Summertime means Cucumbers!

I love summertime!!! My best memories are summer days in the country in Virginia! Running around barefoot in the sweltering heat and didn’t even care! Climbing trees, rolling in the grass, eating all the wonderful garden treats, it was divine!! I was very skinny and sometimes I’d be so full from fruit and veggies that I wouldn’t touch my dinner; oooooOOOO it made my grandma upset! She was sure I’d waste away to nothing. I didn’t…I made up for it!

One of my favs was cucumbers, we had them at every meal both in cucumber form and pickles! My Mamame, my other grandmother, made pickles every year, mostly I remember how bad the house smelled!!!! For the most part, I’ll take them pre-pickle form i.e. cucumber.

My grandmother, and just about everyone, served them in vinegar with onions, but I haaaateed vinegar, so my grandma would put one little bowl of cucumbers on the table with water and a little salt. Just for me!!! I loved it!! Sometimes I’d just slice a cucumber like cutting up an apple, sprinkle a little salt on every slice and pop it into my mouth! The best, right next to pulling a cherry tomato off the vine all warm and sunshiny and then having it burst with weirdly cool tomato juice in side your mouth!!! MMMmmmMM!!!

Pickles are worthy of a blog post in themselves. I once nearly made myself sick in a church fellowship hall because all the ladies made their own recipe for deviled eggs ( a weakness of mine), but every egg had a little sliver of THIER OWN homemade pickle on top. I mean…It woulda just been rude to not try at least one of each y’all!! Plus they’d ask!! And you can’t lie in a church fellowship hall. I’m sure God tell’s southern ladies if you lie about their pickles. We’ll stick to cucumbers today.

Did you know?

  • The expression “Cool as a cucumber” was first used in 1732 to mean steady and calm.
  • You can rub a cucumber on your window to help keep it from fogging up. Hmmm…mask eyeglass fog problem solved??
  • Rehydrate. The high water content is hydrating and can even help with a hangover because of the water content and high vitamin content – so they say.
  • Joint health, their silica content may help with aches and pains and promote joint health.
  • Cucumbers are high nutrient density, but low calories making it a great choice when watching your calories…or any other time.
  • Cucumbers are packed with antioxidants, primarily lignins, triterpenes, and flavonoids and can help with cell health and inflammation.
  • Cucumbers are over 3000 years old and originated in India
  • Cucumbers are a good source of Vitamin K, A, calcium, choline, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and folate, plus fiber.

Recipes:

Paula Deen’s Cucumber Salad

Icebox Pickles (Icebox is a refrigerator and yeah; I had to squeeze one pickle recipe in)

Cucumber Salad – the basic

Cumber & Blackberry Salad

Fresh Tomato, Cucumber & Feta Salad

Julia Child’s Baked Cucumbers

Cucumber Melon Salad with Chile and honey (yeah, lots of salads)

And of course Cucumber Sandwiches

Pimm’s Cup Note: British lemonade is fizzy and not like American lemonade. Try something like sprite or use lemonade and add carbonated water.

Share your cucumber recipes, OK pickle too, in the comments!

Happy Summer and Enjoy!


I live in Greensboro NC with my husband who is an Environmental Consultant and Geologist and I am a Certified Health Coach. We both are Independent Shaklee Distributors and help people live healthier, greener lives.

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What’s for Dinner? Using the Produce Box

My family recently joined The Produce Box , a NC company who deliver boxes of fresh produce directly to your door.  My plan was to help our family to eat more fruits and vegetables.  It has worked!  Each week we receive a box of local, fresh produce and I add it into our weekly meals.  It means a little creativity, but well worth it.

What ways do you make an effort to add in more healthy food?  I’d love to hear form you!  Just leave a comment in the comment box.

