The next time you have extra beet roots hanging around, I highly recommend that you whip up these herb-filled beet fritters, topped with a bright (not to mention dairy free) lemon-herb cashew cream sauce. Once you’ve mastered this technique of making vegetable fritters, get creative and swap out the grated beets for other veggies like carrots, zucchini and kohlrabi. This 100% plant-based recipe makes for an awesome appetizer, a colorful veggie side, and can even serve as a vibrant vegetarian main dish. This recipe was adapted from one of my very favorite farmers + amazing cooks, Andrea Bemis, and her cookbook + blog Dishing Up the Dirt.
I know what you’re thinking. We’re in the depths of winter, and the last thing you want is another recipe containing beets and kale and quinoa. BUT HEAR ME OUT. This salad takes winter staples (like the aforementioned beets and kale) and jazzes them up, thanks to generous dusting of fresh mint and a zippy citrus-za’atar vinaigrette.
If you’re not familiar with za’atar (pronounced ZAH-tar) it is a supremely aromatic eastern Mediterranean spice blend – typically consisting of toasted sesame seeds, dried thyme/oregano/marjoram, cumin, sumac, and salt. I love using za’atar to spice up a vinaigrette, but it’s also fabulous for seasoning meat, fish, and vegetables or just sprinkle it on top of just about anything – hummus, baba ganoush, yogurt, bagels, chickpeas, popcorn, etc. Shop local if possible, but if you can’t find za’atar locally, here’s a recommended brand you can purchase online.
Oh! And on a root-to-stem cooking note – if you’re making this recipe and purchase beets with tops, you can (and should!) use the beet greens instead of kale in this recipe. This recipe was developed in partnership with Imperfect Produce.
When you buy bunches of carrots with the tops still on, that means they are super fresh. While most people just toss the tops, there are lots of ways to incorporate those gorgeous greens in your dishes. This roasted carrot recipe is simple, beautiful, and is truly “root-to-stem” cooking thanks to the carrot top + pistachio gremolata. Gremolata is traditionally made with chopped parsley, lemon zest, and minced garlic, but I love substituting carrot tops for the parsley and adding pistachios for an extra pop of color and crunch to the dish. This recipe was created in partnership with Imperfect Produce, my favorite company that’s changing the world by embracing “ugly” vegetables, reducing food waste, and making fresh produce accessible for folks all across the country.
If your goal is to make a photogenic dish that will kill it on instagram – well, I’m very sorry, but this is not the recipe for you. Alas. If you want to whip up a meal that will warm your bones and have you licking your bowl clean (not exaggerating, I lick the bowl clean every. damn. time.) then this IS the recipe for you. Braised cabbage is quite possibly the least sexy dish in the history of the world, but it’s also the one thing that I always crave on dark, dreary winter days. To braise simply means to cook something (whether it’s meat or vegetables) low and slow, usually tightly covered in a dish with some liquid. In this case, the end result is cabbage that has been utterly transformed into a caramelized, luxurious heap… my friends, this is the cabbage of your wildest dreams. I like to serve braised cabbage topped with a fried egg, a side of creamy polenta, and a bright green salad with a zippy vinaigrette.
I’m digging into my North Carolina roots with this recipe, also known in my family as Aunt Shirlee’s Sweet Potatoes. This dish has graced our thanksgiving table EVERY year since I’ve been alive, and I love keeping the tradition going. There are no fancy bells and whistles, just good sweet potatoes, a little butter, a pinch of pumpkin pie spice, and a whole lotta love.
In my humble opinion, the perfect Thanksgiving meal involves a LOT of sweet potatoes, in as many iterations as possible. Yep. I’m that girl who shows up to Thanksgiving carrying a giant sweet potato casserole, a sweet potato pie (or two) with homemade whipped cream, aaaaaand this Roasted Sweet Potato and Brussel Sprout dish. Garam masala is the secret spice blend that kicks the roasted veggies up a notch, along with tart pomegranates and crunchy toasted hazelnuts. Top it all off with an irresistible Miso-Tahini sauce, and you’ve got a Thanksgiving side dish that has everyone coming back for seconds (..or thirds)!
