• Black Bean Quinoa Taco Filling

    Recipe from Midwest Foodie.


    • 1.5 c. cooked quinoa (1/2 c. uncooked)
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 small red onion, diced
    • 1 TBSP cumin
    • 2 tsp. chili powder
    • 1-2 tsp. chipotle peppers in adobo
    • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
    • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
    • Juice of 1/2 a lime
    • 1/2 – 3/4 c. water
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • Serve in tacos, burritos, or tostadas with your favorite toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa


    1. Prepare Quinoa: Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Add 1/2 c. quinoa and 1 c. of water to a saucepan and cover; bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 12-15 minutes. Set aside for the filling.
    2. Black Bean Quinoa Filling: Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat; then add onion, along with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.
    3. After 5 minutes, add the cumin, chili powder, chipotles, garlic powder, black beans, quinoa, lime juice and 1/2 c. water (can add more if needed) to the onions and stir to combine. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more water if necessary. At this point it should have a similar texture and consistency as regular taco meat.

    Black Bean Quinoa Taco Filling:

  • Air Fryer Falafel

    Recipe from Ela Vegan.


    • 2 c. (400 g.) dried chickpeas (not canned or cooked chickpeas)
    • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 c. parsley leaves, chopped
    • 1/2 c. cilantro leaves, chopped
    • 2 tsp. ground coriander
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
    • 1 tsp. black pepper
    • Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to taste
    • 1 tsp. baking powder (optional, see notes)
    • Cooking spray


    1. The day before you start making the falafel, place the dried chickpeas in a large bowl. Fill it with plenty of water (the chickpeas should be covered by at least 3 inches but add more water if needed) and soak for 18-24 hours. Drain the chickpeas completely and use a paper towel to lightly pat dry them (if they are too wet).
    2. Transfer the chickpeas along with all other ingredients to a large food processor. If you have a small food processor, you will need to work in batches. Process everything for about 20 seconds, then scrape down the sides of the food processor and blend again. Do this a few times until the mixture is well combined, but not mushy.
    3. Refrigerate the falafel mixture (in the food processor bowl) for about 45-60 minutes (or longer).
    4. Use an ice cream scooper to scoop the falafel mixture and shape it with your hands to form a ball (or make a patty/disk if you wish). Do this with the remaining falafel mixture.
    5. Use the cooking spray to lightly spray the falafel balls. Also, spray the basket of your air fryer to avoid sticking. Heat the air fryer to 375 ºF and set the timer to 15 minutes. Cook the falafel balls in the air fryer, flip them after 10 minutes. They should be crispy and slightly brown on the outside. You might need to fry them in batches if necessary.

    Air Fryer Falafel:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Granola

    Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.


    • 3 c. old fashioned oats
    • 1/2 c. chopped almonds
    • 3/4 c. chopped pecans
    • 2 TBSP flaxseed meal
    • 2 TBSP sugar
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. sea salt
    • 1/2 c. coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
    • 1/2 c. pure maple syrup
    • 1 TBSP pure vanilla extract
    • 1 c. chocolate chips


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large-rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, pecans, flaxseed, sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt.
    3. Add the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir until mixture is well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
    4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Use a spatula or the bottom of a measuring cup to press the granola down in an even layer. You want the granola to be pressed together so it will form clusters after cooling.
    5. Bake for 26 to 28 minutes or until granola is slightly golden brown. DO NOT STIR, but make sure you rotate the pan halfway through the baking time.
    6. Remove the pan from the oven and let the granola cool completely on the pan without stirring. Do not touch it while it cools.
    7. Once it is cool, you can break the granola into clusters and enjoy!

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Granola:

  • Peruvian Burrito Bowls


    Peruvian Aji Verde Sauce:

    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
    • 3 oz. queso fresco
    • 1 jalapeno pepper
    • 1 bunch of cilantro
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • Pinch of salt, to taste
    • Thin with milk, half & half or cream, as desired

    Sweet Potato

    • 1 small-medium sweet potato, 1/2 inch dice (about 1-2 c.)
    • olive oil
    • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika

    Peppers and Onion

    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 onion, sliced thick
    • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 14 oz. can corn, drained and rinsed
    • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thick
    • 1 poblano chili, sliced
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • 1 tsp. coriander
    • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

    Black Beans

    • 1 14 oz. can black beans
    • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp. cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. oregano

