Tag Archives: salad

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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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? Recipe Roundup #8

What's in the Box?

Greetings from Ireland!  Harper and I just touched down this morning and are so grateful to be on the Emerald Isle.  After nearly 24 hours of traveling, we are officially exhausted!  Luckily, I have a rockstar of a toddler who was perfect every step of the way…

ireland trip

It’s going to be a pretty rockin party while we are here.  Harper and I have never been to visit since my mom moved to Ireland 7 years ago so she is pretty excited to be hosting us in her beautiful home.

Speaking of parties…we all know there ain’t no party like a produce party and this produce party don’t stop.  So let’s take a look at last week’s party.  For one there were 15 links…Woo Hoo!  And seriously, I need every single one in my belly immediately.  But I thought it would be fun to highlight some delicious summer dishes that are sure to take your family BBQs to a whole new level.  My favorite link this week comes from Meghan of Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  Are you a strawberry lover?  Than you are going to die over this berry filled post complete with Strawberry Pasta!  Next, what BBQ is complete without some kebobs?  Luckily Lauren from Gourmet Veggie Mama has got you covered.  And finally, I am sure we have all enjoyed a nice juicy grilled piece of steak before but have you ever tried bison?  Melissa from Lettuce Never Squash Our Love has me curious to add this lean meat to my next cookout menu.  Thanks to everyone who linked up!  You continue to make my week extra special with your delicious and nutritious meals :)

Now on to some of my favorite green dishes in honor of my Irish Leprechauns :)

For starters, with all the avocados I have been getting in my CSA this summer, guacamole is the perfect solution.  And my recipe just happens to be the best… The Ultimate Guacamole

The Ultimate Guacamole - In Her Chucks

Next, what’s more green than, well…Green Rice!

Green Rice - In Her Chucks

And of course, what in the world is a green foods recipe roundup without a beautiful green salad…one of my favs by far…Strawberry Salad

Strawberry Salad - In Her Chucks

Even though soup in the middle of summer sounds far from appetizing, this soup is magical, and totally worth a brow full of sweat.  Plus, it’s got amazing health benefits…Watercress Soup

Watercress Soup - In Her Chucks

And finally, a bunch of tasty meatballs, served on a bed of Boy Choy.  Sautéed greens at their finest…Turkey-Basmati Rice Meatballs with Bok Choy

Turkey-Basmati Meatballs with Bok Choy - In Her Chucks

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite green 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!

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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Fresh Start: Day 10 & 11

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Hope your love holiday was filled with lots of hugs, kisses and chocolate ;)

As for me, Valentine’s Day was spent with my two loves.  Breakfast with little Harper Do while Freddie was at the dentist.  Family cuddles during a midday nap.  A post nap music session in the living room (Freddie played the drums while Harper and I danced, sang and shook the maracas).  A daddy/daughter swim class while mommy prepared a healthy dinner at home.  And we ended the night with a fresh batch of Valentine’s day cookies for my big cookie monster (ps: that would be Freddie…)

Oh, and did I mention that today, Freddie and I are celebrating our 4 year anniversary?  4 years of love, laughter and the Lakers…Where has the time gone?

One of the many things I have to give Freddie credit for is my ability to cook.  You see, before we got married, I had little to no experience in the kitchen.  But once we were man and wife, I realized I had better find a way to get food on the table.  Because we all know the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.  And four year’s later, he still hurries to the table when dinner is called.  Which means, I must be doing something right :)

And tonight was no different.  Instead of a fancy dinner at a crowded restaurant, Freddie, Harper and I enjoyed a healthy meal in the comfort of our own home.  Check out what we munched on…

Day 10a

1.  First Thing:   Amazing Grass’s Amazing Meal mixed with Coconut Water-  Who needs a red bull or coffee when you have organic, raw greens?  I kicked my caffeine habit when I got pregnant with Harper (in fact, you really don’t want to see me on caffeine anymore, talk about jumping off the walls…) so this is a great alternative to a morning, or afternoon pick me up.

