Tag Archives: green beans

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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What’s in the Box? #55

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You know your day is going to be busy when by 9:30 AM you have already cooked breakfast for three, washed a load of dishes, put a cake in the oven, addressed Christmas cards and sliced veggies for a veggie platter.  Then it was time to shower, blow dry my hair, get Harper ready and head out the door to run errands around town before music class at noon.  Phew!  And that was just part one…the rest of the day included a trip to the police station (nothing major…just a fix it ticket), another music class, more food prep and kitchen clean up, a Hanukkah party, cooking club and as always, hanging with my favorite toddler.  I am tired just thinking about it all.

But nothing gets me rejuvenated like a box full of fruits and veggies and a party full of good food.

Last week we had 8 link ups.  And it was all about no-guilt comfort food.  Tacos, pizzacocktails, and chowder just to name a few.  Pretty sure I will be making each of these very soon.  Thanks to everyone who linked up and shared their goodies.  I love filling up my recipe files with delicious and healthy ideas :)

And let’s be honest, there is nothing more delicious and healthy then this lovely goodness right here…

What's in the Box? #55

She’s a beauty isn’t she?  And can you believe the size of the head of lettuce?  Took me forever to jam that thing in the crisper! Salads. For. Days…

Unfortunately it’s pretty much the only thing that is going to last around here.  The green beans were the first to go.  I whipped up a family dinner for a friend of mine (which included one of the oranges and some of the garlic) and made a batch of my famous green beans to go alongside.  They were a huge hit!

The green onions will be perfect for the spinach dip I will be making for a Christmas party this weekend.  I am also signed up to make a dessert.  Trying to decide if I should use the beets for a cake, the apples for a crisp or the pears for something special.  I love having such delicious options to choose from.

For the kale I am most definitely trying this recipe.  If this won’t warm you up and make your tummy happy I don’t know what will :)  Can’t wait to plant my face into a bowl of this ASAP!

I don’t know about you, but I love lemon water.  I go through phases of making it.  Mostly because I feel silly buying lemons at the store just to use them in water.  But if someone gives me some fresh lemons from their tree or I get some in my box I get inspired to make another batch.  So refreshing.  And it’s a great way to keep me sipping on H2O.

And finally, for the butternut squash, I will be enjoying it roasted.  Roasted and tossed with olive oil, nutmeg, salt and cinnamon.  Mmmmmm…I could eat JUST that for every meal :)

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? #40

 

Break out the gag gifts, inflate a bunch of balloons and get the party favors ready, because What’s in the Box is Over the Hill!  That means I have drooled over, gushed about and enjoyed around 400 varieties of fruits and veggies during the last 9 months.  And each and every piece of produce has been divine!  The fun part about this milestone is, that like a good bottle of wine, as we move forward on this journey together, it is only going to get better :)  The more I receive fresh, local produce, the more I learn how to cook, enjoy and prepare it.  And now that I have you all partying with me…well, I have more ideas than I know what to do with!  So, WITB…40 is looking real good on you :)

Last week might have been a small turnout (compared to some of our recent parties) with 33 link ups, but each and every post was chock full of delicious CSA goodness.  And tomatoes stole the show!  Everything from Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Crepes a la Piperade, Vodka Sauce and Tomato Cobbler.  Truth be told, I wasn’t always a fan of tomatoes, but I’m definitely warming up to them.  And these recipes have me drooling over tomatoes now!  Thanks to everyone who participated in the link party last week.  I appreciate your continued support and creative ideas.

Now it’s time to check out the contents of my Over the Hill box…

Speaking of tomatoes…check out those yellow tomatoes.  I was stumped when I first saw them.  I have never encountered a tomato of that shape and the color made me think it was a pepper or other type of fruit.  So I had to take a bite out of one to make sure it was indeed a tomato.  Score!  I was on my way to the store to pick up some tomatoes for the rest of my meal plans this week and was happy to get some freshly picked ones instead.  Love when that happens :)

I was excited to see another bulb of elephant garlic again.  Although I still haven’t made my way through the last bulb.  Guess I will have to get on that or else I will have garlic coming out of my ears!

After a ton of pluots in my box this summer, I finally got my favorite variety…Flavor Granade Pluots.  I love the color and I love the flavor.  They make for such a yummy and refreshing snack, it’s hard to eat just one.  If I wanted to be naughty, I would make this tart.  Blows my crumble out of the water!

