Staff Review: Smoothie Mix Micro Greens

Scarecrow (2)

Reviewer:  Pamela Denholm

Micro greens have the reputation of being a wonder  food. They are potent, offer as much as 100 times more beneficial enzymes in than in regular veggies, contain 10 times the anti-oxidants, and are rich in minerals and vitamins that are easy for us to absorb. Essentially, sprouts and shoots contain everything needed for (new) life.

Micro greens from 2 Friends Farm look so fresh and green and vibrant, I was dying to try them and eventually settled on the Smoothie Mix to bring home last week. The same last week of Friday the 13th, and a full moon.

I have to say, right off the bat, that the smoothie portion is generous. If you are adding a handful of micro greens to your smoothie each morning, the clam shell they offer will last about a week. And although it is the ‘smoothie mix’ – it looked like such a nice blend of different micro greens I decided to try a couple different things with it:

  1. Sandwich – I put the micro greens  on a wrap, with cucumber, cottage cheese, grated carrot, and green beans.
  2. Salad – I didn’t have salad greens so added grape tomatoes, cucumber, left over roast chicken, and a drizzle of olive oil to a handful of micro greens for lunch
  3. Smoothie – an orange (peeled), frozen banana, micro greens, and 1 inch peeled ginger

Of course, as I eluded, it was Friday the 13th, the moon was a full, brightly lit round orb. ‘The Wolf Moon’ no less. And guess what? My Vitamix gave up the ghost. That is, it kicked the bucket and went to blender heaven. What the heck!?!  I was committed (to doing this, not to an institution) so after a couple minutes of mild panic and dismay at my recent loss, I threw all the ingredients in my regular blender which made it a little lumpier than usual, but still very enjoyable.

img_4457I really enjoy smoothies, but I am fussy about the flavors. I don’t like it when they taste too ‘grassy’, which can sometimes happen with greens. And I don’t love it when they taste like peas either, which is why I tend not to use pea shoots in smoothies – it is a difficult flavor to mask. But these micro greens which are a blend of pea shoots, baby kale, and other micro greens, were just perfect and not at all overpowering. My smoothie may not have been very ‘smooth’ (RIP Vitamix), but it did go down well and I am eager to make it a morning ritual because it is a no fuss way to get those nutrient dense greens in! They were equally enjoyable in the salad and on the wrap – no need to limit yourself just because the label says ‘smoothie’.

Now I’m off to get on to Vitamix to see if we can do an emergency air-lift. Cross fingers that a full recovery is possible, otherwise I’ll be back on Craigslist hoping somebody’s  New Year’s resolutions dissolved into a ‘Vitamix for sale’ post.

About 2 Friends Farm:

Two friends, who share passion for fresh young greens, sprouted the seed of an idea into a busy, indoor farm growing organic microgreens and wheatgrass  in rich, fertile soil year-round!

“We are organic farmers, consciously growing fresh, beautiful microgreens and wheatgrass, promoting a lifetime of health for your family and ours,” say Ashley and John, Founding Friends.

About Pam:

I believe the healthiest thing for you, is a healthy relationship with food. I enjoy cooking and trying all sorts of things, and have a kitchen full of life that needs sustaining from scoby’s to yeasty bread starters. It is a real treat to have good quality micro greens in my kitchen too, without having to add a tray of young sprouts that would also require maintenance and care.

Close up of female hand holding glass of red wine. Woman is standing near table with vegetables in kitchen

Don’t make this recipe, it’s awful.

Scarecrow (2)

By Pamela Denholm

I am not afraid. In the kitchen, my philosophy is: just cook it! This makes my husband a little afraid, and my kids sometimes terrified. But I ignore them, blissfully, and turn the music up while I crush garlic. My efforts are broadly successful, blog-worthy even. And then, there are those other times . . .

It all started with the buttermilk. I had made a successful batch of buttermilk rusks – a farmhouse style of biscotti. I wanted to use up the leftover buttermilk before it turned and found this recipe for Buttermilk Ranch Potato & Turnip Gratin. I had at least 2lbs of scarlet turnips in the fridge. And instead of the ranch, some shallots, garlic, Parmesan, and fresh thyme would be a noble buttermilk pairing. Oh, but no potatoes! No problem. Just the turnips would do.

