Tag Archives: csa box

Dill Hummus (Or, Hiccup Prevention Dip.)

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When you think of dill, what comes to mind?

Pickles?

Maybe a garnish on fish?

Dill can be so much more! And it’s so good for you. I found this graphic that outlines some of the health benefits of dill. There are so many great reasons to eat dill, but I’m pretty sure my favorite is unusual:

Health-Benefits-of-Dill

 

“Can halt the hiccups.”

Seriously? Amazing. I HATE the hiccups. And I can’t ever just get them once. As soon as my body opens the door to hiccups, they just come on in as they please, off and on, all.day.long.

So, I got dill (aka hiccup ninja herb) in my CSA box this week.

I wanted it to be more than a sprinkling on a hard boiled egg.

SOOO, I made dill hummus. Wanna make some? It’s pretty simple:

2 cans organic garbanzo beans, drained.

1/4 cups plain yogurt 

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice

4 tablespoons freshly chopped dill leaves, plus extra for garnish

1 teaspoon ground cumin

4 teaspoons hot paprika, plus extra for garnish

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pulse all in a food processor until smooth. Serve with veggies, pita chips or a SPOON.

Get more from your food.

Take that parsley and make it the focus of your dish, not just an accessory.

Make your cilantro the star.

Turn that butternut squash into the main course, not just a side.

Get creative, think outside the box, and (in some cases)  enjoy the hiccup-free benefits.

 

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Celebrating Cilantro

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Ok, so I have an herb obsession.

I have been collecting dried herbs from KMK Farms via The Farmer’s Daughter CSA for weeks, and discovered this morning that I have quite a stash.

herbs

The mason jar is FULL of dried mint. Makes the best tea ever. One of the bags lost its label, so I call it my “mystery herb”. One day I will remember what it was I’m sure. The plant? It’s a basil tree. Yeah. Tree. Lives inside or out (depending on season) and will live for at least five years. Leaves look like thyme but smell and taste like a mild basil. Kind of amazing. Not “frankenfood” by the way, just grafted. Kind of a fun “bonzai” type hobby plant too. I got distracted, sorry.

As much as I love to have dried herbs around, there is just nothing like fresh.

My favorite? Cilantro. Hands down. I LOVE the stuff. I use is instead of lettuce on tacos, chop it up into a spicy chicken salad, and have even juiced it with fruits and veggies. No matter how much I eat, I can’t seem to get enough of the stuff.

I opened my CSA box this week and saw the most gorgeous cilantro ever. It was so full and beautiful… and the smell. OMG.

Really, though, the results of Farmer’s last week were just gorgeous all the way around:

csabox2

Cilantro on the right. I mean, just look at that. ❤

Want to make a fun sauce for tacos or dressing for a cilantro salad? It’s easy-peasy.

Take 1/2 of a  bundle of cilantro, chopped, and pop it in a blender or food processor.

Puree with:

1 cup of sour cream

2 jalapeno peppers

a heavy pinch of salt

Two peeled avocados

Once smooth, squeeze the juice of one lime in and puree until combined. If its too thick, add a bit more sour cream.

SOOO delicious, especially on fish tacos or over a mixed green salad w/chicken, tomatoes, fresh cilantro and some good quality corn chips crushed over it.  Simple and delicious!

Cilantro is loaded with good-for-you goodness. I went through a detox at the beginning of the year and cilantro was an important part of my cleansing process. It leaches heavy metals out of your body, which may result in a headache when eaten in large quantities, but I stuck it out, figuring it was doing its job! Here’s more info on this wondrous herb:

cilantro

Cilantro season doesn’t last nearly as long as I want it to, so I’m eatin’ it up while I can. I’m also apparently stock piling any and all other herbs available.

Even mystery ones.

Quick Meals – Round 2!

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When I was a kid, we had “breakfast for dinner night” at least once a week. As a child, I thought my mom was being creative…maybe even a bit daring – breaking all the meal time rules.  As an adult, I know the truth. It was fast, cheap, full of protein, and everyone would eat it.

My kinda meal.

We have breakfast for dinner at least once a week around here. What used to be pancakes and sausage or french toast and eggs is now far more protein packed, and entirely lacking in fluffy goodness, but still delicious.

A recent trip to my favorite Grocery Outlet resulted in a freezer full of these:

applegatesausage

 

Quality sausages made by a reputable company for $1.49? Yes please! These puppies sell for $5.99 at my Whole Foods so I did not hesitate to buy a huge stack of them. If you have a Grocery Outlet near you, check it out. It’s not at all what it used to be. Great way to provide awesome food to your family on a frugal budget.

Back to the food.

These sausages are pre-cooked, so all you have to do is crisp them up.

While they were frying, I scrambled up a dozen organic, free-range eggs (I’m feeding five here!) in some good quality butter…and yes, some sausage drippings. My CSA has amazing eggs, but I missed out on them this week, so I grabbed a dozen from my mama’s backyard hens. If you don’t have access to free-range eggs, organic is the next best option. Grocery Outlet usually has those, too!

