Independence Day – 4th of July

Blog June 29, 2016

Independence Day – 4th of July


Last weeks subject was Rest, Read, Reflect.  This week is completely different, in a way.  The 4th of July was declared a national holiday in 1941.  We celebrate it with lots of fanfare but it is a day off from work for some but it is a day of parades, big parties, fireworks and showing our patriotism by wearing red, white & blue clothing, displaying the flag but most of all by enjoying the freedoms we have in our daily lives.

It didn’t start that way.  We still reflect that Independence Day stands for the separation from the British Empire by the United States of America through the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American Colonies as a new nation.  This was in the midst of the Revolutionary War with Great Britain (1775-1783).  June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle wrote a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence.  That is a very short version of what our colonist experienced. To learn more about this special day  go to:  

When our family celebrates anything it involves food. The 4th of July is no exception.  Since I am the #1 fan of Terra Verde Foods and our products, I want to share a meal with you.  This is what we like to have on our table to celebrate the 4th of July.


Spicy Cranberry-Cherry Baked Brie
4″ Brie Cheese
Frozen Puff Pastry or Filo Dough
Jar Terra Verde Farms Spicy Cranberry-Cherry Relish™

Defrost Puff Pastry or Filo for 15-30 minutes (if using filo dough cover with damp cloth to prevent it from drying out).  Roll Puff pastry or filo dough into a square large enough to in case Brie wheel. Spread 1/2 half of jar TVF Spicy Cranberry-Cherry Relish™ over Brie, invert onto pasty, and wrap dough over cheese, seal edges with a small amount of water.  Place on baking sheet, sealed side down. 

Bake in preheated 400° oven for 15-20 minutes (until crust turns golden brown).  Remove from oven, let rest for 15 minutes, remove onto serving plate and serve with French bread or water crackers.

Cheesy Spicy O’s

                18 Oz cream cheese or goat cheese
                1 Jar of Terra Verde Foods Spicy O’s
                Plate Cheese. Pour Spicy O’s over the cheese. 
Serve with crackers or bread of choice.  Pretty easy!!

Capsaicin Sensation Creations

4 cups greens of choice
1/8 Cup fresh lime juice
1/8 Cup Capsaicin Sensation – Add more or less for your heat level

Make an imitation pesto using your favorite greens (Kale, Swiss Chard, Cilantro, Parsley, Beet Greens, Chervil, Celery Leaves, Dandelion, Escarole) or a mixture of, fresh lime juice and Capsaicin Sensation.  Place in a blender or food processor and puree.  Add Lavender Pepper™, if you like.   It is great as a dipping sauce for your fresh vegetables. 

Add equal amounts of Capsaicin Sensation™ and your favorite peanut or nut butter for a Thai peanut sauce.  Use as a dipping sauce for your fresh vegetables.


BBQ Ribs


You can use pork or beef ribs for this recipe.  3 to 4 ribs per serving.

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  9 hours

                2 racks of beef or pork ribs
                3 T Maple Piper Nigrum
                1 1/2 T Granulated Garlic
                1 C. Beef Broth
                6 Oz. Terra Verde Foods Plum Chipotle or Terra Verde Foods M I Sauce

Equipment needed: 

                Large pan with deep sides to hold ribs.
                Aluminum foil
                Small mixing bowl
                Basting brush or mop

Preheat oven at 275 degrees.

Mix:       3 T Maple Piper Nigrum
                1 1/2 T Granulated Garlic
Rinse meat and pat dry.  Rub the above mixture generously on both sides of the ribs.

Place the ribs in a baking pan large enough to hold the ribs and the broth.  Add beef broth to cover the bottom of the pan.  Cover and seal with Aluminum foil.  Bake for 7 hours at 275 degrees.

Adjust the baking temperature of the oven to 325 degrees.

Baste the ribs with Terra Verde Foods Plum Chipotle or Terra Verde Foods M I Sauce.  Be sure all of the ribs are covered with the sauce.  Return the ribs uncovered to the oven for 1 hour.

Baste the ribs on all sides again and return the ribs, uncovered, to the oven for another hour.

The meat should be tender and falling off of the ribs.  The remaining basting sauce can be used as a dipping sauce.  If you decide to use the drippings of the pan in your dipping sauce you should mix the basting sauce and drippings in a sauce pan and bring to a boil before using. 

Make sure you have plenty of napkins and are ready to lick your fingers clean! 

