheesy, sweet and juicy, a perfect little pocket of yumminess.
  • 4 Sheepnose Heirloom peppers
  • 3-4 ounces organic or raw cheddar cheese, cut into chunks
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Prep peppers, wash and dry.
  3. Carefully cut out top of pepper with a paring knife, removing stem and a small portion of the top.  Remove seeds and white membrane with a small spoon 
  4. Cut thick slices of cheddar, then cut into little 1 inch squares.  I make slices about ½ inch thick, then cut into 1 inch squares.  Stack 2 pieces of cheddar inside the peppers.  Grated cheddar would work fine too, just fill up pepper about ¾ of the way with cheese. 
  5. Place peppers on a baking pan. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until cheese starts to form a golden brown crust. 
  6. Serve hot 
Yield: Makes 4 peppers.
Tip: This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.  Make up a big batch of these and refrigerate until ready to eat.  They reheat in the oven wonderfully and are also delicious cold.  They make a great snack or a side dish.
  • Add a dallop of pesto to each pepper
  • Sprinkle with your favorite herb seasoning
  • Add fresh chopped Basil to each pepper

New Peppermint Fudge Recipe

I’m so excited to find this peppermint fudge recipe.  It is really close to my no fail fudge recipe I make at Christmastime.   But I love that it uses fresh peppermint leaves instead of mint flavoring.   If you are a fan of mint, you have to try this!!!

mintChocolate-Peppermint Fudge

Peppermint is the only mint with enough oomph to stand up to chocolate. Use fresh-chopped peppermint leaves. Making this in a small-capacity slow cooker is a foolproof way to melt the chocolate.

• 3 cups chocolate chips
• ¼ cup butter (½ stick)
• 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
• 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
• ½ cup fresh peppermint leaves, pureed with a little oil or butter if needed

In the crock of a small slow cooker, melt chocolate, butter , peppermint, and condensed milk on the low setting. Check and stir from time to time until all chocolate is melted and smooth.  Gently stir in walnuts.  Pour the mix into a 9-by-9-inch baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Place the pan in the refrigerator until hard, then remove and pull fudge out by tugging gently on aluminum foil. Invert fudge on a cutting board or counter and gently peel off aluminum foil. Cut the fudge using a chef’s knife with blade heated under hot running water.

Rat Tail Radish Pods

Rat Tail Radish Pods

Radish Pods are the seed pods of the Radish plants.   I discovered them when I had let a patch of radishes stay in the ground a little long and these huge pants with pretty flowers appeared.

Then the pods made their appearance.  I wouldn’t have  thought much about them except at the time as researching recipes in  a 19th century cookbook and I saw a    reference to Radish Pods.   I wondered if that is what was growing in my garden….This was a fantastic surprise!

Radish Pods have a great radish flavor, but the texture is more like green beans. They are crunchy with a strong radish flavor.    Radish Pods are filled with great nutrition too, rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid, and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium.

So I know you are asking “What do I do with Radish Pods?”    Here’s a few ideas:

  • Eat them raw –  they are great with your favorite chip dip or hummus
  • Chop them and put into salads
  • Puree them to make a sandwich spread. Just threw them into a Vitamix or food processor with some mayo, apple cider vinegar and salt. It would make a great veggie chip dip too
  • Add to an Asian Stir Fry with ginger and garlic
  • Use them in any recipe that you use snap peas

Or in this versatile Asian Salad

  • Millet – about 3 cups cooked
  • 1 lb. ground beef, cooked
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1.5 to 2 cups radish pods
  • Fresh ginger – about 3 T minced
  • 2-3 T sesame oil
  • 2 T flax seed oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Fresh lime juice, optional

       This type of salad can be made with many variations:

  • pasta instead of millet
  • add carrots, broccoli, or any vegetable of your choice
  • chicken instead of beef
  • add cilantro or parsley

New Kale Chip Recipe Page


If you think you don’t like Kale…. Try Kale Chips.

