Friday, November 23, 2018

BBQ Cauliflower Sloppy Joes

I got a little overzealous with my cauliflower order from my local farm the other day, and have been getting creative with them in the kitchen since. This is one of my favorites.

If the title Sloppy Joes conjures up images of elementary school lunch lines, I think you will be pleasantly surprised to sit down to this instead. The lentils give it a certain chewiness, while the cauliflower absorbs the flavor and boosts the vegetable content.

For a lighter version, skip the bun and create a Sloppy Joe Bowl instead - I think you'll find it is plenty filling, especially if topped with coleslaw and avocado.

BBQ Cauliflower and Lentil Sloppy Joes
Serves 4


1 tbs. neutral oil
1 medium yellow onion
1 large garlic clove
1/2 cup green lentils
1/2 medium head of cauliflower, broken in to florets, about 2 cups
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt

4 buns
1 avocado
a few cilantro stems (optional)


Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add lentils, bring to a low boil and cook for 18 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. 
The easiest way to prep the ingredients is to pull out your food processor. Throw the garlic clove in and mince. Add cauliflower and walnuts and process until broken up in to small pieces, similar to the texture of ground beef- don't over process, you want some structure to remain.

Meanwhile, mince onion and saute over medium heat in a large pan with oil of choice. Once translucent, add cauliflower mixture from food processor, drained lentils, bbq sauce, chili powder and salt. Continue to cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring often, until pretty dry and beginning to brown.

To serve, toast buns in a lightly oiled pan, cut side down, with a smaller pan on top to weigh it down. Spoon sloppy joe mixture on top, followed by avocado slices, cilantro stems and top bun.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Quinoa "Fried Rice"

I make this dish so often I thought I'd share, just in case you'd like to add it to your weeknight repertoire. It comes together quickly, especially if you prep the sesame ginger sauce in advance. I like to make a double batch of the sauce to store in the fridge, as it keeps for several weeks.
It's the perfect dish for someone who is quinoa-curious, but maybe a little intimidated as well. See? There's nothing to be scared of.
You can vary the vegetables- I'll often use green beans in place of broccoli or throw in some chopped garlic scapes when they are in season. You can finish it with your favorite hot sauce, chopped cilantro or salty peanuts for a crunch.

You're now two pans and 30 minutes away from a dinner chocked full of high quality protein, fiber and stir-fried veggies. 
Quinoa Fried “Rice”
Serves 2 as a main dish
3 tbs. tahini
3 tbs. tamari soy sauce
2 tbs. honey or syrup
1 tbs. toasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves
1-inch ginger root

½ cup quinoa
1 cup water or stock
2 tbs. oil of choice, divided
Small head of broccoli, about 1 cup chopped
1 small carrot,  grated
2 eggs 
2 tbs. sesame seeds
Chili flakes, if desired 
Place quinoa and water/stock in a small pot. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, covered, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove lid, fluff and set aside.
To make the sesame ginger sauce, combine tahini through ginger in a blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
Beat eggs in a small bowl. Season with a dash of salt and pepper.  
Heat 1 tbs. oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add eggs and scramble quickly. Remove to a small bowl and break up into small pieces. Wipe pan clean. Add remaining tbs. of oil to the pan along with carrots and broccoli and stir-fry until bright and tender, about 5 minutes. Add cooked quinoa, scrambled eggs, 4-6 tbs. sesame ginger sauce and sesame seeds and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and chili flakes if desired.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Salted Caramel Cashew Ice Cream

With summer heat waves in full force across the country, ice cream has been on my mind. But let's face it, probably not the best treat to be indulging in every day, which is roughly how often we seemed to be consuming it. So I decided to go searching for a healthier version that I could feel good about serving my family. A simple search found that I was not alone.

The key to these cashew based ice creams is the dates. Not only do they deliver a caramely sweetness, but they keep the ice cream silky in texture, as opposed to solely sweetening with syrup or honey, which yields an icier result.

