2016 CSA Series- Week 4

2016 CSA Series- Week 4

Woah. Jokes over. Turn back the calendar. How it is August already?!?!

Life has been a little on the hectic side. We’ve been painting the new house in full force (since June really, but we’ve been going HAM lately). That leaves little time for blogging! 🙂 But I’m trying to snap lots of pics to share our mini reno were doing.

*side note* picking paint colors is a unique form of torture I was not aware of until now…..

Focus…. ok, since the last CSA(community supported agriculture) post I’ve also gone to my CSA farm to meet my farmers and have a tour around the farm. It was a beautiful day, it’s a beautiful farm, and I can’t wait to share more about that and pictures of it soon!

Now, this week is jam packed with goodies. ❤

Here’s what we got in box# 4:20160720_173827Some pretty standard items so not too hard to identify but because it’s fun: CSA Week 4

Sometimes it takes a while for me to find something interesting and fun to do with the veggies but I’m pretty happy with what we did this time around.

Cabbage: I have the perfect thing I want to do with this but time got the best of me and then I got another one in my next box so I’m going to do a double batch and share it with you next time! Stay tuned 🙂

Broccoli: Honey Lemon Chicken Rice Bowls So albeit, while this might not be the most exciting thing to do with the broccoli itself this dish as a whole is fun. The broccoli was so fresh and delicious I’m sort of happy we just steamed it and go to enjoy the full blown flavor by itself. These Honey Lemon Chicken Rice Bowls are a breeze to whip up and also make great leftovers for work too!Honey Lemon Chicken Bowl 2Honey Lemon Chicken & Broccoli Bowls CSA RecipeHoney Lemon Chicken Bowl 1

You can reduce your sauce down as much as you ‘d like. The honey gets it very sticky and sugary so you can get a pretty thick sauce if you’d like. But it’s all up to you and what you like 🙂 The longer you simmer the thicker it will get (don’t forget it will thicken up even more when off the heat).

Pickling Cucumbers & Onion: Easy Refrigerator Pickles2THIS recipe is my favorite pickle recipe in the WORLD. It’s so easy and so delicious. A tab bit sweeter than the average recipe but I love it. I usually eat way more than my fair share of these in one sitting.

Zucchini/Summer Squash:  Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Zucchini bread? Pretty tasty. Zucchini cookies? Amazing and world changing.

I adapted a recipe I found and added flax and chia seeds for added nutrition. There’s also a surprising amount of zucchini in here too! They’re cookies but they also pack a healthy punch! And important step in the instructions is to squeeze the zucchini dry (or as dry as you can) this will help keep your cookies from being a soggy mess. 🙂  I used both zucchini and summer squash in this recipe as you can see from all the beautiful green and yellow flecks below (Go Pack Go 🙂 ).

Zucchini Cookies 1Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies CSA RecipeZucchini Cookies 2

Cauliflower & Swiss Chard: Riced Cauliflower & Swiss Chard Spaghetti These pictures didn’t turn out that great. Apparently I was shaky mc shakes this day and all of them have a little blur, sorry about that! This was a off the whim creation and has a great summery lemon taste along with being packed with TONS of veggies; the swiss chard reduces in size greatly and the cauliflower rice is so fine you wouldn’t know you’re eating a plate of veggies too 🙂 Riced Cauliflower & Chard Spaghetti 1Riced Cauliflower & Swiss Chard Spaghetti CSA RecipeRiced Cauliflower & Chard Spaghetti 2My hubs thought all the little riced cauliflower peices were garlic. ha! I DO love garlic but that would be extreme even for me. But as you can see from this close up, this recipe is a terrific way to get an extra serving of vegetables into a pasta dish. It’s virtually undetectable. Riced Cauliflower & Chard Spaghetti 3

Lettuce, Onions, & Cucumbers: Cucumber & Blueberry Summer Salad What would a week in summer be without a salad?! Very similar to our berry salad from last week, but still different enough and delicious! Quick Cucumber Salad (2)Cucumber Blueberry Summer Salad CSA Recipe

More Cucumbers: I had quite the supply of cukes laying around. I got a ton in the box and my in-laws gave some to me too. I made my go to bbq dish for a group of people we had over at the house and it was a big hit, not to mention a great way to use up a seemingly never ending supply of cucumbers. Oh and the best part? It take like 5 minutes to make. win.win.win.Quick Cucumber Salad (1)5 minute cucumber salad CSA Recipe

