Because sardines and brownies totally go together?! Uh. No. Just go with it.

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Food prep Sunday has returned in all it’s fridge-filling glory. And actually this week I literally went from empty empty fridge to stuffed fridge. Which is exactly how a Sunday night fridge should look, because Mondays are bad enough as it is without being irked by a lack of edible things.

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I do kind of love having an emptyish fridge — it forces me to get creative and use what I have. And it is definitely not a bad thing to cook down your fridge / freezer / pantry periodically. I had some epic meals at the end of last week, all full of new veggie combinations, as I was working with what I had. There was a deplorable lack of produce after Friday night though, so today I had a glorious Sunday of yoga, grocery shopping, and several hours of food prep. Ahhh. And then dinner and movie and dessert with the purring snugglepuss. Me-time doesn’t get much better than that!

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Also, yesterday was date day in Santa Cruz with E! AND OMG I DISCOVERED CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON!

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I mean, I’d had a bacon chocolate bar and have made bacon brownies… but a piece of bacon!!!! Covered in chocolate!!!! Amazing. And simple to make for myself… but let’s not. I would eat.it.all. But anyway, chocolate covered bacon. I highly recommend it.

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Back to what I was sort of talking about in a rambly fashion — food prep Sunday! Today I did a crockpot red lentil dal with ginger and curry, which will probably last me a week (I made a literal VAT), roasted radishes for later in the week, made a new batch of nut butter and cashew meal, baked a batch of vegan spelt brownies with a tahini-maple swirl (omg.save me from myself and the whole pan), and a sardine ragu over zucchini noodles and greens. Which, depending on your point of view, could be the best thing ever or the most disgusting. Obviously, I fall into the former camp, but hey. We can’t all be the same, or this would be one boring universe.

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But even if sardines straight out the can with a little mustard (and avo) isn’t your thing (ahem. not like I do that or anything), I’m advocating for you to give this ragu a shot.

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The sardines are simmered in red wine and tomato sauce, which tames their sardine-yness. I do love them, but I’ll admit they can be a little much sometimes (I really have to be in the mood for them). But in the sauce, they’re much milder. I served the sauce over some sautéed mushrooms and zucchini noodles with greens, and shredded a little goat cheddar over the top (Redwood Hill Farms is my favorite!! Their cheese is spectacular). Highly recommended, and in my lunch for work tomorrow (because this just gets better and better as the flavors do the leftover tango). This is reason number five billion why food prep days are so spectac: Lunches for at least the first half of the week, so I can be not hangry and cranky for the start of the week.

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Enough babble. It’s Sunday night and time for bed so I can be something less than a zombie come five am tomorrow. And this post is enough of a novel already, so on that note… recipeeeez!

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Vegan Spelt Brownies with Tahini Swirl

These brownies are much cakier than my usual brownies, so if cakey brownies are your jam, you’re in the right spot. I usually like mine fudgier, but these are great for a change. The maple tahini swirl is freaking fantastic as well, so if you like halva or just sesame in general, these are right up your alley. Vegan, refined sugar free, and delicious. Yield: one 8 by 8 pan, anywhere from 6 to 12 brownies, depending on what kind of day you’ve just had. Adapted from Love Me, Feed Me, here!

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  • 3/4 c whole spelt flour
  • 1/4 c + 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  • a very full 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/3 c unsweetened hemp milk
  • 1/3 c extra dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1.5 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease (or use parchment) an 8 by 8 pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together spelt flour, cocoa powder, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, applesauce, maple, and avo oil. Stir to roughly combine. Add in hemp milk and chocolate chips, and mix until incorporated. Pour batter into the prepared pan. In a small bowl, stir together tahini and maple syrup. Practice your drizzle skills and make it look pretty as your pour it over the top of the batter… take a knife (or the spoon you’re currently using, if you’re lazy like me) and swirl it into the batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely, and store covered in the fridge.

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And now for something completely different….

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Sardine Ragu over Zucchini Noodles

Savory, perfectly textured, and full of healthy fats and lycopene. All good things! Gluten free, low lactose (with goat cheese), and high in antioxidants. If you can, try to eat this on subsequent days — I find that the flavor just gets better and better. Yield: 3-4 servings. Ish. Recipe inspired by Spoonshine blog, here!

