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The Cultured Circle

The Cultured Circle

It's Summer!


Cooking with Seasonal Ingredients

As a farmers' market fanatic I know that if something is not in my garden I can find it at the farmers' market. I love cooking with seasonal ingredients and using what some might consider mundane ingredients in innovative ways. My philosophy to cooking is simple, source the freshest, finest ingredients and bring out their natural flavors with delicious herbs and spices.

I grow a garden every year. There are times when I might not have enough of a particular fruit or vegetable to prepare a full recipe. My Ultimate Vegetable Salad evolved from not having enough vegetables of a particular kind to prepare a dish. I decided to combine whatever I had on hand. The result was a bowl of deliciousness like you have never imagined—the freshness, the different textures, and the zesty herbs are amazing. I am beginning to think that food shouldn’t be this good.

One of the exciting things about this recipe is that you can include almost whatever you like. There is no hard and fast rule about the ingredients. After all, I created the recipe because I had small amounts of many vegetables. My only suggestion is, unless you are allergic to something on the ingredients list, try my recipe first and then branch out to different variations. This recipe is so good, I am confident that you will stick with it!


Chick Pea and Vegetable Salad

What You Need

2-12 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup corn, fresh or frozen

1 English cucumber, cubed

1 pound tomatoes (any variety), chopped

½ of a yellow bell pepper, diced

½ of a red bell pepper, diced

½ of an orange bell pepper, diced

1 stalk green onion, chopped

½ cup diced red onion

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

2 cups Italian vinaigrette

Freshly cracked black pepper

How to Make It

  1. Place chickpeas, corn and the diced and chopped ingredients in a large bowl.

  2. Add two cups of Italian vinaigrette and combine with a wooden spoon.

  3. Season with freshly cracked black pepper.

  4. Refrigerate for an hour then serve.


Supporting Literacy Skills in Early Childhood

There are many ways parents can support literacy development in children at home. Simple things like reading and following the steps to make a recipe, reading product labels or discussing the shape, size, texture and color of fruits vegetables and herbs.

A great way to teach/introduce vocabulary to toddlers is to use actual objects. Parents can teach children food related vocabulary by presenting foods- healthy foods and allowing children to try the foods as they learn their names. Parents can also discuss their taste and even the nutritional value. If you are interested in more ways to support literacy development, my book Delicious Colors is a useful tool!

Delicious Colors is available on and on Amazon

Delicious Colors is Available on and on Amazon.

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