A Celebration of Food and Food Sustainability Projects

Category: Recipes (Page 1 of 2)

Cauliflower The Power Veggie

Photo from Pixlr.com

I was shopping and stopped in my tracks when I saw a big beautiful head of cauliflower in the produce department. I hadn’t even thought about buying a cauliflower… it wasn’t on my list but I had to buy it and decide how to enjoy this nutritionally power-packed hunk of veggie for dinner.

My oven is subpar in our Motorhome so baking was out. I didn’t want to deep fry. BBQ could work but the smoke was heavy outside from fires in the area. So simple stir fry called to me.

What is nice about cauliflower is it can be used in so many ways. Riced, Baked, Fried, BBQ, Soup, made into faux Buffalo Wings, Faux Sweet and Sour bites, used as a Pizza crust, and simply stir-fried.

The other nice thing about Cauliflower is it has a nutritional punch and yes low in calories! According to Livestrong.com: Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse — providing antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, and other important nutrients.

One side effect that some people experience is gas. Veggies from the cole family can upset some people’s systems so you can take an enzyme like Beano to help with flatulence. Cooked versus raw can also alleviate gas as well.

Simple Cauliflower Recipe

  • 2 – 3 heads of small cauliflower (or 1/2 head large)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • a couple pinches of sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small bunch of chives, chopped
  • zest of one lemon
  • freshly grated Parmesan
  • a bit of flaky sea salt


  1. To prep, the cauliflower, remove any leaves at the base and trim the stem. Now cut it into tiny trees – and by tiny, I mean most florets aren’t much larger than a table grape. Make sure the pieces are relatively equal in size, so they cook in the same amount of time. Rinse under running water, and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil and fine grain salt in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the cauliflower and stir until the florets are coated. Wait until it gets a bit brown on the bottom, then toss the cauliflower with a spatula. Brown a bit more and continue to saute until the pieces are deeply golden – all told about six minutes. In the last 30 seconds stir in the garlic.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the chives, lemon zest, and dust with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a pinch of flaky sea salt (if you have it on hand). Serve immediately.

Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 7 minutes Total Time 12 minutes Serves 3

To make this recipe vegan, just omit the Parmesan cheese finish – still delicious!


Farm Market Chard and Pasta

Picture taken by Greg Dixon

Greg and I were driving in West Kelowna BC Canada looking for a place to walk. We drove by the lovely BONFIRE Culinary Farm Market and stopped to see what they had for sale. I was craving something green and saw Swiss Chard still in the field. Lisa was welcoming and offered to pick a bunch for us.

Fresh cucumber, Chard, and field tomatoes from BONFIRE Culinary Farm Market
picture by Bonnie Dixon

Fresh field tomatoes also caught my eye. Nothing better than a fresh tomato sandwich on toasted sourdough bread!

Picture by Bonnie McDonald

Pasta with Chard and Garlic

1 pound Swiss chard, stems cut from the leaves and the stems and leaves chopped separately

1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste

1 white onion sliced into slivers

3 large garlic cloves sliced thin, Russian Garlic is terrific

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup water or broth, Better Than Bouillon is my favorite

1 1/2  cups red cherry tomatoes

1/2 pound penne or other tubular pasta

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan plus more for topping

Rinse and drain separately the Swiss chard stems and leaves.

In a large heavy skillet cook the red pepper flakes and the garlic and onion in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the garlic is pale golden, add the stems and 1/4 cup of the water, and cook the mixture, covered, for 5 minutes, or until the stems are just tender.

Add the leaves with the remaining 1/4 cup water and salt and pepper to taste and cook the mixture, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and cook the mixture, covered, for 3 minutes, or until the leaves are tender.

While the chard is cooking, in a kettle of salted boiling water boil the penne until it is al dente and drain it in a colander. In a large bowl toss the penne with the chard mixture and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan,

In heavy skillet toss in cherry tomatoes and sear till they almost pop. Toss on top of the Penne Chard.

 Serve it with the additional Parmesan. If desired.

Tip: To chop the Swiss Chard after washing, roll the leaves into a tube and then slice. They come out nice and evenly sliced.

Substitute canned cherry tomatoes for fresh and use the juice from the can for the water or broth.

