Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Happy Monday!

Well, I have no Weekly Menu post for you today because...I am on vacation!  We traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona to visit family.  This is a rare week without a farm run, but I will be back later this week to share my travel tips for eating healthy on the road as well as share with you the restaurants I have found and enjoyed.  I hope you have a wonderful week filled with good eats!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fresh Tomato, Basil, and Garlic Soup

I have always loved tomato soup, but never had the chance to enjoy a homemade version until now.  WOW!  This soup is so delicious and incredibly easy to make!  I can't believe it has taken me so long to make this myself.  I am now ruined for packaged tomato soup.  Forever.  I guess I always felt it had to be complicated, as though it required roasting tomatoes or peeling and seeding...  but I was wrong! :)  This recipe uses the entire tomato, skin and all.  The hands-on time is very minimal and the result is amazing.  I already can't wait to make this again and look forward to freezing tomatoes at the end of season to make this well into the fall.  


6 C coarsely chopped tomatoes
1/2 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, sliced in half
3 C broth (I used Imagine Low Sodium Chicken-free Broth)
1/4 C chopped fresh basil
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp sugar (more if desired)


  1. In a stockpot over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, broth, and basil.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool enough to run through a blender.  Process until smooth.
  2. In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook until the roux begins to brown.  Gradually mix in the tomato mixture trying to avoid lumps.  Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste.  Enjoy!

Adapted from Charlotte

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My Fourth of July

I had a great time with family over at our house to celebrate the Fourth of July!  The whole day was filed with great people and delicious food...what could possibly be better?  The girls even started their day off with a red, white, and blue breakfast of oatmeal with blueberries and strawberries.  Celebratory food doesn't have to be unhealthy, and best of all, they LOVED it!

I'm not a huge fan of thematic decorations because I don't have room to store them in between uses, so they would just be wasteful paper products to be thrown away at the end of the night.  If we have a lot of non-family guests, I might get some because it is kind of expected.  Luckily my family knows me well enough to not be surprised.  Instead, I let the food, drinks, and fun be the background.  We set up the backyard for everyone to have a great time. 

During the summer, I love any excuse to break out my Margaritaville Mixed Drink Maker.  This has become a party must-have for me.  You load it with cranberry juice, sour mix, and orange juice.  Then you can add tequila, rum or vodka.  The machine has a library of drinks that can be made at the push of a button.  It's the perfect un-manned bar!  

We started the party off with a taste test of chips and dips, some were organic and some were the conventional chips I grew up on.  

We paired them with two versions of french onion dip.  One was the dip of my husband's childhood made of sour cream and the Lipton Onion Soup mix.  The second version was made by me from scratch using organic onions from our local farm.  Let's just say there was no competition.  :)  The third dip was one from my childhood and is a simple cottage cheese dip we eat with nacho cheese chips.

We decided to do classic burgers, so my husband set out a selection of mix-ins so people could customize their burgers.  I did fail because I didn't get any pictures of the actual finished burgers, but they were great!  I also served my Perfect Party Potato Salad as a side along with a big bowl of strawberries and blueberries, as well as a vegetable tray of cherry tomatoes, celery, and carrot sticks with my Classic Ranch Dressing.  Apparently I enjoyed the drink machine early on because I forgot to take pictures of any of that!  :)

Of course we had farm fresh burger toppings to be enjoyed by all.  :)

The personal highlight for me was the dessert.  I was lucky enough to grow up with a peach tree in my backyard and be able to enjoy fresh-picked peaches throughout the summer.  We put them on everything and had a freezer full by the end of the season.  But once you have a peach right off the tree, nothing you can buy from a store even comes close.  For that reason, no one in my family had bought peaches since we moved from my childhood home in the late 1990's.  Recently, one of my farms brought in peaches from a local organic farm, and they were the closest thing to our old peaches I had tried.  I decided to have a simple dessert of peaches and ice cream, just like the good old days.  It sure was a delicious flash back!

