Tag Archives: kale

What’s in the Box? #82

What's in the Box?

It’s officially Fall and I couldn’t be more excited.  Where as summer is my favorite time for fresh fruit, the colder months welcome the harvest of the most delicious veggies.  I love the abundance of leafy greens and sweet winter squash and do my best to celebrate their seasonal goodness by incorporating them into as many meals as I can (for the record, I’ve served butternut squash 4 different ways in the last week…that’s how happy I am that it’s fall!).

And my affection for autumn goes beyond the produce.  Now that I’m a mom, I actually look forward to Halloween again.  I love seeing Harper dressed up in her costume (which we purchased yesterday) and finding spooky activities for us to do as a family that give her the opportunity to wear it over and over again (got to get our money’s worth!)

Finally, I love fall because it’s my birthday on Sunday!  I can’t believe I am going to be 31 already.  Seems like just yesterday I was celebrating the big 3-0.  My how time flies :)

So in honor of fall, and in honor of my birthday this weekend, let’s party it up with some fruits and veggies!

Last week we had 8 link ups and it week was a great reminder of why I continue to host this link party.  For one, it’s nice to know I’m not the only person who gets overly excited about local and organic produce.  But more than that, your new and creative ideas on how to make use of it all never ceases to amaze me.  It’s no secret that I am a kale lover through and through.  And even with all the ways I have prepared it, I have never thought about putting it into fried rice.  Nothing short of genius Kirsten :)  Next, broccoli is a weekly staple in our house.  And although I often scramble it in my eggs, I love Sam’s idea of turning it into breakfast tacos.  Finally, I am sure we can all attest to the importance of onions in our lives, but did you ever know an onion could create such beautiful and delicious masterpieces?  Angie of The Novice Gardener has a gift of making ordinary things extraordinary.

Thanks to everyone for linking up and sharing their goodies.  Keep ‘em coming :)

And now for my first haul of fall…

What's in the Box? #82

Before I go any further, I have to bring attention to my tomatoes.  Do you notice the sad face on the top tomato?  He’s bummed that his season has come to an end.  So I have decided to make the best out of my last crop of tomatoes, and whip up a Tomato and Corn Pie.  Yum!  And on the side, a lovely green salad, with grated carrots, nuts and dried fruit.

I picked up some boneless pork ribs on sale yesterday. I have never cooked with them before, but was able to find a recipe I am really excited about.  When I was planning out the meal, I thought a side of green beans would compliment the dish nicely and lucky me, I got some fresh ones in my box this week…score!

I roasted up the potatoes tonight for dinner and they were delish.  I tossed them with minced garlic and melted butter and baked them with some chicken for an hour and the result was scrumptious.

Speaking of scrumptious…nothing makes me happier than a huge bunch of kale.  I am officially in heaven.  And I plan on making Kirsten’s fried rice with it for lunch tomorrow.  I have no doubt it will be perfect :)

And for an afternoon snack?  I’m looking forward to having some of that melon with a bowl of cottage cheese.  The perfect balance of savory and sweet.

Finally, fresh oranges.  Is there anything better?  I’m hoping we can hold out on them until Sunday, so I can enjoy a glass or two of orange juice with my breakfast in bed.

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits and veggies into simple and delicious meals? Looking forward to drooling over your ideas.

Linking up for the first time? Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS: Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog. Thanks!

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Kale Salad

Kale Salad - In Her Chucks

This summer I fell in love…with kale.

Since subscribing to my CSA 3 years ago, I have been slowly warming up to this leafy green vegetable.  But over the last few months, my affection for kale has reached a whole new level.  Whether I am munching on kale chips, drinking kale juice, or dipping some sliced cucumbers in kale pesto, I just can’t get enough.  But this salad is definitely my go-to recipe.  And I have been going to it A LOT this summer.

What makes this recipe so good is the bright and complex flavors.  There is something about the mixture of sesame seed oil and soy sauce that sends me over the edge.  Add a few squeezes of fresh citrus and minced garlic and the dressing is nothing short of a party in your mouth.  And then of course, who doesn’t love the extra texture of toasted sesame seeds and perfectly ripe avocado perched on top of these leaves of glory.  Do you catch my drift?  It really is a healthy slice of heaven ;)

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced and smashed into a paste (or use a garlic press)

4 tbsp toasted sesame oil

3 avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Place kale into a large serving bowl.  Add remaining ingredients (except for the avocado) and toss to coat.  Gently fold avocados into the salad and season with salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe makes a good portion of salad.  If you are anything like me, you might be able to scarf it all down in one sitting.  But if you find yourself with left overs, the good news is that it keeps well in the fridge overnight.  So feel free to enjoy it the next day for lunch.  However, if you plan on sharing it with friends for a bbq or potluck, you might want to double the recipe because I can promise you the salad will be gone within minutes.