I whipped out the Mandolin, put all the ingredients in the baking dish, padded out to the garden for some fresh thyme, yum! Covered it up and into the oven it went. I was so gosh darn proud of myself for being creative and making something delicious out of things I had in the fridge, I phoned my husband to brag. In hindsight, this was a mistake. If you are married, you’ll know what I mean.

What came out of the oven an hour and a half later was not pretty. The buttermilk had separated and curdled. The pink skin of the turnips had turned the clear runny separated buttermilk pink too. The pale fleshed turnips were swimming in a clear pink soup, with a generous sprinkling of curdled sour cottage cheese lumps. NOT photograph worthy. Sorry. It reminded me of my home economics class in high school, when my teacher had to taste my luminous pink coconut ice cookies by drinking them out of a glass in order to assign a grade. Pink is the color of failure in my kitchen, it seems.

I could not get my family to eat it. I ate it, just to prove my constitution is just as strong (and stubborn) as my (inflated) sense of pride. Besides, my husband had remembered my braggart call from earlier and was having a field day ordering pizza, sans turnips, and I was damned if I was going to have any.

About Pamela:

There was a mutiny. Pamela ‘Queen of the Turnips’ was dethroned. Stripped of her title but not defeated, she resigned herself to the kitchen to hatch a new plan to rule the veggie kingdom. Perhaps this time, as Queen of the Beet. She turned the music up, and destroyed all evidence of her demise. She shall rise to cook again!


The Pizza Pickle

B - Michael

By Michael Borghesani

I recently made a trip up to Vermont with two of my close friends. While there, we visited a flatbread pizzeria in Waitsfield, American Flatbread. It is housed in a converted old barn, and much of their offerings are farm fresh. They have become so popular that you have to make reservations in person for that evening during the afternoon to be served that evening  (no walk ins).

If you visit the area, put this little local gem on your priority list. Between the specially selected Vermont craft beers (which are all excellent), and clay ovens from past times that conjure pizza’s from another dimension, its a winning combination covered in cheesy goodness.

The special of the night was banh mi pizza. All the veggies on it were pickled first, and I was unsure I would enjoy it, but it was one of the best pizza’s I have ever had. So, naturally, I came home and tried to recreate the masterpiece for friends and family. A heads up, this is a weird and spicy pizza, depending on the ratio of pickled veggies to plain pizza you got going on. If you go in with an open mind, however, you won’t be sorry.


Wholewheat pizza dough, cut in half (bread dough works fine too, in a pinch)

8oz Poblano Tomato Sauce

8oz Mozzarella Cheese

6oz Foxpoint Spiced Dill Pickles

6oz Pickled Carrots

1 Chopped Onion

Cornmeal for the bottom

Olive oil (I have a bottle of olive oil that I added pepper flakes to, and allowed it to sit. I use it frequently when cooking, it adds a smokey flavor and a little heat)

Making the Pizza

Turn oven on to 350 degrees.

Open bag of dough, divide, and let sit for a bit.

Sprinkle cornmeal on baking sheet, and knead out dough to rough shape your flatbread. Add more cornmeal as you need under the pizza to prevent from sticking.

Drizzle a little olive oil, then spread with sauce.

Cut up and sprinkle pickles of choice over flatbread, I did gherkins and carrots.

Cut mozzarella cheese into chunks, distribute over the top evenly.

Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes until cheese has melted and the pizza crust is golden brown.


Remove, rest, slice, enjoy.

About Michael:

Our young and always hungry Padawan – Michael is a valuable ally if you want to try a new restaurant, or a new dish. We think having an adventurous appetite says good things about a person. Breakfast is his favorite meal of the day.




October Cooking Challenge: Week 2, Meal 1 – Italian Steak and Egg with Hash

I often think ‘things will quiet down after this week’ – but they never seem to. Crazy is the new normal. My mom often comments that the pace at which we fly through our days is sheer lunacy, and she doesn’t know how we do it. I agree with her, it’s wacky. I don’t know how we do it either, and I don’t quite know how to slow the speeding bullet train.

I have to say doing this challenge and planning out our meals has actually been an ENORMOUS help. Much more than I realized. I think about it once, up front, make a list, and then I am done. I don’t think about it again. No more ‘what’s for dinner’ scrambles. So, if nobody gets anything out of this experience other than me planning my menu, I’ll still be very glad I did this challenge!