  • a good glug of olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, frozen or smooshed
  • 3 rainbow carrots, diced
  • 2 cans of sardines, packed in oil (I like Wild Planet brand)
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 125 ml red wine
  • 500 ml freshly boiled water
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated cheese of choice, optional
  • spiralized zucchini + sautéed mushrooms and greens for serving, or your fave pasta

Heat the olive oil over medium in a sauté pan. Once the oil is hot, add in onions, and garlic with a few twists of sea salt and pepper, and saute until the onion is translucent. Add in diced carrots, sardines (Including their oil), tomato sauce and paste, oregano, thyme, and red wine. Bring to a boil and let cook for 10 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and the alcohol has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper, and add the freshly boiled water.

Keeping the sauce at a high simmer, let it cook, stirring occasionally, for 35 minutes. It should be reduced and thicker, like the consistency of a meat ragu. Once the sauce has reduced, taste and season accordingly — add the tbsp of balsamic, plus more oregano or thyme, or salt and pepper (or all four).

Serve over zucchini noodles or your noodle of choice, with a sprinkling of grated parmesan or goat cheese over the top.

Here’s a little ommm to take into your Monday:

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:)

Brain mush.

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I think I’m just really obsessed with mushy food.

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What a nice way to start a blog post about FOOD, right?? Like, I’m trying to get peeps to keep reading the post, not click off immediately…

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But seriously. Mushy food is my jam. I like oatmeal SO MUCH that it gets me out of bed in the morning. For reals. I lay there going ‘ughghghh it’s dark and whyyyy and I know I have to but uhhhgggh’ and then it hits me… I get OATMEAL for breakfast. And I’m out of my bed like a shot. This is true life, I’m not kidding. It actually works. Every. Single. Morning. And I will be just as excited about it tomorrow as I was yesterday. Or the day before that. Or… well. You get the idea.

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And applesauce. And buckwheat. And any type of porridgy thing besides oatmeal. Is this weird??

I’m making the executive decision that it’s not. Because lentils can also be mushy but lentils are DELICIOUS. Stupidly so. And sooo easy. And cheap. And nutritious so what’s not to like?!

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Also. Too much studying of useless math and endless hours revising grad school app essays have turned my brain into mush so maybe that’s why I’m so fixated on mushy food today? Whatever. I made this for dinner yesterday and it was mushy and delicious and really, calling it mushy is really kind of mean because it is SO delicious. Let’s call it… creamy. And unctuous. And lentily. Spicy, comforting, soul food. There we go. That’s far better than mushy. It has character. I like my food to have character.

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Red Lentil Dal with Creamy Coconut Buckwheat

Gluten free, vegan, full of delicious grains and healthy carbs, and inflammation-fighting turmeric. Serve hot or cold—I like it as cold leftovers the next day. Recipe serves four easily, with leftovers. Buckwheat is my own method, dal adapted from Wholehearted Eats, here!

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For the buckwheat:

  • 1 c buckwheat groats, rinsed
  • 2 c light coconut milk
  • 1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • salt to taste

For the Dal:

  • heaping 1/2 c diced onion
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • heaping 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 c red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 c light coconut milk
  • 3 c water
  • 2 carrots, chopped into smallish pieces
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • a few grates of pepper
  • chopped Persian cucumber, roasted cashews, pepitas, unsweetened coconut for garnish

Buckwheat is amazing: In a medium sized saucepan, bring coconut milk to a boil. Once boiling, dump in buckwheat groats, cover, and turn down to a simmer. I usually add a few sprinkles of sea salt here (and more to taste after it’s finished cooking).  Let the groats simmer until they have absorbed most of the liquid, about 30 minutes (though I never set a timer; I just check it periodically. Groats should retain their chewy texture when fully cooked). Add salt if needed. Buckwheat tends to thicken up as it sits, so I usually turn it off when there is just a bit of liquid left.

What is a grain without a friendly topping?? For the dahl: heat avocado oil in a medium saucepan. Add in onion, ginger, cardamom, turmeric, pepper, and cumin and sauté until the onions are translucent. If the spices start sticking, add a splash of water—I find it helpful to stir the onions relatively frequently. Add in lentils, coconut milk, water, and diced carrots. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes (Stirring occasionally is probs good). Uncover, add salt (more to taste if that’s your jam) and let simmer for about 20 minutes more. Turn off the heat, let it sit and thicken for a few minutes more.

Serve over buckwheat, with veggie of choice and fave garnishes. I like chopped cashews and pepitas+cucumber and coconut. Leftovers are excellent cold or reheated the next day.