Beet and Bean Burgers


Makes about 6 burgers


3 large red beets (about 1 pound)
1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)     

1/2 cup brown rice (not cooked)
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if necessary)
2 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans
1/4 cup prunes, chopped into small pieces.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons smoked paprika, to taste
2 teaspoons brown mustard
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 large egg (Vegan substitute:  Mix 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water and let thicken. Like flax grains (eggs), chia grains (eggs) also having binding properties.)
¼ C Terra Verde Foods Plum Chipotle or MI Sauce
Salt and pepper
6 hamburger buns
Burger garnishes of choice

Cook the beets: Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Wash, trim and rub the beets in EVOO; Bake washed beets in an ovenproof pan; I like using an iron skillet. Roast until easily pierced with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Cook the rice while the beets roast:   Bring a 2-quart pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the rice. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the rice until it’s a little beyond al dente. You want it a little over-cooked, but still firm. This should take about 35 to 40 minutes. Drain the rice and set it aside to cool.

Sauté the diced onions:   Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stir the onions every minute or two, and cook until they are golden and getting charred around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. A dark, sticky crust should develop on the bottom of the pan.

Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the cider vinegar and scrape up the dark sticky crust. Continue to simmer until the cider has evaporated and the pan is almost dry. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Process the oats in a food processor until they have the texture of fine flour. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Drain and rinse one of the cans of beans and transfer the beans to the food processor. Add the prunes on top. Pulse in 1-second bursts just until the beans are roughly chopped — you do not want them to become mushy — 8 to 10 pulses. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the second can of beans and add these whole beans to the bowl.

Grate the roasted beets:  Use the edge of a spoon or a paper towel to scrape the skins off the cooled roasted beets; the skins should slip off easily. Grate the peeled beets on the largest holes of a box grater. Transfer the beet gratings to a strainer set over the sink. Press and squeeze the beet gratings to remove as much liquid as possible from the beets. (You can also do this over a bowl and save the beet juice for another purpose.)

Combine the veggie burger mix:  Transfer the squeezed beets, cooked rice, and sautéed onions to the bowl with the beans. Add ¼ cup of the Plum Chipotle or MI Sauce, olive oil, brown mustard, cumin, coriander, thyme and 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika to the mixture. Mix all the ingredients until combined. Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper, or any additional spices or flavorings to taste.  Add the oatmeal flour and egg (or vegan substitute), and mix until you no longer see any dry oatmeal or egg.

Refrigerate the burger mix 2 hours, or up to 3 days: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the mixture to a refrigerator container, and refrigerate the burger mixture for at least 2 hours or (ideally) overnight. The mix can also be kept refrigerated for up to three days before cooking.

Shape the burgers: When ready to cook the burgers, first shape them into burgers. Scoop up about a scant cup of the burger mixture and shape it between your palms into a thick patty the size of your hamburger buns. You should end up with 6 large patties.

Cook the burgers: Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. (You can also cook the burgers in a cast iron skillet on the grill.)  Add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to completely coat the bottom of the pan. When you see the oil shimmer and a flick of water evaporate on contact, the pan is ready.

Transfer the patties to the pan. Cook as many as will fit without crowding; I normally cook 3 patties at a time in my 10-inch cast iron skillet.

Cook the patties for 2 minutes, and then flip them to the other side. You should see a nice crust on the cooked side. If any pieces break off when you flip the burgers, just pat the pieces back into place with the spatula. Cook for another 2 minutes, then cover the pan and reduce the heat (or move off of hot coals) to medium-low. Cook for 4 more minutes until the patties are warmed through. If you’re adding cheese, lay a slice over the burgers in the last minute of cooking.

Serve the veggie burgers on soft burger buns, lightly toasted sandwich bread, wraps or large lettuce leaves.  Add the traditional garnishes of your choice.

 TVF Coleslaw
2 Cups Shredded Cabbage (Green, red or Savoy)
¼ Cup Diced Tomato
¼ Cup Diced Cucumber (seeds removed)
3 Tbs. Chopped Green Onion
1-2 Tbs. Terra Verde Foods Craig’s Dressing™
 Terra Verde Foods Lavender Pepper™ or your preferred salt and pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients other than dressing in salad bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon of TVF Craig’s Dressing™ and toss well to completely coat slaw, if necessary add additional tablespoon of dressing and toss until vegetables are lightly covered.  The dressing should not pool in bottom of bowl.

