Beet Risotto


Another beet post, and another time I am bested by beets.  This beet risotto is magical.  Not only is it a marvelous color, but it is delicious on the day I made it and for days after as leftovers.  AND to top it off, there is minimal cheese in it yet it is no less fantastic than a full cheese risotto.  Healthier and more beautiful. Eat the rainbow!

This recipe comes from Deborah Madison.  She is a vegetarian chef who was recommended to me by a friend and I treated myself to her cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.  I’ve made a few recipes so far and completely enjoyed them.

Beet Risotto

slightly adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone


  • 6 cups of vegetable stock (I recommend making this from scratch, I used the Deborah Madison recipe in her book as well, and once you get the hang of it you will be converted to making your own!)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onion, white or yellow
  • 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I tend to use whatever I have)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cups raw peeled and grated beets (about 2-3 medium beets)
  • chopped beet greens, remove stems (use whatever comes with the beets)
  • freshly ground pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced separated
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or Pecorino Romano)


  1. Bring the stock in a small pot to a simmer.
  2. Heat the butter is a large pot over medium, then add the onion and saute for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, stir and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the wine, simmer until absorbed.
  5. Add 1 Tbsp of parsley, 2 Tbsp basil, all the beets and beet greens and add 2 cups of stock.  Allow this to simmer until the stock is absorbed.
  6. Next begin adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stir frequently until completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup until only 1 cup remains of the stock. Taste the rice, if not cooked, add more stock using the above method until the rice is cooked through.
  7. Season with lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with fresh parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Pea, Paneer, and Cauliflower Chapattis


Hello from New Zealand!  I arrived in New Zealand in October for a 9 month work holiday as they call it here.  I am working at an urgent care and also traveling on my time off to explore the country.  So far the hiking and scenery have been incredible, I’ll share some pictures after the recipe.  The pace of life is definitely slower than America, I am living in Christchurch which is a modest city, quieter than my home in Seattle.  I have a lot more time to read novels and start practicing yoga regularly with free videos on line.  At the same time I’ve been exploring Indian cooking.

I checked out a few cookbooks from the library (again one of my favorite ways to try out recipes).  This recipe is from Anna Jones and her cookbook aimed to get fast, fresh, health filled food on the table easily.  While this recipe was billed in the 15 minute section, I would estimate it took me about 45 minutes to get this to come together.  I made chapattis from scratch which added time but is optional, I will share in the next post!

I ended up combining all the toppings together for my leftovers and reheating it worked brilliantly.  Just as delicious on day 3 as on day 1.  I hope you enjoy!  (side note, also super excited to be in a townhouse that has natural lighting so my pictures look a bit more appetizing)

Pea, Paneer and Cauliflower Chapattis

Adapted from Anna Jones: A Modern Way to Cook


  • 4 green onions, finely sliced
  • 2Tbsp oil, separated (canola or coconut)
  • 1.5 cups frozen peas
  • half head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 6 curry leaves (fresh or dried ones placed in water for a few minutes)
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 lemons, zest of 1 lemon, juice divided
  • 1 green chili, chopped (add more if you like things spicy)
  • a bunch of fresh cilantro, stems separated from leaves, both chopped
  • 1/2-1cup paneer, crumbled
  • salt and pepper
  • Chapattis (recipe soon to come!)


  1. Boil water in a kettle or on the stove, place the frozen peas into a bowl. Pour boiling water over the frozen peas and leave for 5 minutes, then strain.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry the green onions in the heated oil until they begin to turn golden.
  3. Add the cauliflower, curry leaves, mustard seeds and turmeric to the pan with the onions.
  4. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the juice of 1 lemon and continue cooking until the juice has evaporated.
  5. Taste a cauliflower, if still too raw, add a few tablespoons of water (1-3) to the pan and cook for a few more minutes until the cauliflower is tender to your liking (5-15 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a separate bowl.
  6. Mash the peas and then mix in the green chili, cilantro stalks, zest of one lemon, juice of half a lemon.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Heat a tablespoon of canola or coconut oil in the pan on medium high, then add the crumbled paneer.  Toss after a minute or two when it begins to turn golden. Remove from heat when sufficiently golden to your liking.
  8. Assemble by placed mashed peas over chapattis, then top with cauliflower and paneer. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves.

