Caramelized Onions

4-5 large onions 2-4 tbsp olive oil.  2-4 tbsp butter.  2-3 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, (optional)  Caramelizing onions brings out the sugars and are a great addition to burgers, steak and pizza.                                               Cut the root and stem end off the onions, halve the onions and but into thin slices. Add olive oil and butter to large skillet over med heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sugar and let onions cook slowly. Stir onions so that they brown slowly but not too often as they need to stick to the pan a bit but not burn. Continue cooking and stir occasionally til onions turn a golden brown. Deglaze onions if sticking a lot with a bit of balsamic vinegar and continue cooking til they reach a rich brown color. Yields 2 cups

Korean Steak Tacos (Recipe courtesy of epicurious)


  1. Steak
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons canola oil
    • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
    • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • One 2-pound flank steak (about 1 1/2 inches thick), fat trimmed
  2. Tacos
    • 1/2 head green cabbage, halved lengthwise and shredded crosswise (about 3 cups)
    • 1 large carrot, cut into 2-inch-long matchstick-size strips
    • 8 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced on a sharp diagonal
    • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro sprigs
    • Twelve 6-inch soft tortillas


    1. 1. To marinate the steak: In a large baking dish, whisk the cilantro, brown sugar, canola oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, jalapeños, black pepper, and coriander to blend well. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture in a small bowl for serving. Place the steak in the remaining marinade and turn to coat. Marinate for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate the reserved marinade.
    2. 2. Prepare an outdoor grill for medium-high cooking over direct heat.
    3. 3. Remove the steak from the marinade (discard the marinade) and grill, turning halfway through cooking, for a total of about 10 minutes, until the meat feels only slightly resilient when pressed with a fingertip for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
    4. 4. Meanwhile, prepare the tacos: In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, carrots, scallions, and cilantro together.
    5. 5. Heat the tortillas on the grill, turning occasionally, for about 1 minute, or until hot. Transfer to a serving bowl and cover to keep warm.
    6. 6. To serve: Cut the steak across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Transfer the steak slices and any carving juices to a platter. Serve the steak with the reserved marinade, tortillas, cabbage mixture, and guacamole. Let each guest fill two tortillas with some steak and cabbage mixture and top with some of the marinade and guacamole.

Mixed Green Salad with Citrus Dressing

2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp minced onion or shallot
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 orange, peeled and segment
1/2 head of lettuce, leaf lettuce works best
1 beet, cooked and diced
2-3 tbsp soft goat cheese

Combine juice, honey, onion/shallot, vinegar, seasoning and olive oil in a jar. Shake well; to cream a beautiful creamy emulsion, add about 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard and shake well.  The contents of the salad can vary according to your taste, we have used apples, pears, grapefruit and mangoes. I have also toasted hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, pepitas or sunflower seeds which add a nice crunchy texture to the salad.

Baked Winter Vegetables

1 med onion, diced
2-3 carrots, diced or sliced
2 potatoes, diced
1 med yam, diced
2-3 chicken sausages
3-4 tblsp olive oil
1 tsp. thyme

Add all ingredients into a shallow baking dish, toss with seasoning, thyme and olive oil. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for half an hour, then removed foil and bake for another half an hour or until vegies are tender. This dish is extremely versatile, can use lentils or chick peas for a vegetarian version and can also add mushrooms or peppers.

Whole-wheat lasagna with butternut squash and kale

TIME – About 2 hours


4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 medium red onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, 1 minced, 2 peeled and left whole
2 cans (14oz. each) crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper, divided plus more to taste
1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs), peeled and cut into 1/2 in. cubes (6 cups)
1 lb lacinato kale (often called black or dinosaur kale), rinsed well
9 whole-wheat lasagna noodle (about 8 oz.)
About 2 cups (1 carton, 15 oz.) part skim milk ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 2- to 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until thick and flavours are combined, about 30 minutes. Set aside.
  2. While sauce is cooking, in a 12- by 15-in. baking pan, sprinkle squash with thyme, remaining 2 tbsp. oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic cloves and toss squash mixture to coat with oil. Bake until soft 10-15 minutes. Bring 3 qts. salted water to a boil in a large pot.
  3. Meanwhile, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Transfer squash and garlic to a food processor and puree until smooth.
  4. Tear kale leaves from center ribs and discard ribs. Boil leaves until soft, 5-8 minutes. Drain; let cool. Squeeze out as much water as possible and chop finely.
  5. Bring another 3qts. salted water to a boil in same pot. Add noodles and cook until tender to the bite, about 10 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water.
  6. Mix ricotta, nutmeg, 1 cup mozzarella and remaining 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper in medium bowl.
  7. Coat bottom of a 9- by 13- in. pan with 1/3 of tomato sauce (about 1 1/2 cups). Lay noodles in a single layer over sauce. Top noodles with squash, spreading evenly. Sprinkle half the kale evenly over squash. Arrange 3 more noodles on kale and top with ricotta, spreading evenly. Top with remaining kale and noodles. Cover noodles with remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella.
  8. Bake lasagna until juices are bubbling and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.You can assemble and chill the lasagna a day ahead, but add 10-15 minutes baking time. You can also freeze the lasagna , wrapped well in plastic wrap, for up to 1 month and bake frozen (add 1 1/4 hours to oven time).Recipe taken from Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook

