Tag Archives: summer

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 #14

What's in the Box?

After over 2 months of vacation, Harper and I are finally back to reality.  It feels nice to unpack our bags, hang up our clothes and put our toiletries back in the medicine cabinet.  But lots has happened since we first left for Ireland back in June.  While we were gone, Freddie got another new job.  Which means yet another move for us (which, if you’re still keeping track is 12 moves in 8 years…with 3 of those moves happening in the last 8 months).  As much as we had hoped they would, things just didn’t work out for us in San Louis Obispo.  But as they say, when one door closes, another one opens, and Freddie’s new opportunity is even better than his last.  So while Harper and I were visiting friends and family all over the globe, Freddie was busy packing up our new home up north and moving us south to good ol’ Orange County.

Luckily, I am no stranger to this area.  I have aunts, uncles and cousins who live in Orange County and so I guess you can say I have grown up coming to visit here.  It’s just so much bigger than what we have become accustomed to after living in Santa Barbara for the past 3 years.  But there is nothing better than being close to family, so we are very grateful for that.

And of course, I couldn’t approve of the move until I found a CSA.  And my new one sounds awesome!  I just didn’t submit my subscription in time to get a box this week, so next Tuesday I will be picking up a box and can’t wait to share it with you all.

But in the meantime, let’s check out the links from last week.  I am loving the rooty, tooty, fresh and fruity flavors that are coming our way…Pizza with Raspberries, Pasta with Peaches, and Quinoa with Cranberries (and pineapple mint!).  Get’s me more excited than it should.  But, as we all know, I have a weakness for fruit.  Which is why I have decided to share my favorite summer fruit recipes this week.

Enjoy!

Raspberry Chicken

Raspberry Chicken with Homemade Rice Pilaf - In Her Chucks

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake - In Her Chucks

Lime Pistachio Squares

Lime Squares with Pistacio Graham-Cracker Crust - In Her Chucks

Lemon Iced Tea

Lemon Iced Tea - In Her Chucks

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? #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? #77

What's in the Box?

We are coming up on our last week in Santa Barbara.  And although Harper and I have enjoyed hanging with our friends and soaking in the beautiful summer weather, we are looking forward to going home and having our family back together.  But before we head out, I have made sure that we experience our favorite CSA a few more times.  The quality and variety of their produce helps to ease the pain of being homesick (I guess it’s no longer a secret what my drug of choice is…).  As does a rockin’ produce party :)

Last week we had a total of 12 links which yielded a whole lots of produce…especially tomatoes :)  I was most intrigued by Kirsten’s Kale Hummus this week.  I have been really into kale pesto this summer but kale hummus…mind blown!  I can’t get enough of the beauty that is Salted Plates Peach Caprese Salad.  Simply gorgeous.  And finally, I’m excited to try Eats Writes Shoots Vegetarian Tacos with Grilled Zucchini.  Yum!  Thanks to everyone for linking up.  I truly can’t get enough of your ingenious ways to eat your veggies.

And now on to how I plan to eat my veggies…

What's in the Box? #77

It’s boxes like this that make me miss my old CSA :(  I mean, there is so much delicious and summery goodness, it’s hard to know where to start.  But since this item is new to me this week, I have to highlight it first…

Mouse Watermelon Cucumbers

Have you ever seen something so adorable?!  They are mouse watermelon cucumbers and they are my new favorite treat!  Kind of a cross between a grape and a cucumber, that looks like a watermelon but is slightly slimy and sour in the middle.  But they keep me coming back for more :)  I have been popping these suckers in my mouth ever since I opened up my box.  They are crunchy and delicious and as soon as we start up another garden, these little gems will be front and center.  Love!

And then there are those red flame grapes.  Or as I like to refer to them, “nature’s candy”.  These grapes are so sweet and crunchy, they have been serving as my post meal treat.

