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Healthy Spring Recipes for 3/28/24

Check out these amazing recipes coordinated with the ingredients in this week's Organic Fruit & Vegetable basket.

To sign up for a Weekly or Bi-weekly Organic Basket click here




Entrée ( Main Course)


Eggplant Rollatini with Spinach & Ricotta


Prep Time 25 minutes  Cook Time 55 minutes  Total Time1hour 20 minutes  Servings 4




2 eggplants (aubergine)

15 oz (400g) canned chopped tomatoes

1 shallot

2 cloves garlic

½ tablespoon tomato paste

½ teaspoon oregano

1 pinch nutmeg

8.5 oz (250g) Ricotta

8.5 oz (1 ⅛ cup/240g) spinach

1 ball mozzarella

1 tablespoon parmesan

salt and pepper to season




Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/. Cut the tops off the eggplant/aubergine then cut into slices around 1cm / ¼ inch thick. Place on a lined baking tray, brush with a little olive oil (2 tbsp) and bake for 20 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile add half tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and add the spinach, stir so it doesn’t burn until completely wilted. Remove from the pan and let cool.

To make the tomato sauce, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the frying pan. Add the finely chopped shallot and garlic to the pan.

Sauté for 1 minute then add the chopped tomatoes. Rinse out any excess tomato from the can with ¼ cup (60ml) water and add it to the sauce alongside the tomato paste, oregano and season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce reduce and simmer for 15 minutes.

Squeeze out any extra moisture from the wilted spinach then finely chop and add to a large bowl. Add the ricotta, parmesan, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix everything together until thoroughly combined.

To assemble the eggplant roll-ups, add a spoonful of ricotta mixture (about a heaped tbsp) in the center of a slice of eggplant then roll it up. Repeat with the rest of the eggplant and ricotta mixture.

Add ¾ of the tomato sauce to the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange the eggplant roll-ups in the baking dish then top with the remaining sauce. Top with mozzarella then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the mozzarella is golden and melted and everything is heated right through.



You don't need to salt the eggplant (aubergine) to make this recipe.

Make sure to cut the eggplant into even slices so they cook evenly and don't cut them thicker than 1cm (¼ inch) or they will be difficult to roll.

The number of slices will depend on how big your eggplant are. I tend to get 12 slices out of 2 eggplants which serves 4-6 people (2-3 rollatini each).

You can also grill the eggplant if you'd like an extra charred flavour.

Make sure to squeeze as much liquid out of the spinach as possible.

You can top the rollatini with any good melting cheese I prefer to use mozzarella because it's not too strong in flavor.

You could also make this dish into a lasagna by layering the eggplant in between the ricotta and tomato sauce.

Let the dish rest for 5 minutes before serving.


How to Prep this in Advance

These eggplant rollatini are so easy to make in advance just pop it in the fridge (covered) before baking up to 1 day in advance. Alternatively, you can freeze this and then thaw completely before baking.





Side #1


Sliced Radish Toasts with Lemon Butter


YIELDS: 6 - 8 serving(s)  TOTAL TIME: 30 mins




8 oz. baguette, sliced into 16 pieces

1/4 c. olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish

6 to 8 radishes, thinly sliced, plus 8 radish leaves, halved



Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush both sides of baguette with oil, dividing evenly. Season with salt. Bake, turning once, until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Combine butter and lemon zest in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spread butter on toast, dividing evenly. Top with radish leaves, then radishes, dividing evenly. Top with additional lemon zest.





Side #2






3 broccoli stems


1 small fennel bulb, with fronds


1 gala apple


2 oz shaved parmesan cheese


1/2 cup toasted pepitas


1/4 cup fresh mint leaves


1 cup extra virgin olive oil


1/4 cup red wine vinegar


1 tbsp. lemon juice


2 tbsp. Dijon mustard


salt and black pepper




Set the broccoli stems up on one end and with a sharp knife, slowly trim the thick sides of the stem, moving your knife from one end to the other.  Trim the stem on four sides so that you are left with the tender center that is in the shape of a rectangle.


