Tag Archives: FarmBox

Grilled Beef, Potato, and Cabbage Packets

26 Jul

This week, I had picked a head of cabbage for my FarmBox.  I had thought about making Stuffed Cabbage Leaves or Bierocks, but decided that I wanted to try to make something different.  I was initially thinking of doing it all in a skillet, but then my uncle asked if I had tried grilled cabbage, and I started looking at recipes related to that.  I came across a recipe for Grilled Cabbage and Potato Packets, and decided to expand on it some, incorporating parts of the skillet recipe I had found.  Of course, as it came time closer to dinner, a storm rolled in, but it stopped soon enough to give me time to fire up the grill for this.  It was a bit of prep work, but I was glad for the food processor from my parents from Christmas.  I used it to shred the cabbage and carrots, and to slice the potato rounds.

Grilled Beef, Potato, and Cabbage PacketsGrilled Beef, Potato, and Cabbage Packets

What you need:

1 lb ground beef
1 cup beef broth
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup onion, diced
5-6 small red potatoes, sliced into thin rounds
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

How to make it:

In a large skillet, brown ground beef.  Reduce heat to low, and add beef broth and garlic powder.  Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes to cook off the liquid.

Meanwhile, cut 8 pieces of aluminum about 16 inches long.  Each packet will use 2 pieces of foil to ensure the packet does not break while cooking, and you will have 4 packets total.

Start by layering 2 pieces of foil.  Put 1 cup of cabbage, 1/4 cup of onion, 1/4 cup of carrots, 1/4 of the potato rounds, and 1/4 of the browned ground beef on top of the foil.  Drizzle olive oil over all, about 1-2 tablespoons.  If desired, season with salt and pepper.

All food layered in packetGather up sides of aluminum foil, and close tightly.  I brought up the sides on the left and right of the picture above, then folded them together.  Next, I folded up the ends.  Repeat for the 3 remaining packets.  Place the packets on the grill over medium heat.

Packets on the grill


Cook for 15 minutes, then carefully flip the packets over and cook for another 15 minutes.  Carefully remove a packet from the grill and open (remember, it will be very hot and steamy when you open it), and check the softness of the potatoes and other vegetables.  If soft, remove all from the grill.  If not, continue to cook until potatoes and vegetables are soft.  Carefully open each packet and serve.

Grilled packet


If desired, serve each sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.  My daughter and I both had some with and without grated Parmesan, and it was good both ways, but with the cheese it had just an extra bit of flavor.



FarmBox Fresh: 6/12/2013

14 Jun

I haven’t posted FarmBox picture recently, and since they started offering new items, I wanted to make sure to give an update!  They now are offering items like oats, lentils, peas, raisins, and other items from their sister company, One Degree Organic Foods.  Plus, they provided us with a copy of a new magazine, Edible Baja, which is all about food and drink in southern AZ.  It’s a really neat magazine!

FarmBox Fresh: 6/12/2013


So, this week you can see I got the following:

1 Bread – Sprouted Spelt (1.0 loaf)
1 Lettuce – Green Leaf (1.0 head)
1 Zucchini (1.0 each)
1 Squash – Yellow Straightneck (1.0 each)
1 Radish (1.0 bunch)
1 Carrots (1.0 bunch)
1 PantryItems: Rolled Oats Organic (1.0 bag)
1 PantryItems: Raisins Organic (1.0 bag)

Total: $23.50

The carrots and radishes have been great snacks, and I’ve been on a salad kick lately, so the green leaf lettuce is perfect for salads for lunch.  I think I will be making oatmeal raisin cookies with the oats and the raisins, that is, if I don’t eat all the raisins first!  Still love getting fresh food from them, and happy to hear that they are partnering with farms with the same quality values as them to be able to provide more for us who participate in the program.  Looking forward to them offering peaches again soon from a local grower, last year they were amazing!

