Chicken Basil Pesto

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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. ;)

Thai Curry Soup

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There aren’t too many people that venture into the world of Thai food when they cook at home.  However, there are a couple products you can find in the store that makes this feat super easy and well worth it.  This comes together in about 15 minutes total with prep and everything.  If you don’t like seafood too much, this is fool-proof, so no excuses not to try making it! You can choose whatever protein you like and certainly whatever veggies you prefer.

Paleo Thai Curry Soup


  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2-4 cups of chicken or seafood stock (depending on what you want…less is more like stew and more is like soup)
  • 3 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1/2 cup shitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 1 lb salmon, skin removed, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (optional)


Put the coconut milk, stock, and curry paste, and coconut sugar into a pot and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add your veggies and simmer for another 3 minutes.  Add your salmon and fish sauce and cook until the salmon is cooked through.  This will only take a few minutes.  Serve over cauliflower rice or as is!



Paleo Crockpot Spaghetti

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I had one of my Body Transformation students suggest that I need to post crockpot recipes!  So, I listen to my peeps.  Here’s one that is so easy, you can’t mess it up. I did this in the morning so it was ready for my lunch!

Paleo Crockpot Spaghetti


  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce ( I make my own during the summer, but you can buy one without offensive ingredients)
  • 1 lb meat (I used breakfast sausage links but you could use beef, pork, chicken, etc)


Cut the spaghetti squash through it’s belly and scoop out the seeds.  Place it face down in the crockpot and pour in your sauce and throw in your meat.  Put on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.  When done, pull out the spaghetti squash and use a fork to pull out the stands (they will just fall out like angel hair).  Top with sauce and garnish with a little parsley.  Green sprinkles make everything more pretty. ;)

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

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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 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 9: Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Salad

CSA Week 9 Bounty:

  • bag of onions
  • 1 cucumber
  • bag of green beans
  • 1 bunch of chard
  • head of lettuce
  • 3 kohlrabi
  • Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Salad
  • cherry tomatoes
  • basil leaves torn
  • pearl mozzarella balls
  • balsamic vinegar (I used ginger blackberry from Olive Branch)
  • EVOO
  • salt and pepper

Marinate your mozzarella balls in a splash of balsamic and a couple Tbsp of EVOO and refrigerate while you are doing other things. Halve your cherry tomatoes, tear your basil leaves, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine after the mozzarella has been marinating for about 30 minutes and serve immediately.

This is perfect as a summer dish or a party plate, etc. One friend I have brought this to the beach when we went and included the cutest toothpicks so people could stab what they wanted!

I’ve Officially Done It! Crispy Chicken Livers Are AMAZING!

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I am not going to try and take credit for this. I have been trying to like liver for a while now and OMG has it been disgusting! Until now! I am so excited! Pastured liver is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat, and if you can make it into something you actually enjoy and not just choke down, that’s a huge feat!

I skimmed over her exact recipe but I’m sure I didn’t follow it to the letter. I just don’t cook like that. So, I used bacon grease as my frying oil. Bacon makes everything better FYI. Then I used tapioca flour instead of almond flour with a generous heap of paprika, salt, oregano and black pepper. Fried ’em up. Salted right out of the pan as well. They were like insanely flavorful chicken nuggets! Make sure to cut them into bite size pieces though because the thicker they are, the more you may be able to tell it’s not muscle meat. Thank me later. ;)