Employee Recipe:  Kerry’s Baked Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 – 2 Peppers of your liking (Italian peppers, bell peppers, or if you like it spicy add a jalapeno as well)
1 Yellow onion
2 Tablespoons of oil (your choice of olive, coconut, butter)
1 Cup of cheddar cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cut the spaghetti squash in half and lay it face down on a baking sheet with a small amount of water in the pan
Bake for 45 minutes
While the spaghetti squash is baking chop the peppers and onions
Combine the oil of your choice, the peppers, and the onion in a pan and cook over medium heat until tender – about 20 minutes
Grate your cheese
When the spaghetti squash is done baking scrape out the inside into a bowl and toss with peppers and onions
Put your mixture of spaghetti squash, peppers, and onions back into the shell of the spaghetti squash and top with cheese
Place it back in the oven can continue to cook about 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted

Employee Recipe: Beef Stew  Great as a meal on its own or add noodles or rice for a heartier dish. Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon of olive oil                                  1 bay leaf                                                           Optional:                                                             2 Tablespoons of cornstarch                            1 (6 oz) can of Cadia tomato paste                      1 (10 oz) bag frozen peas
1 Lb Pineland stew meat                                 2 Cups of Pacific beef broth                            10 oz mushrooms (quartered)
1-2 potatoes (cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces)       1/2 Teaspoon of salt                                        1  Garnet yam (cut into 1 inch pieces)
1-2 carrots (cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces)          1/8 Teaspoon pepper
1 stalk of celery (cut into 1 inch pieces)         1/2 Teaspoon granulated garlic
1 medium onion (chopped)                             1/2 Teaspoon onion powder
1-2 cloves of garlic (minced)                            1 Teaspoon tamari sauce
1/2 Cup water

Directions:
Cut beef into 1 inch pieces and coat with cornstarch
Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté coated meat in the oil for about 10-15 minutes or until browned on all sides.
Remove meat and set aside
Using the same pot, add onions and minced garlic and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring often
Add beef broth or bone broth to the pot to deglaze (scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan), add tomato paste and stir
Add browned beef pieces, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder, tamari, and water to the pot
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 – 1.5 hours or until meat is tender
Add potatoes, yam (if using), carrots, celery, and bay leaf to the pot. Simmer, covered for another 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender (if stew looks too thick you may add 1/2 cup of water)
Finally, if using peas and mushrooms, add and allow to heat through about another 10-15 minutes
Remove bay leaf before serving

Employee Recipe: Emily’s Cheesy Bacon Stuffed Mini Peppers

Ingredients:
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled                       4 ounces of cream cheese
6 sweet mini peppers                                                     1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese + extra for topping
2 tablespoons chopped green onions                           Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a small bowl beat together cream cheese, green onion, garlic powder, bacon, cheddar and Worcestershire sauce with an electric mixer.
Cut the sweet mini peppers in half lengthwise and fill with a heaping tablespoon of filling.  Place on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with additional cheese.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly and peppers have softened.
Allow to cool slightly before serving. Sprinkle with a little chopped cilantro if desired.  Enjoy!! 

Employee Recipe: Cyd’s Detox Salad with Almond Dressing  Serves 4-6

Ingredients for the salad:
1 small (2 pound) head of green cabbage, shredded
3 carrots, shredded
3 scallions, thinly sliced

Ingredients for the dressing:
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon creamy almond butter
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey (optional)

Directions
Combine the shredded cabbage, carrots and scallions together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing.
Drizzle the dressing over the cabbage and mix well to combine.
Serve immediately.

Employee Recipe: Christen’s Enchilada Pie

Ingredients:
Food for Life Sprouted Corn Tortillas
1( 6 oz ) bag Organic Valley Mexican Shredded Cheese
Sky Valley Enchilada Sauce (to taste)
Optional:
-avocado, scallions, tomatoes, & lettuce to serve with
-Field Day organic Sliced Black Olives
-Jeff’s Naturals Sliced Jalapenos
-Organic Valley Organic Sour Cream
-Frontier Mexican Fiesta Seasoning
-Green Mountain Gringo Salsa
-Green Mountain Gringo Tortilla Strips

