“Finish your dinner – there are starving kids all over the world.”

We’ve all heard some variation of this saying from our parents when we were younger.

In all honesty, food waste is atrocious and embarrassing in our country. It’s been estimated that about 1/3 of the food produced in the United States ends up in landfills or incinerated (FAO estimates according to the EPA).

It’s that raw chicken you threw away because you left it in the fridge a couple days too long and were too busy to cook. It’s that arugula you bought last week when you were craving a salad, but suddenly a salad sounds too boring, and now the greens are kind of limp and slimy. Or, it’s the big pot of soup you lovingly prepared, but made too much, and a week goes by before you realize it’s still in the fridge and now has a questionable smell. Or, it’s.perfectly good food that hasn’t gone bad, but you just want to make more room in the fridge because you went to Costco. Into the trash it all goes.

We really all need to adopt a low-waste mentality in the kitchen. The simple reality of the food system is that there’s too much food being wasted. But not only that, the environmental and financial effects are costly.

The benefits are great in adopting a low-waste mindset. I try to think this way in all areas of my life. I’m by no means perfect, but I really feel like the more I keep my space clutter-free, the better my mood, and the more at peace I feel. Plus, you’re saving money – it literally does not go down the drain.

So what does living a low-waste lifestyle in the kitchen actually mean? Here are some things I usually think about, starting from grocery shopping and what to keep in your pantry, to what to do with those leftovers:

Grocery shopping and stocking your pantry:

-Write a list and try not to stray too far from it.

We’ve all heard it – don’t shop when you’re hungry. If you do, you’ll end up with all the ingredients to make pico de gallo, a huge bag of tortilla chips, and everything else to make butternut squash and black bean enchiladas that night. But you forgot that your kids have soccer practice, hubby’s having dinner hosted by work, and now you’re left with all this food. Plus, you get home, and it’s a lot of dang work to make those enchiladas now. Nevermind, you think. I’ll make it tomorrow. But tomorrow becomes the next day, and the cycle continues.

-Buy ingredients for 2-3 meals a week, not 5.

I am the worst when it comes to sticking with a meal plan, because my tastes and cravings change throughout the week. Think of buying the ingredients for 2-3 meals. Something always pops up during the week – an after-school/work chat with a neighbor/friend/family member that tides into dinner prep time, the feeling of “I’m too tired to cook so I’m going to grab a bean and rice burrito down the street instead,” or some other reason. If you lower the pressure on yourself to make 2-3 meals that week, you can have leftovers for lunch the next day or repurpose them (see: what to do with leftovers).

-Keep your fridge/freezer/pantry organized.

Buy proper storage containers for your stuff. I have glass Pyrex containers with lids, and I also reuse glass jars, such as those that held marinara sauce, jams and jellies, coconut oils, and applesauce. I have tons of uses for these and store dried beans and lentils, grains, and even cookies in them. Keep it all organized, and either freeze a dish immediately after it cools or eat it soon. It’s better to freeze something right away and use it the next day than to leave it in the fridge until it’s too late to save.

-Do prep work ASAP.

If you have a few minutes when you get home from the store, this is the best time to start your organization. By this, I mean pre-prepping. Cutting up that butternut squash, dicing the onions and chopping the herbs, and preparing a fruit bowl will give you more incentive to consume and cook as the week goes by. I just bought two bunches of kale and spent 5 minutes chopping, rinsing, drying, and storing them while I watched my 13-month-old toddle around and giggle at her big sis. It was so easy and I’d rather do it now than when I have too many excuses later.

-Keep your staples stocked.

By staples, I’m talking about oils, grains, dried beans and lentils, and canned goods such as coconut milk and various tomato products. Staples for produce usually mean vegetables and fruit that will keep longer than that delicate basil. It can be different things for you, but you’ll most likely always find garlic, onions, celery, and carrot in my fridge. This is always great to make a quick soup with some dried lentils, thyme, vegan chicken bouillon, and maybe orzo. Keep 2-3 grains on hand at all times (pasta, rice, quinoa). These ingredients help you transform an old dish into something brand-new.

