Chicken, Avocado, Black Bean, Mango Salad

I recently got black beans in my CSA box.  I don’t typically eat beans but I don’t oppose them if they are prepared correctly, which means soaked in an acidic environment for 24 hours and then cooked for 4 more).  I’m usually too lazy to do that, but when life hands you beans, you take the time to soak them.  I actually love black bean hummus, black bean burgers, etc, but this idea of Mexican chicken salad kept creeping into my mind.  I originally wanted to do this with shrimp but forgot to thaw them….so….chicken it is!  Use your imagination switching out ingredients and just use what you have on hand! I hadn’t thought about it prior but this would probably be amazing with a red onion, too!
Chicken, Avocado, Black bean, Mango Salad
1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped into bite size chunks
1 mango, peeled, cored, and diced
1 avocado, diced
handful of cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup black beans (soaked and cooked)
1 red pepper, diced
Dressing Ingredients:
1/3 cup nut butter (I used cashew, but you could use almond)
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 2 lemons
2 Tbsp honey
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp brown mustard seed (optional)
If you are starting from scratch, you will need to cook the chicken and beans.  However, if you have cooked chicken and beans, add all the ingredients to a bowl.  Then whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.  Pour over the  salad and toss to coat..  Eat like you’ve never eaten before!

Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini is something that gets so overwhelming in the summer that people can’t find enough uses for it! I do not find that it freezes very nicely, so you have to get creative on how to make this bounty last. Everyone needs a good zucchini muffin recipe, and these little guys can freeze easily for later months. I use more spice than most other recipes because I want my muffins to have that cinnamon flavor I crave from zucchini bread. This is an all coconut flour recipe, too which means it uses quite a few eggs. Use this to your advantage and eat a couple for breakfast!

Zucchini Muffins


  •  3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup grassfed butter, melted (or coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini


Preheat oven to 350F. Melt the butter and add all the ingredients together except for the zucchini. Once combined, fold in the zucchini and portion among 12 lined muffin tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes and let cool completely in the pan after removing from the oven (they will keep cooking slightly). Store in the fridge!


Tomato, Avocado, Cucumber Salad

Right now my cherry tomato plants are going a little too crazy! I planted three different kinds in addition to a roma tomato plant, so I could have homemade tomato sauce frozen throughout the winter. I had no idea my plants would get so big! I am getting a shirt-full of cherry tomatoes every single day. I haven’t made any sauce yet, but this salad was a great opportunity to use some up along with cucumber that I know everyone has growing like crazy, too. I used basil as the herb because I have tons of that in my garden and from the CSA, but you could easily use cilantro, parsley, dill, etc. This salad is fresh, slightly creamy from the avocado, and perfect for a summer side dish! It stays nicely in the fridge for a couple days but will have some browning of the avocado and basil, so if you are making it for an occasion, make this dish the day of.

Tomato, Avocado, Cucumber Salad


  • 1 cucumber, cut into bite size chunks
  •  2 avocados, diced
  •  2 cups of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  •  1 sweet onion (I used one like a giant green onion but you could use a quarter red onion)
  •  juice from one lemon
  •  Olive oil drizzled over the top
  •  salt and pepper to taste
  •  Basil cut into thin strips and garnished on top


Add all the chopped veggies into a serving bowl, add the lemon and olive oil and toss to coat. Just before serving, add salt, pepper, and basil.

Summer Squash Casserole

Let’s face it, I love picking vegetables from the garden! However, when I turn around and see that I am 5 zucchini deep because I haven’t used any in a couple days, it’s nice to have an awesome casserole that can use LOTS of squash, taste amazing, and be a little different from the typical grilled version. This is a recipe that I created a couple years back but didn’t realize it wasn’t on the new blog until I went looking for my own recipe yesterday! I made sure to get it on the new site just in time for all your squash needs. ;)

Read More

Garlic Scapes

I just got word that our first week of the CSA will have garlic scapes! I remember LOVING this recipe when I got them a couple years ago, so I am reposting it for everyone that doesn’t know what to do with them. ;)

Cilantro & Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 1 bunch of cilantro, ends removed
  • 2 garlic scapes
  • handful of chives (or garlic clove or more scapes)
  • 2 handfuls of walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or more depending on how creamy you want it)
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • pepper to taste
  • few good shakes of crushed red pepper flakes (these happened to be homemade from last year’s dried chili’s)


Put the cilantro, garlic scapes, chives, walnuts in the food processor and pulse until they are a coarse meal. Put in the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and run a stream of olive oil in while its processing until you get a chunky/creamy texture. Serve on top of any meat, mushroom caps, eggs, etc.

Pesto is so versatile and easy to freeze. It helps dress up any boring meat easily. I chose to grilled up some grassfed flank steak and serve pesto on top. I put it on top of the salad blend I got from the CSA. Absolutely fabulous. This is what I love about the CSA. I didn’t know what a garlic scape was and I had definitely never cooked with them. Forced me out of my comfort zone and now I know just how much I like them! I hope we get more next week because I have thought up a million more way to use them!!!

Paleo Butternut Squash Soup

The weather is changing around here which means so is the produce from the CSA!  Luckily, I am starting to get a little less in my box every week.  I have been working like crazy to make/freeze/preserve all the veggies this summer.  I have been doing a good job, but even I get a little tired of having to worry about how on earth I am going to consume it all!  One thing I love to make in the fall and freeze is butternut squash soup.  I have tried many varieties, but I think this recipe I the best one I’ve ever tried and it is the most simple!

