CSA 2012 | Share #6


Mid-August. Here we go! Another huge share this week — the kind of share that makes me glad we opt for a bi-weekly option. Although we really do eat a lot of vegetables, it would be tough to consume all of this every week! Let’s take a look, shall we?

  • 7 lbs. of tomatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • parsley & lemon basil
  • an enormous zucchini
  • carrots
  • beets
  • scallions (2 big bunches)
  • kale (other option: swiss chard)
  • 2 peppers (other option: 2 leek and 1 eggplant — this one was a tough call)
  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 3 onions
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • green beans
  • PYO cherry tomatoes (also tomatillos, but I skipped them this week)
  • PYO flowers

As I write this up, I cooling down some salsa. I had a package of the Ball Fiesta Salsa Mix, which people generally seem to like, so I’m giving that a try because it’s quick and easy. We eat so much salsa in this house that it’ll just go right in the fridge (if there’s any left after my taste-testers get a hold of it). With the rest I might make some roasted tomato soup. We’ll see.

The cherry tomatoes are all but gone. The kids have been nibbling on them like crazy (even Laura who never was a tomato eater until we picked them off our own plant on the deck). I’ve successfully pawned off my beets to a friend. And everything else is pretty straightforward – salad stuff, easy dinner sides… It’s been kind of a crazy week (and the busy-ness continues through next Monday) so I’m not sure if I’m up for trying anything new.

{Recipe} Blueberry-Coconut Chia Pudding

Have you ever tried chia seeds? If you like the texture of tapioca, chances are you will enjoy them. I discovered chia several years ago and I absolutely love them! They’re high in Omega-3, they can help reduce blood pressure, they provide excellent hydration, and because they are so full of protein and fiber they keep you full.

I love this recipe for a mid-morning snack, but it would also make a great breakfast or dessert.

Blueberry-Coconut Chia Pudding

blueberry-coconut chia pudding
1 can full-fat coconut milk (DO NOT waste your money on “light” coconut milk — you want these healthy fats!)
4 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
(optional) sweetner of choice
fresh blueberries, slivered almonds

Shake the can of coconut milk and empty it into a bowl (I mix and store my pudding in the same dish, so I use a Rubbermaid container). Add the chia seeds and coconut flakes and combine well. Sweeten to taste if desired. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. When you’re ready to serve, top each dish with fresh blueberries and slivered almonds.

It’s very simple, and so yummy! If you’ve never given chia a try, they’re a fun little seeds. I usually order mine from Amazon, but they’re available in health food stores, and I have even seen them at Shop Rite in the natural foods aisle, so they are not as hard to find as they once were.

Be sure to visit Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom to check out other delicious recipes!

{Friday Favorite Finds} Whole30 Recipe Ideas

It’s Friday! So that means it’s time to link up with Finding Joy in My Kitchen‘s Friday Favorite Finds. Can’t believe the last time I participated was back in March! Good grief! Anyway, I am gearing up to start Whole30 on Monday (after a gluttonous weekend of anniversary and birthday celebrations). I was describing it to Drew (who, unbeknownst to me had his in ear buds in and didn’t hear me the first time) and he was pretty intrigued. Basically, it’s 30 days of strict Paleo eating. I’ll be blogging my way through it, so you’ll read plenty about it, but in the meantime, head over to Whole9 if you’re interested in learning more.

I certainly have plenty of paleo recipes in my arsenal, but because I’m pretty liberal with the dairy, I thought this was the perfect time to share some Whole30-approved dishes! Please note, that the images in this post belong to the original blog owners. In addition, I am directly linking the name of the recipe to the original source so you can head right over there to get the details. Please pin from the original sources and not my blog. Here are my Pinterest food finds for the week.

Meaty Chili from Paleo on a Budget


Paleo Breakfast Burritos from A Real Housewife of NYC


Spicy Shrimp with Garlic and Parsley from Cooking Melangerie (have to sub out the wine for Whole30)

Source: melangery.com via Carol on Pinterest


Crispy Chicken Thighs With Cauliflower and Cilantro from Real Simple

Source: realsimple.com via Carol on Pinterest


Spicy Tortilla Soup with Shrimp and Avocado from Cooking Light (I’ll need to leave out the hominy and the tortilla chips, obviously)

Source: myrecipes.com via Carol on Pinterest


And that’s just a few! So many healthy, delicious options. While I’m a little bit nervous about 30 days without sugar, grains, legumes, alcohol, and (most of all) dairy, I can tell that my body needs a reboot because I’m having all kinds of carb cravings and I’m just not feeling on top of my game. Here’s hoping I can make it through!

