CSA Week 22! My Trusty Chili Recipe


Week 22 Bounty: (The Season comes to an end….)

  • 5 leeks
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • bag of sweet potatoes
  • bag of salad mix
  • bag of Swiss Chard
  • 1 bunch of kale

Paleo Chili

  • 2-3 slices uncooked bacon, chopped (use pastured from Hopeful Farms!)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2lbs ground meat (make it grassfed…I’ve used everything from beef to turkey)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2-2 cups broth or water (I always use homemade chicken stock)
  • 1 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes w/liquid (I get to use those I froze from the CSA this year!)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s)
  • 1-2 carrots, diced (I often sub bell pepper)
  • Optional: some chopped jalapeno if you like it spicy!


In a dutch oven (or large saucepan), cook bacon over medium-low heat until brown and some fat has rendered.  (This is where I add the jalapeno if I’m using it)

Add chopped onion to the pan and stir into bacon until the onion is semi-translucent.  Then add the garlic, and cook for a few more minutes.

Add ground meat and cook until browned. (If you use grassfed or lean meat, you should be golden, but if you use conventional meat, you may have to drain some fat here)

Add spices, broth, tomatoes, and carrots/peppers and stir well.  Cover and simmer over low heat for one hour.  I put that in bold because while the recipe is simple, give yourself time…don’t start it when you are starving!  Stir about every 20 min to keep it from sticking.

Add vinegar and cocoa powder and stir well.  Simmer uncovered for another 20 min.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

I often top this chili with fresh avocado, or jalapenos that I have pickled from my summer harvest, or homemade cream fraiche for those enjoying raw, grassfed dairy, or fresh cilantro in the summer.  Possibilities are endless.

One good thing about this recipe, besides how amazing it tastes, is that it makes a ton (leftovers, check).  If you have a big family, double it!  Also, it is a one pot wonder, so less dishes (easy clean up, check).

CSA Week 21: Meatless Monday


I just got back from a trip, and like most people, I had nothing in the fridge to just heat up!  So, I wanted to show you guys what my impromptu lunch looks like when there are no leftovers and I haven’t been to the store.  It’s not Monday…but it is for me!

Sautéed bell pepper (from my garden), sweet potato (from the CSA), chives and parsley (from my herb bed), and 2 fried eggs (from the office) on top!  Easy peasy.  Done in 10 minutes.

CSA Week 21 Bounty:

  • bag of braising greens
  • bag of salad mix
  • bunch of carrots
  • 1 bunch of Swiss Chard
  • 3 delicata squash

I have one more week to go!  Bittersweet moment when the CSA comes to an end.  However, they are having  a harvest party November 8th if anyone is interested in meeting the farmer and joining the fun!


CSA Week 20: Ratatouille

That’s right! Still picking up produce into the later parts of October! I literally haven’t gotten produce from the grocery store since May! Between my garden, the CSA, the Blueberry Ranch, and Earth First Farms, I have all the fruit and veggies I can handle. I have 20lbs of vacuum sealed organic blueberries in the freezer, containers of frozen applesauce, batches of frozen basil pesto, and tomato sauce that should last me through the winter. This saves money, tastes exactly the way I want it to, and makes eating healthy convenient! Normally, I am drowning in zucchini and have a healthy stash of zucchini bread in the freezer, too; however, I didn’t grow any this year and didn’t get much from the CSA either. You never know what you’re gonna get!

CSA Week 20 bounty:

  • 4 leeks
  • bag of salad
  • bag of sweet potatoes
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 1 bunch of broccoli



  • 1/4 cup oil of choice (I used bacon grease)
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 big eggplant or 2 small, chopped
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper


Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. When hot, add the onions and garlic and sautee until slightly carmelized. Add in the eggplant and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and parsley and salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve alongside whatever protein you choose!
I topped mine with ground pork seasoned with Italian seasoning that I browned in another pan while cooking the ratatouille.

