Mains

Creamy Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

fall is here!

Hi friends! I’ve been on a bit of a blog hiatus — it’s been crazy busy summer of work and travel, but now that Fall is in full swing, life is finally slowing down. The transition from summer to fall is always bittersweet and seems to be happening very rapidly this year. The hot summer days full of simple salads and cold summer treats are being replaced with warming soups, stews and heartier meals. We can finally turn our stoves and ovens back on!

With this transition, I bring you a recipe for this Creamy Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup. It’s comforting and filling without being too heavy. There’s nothing like scents of onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms and thyme cooked in butter to get you in the cozy, fall spirit!

A soup great for digestion + boosting mood

Need some digestive support? Soups are a great option because they are generally easier to digest.

Remember the Avgolemono recipe I sent out a while ago? It was a delightfully creamy, lemony soup thickened with eggs. I used that same technique to thicken this soup to avoid using cream or coconut milk, which are often hard for people to digest.

This soup is also loaded with ginger and lemon, making it perfect for days where you’re digestion is feeling off. Keep reading to learn why wild rice is so much easier to digest than other grains!

This time of year (especially in Portland) the winter blues can start to set in as days get cloudier and cooler. This soup is loaded with brain and mood boosting nutrients to prevent those winter blues. Egg yolks are a great source of vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Mushrooms are another plant-based source of vitamin D because they absorb sunlight as they grow.

Other favorite warming recipes for fall:

Chana Masala
Spiced Lentils and Rice with Garlickly Yogurt Sauce
Ginger Coconut Brown Rice + Banh Mi Bowl
Spice Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew

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What is wild rice?

Did you know wild rice is actually a type of grass? It’s called ‘rice’ because of it’s similar appearance and cooking method to other grains. This makes wild rice a great option for people who struggle to digest grains or are grain-free. It also has twice the protein as regular brown rice and is packed with fiber.

How to make a soup creamy without cream

Most of the time, recipes call for coconut milk as a dairy-free substitution for cream. I do this a lot, but sometimes the strong coconut milk flavor and sweetness aren’t what you’re going for! That’s where eggs come in…

When you whisk eggs together while slowly pouring in a hot broth, the eggs get gently cooked into a creamy liquid. Stir that back into your soup and you’ve got yourself a velvety, rich broth!

Try my recipe for Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Chicken Soup)!

How to make Wild Rice Mushroom Soup

Simply sauté the aromatics in butter to release their flavor. Then add in the mushrooms, wild rice, thyme and bay leaf and stir it all together. Then add water and broth and let it simmer, covered, until the rice is cooked!

To make the soup thicker and velvety, you’ll whisk together 1 egg and 1 egg yolk in a small bowl. Remove some of the hot liquid using a measuring cup and slowly pour it back into the eggs, whisking constantly. This way the hot water will slowly cook and emulsify into the eggs. Stir that back into the soup and watch the magical creaminess happen!

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Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 tbsp butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
2 celery stalks, sliced
3-inch piece of ginger, grated (about 2 tbsp)
1 tsp salt
1 cup wild rice
8 oz mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups sliced)
2 large sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf (optional)
4 cups vegetable broth (or use 4 cups water)
2 cups water
2 eggs (1 whole egg + 1 yolk)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups packed chopped kale

Instructions:
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, ginger and salt. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes. 

Add the wild rice, mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf (if using). Stir to mix everything together.

Add the broth and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 30-45 minutes, or until the wild rice has burst open and is still slightly chewy. Remove from heat and stir in the kale to wilt.

In a small bowl, whisk together one whole egg, one egg yolk and the lemon juice until smooth. Remove one cup of the broth from the soup and slowly whisk it into the egg mixture in a slow steady stream. Slowly stir the mixture back into the soup. Add more salt and pepper, to taste. 

Serve warm garnished with olive oil, flaky sea salt and black pepper.

*See tips and tricks section below!

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Tip and tricks for the perfect Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

  1. The amount of salt needed with depend greatly on the vegetable broth that you use, so add more salt if it is low sodium! Salt (and acid) is the KEY to tastier food at home.

  2. When whisking the hot broth into the eggs, make sure to pour it in a slow stream while you vigorously whisk it into the eggs. We don’t want scrambled eggs!

  3. Don’t have wild rice? Try using brown rice, but reduce the cook time to 25-30 minutes.

  4. Wild rice can take longer or shorter depending on what brand you buy. Just look for some of the grains to burst open. They should be a little chewy, but not crunchy!