Steak, egg, and home made fries are a nostalgic dinner choice for me. My mom used to make it once a week, more or less, and we would eat it in front of the TV watching the A-Team or MacGuyver. This recipe is an elevated, healthier version of my nostalgic classic, but it really made me want to watch old A-Team re-runs  to round out the experience!


img_40021.2lb sirloin tip steak (excellent choice)

1 bunch kale

2 green peppers

8oz crimini mushrooms

2lbs sweet potatoes

3 cloves garlic

paprika or cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil



Step 1 – Prepare Steak & Vegetables (10 minutimg_4005es)

Remove the steak, pat with paper towel to remove excess moisture, season with salt and pepper

Remove stems from kale, and chop into 1/2-inch ribbons

Peel and dice sweet potatoes

Core and dice green peppers

Slice mushrooms

Peel and mince garlic




Step 2 – Make Hash (10-15 minutes)

img_4007In a large pan add a little olive oil and saute the garlic on medium-high heat

Add the green peppers and sweet potato and stir

Continue to stir occasionally until sweet potato softens







Step 3 – Cook Steak (20 minutes)

img_4006Heat oven to 400 degrees

In a large pan, heat a little coconut oil over medium-high heat

Add your seasoned steak to sear it, about 3 minutes until it is nice and brown

Turn steak and cool for another 3 minutes

Remove steak from stove, place on baking sheet, cover with a tinfoil tent and pop it in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Tip: The steak was large and quite a thick cut, I find roasting steaks to finish them keeps them tender and gives them great flavor.

Step 4 – Finish the Hash (5 minutes)

img_4008Add mushrooms and kale to the hash, stir occasionally

Season with cayenne pepper or paprika to taste

Step 5 – Fry the eggs (4 minutes)

Give the large frying pan that the steak was in a quick wipe (I have ceramic coated non-stick)

Add a little coconut oil, and fry four eggs to order



Step 6 – Plating the meal

img_4010Remove steak from oven, slice into strips

Spoon two generous servings of the kale and sweet potato hash onto the plate

Add a few strips of steak

Top with fried egg


(This was my husbands plate, he likes his steak and his eggs well done. I like my steak medium and my yolks runny. It is easy to remove the steak part way through cooking and slice a piece of it off, and put the rest back if you so desire. Eggs can be fried to order).


Quick Analysis

Assessment: My husband praised my efforts! Okay, he is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so it figures. But it really was delicious, one of the best meals I have cooked this challenge.

Total time: approx 45 minutes

Mess factor: this was a messier  undertaking. I don’t know what it was, I only used two pans and a baking sheet, but my husband cleared the plates and commented on the explosion of chaos in the kitchen. It didn’t take long to clean up though.

Waste: a BPA free bag, and the bag the steak came in. About a pint of vegetable scraps for a veggie stock at the end of the week, egg shells for the compost heap.

What’s Left Over for the Week?

1.5lb green tomatoes (on my windowsill ripening)

2 acorn squash

4oz green peppers

1lb green beans

1 bunch red beets

1 bunch yellow carrots

1 head lettuce

1 bunch scallions

From the South Shore Organics Local Market

8oz ginger

1lb limes

1bu cilantro

1bu basil

8oz feta

2 eggs

From the Fish Market/Store

12oz shrimp

32oz organic long grain white rice


Week 1 Summary & Meal Kit Comparison

For the October Cooking Challenge, we wanted to do a comparison between what we offer, and the meal kit companies out there. We are all busy, my household is no exception, and we need help! So I laid out some ground rules, and got to work. Looking for recipes and planning out my basket, then making a shopping list literally took me around 45 minutes. Here are the recipes I made:

Meal 1 – Sweet Potato and Chard Calzones, with a salad

Meal 2 – Tandoori Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Green Beans

BONUS Meal – Vegetable Lo Mein

BONUS Meal – Vegetable Lo Mein Lettuce Wraps (the other option was a soup)

BONUS – Veggie Stock

What was left over from my delivery?

4oz of Atwells Gold Cheese (saving for a quiche)

1 bulb of Garlic (will keep)


Value Comparison




Let’s Be Honest. How Much Time Did it Take?

It took me about 45 minutes to take the list of basket contents, and formulate a plan with recipes, and I looked online to make sure my ‘add-ons’ were within budget.

The few extra items I needed from the store, I got when I was going for something else.

In other words, I did not feel like it was a massive time investment. What took the most amount of time this week (and was the most fun), was photographing my food!


