Cilantro Pesto

When summer hands you so many herbs that you can’t keep up, you make tons of pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays for later use.  You can make pesto out of any herb, and it’s an awesome way to add flavor, nutrients, and uncooked olive oil to your life.  It can also act as a marinade!
I don’t follow rules or measurements so I apologize in advance.  However, I think it’s good to point out that delicious food can come from mistakes, random stuff thrown together, or a fluke craving.  Follow your heart.  It never stears you wrong!
Cilantro Pesto
2 cups of cilantro leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup walnuts
salt and pepper
juice from half a lemon
In a food processor, pulse the cilantro, garlic, nuts, salt and pepper, and lemon juice until broken down.  Slowly drizzle in the EVOO until the mixture becomes the consistency of a soft spread.  You can then use it, put in the fridge to eat in the next week or two, or freeze it in ice cube trays to use later.
Place this on grilled meat, add to tacos, marinade shrimp, ANYTHING that you want a punch of flavor!

Bell Pepper Boats

Are you getting tired of recipes that aren’t recipes?  I hope not, because I post this stuff for you guys!  I’ve shared this idea tons of times, but I figured it’s helpful to have it on the list of snacks (or quick meal ideas).  Nature has created perfect portable options for us that are free of plastic, free of lids, free of hassle.  Sometimes people don’t have time to cook, and throwing fresh ingredients together can be a great option to get clean food in your belly without much hassle.  Feel free to stuff your boats with whatever you have on hand: tuna salad, leftovers, ceviche, store-bought guac, scrambled eggs, etc.
Bell Pepper Boats
1 bell pepper, halved lengthwise and core removed
1 avocado
salt and pepper
optional: lime, tomato
One the bell pepper has been halved, fill it with half the avocado and mash it up a bit in each boat.  Top with salt and pepper.  Enjoy like this or add cilantro, fresh lime juice, tomato, tuna….whatever floats your boat!

Shrimp, Pepper, Pineapple Skewers w/Grilled Avocado

You are getting tired of me saying this….but another recipe that’s NOT a recipe!  This is seriously what just pops in my mind when I look in the fridge and see ingredients.  Shrimp is an awesome protein to have in the freezer because it thaws and cooks quickly.  It is also an amazing source of nutrients and variation in your protein sources is a good practice to have.  Pineapple is also something I only really go for in the summer because my cravings are often fruit related when it’s super hot out.  Pineapple has tons of enzymes present in it that aid in the digestive process and bromelain which aids in healing tissues and meat digestion.  I happened to have cilantro pesto in my fridge because cilantro was growing like crazy, and I often make pesto to preserve herbs. Grilled avocado is a food I never experienced before until my gym had a party and the son of one of the couples was cooking for us.  Culinary arts are his passion and profession, and grilled avocado and grilled romaine were quickly added to my vegetable ideas!
Shrimp skewers
shrimp, wild caught, peeled and deveined
bell pepper, cut into chunks
pineapple, cut into chunks
cilantro pesto
salt and pepper
juice from half a lemon
red pepper flakes
avocado, halved and seed removed
Place the shrimp in a bowl mixed with cilantro pesto, lemon juice, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and let marinade while you getting your pineapple, peppers, and grill ready. Heat the grill or grill pan to medium high heat.  Place your ingredients on the skewers however you like them.  (remember that if you are grilling with wooden skewers that you will need to soak them in water for 30 minutes prior so they don’t burn).  Place your made skewers on the grill along with an avocado that you cut in half (place cut side down). Grill for 3 minutes on one side and flip, cooking for another 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the grill and enjoy!

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!

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!!!