Kale, Strawberry, Avocado Salad w/Chia Citrus Dressing

Once again, a recipe that isn’t really a recipe!  However, kale is super easy to grow and strawberry season is around the corner.  If this salad convinces you to grow some kale or eat some organic berries, then my job here is done.  Since I am a crazy person in the kitchen, I don’t measure anything.  You shouldn’t either.  You know what you like, give yourself enough to have multiple elements in every bite and a little extra of the things you enjoy the most. That wasn’t technical, but it works everytime. Kale (or any winter green) is bitter, so you need some sweetness and some acid to balance it out.  The strawberries could be switched for whatever fruit you have on hand.  The lemon in the dressing could be switched for your favorite vinegar.
Kale, Strawberry, Avocado Salad w/Chia Citrus Dressing
kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
organic strawberries, hulled, halved
avocado, diced
a couple glugs of EVOO
juice of half a lemon
zest of a lemon
pinch of salt and pepper
dollop of honey
1/4 tsp chia seeds
Chop all the salad ingredients into bite size pieces and toss together.  Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and pour over salad.  Kale is hearty, so even a dressed salad can store nicely in the fridge.

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Once again, this is barely a recipe because there is really nothing to it.  However, I’m trying to share simple recipes with everyone, so people do not get stuck in the idea that every meal needs to be elaborate and take forever.  These bacon wrapped scallops can be thrown over a salad, like I have in the picture, eaten alongside veggies, act as an appetizer, etc.  They are quick and easy on top of being super tasty!  Adding more seafood to your diet will also increase your intake of vital minerals you may not receive otherwise. You could easily sub shrimp for scallops, but I would cut down the cook time by about half during the first step.
Bacon-wrapped Scallops
Bacon, uncured
Preheat oven to 425F. Cut bacon in half.  Wrap the bacon around the scallop and secure with a toothpick. Bake the wrapped scallops for 15 minutes, then flip.  Once flipped, turn the broiler on high and cook for another 5-10 minutes until bacon crisps up!

Veggie Pizza Rounds

Pizza is the number 1 favorite food in America.  However, what we like most about foods is usually the flavor.  So, if you can reproduce the flavor of pizza, people are usually just as satisfied as they are eating the real deal.  I have a couple different pizza crust recipes on my blog, but this is a recipe you can do really easily without having to have anything special.  No need for cast iron skillets, tapioca flour, coconut milk, etc.  It is pretty basic which is why I even hesitate to call it a recipe!  However, if one person decides to try it and likes it, then it was worth posting. ;)
Veggie Pizza Rounds
butternut squash, peeled, neck cut into rounds
pizza sauce (I make my own, but you can use your fave)
uncured, organic pepperoni
Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 375F.  Grease a baking sheet and place the butternut rounds on the sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes and flip.  Bake another 10 minutes until fork tender.  Take the baking sheet out and spoon some sauce over each round, place pepperoni on top and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.  Place back in the oven under the broiler on HIGH for about 4-5 minutes.  When the pepperoni gets crispy edges, remove from the oven and serve!

Chicken Tenders

I recently had an old friend message me and tell me that she has a picky eater on her hands…her husband.  I am a former picky eater, and I am pretty sure I spent about 10 straight years eating nothing but chicken tenders at fast food restaurants and regular restaurants.  That may have even been the criteria for choosing where to eat: Does the menu have chicken tenders?!  I’ve outgrown the picky eating thing but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have a place in my heart for the nostalgic foods of my picky days.
These chicken tenders taste so good.  I chose to fry them but my guess is that you could bake them just fine?  I just haven’t tried it. When choosing spices, you can use your imagination.  Even if all you used was salt and pepper, they would be great!
Chicken Tenders
2 lbs chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
1 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
2 eggs with a splash of water
1/2 cup palm shortening or bacon grease
Place chicken breasts in a large ziploc bag and beat it with a heavy bottom pan in order to thin out the chicken.  Once thin enough, cut the breasts in to strips.
In 2 shallow dishes, one will have the eggs and water whisked together.  This will be the first stop for the chicken.
The next dish will have all the dry ingredients and spices.
Heat oil over medium high heat until it sizzles when water hits it.  As it is heating, dip strips in egg wash and then coat in flour.  When the oil is hot enough, place the coated chicken in the oil and fry 3 minutes on each side.  Remove and place on a dish with a paper towel to soak up any extra oil and sprinkle salt on immediately.  Keep frying in batches without overcrowding the pan because this will decrease the temperature of the oil.
Serve with veggies!

