Menu for the Week of July 18, 2011

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As I type up the meals for the week I’m noticing a few themes:

Local Ingredients, herbs along with sweet broccoli, tender Chinese broccoli and irresistible snow peas from our garden; gorgeous cabbage from the farmer’s market; fresh tomatoes from a local greenhouse.

Asian, a magical word in our house. I swear if I mentioned that word at every meal, every bite would be devoured.

Quinoa, an amazing protein-packed grain. A friend and I were remarking that we’ll never go back to plain pasta.

Sweet Strawberries

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As I write this, I’m sipping a cup of tea and enjoying a strawberry muffin topped with homemade strawberry jam— pure inspiration!

The Beauty of Kale!

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Last year was the first time we grew Kale in our garden. I was beginning to incorporate brassica vegetables in my diet and was learning all about "brassica and cruciferous" veggies. I was blessed with Kale seedlings from an amazing gardner, and so began my love of kale.
This year, we were inspired to interweave the Kale plants amongst the cabbage, swiss chard, and herbs. It looks BEAUTIFUL! With Kale growing ABUNDANTLY in our garden, we are eating lots of different salad combinations. Here is one we’ve enjoyed in the last week.

Menu for the Week of July 11, 2011

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Summer has finally come our way! The recipes this week minimize your time in the kitchen. Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale and Herbs are all seasonal ingredients in our area. Check out what is growing where you live.

Sprouting the Beans Official Kick-off

To officially kick-off the Sprouting the Beans Blog, log-in and leave a comment to qualify for an upcoming give-away. Simply log-in and leave a comment on my blog to qualify for an upcoming give-away. Registering for an account is easy and will provide access to updates as well as menu and grocery list options coming soon. The registration fields are on the top left side of the blog. As an added bonus, every 3 friends you refer (and register), enters you again in the drawing!

The winner can choose one of the following featured within the blog:

Happy Birthday Skoogie!

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I gave a special belated birthday present to Skoogie today. She turned 4 at the end of June— it sounds so grown up! It has become a tradition to cut peonies for Skoogie on her birthday, but this year I had to wait since Mother Nature wasn't ready yet.

Menu for the week of July 4, 2011

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Despite having cooler than average temperatures and LOTS of rain, we are beginning to use things from our garden in our dishes: fresh herbs, lettuce, kale, swiss chard, and fresh broccoli! Yum! The other day one of the neighbor boys came over as our kids were sitting in the garden, munching on broccoli. Pete asked if he wanted some too, he thought and said, "Yeah." Then a few seconds later...."This is sweet!!"

The Sprouts: Indian Meatballs

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A few weeks ago O, out of the blue, announced that we should have Indian Meatballs "while we are in India." I happened to see a recipe for meatballs and mango sauce on the PBS Kitchen Explorers blog a few days later.

We tweaked the recipe a little, using a teaspoon of a blended Indian spice (recipe below) that I had made for a chicken recipe instead of curry, and then added Turmeric Rice and an Indian-inspired Coleslaw.  Pete and I both enjoyed the meal and were fortunate to get the leftovers— both kids were not really into eating that night. More ants in the pants, than anything. Meals like that happen, but we just try again next time.  At least they had a few bites, as we venture down this road we call Sprouting the Beans.

Menu for the week of June 27, 2011

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Dinner and a Movie…we used to watch movies a lot but after having kids that changed.  Originally we thought we’d watch movies at home, but I was so tired with work and kids, that I’d fall asleep within 15 minutes.  Going to a movie was no longer appealing— when we finally do go out, we’d rather just spend time “catching up.”  But we are moving into a different place and thought we’d re-discover a movie now and then.  Gwenyth Paltrow has a new cookbook out, My Father’s Daughter.  This week we are trying a few of her recipes, followed by 2 movies we missed.  Proof came out in the year our son was born, we definitely didn’t see it, and Ironman, for the love of my husband.

The Sprouts: One Grain of Rice

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Our “World Trip” fits perfectly with the national library’s summer reading campaign: One World, Many Stories. As we do every summer, the kids signed up last week and have been busy reading or listening to books ever since! Talk about a reading motivator!!! Stop by your local library and get registered today! One of the books I’ve been asked to read over and over is, One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale.

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