I chopped up some seasonal fruit from my CSA box, served up some iced  mint tea,  and called it dinner.

breakfast for dinner

I always serve eggs with some of my fresh salsa too. It adds loads of flavor, and is a great way to toss in a few extra nutrients for everyone. I am realizing more and more how valuable it is to preserve things from my box each week. A little salsa in the freezer, a little mint, dried and stored in a jar. Little by little, I’m finding ways to not only extend the life of my food, but ways to plan ahead even more than I already do.

If you eat potatoes, they would be so awesome with this meal,  cooked up with onion and jalapenos. Every week, when I place my CSA order, I see potatoes on the list, and it is so hard to resist them every time. I allow myself potatoes once or twice a month, and my next two recipes with feature two of the dishes I use them for (including a potato, bacon and arugula frittata!)

This girl loves a potato.

And breakfast for dinner night.

 

 

 

Preserving the Harvest (Part 2)

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I always thought I hated tomatoes. Unless they were presented as pasta or pizza sauce (and occasionally ketchup) I avoided them like the plague.

Then one day, after touring her garden, my friend Libby offered me a slice of a brandywine tomato. My first words? “It tastes like SOUP.”

I’m not sure what that means, but what I was trying to communicate was the complexity of the flavor. It tasted like something I had never had in my life…it tasted like a real tomato. I think that was the first time I really realized the difference in quality, organic food. I had eaten organics off and on for over a decade at that point, but that tomato was really eye-opening for me. I mean, come on. You cannot tell me your grocery store tomato looks like THIS:

tomatomg

tomatOMG

My CSA is offering five different types of tomatoes this week. It is not uncommon for me to have 2-3 different varieties in my fridge at once. Matter of fact, right now I have four. Heirloom, roma, red grape, and red cherry. Although I have plenty of tomatoes, it will not stop me from ordering more this week. Why? Because I want delicious, fresh tasting salsa for months to come. In fact, our CSA is offering  20 pounds of organic “cosmetically challenged” red tomatoes for $30 right now, which means that next week, it’s ON. I will be out of town this weekend, so hopefully they will still have 20 pounds available next week when I can devote more time to stocking my freezer and pantry with my favorite thing in the world.

Fresh salsa.

Easy, fast, tasty, and super nutritious, it’s the perfect condiment. I love the stuff!! It is the perfect way to add more veggies (and technically fruit) to your diet without much effort.

I am going to make a small batch today to add to my ever-growing stash in the freezer. Here is what I am starting with:

salsa1

 

A ton of roma tomatoes, some white onion, serrano chilies, “cherry bomb” peppers, lemon juice, sea salt, and about 20 minutes of my time. When I thaw the salsa for use, I will add fresh cilantro to freshen it up a bit. 🙂

For each batch, I use 1/4 of a white or yellow onion, 6-8 roma tomatoes, 2 serrano chilies, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkling of sea salt. You really can’t go wrong with measurements on salsa, guys. If you like more onion, add it. If you don’t like spicy, omit the peppers. You get the idea. I toss it all the food processor, pulse until all is combined and uniform in texture, and pack into freezer bags for later.

salsa2

 

I will do most of it with serranos (my fave) but plan to do a batch or two with the cherry bomb’s. Gotta see what all the fuss is about. 😀

My favorite uses for salsa?

2 TBSP (or more) mixed in with my scrambled eggs.

A heaping spoon-full over the top of shredded beef or pork that has been stewed all day…or crock potted. YUM.

Right out of the bowl with “Food should taste good” brand chips. OMG!

Or maybe my go-to quick lunch: A can of organic white meat chicken (the kind that looks like it’s in a tuna can) mixed with about a half cup of salsa, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of “real salt”.  Straight out of the bowl or with whole grain chips. My favorite meal these days. 🙂 Quick, easy, and full of protein and veggies (and yes, fruit.) Here are a few of the reasons you should be eating the wondrous tomato:

number103ok

Now is the time to capture the deliciousness of the tomato. You will thank yourself for the effort made when you are enjoying chips and fresh salsa in December!

 

 

 

Chicken Fiesta Salad Wraps

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Want to make the easiest meal ever out of the abundant peppers, onions, tomatoes and lettuce this time of year?

(Ok, and a few out of season items too!)

Here’s one for ya:

Chicken Fiesta Salad!

Take some leftover cooked chicken. Or cook a few chicken breast. Or pick up a rotisserie chicken…you get the idea. I like to use 2 chicken breasts to make enough to serve 2-3 people. Multiply this recipe as needed for your home. 🙂

Add 2-3 ripe, delicious tomatoes, finely chopped. ( I food process all the veggies together.)

Mix with 2 minced serrano or jalapeno chilies. I have serranos from my CSA, Which is great because they are my fave. 🙂

How much do I love the hand-written tag btw?

