Warm Fall Squash, Kale, Salad, CSA, Fresh, Fall, Recipe, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy Free, Nut free, egg free, organic

What’s In My CSA? Warm Fall Squash, Quinoa, Kale Salad

What’s In My CSA? Fall Squash and Kale Salad Recipe

Food first (because I hate searching for the recipe), Talkie Second (enjoy! It’s lovely and short) :
Warm Fall Squash, Kale, Salad, CSA, Fresh, Fall, Recipe, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy Free, Nut free, egg free, organic

Warm Fall Squash, Quinoa, Kale Salad
4 servings (modest), 2 servings (hearty)
Vegan and vegetarian friendly*

1 small butternut squash
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried sage
1 cup vegetable broth
½ cup dry quinoa
Pinch of sea salt
2 cups lacinato (dinosaur) kale
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Raw apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) plus more to spray baking sheet if needed
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Pinch of sea salt
⅓ cup dried cranberries (I prefer unsweetened, many brands pack with excess sugar)
Optional: 1-2 Tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF, place top oven rack as high as it will go (unless you are using a convection oven)
  2. Wash butternut squash, peel, and cut into ½” cubes
  3. Spread out butternut squash cubes evenly on lined baking sheet (*Use parchment paper to line baking sheet, or spray with fine mist of olive oil)
  4. Lightly sprinkle with sage and paprika
  5. Roast squash for 30-40 minutes until corners begin to brown (*Small cubes shouldn’t need to be stirred or turned, but if you cut them larger you may want to halfway through)
  6. While squash is roasting, in a medium pot bring vegetable broth to a boil, add quinoa and salt, cover
  7. Cook quinoa for per package instructions, or until broth is gone, stirring every few minutes
  8. Place torn kale leaves into a medium bowl
  9. Make dressing: add dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, EVOO, black pepper and a pinch of salt to a small bowl
  10. Whisk dressing ingredients until well mixed, drizzle over kale leaves
  11. Once squash is roasted, quinoa is cooked, and kale has been marinated, assemble:
  12. In a fresh serving bowl layer quinoa, 1 cup of roasted squash, kale, and cranberries
  13. Mix thoroughly, add salt and pepper to taste
  14. Bonus: top with 1-2 Tablespoons toasted squash seeds, or slivered almonds

Serve Warm

Each season brings out something different in us. This is one of the reasons I highly encourage eating and cooking with what is in-season for your region. Our bodies have different needs based on the weather and temperature, and for this reason I believe some of our cravings are really our body’s request for fulfillment of those nutrients. Fall in Ohio means root vegetables, squash, and dark leafy greens. I want to fill my home with the scent of paprika, cinnamon, and sage. I want foods that will nourish my body, but bring my family and friends together too.

This is what I think about as the air gets crisp and I have to add another layer of clothing in the morning. I love cooking with fall weather foods, but I feel like sometimes they get a bad wrap for being high calorie, food-coma causing dishes. Warm, rich, cool weather foods can be heart-warming and stomach-filling without the guilt and burden of lots of butter and sugar.

A truly vine-ripened butternut squash is unbelievably sweet when roasted in the oven, it can be cubed and added to a side dish or salad like I did here, or pureed with some warmed apples for an amazingly simple soup. Deep orange colored squash carries tons of potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. These high antioxidant foods are good for our bodies head to toe – vision to strong bones. Bonus: all that potassium and magnesium helps to prevent pregnancy muscle cramps!

Fall cooking is also incredibly simple, so often it involves a little roasting, which while that may take a few more minutes, fall roasting and spices can fill your house with lovely scents that beat any candle. Personally, taking that time to roast vegetables makes me think about taking more time to slow down myself. Summer can be so busy and hot that I forget to relax. This year especially, as things in my life are changing, chapters are ending and new ones beginning, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about my priorities. What am I being called to and where is my time best spent? Cooking healthy, real, whole foods is something I love and something that is a blessing to my family and a way to share time with friends. Cooking to me creates balance and helps me recharge. Enjoy!

What do you love about fall? Where does it help you recharge and create balance in your life? Let me know what you think about the recipe, comment below.

