Entrée, Fall, Gluten Free, Soup


The news has me a bit emotional lately so all I have to give right now is a warm pot of soup. I have always been empathetic and emotional but being a mother has made me even more so. I can't help but hear stories about the shooting in Oregon or the refugees and personalize them. My family is not entitled to any sort of safety or protection, as cautious as I try to be, and that scares me to death. All I desire is for my people to be safe and healthy and happy; I'm sure that is what any parent hopes for; and when the story goes otherwise, it reminds you that you must hold onto things loosely. These sort of tragedies happen in an instant and my heart hurts for how fragile this life is.

It was fall around here for about two days. A little rain, I put on slippers, bought squash and made banana bread and soup. It's going to be 90' again by the weekend but I can feel the chill creeping in. It's coming and I am ready. So today, it's a simple and spiced bowl of soup for the comfort that food can give when there's not much else you can do. 


Adapted from A Change of Appetite by Diana Henry

I changed a couple things here and only because I don't like to dirty a dish unless it's absolutely necessary. Diana recommends browning the squash before you put them into the stew to get a golden crust. I find that to be lost when it gets cooked further in a liquid so decided to skip that step. Mind you, I haven't tried it otherwise and surely she has good reason so brown that squash if you're up for it!

Chiles vary widely in heat level depending where you buy them so this is tough to predict. I removed all of the seeds from my chiles so got next to no heat in my finished soup as I knew I'd be sharing it with a toddler. Personal taste, I would leave a few in so do so if you want some spice. 

2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 red chiles, seeded and chopped
5 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
3 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1 3/4 cups (1 14 oz. can) cooked garbanzo or cannellini beans
juice and zest of one lemon
whole milk yogurt, for garnish
fresh mint, for garnish
toasted sesame or nigella seeds, for garnish
cooked brown rice (and lentils if you wish) for serving

In a large dutch oven over medium heat, warm the coconut oil. Add the onions, carrots and a pinch of salt and saute until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, chiles and tomatoes and cook another five minutes. Stir in the cumin, tomato paste and a few pinches of salt and pepper.

Add the squash and the broth and stir to mix. Turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 30-40 minutes until the squash is softened. Add in the cooked beans (rinsed and drained if using canned) and simmer, uncovered, another 10 minutes to warm through. This should be thick and stew like. Add the lemon zest and juice and taste for seasonings. 

Serve your bowls with a scoop of rice (or rice and lentils), the stew, a dollop of yogurt, mint and seeds. I liked a 2:1 ratio of stew to rice and generous with the toppings. Always :)

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Appetizer, Entrée, Fall, Spring, Summer


naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen
naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen

I worked at a deli for a short season during college. I suppose it was my first job making food for people, though I'd had a number of other jobs prior. I would go between classes and on the weekends, I liked people and the hustle of the lunch hour, and how hard could it be to whip together a sandwich? The deli was known for having these perfectly soft baguettes for sandwiches, a few of the specials were made on sliced bread, but those baguettes were why people came in. None of the sandwiches were particularly ecentric or creative, but the simple art of a good sandwich is getting the ratio of fillings correct. Here in also lies personal preference. I like lots of mustard or sauce, if there is mayo, I don't really want to see it, but I can appreciate it's moisture contribution. The owner of the deli taught me to take the rib out of the lettuce so the lettuce layer is even and consistent, and also that more filling is not always better. I agree with that. You've got to be able to get your mouth around it without a gigantic mess, especially since a number of sandwich eaters are on the go or sitting on a bench. I don't remember a lot of details about that job, or what exactly I took from it, but getting your sandwich just right is like how someone takes their coffee. Little tweaks but usually you know what you like.

This is a recent veggie sandwich that pushes beyond the sprouts, avocado, lettuce, tomato limits. It folds over like a taco, but we're going to call it a sandwich anyway. I would consider it pretty simple, especially if you opt to purchase the naan instead of make your own. There is a creamy component, almost like a rustic hummus of sorts, a crunchy, raw vegetable, a hint of acid from the onions and the bits of feta that are bold enough to make the whole naan'wich a real treat. It's tough to give exact amounts here, but the fun of a sandwich is to make it as you wish. Hugh likes his with extra sriracha, I like easy onions, triple greens. Here's to a little something different for lunch either way.

naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen
naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen

VEGGIE NAAN'WICH WITH FETA CHICKPEA MASH // makes 4 sammys with a few extra naan

The chickpea mixture could be made in advance and kept covered in the fridge. If you need a GF option, I would stuff these items in a charred brown rice tortilla and just fold it in half.

// Naan //

Naan recipe adapted from Indian Simmer

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup of warm milk

1/2 cup of yogurt

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

ghee or coconut oil

Mix all the dry ingredients together and make a well of flour.

Mix milk and yogurt together and pour half of it into the well and slowly combine it together.

Add the liquid slowly and combine it all together slowly until a soft dough is made. The dough should be soft and tender.If dough sticks to your hand, use little bit of oil.

