Tag Archives: cilantro

Radish Dip with Cilantro and Queso Fresco


I find it amazing the way my tastes have changed in the past few months.

Cutting back considerably on sugar and gluten has had a pretty profound impact on the way I eat and the food that I crave. When I used to plan a meal for friends and family, I almost always started with dessert. I could dream up wildly decadent desserts by the dozen. The only thing holding me back was my limited time in the kitchen.

Now, dessert rarely even crosses my mind. I enjoy a sweet treat here and there, but it’s not something I find myself dreaming up while I’m in the shower or out for a walk. It’s left me open to a whole new realm of inspiration when it comes to recipes.

I find myself giving our weekly CSA share a lot more consideration before I write things off as “just a salad” or eat the vegetables just to be done with them. Something as simple as a bag of fresh spinach or a bunch of spring onions will leave me dreaming up a zillion different ways to use them.

Last week’s box included a lovely bunch of fresh radishes. I previously didn’t care much for radishes, but this year I can’t get enough of them. After enjoying them in slaws and salads the past few weeks, I decided that I wanted to make a radish dip for the Mother’s Day picnic we were hosting over the weekend.  I had seen a few recipes online, so I bookmarked one that looked good and added the ingredients to my grocery list – sour cream, feta cheese, and dill.Continue Reading

Garden Update… And Chicken and Pineapple Skewers with Cilantro

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Organic Choice for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Despite the fact that we saw a few snowflakes again this week, spring is finally here. We had a few gorgeous days in the 70s over the weekend, and I spent just about every moment I could working out in the garden.

With the recent study released on climate change, I’ve been thinking a lot about what we can do as a family to live a greener lifestyle. We already belong to an organic CSA and buy as much as we can at our local farmer’s market. But, I knew we could do more. This year, I am going to focus on expanding our organic garden (food in our backyard with no harmful chemicals!) and freezing and preserving as much as I can so we don’t have to buy as much from the grocery store throughout the winter. It’s a small change, but if everyone makes a few small changes, they really do add up!

Until last weekend, it has been pretty cold out, and haven’t been able to get out into the garden. Once the warmer weather presented itself, though, we got right to work. To expand our (small) garden, I had my hubby build a new raised garden bed. This year, my garden will be planted in three raised beds – two 4 by 4-foot beds and one new 2 by 8-foot bed. (Isn’t it lovely? He did a great job… Thanks, hon!)  Plus, I will be planting squash and pumpkins (and maybe another thing or two… like watermelon!) outside of the beds where they have room to spread out. I also have an herb garden with lots of giant pots (partially dug into the ground) that keep the herbs from growing and spreading into each other.Continue Reading

Barbeque Chicken Pizza with Corn and Cilantro

I haven’t been posting a lot of recipes lately. You may have noticed.

While I could easily blame our busy schedule (and, this summer has been a busy one!) or the fact that Madison is now mobile and I spend most of the day chasing her around the house (also true), I don’t think it would really be the whole truth.  The thing is, I have still be doing a lot of cooking. In fact, I think I am cooking more now than I used to. There are a lot of days where I cook all three meals a day.

I think the real reason that I haven’t been posting as many recipes lately is that the way I cook has changed drastically over the past few months.  I haven’t gotten lazy and we haven’t started eating junk… It’s quite the opposite.

You see, Madison has started eating “big people” food, as we call it around here (that’s “solids” for the rest of you). I must admit that we had a bit of a transition phase where I attempted to feed her cereal and pureed food… I know baby led weaning is all the rage right now, but it didn’t work for us.  Sadly, purees and cereal didn’t work all that well either… She needed to eat something to give her energy for all of her baby antics, though, so we resorted to giving her those squeezable packets.  She will happily suck down puree from a packet (and, her favorite, strangely enough, is broccoli, peas, and pear), but as soon as we tried to feed her with a spoon, she would grab it and throw it across the room. I wish I was exaggerating. I have scrubbed puree off of almost every surface in my dining room. This food-loving mama was losing her mind.

So, as soon as the kiddo started showing interest in eating real food, I embraced it 100%.  And, as you may have guessed, I am rather particular about what she eats… No sugar. Very little salt. Only whole grains. Fresh, local, and organic produce. Meat from local farmers who I know don’t use antibiotics, hormones, and other junk. Yes, I have becomes that parent. I thought I was going to be the one throwing a tantrum when I picked her up from the church nursery and one of the little girls was trying to feed her a Cheez-It.Continue Reading

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Don’t you love that moment when your spouse (or kids, friends, you get the idea) eats a dish containing a food that they supposedly “don’t like” and have a food epiphany? As soon as someone tells me that they don’t care for a particular food, I consider it my personal mission to create a dish using that food that will change his/her mind.

My husband used to think he didn’t like tomatillo salsa. He was wrong.

The thing about traditional (uncooked) tomatillo salsas is that it can be rather watery and lackluster when it comes to the flavor… If you like tomatillo salsa, that’s great. I actually like it. And, I often get my own little cup of it when we are chowing down on chips and salsa.  But, I do understand why my hubby never really cared for it.Continue Reading

Garlic Scape Taco Sauce

When it comes to cooking, I tend to keep things simple this time of year.  Once our CSA starts up in the late spring, I find myself doing much less grocery shopping.  Instead, we do our best to eat the fresh produce that we get from our CSA, supplemented with a few essentials that I try to pick up at the local farmers’ market.

While I enjoy eating all of the fresh produce and keeping things simple in the kitchen, it does hinder my recipe development process a bit. Most of the vegetables that are available locally are not really what I consider to be cooking vegetables… We get lettuce, spring onions, radishes, and other great salad ingredients.  But, one can only write so many blog posts about salads.

In the past, I have often made up for my lack of creative cooking with lots of dessert recipes. However, one of the unexpected side effects of my pregnancy has been the fact that I don’t have much of a taste for sweets anymore. I’m not really complaining… But, it has left me with fewer ideas for new recipes and blog posts.

I will be the first to tell you that today’s recipe isn’t groundbreaking… And, it wasn’t the result of some great inspiration on my part.  Instead, it was just a way to use a few of the ingredients I still had on hand from last week’s CSA share.  I was planning to make shredded pork tacos for dinner (with a lovely organic pork roast I picked up at the farmer’s market), and I remembered that I had two big bags of garlic scapes in the fridge.  Since I also had a big bag of fresh cilantro, I decided to make a green garlic scape taco sauce with the two ingredients. I needed something to tie the sauce together, so I went searching in the pantry. I came up with a can of mild green chiles, and I knew I was in business.

After throwing everything together in my mini food processor and adjusting the taste with a bit of lime juice and salt, I had a surprisingly good taco sauce on my hands. While it wasn’t as fancy as a tomatillo salsa, we didn’t mind at all.  (I will add, though, that tomatillos would be a great substitute for the canned chiles here if you happen to have some on hand.)  It had a nice bright and fresh flavor from the cilantro and the garlic scapes added a nice punch of garlic. It was fresh, simple, and fast… And, we certainly enjoyed it drizzled over our tacos for dinner! Continue Reading