I have to admit, I feel terrible that it took me so long to befriend kale.  But now that we are clearly BFFs I have no doubt we will be making up for lost time.

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What’s in the Box? #78

What's in the Box?

My apologies for the tardiness of this post but Harper and I have been busy this week soaking up all that Santa Barbara has to offer before we head home.  We are blessed to be able to visit such a beautiful place, but the best part of Santa Barbara is our wonderful friends.  Here is a peek at what we have been up to this week:

Play dates at the park…

Play dates at the park

Pool time fun…

Swimming in the pool

Picking produce with friends…

Picking

Stopping to smell the flowers…

Sunflower

Boat rides in the harbor…

Lil Toot

and taking in beautiful sunsets…

Sunset

We are definitely going to miss this place, but are looking forward to being back home with Daddy :)

Now, without further ado, lets get “produce wasted!” (my own little spin on a popular movie line…name it!)

Our party last week was rockin! 19 link ups?!  The most we have had in a while.  Makes a veggie-obsessed, mommy blogger like me very happy :)  And you know what else makes me very happy?  Zucchini.  Especially when it’s hidden inside a chocolate waffle (Thanks Kirsten for taking my love of zucchini to the next level) or shredded into a savory loaf of bread.  It truly is the essence of summer.

And like the groundhog in February, a zucchini in my box this week means that summer will be around for at least a few more weeks (Full Disclosure:  I’m no meteorologist, it’s only a theory.  Just go with it.)

Not only did I get a pair of zucchinis, check out what else came in my box…

What's in the Box? #78

A rainbow of delicious colors.  And I’m loving nature’s candy again.  A bunch of red, crunchy grapes.  They make my world go round.  And no, I didn’t share.

But I was willing to share some of my other goodies.  I sliced up the apples for a picnic at the park.  Steamed the broccoli for my little veggie lover as a side to her lunch (she practically ate the whole head herself).  And the basil along with a few leaves of kale got thrown into the food processor for a batch of pesto.  Delish!

The oranges have inspired me to make a batch of muffins which will help to balance out the bowls of salad I will be eating thanks to the size of that head of lettuce.

I like my spaghetti squash simply roasted and tossed with some butter and parmesan cheese.  Although the fresh tomatoes would be a great addition to the squash in the form of homemade sauce.  In fact, I’m hungry just thinking about it.

Cheers to a fabulous weekend!  I hope it’s filled with as much fun and food as you can handle :)

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :) 

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? #72

What's in the Box?

It’s been 2 weeks since we moved into our new home and we are finally feeling settled.  We spent the weekend hanging pictures, arranging furniture and exploring our new town.  The weather was beautiful so we decided to take a trip down to the local beach.  To put it simply…it was magical.

Beach

And watching my little beach bum playing in the sand, was the icing on the cake…

Harper plays

The weekend was also filled with lots of celebrating.  For mother’s day of course ;)  And not only did I get to sleep in until 10, I woke up to this lovely view…

Breakfast in bed

Gotta love homemade pancakes with a side of crispy bacon :)

And the celebrating continues as I received my first box from my new CSA this week.  Can’t wait to share the goodies with you.

But first, let’s take a look at last week’s party.  There were a total of 6 link ups, each one filled with loads of fresh, organic and local produce.  I am thrilled to welcome Sharlea of Fresh Veggies in the Dessert back to the party.  And was even more excited about her Grilled Artichokes.  Shalama from Views from Here shared a mouthwatering Cauliflower Crust Pizza (something I have been dying to try for a while now).  And Kirsten from Farm Fresh Feasts gave us the low down on how she makes her food look sooooo good!  A big thanks to everyone who participated.  I love reading through all of your posts.

After being without a box last week, I was starting to have some serious withdrawals.  Luckily, I was able to find a new CSA pretty quickly thanks to localharvest.org.  Not only is my new CSA cheaper than my previous one (by more than $10!) but the boxes are overflowing with even more goodies!  I couldn’t be happier.  Check out what I picked up this week…

What's in the Box? #72 - In Her Chucks

Holy nutritious goodness…right?  There was so much produce packed in that box, I had a hard time arranging it for the picture.  I am currently in fruit and veggie heaven :)  And not only did my new CSA provide me with great recipes, they also gave tips on how to properly store the items in this week’s box to maximize their shelf life.  Could it get any better?