And here are some favorite pictures from New Zealand including crumbled blue cod (aka best fish and chips of my life):

Mascarpone Hazelnut Meyer Lemon Pasta

Kitchn Mascarpone Cheese Pasta 2

I had extra mascarpone cheese from polenta I made earlier in the week so I began searching for other savory ways to use it.  I came across this recipe on The Kitchn and decided it was a great way to try out meyer lemons for the first time.  I have never cooked with meyer lemon before but this recipe made me eager to try it out more often!
I also splurged and bought fresh pasta in the refrigerator section and would say that it elevated this dish to transcendent.  If you have never branched away from boxed pasta let this be an excuse to do so.  Fresh pasta cooks in about 2-3 minutes and is soft, tender, and well worth the extra price.
*I used fresh pasta instead of boxed spaghetti

Lemongrass Tempeh with Veggies

Lemongrass tempeh with veggiesI’m always looking for a new way to eat stir fried vegetables.  I was excited to see a lemongrass recipe on the Sprouted Kitchen.  I love the rich, creamy taste of coconut milk.  The original recipe calls for tofu but I am a much bigger fan of tempeh.  Feel free to go to Sprouted Kitchen for the directions if you prefer to use tofu.
Lemongrass Tempeh with Veggies
recipe adapted from Sprouted Kitchen

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3 oz rempeh
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and outer stalks removed
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 large carrots, chopped or sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 2 avocados, chopped


1. Rinse and cook the brown rice according to instructions.

2. Cut the tempeh into cubes.

3. Smash the lemongrass with the back of a knife and mince it well.

4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the lemongrass, siracha, lime juice, vinegar, ginger, pinch of salt and stir to mix.

5. Add the tempeh and stir everything to coat. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

6. Warm the coconut and sesame oils in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the tempeh and it’s marinade and saute for 4-5 minutes, until edges are browned.

Lemongrass tempeh with veggies 17. Add the broccoli, carrots, coconut milk, remaining tablespoon of sesame oil and soy sauce and saute until the vegetables are warmed through (about 3 minutes).

8. Add the greens onions, stir and taste for seasonings.

9. Serve each bowl with a scoop of the brown rice, the tempeh vegetable mixture in sauce, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a half of avocado, sliced, on top.

Homemade Pokey Sticks

Homemade Pokey Sticks

Throughout college, I longed for the buy one get one free days at Gumby’s.  The pokey sticks are like garlic cheesey bread, but in pizza form.  Absolutely a comfort food in college, great as a snack or late night food.  I’ve also been one to eat these for breakfast!

When I saw this recipe on Lauren’s Latest, I was very excited because it was quite close to the original Pokey Sticks.  This is a savory snack, great appetizer, so served with a salad could be dinner on it’s own.  I hope you enjoy!

Head over to Lauren’s Latest for the recipe.

I do not have a Kitchen Aid mixer so I did the dough by hand.  You can do it!



Farro with Kale and Fennel

2- farroI was first introduced to farro by a restaurant here in Seattle called Bar Cotto.  They had a delicious appetizer that opened my eyes to the world of nutty, chewy, savory farro.  My friends who I share my CSA vegetables with introduced me to a farro recipe.  This recipe is adaptable to whatever you have on hand.  I will share my version which includes kale and fennel.  If you saute fennel, it does not have the strong licorice flavor as raw fennel.

Farro with Kale and Fennel

adapted from sugarlaws


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-4 beets, chopped and roasted at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until tender
  • 5-6 green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 cups farro
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock


In a large pot, heat the farro and stock to a simmer.  Leave cooking uncovered for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cook until farro is slightly crunchy with a little stock still left in the pot.

While the farro is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan.  Add the chopped kale and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Then remove from the heat and place on paper towels and allow to cool.  Add the chopped fennel, green onion, and garlic.  Saute on medium for 10-15 minutes.  Once the kale has cooled, squeeze out the juice and then add back into the frying pan.

Next add the lemon zest and vegetable mixture to the farro once it is done cooking.  Once everything is heated through and most of the stock as been absorbed, serve hot!

*additional add in options include roasted butternut squash, toasted nuts, swiss chard

Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic Scape Pesto

Sorry for the long delay!  Residency and the last days of sunshine have gotten me away from my blogging.  Also my computer dying did not help.  This recipe I made out of CSA necessity.  Who’s heard of a garlic scape?  I had never heard of it before, but they are long green vegetables that smell like garlic.  This recipe came in the CSA newsletter and was so delicious!  I have yet to meet a pesto that I do not like.  I’m going to try out a parsley pesto later this week!   If you come across garlic scapes, this is a great way to use them.  Enjoy!