  5. If the rice is taking longer and the soup is losing more liquid than you’d like, just add in some more water.

  6. Don’t have vegetable broth? Skip it and use 6 cups of water instead!

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)

The Perfect Spring Soup

Just because it’s almost Spring doesn’t mean soup season is over! This creamy, bright, lemony soup will blow your mind with it’s simplicity and deliciousness!

Also known as Avgolemono, this traditional Greek soup is a fun twist on chicken and rice soup. It has a secret ingredient that makes it extra luscious — eggs! No dairy, just eggs to create a creamy, velvety consistency.

The soup is topped with a generous amount of fresh dill for a herbaceous punch and black pepper for lil a kick.

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Can you put raw egg in soup?

YES! Slowly stirring in hot water tempers the eggs, sort of like chocolate, so that it doesn’t scramble. Instead, it cooks slowly at a lower temperature.

What is Avgolemono?

It’s a family of Greek sauces and soups where eggs/egg yolks are combined with lemon juice and hot broth to create a creamy sauce or soup.

What kind of rice is best for soup?

You can totally use white rice or even quinoa instead of brown rice. I just like the heartier texture of brown rice. Don’t worry about overcooking the grain, it adds to the creaminess.


Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp salt, divided
Pinch salt
¾ cup brown rice
1 bay leaf, optional
1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 qt low sodium chicken stock
4 eggs (2 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks)
¼ cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
3 cups spinach, optional
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup fresh dill

Instructions:
In a large pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add onion and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the rice, bay leaf (if using), chicken and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes (uncovered), or until both the rice and chicken are cooked.

Remove the bay leaf and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the chicken. Return the chicken to the pot along with the spinach (if using). Simmer until the spinach wilts, about 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks and lemon juice until smooth. VERY slowly pour in 2 cups of the hot broth while whisking constantly.

Stir the lemony egg liquid back into the soup along with the remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Simmer it gently for a couple of minutes. It will become creamy — MAGIC! Taste and add more salt if you think it needs it (depends on the chicken broth used).

Stir in lots of cracked pepper. Serve topped with lots of fresh dill, a drizzle of olive oil and more black pepper.


Tips and tricks for the perfect Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

  1. Slowly whisking the hot broth into the egg/lemon is the most important part! It’s not hard at all, just maintain a slow drizzle while whisking away.

  2. The chicken may cook faster than the rice. If so, you can just remove the chicken and continue to simmer until rice is cooked.

  3. The soup is very lemony and salt helps to balance it all out. Don’t be afraid to add more salt if you think it needs it. A drizzle of olive oil also helps balance the lemon.

  4. Don’t skip the DILL!!! It takes the soup to the next level.






Spiced Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew

Spiced Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew

This Spiced Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew is loaded with some of my favorite cozy spices to use this time of year. The coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika combo will warm you up from the inside out! The bites of sweet dates and salty olives combined with the spicy broth is to die for! BONUS — it’s loaded with immune-boosting foods to keep those nasty winter bugs at bay.

Lentils and chickpeas are my favorite legumes to use as plant-based options for dinners and lunches. While I love eating local, grass-fed, pasture-raised, etc… meats a few times a week, I try to make the majority of my meals plant-based for simplicity, affordability, and variety. The moment I tested out this chickpea stew, I knew it was going to be a weekly staple.

It’s super easy to throw together — simply sauté some onions and garlic, add your spices and chickpeas, mash them up a little to thicken the stew, then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until done, voila!

I make a ton of stews this time of year because they keep well in the fridge or can be frozen for an easy meal. Make a double batch and freeze half, you won’t regret it!

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Whats the difference between a soup and a stew?

Soups have much more liquid, whereas stews are meats, legumes, and/or veggies that are simmered with enough broth to cover/cook until everything is tender and the broth is reduced and turned ‘saucy’. Yum!

How do you make a vegetarian stew?

Swap the beef, poultry or pork with some good old reliable legumes! Sauté your aromatics and spices/flavors, add the protein and liquid and simmer until everything is tender and liquid has reduced.

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Spiced Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew

Serves 4

Ingredients:
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp red chili flakes (optional)
2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 medium sweet potato, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1 heaping cup)
2 cups water
1 cup packed chopped kale
½ cup chopped pitted green olives
¼ cup chopped dates (or dried apricots or golden raisins)
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Chopped toasted almonds, for garnish

Instructions:
In a large pot, warm the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric and red chili flakes (if using) and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, to toast the spices.

