dairy free

Entrée, Gluten Free, Summer

LENTIL-CAULI TACO MEAT

cauliflower and lentil tacos 'meat'

Ok. I had to double post on both SKCC and here because so many of you asked me for this recipe. The first time I made this, I was literally grasping at what was left in the fridge. It made a wet gross mush in a pot that I had no interest in eating, so I tried to save it by drying it out in the oven because I HATE wasting food. It had crispy edges and a deep tomato flavor and I ate it for three meals straight. To be honest with you, I cannot get it as good as it was the first time. Below is something pretty damn close.

My family does eat meat, but in an effort towards sustainability and health, we eat a lot of vegetarian meals. Love a good mushroom taco, or even some saucy tempeh, but this mixture has the crumbly, spicy, crisp edges I remember from the ground beef tacos of my youth. Chili, sloppy joes, tacos, hamburger helper, any other babies of the 80’s know that dinner rotation?

If you give it a whirl. Let me know your thoughts. I’ve used it in tacos, as shown, but also sprinkled it in a salad with avocado and peaches and pepitas, and put it in burritos for my wee ones. You could add rice and stuff it into bell peppers (there is a recipe in my story highlights). Anyway, you get the idea.



LENTIL-CAULI TACO MEAT

Makes about 4 cups / Serves 6

If you need to cut a corner, use the steamed lentils from Trader Joes. I actually prefer them - they are drier than the ones I cook at home. Keep an eye on it while it’s in the oven, and stir it around. We want to dry it out to get some crunchy edges.

Try it in tortillas with smashed avocado, cabbage and taco sauce below.

Quicky Taco Sauce

  • Blitz Together:
  • + 1 cup plain, whole greek yogurt
  • + 1 jalapeno
  • + 1 large garlic clove
  • + zest & juice of 1 lime
  • + small bunch cilantro
  • + salt & pepper

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. avocado or extra virgin olive oil
1/2 a yellow onion, roughly chopped 
3 garlic cloves
1 (1.5 lb.) head of cauli, leaves and core removed, broken into florets (or 12 oz. fresh, not frozen, riced-cauli)
3/4 tsp. Kosher salt/ 1/2 tsp. sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. coriander
1 cup canned tomato sauce (I like Muir Glen!)
1 cup cooked lentils, drained

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Preheat the oven to 400’ and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

Into a food processor, add the onions and garlic. Pulse a few times to chop well. Transfer to the pot with the hot oil and give it a quick stir. Put the cauli florets into the food processor and pulse, scraping down the sides every few times until it is in tiny rice-like pieces. Add it to the pot along with salt and pepper, sauté about 5 minutes until things soften and get golden in places. 

Add the cumin, chili powder, coriander (or about 1 Tbsp. taco seasoning) and stir. Add the tomato sauce and lentils, stir again. You’re going to think it looks like a soggy mess, but press on! Turn off the heat, let the mixture cool down. 

Transfer the cauli mixture to the prepared baking sheet and spread it in an even layer. Let all the steam off, then bake it in the upper third for 35 minutes, stirring once or twice during the baking time. Turn the oven up to 450’, and cook another 5-10 minutes. Turn off the oven, but leave the tray in there for another 10-15 minutes to dry it out further. The moisture level will be different per person because some cauli can be pretty watery, lentils can have different textures etc. It should look a little charred in spots. Stir it around to cool.

Assemble as you wish - into a taco or roasted sweet potato or room temp into a taco salad. We didn’t make it super spicy so it would be kid-friendly too. 

Store covered in the fridge for up to five days, or freeze for up to a few months.

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Feeding Babies, Gluten Free, Dessert, Snack

OATMEAL BREAKFAST COOKIES

breakfast-cookies-01.JPG

We have this “breakfast cookie” recipe going out to our Cooking Club members this week and I wanted to put the recipe here too. The feeding babies section is a crowd favorite, and my kids plow through these. Healthy-ish, grab n’ go, and what not - that’s what ya’ll seem to love about the kids recipes I’ve included around here. It’s tough to find a cookie or muffin that hold together that are both gluten and egg-free, but these work. Report back if you make them, or let me know what you changed. I love seeing your photos!

Our son turned FIVE this weekend. It felt like a big birthday - every increment of five does to me for some reason. My mom always made a big deal of birthdays and I thought it was so fun - I love making him feel like the star of the weekend and the one to make all the calls. We packed the weekend with Legoland, camping with cousins in San Clemente, rocket launching in a field, Chuck-e-Cheese with grandparents, meals of his choice, sprinkle cupcakes etc. etc. It sounds like a lot because it was :)

I feel like we were chin deep in both baby and toddler-hood at the same time for the past few years, and seeing Curran now as an almost-kindergartener is wild. Like we’ve been treading water, and now we can swim. He is thoughtful and emotional and smart and empathetic - LOVES his dad, lights up with the company of friends, is ALWAYS the first person to wake up in the morning with a full tank of energy, very into building things, collector, can recall specific memories in full detail from way before I thought was possible (“remember when I choked on that frozen mango?”…you were one, how do you remember that?!?!). He has figured out that throwing clothes in the hamper is quicker than folding and putting them away which I find both annoying and clever - for some reason it’s a nod from toddler to kid - those little things that feel different.