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

30 Apr

Recently, I’ve been able to get fresh dill in my Sunizona Family FarmBox.  Cucumbers have also been available through them, and on sale at the grocery store.  My husband and kids love pickles, and while I had made sweet Refrigerator Pickles before, my older daughter has decided she isn’t real fond of sweet pickles.  So, I decided to try dill pickles.  I am not a pickle fan at all, but I do really like these!

Refrigerator Dill Pickles


Refrigerator Dill Pickles

What you need:

2 pounds cucumbers, washed and cut in slices or quarters
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 cup chopped fresh dill
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

How to make it:

Make the brine by dissolving the sugar and salt in hot water.  Mix in white vinegar.

Divide the cucumbers, mustard seeds, fresh dill, and garlic between 2 quart size jars.  Shake or stir slightly to get the mixture evenly through the jars.

Pour brine into both jars, making sure the cucumbers are fully submerged.  Tightly cover with lids and place in refrigerator.  Allow to sit for 48 hours, and keep stored in the refrigerator.

FarmBox Fresh: 3/27/2013

29 Mar

I know I haven’t done this in a while, even though I still get a Farm Box weekly.  But, this week, I was very excited about my box, so I just wanted to share!

Sunizona Family Farms FarmBox 3/27/2013


This week, I did a Custom box and picked:

– Spouted Spelt bread: our favorite sandwich bread, very light and very tasty
– Seedless hothouse cucumber: making refrigerator pickles
– Green beans: My 4-year-old and 6-year-old LOVE green beans and can’t get seem enough of them right now!
– Beets: Making pickled beets and using the water from boiling them to color Easter eggs, hoping it works!
– Radishes: Kids and husband love them!
– Green leaf lettuce: Great for salads for me for lunch

And last, but not least, the item I was most excited about…


Sunizona Family Farms peas


We love peas, but they are usually so expensive or hard to find at the store, and they never seem to make it into the Bountiful Baskets rotation.  So, I was very excited to see them available through Sunizona.  And, they are delicious!  We will probably eat these raw.

Ah, produce!

14 Jan

After being out of town for 2 1/2 weeks for the holidays and not participating in Bountiful Baskets or Sunizona’s FarmBox, my house had no produce!  Well, I take that back, I think my husband had gotten some bananas just before the kids and I got back.  So, I was very excited to get my FarmBox last Wednesday and then Bountiful Baskets this past weekend.

The FarmBox program has a few new items, citrus from Arizona Organic Family Farms, a raisin walnut bread, and hoagie buns.  First, I tried the raisin walnut bread, it’s really great!  I’m going to try some oranges this week and I’m looking forward to it.  Here is how my box looked last week:

Sunizona FarmBox 1/9/2013I picked a cucumber, micro cilantro, red potatoes #2 (non-perfect potatoes), raisin walnut bread, special spelt bread, radishes, green beans, and pink lady apples.  All delicious!  We really, really love the bread.

It was a good haul at Bountiful Baskets this week.  I got the conventional basket and the new juicing pack.  I have a juicer, but honestly, I got the pack more for the extra produce offered in it, it’s all things we love to eat.

Here is the conventional basket:

Conventional basket 1/12/2013Red potatoes, cucumbers, rainbow carrots, avocados, grape tomatoes, sweet peppers, strawberries, oranges, lemons, red delicious apples, golden delicious apples, and Asian apple pears.  I’ve already used the lemons to marinate chicken and potatoes for mashed potatoes.  We’ve been snacking on the peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and apples.  I also made guacamole with the avocados.

Juicing Pack 1/12/2013This is the new juicing pack.  Great mix of fruits and vegetables, celery, kale, baby spinach, carrots, beets, cucumber, limes, ginger, fuji apples, and a lemon.  I may juice some of this, but more likely we’ll just eat it.

Finally, I didn’t contribute for these, but snapped a picture of the 12 lb jar of honey and the 1/2 gallon of coconut oil, just to show what they look like.

Bountiful Baskets honey and coconut oil

Note: The type and amount of food may vary from another basket because of geographic location and because of variances in how case ends are distributed once everything is distributed evenly. I also volunteered and got an extra item for volunteering.