The basic chips are great, but check out all the different flavors you can create on our new  Kale Chip Recipe Page.

I discovered Kale chips last year and have become totally addicted to them. Try them with your family and enjoy a wonderful summer treat.

kale 1

Although kale can be steamed, sauteed, boiled or eaten raw, baking kale results in a crunchy snack food that is a healthy alternative to potato chips. Kale chips are best served right out of the oven and they lose their crunch after being stored for a day.

But they never last that long at our house.

New Kale Recipes

I thought we could all use some fresh ideas for the bounty of Kale that the gardens are blessing us with this year.   So try one of the new recipes below or check out the Kale Recipe page for more Kale Recipes – Click HERE

Garlicky Grilled Kale Salad with Grilled BreadRecipe: Garlicky Grilled Kale Salad with Grilled Bread

For the salad:

  • 2 bunches (about 1 pound) kale, washed and dried
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or other high-heat oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for bread
  • 2 thick slices sourdough bread (about 3/4-inch thick)
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoon shaved Parmesan (optional, see Recipe Notes)

For the dressing:

  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Cut out and discard the stem and central rib from each kale leaf. In a large bowl, toss the kale leaves with 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt, until leaves are evenly coated with oil. Rub both sides of the bread with the remaining tablespoon grapeseed oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Rub the small garlic clove over both sides of the bread.

Preheat the grill or grill pan to high heat. Working in batches, grill the kale leaves until brown and crispy on both sides, about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Grill the bread until crisp and lightly charred on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Roughly chop the kale leaves into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Cut the bread into large cubes and set aside.

To make the dressing, grate the large garlic clove with a microplane (or use a garlic press) and combine with the lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the chopped kale and toss to coat. Add the bread cubes and toss. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl and garnish with the cheese, if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • Use a vegetable peeler to shave thin slices of Parmesan to garnish this salad, but it is just as tasty — and great for vegan eaters! — without the cheese.
  • Lacinato Kale was used in the salad pictured, but Red Russian or  kale works just as well.
  • Like many kale salads, this recipe keeps well. If you plan on making it ahead of time, keep the bread cubes separate and toss them with the kale just before serving.

Farfalle with Sausage, Cannellini Beans, and Kale


  • 8 ounces uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion $
  • 8 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (16-ounce) package fresh kale
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained$
  • 1 ounce shaved fresh Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid; keep warm.
  2. Drain tomatoes in a small sieve over a bowl, reserving 2 teaspoons oil; slice tomatoes. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sliced tomatoes, reserved 2 teaspoons tomato oil, onion, and sausage to pan; cook 10 minutes or until sausage is browned, stirring to crumble. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute. Add seasoning, pepper, and broth to pan. Stir in kale; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Stir in pasta, reserved 1 cup cooking liquid, and beans.

Kale With Roasted Peppers and Oliveskale salad

  • 2 large bunches kale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 4-ounce jar roasted red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  1. Cut the kale into bite-size pieces, removing any tough stems. Rinse and shake dry.
  2. Warm the oil and garlic in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Remove the garlic as soon as it browns (don’t let it burn). Add the kale and stir-fry 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Uncover and add the sugar, salt, olives, and peppers. Cook over medium-high heat until the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Spoon into a serving dish; scatter the garlic over the top. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Corn, Kale, and Leek Fritters
Serves 4-6 (makes 15-16 fritters)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • 2 cups fresh (or thawed frozen) corn — about 3 ears worth
  • 2 cups finely chopped, firmly packed kale
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup cream (or use all milk instead of the cream)
  • 2-3 cups sliced leeks, cleaned — 2 leeks worth
  • oil for frying
  • lemon for garnish
  1. Saute the leeks in a few tsp of oil and let cool slightly.  In a large bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, corn and kale.
  2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs, melted butter or oil, and milk to combine. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix briefly. Add the cooked leeks and stir to combine.  Heat or oil in a large frying pan. Drop 1/4 cup batter per cake into the hot skillet, adding more oil or butter as needed to keep cakes from sticking.
  3. Cook until cakes begin to bubble and are browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes, then flip and cook until the other side is golden, 1 or 2 minutes longer. Sprinkle with a little salt once you flip them.  Keep cooking in batches and serve warm with a little squeeze of lemon.
Brussels Sprouts & Kale Salad With Toasted Almonds & Parmesan
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
* 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
* 1 Tbsp minced shallot or onion
* 1 small clove garlic, finely grated
* Sea salt and pepper
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 1 bunch Kale, center stem discarded, leaves sliced thinly
* 12 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
* 1/3 cup almonds with skins, toasted and coarsely chopped
* 1/ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1. Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix the thinly sliced kale and shredded Brussels sprouts in a large bowl.
2. Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Add the dressing, cheese and almonds to the Brussels sprouts and kale mixture and toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper and serve.