Eggplant: Brushcetta I posted about this in the last box post as well but didn’t have any pictures. So because it’s so freaking delicious, I decided to make it again and share pictures this time! This one was one of the first recipes I put up on the blog back when I first started it. And oh woooowww, looking back how my formatting and photography have changed since then. Needless to say, an updated share was necessary although it’s still as delicious as the first time I made it; it just looks much more presentable now 🙂 eggplant bruschetta 2Roasted Eggplant & Cherry Tomato Bruschetta CSA RecipeEggplant Bruschetta 1

Carrots & Hot Peppers: Roasted Veggie Tacos This was the recipe I was most excited to make. Sort of inspired by my roasted veggie stacked enchiladas , these roasted carrot tacos are a delicious meat free meal for mid week (or any time of week!) If you wanted you could sub sweet potato for the carrots or do a mix, but I wanted the delicious carrots to be the highlight!! Roasted Carrot Tacos 1Spicy Lime Roasted Carrot Tacos CSA RecipeRoated Carrot Tacos 2

Whew another week in the books! 🙂 Hope you enjoyed. Get out there and make the most of the rest of the summer!

What are some of your favorite summer time recipes?!?

xoxo

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2016 CSA Series- Week 1

2016 CSA Series- Week 1

Can’t believe it’s almost time to pick up our next CSA box! If you missed our latest post about how we are participating in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share this year, check it out here.

So since we are about to pick up our next box, it’s about time we share with you what got in our first box and what recipes and fun things we did with each of the items!

So here is the haul we received in week 1:CSA WEEK 1 BoxThink you know what each item is? Let’s take a look:

  • Asparagus
  • Fresh breakfast radishes
  • Buttercup Lettuce
  • Bok Choy or Pac Choi
  • Green Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Rhubarb
  • Herb Pack (Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Sage)
  • Pea Shoots
  • Large bag of Spinach in the middle!

I love that we get such a wide variety of stuff in our boxes! It’s fun to experiment with different ingredients and never feel like you’re “drowning” in something and not sure what to do with it all.

Ok so lets get started! I’ll just list out each ingredient and post what we did

Asparagus I honestly love raw asparagus as a snack and the stuff I got was so skinny and beautiful and tender that I was half tempted just to snack on it. But that’s not very fun to share with all of you so I decided to try fermented “pickled” asparagus spears. If you want to learn more about the benefits of fermented foods and the amazing impact they can have on your health, check out our past post, here.

These asparagus spears are fermented and not pickled. What’s the difference? Pickled foods are preserved in an acidic medium, where fermented foods are preserved in salt water with a starter culture. These are sort of quasi pickled because as you’ll see below I used about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (make sure it says “with the mother” & here’s my favorite brand) to act as my starter.

If you’ve been wanting to dip your toes into fermenting your own foods but are a little hesitant, this the perfect recipe because it’s so simple, you don’t need any special equipment (just make sure to burp your jar occasionally).Fermented Asparagus 2These bad boys are good on their own but probably even better as a garnish in a bloody mary! 🙂Fermented Asparagus Spears RecipeFermented Asparagus 1 Fermented Asparagus 3Radishes & Spinach Confession- I’ve never had cooked radishes before. I have always eaten them cold, preferably with a hefty sprinkle of sea salt too. But when I was researching something out of the norm to do with radishes, I came across this Radish & Spinach Pasta dish that looked too good not to give it a try.

If you think cooking radishes is weird, STOP IT! It’s delicious and you won’t be sorry. They turn a soft pink color and it sort of enhances their peppery flavor. Plus I mean the recipe also has bacon in it sooooo how can it be bad?CSA WEEK 1 RADISH SPINACH PASTA 1We used the breakfast radishes (ok we ate a few cold too) and the beautiful spinach as well as a few of the shallots from our box. It turned out delicious. Not heavy at all and surprisingly light for it being pasta and all oh, and containing bacon but it really made for a delicious light summer dinner!CSA WEEK 1 RADISH SPINACH PASTA 2Radish & Spinach Pasta RecipeCSA WEEK 1 RADISH SPINACH PASTA 3**Don’t get rid of your radish greens! They are very nutritious and can be used for any number of things. In salads, in smoothies, in stir frys…I happened to be making some homemade chicken bone broth and threw them in there with it. I’m all for being resourceful and reducing waste!

