Growing Washington

I am so excited for all the greens! I luuuv kale, seriously it’s pretty much my favorite vegetable. I have a box of sprouts outside my back door and my partner and I nibble at it every time we walk by to check on our chickens, bees, poke around our garden, or just step outside to reset our minds. I hope you’re enjoying something today that helps you do that too, it’s so important to give yourself a break from the daily stresses. On to our produce box!

Small Box Ideas

Bunched Spinach: last weekend for Mother’s day I made spinach quiche, that’s a quick and easy one to do. I’m also a fan of creamed spinach made with coconut milk. Wilt your spinach a little, drain it, reduce your coconut milk by half, add some sautéd red onion and garlic, maybe some fresh chives and a pinch of nutmeg. Yum!

Bunched Kale or Chard: Chop and eat it as a salad, sauté it in a little avocado oil with garlic, finish with lemon zest. Kale chips are delightful too.

Zucchini: Flash saute over high heat and toss in with your greens, add your favorite hot sauce and carbs of your choosing (we’re all rice all the time over here).

Red Leaf Lettuce: Salad time! If you’ve still got ground meat, wrap some cooked patties in your leaf lettuce for bunless burgers.

Red onions: I really can’t stop with thin slicing and put them on everything. If they are too sharp in taste for you, soak in cold water for an hour after slicing them, or overnight to soften the flavor.

Broccoli: Blanch and shock, steam, or roast with a little oil

Strawberries: I can hardly wait, I will be rinsing and eating right out of the container. You can thin slice and toss in your salads with chevre or feta, pair with balsamic vinaigrette or just balsamic and olive oil works well too.

English Cucumber: This is a fun new one for the boxes! I’ve been peeling my cucumbers in stripes before cutting them. Makes for a fun presentation.

Large Box

Spring Salad Mix: You know what to do here, previous posts have honey mustard vinaigrette, or simple honey dijon vinaigrette, that one goes great with strawberries to.

Spring Onions: My favorite way to eat these is to cut them in half, toss them with a little oil and grill them. Chop them up and toss in salads or with your cooked greens.

Red Cabbage: Coleslaw for tacos or pulled pork sandwiches, braised with apple cider vinegar, or here’s a great list of ideas!

Shiitake Mushrooms: Thin slice, saute, and add to your greens.

Green Beans: blanch and shock, or roast, you can also dry saute. These aren’t the traditional beans used for that method, but they are still delicious.

Growing Washington Emergency Spring CSA: final week

I almost forgot to put this post up, sorry team! I started a nutrition certificate program from eCornell and launched a free meal program for households in Bellevue this week, so I’ve been a bit distracted. If you want to keep up with my goings on you can follow me on IG @1861food or on FB I am participating in the CSA extension and am continuing to connect farmers and consumers. If you are looking for grassfed beef, pork, or goat let me know. My focus is on connecting 4H youth and young farmers with buyers as fairs in Washington are being cancelled. Those kids have worked so hard, they deserve to be rewarded.

On to Produce!

Small Share Ideas:

Broccoli: Blanch and shock is my favorite way to prepare broccoli. Cut into bite size pieces toss it in some boiling salted water for about 1 minute, they shock it in ice water until completely cooled. Drain and eat or refrigerate until you want it. My family eats it in anything and it’s quick to warm up. Honestly, my kids prefer to eat it raw out of the fridge (I’m not sure how I got lucky with that, but I’ll take it!).

Fuji Apples: Here’s a recipe for apple crisp from The Chunky Chef, who doesn’t love the name of her site??


  • 6 apples, peeled and chopped 
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, diced into small cubes
  • pinch of kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Butter an 8×8 baking dish, or spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, add chopped apples, granulated sugar, 3/4 tsp of the cinnamon and lemon juice.  Stir to combine, then transfer to prepared baking dish.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, add topping ingredients (brown sugar, oats, flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, salt, and diced cold butter).  Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the oat mixture, using a slight downward twisting motion, until mixture resembled pea-sized crumbs.  Alternatively, you can use two forks or even your hands to cut butter into the mixture.
  • Spread topping over apples in baking dish, and gently pat to even it out.  Bake 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!

Salad Mix: Last week we got mustard greens in this and it sounds like we’re getting the same this week. They are my absolute favorite! I recommend making a honey mustard vinaigrette and adding some hearty additions like toasted nuts or bacon. Yum!

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

  •  2 T honey
  • 1/2 c. neutral oil, such as avocado
  • 1/4 c. apple cider or white wine vinegar
  • 1 T yellow mustard, or dijon
  • 2 T course ground mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all together and adjust to taste.

Cherry Tomatoes: last week’s tomatoes were a little tough, I suggested flash frying them, I ended up cooking them a little longer to soften them up. I also added more balsamic and olive oil than I typically do, they were lovely with some blanched green beans and sourdough bread.

Zucchini: We have been eating a lot of beans at our house, greens and some zucchini round it out well. Then there’s fritter, zucchini bread, and this looks fun from

Spinach: Well, it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, I bet moms would love some spinach frittata.

Slicing Cucumbers: You tell me if you do something other than eat these in salads, I never get past that I love them so much.

Large Share Ideas

Bunched Carrots: These have been so good, it’s kind of like the cucumbers. You probably already know what to do here, or just eat them as is, pretend you’re a bunny if you’re bored.

Beets: braise them, roast them, juice them, love them. I peel them, cut into small dice (about 1″), roast them in a little avocado oil and salt until tender. Let them cool a little and toss them in your salad with your flash cooked tomatoes…feta..pistachios…guess I know what my lunch looks like!

Head Lettuce:We had bunless burgers this week wrapped in head lettuce, it was tasty.

Chives: see frittata above

Radishes: I hear putting them in an air fryer is a keto thing, report back if you try it out.

Red Onions: Thin slice for your salads or lettuce wrapped burgers. Pickle with bay leaves and peppercorns, serve with pork or chicken.

