Lauren McLean Iuppa Ayer

Poet | Artist | Optimist

Tag: harvest

Pasta with Zucchini Faux-Alfredo

Every once in a while I manage to mix a few ingredients together that actually work. This one I came up with in college, shortly after becoming a vegetarian while on a momentary vegan kick. I wanted something simple that included veggies and protein. Plus it’s a really great way to use up all that extra zucchini that seems to be turning up everywhere these days. So here you go:

Zucchini Faux-Alfredo

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Italian seasoning to taste (I usually use about 1.5 teaspoons)

1-2 cloves of garlic – diced

3 small zucchini – sliced into thin coins (best fresh out of the garden)

1 can Cannellini beans

Salt to taste

Heat olive oil in large saute pan. Add Italian seasoning. Saute until aromatic. Add garlic. Saute until almost brown. Add zucchini coins (cut in half if too big). Brown and cook until slightly translucent.

Meanwhile, empty beans into a bowl and smash with a potato masher until all skins are broken. Add to pan with salt and stir over medium heat until they form a creamy sauce.

Serve hot over pasta some sort of sturdy pasta (I use gluten-free spirals or bowties).

Pick Your Own

Don’t have a viable garden of your own or looking to supplement with more variety? Now you can easily find loca farms that let you pick your own from their bounty. PickYourOwn.org also offers a variety of tips and tools including crop calendars, weather forecasts, and canning and preservation instructions with  over 150 recipes including my favorite holiday standard: apple butter.

The site isn’t the flashiest, but it’s homey and chock-full of great information. Note that many of the listed farms close for the season in November, so I recommend getting out there this weekend. You can probably even get some great prices on pumpkins for your Thanksgiving pies.

Ample Harvest

And while we’re on the topic of what to do with all that extra produce, if you find yourself in a giving mood (especially with Thanksgiving right around the corner), check out AmpleHarvest.org. Launched in May 2009, this non-profit connects gardeners with local food pantries in need of fresh produce donations.

Veggie Trader

Have you found yourself stuck with a mountain of late-season zucchini or tomatoes? Don’t work your fingers to the bone baking loaves and loaves of zucchini bread or let the fruit languish on the vine. VeggieTrader.com enables you to connect with other local gardeners. You can trace your zukes for someone else’s cukes, sell your excess to neighbors without gardens, and even search for replacement crops for the rhubarb plant your dog dug up while you were on vacation (all for free). Their site is intuitive and fun to read and they even have a supporting blog.

So check it out. And pass it on. The only way to keep great ideas like this growing is to participate.

Picking Raspberries

Ripe red raspberries are dark pink to deep red. Raspberries also come in a variety of other colors including black, purple, and yellow/gold. Color when ripe will depend on which type you plant.To harvest, grip the berry very lightly with two fingers (they are easily crushed) and pull gently. If they are ready they will pretty much fall off in your hand. If they don’t, leave them for another day.

Although most raspberry bushes have thorns, I don’t recommend wearing gloves because the berries are so fragile. Long sleeves, however can help protect your arms from scratches.

Unlike blackberries, raspberries leave their hard, white center on the plant so all you get is rich, juicy sweetness.