Tag Archives: vegetarian

Midweek Menu: Rainbow Veggie Cakes

Growing up, we celebrated both Christian and Jewish holidays. Each holiday had its own associated food that I looked forward to. At Easter, it was babka. Christmas was cinnamon twists and thumbprint cookies. Rosh Hashanah was apples with honey and challah bread. And, Hanukkah was chocolate gelt and latkes (Jewish potato pancakes).

The annual latkes were make from my grandmother’s recipe and reserved for one time per year. No matter how much begging my sisters and I did, we only had latkes at Hanukkah. However, potato pancakes were a different story. I have no clue what the real difference between potato pancakes and latkes is, aside from the use of my grandmother’s recipe. Whenever we were out, though, and potato pancakes were on the menu, we could order them, Hanukkah or not.

I’ve kind of stuck with this tradition of not making authentic latkes at any time of year except Hanukkah. I don’t even celebrate Hanukkah anymore, but I look forward to the time of year so that I can make the golden potato fritters. The rest of the year, though, I prepare all sorts of twists on the classic so that I can enjoy the dish year round without ruining tradition.

This recipe becomes easy for the middle of the week if you have a food processor with a grater blade. If not, save the recipe for a weekend meal as you’ll be grating veggies for a little while.

Rainbow Veggie Cakes



Taste the Rainbow!

• 1 medium zucchini (Heritage Farm CSA)
• 1 ear corn (Bechdolt’s Orchard)
• 3-5 carrots (depending on size) (Blue Blaze Farm)
• 1 onion (Heritage Farm CSA)
• 2 purple potatoes (White works, too, but not as colorful! Apple Ridge Farm)
• 1-2 gloves garlic (Heritage Farm CSA)
• 1 egg (Valley View Farm)
• 1/2 c. coarse yellow cornmeal
• 1/2 c. flour
• salt & pepper, to taste
• olive oil, for brushing


  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Coarsely grate zucchini, carrots, onion, garlic and potato, using a food processor if you have one.
  3. Place shredded veggies in strainer over bowl or in sink and sprinkle generously with salt. Mix salt through with your fingers and let sit with a heavy bowl on top for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, mix cornmeal, flour, salt & pepper in large bowl.
  5. Cut kernels off corn (click here to see how!) and add to flour mixture.
  6. Add egg to flour and corn mixture, mix well.


    Batter should be moist but not runny.

  7. Squeeze extra liquid out of shredded veggies (the heavy bowl should have helped with this already) and add to batter.

    So colorful!

    So colorful!

  8. Brush cookie sheet with olive oil. Scoop 1/4 cup mounds of mixture onto cookie sheet and flatten. Brush the top of each pattie with olive oil.
  9. Bake 15 minutes. Flip. Bake an additional 10 minutes.
  10. Salt to taste and enjoy hot!

    Crisp Veggie Cakes

    Crisp Veggie Cakes


Roly Poly Bleu Zucchini—It’s What’s For Dinner!

If you haven’t purchased or grown roly poly zucchini before, find your nearest farmers market and go buy one now! Not only are they adorable, but they are perfect for stuffing or using as bowls for soup or stew. My father grew these in his garden when I was young, and I will never forget the chicken stew (called Chicken a la Kane, like all his other dishes, with no reproducible recipe) he served in them for dinner one night. It was absolutely delicious, and the edible squash bowl was better than any bread bowl I ever had. So, when two golden beauties showed up in our CSA share, I was ecstatic!

These round squash beg to be stuffed, but I was out of bread crumbs like I normally use for stuffed zucchini and didn’t have time to make more before yoga class. So, I had to do some fridge digging for a starchy alternative. A nice fresh ear of corn caught my eye, and boy am I glad I used it! These were a welcome departure from the usual stuffed squash—Lighter, refreshing and full of summer flavor.

Roly Poly Bleu Zucchini


Roly Poly Bleu Zucchini Ingredients

All local, full of vitamins & nutrients, inexpensive & delicious!

Easton Salsa Company 2011 Farmers Market Hot Sauce

Last minute addition!

• 2 roly poly zucchini (from Heritage Farms CSA, would work with long ones, too)
• 1 onion (from Heritage Farms CSA)
• 1 ear of corn (from Traugers)
• 3 plum tomatoes (from my own garden)
• a couple of dashes hot sauce (I used Easton Salsa Company 2011 Farmers Market sauce)
• bleu cheese, to taste (I used a 1.5″x1.5″ chunk of raw milk bleu from Klein Farms)
• handful of fresh basil leaves (from my own garden)
• a few sprigs of thyme (from my own garden)
• 1 egg (from Valley View Farm)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Cut off the stem end of the zucchinis, about 1/2″ down. Scoop out the inside, leaving about a 1/4″ shell. Save the pulp in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the inside of the zucchini shells with some salt and set upside down on a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  3. Chop the zucchini pulp and return to the bowl (mine turned out a bit watery, so you might want to squeeze out a bit of the liquid).
  4. Carefully remove corn kernels from cob (Click here to see a great post/video about how to do this without making a mess!) and add to the zucchini pulp.
  5. Cut two slices from the plum tomatoes and set aside. Dice the remaining plum tomatoes and add to zucchini and corn mixture.
  6. Dice onion and sauté for 2 minutes in large skillet. Add vegetable mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  7. While the veggies are cooking, finely chop the basil & thyme and crumble the bleu cheese.
  8. Once the liquid has evaporated from the skillet, stir in the cheese and herbs.