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So called weirdness is now accepted normalcy

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Shut the front door. A SAVORY thing?!

No.

Can’t be.

But wait… it is!!!

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ENCHILADAS!!!

Or more accurately…

Lentiladas!!

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So dubbed by my work besties when I trotted these babies into work the other day all ecstatic like “guys guys guys!! I have homemade enchiladas for lunch and guess what?! They’re vegan and made with lentils!!” and they all looked at me with ‘well duh!!’ expressions, closely followed by some comments to the effect of “since when would we expect YOU to bring normal enchiladas with you?! That would just be weird and we’d be concerned”. Typical. You know, I might even love my work peeps more than lentils. Which is unfortunate as my last day there is the 30th of this month [I am moving on to beekeeping (!!!), more on that later]… I will miss you, loyal work peeps who proudly nicknamed me Lentil! Good thing we can still hang out like real life friends…

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So anyway. I brought lentiladas to work and everyone expected it. Obviously my weirdness has just become normalcy.

I also made naturally green cookies (to be posted shortlyish) and no one even batted an eye. My work here is done.

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Vegan Lentiladas with Salsa Verde

Vegan, gluten free (with gluten free tortillas, mine were corn+wheat). Fast, totally accessible for a weeknight dinner. I used store-bought salsa and enchilada sauce—next time I might try making my own sauce and not being such a bum. But whatever. The leftovers are excellent reheated– my yield was about 10 enchiladas, which made plenty of delicious leftovers. The recipe is slightly adapted from Hummusapien, here!

  • 1/2 c raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours(ish)
  • 3/4 c dry green lentils+2 c water for cooking
  • 1/2 c salsa verde + extra for serving
  • 1/2 a bell pepper, diced (mine was yellow)
  • 5-6 good sized white mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in a bit of olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 double handfuls of mixed greens (Mine was chard+kale+spinach)
  • 12 corn blue corn tortillas
  • 16 oz green enchilada sauce*
  • avo!! for serving. Obvi.

*this was the size of the jar I had—-it was delicious and was definitely not too much liquid. If you have an 8 oz can, that is also fine.

Cook yo’ lentils! I always use dried, as they’re super cheap in the bulk section and are very easy to cook—-bring water to a boil, dump in lentils, and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until they’re soft. Aaaaaanndddd… done!

Drain soaking cashews. In a food processor, process soaked cashews and 1/2 c salsa verde until nearly smooth. Add in lentils, diced bell pepper, sautéed mushrooms, sea salt, cayenne, and cumin. Process until combined. Add in mixed greens and process a bit more till everything is incorporated.

Preheat the oven to 350, and locate some kind of 9 by 13 pan. Pour about half of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan. Take each tortilla and fill it lengthwise down the center with filling. Roll it up, and place it seam side down in the pan. If it breaks, who cares? It’ll be covered in sauce anyway…
Once all the tortillas are filled and nestled in next to their friends, pour the rest of the enchilada sauce evenly over the top. Bake for 30 minutes, and let cool for a few before serving. Serve with extra salsa and avo! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Jessie thinks they're awesome too…

Jessie thinks they’re awesome too…

Vat o’soup Monday

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I just love vat o’soup Mondays.

Such a satisfying feeling to know that I have leftovers for DAYS. And besides, it was my favorite kind of day (overcast, rainy) so obviously soup was a must. Because everyone knows that soup+cornbread+rain are like the three musketeers.

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Don’t be fooled by what looks to be a large amount of space in that pot… it is a MASSIVE pot. I can practically fit in it.

Also…

Happy Fat Tuesday! Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Not that anything I’m posting about has to do with Mardi Gras… perhaps I should have made pancakes. Oops. Whatever, at least this happened this weekend (in typical Mardi Gras indulgent fashion):

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Sorry I’m not even a little bit sorry! Ha.

And this food happened to be pretty. So here you go. I’m not even going to dignify that with a recipe though, it’s stupid simple. Beans+avo+cucumber+salasa=lunch. *Someone* was apparently feeling lazy…

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But anyway. SOUP!

Butternut Squash, Pinto Bean Soup with Ginger and Nutmeg

This is one of those “let’s see what’s in the fridge that needs to be used” type of soups, which incidentally are my favorite kind. This one is primarily butternut squash, pinto bean, and carrot—it has overtones of nutmeg and ginger. Mmm. I won’t lay this out as a “recipe” per say… but it’s a waitarethosecookies original, and it’s delicious. I never measure when I’m making soup, so bear with me. As always, adjust to taste as suits your tastebuds!

