The Home Grown Farm

The Home Grown Mom Blog

Carnivore no more!

A member of our household made a rather significant life change this week declaring that their days as a carnivore were over and they’re now going strictly vegetarian.  It came as a bit of a shock to me, really.  I mean I just don’t expect to hear that from my Meat Drawer.  Yep, that’s right.   That big ol’ drawer at the bottom of our refrigerator, the one that spans the full width of the fridge, now looks more like our neighbor’s garden than the butcher shop.  Since we joined The Home Grown Farm we’ve been cramming our veggies all over the refrigerator because we just don’t have space in those little produce drawers for everything.  And then I noticed that our Meat Drawer had two settings: Deli and Produce.  Who would have thunk it?

Now, we still eat plenty of meat around our house but since we’re picking up a huge tub of fruits and vegetables each week we’re eating more of that than ever before and that marks a significant shift for my family.  I’ve mentioned before that this blog chronicles our journey towards healthy eating.  Well, it’s been nearly a year since we started transitioning away from processed foods and towards whole foods, specifically locally grown, organic, hormone- and pesticide- free, and with as little processing as we can manage.  And journey is definitely the right word because it certainly feels as if we’re taking little steps here and there but gradually it seems we’re getting somewhere.  I realize that rearranging the refrigerator is not your typical life-changing event but I dearly wanted a great crowd of witnesses to yell out, “Amen, momma!  What an awesome job you’re doing!”

If any of you out there are feeling the same way, like you’re really trying and you can see the difference and it is real, it is significant, but the hustle and bustle of everyday life must be drowning out the cheers because you just can’t hear them.  Well, Friend, put your listening ears on and lean in close, from me to you…

“GREAT job!   What you’re doing makes a difference and I am so proud of you!  Keep up the good work because you ROCK!!”

To all those moms out there, may you see with new eyes the bounty that is before you and may you revel in all the joy that it brings!  Happy Mother’s Day!!

Christy Rolf Signature

The recipes this week are representative of a typical meal around our house.  I’ve been making these Sloppy Joes for years and they’re always a big hit.  And if I didn’t tell you, you’d never guess they were so chock-full of veggies. Oh, and one of the best things about this meal, it took me all of 30 minutes start to finish and the bulk of that time was spent letting the fries cook.

photo 4

Sloppy Joes. Sloppy, Sloppy Joes.

Sloppy Joes with LOTS of Veg

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey

1 medium onion

2 large carrots

2-3 cups kale, spinach, or squash

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 6-ounce can of tomato paste

3 cloves of garlic

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbsp. Mustard

1 cube beef or vegetable bullion

1 tsp sugar

Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Put the carrots, kale or spinach, and onion in your food processor or blender and pulse until they’re finely chopped.
    photo 1

    I like mine to be about the same size as my ground meat.

  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the vegetables and garlic in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes, until the veggies begin to soften.
  3. Add your meat of choice and cook until all the meat is browned.
  4. Once the meat is brown, add the can of tomato paste and all of the remaining spices. I like the Sloppy Joes a little juicy so I’ll take the tomato paste can, fill it with water, and add that to the pan as well. I might do this two or three times just depending on how much water gets absorbed. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer until you’re ready to serve, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t stick.
    photo 3 (2)

    See! You would never guess this is mostly vegetables.

  6. Serve on fresh rolls with melted cheese and Jalapeno Bread & Butter Pickles – if you dare!

The Best Oven-Baked Fries.  Ever.

4-6 potatoes, washed and sliced and peeled if you like

3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 tsp salt

½ tsp garlic

1 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp. cornstarch


  1. Put your prepared potatoes in a glass microwave-safe bowl with a lid (or a plate) on top. Place in the microwave on HIGH for 3-5 minutes.  Do not add water.
    photo 2 (1)

    I used five potatoes and, as you can see, prefer to make life easy by leaving the skins on.

  2. Remove the bowl from the microwave and carefully take the lid off with the lid tilted away from you so that the steam doesn’t burn you. Let the potatoes chill out, literally, until they’re cool enough to handle.
  3. Drizzle 2 Tbsp. of olive oil on a cookie sheet and place in a 450° oven for 5-7 minutes, until the oil starts to smoke.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch, chili powder, salt, garlic, pepper, and remaining 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the cooled potatoes into the bowl and turn to coat.
  5. Leaving the cookie sheet in the oven, place the potatoes on the sheet so that they’re spread out and not overlapping. Bake for 12-15 minutes then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes or until they’re golden brown and crispy on the outside.
    photo 2 (2)

    This tray was a wee bit full so the fries didn’t get quite as crispy as I like but they tasted great.

  6. Serve immediately with the condiments of your choice.
  1. Shawnda says:

    Wow! That looks great! I’m going to try it! Thanks!!

  2. Pam says:

    Prepared this meal this evening. Very good but a little spicy. Will probably do only 1/2 the chili powder next time. Loved the fact that I was getting veggies while enjoying the full flavor of sloppy joes. And, I have never prepared fries like these. My husband agrees that we will certainly prepare this meal again.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Christy Rolf says:

      Sorry it was a little spicy but glad that you liked it. And the fries, I hear ya’ sister – A-MAZING, right? Thank you so much for trying the recipe and for letting me know what you thought. If I could, I’d reach right through this screen and give you a big ol’ hug!
      Christy 🙂

      A friend of mine said she was going to make hers into lettuce wraps to reduce the carbs. I ate some of my leftovers wrapped in mustard greens and they were delicious. A few options to consider if you make it again.

  3. Candice says:

    Super excited about this one!
    Just added the ingrediants for this recipe to my grocery list. 🙂

    • Christy Rolf says:

      YEAH! You’ll have to let me know how your kiddos like it.

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