Directions
Spray/grease pie plate if desired.
Lightly cover bottom with a layer of enchilada sauce.
Place tortillas down to form a single layer.
Depending on pie plate size, you may need to tear apart some tortillas to cover entirely, and some overlapping is okay.
Sprinkle cheese over tortilla layer, just enough to cover with some melting room.
If using olives/jalapenos etc. you can add it to this layer
Cover your layer in more enchilada sauce and repeat process until you run out of tortillas.
Cover the last tortilla layer in sauce and sprinkle lightly with cheese.
Cover with foil (not necessary but ensures that the top layer of tortillas won’t dry out)
Bake for about half an hour, serve with chips and salsa and fresh tomatoes/lettuce sour cream & avocado/guacamole

Employee Recipe: Paul’s Fire Cider Hot Sauce Perfect for wings, stir fry or dipping sauce

Ingredients:
8 oz bottle of Fire Cider
4 ounces of your favorite hot sauce or sriracha sauce
1 stick of butter
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions
In a saucepan heat Fire Cider, hot sauce or sriracha sauce, and butter over medium – low
heat until butter is melted
Add Worcestershire sauce and allow mixture to bubble
Once bubbling, turn off heat

Fried Olives Source: foodnetwork.com  Pairs great with cubbed manchego cheese and thinly sliced serrano ham

Ingredients:
1 cup of canola oil                                            1 teaspoon chili powder
10 large green pitted olives                             2 beaten eggs
10 large black pitted olives                              3/4 cup breadcrumbs
3/4 cup all purpose flour                                  1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions
Heat canola oil to 350 degrees F. (Drop a very small piece of bread crumb into the oil if it starts to sizzle the oil is hot enough.)
Drain the olives.
Mix flour, garlic powder and chili powder together and place in a shallow dish. Pour eggs into another dish, and bread crumbs with ground black pepper into a third.
Roll the olives in the flour, then roll them in the beaten egg and finally roll them in the bread crumbs. Set on a plate to give the breading a chance to dry and form a crust while the oil heats.
When oil is hot, put half the olives into it, being careful not to drop them and splatter hot oil. Fry until golden brown, then remove and drain on paper towels. Be sure to tip the oil out of the center of the olive. Serve on a platter with manchego cheese cubes and slices of serrano ham.

Game Day Dip  Source: www.food.com/recipe/7-layer-dip-126480

Ingredients:
1 can (16 oz) Cadia Refried beans
1 package Riega Taco Seasoning
1 package Applegate Grilled Chicken Breast Strips
1 cup Organic Valley Sour Cream
1 cup Field Day Fire Roasted Garlic Salsa
1 cup Heinis Yogurt Jalapeno Cheese
1 cup lettuce
1 cup tomatoes

Directions
Prepare Applegate chicken according to the package directions
Mix the taco seasoning with the refried beans
In a 9X13 inch dish spread the bean and taco seasoning mixture, then top with chicken, then sour cream, then salsa, then cheese, then lettuce and tomatoes

Employee Recipe: Cyd’s Raw Ginger Date Energy Balls Makes 18-24 balls

Ingredients:
2 cups plain almonds                                                      1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup Medjool dates                                                       1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses                Shredded coconut (optional)
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice

Directions
Place all ingredients except for the shredded coconut into a food processor
Mix until blended and smooth
A dough ball will form. Using wet hands, roll dough into 1” balls
If using coconut, spread a thin layer on a baking sheet & roll balls in the coconut until well coated
Store in a sealed container, separating layers with parchment paper

Green Zinger Smoothie Source: www.drinktelula.com

Ingredients:
1 Cup Telula Green Zing                    1/2 Cup Frozen Mango
1/2 Cup Almond Milk                       Juice From 1 Lime
1/2 Cup Frozen Pineapple

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender
Blend until smooth
Enjoy!

Homemade Fig Salad Dressing Source: http://www.mediterraneanorganic.com

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Mediterranean Organic White Fig Preserve
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
In a small bowl or jar mix together all ingredients and drizzle over salad

Chef Carol’s Honey Mustard Chicken with Cashews
Ingredients:
6 organic chicken breasts
1 stick of organic valley grass fed butter (you can use less if desired)
1/4 cup Hannan Honey
2 Tablespoons of Annies Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup of cashews, raw and unsalted
1/2 Teaspoon of salt and pepper each – or to taste
1/2 bunch of scallions, sliced fine
1 1/2 cups of Lundberg Jasmine rice

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper
Roughly chop cashews and place on a baking sheet. Place in oven to toast until light brown. Take out of oven and set aside
Prepare rice according to package directions appox. 45 minutes before chicken is expected to be served
Place butter in a casserole dish big enough to fit all pieces of chicken
When butter has melted, lay chicken breasts in the casserole
Cover the casserole dish with foil and cook until chicken are butter coated and browning on one side
Flip the chicken and allow the other side to brown, continue to cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 155 degress
When chicken reaches correct temperature, add honey and mustard to the pan, whisk together to form a sauce and add chopped cashews