Courtesy of Kim O’Donnel of the Washington Post

  • 1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flower bulb removed, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper, to taste

Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and blend until well combined and smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until combined. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add the cheese, salt and pepper and mix together. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto. Keeps for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Use as desired on pasta or sandwiches!


Fennel and Kale Tomato Sauce

Fennel Tomato Sauce

Hello friends.  I have survived my first week of intern year orientation!  The week has been surprisingly tiring considering that we have been sitting most of the day.  My first two weeks living in Seattle have been amazing so far.  The weather has been really great (mostly sunny days!).  My mom came to visit and help me build a bunch of furniture and get settled.  We went to Bainbridge Island which has an incredible ice cream shop named Mora Iced Creamery.  My favorite flavor there is dark chocolate mint.  Seattle has tons of local ice cream and I am so excited to try all of them!

Now onto the food.  I first tried a tomato sauce with fennel at a holistic health retreat.  The flavor combination of fennel with tomato is exquisite!  I would give this a try, especially if this is your first experience with fennel.  I have made tomato sauce from scratch (I consider scratch to be starting with plain crushed tomatoes from a can) to put over pasta a few times now and it always amazes me how simple and easy it is!  The kale can easily be left out if you desire.

Make this soon and discover how awesome fennel is!

Fennel and Kale Tomato Sauce


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 cup died fennel
  • 3/4 cup basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1-3 cups of chopped kale, spines removed (depending upon how much you love kale)
  • shredded Parmesan cheese
  • optional: cooked Italian sausage, cut into slices
  • salt and black pepper to taste


Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook the onion and garlic in the oil until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, vinegar, sugar, fennel and kale into the onion and garlic mixture.  Mix, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low.  Simmer until the flavors blend and the kale and fennel are tender — about 45 to 60 minutes.  Stir the basil (and the sausage if you choose) into the sauce.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve warm over your favorite pasta and sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese.

Chicken Tortellini Soup with Beet Greens


Last week I made a tortellini pasta salad and I had half a package of tortellini leftover.  I also receive some beets plus their greens from my CSA so I thought that this soup was the perfect way to use the ingredients I had on hand.  Any dark leafy green vegetables will work fine in this (kale, turnip greens, collard greens, etc.).

Chicken Tortellini Soup with Beet Greens

Adapted from Eat Live Run


  • 5-6 green onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups chopped cooked rotisserie chicken
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bunch of beet greens, stems removed and chopped
  • 9 oz frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • salt to taste


Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat. When hot, add the green onions and carrots. Saute until the vegetables are just tender.  Sprinkle in the flour and mix well to coat all the veggies. Continue sauteing for another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Slowly pour in the chicken or vegetable stock. Add the chopped chicken, garlic powder, tortellini and salt and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about five minutes until the vegetables are tender and pasta is soft.

Stir in the cream and the beet greens. Continue simmering for another couple minutes until the beet greens wilt in the soup. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t use anything extra so taste it first). If your soup appears too thick, add some extra stock.

**the pasta in the soup will retain some liquid, so if it absorbs a lot of liquid, add some extra stock when you reheat the leftovers.

TJ’s Chole


I am thrilled to share that Gainesville, FL finally has a Trader Joe’s!!!  It opened in December and my boyfriend bought me two Trader Joe’s cookbooks.  This is the first recipe that I have tried it was so quick and easy I still cannot believe it.  This was fast as lightning to prepare and tasty!  I ate mine with Garlic Naan from Trader Joe’s but you could eat this over rice or plain for a low-carb option.  I am happy to begin a TJ’s section to my blog that will feature the many wonderful and convenient items available at Trader Joe’s.  Enjoy!


barely adapted from Cooking with Trader Joe’s


  • 2 – 15.5 ounce cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 – 15 ounce jar Curry Simmer Sauce (trader joe’s item)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp diced canned jalapenos (more or less depending on how spicy you like things)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice


Combine the garbanzo beans and curry sauce over medium heat in a pan.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Mix onion, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice and place the mixture on top of the garbanzo beans.  Serve alone, over rice, or with naan.