Stir in the chickpeas, then use a fork to mash about ⅓ of them up. Stir in the sweet potato and water and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the greens, olives, and dates and simmer, uncovered, for 5 more minutes.

Serve with rice or quinoa and garnish with cilantro and almonds. This is also delicious with a dollop of plain yogurt!

Tips and Tricks for the perfect Spiced Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew

  1. Make sure to mash 1/3 - 1/2 of the chickpea to help release their starches and thicken the stew (thanks Alison Roman for the tip!).

  2. Some canned chickpeas are way creamier while others can be a bit mealy and dry. You definitely want CREAMY to thicken up the stew. I love the 365 brand from Whole Foods. If you cook your chickpeas at home (this yields the best chickpeas by far), then use 4 cups cooked chickpeas!

  3. Toasting the spices enhances their flavor, so don’t skip that step! But be careful not to burn them — stir it constantly and make sure there is still some oil in the pot. If not, add a glug.

  4. You still want the final product to have some liquid/sauce but not so much that it’s like a soup. Keep reducing the liquid (or add some) until it seems right.

  5. Make sure you taste and add salt/spices/maybe some lemon juice until you like it!

Spiced Lentils and Rice with Garlicky Yogurt Sauce

Spiced Lentils and Rice with Garlicky Yogurt Sauce

This is my go-to quick and easy meal for when I get home and have nothing planned for dinner. It only requires a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand in your fridge and pantry. It also freezes really well — I usually freeze half for easy future meals!

The ingredients couldn’t be simpler or more affordable!

  • Spiced Lentils and Rice: oil, onion, salt, spices, brown rice and lentils

  • Garlicky Yogurt Sauce: plain yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper

  • Fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)

  • Fried Egg (optional)

This meal may seem basic, and it is, but it’s also jam-packed with flavor and loaded with nutrition. The warming spices are toasted in oil and infuse the rice and lentils with tons of flavor and the browned onions add a little touch of sweetness. Don’t skip the the tangy, garlicky yogurt sauce — it makes the dish. SO GOOD!

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What are the health benefits of lentils?

Lentils are a nutrition powerhouse! They are loaded with protein, zinc, iron, and fiber just to name a few. The list seriously goes on and on. By far my favorite legume!

How do you make a yogurt sauce?

There isn’t a simpler sauce than a yogurt sauce. All you need is yogurt, water, salt and pepper for the most basic version. I like adding lemon juice and garlic for a more punchy flavor!

Does it matter what kind of lentils I use?

You you should use green lentils or black (beluga) would also work I think. Don’t use red lentils as they break down too much and are better for soups.

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Spice Lentils and Rice with Garlicky Yogurt Sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients:
3 tbsp avocado oil, divided
1 onion, sliced into half moons
1 ½ tsp salt, divided
2 tsp coriander
1 ½ tsp allspice
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
1 cup dried brown lentils
1 cup brown rice
4 cups water

Garlicky yogurt sauce:
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
2 tbsp water, or more to thin it out
1 tbsp lemon juice
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
¾ tsp salt
Black pepper

Garnish (optional): fresh cilantro, paprika, fried egg

Instructions:
In a large pot, warm 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cook over high heat for 4 minutes, or until they start to turn light golden brown (see picture above).

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and spices and stir constantly to toast them, about 15 seconds.

Add the brown rice and lentils and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and stir to coat them in all of the spices and oil.

Add the water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 40 minutes, stirring halfway. If there is still water left in the pot, remove the lid and turn to heat up to boil it off.

Meanwhile, make the yogurt sauce by mixing together all ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and add more salt or lemon if needed. You may need to add more water to thin it out depending on the thickness of the yogurt you used.

Serve the lentils generously slathered in the yogurt sauce and topped with cilantro, paprika, and/or a fried egg, if desired.

Tips and tricks for the perfect spiced lentils and rice

  1. Cooking times can vary due to different factors: type of stovetop, brand of brown rice…so make sure to taste the rice to make sure its done. If there is still water in the pot and the rice is done, remove the lid and boil it off. If it needs more time to cook, just add more hot water.

  2. The lentils cook faster than the rice so they will be done sooner, but that’s fine, trust me!

  3. The lentils might rise to the top while cooking, that’s why its good to give it a stir halfway through so that the rice can cook evenly.

