• Sarah's Refrigerator Dill Pickles

    Here at Litehouse, we love our employee owners and celebrate the talent they bring to our team – in all forms! Sarah has been an employee owner at Litehouse for years, and she loves to garden. Sarah has a legendary garden around the office and is always bringing in delicious homegrown fruits and vegetables to share with the team. We asked Sarah if she’d be kind enough to share with us one of her favorite recipes and she chose to teach us how to make refrigerator pickles. Yum!

    First, she brought in a beautiful basket of cucumbers from her garden. According to Sarah, pickles are a great way to preserve your favorite garden crops before it begins to freeze in the fall.

    Once you have all the ingredients prepared, making refrigerator pickles is really easy! First you cut up the cucumbers as needed and then stuff into jars with your favorite flavors of herbs and spices. You can customize them however you think will taste best.

    Finally, finish off the project by carefully filling each jar with boiling water. Cap the jar and store in your refrigerator for six weeks. No high pressure heat needed. These pickles are so easy and canning-mess free. If you pickle them now, your pickles will be ready just in time for holiday entertaining.

    Thank you for sharing your recipe Sarah!

     

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  • Sheet Pan Ginger-Honey Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Apple & Fennel

    According to a study reported by the Organic Trade Association, 78 percent of families are filling up their shopping carts with organic products including meats, diary, produce and grains. Most might think that “eating organic” would be an expensive way to fuel up a family with three very hungry teenage boys, but I’ve found ways to balance our bottom line.  Because I want to role model healthy living to my family and others as well as be a good steward of the earth, I have started making incremental changes in the way my family eats and purchasing “organic” when available and when it makes sense.  Along the way, I’ve developed some ways to make eating organic more affordable.

    Today, I’m sharing my top “Tips to Eat Organic on a Budget” along with a fall season, sheet-pan recipe for Sheet Pan Ginger-Honey Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Apple & Fennel. This dish is so simple to prepare, just a couple minutes of chopping and drizzling with Litehouse Food’s Organic Ginger with Honey before it goes off into the oven to roast for 35 minutes – only one pan to clean up! And, of course, it’s budget friendly thanks to my savings strategies.

    Budget & Prioritize:  Eating organic isn’t an all or nothing deal, little changes now can add up to big and wellness changes in the future. Cut out or reduce the amount of money spent on store-bought snack foods, gourmet coffee shop drinks and other items you can live without and reallocate this to your organic food budget. Then, prioritize your shopping list. For example, my family eats our fair share of meat, so I spend more on animal proteins that have been 100 percent grass-fed or have been fed a non-GMO and organic diet, and are growth and hormone-free. There are a lot of catchy terms out there, so you’ll need to do your research. We also eat plenty of fruits and veggies and use the “Dirty Dozen” list to avoid produce ranked highest in chemicals and pesticides but will still buy traditional produce that is considered “safer.”

    Shop Seasons & Sales: Make your menu around the specials your market is advertising and the time of year.  This means, don’t think you’re going to make a budget-friendly fresh cherry pie that is organic in the dead of winter. I’ve been frugal in this way for years, and while we don’t always eat exactly what was requested, the end result is always fresher and more flavorful.  

    Understand Portion Sizes: This is a biggie at my house considering our carnivorous leanings and the fairly high price of organic and responsibly raised beef, chicken, seafood and such. However, the recommended cooked portion of an animal protein is 3 to 4 ounces – that’s only the size of a deck of cards! Each chicken breast used in today’s recipe tipped the scales at nearly three-fourths pound, so I butterflied each to reduce the weight – yet still came out with four generous 6-ounce portions! So, instead of spending upwards of $5 per person on the protein, I spent closer to $2.

    Balance Convenience & DIY: I often make my own recipes for snack and packaged foods like organic granola, energy bars and baking mixes – I can buy our frequently-used items more cheaply in bulk. Sometimes, though, it’s a better deal to choose the packaged item, especially if it has an esoteric ingredient  that I’d only use a bit of and then the remainder would spoil or go out of date in the pantry.  For price and convenience, I always go straight to the Litehouse Food’s line of organic dressings including the Organic Ginger with Honey  used today and the kids’ favorite Organic Ranch Dressing.

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  • Tomato and Basil Clafoutis

    Tomato season is here and it's making me instantly regret not growing any in my green house this year.  All my friends are posting pictures of their summer harvests and I'm left heading to the grocery store.  Not always a bad thing when tomatoes are on sale and you find a cute little package of multi coloured cocktail tomatoes! 

    I knew right away I wanted to make a tomato and basil clafoutis.  A few months ago I attended a class where we paired off, cooked and photographed some new food dishes.  The other team made a savoury clafoutis and I had major food envy!  Typically you'll find the sweet variety of clafoutis made with cherries and dusted with powdered sugar.  Don't let the fancy French name scare you though.  This recipe is one of the easiest and impressive dishes you can make!  The flan like batter is made in one bowl so it's also very quick to prepare.

    I used Instantly Fresh Basil so there was no rolling, chopping or dicing required.  The entire line of dried herbs are such a time saver and there's no fear of having to use up the rest of the herbs right away before they spoil.  Just close the lid and place the jar back in the cupboard for next time. 

    This vegetarian recipe can also be made gluten free by replacing the all purpose flour and baking powder with a gluten free blend.  A perfect addition to your next weekend brunch!

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