Wilted Russian Kale Salad With Balsamic Vinegar & Orange Zest

  • 1 large bunch of kale (I like the Red Russian kind for this, but any kale will work)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsps balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar glaze
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. Wash the kale well and then chop into large pieces.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and sautee until translucent. Add the kale and cook until completely wilted.

3. Remove from heat and let cool. Add the vinegar, currants, zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well to combine and serve.

New Golden Beet Recipe

Golden Beet and Barley Salad with Rainbow ChardRecipe: Golden Beet and Barley Salad with Rainbow Chard

Serves 8 to 10 (makes about 10 cups)

  •  4 medium golden beets, tops removed (see Recipe Note)
  • 1 cup dry pearl barley
  • 1/2 large red onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) rainbow chard
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 lemon, divided
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled, plus extra for serving
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 450°F. Loosely wrap the beets in foil and roast them in the oven until they are just fork tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Let cool enough to handle, then peel and dice the beets into 1/2-inch cubes.

Meanwhile, cook the barley. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the barley and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain the barley and return it to the pan. Cover with a clean dishtowel until ready to use.

Place the onions in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside to soak for at least 30 minutes.

Wash the chard and pat dry, but leave some moisture clinging to the leaves. Strip off the leaves, stack them in a pile, and slice them into 1/2 inch ribbon.   Set aside. Dice the stems into small bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the diced chard stems with a pinch of salt until they start to turn translucent around the edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the ribboned chard leaves, half of the lemon juice (1 1/2 tablespoons), and a healthy pinch of salt. Continue to cook, stirring gently, until it is bright green and has wilted down, another 4 to 5 minutes. If the pan is very dry, add a few tablespoons of water so the chard can keep steaming.

Drain the red onion from the soaking water. Combine diced beets, cooked barley, chard stems and leaves, and red onion in a large mixing bowl. Let everything cool to room temperature, then stir in the feta. Whisk together the remaining lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and stir to evenly coat all the ingredients.

Taste the mixture. As needed, add salt 1/4 teaspoon at a time. Add pepper to taste.

Serve family-style in a large bowl or in individual bowls with extra feta sprinkled over the top. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for one week.

Recipe Notes:

• If your beets come with their tops still attached, you can substitute them for all or part of the chard.

New Recipe Page — Basil!

Time for some new recipes for summer.  We’ve added a new recipe page

all about BASIL!

Need some new ideas for using the great fresh Basil that comes in your weekly CSA shares?  Check out the new Basil Recipe page.

Some of the fun ideas for your Basil…..


  • Basic Basil Petso – to use on vegetables, pizza, or pasta
  • Basil Turkey Burgers
  • Spicy Thai Basil Chicken
  • Grilled Pound Cake with Basil-Plum Compote
  • Panzanella (Bread & Toamto Salad)



Caprese Salads — summertime Favorite

We love Caprese Salads no matter how you stack, chop or present them, they are the taste of summer that we love the most.

download images download (1)

What is a Caprese Salad?