  4. This will stay good in the fridge for 5-7 days. It also freezes really well — just pop it in the microwave until thawed and quickly whip up some yogurt sauce!

Maple Miso Baked Tempeh

Maple Miso Baked Tempeh

This sweet, salty, tangy tempeh is like an umami-bomb in your mouth. If you’re wondering that that tastes like, just make this recipe and you’ll find out I promise!! The simple marinade features tamari, miso, maple syrup, rice vinegar and garlic. It’s a no fuss recipe because all you have to do is let the tempeh marinate and throw it in the oven — no pan-frying or splattering necessary. Throw it into your next grain bowl, it’s so flavorful you don’t even really need a sauce!

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What is tempeh?

Tempeh is traditionally made from fermented soy beans, but can also be made from other legumes and grains (brown rice, lentils, millet…). It’s made by cooking whole soy beans, then mixing them with a certain type of mold, forming it into a block, and then letting it ferment at a specific temperature.

What is better for you tempeh or tofu?

TEMPEH! Tofu is made from curdling and coagulating soy milk. Since tempeh is made of whole and fermented soybeans, it is much more digestible and makes all of the nutrients more bioavailable. It’s also higher in protein and fiber. Did I convert you yet??

What does tempeh taste like?

Tempeh has a firm, pleasantly chewy texture and a super savory, nutty flavor. It tastes nothing like tofu which is mushy, watery and has little flavor. If you haven’t tried tempeh, do it!!

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Miso Maple Baked Tempeh

Serves 2

Ingredients:
1/4 cup tamari
2 tbsp mellow white miso paste
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 clove garlic
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 package tempeh, cut into triangles or cubes

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a bowl, add the the soy sauce and miso and use a fork to mash and mix the miso into the soy sauce so that it dissolves. Stir in the maple syrup, garlic and red pepper flakes. Add the tempeh and toss gently to coat. Let it marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Transfer the marinated tempeh to the baking sheet, reserving as much marinade as you can, and spread in an even layer so they aren’t touching. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until caramelized.

Serve immediately drizzled with the remaining marinade. I love it in a rice bowl or on top of a veggie stir-fry.

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Miso Maple Baked Tempeh

  1. This recipe is not nearly as good the next day because the tempeh absorbs a lot of the moisture. Try and eat it right out of the oven!

  2. Make sure to SAVE THE MARINADE from the tempeh. You’ll drizzle this all over as your sauce!

  3. As you bake the tempeh, it might start to look like the marinade is burning because of the maple syrup, but don’t worry it shouldn’t be burning on your tempeh.

  4. I cut my tempeh in half length-wise and then cut into triangles so that they were thinner (more surface area for the sauce to cling to!)

  5. This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Chana Masala

Chana Masala

Now that fall is here all I want to do is eat soups, stews and roasted everything! This Chana Masala is a tomato-based chickpea stew that is full of warming spices and flavors. I love this recipe because it uses super simple, budget-friendly ingredients, and is a delicious, comforting plant-based dinner option that also freezes really well!

This recipe is very dear to me because I got it from one of my best friends mom who used to feed me A LOT of Indian food back in high school. I’ve never had anything quite as good since!

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How do you make chana masala?

First you pulse the jalapeño, garlic, ginger and onion so that everything is very finely chopped. Then you toast the spices in shimmering oil, which blooms them and makes it super fragrant. Next you add the onion mixture to the pot and let them caramelize a bit. Then you add the pureed tomatoes and cook that for a bit so that it thickens. Finally, you add the chickpeas and remaining spices along with spinach (if using) and then stir in the cilantro. Easy peasy!!

What is chana masala curry?

It is an Indian curry made with ginger, garlic, green chiles, onion, tomatoes, a warming spice blend, and chickpeas. It’s very simple yet super satisfying!

You’ll need a few spices for the delicious spice blend, but if you don’t have them they are totally worth investing in. Here is what you’ll need: cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and paprika.

Is chana masala good for you?

Yes!! It’s loaded with anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric and ginger. Since it’s a tomato-based stew, it’s high in vitamin C and carotenoids that are also great for reducing inflammation. The chickpeas add a healthy dose of fiber and protein. Add some spinach for an extra boost of calcium and iron!