2.  Breakfast:  Apple and Cheese Tortilla-  I have made brie and apple quesadillas before but I never thought about eating them for breakfast.  Well, Harper and I are huge fans of this new idea of apple and goat cheese quesadillas for breakfast. They were a huge hit!  I can see this one going on repeat once the challenge is completed.

3.  Lunch:  Brown Rice Sushi-  Another quick trip to Whole Foods for some tuna and avocado sushi.  I was hoping I could make it to the sushi restaurant in time but Harper was ready for her nap so I wasn’t going to push it.  In fact, she fell asleep minutes after we got in the car.  So I enjoyed my sushi in the front seat while Harper snoozed.

4.  Snack: Amazing Grass Bar-  Ok, I know every time I eat one of these I tell you it’s my favorite.  But seriously, this one IS my favorite.  I love almonds and like the label reads, this bar is all about the almonds.  I have to pick up a case of these next time I am at the store.

5.  Dinner:  Baked Salmon with Sautéed Kale-  Throwing a filet of fish in the oven is so easy and so yummy, I wish I did it more often.  This meal plan has a lot of fish recipes and I love each and every one of them.  We are so lucky to live close to the water where fish is being caught and sold in less than an hour.  There is nothing quite like a fresh filet of fish with a side of delicious veggies.

6.  Snack:  Avo-Banana Pudding with Fruit-  If there is anything better than pudding, it’s pudding topped with fresh berries.  And after being spoiled for the last few weeks with fresh strawberries, I hope they are here to stay.

Day 11a

1.  First Thing:   Amazing Grass’s Amazing Meal mixed with Coconut Water-  Nothing says love like starting your day out with a green drink.  And as much as I adore my reusable straw, today I had to show my Valentine’s spirit with a bright red straw.

2.  Breakfast:  Peanut Butter on Eziekel Bread Topped with Apples-  When Freddie and I first got married, one of my go to breakfast options was a whole wheat english muffin topped with peanut butter and apples.  I love apples and nut butter together anyways, and the toast just makes it that much easier to marry the two flavors together.

3.  Lunch:  Veggie Sandwich Wrap- I have a confession.  This is the first sandwich wrap I have ever made.  And I had a blast experimenting with all the different ingredients.  For starters, I used a sprouted tortilla for the base.  Then I spread a layer of avocado topped with grated goat cheddar and carrots.  On top of that I added a layer of thinly sliced chicken breast followed by broccoli sprouts and spinach leaves.  Talk about filling!  Not only was it oozing with delicious goodness, it gave me the energy I needed to get through the day.

4.  Snack: Edamame-  Edamame is one of my favorite snacks.  They are easy, healthy and can be found at Trader Joes (I love all things TJS!).  I like to sprinkle them with salt, dip them in tamari or simply eat them as is.

5.  Dinner: Asian Salad with Chicken-  A good salad dressing will change your life.  And for me, nothing is better than a homemade dressing.  With ingredients like fresh squeezed orange juice, sesame seeds and minced ginger, this Chinese inspired salad dressing is the bees-nees.

6.  Snack:  Almond Milk Ice Cream–  Another day of ice cream?  Don’t mind if I do :)  Might have finished off the carton, but hey…it’s Valentine’s Day!

Can’t believe that I only have a few more days left of this challenge.  This is by far my favorite meal plan yet.  Not only has it provided me with tons of new ideas for healthy meals, but it has taught me so much about the value of food and the importance of making the choice to eat whole, raw and organic foods.

Wanna join me in turning over a new leaf?  Check out Amazing Grass’s Two Week Challenge and commit this new year to creating a new you :)

*Full Disclosure:  Amazing Grass provided me with one bottle of Amazing Meal free of charge.  I was not paid to write this post. With exception of some of the factual information given about the various products, all opinions regarding the products are my own and 100% honest.

