Weekly Menu: Comfort Classics

standard December 12, 2016 Leave a response

FotorCreated (5)

With temperatures finally at the freezing level and some cloudy days full of wind gusts and “flurries,” it’s safe to say winter has finally arrived in Texas. Which to me, means soup all the time. Cozy, comfort foods packed with nutrition and color to stay warm and healthy through the end of the year. This week’s menu is simple, with lots of leftovers, because soup can last a while. And leftovers freeze well for when you need a meal in a pinch after Christmas and you come home from seeing family to an empty pantry.


CSA Ingredients



  • Wash and chop all veggies.
  • Cook of rice for curry.
  • Make a batch of quinoa to bulk up meals as needed.
  • Make salad dressing and massage into kale for salad.



  • Monday: Spiced Chili Taco Soup with crumbled seitan and diced avocado
  • Tuesday: Kale Salad with quinoa for an extra protein boost.
  • Wednesday: Easy Red Curry with brown rice
  • Thursday: Leftover Spiced Chili Taco Soup simmered down into chili and served over pasta.
  • Friday: 7 Vegetable Soup with crusty whole grain bread

Lunches: Leftovers this week for easy quick meals. Kale salad is hearty enough to keep for a few days.

Breakfasts: Grapefruit Ginger Smoothies and Pink Power Detox Smoothies to maximize nutrient intake despite these chilly temps!

Have a warm and cozy week!

Vegan “Tuna” Noodle Casserole

standard November 21, 2016 3 responses


I have a lot of memories related to food. Many events and significant milestones are marked by the food involved. And then there are some food memories that are so mundane, so routine, that I remember them for their simplicity, the taste of the meal, the emotions around the occurrence, the joy in the repetition of knowing those foods would always be a part of my life.


Many foods from my childhood I have not eaten since I left home. While not necessarily “unhealthy,” they were just foods that I forgot about as I paved my way in my first kitchen out on my own. And then I got pregnant, and literally woke up in the middle of the night craving a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter. And after not purchasing bagels ever in my adult life, I found myself in the bread aisle at the grocery store the next day.

My all-time favorite food, hands-down, growing up was my mother’s tuna noodle casserole. A food on the list of many that I forgot about as I started creating and making and forming my own culinary path. And then I made a vegan dish one Thanksgiving, that while not remotely similar to tuna casserole, had a distinctive taste that reminded me of these flavors that I had enjoyed so much as a child. And then I promptly forgot about it again, never trying to make my own variation of it, until today. So, thanks to the Vegan Month of Food, we have a fairly authentic, slightly healthier variation on this classic childhood comfort food.


Vegan “Tuna” Noodle Casserole

Yield: Serves 8

Calories per serving: 435 kcal


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 c onion, diced
  • 1/2 c celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 c mushrooms
  • 1 14-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (reserve 1/4 cup)
  • 1 T kelp flakes
  • 1/2 c walnuts
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 T fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 c raw cashews, soaked
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 16 oz curly noodles of choice
  • 1/4 c breadcrumbs or almond meal


  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic, and saute until translucent. Remove from pan. Add mushrooms and let cook down while preparing next steps.
  2. In a food processor, combine onion mixture, salt, pepper, chickpeas + 1/4 c liquid, kelp flake, walnuts, lemon juice, tamari, parsley, and thyme until roughly chopped and combined.
  3. Drain and rinse cashews. Add to blender with water, salt, pepper, vinegar, and nutritional yeast, and blend on high until smooth. You want this to be runny.
  4. Add cashew mixture to saucepan with mushrooms. Stir to combine. Remove from heat quickly.
  5. Cook noodles according to package directions, but undercook by a few minutes. You want the noodles to be a little firm still. Add mushroom sauce and chickpea mixture to noodles and stir to combine.
  6. Pour into a greased 9x11 baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs or almond meal. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 10 minutes, until bubbling.


Per serving: 435 calories, 59 g carbohydrate, 16 g fat, 17 g protein, 210 mg sodium, 8 g sugar



Blackberry Beet Salad

standard November 19, 2016 Leave a response


Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and I am excited to finally have a menu and a routine that makes the whole cooking process so much easier and more enjoyable. Yet, while I stick to my staple menu items, it’s always fun to change things up just a little. Make a different main dish, swap out the veggies to roast, or add some new flavors to the salad.

Berries aren’t necessarily in season right now, but I haven’t been able to keep myself from including them in a few recipes this month. The juicy, tartness of these blackberries blends well with the bitter kale and sweet cranberries to make this a fun pairing to any Thanksgiving table. If you’re feeling really adventurous, mix some radicchio in with the massaged kale.


Blackberry Beet Salad

Yield: Serves 4

Calories per serving: 214 kcal


  • 8 c purple kale, shredded
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 c blackberries
  • 1 c beets, grated
  • 1/4 c dried cranberries
  • 1/4 c pecans, toasted


  1. Combine kale, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Massage dressing into leaves with your hands, until volume reduces by about half.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to bowl. Toss to combine.
  3. Serve immediately..


Per serving: 214 calories, 23 g carbohydrate, 12 g fat, 6 g protein, 275 mg sodium, 8 g sugar