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Chana Masala

Serves 4

Ingredients:
3 cups cooked brown basmati or short grain rice (about 1 cup uncooked)
1 jalapeno, deseeded
4-5 cloves garlic
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1/3 cup avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (or diced, but you will have to puree them)
2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp paprika
2 cups packed spinach (optional)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions:
In a food processor, pulse the jalapeño, garlic, and ginger until everything is finely chopped. Add the onion and pulse again a few times until finely chopped. This step really helps to finely chop and release the juices for maximum flavor.

In a large pot, add the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the spices and let them toast in the oil for about 1 minute, stirring often.

Add the onion mixture and salt and cook for 5 minutes to let the onions cook down and caramelize and spices continue to release their flavor (this is key for a deep, rich flavor).

Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 more minutes to thicken. Stir in the chickpeas, garam masala and paprika and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in the spinach (if using) and cilantro and let the spinach wilt (if using). Remove from heat.

Serve on top of a bed of basmati or short grain brown rice. Enjoy!!

Tips and tricks for the perfect Chana Masala

  1. Make sure not to skimp on the oil. It allows the spices and flavors to bloom and gives the stew a rich, satisfying mouth feel.

  2. Don’t skip any steps! Caramelizing the onions, toasting the spices and simmering the tomatoes are all KEY to a delicious chana masala.

  3. You could try hand chopping everything if you don’t have a food processor. I haven’t tried it this way but am sure it will still be delicious. However, pulsing them released the juices from the garlic, ginger, etc… and leads to a better smooth texture in the stew.

  4. This will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week and freezes for several months!

  5. I always have some little bags of cooked grains (brown rice, farro, barley…) in my freezer so meals like these come together super quickly! Simply microwave the grains until warm or let them sit in the fridge overnight to thaw.

Stovetop Taco Chicken

Stovetop Shredded Taco Chicken

This Mexican-style shredded chicken is my go to for tacos or burrito bowls. It's super easy to throw together and uses simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand! You can easily sub ground chicken, turkey or grass-fed beef (see Tips and Tricks at the end of the post).

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How do I make shredded chicken?

Making shredded chicken at home is a great way to cook chicken for meal prep and it's super simple! Place it in a pot filled with enough water or broth to cover the chicken. Bring it to a simmer and cook, covered for 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. Remove from the pot and use two forks to shred it up!

How do I make my own taco seasoning?

Making your own taco seasoning at home is super simple! You might be surprised to know that those little taco seasoning packets you buy have fillers, sugar and other nasty ingredients you don't need in your life. I keep it simple and use equal parts cumin and oregano, but you could add in chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. 

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Stovetop Shredded Taco Chicken

Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 tbsp avocado oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1.5 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp oregano
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
1 lb chicken breast, cut in half lengthwise if very thick 

Instructions:
In a medium pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. 

Add the garlic, cumin, oregano and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, using a wooden spoon to stir and mash the tomato paste around so it's coating all of the onions. Add a splash of oil if it looks to dry in the pot (this will help bloom the spices and caramelize the tomato paste).

Add the water or broth and chicken and nestle it in the liquid. Sprinkle the chicken with an additional generous pinch of salt. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through. This may take longer depending on the thickness of your breast.

Once cooked through, transfer chicken breasts to a cutting board and use two forks to shred them. Return to the pot and simmer for another minute, to reduce the liquid into a thicker sauce. Add more salt and/or spices, to taste!

Serve it up on tacos or as a burrito bowl!

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Stovetop Shredded Taco Chicken

  1. Be careful not to burn the tomato paste and spices by making sure there is still some oil in the pot, adding more if needed
  2. Want some heat? Add 1/4 tsp on cayenne pepper
  3. This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 month
  4. Make sure to taste and add more salt or spices if you think it needs it (I usually end up adding more salt, depending on how much chicken is in there
  5. If using chicken, make sure its really nestled in the liquid so it cooks/steams evenly
  6. If using ground meat, use half the amount of water, adding more if you think it needs more moisture. There is no need to cover the pot, just add the meat to the pan and let it brown, then break it up into chunks and continue to cook until its cooked through and the sauce has thickened.

Ginger Coconut Brown Rice + Banh Mi Bowl

GINGER COCONUT BROWN RICE

I must have made this rice at least 10 times before nailing it (and probably made it 10 more times since then because I couldn't stop eating it!). It's sweet, salty, nutty, heaven! 