    Remaining Ingredients

    • Rice
    • Lettuce, chopped
    • Cotija cheese or queso fresco, crumbled


    1. Prepare Peruvian Aji Verde Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until everything is incorporated. Thin with milk, half & half or cream, as desired.
    2. Bake Sweet Potatoes: Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Add the sweet potatoes and toss with olive oil and seasonings. Bake until crispy for 20-25 minutes.
    3. Prepare Rice.
    4. Prepare Peppers and Onion: In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onions, garlic, corn, and peppers, sautéing until tender, about 10 minutes. Season with the salt, cumin, coriander, and oregano.
    5. Prepare Black Beans: In a small saucepan, add the beans and seasoning and heat.
    6. Assemble: In a bowl, add rice and lettuce, then add black beans, peppers and onion, and sweet potatoes. Top with Peruvian Aji verde sauce and sprinkle with cotija cheese or queso fresco.

    Peruvian Burrito Bowls:

  • Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

    Sub a can or two of white beans for the chicken if you want a vegetarian soup.

    Recipe adapted from Salt and Lavender.

    Amounts in parentheses are for hearty 4-6 portions. Leftovers are delicious despite the orzo absorbing the broth and becoming like a stew.


    • 2 sticks celery, chopped finely
    • 2 medium carrots, chopped finely
    • 1/2 (1) medium onion, chopped
    • 1 TBSP butter
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic minced
    • 2 TBSP (2 1/2 TBSP) flour
    • 6 c. (8 c.) chicken broth
    • 1/2 tsp. (3/4 tsp.) Italian seasoning
    • 1.5 lbs. uncooked chicken breasts, or cooked chicken, or 1-2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 c. (1 1/4-1 1/2 c.) uncooked orzo
    • 1 TBSP (1/2 – 1 lemon) lemon juice and zest, or to taste
    • 1 TBSP chopped parsley 
    • Salt & pepper, to taste


    1. Sauté the celery, carrots, and onions in a large soup pot with the butter and oil over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes.
    2. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add the flour and cook for another minute or so.
    3. Pour in chicken broth and stir until the flour has dissolved, then add the Italian seasoning and chicken (if using). Bring the soup to a boil.
    4. Cover the soup (lid slightly ajar), and reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
    5. Stir in the orzo and cook for another 10 minutes or until the orzo is cooked through. I keep the lid off and stir it fairly often because it tends to stick to the bottom of the pot.
    6. Take the chicken out of the pot and cut it up (if using pre cooked chicken or beans, add now), then add it back in.
    7. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, and season the soup with salt & pepper as needed. 

    Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup:

  • Portillos Chopped Salad

    Recipe adapted from Le Creme de la Crumb.

    Salad Ingredients:

    • 1-2 c. cooked ditalini pasta (or however much you like)
    • 3 c. chopped romaine lettuce
    • 2 green onions chopped
    • 1/2 c. gorgonzola crumbles or feta cheese
    • 1 c. cherry tomatoes chopped
    • 1 c. cucumbers, chopped, optional
    • 2 c. diced cooked chicken, optional

    Dressing Ingredients:

    • 1/3 c. olive oil
    • 1/4 c. white wine vinegar
    • 1/2 c. mayo
    • 1 TBSP lemon juice
    • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 2 tsp. minced garlic
    • 1/4 c. finely grated parmesan cheese
    • 2 tsp. sugar
    • Salt, to taste


    1. Combine dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
    2. Combine pasta, lettuce, gorgonzola or feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, and chicken (if using). Toss with dressing and serve immediately.

    Portillos Chopped Salad:

  • The Best Minestrone Soup

    Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen.


    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 2 stalks celery, diced
    • 2 large carrots, sliced
    • 1 zucchini, diced
    • 1 medium (or 2 small) yukon gold potatoes, diced into ½ inch cubes (about 1 cup diced potatoes)
    • 2 (14 oz.) can fire roasted tomatoes, crushed/blitzed in food processor
    • 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • 6 c. vegetable broth
    • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
    • 3/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 12 oz. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 6 oz. spinach
    • Pasta: elbow noodles, small shells or fusilli, cooked separately
    • Freshly grated parmesan for serving


    1. Add olive oil to a large pot or Dutch oven and place over medium high heat. Add in diced onion, celery, sliced carrots, zucchini, and potatoes. Sauté for 3-5 minutes or until onions soften.
    2. Next add in crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, vegetable broth, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Cover and cook on medium low for 10-15 minutes.
    3. Next add the green beans to the soup and simmer uncovered for 8-12 minutes or until green beans are tender. Once green beans are tender, add spinach and simmer until spinach has wilted.
    4. Meanwhile cook pasta in a separate pot, and drain when al dente.
    5. Add pasta to a bowl and ladle soup over the pasta. Top with parmesan cheese.
    6. Leftovers are amazing. The soup thickens, so add additional broth to your liking (I added 2 additional cups for the leftovers).

