Savory Sunflowers – An All-American Treat

Sunflowers are an American native plant, used for centuries by the Native people. The plants once grew only in North and Central America (the “New World”). Once Europeans “discovered” sunflowers, they were rapidly carried and planted around the globe. Indeed, sunflowers are one of the plants that were part of the “Columbian Exchange” that we discussed earlier this year in our post about Strawberry Fennel Salad (here). Many Sunflowers to Choose From There are over 70 different species of sunflower (Helianthus). Best known is the garden sunflower (Helianthus annus) which […]

Tuna Crunch Dip

Easy and tasty – here is one way to turn a simple can of tuna into a satisfying summer meal. Avoid the scourge and money pit of purchasing fast food. Food Building Blocks This tuna dip is especially handy after a long day when it is too easy to make poor food choices. Protein, carbohydrates, and some healthy fats – all the building blocks your body needs for health. Also some fiber to keep your intestines working well. And they keep telling us to try to eat fish once a […]

Drink Your Roses!

The flavor of roses is one of those subtle flavors that will delight your taste buds. If you haven’t tried rose petals yet — you are missing a treat. Today we will look at two drinks to make using roses. Which Roses To Use? Really any true rose * will work. The wild Western rose, also called Wood’s rose (Rosa woodsii) is found throughout the Southwest. It makes an excellent rose to forage due to it’s intensely flavorful petals. In the garden, the gallica roses (originally from Persia) have the […]

Greens and More – Amaranth

Summer eating tends to be lighter than winter fare. In North America we tend to eat more greens and salads and less soups and stews. And what a collection of greens we can select from in the Southwest, including amaranth! Amaranth One of my (Jacqueline Soule) favorites – and easily found in many areas, is amaranth. It’s considered a weed, and abounds in vacant lots in Southwestern cities, as well as at the edges of agricultural fields. Where I live, alongside ample rabbits and javelina, about two seconds after an […]

Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon meets the fruits and flavors of the Southwest in this refreshing summer soup. This melding of summer flavors started centuries ago when plants of the Old World and the New World melded in the Columbian Exchange.  And all this – just in time for Forth of July! Exchanging Plants We mentioned the Columbian Exchange in our post on Fennel & Strawberry Salad in June. Watermelon was another highly popular introduction to the Southwest, and various Native tribes quickly selected for plants that would grow well in their corner of […]

Savory Chicken with Lemon Pepper Mexican Oregano Sauce

Uncle Smokey here with an indoors recipe – because it is too hot out at dinnertime to use the grill. I use fresh and dried herbs plus lemon – all harvested from my own acre – but you can use store bought. The “cover” image is “Midnight Snack” cherry tomatoes which grow very well here and taste great in this dish.  In 2017 they were an All-America Selections (.org) winner for flavor, ease of growth, and ample production.  Photo courtesy of AAS. Local Products If you have it – Mexican […]

Basil is for More than Pesto!

Basil grows well in Southwest summers, and can be used for so much more than just pesto.  What, you wonder? Read on! Sharing This post part my own, but mostly shared courtesy of Peg Riccio, who lives in the DC area.  Her website is called Pegplant – and is subheaded “Gardening News, Resources, and Plants in the VA, MD, and DC Area.”  This is the link to her full post – but fair warning – it is more about growing them in the DC area.  To learn about growing this […]

Savor Some Southwest Iced Tea

Jacqueline here today to help everyone celebrate “National Iced Tea Month” – Southwest style! Tea does not need to come from overseas, it can come far more locally – indeed from your own back yard! What is in a name? Language purists will remind us that true tea comes from Camellia sinensis, grown in the tropics. Any “herbal tea” is in fact a “tisane,” but the English language is subject to change over time, thus I am using the term “tea” to mean any herb infused into a beverage. Speaking […]

Fennel and Strawberry Salad

Thanks to Father Kino, the Southwest was part of the great Columbian Exchange. Foods like fennel and strawberries were not native to the region but once introduced became highly popular. The Columbian Exchange We all know that “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” And we know he was looking for spices. On the first trip he filled his ships with seeds and cuttings of plants he found and sailed home (he came back a few times too). The Exchange was the start of the widespread transfer of plants, animals, […]

Gluten Free Pan Bread (Pan Plano)

Last week I shared the mini-recipe for Dutch Baby/Pan Plano because this recipe is what I used to test a number of gluten-free flours from Pereg Foods.  For preparation details, Dutch Baby Delight posted 2 weeks ago – link here.  With thanks to our four taste testers – the results are in! Gluten Free Flour Options There are many gluten-free flour options to try, and what we discovered is that they generally bring some modicum of flavor with them.  Some gluten-free flours are great for savory dishes and some are […]