Lay the trimmed stem on the table and with a vegetable peeler (or use a mandolin), slowly shave the stem from one end to the other.  Continue to shave the stems and place the shavings into a large bowl.


Trim the fronds from the fennel and place them into the bowl with the broccoli.  Remove the core from the fennel bulb, thinly slice it on a mandolin and place it into the bowl with the broccoli.


Thinly slice the apple on a mandolin.  Stack the apple slices and cut them into slices or matchsticks and add them to the bowl with the parmesan cheese, pepitas and mint.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Whisk everything together.  While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.


Add the vinaigrette to taste, to the broccoli slaw and toss everything to combine







Orange Sweet Potato Pie


Yields 8 to 12 servings  Prep Time 20 minutes  Cook Time 55 minutes




1 unbaked pie shell

2 cups cooked, well mashed sweet potatoes (about 3 small sweet potatoes)

1 cup coconut sugar, plus a 1 Tbsp (or granular sugar of choice)

3 eggs

2/3 cup half-n-half

4 tablespoons melted butter

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice, divided (or satsuma, tangerine etc)

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Zest of 1 small lemon

1 teaspoon nutmeg, divided

Zest of 1 small orange (or orange citrus of choice)









Preheat oven to 350F.


****Prepare Pie crust: If making a homemade piecrust, incorporate the following into your recipe: 1 Tbsp fresh orange juice, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, orange zest, 1 tablespoon sugar.

If using a readymade pie crust, bring to room temperature then using your fingers spread sugar, nutmeg, orange juice and orange zest right onto the bottom of pie crust before adding the filling.

Prepare the filling: In a mixing bowl add cooked, mashed sweet potatoes, 1 cup sugar and eggs. Mix well, 3-4 minutes, using a hand mixer. Make sure there are no lumps of sweet potato. Mash them well beforehand.

Add half-n-half, butter, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon (or more) nutmeg and vanilla and stir or use mixer to combine.

Stir in lemon zest.

Pour into prepared pie shell and bake 50 minutes or until fully set. Small cracks will appear on top and a knife will come out clean when inserted into the middle.

Serve warm, if possible or at room temperature.






Meal #2


Entrée (Main Course)


Warm Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard Hash


8 servings  Prep time10minutes  Cooking time 40 minutes


Crispy roasted sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, with wilted Swiss chard is definitely a combo made in heaven! Top it with some crunchy pepitas and salty feta, and you’ve got yourself a simple side dish that is sure to be a new weekly staple!




3 medium sweet potatoes, cubed


2 tbsp olive oil, divided


½ cup sweet onion, diced


3 cloves garlic, minced


½ tsp dried rosemary*


½ tsp dried thyme*


1 pinch red pepper flakes


Salt and pepper, to taste


4-6 cups Swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped*


¼ cup white wine or broth


½ cup pepitas, toasted and salted*


½ cup feta cheese, crumbled*




Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Toss chopped sweet potatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil, and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until tender and slightly crisp.

Add the other 1 tbsp of olive oil into a medium to large pan and sauté the onion. Once the onions become translucent, add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Sauté for another 30-60 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant.

Add the roasted sweet potatoes to the pan and stir to combine. Add the Swiss chard and wine and cook until the chard has wilted.

Remove from heat and add the pepitas and feta cheese. Serve warm.




Pepitas are pumpkin seeds and can usually be found in the grocery store near the nuts and dried fruit. I toast mine on the stove over high heat with a pinch of salt. They make for a tasty snack, too!

You can easily substitute feta for a different cheese. Goat, cotija, or ricotta would all be very good! If using goat or ricotta, though, I would add it on top as opposed to mixing throughout.

Feel free to sub any dried herbs with fresh, or vice versa. My rule of thumb is to use 2x the amount of fresh herbs than dried herbs since dried herbs have a stronger flavor.

If you can’t get your hands on Swiss chard, you can substitute for any leafy green. Collard greens, Tuscan kale, or mustard greens would be my go-to’s.




