If you don’t have a banana browning in your fruit basket, start that today. The pancakes this week are quick, healthy and a kid-favorite. I have written a dozen renditions of a meatball, but included here is the most concise for the sake of weeknight dinners. These are great to make ahead, or a nice meal to deliver to a friend who just moved or has a new baby etc. Anyway, hope these recipes make it to your weeknight repetoire.
My work flow for these weeks goes from drafting the recipe, testing the recipe, editing, having it tested by at least one other person, photographing the recipe, then back to me and my wonderful new helper McKenzie for copy edits, then to Hugh to code it into the backend of Cooking Club. We do our best to make sure these are recipes that will work in your home. You will notice a comment section at the end of each weeks’ menu, so if there are any tweaks you made, or alternatives you liked, share them with other members. Your feedback is always helpful!
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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 & Dairy
recipe 01: sweet potato, greens & goat cheese frittata
This is a riff on a recipe from our first cookbook. I include roasted baby tomatoes, depending on the season, and if I have them on hand. If this is you, roast a pint of halved, baby tomatoes in a little bit of oil, salt and pepper, at 325’ for 25 minutes, and let them cool completely. I bake the frittata in muffin tins for an easy grab-n-go breakfast for the whole family, or in a larger pan for a meal we’ll all sit down to. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner - eggs always work!
I add the sour cream as it keeps the eggs rich and fluffy. These days, there are non-dairy alternatives you could substitute. A heavy cream or non-dairy milk of your choice will also work in its place. I do believe that the extra fat keeps the eggs from drying out, and keeps them fluffy with a good, thorough whisking. It also gives you a larger margin of error for overcooking.
The smaller the pan, the thicker the frittata will be, which is how I prefer it. The yields below fit in my 8-10” non-stick or cast iron. An 8x8” baking dish will work too.
Tips of The Week
Make Ahead: The potatoes can be cooked, and greens wilted in advance. Whisk the eggs, sour cream, and seasonings together as well. Keep these components separate. Try to bring both mixtures to room temperature before baking.
Use it Twice: Leftovers are great stuffed into a tortilla with some smashed avocado for a quick breakfast taco. If you’re cooking for a group, double the recipe and cook it in a well-greased 9x13” baking dish.
Kid Friendly: Make the mixture in muffin tins for an easier to-go option.
Carnivore Addition: Brown some breakfast sausage in the pan after the potatoes are cooked. Crispy cooked bacon, added to the pan when you add the eggs, would also be great.
Low Carb: Replace the potato with another vegetable, such as roasted tomatoes or zucchini.
1 Tbsp. avocado or extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet potato, peeled, small dice
2 cups baby spinach or baby kale
1/4 cup sour cream or crème fraiche
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Dash of cayenne
Dash of dried basil or oregano
3 oz. soft goat cheese
Hot sauce or salsa
Preheat the oven to 350’.
In a 10” pan (non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron ideally), warm the avocado oil over medium heat. Add the diced potatoes, a big pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté a few minutes. Cover the pan, and let the potatoes cook another 8-10ish minutes until tender. Uncover, turn the heat to low, and stir in the greens until just wilted. About 1 minute. You’ll likely have to do this in batches to fit it all.
Whisk the eggs, sour cream, salt, few grinds of pepper, cayenne, and dried herbs together. Whisk really well until uniform in color, and there is less resistance to the eggs. If you want them even richer, whisk in another big dollop of the cream. (Shush; you don’t need to tell anyone why they’re so good.)
Pour the eggs over the warm vegetables. (If you’re using the tomatoes, drop a few over the top now). Break up the goat cheese, and sprinkle that over the top of the egg mixture. Slide the frittata onto the middle rack of the oven, and bake for about 15-18 minutes, pulling it out when the center is still just barely jiggly (it will set as it cools). A smaller pan/deeper frittata may take a little longer.
Let it cool a few minutes, then garnish the top with lots of fresh chives.
Enjoy warm with your favorite hot sauce or salsa.
recipe 02: turkey meatballs
You can use ground beef if you prefer a more traditional meatball. For the breadcrumbs, I like the texture of using day old bread pulsed in a food processor best. I realize this is not always quick or available. You can use a piece of sandwich bread, gluten free or not, or panko as well.
Tips of The Week
Make Ahead: Prep the meatball mixture in advance and keep it stored in the fridge. Brown and warm the balls when you’re ready for dinner. The meatballs can be fully cooked, cooled, stored in the fridge for up to three days, and rewarmed when needed.
Use it Twice: Leftover meatballs are great served inside a tender bread roll (or hot dog bun!) to make a meatball sub sandwich.
Kid Friendly: My kids love these inside a hot dog bun.
Gluten Free: Use a gluten free prepared breadcrumb, or almond meal will work as well, but result in a fairly delicate meatball. Not a bad thing!
Low Carb: Serve these with zucchini noodles.
Extra Credit: You could make your own marinara.
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup ricotta
1 egg, beaten
4 garlic cloves, minced or grated
Big handful of fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp. fennel seeds, chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 tsp. each sea salt and pepper
zest of one lemon
1 lb. ground turkey (dark meat, not super lean)
extra virgin olive oil, for cooking
1 24 oz. jar of your favorite marinara
Mozzarella &/or parmesan cheese, for serving
Fresh basil or parsley, for serving
Combine the breadcrumbs, ricotta, and egg. Whisk it well to combine. Add the garlic, parsley, and dried Italian herbs. Chop up the fennel seeds, or smash them with the back of a knife. (I will chop the parsley and fennel seeds together which keeps the seeds from flying). Add the fennel, salt, and pepper and lemon zest to the bowl of the ricotta mixture and combine. Add the ground meat and stir to just combine. Do not overwork the meat. I use my hands but you don’t have to if that grosses you.