Butternut Squash Soup


  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped into cubes
  • 2 apples, chopped into cubes (choose gala, Fuji, jonathan, etc.)
  • 2 onions (you could use your leek from the CSA as 1 of the onions)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp butter (I like butter but you could use any cooking fat)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (homemade is best!)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Heat butter in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions and a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté until translucent.  Add the garlic and sauté for another minute or so.  Add the apple and butternut squash cubes and pour the chicken stock over the veggies.  Allow to simmer until the butternut squash and apples are fork tender.  Use an immersion blender to blend it all together until creamy (you could also move batches to the blender).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  If you consume dairy, some plain Greek yogurt dolloped on top makes this a hearty, satiating, complete meal.

Radishes w/Peas and Dill and Turnip and Potato Hash

I am obsessed with the Cooking Channel in case you hadn’t realized that yet.  I love watching the traditional cooking shows because so many recipes from traditional cultures follow the same dietary guidelines that I employ in my life!  They know how to spice things up, enjoy fresh ingredients, and pair foods well for digestion.  Of course most people aren’t thinking about that when they are watching these shows, but I notice these things!  One show I’m hooked on right now is “French Food At Home.”  One day, after picking up the CSA veggies, she was cooking radishes with peas and dill.  I had just picked up radishes and dill!  Perfect for trying out a new recipe and using up all my goodies.  This recipe is a variation on her original.

Radishes and Peas w/Dill

  • 2 tablespoons grassfed butter
  • 2 bunches radishes, quartered or sliced
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Generous handful chopped fresh dill


Melt the butter in a saute pan and gently cook the radishes until half cooked. Add the peas with the chicken stock. Continue cooking until the peas and radishes are tender. Season, and scatter over the green onions and dill.

After making the daikon fritters last week, my senses have been craving some good ole hash.  It’s perfect for breakfast, and I will most definitely be eating mine accompanied with bacon and eggs!

Turnip and Potato Hash

  • 3 turnips, peeled and shredded
  • 3 purple potatoes, shredded
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • oil for frying (I used the bacon grease from making my bacon to go with it!)


Heat skillet over medium high heat with the oil in the pan.  Add all the ingredients into the skillet and fry up until it meets your standards for hash crispy-ness.

As for all that zucchini, get ready.  There will be more to come.  Check out my zucchini bread in the recipe section!  Mine from last year ALMOST made it through to this season.  Make sure you make and freeze it while you can!

Homemade Salsa and Basil Pesto

Homemade salsa is sort of a personal preference kind of thing.  Some people enjoy their salsa from roasted veggies, some enjoy it sweet, some smoky, some super tomato-y, some fermented!

Homemade Salsa

  • 4-5 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • handful of cilantro
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • splash of apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until desired consistency!

This can be switched up so many ways!  I often add bell pepper.  I’ve been known to roast all the veggies before processing them because it changes the flavor to less tomato-y.  When things become overabundant, I ferment it by adding a splash of liquid from another ferment (like my sauerkraut) and letting it sit on the kitchen counter for about 3 days.  I can then leave it in the fridge for about 6 months without it going bad, and it is full of good probiotics!  There really is no “right” way to do salsa and it’s hard to mess up.  Give it a try and make tweaks until you have it just the way you like it.

We’ve also been getting basil from the CSA and pesto is an absolute necessity for quick and easy flavor that you can add to meats, soups, veggies, etc.  Just freeze it and pull it out all winter long.

Basil Pesto

  • 2 cups Basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • salt and pepper
  • EVOO until the pesto is creamy

Put the basil, walnuts, garlic, salt and pepper in the food processor and pulse until a meal forms.  Then turn on the food processor and slowly drizzle in the EVOO until you have created a paste.  Bam, major flavor that freezes well so you can enjoy fresh herbs in the winter!

Chicken Basil Pesto

FullSizeRender (10)IMG_0752

It’s time to sign up for the CSA again! Whenever I get that form in the mail, I always have a Christmas moment thinking about all the stuff I still have in the freezer! Then it’s a rush to use it all before I start getting my fresh produce again. Basil pesto is one of those things that you just have to do in the summer and freeze. Fresh basil is way too expensive in the store and you barely get any! However, you can’t keep up with it in the summer! So, I freeze mine into pesto ice cubes so that I can use one for a single dish over lunch or I can thaw out a few to make an entire dinner. I made a spaghetti squash and has leftover chicken from a whole chicken the other night. Top that with some pesto and it’s like you slaved away when really, it’s all basically leftovers! When I opened the container of pesto cubes I literally smelled summer. 2014 must’ve had some dynamite basil! I still have tomato sauce, blueberries, applesauce, several kinds of soup, and several herb blends in the freezer, too! I told you it felt like Christmas! That’s what happens with a chest freezer. All that deer meat covers up your summer bounty for a few months!
I will be doing my weekly recipes again corresponding to my basket of produce from the CSA. So, if you want to have healthy, cheap veggies and someone coaching you through how to use them, jump on the Rise Up Farms bandwagon. 22 weeks of local, organic, vibe ripened produce. What more could you ask for?! A half share is $310 which is $14/week.

CSA Week 18: Paleo Tacos!

 Paleo Tacos


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Taco seasoning: (from Mark’s Daily Apple)

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teasoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Brown the beef in a pan.  If you are using grassfed beef, there shouldn’t be much fat in the pan.  Otherwise, you may want to drain off the excess before adding the spices.  Add the spices to the meat along with the chopped up veggies and cilantro. When your onions are translucent, it’s done!  Top with a big ole heaping of avocado.

I often double this and eat as leftovers for lunch because it is very forgiving when reheated over and over. ;)