The coconut milk adds a mild sweetness and creaminess, the ginger makes it burst with warming, spicy flavor, and the cilantro adds a fresh, bright herby note. All of these elements paired with some delicious nutty, slightly chewy brown rice? YES PLEASE!

What do I eat it with?

So it's just rice...but what do you eat it with? Make a bowl!

M favorite combo is a banh mi bowl. Banh mi is a common Vietnamese sandwich that is full of pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, usually pork, and a spicy creamy sauce all nestled inside a French baguette. 

I make it by assembling a bowl as follows: Coconut Ginger Brown Rice, Pickled Carrots + Daikon, shredded chicken, some sort of vegetable (roasted veg, massaged kale), a ton of herbs (cilantro and mint are best), my Sriracha Yogurt Sauce, and some peanuts for crunch. 

Guess what? Recipes are all below!

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Ginger Coconut Brown Rice

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice
2 tbsp minced ginger
1 can full-fat coconut milk
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions:
In a medium saucepan over high heat, add the brown rice, ginger, coconut milk, water and salt.

Bring to a boil, stir, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 35-40 minutes. You know it's done when most (but not all) of the liquid has evaporated and the rice is tender but slightly chewy. You want a little liquid to keep it slightly 'saucy'.

Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 minutes to absorb the extra moisture. 

Add the cilantro and fluff it in with a fork. Taste and add more salt, if needed. 

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Pickled Carrot and Daikon Radish (Do Chua)

Ingredients:
1 large carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
1 large daikon radish, cut into thin matchsticks (or just use another carrot)
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (optional)
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1 tbsp sea salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar or white vinegar (apple cider vinegar will work too)

Instructions:
In a bowl, add the carrots, daikon, jalapeño (if using), sugar and salt. Use your hands to massage the sugar and salt into the veggies until it has disintegrated.

Pack the carrots and daikon into a large mason jar. Add the water and vinegar and shake to combine. Press the carrots and daikon down so they are submerged.

Allow to sit in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours. 

Sriracha Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients:
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 tbsp sriracha or other hot sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
Water, to thin

Instructions:
In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients. Add water until it reaches a good sauce consistency. Taste and add more sriracha, lemon or salt if needed.

Lemon Miso Soba Noodle Bowl

LEMON MISO SOBA NOODLE BOWL

This bright lemony miso dressing is the perfect compliment to the earthy soba noodles, while the crunch from the radish and cucumber adds just the right amount of texture. Make the dressing ahead of time and throw this bowl together in a pinch.

Miso Soba Noodle Bowl 1.JPG

Ingredients:
For the salad
8 oz buckwheat noodles
1 cup edamame
5 scallions, sliced
4 radishes, sliced
1 small cucumber, sliced
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
1 soft boiled egg, optional

For the dressing
½ cup avocado or canola oil
¼ cup + 2 tbsp tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup mellow white miso paste
½ tsp sesame oil
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp maple syrup

Instructions
To make the dressing, add all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine. Alternatively, add all ingredients to a jar with a lid and shake vigorously to combine.

Cook the buckwheat noodles according to the package instructions. Once cooked and drained, rinse the noodles with cold water.

In a large bowl add the soba noodles, edamame, scallions, radish, and sesame seeds.

Pour ⅔ of the dressing over top and toss to combine. Enjoy cold topped with an egg and drizzled with the remaining dressing.

Shaved Asparagus and Kale Socca

SHAVED ASPARAGUS AND KALE SOCCA 

I first discovered socca, also know as farinata, when I was visiting my friend in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Every pizza place we went to offered a slice of this flatbread to go on top of your pizza. What was the point of this? An extra protein boost? To soak up the oil on top of the pizza? I wasn't a fan...

However, the lightbulb went off in my head that this pizza topping would be a perfect gluten-free, high-protein, high-fiber pizza or flatbread crust. I then suddenly saw this popping up all over food blogs and sites so I decided to give it a try myself. 

Think of socca as a blank canvas for whatever you want to put on top. I love it with a pesto and some marinated veggies, but feel free to experiment with other combinations.

Chickpea flour?

It's literally just dried chickpeas that are ground into a flour -- something you can easily do at home if you have a food processor or high-speed blender. 

Chickpea flour is very high in protein and fiber, which makes for a perfect addition to any vegetarian meal or just for a boost of protein. It's also rich in lots of micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, folate, and B vitamins. 
 