Honey Sage Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs Source: http://madhavasweeteners.com/recipe/  Serves: 4
Ingredients:
4 skinless and boneless chicken breast halved             1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup Madhava Savory Hickory Sage Honey             1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup lemon juice                                                        2 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into 1 inch rounds
2 teaspoons lemon zest                                                  Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil                                                               8 (8 inch) wood or metal skewers

Directions:
Cut chicken into 1 inch chunks
In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, lemon juice and zest, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken breasts in a zip
sealed plastic bag or glass dish that holds them snugly in a single layer and add the marinade. If using a dish, cover with plastic wrap.
Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to overnight.
If using wooden skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes to prevent burning
Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade.
Thread chicken and vegetables onto 8 (8-inch) skewers and place skewers into a baking dish
Cook for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, turning occasionally
Serve skewers with a light drizzle of Savory Hickory Sage Honey, if desired

Employee Recipe:  Lisa’s Mango and Pepper Salsa  Serves 3-4
Ingredients:
1 medium mango (2 if they are small)
1/2 lime
1 jalapeno pepper
1 orange pepper
1 red pepper
1/3 red onion
2 tomatillos
Salt and pepper to taste
pinch of chopped cilantro (optional)

Directions
Deseed peppers and chop finely (if you like it spicy, keep the jalapeno seeds)
Finely chop mango, onion and tomatillos
Juice the lime over the mixture
If using cilantro add to mixture
Add salt and pepper to taste
Enjoy!

Employee Recipe:  Slow Cooker Chili
Ingredients:
1 Medium Yellow Onion                                                 1 Box Jack’s Quality Black Beans, drained & rinsed
2 Green Peppers                                                              1 Box Jack’s Quality Kidney Beans, drained & rinsed
1 Jalapeno Pepper                                                           1 Can Cadia Corn, drained & rinsed
4 Cloves of Garlic                                                             1 Cup Pacific Vegetable Broth
1 Can (28 oz) Muir Glen Crushed Tomatoes              1 Package Riega Chili Seasoning
1 Can (14.5 oz)Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes     1 Lb of your favorite protein (ground chicken, turkey, beef, or tofu)
1 Cup Grafton Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Optional)      1 Bunch of Cilantro (Optional)

Directions:
Remove seeds from peppers and chop into medium size pieces (if you want it more spicy – add the seeds of the jalapeno)
Chop onion
Mince garlic
Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and stir the best you can
Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3 hours
Add salt and pepper to taste
Stir and add cheese and cilantro if desired

Employee Recipe:  Berry Overnight Oats
Ingredients:
1/2 cup rolled oats (do not use quick oats they will break down too much overnight)
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1/2 scoop of Vega Berry Protein Powder
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 cup of liquid of your choice (water, milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc)
Berries or nuts of your choice
Mason jar

Directions
Place the oats, chia seeds, protein powder, maple syrup, and liquid in a mason jar
Shake to mix all ingredients together
Place in the fridge overnight
In the morning sprinkle with berries and/or nuts and enjoy
Tastes great cold or microwave for 30-60 seconds


Employee Recipe:  Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken
Pairs well with Provender’s Vegetable Fried Rice or Crunchy Thai Salad or try it over Produce’s “Zoodles” (Zucchini Noodles)

Ingredients:
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts                          1/4 Cup ketchup
Salt and pepper                                                               2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Cup honey                                                                     2 Cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Cup soy sauce                                                           1/4 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 Cup diced onion                                                        2 Teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tablespoons water
Sesame seeds

Directions:
Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker
In a bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic, and pepper flakes
Pour over chicken
Cook on LOW for 4 hours or HIGH for 2 hours
Remove chicken from slow cooker with a slotted spoon, leaving the sauce behind
Dissolve 2 Teaspoons of cornstarch in 3 Tablespoons of water and then pour into slow cooker
Stir to combine with sauce
Replace lid and cook sauce on HIGH for 10 more minutes or until sauce has thickened
Shred chicken with two forks and then return to slow cooker and toss with sauce
Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving

Source: http://www.familyfreshmeals.com

Employee Recipe:  Emily’s Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin

Ingredients:
1 medium sugar pumpkin
2 cups Lundberg Wild Rice
1/2 lb of sausage
1 small onion
2 Tablespoon pine nuts (lightly toasted)
2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Cut a circle around the stem of the pumpkin, remove top and set aside
Remove strings and seeds from pumpkin and discard
Cook rice according to directions on package
In a skillet cook sausage and onion over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up the sausage into crumbles
Drain and remove sausage and onions from heat, mix with rice, pine nuts, and cranberries, salt and pepper to taste
Place pumpkin in a baking dish and fill with rice mixture and then put the pumpkin top back on
Bake for 30 minutes
Reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake 25-35 minutes or until pumpkin is tender when pierced with a knife and a thermometer inserted in filling reads 160 degrees

Employee Recipe:  Lisa’s Vegan Coleslaw

Ingredients:
1 Head of Red Cabbage
1 Head of Green Cabbage
1 Bag of Shredded Carrots
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
1 Jar Veganaise Horseradish Sauce
Optional: 1 Medium sized Celery Root

Directions
Chop red and green cabbage
If using celery root use a spiralizer to cut it into long strands
Mix red and green cabbage, celery root (if using), carrots, and dried cranberries together
Add veganaise horseradish sauce to taste and stir all together

Simple Açaí Smoothie

While you enjoy this easy-to-make, easy-to-drink smoothie, please see page 1 for a new study that found overweight men who took açaí had better circulation.

Ingredients:

1 c coconut or almond milk

3.5 oz frozen açaí puree, or

1 tbsp açaí powder, or

2 tbsp açaí juice

1 banana, fresh or frozen

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tbsp coconut oil

1-2 tsp honey, stevia, or maple syrup (optional)

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend on high speed until smooth, and serve immediately.

Acaí Delight

While you are enjoying this amazing treat, please see our Articles page for a new study that found women who consumed acaí pulp had greater antioxidant capacity.

Ingredients:

1/2 small banana

2 tsp natural peanut butter

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 3.5-oz pack frozen unsweetened acaí berry pulp

1/2 c frozen strawberries

1/2 c unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk

Optional Toppings:

1/2 small banana, sliced

1/4 c granola

2 tsp shredded unsweetened coconut

1 tbsp cocoa nibs

Drizzle of raw honey or maple syrup

Directions: Put all ingredients in a blender with a splash of the milk. Blend on low until larger chunks break down. Gradually increase speed, adding a splash of milk at a time, stopping to scrape down sides of blender if needed. When all milk has been added, blend on high for an additional 15 to 20 seconds. Pour into a bowl, add toppings as desired, and serve immediately.


Chocolate Blueberry Yogurt

This recipe is quick and easy. While you are enjoying this refreshing treat, please see page 1 for a new study that found trained athletes improved heart and lung fitness and increased endurance and oxygen capacity after eating dark chocolate daily for two weeks.

Ingredients:

1/2 c plain Greek-style or other low-fat yogurt

1 tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa powder

1 tbsp honey or maple syrup

1/4 c blueberries

Directions: Combine yogurt, cocoa powder, and sweetener in a small bowl, stirring well. Top with blueberries and serve immediately, or chill for a cool refresher.


Zoodles!

You’ll have so much fun making this recipe, you’ll want to invite friends over to join in. And please see page 1 for a new study that found those who tended to eat a vegetarian diet were less likely to develop colon cancer.

Ingredients:
1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
1 pound zucchini, medium to large
Seasoning to taste

Optional: add any fresh herbs, tomatoes, olives, or grated cheese you have on hand for a fuller dish

Directions: Wash and cut ends off zucchini. Using a julienne slicer, spiral cutter or vegetable peeler, make into noodles, or “zoodles!” Feel free to experiment with different size zucchinis for wider or thinner noodles. Heat oil in pan; add zoodles, seasoning, and sauté for a few minutes, until coated with oil and slightly translucent. You’re ready to eat! You can add fresh herbs, tomatoes, olives, or grated cheese. And if you’re not in the mood to cook, zoodles are even delicious raw!

Beet Root Juice Blend

Sipping this sweet and zesty freshly-squeezed juice blend may relax and energize you, even if you are not climbing a mountain. Please turn to page 1 for a new study that found beet juice helped climbers’ blood vessels relax and dilate at high altitude.

Ingredients:

2 medium to large size beets, rinsed, peeled and quartered
1 apple, peeled, cored and quartered
1 tbsp size piece of fresh ginger (skin removed)
3 whole carrots, rinsed and peeled
Up to 1 c apple juice

Directions: Place all dry ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, adding apple juice as needed to get mixture moving. Then, place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour in the juice. Using a rubber spatula press the pulp down into the strainer and squeeze all of the juice out. Let juice continue to drip for about 5 more minutes. Discard pulp and pour juice into glass. Drink immediately.

