Cooking Club: Week 56


Hugh and I have this word we use when someone does a lot of things well, maybe its our own flirty way of complimenting each other, but we call them a “wonder poodle.” I actually have no idea of its origins, but you can borrow it because it is funny and light and flirty and who doesn’t need more of that? Aran Goyoaga is a friend and wonder poodle. She wrote, styled and photographed a gorgeous new cookbook, Cannelle et Vanille, that comes out this coming Tuesday. I received an advance copy and you guys, it is gorgeous AND practical. Sometimes gorgeous cookbooks are not practical, but this one is, and I wouldn’t recommend it to you all otherwise. Aran does cook gluten-free, but the book is for everyone. Truly. I dog-earred so many recipes, but chose these four below for us to cook through next week. It is so nice to take someone elses’ lead with dinner plans, and I trust us all in Aran’s hands. I have tinkered a few tiny things so they aligned with how we’ve been cooking in SKCC, but otherwise, all recipes are from her book.

Hope you enjoy and don’t hesitate with questions. It’s on the calendar to deliver a meal to some friends with a new baby this week, and I think the ragu is an awesome meal to reheat. I’m planning to do a short IG live every monday so meet me there and let’s be friends. Have a good one!

1-hr. Prep

Make the red lentil hummus from #1

Make the chocolate hazelnut spread #4

Start the beef ragu #3


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.

Your List i

roasted carrots w/ red lentil hummus braised beef ragu crispy chickpea bowls w/ rice, sweet potato & avocado chocolate hazelnut butter



Meat + Dairy

recipe 01: roasted carrots w/ red lentil hummus

serves 4

This dish can be a side as part of a larger spread, but I find it to be delicious and filing as a vegetarian entree as well. I put out some toasty bread and lots of greens on the side and love these ingredients together. If you are the sort that needs an animal protein, anything simple you can put on the grill - maybe a hanger steak or fish or chicken (always pound them thin!).

Red lentils are quick cooking and full of fiber - they sell them at most markets, and in many bulk sections. 


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The hummus can be made a few days in advance. You can loosen it by bringing it to room temperature and stirring with a bit of warm water.

Use it twice: The hummus is great as a dip for crackers and crudité or to put in with kids’ lunches.

Kid Friendly: I cut the carrots into smaller pieces for them.

Carnivore Addition: Hugh is generally the one requesting proteins on our veg meals, but I am going to argue that I really believe this one is plenty filing on its own - especially if you garnish generously with greens and maybe have some toasty bread on the side. If you’re up for roasting a whole chicken, that could go alongside well here, or there are more suggestions in the headnote.


for the HUMMUS

1 cup red lentils
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 cup tahini
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Dash of cumin

for the CARROTS

1 lb. baby carrots (if larger, halve the super thick ones)
1/2 a medium red onion, cut in wedges
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. sumac (optional)
1 tsp. Kosher salt
Fresh black pepper


Micro greens
1/2 cup pine nuts


Preheat the oven to 425’.

For the hummus, rinse the lentils in a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear. Transfer them to a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water and bring them to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 10-15 minutes until tender. This can be done a few days in advance. 

Transfer the lentils to a food processor along with a splash of water and the garlic, and process until smooth. Scrape the sides down, and add the tahini, salt and pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, dash of cumin and process another few minutes. Add another splash of water to loosen the hummus, taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer the hummus to a clean bowl or storage container and drizzle the top with olive oil. It is best at room temperature, so set aside if using for dinner.

While the lentils are cooking, start your carrots. Clean and trim the carrots and cut any thick ones in halve. Toss the carrots and onions in the olive oil, coriander, sumac, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Make sure everything is coated. Roast on the middle rack for 25 minutes, until caramelized and tender. 

Toast the pine nuts in a saucepan over medium until fragrant and golden. 

Serve the plates with a generous swoop of the hummus, top with roasted carrots and onions, and spoon some of the spiced oil from the roasting pan over the top. 

Garnish with micro greens or herbs and the pine nuts.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    50 g
  • carbs i
    50 g
  • protein
    19 g

recipe 02: braised beef ragu

serves 6

If you prep on Sundays, this would be great to have finished as it is mostly hands off time. Aran serves her sauce with tagliatelle, but we had some polenta I had frozen from the mexi bowls a few weeks ago so I warmed that up with a pat of butter and sprinkle of parmesan. As stews and soups go, the ragu is better the next day, so I will prepare it as I’m making another meal and have it ready for the next day.

For those of you who like to book mark meals that are good to deliver to other people, or freeze, this is a good one. It makes a decent amount of sauce, so we for sure got two meals out of this. 


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The sauce is best made a day in advance and re-heated the next day when all of the flavors settle into each other. I just pop the entire Dutch oven in the fridge.

Use it Twice: Use half for dinner and freeze the other half. Or invite friends!

