Cooking Club: Week 29

My loves! We’re packing up to head to Australia this evening for my sisters’ wedding, and if I’ve done my math right, we have all things in order here to cover you while we’re away :) I am excited to eat at all the delicious cafes and come back with some fresh ideas.

In other news, meet McKenzie - a Seattle-ite, food lover, and overall kind, conscientious and wonderful lady. McKenzie is a cookbook collector and frequent home cook. She works in pro sports full time, and cooks for herself, friends and family on the weekends. She is passionate about healthy food and feeding people, and has taken more of an interest in food and wellness since being diagnosed with celiac disease (an auto-immune response to gluten). We brought her on a couple months ago to help with copy-editing, with the prospect to possibly jump in on some recipe development to give me a creative break here and there. McKenzie was volunteering as a recipe tester for me, and has always been so prompt, detailed and encouraging, so it seemed a natural transition to ask her to be more involved. She wrote this weeks’ menu for us! Hugh and I have been running all things Sprouted Kitchen for nearly 10 years, and let’s just say some extra hands are long overdue - so glad to have her along. Hope you enjoy this weeks meals. I know it’s fairly vegetable heavy, so let us know if you have any further questions on kid adjustments or adding more protein. 


New Features:

- Recipe nutrition info now includes a breakdown of fat and carbohydrate subtypes (look for the i).

- 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

Beet & blood orange salad w/ tahini dressing Garden-veggie goat cheese sandwich Ginger salmon parcels w/ garlic cauliflower fried rice Chunky cacao granola



Meat & Dairy

recipe 01: Beet & blood orange salad w/ tahini dressing

serves 4

Although the groundhog promised us an early spring, in many parts of the states, winter has seemed never ending. Enter a sunny salad - bright from the golden beets, and topped with peppery radishes that play off of their spicy arugula counterpart.

If you’re not into beets, you can sub them out for your favorite starchy veg such as roasted sweet potato, butternut squash, or even carrots (look to the Roasted Carrot Salad from Week 25 for inspiration). If you’d like to bulk it up a bit, feel free to add in leftover grains, shredded chicken, salmon, etc. 

If you’re not a fan of tahini, don’t be quick to write this dressing off. The tahini serves more as a creamy canvas for the blood orange juice to shine. You’ll hardly know it’s there.  

As we approach spring and summer, consider investing in a mandolin. It makes for beautiful, consistently sized shaved vegetables that are so lovely in a salad.


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The dressing lasts well in the fridge for up to 5 days. It will get thicker, so just add a bit of warm water before using, and shake up the jar until you have the consistency you desire. The beets can be roasted up to 3 days in advance. The radishes and shallot will maintain their crispness in the ice water for a few days in the fridge. You can keep the components separate in the fridge, and assemble the day of.

Use it Twice: This could be bulked up with leftover grains, and would be great served alongside the slow roasted salmon from a few weeks back.

Kid Friendly: With entree salads, I suggest pulling a few components out I know the kids will like. In this case, beets, avocado, cucumber and pistachios. I’ll add a hardboiled egg or whatever leftover protein I may have on hand.

Carnivore Addition: Salmon, chicken, turkey, hard boiled eggs, and even crisped prosciutto could all work here.


3 medium golden beets, scrubbed or peeled if preferred
½ tsp. avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 radishes (Easter egg or rainbow if you have a choice), sliced thin
1 shallot, halved and sliced thin
2 Persian cucumbers, sliced thin
1 blood orange, peeled
7 oz./4 cups arugula
1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped
2 avocados, halved and sliced thin
1/3 cup pistachios, toasted
Fresh herbs (optional), chopped

For the dressing

¼ cup blood orange juice
2 Tbsp. tahini
1 clove garlic, grated
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 
1 tsp. honey (optional)
¼ tsp. kosher salt
Warm water, if needed


Preheat the oven to 400’. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

Cut the beets into quarters. Cut each quadrant into thin slices; about ¼” or 1/2'” thick. (Think of a similar size to an orange segment). Toss the beets in avocado oil, and season with salt and cracked pepper. Arrange on the parchment lined baking sheets in a single layer.

