Friday, October 17, 2014

Slow Cooker Apple Pie Filling Recipe

It's apple harvest season in New England. Around here, we can never get enough sweet, juicy, crisp apples.These days, you can buy apples year round, but they're never quite as good as harvest-fresh local apples.

It's not just about the great taste, though. We're pretty committed to cutting back on the number of miles our groceries travel before they reach us, and that means buying local produce as much as possible. Because of that commitment, we try really, really hard to avoid buying fresh fruit out of season - so bye-bye January apples and hello preserving as much of that fresh apple goodness as possible.

This recipe may be one of the easiest -and most delicious - apple pie filling recipes ever. The slow cooking preserves the apple flavor and structure so you get the most firm, sweet, apple-y apples ever.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Vegan Lemon Ginger Honey Spread

 A couple of weeks back, I attended a full-day conference on alternative economies. The invitation included a request for pot luck food if any were so moved - and I was so moved. I decided to bring something everyone could enjoy, and since I had a rather large zucchini sitting in the fridge, I thought a nice vegan zucchini bread would fit the bill nicely.

Not being vegan myself, I like my zucchini bread with a schmear of cream cheese and honey, but it seemed only fair to bring a vegan spread to go with the vegan bread. I figured someone out there must have a recipe for something like a tofu substitute for cream cheese. I mean, there's a tofu substitute for just about everything else, right? Apparently not. So, I was on my own with a package of firm, silken tofu and the contents of my panty. I crossed my fingers and started improvising... and came up with this light, sweet and slightly nutty spread.

Flour Sacks - A Retro Alternative for a Sustainable Modern Life

Flour Sacks - Better than Paper Towels

Earlier this morning, I was writing up the recipe for Spinach Portobello Quiche I made for dinner last night and threw in a short homage to flour cloth towels. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much I use these handy-dandy little items. Yes, they're ideal for rolling out pie crusts and pasta dough, but they also do so much more. They're readily available, reusable, multipurpose and very, very affordable. What's not to love? Here are just a few of the ways I use flour cloths around the house every single day.

Spinach Portobello Quiche

Spinach is one of my favorite crops. It's easy to grow and grows fast enough that I can get in several harvests between spring and the end of the growing season. Tonight, I had a bunch of leafy greens in the fridge that were in danger of going slimy. I also had some lovely portobello mushrooms that were calling me to cook them. Finally, I have a son who thinks spinach is slimy, mushrooms are even slimier and quiche is meh. Sounds like a challenge, right?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Creamy Curried Carrot Ginger Soup

What do you do with a bumper crop of fresh, sweet carrots? I ran across a recipe for curried carrot soup and decided to play with it and make it my own. It came out so good that my carrot-indifferent son had second helpings. It takes a little time to make, but it's so totally worth it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Radish Pods - Who Knew?

Every year, I plant radishes in our garden. I'm not quite sure why, since I'm really not a radish person and no one else in the house actually likes radishes. But they're easy to grow and they come up fast and they make lots of pretty leaves early in the summer when nothing else is growing yet, which makes them gratifying. So, I dutifully plant radishes every year, and my family dutifully picks them out of their salads and leaves them on the side of the plate.

Monday, June 30, 2014


We recognize that you can't grow everything you use, but we believe you have a right to know more about the products you buy. That's why we're happy to review products that fit our green, natural, vegetarian perspective. Want to know how well that all-natural cleaner performs on your dirty counter top? We'll tell you!


Want to know more about vegetarian living, aromatherapy, alternative cleaning practices, organic gardening or cooking with natural ingredients? We've got you covered with links to important articles, research and information you can use to help you in your quest to live a greener, healthier life.


Hey, no one is going to find everything they need in their own backyard -- but you don't have to resort to products manufactured in huge factories overseas or shipped from across the country. Take the time to check out what your neighbors have to offer at farmers' markets, CSAs and businesses that support local farmers, craftsmen and artisans.

Cleaning Closet

Our grandmothers kept their houses spotless without a lot of fake, harmful cleaning products, and we can, too. Put down those air fresheners, chemical cleaners and expensive single-use products. There are cleaning options that are healthier for your family and the planet.

Medicine Chest

"Home remedies" have become big business. More and more supposed "alternatives" to pharmaceutical products are made and sold by the same companies that make typical over-the-counter medications and remedies. Why put more money into the pockets of companies that are destroying the environment and making us less healthy when you can use real alternative remedies that you make yourself?


Do the perfumes and dyes in store-bought detergents, fabric softeners and other laundry aids make you itch? Do you hate using your electric dryer because of the amount of energy it consumers? Not only can you find lots of healthy, home-grown alternatives to the big-box name brand laundry products, there are also lots of laundry practices and strategies that can help you maintain a greener household.


Why subject yourself to all the unhealthy ingredients found in shampoos, moisturizers and other cosmetics when you can create your own healthy versions using ingredients you grow yourself? To be fair, you may not be able to grow everything used in your cosmetics, but there are better, more natural and healthier alternatives than you'll find in the toiletries and cosmetics aisles at the store.


Among the neatest benefits of growing your own produce is that you get to eat the fruits of your labor. A lot of vegetarians find themselves eating pre-packaged and mass-produced foods because they're not sure how to create healthy, delicious dishes from scratch using their own home-grown produce. Next time, instead of reaching for the frozen veggie burgers, check out some of the recipes and cooking tips here.


Being a homegrown vegetarian starts in the garden -- that's the homegrown part of it. When you grow your own vegetables, herbs, grains and fruits, you know exactly what you're getting. You don't have to worry about pesticides, inorganic fertilizers and GMO foods because you grew them yourself from scratch.