Growing Washington Emergency Spring CSA – Week 5

You guys, we’re almost done! Next week is the last week of this emergency CSA. I’m a little sad, but honestly my garden is starting to come in and the produce stand by my house is open. I know the Ballard and U District Farmer’s Markets are open now. There are signs of things going back to some kind of normalcy. I hope you’ll join me in agreeing that our normal should always include supporting local farmers and ranchers. If you’re new to this lifestyle, I hope you’ll continue to to support all of us.

Small Box Ideas

Red Radishes: These always make me think of my father, he will eat radishes by the bunches. It always baffled me as a kid, but as an adult I understand the pleasure. If you have some lovely ricotta in your fridge, or chevre, mix it with some herbs. Cut your radishes in half, the long way, and spread the cheese mix on them, or just salt them, or just eat them! The green are also edible, either raw or cooked.

Pink Lady Apples: So dang good, right? I made an upside down cake last week, it disappeared too fast for a photo, but great way to use up these beauties.

Rapini: Have you put it on pizza yet?? Seriously crust, olive oil base, fontina cheese if you’ve got it. Use a baguette if a pizza crust doesn’t suit your needs. I chop it up and put it in everything, this is really the best rapini I’ve ever eaten.

Leaf Lettuce: Caesar Salad? I swear the anchovies are very important here, you won’t regret it. Try this one from Bon Appetit.

Cauliflower: I promise not to say cauliflower rice, but have you tried cauliflower couscous? Basically same thing, I process it a little finer in the food processor and roast it in the oven with avocado oil and salt. They I finish it with chopped fresh parsley, harissa, and finish it with a fruity olive oil. A little minced garlic, and lemon zest never hurt anything either. If you just can’t with cauliflower that way, I get it. Trim it, roast it at 450 degrees until it’s nice and brown and serve it with brown butter, lemon zest, fresh chopped parsley, and capers

Blueberries: Um, there no way there’s going to be enough of these to bother with a recipe. In your mouth they go!

Celery: I’m a little surprised I’ve been using an entire head of celery every week. I put a lot of it in the roast I make each week that we eat for a few days. Add it to your cauliflower dish or make a waldorf salad with your apples, I like yogurt instead of all the mayo.

Chives: Chop fine and sprinkle like confetti. I recommend some really creamy scrambled eggs tops with chives.

Large Box Ideas

Green Beans: Blanch and shock, put them in your salad, You can add some celery, the tomatoes, boil a potato and thin slice it. Add a hard boiled egg, and hey! That’s starting to look like a salad nicoise. Maybe you better get some tuna and olives…

Zucchini: I’ve got cake on my mind, who doesn’t love chocolate zucchini cake? Plus the frosting has sweet potatoes in it so it’s basically a salad, right?

Chocolate Zucchini Cake


  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (I’ve transitioned to monk fruit, sugar isn’t so great for ya)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup fair trade cocoa powder
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 3/4 cup fair trade dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocao powder until well combined.
  4. Beat butter and sugar together until smooth with stand or hand mixer, pour in oil while beating to combine.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, until well combined.
  6. Add vanilla, continue mixing until smooth, scraping sides as needed.
  7. Add in 1/3 sour cream alternately with 1/3 flour mixture, until all are combined, do not overmix.
  8. Finally fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.
  9. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting


  • 2 ea medium sweet potatoes
  • 8 oz salted, grass-fed butter
  • 6 oz free trade cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ C raw honey
  • Optional: 2T-1/4 c hot water


  1. Peel and rough cut sweet potatoes into chunk.  Cover with water and boil until cooked. 
  2. Transfer to mixing bowl and add butter, chocolate, vanilla, and honey.
  3. Use potato masher first and then immersion blender and process until smooth with no visible chunks of potato. 
  4. Add optional hot water if needed to adjust creaminess. 
  5. Cool slightly before using. 

Salad Mix: I think you know what to do. I’m obsessed with toasted pistachios if you need something new for crunch.

Shiitake Mushrooms: Again, you know the drill, chop to your desired size, saute or roast and put in everything.

Yukon Gold Potatoes: If you want to get real crazy make Duchess Potatoes. Or yukons make great Patas Bravas.

Grape Cherry Tomatoes: flash cook these over high heat with a little bit of oil, just until they start to sear on the outside,they may break, they’ll definitely get soft. Let them cool a little and eat them in your salad. So good.

Growing Washington Emergency Spring CSA: week 4

Small Share Ideas

Apples :

If you still have cabbage left from last week, give it a rough chop, julienne an onion, and thin slice an apple or two, toss it all in neutral oil and a little salt and roast it in the oven at 400 in a shallow casserole dish. Give it a toss every 10 minutes or so, cooking until the cabbage is soft and starts to char on the edges. Good luck waiting until it hits the table, you’ll find yourself trying a little then tucking in to half the pan.

And if you still have a lot of apples left, have eaten all the pie, apple crisp, or cake you can handle, and just want to preserve them, applesauce is a great way to go. It freezes well and can be used for baking later.

Apple Sauce:

Peel, core, and rough chop apples. Put apples in a sauce pan with 1/4 c water, cover and cook over medium low heat until apples start to fall apart, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and add cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom to taste. Add honey if you like more sweetness, or a splash of apple cider vinegar if you like more bite. Cook until sauce is thick and apples are broken down, the texture is up to you. Sometimes I don’t add more sweet, and sometimes I find there’s a balance between the two that is what I want. My kids love it warm right out of the pot, but it freezes well if you want to save it for later.

Head Lettuce: if you want a variety of salad ideas, check out Bon Appetit’s website. Or try making homemade ranch to mix up your salad toppings.

Ranch Dressing:


  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or regular milk soured with 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp minced chives
  • 1 tsp minced shallot or 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 minced clove of garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, or 1 T red wine vinegar, more to taste


  • Whisk all together until well combined. Adjust all to taste, some people like more herbs, vinegar level is definitely subjective. You’ll never go back to store bought ranch again!