The ingredient list is simple, there is no churning or ice cream machine involved, and you'll have healthy ice cream to enjoy directly out of the freezer. If you do not have a high powered blender, such as a Vitamix and Blendtec, I would recommend soaking the cashews and pitted dates for several hours in the milk, to soften them up enough to blend smoothly. 

The cinnamon packs a punch- you can take it down a notch by halving the amount if you prefer. The flaky sea salt is also optional. I love it, but my three year old is less sure, so know your audience. 

Finally, this is not the kind of ice cream you want sitting around for too long in your freezer, I find that after a few days it starts to loose some of it's silky texture. Best made in small batches and enjoyed often.

Salted Caramel Cashew Ice Cream

Inspired by Blissful Basil


1 1/4 cups unsweetened plant-based milk
1 cup pitted and packed soft, sticky medjool dates (about 12 dates)
3/4 cup raw cashews (heaping)
2 tbs. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fine-grain sea salt
1/8 tsp. flaky salt for top


Place all ingredients except for the flaky salt in a high-speed blender and process until very smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Pour into a parchment paper lined dish and sprinkle with flaky salt. Freeze until hard, at least 6 hours. In the first few days, this scoops beautifully right out of the freezer. If it lasts more than a few days, let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Curry Almond Burgers

A few weeks ago I served these burgers as part of my Prepared Meal Service, and so many people requested the recipe that I immediately added this blog post to my to-do list. And it's happening!

They can come together fairly quickly, especially if you prep the rice and carrots in advance, so that they are cooked, cooled and ready. It is also a great project to make with kids- can you guess who shaped which burgers below? My two year old was excited to help, and ate an entire burger once they cooled. Undeniable bonus of letting them get their hands dirty (and they were, as well as turmeric stained!)

For a full meal, you can serve these with roasted veggies on the side. For a lighter one, you can use the burgers to top a salad and forgo the bun altogether. 

Curry Almond Burgers

Serves 8


1 cup short grain brown rice
2 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups water or stock

2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 tbs. ground flax seed
1 tbs. curry powder
1 tbs. tamari
2 tbs. tahini
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1- 1.5 tsp. salt, to taste

To serve: burger buns, avocado, sprouts, ketchup or favorite spread


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place rice, chopped carrots and water in a small pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 35 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, mince garlic cloves in food processor. Add almonds and sunflower seeds and grind until they are the texture of gravel. Add remaining ingredients, including rice and carrots and process until fairly smooth (small chunks are fine). Taste, and add additional 1/2 tsp. of salt if desired.

Shape into 8 patties and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate, and continue to bake for another 10 minutes.

To serve, place on top of toasted buns, spread with your favorite schmeer, and top with avocado and sprouts.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Silky Pumpkin Soup

I ended up with an aging population of pie pumpkins in my possession a few weeks ago, from a farmer who was about to jet and didn't want his stock to go to waste. We're talking 60 pounds worth. The wrinkles were already forming, so I decided to roast now and freeze later.

And thus my "add pumpkin to everything" adventures began. So far I have made Crustless Pumpkin Pie, Indian Pumpkin and Split Pea Curry, Pumpkin Risotto and Spiced Pumpkin Donuts. Today we are going down the sweet-meets-savory route with a Silky Pumpkin Soup, perfect for this winter wonderland kind of day. Slightly reminiscent of pumpkin pie, while keeping it dinner table appropriate.

If you are curious about how to roast and freeze your own pie pumpkins, it's quite simple. Split pumpkins in half, remove seeds, rub with oil and roast at 375 degrees, cut side down on a baking sheet, for 30-45 minutes, until very soft. Let cool, remove flesh from the shells with a large spoon, measure and place in freezer bags, labeled with the amount inside. I did mostly 4-8 cups increments. Stack the freezer bags flat and let them freeze that way, for organizational convenience. 

