Swiss Chard Enchiladas Are What’s Up

swiss chard enchiladas

We have this gigantic Swiss chard “bush,” seriously taking hold in the food garden. The leaves kept beckoning me to wrap them up with something. So, here’s an idea for gluten-free and cornmeal-free Swiss chard enchiladas that came out pretty yummy! The fresh epazote adds a nice, earthy, Oaxacan nuance, but you can substitute something like fresh thyme and still get a great fresh herbal infusion. Epazote is really easy to grow but not so easy to find at the market. Feel free to play around with non-vegan variations using queso fresco, organic chicken, and-or ground meat. Enjoy!

vegan swiss chard enchiladas with quinoa, black beans & epazote

12 chard leaves- steamed for 1 1/2 minutes
2 cups cooked sprouted quinoa (easy to get this by cooking 1 cup dried quinoa and 2 cups water in a rice cooker)
2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 medium)
1 1/2 cups semi smashed black beans
1 tsp. sea salt to taste
1/4 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tbsp. fresh epazote (optional, or substitute fresh thyme or other pungent herb) Read More


Red Lentil Pasta Salad for Healthy Sunny Days

red lentil pasta

I am enjoying the new red lentil pasta varieties that have been popping up at the store. If you are going to have pasta, these are a good way to go, with just lentils, quinoa and water as ingredients, and packed with protein and other nutrients.

This recipe is a cold salad twist on linguine with tomato, basil & garlic. And it takes the nutrition density even a step further by eliminating the refined oil and instead getting it from whole foods like avocado. You can add other veggies to the asparagus or eliminate the asparagus for a more traditional version of a tomato, basil, garlic “TBG” pasta salad.

oil free red lentil pasta salad t.b.g.a.

1 box Pow red lentil linguine (8 oz.)
2 large heirloom tomatoes (about 2 cups), cut into 1/4 inch pieces, seeds and juice included
2-3 cloves garlic (depending on how much garlic you like)
1/4 cup fresh julienned basil
1 fresh lime, juiced
1 avocado, diced
3 tbsp. hulled hemp hearts
1/4 cup nutritional yeast Read More


13 Bean Soup Satisfaction

13 bean soup

The chard in the food garden is making gigantic leaves right now. They are so big I am tempted to preserve them and use them as shoe leather, or a hand fan, or something practical. Since those wild ideas are probably ultimately not as practical as one would hope, I opted to put together this 13 bean soup, and just enjoy the chard in its glorious, minimally processed form. That’s actually my favorite way to enjoy nutrient dense greens! My partner Ricky bought a bag of 13 bean soup mix a while ago, and has been nudging me to make soup out of it. So here is one more hearty soup to get into your belly before the seasons completely change over. Or enjoy it all spring and summer using a variety of different seasonal greens and fresh vegetables. The key is to put the greens in at the end, so they are super fresh, vibrantly colored and retain as much of their living nutrition as possible.

13 bean soup with garden chard

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill 13 Bean Soup Mix
2 1/2 quarts vegetable or chicken broth
1 onion, coarsely diced
2 large carrots, cut into hearty slices
2 stalks celery, cut into hearty slices
2 cloves garlic, chopped
10 oz. crimini or conventional white mushrooms, left whole, or cut in half if they are large
Fresh Thyme
Fresh Sage Read More


Stuffed Portobello Mushroom for Veggie Lovers

stuffed portobello mushroom

I like to work a little tofu into my diet here and there. This tofu stuffed portobello mushroom usually hits the spot. If you stick to natural, more traditional, and unprocessed forms of soy you can alleviate most health concerns around soy. The commercialization of soy has managed to turn soy into a “Frankenfood” monster by using GMO soy and creating so many products from refined soy. Therefore, my personal policy about soy is to use a whole food approach and common sense, backed up by this article from Dr. Mark Hyman, MD. Keep your soy products organic, natural, fermented, sprouted if possible, and in a more traditional form.

This recipe uses two such traditional forms of soy: organic tofu and organic miso paste. I love combining miso, mushrooms, any chance I get. These flavors love being together! This makes a great, simple entree. You can enjoy it right away or as a protein-rich salad topper for a lunch or brunch. The stuffing is somewhat similar to a tofu scramble, with a little more depth from the other ingredients.

miso-tofu stuffed portobello mushroom dynamite

10 ounces of organic, sprouted tofu (I use firm so it retains some of it’s chunky texture in the stuffing, but you can use soft as well)
3 tbsp. miso (I love Korean miso, much more pungent with chunks of soybean still intact)
2 tbsp. Emil’s Vegan Mayonnaise or Veganaise (if not going strictly vegan, try this avocado mayo)
1 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder, or 2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 portobello mushroom caps without the stems
4 cups fresh baby spinach, uncooked Read More


Tuscan Kale Soup Supercharge

Many of my recent clients are following a Paleo-leaning or AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) diet, part of which requires obtaining high nutrient density per calorie. So, I have been delving into meals that fit that profile. I am finding that this style of cooking does not have to be complicated at all. I love it when something really simple comes out delicious and nutritionally complex. Enter this quick, rainy day soup. Not only is it Paleo, but it’s clean, weight management friendly, and can be converted to vegan very easily. If you want to go vegan and are not concerned about avoiding certain plant based foods, you can replace the sausage with cannellini beans, but since the sausage brings some flavor to the soup, you may need to ramp up the herbs and garlic to compensate.