Butter Lettuce Recently I posted about how much I love salads and how they’re the best super fast and healthy dinner for busy weeknights…aaaaand I still think that 🙂 Butter lettuce is so soft and yet crisp and delicious. I think that these would also be PERFECT for a lettuce cup but this time we opted for the traditional salad route. However the salad we made was anything but traditional.CSA WEEK 1 QUINOA BUTTER LETTUCE SALADTopped with quinoa, loaded with veggies and dressed in THE most delicious “creamy” avocado dressing ….. you’ll find it hard to believe it’s “just” a salad!Qunioa Veggie Salad with Avocado Balsamic RecipeThe dressing isn’t pictured above but it truly is amazing.

Bok Choy/Pac Choi & Green Garlic So another confession (you guys are really making me wear my heart on my sleeve today!) when I saw my farm list Pac Choi on the list for the box, I had no idea what it was. And then when I saw the picture I said to myself, wait…that’s BOK CHOY! Well it turns out, from what I was able to conclude, that Bok Choy and Pac Choi are one in the same. Now you know 🙂

I was very tempted to try to grill the pac choi but it was pretty large and I think that might work better with smaller more compact heads. So I settled on a Ginger Stir Fried Bok Choy & Green Garlic over Turmeric Rice. I had been wanting to try a rendition of some turmeric rice I had come across lately but didn’t know what to pair it with. These stir fried greens were perfect with it.CSA WEEK 1 PAC CHOI & Tumeric Rice 1My husband doesn’t really do well with meals that don’t have a lot of protein so I threw some nuts, and seeds on top and we were both happy! I used sliced almonds, pistachios, and some hemp seeds. CSA WEEK 1 BOK CHOY & Tumeric Rice 2Bok Choy Stir Fry with Turmeric Rice Recipeand of course if you’re like me you are addicted to spicy and you top it with chili sauce (& some nutritional yeast 🙂 )CSA WEEK 1 BOK CHOY Tumeric Rice 3Rhubarb I am obsessed with rhubarb. My mom and I have a matching cookbook that is dedicated solely to rhubarb. There’s so much you can do with it! I actually already had some more rhubarb just chilling in my fridge waiting to get used up so when I got some more in by box, it was the motivation to finally make something with it.

A coworker of mine had recently gifted me a hunk of her mint plant and seriously it’s growing like crazy in my pot. So I needed to use some of that bad boy and what better way to do that than with mojitos! And what’s better that regular old mojitos? Rhubarb Mint Mojitos ❤Rhubarb Mint MojitoWe made a rhubarb simple syrup and then put that in some mojitos. But good news is that if mojitos aren’t your thing or drinking alcohol isn’t your thing, the syrup makes a delicious spritzer with just sparkling water as well! These will have their own special post coming soon, but you get sneak peek 🙂
CSA WEEK 1 RHUBARB SIMPLE SYRUPRhubarb Simple Syrup RecipeCSA WEEK 1 RHUBARB MINT MOJITOSUse the syrup as you would in a “normal” mojito. Make sure to check back for the recipe post coming soon!

Pea Shoots If you’ve never tried pea shoots, you need to. They are such a fun ingredient. They taste exactly like freshly shelled peas and yet are a leafy green! I love the way they taste so I didn’t really want to cook them or drown out their taste with other ingredients.

I tried to make cauliflower steaks (big fail people, big fail) and needed a simple salad to go with. I used these to make a Pea Shoot & Arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette and needless to say, it was the highlight of the dinner and we wished there was more of it to drown out our sorrows of the less than delicious cauliflower 😉Pea Shoot & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette RecipeCSA WEEK 1 Pea Shoot Arugula Salad

Shallots CSA WEEK 1 SHALLOTSThese were so adorable, if you are one who agrees food can be adorable.  I mean look at them, they’re so little and cute! We used some in our radish pasta listed above, some in our stir fried bok choy also listed above, and still have some saved to use in the future.