It’s kind of even ridiculous for me to even try to quantify this into a recipe, but whatever. You get the gist and improvising is fun! Have at it.

Things you sorta kinda should have, but can probably fake it without them anyway:

  • 1 large +1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 onion
  • some carrots
  • olive oil
  • seasonings (Salt, pepper, fresh ginger, fresh+dried sage, nutritional yeast, nutmeg)
  • chicken stock (or veggie), about 4 cups worth
  • 3 potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 cans of pinto beans, rinsed
  • 2-3 c greens, roughly chopped

Ooookay let’s do the soup thang!

Halve butternut squash and scoop out the seeds. Place squash cut side down on a cutting board and bake for 30 minutes at 375. Take squash out, flip over and let cool until you can scoop out the puree without burning yourself.

In a large soup pot, saute an onion in a good glug of olive oil. Add a bit of salt and pepper, minced fresh sage (3 leaves), a sprinkle of dried sage, and about a tsp of diced fresh ginger. Toss in 3 or 4 good sized carrots, diced. Let all that cook until the onions are translucent, then add butternut squash puree and about 4 c of chicken stock. Puree the whole thing with an immersion blender.

Slice up a few potatoes reeeeally thinly, and add them in. Let the soup simmer until the potatoes are soft, then add two cans of pinto beans (well rinsed), 1/4 c nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, salt to taste, 1 c cooked green peas, and 2-3 c roughly chopped greens. Simmer until the greens are wilted, then serve hot. I like mine with chopped up cashews and walnuts+pepitas, because you know it’s all about texture!

Makes excellent leftovers, clearly…

Also.. cookies and a good book are always a good choice.

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I made Lentil Loaf! Shocked? No, I thought not.

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Sometimes I can’t even believe some of the things that come out of my mouth.

Like, “Oh yeah, I don’t use refined sugar when I bake, but I use it for fermenting my kefir water starter, the kefir grains seem like they prefer refined sugars”.

Um, okay… I have fermenting kefir grains on my counter for my probiotic kefir water. No big deal, doesn’t everyone??

Also. My breakfast is most often green. But… maybe you already knew that?

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Sometimes I amaze even myself with my crunchiness. Or alternativeness. Or organicness. Or awesomeness. Pick word, any word!

Tonight, I’m real granola. I made… lentil loaf.

Yep. Shocker, I know.

What else could you possibly be expecting?! My work nickname is Lentil, after all ;)

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And I know it’s like THE number one vegan stereotype food, but sorry I’m not sorry it’s a) delicious, b) not made with any of that freaky fake meat/soy product business, c) whole foods are the way to go, d) I’m already pretty much a stereotype (reference leg warmers, fermenting kefir grains, nutritional yeast, and the fact that I bring my composting home), so that boils down to e) I happily embrace this most stereotypical of foods. I knew *I* would love it (says the girl who puts spinach and carrots in her oatmeal)… but would OTHER people (those notsogranola types) like it??

Tonight, I fed one of my best friends lentil loaf.

And…

She’s still my friend! Ha. Success. In fact, she *LIKED* it! I sweetened the deal with some mashed potatoes (because obviously what ELSE would you eat with lentil loaf?! Helloooo, mashed potatoes go with all things loaflike). But both she and the rest of the fambam luuuurved the lentil loaf!! So much so that they nicknamed it LeLo (pronounced ley-low). I personally like LENTIL LOAF since it sort of typifies the stereotype and makes me laugh, but there you have it.

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Exhibit A. Lentil Loaf.

Delicious, quick, and fabulous. A nice riff on your “traditional American meal” except that it so totally isn’t. And of course it’s served on my fab elephant plate from when I was teeny.

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Vegan Lentil Loaf

Recipe adapted slightly from 86 Lemons, here! Makes one 9 by 5 pan, serves 4 easily for dinner with leftovers. Gluten free and vegan. It comes together in a snap—probably the longest part is cooking the lentils, which is easily done in advance.

  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds+6 tbsp water [2 flax eggs]
  • 2 c cooked green lentils (1 c dry yields a bit more than 2 c cooked), split into 1.5 and 1/2 c
  • 1 c rolled oats, divided
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • a good glug of olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 c mushrooms, diced (I used white button mushrooms)
  • 2 c fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 3/4 organic ketchup, divided
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c + 1/8 c nutritional yeast, divided
  • 1/2 c almond flour

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Preheat oven to 375, and line a 9 by 5 inch pan with parchment paper, allowing enough to hang over the sides like handles.