Kid friendly: Mine do not love tomato-based things, but they love meat, so I just let the liquid drain away from the meat.

Veg Swap: Here is a is a recipe for a veg Bolognese I wrote a few years ago.


2 lbs. boneless beef chuck, cut into 2” cubes
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, small dice
1 stalk celery, small dice
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
Dash of red pepper flakes
1 28-oz. can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
2 cups red wine, something you want to drink

Grated parmesan, for garnish
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Pasta or polenta, for serving


Preheat the oven to 275’.

Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Season the beef on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in large Dutch-oven over medium high heat. Add the beef without crowding the pan - cook in batches if necessary. Let the beef caramelize, then transfer to a large plate. 

Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, rosemary and a few pinches of salt to the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the tomatoes, wine and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the beef back to the pot and stir.

Cover the pot and place it in the oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours, or until the meat is falling apart. Discard the thyme and rosemary springs. Shred the beef with forks and keep it warm in the sauce. If you make this in advance, just pop the whole pot in the fridge overnight, and rewarm it over low the next day. I like the cool rest because I can skim the fat layer off the top. 

Cook your polenta with 3:1 ratio of water to polenta and stir in a dollop of butter and parmesan at the end. Or as written, cook pasta until al dente, reserving some of the pasta water in case you need to loosen the sauce. Stir the pasta into the warm sauce and serve immediately. Garnish with parm and parsley.

Leftovers will keep for a week or once cooled, put it in plastic bags and store in the freezer. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    10 g
  • carbs i
    15 g
  • protein
    36 g

recipe 03: crispy chickpeas w/ rice, sweet potatoes & avocado

serves 6

I love that this meal can feed all kinds of eaters - you can add meat or maybe some crumbled cheese. My kids love all these ingredients spare the lettuce in its natural state, so I chop it up and stir it into the rice. 


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The rice can be cooked in advance. The dressing is quick, but it can also be made in advance.

Use it Twice: I use leftover rice and cooked sweet potatoes in vegetarian burritos for the kids with some refried beans, cheese and cilantro. Or I use both in homemade veggie patties.

Kid Friendly: All family-friendly, but I chopped some greens small and stirred them into the rice so they wilt a little bit.

Carnivore Addition: Easily goes with grilled sausages, chicken, steaks…


1 cup brown rice, rinsed
2 cups water
Salt and pepper
1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp. flaky sea salt
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” rounds
1 bundle broccolini or 12 oz. brussels sprouts
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
Fresh ground pepper

for the DRESSING

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. Maple syrup
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 cups peppery greens such as arugula, watercress, baby kale
2 avocados, pitted and quartered


Preheat the oven to 375’.

Combine the rice, water and 1/2 tsp. sea salt and pepper. (I add a dash of oil to the pot, keeps the water from bubbling over). Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. When it starts to bubble, turn the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice is tender. About 30 minutes. Fluff the rice and set it aside until the rest is ready. 

Pat the chickpea dry and toss them with 1 Tbsp. of the oil and 1 tsp. salt on the baking sheet. Roast them in the oven to 30 minutes. 

On another sheet, toss the sweet potatoes and broccolini (or brussels) with 3 Tbsp. of the olive oil, tsp. of salt, thyme, cumin, paprika and toss everything to coat. Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes as well. Keep the chickpeas on the bottom rack so the steam doesn’t rise from the vegetables. 

In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil, vinegar, maple, and mustard. Add the greens and toss to coat. 

Into your bowls, distribute portions of the rice, vegetables, greens, avocado and serve immediately. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    40 g
  • carbs i
    88 g
  • protein
    16 g

recipe 04: chocolate-hazelnut butter

Serves 6

I am obsessed with the chocolate hazelnut combination - it’s just the best. Of course it is delicious on toast, but the kids and I swipe it on slices of banana after school. The photo just shows it on the spoonful because that is how most of it got consumed.


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The hazelnuts can be toasted and skins peeled in advance. The butter will keep 2 weeks at room temperature.


2 cups raw hazelnuts
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp. warmed coconut oil
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. flaky sea salt


Preheat the oven to 300’. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until fragrant. Let them cool, transfer them to a dish towel and rub them together to peel off the skins. It’s ok if you don’t remove them completely but try to get most off. 

Transfer the hazelnuts to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Stop to scrape the sides a few times. It will take a few minutes to completely pulverize the hazelnuts. 

Meanwhile, bring a small pot with two inches of water to a simmer. Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and position it over the top of the simmering water. Reduce the heat to low and melt the chocolate, making sure no water gets into the bowl. Add the melted chocolate to the nut butter and process until smooth. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and salt and pulse a few more times to combine. 

Transfer the butter to a jar with a lid and store at room temperature for 2 weeks, or in the fridge for a month. It will harden when refrigerated, so bring it to room temperature before using. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    36 g
  • carbs i
    19 g
  • protein
    7 g