-Do a kitchen clean-out once a week.

Preferably before you go grocery shopping again. You can take an inventory of what you do and don’t have, so you don’t end up with an extra container of berries because you missed it sitting in the back of your fridge. Plus, it’s an opportunity to wipe down those storage shelves and prevent gross stuff from happening, like a questionable growth of brown, sticky liquid in your produce cabinet (how did that get there?!). I’m pretty much grossed out by a lot of refrigerators I see. LOL!

Save some scraps for stock.

You can save the ends of onions, carrots, and celery to make your own stock or enhance any soup you make. I like to use ears of corn that I’ve taken the kernels off of to enhance any soup broth I make. It lends a delicate sweetness to soups that my family loves.

-Sharing is caring:

No surprise that I give extra food and sweets to my friends. This allows me to use my creativity in cooking, but also allows me to practice portion control, especially when I make a delicious batch of cookies. Additionally, this cuts down on waste from buying a package of sweets, because I make most things myself.

 

Leftovers:

Here are some things you can do with your leftovers. Always be ahead of the game and think of ways you can repurpose that meal into something new for your tastebuds.

-Think double-duty.

With everything you make, think of something else you can make with the ingredient you have leftover. Leftover coconut milk from your vegetable curry you made last night? Make a coconut milk matcha latte, or add a little coconut milk to your usual almond milk add-in for overnight oats. These are where those glass jars come in handy.

-Plant-based bowls.

I have a plant-based bowl pictured at the beginning of this post. I made black bean and roasted corn burritos earlier this week and a salad one night. I make brown rice often so had some leftover and my lunch one day was brown rice with the leftover black bean and corn medley, piled on top of a bed of romaine, some of my cilantro-lime dressing, and avocado.

You can make a plant-based bowl with anything – just have grains (quinoa, rice, farro, barley, etc), veggies (at least two are great!), a protein (tofu, seitan, beans, lentils, tempeh), and a dressing if you wish (leftover curry sauce, peanut sauce, cilantro-lime dressing).

-Soups, stews, chilis

Learn how to make the basics. A miso soup, broth-based soup, what goes into a chili, and you can do variations from your leftovers. For example, I had some chopped broccoli, cauliflower, and coconut milk left over from something. I sauteed my staple veggies (onion, garlic, carrot, celery), tossed in the new veggies, and made an awesome Thai-ish coconut veggie soup out of it. Leftover kale? Make a comforting miso soup with those hearty greens and toss in some chickpeas for some protein while you’re at it.

-Fried rice, pasta salad, roasted veggie medley – the possibilities are endless!

I almost always have rice in the fridge (I AM Asian, LOL). So that leftover diced tofu and a couple frozen veggies will make a quick, easy meal. If you have some zucchini left over from making zucchini bread, don’t throw it out! Roast it with onion and tomato, make a dressing with evoo/dried oregano/red wine vinegar and toss together tomorrow’s pasta salad lunch.

-Think ahead

You go to the farmers’ market and end up getting huge bunches of herbs, just to garnish a few dishes with it? No no no.Leftover basil from your pasta dish – make a basil butter, make and freeze pesto for later, or even make a basil limeade.

So there you have it.

All it takes is a little thinking ahead to get some minimalism and simplicity in the kitchen, and produce as little waste as possible. Wishing you a great time planning out next week – use Pinterest if you’re running low on creativity (that’s what I do!).

Nước chấm is a popular condiment and staple of Vietnamese food. It’s a multipurpose sauce, used as a dip for egg rolls, summer rolls, bún (rice noodle dishes), and lots more. It’s made with fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, garlic, and Thai bird chili peppers, but I haven’t had fish sauce in my pantry in a couple years. I’ve found that I can achieve similar flavors with plant-based umami sources – mushrooms, soy sauce, mushroom seasoning, vegan chicken boullion cubes, and coconut aminos.