Basically it’s 5 ingredients presented in whatever creative you can dream up.

  • Basil
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar

Slice your cheese and tomatoes. (Don’t even think of trying to make this without Heirloom Tomatoes, you will regret it.)    Top with basil.  Drizzle with Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar.  Add a little salt & pepper to taste.   And Enjoy!!!

download (3) download (2) download (4)





And just wait until the Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes are ready….

They make the BEST Caprese Salad Ever!!!    images (1)

How did you use your share? Week #6

Pasta with Lacinato Kale Pesto


Actually you can use any kind of kale, I just had the Lacinato left over from the shares.

This recipe makes a scant 1/2 cup of pesto or less – you only need a tablespoon or so per serving of pasta. It would also be lovely with grilled chicken or fish.


1 cup lacinato kale, roughly chopped (any kind of kale will work)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons walnuts or pine nuts, lightly crushed
Kosher salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or less)
4 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Extra cheese for serving (if serving with pasta)

  1. Add the kale, garlic, walnuts, and a generous pinch of salt to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a several times to combine.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil through the feed tube of the food processor. Depending on the consistency you like, you may not use all of the oil, so pour slowly. Run the machine continuously for a minute or two to obtain a very smooth consistency. Add more oil if the consistency of the mixture isn’t smooth.
  3. Add the cheeses and pulse to combine.
  4. Taste and correct for salt.

To use the pesto:  Just toss with your favorite pasta, top with a little grated Parm, and serve!


How did YOU use your share? Week #5

This week I’m loving all the beets.

While in California a couple weeks ago, I enjoyed a delicious Roasted Beet Quinoa Salad at Mendincino Farm Sandwiches.     So I came home and researched recipes until I found one that matches.


I was really hopeful that my dear hubby, who normally doesn’t like beets, would like this salad.

And the hubby verdict……  

                                  It’s a keeper – He loved it!!

This recipe is great for substituting for what you have on hand.  I used quinoa as the base, added some roasted beets which gave the whole dish a vibrant pink color, a simple dressing, cheese, fresh greens & herbs – and you have a delicious, fresh side dish or lunch.  Use this recipe as a guide to make your own cleaning-out-the-pantry creation.


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (could use brown rice, couscous, or other grain of your choice)
  • 2 – 3 red beets peeled (greens removed) 
  • 2 T olive or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup olive or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon, orange, or lime juice
  • 2 tsp soy sauce or Bragg’s Amino Acids 
  • 1-2 tsp balsamic, apple cider, or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (I subbed finely chopped garlic scapes)
  • 1 T raw honey or maple syrup
  • 3-4 handfuls of Greens sliced thin (spinach, arugula, kale, mustard, sorrel, or cabbage)
  • 1/2 cup crumbly cheese (feta, blue, small cubes of white cheddar) – optional
  • 1/2 c chopped nuts – optional
  • 1/2 c thinly sliced tart apples – optional
  • salt and pepper to taste (or your favorite herb blend)

Roast the Beets —  

Oven Method: Preheat oven to 375. Place whole beets on aluminum foil.  Drizzle with the 2 T coconut or olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt or your favorite herb blend. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes.

Grill Method:  (To save heating up the house) Heat Grill on High.  Prepare in Foil as above, but do a double layer of foil.  Throw it on the grill and come back 30-40 minutes later and they will be done.

Salad Prep —

While the beets are roasting, you can cook the quinoa according to the package instructions.  If you buy your quinoa in bulk, cook it 2 parts water per 1 part quinoa.  Bring water to boil, add quinoa & turn down to low.  It only takes about 15 minutes.  Once the beets are done roasting, let them cool. Once cooled chop the beets into small pieces.  Combine the beets and quinoa in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine: olive oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, garlic and honey.  Whisk into a dressing. Pour over the beets and quinoa. Fold in the greens, cheese, nuts, &/or apples.

Now salt to taste and that’s it. Enjoy!