Cover with damp cloth and let it sit in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

Preheat a heavy bottomed, seasoned skillet or cast iron. Flour your work surface and knead the dough a few times, working in the minced garlic. Divide the dough into 6 to 8 pieces depending how large you'd like your sandwiches. Roll them out into a thin, oblong shape. Brush one side with water and add it to the pan, damp side down. Cook for about one minute until it browns, flip and cook the other side for another minute or two. Once lightly browned, run it over an open flame on the stove to get a few char marks. Brush the warm bread with a thin layer of ghee or coconut oil and a pinch of salt. Repeat with remaing dough. Keep covered with a dish cloth until ready to prepare the sandwiches.

naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen
naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • giant handful of chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons tahini paste
  • zest and juice of one small lemon
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled sheep's milk feta
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 carrots, thinly peeled with a peeler
  • 3 cups sprouts of greens of choice
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sriracha for spice, if needed

Rinse and drain the chickpeas. In a food processor, give the beans and cilantro a few quick pulses JUST to rough them up, you don't want a paste. I'm talking like 2 to 3 pulses. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the tahini, lemon juice and zest, pinch of red pepper flakes, feta, olive oil and lots of fresh ground pepper. Stir to blend. Add a tiny splash of water if it looks too dry.

Combine the onion and vinegar in a bowl with a pinch of salt and toss with your fingers to coat just to soften them a bit. Set up your space with the carrots ribbons, vinegared onions and greens. Make each sandwich with a hearty swipe of the chickpea mash, a generous layer of onions, carrots, greens. Drizzle the vegetables with a bit of olive oil and your hot sauce on the side as needed.

naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen
naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen
naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen
naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen
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Appetizer, Entrée, Fall, Gluten Free, Spring, Summer



We ate our last lunch of a quick trip to NYC at Carnegie Deli. There was a line outside, which I'm guessing is due to an Anthony Bourdain or Seinfield episode because I know there is better food in New York. My dad, as you'll gather from a few headnotes in our cookbook and snippets here, likes his food straight forward (although, I did bring raw chia date brownies for plane snacks and he LIKED them! Heavens to Betsy). A few days in New York for this man necessitates pretzels, pizza and a hot pastrami sandwich.

My dad was my date to the James Beard dinner in town - an event I attended hesitantly seeing this month is more travel heavy than average. Thanks to a few friends coaxing me, I knew I would regret it if I didn't make it happen - something I may get to experience once in a lifetime. We shopped around to find me a new dress, he found a bagel, I found a salad bar (and a dress!), we communicated mostly in sarcasm and jest, as my family does, and the day was really nice. That evening, I sat around a table of collegues from my publishing house, amid a room full of cookbook and journalism professionals. I was taking it in, but mostly just nervous, my legs shaking in high shoes I couldn't walk far in. I knew my odds were quite slim, but when you are the small fish in a big pond, the magnitude of the pond itself is enough to make your legs wobbly. Regardless of what is even happening in said pond, but you just swim anyway. Winners gave a little speech, think of a food version of the Acadamy Awards. It crossed my mind for a split second, what would I say if I did win? Every underdog has their chance, right? The people who build me up: My husband who had slipped a homemade card in my purse reminding me, albeit humorously, how proud he was, my mom checking in all day wanting the details, my sister responding to my dozens of picture texts helping me choose a dress, my dad who had made the trip across the country to go with me, and a complimentary and supportive publisher. I had encouraging notes and emails from long time friends and blog friends alike. You know the phrase moms say about raising children, "it takes a village"? I felt like I had my village cheering me on. You must listen to the village. Your own voice will question and doubt and make your legs wobbly, but your village has pom poms and megaphones and big red finger sponges telling you you're great. I am so thankful for my village.

A friend and I were emailing about cookbook business and she mentioned "the ubiquity of blogger cookbooks." While there is certainly a trend to it, I find that I garner a ton of wisdom and inspiration, both personally and food wise, from blogs. It is such a pleasure to see personal work all bound up in a pretty package. I am excited to be cooking out of the new book from Green Kitchen Stories, Vegetarian Everyday. It is every bit as wonderful as their site. Filled with super gorgeous vegetarian recipes, many vegan and gluten free. I am going to try their cauliflower pizza crust and dark danish rye bread next, and the homemade vegetable chorizo sounds so unique. I really like how light these falafel taste and feel in your tum as opposed to a breadcrumb-heavy, deep fried alternative. So glad I have leftovers.

I know you worked your buns off for this, David and Luise, and the book is absolutely lovely. Many congratulations to you! 



Recipe barely adapted from Vegetarian Everyday by David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl

David and Luise suggest a simple cashew nut dressing in their book which is a blend of soaked cashews, oil, lemon juice, and salt. I had some tahini sauce to use up, so I went that route instead. Just use half the amount of water called for. A fresh tzatziki would be refreshing here too. The original recipe uses 2 cups pistachios, I scaled it down a bit due to preference which is why mine yields a bit less than thiers. Your call. Don't be shy with the herbs, these falafels can take it. 

  • 12 sprigs of mint
  • 12 sprigs of parsley or cilantro
  • 1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked or canned
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 T. buckwheat flour (or another flour of choice)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • hearty pinch of salt 
  • / tomato chili salsa /
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (I used baby tomatoes)
  • 1/2 a small red chile, seeded and finely chopped (one jalepeno works)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. fresh chopped oregano
  • pinch of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • collard leaves, cabbage or pita bread for serving
  • fresh herbs for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375'. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or oiled foil. 

Pulse the herbs in a food processor. Add the pistachio nuts and pulse again to chop. Add the chickpeas, garlic, onion, oil, cumin, flour and baking soda and blend for thirty seconds, scraping down sides when necessary. You want the mixture a bit rough. 

Using your hands, form 20 small round falafels. Place them on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake them for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway through, until browned. 

Stir all tomato chili salsa ingredients together in another bowl. Allow ingredients to sit for flavors to blend. 

Make your wraps with the collard, cabbage or pita with a generous spread of the sauce and the tomato chili salsa. Falafels will keep for about a week covered in the fridge. 

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