Roast beets in the oven for 25-30 minutes, flipping them over and rotating the trays at the half way point. The beets should be tender and just curling up on the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. 

While the beets are roasting, prep the rest of your ingredients. Using a sharp paring knife, cut the orange into small segments (you’re looking to just cut around the membranes and reveal the flesh). Set aside.

To make the dressing, pour orange juice, vinegar, oil, garlic, tahini, and honey (if using) into a small jar. Season with salt and pepper. Shake until the ingredients are emulsified. (If your tahini is runny, this should be perfect. If the tahini is a bit older, and the dressing seizes up, slowly add a few drops of warm water and shake until you reach your desired consistency).

To assemble the salad, make a bed of the arugula and lettuce, drizzle a small amount of dressing and toss to coat. Top the greens with the radishes, cucumbers, and shallot. Toss with a bit of the dressing. Add the cooked beets, orange segments, sliced avocado, and toasted pistachios atop the greens, drizzle with desired amount of dressing, and sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs if desired. Toss lightly and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    36 g
  • carbs i
    33 g
  • protein
    11 g

recipe 02: Garden-veggie goat cheese sandwich

serves 4

This is a simple sandwich with a spread that is endlessly versatile. The herbed-goat cheese is wonderful here on a slice of sourdough, or can be used as a dip for pita chips or veggies the next day.

Your sandwich will be as good as the produce wedged between its toasty slices. Make sure your avocado is ripe, your cucumber is fresh, and your bread is decent. Have other veggies you need to use up? Throw them in there.

For a heartier dinner, add a few slices of your favorite deli-style sliced turkey breast or prosciutto. Serve open faced as a tartine with a fried, runny egg if you’d like. Just skip the cucumbers in that case.


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The goat cheese spread will last in the fridge for up to 5 days. The onions will last in the fridge for about a week. Or two, if you like to live on the edge.

Use it Twice: The herbed goat cheese spread can be used as a dip for an afternoon snack with carrot sticks, or slathered between a few sliced of deli meat. The pickled onions are great on salads, wraps, or quesadillas.

Kid Friendly: You could make a grilled cheese with a bit of the spread, a white cheddar, and the bread. Or, make it into mini quesadillas with some beans, a favored vegetable, and mash the avocado on the side. Mine went for this spare the arugula/sprouts, sub in deli meat.

Carnivore Addition: This would be great with a high quality deli meat such as a smoked or oven roasted turkey breast. A runny fried egg in the center would also be great.

Low Carb: I’m a big fan of collard wraps. You can follow the same application and roll it up in a collard green leaf. Add some shredded chicken or leftover grains to the center to make it a bit more filling. Or use one slice of bread and serve it as a tartine.

Extra Credit: You could pickle a variety of veggies here. Shredded carrots or purple cabbage would also be great.

Dairy Free: There are many dairy-free cheeses on the market now. You could substitute with a dairy free cream cheese such as Kite Hill. Adjust the seasoning and amount of lemon juice to your liking.


For the spread

5 oz. soft goat cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. dried Italian Seasoning
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp cracked black pepper

For the quick pickled Onions

1 small red onion, sliced thin
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp cane sugar

For Assembly

2 cups arugula or spring mix, rough chop
1 cup broccoli/alfalfa sprouts
Lemon Juice
Olive Oil
2 ripe avocados, mashed
2 small English cucumbers, sliced on a diagonal
8 slices sourdough, whole-wheat, super seed, or gluten free bread, lightly toasted


To quick pickle the onion, shake vinegar, salt, and sugar in a jar. Add the sliced onions, and let them pickle on the counter for at least 30 minutes.

To make the goat cheese spread, in a blender or food processor, add goat cheese, lemon juice, zest, dried herbs, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend or pulse in 30 seconds increments, scraping the bowl each interval. Blend until the mixture is combined and a bit fluffy. Taste and season as needed. You can also make this in a bowl, just mash and mix together with a fork. It won’t be as fluffy, but the flavor will be the same. Set aside.

Toss greens and sprouts together in a bowl. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss together to soften a bit.