The food was good. Not cordon-bleu-five-star-dining good, but tasty and satisfying.

Breaking down the delivery into meals at the beginning of the week, choosing recipes, and sourcing the extras, was very, very helpful. Usually I just wing it. I am versatile enough of a cook to get away with it. But the ‘what’s for dinner tonight’ scramble is no fun whether you are versatile or not, and I found that I had a much better handle on our meals. It was nice not to scramble. And I spent less money.

Check in tomorrow for this week’s plan.


FREE with each delivery – just add water!

I saved all the vegetable trimmings from my box as I went along this week, including the lettuce heart. I put them in a tub in the fridge. At the end of the week, I filled a big stock pot  almost to the brim with these scraps, and made a beautiful, rich, flavorful vegetable stock.


img_3908Noodle water (left over from lo mein noodles) – but not essential to making stock, you can just use plain water

Chickpea juice (drained from can of chickpeas) – but not essential to making stock, you can just use plain water

Vegetable scraps and trimmings (stems, skins, seeds, leaves – all of it!)

4-6qts water (depends on scrap quantity – but it’s okay to eyeball it)





Step 1 – Fill the pot & cook

img_3911In a large 12qt stock pot add noodle water, chickpea juice, and scraps

Add water

Bring pot contents to rolling boil over low to medium heat, and allow to simmer in the background for about 1 1/2 hours







Step 2 – Cool and strain

Once done, remove from heat and allow to cool

Strain through a cheesecloth lined colander

Fill jars (not to the top) and seal for the freezer



This veggie stock can be used as a base for soups and stews, you can use it to cook rice, pilafs, or in any recipe that requires the use of stock to add flavor.



October Cooking Challenge: Week 1, Meal 4 – Lo Mein Lettuce Wraps

Week one of the challenge drew to a close with a very busy night. I was very thankful I had the foresight to cook the remaining vegetables into a double serving of Vegetable Lo Mein – a decision that ‘served’ me well – ha ha! If I’d had more time, I would have turned the leftovers into a veggie noodle soup, using the veggie scraps from the week to make a veggie stock base. But I didn’t have the time.  So here’s what I did!



left over Vegetable Lo Mein

1/2 a green leaf lettuce

salt and pepper to taste


Tip: I received this lettuce a week ago, but it is still fresh and crisp thanks to how it was stored. If you wrap your greens in a damp cotton towel (I had it in an organic cotton vejibag, made in Maine) in the crisper drawer of your fridge, they will keep for 10 days to 2 weeks with ease.



Step 1 – Prepare Vegetables (2 minutes)

img_3914Trim the lettuce and wash well

Pat the lettuce dry with a clean dry cotton towel (or paper towel)








Step 2 – ASSEMBLE WRAPS (10 minutes)

img_3915Lay the lettuce leaf out, stem side closest to you.

Spoon two to three heaped tablespoons of cold Lo Mein near the base.

Tuck the base of the leaf over the Lo Mein and roll tightly towards the top of the leaf.

As the you near the top of the leaf, it widens, and you can fold the sides over the top to contain the wrap and prevent spillage.

I made ten wraps from the leftovers.

Tip: You could also use rice paper to wrap both the lettuce and the Lo Mein

Step 3 – Plating the Food (2 minutes)

img_3916Put two-to-three wraps on a plate.

Add a dipping bowl of soy sauce for flavor.








Quick Analysis

Assessment: This was quick and easy and filling. Was it the most ground-breaking meal I have had? No. But it was enjoyable, and it was healthy. I’d make it again.

Total time: under 15 minutes

Mess factor: virtually none

Waste: None

What’s Left Over for the Week?

4oz Atwells Gold cheese from Narragansett Creamery – which I am saving for a quiche.


October Cooking Challenge: Week 1, Meal 3 – Vegetable Lo Mein

When reviewing what I had left in my fridge, I was fast forwarding to Thursday night. Thursday night in our house is brutal, I have a class to attend at 7:00pm, Ryan has swimming from 6:30-7:30pm, and April has equestrian drill team practice and usually only gets home at 7-7:30. It all converges. Plus, it is a South Shore Organics delivery day, or, as we in the biz like to call it: Anything Can (And Probably Will) Happen Thursday. Eek! So in deciding whether or not to divide what I had left into two meals or just cook it all, I opted to cook it all.

