Little Fields Farm

Little Fields Farm is an organic farm in Bright, ON producing quality veggies, pastured chicken, turkey, pork and eggs.

Breaded Zucchini Stuffed with Lemon Basil Ricotta

Breaded Zucchini:

2 medium zucchini
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
¼ cup corn meal (optional)
¼ tsp chilli flakes
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil, oregano, thyme (or 1 TBSP Italian spices) 
Pinch of salt
Olive oil, for frying

Slice zucchini lengthwise as thinly as possible. Place beaten egg mixture in a wide, shallow pan or bowl. Mix together bread crumbs, corn meal and seasonings and place in a separate shallow pan or plate. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. I used a non stick ceramic skillet in order to decrease the amount of oil needed. Take a strip of zucchini and submerge it completely in the beaten egg. Then place in the bread crumb mixture and using your hands or a spoon, cover zucchini completely. Repeat with all strips. Place strips in skillet. Cook for approximately 5 minutes on either side. Thicker pieces will take longer. Do not cook until mushy; strips will have more cooking time in the oven once stuffed.

If you prefer to bake the zucchini strips, place on a silicon lined baking sheet and bake at 400⁰ for 15-20 minutes. You may brush them lightly with oil to achieve a more golden brown colour. Once baked, continue with stuffing steps. 

Lemon-Basil Ricotta Stuffing:

475 g Ricotta cheese (I used light) 
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup fresh Basil, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, 
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Adjust flavouring to your personal taste. 

Assembly:

Preheat oven to 350 ⁰F. Spread a ½-1 inch thick layer of ricotta stuffing onto a cooked breaded zucchini strip. Carefully sandwich a second piece of zucchini on top of it. Repeat with remaining zucchini slices and filling. Place in an oven safe dish and bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with grated parmesan if desired and bake for 5 more minutes. If the top is becoming undesirably brown, cover with tin foil and continue to bake. 
Serve with a large ceasar salad or your favourite pasta dish. If you aim for a refreshing meal, pair with a flavor rich red sauce pasta. If hearty and comforting are more appropriate, an alfredo or herb pesto white sauce would go wonderfully. 
 

Mashed Rutabaga with Caramelized Onions

1 medium rutabaga (or two small)
1 Tbsp butter
¼ cup milk, buttermilk or light cream
Salt, pepper, nutmeg (optional)
1-2 medium onions
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
 
Start by preparing your caramelized onions. Peel and slice your onions into 1/8 inch thick slices. Any thinner and they will easily burn. Heat up your oil in a heavy skillet and add in the onions and a bit of salt. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add in the balsamic and the brown sugar. Continue cooking on low heat, stirring often enough so that they don’t burn or stick. For soft onions you may need to cook for 30-40 minutes. It’s worth it though!! While they are cooking, peel and cube your rutabaga. Boil it for 15-20 minutes until you can easily pass a knife through it. Drain it well. Leave the pot on the heat of the stove to remove any excess water. Add the rutabaga, butter, milk and desired spices into the food processor and blend until creamy. This can also be done with a fork or a masher depending on how creamy you desire the dish to be. Once the onions are done, mix them in with the rutabaga. The sweetness of the onions will compliment that of the rutabaga. Garnish with extra onions and serve.

Pumpkin Oat Molasses Cake

This is the perfect fall cake! It has lots of spices and pumpkin, but it's not too sweet. This recipe is adapted from Crosby’s Fancy Molasses.

1¾ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
⅓ cup oil or melted butter
⅓ cup Molasses
¼ cup honey or maple syrup
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup pumpkin purée
¼ cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Topping (optional but delicious) 
¼ cup butter
2 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey
½ cup oats
1.5 tsp. cinnamon
½ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 325 F. Prepare 9 x 13 pan by greasing it lightly. In a large bowl stir together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and spices. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, substitute the following: ½ tsp. ground ginger, ¼ tsp. nutmeg, ¼ tsp. allspice. In a medium bowl whisk the oil, molasses and honey or maple syrup. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix in the pumpkin purée, milk and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until combined. Spoon batter into pan. Prepare topping by melting butter in a small bowl. Add maple syrup or honey. Mix in the oats and cinnamon until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Should be crumbly.  Sprinkle topping evenly over the cake. If you don’t want the fancy topping, you can fold the chocolate chips into the batter and simple sprinkle a few oats and some cinnamon over the cake. Bake at 325 F for about 45 minutes. Test cake to ensure it is done by inserting a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out wet, bake for 5 more minutes. Repeat until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool. Serve with fresh whipped cream. 
 