To assemble, for each sandwich, spread a couple tablespoons of the goat cheese spread on one slice of bread and smashed avocado onto the other slice. On the bottom half, layer ¼ of the sliced cucumbers and season with a bit of salt and cracked pepper. Add a handful of the greens and sprouts, some protein if you’re adding that, and then layer on some pickled onions. Top the sandwich with the other slice of bread.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    28 g
  • carbs i
    42 g
  • protein
    18 g

recipe 03: Ginger salmon parcels w/ garlic fried cauliflower rice

serves 4

This recipe was inspired by Andrea Nguyen’s beautiful new cookbook, Vietnamese Food Any Day. The book contains “simple recipes for true, fresh flavors”. This salmon delivers just that. 

If garlic isn’t your thing, this one might not be for you. I suppose you could skip out on the garlic, but it adds some depth to an otherwise light dish. I learned the technique of making garlic chips from Bon Appetit’s Garlicky Fried Rice recipe, and now I want to sprinkle these golden, sweet, umami nuggets on everything. It’s an extra step, but so worth it.

If you’re making this for two, halve the ingredients, and cook the salmon at 400’ for 12-15 minutes. This is pretty light, so if you’re one who likes dinner to stick a bit more, use can use brown rice in place of the cauli rice, and add some avocado.

Since the salmon and cauli rice use many of the same ingredients, it is easiest to grate/mince/chop them all before starting the cooking process to save time. Just make sure you divide them!


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The salmon parcels can be assembled and refrigerated for about 2 hours in advance. Simply bring them up to room temperature before cooking. The cauliflower rice (without the garlic chips) will last in the fridge for up to three days. Garlic chips can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container for up to five days.

Use it Twice: The ginger garlic sauce is good on everything. I make a double batch and use it as a sauce over leftover grains, or as a marinade for chicken for a quick weeknight meal. The cauliflower rice can be re-worked the next day with the addition of day-old brown rice. Simply heat up a 1-1 ratio of brown rice and cauli rice in a pan with a bit of sesame oil. Add in a beaten egg and make a quick fried rice. Or, top it with a fried egg and fresh herbs the next day.

Kid Friendly: If your wee ones aren’t into salmon, this ginger garlic sauce is a great marinade for chicken breasts or tenders. Marinate the chicken in the sauce for up to 3 hours, and bake at 375’ on a parchment lined baking sheet for 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness. You could swap brown rice for cauliflower rice if they aren’t into veggie deception.

Carnivore Addition: See tip for chicken. If red meat is your thing, the sauce would also be great on thinly sliced flank or skirt steak for a quick stir fry. Or, you could marinate a protein of your choice in the sauce and throw it on the grill.


For the salmon

1 1/2” ginger (about 1 heaping tsp), peeled and grated
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 Tbsp. avocado oil
zest and juice of a small lime
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos (or sub tamari/soy sauce + 1 tsp. honey)
2 tsp. fish sauce
8 oz. sugar snap peas (or a mix of bok choy and snap peas)
2 green onions, sliced 1” diagonal pieces
4 4 oz. boneless, skinless wild salmon fillets about 1” thick
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Sesame seeds, for garnish

For the garlic cauliflower rice

3 cloves garlic, sliced very thin
2 Tbsp. avocado oil
2” ginger (about 2 tsp.), peeled and grated
1 tsp. sesame oil
½ tsp. kosher salt
4 green onions, sliced thin on a diagonal (whites and green parts divided)
4 cups riced cauliflower, about 1 large head of cauli or two prepared bags
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tsp. sesame seeds, for garnish


For the salmon

Preheat the oven to 375’. Cut four pieces of parchment paper into 16 x 24 inch(ish) rectangles. Fold each rectangle hamburger style. Staring from the fold, cut a half of a heart shape out of the paper. Unfold and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, coconut aminos, fish sauce, and avocado oil. Set aside.

Place the four folded parchment hearts onto two large baking sheets. Unfold each heart. In each parcel, place ¼ of the chopped bok choy/peas and whites of the green onions, making a bed for the salmon, and leaving about 3 inches around the border so you can fold it. 