This recipe offers up A LOT of food. Enough for two meals. So my plan is to put half in the fridge, and use the left overs to make veggie noodle soup, or make low mein lettuce wraps.


1lb sweet potato

1 bunch brussels sprout greens

1 bunch radishes

10oz low mein noodles

1 can chickpeas

2 sweet peppers

4 ears corn

half a lemon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

5 cloves of garlic

4 tablespoons coconut oil

6 tablespoons of soy sauce

1/2 a bunch of chopped cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

Cooks Note: I was so, so tempted to add a spoon of peanut butter at the end, I didn’t. Because I wanted to stick to the rules. I also wanted to add some fresh ginger, which I regretted not working into my budget, but the ground ginger I had in my cupboard did a really good job and after tasting it, I didn’t miss either the fresh ginger, or the peanut butter.

Step 1 – Prepare Vegetables (10 minutes)

img_3898shred the brussels sprouts leaves

cut sweet potato into stripes

cut peppers into strips

open and drain chick peas (save liquid)

cut up radishes

peel corn and cut kernels off cob

mince garlic

derobe the noodles

Step 2 – Stir Fry (10 minutes)

img_3900In a large wok or frying pan, heat all of the oil. I use coconut oil for stir fry’s because it is better than olive oil at the high heat you need to cook hot and fast.

Add garlic and peppers. I add peppers early on because my family don’t love them, and the longer the cook, the more they caramelize, the more my family likes them 😉

Add sweet potato, stir.

Add chickpeas and radishes, stir.

Add corn.

Add brussels sprout leaves, stir.

Keep stirring to make sure nothing chars, and all the veggies are well   blended.

Turn the heat way down.

Step 3 – Cook Noodles (5 minutes)

img_3901In a large pan, at least 5 quarts, cook lo mein noodles according to the instructions on the package. In my case, that meant adding them to boiling water and cooking for four minutes without salt or oil.

Drain noodles, save liquid.







Step 4 – Assembling Lo Mein (5 minutes)

img_3902Turn the heat in the pan way up.

Add the noodles.

Add the soy sauce.

Add the ground ginger.

Stir aggressively (?) enthusiastically (?) with vigor! Until well blended.

Throw cilantro on top.

Stir some more – I used a strong hard wood spatula.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste.



Step 6 – Plating The Food (2 minutes)

img_3904Divide in half.

Dish up one half into four bowls, and squeeze lemon over the top. Leave the other half to cool down so that it can go in the fridge for dinner tomorrow night.








Quick Analysis

Assessment: I loved this meal, it was simple and satisfying. Although my temptation was to be more heavy handed with condiments and flavorings, it was a good reminder that simple is often best, and you don’t need highfalutin sauces and add-ons to make a good, tasty, healthy meal. It was comfort food too, I ate it on the couch with the kids.

Oh, and also, spicy radishes are truly tamed with heat. Heat sedates them. They become turnips.

Total time: 30 minutes

Mess factor: one large electric frying pan, and a pan for the noodles (and again, lots of bowls. Although, I have to say, that taking a few minutes at the beginning to peel, slice, and dice, is actually starting to work for me. It makes the rest of the process really quick and easy, so I am finding cooking less stressful.)

  img_3907Waste: I saved the noodle water and chickpea juice for the stock. .

I composted the corn husks.

I saved the elastic bands for future use.

I saved the corn cobs, radish greens, pepper ends, radish ends, sweet potato peels, stems from the brussels sprout greens, and paper garlic peels for vegetable stock.

The chickpea can will be recycled, as will the bag the noodle came in.

I threw the left over lemon in a quart of water for the next days’ consumption.


 What’s Left Over for the Week?

4 servings of Vegetable Lo Mein

1 spaghetti squash

4 ears corn

1 bunch radishes

2lb sweet potatoes  1lb sweet potatoes

1 bunch brussel sprout leaves

1lb sweet peppers 2 sweet peppers

1lb green beans

1 fennel bulb

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes

1 green leaf lettuce 1/2 a green leaf lettuce

1 bunch swiss chard

1.2lb chicken thighs from Feather Brook Farm

8oz Atwells Gold cheese from Narragansett Creamery 4oz cheese

16oz pasta sauce from Poblano Farms

1 lemon 1/2 a lemon

8oz of garlic 6oz garlic

1 bunch of cilantro 1/2 bunch cilantro

1lb pizza dough

1 can organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

10oz GMO-free lo mein egg noodles

1 can organic coconut milk


October Cooking Challenge: Week 1, Meal 2 – Tandoori Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Green Beans

I am a little-of-this-little-of-that kind of cook. So far, the hardest thing about this challenge for me is that I have to restrain myself from reaching into my pantry cupboard. Sticking to the recipe takes discipline. Restraint and discipline are two qualities I severely lack when it comes to food.

