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20 Ways to Enjoy Broccoli Stalks

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Category : Breakfast, Grilling, Main Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes, Snacks, Soups, Vegetarian

Broccoli StalksRecently a friend called me and asked if I’d like a big batch of broccoli stems. She was freezing broccoli from her garden, and usually purees the stems to use for soups, but didn’t have room this year in her freezer. “Sure!” I said, and the next morning a big bag of stalks was on my doorstep.

For some people it’s weird, I know. Broccoli stems are often seen as trimmings, and discarded. I really like the flavor, though.  I think stems taste sweeter and less bitter than the florets. They also don’t have the grainy floret texture that children and others sometimes find objectionable. Continue Reading

Grilled Cheese With Basil Sandwich

Category : Grilling, Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegetarian

Grilled Cheese With Basil SandwichI enjoy starting with a classic, ordinary recipe and making it local and special. This week I was in the mood to bake bread, so I decided to attempt an improved, locavore grilled cheese sandwich.

I knew just the cheese to make it special–Appel Farms’ Sweet Red Pepper Gouda. Homemade bread, artisan cheese, spread fresh basil leaves over it, and voila! I could almost taste it just thinking about it! Continue Reading

Grilled Hamburgers with Salsa

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Category : Grilling, Main Dishes, Recipes

Photo of Grilled Hamburger with SalsaThere’s nothing like the crispy crust of a well-grilled hamburger! Commercially available local grassfed beef is a little hard to find in this area, but it’s well worth the effort in terms of flavor and quality.

I went to the online Farm Finder and searched for beef. Only one farm, Third Thyme Farm in Sumas (360) 988-5805, reports specializing in grassfed meats, including beef. There are also farms who produce meat only for friends and family.

The difficulty is the absence of a USDA inspected meat-packing facility in the County. The Lopez Island Community Land Trust came up with a novel idea to solve the problem for farmers who are members of their Island Grown Farmers Cooperative (IGFC). They built a Mobile Processing Unit (MPU) which operates under a USDA Grant of Inspection and travels to the farms to do the butchering on site. While most of their members are outside Whatcom County, there are some local members, too. They have an outlet grocery on Lopez Island, but many of their member sell directly from their farms. Continue Reading