Red LaSoda Potatoes: if you’re getting tired of roasted potatoes, here’s a fun recipe from the BBC for Tartiflette. If curry is more to your taste, cook the potatoes with onion, carrot, green beans, and zucchini for a one pot meal with or without meat. I love rendang, so this recipe from Food Republic is definitely going on my menu this week.

New Potato Rendang & Green Beans

  • 1 large red Fresno chili, seeded
  • 1/4 cup shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves, ground
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 pound fingerling or new potatoes, halved
  • 4 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 1 teaspoon tamari, or soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In a coffee grinder or mini chopper, combine the chile, shallot, ginger, garlic, lime and lemon zests, turmeric and cloves. Process to puree them to a smooth paste. If needed, add a little of the coconut milk to help it puree.
  2. Transfer the paste to a large frying pan, and stir in the coconut milk. Add the potatoes and bring them to a simmer, stirring. Cover and check often, stirring and adding water as needed to keep the potatoes from sticking.
  3. When the potatoes are almost tender, add the beans, carrot, tamari, and salt and keep stirring.
  4. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is completely thick and coats the vegetables.

Green Zucchini: preheat oven to 400 degrees, slice zucchini to 1/2″ slices. Toss with neutral oil, red wine vinegar and salt. Lay flat on a parchment lined sheet tray, roast until zucchini is tender and edges are beginning to brown.

Red Onions: one from The Guardian that sounds amazing and another that can be used with just about anything you’re eating this week.

Balsamic-Glazed Red Onions Recipe



  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 T neutral oil
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Julienne onions, toss with oil, balsamic, 1 tsp oregano, salt, and pepper, pack in to a baking dish.
  3. Cover the baking dish with parchment then foil, and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, stir and return to oven uncovered. Roast up to 30 minutes more, checking after 15 minutes. Stir again if edges are starting to char.
  4. Make the glaze: In a bowl, whisk the balsamic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.
  5. Pour the glaze over the roasted onions and return the dish to the oven. Continue cooking another 10 minutes, or until the onions are very soft.
  6. Stir in additional oregano and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve with roasted chicken, steak, or on a sandwich.

Bunched Carrots: If you’re looking for something other than roasting, pickling, or soup, try turning your carrots in to fritters! You can use your zucchini in these too.

Carrot Fritters


  • 3 carrots trimmed, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 c minced onion
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup of fresh coriander chopped, cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup flour, use coconut flour for GF option
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 T neutral oil, more as needed


  • Toss all together, except oil. Let rest 20 minutes for flour to hydrate.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat
  • Add spoonfuls of mix to the pan, use a spatula to flatten the mixture into discs.
  • Cook until golden on each side, roughly 2 minutes
  • Drain on a paper towel and serve. You can cool completely and store in the fridge for a couple days, reheat in a small amount of oil until crisp.
  • Delicious served with yogurt

Green Beans: roast in the oven with a little oil and salt at 400 degrees on a parchment lined sheet tray OR blanch in salted boiling water then shock in ice water, serve with salad or as a snack.

Asparagus: roast in the oven with a little oil and salt at 400 degrees on a parchment lined sheet tray or grill, being careful not to over cook. They should be crisp tender when eaten.

Large Share Ideas

Anjou Pears: Pear cake, pear sauce, pears in salad, or this one from Bon Appetit sound delightful.

Broccolini: roast in the oven with a little oil and salt at 400 degrees on a parchment lined sheet tray, it’s really the best way to eat broccolini.

Brussels Sprouts: last week’s brussel sprouts were just a teaser, they lasted about 5 minutes out of our oven. Roast in the oven with a little oil and salt at 400 degrees on a parchment lined sheet tray. If you want to try something else, very carefully thin slice with a mandoline and toss with shredded carrots and thin sliced onions with your favorite coleslaw dressing, or the ranch dressing above. Add bacon or toasted nuts for more crunch and savoriness.

Celery: One of my neighbors shared this recipe for soup with me, I’m excited to try it this week.

Yellow Onions: julienne and caramelize, put them in everything.

Cucumbers: toss with your balsamic red onions and some croutons, maybe a little feta if you’re feeling it.

Homemade Croutons:


  •  1 loaf crusty bread
  •  3 T neutral oil
  •  2 T melted butter
  • Seasoning Mix 
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    •  1 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp dried oregano or mixed Italian herbs
    •  salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Combine seasoning mix
  3. Cut the loaf of bread into 3/4-inch cubes and place in a large bowl, coat well with oil and butter. Toss with seasoning mix.
  4. Spread the bread cubes onto parchment lined baking sheet, in a single layer.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, tossing halfway through, or until the croutons are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Growing Washington Emergency Spring CSA: week 3

Small Share Ideas

Pink Lady Apples: ok so to be honest these are one of my all time favorite apples. I prefer a tart apple and pink ladies don’t disappoint. This great for crisps, pies, and cakes. An apple cloud cake sounds lovely right now, here’s a recipe from Sainsbury’s

Apple Cloud Cake


  • 750g dessert apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus a pinch
  • 2 large eggs, plus 2 extra egg whites
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 100ml skimmed milk
  • ½ -1 tsp icing sugar, to dust


Keeps for up to 3 days in an airtight container, or can be frozen

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm springform tin using oil. 
  2. Toss the apples with the lemon juice and cinnamon, and set aside.
  3. Put the lemon zest, whole eggs and sugar (keeping back ½ tablespoon of sugar for the top) in a large bowl and whisk together until creamy and thick enough to leave a trail when the whisk is lifted out. Sift in the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt and fold through, followed by the milk.
  4. In a separate bowl, with clean whisks, beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then fold through the batter until smooth. Gently mix in about two-thirds of the sliced apples, then pour into the prepared cake tin. Scatter the rest of the apples on top and sprinkle with the reserved sugar. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre. Leave in the tin for 10-15 minutes before carefully unmoulding and transferring to a wire rack. Serve slightly warm or cooled, dusted with icing sugar.

