This is my first blog which was inspired by joining The Produce Box, a local community supported agriculture group. With a weekly delivery of fresh produce, I have been challenged to create healthy nightly meals using ingredients I may not have purchased on my own.

Below is a compilation of weekly meals using the produce delivered by The Produce Box as well as some other recipes which have inspired me.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Salad Everywhere!

My Produce Box consisted of the following:
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • White Sweet Potatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Carrots
  • Raw Peanuts
  • Cucumber

Friday, April 26- I made sloppy joes with a side of mashed white sweet potatoes.
Mashed White Sweet Potatoes
Peel and cube potatoes
Boil til soft
Add milk and butter and mash
Add a little half and half, sprinkle ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
Stir and serve

Saturday, April 27-  We went out to dinner since everyone was scattered about!

Sunday, April 28-  My hubby gave me the night off my making dinner tonight :)

Monday, April 29- I picked up marinated  pork lion at the supermarket last week.  I will probably oven roast it since it is a rainy day today.  Should the weather break, I may grill it instead.  I will use some of the orange sweet potatoes from last week's box to make my sweet potato casserole and honey glazed carrots.

Sweet Potato Casserole 7 WW Points  
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and halved
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg white
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
2. Combine first 5 ingredients in small bowl, stirring to form streusel. Set aside
3. Place potatoes in pot covered with water. Bring to boil, cover and simmer 30 min or until tender. Drain. Mash in large bowl.
4. Stir in 1 cup of streusel topping, sugar, vanilla, egg white and milk.
5. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole coated with cooking spray. Top with remaining streusel.
6. Bake for 45 min.
Serving: 3/4 cup
Calories: 376  Fat: 8.8g  Saturated fat: 1.4g  Monounsaturated fat: 4.1g  Polyunsaturated fat: 2.6g  Protein: 5.4g  Carbohydrate: 70.1g  Fiber: 3.8g  Cholesterol: 1mg  Iron: 1.9mg  Sodium: 115mg  Calcium: 97mg 
Honey Glazed Carrots
Peel and slice carrots
Boil to desire tenderness (I add a splash of OJ to the water while boiling)
Drain return to stovetop
Add desired honey and splash of OJ 
Mix and heat to thin honey
Serve with a dallop of butter

Tuesday, April 30- With Girl Scouts this evening I opted for a rather simple meal, Southwest Chicken Salad.  I have made this other times in past seasons with my produce box vegetables.
Southwest Chicken Salad
1 small can corn, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar and Monterey cheese blend
3 tomatoes, chopped
Chopped romaine lettuce
Catalina salad dressing
Southwest Style Chicken
Corn chips

In a large bowl, combine the corn, black beans, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Add dressing and mix well. Cut up chicken and placed over salad. Add corn chips before serving.
I will use both romaine and green leaf lettuces from my box tonight.

Wednesday, May 1- I picked up rotisserie marinated chicken breasts which I will grill tonight.  Depending on how much lettuce we have remaining, I'll throw together a side salad along with homemade macaroni salad.

Thursday, May 2-  It's just the girls for dinner tonight.  I'm thinking tortellini or spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale Oh My!

Week 2 of the Produce Box is off to a great start.  My box on Friday consisted of:
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Strawberries
  • Baby romaine
  • Cucumber
I also got tomatoes and radishes.
The strawberries were a delicious after school snack for my girls and their friends.  Saturday morning they topped off our homemade pancakes perfectly!  The romaine and cucumbers have been used to make some lunch salads with grilled chicken.
Friday, April 19-  Golf lessons were cancelled but too late to throw together dinner.  So we indulged in take out.

Saturday, April 20- I took a suggestion from the recipe newsletter included in my box and made slow cooker veggies to go with our meat house steaks.  A bottle of wine and garlic bread round out our dinner.
Slow Cooker Vegetables
3 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
4 carrots peeled and sliced
1 large rutabaga peeled and cubed
1 onion chopped
3-4 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon each dried oregano, rosemary and basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix above ingredients in crock pot. Cover and cook on high for about 3 hours.  Stir veggies once every hour or so.
This recipe can be tailored to any veggies you have on hand.  Seasoning can be adjusted to your liking as well.  Be creative!

Sunday, April 21- Grilled chicken was planned but that didn't defrost in time.  So we opted for hamburgers on the grill, potato salad, and sliced cucumbers and tomatoes from my box.

Monday, April 22- grilled chicken served over orzo with kale and sliced tomatoes will be our dinner tonight.

