Anthony Flaccavento comes to West Michigan

Local First is excited to host Anthony Flaccavento this fall as we gear up for our fall celebrations. Anthony is an organic farmer, small business owner, author and activist who has worked for more than 30 years to strengthen the economy and food system in both rural and urban settings. He speaks about the importance of sustainable development.

His book Building a Healthy Economy from the Bottom Up: Harnessing Real-World Experience for Transformative Change (Culture Of The Land) connects a broad foundation of experience with a clear economic analysis and an array of public policy ideas that, taken together, help point the way towards more widely shared prosperity and a more resilient, vibrant economy. It is a call-to-action for innovators, entrepreneurs, policymakers, community activists, environmentalists and all citizens who want to create thriving, locally-based economies, and a more just, sustainable world.

Join us at Windmill Island Gardens at 3:30pm and add to the discussion. Then celebrate the season at Coppercraft for the Lakeshore Fork Fest at 6:00pm. More information about both events at localfirst.com/events.

Anthony Flaccavento comes to West Michigan
nTuesday, September 27
n3:30-5:00pm
nWindmill Island Gardens
n1 Lincoln Ave, Holland, MI 49423

Eventbrite - Author Anthony Flaccavento comes to Michigan

Local restaurant boasts awards, philanthropy, and brunch

Joining the festivities at this year’s Lakeshore Street Party is Anna’s House, a local restaurant owned by a native Grand Rapids family. While they are new to the Lakeshore Street Party, they are already thinking Local First and partnering with various Local First members in the area such as Bloom Ferments, Ferris Coffee, and more. Danea Mather of Anna’s House looks forward to participating the event.

“We absolutely love getting face to face with the people who live, work and play where we do, and being able to share what we believe is important – clean, healthy, allergen friendly and delicious food!” she says.

Anna’s House opened their first location 13 years ago on Plainfield Avenue. “Since day one, that location has been a staple morning spot for many weekday coffee and bacon lovers and weekend brunchers,” says Mather. In 2014, the second Anna’s House opened on the East Beltline in Grand Rapids, but they didn’t stop there. Their third and fourth locations continue their mission to, “Save the World from Ordinary Breakfast.”

In addition to offering an extraordinary menu, Anna’s House hosts an annual fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Everything raised goes directly to the local Michigan chapter of the foundation. Mather says, “It’s humbling to be able to see all the ways we are connected through something as simple as a visit to breakfast.”

The restaurant group participates in other West Michigan events such as the Wine, Beer and Food Festival at DeVos Place. Having a presence in the community is essential to the Anna’s House team, Mather says, “We are all about having fun and communicating in person, especially when there is food to share and especially when we can build relationships.”

The restaurant group’s next-level efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Anna’s House was recently awarded #1 Best Breakfast in Michigan by MLive, Best Breakfast, Brunch and Restaurant Service in Grand Rapids by Grand Rapids Magazine, and Revue Magazine’s Reader’s Pick for “Best of the West” in Brunch.

Don’t miss out on Anna’s House at the Lakeshore Street Party this Saturday, August 20 from 3-9 PM. As Mather says, “ Our food is amazing, our service is amazing, our environment is amazing, but what makes Anna’s House as special as it is are all the people that come in and let us share what we have to offer with them every day.”  

Celebrate Living Local at the 3rd Annual Lakeshore Street Party

Venture out to Washington Square in Holland Saturday, August 20 from 3-9 PM for the 3rd annual Local First Lakeshore Street Party presented by New Holland Brewing! The event will feature an array of local music, food, beer and an outdoor artists' market. Celebrate local living in West Michigan with your family, friends, and the Local First team.

You don’t want to miss the chance to hear Erick Picardo’s drumming as the Street Party kicks off. Second to perform, Vinylicious will be doing cover performances of current hits and classic rock. Brad Vredevoogd from Vinylicious says they are returning to the Street Party because, “We love the opportunity to connect with parts of the community we may not normally see at standard bar gigs. Plus, the diversity of the acts, food and activities that Local First brings together are just amazing to explore.”

