kale

Entrée

GOODNESS WRAPS

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I cook for another family once a week. I spend a half day in their home planning a menu, shopping, cooking and packaging up a few dinners and a baked good for them to enjoy during the week. A few of you have asked how I got into doing this and honestly, it sort of fell into my lap by way of a family friend. I generally haven't found catering to be lucrative with all the work it entails on the backend as I am a one-woman show, but I do enjoy cooking for people and getting paid for it so this particular situation works well. I don't have the confidence to be much of a teacher but I get to cook alone in the quiet of an empty house which is dreamy for me, given what feeding a family and work has become in my own home with two toddlers underfoot. There aren't a lot of guidelines - they are all pretty flexible eaters - and it makes me think about complete meals which is good for me. 

Anyway, I post about it on Instagram every now and then and I am always reminded by the comments and feedback of what a chore it can be to make dinner every night. I don't mean to sound dramatic but really, it comes along so frequently right?! I am a snacker and nibbler, I don't really eat full meals very often because I eat all day, so meals aren't my strong suit as you may have noticed. At the end of the day, I have a table of four to feed and eating all together beats standing over the sink with a banana and spoonful of almond butter. Meal ideas are what people are most often looking for inspiration for, as it is typically the time a family or couple or individual is home from work or the busyness of the day and you sit at a table and enjoy a meal together. It is so special, but also a bit... fussy.

So how can we make this whole dinner thing work more efficiently for us? I find that dinner is the best place to set yourself up for another meal the next day, as we'll inevitably find ourself in the same place. I make extra rice, chop extra veggies, prepare more than we need to ensure leftovers, which can either be eaten again or repurposed into something different. While you're there futzing in the kitchen, do yourself a favor for the following day. Does this take a second thought? It does, but less so than an entirely new meal the next day. These wraps are a great example. They get wrapped in lavash or tortillas so they're easy for the kids to eat (I just tell them they're burritos for less resistance). I like mine in bowl form, always. I make extra sweet potatoes and kale to put in a frittata or into enchiladas with some black beans and cheese the next day. The extra rice gets made into veggie burgers or served with curry or Asian bowls with stir fry vegetables. The biggest complaint from people wanting to eat healthier is that it takes more time and costs more money. Both of which are true, but I think it pays off. So this recipe here, an inspiration for your next dinner, is both affordable and healthy. Full of fiber and color and so much produce and a delicious creamy sauce that makes the whole situation unique. Most of our meals are different versions of the same thing - a whole grain or veg alternative (zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash), roasted seasonal vegetables, greens, maybe a legume or a grilled protein and a yum sauce. The sauces are what pull everything together, and I love the one listed below because tahini is creamy, non-dairy deliciousness. I usually make a mustardy vinaigrette, jalapeno ceasar, an avocado or nut based creamy something...maybe we need a post on this, yes? Just a dressing/sauce arsenal?

So here we are, with dinner. From someone who doesn't always like making it, but likes eating it in good company. 

This post is sponsored by McCormick spices. All recipes, photos and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting sponsored content so we can continue to do the work we love to do here!

GOODNESS WRAPS // Serves 4

If four sounds like too many wraps, know the components save well to be made up for lunch the following day. Not into wraps? Make these into bowls. 
If pickled onions aren't your thing, sub shredded cabbage or beets for color and texture.

2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. dried basil


1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cane sugar
1 small red onion, sliced thin

1/3 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2-3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. turmeric
dash of cayenne
fresh ground pepper


1 bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped
oil and lemon juice

1 cup cooked brown rice
2 large avocados
microgreens, optional

4 tortillas or wraps of choice (here is a grain-free option)

Preheat the oven to 425' and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Pile on your sweet potatoes, drizzle with the oil, salt, basil and toss to coat. You want all the potatoes lightly coated. Spread them in an even layer. Roast the potatoes for 25 minutes. 

Quick "pickle" your onions. Put the vinegar, salt and sugar in a bowl and stir. Add in the sliced onions and let them sit (if you like yours softer, warm up the vinegar first). 

To make the dressing, combine the tahini, garlic, oil, water, salt, maple, cider vinegar, turmeric, cayenne, fresh pepper and stir everything to mix. Taste and season as needed. 

Put the kale in a bowl. Drizzle with a bit of oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and massage it all to soften and marinate. 

