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I am assuming you have sea salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and a higher heat oil, such as avocado oil or coconut oil. Check your stock on these before you head to the market, and check off any other items you may already have. As you continue to use these recipes, you will see repetition of my favorite ingredients. For example, while real maple and pine nuts are pricey pantry staples, they won’t sit in the pantry, you’ll use them in upcoming weeks. Use bulk bins at your local health food store to buy in smaller quantities if you prefer.
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MEAT AND DAIRY
recipe 01: carrot and red lentil dal
Adapted from Anna Jones
Dal (dhal, daal) is an Indian dish, a soup or stew typically made with split pulses or lentils. It is traditionally heavily spiced and I toned that down a bit here to keep it more kid-friendly.
More jalapeño…sorry! If you’re feeding kids and this sounds spicy, just grate in the bottom half of the chile (the seeds, where the spice is, are more dense at the top). There is something so simple and warming about bowls of this goodness.
I added the yogurt and cilantro to the grocery list, listed as garnishes. Add the coconut or ingredients for pickled onions if you wish.
Tips of The Week
make ahead: the whole soup can be made up to three days in advance, and rewarmed when ready to serve. You may need to loosen it with a splash of broth or water as it will firm up as it rests.
kidfriendly: for our family, this is mildly spiced (as long as I don’t have a crazy jalapeño) and permissible by my kids’ standards. You could pull back even more if you have picky eaters.
Dairy Free: use a plain, coconut based yogurt.
for the dal
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 cloves garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 chile (jalapeño is my go-to, go spicier if you wish)
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. sea salt, more to taste
fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. cumin seeds (or a bit less ground cumin)
1 cup split red lentils
1 qt. vegetable broth
1 cup canned coconut milk
2 large carrots
Two big handfuls of baby spinach, optional
2 limes, to finish, plus more for serving
plain yogurt, toasted coconut, pickled onions, cilantro
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Grate the garlic, ginger, jalapeño into the pan and sautè for just a minute until fragrant. Add the onion, 1/2 tsp. Of the salt, pepper and sautè another few minutes until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining salt, coriander, turmeric, curry powder, cumin and stir to mix. Add the lentils, broth and bring it up to a boil, then down to a simmer. Leave the cover on ajar and let everything cook for about 25 minutes.
While it cooks, peel and coarsely grate your carrots. Add them to the pot along with the coconut milk. Simmer until everything is soft and stewy, another 15-ish minutes. Turn off the heat and adjust seasoning to taste. It probably needs salt, soup loves salt. Stir in the spinach, if using, and squeeze in the juice of the limes. Stir and let it cool slightly.
Arrange your bowls with a portion of the dal, some rice, yogurt, cilantro, more lime and whatever toppings you wish. I like a little crunch from toasted coconut and pickled onions, but it can absolutely go without.
per serving of dal
recipe 02: miso cod with rice + sesame green bean
This marinade originally reigns from Chef Nobu. He leaves his on for 3-4 days, but I found that 1-2 still delivered great flavor if you don’t plan that far in advance. While this will look like a lot of marinade, the fish gets a generous bath in it, and then excess wiped off before a quick broil in the oven.
You can find mirin, a subtly sweet rice wine, in the international section of larger grocery stores, or at well stocked Whole Foods or Sprouts. Same goes for miso paste, which you will find in the refrigerated section, likely near the tofu, or other fermented condiments.
- The fish needs to marinate 1-2 nights in the fridge.
- If you can't find good quality cod, you can check Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch for a sustainable alternative.
- If you'd rather go without fish, tofu will take this marinade and preperation well, too.
Tips of The Week
make ahead: you have to think ahead on this one because it needs at least a day to marinate, ideally two, three is good as well. The marinade can be made in advance, but at that point, you mind as well just start marinating. The rice can be made in advance, and rewarmed as needed. The green beans can be blanched, chilled and stored covered in the fridge, and then sautéed when you’re ready to cook the fish.
gluten free: replace the soy sauce with tamari. There is gluten free miso, just check the label.
low carb: replace the rice with cauliflower rice.
1 1/2 lbs. skinless, black cod filets
for the miso marinade
1/4 cup dry sake
1/4 cup mirin
1/3 cup white or yellow miso
1/4 cup sugar
for the green beans
12 oz. haricot vert (skinny green beans)
Generous drizzle of avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp. soy sauce
pinch of sugar
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1-2 days in advance
In a small pot, gently boil the sake and mirin until reduced by 1/3. Turn the heat down and add the miso and sugar. Cook it for 2-3 minutes for the sugar to dissolve, stirring occasionally to be sure nothing burns to the bottom. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Cut the cod into four portion and place them on a rimmed baking dish or tray. Generously paint the marinade on all sides of the fish. It can be thick and gloppy, we’re going to wipe some off before cooking. Cover and leave it in the fridge to marinate for one or two days (if you remember, spoon some over the top as a lot of it will fall off the sides.
day of cooking
Prepare your rice. Bring the fish out to room temperature. Prepare a large pot of salted, boiling water, and a big bowl full of ice water along side. Blanch the haricot vert - one minute in the boiling water, then plunge them into an ice bath to stop the cooking, and set them aside to drain completely. This can be done a day in advance as well.