Carrots: I keep reading about carrot bacon, if you’re feeling adventuresome, try it out. Recipe from Or you can try a carrot ginger soup, which will go nicely with all that bread you’re baking right now.

Carrot Ginger Soup


  • 2 tbsp avocado oil, or butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp ginger, minced or finely diced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp allspice or clove
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled, rough chop
  • 4 c vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt

Optional toppings:

  • pesto
  • crispy shallots
  • sour cream or coconut cream
  • rough chopped herbs, cilantro is nice
  • toasted pepitas or chopped nuts


  • Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes or until translucent.
  • Add the ginger and garlic to the pot and stir for another minute.
  • Add spices, cooking until fragrant.
  • Add carrots, broth, bay leaf, cinnamon and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat to low for a gentle simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the carrots are soft when pierced with a fork.
  • Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaf.
  • Blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth.
  • To make the crispy shallots, finely slice the shallot and separate each layer of the slice.
  • Heat the avocado oil in a pan on medium-high heat and once hot, add the shallots.
  • Cook the shallots for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent one side from browning unevenly. Once the shallots are golden in color remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel.
  • Divide each portion of soup into a bowl, garnish with cream crispy shallots, nuts and herbs or pesto.

This soup freezes well, if you still have room in your freezer.

Green Beans: roasted green beans are delicious, be careful not to overcook them or you’ll be sad. Oil, salt, 400 degree oven, about 7-11 minutes depending on your oven, convection is best. Toss them with some citrus zest and minced garlic, yum.

Brussels Sprouts: Trim, cut them in half, 400 degree oven, oil, salt, roast until outer leaves become crispy. Bacon or nuts if you like.

Cabbage: Personally I’ve got some cod in my freezer that’s waiting to be put in a tortilla with slaw, and I can’t be more excited we’re getting cabbage this week.

Chef Karen’s Slaw


  • 1 c red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 c jicama
  • 1/4 c shredded broccoli stems
  • 1/4 c shredded carrots
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, rough chop
  • 1/4 c toasted pepitas
  • 2 T shredded radishes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and salt to taste


  1. Soak cabbage in cold water for 15 minutes
  2. Cook carrots and broccoli for 4 minutes in 2 T water, stirring frequently, strain
  3. Strain the cabbage, cook 4 minutes in 2 T water, stirring frequently, strain
  4. Toss all together, adjust oil, vinegar, salt to taste

Celery: here’s a fun celery salad from Food52 you can try if you’re out of ideas.

Romaine: burger wraps, caesar salad, eat it with your carrot bacon…I like it cut in half the long way, then grilled just until you see the grill marks. Slather on your favorite dressing (creamy is recommended) and eat it like a taco. Or with a knife and fork if your’e more civilized than my family.

Rapini: if this is like the rapini we got week one, whoo boy! Chop it up and eat it in your salads this week. If it’s what you typically get, then lemon, salt, and olive oil are your best friends. Chop it and saute it in olive oil until just tender add lemon and salt to taste, it balances the bitter. Then eat it with some grilled chicken thighs and bread. Or put it on pizza, that’s also delightful.

Large Box Ideas

Shiitake Mushrooms: trim, slice, saute, eat. Mix them with everything, they’re very good for you.

D’anjou Pears: This is basically just a dutch baby, thanks for this one. Oh, and if you’re making this, just bring it over to my house, I’ll take it off your hands.

Pear Custard Pie


  • 4 firm pears of any variety cored, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar for garnish
  • Cooking spray


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 inch round pan with cooking spray.
  • Arrange the pear slices in the pan.
  • Put the butter, eggs, milk, salt, granulated sugar, flour and vanilla into a blender; process until smooth.
  • Pour the batter over the pears. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the custard is golden and firm to the touch. Dust the top with powdered sugar before serving.

Salad Mix: carrot bacon, honey dijon vinaigrette, blue cheese, pear, candied walnuts…you need more?

Candied Nuts


  • 2 c walnuts or pecans
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 T water
  • 4 T butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • optional: cinnamon


  1. add sugar and water to medium sate pan over medium heat
  2. cook until sugar is melted
  3. Add nuts and cook until nuts begin to brown, stirring frequently. Lower heat to medium low if needed, and add 1 T water if pan becomes too dry.
  4. When nuts are beginning to brown, add butter and cook until nuts are golden and smell like caramel. Add optional cinnamon, let cool and enjoy.

Green Onions: thin slice and put on everything.

Cucumbers: There a fun salad my friend, Cori, makes with thinly sliced cucumber, thinly sliced onions, and sour cream that I love. Add a pinch of caraway seeds if you like.

Radishes: If you’re making my slaw, then you already have a home for these, otherwise put them in your salads or eat them with butter and salt. I hear they’re tasty in the air fryer as well.

Growing Washington Emergency Spring CSA: week 2

Welcome to Growing Washington’s Emergency Spring CSA!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Growing Washington in any way, other than being a supporter like you. I am a professional chef that loves to help people learn to cook healthier at home.

If you’re looking for ideas about what to do with the produce in your box, here some ideas. If you have questions about the recipes or want advice on other recipes or ideas, please reach out. I have decades of cooking experience and love to share my craft. 

I find the best way to avoid produce waste is to cook it and have it ready to add to dishes as you go. If you are a recipe follower, I’ll include a few of those for you as well. But, I want you to spend less time worrying about having all the right ingredients and focus on what you have on hand. My mantra is simple is best, the produce you’re about to eat is delicious and doesn’t need to be overwhelmed with a fussy recipe. Give yourself a break.

Quick comment on last week’s box, holy smokes was anyone else just blown away by that rapini?! Rapini is typically quite bitter, but that was the most tender, mild rapini I’ve ever tasted. How much fun is this CSA??