Optional : Add 2-3 links cooked and sliced Italian Sausage

Crazy MacSlaw Salad

I was trying to use what I had in the pantry and fridge for dinner and was thinking about macaroni salad or coleslaw. Hmm, what if I combined the two recipes and made a MacSlaw Salad. What makes it crazy is we all have our favorite recipes so the recipe can be changed up to taste.

Crazy MacSlaw Salad

8 oz of favorite pasta, nice with elbows, fusilli, shells

1/2 head Green Cabbage Chop into fine pieces.

Six Green onions chopped fine

2-3 carrots peeled and shredded

2-3 sticks celery chopped fine ( optional)

1 red pepper chopped fine

1 cucumber chopped into small pieces


1 to 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup Braggs Organic apple cider vinegar

2 tsp mustard or dijon mustard

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp Sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, or to taste

So pick your favorite pasta, then cook al dente per the package direction. Drain, set aside to cool. You can toss with a little Olive Oil to keep the pasta from sticking.

In a large bowl add dressing ingredients. Whip with whisk till blended.

While pasta is cooking Chop the cabbage into fine pieces. Place on top of the dressing. Set aside.

TIP You can use your Food Processor just don’t chop too fine.

Chop the other veggies and and add to the cabbage. Toss to coat with dressing.

Add cooled pasta. Toss to incorporate Slaw and Pasta.

Best if you wait an hour or two. Really good the next day.

Good keeper. Lasts in fridge 3-4 days.

Make it fast. Purchase prepared undressed coleslaw from produce section.

Make it a meal: add canned garbanzo beans ( ceci beans). You may want to add extra dressing.

Fun add ins:

Garbanzo Beans

Toasted sunflower seeds

Green or black olives

Chopped pickles: dill or sweet

Easy Pancakes with Apricots

Easy Pancakes with Apricots are delicious on a Sunday Morning

Today I had a craving for pancakes but realized that I didn’t have any pancake mix. I did have the ingredients for making pancakes. Fresh apricots were on the kitchen shelf that needed to be used ASAP. I gathered my ingredients (5 minutes) and made both the pancakes and sauteed apricots in the next 10 minutes! Faster than going to the store and getting the mix. Less expensive and so tasty! Breakfast was served in less than 20 minutes.

Easy Pancakes

1 cups all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. sugar

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/4 c. milk or buttermilk, or milk alternative

 3 tbsp. butter, or coconut butter,melted cooled

1 large egg

vegetable oil for brushing pan

Whisk flour, sugar,baking powder, and salt together in a 2 quart mixing bowl or saucepan.

Whisk milk or buttermilk, melted butter and egg together in 2 cup measuring cup .

Heat your skillet to medium high.

Stir liquid ingredients into the flour mixture quickly, just till moist. Do not over stir. Small lumps are OK.

Brush the skillet with oil.

Use about 1/3 cup batter per pancake. Pour onto hot skillet. Cook till bubbles form and edges are dry. Lift up a corner of pancake with a spatula, if golden brown flip and cook till golden brown on the second side. Place on a warmed plate or place toaster oven to keep warm. Makes 10-12 3-inch pancakes.

Topping ideas:Real Maple Syrup, jam, peanut butter, fresh fruit, stewed fruit, sour cream, whipped cream, cottage cheese, cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, peanut butter, almond butter or Nutella. Add a side of bacon, sausage, eggs, or all of the above!

Sauteed Apricots

2 cups cut up fresh apricots

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. butter

1/2 tsp Almond Extract, optional

Place apricots in saute pan. add sugar and butter. Saute for 5 minutes or till soft.

Great over pancakes, waffles, ice cream, topping for coffee cake or stirred into yogurt or over cottage cheese.


Use Honey, Maple Syrup, or coconut sugar, in place of sugar in batter.

Use Whole wheat, oat flour, or gluten free flour mix in place of white flour.

Use canned fruit if you don’t have any fresh fruit for topping.

Tip: Make your own buttermilk add 1 TBSP of lemon juice to whole milk. Let sit 5 minutes.

You probably will not have any leftovers, but if you do you can freeze the pancakes and reheat in the toaster.

