Brown Box Style Italian Salad

We all have those few go to salads that we make for Summer gatherings. One of my favorite was inspired by the salad a friend brought up camping years ago. I loved it!

What makes this salad Brown Box Style is the abundance of fresh chopped organic vegetables. The more colors of vegetables you use the prettier it turns out. My favorite recipes are adaptable using lots of fresh seasonal vegetables I have on hand. This recipe is perhaps the most versatile ever. It really could not be simpler and it always turns out great!

Notes: I normally have Simply Organic Italian Dressing mix, olive oil and white wine vinegar to mix on hand. I also keep rainbow rotelle and canned sliced olives on hand and we love to include those but they are completely optional.

Directions: In a large salad bowl combine a mix of your favorite chopped veggies with Italian dressing, rotelle pasta and sliced olives. Toss well. Here are a few ideas:

  • Rainbow Rotelle Pasta
  • Black Sliced Olives
  • Red Cabbage
  • Sweet Yellow Onion or Red Onion
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Green Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Summer Squash or Zucchini
  • Spinach or Lettuce

For a limited time we are also making the Simply Organic Italian Dressing Mix available with your home delivery. I always keep several on hand since Italian dressing is so versatile.

Looking for another side for that Summer get together? These recipes are delicious:

Medditerean Potato Salad

Two *Other* Potato Salad Recipes

Slaw with Creamy Bacon Vinaigrette

Summer Corn Salads

Looking for other recipes that use Italian Dressing? Here are two:

Asian Spaghetti – Weeknight Quick Meal

By Simply Organic (you will be redirected): Italian Grilled Vegetable Marinade

Posted in Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Greens, Kale, Lettuce, Onion, Peppers, Radish, Spinach, Summer Squash, Zucchini & Summer Squash | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Asian Chicken Soup with Lemongrass

If you have read much of anything health related in the last year you very likely ran across the term “Bone Broth”. When I first started seeing classes pop up and articles about Bone Broth it sounded to me like a strange new fad. After a quick look I discovered what you all probably know. Instead of a new fad Bone Broth is simply old fashioned broth made with bones like many of us have eaten all of our lives and our parents and grandparents before us. Home made soup was the first real food I learned to cook as an adult and I am convinced that regularly eating bone broth has been a part of my incredible personal testimony of healing.

As I started to look deeper into the health benefits and interest around Bone Broth I was surprised. Soup is my favorite food and I would have assumed most people made bone broth frequently. I don’t mean drinking it for breakfast daily like some people are now doing for health. I simply mean once or twice a week bones are cooked long enough to make a bone broth that you would use for soup, stew or sauce. What I found is that with the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) by far the majority rarely if ever consume Bone Broth. So perhaps some of the excitement over the health benefits are really the renewed understanding of how real foods heal and benefit our health. When we replace real foods like hormone free meat and chemical free fruits and vegetables with processed foods our health suffers.

I love all kinds of Bone Broth. My family by far prefers chicken broth. I also might have assumed that everyone makes chicken noodle soup often. I might be wrong about that! I will include very basic chicken bone broth instructions below. The recipe below may look like it has a lot of steps, but it is really very simple, flexible and delicious. Enjoy!

Asian Chicken Soup with Lemongrass

  • 1 Whole Organic Chicken
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper or ground black pepper
  • 1 large shallot (about 4 oz.), peeled and thinly sliced into rings or 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, outer layers discarded, halved lengthwise, and smashed with the side of a chef’s knife
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon organic chicken base or salt to taste.
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms (optional or substitute other mushrooms)
  • 1 ½ cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 8 oz. rice noodles or udon noodles
  • 1 medium lime, half juiced and half cut into wedges
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce; more to taste
  • 2 medium scallions, trimmed and sliced, for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)

To make Bone Broth:

Place the whole chicken in a slow cooker or your Dutch oven. Cover with water and simmer until done. Slow cookers vary, but normally 4 hours on high. When simmering in the Dutch oven about 2 hours.

Remove the chicken and allow to cool. Strain the liquid. Add the liquid back to the slow cooker or Dutch oven. Remove all the meat from the bones and refrigerate. Place the bones back in the pot and continue to cook. In the Dutch oven for 6-8 hours and in the crock pot about 24 hours.

Would you rather watch a video on bone broth? Dr. Josh Axe web site has a great one here.

To make soup:

  1. Put the oil into your Dutch oven and heat to medium. Add the shallots and cook for about two minutes. Add the bone broth and lemongrass and cook for about 20 minutes.
  2. Add the next eight ingredients (up to the noodles) and cover with bone broth. Cook for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the noodles if needed. Toss in the remaining ingredients including the chicken meat that was set aside when making bone broth.



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Get to Know: Ataulfo Mango

I think I have heard the question, “What is that thing in my box?” in reference to Ataulfo Mango more than any other fruit or vegetable. If Ataulfo is new to you get ready for a treat!

This Week Featuring Ataulfo Mango

What is that little yellow kidney shaped thing in the box? It’s an Ataulfo mango! The bigger and rounder Tommy and Kent mangoes are more common in the US and if you have tried those varieties you might be pleasantly surprised by the Ataulfos creamy, custardy texture. In fact in most places where mangos are grown the Ataulfo is the more popular choice.

This mango is buttery and, well, pretty elegant in texture — especially when it reaches peak ripeness. That alone makes it a favorite for eating out of hand, but it’s also amazing for smoothies and shakes. If your mango arrives a little firm to the touch allow to ripen until soft in your fruit bowl. We will have this variety on and off throughout the year.

Looking for a recipe? We have a great mango salsa recipe.

Mangos are also my favorite side dish with Murin Chicken in the Summer!

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No Fail Blueberry Muffins

This recipe is not particularly healthy or really special in any way except that it never seems to fail. I have used this recipe for years as a springboard for all kinds of muffins by changing up the mix in ingredients, flours and sweeteners. I love to add lemon and raspberries instead of blueberries for example. When I am cooking for events or gift baskets for friends I often go back to this basic recipe. Even if you prefer variety and creativity in the kitchen I think it is great to have a no fail go to muffin recipe on hand.








  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for muffin tops
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup milk; dairy or non dairy
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6  ounces fresh or frozen blueberries


Heat oven to 400 degrees F. For big-topped muffins, line 8 standard-size muffin cups with paper liners. For standard-size muffins line 10 muffin cups. Fill the remaining cups with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to help the muffins bake evenly.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

Add oil to a measuring jug that holds at least 1 cup. Add the egg then fill the jug to the 1-cup line with milk (1/3 to 1/2 cup milk). Add vanilla and whisk to combine.

Add milk mixture to the bowl with dry ingredients then use a fork to combine. Do not over mix. (The muffin batter will be quite thick — see note below for more details). Fold in the blueberries.Bake Muffins

Divide the batter between muffin cups. (If making big-topped muffins, the batter will come to the tops of the paper liners). Sprinkle a little sugar on top of each muffin.

Bake muffins 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are no longer wet and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out with crumbs, not wet batter. Transfer to a cooling rack.


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