Side #1


Smashed Acorn Squash and Garlicky Walnut Crostini



YIELDS: 6 - 8 serving(s)  PREP TIME: 20 mins  TOTAL TIME: 40 mins




2 small (or 1 large) acorn squash, halved and seeded

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 c. plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 c. walnuts, roughly chopped

1 1/2 tsp. sherry vinegar

1 (12-ounce) baguette, sliced and toasted

2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

Fried sage leaves, for serving (optional)




Season squash with salt and pepper. Arrange cut sides down on a microwave-safe plate or baking dish. Microwave on HIGH until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. (Squash can also be roasted in a 425°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes.) Scoop flesh into a bowl; discard the skins. Add 1 tablespoon oil and mash with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and walnuts. Cook, stirring often, until the nuts are lightly toasted and fragrant and the garlic is golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.

Spread squash mixture on the toasts, dividing evenly. Top with walnut mixture, blue cheese, and fried sage, if desired.









Side #2


Orange and Radish Salad


Prep Time 8 mins  Total Time 8 mins  Servings: 4





1 bunch of young radishes about 1 cup sliced

1 small shallot minced (about 1 heaping tablespoon)

1 bunch of fresh cilantro leaves chopped (about 1 tablespoon)

1/2 jalapeño pepper seeded and minced

1 medium orange or 3 mandarins peeled and segmented

1/2 teaspoon chia seeds

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Pinch of Kosher salt






1 teaspoon of honey

Juice from 1/2 orange or 1 1/2 mandarins about 2 tablespoons

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2 tablespoons of olive oil

dash of cumin



In large bowl add ingredients and toss. If using orange, use half of the orange segments cut in half in salad. If using mandarins use 1 1/2 of the segments in the salad.



Add ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine, toss to coat salad ingredients and serve.












surprise fennel apple pie


Prep Time: 20 minutes  Cook Time: 50 minutes  Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes  Yield: 8 servings




Pastry for double crust pie

6 medium baking apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced

1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced, then chopped (1 cup), fronds reserved for garnish

½ cup dried sweetened cranberries

1-tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

sweetened whipped cream




Heat oven to 425F.

Roll out half of pie dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. 

In large bowl, toss apples, fennel, and cranberries with lemon juice. Mix sugar, cinnamon and flour; sprinkle over apple mixture and gently toss again. Spoon filling into prepared crust.

With the tip of your finger moisten the edge of crust with some water.

Roll out remaining pie dough. Top pie with second crust wrapping any excess top crust under bottom crust edge pressing to seal.

Flute edges. Cut several slits in top crust with the tip of a knife to vent steam.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. During last 15 minutes of baking time cover fluted edge of pie with a crust protector or foil to prevent excessive browning, if needed.

Cool before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and fennel fronds






Meal # 3

Entrée (Main Course)


Caramelized Fennel, Swiss Chard, and Chickpea Stew



yield: 4 SERVINGS  prep time: 10 MINUTES  cook time: 35 MINUTES  total time: 45 MINUTES




1 fennel bulb with its stems and fronds

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes

1 can of chickpeas with their liquid

1 vegan chicken bouillon cube

1 bunch of Swiss chard, chopped or torn into bite-sized pieces




Prepare the fennel by cutting the stems off of the bulb. Then, slice the bulb into thin wedges, leaving a bit of the base to join the layers of each wedge together. Dice the thickest part of the stems, then finely chop the delicate fronds.

Heat the oil over medium-low heat in a high-walled skillet or braising pan. Then place the fennel bulb wedges in a single flat layer, flipping after about 10 minutes (or when they begin to take on a deep brown color) and repeat on the other side.

Add the onion and fennel stems, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent.

Add the garlic, cherry tomatoes, and the chickpeas with their liquid. Clear a bit of space and break up the bouillon cube a bit into the chickpea liquid. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the Swiss chard and cover to allow the greens to wilt. After a few minutes, uncover and stir occasionally until the chard is evenly wilted but not mushy. Serve immediately.


For a less-pronounced fennel flavor (but a fancier presentation), remove the fennel slices after caramelizing and set them aside until after the chard is wilted, then place them back into the stew.