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Fresh Start: Day 7, 8 & 9 & WIAW #16

I might as well apologize from the start.  I am about to dump 3 full days of meals on your lap.  It’s a bit much for one post, but my busy behind has been running around like a chicken with her head cut off the last few days and therefore there has been minimal computer time.  The good news is, this post is jam-packed with delicious and nutritious food that is sure to inspire you to eat clean.

So instead of wasting time on small talk today, let’s move straight to the grub, shall we?

Day 7

1.  First Thing:  Amazing Grass’s Amazing Meal mixed with Coconut Water-  After a whole week of beginning my mornings with a green drink, I am LOVING this new addition to my daily routine.  It really does get the day started on the right foot and its delicious to boot :)

2.  Breakfast: Naturally Sweetened Goat Yogurt–  I promised myself I would try a new flavor and this strawberry is delicious!  I think we have a tie between this flavor and the mango.  I am liking this idea of branching out…I wonder what I will try next?

3.  Lunch: Sprouted Tortilla with Goat Cheese and Mixed Veggies-  Definitely my favorite lunch so far.  It has been on the menu a lot the last week but I don’t mind a bit.  This time I topped it with some leftover veggies from the stir fry.  It was divine!

4.  Snack:  Amazing Grass Bar–  Even though I quickly fell in love with the Chocolate Amazing Grass bar, this Chocolate Peanut Butter has taken its place.  I scarfed it down in a matter of seconds.  I can’t wait to run to the store to stock up on some more.

5.  Dinner: Salmon and Veggie Kabobs-  I had never made kabobs in the oven before but since Freddie was gone on a business trip, and he is the ultimate grill man, I had to get creative.  Luckily they turned out great.  Although I owe all the credit to the amazing marinade.  You can’t go wrong when you are dousing fish and veggies in tamari, coconut oil, honey, rice wine vinegar, cilantro and sesame seeds :)  The combo is pure heaven.

6.  Snack:  Almond Milk Ice Cream–  When I read that I could enjoy a bowl of non dairy ice cream, I nearly flipped.  I have such a weakness for ice cream it’s not even funny.  Maybe we need to just straight up label it an addiction.  So I do my best to stay away from the parts of town where the 31 Flavors and Cold Stone’s are located.  I was also slightly doubtful that this non dairy ice cream could tickle my fancy…but it totally did.

Day 8

1.  First Thing:  Amazing Grass’s Amazing Meal mixed with Coconut Water-  I have officially started week 2 and I am feeling great about this fresh start.  I am also proud of myself that I finally remembered to use my reusable straw from Simply Straws.  Working on new habits in all areas of my life :)

2.  Breakfast: Avo-Banana Pudding with Berries-  Pudding for breakfast?  Yes, please!  Making up for all those times I wanted chocolate pudding for breakfast when I was a kid.  Although if I had asked my mom for this rendition, she would have gladly served it to me.

3.  Lunch:  Asian Salad with Fresh Tuna and Avocado-  Another fresh batch of tuna made, another fresh batch of tuna devoured. The nuts, the avocado, the salad dressing, all adds to the incredibly delicious experience that is my lunch.

4.  Snack:  Apple Slices with Almond Butter-  I really do love the fresh almond butter that you can make at the store.  It’s so much more nuttier and lot less pasty than what you buy in the jars.  I should rename this “Almond Butter with Apple Slices” as the fruit is merely a vehicle to shovel more almond butter in my mouth.

5.  Dinner: Kidney Bean Tostada-  It’s official, I am a refried kidney bean lover.  From dried bulk beans to pure bliss, I am so happy with the way these beans turned out.  It was definitely time intensive (12-15 hours of soaking, another 30 minutes of simmering before they were even ready to hit the skillet), but it was totally worth it.  I sautéed mine with garlic, green onions and bell pepper and also added in some fresh corn and cilantro.  Spread it on a sprouted tortilla and topped it with fresh veggies and avocado.  Yum, yum, yum!