Ribolitta Soup ~A Fabulous Italian Vegetable Soup

Ribollita Soup

This is my favorite soup ever! The recipe is from a cooking class at the Palazzo Bandino, Chianciano Terme, Italy. Of all the recipes we prepared this was the one that I fell in love with and have made many times over the years. I have made a few changes and suggestions, so make sure to add your own.

What is so good about eating this delicious soup is that you can feel the goodness from the vegetables. I have definitely tasted the difference when I use organic vegetables. There is a real flavor pop.

2-3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 or more cloves of garlic chopped optional

1 big onion, chopped

2-3 large stalks of celery, sliced 

2-3 zucchini, sliced or diced

3 carrots, sliced or diced

1 small head cabbage, sliced into small shreds

1 28 oz can organic chopped tomatoes

1 bunch Swiss chard rough chopped. Red chard is pretty.

1 bunch spinach, rough chopped

Pinch Red hot pepper flakes

2 TBSP tomato paste

2 cans 15 oz Cannellini Tuscan beans , ( or small white beans)

About 1 quart water , veggie or chicken broth

Optional: Grated Parmesan cheese

Optional :One or two Glasses of white or red wine drink while chopping vegetables makes preparing the soup so much fun!

Crusty peasant bread, sliced

Prepare vegetables, set aside. In a large 8 qt soup pot heat olive oil over medium heat, add vegetables in order of recipe. Cover and steam veggies for about 10 minutes. Add the pepper flakes, tomato paste, beans and water or broth. Lower heat, simmer for 1 hour.

Makes about 10 hearty servings.

To serve: toast crusty peasant bread, drizzle with olive oil. Place toast in soup bowl, ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired. Garlic Bread or Garlic Sticks could also served on the side.

TIP : This soup is a good keeper.The second day the soup is even better! Also freezes well.

VARIATION: Add 8 oz cooked spicy Italian sausage for a flavor treat.

Linda Purcell’s Spicy Unfries and Chipotle Aioli Dip

Linda Purcell demonstrates prepare her Unfries and Spicy Chipotle Aioli from Veggie Outlaws Most Wanted Vegetarian Recipes
Cooking with Linda Purcell and Bonnie Dixon

Linda Purcell shared her Vegetarian Unfries and Spicy Chipotle Aioli from her Veggie Outlaws Most Wanted Vegetarian Recipes.

Unfries Recipe

These fries are crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. The trick is to soak the cut fries in hot water for 10 minutes before baking. They are spicy – or not, because you can make them as hot or as mild as you like. They are lower in fat, and healthier because they are baked and not fried, so you can enjoy them without feeling guilty.

Linda Purcell

Here is a video of the preparation. There is a lot of discussion about cooking beyond the preparation, so there is a lot to learn in the clip.

Linda and Bonnie talk while preparing the Unfries


  • 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled, and cut longwise into even strips (about 4 cups)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 ⅓ tbsp grapeseed oil, divided into 2 tbsp and ⅓ tsp (from an oil dispenser)
  • ¼ tsp Spike or Old Bay seasoning (if using Old Bay you may want to add an additional ¼ tsp sea salt)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ – 2 tsp chili powder


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Peel and cut 4 medium russet potatoes lenthwise into long slices about ¼” thick, and then slice again so each long slice is also ¼” deep (AKA fry shape).
  3. Place slices in a narrow dish, sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt, and cover with 1 cup boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes. This will allow the fries to be crunchy on the outside but soft and creamy on the inside.
  4. Drain potatoes, pat dry with paper towels, and place in a dry dish. Add in 2 tbsp grapeseed oil and sprinkle with ¼ tsp Spike, ¼ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ – 2 tsp chili powder (vary amount depending on how spicy you like your fries) and toss potatoes to evenly coat them in oil and spices.
  5. Spray a baking dish with grapeseed oil from an oil dispenser. Evenly spread out the potatoes onto the baking sheet in a thin, single layer. For a crisper fry, leave space between each.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes. Check fries, at the half way point, and turn them with a spatula. Continue baking until golden.
  7. Serve immediately with Chipolte Aioli.

This recipe is high in vitamin C, and has some vitamin A, calcium, and iron.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 cups

Spicy Chipotle Aioli Dipping Sauce

The Spicy Chipotle Aioli makes a great dip for the Unfries.