This recipe requires a little more engagement than the calzones, which surprised me. But it combines some absolute winners: curry, coconut milk, fennel, and cilantro.


4 chicken thighs

1 spaghetti squash

1lb green beans

1 fennel bulb

1 can coconut milk

5 small or 3 large cloves of garlic

2 teaspoons of curry powder

1/2 bunch cilantro

3 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to season

Optional: 1/3 cup chopped tomatoes or pasta sauce (I added this in, because I found one of my kids hadn’t eaten theirs with the calzones the night before, so I covered it, put it in the fridge, and added it to the chicken. It is not essential to the recipe, but waste nothing, remember?

Step 1 – Prepare Vegetables (10 minutes)

img_3885Before you begin, preheat oven to 400 degrees

half spaghetti squash and remove seeds

top and tail the beans

chop the fennel

mince the garlic

chop the cilantro

open the can of milk

Tip: here’s a great instructional video for how to prepare fennel

Step 2 – Bake Squash (2 minutes)

img_3887In a baking sheet, add 2 cups of water

Lay the squash open sides down in the water

Pop into the pre-heated oven to cook (roughly 30 minutes)

Step 3 – Sauté (15 minutes)

img_3889Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pan over medium heat, you will need a pan with a lid, so I used a saucepan

Add garlic and fennel, and sauté for five minutes

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper

Add chicken thighs to the pan and brown on both sides

Step 4 – Chicken Curry (15 minutes)

img_3890Add the coconut milk, curry seasoning, and optional tomato/pasta sauce to the chicken

Cover and let simmer

Tip: read the ingredients on your curry powder when you buy it, a good curry powder will have just a few essential ingredients, like coriander, and turmeric. I prefer to get one without ground chili, because I can add that myself and control the heat depending on who I am cooking for.

Step 4 – Green Beans (10 minutes)

img_3891In a small pan, bring 3 cups of water to a rolling boil over medium heat

Add a little salt

Add green beans

Cover and allow to simmer

Step 5 – Spaghetti Squash (5 minutes)

img_3892Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven

Carefully, using oven gloves, flip the squash over

Using a fork, pull the spaghetti strings away from the shell.

Step 6 – Plating The Food (2 minutes)

img_3894Remove chicken from heat and allow to rest for a few minutes

Remove the green beans from heat, drain, and set aside

Each plate gets a generous serving of spaghetti squash, a chicken thigh, and a quarter pound of green beans

Garnish generously with chopped cilantro

Quick Analysis

Assessment: This meal was so delicious and satisfying, we all cleaned our plates except for my daughter who wasn’t feeling well and went to bed early. I brought hers into work today for lunch and it was even better today than it was last night. Creamy without being too rich, and full of flavor.

Total time: 60 minutes

Mess factor: one large pan, a baking sheet, and a small pan for the beans (and again, lots of bowls if you are photographing the process. I have a collection of little pottery dipping bowls that are getting excellent mileage).

img_3895Waste: I saved the fennel fronds, garlic peels, spaghetti squash seeds and skins, cilantro stems, and bean tips for our veggie stock.

There was nothing to compost.

I put the tie from the cilantro in my kitchen drawer for reuse.

The plastic bag the beans came in (which could also have been wiped down and re-used – it’s bpa free,) was recycled. As was the cryovac chicken bag which I rinsed, along with the can.

What’s Left Over for the Week?