Also at this year’s Street Party will be David Dzuiban providing you with bluegrass folk, followed by Mark Harrell with indie folk. Lakeshore Street Party favorite Grupo Super Nova will be returning to headline beginning at 7:30 with Cumbia Romantica and Bachata!

Audacious Hoops will be returning to the Lakeshore Street Party with hoola hoops to share! The Street Party is a celebration welcome to all ages; free face painting and sidewalk chalk art are sure to put a smile on the kid’s faces. New this year is an outdoor pop-up market with local goodies. Herrick District Library Book Bike will also be site – sign up for a library card and check out books! Ottawa Food Policy Council will have information on food access and Petal Cab will give out free rides. 

Don’t miss out on the various flavors of the Lakeshore Street Party featuring Ray the Tamale King, Just Enjoy Bakery, Anna’s House and more! Enjoy beer by New Holland Brewing while you stroll through the Lakeshore Street Party. Local favorite and family-owned business, Anna’s House recently opened their 4th location in Holland. Look forward to experiencing Anna’s House’s mission, “Saving the World from an Ordinary Breakfast,” with the delectable treats at the Street Party. Danea Mather with Anna’s House believes, “if we want our communities to truly thrive, Local needs to be First, which is why Anna’s House is interested in organizations that support the same.” The vendors are bringing lots for you and the family to try this weekend.

Stop by Washington Square this weekend for a day filled with delicious refreshments, music and entertainment, and fun for everyone. The 3rd annual Local First Lakeshore Street Party is from 3-9PM on Saturday, August 20. 

To Be, Or Not to Be—Found On the Internet, That Is

Competing in today’s era of digital transformation has made it essential for every business to create a website to establish an online presence. However, with 97{6be771524f35e681d5eb1711abbe9ad08f29540a742404ae9fff00be7e8f65de} of U.S. Internet users gathering shopping information and making purchases online, simply having a website isn’t enough. Your website is useless if no one sees it.

In order for your company’s website to get noticed online, it needs be optimized for search engines. This practice, known as Search Engine Optimization or, SEO, is a small business’s best friend.

So, what exactly is Search Engine Optimization?

In order to fully understand SEO and how it will benefit your business, it is important to also understand search engines. All major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users.

SEO is the methods used to optimize a website, boosting its ranking in Google searches in an effort to generate more traffic to the site. In simpler terms, SEO is how people find your site on search engines. It is the magic (and secret) formula that Google, and other sites use to determine which results get listed first.

No SEO means no visitors from search engines. If you don’t do it then search engines can’t categorize and rank your site for keywords relevant to your business.

So, if a customer is using a search engine to find what they need and your website doesn’t show up, then, essentially, your company doesn’t exist. Utilizing SEO techniques helps to ensure that your company’s website gets noticed on search engine results pages (SERPs).

SEO involves a substantial amount of tactics. The more tactics used, the higher the likelihood of reaching top rankings. SEO experts work very hard to help clients achieve optimal ranking and are certainly worth the investment. But what if you’re a small business or startup without enough room in the budget to pay for that expert help?

Firstly, it is important to note that SEO relies on organic (nonpaid) search results. Thus, it is a free alternative to generate traffic to your website.

Secondly, sometimes in business the smallest changes tend to have the biggest impact on success. Fortunately, for those on a budget, one of the most important parts of search engine optimization is often one of the simplest to practice.

That part, is keyword research.

Optimizing your website for search requires adding relevant keywords to specific elements of your site. Thus, good SEO begins with good keyword research. Keyword research involves finding specific words and phrases people use to search for information, along with figuring out relative search volume and competition among your target keywords.

Use the following process to help you come up with an actionable plan and narrow down a list of terms you should be targeting:

Step 1: Make a list of important, relevant topics based on what you know about your business.

Step 2: Identify some keywords that fall into those topic categories.

Step 3: Research related terms on Google.

Step 4: See how competitors are ranking for these keywords.

Step 5: Use Google AdWords Keyword Planner to narrow down your keyword list.

The key to this process is understanding your customers. Once you identify keywords your customers use to search for products/services in your industry, you can optimize your website and increase your ranking for those searches.