This is a yummy aioli (a fancy way of saying vegan mayonnaise) and can be used in burgers, on sandwiches, or as a dip. We love to pair Chipolte Aioli with our Spicy, Chili Unfries. This is a quick, easy recipe to make, but it goes fast. We recommend doubling or tripling the recipe, and if you have any left over, you can store it in the fridge for up to a week. It also freezes well.

Linda Purcell
Make a tasty Chipotle Aioli dip


  • ½ cup cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours)
  • 2 tbsp cashew milk (or combination of oat, cashew, and coconut milk)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chipotle pepper, chopped (from canned in adobe sauce with seeds removed) (for a milder flavour you can use 1 tsp powdered chipotle pepper 
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 roasted garlic cloves (you could use instead 1 – ½ tsp minced garlic)


  1. Prepare roasted garlic (It is handy to prepare in advance – but if you do not have time, you can replace with 1 – ½ tsp minced garlic)
  2. Soak ½ cup cashews in water for at least four hours. Make sure to drain, rinse, and resoak several times to ensure the water remains clear. (We find the water often becomes quite black between rinses)
  3. Mix together in a food processor or blender, soaked cashews (they will have expanded a bit, but that is okay), 2 tbsp cashew milk (or combination of oat, cashew, and coconut milk), 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 chopped chipotle pepper (from canned in adobe sauce with seeds removed), 3 tbsp fresh lime juice, ½ tsp sea salt, and 3 roasted garlic cloves.
  4. Process until smooth and creamy. If the aioli is too thick, add more milk – 1 tbsp at a time to ensure it does not become too runny, and process until it reaches it desired texture.
  5. Serve as a dipping sauce for fries or use as a condiment on burgers or sandwiches.

This recipe is high in Vitamin C, and has some Vitamin A, Calcium, and Iron.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes: ½ cup

Stay Tuned!

We will let you know when Linda’s Veggie Outlaws Most Wanted Vegetarian Recipes Cookbook is available.

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Best Cornbread Recipe EVER!

Recipe book

My Sister Bridget has made this recipe for 25 +years.

She uses a 13×9 inch baking pan. Bridget says “don’t overbake !”

She always gets raves and requests for the recipe.

Albers Cornbread

5 Min Prep Time
25 Min Cook Time
30 Min Total Time

Serves 6


1 cup Albers® White or Yellow Corn Meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten


PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.

COMBINE meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Combine milk, oil and egg in small bowl; mix well. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Pour into prepared pan.

BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

NOTE Recipe may be doubled. Use greased 13×9-inch baking pan; bake as above.

For Muffins

  • SPOON batter into 10 to 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.
  • Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 15 minutes.

See: albers® corn meal & grits http://alberscorn.com/


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Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

The heart of most Southern meals is often fried chicken.

Recipe Source

By ImmaculateBites with some additional notes from Bonnie Dixon.

This is a classic Southern chicken recipe that is crunchy and crusty on the outside and juicy and flavorful on the inside.

A fantastic addition to your chicken recipe collection!


1 whole chicken cut into 10 pieces
1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons salt adjust to preference
½ -1 tablespoon Frank’s hot sauce
3-4 garlic crushed
2-3 teaspoons creole seasoning
Chicken Coating
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
2 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1- 1 1/2 tablespoon dried herbs Thyme, Oregano, Parsley
4 cups buttermilk


  1. Place chicken in a large bowl or Large ziploc. Then seasoned with salt followed by all the crushed garlic, hot sauce and creole seasoning.
  2. Pour buttermilk in the marinated chicken, transfer the chicken to a gallon-sized zipper-lock freezer bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, herbs and white pepper.
  4. Remove all the marinated chicken from the buttermilk. Then dredge in flour mixture, shaking any excess flour. You may use a Ziploc bag for this process, too.
  5. Double dip the chicken in the remaining buttermilk (add fresh buttermilk as needed) followed by the flour mixture – shake off any excess flour. Let the chicken rest for about 10-15 minutes while preparing oil. This will help the coating to stay on better.