Fluffy Flourless Blender Muffins

You’ll probably make new friends with this delicious recipe. While you’re enjoying munching, please see page 1 for a new study showing people who regularly ate almonds were less likely to develop heart disease.

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
1/2 c almond butter
1 ripe medium banana
1 egg
1/4 c honey or maple syrup
1/2 c rolled oats
2 tbsp ground hempseed or flaxseed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 c mini chocolate chips
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9-muffin pan with cooking spray. In a blender, add all ingredients except chocolate chips and blend on high until oats are broken down and batter is creamy. Stir in chocolate chips by hand. Pour batter into muffin pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 minutes before eating.

Mediterranean Barley

If you’re planning to share this delicious dish with friends, consider making a double recipe! And while you’re enjoying, please see page 1 for a new study that found women who ate a mostly Mediterranean-style diet had signs of younger biological age.

Ingredients:
1 c dried barley
2 1/2 c water
7 sundried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 c cilantro, chopped
1/2 c Kalamata olives, chopped
1/4 c olive oil
Garnish: feta cheese

Directions: Bring barley and water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the barley is tender but firm, about 30 minutes. Drain and cool in a bowl. In a blender, puree sundried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Pour mixture over the barley. Fold in the cilantro, olives, and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Stir, garnish with feta, and serve.

Grapefruit Splendor

While you are sipping this delightful, refreshing, and cleansing fruit-and-vegetable thirst quencher, please see page 1 for a new study that found postmenopausal women had more flexible arteries after drinking grapefruit juice daily for six months.

Ingredients:

1 large grapefruit, peeled and quartered
2 large apples, quartered
2 carrots, chopped
1 small beet, chopped
1 small knob ginger, chopped
1/2 c filtered water

Directions: If you have a juicer, you know what to do! If not, place all ingredients into a blender and mix until well combined and liquefied, adding water as needed.

You may enjoy immediately, with all the pulp. If you prefer, strain the mixture by placing a cheese cloth over a bowl, gathering the four corners of the cloth, and pouring the mixture through. Twist and squeeze out the juice, separating the pulp. Enjoy!

Apple Parfait for Two

With just a little bit of preparation, you and your favorite companion can enjoy this fancy treat. Please see page 1 for a new study that found young women who ate a high-protein yogurt snack in the afternoon had a smaller appetite and ate fewer calories at dinner.

Ingredients:
1 c cooked quinoa, chilled
1 apple
½ tsp cinnamon
12 oz non-fat vanilla yogurt
4 tbsp walnuts
Grated nutmeg for garnish

Directions: Cook quinoa and refrigerate beforehand. Chop apple into small chunks and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover with saran wrap and microwave for 1-1.5 minutes until apple becomes soft, or sauté gently in a saucepan for 5-8 minutes. Stir and set aside. In two glasses, layer 3 ounces of yogurt (1.5 oz per glass) on the bottom, followed by one-quarter each (one-eighth per glass) of the quinoa, walnuts, and apple-cinnamon mixture. Repeat layers, and garnish with nutmeg. Enjoy now or refrigerate for later.

Yogurt Chia Power

While you cool down with this soothing snack, please see page 1 for a new study that found people who ate about an ounce of any kind of yogurt per day were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Ingredients:
2 c plain or vanilla whole-milk yogurt or goat milk yogurt
2 tbsp chia seeds
Optional:
1-2 tbsp agave or maple syrup
Sprinkling of cocoa nibs, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, or toasted coconut

Directions: Mix yogurt, chia seeds and half the syrup in a bowl. Cover and chill for 12 hours. To serve, drizzle with remaining syrup, and top with cocoa nibs, sunflower or hemp seeds, and toasted coconut.

Agave-Peanut Butter Cups

Makes 24–30 / Creamy, lightly sweetened peanut butter fills dark chocolate cups in this irresistible candy. Prep tip: You’ll need small fluted paper candy cups, candy-making and a small pastry brush.

24-30 small (1 to 1 1/2-inch) fluted paper candy cups

3/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter

3 tablespoons agave nectar

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (65% cocoa), finely chopped

1. Arrange paper candy cups on a rimmed baking sheet, and make space for baking sheet in your refrigerator. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter with agave until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to use.

