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!

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.

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.

Paleo Olive Oil Ice Cream: No Joke

It’s been over 80 degrees everyday, and when it’s that hot out, I want something a little creamy and cold.  Ice cream always seems to do the trick.  I have tried several variations of coconut milk ice cream and I can honestly say that “you can’t go wrong!”  However, I am a huge foodie and will watch the Cooking Network for hours for flavor inspiration.  One day, I was watching a show where the couple went back to Tuscany to cook a traditional meal and olive oil ice cream was on the menu for dessert.  Really?  Wouldn’t that taste absolutely disgusting?  I started researching it and I found out that this is a super traditional concept where olives are grown.  When you have good quality olive oil, it tends to be on the fruity side.  Who knew?!

We have a store called the Olive Branch in Granger and I knew they had tons of infused olive oils.  I went out to check it out and I was completely torn between one of the citrus infusions like lime, meyer lemon, or blood orange, but I ended up going with roasted almond.  The reason I chose Roasted Almond infused olive oil was because I could not resist the thought of using their espresso balsamic vinegar as a reduction over the top!   Done.  Had to go home and make it….right after I did the Regional workout #6.

It turned out great and I am going to say that this is an awesome option to add healthy monosaturated fats to your diet without the heat!  It really took on the flavor of the olive oil.  Try it with basic EVOO or ANY of the infused olive oils at the Olive Branch!  I considered trying to infuse my own with vanilla but sometimes I just get impatient when I have an idea….

*Lurong folks use honey instead


  • 2 cups full fat coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup roasted almond olive oil (or regular EVOO, or any other flavor)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt


Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and blend until smooth.  Put into the ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions!

I put some of the espresso balsamic in a saucepan and reduced it gently while the ice cream was processing.  I drizzled it over the top to eat it….pure magic.