Portobello stuffed with Hummus, Caramelized Onion, and Swiss Cheese


I fully believe that learning how to cook is one of the most empowering journeys that one can embark on. I have gone from frozen meals to this – a restaurant worthy dish. And, the best part is, this particular recipe is super easy.

Step one: Make or buy your hummus. I make mine, it’s different every time. This time, I soaked dry beans overnight, strain and rinse in the morning, then simmered them for an hour or two, until they were very soft. I reserve some of the liquid and puree the chickpeas while they are still piping hot. I added roasted garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cumin and olive oil.

Step two: Caramelize the onion. In a cast iron skillet, I melted 2 Tbls of butter and thinly sliced my onion. Slowly cook your onions, this whole process took me about 30 minutes. Towards the end, I added a splash of white wine, just because. Make sure to salt/pepper this as well.

Step three: While onion is cooking, pre-heat oven to 400F and prep the mushroom. Remove the stem and clean the mushroom however you see fit. Sometimes I rinse them if they’re really dirty, otherwise I use a clean, damp cloth. Once clean, season with salt and pepper and put a good layer of hummus inside the cap.

Step four: Add the onion mixture to the portobello. I used about half the onion mix. Cook for 10 minutes.

Step five: Wilt the kale, use the same pan you sautéed the onion and cook until just soft.

Step six: For the balsamic reduction, I used the same pan, again. I used about 1/2c balsamic which reduced to 1-2 tsp. Keep it at a simmer and watch it so it doesn’t burn.

Step seven: Add the cheese (if desired) to the mushroom, cook for another 10 minutes.

Step eight: Plate! Kale-Mushroom-Balsamic.


Skillet Bread


Bread has always scared the baking bejesus out of me. I think it’s because of all the kneading and waiting. I can be rather impatient when it comes to making foods. Sweet Paul posted this recipe that is very simple and not too time consuming. The only thing I would do differently next time is use a smaller cast iron skilled and omit the honey (the bread was a bit too sweet for me). I definitely encourage you to give this a try! My version was a bit on the dense side which would pair nicely with a soup or salad. Or, if you’re like me, slather it with Earth Balance butter.

Due to technical error, I can’t embed the movie. Here is Sweet Paul’s recipe…and visit the website, too!

  • 1 c water, lukewarm
  • 1 Tbls honey
  • 1 Tbls dry yeast
  • 4 Tbls olive oil
  • 2 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh Rosemary

1. In a bowl, mix water, honey and yeast. Leave it sit for 5 minutes
2. Add flour, salt, and oil
3. Work the dough together with your hands
4. Cover with plastic and let it rise for an hour

5. Cook at 400F until bread is golden brown

Baked Parmesan Pesto Portobello with Gnocchi


I question whether certain food photos do more harm than good… While this baked portobello looks like something out of a horror film, it tasted delicious, and received a big “wow!” from my dining companion. I whipped up a pesto recipe a few days ago and froze it. When I came up with a meal idea, I let the pesto thaw at room temperature and it was good to go!

And, the gnocchi was from Whole Foods. Sometimes you need an easy out for a meal. Here is mine.

Walnut-Spinach Pesto:

  • 1/4 c walnuts
  • 1/4 c fresh parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 c sunflower or olive oil
  • 5 c fresh spinach (I probably used closer to 6 c)
  • salt, pepper to taste
  1. Blend everything together in a vitamin or food processor, freeze or use right away

For the Baked Parmesan Pesto Portobello

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Lightly drizzle baking dish with olive oil
  3. Remove the caps and gils from two large portobello caps
  4. Season with salt and pepper, spread pesto over cap
  5. Bake for 15 minutes
  6. Remove, top with parmesan, bake for 5 more minutes or until cheese has melted

Wilted Kale Salad with Edamame, Kimchi and a Sriracha Peanut Butter Dressing


I am blogging my first mobile post. An hour for lunch is too long. So, I went for a walk and landed a glorious spot overlooking the Mississippi River.

Dinner last night and lunch today was fantastic. This kale salad is light and refreshing. There is no feeling sluggish after this meal.

Per my usual, I did not measure my ingredients, but I will be making this very soon and will update with exact measurements. For now, here is my ingredient list:

  • kale
  • edamame
  • kimchi
  • coconut oil
  • peanut butter
  • Bragg’s aminos
  • sriracha
  • rice vinegar
  • agave
  • water
  1. Wilt the kale, steam the edamame
  2. Blend coconut oil through agave
  3. Toss everything together

Chipotle Corn Chowder


Nothing like coming back from a blogging hiatus with a smoky soup to awaken your senses. Life certainly has a way of interfering with fun hobbies. The past two months have been occupied with job interviews, relocating and embarking in a new career. So far, so good. The only downside is getting used to my new shift and schedule. And so it goes.

Here I am now though and let me tell you, this soup is pretty amazing. I first made a batch this weekend, taking the ingredients from this recipe and just winging it. I do that a lot with soup and somehow it works. The downside is that when I come on here to blog about it and tell you how delicious it was…I am out a recipe. For me, soups are one of the best dishes to play around with. Not a fan of heat? Sub in a mild curry or cumin or paprika. Mix it up. See what happens! You can almost always (I say almost because some cooking catastrophes cannot be resurrected), balance a soup out by adding herbs, oil, salt, vinegar, starch, etc.