In a large sautè pan, warm the oil over medium high heat. Add the (dry) green beans, a pinch of salt and saute for 2 minutes until crisped and tender. Whisk the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and another pinch of salt together.
Turn off the heat. Add the vinegar mixture and toss to coat. Add the sesame seeds and give them another toss.
Set the oven to 500’. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the fish from the marinade bath and let the excess drip off, use your clean hand to wipe some off so it’s not dripping all over. Place them all on the prepared sheet. Bake the fish in the upper third of the oven. Doneness will depend on the thickness of the fish, but it should be browned on the edges and still feel a little tender in the center, as it will continue to cook as it rests. I would guess about 8-10 minutes is the average, up to 15 if it’s a really thick piece.
Plate each dish with a portion of rice, some of the green beans and a piece of the miso cod. Garnish with micro greens if you’d like.
per serving (without rice)
recipe 03: Vegetarian Black Bean Burritos
The good thing about these easy components, if that they leave room for you to make them into bowls or salads, if preferred. I like cooked whole black beans for those, but for burritos, we generally like to smash them up a bit to give a refried-ish texture so they stay in the burrito better.
I buy the organic olive oil tortillas from Trader Joes. They stay pliable and have some whole grains in there. Of course a burrito sized tortilla will hold more goodies, and wrap easier, but I find that makes far too much food. I have tried the Ezekial/Food for life ones and they are just so dry and if you’ve ever had a brown rice tortilla, you know they bode better as a quesadilla or giant taco than a burrito, due to the lack of pliable glutens. Anyway, tortilla minutia, if you prefer a bowl or a salad, add rice or greens to your grocery list.
If you’re feeling extra credit-ish, make the avocado sauce from the salmon tacos last week in place of the plain avocado here. You should be able to access week ten on the top navigation of recipes.
Tips of The Week
make ahead: the beans and sautéed vegetables can be made in advance and warmed as needed.
use it twice: mexi burritos and bowls are so quick to pull together if you have the components made. Keep beans, fajita vegetables, and smashed avo on hand for another quick lunch or dinner the next day. Also, so many of you have mentioned that you love enchiladas. These same bits can be rolled into warmed corn tortillas (spare the avocado), bathed in enchilada sauce, shredded cheese on top and baked for 20 minutes.
carnivore addition: make some shredded chicken by braising a bunch of chicken thighs in salsa for about 45-60 minutes. Shred that up and keep it on hand for burritos and bowls. They are also great for breakfast with scrambled eggs.
dairy free: skip the cheese and sour cream, use more avocado.
low carb: skip the tortilla and serve with cauliflower rice or dressed greens.
2 tsp. avocado oil, or other neutral oil
1 small red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 tsp. taco seasoning
2 cups cooked black beans
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 large garlic clove
splash of broth or water
Juice of one lime
1 cup chopped cilantro
shredded cabbage, optional
1/2 cup shredded cheese of choice, Mexican blend or goat cheese
salsa, hot sauce, sour cream
In a large sautè pan, warm the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, bell peppers and sautè a few minutes until softened. Sprinkle on the taco seasoning, sautè again, turn off the heat and set aside.
Warm the beans. Stir in the cumin and grate in the garlic clove so they have a bit of flavor. Salt if necessary, you generally don’t need to with canned beans which are salted unless noted. Add a splash of broth or water and mash some with a potato masher to create a half refried sort of texture. This helps them stay in the burritos better.
Smash up the avocado flesh with a pinch of salt and the lime juice. Set out your cilantro and cheese.
Warm the tortillas over the flame on your stove or in a pan. Spread a portion of sour cream, if using, a sprinkle of cheese, a scoop of beans, fajita vegetables, avocado, cabbage, if using, and a good portion of the cilantro. Tuck in the ends and roll it tightly.
recipe 04: berry oat breakfast smoothies
If you can remember, soak the oats in almond milk overnight, so they blend in easier. You could forgo the banana if you are trying to reduce the sugar here, but I do find it important for a creamier texture, so I always include it. Especially for the kids.
The spinach should blend easily with a high speed blender, just keep blending until you don’t see the green bits anymore.
Tips of The Week
make ahead: soak your oats the night prior. Some people are into smoothie prep where you just freeze everything (besides the milk) together in bags and dump it in the blender in the morning.
1/4 cup oats
1 cup frozen, mixed berries
1 medium banana, preferably ripe and cold
1 big handful of baby spinach or romaine
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or whatever milk you drink)
2 spoonfuls almond or cashew butter
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 tsp. flaxmeal
Into a blender, combine the soaked oats, berries, banana, spinach, almond milk, nut butter, protein powder and flaxmeal. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.