Herb PackCSA WEEK 1 HERBSThis might have been my favorite thing in the box! I was so excited to get these goodies. We planted them to let them grow and hopefully (I say hopefully because if you saw my thumbs, they’re black as night) we can use to make various things, maybe they’ll even grow big enough so we can make our favorite chumichurri sauce!

Whew! That’s it! That’s what a week (plus a few days) of food looks like in our house. What do you guys think? What are some of your favorite things to do with the ingredients we got?

Thanks for hanging in there and reading along. Tune in again in two weeks to catch what was in our 2nd box and what we did with it all!

xoxo

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Beet & Green Bean Salad

Beet & Green Bean Salad

Beet & Green Bean Salad

Ok. TIME OUT. Tell me I’m not the only one..but my life is FLYING by! We moved into our house a little over a month ago and it’s basically been a blur since then. We’ve my husband has been weeding like crazy, we moved our fire pit, spent wayyyy too much of our savings and income at Home Depot, quickly learned how annoying painting trim is, wasted a LOT of time picking out counter stools, oh the list goes on and on and the “to do” list keeps growing.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s exciting and I love it but it can be overwhelming. We are practicing mindfulness, trying to take our time, and doing our best to remember there is no rush.

Needless to say, quick and easy has been the name of our food game in the house lately.

A few weeks ago we went to the 2016 Burgers and Brews event in Middleton, WI and we had a blast! So many delicious and unique burger and beer combos, but the next day I was craving veggies in a very big way.

I’m a big fan of salads for their versatility and simplicity. For me they can be great ‘clean your fridge out’ meals, no rhyme or reason, just throw in all the veggies! 🙂

For this particular salad I had some beets that were waiting to be roasted and used up. So they were the starting point of inspiration. The dressing is one of my go to’s. I first shared it when we made this delicious salad and it’s just been a favorite since then. ❤

Beets are one of my favorite foods, I know people either love em or hate em but this house definitely loveeeeeeees the beets. It’s hard to not love something this beautiful -> A20160605_142016Am I right? So pretty! A20160605_182501Beet & Green Been Salad Recipe20160605_182100

Salads are the ultimate in flexibility so pass on the things you don’t like and add in your favorites, I’d love to hear your favorite salad ingredients and your variations on this one!

Hope you are enjoying life one day at a time and making the most of summer so far! Next weekend we leave for vacation and I can.not.wait. Tune in next week to find out where we’re going!

xoxo

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Beet & Green Bean Salad Pinterest

Creamy Lentil Stew

Creamy Lentil Stew

Creamy Lentil Stew Blog HeaderYou might be thinking, it’s April, it’s not “stew season” it’s starting to get warm! I want to see fun fresh veggies and salads and grilled foods.

And to that I would say hold your horses. I hear ya, I reeealllly do but the fact of the matter is that I woke up to snow this morning.

SNOWWWWWWWW. Onemoretimefordramaticeffect. S.N.O.W.

So yes, while I have me eyes on some delicious spring and summer inspired dishes like this and this; please excuse me while I curl up into a ball, shed a tear, and eat this comforting and oh so delicious stew

I’m ready for spring. I really actually appreciate each season and love what each one offers but I start to get antsy in April when it’s 70° one day and snowy the next. In the words of the Backstreet Boys, quit playing games with my heart. 💔

But on the bright side, because there’s ALWAYS a bright side, the colder & cozier temps allow me to share this seriously good stew with you.

It’s a breeze to whip up, makes a LOT (who doesn’t love leftovers?), it’s great for you, and most importantly tastes GREAT too!Creamy Lentil Stew 4Creamy Lentil Stew 6Creamy Lentil Stew RecipeCreamy Lentil Stew 3Creamy Lentil Stew 8Creamy Lentil Stew 7Creamy Lentil Stew 5Creamy Lentil Stew 2Creamy Lentil Stew 1So there you have it- easy and delicious soup!

If you are lucky enough to live somewhere warm and sunny and you just can’t possibly think of soup……please get off my site! Kidding. I’m jealous. It’s a hard emotion to control.

Send some of that sunshine and warm temps over here!  If you are still subject to the winter blues like me, I promise this stew will make you feel better. 🙂 Enjoy!!

xoxo

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Creamy Lentil Stew Pinterest

Bibimbap Korean Rice Bowl Featuring Zymbiotics

Bibimbap Korean Rice Bowl Featuring Zymbiotics

Bibimbap Fermented Foods RecipeYesterday we shared a lengthy and wordy post (sorry not sorry) on the topic of fermented foods. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out HERE.