    Veggie, cheese and herb filling

    Veggie, cheese and herb filling

  9. Transfer veggie mixture back to bowl and add the egg, stirring well. (If you do this in the skillet, you might end up with a fried egg.)
  10. Pat out the zucchini shells with a paper towel and place on a baking sheet.
  11. Spoon the filling into the shells and top with the saved tomato slices.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes.
  13. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

    Roly Poly Bleu Zucchini

    Mine had a little juice left in it, but it was still tasty and I got to sop it up with bread. If you don't want the liquid on your plate, squeeze out the zucchini pulp a bit.

Midweek Menu: Asian Cucumber Salad

One of the things that most amazed me when we traveled to the west coast was the variety of world cuisines available for sampling, all based off of fresh, local ingredients and prepared with simplicity. One of my frustrations with the Lehigh Valley had been what I perceived as a “white-washing” of the food … Even ethnic dishes seemed bland and Americanized. I must admit that I was wrong about this thought—A bit of looking has revealed some fantastic restaurants which I will write about later.

In the middle of the week, takeout can be tempting, but you can whip up this Asian salad in way less time than it takes the delivery guy to show up at your door. It uses the soy sauce left over from the last time you ordered in. Pair this crunchy side with your favorite stir-fry or marinated and grilled protein.

Asian Cucumber Salad



Everything you need for this easy snack or side dish.

• 1 cucumber (this beauty is from our CSA at Heritage Farms)
• 2 packets of soy sauce from your local takeout joint (or equivalent)
• 3 T. sesame oil
• A palm-full of toasted sesame seeds
• Freshly grated ginger, to taste (optional—I didn’t have any handy, so I didn’t use it, but if you have it, I am sure it would be amazing!)


  1. Slice the cucumber as thinly as possible (if you have a mandolin, use it!)
  2. Add soy sauce and sesame oil. Toss to coat. (Add ginger, if using.)
  3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and toss again.
  4. Can be served right away, or let marinade 30 minutes for stronger flavor.
The Finished Product


Aw Shucks!

One of the most notable events in this town each year is Musikfest, a 10-day celebration of music, food & beer that takes over all of downtown (and, this year, south side). I began this blog too late to cover it this year, but next time I’ll be sharing my experiences for sure.

The biggest reason (no exaggeration) I go to the festival is to get my hands on an enormous ear of Aw Shucks Corn. If I don’t get to eat this buttery, spicy, savory snack at least once during Musikfest, my year is not complete.

Granted, it is now possible to find Aw Shucks in a couple of other locations, like the Iron Pigs stadium, but it’s just not the same as navigating through the crowd in Volksplatz wielding a large ear of corn and a mug full of beer while listening to a man in a black plague mask play an obsolete bell instrument.

Our Garden

Our teensy garden, overflowing with herbs & tomatoes.

This year, I had some extra tickets at the end of the night and splurged on my very own bottle of Aw Shucks Southwest Seasoning. Oh, the possibilities! Not only will I be able to fulfill my insatiable corn cravings at home, but I can Shucks up anything I want! I am having visions of baked potatoes, shrimp, salad dressing …

It didn’t take long for me to open the canister and spice up dinner … My husband was making some homemade pasta (someday when he lets me photograph him at work, I’ll post that recipe), and I had just plucked some tomatoes and sage from our garden. Um … Pasta, tomatoes, sage, Aw Shucks seasoning? Yep, it’s good. And ridiculously easy!

Aw Shucks Tomato Pasta


Aw Shucks Pasta Ingredients

All local ingredients for this savory dish.

• 4 entree-sized servings of pasta (homemade makes it extra tasty)
• 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
• a handful of sage leaves
• 4 T. butter
• Aw Shucks Southwest Seasoning, to taste (You can order it on their site! In a true emergency outage of seasoning, use another southwest or Cajun blend)
• Parmesan cheese, to taste (mine is from Klein Farms)
• a few gratings Gouda cheese (optional, my husband snuck it in and it was good! Also from Klein Farms)


  1. Cook the pasta to al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes in halves or quarters and chop the sage leaves.
  3. Sauté the tomatoes and sage in a small non-stick skillet for a few minutes, just to loosen up the juices and bring out the sage flavor. No oil or butter necessary.
  4. Sprinkle in Aw Shucks seasoning to taste. Stir and remove from heat.
    Tomatoes, Sage, Seasoning

    Such vibrant colors!

  5. Strain pasta. Add butter and toss until coated. Grate in Parmesan and Gouda (if using).

    Pasta and Cheese

    Kevin's homemade pasta, topped with Parmesan and sneakily added Gouda.

  6. Add tomato mixture to pasta mixture and toss.
  7. Serve hot, topped with a little more grated Parmesan and Aw Shucks seasoning.

    Aw Shucks Tomato Pasta

    I want more!!!

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