California Grown Steak Salad

Most people go to California for the wine, but I go for the produce! It’s such a special place that is near and dear to my heart. No place inspires me more to cook seasonally with fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables.

One of my favorite parts about California produce is that you know where it is coming from and the quality you’ll receive! The farmers are some of the best in the world. I am a huge proponent of getting to know your farmers and learning about what it takes to make our food. And even if you don’t have the opportunity to do that, CA Grown has some excellent resources for getting to know your food online. Here is a seasonal calendar for produce you can use to make sure you’re buying in season. They also have an excellent guide to help you find out where your produce is from.

enchiladas in an uncle buddy

Like me, Californians are hard workers, and I’m awed by the farmers, workers, ranchers, ranch hands and fisher people who work 24/7/365 to provide food, fiber and foliage for the world. California grows more than 400 different products and produces more than a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits. It is truly a gift to visit the California farmers’ markets and get to know the people who grow my food. 

In honor of Farmer and Farmworker Appreciation Month, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite recipes made with CA Grown produce!

CA Grown Produce

I love a vegetable forward dish! Nothing tastes fresher or feels better to eat than some fabulous CA Grown vegetables. And trust me, people, vegetables do not have to be boring!

greek fries on a sheet pan

One of my favorites is our Greek Inspired Fries. These are so delicious and perfect for a snack that’s a total crowd pleaser. They’re packed with olives, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Make it for a party, for game day, or for a fabulous weeknight meal!

CA Grain Bowl

A great dish for healthful weeknight eating is our grain bowl. What I love about this dish is how much you can customize it. Pack it with cauliflower, sweet potatoes, your choice of rice, avocado, peppers, broccolini, whatever you’d like! Then top it with your favorite sauce made with CA Grown goods, such as Pistachio Pesto or Smoky Red Pepper Sauce.

roasted veggies, cheese, and bread

One of my favorite things to do to celebrate fabulous produce is a sandwich board. This is perfect for a party. Everyone can build their own sandwich with their favorite bread, sauce, and vegetables. It feels so fresh, light, and delicious to enjoy.

Sweet Potatoes

sweet potato cubes in a green bowl with onions and dressing

California is the perfect place for sweet potatoes to thrive. The climate and soil are a fabulous match for the sweet potato. And they are all cared for by hand to make sure they meet California’s high standards for their crops. I love making the sweet potato the star of the show, so keep it simple with a dish like my Sweet Potatoes with Chive Dressing, or Sweet Potato Crisps with Tomato Dressing.


Grilled Cheese with Onions on a pink plate

Prunes are a magical fruit! They’re a flavor packed, nutrient dense, and versatile ingredient that can enhance any dish, sweet or savory. I have a whole collection of great prune recipes you can peruse, but some of my favorites include our Enchiladas, Grilled Cheese, and Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Prune Cookies

Olives & Figs

Gluten-free Fig Pizza Sliced

Olives and Figs are more amazing CA Grown produce. In fact, California grows over 95% of all olives grown in the United States! Both are amazing ingredients that bring a depth of flavor to every dish. Figs are a sweet and delicious flower (fun fact: they are not fruit!) that I love to add to salads, or even pizza.

Steak Salad with Creamy Garlic Olive Dressing

Olives are one of my favorite foods ever. I will add them to most anything! My favorite Magic Elixir is our Creamy Olive Dressing. It’s truly next level and elevates every salad or dish. They are also one of the stars in our Citrus Chopped Salad. If you haven’t made either of these yet, it’s a run don’t walk situation!

Fruits & Nuts

Can you believe California produces over 2/3 of the fruit in the country? It’s amazing how much California provides for the entire nation. So make sure when you are at the grocery store that you are choosing CA Grown to support the incredible farmers!

Cherry Cobbler in a platter and bowls

One of my favorite times of year is cherry season. I absolutely love making a cherry cobbler. It’s so simple but absolutely delectable. I love that you can eat it any time of day. Seriously, is there a better breakfast?

granola in a mason jar

Another great breakfast is our granola. It’s crunchy, slightly sweet, and soul satisfying. This is great to have on hand for a quick snack. Add it to some yogurt for a great little meal. This is also a favorite gift of mine. It’s homemade, touching, and not to mention delicious! What more could you want?!

These are just some of the great recipes that I’ve been inspired to make by CA Grown produce. California will always be my home away from home, and I love honoring it in my kitchen every day!