Assembly time! Or do bowls. Lay out your wrap. Smash in some avocado and then big spoonfuls of rice, kale, sweet potatoes, onion, microgreens and then a generous drizzle of the sauce. Wrap everything up tight. Slice in half and enjoy! 

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Entrée, Gluten Free, Dessert

FEEDING BABIES : COOKING WITH MY NIECES

Cooking with my Nieces . Sprouted Kitchen

I could pick out clothes or a new lego set, but what I really wanted was quality time with my nieces, who are turning 7 and 4 this month. My sister-in-law actually came up with the idea, I just needed to plan and execute a cooking class with them. I mentally prepared myself to forget trying to keep everything tidy and I asked them their favorite foods to be sure we made something they'd like. These girls are great eaters, the only request was to not have mushrooms or curry involved, which left me a lot to choose from. After a few attempts in the past, I will be honest that I don't really enjoy teaching. Not cooking at least. It is something I just have a feel for by way of experience and am pretty quick with because of that. I find it difficult to teach things that I've learned by trial and error myself. I can tell when cake batter looks too wet or smell if a vinaigrette is too oily only because I've messed those things up myself. Luckily, a four and seven year old are mostly concerned about when the cookies will be done and who gets to put the kale down the food processor shredder, so they were forgiving students. Leading the girls through this opposed to adults was refreshing. They were eager to touch and work and less concerned with the reasons and science that can be involved in making food taste good. It was so nice to have an afternoon with them even if I'm not sure I taught them anything, per se.

I can't speak as an authority on the subject, but I learned a few things about cooking with kids through this. First, the mise en place thing was huge, especially with baking. I measured and set out all of the ingredients, but they got to do the pouring and the mixing. I basically prepared half of the recipes in advance to keep their attention and for it to not take all day long to make some tacos and cookies. Example: I made the slaw dressing, but I saved the limes for them to squeeze in. Or the fish was cut and set in it's dish, but they were able to oil and season it. Yes, it's slightly more work than doing it yourself, but they were so excited to eat what they made I'd slow down again in a heartbeat. I am in the clean-as-you-go camp but that just doesn't work with kids around. Let the sink pile up and do it later. On recipes. Like I said, these girls, thanks to their mom, eat all sorts of things and are great with vegetables. Curran (2), prefers things a little more hidden and is exercising his own autonomy by using "no" often. In order to make one meal please everyone, I pulled out some crunchy beans on their own for his plate, and made his taco with melted mexican blend cheese, fish, easy slaw, rolled it up and called it a burrito because he'll eat nearly anything if he thinks it's a burrito (so long as any green vegetables are cut very small). 

I realize I was sharing kid friendly recipes based on how I was learning to eat well with a young toddler and then jumped ahead a few years on you but this can still work. On a normal day, I am not making everyone here different meals, we are just rearranging the one meal, to please everyone. 
The taco recipe is below and for the cookies, I worked off this thumbprint cookie recipe from Green Kitchen Stories. Based on my own pantry, I swapped in almond meal for the sunflower seed meal, whole wheat flour for the buckwheat flour and used the whole egg in the dough since I didn't put seeds around the outside. I also used store bought jam to save time and it worked great. 

Cooking with my Nieces . Ingredients . Sprouted Kitchen
Cooking with my Nieces . Sprouted Kitchen

FISH TACOS WITH CREAMY KALE SLAW AND CRUNCHY BEANS
Serves 4

The beans and fish need to be made fresh, but the dressing and slaw can be prepared in advance. I used wild rockfish here, but halibut or salmon would be great as they are in season now. If you are not a fish person, sub in your protein of choice, or even some mashed black beans or sweet potatoes could work. 

1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained and dried
1 generous Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400'. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Spread of the dried beans and drizzle the oil, chili powder, cumin and generous sprinkle of salt. Toss to coat. You want them coated well to get crispy. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 minutes or until crispy. Set aside. 

2 lbs. firm, white fish or wild salmon
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning

2 heads lacinato kale, spines removed
1/2 of a small red cabbage
4 green onions

// cilantro pepita dressing //

1 clove garlic
1/4 cup toasted pepitas
1 tsp. capers
1 jalapeno, seeded
1 larger bunch of cilantro
juice of two juicy limes
2 tsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. agave nectar
2-3 Tbsp. mayonnaise or vegan alternative
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. each sea salt and pepper

8 corn tortillas
crumbled feta cheese
hot sauce, for serving

Cooking with my Nieces . Thumbprint Cookies . Sprouted Kitchen
Cooking with my Nieces . Cookies . Sprouted Kitchen

Put the fish filets in a baking dish and oil both sides. Sprinkle on the taco seasoning and salt if your mix is unsalted. Brush or rub the mix into the flesh of the fish. Set aside.