Shave Asparagus and Kale Socca

Serves 4

Ingredients:
For the socca:
1 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water, room temperature

For the leek pesto*:
1 medium leek, halved lengthwise and chopped
1 cup cashews, toasted
1 clove garlic
¼ cup grated Parmesan (optional)
3 tsp mellow white miso paste (I used chickpea miso)
zest and juice from 2 lemons (about ¼ cup lemon juice)
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

For the shaved asparagus and kale:
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
5 thick stalks of asparagus, shaved
1 cup loosely packed chopped kale
1 tbsp fresh chopped mint
fresh grated Parmesan or Manchego cheese (optional)

*You can use any other type of homemade or store bought pesto here!

Instructions:
For the leek pesto, in a food processor or high-speed blender, add the leek, cashews, garlic, Parmesan (if using), miso, and lemon juice. Blend until it reaches a uniform consistency, then add in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Taste and add salt, pepper, or more lemon juice, to taste.

For the socca, preheat the oven to 450 and place your cast iron skillet in the oven. In a medium bowl, combine the chickpea flour, salt, and pepper. Add in 1 cup of room temperature water and 2 tbsp of olive oil and whisk to combine. Let sit for 15 minutes, or until it resembles a thinner pancake batter. Add water if too thick.

Remove the pan from the oven, add 1 tbsp olive oil and swirl to coat. Pour in the batter and let bake for about 15 minutes, or until the center is firm and edges begin to turn golden. Set aside and let cool while you prepare the shaved asparagus and kale salad.

For the shaved asparagus and kale, in a mason jar, combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, Dijon, salt, and pepper. Shake vigorously to emulsify. Place the kale in a medium bowl and pour half of the dressing on top. Using your hands, massage the kale for about 1 minute to break it down. Add in the shaved asparagus, mint, and remaining dressing. Toss gently to combine.

To assemble, spread about ½ cup (or more) on top of the socca in an even layer. Then top with the shaved asparagus, kale salad, and fresh grated Parmesan or Manchego cheese, if desired. Slice and serve immediately!

Chickpea Beet Patties with Tahini Sauce

CHICKPEA BEET PATTIES WITH TAHINI SAUCE

Grain bowls are my go-to dinners most of the time. All you need to do is a little prep and you can enjoy them all week. Batch cook some quinoa, make a sauce, roast some veggies, fry an egg and VOILA! 

Anyone else not a fan of roasting beets? Ya they can take a while and then you have to peel the skin off and all of a sudden you find yourself with irreversible shirt stains and very unpleasantly pink tinted fingernails and skin. Well, don't wear your favorite shirt and accept the fact that your hands still might get stained -- it's oh so worth it. 

These little patties are perfect on grain bowls slathered with this creamy tahini sauce. These patties are packed full of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and magnesium, and potassium to name a few. 

BEETS BEETS BEETS!

I love cooking with beets, not only for the beautiful color they create but they're also jam-packed full of nutrition. They're rich in folate, manganese, fiber, iron, and potassium.  

Beets are commonly used medicinally for liver detoxification. They contain a substance called betaine and a fiber called pectin, both of which help the liver get rid of any harmful toxins.

LASTLY, beets are high in nitrates which your body converts to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide dilates your blood vessels, increasing blood flow to your muscles allowing them to use oxygen more efficiently. Simply put, your muscles take longer to fatigue. So eat beets, they just might make you run faster! 

Chickpea Beet Patties with Tahini Sauce

Makes 8 small patties

Ingredients
1 can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup grated beet, about 1 medium beet
¼ cup chopped herbs (parsley, cilantro, basil all work)
½ cup oats, pulsed into flour
1 egg
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
Oil, for frying

Tahini Sauce
½ cup tahini
¼ cup water
¼ cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
Water to thin

Instructions
Add the chickpeas to a large bowl and use a fork or your hands (highly recommended) to mash them all up. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and use your hands to mix and mash thoroughly. Form into 8 small patties. If patties aren't easy to form it's probably because you need to mash up the chickpea some more!

In a large skillet over medium heat, add enough oil to coat the pan. Place the patties in the pan, press down gently and cook for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Flip, gently press again and cook another 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.

To make the sauce, whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. If too thick, add water to thin out. The sauce will thicken up in the fridge, so just add water until it's to your desired thickness.

Enjoy these patties over a bed of quinoa with roasted veggies and slathered in tahini sauce.