Chill the mixture for 30 minutes, up to a full day in advance. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form the mixture into small balls, about 2”, and place them onto your parchment-lined baking sheet.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large pot or sauté pan over medium heat (not too deep, it’s hard to move the meatballs around). Brown the meatballs on all sides. Continue in batches, removing finished ones to your tray, adding more oil as needed to keep a thin slick on the bottom. They do not need to be cooked through, they’ll continue cooking in the sauce.
Turn the heat to low. Return the browned meatballs back to the pot/pan. Pour the jar of marinara in, put the lid on ajar, and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, or until the meatballs and sauce are all warmed through.
This is an optional step, but you can sprinkle some mozzarella and parm over the top, and broil it for a few minutes for some crisp, cheesy topping.
Cook your noodles or zoodles according to instructions and serve with warm meatballs. Garnish with parmesan and fresh herbs.
recipe 03: roasted carrot salad (member favorite)
I broke this down into components so you can prep in parts. I buy a dried harissa seasoning at Whole Foods, but sweet or smoked paprika, or even chili powder will be a fine alternative if that is what you have. I understand these are generally not interchangeable, but I’m just trying to get them a lil spicy. No sense over fussing about it.
I know they are similar temps, but do not roast the carrots and chickpeas at the same time. The chickpeas need as dry an environment as possible to crisp up, and the carrots give off moisture as they roast. The carrots can be roasted in advance, and brought to room temperature before using them for the salad. TIMESAVER! Sprouts, Whole Foods and Target sell packaged crispy chickpeas, near the chip and snacks sections, that will work great if you need to save a step. We like the Biena brand.
Tips of The Week
make ahead: Roast the carrots up to two days in advance and bring them to room temperature before salad assembly. The quinoa can also be made in advance and kept covered in the fridge.
use it twice: Make the same salad again! Or put these same ingredients in a wrap if you need something more hand held/portable.
kid friendly: I give mine all the components besides the greens.
carnivore addition: Add leftover roasted chicken bits!
dairy free: Replace the feta with some roasted and salted nuts, pistachios preferable.
for the roasted carrots
1 bundle of rainbow carrots (about 1 lb.), trimmed and peeled
1 Tbsp. avocado or extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. sea salt
for the crispy chickpeas
1 1/4 cup cooked chickpeas (1 13.5 oz. can)
1 Tbsp. avocado oil or other neutral oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. dry harissa seasoning (or smoked paprika)
for the quickest lime dressing
1 tsp. honey
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
juice of one lime
pinch of salt and pepper
for the salad
1 5 oz. bag arugula
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced, optional
1 cup cooked quinoa, chilled
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 oz.)
bundle of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 avocados, cut in wedges
Preheat the oven to 400. Peel and trim the carrots. Cut them in half, lengthwise, quarters if the carrot is super thick. Arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle the oil, cumin and salt. Toss to coat. Roast for 30 minutes on the center rack until tender and browned on the edges. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 400’. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Transfer them to a dishtowel and lightly rub them around to blot off extra water. If you have the patience to peel off some of their skins, do it, this is helpful for crisping. Toss the very dry chickpeas in the oil, salt and seasoning. Spread them on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, shaking the pan around halfway through, until browned and crispy. Remove to cool completely, as they will crisp up more as they cool down. These are best used within a day or two of making them.
Follow the directions for both the roasted carrots and crispy chickpeas. Whisk your dressing ingredients together. In a large salad bowl, combine the greens, onion (if using), half of the quinoa, half of the cheese and the mint leaves. Drizzle on the dressing and toss to coat.
Plate each salad with a bundle of the greens, more quinoa on top, a portion of the carrots, avocado, crumble of cheese and some of the crispy chickpeas.
recipe 04: banana oat blender pancakes
Pancakes always sound like a good idea the night before, then come morning, they sound like a bit of a hassle. I load everything besides the baking powder in my blender the evening before, store it in the fridge, whiz it up in the morning, and cook them.
These are full of fiber, gluten free, and if you can’t do eggs, they can go without. I am going to keep the recipe simple, but know it can take add-ins of nuts, seeds, more spices etc. Do not expect light, fluffy, diner-style pancakes, these are their much quicker, low-maintenance, hippie sister. If you like them sweeter, add a splash of maple to the batter.
You may need more milk depending on the ripeness of your banana, so if the batter looks thick, blend in another splash.
Tips of The Week
Make Ahead: Put all ingredients, besides the baking powder, in the blender and leave it in the fridge overnight. Add the baking powder and a splash more water in the morning (the oats will have soaked up a lot of liquid), blend it up, and cook your pancakes.
Use it Twice: Double the recipe, cook all of them, and toast them as needed through the week. These are my kids’ favorite with a swipe of nut butter or plain yogurt on top.
Kid Friendly: It’s a pancake! Blend in some baby spinach if you need to work more vegetables in.
1 overripe banana
2/3 cup nondairy or regular milk, as needed
1 cup oats
1 Tbsp. oil (avocado, coconut, olive oil, all fine)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Butter or coconut oil, for cooking
Mixed berries, fresh or frozen
Into a blender or food processor, combine the banana, egg, milk, oats, oil, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Blend until smooth. If the batter looks really thick, add a splash more milk.
Heat a pan over medium heat. Melt a small pat of butter or coconut oil in the pan. Cook small pancakes, flipping them once you begin to see bubbles on one side. Repeat with remaining batter.
Serve with maple, berries, yogurt or whatever you wish. Leftovers can be stored.