21 Oct


I had heard of borscht, but never actually had it.  Beets are regularly available in Sunizona Family Farms FarmBoxes, so when my husband requested that I make this, I knew where I could get beets.  I also had gotten a head of cabbage and a bunch of carrots from them, then I had onion and potatoes from Bountiful Baskets and ground beef from Zaycon Foods.  Who needs the grocery store anymore?!?

In my search for the recipe, I discovered that everyone makes this a little different.  Even I varied some from the recipes I mainly used.  I only had ground beef on hand, so I used it instead of stew meat.  I also didn’t have tomato paste, so I used ketchup instead of the tomato paste and cider vinegar.  This does take a little time and effort, but it’s worth it!  It does have a little beet taste, but not really.  It’s more of a stew taste with all the different veggies in it.  And, fair warning, this makes a LOT, so be prepared to eat it for a few days or cut the recipe down.


Based on recipes here and here

What you need:

16 cups water
2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/4″ rounds, then cut in fourths
1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
1 pound ground beef
2 carrots, cut in matchstick pieces
1 pound beets, peeled and cut in matchstick pieces
1 small onion, finely diced
1/3 cup ketchup (or 1/3 cup tomato paste and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar)
6 beef bouillon cubes
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh dill or 1  1/2 teaspoons dried dill
Salt and pepper

How to make it:

In a large soup pot, add the water and potatoes, bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are softened, about 15-20 minutes.  Add cabbage and cook another 5-10 minutes.

While the potatoes and cabbage are cooking, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  Add carrots, beets, and onion, and cook until the vegetables have softened, about 15-20 minutes.  Stir in the ketchup (or tomato paste and vinegar).

Add the vegetable mixture to the soup pot.  Add bouillon cubes, lemon juice, bay leaves, dill, salt, and pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes at high heat to dissolve the bouillon, then reduce heat to a simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender to eating.  Serve hot, with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa

12 Oct

Chipotle has become one of my favorite places to eat at, but I am cheap and can’t eat out a whole lot.  I recently found a great way to make Cilantro Lime Rice, but I wanted to see if I could find a way to make my favorite meat, barbacoa, as well.  I still had the red chili peppers and chipotle peppers from a Bountiful Baskets fajita pack, and it turns out those were the right start to the barbacoa.  I heated up a can of black beans, then made pico de gallo with jalapenos, red onion, yellow cherry tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, and garlic salt.  It turned out so good, it was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time!

For the barbacoa, I made the sauce the day before and stored in the refrigerator.  Then, I bought a chuck roast from a rancher at the Farmer’s Market (Sky Island Brand/47 Ranch).  Yes, a little more expensive, but it is grass-fed beef, and much fresher and higher quality than what I can get at the grocery store.  Here is how to make it!

Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa
Based on recipes here and here

What you need:

1 quart chicken broth, divided
3 whole dried red chiles, seeds and stems removed
8 dried chipotle peppers, seeds and stems removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
Juice of 1 lime
4-5 lb chuck roast (bone-in or boneless, bone-in will give a little more flavor)

How to make it:

Place the red chiles in a small sauce pan and heat over high heat, turning frequently, until chiles are toasted and fragrant.  Add the chipotle peppers and 2 cups of the chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes, until chiles are tender.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat the olive oil.  Add minced garlic and diced onions, cooking them until they are very brown.  Add cumin, cloves, oregano, salt and pepper, stirring constantly.  Add in the remaining chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, and the soaked chiles and their liquid.  Simmer until reduced by about half.  Pour the contents into a blender.  Start blending on a low speed, working up to high until well blended.  Set aside.

Place the skillet back on heat and sear each side of the chuck roast. Place chuck roast in a slow cooker and pour sauce over roast.  Add lime juice and bay leaves.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until meat is very tender.