Be Local,
Simply Jess


Walt Churchill's Market, Simply Jess, Toledo Ohio, Food, Market, Fresh, Local , Organic, housemade, Produce, Desserts, Meat, Cheese, Craft Beer, Chef, Farm Fresh

Walt Churchill’s Markets – Local, Fresh, & Community

Be Local is the philosophy of Walt Churchill’s Market. This month in particular Walt Churchill’s is highlighting all of the local produce they carry in addition to unmatched number of local goods they offer throughout the store. Here at Simply Jess we teamed up with Walt Churchill’s to show you all of the awesome local shopping these stores offer.

Walt Churchill's Market, Simply Jess, Toledo Ohio, Food, Market, Fresh, Local , Organic, housemade, Produce, Desserts, Meat, Cheese, Craft Beer, Chef, Farm Fresh

I talk a lot about shopping at the farmer’s markets mostly because: it’s wonderful, you can get the large majority of your shopping done there, and the money you spend in groceries goes directly to the source, the farmer who grew it. For many people though, getting to the farmer’s market between 8a-2p Saturday can be a challenge. It’s not feasible for everyone. This is one reason why I appreciate Walt Churchill’s (WCM). With more flexible hours, and the fact that they are open 7 days a week, WCM offers shoppers a way to buy local produce and goods at a locally owned store. Personally, the Maumee location can be on my way home from work, and with the compact market style store, it makes it easy to pick up things I need on my way home.

Since 1917 the Churchill’s traditions of quality, value, and customer service has never changed. The locations of Churchill stores around town have been very fluid, but the family has never stopped serving its country, its region, or the people who live here. Today, these core values are alive and well in Perrysburg and Maumee, Ohio with the Walt Churchill’s Market stores. I was recently given the opportunity to find out more about WCM, way more than I ever thought. All of the employees are so welcoming and helpful every-time I visit one of their locations as a customer, but this time was above and beyond. I was impressed by the amount of autonomy and growth opportunities employees are given, in turn you can see their investment in the company just by how they serve their customers. From a chef who is a 40+ year veteran of the industry who will assist you in what you are making and walk you around the store to find all you need, to the pastry artists who work in the bakery; a guest can have full trust in what they are buying.

Walt Churchill's Market, Simply Jess, Toledo Ohio, Food, Market, Fresh, Local , Organic, housemade, Produce, Desserts, Meat, Cheese, Craft Beer, Chef, Farm Fresh

Before the chefs, and the cakes, Churchill’s has been focused on selling locally grown produce since the 1930’s. Today, Walt Churchill’s Markets work directly with four trusted, local farms to supply a large portion of the seasonal produce. These farms, while not the only local produce they offer, have shown exceptional quality and reliability giving consumers the chance to buy local, seasonally fresh foods in the convenience of a fully stocked grocery store. Steven’s Gardens, Riehm Farms, Ryans Farm, and MacQueen’s orchard keep the produce department bursting with brightly colored foods picked from their fields as recently as 24 hours ago. The farms share many of the family values and longstanding history that the Churchill’s stores have cultivated over the past 100 years. Established farms are well known and reputable amongst their community, sharing the same customer service practices as the Churchill’s family.

Walt Churchill's Market, Simply Jess, Toledo Ohio, Food, Market, Fresh, Local , Organic, housemade, Produce, Desserts, Meat, Cheese, Craft Beer, Chef, Farm Fresh

This season you can find Steven’s Gardens providing WCM ripe summer zucchini, roma tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and eggplant. Riehm Farms has brought their delightful, colorful cherry and grape tomatoes, kale, and some of the best cantaloupe I’ve had in years. Ryans Farm has some picturesque sweet corn and MacQueens Orchard brings peaches, and (soon) early apples.