Breakfast Tacos with Greens

4 eggs      
1/3 cup water      
1 tsp taco seasoning      
4 cups greens of your choice (chard, kale, tatsoi etc.)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ medium onion sautéed
4 soft taco shells or small tortillas
1/3 cup black beans
Chopped bacon or sausage (optional)      
1/3 cup shredded cheese      
Salsa and hot sauce for serving      
Fresh Cilantro (optional)      
1 Tbsp oil for cooking

Whisk taco seasoning with water in the bottom of a medium bowl. Add the eggs and whisk well. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat  ½ Tbsp oil. Add in greens and lemon juice. Sautée until just limp. Remove greens from pan and add remaining ½ Tbsp oil. Add in the egg mixture and cook as if for scrambled eggs. Once cooked, use the egg mixture as the base for building your soft tacos and layer with the greens, fried onion, black beans, cheese, cilantro, salsa and any other of your favourite taco toppings!
 

Pumpkin Soup

The ginger and the coconut milk add an ethnic twist on a classic! 

1 small pumpkin (roasted and made into puree) 
1 carrot, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 small onion
10-12 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp. fresh ginger shredded
4 Tbsp. olive oil
15oz can of coconut milk
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. maple syrup

In a large sauce pan, sautee the onion in the olive oil for a couple of minutes and add in the garlic and shredded ginger. Sautee for 30 sec-1min careful not to burn it. Add in the carrot and celery and continue to sautee until tender. 

In a blender or food processor, combine the pumpkin puree from 1 small pumpkin (see roasting recipe above) along with the sautéed mixture. Blend the ingredients until they are homogenous. If it is too thick, add some of the vegetable stock while blending. Add back into the large sauce pan on medium heat and whisk in the coconut milk, remaining vegetable stock, salt, pepper and maple syrup. Allow to simmer for 25 minutes or until desired thickness is reached. If you allow it sit overnight the flavours taste amazing the next day. Serve it from a hollowed out pumpkin for an added festive touch. 

Stuffed Eggplant Boats

The ingredients in this recipe are very flexible in type and amount. It’s a great way to use up leftover vegetables. This is how I made mine, but feel free to be creative! 

1 medium eggplant or 2 small
½ cup leftover pre-cooked grain (rice, quinoa, bulgur etc) 
1 medium tomato
1 medium bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
2 tablespoons pesto
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup asiago or parmesian
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 glove garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut eggplant lengthwise and hollow it out leaving about ½ cm of flesh and the peel. Brush with a bit of oil and bake covered for 20 minutes at 375⁰. During that time, sauté the onion in oil until clear. Add in the garlic for about 30 seconds. Chop up the eggplant flesh, tomato, bell pepper and jalapeño. Add these ingredients into the skillet with the pre-cooked grain of choice. Once veggies are soft, add in the pesto and salt and pepper and any other spices you may want. Remove hollowed out eggplants from the oven. Load the boats with the filling and top with the grated cheese and jalapeño. Bake for 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. 
 

Cucumber Mint Cocktails

1.5 oz gin
4-6 cucumber slices and 1 tbps pulp
Lime wedge
1 tsp lime juice
1 cup of tonic water or Perrier
6 mint leaves
1 Tbsp sugar or equivalent sweetener (optional)

Crush the cucumber pulp, mint leaves, sugar (optional) and lime juice in the bottom of a glass. Add in the gin. At this point you can leave it for a while and the flavours will meld. When ready to drink, add in the tonic/Perrier as well as the cucumber slices. Garnish with lime wedge and mint. Voila! A flavourful spin on a classic G&T. This recipe can be quadrupled and made into a pitcher. Omit the gin for a delicious mocktail. 
 