Frying the Chicken

  1. Heat oil in a deep fryer or cast iron skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Temperature will drop once you add chicken.
  2. Using a tong and carefully and slowly place the chicken in the hot oil. Work in batches. Do not overcrowd the skillet.
  3. Fry the chicken until golden brown, turning once every 10 to 20 minutes – depending on the size of the pieces. Chicken is done when it is no longer pink inside and its juices run clear. You may do a test by piercing the chicken with a fork.
  4. Drain the chicken on paper towels and then transfer them on a wire rack
  5. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces; let it cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Tips & Notes

  • After you flour coat and dip your chicken in buttermilk, let it rest first before frying it. This will allow your chicken to form a crust and warm to room temperature which will help it cook through evenly.
  • When frying, make sure that your oil is at the right preheated temperature. If it’s too hot, the outside of your chicken will get burned, if it’s cold, the chicken will get soggy and greasy. Use a deep fryer thermometer.
  • Do not ever use extra virgin olive oil on fried chicken as it’ll result to a bitter-tasting meat. Go for a neutral-tasting oil like canola, vegetable or, most preferably, peanut oil.
  • Do not over crowd your pan with chicken as this will lower down the oil’s temperature and hasten up the cooking time. Do it in small batches instead.
  • Cast iron pan is a must for a perfectly cooked fried chicken as it holds the temperature well and heat evenly which also results to a perfectly cooked chicken.
  • Rather than deep frying or submerging your chicken entirely into the pan or deep fryer, only 3/4 of the chicken should be covered in hot oil. The weight of the chicken will cause it to sit just almost above the surface of the oil which will create a crispy crust without burning.
  • Don’t let anything fried sit on a paper towel too long as it’ll start to steam and make it soggy. Instead, drain your chicken using a wire rack over a baking sheet. They’ll cool crisp and dry off all at once easily


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Southern Hush Puppies Recipe

Hush Puppies are a deep-fried savory ball made with a corn-meal batter.  Hush Puppies are often served with seafood in the South.

Recipe courtesy of Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by
Nathalie Dupree & Cynthia Graubart

Serves 6


2 cups cornmeal
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
vegetable oil or shortening for frying


  1. In a large bowl, sift together, cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  2. Stir in the onions, buttermilk and egg until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Heat the oil to 375˚F and drop the batter by spoonful’s (about 2 teaspoons each) into hot oil.
  4. Fry until golden brown.
  5. Move to a plate lined with paper towels and serve hot.
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Boardinghouse Home Cooking at the Wilkes House, Savannah

Enjoy a touch of Southern hospitality at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room in Savannah, Georgia.

The Wilkes House in Savannah Georgia
The Wilkes House in Savannah Georgia

Lunch is served boardinghouse style with many dishes passed around the table.  We shared a table with a group from Ontario, Canada and the granddaughter of the original Mrs. Wilkes.

Southern dishes passed around the table
Pass the Hush Puppies Please!

Southern Dishes

Bonnie Dixon

We ate far too much of the southern comfort food. 

You pass bowls and plates around to others at the table as you would in a large family or boarding house.

Most or all of the following is available according to season:

  • Fried Chicken
  • Sausage
  • Beef Stew
  • Meat Loaf
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Bisquits & Gravy
  • Black-Eyed Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Snap Peas
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Butter Beans
  • Black-eyed Peas
  • Rutabega
  • Squash
  • Rice & Gravy
  • Candied Yams
  • Pickled Beets
  • Red Rice
  • Collard Greens
  • Okra & Tomatoes
  • Brown Rice
  • Potato Salad
  • Apple Salad
  • Macaroni Salad
  • English Peas & Noodles
  • Baked Beans
  • Cole Slaw
  • Cornbread

Follow the links for recipes as we add them.


Sema Wilkes took over the boardinghouse in 1943.  Six bachelors rented rooms upstairs and came down for meals.

Wilkes Family History

When asked how long the bachelors stayed, Marcia Thompson, the granddaugher of Sema Wilkes offered:

They stayed until they died. A nice room and three meals a day in downtown Savannah. Why would you ever leave?

Greg Dixon, Marcia Thompson, and Bonnie McDonald Dixon
Greg and Bonnie with Marcia Thompson

Stay at the Wilkes House

You can still stay at the Wilkes House and other properties managed by the family.


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