Roasted Fingerling or New Potatoes

Spring is going to be especially exciting this year after more cold, snow and ice than I am used to. I love all of the new local produce that is just around the corner including the immature versions of things to come later in the summer like baby new potatoes and baby carrots. The recipe below works equally well with new potatoes or fingerling potatoes that are available year round. It is simple and delicious.

Thank you to Cancer Fighters Thrive for giving me permission to post this recipe and link to their site below. Growing up and watching most of the people close to me suffer and die from cancer has given me a different perspective on paying a little extra attention or money to what we eat. Not that organic food is a cure all for cancer or any other disease, but there is great value in eating clean, nutritious food. I have learned this myself by using real good food to successfully manage my own auto immune disease. A customer who would like to remain anonymous recently told me:

Organic food seemed expensive until I had Cancer. Cancer is much more expensive and very hard. Now that I am cancer free eating clean organic food just makes sense for prevention and overall health. I wish I had known this before. 

Years ago Joel Salatin of Polyface farms made a similar now well known quote:

If you think Organic Food is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?

These days the cost of many organic and natural foods are much closer to conventional than they were back when this quote was first made popular. With rising cost of fast food and eating out the gap is even smaller. My family for example can pay for two huge boxes of organic produce for the price it costs to go to Chik Fillet for one meal.

Even if you have not been diagnosed with any disease we are all fighting for our health in a way. Eating healthy food is a sensible part of any health plan. No matter where you are at on your own personal health journey we are excited to be a part of it and make eating real food more convenient.


Rachel for the Brown Box Team

Roasted Fingerling or New Potatoes


1 lb. assorted fingerling potatoes
1 lb. white fingerling potatoes
1 lb. purple fingerling potatoes
1/3 c. olive oil
1/2 tbsp. fresh garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper, mixed
1/2 tbsp. fresh herbs, such as rosemary
and thyme, chopped


Preheat oven to 400°F. Clean the potatoes thoroughly. Mix the potatoes with all ingredients until evenly coated. Lay potatoes evenly on sheet pan. Roast the potatoes, turning them two or three times, until the skins are golden and the flesh is tender when pierced with a fork, about 40 to 45 minutes.


Posted with permission from Cancer Fighters Thrive®


See the original recipe post here:

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Farro Breakfast Bowls

I am really excited that our family seems to have finally found a really good number of breakfast options that are made from real food and easy to work into our crazy morning routines. In the past few years I have tried countless recipes, organization methods and systems to get our mornings to run smoothly. Getting 7 people organized, fed real food and to 7 places somehow seems harder first think in the morning. Cooking larger quantities of things and preparing the day before to make mornings easier has become a real game changer for us. It never occurred to me to incorporate Farro in our morning menu.

Farrow has been a favorite for a few years. If you are not yet familiar Farro is a whole grain similar to brown rice but fluffier and creamier like risotto. It is common in the Medditeran and especially popular in Italy, but becoming more well known here. My husband doesn’t like brown rice so in my search for a whole grain years ago we stumbled upon farro and it was love at first bite. We liked it so much that buying it in bulk made sense. I am excited that Bob’s Red Mill now has smaller sizes available and we are currently stocking it for home delivery

If you currently have a favorite recipe for steel cut oats or wheat berry breakfast bowls this is the same concept, but with Farro. You can cook it ahead and easily reheat. It also freezes beautifully.

Farro Breakfast Bowls

Here are ideas to mix in with 1/2 cup Farro and 1/2 cup milk, almond milk or cream for a great breakfast:

Banana Nut: 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 banana chopped.

Blueberry Pecan: 1/4 cup pecans, 1/3 cup blueberries, 1 Teaspoon honey.

Cinnamon & Raisin: 1/4 cup raisin, 1 Teaspoon honey.

Poached Pear & Cinnamon: 1/2 poached pear, 1 teaspoon honey or sugar.

Date & Nut: 1/4 cup roasted pecans, 1/8 cup chopped dates, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Banana Berry: 1/2 banana chopped, 1 handful raspberries or blackberries, 1 teaspoon honey or sugar.

Apple Brown Sugar & Chia: 1/2 apple, peeled seeded and sautéed (about 2 minutes until just warmed) with a small amount of coconut oil and 1 Tablespoon brown sugar. Toss with a teaspoon chia seeds, farrow and milk.

Orange Cranberry: 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1 teaspoon sugar, juice from 1 half orange.



For the Brown Box Team



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Sweet Potato Gratin

I really like Au Gratin Potatoes and my kids love it so much they ask their Grandma to sliced-sweet-potatoes-copymake it with holiday meals. In search of something similar, but a little lighter I came up with a Sweet Potato Gratin that is simple, satisfying, lighter and more nutritious than the standard Au Gratin Potato recipes. This recipe calls for yams, which are often used in place of actual sweet potatoes in the U.S. Along the way I found myself asking what “Gratin” or “Au Gratin” even means. It is a little embarrassing that I didn’t know for certain after years of cooking and cooking classes. I had a hunch it had something to do with being covered in cheese. Here is the actual definition:

“Gratin is a widespread culinary technique in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter. Gratin originated in French cuisine and is usually prepared in a shallow dish of some kind.” – Wikipedi

I was pretty close with my cheese theory, but now we all know what we are dealing with here. The recipe below is not weeknight quick, but can be made ahead and reheats well in the oven or microwave.