What are coconut aminos? It’s kinda like a soy-free, gluten-free (wheat-free) soy sauce or tamari, made from coconut sap. Coconut aminos are also lower in sodium than soy sauce, and this particular brand from Thrive market does not contain GMOs. Great for people who are allergic to soy and wheat, or who are adopting a vegan or vegetarian, plant-based lifestyle. I used coconut aminos to mimic the nước chấm sauce, and I have to say that this does the trick when I make vegan Vietnamese food. Try it for yourself – I made bánh cuốn

one day (steamed rice paper rolls, filled with a mushroom and soy crumble mixture, and topped with lots of veggies), and had our neighbors over. I served this vegan nước chấm sauce on top of the bánh cuốn and they loved it.

Since I’m a Thrive market affiliate, I’m offering you a FREE 10-oz bottle of coconut aminos with any purchase of $29 or more (so you can make this nước chấm!). Click on the link here to access this deal. Thrive market is an online grocer serving you non-GMO, organic groceries at wholesale prices, without retail mark-up or middleman costs. I love getting my Thrive boxes – my daughters do too, because there’s always some goodies in there for them too!

**Full disclosure: I am a Thrive market affiliate**

Vegan nuoc cham sauce with free coconut aminos offer!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 cup 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 cup 10 minutes
Vegan nuoc cham sauce with free coconut aminos offer!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 cup 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 cup 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cup
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and stir or shake (with the lid on) until all ingredients are incorporated and sugar is dissolved. Season to taste.
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Holy cow. The past few days, my 11-month-old has been waking up every morning at around 5:27am instead of 7:30am. This means that I can’t get up in time to wake up for the day, and I usually stumble into her room without even putting my glasses on (I’m blind as a bat, by the way) because I have to address the “MAMA!!!!!” cries. I’ve tripped over a book and stubbed my toe getting to her. Oh, and she’s teething too! Woohoo!

I know I’m a dietitian and what I’m about to tell you is bad, but it has started a vicious cycle of caffeine and sugar when I’m tired to get through some tough hours of the day. My 6-year-old is home with me too, because the summer hasn’t ended and school hasn’t started yet. So imagine the situation, because I’m trying to minimize tech time and maximize activities. Yes, I’m tired. So this means a lot of coffee, sweets here and there. Hey, I’m only human. I’ve seen cardiologists tucking into hamburgers when I worked at the hospital, so I don’t feel so terrible. Buuuut, SINCE I’m a dietitian, I try to be mindful of how I splurge and try to make things as healthy as possible.

Like these maple and dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I used vegan dark chocolate chips, finely ground oats, maple syrup and dates to sweeten. I try to stay away from highly processed foods and love the texture that the finely ground oats impart on these peanut butter cups. They give a graham cracker-like texture, which is what you’d put in peanut butter cups if you made them yourself!

As always, I made these in a rush. So please excuse the look of them, as they’re not as perfect as regular peanut butter cups that you’d buy in the store, but I think they taste better. Looks-wise, I like to call these “rustic.” Ha! But, they’re so yummy, guys. The addition of a little maple syrup and dates to sweeten these up is perfect, in my opinion. And adding a little bit of coconut oil to chocolate chips to melt them makes them shimmer and shine!

And, since I’m a Thrive affiliate, I would like to extend this offer to you! New or existing customers, spend over $29 on your order of organic groceries, home goods, or other Thrive market products, AND get a FREE 12-oz bottle of organic maple syrup (originally valued at $14.99) with your order! Click here to access the deal! So you can make these maple and dark chocolate peanut butter cups!

 

 

*Full disclosure: I am a Thrive market affiliate. 

