Tag Archives: pizza

What’s in the Box? #79

What's in the Box?

We made it through our first week in the “OC” and are finally beginning to feel settled in our new place.  We have enjoyed trips to the park, dips in the pool and lovely walks in the neighborhood.  I wish I had photos to share of all our adventures but my iPhone screen went grey last week and this time, I don’t think she’s coming back.  So for now we will all just have to use our imagination until a) she gets fixed or b) someone surprises me with the new iPhone for my birthday ;)…I’m hoping for the latter.

In the meantime, let’s just stay focused on the veggies.

Last week we had a total of 8 link ups and apparently it’s all about the party food.  Pizza, salsa, and tacos, all inspired by fresh and seasonal CSA bounty.  Gotta love the difference a box full of fruit and veggies can make in your life :)  Thanks to everyone for linking up and sharing their goodies with the rest of the group.  Keep ’em coming!

Now on to my first box from my new CSA…

What's in the Box? #79 - In Her Chucks

I am officially in grape heaven.  I am drowning in them…but that makes me SO happy :)  Harper and I snacked on a few on the way home from picking up our box and they tasted absolutely perfect!  I will be enjoying these for the rest of the week.

I also have more broccoli than I think my fridge can hold.  4 heads!  But with the way my family eats broccoli around here, that might last a few nights.

I am super excited to see an eggplant.  It has been a while since I have gotten one in my box and this is the first time I have ever received a white one.  There have been so many delicious eggplant recipes posted lately that I am dying to try but the hubs requested this meal, which I had completely forgotten about.  Looking forward to a delicious and clean dinner tomorrow night.

To celebrate the end of the work week, I have decided to make a taco salad for dinner Friday night.  So that lettuce, tomatoes and peppers will be perfect.

I got a ton of fresh herbs that I am excited to cook with this week.  Chives and a fragrant bundle of herbs de Provence will be the perfect complement to some delicious meals.

I am thrilled to have fresh plums and pluots in my box this week.  I am doing my best to stay away from sugar at the moment so no pluot crumbles this time around.  But besides snacking on them I am thinking about some savory dishes where I could put them to use.  Or of course, I could always make Kirsten’s muffins…yum!

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits 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? #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.


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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Lentil Flatbread Pizza

Cooking is one of my favorite things to do.  I love to get in the kitchen and chop, sauté, sear, mix, bake…you name it, I’ll do it.  But sometimes it’s nice to slip off your fancy pants and take it easy for a night.  But easy doesn’t have to mean that you sacrifice flavor or quality.  Easy can mean whipping up a delicious meal in less than 20 minutes with fresh and healthy ingredients.  But only if you are familiar with my buddy Joe (or as his shop is known to the rest of the public…Trader Joe’s).

If you have been reading this blog for a while (shout out to all my loyal followers!) , I am sure you have picked up on the fact that I LOVE all things Trader Joe’s.  It’s pretty much my favorite place to be and I do my best to shop there as often as I can.  And by “shop” I mean, peruse the aisles for new items to try (I told you I want to be a product tester!).  No Trader Joe’s “shopping” trip is ever complete without a visit (or two) to the tester booth.  And they deliver every time!  This Lentil Flatbread Pizza is my most recent find and it might possibly be my favorite Trader Joe’s combo to date.


1 Middle Eastern Flatbread

1 1/2 – 2 tsp Balsamic Glaze (plus more for drizzling)

1/3 cup Steamed Lentils

1/4 cup Crumbled Goat Cheese

1/4 cup Slow Roasted Yellow Tomatoes, chopped

1 tbsp pine nuts

Chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spoon the balsamic glaze over the flatbread.  Cover the glaze with a layer of lentils, followed by the cheese and tomatoes.  Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top.  Place flatbread on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crust is slightly browned and crisp.  Top with chopped parsley and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

This pizza is so versatile, it can be enjoyed anytime of day.  Pair it with a salad for a yummy lunch or make a couple, slice them up and serve them as an appetizer the next time you have company.  Your guests are sure to be impressed :)

Don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby?  Swap out some of the specialty items for products easily found at your local grocery store.  A whole wheat pita or pre-made pizza crust would be a great alternative to the flatbread.  Sun dried tomatoes would work well to replace the slow roasted ones.  And if you are feeling really ambitious, make your own batch of balsamic glaze.

So the next time you feel like you need a break from the kitchen, throw this simple dish together, pop it in the oven and enjoy an easy and delicious meal compliments of my buddy Joe!

