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Citrus Salad over Dandelion Greens

I was thrilled to see Dandelion Greens in a local health food store this weekend. As children my sister and I  would pick them from the lawn to make salad. We lived in a rural area on 60 acres. We didn’t worry about fertilizer because my dad didn’t use it. Our lawn was green and that’s all that mattered.

My parents are first generation Italian—Rocco and Angelina. My mother would occasionally make dandelion salad or battered and fried zucchini flowers. And, she served artichokes way before they became popular. My grandmothers and great aunts were good cooks and my mother was a good cook. My sister and I learned from them.

We grew up in a rural section of New Jersey. (Yes, Virginia, there are rolling hills in NJ.) My dad would buy bushel baskets of fruits and vegetables from local farmers and we’d can or freeze them for winter meals. He had a huge garden with corn, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, potatoes and tomatoes. Wonderful, juicy, red Jersey tomatoes. Just pick them, wipe them off on your jeans, and bite. Sometimes we’d bring a salt shaker into the garden so we could salt the tomato as we ate it. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Talk about eating local and seasonal. It was a way of living.

OK, I’m reminiscing and could do it all day. We didn’t eat citrus salad over our dandelion greens but I thought this might be a nice update. The citrus is sweet and tart and the dandelions are a little bitter. It’s colorful and would make a nice side for grilled fish.

Citrus Salad Over Dandelion Greens

One bunch of dandelions
1 grapefruit
1 large navel orange
1 tsp. of honey
1sp. of lime juice
salt and pepper
olive oil
3 strips of cooked GF bacon, cut into small pieces
1 slice of red onion, diced

Wash and dry the dandelions.

Cut the citrus into wedges removing pith and the section membranes. Sprinkle with the red onions, salt and pepper. Toss with honey, lime juice, salt and pepper. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Cut up the dandelions, drizzle with olive oil and a few tablespoons of the juice created by the citrus salad. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the oranges & grapefruit over the dandelions and top with the bacon pieces.



Muffin in a Mug (Update)

Some days breakfast can be a challenge - no eggs, no bread, no cheese. It’s pretty limiting especially on weekdays when time is scarce.

There was a cool little Tweet from Tiny Recipes that got me thinking—

mug cake - mix in a mug: 2T flour, 4t sugar, 1/4t baking powder, 2t cocoa, pinch salt, 2T milk, 1/4t vanilla, 3/4t oil. microwave 1 min.

Would this work for a gluten-free, vegan muffin? It took a bit of tinkering but I think it’s finally right.

At first I used cake mix but ewwww, too sweet. Muffin mix was a definite improvement and muffins are a more appropriate breakfast food. A little more futzing—add some GF oatmeal, a little flax, some nuts and fruits—and, will wonders never cease, it worked.

It’s a cross between oatmeal and a muffin and you eat it with a spoon. It’s warm, tasty and quick. Works for me.

There are so many variation possibilities. If you try something new please share!

Muffin in a Mug

¼ cup GF oatmeal
¼ cup GF muffin mix
1 teaspoon ground flax
sprinkle cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 ½ teaspoons chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon raspberries
½ cup water
¼ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon applesauce
cinnamon sugar

I like to pulse the oatmeal in a small food processor until it resembles very coarse flour.

Put the oatmeal, muffin mix, flax, cinnamon, and salt in a microwavable mug. Mix it together. Add 1 teaspoon of the walnuts and stir again.

Mix the vanilla and water together. Pour into the mug and stir until combined and the mixture resembles cake batter. Add the applesauce and incorporate thoroughly.

Gently stir in the raspberries.

Place in the microwave on high for one minute. Remove and top with the remaining walnuts, a few more raspberries and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Microwave another minute. Cool for a few minutes and then enjoy.

Note: You can substitute many other fruits for the raspberries: dried cranberries, raisins, strawberries, or apples. Also, banana might be a good substitute for the applesauce if you want to make banana muffins. If you don’t use oats try replacing them with the same amount of the muffin mix. It will probably work just fine.