Ok, so with this outstanding soup, the first time I made it, I followed the recipe pretty closely. And by closely I mean I used 90% ingredients with 0% measurement accuracy. The second time I created a recipe similar to this:

  • Olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 5 small potatoes, I used red and yellow, peeled and diced
  • 1 c of corn
  • Dashes of chipotle powder and paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 tsp veg base
  • 1-2 c plain almond milk
  1. Saute the onion and celery in oil until soft, add the diced potatoes
  2. Sprinkle in your seasoning, start off light, you will taste as you go and adjust as needed
  3. After a few minutes of marrying the seasoning with veggies, add the corn, bay leaf, veg base and almond milk
  4. You want enough liquid so the veggies are comfortable and have some room, with about an inch of liquid above them. If 2 c almond milk isn’t enough, add more or you can add water (*note using full fat coconut milk is really the way to go here)
  5. Simmer everything until potatoes are tender. You can either leave as is or take half out and puree

Zesty Black Bean, Corn, and Pepper Dip with Citrus Sour Cream

mexican chips

I whipped up this appetizer in about 30 minutes and it was pretty great. I sautéed 1/2 an onion with sweet red, yellow and orange peppers in a jalapeno infused olive oil. When the veggies were tender, I added half a bag of Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Corn. After the veggies were cooked, I tossed in the beans and put the dip mixture in the fridge to cool.

To make the citrus sour cream, I zested a lime and squeezed 1/2 of the lime into about a cup of sour cream.

When the bean, corn and pepper mix has cooled, I drizzled some cilantro balsamic into the mixture and added salt to taste. Scoop small amounts of dip into the chips. It’s easiest to use Scoops chips, but taste-wise they are crap (in my opinion). If I had more time, I would have cooked some wonton wrappers in mini cupcake/muffin tin and used those. Food for thought.

Top with a drizzle of citrus sour cream. Enjoy!

Catching Up Over Couscous

I visited the World Market last week and forgot how fun that store is. I was the classic retail therapy shopper, entering the store needing nothing in particular and leaving with an armful of “must-haves.” One of the items I found was this Israeli couscous:

I enjoyed the concept and it was a nice change of pace, veering away from boring rice. Some things to be mindful of, it’s a little plain. Although, at 5mg of sodium, I can’t blame it. To add more flavor, I incorporated mushrooms (shiitake) that were sautéed in oil and garlic, along with sautéed kale and an herbed goat chèvre. You can easily keep this vegan by leaving the chèvre out. 

I would definitely buy this dish again. It made more (in my mind) than 2 servings and by adding greens and other veggies, you can definitely squeeze a few meals out of this tiny box!


A Simple Stir-Fry with Teryaki Chik’n and Ramen Noodles

Tonight, dinner was ready in about 20 minutes. I used 1/2 an onion, one yellow pepper, 1/2 c edamame, garlic, ginger, tamari, Gardein Teryaki Chik’n and two ramen noodle packages. You could use whatever veggies you have on hand. And while the Gardein Teryaki sauce was flavorful, I enjoyed the extra garlic and ginger for a deeper flavor.

If you are a fan of spice, like I am, don’t forget to dress the noodles in Sriracha. 

For a quick rundown on the process, I sauteed the veggies and once they were soft, I added the garlic, ginger and tamari. As this became fragrant, I added the Chik’n and covered until the Chik’n was cooked through. I poured in the sauce packet and added the noodles next. I simmered everything on low heat for about 5 minutes. 

Braised Kale and Carrots with Sprouted Lentils


Making this meal was incredibly simple. However, there isn’t a lot of liquid, so if you’re looking for a soup or stew add more liquid and tomato paste to thicken. Feel free to play around with the spices. I used berbere and cumin. You could use herbs de province or even chili for a different twist.


  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 bunch of kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 c dried sprouted lentils, rinsed
  • 2 c water
  • Veg base
  • Berbere
  • Cumin
  • Olive oil
  1. In a cast iron skillet, sauté onion and carrots in olive oil for 5 minutes 
  2. Add spices (I didn’t measure, but would start off with 2 tsp of each and go from there)
  3. Next, add kale, lentils, water and veg base (same as above but start with 1 tsp)
  4. Cover and simmer. Add water as needed. Cook until veggies and lentils are soft

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies


I made these as a thank you to my neighbor who kindly watched my cat while I scooted down to Florida for a few days. I modified a recipe for a chocolate crinkle, omitted the powdered sugar and added some peanut butter chips. The pb chips make it vegetarian (they contain dairy), feel free to use a vegan friendly chip instead.


  • 1 2/3 c flour
  • 1/2 c cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/4 c real-deal maple syrup
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 Tbls non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 c peanut butter chips
  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together, set aside
  2. Mix the sugar, syrup, oil, vanilla and milk together, really well, and pour into the dry mix
  3. Stir everything together and add the chips
  4. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes