What’s Not to Like About Okra?

Grilled Okra with Blueberry Spice Rub

Gotta love social media. Out of all the positive responses to the picture of grilled okra posted on My Life Runs On Food’s Facebook page, one person’s response was “yuck… not my cup of tea.” The response was annoying to read, but I wasn’t entirely mad. Okra isn’t my cup of tea, either.

Continue reading What’s Not to Like About Okra?

Southern Green Beans Redux

Slow-Simmered Green Beans and Turnips with Smoked Turkey

It’s a summer dish in every southern grandparent’s home. It’s served at weddings, funerals and special events. The sight of it makes pseudo-healthy eaters start a conversation about unhealthy southern food and it’s over-cooked vegetables. Every child of the south has memories of watching television, only to have a large bowl of this vegetable unexpectedly placed in front of them. They dare not verbally protest. The snapping sound of each wax green bean’s ends being trimmed are heard with the sound of a television. For a generation of a certain age, such sounds brings back memories of watching their grandparents prepare meals.  Continue reading Southern Green Beans Redux

Parade.com: Let Them Eat (More) Kale!

“Let Them Eat Kale” by Julia Mueller

There are kids named “Kale,” and it’s not their nickname. Specialty fast food restaurants prominently feature locally grown kale. Some people are panicking about a pending kale shortage. Other people—unaffected by the news of a shortage—casually blitz kale into smoothies, simmer with smoked meat, toss with salads, and more. People can’t get enough of this trendy green.  Continue reading Parade.com: Let Them Eat (More) Kale!

Parade.com: 3 Ways to Spice Up Your Acorn Squash

Spicy Roast Acorn Squash

Even as a so-called health nut, I love winter squashes roasted until they’re buttery and sticky-sweet. They’re drizzled with olive or coconut oil, or a little soft butter is brushed on slices. Perhaps they’re sweetened with brown or coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey. A bit of sea salt and fresh black pepper are sprinkled here and there. In my creative mind, winter squashes are flavored with any combination of herbs and spices. Continue reading Parade.com: 3 Ways to Spice Up Your Acorn Squash

Parade Magazine: Roast Sweet Pepper Pizza

Roast Red Pepper Pizza

Now that cooler nights are here, I can turn on the oven to it’s highest temperature to make pizza. This pizza has a mild spicy cornmeal crust that most kids will love. It’s topped with homemade roast peppers with a smoky and candy sweet taste sans the spice. The peppers are layered over a herbal ricotta cheese and baby spinach leaves. Balancing the sweetness of the pizza, salty kalamata olives gently top the roast peppers with a handful of shredded parmesan cheese (try it with asiago, too). The result: A pizza that warms your family’s soul into the first few days of autumn.  Continue reading Parade Magazine: Roast Sweet Pepper Pizza