CSA Week 19: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad w/Apple Cider Vinaigrette

butternut salad
Week 19 Bounty:

  • 1 bunch radishes (recipe from 2013)
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bag salad mix
  • celery
  • 3 eggplants (I could have chosen bell peppers but I have tons of those in my own garden!)
  • 1 bunch swiss chard

Today’s recipe was a variation on Ina Garten’s recipe that was on tv while I was home for lunch the other day. I couldn’t resist the play with all the fall flavors!

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with an Apple Cider Vinaigrette


  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and seeded, cubed into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Maple syrup
  • Coconut oil or bacon grease
  • Chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (toasting is optional)
  • 3 tbsp. dried cranberries (optional)
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 3/4 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp minced shallots
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400F. Place your cubed butternut onto a sheet pan and toss with your maple syrup and oil. Roast for 15-20 minutes, turning once. (They will be fork tender when done). While the butternut squash is roasting, in a saucepan, bring the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots to a simmer over medium high heat. Let simmer for about 8 minutes until the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Take off the heat and whisk in the mustard and olive oil. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste. Get your kale and walnuts in a serving bowl, place your butternut squash over it and pour the vinaigrette over in whatever amount you appreciate for your salads. (I don’t like a ton of dressing, but this one was so good!)

*you could easily add a protein on the side or on top! Experiment!

CSA Week 18: Butternut Squash Lasagna

butternut lasagna

Week 18 bounty:

  • 1 leek
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 4 habaneros
  • bag of potatoes
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 bag of salad mix
  • 1 eggplant

Butternut Lasagna

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled (just use the neck), cut into slices
  • 1 lb seasoned sausage
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • parsley


Preheat oven to 350.

Brown your meat in a skillet to get some caramelization on the meat (this is important so don’t stir too much! let it brown!). Then add tomato sauce to cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Lay out a layer of butternut squash sheets. Pour over more sauce and sprinkle meat over that layer. Keep repeating until you have used all your squash, meat and sauce. Put your dish in the over, covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 10-15 minutes until squash is fork tender.

CSA Week 16:

rise up farms
Can you believe I am already 16 weeks into my CSA season?!  Tomato sauce has been my big preserving crop this year, but I am not going to lie, I appreciate the break from having so much I don’t know what to do with it.  I am still trying to finish up stuff in the freezer from last year!

The weather is getting cooler and therefore fall crops should be doing well. Think broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and cauliflower.  What you don’t think about is warm weather stuff like cucumbers.  However, the CSA is trying something new and growing some warm weather plants in straw bails in the greenhouse so they will produce even in cooler temps.  I’m sort of excited to be able to contribute to their experiments!

I have 5 more weeks of veggie pick up. I DO NOT buy any produce at the grocery store all summer with the exception of a few fruits from time to time. However, between the Blueberry ranch, Earth First Farms apples, and my own fruit from my yard, I don’t do much of that either! They start collecting money for the following year’s CSA around Feb/March. So, take a look at your budget this summer and see if there’s a chance you’d save money eating produce from a CSA that is all organic. It works itself out to be $14/week for a 1/2 share (that’s what I do). It really is a great way to support local farmers doin’ it right, save some money, try new stuff, and eat all organic, local, and vine-ripened!

CSA Week 16 bounty:

  • 1 sack of potatoes
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 2 hot peppers
  • 1 bag salad mix
  • 1 bag green beans

CSA Week 15: Eggplant Stacks Part Deux (Paleo)

Do you know the farmers that make your Italian Sausage?

I do. They do a great job and everything is grassfed/pastured and local. Check ’em out! http://sevensons.net/

Week 15 bounty:

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 bunch chard
  • 4 onions
  • 6 tomatoes
  • bag of green beans
  • 2 bell peppers
  • bunch of basil

Eggplant Stacks:

I followed the same recipe as I did for the previous eggplant stacks but instead of using cheese, I used an Italian Sausage log that I cut into rounds and browned in a cast iron skillet before stacking. They fit perfect on top of the eggplant rounds and I was able to use some of my own tomato sauce this go round because of all the tomatoes I’ve been getting lately! I also left out the crumble topping out of laziness, and it worked great!