Maple and dark chocolate peanut butter cups
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
16 peanut butter cups 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 peanut butter cups 30 minutes
Maple and dark chocolate peanut butter cups
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
16 peanut butter cups 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 peanut butter cups 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: peanut butter cups
Instructions
For the dark chocolate shell:
  1. In a mini muffin tin, cut out 16 2-inch long strips of parchment paper and place each piece in the muffin cups.
  2. In a small bowl, microwave 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips with 1/2 tsp coconut oil in 20-second increments, stirring after each round until melted and smooth. Brush or drop about 1 tsp melted chocolate into each muffin cup. You can spread the chocolate a little up the muffin cups with a small spoon or spatula - whatever is easiest! Place the tin in the freezer for a few minutes or until chocolate hardens - in the meantime, prepare the peanut butter filling.
For the peanut butter filling:
  1. In a food processor, grind the oats until fine. Add the dates and continue to process for another 20-30 seconds, until pulverized. Add the peanut butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and sea salt. Process until mixture is crumbly and uniform. Divide mixture evenly between the muffin cups (start with about a tablespoon per cup and evenly distribute the rest).
  2. Press down on the peanut filling with your fingers and return to the freezer while you make the top chocolate layer.
For the dark chocolate shell:
  1. Repeat the first step with the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 tsp coconut oil. Take the muffin tin out of the freezer.
  2. Drop about a teaspoon of melted chocolate over each peanut butter cup and evenly distribute the rest. Even out the chocolate with a small spatula. Return to the freezer for a few minutes, or until chocolate hardens.
  3. To eat, pull the peanut butter cups out of the freezer. Pull on the parchment paper to take out the peanut butter cup. Serve immediately. You can also store these in the fridge or freezer. Enjoy!
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Hi friends!

I’m excited to announce that I have partnered with Thrive market as an affiliate member. So watch out for future posts (this one has a great deal here!), because I’ll be bringing you some good deals that are on top of what Thrive has to offer!

For those who are unfamiliar with Thrive market, it’s a membership-based online grocer that offers way much more than groceries. You get all these great products that are up to 50% off from what you’d pay at your regular grocer (think: Costco meets Whole Foods), get free shipping for orders over $49 (so easy), and your membership fee of $59.95 gets made back easily within a couple of orders (the membership fee is charged after a 30-day free trial). They do this by cutting out the middleman and eliminating retail mark-up, and Thrive gives back to other households in need with each paying membership. You can shop according to your values (gluten-free, vegan, raw, mom-life, etc) from the comfort of your own home.

This is so necessary in my life right now. I have a soon-to-be 1-year-old and a 6-year-old, and it’s kind of nuts in this household. We have one car and try to walk to grocery stores when we can. I don’t have memberships to other places, like Costco, because I don’t like to buy in bulk (no space, and so much waste and pressure to eat all the food!), buy my toilet paper on Amazon, and can fare pretty well by walking to the closest drugstore to get whatever I need, but life could get simpler.

Enter in Thrive market. Thrive helps me cut back on a trip or two to other stores and enables me to focus on the things that need to be done (like being more present with my family, and eliminating excessive trips to the store, because I do like to look for high-quality ingredients to feed and care for my household).

And moms – we all know the importance of a baby’s nap schedule. Too often, my infant falls asleep on the way to Whole Foods, and the 5-minute nap is ruined by the time I transfer her out of the car. Yay me. I also try to be as environmentally conscious as possible, and Thrive deliveries are in recyclable packages (made from recyclable materials) which are 100% carbon neutral.

Thrive market works to have a catalog of products that are completely free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), and organic products wherever possible. It’s really a win-win situation with this online grocer. I don’t like to endorse products on my site, but knowing that a lot of the values of this company are in line with my values, I thought it would be great to get the word out on this company.

On my first order, I got essentials like non-dairy hazelnut creamer, rose toner (the last one I bought was $15 and broke in the glass bottle – so imagine my joy when I saw this for $6!), tea tree oil toilet bowl cleaner, baby snacks, and organic canned tomato products (again – heavy to carry back home when combined with milk and other heavy perishables from TJs).

So, I want you to experience the awesome-ness that is Thrive, so I’m gifting you with 25% OFF your first order along with free shipping!

Click on the link here and try it out.

Check out my first Thrive box. I got some kitchen essentials because I have some dishes to make in mind after I go to get my produce at the farmer’s market today, and this box came within the same week of my order, so dinner will be great tonight! I saved close to $50 on this order and only spent about $47 for 14 items. If you’ve gotten rosewater toner, fair-trade/cruelty-free face and body wash before, you know this is a deal.