1 spaghetti squash

4 ears corn

1 bunch radishes

2lb sweet potatoes  1lb sweet potatoes

1 bunch brussel sprout leaves

1lb sweet peppers 2 sweet peppers

1lb green beans

1 fennel bulb

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes

1 green leaf lettuce 1/2 a green leaf lettuce

1 bunch swiss chard

1.2lb chicken thighs from Feather Brook Farm

8oz Atwells Gold cheese from Narragansett Creamery 4oz cheese

16oz pasta sauce from Poblano Farms

1 lemon 1/2 a lemon

8oz of garlic 6oz garlic

1 bunch of cilantro 1/2 bunch cilantro

1lb pizza dough

1 can organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

10oz GMO-free lo mein egg noodles

1 can organic coconut milk


OCTOBER COOKING CHALLENGE : Week 1, Meal 1 – Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard Calzones

These are easier than you think, and quite delicious! I decided to do the calzones first because I didn’t want to keep the pizza dough too long. This recipe uses a bunch of the greens, and it is a good idea to prioritise use of greens first.

I asked my driver to deliver my order to my home on Friday, and I brought it inside later in the day when I got home. I did this because I wanted ‘the customer experience’. These greens have been sitting in my fridge since Friday. One of the reasons they keep their freshness is because they are stored in Vejibags. Greens in plastic bags never work, but wrapped in soft, organic, wet cotton toweling they will keep for at least ten days.


1lb sweet potatoes

1 bunch swiss chard

1 head lettuce

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes

1 lemon

1 green pepper

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1lb pizza dough

4oz Atwells Gold cheese

8oz Poblano Farm pasta sauce

4 tablespoons olive oil

Step 1 – Prepare Vegetables (10 minutes)



Before you begin, preheat oven to 475 degrees


Peel and dice sweet potatoes

De-stem and chop up chard

Slice cherry tomatoes in half

Shred lettuce by hand

Cut half a lemon into wedges

Mince garlic

Core and dice pepper

Dice cheese

Step 2 – Sauté (15 minutes)



Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan over medium heat

Add sweet potato and garlic, sauté for ten minutes

Add swiss chard, keep over heat until wilted

Add 1/5 the jar of pasta sauce and remove from heat






Step 3 – Assemble Calzones (10 minutes)



Dust flat surface with flour, divide dough into four balls

Roll ball out flat until it is about the size of a side plate

Dust baking sheet with flour, lay out flat dough

Spoon sweet potato and chard onto one side, add blocks of diced cheese

Fold over, and press edges closed with a fork

Tip: I assembled these on the baking sheet so that I wouldn’t have to move them once assembled because they are soft

Step 4 – Bake Calzones, Assemble Salad (18 minutes)


Bake calzones in heated oven for 16 to 18 minutes

Add tomatoes and green peppers to lettuce (I had some left over cheese, so added that as well)

For the dressing, mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil with juice from lemon wedges and season with salt and pepper

I had enough time to clean up, stack the dishwasher and wipe down the counters once the salad was made so the kitchen was clean before plating the food



Step 5 – Plating The Food (2 minutes)



Four plates – each get their own calzone and dressed salad

Divide the remaining pasta sauce between the four plates for dipping








Quick Analysis

Assessment: Terrific Meatless Monday meal. It was very filling, everybody cleaned their plate. The dipping sauce was nice to have because the parts of the calzone without filling were very dry. I barely tasted the chard which is a plus if you have fussy kids like me. I loved the salad dressing, but then lemon, olive oil, and pepper are one my go-to favorites.

Total time: 55 minutes

Mess factor: one large pan and a baking sheet (and lots of bowls if you are photographing the process LOL)


Waste: I saved the chard stems, garlic peels, pepper core and stem, and the sweet potato peels for a veggie stock later in the week.

I composted the cardboard pint container, lemon tips, and outer lettuce leaves.

I put the elastics from the chard and the tomatoes in my office drawer to reuse.

Not featured is the glass jar from the pasta sauce – it was in the dishwasher!

It was just the plastic the cheese was wrapped in, and the bag the dough came in that needed to be recycled.

 What’s Left Over for the Week?

1 spaghetti squash

4 ears corn

1 bunch radishes

2lb sweet potatoes  1lb sweet potatoes

1 bunch brussel sprout leaves

1lb sweet peppers 2 sweet peppers

1lb green beans

1 fennel bulb

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes

1 green leaf lettuce 1/2 a green leaf lettuce

1 bunch swiss chard

1.2lb chicken thighs from Feather Brook Farm

8oz Atwells Gold cheese from Narragansett Creamery 4oz cheese

16oz pasta sauce from Poblano Farms

1 lemon 1/2 a lemon

8oz of garlic 6oz garlic

1 bunch of cilantro

1lb pizza dough

1 can organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

10oz GMO-free lo mein egg noodles

1 can organic coconut milk