How much do I love the hand-written tag btw?

Toss in 1/2 of one minced onion. I like white or yellow.

Throw in a handful of cilantro, chopped.

Squeeze 1/2 of a lemon over the top.

Drizzle with olive oil, about 2 tbsp.

Sprinkle with a good quality sea salt.

Stir to combine.

Serve cold  with corn chips, if dietary restrictions permit. I can’t eat  much corn, so I roll these up in big leaves of lettuce that have been comin’ in my box lately. 🙂

Other serving ideas: Serve warm, as taco filling. Serve cold or warm as a salad topping. Mix with avocado and eat it with a fork. My personal fave? Serve it with margaritas. Yep.

It is good no matter how you eat it. 🙂

GRAIN FREE PIZZA! (Yes, Really! Purple Pesto Too!)

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I am so excited about this, you have no idea.  I have officially (perhaps accidentally) made the world’s most delicious pizza, and it’s not on the list of forbidden foods.

Also, that is an exaggeration. Nothing beats Me-n-Eds pizza. I miss it so much. This may be the world’s most delicious grain free pizza, however.

I will still claim this is a victory, and victory is sweet.

I have tried a few grain free pizza crust recipes and was not terribly impressed. Then I found one made from tapioca flour and it was decent. Then I ran low on tapioca flour and substituted half of the needed amount of tapioca with arrowroot and OMG it was perfection.

When made with tapioca flour, it had a certain pie crust quality to it. It was delicious, don’t get me wrong, but the arrowroot allowed it to be a bit more cracker-y, which I really, really liked. I will be saving the original recipe, however, to make the pie crust topping for my favorite  chicken pot pie soup. I thought I was going to have to go without it this winter…there is hope once more. 😉 I love beautiful accidents. For the original recipe, go HERE.

Back to the pizza.

I made a very simple but delicious pizza using some delicious CSA items the other night. Cracker crust, purple pesto (recipe to follow), sliced chicken breast tossed with some of the pesto, mozzarella cheese and bell peppers.

I started with the pesto. I really might cry when my CSA stops offering the purple basil. It’s so incredibly flavorful and yet more mild that its italian counterpart.  I’m obsessed. To make the pesto, I gathered the following:

purplepesto1

4 cups purple basil leaves (this was two bundles for me)

1/2 cup raw almonds (cashew would work beautifully too, but they are on our “forbidden” list right now)

2 tsp crushed garlic

1/2 tsp real salt (any salt you have will work, this is just the one I have been using.)

at least 6 TBSP cold pressed olive oil

In a food processor or blender, pulse the almonds until they are fine and almost powdery. Then add the basil, and pulse until combined.  Add garlic and salt and continue to pulse or blend until all is combined. Drizzle in olive oil until pesto is at the desired consistency. I like mine to have enough oil to be spreadable. I probably used about 1/3 cup of olive oil in mine. Keep in mind, from here on out, and I never professed to be a food photographer.

purple pesto done

I will admit to you that it’s not a very pretty color. It sort of looks like potting soil. The taste is so worth it though, trust me. I also love to use almonds or cashews in pesto because pine nuts are so darn expensive. Also, this pesto does not call for parmesan cheese, so its vegan approved. 🙂

Set the pesto aside and get to work on the pizza crust now. 🙂

For the crust, you will need:

1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch

1/2 cup arrowroot

1/3 cup raw shredded parm cheese (I love TJ’s)

4 TBSP of refined coconut oil or other high-heat oil such as high-oleic sunflower

1 TBSP water

1 organic egg

Combine all ingredients. It will be sticky and kind of gummy.

Prepare 2 pieces of parchment paper the same size as your pizza pan ( you can trim the edges later)

BRUSH BOTH PIECES OF PARCHMENT WITH OLIVE OIL. IF YOU DO NOT DO THIS, YOU WILL END UP WITH A STICKY MESS.

Scrape the batter/ dough onto the first piece of parchment (on the greased side.) Now lay the other piece, greased side down, onto the dough. With a rolling pin, roll the crust out into a circle.

Peel the top piece of parchment off and discard. Put the crust, parchment and all, onto your pizza pan.

Carefully, with the back of a spoon, spread your purple peso over the entire thing. You will use about 1 cup. Reserve the rest for later.

purple pesto spread

Now, top with cheese.

purple pesto cheese

If you would like meat on your pizza, sautee some thinly sliced (about 1/4 in thick strips) chicken breast in a bit of butter or refined coconut oil. (I used 2 chicken breasts) Season with salt, garlic, and then about 1/2 cup of your pesto. Once cooked, add to the top of your pizza, along with whatever other goodies you want. I added some bell peppers from my CSA box. 

purple pesto chickenpeppers

Trim excess parchment off of the edges and Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400*.

purple pesto pizza slice

 

ENJOY!