    Note from Thistle Farm – You can also sautee the kale instead of boiling it to retain some of the nutrients, or boil your noodles in the kale water (however, kale can have a bitter taste when raw, so test the water to see what it tastes like as the noodles may take on that flavour). You could also sub in other greens that you prefer for a milder flavour (ie. chard, spinach). The star here is the butternut squash which will add a rich nutty flavour to the dish. A nice comforting meal for the cooler nights.
    *A potato masher would do the trick if you don’t have a food processor, just make sure the garlic cloves are thoroughly mashed also.


Lentil Soup (Linsen Suppe)

Lentil Soup (Linsen Suppe)
1 c. lentils (green or brown)                                   2-3 tbsp sugar
1-2 med onions, diced                                             3-4 tbsp white vinegar
2-3 med sized potatoes, preferably yukons        salt and pepper to taste
3-4 slices bacon                                                        1-2 bay leaves
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced                                 4 c. of chicken or vegie stock
1-2 sausages, Farmer, Garlic or whatever you prefer, cut into 1/2 in. pieces.
Add lentils, bay leaves and a bit of salt to 3-4 cups of stock. Bring to a boil then add potatoes and carrots. Meanwhile cook bacon, and set aside. Drain most of fat, then cook onions in remaining fat til translucent. Add both bacon, sausages and onions to soup mixture and let simmer for 1/2 to 1 hour til lentils and vegies are tender. Add sugar and vinegar to taste and salt and pepper if needed.  Serves 4.




Easy Sauteed Red Cabbage

1-2 lbs of shredded red cabbage          1-2 tblsp brown sugar
2-3 tblsp oil                                              1-2 tblsp apple cider vinegar
1-2 apples, cored and diced                   salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil and add shredded cabbage. Cook for 5-10 minutes on med heat. Add apples and cook til tender. Add brown sugar and apple cider vinegar.  Cook til sugar dissolved 3-4 minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste. Extremely easy and tastey!!

Eggplant Bruchetta

2 med onions, chopped fairly finely   1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
2 small eggplant, diced                         salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced                         1/c cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 med zucchini, diced                            1 baguette sliced into 1/2 inch slices.1 large tomato

Saute onions til translucent then add eggplant. Cook til soft. Add garlic, zucchini and tomato. Add balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Toast bread lightly on one side under double broiler. Brush other side with basil pesto and put approx 1 tbsp on eggplant mixture and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Put under broiler til cheese melts.

Roasted Garlic Lemon Broccoli

2 c. broccoli florets            1/2 tsp black pepper
2  tsp olive oil                        1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt                           1 tsp lemon juice

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl toss broccoli, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and garlic. Spread broccoli out in an even layer on baking sheet. Bake in oven til florets are tender enough to pierce the stems with a fork 15-20 minutes. Remove and transfer to a serving platter, Squeeze lemon juice liberally over the broccoli before serving. For an even tastier version sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over broccoli about 5 minutes before done til slightly melted, then continue as per recipe.

Baby Bok Choy with miso ginger dressing

2 1/2 Tbs.peanut oil                                   1 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger               1/2 tsp. Sriracha
1/2 Tbs. minced garlic                                1 Tbs. Sesame oil
1/4 cup mirin                                                  2 lbs. baby bok choy
1 1/2 Tbs. white miso                                   quartered or halved lengthwise.
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice

Heat 1/2 Tbs of the peanut oil in a 12 in. skillet over med high heat until shimmering hot. Add the ginger and garlic, cook stirring until beginning to brown about 30 seconds. Whisk in the mirin, miso, lime juice, vinegar, and Sriracha, and cook until slightly thickened about 1 minute. Stir in the sesame, oil transfer to a heatproof bowl and keep warm.
Wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining 2 Tbs of peanut oil over med. high heat until shimmering hot. Add the bok choy, toss gently and then cover and cook turning occasionally, until crisp tender and browned on some edges, 5-6 min. Transfer to a platter and drizzle with the dressing.
Recipe courtesy of Fine Cooking No. 127 Feb/Mar. 2014