Meatless Monday: Corn Chowder – Tyler Florence

corn chowder

Time: 55 Minutes

Ease: Intermediate

Review:  This is a nice hearty soup, the kind that makes you feel like curling up with a blanket.  Thanks to our Produce Box we had plenty of fresh corn.  It has potatoes as well and is a nice soup to add to your winter menus.  I recommend it!  I think you will find it easy to make as well.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

enchilada casserole

Time: 45 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Recipe:

3 Cooked chicken breasts

2 cans enchilada sauce (look for low sodium)

1/4 cup green peppers (Produce Box item)

1/2 cup onions

Cheese

flour tortillas

Cook the chicken breasts in 1/2 of a can of enchilada sauce either in the oven or microwave.  Once done chop chicken into fine pieces.  I use the Salad Choppers from Pampered Chef and just chop away at my chicken.  (One of my favorite tools.)  Saute onion and green peppers until the onions are translucent and add to the chopped chicken.  Using a slotted spoon fill a large tortilla with chicken mixture and top with cheese and then roll up and place in a large casserole dish.  You don’t need to bother tucking the ends in.  I was able to use 5 large flour tortillas and serve 4 people.  Once assembled pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the tortillas making sure to cover the ends, this will help it not burn.  Top with cheese and bake 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starting to darken.

This is an easy meal and filling.

 

This week in our Produce Box we had broccoli, apples, corn, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, bell peppers and green beans in our Produce Box.  With this box we had:

  • Broccoli bacon Quiche.  I like to use Jamie Oliver’s quiche as a base and just change the ingredients to suite me.
  • Roasted Sweet potatoes with sea salt and rosemary
  • I used the bell peppers in several dishes and froze some
  • Corn Chowder, see above
  • We have used apples in oatmeal, with peanut butter and tomorrow we are having fried apples and pork chops! mmmm and we will have the green beans.
  • This just leaves the Acorn squash which we will have this weekend.

It just takes a little thought, but is getting easier to use all of our produce.  Look for a program in your area, we have found it to be economical and we are definitely eating more fruits and veggies!  You can’t beat that. Enjoy!

 

 

What’s for Dinner? Sauteed Flounder with Orange Shallot Sauce & Meatless Monday: Bruschetta

 

 

Meatless Monday: Bruschetta and Salad

bruschettaThis is my favorite time of year as far as food goes!  There are so many wonderful things to be eaten fresh from the garden!  One of my favorites is tomatoes.  There is just nothing like a real, fresh, from the garden tomato.  It is a sad day the day I have to buy the first tomato from the grocery.  It is round and red, but that is about it.  This week we decided to take advantage of some fresh tomatoes and made bruschetta and topped it with Manchego cheese.  Served with fresh lettuce from my friends garden.  Wonderful!

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: simple

Review: This recipe from the Pioneer Woman is very simple and flavorful.  It is a great recipe if you are new to making your own bruschetta.  Very simply, brushcetta is a combination of tomatoes, garlic bread, olive oil, salt and pepper.  This recipe has a lovely addition of balsamic vinegar.  Try experimenting with infused balsamic vinegars, such as pineapple balsamic vinegar.  I think you will find this can be a great “go to” recipe.

The Manchego was our addition, you could try experimenting with different cheeses or eat it just for the joy of the tomato!

 

Sauteed Flounder with Orange Shallot Sauce

Orange Floundar

Flounder is a nice fish with a distinct flavor, but not overly “fishy” flavor making it a nice fish to cook with and don’t think that flounder only comes fried!  Try baking it, stuffing it, broiling etc.  It is a good addition to your menus.

Time: 30 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Note:  though simple, at the bottom of the recipe it says they “highly recommend a non-stick pan”  They mean it!

Review: Eating Well Magazine is one of my favorite magazines and has been for 20 years!  It went out of publication for a brief period of time and I mourned the loss deeply and horded my old magazines, but they came back and are going strong!  And now you can get recipes online!  This recipe meets my expectations of something from EW.  It was easy to prepare and wonderful flavors. DO USE THE NON-STICK PAN, I didn’t and had some issues, but it still tasted nice and my husband made lovely yummy noises A+!

 

Share your favorite Summertime meals with Bringing Back Dinner!  Your’s may be the next one reviewed!