For the dressing, in a food processor, blitz the garlic, pepitas, capers, jalapeno together until mostly blended. Add the cilantro, lime juice, agave, mayo, oil and salt and pepper and blend for 30 seconds until mostly smooth. Taste it and season to taste. This will be a dressing, so it should be thick, but still easy to distribute. Adjust oil and lime juice as needed. Set aside. The dressing can be made up to a week in advance. 

Shred or chop the kale and cabbage very thin. I use the shredder blade on the food processor to get a fine, consistent cut. You should have about 4-5 cups of shredded vegetables. Cut the onions and add them to the mixture. Toss with desired amount of dressing and set it in the fridge while you cook the fish.
Preheat the grill to medium heat. Grill the fish about 4-5 minutes per side until just cooked. Timing will vary based on thickness of the fish. Note, it may also be broiled if you don't want to grill. Broil for about 8 minutes total.

Heat your tortillas over the grill or stove. Assemble with a piece of fish, slaw, crunchy beans and crumbled feta cheese.

Cooking with my Nieces . Fish Tacos . Sprouted Kitchen


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Entrée, Side, Gluten Free, Fall, Winter

HOLIDAY SLAW WITH ROASTED SHALLOT DRESSING

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen
Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen

I had the best of intentions to share this simple salad, one that goes with everything, before Thanksgiving but one thing led to another and maybe this will fall into your weeknight plans. I made the mistake of purchasing a Costco bag of peppermint pretzel thins so the only way to make that right are giant salads. This past weekend we hung lights, wreaths and put out a few poinsettias. I don't own a bunch of holiday decor, but I am eager to make our home feeling cozy and festive this time of year. I have memories of the stuff my mom put out - an old nativity scene with shredded paper hay, stockings with a disney character and our name embroidered on them and the alternating red and white lights that go around the roof. Even though Curran has no idea what's going on yet, I want to build traditions he'll look back on. It's amazing how a mini person can inspire so much intentionality. And I mean that in more ways than just Christmas lights.

I'm on this bender of vegetables being chopped small or sliced paper thin. I've mentioned that I finally found a mandoline I'm keen on and it makes the whole situation easier. For Thanksgiving round two with Hugh's family, I shaved multi-color carrots super thin and tossed them with some red quinoa, lentils, micro greens, toasted walnuts and an apple cider vinaigrette. It didn't appear as popular as the mashed potatoes but I will for sure be making that again.

I know the crazy starts now - may there be rest and thankfulness in between it. 

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen
Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen

HOLIDAY SLAW // Serves 6

  • 3 cups diced butternut squash (1/2")
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • pinch of salt, smoked paprika and cinnamon
  • -
  • 2 bunches Lacinato/Tuscan kale
  • 1/2 head red cabbage
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 3/4 cup shaved parmesan
  • 3/4 cup toasted pecan pieces
  • // roasted shallot dressing //
  • 2 small or 1 large roasted shallot*
  • handful fresh chopped chives
  • 1/4-1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. each sea salt and ground pepper

* roast a shallot much like a head of garlic. Trim the end, toss it (skin on) in a little olive oil and pinch of salt, wrap it in foil and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes until softened and caramelized. Time will vary by size of the shallot or how many you do. Simply peek in to check it's texture. Remove to cool to the touch before squishing it out of it's skin. 

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen
Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 400'. On a large rimmed baking tray, toss the butternut cubes with the olive oil, salt, smoked paprika and cinnamon to coat. Spread in an even layer and bake for 20 minutes until just tender but not mooshy. Set aside to cool completely. 

In a blender or food processor, whiz all the dressing ingredients together until smooth.

Stem the kale and chop it ultra thin. Using a mandoline or excellent knife skills, shave the red cabbage and onion. Collect these items in a large salad bowl. Add the cherries (I chopped mine in half if you feel so inclined), parmesan and pecans, drizzle desired amount of dressing and toss to coat. The kale and cabbage can handle, if not improve, by sitting in the dressing for 5-10 minutes before serving. 

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen
Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen
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