Sauteed Fennel, Leek and Zucchini

1/3 cup toasted walnuts chunks
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 cup coarsely chopped fennel (optional)
1 large leeks, green-sliced into 1 inch segments, white-chopped
1 zucchini halved and sliced
1/2 cup (lightly packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Sautee the white bulb of the leek with 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil. Add in the chopped fennel. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add in the green of the leek and the zucchini slices and sauté. Meanwhile, toast walnuts in a skillet or under the broiler. Add them into a medium bowl with garlic, lemon juice, 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil, parsley and salt and pepper. Mix well. Once sauté mix has reached the desired tenderness, mix the warm vegetables into the bowl with all of the other ingredients. Serve as a side dish. 
 

Roasted Fall Veggies

5 cups of fall/winter veggies (Suggestions: Parsnips, onions, winter squash, rutabaga, bell peppers, beets)
5 Tbps olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Approximately ½-1 tsp garlic powder, rosemary, sage and oregano 

Preheat your oven to between 350⁰ and 400⁰F. Choose some of your favourite fall veggies. This recipe wouldn’t be the same without the parsnips and onions through so make sure to include those! Slice/chop them so that they are all a similar 1 inch cube/slice. You can make whatever amount you wish but a good rule of thumb is one cup of veggies to one tablespoon of oil. If you are trying to reduce your fat, you can cut this by up to a half you will just have to use some water while cooking too. Mix the vegetables and the oil very well. Sprinkle on the spices. If you like lots of flavour feel free to add more or experiment. Spread the mixture evenly on a foiled lined baking sheet. You may need two sheets if you have made quite a bit. Put into the oven. After 15 minutes, flip them. If you notice sticking or used less oil, add some water to the pan to help with the cooking. After 30-40 minutes you should have crispy, golden and delicious roasted veggies. A great alternative is to make an envelope out of foil and to roast them on the BBQ. 

Bell Pepper Breakfast Boats

1 pepper (red, green, orange, yellow), cut in half
Green onions, chopped
2 eggs
Spices: Dried basil, salt, pepper
Olive oil

This recipe is very simple. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Take the halved bell pepper and rub the outside lightly in oil. Place the chopped green onions in the bottom on the pepper boats. Crack one egg into each half. Sprinkle with desired spices and place on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until egg turns white and pepper is visibly softened. Serve with sliced avocado, hash browns and breakfast meat (or meat substitute) of choice! Add a bit of hot sauce – made from the bell pepper’s more capsaicin rich relatives. 
 

Refreshing Watermelon and Cucumber Feta Salad

5 cups cubed watermelon
1 cup cubed cucumber
1/3 cup sliced sweet red onion
1/3 cup crumbled or cubed feta cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or mint
1 Tbsp. lime juice
Salt and pepper

Mix salt and pepper, lime juice and cilantro or mint in a large bowl. Let this sit for a while if you have time. Add in the cucumber, watermelon, onion and feta cubes and mix well. Serve alone or on a bed of salad greens. Can serve right away or can keep for a day or two.  Flavours meld very nicely if you leave it overnight. 
 

Moroccan-Style Winter Squash Salad

2/3 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 -2 cups Winter Squash, equivalent to 1 medium squash or two small.  
1 15.5oz can of chick peas, rinsed
1 cup fresh parsley, washed and chopped
½ - ¾ cup red or sweet onion, finely chopped
Spinach or kale (optional), thinly chopped
Salt 

Dressing
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey or agave
1 tsp prepared mustard (yellow or Dijon)
1-2 tsp Harissa Moroccan hot sauce (or other hot sauce added to taste)  
½ tsp each cumin and turmeric
¼ tsp each salt and pepper

I highly recommend using the delicata squash for this recipe – it is so sweet and the skins are very tender. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds.  Bake your squash at 375⁰ upside down with a bit of water in the pan. Depending on the size, the cooking time will vary but should be around 20-30 minutes. You want it to be able to slide a knife through it easily but if it is too soft it won’t cube nicely for the salad. No need to use oil or even seasoning at this point. If you choose butternut or acorn squash, you can definitely bake as per above or you may want to peel and cube and rub with a bit of oil and roast them for 25 minutes at 475⁰. This is a bit more work but is a good way to use up less tender winter squash. 