Honest Kids juice boxes, a couple cans of fire-roasted diced tomatoes (great for soups and chilis), a can of crushed tomatoes, Nutpods non-dairy hazelnut coffee creamer (made from almond and coconut milks), sushi rice, and Baby Mum-Mums (my baby loves these and her older sister tries to swipe them from her).

I love these household goodies and can’t wait to shop more, when baby’s napping or any other free minute I have to sit down. From left to right are the non-food items I got. Desert Essence face wash – this stuff smells like a high-end hotel spa experience, and look at that size! That face wash was about $11 for 32 ounces. I basically don’t need to buy any more face wash for the whole year. LOL! Fair trade body wash, rosewater toner, cruelty-free toilet bowl cleaner.

Just give Thrive market a browse online, and you’ll be so happy with what they have to offer. Click here for a free 30-day membership, 25% off your first box, and free shipping.

Happy dance time!

I’ve been meaning to make a blueberry coffee cake for a couple weeks now, but haven’t had the time. We’ve been out of town the past week, so the last few days were for getting recharged and back to the norm. I woke up early this morning, and made this blueberry coffee cake. I admit, it was pretty awesome being able to get this done before both of my baby girls were up!

Let’s talk about this coffee cake! Not your traditional coffee cake at all, but perfect with your morning cup o’ joe. I used a mixture of whole-wheat pastry flour (adding more tenderness than whole wheat flour), all-purpose flour, and almond meal (adding protein, healthy fats, and texture) to this cake. I added in a couple spices (not too much), just the right amount of sugar (it IS for breakfast eating, so didn’t want to send you on a sugar high soon after!), and canola oil. I figured using canola oil would be the quickest, easiest option, because it is readily pourable, in contrast to vegan butter or hardened coconut oil. It’s also one of the healthiest!

The result: a moist, tender, coffee cake studded with blueberries and topped off with a soft sugar cookie-like crust. Not the typical streusel, where it’s obvious with the large chunks of flour/sugar/oats/butter, but more of like a uniform, sugar-cookie type of crust. Whatever it is, it’s excellent. I had to give some to the neighbors, out of fears I would eat the whole thing. 🙂

Blueberry Coffee Cake
Print Recipe
A moist and flavorful coffee cake perfect for the morning grind.
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 5 minutes
Blueberry Coffee Cake
Print Recipe
A moist and flavorful coffee cake perfect for the morning grind.
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 5 minutes
Ingredients
for the cake/s dry ingredients:
for the wet ingredients:
mix in:
streusel topping:
to prep pan:
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Spray an 8x8-inch square baking pan with canola oil spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Stir until smooth (it's ok if there are some chunks, but no visible dry flour). Pour into the dry ingredients bowl and fold in blueberries until incorporated.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together streusel topping until incorporated. You will get a uniform ball of dough. Using your hands, just pinch off 1/2 tsp pieces and scatter evenly across top of the blueberry coffee cake. You won't cover the entire surface area but just make sure you spread it uniformly (spaces in between pieces are perfectly fine). Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool and serve.
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This dish was a hit in my house. For weekly grocery shopping, I usually fill up on staples that are running low (beans, lentils, tofu, coconut milk, spices, nondairy milks), get ingredients for a specific dish I want to make, and then a few fruits and veggies for the week. I usually don’t have a recipe in mind, and can usually think of something to make when given a few ingredients.

This was one of those dishes, because I wanted to use up some black kale that I got at the farmer’s market (I was getting tired of my green smoothies). We loved the garlic-y, buttery flavor of the rice, which was especially savory because I added some of that vegan fairy dust (nutritional yeast) to add that parmesan-like flavor. For the drizzle, I topped off the rice dish with a miso-tahini sauce (you can find the recipe here, when I made this for a Buddha bowl party). If you have a few minutes to make this, please do. It’s delicious! Brown or white (or a mix) of jasmine rice would work well here, and I cooked 2 cups of brown rice (which yielded about 8 cups of cooked rice).

Will definitely make this again! What do you make when you have limited ingredients in the kitchen?