Every year I’m a bit reluctant to say goodbye to summer and all its abundance - tomatoes! corn! zucchini! basil! - but once October rolls around, I’m finally ready to embrace all the winter squash, root vegetables, and warming spices that arrive each autumn. This recipe makes a truly beautiful fall side dish or vegetarian entree, featuring roasted winter squash stuffed with bright flavors thanks to heaps of citrus, fresh, herbs, and plump pomegranates. While I hesitate to play favorites, delicata squash miiiight just be my favorite variety of winter squash, because of its super sweet flesh and (bonus!) edible outer skin. If you don’t have access to delicata squash, acorn or kabocha squash make great substitutes.
Sweet potato fries are the golden retriever puppies of the culinary world. I mean, who can resist a good sweet potato fry?! Here's my go-to recipe in hopes that you'll kick on your oven and bring more deliciousness into the world with these roasted + spiced sweet potato fries. They are delightfully crispy on the outside, luscious and soft on the inside, with a hint of spice and a touch of honey.
Ratatouille is my go-to recipe to clean out my fridge (and my garden) as we transition from summer into fall. A good long roast in the oven transforms a motley medley of eggplant, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, and fresh herbs into a hearty stew, which I love serving over creamy polenta. Don’t forget to add a splash of balsamic vinegar (see full recipe below) before serving, as the sweet + tangy balsamic kicks up the dish to a whole new level of deliciousness.
You know how there’s always a “song of the summer”? 🎶 Well, this is the SALAD of the summer that’s playing on repeat in my kitchen: Summer Quinoa Tabbouleh, with heaps of fresh herbs, local cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, avocado, feta, and a sunshine-y lemon vinaigrette. Tabbouleh is a classic Middle Eastern dish traditionally made with couscous, but I've swapped it for quinoa, which is a naturally gluten free seed that's packed with protein, and is one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. This is a substantial salad that can easily be served as a vegetarian main course, though it's also a lovely side salad to round out a summer meal.
The recipe (see below) is quite loose and forgiving, so feel free to swap in / out whatever summer veggies and herbs you have on hand. You'll notice the ingredients and instructions for the lemon vinaigrette are intentionally vague, to encourage you to whip up a vibrant vinaigrette with just a few ingredients, a mason jar, and your kitchen intuition. If you need a little extra guidance, here is a YouTube #eatlikeafarmer video where I walk you through the technique of making your own vinaigrette (without using a single measuring spoon)!
PREP + COOK TIME:
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 hothouse cucumber (or 2 Persian cucumbers), cut to a small dice
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 ripe avocados, diced
- 2 ears of corn, kernels removed
- 8 ounces feta cheese, diced
- A few cups of fresh arugula
- Chopped fresh parsley (about a 1/2 cup)
- Chopped fresh mint (about a 1/4 cup)
- Chopped fresh basil (about a 1/4 cup)
- 1 bunch scallions/green onions, thinly sliced
- Juice of 2-3 large lemons
- Olive oil
- Dijon or Whole Grain Mustard
- Minced garlic
- Freshly chopped herbs (optional)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- To cook the quinoa:Bring 3 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Stir in the quinoa, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and allow quinoa to steam with the lid on for 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork. Spread out quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet and let cool.
- To make the lemon vinaigrette: Juice your lemons and pour the juice into a mason jar. Add twice as much olive oil as lemon juice to the jar. Add a good squeeze (about a teaspoon) each of mustard and honey. If you'd like, add minced garlic, fresh herbs, and/or lemon zest for added flavor. Add salt and pepper to taste and shake, shake shake! Taste the dressing and adjust seasoning as necessary - you're looking for a good balance between sour, sweet, and salty.
- Transfer cooled quinoa to a large salad bowl, mix in 1/2 cup of your vinaigrette and stir to combine.
- Add the sliced red onion, diced cucumber, halved tomatoes, avocado, corn kernels, feta cheese, arugula and chopped herbs to the bowl with the cooked quinoa. Pour in the remaining vinaigrette and stir gently to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature. Keeps for several days in the fridge.