Serves 4

Blackberry Lavender Sauce with Spinach Strawberry Salad

4 Cups Washed Spinach
1 Pint washed & sliced fresh Strawberries
1/8 cup Blackberry Lavender Sauce
Lavender Pepper to taste.  If you do not have Lavender Pepper you can use sale & pepper.

Wash all fresh fruit and greens.  Pat them dry with a clean cloth.  Add all ingredients to a large salad bowl.
Toss until thoroughly covered with the Blackberry Lavender Sauce.  Season. 

You may add other greens, fruit or toasted nut for a variety.

6 servings

Meyer Lemon Marmalade with Roasted Vegetables

½ cup Terra Verde Foods’ Meyer Lemon Marmalade
½ cup orange juice
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
¼ tsp Pinch of salt
4 cups of mixed vegetables of your choice

Combine & whisk the first 4 ingredients in medium bowl until emulsified.
Wash vegetables, peal if necessary.   Add to marinade and let rest for about an hour.
Baste vegetables about every 10 minutes as they cook.

Roast vegetables in a pan in a preheated oven (400 Degrees) for about 30 minutes or until they have browned or roasted.  Stir to keep the vegetables from burning.

Grill using a vegetable tray over high heat to get an even char.  Move to indirect heat to continue cooking until tender.

Makes 1 1/2 cups marinade.
Servings 6 to 8


Blackberry Lavender Sauce with Toasted Pound Cake & Ice Cream with Shaved Chocolate

This is such an easy and fast desert that taste like you have spent hours in the kitchen!

1 loaf of premade Pound Cake or Angel Food Cake
1 pint of your favorite ice cream, sorbet, gelato or frozen yogurt   (I like vanilla with this)
1 Pint washed & sliced fresh Strawberries, Blackberries or other fruit
1 bar of your favorite gourmet chocolate bar
1/2 to 1 cup Blackberry Lavender Sauce

Wash all fresh fruit.  Pat them dry with a clean cloth. 
Toast your cake on the grill, toaster or under the broiler.  Be careful it can burn quickly!
Plate by placing cake on a dish, add ice cream, top with fruit and shave the chocolate bar on top using a vegetable shaver.  
Pour a generous portion of Blackberry Lavender Sauce over the dessert.

8+ servings


Blackberry Lavender Sauce with Drinks
Blackberry Lavender Sauce makes a refreshing drink, alcoholic or nonalcoholic.
Italian Soda:
                Fill a tall glass with crushed ice.                 Add an ounce of BLS to the ice.
                Fill glass with sparkling mineral water, stir.
                Garnish with blackberries, candied ginger or lime slice.

BLS Lemonade:

                Fill a tall glass with crushed ice.
                Add an ounce of BLS to the ice.
                Add 2 ounces of fresh lemon juice.
                1 Tablespoon of your favorite sweetener.  Add more to taste.
                Fill glass with water, club soda or sparkling mineral water, stir.

                Garnish with blackberries or slices of lemon.

BLS Frozen Margaritas: 

In a blender add:
                4 Ounces of fresh lime juice
                4 Ounces of triple sack    
                8 Ounces of tequila, silver or gold  
                Fill blender with crushed ice.  Blend until smooth.
                Pour into Margarita glasses.
                Gently pour BLS on top. 
                With a spoon swirl the BLS to the bottom of the glass.

                Garnish with blackberries or lime slices


BLS Martini: 

In a drink shaker add:
2 ounces each of gin and vodka or
4 ounces of your ¼ tsp vermouth
Fill shaker with crushed ice. 
Shake until ice forms on the outside of your metal Strain drink into a martini glass.
Using a large spoon gently pour the BLS in the center of the drink.

Hold the spoon upside down over of the drink.
Slowly pour the liquor over the back of the spoon and on top of the drink. 
Move the spoon up as the glass fills.
The spoon slows down and disperses the top liquid and prevents the two from mixing together. 

If your layers seem to be mixing together, give them a few minutes for the turbulence to settle, your layers should become more defined.
Garnish with blackberries.  Add a Spicy O’s if you like a little sweet heat!

BLS Kir Royal:


Fill your champagne flute with your favorite Champagne or white wine.
Pour BLS is the center of the Champagne in the flute.Use the technique described above in the Martini recipe.

Garnish with fresh blackberries and mint.

We hope you enjoy our dinner!

The table is set, the crowd is hungry, there are lots of smiles, the patio is full of the noise of talk and laughter, the grill is sizzling and the smells are enticing.  This is how we celebrate special occasions with family, friends and…

Good eating.

Sandi Sabel
Terra Verde Foods 


























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