Small Share Ideas

Honeycrisp Apples: You can always eat these raw, sliced and with a delicious blue cheese or sharp cheddar is always a great choice. Or try them baked (If you’re lucky enough to have flour, then by all means go for pie).

Red Anjou Pears: I don’t know about you guys, but my pears from last week are still rock hard. When your pears ripen, go for poaching, pear cake is also delightful. Worst case scenario you eat them raw, out of hand. You honestly can’t go wrong with that choice.

Red LaSoda Potatoes: Well, this is a fun bit of nerdy food info, “Red La Soda is a red, main season potato cultivar. It is a deep red mutant of the potato variety ‘La Soda’. The non-mutant form was developed by the Louisiana potato breeding program in 1948 as a cross between ‘Triumph’ and ‘Katahdin’.” Wikipedia

I don’t know what you did with your potatoes last week, but I cut mine small and roasted them. You can make mash out of them, but I find they are too gluey for my taste.

Red Onions: two ideas; quick pickles or just thin sliced for salad or sandwiches

Pickled Red Onions (PRO’s)


  • 1 thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c white vinegar
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • 5 bay leaves
  • about 8 black peppercorns


  1. place sliced red onion in a quart size mason jar
  2. bring all, except onion, to a boil
  3. pour boiling brine over onions, rest until jar is cool to the touch
  4. refrigerate uncovered overnight, then cover and store up to one month

Slicing Cucumbers: suggestions; pickles, thin slices for salad or sandwiches, OR use for tzaitziki



  • 1 large cucumber, or equivalent
  • 2 c plain yogurt
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp rough chopped mint, more to taste
  • salt to taste


  1. peel, deseed, and grate cucumber with a cheese grater
  2. mix with 1-2 tsp salt, depending on the size of the cucumber (err on the side of more is better)
  3. strain for 30 minutes, up to 1 hour
  4. discard liquid
  5. stir all together, adjust salt, lemon, and mint to taste

Head Lettuce: salad or sandwiches, check out week one’s post for honey dijon vinaigrette, or toss with olive oil, apple cider, salt, and pepper to taste and a little feta cheese, add your sliced red onion and some olives. Yum.

Bagged Salad Mix: honey-dijon vinaigrette with candied walnuts or pecans, and some bacon. Done.

Parsnips: Here’s where you going to wish you had more of these. If you can get your hands on some celeriac do, but don’t risk your life for just one item.

Peel and cut parsnips into smallish pieces, doesn’t have to be pretty. Boil them until they are very soft. Mash with your tool of choice, I like a ricer, it gets them very fluffy. Stir in 1/4 c butter, or more (yes, you read that right, Julia Child those babies), and salt to taste. And done. You’re welcome.

Large Box Ideas
Iceberg Lettuce: Chop it fine, cilantro, lime, a little smokey salt, and bay shrimp, tortilla optional. If you have none of that, then you are having a week of salads, use every nut, bit of dried fruit, and cheese in your house, godspeed.

Yellow Carrots


  • 8 medium Carrots
  • 1 T neutral oil, such as avocado
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 T Vinegar (sherry or apple cider work great)
  • 1/2 tsp chili flake


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Trim and peel carrots. Cut into 1 inch rounds or triangles (oblique cut)
  3. Toss all ingredients together
  4. Roast on parchment lined baking sheet until carrots are soft and edges begin to brown
  5. Add more salt and chili flake if desired

Sugarbee Apples: Oh apples, I love thee. See above suggestions for apples, when in doubt add them to your salads this week.



  • Leeks 
  • Salt 
  • Butter or neutral oil, such as avocado


  1. Trim green tops, compost or save for stock
  2. Trim root, compost
  3. Cut leeks in half lengthwise
  4. Place flat side down on your cutting board and thin slice half moon
  5. Rinse half moons very well, leeks are grown in sand and are notoriously dirty
  6. Saute leeks in butter or oil over medium-low heat stirring frequently, until they begin to soften.
  7. Cool and save for the dish of your choice.
  8. Meal idea: Make a crostata (crust recipe above), using leeks and pears, add gorgonzola if you’ve got it.

Braising Greens: Slow cook them with 1/4 c water and 1-2 tsp red wine vinegar. When water has evaporated, add 2 T neutral oil, cook until soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Italian Parsley: Chop it fine and spread it everywhere! Seriously though, sprinkle all your savory dishes with it just before serving. The stalk has a lot of flavor, use that too. You can cut off the stalks and add it to stock if you’re making that anytime soon.

Growing Washington Emergency Spring CSA: week 1

Welcome to Growing Washington’s Emergency Spring CSA!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Growing Washington in any way, other than being a supporter like you. I am a professional chef that loves to help people learn to cook healthier at home.

If you’re looking for ideas about what to do with the produce in your box, here some ideas. If you have questions about the recipes or want advice on other recipes or ideas, please reach out. I have decades of cooking experience and love to share my craft. 

I find the best way to avoid produce waste is to cook it and have it ready to add to dishes as you go. If you are a recipe follower, I’ll include a few of those for you as well. But, I want you to spend less time worrying about having all the right ingredients and focus on what you have on hand. My mantra is simple is best, the produce you’re about to eat is delicious and doesn’t need to be overwhelmed with a fussy recipe. Give yourself a break.

Small Share Ideas


This is a great quick way to cook your asparagus. You can then eat it right out of the oven or add it to other dishes. At my house we chop it up and add it to fried rice or use it as a pizza topping. Also great for frittatas or any egg dish.

While I’m a big fan of using avocado oil and grassfed butter for better health, you may not have those on hand, no worries, use what you have right now. Homemade is always better, no matter where you’re starting from.