6.  Snack:  Almond Milk Ice Cream-   Loving that I get to eat ice cream two days in a row.  Feels so naughty, but then again, it feels so nice.  I can’t say that it tastes like “real” ice cream, because it doesn’t, it tastes like Almond Milk Ice Cream, but I am an almond milk lover so it works out well.

day 91.   Amazing Grass’s Amazing Meal mixed with Coconut Water-  What makes Amazing Grass’s Amazing Meal so Amazing is that their greens are raw, organic and infused with delicious flavors.  Did I mention that they are vegan, Non GMO, Gluten, Soy and Dairy free too?

2.  Breakfast: Egg White Scramble-  Another delicious morning of veggie packed eggs.  I used an orange bell pepper this time and was loving the minor change.  Also, no tomatoes this time as I forgot to pick one up at the store last night :(  Although it was still a killer way to start the day.

3.  Lunch:  Spinach and Hummus Pita with Goat Cheese- This sandwich was super!  I tried it with some shredded goat cheese cheddar and was loving both the taste and texture.  Next time, I am going to add a handful of sprouts and maybe some grated carrot to the mix.

4.  Snack: Fruit Salad with Shredded Coconut-  Mangos, raspberries, blueberries, bananas and strawberries with a handful of coconut flakes…might as well take me to the Caribbean.  This fruit salad was everything I needed this afternoon and more.  Forget about anything else, I could easily live on fruit alone.

5.  Dinner: Halibut Burger-  I have never tried fresh fish in a sandwich or burger before.  But I love fish in tacos and figured a burger might be a similar experience.  These were out of this world delicious!  I started by cutting up the fish in small pieces and mashed it with a potato masher.  I added in some lime juice, egg, cilantro, green onion and seasonings and pan fried it with coconut oil.  I only wish Freddie was here to taste it.  This might even rival my turkey burger recipe.  Looking forward to sharing the recipe with you soon.

6.  Snack:  Piece of Dark Chocolate-  Need I say more?  Except that I didn’t eat the entire bar.  Just a few pieces.  It was just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy my after dinner dessert craving.

Now can you see why I haven’t had much computer time?  I have been too busy preparing and eating these amazing meals :)

Wanna join me in turning over a new leaf?  Check out Amazing Grass’s Two Week Challenge and commit this new year to creating a new you :)

*Full Disclosure:  Amazing Grass provided me with one bottle of Amazing Meal free of charge.  I was not paid to write this post. With exception of some of the factual information given about the various products, all opinions regarding the products are my own and 100% honest.

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What’s in the Box? #59

boxquestionintrowhite

Produce is pretty, but family comes first.  My apologies for yet another tardy post, but Freddie, Harper and I got a chance to snag a midweek getaway and spend some quality time together and so I took full advantage.  Which means I have been busy snuggling, giggling and savoring precious moments with the people I love most.  Plus, we finalized some loose ends on the CD today :) Which we celebrated with a lovely lunch and a trip to Target (always an important stop when we are away from home since our town is without one).  So overall, my hump day was pretty darn glorious!

…As was last week’s rockin party!

We had 4 link ups from my fellow fruit and veggie lovers.  And even though I don’t know squat about the Super Bowl, whenever it happens I am fully equipped with the perfect snacks for the big game.  Thanks to Kirsten from Farm Fresh Feasts, I have CSA packed veggie dip and pizza.  And Annie from AnnieRe Unplugged hooked us up with an amazing recipe for Pumpkin Hummus.  Pass the pita chips please :)  Thanks ladies for sharing your delicious goodies with us.  Now, someone tell me, when is this important day in football?

But before tops start flying off during half-time shows, let’s keep it G rated with some good, wholesome fun…

What's in the Box? #59 - In Her Chucks

Beets!!  And quite possibly, THE biggest beet on the face of the planet.  That orb is humongous!!!  I am pretty sure it can feed an army.  Which means all of my favorite beet recipes will be put to great use.  Beet cake, beet muffins and beet salad.  If you are in the mood for beets, come on by, because once I am done with this thing, I might be beeted out.