Be sure to head over to Finding Joy in My Kitchen and see what inspired everyone else this week!

sauerkraut, take one

raw sauerkraut

A few years ago I started reading about the benefits of lacto-fermented food, but it all sounded so complicated and, honestly, a little strange to me. Leave jars out on the counter for days or weeks? Really? But as I’ve expanded my culinary skills and learned the arts of canning and pickling, I figured that fermenting had to be next.

I read Diane’s tutorial for raw, fermented sauerkraut on her blog Balanced Bites and realized that this was pretty easy. It just required a little babysitting. And as I thought about it, it dawned on me that my childhood was filled with this type of food. My Babci regularly made traditional Polish fermented pickles, and we ate homemade sauerkraut all the time. I had to get over my fear of bacteria. Seriously, people have been doing this for hundreds of years. It’s no big deal.

So I set about to shredding my cabbage and carrots, adding garlic and then the salt, and massaging the cruciferous veggies until they started to weep like little babies. I was amazed how much water came out! I kept saying to Drew, “Isn’t this so cool?” I don’t think he was as excited as I was, though.

I packed it in quart-sized Ball jars, covered the top of each with an outer cabbage leaf, then set a half-pint jelly jar filled with water on top of that to weigh everything down and keep the water level above the cabbage.

Then I put the jars in my dining room, covered them with a clean dish towel and waited. And waited. And waited. If you’re anything like me, you will become giddy with excitement when you see those little bubbles appear that let you know fermentation is happening! After a week and a half, I no longer saw bubbles. I think that it was too cold in the room to encourage the process, so I called it quits for this batch.

It is quite tasty, but definitely not there, if you know what I mean. But it goes great with my morning eggs! (Please forgive the horrible quality of this photo – morning light is not great in my kitchen and I wasn’t going to sacrifice hot eggs for a good shot, LOL!)

kraut & fried eggs

Next time around I think I’ll keep the jars on top of my fridge. I’ll also add the caraway seeds so I don’t get that sideways glance from my dad again. Anyway, don’t be afraid of fermenting food. If it’s going bad, you’ll know it. And the benefits of eating sauerkraut and other fermented foods are overwhelming! So give it a shot – you’ll be glad you did.

indian spiced chicken meatballs

indian spiced meatballs with savory tomato sauce

Earlier this week I finally had a chance to try Cinnamon, a new (well, new-ish) Indian restaurant in Rhinebeck. The food was delicious and I’ve had curries on my mind ever since. Yesterday I had some ground chicken in the fridge, and an idea in my head: meatballs simmered in a creamy sauce, infused with all of my favorite Indian spices.

If you use a food processor, this recipe comes together lightening-fast. And even if you chop everything by hand it shouldn’t take too much longer.

Indian-Spiced Chicken Meatballs
in Savory Tomato Sauce

1 lb. ground chicken
1 med. onion
1-2 jalapenos, seeded
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. coriander powder
1/4 tsp. tumeric
1/2 tsp. salt

Coconut oil (or fat of choice)
1 Tbsp. cumin seeds

* Sauce:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1/2 Tbsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt to taste

For the meatballs, combine onion, jalapenos, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are finely minced. Add the ground chicken and spices and process to combine. Shape into meatballs of your desired size. Melt coconut oil in a pan over med-high heat and add cumin seeds. Turn heat down to medium and let the seeds sizzle for just about 30 sec. – 1 min. until you can smell them. Add the meatballs to the pan

While meatballs are cooking, combine the tomato sauce, yogurt, garam masala, and cayenne in a bowl. Add salt to taste. (You can also add more yogurt or tomato sauce, adjust the spices, etc. The sauce is pretty forgiving.)

When meatballs are about halfway done, add the sauce to the pan and finish cooking until the chicken meatballs reach an internal temp. of 165 degrees F.

Garnish with cilantro.
Serving suggestion: cucumber and onion salad dressed with a squeeze of lemon juice; basamati rice (if you eat it) or riced cauliflower.

I realize that many people who follow a Paleo diet do not eat dairy. If that’s the case, my suggestion would be to add some fresh chopped tomatoes and extra onions to the coconut oil and cumin seeds, along with the garama masala and salt, allow it to cook down a bit, and then add your meatballs.

These meatballs were delicious, considering I threw them together at the last minute (since the kids ate all the taco meat I’d made!). I’m making another batch today for the freezer. I think this is a pretty versatile recipe that is easy to adapt to whatever diet you follow, whether it’s a standard diet, low-fat diet, low-carb diet, or Paleo. A little something for everyone 🙂

{product review} caveman cookies – rainforest flavor


It’s been killing me to see all these delicious-looking cookie recipes posted on blogs this month. After all, December is the month of cookie swaps, homemade gifts, and treating yourself. Still, I am trying hard to resist the temptation and avoid as much flour and sugar as possible. So when I read an e-mail about Caveman Cookies, I was intrigued. Paleo cookies? That I don’t have to make myself? Why yes, I would be very interested in trying those!


Caveman Cookies are made with Paleo-friendly ingredients including nuts, honey and berries. They are certified Kosher, gluten-free, and dairy-free. I was sent a package of the new Rainforest flavor for my review. The flavor is described like this in the marketing material:

The cookies feature an exotic combination of Brazil nuts and chewy dried cherries, with a kick of cayenne pepper. The other ingredients are honey, almond meal, chopped almonds and nutmeg.

Drew and I both tried them before we read the ingredients and thought there had to be ginger in the cookies – we were very surprised there wasn’t! There’s a definite kick from the cayenne and I guess when combined with the nutmeg, you get that taste of ginger.

We also had very different opinions on the flavor. Drew didn’t like them at all, I am sorry to say. I thought they were interesting and I kind of like them. They are very different from your standard chocolate-chip cookie, or even one made with coconut flour, but I found the slightly sweet taste and sticky texture enjoyable. The cookies are also available in original (similar to oatmeal-raisin), Alpine (carob and hazelnuts), and tropical (coconut and macadamia nut).

Here’s a peek at the nutrition facts:


A bag of 12 cookies costs $9.95. While that seems pricey, the ingredients are expensive and they’re not loaded with the junk found in most other mass-produced cookies. They’re not that big, but I found one was plenty to satisfy my sweet tooth, and technically the serving size is two cookies, so if one doesn’t do it — go for the second one!


You can purchase different sized bags (including sampler bags) on the Caveman Cookies website. Each cookie is individually wrapped in a cello bag to preserve freshness (which also means you don’t have to eat the entire bag as soon as you open it). As I read through the reviews on Amazon, I noticed that there is some argument as to whether or not these cookies are really Paleo. There seems to be a lot of bickering lately about what, in general, a Paleo diet means, but as far as I am concerned the ingredients meet the definition. (Of course, I am not a strict Paleo person by any means, as evidenced by the milk in my tea in that photo at the top of this post.) At the very least, these are certainly a great choice for those following a GF diet.

To sum it all up: I love the idea of a healthy cookie that I don’t have to bake myself. And although the Rainforest flavor is a little spicy for my taste, I’d give another variety a try without hesitation.


Disclosure: I received one free bag of Caveman Cookies in the Rainforest flavor to review on my blog. I did not receive any financial compensation for this post. The opinions expressed are my own.  This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

friday favorite finds

It’s Friday! So that means it’s time to link up with Finding Joy in My Kitchen‘s Friday Favorite Finds. All the Christmas cookie pins are killing me, but luckily I’ve been able to track down several yummy, healthy recipes that I can make with ingredients I already have.

Here are my Pinterest food finds for the week.

Cream of Zucchini Soup


Guacamole Salad – How delicious would this be with some lime-grilled chicken?


Low Carb Peanut Butter Thumbprints


Egg-Free Dairy-Free Chocolate Decadence – I can’t wait to make this! It sounds too good to be true.


Salted Caramel Mocha – This recipe uses sugar, but I think it would be easy enough to substitute another sweetener.


Be sure to head over to Finding Joy in My Kitchen and see what inspired everyone else this week!

friday favorite finds – meat dishes

It’s Friday! So that means it’s time to link up with Finding Joy in My Kitchen‘s Friday Favorite Finds.

Man, these last two weeks have been rough! Everyone in the family has endured some illness or another, plus life has just been generally busy (as it tends to be this time of year). But now that we are on the mend and I’m digging my way out from a pile of disorganization, I’m trying to be a better blogger (look, two posts in two days!).

Here are my Pinterest food finds for the week.

Philly Cheesesteak in a Bowl – I’d been thinking about a low-carb version of cheesesteak and literally the next morning I saw this recipe. I think it was meant to be!


Karoline’s Keema – I have a keema recipe marked “to cook”  in The Indian Slow Cooker, but this one just seems quick and easy. I’ll be making it soon.


Mustard & Cracked Pepper Roast Beef – I love roast beef, and this looks mouth-watering. I think it would be a nice change from ham for Christmas (but we’ll see… )


Chocolate Raspberry Truffles – And we can’t forget dessert! I am dying to make these clean-eating truffles. Dates, cocoa powder, jam… they sound too good to be true.


Be sure to head over to Finding Joy in My Kitchen and see what inspired everyone else this week!