Good-quality canned chickpeas are essential for this stew. I've learned the hard way that the cheapest beans at the supermarket do not perform well in this stew. It's so light and brothy that the flavor and texture both need to be on point.


Canned chickpeas and bouillon cubes both contribute sodium to this dish, even though there is no added salt. To cut back, you may use low-sodium chickpeas, and/or omit the bouillon cube, strain the chickpeas, and add about a cup of low-sodium vegetable broth instead. 






Side #1


Sweet and Crunchy Maple Orange Roasted Eggplant






1 large eggplant, finely chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons orange juice

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

salt & pepper

Fresh parsley for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking sheet.


Combine olive oil, maple syrup, orange juice, coriander and salt & pepper in a small bowl and whisk together.

Place chopped eggplant in a large bowl and pour all but 1 tablespoon of the dressing on top. Mix until each piece is well coated and spread out onto baking pan in a single even layer.

Sprinkle with some more salt & pepper to taste and roast for 25 minutes flipping once half way through.

Remove from oven, transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle remaining dressing on top.

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.






Side #2




Serves 4 to 6  Active time 10 minutes  Total time 30 minutes




1 bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into spears

2 small acorn or delicata squash, halved, seeded, and cut into half-moons

1 large red onion, cut into wedges

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. honey




Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the broccoli, squash, and red onion with olive oil and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes until the vegetables are browned and tender, rotating the pans halfway through.

2. Stir together the vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over the cooked vegetables before serving.








Sicilian Whole Orange Cake

(Using an Entire Orange: Peel, Juice and Pulp)



yield: 1 CAKE  prep time: 15 MINUTES  bake time: 55 MINUTES total time: 1 HOUR 20 MINUTES

The most luscious, moist, and delicious orange cake you'll ever try!





3 eggs

1 1/8 c (250g) sugar

1 3/4 c (275g) all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder  (or 1 packet Italian Pane Degli Angeli vanilla baking powder)

**(if using plain baking powder add 1 tsp vanilla extract)

1/3 c (100g) butter, softened

1/3 c (100g) plain Greek yogurt (yes, sour cream works, too)

1 large organic orange, about (300g), washed and cut into pieces (with the rind, but remove the seeds)



juice of one organic orange

1/3 c (100g) sugar



Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)


Make the whole orange cake


Prepare an 8" springform pan by spraying with oil (or butter) and lining in parchment paper (sides optional, if you want clean sides), then spray the paper, too.

Place the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until light and fluffy.

Sift the flour with the baking powder or Paneangeli then add to the mixture in the bowl a little at a time along with the softened butter. Continue to mix until completely blended, then stir in the yogurt.

In a food processor, process the whole orange until it is almost pureed.

Add this orange to the cake mixture (along with the vanilla if you used plain baking powder) and stir until evenly combined, then put the batter into the prepared tin.

Bake for 50-60 minutes (depending on your oven), but test with a cake tester or skewer to make sure the orange cake is done before removing from the oven. Allow it to cool for about 15 minutes, then remove the side of the springform pan.


Make the orange glaze


Prepare the glaze by melting the sugar in the orange juice and allow to simmer for a few minutes, just until the liquid has a syrupy consistency.


Tip: I once accidentally boiled the glaze into a syrup (forgot it was on the stove) and when I glazed the cake, it hardened and gave the cake a candy-like topping. I loved it! If you’d like to try this, just simmer the glaze an extra 6 or 7 minutes or so.


Spoon and brush over the top of the cake and allow to cool completely before cutting.



I've made this orange cake recipe in a loaf tin, and it's perfect.


I've also made it in a bundt tin and the amount of batter for one recipe makes a short bundt cake. If you're going to use a bundt tin make 1.5x the recipe.


Yes, it's hard to wait, but the moist orange cake will cut more easily if it's cool first.


Tip: I once accidentally boiled the glaze into a syrup (forgot it was on the stove) and when I glazed the cake, it hardened and gave the cake a candy-like topping. I loved it! If you’d like to try this, just simmer the glaze an extra 6 or 7 minutes or so.






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