Curran and I had a tough time with each other during his 2-4 age because he is pretty sensitive, and it would touch on an insecurity of my own - both of us then upset, neither bringing calm to the situation. I thought I was self-aware enough to not ride my toddlers emotions but I did… do, sometimes still. He’s better lately, and I am too, far from perfect, but it feels like we’ve grown in that area together. Perhaps that makes me sound like an immature parent, but little refines us and highlights our weak spots like our own children. Anyway, finding a better rhythm with him has been so special. I used to want time to speed up, I didn’t want to tread water anymore, but the swimming? Now I want to stop time! Curran and I have put together more lego sets in the past four days than I care to have floating around the house but he LOVES them, both the building and the company, so bring on the Legos.

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SIDENOTE: Hugh made a short pdf of quick food photography tips which is now available on our SHOP page. For a limited time, it is available for $1.99, which will be the best couple bucks you’ll spend this week. It is not a full photography course, but the concise and simple tips will absolutely make a difference in the way you capture your food. I’ve learned so much from Hugh, and this guide boils down the handful of important things to think about when you take and edit a photo of your food. Let us know if you have any questions!


OATMEAL BREAKFAST COOKIES

Makes 18 small

These are delicate, as there is no gluten or egg helping to bind them. If you are looking for something to pack in a lunchbox, and can tolerate eggs, add one in to the mashed banana step to help make them more sturdy. Raisins feel slightly more virtuous, but chocolate chips feel slightly more delicious. Take your pick. Keep them small either way.

I do not usually stock quick-cooking oats, but you can blitz old-fashioned oats in a food processor for a similar texture, or I’ve used Seven Sundays muesli with success (Target or Costco sell the big bags). If you need these to be nut-free, I have a report that sunflower butter works fine.

Ingredients

1 medium, extra extra ripe banana, mashed
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup smooth, natural nut butter (almond, cashew, peanut)
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (or old-fashioned oats you’ve blitzed in the food processor a few times to get smaller bits)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 Tbsp. flaxmeal
1/2 cup raisins (chop if they’re jumbo), or mini chocolate chips

Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed banana with salt, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut oil and stir to combine. Add the maple, nut butter, chia seeds and stir again until smooth. Let the chia seeds absorb for a moment. 

Stir in the oats, baking powder, flaxmeal, raisins and let the mixture chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350’ and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. 

Roll the dough into balls of about 2 Tbsp. worth of dough. Arrange them on the baking sheet with a little space between, give them a gently press down, they don’t spread much. 

Bake on the middle rack for 12-13 minutes. Remove to cool completely - they’ll hold together better once cooled. 

Store in an airtight container. Cookies will keep for three days. 

breakfast-cookies-02.JPG
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Entrée, Summer

GRILLED MUSHROOM BOWLS WITH MUHUMMARA

Mushrooms for Grilling

At a glance, this may look like a lot of steps, but once you go through the trouble of making this dip/sauce, it can be used in a handful of meals or as a delicious sandwich spread. It is so so delicious and great to have around, especially during grilling season. It is typically thickened with breadcrumbs, but I've found that oats can stand in to keep it wheat free. Use whichever you prefer and season to taste. The sauce can be made a few days in advance. 

Grilled Mushrooms

GRILLED MUSHROOM BOWLS WITH MUHUMMARA

Serves 4

Ingredients

muhummara:

1 large roasted red bell pepper (from scratch* or jarred, so 2 if those are small)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, plus more for garnish
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. smoked paprika
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. pomegranate molasses or honey
2 Tbsp. old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp. sea salt, to taste
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of fresh ground pepper

4 skewers:

16 oz. baby mushrooms (white or cremini)
1/2 a red onion, cut in roughly 2" pieces
2 Tbsp. avocado oil
1/2 tsp. each sea salt, pepper, dried oregano, smoked paprika

2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups greens
baby tomatoes, halved

* To make a roasted bell pepper from scratch. Roast it over the flame of the stove, or a bbq on high heat, rotating it every four to five minutes to get all sides. About 15 minutes total. You want all sides charred and the pepper to feel tender. Remove it to a bowl and cover it with a dishtowel or plastic wrap and let it cool completely. This will help the outer charred skin separate from the flesh. When it's cool, run it under water to help push the charred skin off, remove the stem and seeds, and use as directed below. 

Instructions

Combine all of the muhummara ingredients in a food processor - the charred pepper, walnuts, garlic, tomato paste, paprika, vinegar, oil, pom molasses or honey, oats, salt and pepper. Pulse until blended and combined. Add a lil splash of water to loosen it, it will firm up in the fridge. 

Heat your grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel and remove the stems. Put them in a mixing bowl with the onions, drizzle the oil on top, add the salt, pepper, oregano and paprika and toss everything to coat. Thread the vegetables on the skewers. Grill, rotating a few times, for about 10-15 minutes until charred and beginning to soften. 

To assemble the bowls, arrange a big swipe of the sauce, portion of rice, a handful of greens (toss them in a drizzle of oil and lemon juice if you're able), tomatoes, a skewers worth or two of mushrooms and garnish with a few more walnuts. 

Grilled Mushrooms Bowls with Muhummara . Sprouted Kitchen
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