Cooking Club: Week Three


Here we go with week three. Thanks for cooking along with us. I am loving seeing your photos and hearing your feedback. The markets are filling up with squash and the recipes here will start reflecting fall soon, so get those tomatoes while you can! Local friends, you must check out South Coast Farms down in San Juan Capistrano when you make the tomato soup. They still have tomatoes and they are SO good.

I have gotten many emails about the recipes from WEEK ONE. If you are an active member and want to keep those recipes, you either need to bookmark them on your computer (which will work as long as you are an active member) print them or save them as a pdf. As a respect to people who are paying for the content from a certain date, versus new members, we will not be showing an archive of all recipes. You will see two weeks at a time and then they will disappear as the next week comes up. Please print, save or bookmark recipes if you’d like to keep them. Thank you!



- Cooking Club Gift Subscriptions are now available in the Shop! Share the SKCC love!
- Be sure to follow the new Cooking Club Instagram account. We will be sharing a few stories and videos while cooking from this week's plan. Please tag us if you post any photos and use the hashtag #skcookingclub so we can see each others meals!


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




recipe 01: roasted tomato & red pepper soup

serves 4

I tend to overbuy beautiful market tomatoes, and no one else in my family enjoys them raw. Here, we are roasting them, to concentrate their flavor. This is an original blog and cookbook recipe, and I tinkered with it to make it dairy free by using soaked cashews over the cream for those who need that. Both are listed below and in the grocery list, so toggle off your check mark as needed. You can go either way. I like to buy tomato paste in the squeeze tube - a little more up front cost but it is cleaner and easier to store in the fridge to use as needed instead of that crusty tin.


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: roast the vegetables the morning of to make quick work of the soup come dinner time. The croutons can be made a day in advance and kept in an air tight container.

Use It Twice: the soup makes a great base to add some quick turkey meatballs to (homemade or store-bought) and then topped with fresh basil and parmesan.

Kid Friendly: not that my kids would turn down a crouton, but they prefer a grilled cheese. I add a layer of baby spinach in with the cheese, cut the sandwich into small squares, and give them a toothpick to make it more fun.

Gluten Free: use gluten free bread for the croutons.

Dairy Free: in place of the cream, use 1/3 cup cashews that have been soaked in water for a few hours, or as long as overnight.

Low Carb: skip the croutons and top your soup with some simple mills almond meal crackers.

Extra Credit: make twice as much as you need and freeze some for the winter months when good tomatoes are no longer available. Or better yet, deliver some to a friend who could use a thoughtful gesture.



For the Soup

1.5 lbs. tomatoes
1 red or orange bell pepper, halved and cored
1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves peeled garlic
1 Tbsp. avocado or extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper
3-4 cups low sodium broth (vegetable or chicken)
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/3 cup cream or soaked cashews
nub of butter, optional

For the croutons

3 cups torn bread (preferably day old country loaf, sourdough or similar, crusts removed for a more tender mouth-feel)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt, to taste
1/2 tsp. dried oregano or Italian seasoning

For Garnish

fresh basil
grated parmesan


Preheat the oven to 375’ and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Halve or quarter the tomatoes depending on size, it will turn out fine either way. Collect them on the baking sheet along with the bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Toss them in oil and a generous season of salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes and remove to cool. 

While the vegetables roast, prepare your croutons. Toss the bread in the olive oil, salt, and dried oregano and spread them on a baking sheet. Turn the oven up to 400’. Put the croutons on the middle rack to bake for about 15 minutes. Remove to cool. 

Transfer the vegetables into a large pot or dutch oven over medium low heat. Add the broth (starting with 3 cups, you can always add after blending), tomato paste and let it simmer for a few minutes. Add in the cream or cashews and blend the soup until smooth. Working in batches if necessary. You can alternatively do this in a blender, in batches if needed, though in that case, make sure the soup is not piping hot. Stir in a small nub of butter, if using. 

Serve warm bowls of soup with a generous handful of croutons on top and a sprinkling of parmesan and fresh herbs. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    20 g
  • carbs i
    30 g
  • protein
    6 g

recipe 02: soba noodle salad

serves 4

My favorite tool for shreddy salads like this is this mandolin, or the slicer blade on a food processor. If you need to save time, most markets sell a prepared bag of shredded cabbage and carrots that can sub in perfectly here. Leftovers are great for lunch the next day, just reheat with a splash of water to loosen the sauce.


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: the peanut sauce can be made up to a week in advance. All the veggies can be chopped and kept covered in the fridge a day in advance.

Use It Twice: I’ll use this peanut sauce as a sandwich spread. A bunch of shredded carrots, red onions and cucumbers, soaked in vinegar, along with fresh cilantro, chicken or tofu, and a thick slather of peanut sauce on a soft roll. You can sub greens for the bread for a salad version. Double the sauce - works great as a bowl sauce, spread or salad dressing.

Kid Friendly: this is a solid vegetable to noodle ratio. I usually double the noodles for the kids.

Gluten Free: only select brands of soba noodles are gluten free. Look at the label to be sure they are 100% buckwheat flour (which is gluten free). A vermicelli or brown rice spaghetti noodle works great too

Low Carb: sub in zucchini noodles for the soba noodles or a quick sautéed cauliflower rice.

Extra Credit: if you want protein here, add grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon or sautéed tofu.



For the Salad

1/2 lb. (8 ounces) soba or spaghetti noodles
2 packed cups shredded cabbage, red or green
1 carrot, grated
1 red bell pepper, julienned
4 green onions, white and light green parts, chopped thin
1 large bundle of cilantro, chopped

For the Peanut Dressing

3 Tbsp. natural creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp. avocado or other neutral oil
2 Tbsp. water, as needed
Juice of one lime
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 grated garlic cloves
2 tsp. sriracha
pinch of sea salt and pepper

For garnish

toasted sesame seeds


In a bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, avocado oil, water, lime juice, rice vinegar, tamari/soy sauce, maple, garlic, sriracha, a pinch of salt and pepper and mix until smooth.