Cook the 2/3 cups quinoa on the stove top as per package directions (usually a 1:2 quinoa to water ratio with some salt). Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in the bottom of a medium sized bowl. Drain and rinse the chick peas. Add them and the rest of the ingredients into the medium bowl and mix well. Cube the cooked squash. Add it to the other ingredients and mix it in gently. Garnish with more parsley. Works as a delicious side or as a meal in a bigger portion. 
 

Delicata Pizza

Yields two personal sized pizzas but can easily be converted for more! 

Homemade wholewheat pizza dough, pre-baked multigrain crust or 2 whole wheat pitas
3 tbsp pesto
10 slices delicata or other winter squash, ¼ inch thick
10 thin slices of tomato
2/3 cup cooked chard or spinach, sautéed or steamed
½ cup shredded mozzarella
½ cup shredded asiago or parmesian
Oil and flour for the pan


Preheat your over to 400⁰F. Slice your squash and place on a plate with a bit of water. Microwave for 3 -4 minutes until slightly tender. Spread out your pizza dough on a greased and floured cookie sheet until ¼ inch thick. Spread the pesto evenly over the dough leaving a border which will rise when baking. Sprinkle lightly with mozzarella. Spread out the thinly sliced tomatoes and the sautéed chard. Top with the slightly microwaved squash segments (dab off the moisture) and finish with the shredded asiago. If you are using pizza dough, bake for 20 minutes until you can lift the dough and the underneath looks golden and cooked. If you are using prebaked crust or pita-bread, you will want to microwave your squash for 1-2 minutes more and bake for only about 10 minutes until the cheese turns a golden colour. Enjoy this delicious variation of a classic favourite!   

Roasted Beet Hummus

1 Medium or 2 small beets (just the root) 
2-3 gloves of garlic (will be roasted with the beets) 
1 large can chick peas – and half the juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive or sunflower oil plus extra for drizzling
¼ cup tahini
½ cup lemon juice
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 375⁰F. Wash the beet roots thoroughly and poke multiple times with a fork. Place beets on small squares of foil with a clove of garlic (sliced) and drizzle with oil. Can also add rosemary or other herbs. Wrap tightly and roast in the oven until a knife can be inserted easily into the beet. Once cooled, peel away the rough outer skin, or leave it on for extra nutrients and fiber. If you don’t have an hour, you can peel and cube the beets and roast them this way. You can also boil the beets but the flavour isn’t as amazing!

In a food processor, make a pulp out of the roasted beets and garlic. If you roasted with rosemary, do not include it. Add in the other ingredients and process until smooth. If it is too thick you can add extra juice from the chick pea can or simply some water. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. 

Carrot Cake

This carrot cake is super simple and so moist. I think the pineapple is the key. It goes perfectly with cream cheese icing!

2 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup buttermilk (milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar)
1-1/2 cups brown sugar (or white or cane) 
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple
½ cup coconut
2 eggs


Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Mix all dry ingredients including carrots and coconut in a large bowl. Beat eggs in a smaller bowl and add in all wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients while mixing. Ensure that mixture is well mixed but not over mixed otherwise it won’t rise well. Pour batter into a 9 x 13 pan or bake in two round 8 inch layers. 9x 13 pan will take about 45 minutes. 8 inch rounds take about 30. Cake is ready when you can touch the top and it bounces back. When cake is cooled, spread with cream cheese icing (see below). Cake freezes well (but often gets completely eaten before it makes it there) 

Cream Cheese Icing: The best part! 
½ cup butter (room temp)
4 oz cream cheese (room temp) 
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla. 

Whip together butter and cream cheese with electric beaters. Add in vanilla. Sift icing sugar in slowly to avoid clumps. If it isn’t think enough you can continue adding sugar as well as a bit of flower to stiffen the icing. 
 