Combine flaxseed and water, and set aside until it gels into an ‘eggy’ consistency.

In a food processor, combine 1.5 c cooked lentils and 1/2 c of oats. Pulse until the mixture is mostly smooth, adding in the almond milk in between pulses. Toss all this into a large bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 c ketchup, 1/8 c nutritional yeast, and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.  Add olive oil to a saute pan over medium heat. Toss in onions and garlic, and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add in mushrooms, oregano, and spinach, and cook until the spinach is wilted and the mushrooms are tender. Stir in the ketchup/nutritional yeast/vinegar combo, and set aside.

Going back to the large bowl with the lentil-oat biz, stir in the other 1/2 c of rolled oats, almond flour, flax egg, 1/4 c nutritional yeast, and the onion-mushroom mixture. Stir it all together (and use your hands, it’s really fun), making sure everything is nicely combined. Salt and pepper to taste.
Pour batter into the prepared pan, smoothysmooth the top of it, and the have fun painting the top with the last 1/4 c of ketchup. Bake for 35-40 minutes, let cool for a few in the pan, then remove to a cooling rack (using the nifty parchment paper handles) to sit before slicing. Mine was perfect at 35 minutes.

Makes excellent leftovers—just store in the fridge!

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I ALWAYS play with my food…

Yes, I’ve been known to eat this for breakfast too…

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MUNG BEANS!

No, they’re not lentils.

Yes, I eat them for breakfast! In oatmeal. Or not, and just by themselves.

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Whatever, I told you I got more alternative/awesome every day! It’s why you hang out with me, isn’t it? Right. That’s what I thought!

I find this kind of hilarious, but one of my bestie friends (who happens to be Thai) told me the other day that apparently I’m a closet-Asian. Like, I eat more traditional Asian foods with ridiculous gusto than she does! Probably not true, but I’ll take the compliment ;) And then she pointed out my obsession with aduki beans… and now mung beans… and woonsen noodles… and the amount of tea I drink… and so on.

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Another work friend of mine and I mess with each other daily about what we’ve brought to eat that day: I’ve been accused before of bringing rabbit food… so every time I have some new kind of bean or legume or whathaveyou, I make sure to point it out (alternatively, if I bring beef, obviously we make a huge deal out of that too since that’s generally her province). This kind of thing really only encourages me… I continually try to one up myself and bring the most alternative beans I can find. Muahaha. Rabbit food for the win! Mung beans were the last iteration… let’s see what I can come up with next, heeheehee!

This soup is delicious either by itself or (as I ate it) over brown rice. Mung beans are one of the most easily digestible beans, are low-glycemic, and full of fiber and protein. They’re also a really good source of iron, potassium and zinc, AND provide vitamins A, K, B6, and folate. Eat them! Beans, beans they’re good for your heart (among other things)…

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Mung Bean Stew

Recipe slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum, recipe here! I only used about half the mung beans in the stew, and then used the leftovers the rest of the week. You can also use all of them, up to you and how many you’re feeding! Delicious warm or cool, and supremely simple to make. I soaked my mung beans for about 4 hours before cooking, but the online searching I’ve done has given me mixed results on whether or not this is necessary. I usually soak things, so I split the difference and only soaked them for a short time.

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  • 2 c mung beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 6 c veggie (or chicken) broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c canned coconut milk (I used light)
  • one massive double handful (or half a bag) of mixed greens or spinach
  • salt to taste
  • brown rice to serve, optional

Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot. Add drained and rinsed beans and cook, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. They will eventually absorb most of the liquid, but I found that around the 30 minute mark I added a bit of water each time I checked it. The beans should be soft but not smooshy, with a really thick consistency when you stir them.

Heat the oil in a pan, and, when hot, add onion and ginger. Sauté for 3-5 minutes over medium-low heat, until the onion is translucent. Add greens and cook until they’re slightly wilted. Add the contents of this pan into the bean pot, and let simmer for just a few minutes. Stir in cardamon, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and coconut milk. Salt to taste.

I served mine warm, but I ate it later at room temp and it’s delicious both ways. Leftovers keep in the fridge for a few days no problem! I ate mine over brown rice, which was an excellent decision.