Nowadays, having a website is a must; but that website is useless if no one sees it. To make sure your website stands out from the competition—without spending a fortune—you need SEO. SEO begins with keyword research, but doesn’t stop there. For more on search engine optimization for your business’s website, you can use Google’s SEO tools such as Google AdWords, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, and Google Trends.

After all, sometimes the key to success is to find a way to stand out. 

About Stingray Advisory Group LLC: Stingray Advisory Group LLC is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan and a proud Local First member. By creating dynamic customized solutions for business growth, we empower businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools to further their development. To learn more or schedule a consultation, visit www.stingrayadvisorygroup.com. Follow us today on Facebook, LinkedIN, Google+ and Twitter for more helpful tips!

Contact us through email at info@stingrayadvisorygroup.com today!

Corn

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All varieties of corn are grass, belonging to the gramineae family along with wheat, oats, and rye. Flavor and nutrition of the many diversified maize varieties has been sacrificed in the search for sweetness. Even so, a fresh, well-prepared ear of corn still offers a significant amount of vitamin A, B-complex, phosphorous, and potassium.

How to Prepare:

Corn on the cob is the most popular and flavorful way to enjoy fresh sweet corn. Simply rinse off the cob and eat it raw or cooked.

How to Store:

Refrigerate sweet corn immediately with husks on, and use as soon as possible to retain sweetness and flavor. Corn freezes well. Blanch on or off the cob for 3-5 minutes, rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process, and drain. Dry corn well, then pack it on or off the cob into airtight containers such as ziplock freezer bags.

How to Cook:

Corn can be eaten raw, steamed, or roasted.

Information adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini

————————————————————————————

Recipes

Fresh Corn Risotto with Wild Rice and Pancetta

Ingredients

  • 2 14 – ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1-¼ cups uncooked arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • ¼-½  teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1-½ cups fresh corn kernels or frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • ½  cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Snipped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • n

Preparation

In a medium saucepan, bring broth to boiling. Reduce heat to low and cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons butter and the oil over medium-high heat. Add pancetta; cook and stir about 8 minutes or until nicely browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove pancetta and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in pan. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to reserved drippings; cook and stir until onion is tender.

Add rice to onion mixture in saucepan; cook and stir over medium heat about 3 minutes or until rice begins to brown. Stir in half of the cooked pancetta. Carefully add wine and crushed red pepper. Slowly add 1 cup of the simmering broth to the rice mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Add another ½ cup of the broth to the rice mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add remaining broth mixture, ½ cup at a time, cooking and stirring constantly just until rice is tender and the broth has been absorbed.

Stir in corn, cooked wild rice, the ½  cup cheese, the 2 tablespoons butter pieces and black pepper. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Divide risotto among six shallow pasta dishes or bowls. Sprinkle risotto with the remaining cooked pancetta, shaved cheese and parsley.

Recipe courtesy of Midwest Living

 

Fresh Corn Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 ears of corn, shucked
  • ½ cup small-diced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup julienned fresh basil leaves
  • n

Preparation

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.

Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of The Food Network

 

Vegetarian Taco Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1-½ cups fresh corn kernels or frozen, thawed
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1-½ cups cooked long-grain brown rice (see Tip)
  • 1 15-ounce can black, kidney or pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1-½ teaspoons dried oregano, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ⅓ cup prepared salsa
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • 2-½ cups coarsely crumbled tortilla chips
  • Lime wedges for garnish
  • n

Preparation

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and corn; cook, stirring, until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Coarsely chop 1 tomato. Add it to the pan along with rice, beans, chili powder, 1 teaspoon oregano and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomato cooks down, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Coarsely chop the remaining 3 tomatoes. Combine with cilantro, salsa and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oregano in a medium bowl. Toss lettuce in a large bowl with the bean mixture, half the fresh salsa and 2/3 cup cheese. Serve sprinkled with tortilla chips and the remaining cheese, passing lime wedges and the remaining fresh salsa at the table.