I am loving those little tiny grapes.  I almost didn’t think they were real.  They look like the plastic grapes you see used as decoration.  Harper and I grabbed a handful and gave them a try.  Crunchy and sweet!  I will have to look for this Red Flame variety in the future.

And while we are on the subject of grapes…these grapefruits look mighty nice!  There is nothing like a tart, juicy grapefruit to start your morning off right.  I find that it rounds out my meals with eggs quite nicely.  I will have to try my best to fit it into my meal plan this week.

As for the rest of the haul…The green beans and red bell peppers were cooked up tonight for lunches tomorrow.  Stay tuned for a clean eating post with details.  Expect to see the corn, carrots and Romaine lettuce in the next few days as well.  Lots of delicious and fresh meals on the horizon.

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.  Thanks!


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How is My Garden Growing?: The Next Chapter

The weather on Sunday was warm and sunny.  It was a perfect day to play in the garden.

Even the critters were getting into the action.

But there was a lot of work to be done.  It is time to plant a new batch of crops.  We were excited to harvest some of our winter crops and make room for the vegetables of spring and summer.

We started by digging up our lettuce so we could share them with our friends and neighbors.  We decided to plant rows of corn in it’s place.  We also added a few asparagus plants in the same section as well.  Two of our favorite vegetables!

In the back of our plot we planted a few potatoes, green beans, sweet peas and cucumbers.

We still haven’t seen a huge harvest from our initial strawberry planting, so we decided to add a few more plants to see if it would spark some action.

Finally, we added some shallots and chives to the mix as well.  We are still tending to our carrots, celery, onions, Brussels, and parsley which are all thriving.  We had to say goodbye to our broccoli plant as the weather has been a little too warm and as a result it decided to bloom flowers instead of a head.  Oh well, 8 out of 9 ain’t bad :).

We introduced some worms to our compost bin and are looking forward to the benefits of their hard work.

This experience continues to be enjoyable.  A LOT of hard work, but very fun.  Harper is having a blast too.  Her favorite part is hanging out in the wheel barrel.  She also digs a mean hole with that orange shovel.  Don’t let those little hands fool you.  She takes her job very seriously :)

And even after all of that, we are still not done.  Stay tuned for the next installment.  I see some more delicious veggies in our future :)

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What’s in the Box? #4

As far as ingredients go, this has got to be my favorite Thanksgiving yet.  Why?  Well, because it is the first year I have received a produce box for Thanksgiving.  And I have to say, it sure beats fighting the crowds at the grocery store!  Plus, its local, handpicked and organic.  What could be better?

Sweet potatoes, garlic and celery.  I was glad to check these veggies off my grocery list.  I can’t wait to start cooking tomorrow and all three of these will be making their way onto the menu.  The garlic will be used in almost everything, the celery in the turkey and stuffing, and the sweet potatoes will be featured in a new recipe I am excited to try.  More details on that tomorrow :)

Since it is just Freddie, the baby and I, I decided to keep the menu for tomorrow pretty short.  We can only eat so many leftovers.  But if we had more people coming to dinner, I would definitely be fixing the butternut squash.  I really can’t get enough of it.  I have been finding so many yummy recipes for it lately, I will probably have to experiment with some of them this week.

I was going to make a homemade apple pie this year, but Freddie voted for a homemade pecan pie instead.  So who knows how I will use these gorgeous green apples.  I made the apple cake Freddie asked for last week, but it was involved in a little accident, and ended up on the floor, upside down, and demolished.  So no post about my poor little cake.  But I can tell you, it was delicious (what?  Ever heard of the 5 second rule?).

I love getting fresh herbs.  There’s nothing like a fragrant bundle of newly picked thyme.  I am sure there are tons of amazing Thanksgiving recipes that use fresh thyme, they just didn’t end up on our menu.  I did however make an amazing Beef Tenderloin a few years back that called for fresh thyme…delish!

I usually always cook my famous green beans for Thanksgiving (as well as for nightly dinners).  But this year, we decided to go a different direction.  Seeing these beauties makes me want to change my mind, but we already have two other veggie dishes.  So, the green beans will sit out for this round.

Are those tomatoes again?  Sigh…my weekly challenge.  Good thing I still have my tomatoes from last week.  I was too busy baking to find time to make tomato sauce.  So now I have no choice.  Looks like I will be whipping up a big batch.  And no matter what I mix it with, I will definitely be serving it alongside a fresh salad.  Butter lettuce is my favorite and is always a nice complement to a spaghetti dish.