Once meat is cooked, remove the bay leaves.  Remove any bones, and use 2 forks to shred apart the meat.  Stir the shredded meat into the remaining sauce.  Serve warm as desired.  Ideas include in tacos or burritos, over rice or tortilla chips, with salsa, cheese, sour cream, and/or guacamole.

FarmBox Fresh: 9/19/2012

21 Sep

I picked some new things this week!  Here is what I got:

I got okra (thank you Gayle for sharing!), garlic, red leaf lettuce, green beans, zucchini, lemon cucumber, ugly duckling potatoes (not the prettiest potatoes, but still edible), kid size pumpkin, red & yellow cocktail tomato mix, Special Spelt bread, and red cocktail tomatoes. The pumpkin I will bake and puree at some point for my favorite fall pumpkin recipes.  We’ve been munching on the tomatoes.  The spelt bread was one he hadn’t tried yet, and it was great.  Very light, fluffy, moist bread.  They do any amazing job with their bread!  Now, it’s time to work on what to get for next week!


Note: I order a custom box and choose what I want in my box from their Web Store.  There may be variances in availability on different pick up days.


FarmBox Fresh: 9/12/2012

13 Sep

This week I went a little smaller with my box, I’ve been a little overwhelmed with fresh produce, so I have been trying to cut back to get a little break from all the food prep.  So, here is what I picked this week:


I got a bunch of carrots with greens, a blackberry apple pie, premium Italian basil, micro parsley, 2 lbs apples for juicing, a big ol’ beef tomato, and green beans.

This week, I decided it was time to try the pie.  I’ve heard good things about it from other participants here, and they were right!  It’s very good pie.  It’s not very big, but it’s worth it!  I’m very excited to have green beans again, they are really good, especially cooked with garlic.  I did make some apple pear juice with my juice extractor earlier this week that was a big hit with the kids, so they are excited to have more apples for juice.  I still have leeks, so I will use some parsley for more Potato Leek Soup.  I know I had a plan for the basil, but that’s escaping my mind at the moment, so if nothing else, I will make pesto!


Note: I order a custom box and choose what I want in my box from their Web Store.  There may be variances in availability on different pick up days.

Potato Leek Soup

10 Sep

I have eaten Potato Leek Soup before, but it was a store bought soup mix.  I have never actually cooked with leeks, so I was excited to see them in my Bountiful Baskets this week while most people were turning up their noses at them.  Plus, we also got gold potatoes, so Potato Leek Soup had to be made!  My husband was really excited too, and he really enjoyed the soup.  It also worked out that Saturday was an overcast, rainy, cooler day, great soup weather.  And, it was coupled perfectly with the baguettes I had gotten from my Sunizona Family Farms FarmBox.  Can you tell how excited I am about how well this meal came together?!?!

Potato Leek Soup
Based on recipes here and here

What you need:

1/2 cup butter
2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, chopped (There is a great video here on how to clean and chop the leeks, thank you Kelly H. for the link!)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (make sure to use gluten-free broth if you need this gluten-free)
2 1/2 lbs potatoes, preferably Yukon gold, diced
2 cups half and half or whole milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper

How to make it:

Melt butter in a large stock pot and add chopped leeks, plus salt and pepper to taste.  Cook leeks in the butter until tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Do not let leeks brown, brown will give them a burnt taste.

Next, wisk the cornstarch into the chicken broth, leaving no lumps.  Pour into the stock pot.  Then, add the diced potatoes and half and half.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.  Stir in the parsley and more salt and pepper, if desired.  If you want a smoother soup, remove about half of soup to a blender and puree, then return to the pot.  You can also use an immersion blender or hand potato masher to slightly mash some of the potatoes in the soup.  Serve hot.


Potato Leek Soup with Sausage:  While soup is cooking, crumble and brown 1 pound of Italian sausage.  Drain excess fat.  Stir into finished soup.

Potato Leek Soup with Ham: After soup has finished cooking, add in 2 cups of fully cooked ham (such as Zaycon Foods ham)

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