Recipe courtesy of Eating Well

 

Lady Pea-and-Corn Patties

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1-½ cups cooked Lady Peas
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. reserved cooking liquid from Lady Peas
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-½ cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • n

Preparation

Sauté corn in 1 tsp. hot olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until tender. Process 1 cup lady peas in a food processor until smooth, adding up to 2 Tbsp. reserved cooking liquid as needed. Stir together green onions, next 5 ingredients, whole peas, pureed peas, corn, and ½ cup panko.

Gently shape mixture into 8 patties; cover and chill 30 minutes. Dredge patties in remaining panko. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter with 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add 4 patties, and cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels. Add remaining oil and butter to skillet, and repeat procedure with remaining patties.

Recipe courtesy of My Recipes

 

Joan Munson’s Sweet White Corn Soup With Poblano Puree

Ingredients

  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2-½ cups plus 2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 5 cups fresh white corn kernels (from about 10 ears)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • cilantro leaves, for serving
  • n

Preparation

Heat broiler. On a broilerproof baking sheet, broil the pepper, turning occasionally, until charred, 8 to 12 minutes. Wrap in a paper towel; let cool for 10 minutes. Use the paper towel to slide off the skin. Remove the seeds. In a blender, puree the pepper with 2 tablespoons of the chicken broth; transfer to a bowl. Rinse out the blender. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (do not let it brown), 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the corn, the remaining 2½ cups of chicken broth, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the corn is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. In the blender, working in batches, puree the soup until smooth, adjusting the consistency with water as necessary. Serve the soup with a drizzle of the cream and the poblano puree; sprinkle with the cilantro.

Recipe courtesy of Real Simple

Lubbers Farm: Storytelling through Farming

When you step onto Lubbers Family Farm, you immediately gain a unique sense of place. Karen and Jeff Lubbers, owners of the farm, have been farming in accordance with the natural world since 1993, and in that time they have gained an intimate understanding of their land that has helped them to build a truly sustainable farm. Their reliance on the natural cycles of the seasons brings order and intentionality to all they do.

The farm began as a homage to restoring the health of Karen and Jeff Lubbers' daughter who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 6. When they first got the diagnosis for their daughter, the couple immediately began researching the origin of cancer. Quickly recognizing that the way our food is being produced has largely contributed to increased health risks, they decided that in order to take control of their families health, they needed to first take control of their food supply. Further research showed them that this was no small feat in a food system ridden with pesticides, herbicides, and a severe lack of transparency. Desperate to reinstate the health of their child, they did the only thing they could think to do, they started their own farm. Over the past twenty three years the farm has grown tremendously, and to this day it continues to embody the principles that it was founded on: hard work, health, family, and a deep respect for the natural world.

I recently toured the farm and while showing us the vegetable garden, Karen shared, “If you make a story out of something, you can stand anything. We all have our own food story and we hope that our story is in line with yours.” Lubbers Family Farm serves as a prime example of how a family took their experience of hardship and opted to turn it into a story of health and empowerment. Karen now talks about her family's story with an ease and acceptance that came from years of acknowledging how her story has been able to transform the story of her community in a positive way.

The Lubbers’ are dedicated to providing consumers with real food; food that heals the body by providing nutrients just as nature intended. Not only do does the farm produce an array of grass-fed meats, but it is also home to some of the best artisan crafted cheese and bread in town. Dancing Goat Creamery and Little Rooster Bread Company are both housed on the farm, and together they have been able to provide the community with an array of wholesome foods. The success of these businesses is a testament to the strength that comes from a stacked enterprise business model. It is a model that allows the Lubbers’ family to utilize their talents and passions in order to add value to what is already occurring on the farm.

The Lubbers’ story is important. It begs the question, what kind of food system we are participating in? Are we nourishing our bodies with the foods we are consuming? Why is it so difficult to find out where our food comes from? How can we as consumers promote our health, the environment, and a strong local economy through our food purchases? Though the answers to these questions are inherently complicated, if we desire to have a voice in our food system, the simplest place to start is by supporting our local farms.