    The Best Minestrone Soup:

  • Spicy Tofu Sofritas

    Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum.


    • 1 poblano pepper
    • 1–3 individual chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce (1 for mild/medium, 3 for very spicy)
    • 2 TBSP of the adobo sauce
    • 2–3 cloves garlic
    • 2 tsp. cumin
    • 1 tsp. chili powder or smoked paprika
    • 1/2 c. of your favorite salsa
    • 2 TBSP canola oil
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 14–oz. package extra firm tofu
    • 1/2 c. water
    • Lime juice, to taste


    1. Roast your poblano: Turn your oven to the broil setting, place poblano on a baking sheet, and roast for 15 minutes at a time until it’s soft and blistered. Once blistered place in ziploc bag and close for about 15 minutes. After 15 mintues, remove poblano from bag and peel of skins and remove seeds. 
    2. Make a sofritas sauce: Place poblano, chipotles, garlic, spices, and salsa in a small blender or food processor (EXCEPT tofu). Pulse until a mostly smooth paste forms.
    3. Make the sofritas tofu: Slice the tofu and press with a clean towel to remove as much excess moisture as you can (the drier the tofu, the better it soaks up the sauce). Heat a drizzle of oil over medium high heat. Scramble the tofu into small bits with a spatula or wooden spoon. You can do beans or no beans – this is a choose your own adventure here. Add the sofritas sauce with 1/2 c. water. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sauce is richly colored and thickened slightly. Add more water as necessary, and season to taste with the salt and lime juice.
    4. Serve: Serve in tacos, burritos, tostadas, and mega rice bowls!

    Spicy Tofu Sofritas:

  • Spanakopita

    Recipe adapted from Dimitra’s Dishes.


    • 1 lb. (#4) phyllo pastry at room temperature or puff pastry
    • 12 oz. salted butter, melted (use 2-3 TBSP melted butter for puff pastry)
    • 1 c. panko breadcrumbs
    • 1 lb. spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
    • 3 tsp. dried dill
    • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
    • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
    • 1 lb. feta cheese, crumbled
    • 3 eggs
    • 3-4 TBSP olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper


    1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
    2. Make the filling: In the bowl of a tabletop mixer that is fitted with the paddle attachment add the feta and ricotta cheese. Add the dill, salt, pepper, olive oil, and the scallions. Mix until combined. Add the spinach in a few batches until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Combine the eggs in a small bowl and whisk them together. Add the eggs to the mixing bowl and mix on low speed until incorporated.
    3. Assemble the Pie if Using Phyllo Dough: Sprinkle the breadcrumbs into a large baking sheet to create an even layer. Take a stack of 3 sheets of phyllo and place it in the pan to cover the bottom and let the rest of the stack hang over the side of the pan. Drizzle the top sheet with some melted butter. Place 2 sheets half in the pan and half hanging outside of the pan on all four sides of the pan. Drizzle butter between the layers. Spread all of the filling inside of the phyllo sheets. All of the sheets that are hanging outside of the pan should go over the filling. Place all of the filling inside of the phyllo and fold the phyllo that is hanging outside of the pan over the filling brushing butter in between the layers. Reserve 6-7 sheets of phyllo for the topping and place the remaining sheets over the filling. Drizzle with some butter. Take one sheet at a time and crinkle it like an accordion and place it on top. Continue creating accordions and place them side by side until the top is covered. Drizzle with butter and score into pieces. Pour the remaining melted butter on top and brush all around.
    4. Assemble the Pie if Using Puff Pastry: Sprinkle the breadcrumbs into a large baking pan to create an even layer. Remove the puff pastry from packaging and cut in half. Using a rolling pin, roll each dough to the size of the baking sheet. Place one dough on top of the breadcrumbs, and then spread all of the filling evenly over the dough. Top with remaining dough and drizzle with some butter.
    5. Bake: Bake the pie on the center rack for about an hour or until golden all around. For an extra crisp bottom crust, transfer the tray to the bottom rack for the last 10 minutes. If your oven’s heat is too high then, skip this step and just bake the pie a few extra minutes on the center rack.
    6. Allow the pie to rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes and then serve.
    7. For leftovers, remove from fridge and bring to room temperature, and then warm in a 350°F, until warmed through and crispy.