  • Asparagus
  • Neutral oil, such as avocado
  • Salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Toss all well
  3. Roast on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 15 minutes, or until tips are starting to brown and stalks are still slightly crisp.
  4. Cool and save for the dish of your choice, or eat right away.
  5. Meal idea, serve with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.



  • Leeks 
  • Salt 
  • Butter or neutral oil, such as avocado


  1. Trim green tops, compost or save for stock
  2. Trim root, compost
  3. Cut leeks in half lengthwise
  4. Place flat side down on your cutting board and thin slice half moon
  5. Rinse half moons very well, leeks are grown in sand and are notoriously dirty
  6. Saute leeks in butter or oil over medium-low heat stirring frequently, until they begin to soften.
  7. Cool and save for the dish of your choice.
  8. Meal idea: mix with heavy cream and cooked seafood of your choice to enjoy with pasta.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are a superfood and valuable in chinese medicine. I always trim the tips of the stems at a minimum, sometimes I remove them all together. The stems can be saved and used to make mushroom stock. Additional note, please don’t ever eat raw mushrooms, they are not meant to be eaten that way. 


  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Neutral oil, such as avocado (can omit if roasting)


Option 1:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Remove stems completely, save for stock.
  3. Place gills down in a parchment lined baking sheet and roasted until mushrooms start to release their liquid.
  4. Cool and save for the dish of your choice.
  5. Meal idea: rough chop and add to cooked rice with other vegetables of your choice and grilled or roasted chicken. Top with shoyu-miso sauce: 2 T shoyu, 1 T miso, 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp chili flake (or substitute sweet chili sauce).

Option 2:

  1. Trim stem tips and rough chop mushrooms
  2. Saute over medium-high heat with oil until mushrooms have released their liquid.
  3. Cool and save for the dish of your choice.
  4. Meal idea: rough chop and add to cooked rice with other vegetables of your choice and grilled or roasted chicken. Top with shoyu-miso sauce: 2 T shoyu, 1 T miso, 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp chili flake (or substitute sweet chili sauce).


Celery for a lot of folks is often eaten raw, maybe in chicken salad (tarragon chicken salad, yum!), but the celery in our box is probably a little different from what you get from the grocery store and I highly recommend you cook it. This is because it’s likely better than what you’re used to, and elevating it to the front of your dish is worth it. I won’t’ judge you if you eat it raw though, it’s still delicious!


  • Celery
  • Neutral oil, such as avocado
  • Salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Rinse celery well, trim root area and leaves, save leaves for another purpose.
  3. Cut celery into half moons, toss with oil and salt
  4. Roast on a parchment lined baking sheet until just beginning to brown.
  5. Meal idea: toss with roasted broccoli and serve with whole roasted chicken with butter and herbs.

Yukon Gold Potatoes


  • Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Neutral oil, such as avocado
  • Salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Wash potatoes thoroughly, cut into bit sized cubes.
  3. Toss with oil and salt
  4. Roasted until soft and beginning to brown.
  5. Meal idea: if these make it to a meal, good for you! My family usually devours them before anything else is ready. Serve with breakfast sausage of your choice (quick pan sausage, ground beef with fennel, paprika, salt, and black pepper), and fried eggs. Top with your choice of hot sauce, mine’s anything with habaneros

Yellow Onions

Two words, caramelized onions. Thin slice and saute in butter or oil over low heat until beginning to brown. You can’t rush this team, it takes a minimum of 30 minutes. Add salt as desired. If you want to take this a step further, here’s a recipe.

Vegetarian Onion Soup 

Moosewood Cookbook. It’s been my go to for over 20 years.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4-5 yellow onions thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 Sprigs fresh thyme or a scant 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • White pepper to taste
  • Day-old sourdough or peasant bread
  • Swiss Cheese


  1. Over a medium heat, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onions and salt. Sweat the onions for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the mustard and thyme. Stir, turn down the heat to low and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Let the onions cook in their own juices for 35 minutes.
  3. Add the water, soy sauce, wine, and white pepper. Stir soup, bring to simmer and cook for 10 minutes more.
  4. Heat the broiler on low heat (if option). Place oven-safe bowls onto a cookie sheet and fill bowls 3/4 full with soup. Cover each soup with a slice of bread and a few slices of Swiss cheese. Put the cookie sheet under the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Sugarbee Apples

A little research shows this is the flavor profile, “.. mostly red but also yellow-skinned apple is high in sugar content…“The name describes the apple because its very crisp and crunchy and holds its firmness and flavor very well. It’s very sweet””

If you want to preserve apples, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, cut into bite sized pieces, toss in butter and roast until just beginning to brown. Toss with warm spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice for sweet applications, or for a savory option, with roasted potatoes and celery. 

Anjou Pears

You can eat these raw, but if you’re patient and cook them, it’s going to blow your mind. You can cook like the apples shown above, or you can grill or poach them. For poaching, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and stem, then simmer in a flavorful liquid, such as wine with whole spices until soft. Remove from liquid, reduce liquid until syrupy. Serve with ice cream or whipped coconut cream, poaching syrup, and chopped, toasted nuts.

Large Share Ideas

If you ordered the large share, you get the above, plus what’s listed below.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

This is such a fun item, know that it will not stay purple when cooked. I’ve included two cooking options.

Option 1:


  • broccoli
  • Neutral oil, such as avocado
  • Salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Trim tips of stalks and cut broccoli into thin strips the long way
  3. Toss with oil and salt
  4. Roast until florets are beginning to crisp and stalks are tender
  5. Meal idea: toss with minced garlic and sesame seeds, serve with steak and rice

Option 2:


  • Broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces, or long strips
  • Boiling, heavily salted water
  • Ice bath


  1. Boil broccoli for 1-2 minutes
  2. Drain, shock in ice bath to stop cooking
  3. Meal idea: toss with minced garlic and sesame seeds, warm gently in a saute pan, serve with steak and rice

Red Cabbage

You can certainly eat cabbage raw, but lots of people get a little, well, gassy when they do that. I find a lot of folks tolerate it better when it’s cooked. Also, whether you are eating it raw or cooked, the color can leach out into the rest of your food, soaking it for 30 minutes helps reduce that significantly. If you want to cook it, you can either boil for 30 seconds in salted water or saute it in 1/2 c of water. Either way, rinse well with cold water to stop cooking, let cool completely before using in salads, or in your favorite fish tacos.