As promised, before we get to the fermented food deliciousness that is in Bibimbap (korean rice bowl) I want to share a little more about a great local Wisconsin company that is embracing and thriving in the fermented foods market.

Zymbiotics is a company out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin that specializes in naturally fermented foods. Jeff who is a UW Madison alum, is an entrepreneur at heart and has started and successfully run several businesses prior to Zymbiotics. Inspired by the calling to help people live healthier happier lives he teamed up with his partner Betty who is a registered holistic nutritionist and a local Wisconsin supplier Mammoth farms run by Ed & Diane and started Zymbiotics. Since its start, it has quickly become a favorite for Wisconsin locals. At first it was available primarily at farmers markets around the area and now you can find it it at a lot of grocery stores around the Milwaukee and Madison area. Here’s a full list of where it’s available. And Jeff has plans in the works to make it available to purchase through their website, so soon you’ll be able to enjoy it from all over the place!! You can check out their website and you can find them on Facebook too.

Currently they offer 4 products. Kimchi, Vegan Kimchi, Ginger Carrots, & Sauerkraut, clever named Zimchi, Vegan Zimchi, Zarrots, and Zauerkraut. Zymbiotics 2They are all delicious but my hands down favorite and the one I keep putting on almost everything is the Ginger Zarrots. You guyyyssss. THEY.ARE.SO.GOOD. Zymbiotics 1If you live anywhere where you can get these, do yourself a solid and pick these up! As you’ll see below, I put them in the Bipimbap bowl and they were the perfect addition.

Zimbiotics are filled with all ingredients you know how to pronounce and can easily identify. Like the carrots for example. 4 ingredients. Can it get any simpler and good for you? Nope. If you’ve never purchased fresh fermented foods before here are my top 3 tips:

  1. Naturally and fresh fermented foods should be kept in the refrigerator. If you don’t find them in the refrigerator section of your grocery store, don’t buy them. Heat kills the bacteria so if it’s a quality product it needs to be kept in a cool environment. Once you purchase your products and bring them home you should also store your products in the fridge until they’re gone.
  2. When opening your product for the first time, open your products over the sink. Fermentation produces gases and carbonation, sometimes those gases can build up within the jar or container which can cause some liquid to bubble or fizz over. It doesn’t happen that often but to be safe and avoid a clean up, just open over the sink. 🙂
  3. When just starting  to eat fermented foods, start slowly. Eat about 3 tablespoons of the food a day. You’ll still reap the benefits and it will give your body time to adjust to the influx of good and healthy bacteria in your gut.

Now to focus on the delicious and outrageously power packed Bibimbap bowl. It has so many flavors that blend together so well. Before the recipe, here’s a tip on rice preparation.

If you want non sticky jasmine style rice it’s SO IMPORTANT to rinse your rice. Not only for non sticky rice but also to reduce the amount of starch you ingest. Rice will turn your rinsing water cloudy like this:Rinsing Rice 1Continue to rinse and stir, rinse and stir your rice until the water is mostly clear, like shown here:
Rinsing Rice 2

It might seem like there’s a lot of stuff you need to make to put this all together but you can use the same pan, and each step is really pretty quick. I know I always say this but this is probably one of the best recipes for you to take your own liberties with. Do what you want. Make the veggies you want. Don’t like mushrooms? Don’t make them. You could caramelize some onions in their place, or anything you want! If you want more protein add in some meat or beans. There are no rules.

Make what you and your family love, do it together, eat together, enjoy it, and have fun!Fermented Food Bipimbap 1Fermented Food Bipimbap RecipeFermented Food Bipimbap 8Fermented Food Bipimbap 6Fermented Food Bipimbap 5Fermented Food Bipimbap 4Fermented Food Bipimbap 2This is what happens when you let your hand model (my sweet brother) reap the rewards for his free labor:wp-1459614422112.jpg

xoxo

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*While I did receive free product from Jeff and Zymbiotics I was not monetarily compensation and all opinions here are my own. 

Bipimbap Fermented Foods Pinterest