Fresh Peach Salsa

Peach season is winding down in Arizona. Many Arizona gardeners enjoyed beautiful peaches in May and June. My Red Barron peach trees have been cleaned off by kids & birds over the last week, but I will soon be ordering numerous large boxes of peaches from my favorite “fruit lady” who ships peaches and other yummy foods down from Utah. When Utah peaches start arriving, my family will eat pounds and pounds of them and I will have to act quickly if I want to have any peaches for cobblers, pies, homemade ice cream, and peach salsa!

If you have not tried my peach salsa, you are missing out! I highly recommend making a lot of it because husbands and children seem to drink it by the gallon … you might too! We love peach salsa with Mexican dishes like tacos, tostadas, or just simply eat it with tortilla chips! It’s also good on Mexican-style pizzas, scrambled eggs, and fish.

Fresh Peach Salsa

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds fresh, ripe peaches, peeled & diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1-3 jalapeño peppers, seeded & finely diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon pink salt

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large serving bowl & mix to combine.
  2. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Fresh peach salsa is best enjoyed within a few days of making it.

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon

We eat asparagus on a weekly basis. It’s always been one of my favorite vegetables! I can prepare a Costco-size bag of asparagus for dinner, the kids will eat every last morsel, and be looking for more! Usually when I make asparagus, I just toss it with a little oil {EVOO or avocado}, salt, pepper, and throw it in the oven to roast. When I have a few extra minutes, it’s nice to kick it up a notch! If you’re not an asparagus lover, swap it for broccoli!

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon

This recipe is for about 2 pounds of asparagus, but I would not worry too much if you have a little more or less than 2 pounds.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (1 kg) asparagus, tough ends snapped or cut off
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup EVOO or avocado oil {I usually use closer to 1/8 cup}
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • zest of one lemon
  • pink salt & fresh-ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4-6 slices or 8 wedges {use the same
  • lemon that was zested}

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425-450 degrees F.
  2. Place the asparagus onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, garlic, lemon zest, salt, & pepper. Brush or drizzle the oil mixture evenly over the asparagus – you don’t need to be a perfectionist here!
  4. Roast the asparagus in the oven until it is al-dente/tender {but NOT mushy!} and starting to get some golden/dark spots, approximately 10 minutes. Serve while hot.

Veggie Lentil Soup

Sometimes I just need a good veggie soup in my system! This recipe is gluten-free and can be made vegan by using vegetable broth. Keep this recipe simple, inexpensive, & quick by just using carrots and celery for your veggies.

Lentils are a healthy and natural meat substitute. They’re high in protein, iron, and magnesium. They are also rich in nutrients, have a hearty texture, and best of all … they’re cheap! Take a minute to google the benefits of lentils and I believe you’ll want to make them a part of your diet.

Veggie Lentil Soup

This recipe makes enough soup for 12-ish people … it feeds my family dinner plus leaves enough leftovers for lunch the next day. But the recipe can easily be cut in half for a smaller crowd. If you want the soup to have more of a creamy texture, purée some of the soup before serving. Our family enjoys this soup year round {even when it’s super hot outside} because it’s a hearty, healthy meal!

I like a lot of lemon juice to add yummy tang to the soup. Start with the juice of lemon and add more, if desired.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4-6 large carrots, chopped
  • 4-6 ribs of celery, chopped {or you can use spinach, kale, zucchini, sweet potato, &/or other veggies that you love}
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 28-30 oz canned,diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 lb or 2 cups dried lentils {green or brown}, rinsed
  • 8-12 cups chicken or vegetable broth, depending on how thick you like your soup
  • 4 cups water
  • salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • couple of pinches of red pepper flakes
  • juice from 1-2 lemons {or more! at least 2 grocery store-size lemons}

Directions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion, carrots, and veggies (if you are using spinach or kale, do not add at this point) and cook, stirring often, until the veggies have softened and the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and seasonings. Stir to combine & cook for about 1 minute & then add the canned tomatoes.
  3. Add the lentils, broth, water, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Bring the soup to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the temperature to allow a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
  4. If you want to blend a portion of the soup to make a more creamy texture, put a couple cups of soup onto a Vitamix or similar blender. You can also just use an immersion blender directly in the pot of soup and just blend for 30 seconds, or until you reach the creaminess you desire.
  5. If using, add in any leafy greens and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they have softened.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat & add the lemon juice.
  7. Taste the soup and add more salt, pepper, &/or lemon juice to your liking.
  8. Serve hot & store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Amber’s Kitchen Asian Salad

I LOVE this salad SO much! I’m making it weekly! Honestly, I think my body is craving all the colorful, fresh, raw veggies. This salad is PACKED with healthiness!