Arugula / Mizuna Mix

This clearly makes a delicious salad, there are so many other things in this box you can toss it with for that. I’m just going to add my recipe for honey-dijon vinaigrette here.

Chef Karen’s Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette

A basic vinaigrette is made with 1 part vinegar and 3 part oil, the rest of the flavors are up to you. 


  • 1 T honey, more to taste
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dijon
  • 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 c avocado oil


  1. Using a stick blender or other type of blender, add all except oil. Pulse to blend well.
  2. Very slowly pour in oil to emulsify.
  3. Adjust all to taste.

Spring Onions


  • Onions
  • Neutral oil, such as avocado
  • Salt 


  1. Options
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F


  1. Preheat grill to high heat
  2. Trim root and remove any papery layers
  3. Toss with oil and salt
  4. Roast or grill, until bulb begins to soften and greens become crispy
  5. Menu idea: Serve with pork chops or chicken thighs, grain of your choosing (farro, quinoa, rice), and brown butter


These babies are delicious raw, toss them with your red cabbage for your tacos, or you can pickle them. If you choose pickling, eat them within a couple of days, they get very smelly. 

Chef Karen’s Pickles


  • Vegetable of choice (cucumber, radishes, carrots)
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T coconut sugar or other sweetener of your choice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 T juniper berries


  1. Place cucumber slices in a quart size mason jar
  2. Bring all other ingredients to a boil
  3. Pour pickling liquid into mason jar and allow to steep 30-60 minutes.
  4. Pickles can be used right away or stored in the fridge for up to two weeks, with the exception of radishes. Uses those within three days, or they get very smelly.

Yellow Carrots


  • 8 medium Carrots
  • 1 T neutral oil, such as avocado
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 T Vinegar (sherry or apple cider work great)
  • 1/2 tsp chili flake


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Trim and peel carrots. Cut into 1 inch rounds or triangles (oblique cut)
  3. Toss all ingredients together
  4. Roast on parchment lined baking sheet until carrots are soft and edges begin to brown
  5. Add more salt and chili flake if desired

Purple Rapini (aka raab)

I’m going to shortcut and give you a link to my friends at Whistling Train Farm for this one, My favorite way to use rapini is definitely on pizza.

Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage rolls are well known to be a staple in many slavic countries, my Polish friends swear by their grandmother’s recipes. A little research claims they originated in the middle east, often being transported by the Jewish diaspora as they migrated north. It’s no wonder they became popular in nordic cuisine, many spices used in Swedish cuisine originate in the middle east, from cardamom to saffron. Read about Kåldolmens Dag here to learn about the connection to Swedish culture.

One of my favorite things about cabbage rolls is the simplicity of the ingredients. They are great when you’re on a budget, yet are delicious enough that anyone will enjoy them. I often say simplicity is best, and these little rolls are a great example of why.

Cabbage Rolls

Chef Karen’s Cabbage Rolls

The best part about cabbage rolls is the filling is so versatile. You can use meat, beans, or just vegetables. The rice can be subbed out for farro or quinoa, or any other grain you have an abundance of at the moment.


  • 1 large head of cabbage, savoy is a great choice
  • Large pot of boiling salted water
  • 1 c rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 # ground meat, browned and crumbled
    • Optional: sub 1 can white beans for meat
  • 1/2 # mushrooms, rough chopped and cooked in butter or oil
  • 2 ribs of celery, cut into small pieces (bruinoise), lightly cooked, I like to roast them in the oven
  • 1 large carrot, cut into small pieces (bruinoise), lightly cooked, I like to roast them in the oven
  • 2 T minced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt to taste, start with 1 tsp
  • Fresh or dried herbs as desired. I recommend dill, parsley, thyme, and or oregano.
  • Spices as desired. Paprika, sumac, caraway seeds are great.


  1. Boil cabbage leaves in salted water until tender, set aside to drain
  2. Spread rice onto sheet tray to cool slightly
  3. Saute onion and garlic until soft. 
  4. Here’s where the fun starts.
    1. Toss everything (except the cabbage leaves) together.
    2. Add minced fresh herbs and other spices to your liking.
    3. Season to taste with salt and spices.
    4. The flavor should be pretty intense here. Add a little lemon zest or a splash of sherry vinegar if it needs a little brightening up.
  5. Place a reasonable amount in each cabbage leaf and roll like a burrito. You’ll end up with a variety of sizes, that’s ok.
  6. Place in a glass baking dish with 3 T water. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees until hot, about 20 minutes.
  7. Top with coconut yogurt or sour cream. You can season the yogurt with spices or herbs, spread it over the top of the rolls and return to the oven for about 5 minutes if desired. 

Let me know if you have questions, or need more instructions.

Happy Eating!

A Taste of the Middle East

A neighbor on my local Buy Nothing group just posted a photo of a lamb tagine she had to share. It reminded me of a class I used to teach and I thought I’d share the recipes with you. You may not have access to all the ingredients right now, but there are substitutions you can easily make, and when life returns to whatever our new normal will be, I’ll make this feast to share once again.

Be well.


A Taste of the Middle East with Chef Karen Nelson

A Trio of Spreads

hummus, muhammara, and charred eggplant with tahini

Lamb Tagine 

apricots, preserved lemons and couscous

Sticky Fig Pudding 

salted caramel and coconut


Moroccan Lamb Tagine

This recipe is actually a riff on a tagine. A tagine in a specific type of clay pot with a conical lid found in North Africa, I’ve adapted the cooking technique for other cooking vessels. Getting a good sear on the meat, then slow roasting it with preserved lemon and olives is key to flavor development. Ras al hanout literally means, top shelf, is a spice mix that has many variations, most commonly including cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, allspice, coriander, and paprika.