One piece of produce that I can never get enough of are those sweet and juicy mandarins.  And while I am known for immediately stuffing them in my face before they make it to the fruit bowl, this week I have some help with self-control.  Blood oranges to the rescue.  Remember that Citrus Crusted Tilapia with Blood Orange Salsa I made last year?  Divine!  And that is the fate of this week’s lovely bunch too :)  Plus one adorable mandarin.  And I plan on serving the fish with a side of steamed broccoli.  That is, if Harper doesn’t eat it all by herself.

It has been a while since I have received celery root in my box.  But I know just what to do with it.  Starting Feb 3rd, Freddie and I are back on a strict clean eating plan, but we might as well warm up to it by indulging in one of our favorite clean eating salads.  Plus, we have everything else we need right here.  Parsley, avocado, apple.  I love it when meal planning just happens so effortlessly :)

And finally, the veggies that always get the short end of the stick.  Lettuce and carrots.  It’s not that I don’t love them, they are just so ordinary.  But they are the most loyal, as they show up every week.  And now that I have discovered my new favorite salad dressing, salad is no longer a bore.

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? Best of 2012

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It’s hard to believe that 2012 has come and gone.  It was a wonderful year filled with birthday parties, special memories and of course lots of fruit and veggies.  The What’s in the Box? Link Party was born in 2012 and has been rocking ever since.  I am so grateful to all the participants that have shared their delicious goodies with the rest of us.  It’s been a blast to swap recipes with you and drool over your fresh produce.

Speaking of drooling, I am totally salivating over last week’s party.  With so many people’s CSA seasons ending, we only had 4 participants, so the party was small, but boy was it mighty.  Everything from mashed root veggies, to cranberry nut bread, to homemade pizza with spinach crust and a killer party dip.  Thank you ladies for making our new year bright :)

Now on to my favorite boxes of 2012.  To be honest, it was hard to pick a top 5 because they are all pretty awesome.  But after spending hours looking through the pics and checking to see what came of the produce, I was finally able to narrow it down.  So without further ado, here are the What’s in the Box? Top 5 of 2012…

#5: What’s in the Box? #22

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So many of my favorite fruits and veggies in one place, including the star of the show…blueberries!  But really, this week it was all about Mashed Red Potatoes.  They are the best you will ever have.  And when you serve them with a side of steamed broccoli tossed with lemon juice and a small portion of protein, you have yourself the perfect meal.

#4: Whats in the Box? #36

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Summer is my favorite time of year.  I love all the delicious fruits that come my way.  Nectarines, plums, berries.  They just make me happy.  I usually eat them for a snack, but after weeks and weeks of plums and pluots, I had to throw together a few Pluot Crumbles.  It is a great dish to whip up for a summer barbecue and is sure to impress your family and friends.

#3: What’s in the Box? #34

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I don’t think I have ever seen such a beautiful head of lettuce.  It was so gorgeous it made me want to throw it in a vase and display it on my table as a centerpiece.  However, after a few days of marveling its beauty I caved and made a huge Strawberry Salad.  One of my favorite afternoon treats by far.  Throw in some grilled chicken and you are good to go!

#2: What’s in the Box? #31

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One word…apricots!!  I can’t get enough of them.  I think I might be able to live on apricots alone.  Well, apricots and some Braised Pork with Fennel and Pork.  I am so grateful that getting a delivery of fennel helped me to think outside the box.  I would have never purchased fennel at the store but after some creative experimentation, I found one of my favorite recipes of all time.  Try it…I promise you will become a fennel lover too :)

#1: What’s in the Box? #45

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One of the highlights of receiving fresh produce every week, is that I get to share my love for fruits and veggies with my family.  It makes me happy when Harper dives right into the broccoli without any begging, coercing or bribing.  I also love that I can whip up a healthy and yummy meal in no time.  This Chicken with Tomato Herb Pan Sauce is so easy to make and delicious to eat you will want it on your table at least once a week.  That is, as long as you have some fresh cherry tomatoes sitting around.

