Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Willie Greens Organic Farm

I had the pleasure of taking a tour of Willie Greens Organic Farm a few weeks ago.  I found out about it through a Facebook post by Whole Foods Market - West Lake.  I follow several of the Whole Foods' Facebook accounts because they all seem to have fun things going on all the time for the community.  This particular event was hard to pass up since it's not far from my House.  It was only a 15 minute drive to the farm for us.  Not quite so close for those coming from Seattle but they were kind enough to offer a shuttle to the farm from Seattle.  Not only was there a farm tour but lunch was also provided, courtesy of Chef Hayden Smissen.  A farm tour and lunch for a mear $15 donation to The Whole Kids Foundation was a great deal.  Those taking the shuttle paid a bit more.

We started the tour off with the owner, Jeff Miller.  He told us about how the farm started in 1987 on a small plot of leased land in Woodinville.  They provided a few local restaurants with fresh greens. They have grown a lot since then.  Today they have 55 acres in Monroe and are working with Whole Foods to increase their production.  They are also working with Cedar Grove to test out various compost to see what kind of affect the various composts have on the veggies.

They also have a CSA where you can pick up a box of their fresh veggies weekly at the farm or at one of their delivery locations.  If I wasn't already in a CSA with Full Circle I would consider joining this one.

Lunch was pretty awesome.  We started by being served a curried spinach and mushroom bisque with hazelnut gremolata.  We then served ourselves a plate of lacinato kale salad with pumpkin dijon dressing & shaved root vegetables and roasted beet and ricotta ravioli tossed with an herbed acorn squash butter sauce.  And there was plenty of leftovers for people to go up for seconds.

After lunch we were offered a small box of their fresh greens.  It was such a great day, we decided to stop by another farm before heading home.  We drove over to Carnation to visit Jubilee Farm's pumpkin patch and go on a hay ride.

Below are a few pics that were taken at the two farms.  Additional pics can be found on my Flickr sets: Willie Greens Farm SetJubilee Farm Set

Fall Flowers Lunch at Willie GreensWillie Greens Tour Curried Spinach and Mushroom Bisque
Pumpkin Bokeh Winter Squash Horsey Hay Ride Author: Paula Thomas

Friday, October 19, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Tart

Spaghetti Squash Tart
Spaghetti Squash Tart
This spaghetti squash tart is both gluten free and sugar free. I made spaghetti squash pie several times last year but hadn't made it in tart form until this year.  I tried a different crust recipe this time that has a few more flours and an egg and it seemed to hold together a little better than my previous attempt.  I loosely followed a recipe I found on for Savory Gluten-Free Tart Crust. I did make a few changes to the original recipe.  I substituted 1/2 cup of coconut flour for brown rice and omitted the pepper and herbs. I didn't have any millet flour but I did have a small amount of millet that was just laying around in my cupboard. I'm not even sure what I bought it for. I decided to grind it up into a flour and it turned out to be just enough.

Spaghetti squash is a good alternative to pumpkin.  It has a similar flavor but a little more mild and with pumpkin spices added to it you would hardly be able to tell the difference.

Tart Crust

1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 egg slightly beaten
1-2 tbsp ice water

  1. Pulse first 5 ingredients in food processor until combined.  Add butter and pulse until butter is pea sized.  Combine egg with 1 tbsp of ice water.  Add the egg mixture to flour mixture and pulse until dough comes together. Add more water if needed.
  2. Transfer dough to work surface and knead two times.  Form a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and divide dough in half.  Place one half back in fridge until ready to use. One half should make a large tart crust or 3 small tart crusts. Sprinkle brown rice flour on both sides of dough and roll between two sheets of wax paper until 1/8" thick.
  5. Remove wax paper and place on top of tart pan, gently patting the dough into the pan and removing excess dough from the sides.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and cool on wire rack until filling is ready.

Spaghetti Squash Filling

2 cups spaghetti squash, cooked (see below)
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tbsp melted unrefined coconut oil
4 whole eggs
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, or to taste
1 tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste
1/8 tsp ground clove, or to taste
1/4 tsp ground stevia leaf, or to taste

  1. To cook spaghetti squash, cut in half, remove seeds and membrane with a spoon. Put cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 45-60 minutes.  squash should be tender when poked with a fork. Let cool and shred out inside of squash with a fork.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Add to prepared pie crust.
  5. Put it in the preheated oven, and bake it for 30-40 minutes, or until it doesn't jiggle when you reach in and shake it.  Let cool on wire rack.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Gluten Free Sugar Free Pear Tart

Gluten Free Sugar Free Pear TartThis is my first time participating in the Gluten Free Ratio Rally where bloggers post a recipe using weight measurements rather than volume with a different blogger hosting each month.  This month the theme is tarts, hosted by Charissa, author of Zest Bakery.

I actually enjoy cooking using weight measurements but you can't find hardly any recipes that use weights. The main reason I bought a kitchen scale was for my soap making but rarely bring it out for cooking anything.

At first I was going to do a savory zucchini tart since I have zucchini coming out of my ears from my garden but then I got some delicious Tosca pears from Full Circle and decided I wanted a pear tart. I've been eating mainly gluten and sugar free for the past year with the only sweeteners being used are small amounts of green leaf powdered stevia which is not processed.  I will probably still make that zucchini tart but wanted to make this one first before the pears go bad.

I made this crust recipe up myself but I'm not sure it's the best crust in the world. I was hoping for something more crispy like a shortbread but it turned out very delicate. It was so delicate that the crust crumbled while trying to get the pie weights out.  I tried half with and half without pie weights and they didn't seem to make much of a difference.

For the filling, I used a modified version of this Rustic Pear Tart recipe from Delish.Com

Tart Crust


100g almond flour
60g coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt
113g butter (very cold, cut into 1" pieces)
40g coconut oil
ice water (if needed)


1. Add almond flour, coconut flour and salt to a food processor and pulse until combined.

2. Add cold butter and coconut oil to flour and pulse until dough starts to come together.  If the dough doesn't stick together, add small amounts of ice water and pulse until it does.

3. Divide dough in half and form into two balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins or longer.

4. Place sheet of wax paper on work surface and flour generously with coconut flour.  Remove one of the balls of dough from the refrigerator.

5. Tear off 1/3 of the ball, place on the wax paper and sprinkle more flour on top.  Roll the dough to about 1/4" thick, adding more flour if needed.  Place dough in a 4.5" mini tart pan and gently push in the bottom and sides of the dough.  Fold the top out to the side and push down to cut off the excess dough.  Repeat until all of the dough is used.  Each ball should make enough for 3 mini tarts.

6. Place tart pans with crust back in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

7. Preheat oven to 325 if using convection or 350 if not. Once oven is preheated, place tarts in oven on a baking sheet. Bake for about 12 mins on convection or 15 if not.  Crust should be a light golden brown. Set aside to cool while you make the filling.

Pear Filling


2 pears (skinned and thinly sliced)
1/8 tsp green powdered Stevia (or 2 tbsp sugar or other sweetener)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp sea salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 for convection or 375 if not.

2. Toss all ingredients in a medium bowl

3. Lay pear slices overlapping decoratively on the prepared cooled tart crusts. Spoon any remaining juice onto the tarts.

4. Bake for 25-30 mins or until pears are lightly browned.

Recipe makes 6 4.5" mini tarts.