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Foraging Extraordinaire

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Loooook!!! I went FORAGING! In my LAWN! For GREENS!

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And then I found this. Yaay, tiny beautiful things!

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Not like this handful of dandelion greens is going to keep me in vegetables… ha. As if. But!! You have to try this: foraging for greens in your own lawn is amazing! It makes me want to go out and forage in the forest… ideally with a bow and arrow in some really dense woods. And I would probably be wearing a tunic of some sort (not my usual neon..?) Not that you need a bow and arrow to forage for greens, but just roll with my imagination, mmmkay? It adds to the effect.

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AND THEN, I put my newly harvested dandelion greens into a veggie bowl! And it was delicious!! I got really excited because I was eating something out of my yard (not entirely unusual as we grow herbs and veggies, but this was FORAGED! Entirely different, mind you). And then I got even more excited because I looked up dandelion greens and realized they are mega good for you: rich in calcium and iron, antioxidants, vitamins+minerals, and are anti-inflammatory! Besides all that, they’re good for digestion (natural detoxifier) and blood sugar (they contain inulin, a soluble fiber which raises good cholesterol and lowers blood sugar).

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Oh. And if you find them in your lawn, they’re… free! Just make sure you don’t spray with anything nasty, we don’t want that gunk in your body!

So after you harvest the marvelous things, you can chuck them in with a mega ton of sautéed veggies and beans like me, and enjoy your virtuously delicious meal. Whole foods out of your backyard? I think yes!

And one last fun fact: dandelion comes from a corruption of the french word tooth of the lion, or ‘dent-de-lion’, and the latin name for it is Taraxacum officinale, or remedy for disorders! Just thought I’d share :)

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Tahini Vegetables with Mixed Greens and Beans

Serves… 2? Roughly. As always with my recipes, this one is mostly a framework, so use what you have in your fridge and substitute accordingly! But of course it is also delicious as is ;) This one takes about 10 minutes of cook time, plus veggie prep, so it’s also fast and easy.

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (largely)
  • 1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • a handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 bag mixt greens (mine were spinach, kale, and chard)
  • a handful of dandelion greens, thoroughly washed
  • 1 can of white beans
  • a good glug of olive oil
  • avocado (most assuredly not optional, ha!)
  • two heaping spoonfuls of tahini paste (mine is unsalted)
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • approx. 1 tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos (or soy sauce), to taste

Chop all yo’ veggies. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and when hot, toss in veggies, mixt greens, dandelion, and white beans. Sauté until veggies are fork tender, then turn heat to low. Add tahini, ginger, and Bragg’s, and stir until the tahini starts to get a little more liquidy, and the sauce distributes evenly. Serve in bowls, topped with avocado and chia seeds (optional, unless you’re me). Excellent warm… but also good cold as leftovers!

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Eggy Pumpkin Mess…?

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Hellooo, I’m back! I know you mega missed me appearing in your inbox, right?

But guess what?! I have something *besides* cookies today! … WHAT. I think the world might have just shaken on its axis a bit. But seriously. Savories!! What a concept. I know I’ve told y’all numerous times about the copious amount of veggies I consume on a daily basis, but I know your types… you require visual proof, no? So… here it is! Veggies. Straight to your inbox, you’re welcome.

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These are two dishes that I’ve made in the last week—I often favor new and quite possibly very strange combinations of food (I wouldn’t want life to get boring, would I?!), and these definitely fall into the first category. Both were surprisingly delicious and supremely good for you. I’m posting one, but the other needs a bit of tweaking until it’s perfect, so you get a picture but you’ll have to wait juuuust a bit on the recipe (trust me, it will be worth the wait).

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this is the one you get later!

The one I’m sharing today is rather like my thought process incarnate… something like this: “Pumpkin and ginger go well together… ooh wait, I could add Bragg’s! And then eat it over sautéed veggies… mmm veggies… oh wait but coconut!! How can I put coconut in there? And I think I need some good solid protein today, so eggs. But eggs… and pumpkin? And coconut? This could be weird. But it could also be delicious… so I’m going to go with delicious and just hope it’s awesome..” And it was. Ohhhh goodness was it delicious.

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this is the one you get now!

I made a single portion so that in case it was terrible, so that I wouldn’t subject my parents to it (aren’t I nice?!) but then they kind of missed out because it was delicious. Oops. Rats, I suppose I’ll just have to make it again…

(And just in case everyone thinks I’ve gone completely crazy, I *did* make cookies after work today… you’ll get them later!)