So here’s what I plan to do with this abundant haul…

Harper dug into the peas right away.  My girl loves the green.  As soon as she saw them she grabbed a handful and started shelling them (before I could even snap a picture of the box…thank God there were more than enough to be photographed).  I have only gotten English peas once before and I can’t for the life of me remember what I made with them.  But I remember it was good.  So I will have to do some googling to figure it out :)

Once the pictures were taken, I grabbed a lemon and started zesting for this recipe.  And even though the lemon zest is a small component, it makes all the difference in the overall taste.  Delicious.  And on the side I steamed up some of the broccoli.  A household staple.

For breakfast this morning I sliced up some of the strawberries and ate them along with my oatmeal.  Best strawberries ever. No exaggeration.  They were juicy, flavorful and downright scrumptious.

I was excited to see a fresh bunch of spinach this week.  I plan on making this Chicken with Creamy Spinach and Shallots again because it is so simple but so good.

I have all the ingredients I need to make my killer kale salad (kale, lemons, avocados), but now I just need mouths to eat it.  It makes a huge portion and unfortunately Harper and Freddie aren’t kale fans.  I wish I could eat it all by myself but even my belly can’t hold it all.  I have plans to visit friends this weekend and might have to bring a kale salad along with me :)

For the beets, I think I am going to go straight for the roasting.  They are so sweet and earthy, it’s hard to resist.

Of course, the lettuce will make a great salad, topped with some sliced radishes, grated carrots, crumbled cheese and a handful of chopped nuts.  Might even throw in some grilled chicken breast if I am feeling really wild.

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!


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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #6

What's in the Box?

Well hello there!  Did you miss me?  Did you think I fell off the face of the earth?  My apologies for leaving you all hanging last week but this moving thing has been kicking my butt!  So grateful to be settling in to our new home but it hasn’t been easy.  The biggest challenge we had to face was looking for a refrigerator.  Who knew it could be so difficult?  And living without one for a week…now, that was rough!  We had to eat out for every meal, which is something we are not used too.  My poor husband has never been happier to eat a home cooked meal.  I guess the saying is true, you don’t know what you got till it’s gone…

I have yet to find a CSA (although I haven’t been looking too hard since we were without a refrigerator).  But now that the kitchen is up and running it is only a matter of time before a produce box will be delivered to my doorstep.  In the meantime, I thought I would reflect on some of my past boxes and share some of the recipes that never made the blog.

But before we get to that, let’s check out some of the link ups from the last party.  I was most excited to drool over see Views From Here’s Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Cranberry Almond Pesto.  How awesome does that sound?  I am also loving all of The 100 Mile Kitchen’s homemade soups right now.  And finally, what’s a WITB link party without a Farm Fresh Feasts pizza?  It’s only been a week and you ladies already have me jonesing for my fruits and veggies again.  Thanks for linking up and sharing your CSA goodies with the rest of the party.

Now it’s time to take a quick jaunt down memory lane and admire some produce stars from the past.

April 24, 2013: What’s in the Box? #71 

What's in the Box? #71

Kale Salad:  Ok, so I have been telling you guys about this salad for a while now and I have yet to post the recipe.  But a few weekends ago I made it again and it was so super duper stellar it is back on my radar.  So consider this an IOU.  I can’t wait to share the recipe with you.  And please, continue to bug me if I forget to post it soon.  It is the perfect summer BBQ dish :)

April 17, 2013: What’s in the Box? #70

What's in the Box? #70

Grapefruit Ricotta Cookies:  Is this post still considered a recipe roundup if 2 out of the 5 recipes aren’t actually recipes at all?  My apologies again for being such a slacker but at least in this case I have a picture.  I just can’t share it with you yet because I need to write the post.  But it is top of the order on my list of things to do (blog related at least) and I am hoping to get it done this weekend.  Trust me, it’s worth the wait!

April 11, 2013: What’s in the Box? #69

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Pork Tenderloin with Strawberry Chardonnay Sauce:  So what do you do when you have strawberries coming out of your ears?  Well, you can make a Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake or you can whip up a delicious and nutritious dinner for your whole family (or in my case, you can do both!).  This amazing recipe came from the new Yummy Mummy Kitchen cookbook that my dear friend Sasha picked up for me.  It is loaded with creative and healthy ways to use your favorite farm fresh produce.  It’s the first thing I turn to for inspiration nowadays.