So those are my Top 5 boxes of 2012.  Can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for me.  I am counting down the days until my first box arrives.  T minus 6 folks…

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite boxes of 2012?  Feel free to add the links to the deliveries you loved the most.  Let’s take a walk down CSA memory lane shall we?

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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What I Ate Wednesday #14

This time last year, I had yet to indulge in a pumpkin treat.  Shameful, I know.  So this year, I made my best effort to stuff my face with all things pumpkin during the holiday season.  I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t started my day with Pumpkin Oatmeal, treated myself to a few Pumpkin Bars, or scarfed down a bowl of Turkey Pumpkin Chili.  And just when you thought I couldn’t possibly eat any more pumpkin, with only a week left until Thanksgiving, I decided to up the ante and incorporate it into my day as much as possible.  Because after next Thursday, it’s all about peppermint, gingerbread and egg nog :)

Breakfast:

Pumpkin Pancakes (recipe coming soon)

Side of Kielbasa

I have always taken pride in my homemade pancakes.  But these pumpkin pancakes kind of blow them out of the water.  I’m just saying…they are pretty darn scrumptious!  And nothing completes a pancake breakfast like a side of burnt-to-the-crisp kielbasa.  The blacker the better.  I like it scorched.  Can’t wait to share the recipe with you :) (the pumpkin pancake recipe that is…)

Snack #1:

Pineapple Chobani Yogurt topped with Fresh Raspberries

A handful of Roasted Coconut Chips

Believe it or not, I am still trying to work my way through my huge Chobani shipment.  So today I enjoyed my favorite combination of all…Pineapple Chobani Yogurt topped with fresh raspberries.  It’s so sweet and refreshing it kind of takes me away to a deserted island.  Magical.  And then I had to take it to the next level with a handful of my latest addiction: Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips.  Can’t go a day without them.  You MUST try them.

Lunch:

Chicken Cornbread Salad

After a fun and festive music class, Harper and I were ready for a healthy and hearty lunch.  This salad is one of our favorites.  With add ins such as grilled chicken, dried cranberries, walnut pieces and crumbled cornbread, it’s pretty much an autumn explosion on a bed of mixed greens.  If only my homemade salads where this fancy.

After Lunch Treat:

Slice of Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats

Ever since I received my Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows from my Foodie Pen Pal, I have been wanting to whip up a batch of Rice Krispies Treats.  Sadly, Halloween has come and gone and my poor Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows were still sitting on the counter.  Even though Thanksgiving is around the corner I couldn’t let me my fun idea for Jack-O-Lantern Krispies Treats go to waste.  Besides, now I have a killer idea mastered for next year’s festivities!

Snack #2:

Bolthouse Farms Mango Protein Smoothie

Since Harper has swim class on Tuesdays, dinner is always later than usual.  I was looking forward to a filling meal, but my tummy couldn’t wait.  Luckily, I found this sitting in the fridge and it was the perfect snack to take the edge off of my hunger until dinner was served.

Dinner:

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pork Chops with Butternut Squash

Sautéed Swiss Chard

Comfort food has never tasted so good.  Butternut squash is one of my favorite autumn veggies and it pairs perfectly with pork.  I normally serve this meal with a side of broccoli but grabbed a bunch of chard from the crisper instead.  I love to sauté chard with some olive oil, onions and a few splashes of stock (chicken in this case).  It’s so quick and easy and the result is mouth-watering.

So just in case you were keeping count, I managed to squeeze pumpkin into 3 of my meals today.  Which in my opinion should win some sort of pumpkin rockstar award.  Granted it was more of a “pumpkin essence”, but the bottom line is, I am a pumpkin machine.  And tomorrow I am shooting for 4 pumpkin filled meals :)

Your turn:  What is your favorite way to incorporate pumpkin into your meals?  Any favorite pumpkin recipes you want to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

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