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Coconut Pumpkin Sauce with Sautéed Veggies and Egg

Definitely thought about calling this one Eggy Pumpkin Mess (which is how it manifested itself in my brain), but I decided to be a little bit more gastronomically appealing. Call it what you want, it’s definitely delicious. And good for you! Pumpkin: beta carotene and Vitamin A; veggies: um. they’re veggies!; coconut: good fats from medium chain fatty acids; ginger: anti-inflammatory; and eggs: well, eggs are just delicious. AND good protein.
The recipe is my own! Feel free to tweak it according to your tastes and contents of your refrigerator… Serves…1! Easily doubled, or tripled.

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, unrefined
  • 1/2 zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 of a bag (ish) of mixed greens (mine were TJ’s kale, chard, and spinach)
  • 1/4 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4-1/3 c light coconut milk (Canned)
  • Bragg’s liquid aminos (or soy sauce), to taste—I likely used about a 1/2 tbsp
  • 1 egg+1 egg white
  • unsweetened shredded coconut, for garnish

Firstly: heat coconut oil in a skillet. Toss in veggies and greens, and sauté until fork tender. While the veggies are sautéing, combine pumpkin, grated ginger, Bragg’s, and coconut milk in a small bowl. Once veggies have cooked close to your liking, add in pumpkin sauce. Let cook a few minutes, then push over to one side of the pan. Into the empty side of the skillet, pour in your eggs. Let them cook, scraping the bottom to scramble them. Start incorporating the pumpkin sauce into the scrambling eggs as they cook. When the eggs are done, scoop everything into a bowl (I like shallow ones so that I can see how pretty everything is!). Top with a bit more Bragg’s and shredded coconut, if desired (but highly recommended…).

Eat! Love love love.

mo' veggies!!

mo’ veggies!!

Life is too short for undelicious food

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Lazy girl’s idea of a meal, right here. In a HUGE bowl. I like to eat out of massive bowls sometimes, just for fun…. and then besides, when I make something in a huge bowl and then eat out of it, there’s less washing! See? Lazy.

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But also delicious. Because even when I’m being lazy I still want delicious (and obviously good for me) food. Duhhh. You invisible internet friends have known me long enough by now to know that life is too short for blah and undelicious food. Right? Right.

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Anyway. This is  a textbook example of my random thought process when cooking: “hmm.. I’m closing tonight. Need dinner. Have chunk of time in the middle of the day after lifting… hmmm… I’ll make cookies! Raw date newton bites, those are happening… need more dates… oh wait. Cookies aren’t dinner. Almond butter is dinner! Noodles. Soba. Veggies! Lots of veggies. Random tupperware in the fridge has beans.. corn.. chicken… sweet potatoes. Oooooh. They are ALL going in the bowl… oh wait. I’m HUNGRY! It’s lunch. These noodles are delicious, maybe I should just eat them… Waaaiiittt… this was supposed to be dinner!” *in the middle of a bite out of bowl* *slowly puts fork back down* … “fine. eggs. eggs are lunch. noodles are dinner…… is it dinner yet??” Oi. Sometimes I think my brain has a life of its own. Wait. I KNOW it does, otherwise how would it come up with some of this stuff?! Like putting spinach in way more places than it rightfully should go.

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Mmm. I just ate the leftovers for lunch. Out of a MASSIVE bowl. What an inspired idea…

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Lazy Girl Almond Butter Noodles

This is a riff on an earlier recipe I had on here—the peanut noodles, remember? Anyway, I’ve been off all things peanut for a while now, so almond butter has become my nut butter of choice (again). I love these because they’re a) delicious, b) come together in a SNAP (probably takes 15 minutes, start to finish), and c) suuuuper adaptable. Have leftover chicken or black beans in the fridge? Use them. Weird bits of veggies? Yup, those too. Anything and everything. Out of soba? Use whole wheat spaghetti. It’s delicious however you do it… but I’ll provide the framework for last night’s particularly delicious version. Recipe from… me! Serves 3… ish. With leftovers.

Gluten Free with gf soba noodles, vegetarian or vegan without chicken. Ginger: anti inflammatory and warming, among other amazing things. Soba: buckwheat, a whole grain. Almonds: healthy fats! Veggies: umm.. need I explain this?!