And finally, lovin the mandarins again.  I pretty much eat them everyday.  A tasty, refreshing snack.

In keeping with the Thanksgiving spirit, I have to say, I am very grateful to have access to fresh, healthy and nutritious food.  I appreciate all the work that goes in to growing it, harvesting it and delivering it to my door.  And most of all, I am thankful to the elements that conspired together to help my produce to bloom and thrive.  Fresh fruits and veggies makes me one happy girl :)

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What’s in the Box?

Some of you may be wondering what this box of food is that I am always talking about.  Well, when my husband and I first moved to our new town over a year ago we caught wind of this awesome local organic produce delivery service.  I had never heard of such a thing before and I thought our new town was so special.  But after talking about it with other people who live elsewhere, they had similar services where they lived.

For someone who loves produce, this delivery service is a dream come true.  Not only are all the foods local and organic but they are all hand-picked and in season.  So you are getting the best of the best.  The journey has been quite an interesting one.  We have been introduced to so many new fruits and vegetables and as a result have picked up some new favorites.  Since I can’t stand to waste anything, the challenge to use up all the produce before it goes bad keeps me motivated to cook fresh, healthy and creative meals nightly.  My husband has been such a trooper.  He has definitely broadened his palate to include new tastes and textures.  I learned that he’s not a fan of cabbage rolls but loves beet fritters.  It’s all about experimentation!

One of the things I love about the produce box is that we get new things every week.  You don’t get to pick what gets delivered, they just bring you the produce that is at it’s best.  So the element of surprise is always exciting.  They recently started posting the items on their website on Saturdays, but they can never promise those items in your box, because it all depends on quantity and quality on the day they pick them up from the farms.  Every Wednesday turns into Christmas morning for me.  I wait patiently for them to deliver my box and then I start ripping through the paper to get to my prize.  As I come across each new item, recipes start whirling in my head.  And for those fruits or vegetables that I am unfamiliar with, comes the additional treasure hunt for yummy recipes.  It’s amazing how much pleasure I get out of fruits and vegetables.  So much so that Wednesday has officially become my favorite day of the week!

In an effort to share my love for all things produce, I have decided to make Wednesday’s “What’s in the Box?” day.  This way you can get a sneak peek at some of the produce that will appear in my weekly recipes.  Plus, you never know, you might just learn about a new fruit or vegetable that you never heard of before.

So, without further ado, I present the first What’s in the Box?

This week I got some of my favorite fruits and vegetables.  I am familiar with all of them and have some great recipes for each.  Berries are always a score, especially strawberries because I eat them every morning for breakfast.  Freddie loves anything citrus so he was stoked about the mandarins.  Harper is enjoying eating (or sucking) on apple slices these days, and there is nothing better than a freshly picked organic Fuji apple.

I am excited about the green cabbage because Freddie has been begging me to make a cabbage gratin I made the last time we got cabbage (the time before that I made cabbage rolls, and Freddie politely told me I didn’t have to make those again…).  The purple spring onions will be delicious in Freddie’s morning eggs.  Every week I get a different head of lettuce, but red butter lettuce is one of the best.  Salads have never tasted so good.  Green Beans are a staple in my house.  I love to steam them and then sauté them with some butter and shallots (a trick I learned from my dad).  Sometimes I will even throw in some almond slices or bacon.  I used to be intimidated by kale but now I have a plethora of delicious recipes to choose from.  One of my newest favorites came from my sister-in-law Koko’s blog, Koko Likes.  Tomatoes are tough for me because Freddie and I aren’t the biggest tomato fans, but I always find a way to make them delicious (mostly because I make sauce or pies…and you can’t go wrong with those).  My mini-challenge this week will be the yellow bell peppers.  I have a yummy chicken recipe that calls for yellow bell peppers, so if I can’t find anything else, that serves as a good back up.

I hope you are inspired by all the fresh fruits and vegetables.  I am so grateful that my mom raised me to appreciate healthy foods.  No meal is complete without something green on my plate.  Fruit makes for a great snack or after dinner treat.  Please feel free to share some of your favorite fruits and veggies, or any recipes that you might have that would utilize some of my produce.  I love to try new things.

Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s What’s in the Box?.  I am already anticipating the excitement (I’m such a nerd!)

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