Silky Pumpkin Soup
Serves 4-6


1 tbs. coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
3 cups of roasted pumpkin
1 cup coconut milk
1.5 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1-3 tbs. of maple syrup, to taste
1 tsp. salt
black pepper or chili flakes to taste
Optional garnish: a sprinkle of garam masala


Heat coconut oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and continue to sauté for one more minute. Stir in pumpkin, coconut milk and water/broth, as well as cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add maple syrup and salt and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Taste, and add additional syrup and/or salt to taste, as well as black pepper or chili flakes. The amount of syrup needed will depend on the natural sweetness of the pumpkins you used.

Garnish with a sprinkle of garam masala, a warming Indian spice blend, if desired.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Banana Flax Muffins

I have a policy where if I make a recipe on the regular, I make sure to add my personal touch and get it to the blog. This is a great example of that in action. It helps me collect my favorites, and easily share them with others. 

These days I sometimes have a two-year old baker's helper, so I try to stick to vegan batters, since almost as much goes in to her mouth as in to the pan. So I swapped the eggs out for soaked flax seed, and added some grain diversity to make sure we're benefitting from all the various grains have to offer. Feel free to try out quinoa, buckwheat or amaranth flour in place of the millet flour if you're feeling adventurous, they all lend a unique flavor and nutritional profile. 

If you can’t find millet flour, you can use an extra ½ cup of oat flour instead. If you’d rather use whole wheat, you can replace both the oat and millet flour with 2 cups whole wheat flour. 

Final note, we love making these as mini muffins, which seem like the perfect snack size. They freeze really, if 36 seems like an intimidating number.

Banana Flax Muffins
Makes 16 full-size muffins or 36 mini muffins


3 tbs. of ground flax combined with 3 tbs. of warm water
¼ cup maple syrup
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbs. vanilla
1 1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup millet flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil muffin tins with a paper towel and dash of oil

Combine the flax and water mixture and set aside until thickened.  In a medium bowl, mash the bananas, add applesauce, oil, and vanilla.  In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix well. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined.

Scoop batter into your muffin tins, about 2/3 full.  Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes for full size muffins or 12 minutes for minis.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Teriyaki Tempeh Meatballs

You may remember a Tempeh Meatball recipe I posted last year, which often graces our table with Italian style meals. Think Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, or Summer Pesto Pasta. This dish borrows the base from those meatballs, and brings it East with a homemade Teriyaki Sauce. I like to serve it with a quick stir-fry of broccoli and bell peppers.

If you are unfamiliar with tempeh, this is a great intro recipe. Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake, which renders the soy easy to digest and assimilate. Rich in protein as well fiber- it is the kind of dish that sticks with you. I love to have my fridge stocked with meatballs for both snacks and a quick meal.

This is a great recipe to get kids involved in. My daughter loves to add all of the ingredients to the food processor, and then help roll them as well.  Just expect a mess (always). She can barely wait for them to cool before she starts gobbling them down.

Teriyaki Tempeh Meatballs
Serves 2-3


½ cup water
2 tbs. tamari soy sauce
¼ tsp ginger powder
¼ tsp. garlic powder
2 tbs. honey
¼ tsp. sriracha
1 tsp. arrowroot powder
1 tbs. cold water

8 oz. tempeh
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 tbs. neutral oil
1/4 tsp. salt

1 tbs. oil
1/2 cup chives, chopped
1 tbs. toasted sesame seeds


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To prepare teriyaki sauce, place water through sriracha in to a small pot and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, mix cold water with arrowroot. Add to boiling sauce, continue to simmer stirring constantly, until thickened, and remove from heat.

Cube tempeh and add to the bowl of a food processor. Process until crumbled. Add 4 tablespoons of prepared teriyaki sauce, as well as flour, oil and salt. Continue to process until dough gathers in to a ball.

Roll mixture into 12-16 meatballs and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate and roll over and continue for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

To finish, heat last tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Add chives and stir-fry for one minute. Add meatballs and remaining teriyaki sauce and cook until sticky and golden. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.