2. Melt chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. With a small pastry brush, apply a generous layer of chocolate inside each paper candy cup. You want the cups to be sturdy enough to hold the peanut butter, so be sure to coat bottom and sides well. Place baking sheet in refrigerator until chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes.

3. Reheat remaining chocolate until smooth. Spoon about 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter mixture into each chocolate cup. With a clean spoon, quickly spoon remaining melted chocolate evenly over peanut butter to cover. Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens, about 20 minutes. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

PER SERVING (1): 108 cal, 62% fat cal, 9g fat, 3g sat fat, 0mg chol, 3g protein, 9g carb, 1g fiber, 38mg sodium

Recipe by Charity Ferreira, courtesy of Delicious Living Magazine.

Coffee-Scented Sugar Scrub

 1 cup sugar (white, brown, coconut palm, turbinado or raw sugar can all be used)

2 oz jojoba oil (you could also use almond, grapeseed or other natural oil).

2 oz melted coconut oil (you could substitute shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter or other solid fat)

1 heaping tsp. ground coffee (you could substitute other finely ground aromatic herbs—lavender, roses, rosemary, cocoa powder, cinnamon, lemon peels, orange peels, etc.)

Essential oils (sandalwood, vanilla, orange, lemon, lemongrass, lavender, etc.) optional

Melt coconut oil in a saucepan on low heat, just until liquid.  Mix together with jojoba oil. Add a few drops of essential oils, if desired.

Add ½ cup sugar and mix well.  Let the mixture sit and cool.

Add the rest of the sugar and the ground coffee to the cooled mixture.

Whip the mixture with a fork until it is slightly fluffy.

Fill a jar with your sugar scrub (8 oz canning jars work fine).

Cover the top of the jar with a square of pretty paper.  Add a ribbon, a label, stickers, etc.   A tiny wooden scoop or spoon, a shell or bunch of dried herbs/ flowers can all be added for decorative purposes

Flaky Squash Biscuits Makes 20-24 biscuits

Delicate, sweet and vibrant in color, these tender biscuits pair well with winter stews and soups. For dairy-free biscuits, substitute margarine and soy milk for the butter and cow’s milk.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Baking Time: 18 minutes

2 cups unbleached white flour, or 1 cup unbleached and 1 cup whole-wheat flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cold butter

1 cup purèed squash (delicata, pumpkin or butternut)

2 teaspoons honey

1-4 tablespoons low-fat milk

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into small pieces and work into flour mixture with a pastry cutter until it’s the size of small peas.

2. Mix honey into purèed squash, then stir into flour mixture. Add enough milk to make a soft dough.

3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. With your hands, flatten it out to about a 1/2-inch thickness. Fold the dough in half as you would close a book. Rotate dough 90 degrees, pat it out, and fold it again. Repeat this twice, dusting with flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers. Work quickly to prevent the butter from becoming overly soft.

4. After the last folding, roll out dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 1 1/2-inch rounds. To shape the biscuits, form your thumb and first finger into a crescent shape. Hold the biscuit upright in this crescent with your fingers curled around the cut edges. Rotate and gently squeeze the biscuit to give it more height.

Note: Shaping makes a marked difference in the lightness of the biscuits. If you simply cut them and place them on a baking sheet, they’ll still work, but they won’t be as good.

5. Place the biscuits closely together in a 9-inch square baking pan. Bake until puffed and very lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve piping hot.

Kerry’s Sweet and Spicy Refrigerator Pickles

2                     Medium Cucumbers, sliced

1                     Small Onion, chopped

1                     Jalapeno Pepper, sliced

3                     Garlic Cloves, cut in half

1cup             White Vinegar

1 cup            Water

1/4 cup       Brown Sugar

1/2 tsp        Salt

1/2 tsp        Powdered Ginger

1/2 tsp        Turmeric

1/2 bunch  Fresh Dill, roughly torn

In a stainless or glass pan bring vinegar, water, sugar, salt, turmeric, and ginger to boil. Simmer just until sugar dissolves.

Place cucumbers, dill, garlic, peppers and onion into a clean glass jar. Pour vinegar mixture over vegetables to top of jar. Let cool to room temperature and then place in refrigerator. Let jar sit in refrigerator at least 24 hours (Kerry likes to wait a whole week!). Enjoy within one month.

You can adjust these amounts to your own taste. Try adding coriander seed, dill seed, celery seed, or a habanero… Whatever YOU like!! You can also pickle almost anything this way. Try zucchini, green beans or partially cooked carrots. It’s a fun and delicious way to enjoy summer’s bounty!!