So there you have it.  I hope you enjoyed seeing the way my family celebrated the Fourth of July.  I'd love to hear the highlights from your day as well!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekly Menu

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend with friends and family!  I know I sure did.  We had my whole family over to celebrate the Fourth of July and I will tell you all about it later this week.  :)  Today, however, it is back to the regular grind.  We did have a chance to get to the farm for the week and picked up a lovely selection of carrots (I got so many because they were on special!), kale, chard, beets, celery, green beans, sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, Anaheim chile, bell pepper, and white and purple sweet Maui Onions.  With this food, I will be serving the following menu to my family:

  • I will be having a summer version of the Rainbow Smoothie (without spinach)
    • using the kale, chard, carrots, and beets

  • We will be enjoying the celery and cherry tomatoes for snacks.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Avocado Thai Crunch Salad

This salad has it all!  Two kinds of cabbage, avocado, peanuts, carrots, cucumbers, edamame, crispy won ton skins, and two dressings that compliment each other so incredibly well.  Seriously this has so many layers of flavor, color, and texture - it truly is a feast for the senses.  It was inspired by the Thai Crunch Salad at California Pizza Kitchen, another place we used to frequent before I became more concerned about GMOs and pesticides.  Now I can say I have mastered a home version that uses only organic ingredients - Woohoo!  This does take some time to prepare, but many of the elements can be made ahead of time.  I always make this salad to have two days in a row because I love it so much.  

 Ingredients (makes 4 large entree salads)

1 head cabbage, chopped in 1/4" strips
1 head red cabbage, cored and chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
2 bunches green onions, white and light green parts chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and julienned
1 large bunch cilantro, chopped
2 C cooked and shelled edamame
2 cups roasted peanuts
4 avocados, chopped
1 C Cilantro Lime dressing
4 C fried won ton strips
1 C Thai Peanut Dressing

Cilantro Lime Dressing
1/4 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 tsp agave nectar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp fresh minced ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 C olive oil

Thai Peanut Dressing
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp water
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Make the Cilantro Lime Dressing by putting all of the ingredients except for the olive oil into a food processor.  Process until smooth, about 1 minute.  Then, with the machine running, slowly add the olive oil.  Continue processing for 1 more minute.  Store in the fridge until ready for use. Whisk before using.
  2. Make the Thai Peanut Dressing by putting the peanut butter, honey, vinegar, water, and soy sauce into a small bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add sugar, salt, cayenne, and oil.  Whisk until fully incorporated.  
  3. Assemble the salad by placing the cabbage, carrots, green onion, cucumber, cilantro, edamame, and peanuts into a large bowl.  Add the Cilantro Lime Dressing and toss to combine.  Plate the salads and top with won ton skins and avocado.  Drizzle the Thai Peanut Dressing on top and serve.  

Adapted from California Pizza Kitchen

Monday, July 1, 2013

Weekly Menu

Holy cannoli!  It was so hot this weekend!  How hot was it where you are?  I am happy that it is starting to cool down and I love that it is a short week.  We are having the family over for the 4th of July this week, and I hope to have a recap of the event for you on Friday.  On our trip to the farm we picked up some kale, carrots, cabbage, basil, corn, white and purple sweet Maui onion, tomatoes, and broccoli.  For the week (excluding the Fourth) we will be enjoying the following meals:

  • Thai Crunch Salad
    • using the cabbage, carrots, and cilantro

  • I will be having the Kaleslaw for lunch
    • using the kale

Friday, June 28, 2013

Ultimate Breakfast Burrito

This breakfast burrito is one of my favorite meals.  Given the fact that I almost exclusively eat my homemade granola for breakfast, having a hearty, warm breakfast (or breakfast-for-dinner) is a real treat.  This takes all my breakfast faves and puts it into burrito form.  What could be better?  Packing it with fresh, organic, local veggies makes this even better.  I love to make it when onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes are all in season together.  They are so flavorful!  Add in some eggs, cheese, sausage (veggie for me!), and tater tots and you've got one fantastic meal!  Top it with salsa, ketchup, hot sauce, or a some combination of the three to perfectly suit your tastes.  :)

Ingredients (enough to feed my family of four)

flour tortillas
1 Tbsp olive oil
5 small sausage patties
7 eggs
1/4 C milk
salt and pepper to taste
tater tots, cooked according to package directions
cheddar cheese, finely grated
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 large tomates, chopped


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan.  Cook the sausage patties according to package instructions.  Set aside to cool.  Chop into small pieces. 
  2. While the sausage is cooking, whisk the eggs and milk together in a medium bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into the pan that cooked the sausages.  Cook to your liking.  
  3. Warm the tortillas and load the eggs and the rest of the toppings to your liking.  Top with ketchup, hot sauce, or salsa and enjoy!