This week in our Bountiful Baskets we got Collard Greens. HUH? Collard Greens? I have no clue what to do with those! The only thing that comes to mind is that boiled, nasty, bitter Southern dish that usually also includes ham or bacon! DH says, “You said we need to eat lots of dark, leafy greens! You can probably treat it like Kale, like in quick stir fry or something.

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I made a yummy concotion for dinner that we call Aztec Stew. It is a warm, comforting stew that’s good when you want something a bit richer for dinner. It ended up with that name because most of the ingredients originated in Central and South America, although not all of them. In addition to foods you are readily familiar with, this one contains something special: Nopalitos! Nopales are the prepared pads of the prickly pear cactus.

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Saturday night we had Vegan Veggie Burritos for dinner! We used a mixture of things we made, things we had leftover on hand and things we bought at the Whole Foods food bar earlier in the day. I had the avocados and lettuce and needed to use them that day. I had already decided the night before to soak the nuts to make taco mix. I made the nut mix before going out in the morning so it would be ready by dinner.

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This week, we got new golden potatoes, corn and leeks in our Bountiful Baskets! So I decided, since it was raining on Tuesday, to make a potato leek chowder for dinner. We roasted the corn on the grill and removed it from the cobs on Saturday. Then it was put into the freezer in 2-cup servings to use later. So for this recipe, I just pulled out and defrosted the amount I needed.

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How many of you think of sweet potatoes as that sweet, marshmallow topped dish served at Thanksgiving? Or, perhaps you’ve had them baked into a pie resembling pumpkin pie? If you’re lucky, you’ve had them baked just like a regular potato, or even better, made into air fries! They are really good for you, rich in fiber, beta carotene (the darker orange the flesh is, the more they have) and Vitamin B6.

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DH is crazy about falafel! At one time, in the past, we were going to any restaurant he could find that served it, just so he could try their version. I learned a couple of things along the way: I don’t like it when it is seasoned with cheap, yellow curry powder (aka McCormick.) I actually don’t like _anythin_g seasoned with that. I also don’t like them when they are heavy and greasy, without a kind of fluffy interior.

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What is your family’s reaction when these show up at your house? I bet I can guess! “Yuck!” “I’m not eating THAT!” “I HATE those!” Not at our house! When these show up in my Bountiful Baskets I jump for joy. I’m so happy when the time of year arrives that these are available! This didn’t used to be the case. I had a friend one time that often used the phrase, “Take (food of your choice) and ruin it by (method of your choice).

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We love tacos. So do most of our relatives. Being a vegan, though, presented me with a problem making a filling that gave the same flavor profile, texture and mouth feel as a ground meat filling. Then came Nourish Restaurant and the Gluten Free Foodie Tour! This recipe is my version. It’s been wildly popular around here. We’ve eaten it in traditional tacos, but DH likes it best in a taco salad.

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We attended the Gluten Free Foodie Tour at Nourish 123 Restaurant in Scottsdale! The event was organized by the restaurant and by Ken Scheer of Rock A Healthy Lifestyle. His website is a go-to location for living dairy and gluten free in the Phoenix Metro area. We started the evening with drinks. From left to right: Pear Cider, Crispin Apple Cider, and Cucumber Water. Crispin’s Hard Ciders are naturally fermented in the USA from fresh pressed apple-juice.

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Last night’s dinner was delicious! Sprouts has wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon on sale right now! I marinated the fish in light basalmic vinegar, lime juice, a little olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, minced and cilantro. Then it was grilled. The Pineapple-Avocado salsa also has red onion, cilantro and 1⁄2 roasted jalapeno. The Asparagus and Grape Tomato salad is really simple and the addition of the sesame seeds gives is a little crunch.

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