Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fresh green onions from the garden do for this salad what Elizabeth Taylor did for the movies

I adore the freshness that my garden’s green onions bring to a salad. Walk out my patio door, yank up a few onions, waltz them inside, make a few chops to them on the cutting board, and a recipe gets instant spiritedness. I consider my green onions to be place-holders for the additional garden-fresh veggies that soon are down the road. In my spring garden a few rows over from the green onions, burgeoning tomato plants now wave in the wind. Soon we’ll be able to say goodbye to the produce aisles at the supermarket when our backyard plot moves into its heyday.

I added those green onions to a delightful chicken pasta salad that we enjoyed for dinner last night and probably will dine on throughout the weekend. (For sure this dish will grow better each day as it further marinates.) Whole-wheat penne pasta and chopped, cooked chicken breasts get enlivened with the tomatoes, green onion, red onion, and feta cheese, with a little fat-free Italian dressing to tie it all together.

Bistro Chicken Pasta Salad, served alongside some cut-up orange slices and some fresh grapes, made one of the best weekday meals we’ve enjoyed in a while. As we move closer in to the summer, the dining fare will be lighter, so this recipe’s a winner as things “lighten up” a bit.

Bistro Chicken Pasta Salad

2 cups penne pasta, whole-wheat, dry
cooking spray
1/2 pound skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 1/4 cups chopped Roma tomatoes
4 ounces Feta cheese
1/2 cup fat-free Italian dressing
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook pasta according to directions. As you cook omit oil and salt. Drain pasta. Lightly coat skillet with cooking spray and cook cubed chicken until done. Shred the chicken. In a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Add pasta and chicken and toss. Best if allowed to chill in refrigerator a few hours before you serve. Makes 9 servings of 3/4 cup each.

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