Amber from Amber’s Kitchen is someone to follow on Instagram! She’s real, honest, fun, and excited to share her knowledge. Like me, she has a houseful of mouths to feed numerous times a day, so if you want a little help in the mealtime department, she’s got you covered!

Amber's Kitchen Asian Salad

Check out Amber’s Instagram post for the original recipe and to see how she makes the salad. This recipe is a bit of my own variation. Use whatever veggies you have in your fridge!

Ingredients

  • Organic spring mix
  • Purple cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Celery, diced
  • Carrots, shredded or chopped
  • Red bell peppers, diced
  • Cucumber, diced {I prefer English Cuke}
  • Purple Onion, sliced as thin as you can
  • Orange segments
  • Cashew pieces {Salted is yummy but unsalted works just as great!}
  • Quinoa, cooked & cooled {totally optional!}
  • Pink salt, to taste
  • Asian Dressing {see recipe below}

Directions

  1. For personal-size bowls of salad, I start with two big handfuls of spring mix per bowl & then add desired amount of each veggie and topping to individual salads.
  2. Top each salad with a couple teaspoons of dressing, or more or less to taste.
  3. Finish each salad bowl with a big pinch of pink salt.

Asian Dressing

This recipe makes enough dressing for my family to have Amber’s salad several times, but we’re only using a couple teaspoons of dressing per personal-size bowl of salad.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup {NOT pancake syrup}
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil {Trader Joe’s Toasted Sesame Oil is my favorite!}
  • 3/4 cup avocado oil

Directions

Combine all dressing ingredients together in a small mixing bowl or mason jar. Amber says to use an immersion blender to mix it up, but I just shake it up in a mason jar. Keep any leftover dressing in the fridge in an air-tight container. {Mine has stayed fresh for about a month in the fridge.}

Instant Pot Applesauce

I am forever converted to Instant Pot Applesauce! IP Applesauce is thick and creamy and so much easier and quicker to make than other methods that I have tried. The best reason to try IP Applesauce is that you do not have to peel the apples. You can leave all the peels on! This saves me so much time!!

My recipe has no added sweeteners and is just simple ingredients that we all have in our pantry. Maybe you’ve been to an orchard recently and picked apples with your family or maybe, like me, you have a couple apple trees in your yard. Either way, this is the perfect way to use a lot of apples, even if they’re getting old, bruised, and a little mushy.

Instant Pot Applesauce

  • Servings: 6 to 8 cups
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This recipe is for an 8-quart Instant Pot. If you have a 6-quart Instant Pot, adjust the recipe to about 75%. If your Instant Pot will not come to pressure, add another 1/4 cup of water and try again. Homemade applesauce is a healthy snack or dessert served by itself. You can also drizzle a little heavy cream or milk on top of hot applesauce. For a sweeter treat, top it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 pounds of apples, cored
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Put all the ingredients, except for the vanilla extract, into the Instant Pot inner pot.
  2. Place the lid on the pot and make sure the steam release handle is switched to “sealing”.
  3. Cook on manual/high pressure for 5 minutes.
  4. When the timer goes off, do NOT move the steam release handle – just allow the steam to naturally release. Once the float valve drops, take off the lid.
  5. Purée the apples – you can make the applesauce as chunky or as smooth you are prefer. Stir in 2 teaspoons of vanilla.
  6. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Strawberry Salad

I like to make a few nice salads every week to ensure my family is getting a lot of fresh, raw veggies in their diet as well as nuts, good fats, and other things we might add to our salads. Strawberry Salad is one of our go-to salads! I always have these ingredients on hand, but you can make it your own and add the veggies your family likes or that you have on hand. I like to prepare individual bowls of salad {rather than a large bowl of salad} so that everyone gets lots of goodies with their lettuce.

