Rogan Josh Lentil Stew


First post of 2016! Happy New Year to you. Honoring that New Year tradition, I wanted to focus on an ingredient that brings hope for the year ahead: lentils! These mini-“coin-like” legumes are amazing and delicious. I am glad to create a recipe that includes them.

I ran across the spice, Rogan Josh, a few years ago. It was in a meat dish, so it wasn’t really my thing, but the spice aroma smelled amazing. So, I saught it out and bought a small jar.  Rogan Josh is a Persian spice that has cinnamon, paprika, garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne, and cardamom; very curry-esque. I absolutely love it in this lentil stew. Feel free to sub other veggies in here as desired. I stuck with carrots and sweet potato.


  • Coconut oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, peeeled, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 Tbls and 1 tsp rogan josh spice
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 can whole fat coconut milk
  • 1 can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 c red lentils
  1. Sauté the onion, carrots, garlic, salt and pepper in coconut oil for 5-10 minutes
  2. Add the diced sweet potato and rogan josh spice
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, coconut milk and lentils
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and then cover. Stir frequently and add water as needed (I added about 1 cup)
  5. Cook for 45 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked
  6. Optional, top with wilted spinach

French Onion Soup


I have been eating a ridiculous amount of French onion soup lately. This is really quite amazing because French onion is typically made with beef broth. However I have been finding more places that offer a veggie version of it.

When I saw this recipe posted by Sweet Paul, I know I had to try it out. The recipe isn’t vegan but you could easily sub earth balance butter or olive oil.

The soup turned out great, even though I had to use Swiss cheese instead of the gooey Gruyere.


Acorn Squash Stuffed With Curried Fried Rice


Today had me feeling out of sorts and I was in the mood for some healthy comfort food. My acorn squash was going from green to orange, so I knew I had to use it up.  First, I halved the squash and scooped the seeds out. Then I oiled and seasoned the halves. I baked them at 400 F for about 20 minutes.

While the squash was baking, I cooked some brown rice. In a separate pan I sautéed onion, carrot, celery, kale and garlic in sunflower oil. I added Maharajah curry, salt and pepper to the mix. Once the veggies were tender, I added golden raisins and some white wine. When the rice was ready, I added it to the skillet of curried veggies, covered it and left the heat on low.

Once the squash is tender, remove from the oven. Take advantage of the heat and roast some cashews coated in coconut oil, salt and curry powder for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the roasted cashews to the curried rice. Scoop generous portions into the squash.


Cinnamon Honey Nut Granola


I am a huge fan of granola. It has a great shelf life, it’s relatively healthy, it’s easy to make, and it’s great hot or cold!

I recently whipped up a batch of this granola and it is fantastic. Last year I made and gifted granola for the holidays and I will likely do the same this year, with this exact recipe.

Feel free to play around with the spices, nuts and fruits that are used here.

Cinnamon Honey Nut Granola

  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 3 Tbls brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c chopped almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 300F
  2. Mix dry ingredients – oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt. Set aside
  3. Mix wet ingredients – honey, oil, vanilla
  4. Add wet to dry. Mix in nuts
  5. Bake for 15 minutes. Stir and bake for 10 more minutes or until granola is golden
  6. Let cool and mix in cranberries

Wilted Kale with Foraged Mushrooms

I have a bunch of Chicken of the Woods mushrooms to use up still….


For tonight, I heated the mushrooms (which were previously sautéed in butter and frozen) in a skillet. I seasoned them with nutritional yeast, Bragg’s amigos and red pepper flakes. It is so simple, healthy, and delicious. You can mix the same ingredients together with more traditional shroomies such as portobellos.


Pumpkin Chili with Corn Muffins


This pumpkin chili turned out alright, but seemed to be missing something. Next time around, I’d like to add in chunks of butternut squash which would compliment the pumpkin nicely. I used this chili recipe as a guide for my own recipe below.

The corn muffins (not pictured) are amazing. I’ve struggled to find a corn muffin recipe that wasn’t too dry, chewy, and/or bland. This corn muffin recipe is moist and flavorful. And with corn muffins, you can go wild with add-ins such as roasted peppers, whole corn kernels, or cheese. I spiced mine up with some cayenne.

Pumpkin Chili

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 can of diced tomato
  • 2 cans of beans (I used black beans and kidney beans)
  • 3 Tbls chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp tamari
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 c pureed pumpkin
  1. Saute the onion, carrot, and pepper in oil until tender. Add the garlic and spices, let cook for a few more minutes
  2. Next, add the tomato, beans, broth and pumpkin. Bring to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 20 minutes
  3. Taste and adjust spices/salt as desired

Corn Muffins

  • 1 c yellow cornmeal
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 Tbls baking powder
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c canned coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Add the dry ingredients, set aside
  3. Whisk together the wet ingredients, add wet ingredients to the dry
  4. Give the batter a few stirs, do not over mix
  5. You should have enough batter to make 12 muffins
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes

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