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  • Two heaping spoonfuls of almond butter (as in, your spoon runneth over)
  • about 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos (my version of low sodium soy sauce), with some extra to drizzle to taste
  • 2 bundles of organic soba noodles
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 bag of TJ’s power to the greens (spinach, kale, chard, lots of delicious things)
  • 1/2 box of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 sweet potato, sliced and microwaved until soft
  • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 c corn, defrosted
  • leftover chicken, sliced

Firstly, raid fridge. Find all the odds and ends you want to use and assemble them on the counter.

I always slice the veggies first, since it takes the longest. This time, I steamed sliced zucchini, greens, and mushrooms. While the veggies are steaming, start yo’ noodles! Soba noodles cook quickly—after the water comes to a boil, time them for exactly 4 minutes. Once they’re done, drain and rinse them immediately to remove the starch (otherwise they get ruuuul clumpy). In a small separate bowl, stir almond butter, ginger, and bragg’s together. Add a bit of warm water to thin it out—it’ll look weird at first but keep stirring until smooth!

Grab a mega mixing bowl. When noodles and veggies are done, toss them in, followed by an odds and ends from the fridge (corn, beans, chicken, whatever). I like to try to time it so that the sauce goes over warm veggies or noodles, since it helps melt it a bit and distribute evenly. Toss sauce with the contents of the bowl until evenly coated. I usually end up adding a bit more bragg’s to taste towards the end.

Eat. Love your food that loves your body back!

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Sassy savories and other unphotogenic food items

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carpet picnic!

Woah woah woah.

Two savory posts in a row? Is she sick?

..

Nahh. Just inspired! You see… I do make savory food hugely often. Like, my mother says it’s impossible to keep me in vegetables. As in… I eat. Them. ALL. Alllll the time! (And applesauce, that too). Except that usually by dinner time, I have no interest in photographing my food because a) I’m hungry and b) by the time I’m finished photographing it’ll be cold and c) I’m lazy and d) … okay never mind there was no d. Whatever, suffice it to say this is the main list of reasons why I never get around to photographing savory dinners. Also because savory stuff can be kind of uncooperative on the photography front sometimes…. like it’s delicious but it’s freaking ugly. Or it sasses me and gets all unphotogenic when I think it’s going to cooperate. I hate when that happens! No one wants to look at ugly food, right?!

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Anyway… but this time things cooperated! Ish. And I’ve been keeping myself fully stocked in cookies, just so you know (I wouldn’t want you to get concerned, or anything). Besides, I need snacks for after my bodyrock and lifting sessions, durrrr. Sore and shaky definitely qualifies for a snack of a healthy cookie and kombucha…

This dish was a bit of an experiment, which happily turned out well. Gotta love that. It’s easy and comes together in a snap with pantry staples, which is also excellent. ANNDD I invented it! So you should doubly love it and go running to your kitchen, obviously.

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Salmon Primavera with Polenta

Recipe from.. me! The polenta is my favorite recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook. The rest was inspired by the can of salmon lurking in the pantry. Serves 3, with a teeny bit of leftovers (though this does make enough polenta for another serving, there isn’t as much topping left).

  • 1.5  c polenta
  • 5 c water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 can of salmon, flaked and deboned (if necessary)
  • 1 zucchini, grated*
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 box of mushrooms (7-8ish), sliced
  • 3/4 c frozen peas, thawed
  • a good handful of fresh spinach
  • marjoram, basil, salt and pepper to taste**
  • grated parmesan, to garnish

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*I used whatever veggies we had, but any would be good. I like the sweetness of peas with salmon though, so try to have those at least (unless you hate them, of course)

**we grow fresh marjoram, so I used a few sprigs, and 2 frozen basil cubes. I salted the salmon a bit before use and then tossed in a bit later, and as for pepper, don’t use my family as an example as we’re pepper-nuts (read: we use an excessive amount on everything). Do what suits you!

In a saucepan, heat 4 cups of water to a a boil. Combine the polenta and salt with the other cup of water, stirring slightly (this prevents lumps). Once the water boils, toss in polenta and whisk constantly until the polenta thickens (for me, 11-12 minutes as I use a quicker cooking, not instant, polenta). Once thick (and you’ll know, as your arm will be about to fall off), remove from heat and stir in about a tablespoon of olive oil.

In a saute pan, heat a good glug of olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add marjoram and basil, followed by grated zucchini, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Saute until veggies are fork tender and the mushrooms have released some juices. Toss in spinach, peas, and flaked salmon and saute a few minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve over hot polenta with plenty of cheese (obvs)!

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