CSA Week 14: Tomato Sauce for the Freezer

tomato sauce

CSA Week 14 Bounty:

  • Tomatoes (about 3 lb)
  • 4 Sweet peppers
  • 3 Hot peppers
  • 1 Melon
  • bag o’ green beans
  • Swiss chard
  • 1 bunch Scallions
  • 1 bunch Kale

It’s time to start cooking tomatoes into sauce that I can just pour into a dish later in the year. I don’t like tomatoes straight up, so making sauce and freezing it is a perfect way to use them. Then I don’t have to worry about chemicals and preservatives in cans.

Tomato Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 hot pepper (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 lbs tomatoes, peeled
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 2 bay leaves

In a dutch oven, heat oil to medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add celery, carrot, and hot pepper with salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, bay leaves and simmer covered on low for about an hour until thick. Remove bay leaves and taste. If it tastes too acidic, add a tbsp of butter until it cuts it. Pulse with a hand blender. Let it cool and freeze! It should give you about 6 cups of sauce.

CSA Week 13: Eggplant Stacks


CSA Week 13 Bounty:

  • 6 tomatoes
  • bag of potatoes
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 2 eggplants
  • 1 head of bok choy
  • bag of green beans
  • bag of salad mix

I am trying to eat more veggie dishes because I am about to start a nutrition program with another vegetarian. It’s much easier to coach someone when you get what their meals look like. Since most of her pastas she is used to will be out the window, I have to come up with tasty alternatives! Luckily, she will eat some animal products, like cheese. So, eggplant stacks it is!

Eggplant Stacks

  • 2 eggplant
  • 1 lb mozzarella
  • 1 jar tomato sauce
  • basil
  • almond flour
  • salt and pepper
  • butter

Preheat oven to 450F. Cut eggplant into discs and spread on greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes. Get them out and turn the oven down to 350F. Place some sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and arrange some of the eggplant discs over the sauce. Put some sauce on top of the eggplant and sprinkle some basil. Place a disc of mozzarella over each eggplant disc and continue layering. Once you have eggplant back on top (3 eggplant discs) then sprinkle with topping of (almond flour with cold butter and salt in the food processor until it looks like bread crumbs). Bake for 17 minutes and broil on low for 3 minutes until the crumble topping browns slightly.

CSA Week 12: A Story About Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon rolls

CSA Week 12 Bounty:

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 4 beets w/tops
  • 1 bag onions
  • 2 sweet peppers

Between my old blog and this one, I think I’ve posted plenty of recipes for these veggies. So, lets get to the real question: What about those cinnamon rolls?! I made them…again…with the changes that I thought were needed. I will say that I liked the flavor better. Nailed it in the that category for me. The original recipe just wasn’t sweet enough for me when I think cinnamon roll. However, I still didn’t care for the texture. If you are going to go out of your way to make something slightly complicated, then it better be worth it! I’m not posting a recipe because I don’t think it’s worth it…and you know I only post easy, awesome, repeatable food! However, once I nailed the flavor, I have to say that it tasted SO MUCH like the coffee cake I was making last year for nutrition class! So here’s my input…make the coffee cake. Easy. Tasty. Make it into cupcakes if you want individual servings. ;)

Cinnamon Coffee Cake


  • 1/2 C Coconut Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 C maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 C Almond Flour
  • 1/2 C Arrowroot Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Swirl: 2 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1/4-1/2C Chopped Pecans

Preheat oven to 325F. Stir dry ingredients together. In a different bowl mix the wet ingredients. Combine the dry and wet. Pour into a greased 8×8 dish. Combine the swirl topping ingredients and dollop onto the cake. Use the tip of a knife to make pretty swirls. Top with pecans if you want it to be cinnamon roll-esque. Bake for 25-30 minutes!