Pat each salmon filet dry with a paper towel so the sauce can stick. Place a salmon filet over each bed of bok choy/snap peas and onions. Top each piece of salmon with ¼ of the ginger/garlic sauce (reserve some for serving). Sprinkle the salmon with the green parts of the green onions and a pinch of chile flake if using. 

To fold the parcels, fold the top half of the parchment heart over the salmon. Starting at the top of the heart, begin to fold the edges of the paper in towards you. Press down the folds as you go. When you reach the bottom of the heart, twist the pointy end to seal. 

Bake the fish for 8 minutes, and then rotate the sheet pans so the salmon can cook evenly. Cook for 6-8 more minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon and your desired doneness. We are looking for flaky fish and puffed up parcels. You can open them up to check, not a huge deal.

For the cauliflower rice

In a large (10”-12”) nonstick skillet, drizzle in avocado oil and arrange thinly sliced garlic cloves in a single layer. Turn the pan to medium heat. Cook the garlic, shaking the pan frequently, until the garlic is just barely golden and beginning to crisp (about 3 minutes). Watch the pan carefully! Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic chips to a paper towel lined plate. Season with a pinch of flaky sea salt. 

In the same pan, add the ginger and white parts of the green onion to the garlic infused oil. Continue to cook on medium heat until the aromatics have become golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. 

Add the sesame oil, riced cauliflower, and salt to the pan. Stir to combine. Press the cauliflower in a single layer in the pan and cook for 3 minutes undisturbed. (We want the cauliflower to brown like a fried rice would, rather than just steam.) Once the cauliflower rice has cooked for a few minutes, stir so the other side may brown a bit, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. The cauliflower should be cooked, but not mushy. A little texture is good here.

Remove from the heat, and transfer to a large bowl. Add cilantro and remaining green onions. Stir to combine, and taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and garlic chips. Serve immediately alongside the fish.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
  • fat i
    22 g
  • carbs i
    15 g
  • protein
    31 g

recipe 04: Chunky Cacao Granola

makes 2.5 cups

Adapted from Laura Wright of The First Mess, this is everything you want in a granola: Chunky. Salty. Sweet-ish. Rich. Satisfying. 

If tahini isn’t your thing, you can swap it for your favorite, natural, runny nut butter. You can also swap in your favorite nuts or seeds. The almonds and coconut flakes mimic the body oats usually give a granola, but feel free to riff to suit your family’s needs.

This is a half batch as it yields a large volume. You can double the recipe below, and store the rest in the freezer in an airtight container. We sprinkle it on yogurt or ice cream or I cut it into my kids’ plain O’s or crispy rice cereal to make a bowl of cereal more interesting. 


Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: Double the batch and store in the freezer.

Use it Twice: Granola can top your favorite yogurt with berries and a little drizzle of maple syrup. It is also a great snack and can be made into a trail mix buy adding ½ cup of raisins, ½ cup of roasted cashews, and a ½ cup of chocolate coated candies.

Kid Friendly: This can be made with peanut butter and honey. Simply add an extra tablespoon of melted coconut oil to the recipe. The trail mix option above could also make it more approachable.

Extra Credit: Make a double batch and store it for later use!


¼ cup tahini
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
3 Tbsp. cacao powder or cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup coconut flakes
½ cup raw pepitas, roughly chopped
½ tsp. flaky sea salt
1/4 cup cacao nibs (optional)
2 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips (optional)


Preheat oven to 300’. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. If you choose to double the recipe, make sure you use two sheet pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together tahini, maple syrup, coconut oil, cacao powder, vanilla, and spices until smooth. Add the nuts, seeds, coconut, and cacao nibs (if using). Mix until coated and well combined. 

Spread the granola out evenly on the baking sheet, giving it space to crisp up. Some clusters are okay, since that is the best part. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. 

Bake the granola for 15 minutes, toss, and bake for 12-15 more minutes until it is a firm and a bit crisp. It will continue to firm up as it cools. You do not want the nuts to burn. 

If using mini chocolate chips, sprinkle atop once the granola comes out of the oven and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for a week. 

Nutrition Information

per half cup

  • calories
  • fat i
    38 g
  • carbs i
    25 g
  • protein
    11 g