 

Kale and chickpeas in garlic-butter rice
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Kale and chickpeas in garlic-butter rice
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In a large pan over med-low heat, add the vegan butter and olive oil. When the butter has melted, add the garlic and shallot, stirring for about 5 minutes, until light brown in color.
  2. Add the kale and chickpeas and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until kale starts to wilt.
  3. Add the rice, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, chili oil, brown sugar, and white pepper, stirring all the ingredients until incorporated. Season to taste. Add the cilantro and green onion. Top with a drizzle of miso tahini sauce. Serve.
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I found the perfect nondairy yogurt the other day, made from cashew milk. I bought a tub of this Forager plain yogurt, made from cashew nuts, and easily blended up things like yogurt sauces, salad dressings, and this mango lassi. It is so versatile and easy to sub in anything that calls for plain yogurt.

This mango lassi is refreshing on a warm day, with spicy Indian food, or as a snack. Don’t forget the cardamom – it adds character to this lassi!

*I was not compensated by the Forager project for this review*

Mango lassi
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 servings 3 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 servings 3 minutes
Mango lassi
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 servings 3 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 servings 3 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth in consistency and serve.
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I used to live in Hawaii. My husband was stationed there in the military, and that’s where I moved to after we got married. Yeah, I wasn’t complaining about that!

It was a wonderful two years. I learned how to surf and got a pink surfboard (let’s not get ahead of ourselves – I wasn’t that good and just liked the rolling baby waves), went foraging for banana lilikoi and strawberry guava fruits on our hikes, and hubby and I drove around the island and stopped wherever the water was clear to go for a snorkel. We biked down Mount Haleakala, swam with the manta rays, and thought seeing sea turtles in our open ocean swims was normal.

It was a young, carefree time. I still can’t believe we had that time for ourselves. We bought a super beat-up Camry to take to the beach and withstand the abuse from throwing our surfboards on it, and it totally died the month before we left the island (still, to this day, I don’t know how it passed a smog check). We lived in our bathing suits and flip-flops. The bartender down the street, Jan, knew us by name (and oh my goodness, her mai tais). When we got woken up by a tsunami warning from helicopters, I made breakfast before we decided to drive up to the highest point closest to us.

Living in Hawaii was the first move of a few, and I made dear friends with the people I worked with. When you’re in the military life, you find yourself isolated and alone a lot. We learned quick that building relationships, wherever you go, is essential to do life. I always look back on our Hawaii time with fond memories, and know that when we are able to go back for a visit (which is seriously overdue), I can call up some old friends to see us. They’d love to see our two littles, the oldest of which canNOT believe that mom and dad dared to live somewhere cool without her!

So when we moved up here to the Bay Area and met our neighbors, Shawn and Brandon, I immediately picked out their pidgin and asked if they were from Hawaii. Yes, they were! I felt the aloha from them pretty much immediately! So, at pau hana time on Aloha Friday (coincidence? I think not), Brandon and I were talking about tofu poke (pronounced: po-KAY). Poke is a raw fish salad. It’s usually tossed in some marinade and eaten with taro chips, rice, or eaten alone. It’s really good, but even though I still have it from time to time (seafood is my once-a-week thing on this super plant-based lifestyle), I go vegan when I can. Tofu poke seemed like a good way to still get the flavor without the fish.

We’ve both had the tofu poke a couple of times and were brainstorming what would go in it, so a day later, I just made it. It was so easy! I gave some to the guys, and I have to say that I have the Hawaiian seal of approval! Shawn thought there was fish in it, but that was just the seaweed! I got a knock on the door not even half an hour later with an empty bowl. Not only that, my hubby polished off his portion in a SNACK. I’ll make enough for me next time. Ha!

 

Tofu poke
Print Recipe
I love this with taro chips, but you can certainly serve them with pita chips or steamed rice to make it a meal, with a side of veggies, of course!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Tofu poke
Print Recipe
I love this with taro chips, but you can certainly serve them with pita chips or steamed rice to make it a meal, with a side of veggies, of course!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vegan mayo, tamari, sesame oil, sriracha, and agave nectar until smooth. Add the cubes of tofu, and fold to coat.
  2. Add the green onions and seaweed shreds and continue to fold into the tofu until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Can serve immediately, but I like it better the next day (store in fridge when done with prep).
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The other week, I was at the San Mateo farmer’s market, and there was a vendor selling all sorts of sprouted beans and lentils. I’ve never sprouted lentils before, but I do love me some red lentils – in chili, soups, and stews, and I wanted to make a salad out of some.