Strawberry Salad

To keep this salad as healthy as possible, top it with a simple dressing that you make at home. You can also just drizzle a little Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or some balsamic vinegar on top of your salad. A fruity balsamic vinegar will also pair very nicely with this salad!

Ingredients

  • Spring Mix
  • Strawberries, chopped
  • English Cucumber, chopped
  • Red onion, very thinly sliced
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Sliced almonds, toasted
  • Dressing of your choice
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

  • You will notice that I have not given quantity amounts for the ingredients. Just throw some lettuce in your bowl and add as much or as little of each ingredient as you would like. This is meant to be simple & quick.
  • Once you have built your salad, top it with a dressing, oil, or vinegar and then finish it with a little fresh, ground pepper and a good salt.

Honey Balsamic Dressing

This dressing pairs very nicely with the Strawberry Salad. For a large soup-bowl size of salad, I usually add 1-2 teaspoons of this dressing – you don’t need a lot of it!
TIP: Use local raw honey for added health benefits!

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1/8 rounded teaspoon pink salt

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or mason jar.
  2. Mix well.
  3. If you have extra dressing, it can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for a month or more. Just allow it to come to room temperature before you use it again. I often double this recipe so I do have leftovers which saves me time the next time I make a salad.

Grandma Nancy’s Brownies

Back in the day when my husband & I were dating, part of what attracted me to him was the fact that every time I showed up at his house, his mom always had a pan of freshly baked brownies in the kitchen. How could I possibly go wrong marrying this guy?!?

Shortly after we were married, my mother-in-law, Nancy, shared her brownie recipe with me and this was one of the first things I learned how to bake. I love this recipe because it’s hard to mess-up, I always have the ingredients on-hand, and everyone will sing your praises for sharing these brownies with them!

Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, you can whip up a bowl of these babies in about 6 minutes and 47 seconds … or faster if you don’t have sweet little hands trying to help! I promise you will lose all desire for brownies made from a box mix after you’ve baked Nancy’s brownies. Warning! This recipe makes enough for a party, so only make this recipe when you are planning on sharing brownies with a lot of people!! Otherwise, you’ll have gooey brownies staring at you for days.

Grandma Nancy's Brownies

  • Servings: 50, depending on how big you cut your brownies
  • Difficulty: Pretty Easy
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Ingredients

     

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 7 eggs, lightly whipped to break up the yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 rounded teaspoon pink salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • Optional add-ins: nuts, Andries Mints, candy pieces, etc! Be creative!

 

 

Directions

     

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet (the common half-sheet size that is about 18×13-inches) with your favorite cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, cocoa powder, and sugar until there are no more dry pieces of cocoa powder.
  3. Add in the eggs and mix until you can no longer see any yolks and egg whites in the batter.
  4. Add in the vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt and mix together until the batter is mostly smooth and you can no longer see any dry pieces of flour, but do not over mix.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips and any other mix-in that you would like to add.
  6. Pour the batter into the greased baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes – I recommend checking the brownies at 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out mostly clean, but be careful to not over bake.
  7. Allow the brownies to cool to room temperature before cutting them. Brownies are best served the day they were baked, but you can store leftover brownies in an air-tight container at room temperature for a couple days.

Quinoa Fruit Salad

One of my aunt’s introduced me to the idea of mixing quinoa with fruit. This is a recipe that allows versatility and creativity – you get to make it how you want! Mix and match fruit combinations and add as much or as little quinoa as you’d like. Quinoa Fruit Salad is a great way to use up a variety of fruit that is on it’s last leg & to get some quinoa into your family’s diet.

 

Quinoa is high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, antioxidants, and more! Quinoa is also gluten-free, high in protein and it is one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all 9 essential amino acids. Quinoa is very easy to make – cook it the same as you cook rice. Leftover quinoa stores very well in an airtight container in the fridge and can used as a topping for salads, added to soups, combined with oatmeal, mixed into rice dishes or as a replacement for rice, and so much more! Have I convinced you to try quinoa yet?

 

When making the fruit salad, use any combination of fruits that sound good to you. I highly recommend fresh fruits that don’t have sugars & preservatives added to them. Some of our family favorites are berries, pomegranat seeds, grapes, mango, pineapple, peaches, and cherries.

 

Quinoa Fruit Salad



Make this recipe your own! Add less quinoa or more fruit to make the salad look more like a bowl of fruit.



Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 4+ cups diced fresh fruit
  • 1/4 cup honey (I recommend local & raw honey)
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • Optional Add-In’s:

    • lime zest
    • sliced, toasted almonds
    • finely sliced mint leaves
    • finely sliced basil leaves



Directions

  1. Combine the quinoa and water in a medium size pot.  Bring the water to a boil, stir occasionally.  After the water has come to a boil, turn the heat down to maintain a gentle simmer & cook until all the water is absorbed.  Fluff quinoa with a fork.
  2. In a large serving bowl, whisk the honey & lime juice together.
  3. Add fresh fruit and quinoa to the honey mixture and gently toss the ingredients so everything is well combined.
  4. For a little added flavor or crunch, try adding some of the optional ingredients.

 

Fresh Peach Cobbler

Did you know that you can grow large, juicy peaches in the dessert? There are a number of peaches varieties that do very well in the Phoenix area. We are blessed to have eight peach trees in our yard. Our Dwarf Bonanza peaches are ready for harvest in June and our Red Barron peaches are ready later in the summer. I look forward to ripe peaches probably more than anything else that I grow in my garden!

A few years ago I went on a hunt for the perfect peach cobbler recipe. I didn’t want the topping to be an oatmeal-y crisp and I didn’t want biscuit-looking blobs on top of my peaches. I wanted the topping to be more like a soft yellow cake with a little bit of crispy, crunchiness on top. After reading a lot of recipes and playing around with a few recipes, this has been my go-to peach cobbler recipe. I hope you & your family enjoy my yummy fresh peach cobbler as much as we do on a warm, summer night.

Fresh Peach Cobbler

I love to mix-in Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie spice with the peaches, but you can use any pumpkin pie spice or even cinnamon. Kamut flour gives the cake part of the topping a softer, more delicate texture which is a nice contrast to the very top of the cobbler which gets a little crispy, but I know most people don’t have kamut so just use regular all-purpose flour if that’s what you have on-hand.

To bake my cobbler, I use a small casserole dish that is about 7.5×12-inch or you can make 1-1/2 times the recipe and bake it in a 9×13-inch casserole dish, but the 9×13-inch size is enough for a family gathering!

Ingredients

  • 6 large peaches: peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie spice or cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup organic kamut or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold & cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425-degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cornstarch. Gently stir to evenly coat the peaches. Pour the peach mixture into an oven-safe baking dish. (I use a small casseroles dish that is about 7.5″ x 12″.) Bake the peach mixture in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a clean, large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in the cold butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the boiling water until just combined.
  4. Remove the peaches from oven and place small spoonfuls of topping over them. (I like to use my fingers to place and evenly distribute the topping.) Sprinkle cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  5. Bake until topping is a golden brown & the peach filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes.
  6. Allow the cobbler to cool for about 10 minutes. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream. Cobbler is best the same day it is baked, but leftovers the next day are great!

Corn Salad

Summers are very hot in good ol’ Gilbert, Arizona. Turning on the oven or stove to make a meal is not very desirable. My corn salad is perfect for a hot summer day or anytime you want a delicious, healthy meal.

My corn salad is so yummy! Although there are no added sweeteners, it has a sweetness to it that will continue to draw you in for more. If there happens to be any leftovers, you will find yourself looking forward to leftovers the next day for lunch.

Corn Salad

  • Servings: 6-8 people
  • Difficulty: easy
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This corn salad is delicious as a dipper for tortilla chips or on top of a bed of your favorite lettuce mix. Leftovers will store nicely in the fridge for several days. Costco carries my favorite organic frozen corn, but it is seasonal, so stock up and fill your freezer when it’s available!



Ingredients


  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • 4 cups corn (I recommend fresh-off-the-cob or frozen)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped in 1/2 or 1/3’s
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or avocado oil)
  • zest of one lime
  • juice of a lime, or approximately 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste




Directions


  1. In a serving bowl, combine the red onion, avocado, corn, and tomatoes.
  2. In a separate small bowl, make the dressing by combining the oil, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Mix well & then drizzle the oil over the corn mixture. Give the corn salad a few gentle tosses to make sure the dressing is well disturbed.
  3. Enjoy with tortilla chips, as a salad over a bed of lettuce, or eat it all by itself! Store leftovers in the fridge.

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