Now that I’m living the next province over from my parents I gladly accept food care packages and deliveries. And on my last trip to PEI, to no surprise, my mothers culinary skills crafted many delicious dishes packed for travel. It’s harvest season and the Wood property hosts large vegetable, herb and flower picking gardens. I have many fond childhood memories of weeding the massive flower beds, cutting grass for hours and even selling gigantic zucchinis at the end of our long driveway. (yes I was born to be an entrepreneur).
Even within our tiny community in eastern PEI, my mothers cooking skills are highly praised. Her facebook and twitter feeds are polluted with recipes and photos of her cooking hits and maybe a few misses too. My mother is the kind of cook who never uses a recipe. She believes in licks and tastes. That a family meal is cooked with love and care. And that recipe books were designed for passive cooks.
Our family garden grew a pile of zucchini this year, can you relate? Here are some tasty recipes cultivated in mom’s country kitchen. A huge thanks to mother Karen for allowing me to share her exact words and tasty, healthy, nutritionist approved recipes!
Country Garden Vegetable Soup - Karen Wood
Green & Yellow Zucchini, washed and diced
Yellow & Green Beans, cut into chunks
Fresh Peas (mine were Snow Peas so I shelled the big ones as well as leaving some in the shells)
Cauliflower, small florets
Garlic Cloves, minced
*I got my veggies ready to add before I began assembling my soup in the slow cooker.
1 carton Campbells low sodium Vegetable Broth
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (the biggest can)
Vegetable Juice Cocktail
2 cans of water (or enough to make the amount of liquid you need)
Cooked Quinoa/Wild Rice mixture from Costco (True Roots Blend)
Seasonings of choice: Cajun Spice, Sea Salt, Lemon Pepper, Basil
I put everything in slow cooker and cooked on high for about 5 hours. The veggies still had a slight crunch to them which was so much nicer then when they are mushy. I just used what I had on hand so this can be played with and changed around. Near the end I added some grated cheese (cheese makes everything better, right?) Rachelle’s note- omit cheese for extra weight loss or a dairy free dish).
Turkey Stuffed Zucchini Boats – Karen Wood
1 lb extra lean ground turkey
8 oz fresh mushrooms, chpd
1 onion, chpd
2 or 3 garlic clove, peeled & minced
1 hot pepper, seeds removed and chpd
1 sweet Bell Pepper, chpd
1 bottle Salsa (used my own homemade)
approx 1/2 cup uncooked Quinoa Wild Rice Mix, cooked in water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube 1 Egg
Bread Crumbs (I used about 1/4 cup gluten free)
Chili Sauce, about 1/3 cup (added this towards the end as my "stuffing" just needed a bit of oomffff!!)
I washed and halved lengthwise small to medium zucchini and yellow summer squash. I then used a melon baller to remove insides of the squash, leaving a thin coating, about 1/4". Next brush or rub Olive Oil on inside as well as outside of each squash and place on a foil lined cookie sheet. (if squash does not sit evenly then cut off a slim slice on bottom but don't cut to much off)
I put about 1 TBSP Coconut Oil in fry pan, added the ground turkey and fried some before adding the chpd veggies (onion, mushrooms, peppers, garlic and some of the removed squash pulp which I had diced and set aside) Add your seasonings (I used dried Basil, Lemon Pepper, Sea Salt, Greek Seasoning,and a smidgen of Chile Powder - I taste as I go and then just add what I think it needs. Remember, it is easier to add more then it is to take away!!) I added one egg and stirred it in well as it cooked. Next I put in the salsa and chili sauce then decided it needed some bread crumbs to firm it up abit. Now for the cheese! I shredded some Jalapeno Havarti I had on the go and also used some grated Cheddar Mozza mix and finished with some Parmesan (the amount you use is an individual preference but I mixed the Havarti and some of the others into my stuffing mix) Fill your squash shells.
Cook at 375F for about 20 minutes then top each "boat" with some more shredded cheese and return to oven. Cook approx another 10 minutes or till squash tender.
Thanks mom, you’re my cooking super hero and taught me well! – Rachelle Wood