by Rose Diebolt
It is the first day of spring and International Day of Happiness and we are tapping maple trees and the crocuses are just peeking out a bit. The season is right on. I remember about 15 years ago chit chatting with a gentleman that was from my generation and had lived all is life here. It was early March and I was asking about tapping trees, he smiled and said “oh well, I don’t get to excited until the middle of March and then sometimes it doesn’t really get going until the end of March.” That thought has stuck with me ever since and you know he was right, 9 out of 10 times. The other times I’ll just say global warming.
Maple syrup and honey are my go to sweetener’s in just about everything I cook with. You need a dash of sweetener for your salad dressing, marinade, stir frying vegetables, smoothie and a healthy dessert. I use the darkest, dark maple syrup that we make. Trust me, ours starts as dark and goes from darker to darkest to “what is that black syrupy stuff.” As my 91-year-old mother says every spring, don’t forget I would like some of your “burnt maple syrup—it’s the best.” Thanks, Mom.
Following are some new recipes I experimented with on my family, and as John always says “wow, is that ever good—did you follow a recipe?” My answer is no, I just used it as a guideline.
Carrot and Zucchini Salad with Maple Syrup
So here I am with this recipe, subtly changed to suit my eclectic tastes. I turned the salad into a tossed. I added in some lettuce and grated carrots and beets and switched the sunflower seeds to walnuts.
1 lb carrots, peeled and grated
1 zucchini grated
1/4 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1. Make the dressing by mixing together the yogurt, mayonnaise, maple syrup, and ginger.
2. Mix together the carrot and zucchini.
3. Pour dressing over the salad, toss and sprinkle sunflower seeds on top.
Crustless Maple Vegetable Quiche
Serve the quiche alongside a mixed greens salad for an easy dinner.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 /4 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 small carrot, grated
1/2 zucchini, grated
1 leek, sliced thin
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Oil a 10-inch baking pan and coat with breadcrumbs. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, carrot, zucchini, leek, cheese, salt and pepper.
4. Pour mixture into the pan and top with the cherry tomatoes. Bake 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Maple Avocado Smoothie
2 Tbsp orange juice
1/2 cup freshly chopped pineapple
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 /2 cup maple water
1 cup ice
In a blender, puree all ingredients. Serve immediately.