Zucchini Ribbon Pasta with Basil Cream Sauce

2 small zucchini
~ 225 grams of Fettuccini or Spaghetti (Try brown rice pasta of whole wheat)
2 cups of cherry tomatoes or sliced roma tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
½ cup finely chopped spring onions
2 cloves minced fresh garlic
1/3 cup of cream cheese (low fat or vegan all work)
2 Tbsps. Olive Oil
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tsps. Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil pasta as per box instructions. Prepare the zucchini by cutting off the ends and using either a peeler or a spiralizer or a mandolin/knife combination to get the zucchini into spaghetti-like ribbons/slices and then steam them. Thin slices will require 3-5 minutes of steaming while thicker slices may need 7-10. It is all about desired consistency. You can also wait until the pasta is almost done and then add in the zucchini ribbons (2-3 minutes of boiling), although you may lose some nutrients in the water. The middle part of the zucchini can be chopped into medallions and steamed or fried separately. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and sauté ¼ cup of spring onions along with tomatoes and peppers until they are browned but peppers are still crisp. Remove the vegetables from the pan. Microwave the cream cheese for 30 seconds. Spoon in some of the vegetable broth and whisk well. Heat the other tbsp. of olive oil and add the remaining onions. Sauté for 2 minutes or until clear. Add in the minced garlic. Add remaining broth. Whisk in the cream cheese/broth mixture. A smooth, creamy sauce should form. This can be thickened with flour if needed. Stir in the chopped basil and flavor with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add drained noodles (zucchini and wheat) into the sauce skillet and mix gently but thoroughly. Stir in the tomatoes and peppers. Garnish with freshly cracked pepper, hot pepper flakes and parmesan cheese. Serve with a side of steamed greens and a protein such as grilled tofu or chicken breast.
 

Sauteed Chard With Roasted Pine Nuts and Parmesean

Swiss chard is one of my favourite leafy greens! This is a simple recipe that definitely does it justice. 


1 bunch Chard
½ cup red onion, diced
1 glove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. parmesan, grated
1 Tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Roast pine nuts under the broiler for approximately 2.5 minutes and then shake the pan and roast for another 2-3 minutes. Watch them carefully, as they burn easily. De-vein the chard. Chop both the stems and the leaves and keep them separate. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add diced onion and cook for 1 minute. Add crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the chopped chard stems and cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the chard leaf and mix well. After 2 minutes, splash in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Once the leaves are softened, remove from heat and mix in the grated parmesan. Plate and top with roasted pine nuts. 

Variations: You can add white wine in with the chard stems for some extra flavor. If you find the chard to be bitter, you can add some golden raisins for sweetness. Add them in with the wine to the stems. 

Maple Kale Salad

I love maple in salads, and the maple walnuts and kale make for an awesome combination! Kale can be a bit tough, but raw kale softens fairly easily. After you chop it into thin slices, put the kale in a bowl and massage it with the tips of your fingers with some olive oil and salt for about 15 minutes. It should turn a bright green and soften up nicely! You can also choose to saute the kale for this salad. 

4 cups of kale, de-veined and finely chopped (1 medium bunch)
Plain goat cheese to taste
2-4 cups other salad greens (spinach, spring mix, head lettuce) 
2 medium crisp apples, chopped (tartness of a Macintosh is nice) 
2 carrots, grated or in strips
1-2 handfuls of dried cranberries
1 cup maple walnuts

Maple Walnuts:
1 cup of walnuts
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Dressing:
5 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp salt
Pepper to taste

Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add maple syrup, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Let mixture heat until bubbling. Mix in the walnuts with a rubber spatula. Continue to stir as it turns into a thick syrup and coats the walnuts. Remove from heat and allow to cool.  

In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together. In a large bowl, mix together apple, kale and salad greens. Add dressing while tossing until leaves are desired wetness. Plate the green mixture and top with carrots, candied walnuts, goat cheese and cranberries. Keep remaining dressing in the fridge for your next salad. 

A Well-Dressed Salad

 This is my all-time favourite salad dressing recipe! I grew to love salads after being introduced to this dressing during my time at The Homestead Organic Farm in Peachland, BC. I've heard that the recipe originally comes from a restaurant in Vancouver. Thanks to this dressing, a nice green salad is one of my favourite meals! I love adding dried fruit, chopped apples, nuts, seeds and cheese (in case you were wondering how a salad could be called a meal). I hope you like it as much as I do!

 
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup any veggie oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp tahini

Pulse all ingredients in a blender, then refrigerate, and enjoy!