Your turn:  What are some of your tips for getting dinner on the table on nights when you don’t feel like being in the kitchen?  Any Trader Joe’s tester booth favorites?  Looking forward to hearing your responses :)

Blog party, Linky Party


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What I Ate Wednesday #8

It’s fun to be spontaneous.  But I will be the first to admit, I am not always willing to drop everything and change my plans.  But for some reason today I was open trying something new.  As Harper and I were getting ready for music class, she walked over to her stroller and asked to go for a ride.  I was surprised at her request since Harper has never really been a fan of her stroller and wanted to give her some positive reinforcement.  We didn’t really have time for a leisurely stroll since we were on our way out the door for music.  But after looking at the clock and mapping the walking directions to our class, I realized we could kill two birds with one stone and walk to class.  So I loaded Harper up in her seat, gave her a handful of snacks (cheese, apples and peas), stuffed my instruments into the cargo space, threw my guitar on my back and started out on our 1.4 mile trek.  It was a beautiful day for a walk.  And the best part?  Harper road in her stroller the whole way!  This is a huge feat considering most of the time you can find me carrying her while pushing the stroller up and down the street.  And she even sat in her stroller on the way back too!  Made mommy (and my back) very happy.  I hope this will become a new habit for us to “fall” into because it felt really good to work up a sweat and breathe in the fresh air.

And after a nice little work out, I was glad to have packed my body with some good fuel.  Here is a look at today’s eats…

Breakfast:1 Wheat Alternative Bagel with Nuttzo

1 plum

Thanks to Jenn’s WIAW link up, I have come across some great new products that are quickly becoming some of my favorite foods.  Take this meal for example.  These Alternative Bagel’s are awesome!  They are small, made with whole grains and are the perfect blank canvas for this Nuttzo spread (another WIAW find!).  I love to top them with sliced banana but the bananas I bought at the store the other day are still a bit too green for me.  So I paired it with a delicious plum from my box which added just the right amount of sweetness to help kick-start my day :)

Snack #1:Nonfat Pumpkin Greek Yogurt topped with Homemade Granola

Nothing says fall like pumpkin and Trader Joe’s Nonfat Pumpkin Greek Yogurt is a delicious new way to celebrate the season.  Throwing a handful of my homemade granola to the mix gave this snack the crunch I was looking for.  (PS: I went to Trader Joe’s last night to pick up a few cartons of this stuff and they were sold out!  Good thing I stocked up…)

Lunch:Homemade Pizza (Trader Joe’s whole wheat dough, pesto, goat cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, marinated artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts)

Salad from Gelson’s Salad Bar (kale, spinach, baby greens, celery, steamed broccoli, roasted beets, hard-boiled egg, shredded carrots, jicama, peas, kidney beans, garbanzo beans)

After reading my sister-in-law’s post about her homemade pizza, I couldn’t resist whipping one up for myself.  I would normally settle for a Whole Wheat Boboli Crust but decided to pick up a package of Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Dough after hearing such rave reviews.  The result was delicious!  I paired it with a salad I made at Gelson’s salad bar.  I can’t walk into that store without walking out with a container stuffed full of veggies.


Pho Tai Nam (Rare steak with rice noodle soup, bean sprouts, onion, green onion and cilantro)

Tonight we celebrated a good friend’s birthday at a local Vietnamese restaurant.  We ordered tons of delicious dishes but I forgot to take any pictures.  Luckily, I had a bowl of leftover pho I snagged for lunch tomorrow so I snapped a pic before throwing it in the fridge.  Yum!

Late Night Snack:

Veggies with Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Hummus

In the midst of writing this post I got the munchies for something crunchy.  These Trader Joe’s veggies and dip hit the spot.  Now my tummy is full and happy :)

So how am I doing with “falling into good habits?”.  I was pretty proud of myself today for laying off the sweets.  I have been struggling with that lately.  And I suspect it is only going to get worse with my birthday coming up this weekend.  I had a bit more processed grains than I would normally eat, but they were all whole grain so I guess it’s not that bad.  I just find that I feel my best when I limit my bread intake.  But that pizza was worth every bite :)

I am excited for the rest of the week.  My 30th birthday is in a few days and I am looking forward to celebrating with my family.  Harper has the Happy Birthday song down pat and she can’t wait to help me blow out my candles.

Happy WIAW!

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