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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Community Supported Agriculture

Our CSA will be finishing up soon (two weeks left).... I can't express enough how much I enjoyed this opportunity through Tomato Tomato!  This has been a wonderful addition to our corporate wellness program and a service we offered our employees :)  

Community Supported Agriculture programs not only provide community members with locally sourced and grown produce but help support the farmers and growers who keep the passion of sustainable agriculture alive.  This was an opportunity to try new vegetables (beets, turnips, a huge assortment of lettuces, and I hate to admit this was probably the first time I ate radishes!), my favorite veggies (broccoli, cucumbers, onions...pretty much everything else), gain exposure to local companies (hello raw honey!!  I love you now), and also saving me time at the grocery store.  

I'm not sure who benefits more the consumer or producer!  

Do you have a CSA available near you?  Have you tried a program before?  

My only advice: look for a local partnership between a farmers market and growers, not a national company that will just deliver produce to you each week - there's a HUGE difference.  If pineapples don't grow nearby, they aren't locally sourced.  (but that's my two cents.)

Always, J ♥

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chickpea & Quinoa Salad

You can make this the hard way or the easy way.  I, of course made this the most labor intensive salad I've ever eaten, but damn was it good!!  

*I used dry chickpeas that I had soaked for 25 hours, cooked for 30 minutes, then peeled the tiny shell off each pea.  This was a little time consuming.  Obviously you could just use canned chick peas (2) for this salad and save soooooooo  much time!  Just remember to rinse and drain completely if using canned.

Roast up a good amount of whatever vegetables you have on hand - I used one package of the Trader Joe's Veggie 8 Mix, plus a zucchini, and an orange bell pepper. Toss in olive oil, black pepper, cumin, and a touch of salt.  If you have fresh garlic - toss it in!  Also cut up 2-4 lemons (cut in half) and place in the roasting pan, just along the corners - set them lemons upright so the juice stays in them.  Roast the veggies at 400ish degrees until tender (20-30 minutes depending on which veggies and how they are cut).

Set your veggies aside to cool.  Take the roasted lemons and squeeze as much of the juice/pulp as possible into a jar using a tiny strainer.  

Cook up your quinoa according to package directions.  Now I made a ton of this salad so I could eat on it a couple lunch days.  I made the entire box - then set the quinoa in a bowl to cool.

Mix together the quinoa, roasted veggies, and chick peas into a large bowl.

To the mixture I added fresh parsley and basil - which I had diced finely. 

For the dressing:  Roasted lemon juice - more fresh lemon juice if you desire - lemon zest - olive oil (about equal parts) - cumin (to taste) - black pepper.  If in a jar, just shake it up or in a bowl - whisk together.  

Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss well.  Then taste it - does it need anything else?  

This kept so well in the fridge - I ate it for lunch about 6 days straight and never got tired of it!  It's super filling from the quinoa and chickpeas and kept me fueled all afternoon and into my evening workout!  Now that's a great salad!

To fast track the salad - 1) start the water for the quinoa. 2) cut up all veggies, oil and season.  3) veggies into oven and quinoa into boiling water.  4) have chickpeas ready in a bowl and gather everything for the dressing.  5) set veggies & quinoa aside to cool. 6) make the dressing.  7) assemble everything!

I hope you enjoy!

Always, J ♥

Monday, July 29, 2013

Lemon Ricotta Almond Cake

This cake is absolutely the best!  It's my new favorite and so so easy to make. 

I pretty much followed the Trader Joe's cookbook recipe in its entirety.  

2 cups almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (15-oz) container of ricotta cheese (I used whole milk ricotta)
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon

*I doubled the amount of lemon (just to kick up the flavor!)

Mix all ingredients together.  Pour into a 9 inch-ish pan or tart pan or round cake pan (greased).  Into the oven at 350 - bake for 55-60 minutes.  Mine was perfect at 55 minutes exactly.  Take out to cool - then keep refrigerated.  

This cake just gets better and better. 

It's so good it doesn't NEED icing but you could sure serve it with whipped cream or make a lemon icing with the juice of one lemon, then add powdered sugar until it's the consistency you want! 

Enjoy :)

Always, J ♥

Friday, July 26, 2013


Happy Friday!!

I'm linking up with Lauren.

This was a crazy busy week for me - but I can happily say part one of the Empty Bowls event was a total hit!!  I'm sharing a couple photos today from the painting party!

Part one of our event was a spectacular bowl painting party at Joslyn Art Museum in the fountain court - hosted by the Foodbank for the Heartland and sponsored in part by the Joslyn Young Arts Patrons.  This event brought together a diverse group of individuals for creative outlet, community support, and networking.  
Part two will be the actual Empty Bowls Fundraiser for the Foodbank for the Heartland on Thursday, September 19th. Everyone who attends the ticketed event will get to leave with a hand-painted bowl as a reminder that empty bowls exist in the world and we must fight against hunger. 

