Cooking Club: Week 45


Heyo. Guessing some of you have today off or are still in vacation-mode this weekend. This sangria is so beautiful and delicious. I have a tapas girls night on my mind and will make pitchers of this - so easy to multiply! The broccoli salad is silly easy and there are a few videos in my story highlights. And the lentil meatballs are an old blog and cookbook favorite. Many of you ask about freezer meals or make-ahead things and these “meatballs” would be great for that. Oh! and another grilling item in case this works into your weekend but if nothing else: sangria!

Happy weekend!

1-hr. Prep

  1. Make the spice rub and marinate your tri-tip #2

  2. Make the lemon pesto #1

  3. Steam your broccoli #3

  4. Cut the fruit and get your sangria going #4


- We cleaned up a little bug in the Archives Page. For those of you who happened to join Cooking Club on a Friday morning, you'll now find 1 more week accessible in your archives. Yay!

- Comments, questions or suggestions? Submit your feedback here.


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

lentil “meatballs” w/ lemon pesto steak tartines w/ gorgonzola & tomato salad IG broccoli salad rosé sangria



Meat & Dairy

recipe 01: lentil meatballs w/ lemon pesto

serves 4


This lemon pesto is a go-to. Make double!

This recipe is a top five from the blog, and the original Sprouted Kitchen cookbook. Double the batch and freeze them (after baking) because they come in handy when you need a quick dinner on the table. My kids like them plain with the pesto, you could also warm them in red sauce and throw them in a toasted bun for a meatball sub situation, or over noodles or zucchini noodles can help fill out the meal. 


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The pesto can be made up to a week in advance. The meatball mixture can be made in the morning, and baked off when you’re ready to finish dinner.

Make It Work Twice: Make double and freeze half of the balls. The pesto is great on eggs or with grilled veggies or thinned as a salad dressing.

Kid Friendly: Form the meatballs into patty form and make little veggie sliders with tiny buns.

Dairy Free: Kite Hill makes a dairy free ricotta. I think a thick dairy-free yogurt, such as Culina, may work too. You could sub a sprinkle of nutritional yeast in the balls in place of the parm and use something like capers or a few green olives in the pesto for flavor. Different than parm obviously, but it’ll offer a bit of richness.

Gluten Free: Try the “rice crumbs” from Trader Joes. They will be more delicate, but should work.



2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pinenuts
Zest of one lemon
2-3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cups basil leaves
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes


2 cups cooked lentils (black or brown), drained and completely dry
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup ricotta
1/4 cup grated parm
2 cloves garlic, grated/microplaned
1 tsp. fennel seed, crushed
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. each sea salt and pepper
2/3 cup breadcrumbs - fresh or panko


Preheat the oven to 400’. In a food processor, add the lentils and pulse them a few times until they look like cous cous. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, parm, garlic, crushed fennel seed, parsley, salt and pepper. Add the breadcrumbs and lentils and stir everything to combine. Let it chill while you make your pesto.

Rinse out the processor. Whiz the garlic cloves and pine nuts in to chop. Add the lemon zest and juice, basil leaves, and whiz again until well combined. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil, splash of water, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Taste and adjust. Set aside. This can be stored in the fridge for a week. 

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Form your dough into 1” balls. They should stay together. If they seem wet and messy, add another tablespoon or two of breadcrumbs. Line them on the baking sheet, brush them with a bit of olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until slightly browned. Remove to cool.

Serve with noodles, zucchini noodles, or garlic bread. Leftovers will store for 3-4 days in the fridge. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    37 g
  • carbs i
    38 g
  • protein
    26 g

recipe 02: steak tartines w/ gorgonzola & tomato salad

serves 4

I don’t actually know much about red meat, so your request to include it occasionally is a learning experience for me too. We don’t eat much of it, for both health and environmental reasons, but I’ll make it here or there for something different. 

I read an article about Texas BBQ, and the chef had suggested getting a sear on the tri-tip, and then cooking it on low heat, flipping it often, for the best texture. This can also be done in the oven, but currently it is too hot for me to want to turn on the oven for an hour. 

Not into blue cheeses? A soft goat’s cheese would be good too. 

I’m including a spice blend below that will work on both the meat or mushroom option.


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: Marinate the tri-tip a good 24-hrs. in advance.

Use it Twice: Leftover meat can be used in wraps or a steak salad with some grilled corn, more of this tomato salad, and gorgonzola.

Kid Friendly: I used avocado in place of the gorgonzola for the kids and cut the meat into tiny pieces.

Veg Option: Mix oil and spice rub on some portobello mushrooms, brush it on and grill those for 5 minutes per side. Slice thin just as you would a steak to top the toast.