April 4, 2013:  What’s in the Box? #68

What's in the Box? #68

Chicken with Creamy Spinach and Shallots:  As much as I love to cook, I LOVE when my mom cooks for me.  And lucky for me when she was in town for my brother’s wedding she totally spoiled me with a ton of fresh and delicious home cooked meals.  But this one was by far my favorite.  Served with a side of rice pilaf this dish is affordable, easy to make and oh so scrumptious.  Can’t wait to recreate it again soon.

March 27, 2013: What’s in the Box? #67

What's in the Box? #67

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese:  So I recently broke my own rules and indulged myself in a batch of homemade Pumpkin Mac and Cheese.  And I have absolutely no regrets.  The sage made me do it.  And between the aroma of fresh pumpkin and the intense food coma I was in afterwards, I could have sworn it was Thanksgiving all over again.  Note to self:  Make this for Thanksgiving from this year forward.  It is an amazing addition to a traditional feast.

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite CSA recipes?  Feel free to link up some of the CSA inspired meals that you are the most proud of.  Looking forward to drooling over your dishes :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

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What’s in the Box? #71

What's in the Box?

If there was an award for moving, we would win hands down.  Since Freddie and I have been together (8 years now), we have moved at least once a year (sometimes more).  So I thought I would break down our travels and various moving adventures to show you how much we apparently love to be on the go.

  • When we first met, I had just moved into my own apartment, while he had just moved back in with his dad.  Although soon the tables turned and I decided to move home with my mom (1) and he moved into his own apartment (2).
  • After living with my mom for a while, I decided to go back to school in Arizona (3).
  • Once I graduated, I moved out of student housing and into a house with a roommate (4) and 5 dogs (2 of which were mine).
  • After a year of roughing it in the desert and surviving a long distance relationship, I moved back to LA to live with my brother and be closer to Freddie (5).
  • Six months later Freddie and I got married and moved into our first apartment together in Playa Del Rey (6).
  • A year later, Freddie was offered a great new job up north so we made our way to the central coast (7).
  • We didn’t have time to find a place right away so we moved in with my dad for a few months until we could get an apartment of our own.  Luckily it didn’t take long for us to land our own place (8).  But after having Harper we realized we needed more space.  So we moved into a brand new complex that had loads of young families with kids (9).
  • As Harper grew and became more mobile she loved to play outside.  So we started looking for a house with a yard.  It took a few months to find the right one, but when we did it was perfect! (10).

Last week, Freddie was offered another new position an hour and a half north from where we currently live.  Which means, another move (11).  This might be a record as we have only been in our current house for a few months.  As much as we hate to leave our lovely friends, it is a wonderful opportunity for his career, and as his wife, I am 1000% behind him.

Just in case you needed a recap, that is 11 moves in 8 years.  One would think we were in the military but actually, my brother is the one in the army (who is also in the midst of a move).

So I said all of that to say, I will be looking for a new CSA.  The movers come next Tuesday so I probably won’t have a box lined up by next week, but I will be sharing another recipe roundup with you instead.  The town that we are moving to is famous for their farmers market.  So I might be sharing my farmers market finds with you until I get my new CSA squared away.  But no need to worry, WITB will continue regardless.  The show must go on :)

Before I share my last CSA box with you, I wanted to highlight some of the 10 delicious links from last week.  Starting with My Yummy Local Life’s delivery of Napolitos, otherwise known as prickly pear pads.  Being a member of my CSA for 3 years now, I thought I have seen it all.  But I have never seen or heard of prickly pear pads.  I am officially intrigued and on the hunt for my own bunch of napolitos.  Until I find some though, I will be stuffing my face with Fresh Farm Feasts Double Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies…yum!  And finally, thanks to Salted Plates, I now know what Paneer is (it’s apparently the week of learning!).  Thank you to everyone who participated in this week’s party.  I love lusting over your tasty treats.

And let’s be honest, who isn’t lusting over these tasty treats…

What's in the Box? #71 - In Her Chucks

Not a bad way to say goodbye to 3 glorious years of fresh farm produce.  And for the most part, I was seeing double.  Two bunches of kale, 2 leeks, 2 heads of broccoli, 2 pints of strawberries and 2 heads of lettuce.  So spoiled.

So what am I going to do with all of this delicious goodness?  Well, being that we are headed out in less than a week and will no doubt be overwhelmed with packing, cleaning and saying goodbye to our friends, most of this might make its way to the juicer.  The carrots, spinach, oranges, kale and lettuce will make for a nutrient packed meal or snack.  Plus, it’s been a while since we got the juicer going and we might as well give it one last run before we box it up for the move.