• 3 organic medium yams, sliced in thin rounds – a mandolin is great for uniformity
• 1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1 tsp thyme, roughly chopped or substitute dried
• 3/4-1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated (gouda or Asiago are great substitutions)
• 2 cups local milk or plain almond milk
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Butter or lightly oil a baking dish or cast iron skillet.
3. Place the sliced potatoes in a bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the thyme and half of the cheese and toss together.
4. Transfer to the dish and pour on the milk. It should just cover the potatoes.
5. Bake 30 minutes, remove from oven and carefully drain off a bit of the liquid. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and return to the oven.
6. Bake another 45-50 minutes, until the milk is absorbed, the potatoes are soft and the top and edges are golden and around the edges.
7. Let rest at least 20 minutes before serving so the juices can redistribute.

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A Grace-Filled Look at Real Food

The content below is being reposted with permission. This post resonated with me personally as someone who has a similar journey and greatly values healthy food and a holistic approach to life. Please see attribution and link to original post below.


What does it look like to be intentional with our food choices? Why does it matter if we eat real food or not? What exactly is real food anyway?

I haven’t traditionally talked about real food on a regular basis here at Intentional By Grace.

Well, I take that back.

I certainly did a lot of talking about it back in 2011 when I first started this site. At the time, I was neck deep in learning all about natural living and real food (you can read my journey into natural living here), and I wanted to share what I was learning with anyone who would listen.

That was all of 24 people at the time. So it’s very, very likely you don’t remember my probiotic ranch dressing recipe, or the post about why I love kefir, or why I think you should eat fat.

I’m sort of embarrassed to show you those posts. I’ve come a long way since those days (both as a blogger and real foodie!).

I’ve been humbled deeply in the years since starting this site.

What started as a desire to teach others to “do better” and “get right” has turned into (by God’s grace alone) a site that teaches you to seek God in all you do and glorify Him in all you do.


Living intentionally isn’t about being better people. It’s not about being able to do more with your life.

It’s about being still. It’s about slowing down. It’s about seeking Him. It’s about glorifying Him.

It’s about saying, “Yes, Lord” with courage and boldness to whatever He asks of you even if it goes against everything you’ve ever known. Even if it’s uncomfortable.

It’s about taking yourself off the throne and putting Him in His rightful place as Lord and King of your life.

I want to talk about real food.

I want to take a grace-filled look at real food because I think real food is an area that God wants to redeem in your life and in mine.

I like pressing the easy button as much as the next person. I don’t like spending all day in the kitchen on a regular basis, and I much prefer eating out when life gets busy than trying to make everything from scratch.

I eat an Oreo (or ten) from time to time and occasionally my family eats a frozen pizza that’s not homemade.

We don’t always buy organic, and sometimes we eat meat that’s less than stellar because it’s what is available to us.

However, I don’t make these choices blindly, trusting a system that’s obviously broken. And our food system is broken, y’all.

I make a conscious decision to eat these fake foods, knowing they are fake foods, and not nourishing, wholesome foods, and I don’t pretend otherwise.

I want to say at the outset, this new series, A Grace-Filled Look at Real Food, isn’t here to steal your convenience foods or your joy.

It’s not going to tell you that it’s all or nothing with health and nutrition.

It’s not going to condemn you for liking cupcakes and cookies from a box.

I want to take a grace-filled look at real food to help you make intentional choices about what you eat, and possibly remove some blinders previously in place because you didn’t even know to think about what goes into the bread you buy. It’s just the bread your mama bought for you growing up.

You see, we tend to just do what’s been done before us.

We don’t breastfeed because our moms didn’t do it, or we use Tide detergent because that’s what Mama used growing up.

We open our canned goods from the bottom and not the top because that’s what grandma did, but we’re not sure why we do it this way.

We all have our “thing” and we all have “things” we don’t need to let go of – it’s been family tradition for years, and that’s okay.

But what’s also been “family tradition” is killing our nation through obesity and overwork. We’re continually consuming boxed goods and processed foods thinking they are food, when they aren’t.

They’re fakes.


Covered up with loads of sugar.

Fake sugar at that.

You know the stats. You know our nation is increasingly growing around the waistline, and we all want to lose a pound or two or three or twenty. We’re in this together.

So I’m not here condemning.

I’m here in the trenches of this battle with you trying to make intentional food choices for my family through the lens of grace.

There are a lot of fake foods out there, and I want to help you decode some of it. I want you to make a conscious decision, and perhaps choose to slow your life down a bit so you can make better food choices for your family.

I’m convinced that many of our problems with food don’t involve money, and that we can’t afford better food, it’s time.

We’re too busy.

We’re too busy to enjoy good food. We’re too busy to linger over a meal, let alone prepare the meal as a family. We’re too busy to make more foods from scratch or even grow our own food.

We’re just too busy. (I suggest reading this post to understand better what I mean.)

Eating is a necessity, but it’s not a burden – at least it shouldn’t be. I think God meant for us to enjoy it!

Yet we choose convenience far too often and really? I’m not convinced that it’s that much faster to grab the pre-mix box of cornbread than it is to whip up your own batch from scratch. But that’s neither here nor there right now. We’ll get to that later in the series.

For now, let’s commit to educating ourselves on what we are choosing when we choose convenience. Let’s not be an ostrich with our heads in the sand any longer.

The truth is that this information is just flat out overwhelming, especially for those of us who didn’t grow up in the culture of real food.

We’re all at different points in our real food journey. There is grace for your chapter one. There is grace for my chapter five. There is grace for my neighbor up the street who is on chapter 20.

Starting today and running throughout the entire month, I will be taking a grace-filled look at real food.

Reposted with permission from Mark Dutton, Business Manager at

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