Cook noodles according to instructions. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, red pepper, green onions and half of the cilantro.

Add the cooled noodles, desired amount of dressing and toss everything together to mix. Taste and adjust as needed. Garnish with more cilantro and a generous amount of sesame seeds.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat
    10 g
  • carbs
    58 g
  • protein
    13 g

recipe 03: grilled corn, tomato & fontina pizza
with arugula and fennel salad

Makes 2 medium Pizzas

Crowd pleaser! Kid friendly! I linked to my dough recipe below, which requires a bit of planning ahead. I am not partial to the dough balls at Trader Joes, as they seem difficult to get thin, so try asking your local pizza shop instead.


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: make the salad dressing and/or grill or broil the corn and tomatoes up to three days in advance.

Use It Twice: make extra grilled corn and tomatoes to turn into an entree salad with arugula, vinaigrette and some simple grilled steak or salmon. Triple up the salad dressing so it’s on hand. Also, if you have extra pizza crust, my kids love it with a swipe of salted butter, maple, sprinkle of cinnamon and baked in the oven until browned on the top.

Kid Friendly: it’s pizza for heavens sake! But really, my kids aren’t into tomatoes, so I leave those off theirs.

Gluten Free: use a gluten free crust. They sell cauliflower or rice flour based ones in the frozen section at both Trader Joes and Whole Foods.

Dairy Free: use a dairy free cheese.

Low Carb: use a cauliflower based pizza crust (although these crusts can still be pretty carb heavy, so check their nutrition info) or make the salad mentioned in the above note.

Extra Credit: make your own dough! I have a recipe here, that is best 24 to 48-hours later, so if you’re a Sunday prep person, go for it.


For the pizzas

1/2 pint baby tomatoes
2 ears of corn, shucked
avocado or olive oil
20 oz. pizza dough (give or take), room temperature
1/2 cup pizza sauce or your favorite tomato sauce
1 cup grated fontina cheese or goats milk gouda
sea salt
1/4 cup grated parmesan, for finishing
fresh basil and chives, chopped, for finishing

semolina or cornmeal, for cooking
red pepper flakes, optional

For the salad

1 large fennel bulb, shaved thin
2 cups arugula
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

For the dressing

maple mustard vinaigrette
1 tsp. maple
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper



Prepare your grill to medium high heat, or your oven on as hot as it will go.

Lightly oil the corn and tomatoes. Thread the tomatoes on a skewer. Grill the vegetables for 5-7 minutes, rotating halfway through to get some dark marks. Alternatively, if using the oven for the pizza, roast the tomatoes and corn in there for 7 minutes on its hottest setting. Set aside to cool to the touch.

Cut the corn away from the cob and set it aside for pizza decorating. 

Get all your toppings ready. Preheat a pizza stone if you have it, either on your grill or in the upper third of the oven.

Prepare your salad ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the shaved fennel, arugula, golden raisins and pine nuts. Whisk the dressing ingredients together (or shake them up in a jar). 

On a lightly floured surface, press your dough out into a 10” circle, thin if you can, being careful to leave a 1” outer rim untouched. If you have a pizza peel, sprinkle the semolina or cornmeal on the bottom and then transfer the dough on there, pushing it back into its circle shape. If, like me, you are not fancy, you can do this on a cookie sheet. Spread a thin layer of sauce, a sprinkle of the fontina, a gentle handful of the tomatoes and corn, a little more cheese and a sprinkle of salt. 

Bake for about 6-8 minutes until the edges are golden and charred in parts. Remove to cool for one minute. Sprinkle a bit of the parmesan and a generous handful of the basil and chives. Slice and serve.

Nutrition Information

per slice of pizza

  • calories
  • fat
    13 g
  • carbs
    23 g
  • protein
    4 g

recipe 04: one-bowl carrot date muffins

makes 8-12 standard muffins

These are muffins that do not taste like cake, just so you’re warned. They are half-gluten free as written. The almond flour helps with a tender crumb and is found at most grocery stores these days. Sub the all purpose flour for a gluten free all purpose or super fine brown rice flour, if you need these completely gluten free.

You can make a plant milk buttermilk substitute here by using 1/3 cup plant milk plus 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice or cider vinegar. Dates are sticky, I chill them in the fridge then cut them up with kitchen scissors. 


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: these will keep covered at room temp for three days, longer in the fridge. Make them over the weekend and give yourself a nice little snack with your morning cup of coffee.

Gluten Free: As mentioned, these are halfway there, but if you need these completely gluten free, sub the all purpose flour for a gluten free all purpose or super fine brown rice flour.


1/3 cup avocado oil or other neutral oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk (or non-dairy alternative)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1 Tbsp. flaxmeal
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup finely grated carrots
6 pitted and chopped medjool dates

turbinado (raw) sugar, for topping, optional


Preheat the oven to 360’. Grease 8 cups of your muffin tin or use paper liners. 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the oil, eggs, yogurt (or alternative), vanilla, sugar, cinnamon and salt really well. We want some air up in there. Add the flour, almond meal, flax, baking powder, baking soda and stir to just combine. Add the carrots and dates and give it one more stir. Divide the batter into the tins, about 2/3 full. Sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar, if using.

Bake on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick tested in the center comes out clean. Remove to cool.

Nutrition Information

per muffin

  • calories
  • fat
    13 g
  • carbs
    26 g
  • protein
    5 g