You can purchase food at the Lubbers Farm every Saturday during the growing season from 10:00am-2:00pm and you can support Dancing Goat Creamery and Little Rooster at Fulton Street Farmers Market and at various stores throughout town. Learn more

Cucumbers

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Fresh, crisp summer-crop cucumbers are available from midsummer until cool weather sets in. 

How to Prepare:

No need to peel a cucumber unless it’s waxed or not organic. Wash to remove any garden grit and then dice or slice.

How to Store:

Cucumbers are most stable at 45-50 degrees. However, refrigeration is necessary to retain moisture. Store cucumbers in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator. They will keep up to 1 week. A cucumber refrigerated after being cut or peeled will deteriorate quickly. Use up leftovers as soon as possible.

How to Cook:

Eat raw, sliced into salads, pickled, pureed into soup, or sliced on a sandwich.

Information adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini

 

Recipes

Cold Cucumber Soup with Yogurt and Dill

Ingredients

  • 2 large European cucumbers (2-¼ pounds), halved and seeded—½ cup finely diced, the rest coarsely chopped
  • 1-½ cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ⅓ cup loosely packed dill
  • ¼ cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons loosely packed tarragon leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground white pepper
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • n

Preparation

In a blender, combine the chopped cucumber with the yogurt, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, dill, parsley, tarragon and the ¼ cup of olive oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Season the soup again just before serving. Pour the soup into bowls. Garnish with the finely diced cucumber, red onion and a drizzle of olive oil and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine

 

Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 medium plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • ¼ red onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
  • 1 Kirby cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • A generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 splashes red wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • n

Preparation

Dress the tomatoes, onions, and cucumber with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Let stand while you prepare dinner, about 20 minutes. Re-toss and serve salad with crusty bread for mopping up juices and oil.

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

 

Flatbread with Fava Beans, Cucumbers, and Burrata

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shelled fava beans (from about 2 pounds pods)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ½ Garlic-Herb Naan or 1 pound store-bought pizza dough, room temperature, halved
  • 2 8-ounce balls burrata or fresh mozzarella, drained
  • Basil leaves (for serving)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Flaky sea salt
  • n

Preparation

Cook fava beans in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a mesh sieve, transfer to a colander set in a bowl of ice water. Drain and peel. Combine lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. oil, and half of fava beans in a medium bowl and lightly mash with a fork. Stir in remaining fava beans; season with kosher salt and pepper. Combine cucumbers and vinegar in a medium bowl; season with kosher salt. Let sit until slightly softened, 10–12 minutes.

Prepare a grill for medium-high, indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side of grill; for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off); lightly oil grate. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, gently stretch to about a 10×8 inches oval. Grill over direct heat, turning and rotating as needed, until bread is stiff and both sides are lightly charred, about 3 minutes total. Move to indirect heat to keep warm while you grill the remaining piece of dough.

Transfer flatbreads to a work surface. Tear burrata into pieces and divide between flatbreads; top with fava bean mixture, cucumbers, and basil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, sea salt, and pepper.

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit

 

Barley and Lentil Salad With Goat Cheese

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup quick-cooking barley
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 medium head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 115-ounce can lentils, rinsed
  • 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • ¼ small red onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • ¼ English cucumber, chopped
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (½ cup)
  • n

Preparation

Cook the barley according to the package directions. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl, toss the lettuce with half the lemon dressing. In a second medium bowl, toss the barley, lentils, carrot, onion, olives, and cucumber with the remaining lemon dressing. Serve the barley mixture over the lettuce and sprinkle with the goat cheese.

Recipe courtesy of Real Simple

 

Cucumber Cooler Cocktails

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz gin (or 3 Tbsp)
  • 4-6 cucumber slices
  • ¼ lime, sliced
  • 4 oz tonic water
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (optional)
  • n

Preparation

Add mint, lime, gin, sugar (if using) to shaker and muddle. Add cucumber slices to shaker and shake vigorously. Pour mixture over glass filled with ice and top with tonic water. Stir, let set for a few minutes for the flavors to enhance and enjoy.

Recipe courtesy of The Minimalist Baker