You can’t eat lentils raw, but you can eat them raw if they have been sprouted. They become more readily digestible, phytic acid content is reduced (phytic acid binds to nutrients and inhibits their absorption). and certain vitamins (such as vitamins B and C) become more bioavailable. These sprouted lentils are great sources of protein, and if eaten raw as in a salad, are great for those following a raw diet (these are cooked, however). Whenever people ask me about weight management, I also stress the fiber content of foods. Not only does fiber help get things going (ahem), fiber also contributes to the feeling of satiety (fullness), which is great for weight control!

To sprout these lentils, I soaked them in water overnight. In the morning, I drained them, rinsed them, and put them in a couple large mason jars, drained. I put cheesecloth over the jars, and placed the jars upside-down over a cooling rack placed on top of a rimmed baking sheet. I’d rinse out the lentils twice a day, and did the same draining process each time for the next day and a half. By the second day, I saw that there were lots of little tails in my lentils, which is what you want! It’s easier to sprout more hearty legumes and green lentils, because the tails aren’t so delicate and fall off. Every time I’d rinse these, I’d find little tails in the water I washed away. I decided not to make a salad out of this and instead made a red lentil dal. At least the nutrition content and bioavailability of nutrients was improved with a day and a half of sprouting!

*Note: Soaking and sprouting 1 cup of lentils yielded 2 1/2 cups of sprouted red lentils, which is what I call for in this recipe.*

This dish took only 20 minutes to cook. Sprouting lentils makes their cook time decrease a lot, which was great. This dal was perfect over brown rice, but next time I’ll change it up and serve them with naan bread. Delicious!


Red lentil dal
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 2 days (sprouting)
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 2 days (sprouting)
Red lentil dal
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 2 days (sprouting)
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 2 days (sprouting)
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. In a French oven over medium-low heat, add the coconut oil. When oil is melted and hot, add onions, tomato, garlic, cumin seed, turmeric, ground coriander, kosher salt, red pepper flakes, and garam masala. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, for about 5-7 minutes, until onions are soft.
  2. Add the sprouted red lentils, coconut milk, and water. Increase the heat to medium, and when the dal starts bubbling, lower the heat to low, cover, and let cook for about 10 minutes. Uncover, season to taste, and turn off the heat. Garnish with cilantro and green onion. Serve with rice, quinoa, or naan bread.
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I woke up at 4:47am this morning. My sleep has been really erratic with a 9-month-old, so it was no big surprise that I couldn’t go back to sleep. Then my stomach started growling, and as any mom knows, when you have a chance to eat, you eat, because you don’t know when else you’ll have a free minute!

I started thinking that it would be a great treat for my 6-year-old to wake up to some baked vegan doughnuts. I made these awhile back (great recipe – I made a flax egg for the egg replacer, and don’t omit the nutmeg) and they were super quick and easy to make. So as I popped these into the oven, and none of the kiddos were awake yet, I grabbed a bag of roasted coconut chips, to try to make coconut bacon. I stirred in a few things, put the coconut chips in the oven, and fifteen minutes later, had these beautiful bad boys! I whipped up a quick maple glaze, and assembled these doughnuts. By the time I was done, it was NOT EVEN 6AM.

And then I went on Instagram and found out it was #nationaldonutday. What are the odds? I’m winning today!

You can use this coconut bacon however you like. On top of tofu scramble, these donuts, on avocado toast, even on a bowl of rice. Be creative and kind! Hugs!

Coconut bacon
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 oz 2 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 oz 2 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Coconut bacon
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 oz 2 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 oz 2 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir all ingredients together.
  2. In a parchment-lined baking sheet, add the coconut bacon in a single layer. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until coconut bacon is toasted. Serve.
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