I am also loving the assortment of pluots this week.  During the days of pluot abundance, I would have made my famous crumble. But these days, it has been a while since I have had the chance to sink my teeth in to one of these.  Now, I am savoring each and every bite :)  The Flavor Gold ones are by far my favorite!

I am excited about the melon.  I am assuming it is a cantaloupe but haven’t cut it open yet.  It is still a bit green so I am going to try to let it ripen up a bit.  But I am looking forward to scooping out the seeds and filling it with cottage cheese or plain yogurt.  A healthy and hearty mid day snack.

Speaking of snacks, Harper and I have been snacking on those monstrous carrots the last few days.  If there are any left I have the perfect dinner dish to make with them and am looking forward to sharing it with you.

I have been craving big, protein filled breakfasts lately and adding fresh spinach and tomatoes to a morning scramble is a great way to kick off the day.  Or, they might make into a quiche, in which case, a salad on the side would help to create the perfect lunch or dinner.

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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Chopped Caprese Salad

Chopped Caprese Salad - In Her Chucks

After nearly three years as a loyal CSA subscriber, I can honestly say, my weekly boxes have converted me in ways I never thought possible.  Once upon a time I used to feel lost and overwhelmed by the site of unwanted veggies but now I can honestly say I am a beet buff, a kale craver and most recently a proud tomato lover.

And if it weren’t for the help of my CSA, I don’t think those conversions would have been possible.  Week after week, they provided me with bunches of soil dusted root vegetables, luscious leafy greens and perfectly plump tomatoes.  And because I wouldn’t dare waste any of it, I had to get creative.  And slowly but surely, I became more and more excited to get these items in my box.  And today, I will pretty much eat anything.

Now, I know Caprese Salads aren’t anything new.  I mean, if you’ve met one Caprese Salad you’ve met them all, right?  Well, in this case, I promise that this Caprese Salad is sure to kick things up a notch.  The secret ingredient?  Kalamata olives.  These little suckers change. the. game.

Readers, meet my new favorite salad.  New favorite salad, meet my amazing and loyal readers.

Ingredients

1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (or I like the Baby Heirloom Tomatoes from Trader Joe’s)

12 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped (I use the Ciliegine Fresh Mozzarella Cheese from Trader Joe’s)

3 oz Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

5-7 basil leaves, finely chopped

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or more to taste)

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (or more to taste) *traditional balsamic vinegar would work fine here too

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Throw the tomatoes, cheese, olives and basil into a bowl.  Add olive oil and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Add more dressing or seasoning to taste.

What I love about this recipe is that it is so darn easy!  It’s the perfect dish to bring to a barbecue or pot luck or can be portioned out for a single meal.

The measurements shown above are merely suggestions.  Feel free to make this your own.  I personally prefer a balanced tomato to cheese ratio as each bite must have a piece of each before it enters my mouth.  Which is why I am obsessed with the Ciliegine Fresh Mozzarella Cheese from Trader Joe’s because it matches the size of the tomatoes perfectly :)

So for those of who have tomatoes coming out of your ears, here is one more recipe to add to your repertoire.  I promise you will love it.  I just can’t promise you it will make it to the dinner table before it’s half eaten.

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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #13

What's in the Box?

Our last week in Branson was a blast!  We made sure to hit up all the local attractions before we headed out west.  Branson is known for their live shows and we were lucky enough to check out a few of them including The Price is Right LIVE.

The Price is Right LIVE

Harper could care less about winning a new car, she was all about the pretty model’s sparkly dresses :)

Branson also has a fun theme park called Silver Dollar City.  They have everything from rides, to live entertainment to crafty souvenirs.  It’s a great place to run around and enjoy yourself for the day (even when it’s 102 degrees!).

SDC

Finally, no trip to Branson would be complete without a ride on the ducks.  And I’m not talking about the ones that go “quack”.  I’m talking about the amphibious vehicles that were made famous during WWII.  This is Harper’s second time this summer riding a duck.  First as a viking during our trip to Ireland…Viking Duck

and now as a duckling herself…Ride the Ducks

Being a tourist is fun!