1 1/4 lb. piece of tri-tip

for the BBQ RUB

1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 Tbsp. avocado or other neutral oil

1/2 lb. medium-sized tomatoes, cut into quarters
2 Tbsp. minced shallot
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
Big pinch of salt and pepper

1 loaf of sourdough
4 oz. gorgonzola cheese (or goat cheese!)


Set the tri-tip in a bowl, plate or extra large plastic bag, whatever you would use to marinate a hunk of meat. In a small bowl, mix all of the BBQ rub ingredients together, stir in a tablespoon of oil, and then rub it all over the tri-tip. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight. 

Pull the meat out of the fridge while your grill heats up to medium-high heat. If you use a charcoal grill, you want a higher heat area over hot coals, and an indirect heat area, away from the hot coals. A gas grill, you can moderate the temp. yourself. 

Sear the tri-tip over high heat, about 5 minutes per side. Turn the heat down to low, or transfer the meat to the part of the grill that has indirect heat, cover, and continue to cook, flipping often, until it has an internal temperature of about 125’. This took me about 20 minutes. Remove it from the grill and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes. DO NOT cut into it! 


To chiffonade basil, pluck the leaves and lay them on top of each other. Roll them length-wise like a little taquito. Slice thin, width-wise, so you get wispy streamers of basil.

Make the tomato salad. In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, shallot, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.

Gently toast the sourdough on the grill. Put slices of gorgonzola on top of the warm bread, and smash it in with a fork after it has a chance to warm up a bit from the bread.

Thinly slice the tri tip, against the grain of the meat, and pile it on top of the toast. Spoon some of the tomato salad on top and eat it as a fork and knife type of tartine. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    32 g
  • carbs i
    79 g
  • protein
    52 g

recipe 03: IG broccoli salad

serves 4

I have this deli salad saved in my story highlights on the @sproutedkitchen account. It’s the sort of salad that packs well for beach days and picnics. It can handle some shredded rotisserie chicken in place of the lentils or add some whole grains and call it a meal. I have enjoyed seeing what other people have added or swapped based on what they have - some white cheddar, dried cranberries, etc.

I do not own a steamer basket, and the broccoli does just fine in a large pot with an inch of boiling water beneath. Don’t toss the stems! Shave the outside like you would a carrot, chop off the bottom inch and chop them up with the rest of the florets. 


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The broccoli can be steamed in advance. The vinaigrette can be made a week in advance.

Use it Twice: Add some cooked grains to stretch it.

Kid Friendly: Chop the broccoli small and put it in a wrap with some brown rice and avocado or cheese.

Carnivore Addition: Add (or replace the lentils) with a cup of shredded rotisserie chicken.


2 heads of broccoli (a generous 1 lb.), cut into florets
3 Tbsp. minced shallot or red onion
1/2 cup cooked lentils
1 medium apple, cored + small dice
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted + chopped


2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. agave or honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt

heads up:

Raw shallot and onion can be pretty strong in raw form. That is why we often pickle them for recipes. You can also just rinse them under cold water to calm them down


In a large stock pot, steam the broccoli for just 3 minutes to take the edge off. Remove to cool completely. 

While the broccoli cools, make your vinaigrette in the bottom of a mixing bowl. To the dressing, add the shallot, lentils, and apple.

Chop the broccoli florets. Add them to the mixing bowl and toss everything to dress. Add the walnuts and stir again. Eat at room temperature or chill for an hour. Salad keeps for 2 days. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    17 g
  • carbs i
    35 g
  • protein
    12 g

recipe 04: rosé sangria

serves 4

My mom (queen of all adult beverages) would call this a “spritzer” because we are going to cut it with sparkling/soda water. Wine and fruit and liquor can be quite sweet, so adding a splash of cold sparkling water to serve, helps slow you down on with this easy drinking summer bev. 

Give it at least an hour to chill together in the fridge. 



Tips of The Week

Make it Work Twice: This can be multiplied to make it for a group. Double or triple the liquids, but you may only need to increase the fruit by 50% with each batch. Or you’ll end up with a wine dressed fruit salad.


1 bottle dry rosé wine, chilled
3 Tbsp. Gran Marnier or Cointreau
1 ruby grapefruit, sliced thin
1 small pint strawberries, sliced thin
1 nectarine or peach, pitted and sliced thin
Cold sparkling water, for serving
Mint, for serving


Into a large pitcher, combine the grapefruit, berries and nectarine. If you like things sweeter, add a tablespoon of sugar. Pour in the Gran mariner or Cointreau and the rosé. Give it all a stir and pop the pitcher back in the fridge to chill for at least an hour, preferably three, or up to a day before. 

For serving, fill your cups halfway with crushed ice. Scoop a bit of the fruit into the cup and fill it with the sangria. Top it off with a sprig of mint and splash of sparkling water, one more little stir and cheers my friends! 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    1 g
  • carbs i
    22 g
  • protein
    2 g