Orzo with Kale
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth or White Wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 15oz can of white beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 diced tomato or cherry/grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly-salted water to a boil; sprinkle the turmeric over the boiling water and stir in the orzo; return to a boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes; drain. Scrape into a mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. While orzo is cooking, Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the garlic and red pepper in the hot oil. Add red pepper flakes and broth or wine.  Stir the kale into the broth, cover the skillet with a lid, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and  add the beans.  Continue cooking and stirring until the kale is tender, about 10 minutes more (add more liquid if necessary). Stir the kale mixture into the orzo along with the lemon juice, nutmeg, Parmesan cheese and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutritional Information
Calories: 206  Total Fat: 4.2g  Cholesterol: 2mg  Sodium: 91mg  Total Carbs: 36.1g Dietary Fiber: 2.8g  Protein: 7.9g
Tuesday, April 23- It's GNO tonight, which means i 'm not cooking!

Wednesday, April 24- Simple and easy for the three of us, breakfast for dinner tonight.

Thursday, April 25- A simple meal of spaghetti and meatballs will be tonight's dinner.  Any remaining romaine, cucumbers and tomatoes will make a nice side salad.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

TPB Box Has arrived!

Friday I got my 1st box of the 2013 Season!  My box consisted of:
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 English Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Honey Whole Wheat Bread
  • Rutabagas
I also acquired one share of collards greens.

Friday, April 12-  Golf lessons tonight.  We were a split family eating take out.

Saturday, April 13-  There was a school event tonight.  My children ate afterward and after I was done volunteering I opted for take out as a simple way out.

Sunday, April 14-  Grilled chicken, mashed rutabagas, glazed carrots will be tonight's meal.
Simple Glazed Carrots
  1. Place carrots in a shallow saucepan, and cover with salted water. Boil until tender. Drain, and return carrots to pan.
  2. Pour orange juice over carrots, and mix well. Simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in brown sugar, butter, and honey. Heat until butter and sugar melt.
Mashed Rutabagas 
Chicken Broth
Salt and Pepper
Thyme and Rosemary
Boil peeled and cubed rutabagas in salted chicken broth until tender.
Drain water, reserving a 1/4 cup in pot.  Begin mashing rutabagas.  Add milk or cream along with butter.  Continue mashing untill desired consistency.  Add additional cream and butter to liking.  Stir in pinch of Thyme, rosemary and garlic.

Monday, April 15Grilled pork, collard greens, left over mashed rutabaga will comprise tonight's meal.
Collard Greens (from allrecipes)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices bacon
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 pound fresh collard greens, cut into 2
-inch pieces
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, crumble and return to the pan. Add onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until just fragrant. Add collard greens, and fry until they start to wilt.
2. Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.

    I saw on all recipes collards served with white beans and tomatoes.  I may adjust the recipe to add the canned tomatoes and beans during the last 20 minutes of cooking.

Tuesday, April 16-   Girl Scouts tonight.  I need quuick and simple.  Tortellini Alfredo and a garden salad with the tomatoes and cucumber from my Box.

Wednesday, April 17- Another Girl Scouts evening.  Simple and quick.  I am considering hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans and fresh fruit. 

Thursday, April 18- Book Club tonight.  Another quick and simple meal is needed.  I'll either throw together chicken fajitas or perhaps I'll make white bean chicken chili. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

First Box of 2013 Right around the corner!

Well the Produce Box has officially begun it's 2013 this week.  But I'll have to wait until Friday for my box to be delivered.  In the meantime I must plan my week anticipating the farm fresh produce headed my way this weekend.

Monday, April 8-  I'm stuck at home babysitting the workmen diligently replacing windows in my home.  Luckily, I have fajita makings on hand!

Tuesday, April 9-  Grilled pork chops, grilled asparagus and homemade macironi salad rounds out this evening's meal.

Wednesday, April 10-  I am lending a helping hand to a neighbor by providing dinner tonight.  Therefore, I decided to make a meal that I can make easily for the masses.  Tortellini Alfredo, side salad and garlic bread will this evening's meal.  Although I may replace the salad with sliced cantaloupe instead.

Thursday, April 11-  It's club sub day at my local supermarket and I need a rather quick meal tonight. 

Friday, April 12-  The Produce Box arrives today!  But our family won't be eating together due to golf lessons.  Hmmm, what to do?  I'll be getting the following in my Box:
  • Tomato Tasting
  • English Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Honey Whole Wheat Bread
  • Rutabagas