Blood Orange and Fennel Salad

For those of you that follow me, you’ve heard me say before that I don’t eat salad regularly because I just don’t enjoy it that much.  However, I went the store to get veggies a couple days ago and saw a bulb of fennel that I just had to have.  Shortly after that, I saw they had blood oranges in stock, which doesn’t happen that often!  They are the PERFECT pair.  Blood orange is a dark reddish color and the flavor is like a cross between a grapefruit and an orange.  I threw together a salad with the two ingredients and could not get enough.  It’s a shame to call this a recipe, but it is really just simple ingredients, but it was worth a formal publish!!
Blood Orange and Fennel Salad
1 blood orange, peeled and sliced
thinly sliced fennel
a few pinches of feta (organic, unpasteurized)
drizzle basil infused EVOO (regular would work too)
drizzle barrel aged balsamic (regular would work too)
protein of choice
Throw it all in a bowl and eat!!!

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!

Crockpot Chicken 4-ways

Sometimes I go back and forth on whether or not to post recipes that don’t really have recipes!  However, when I think about it, these types of things are what I eat most of the time.  I pick whatever veggies I have on hand and whatever protein I have thawed, throw on the spices that correlate with the cuisine I’m craving and BAM….you have Mexican, Italian, Asian, etc.
Crockpot Chicken 4-ways
Tomatoes, whole if cherry, chopped if large
Bell peppers, cut into strips
Onions, cut into strips
Chicken (any variety of cuts, breast, thighs, legs, etc)
Spice blend (I have done this with several different Penzey spice blends but you could use any you have! I use Herbs to Provence plus salt for Italian, my own taco seasoning blend for Mexican, a blend called Northwoods for American, and curry for Middle Eastern)
In the bottom of the crockpot, pour in all your tomatoes, then layers on your peppers and onions.  On top of your veggies, layer your chicken and generously season your chicken with whichever spice blend you intend to use!  Place the crockpot on high for 4 hours or low for 6 and it will be all ready to go.  If you use chicken with the skin on, I usually turn on the broiled in the oven and place the chicken on a baking sheet and pop it under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the skin because no one likes soggy chicken skin.  Since the spices are going directly on top of the chicken, it would be a shame to remove the skin with all the flavor!  However, if you didn’t have skin, then you don’t need to worry about that step.

Minestrone Soup

I’ve been getting red peppers like crazy from the CSA!  This soup was born out of the need to use them up in addition to loving the roasted red pepper taste they provide.  This is also an awesome recipe to consider for using any homemade chicken stock you may have in the freezer.  Homemade stock has so many healing properties to it, that it should be a staple in every family home.  That is where the whole idea of having chicken soup when you’re sick comes from!  Unfortunately, those boxed stocks from the store don’t have all the components that you get in homemade.  It’s definitely worth the effort!  Also, my soup has chickpeas in it because when I took all that time to soak them for hummus, I put a couple containers in the freezer.  You could easily leave out the beans….or take the time to soak them as a healthy addition.
I adapted this recipe from one of the greats: Racheal Ray.  I did mine a little bit different, but I definitely used hers as a template.
4 slices of pastured bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and minced
1 bay leaf
1-2 cups of soaked chickpeas
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
2 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves removed and chopped
1/2 cup homemade tomato sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
6-8 cups of homemade chicken stock
4 roasted red peppers (or a jar), pureed
salt and pepper

In a large stockpot, brown the bacon until all the fat is rendered and the bacon is browned.  Add in the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and herbs.  Add a pinch of salt and Salt and pepper.  Cook for 7-8 minutes until the veggies softened.  Deglaze the bottom of the pan by adding the wine and scraping the browned bits off of the bottom.  Add in the beans, chicken stock, tomato sauce, and pureed roasted red peppers. Let simmer until everything is warmed through and incorporated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Top each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil!

Peach Salsa

I speak quite a bit about whether buying certain foods organic actually matters.  I honestly have a different opinion than most people may think.  I think local over organic is MORE important.  Local AND organic is even better, which is why I love being a part of Rise Up Farms.  I know all my produce all summer long is coming from a farm down the street and is all organic!  Not many people can say that for $14/week!  If you aren’t a part of a CSA or have your own garden, try farmer’s markets or following the “Clean 15/Dirty Dozen” list.  This will at least help you avoid the crops that are the most heavily sprayed with pesticides.  The other perk of “organic” is that it is not GMO.  Beware of zucchini, because that is one piece of produce that can be GMO if you don’t buy organic.  Having said that, peaches are on the dirty dozen, and obviously don’t grow in Indiana.  Martin’s has had organic peaches the past couple weeks, and that always get me super excited!  I’ve made blueberry peach crisp, peach and thyme bourbon smash, and now peach salsa!

This salsa is great as a standalone salsa, but can also dress up some ahi tuna, burgers, or pork chops to bring your protein to the next level.  For this recipe, I made my burgers by combining ground beef and ground beef heart, and the salsa made them seriously delicious!  This is also the perfect recipe to use up some of those tomatoes coming out of the garden!

Peach Salsa


  • 2 peaches, peeled and diced
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1/2 of a jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1/2 of a lime’s juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • salt to taste


Combine all the ingredients and enjoy!  You could also use the food processor if you want a smoother version.

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.