Walt Churchill's Market, Simply Jess, Toledo Ohio, Food, Market, Fresh, Local , Organic, housemade, Produce, Desserts, Meat, Cheese, Craft Beer, Chef, Farm Fresh Through the relationships with these farms, Walt Churchill’s Market is able to provide customers with numerous other fresh options. Gourmet in-house made: smoothies, juices, and salads can be found in the produce department as an excellent option for those looking for fresh, easy, healthy options. It gives Chef Bill the ability to cook and prepare natural food meals, fresh each day for customers to pick up without sacrificing taste or nutritional value. Access to these local foods means Mr. Rick Warziniak of Warzy’s Subs and Grinders can make his well know sandwiches right in store utilizing bread baked fresh each day by Churchill’s, and Thumann’s all natural, nitrate free deli meats.

Walt Churchill's Market, Simply Jess, Toledo Ohio, Food, Market, Fresh, Local , Organic, housemade, Produce, Desserts, Meat, Cheese, Craft Beer, Chef, Farm Fresh

Every aisle has a local option; coffee, tortilla chips and salsa, organic grass-fed dairy, Killer Brownies, cheese, and chicken to name a few (the list is very long). WCM also makes many items within the market stores themselves. Fresh baked bread, cakes and pastries, juices, peanut and almond butter, salad dressings, and brats all made in store. Beyond these, WCM prides themselves in top quality meats, cheeses, and conventional shelf products. This list is far from exhaustive, I guess you’ll just have to check out a store and see for yourself. Not sure what is local, housemade, or meets special dietary needs? Just ask.

From how community art decorates the stores, to the small start-up business that is able to get their product on the shelf, and the farm that can now share their family pride with a wider audience, the Churchill’s tradition of living with your community lives strong still today. I get excited walking through the store finding my favorite flowers that I can only find at the farmer’s market right here in a store. Or all of the small-batch businesses who have a place to grow, introducing their work to more customers. It was a tasty, and refreshing experience to see a store in this manner. It really makes me appreciate the local food market here in Toledo.

Be Local

CSA Swiss chard, carrots, scapes, garlic, sausage, quinoa, fast, easy, simple, dinner, supper, weeknight

What’s In My CSA? Swiss Chard with Spicy Italian Sausage

Gluten Free, Weeknight Dinner, 5 Ingredients

Some nights I just need to make a quick meal. Plain and simple. But I don’t want quick to equal a less than nutritious, non-balanced, or boxed meal. This is one thing I love about participating in a CSA program, I have seasonal, fresh vegetables well stocked and I need to make the best use of them. Most of my CSA produce is best when used within 5-7 days, unless you are  good at small batch preserving. Items like garlic scapes (the green tops to a garlic bulb that only make an appearance for a few short weeks in the early summer), and delicate late June Swiss chard, need to be eaten fairly quickly but pack an awesome flavor and nutritional punch. Swiss chard is full of antioxidants, and vitamin A, giving the body the prevention tools it needs against cancer and diabetes, and promotes bone, eye, and brain health. While at the Farmers Market this past week we purchased some spicy Italian pork sausage from a local farm that offers shoppers some wonderful cuts of pork and chicken. This recipe was not the intent for the sausage, I just like having some more indulgent varieties of meat in the freezer for occasions like tonight. While we balance our meat and meat-free meals, I don’t think products like good sausage are terrible so long as they are not a daily occurrence.

Tonight, I wanted to use many of my CSA ingredients to show you a flavorful, summer meal that is a cinch to make and only uses two pots.

Summer CSA Skillet: Swiss Chard and Spicy Italian Sausage

2 links (or 7 ounces) spicy Italian sausage, sliced into bite-size pieces
2 large or 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
4  whole garlic scapes, sliced
3 cups Swiss chard, de-stemmed and leaves torn

1 cup cooked quinoa (optional, or change for preferred grain)


*Always wash/rinse all produce before consumption

  1. Cook Quinoa (or preferred grain) per package instructions
  2. Slice slightly frozen Italian sausage into bite sized pieces
  3. In a castiron skillet, cook the sausage at a medium heat to prevent dryness
  4. Once sausage is cooked (no longer pink) and beginning to brown, add carrots, mixing frequently until carrots are soft
  5. Add garlic scapes and destemmed Swiss chard, mix in and cook until chard is wilted
  6. Serve over quinoa

Calories: 400, Protein: 20, Fat: 23, Carbs: 30

Let me know what you think when you try it for yourself

Be Local.