And of course we spent lots and lots of time with family.  Including, Harper’s new BFF, her Great Uncle John…

Holding hands with Uncle John

Harper and I are sure going to miss Branson, but are looking forward to another visit real soon :)

But enough about me, let’s talk veggies.

Last week we had a total of 13 link ups.  And to be frank, it’s summer produce at it’s best.  One of my favorite summer veggies is sweet corn.  And when you throw fresh kernels into a fresh batch of batter and deep fry it, the result is pure bliss.  (Speaking of deep frying, did you check out these crispy fried shallots?  The Angels are definitely singing for this one…).  Or you could toss it with some zucchini, leeks and a handful cheese and you got yourself an awesome summer pizza.  Oh, the possibilities :)  A big thanks to everyone who participated.  I just can’t get enough or your CSA goodness.

And because I am feeling extra sweet today (and in need of a sugar fix), here are some of my favorite CSA inspired desserts (in alphabetical order…).  Enjoy!

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp - In Her Chucks

Beet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Beet Cake - In Her Chucks

Carrot Cookies

Carrot Cookies - In Her Chucks

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars - In Her Chucks

Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes

Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes - In Her Chucks

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits and veggies into simple and sinful desserts?  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? Recipe Roundup #9

What's in the Box?

It has been a week since Harper and I stepped foot on Irish soil and life here is truly “grand” (as they say).  I could go on and on about everything we have seen and experienced, but for now, I will let Instagram do all the talking…

First stop?  A proper pub on the mountaintop complete with Irish dancing and finished off with an Irish coffee :)

Pub Antics

How do you recover from a crazy night out the with locals?  Well, an Irish Breakfast of course…

Irish Breakfast

After filling my tummy with goodness it was time to brush up on my Irish history and explore some ancient ruins…

Irish History

Harper was so inspired by digging down deep into her Irish roots, she decided to pick up the tin whistle…

Harper and her whistle

We have also visited the local zoo, done some cooking and of course lots of relaxing.  Life in the motherland (as my mom calls it) is gorgeous :)

And you know what else is gorgeous?  Last week’s links…all 12 of them.  What I love most about each week’s link ups is how much I learn from you guys.  And this week is no different.  Agrigirl taught us that corn silk has many health benefits…who knew?  And The Novice Gardener introduced me to Lemon Balm in addition to giving me loads of ways to use it.  Now I want to grow it all over my garden.  And finally, Have Dessert First is back at the party with a killer recipe for Grilled Shrimp and Polenta.  Thanks to everyone who linked up and shared their delicious dishes.  I appreciate your support and loyalty :)

As for me, there is no box this week.  So I thought I would share some of my favorite CSA BBQ recipes with you all.  With the 4th of July right around the corner, I couldn’t help but ensure that we all have at least one inspired CSA dish at our cookouts.

So without further ado, CSA produce does BBQ…

While you wait for the grill to heat up and prepare to cook your meat, why not grab for a healthy and delicious dip that utilizes only the freshest of ingredients…Seven Layer Bean Dip with Fresh Tortilla Chips

Seven-Layer Bean Dip with Fresh Tortillas Chips - In Her Chucks

As much as I am a meat girl, no BBQ is complete without a bunch of side dishes.  This is the best way to load up on CSA fruits and veggies.  Some of my favorites are Roasted Beets with Gorgonzola and Walnuts

Roasted Beets with Gorgonzola and Walnuts

and Summer Pasta Salad

Summer Pasta Salad - In Her Chucks

For the mains, why not try something different this year and throw some lamb on the grill…Cumin, Honey, and Mint-Marinated Lamb Chops

Cumin, Honey, and Mint-Marinated Lamb Chops

And finally, we all know that no meal is complete without dessert…Pluot Crumble

Pluot Crumble - In Her Chucks

Your turn: What are your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits and veggies into your BBQ and cookouts?  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 #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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