tuscan kale soup with sausage

1 pound of your favorite organic sausage (like organic chicken basil or wild boar), cut up into pieces or made into meatballs
NOTE: For a vegan variation use cannellini beans, hemp tofu, or sprouted organic tofu
2 medium carrots cut into large pieces
2 celery stalks, sliced across the grain
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp. fennel seeds, crushed or partially ground in a coffee grinder
6-8 cups vegetable of chicken broth, warmed
2-3 cloves garlic, minced Read More


Spaghetti Squash Burger Fix

We have a bunch of volunteer spaghetti squash growing out of our compost pile. It is relentlessly giving us more spaghetti squash than we would normally eat. So, I am exploring its various wonderful (and not so wonderful) uses. These patties are kind of a cross between falafel and a veggie burger, with some global spice infusion. They hold together well, so they can be enjoyed on a bun or just stand alone as a vegan entree or side dish.

spaghetti squash-quinoa falafel burgers

2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 can (1 3/4  cups) mashed chickpeas
2 chia eggs (or regular eggs)
1/4 cup sprouted oat flour
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. garam masala Read More


Robata Eggplant Tacos

The Japanese eggplant is going nuts in my garden right now. I have enjoyed Japanese eggplant many different ways. This time, I wanted figure out a way to keep it intact, because the shape is so cool and versatile, while trying something entirely new and different from my typical eggplant concoctions. Robata is a Japanese method of cooking long pieces of food on an open flame, on big skewers. Traditionally, the skewers are placed around the fire by sticking them directly into the sand or earth that surrounds the fire.You don’t have to go to the trouble of building a fire to enjoy something similar. You can grill the eggplant, or just cook it on a stovetop griddle if you don’t have a lot of time. In fact, modern robata restaurants use a charcoal grill, not an open pit fire. The charred eggplant, combined with the slightly spicy miso slaw make for an awesome fusion taco. The sprouted corn tortilla is superior for nutrition and it has a homemade tortilla kind of texture and flavor. I loved the way this came out and will definitely make this a regular.

robata eggplant tacos with miso-sesame coleslaw

for the coleslaw:
2 cups finely shredded cabbage (I used red cabbage), about 1/8-1/4 head of cabbage
2/3 cups grated radish, about 4 or 5 radishes
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
juice of one lime
1tsp. chile garlic sauce or paste
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. miso paste Read More


Stuffed Chard for Sunday Dinner

It seems like chard just wants to be a regular part of my life. It is all over the Farmers Market, and manages to find its way into the  occasional box of Farm Fresh to You that comes to my house. I have been getting nice, big leaves in bunches, which makes me want to do one thing– see what I can roll those big leaves around. Here is a straightforward idea for stuffed chard that doesn’t require anything more than your basic staple vegetables and some tomato sauce. And the cooking time shouldn’t be too long either.

stuffed chard with fennel & spring onions

1 bunch large, intact swiss chard leaves (about 8 leaves)
2 cups cooked brown rice (short grain or sprouted is best for stickiness)
1 small fennel bulb, cleaned and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 young, red spring onion, chopped
1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. healthy cooking oil
1 cup cannellini beans or garbanzo beans Read More


Spaghetti with Calabrese Broccoli & Nasturtium

spaghetti with calabrese broccoli

We all know broccoli is good for us. But one has to admit that the same “commercial” broccoli that we are relentlessly exposed to can get a little tiring. That is why I always get a little excited whenever I see less ubiquitous varieties of broccoli at the market. The particular calabrese in this recipe was small and tender, making it a great, quickly seared pasta stir fry. In retrospect, I wish I had taken a photo of it at the market, but the finished dish gives you a good sense of the anatomy of this broccoli. The green garlic adds a spring time garlic kick, and the nasturtium adds a slight peppery essence, for an uncomplicated, light springtime meal. By the way, if you are wondering where to find nasturtiums, they grow like crazy everywhere, so just tap into your “inner hunter-gatherer” and you should be okay. You might even have some growing in your own yard!

spaghetti with calabrese broccoli, green garlic & nasturtium blossoms

1/2 pound spaghetti or linguini (I prefer quinoa, brown rice, or whole wheat)
4 cups calabrese broccoli florets with stems and leaves
1/2 cup green garlic, sliced
Pinch of crushed chile peppers
1 tbsp. olive oil
Sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 tbsp. healthy butter of your choice (optional): Consider avocado, olive oil, or grass fed dairy butter
1/2 cup water reserved from pasta Read More


Spaghetti Squash for Dinner

So, I though I would get one more winter-like dish in before completely emerging into Springtime. This one has been sitting in my drafts for a while, and I think it’s time to bring it out and get it onto your dinner table! This dish may remind you a bit of pasta with ratatouille, but with a personality of its own.

spaghetti squash with dutch oven vegetables

1 spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds cleaned from middle
1 eggplant, cut into ratatouille sized cubes
2 medium zucchini, cut the same way as the eggplant
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 shallot, sliced or chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 – 2 cups tomato concasse (or 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes with the juice)
2 tsp. herbes de provence
1 tbsp. liquid aminos Read More