More details to come later!

Happy Weekend!!

Always, J ♥

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mustard Marinated Cod with Roasted Cabbage and Warm Beet Salad

This recipe seems a bit complicated, but I managed to get everything done in about a hour and a half - great for dinner plus lunch the next day!
For my fish filet marinade/sauce I mixed together dijon mustard and a little honey mustard with tarragon, a little olive oil, lemon juice and zest!  Then I spread it all over my cod filet and let it sit for about 30 minutes while I prepared the rest of my meal.  I baked the filet for about 12 minutes at 400 degrees. 

*obviously if you're making more than one filet, just make more marinade.

This garlic crusher is one of my favorite kitchen tools.  With this there is no excuse not to use fresh garlic in every recipe!  It really does make a huge difference. 

I cleaned my beets - washed, peeled, and diced into small pieces.  I did the same process with a couple turnips.  I thought carrots would be a nice addition to this mix so I peeled and diced about 3 large carrots.  In a baking pan I added all my veggies - tossed them liberally with olive oil, cumin, fresh crushed garlic, salt, black pepper, and a generous helping of summer savory.  Into the oven at 425 degrees - since these are all hard root vegetables, it took almost 45 minutes for them to soften.  Just check the beets - once fork tender, take them out.

This was a beast of a cabbage and weighted about as much as a bowling ball!

Peel off the most outer layers, then cut into wedges removing the core.

Into a baking dish - rub both sides of the cabbage wedges with olive oil, salt, pepper, and cumin.  Then to the top I again added summer savory.  Try and keep the wedges together in the pan.  I roasted them in a 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes, then flipped the wedges over and did about another 15-20 minutes.

*I roasted the beet/carrot/turnip mixture at the same time as the cabbage - it all barely fit in my oven but I made it work to save time / heating up my kitchen.  Once all the veggies were done - I put my fish filet in the oven while everything else cooled down a bit.

Mustard marinated cod with roasted cabbage and warm beet salad!


Always, J ♥

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

All Smoothies!

1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup carrot juice
1 banana
1 piece of cantaloupe
1 teaspoons chia seeds

*Blend together

1 1/2 cups almond milk (you could use less depending on your blender)
heaping 1/2 cup of frozen diced Kale
1/2 cup blueberries
1 heaping teaspoon of raw honey
1 teaspoons chia seeds

*Blend together

1 cup coconut milk
1 huge hand-full of fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup blueberries
1 teaspoon raw honey
1 teaspoon chia seeds

*Blend together

"dessert smoothie"
1 cup almond milk
2 diced bananas
a couple chocolate chips
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon chia seeds

*Blend together

1 1/2 cup coconut milk
2 pieces of cantaloupe
1 huge hand-full of fresh baby spinach
1 diced banana
1 teaspoon raw honey
1 teaspoon chia seeds

*Blend together

*I've been putting chia seeds in everything lately because I bought a huge package and didn't know what to do with them!  I'm really enjoying the texture they add to smoothies :) 

Honestly you can put just about anything in a can switch up any of these ingredients to make your own combo - I do suggest adding raw honey to any smoothies with greens, it just helps balance out any sharp "green" flavor. 

I love drinking these for breakfast as well as after my workouts.  I rocked out a great 5 miles this morning and was excited to come home to my refreshing cantaloupe spinach smoothie!!  Delicious!


Always, J ♥

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Breakfast Egg Casserole

Breakfast egg casserole is great for a crowd.... Our family friends stayed over night after our 3rd of July Party and my mom whipped up this delicious breakfast for us the next morning! 

*Muffins were not gluten free.  I just enjoyed the casserole and watermelon!

My Mom's Egg Casserole:
1 bag frozen hasbrowns
8 eggs
1 packaged pre-cooked bacon (diced)  *could also sub ham
2 1/3 cups milk
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/3 cup diced red pepper
1/3 cup diced orange/green pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
salt and pepper to taste
basil and tarragon to taste
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 cups grated cheese

In a 9x9 greased baking dish - place the frozen hashbrowns until your pan is about 2/3rds full.  Sprinkle on salt and pepper.  Add diced meat to top of hashbrowns. 

In a bowl combine all other ingredients/seasoning (except eggs and cheese).  In a separate bowl beat the 8 eggs until combined.  Add the eggs to the seasonings, peppers, and onions.  Mix to combine.  Pour over the hashbrowns in the baking dish, then top with the two cups of grated cheese. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.  (until set and the top is browned).

Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. 


Always, J ♥