The strawberries will be perfect for the oatmeal I have been enjoying for breakfast.  And the rest will be thrown into this “water recipe” with some sprigs of the fresh thyme and a few slices of the kiwi.  Doesn’t that sounds refreshing?

We all know who will be enjoying those two heads of broccoli on her own (*cough* Harper *cough*).  In fact, as soon as I opened up the box she walked over, pointed to the green trees and said, “What’s that?”.  Now, of course she knows exactly what it is, but that is her little code word for “I want that”.  Let me give you an example.  Not only does she love broccoli, she LOVES butter.  When we go out to dinner and she spies the butter on the table, she will usually ask to sit on whoever’s lap is closest to the butter.  Once she is in perfect position, she will point to the butter and ask, “What’s that?”, as if she didn’t just weasel her way over to the butter to pretend to not know what it is.  My response is usually, “I don’t know, what is that Harper?” to which she responds, “That’s butter mama.  Harper loves butter!”.  And I love Harper :)

For the leeks I am thinking soup.  Asparagus soup to be exact.  I recently overbought asparagus and thought the leftover spears would be perfect for a creamy soup.

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!


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What’s in the Box? #64

boxquestionintrowhite

Today was a big day!  Today, Harper and I dropped off all the paperwork for her preschool.  Which means her first day will be Friday.  I can’t believe my little girl is going to start school already!  Where did the time go?

I actually hadn’t planned on Harper starting school until the fall.  When looking into preschool options after Harper was born, I learned about some co-op preschools in town and loved the concept of being able to work at the school one day a week.  However, those programs start when they are 2 years, 9 months.  Which, to be honest, sounded perfect to me.  But Harper had other plans.

Ever since her first experience with daycare at church, Harper asks if she can go to “church tomorrow” everyday.  Through a mommy friend of mine, I learned that the church offers a preschool as well.  So we went ahead and looked into it and were very happy with the program.  After two weeks of working on the large packet of paperwork, we finally turned it in today.  Which means, it’s official.  My baby is going to school.

So in the spirit of celebrating this important milestone, let’s get wild and crazy with another weekly produce party :)

Last week we had 6 link ups!  And from the looks of it, everyone is ready for St.Patty’s day.  Greens all around.  There was Green Eggs No Ham, Kale Pesto, and a delicious Broccoli and Cheese Pizza.  My Irish roots have me doing a little jig over these delightful dishes.  Thanks ladies for sharing your festive eats :)

Now let’s take a look at what I will be working with this week…

IMG_4904

After 2 years of participating in my CSA, it is rare that I receive a veggie that I have never tried before.  So this box will go down in history for my introduction to Romanesco broccoli.  Thanks to this party, I have seen other folks get it in their box before, but I have never had the pleasure of trying it for myself.  I can’t wait to start looking up recipes.

I am also excited to see another 2 lbs worth of red garnet sweet potatoes.  I was immediately inspired to whip up another batch of this Sweet Potato Turkey Shepherd’s Pie.  We have company coming over for dinner on Friday and this will be the perfect meal :)  I plan on serving it with a side salad using that gorgeous head of red leaf lettuce.

Apparently I am on a comfort food kick because those turnips make me want to spend my weekend cooking up this Beer-Braised Beef with Onion, Carrot, and Turnips dish.  It is DIVINE!  I would love to make this for my company except for it takes hours to cook, and on a Friday night after a day of music classes and toddler fun, I just don’t have the time.  So I like to save these recipes for the weekend, when I can start preparing it early enough that dinner can be served at a decent hour.

Speaking of the weekend, I love to juice on the weekends.  And those grapefruits, apples and beautiful bunch of kale would make a killer combo.  I might even have a few carrots left over from last week to throw into the mix too :)

I have been on a Greek yogurt kick lately (maybe because they were on sale at Ralphs and I bought a boatload).  And I love the addition of fresh berries sliced on top.  It is a delicious daytime snack or after dinner treat.

Finally, I will be making this Apricot Pork Chops recipe and serving the sugar snap peas on the side.  I like to give them a quick boil and then toss them in butter, lemon zest and garlic.  Yum!

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS: Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!  You only have until March 11th to get your entries in.  Remember to leave a comment on the original post letting me know that you have completed the tasks.  Your comments act as your entry into the giveaway.  Good luck!

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