  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 3-4# leg of lamb, cut into large pieces 
  • 2-4 T avocado oil
  • 1 onion, julienned
  • 1/2 cup lamb, beef, or chicken stock
  • 1 to 2 T ras el hanout 
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • Rind of 2 preserved lemons, cut into strips
  • 1 cup black or green Moroccan olives, pitted 
  • 10 dried apricots
  • 3/4 c toasted, slivered almonds
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Rub meat with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 2T oil over high heat, sear meat on all sides until very brown. Do this in batches to get a good sear. Set meat aside after it’s seared.
  4. Reduce heat; add onions, cook about 1 minute, until starting to brown
  5. Return meat to pan, add garlic, spices, olives, and preserved lemon. Cover and cook for 2 hours in the oven.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and almonds. Serve with rice or couscous.

Preserved Lemons


  • 8 lemons (about 1 1/2 pounds) 
  • About 1/2 cup kosher salt 
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more if necessary 


  • Cut each lemon lengthwise into quarters, cutting to but not through the opposite end. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of salt into the cut sides of each lemon.
  • Put the lemons in a large jar (it’s fine if you have to squeeze them in, because they will shrink), cover completely with lemon juice. Store in a cool place, but not refrigerator, for one week. After one week, refrigerate indefinitely, the longer you keep them, the more flavor they develop.

Ottolenghi’s Sticky Fig Pudding


  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples
  • 200g soft dried figs, tough stalk removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 250ml water
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the salted caramel coconut topping:
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 95g soft light brown sugar
  • 60ml double cream
  • 95g unsweetened coconut flakes, or desiccated coconut
  • ¼ tsp salt


  1. Peel and core the apples and cut into 1cm pieces (you should have about 200g). 
  2. Place the apples, figs, bicarbonate of soda and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the figs are starting to break down. 
  3. Remove from the heat and set aside until cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl and set aside. 
  6. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  7. Add egg and vanilla, beat until combined. 
  8. In alternate batches, fold in the fig-apple mix and the sifted dry ingredients.
  9. Divide the mix between muffin liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Make the topping while the cake is baking. 
    1. Place all the ingredients for the topping in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the butter is melted and the ingredients are combined. Once the cakes are cooked, remove from the oven (keep the oven on) and spoon about 1½ tablespoons of the topping mixture over the surface of each pudding: it should rise up about 1cm. Return to the oven for another 12 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.
  11. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool before serving



  • 1 15oz can cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 c tahini sauce, more to taste
    • 1 jar tahini
    • 1/2 jar water
    • 1/4 c lemon juice, more as needed
    • 3 garlic cloves, more to taste
  • 1/2 c water
  •  Salt to taste
  •  ¼ c Olive oil, more for garnish
  • Paprika or harissa spice blend


  1. Boil chickpeas in water for 10 minutes, strain, set aside to cool
  2. Puree tahini sauce in a food processor until smooth
  3. Remove tahini sauce from food processor (don’t worry if there’s some left)
  4. Add chickpeas to food processor with 1/2 c of water, puree until it becomes a paste
  5. Add 1/2 c tahini sauce and olive oil, puree until smooth
  6. At this point you can add more garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil to your taste 
  7. Adjust seasoning as needed




  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 t pomegranate molasses
  • ½ t ground cumin
  • 1 t dried Aleppo chili flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 60g toasted walnuts
  • 2 t olive oil, plus extra to finish
  • Salt to taste


  1. Puree all, but nuts in a food processor until smooth 
  2. Add nuts and pulse until it’s the texture of coarse pesto
  3. Alternately, hand chop pepper, galic, and walnuts very fine, mix all together in a bowl
  4. Serve with dates or pita bread


Charred eggplant with tahini


  • 1 large eggplant, cut lengthwise into quarters
  • ¼ c olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 clove garlic finely grated
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T tahini 
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional 1/2 tsp liquid smoke


  1. Preheat oven to 475°. Place eggplant on a baking sheet and toss with ¼ cup oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until lightly charred and very tender, 20–25 minutes; let cool slightly. Chop eggplant (skin and all) until almost a paste.
  2. Mix eggplant in a medium bowl with garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, tahini, and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and top with sesame seeds.

Fear in the Kitchen: let’s do something about it

Happy Monday team! Yesterday, I had the privilege of teaching a class at Heirloom Cookshop, which I love so much. If you are in the Snoqualmie area definitely go check them out. All of the students were, of course, lovely, but one really stood out to me. And team, she inspired me to create an opportunity for all of you

This student came to a cooking class despite feeling fear in her kitchen. She’s uncomfortable cooking because she “doesn’t understand how flavors go together.” She told me, maybe like yourself, her family eats out more often than she’d like because when she gets home from work she doesn’t know what to do in the kitchen. How many of you feel that way too?

All too often we get overwhelmed by what we should do. We are inundated by cooking shows that show beautiful things made by teams of professionals touting that every meal should be the best you’ve ever had.


Seriously, stop putting that much pressure on yourself. I’m all for buying pasture raised meat from your local farmer and growing your own vegetables, but if that standard is preventing you from getting in your kitchen and cooking, then let it go. If we all cooked at home more, from any starting point, it will be better for our bodies and the planet.

So here’s what we’re going to do from here. I will begin offering kitchen coaching, open to all skill levels, starting now. If you fall into the camp of being in fear of your kitchen, you can apply for a free two hour session with me. I will select one person per month to receive that option.

I have a wealth of knowledge on specialty diets, as well as classical cooking techniques. I have three kids so I know how to feed a family at a variety of stages and budgets. I am passionate about getting you comfortable in your kitchen. Let’s get started!