Kale Caesar Salad (Plant-Based): Recipe #242

We eat some variation of superfood salad every day for lunch, so one day we decided to do something crazy. A different plate of raw greens! With grapes!! Shocking. Actually, this kale caesar salad turned out to be pretty fantastic. Why not give it a spin?

Thanks to Isa for inspiration, and to all of you for being part of our delicious, mindful, planet-saving family! 😍

Ingredients ($7 for 3 lunch-sized salads)

4 cloves of garlic, peeled – $0.15
3/4 cup cashews, soaked – $1.50
1/4 cup nutritional yeast – $0.40
1 lemon, squeezed for juice – $0.20
3/4 cup water – free
1 tsp of spicy brown or dijon mustard – $0.08
1 tsp salt – $0.05
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 bunch lacinato kale, washed, stems removed, and chopped into bite-sized pieces – $1.99
1 bunch Thompson green grapes, washed, stems removed – $2.99

Directions for Kale Caesar Salad

1. If you have time, soak the cashews in water overnight first. If not, cover them in water and microwave for 2 minutes, then soak for 15 minutes at room temperature. This will make them easier to blend into a nice, creamy sauce. Next, use your blender to chop up the garlic cloves with several high-speed pulses. Add in the soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon, water, mustard, salt and pepper. Blend until it’s very smooth.

2. In a large bowl, mix the washed kale with the dressing and massage the dressing into the kale with your hands for a couple of minutes – this is the super fun part, and it will also soften the kale leaves so they’re not chewy to eat raw. And voila! Couldn’t be easier. Serve your kale caesar salad in lovely bowls and top with the grapes for a bit of sweetness. Happy lunching! 🥗

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 1 = <4 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Dairy-Free Caesar Salad Dressing: Recipe #218

We have salad almost every day for lunch, so it’s nice every now and then to try a different dressing to go on top. This dairy-free caesar salad has a lovely, garlicky, lemony dressing without the animal products you might find in a traditional version. Happy munching!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($2 to dress 4 individual salads)

1 tsp garlic powder – $0.28
1/4 cup tahini – $1.15
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 lemon, juiced – $0.20
2 tbsp honey – $0.28
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Dairy-Free Caesar Salad Dressing

1. In a small bowl, mix together all the dressing ingredients until smooth. It’s really as easy as that. Pour over your favorite salad and enjoy your dairy-free Caesar salad!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy=ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Fluffy Twister Bagels: Recipe #205

We’ve tried a number of bagel and soft pretzel recipes now, and this one is by far the best! The flavor that comes through with the overnight rising is unbelievable, and boiling them in honey water instead of baking soda makes it taste legit – just like a bakery in Toronto I used to go to. As soon as we finish eating one batch of twister bagels we start making another one! Thanks to Sally for some key refinements to our previous recipes.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($4 total for 8 twister bagels)

1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tbsp brown sugar – $0.37
1+1/2 cups hottest tap water – free
3 cups white + 1 cup whole wheat flour – $0.64
1 tbsp salt – $0.12
1 tbsp olive oil to coat the rising bowl – $0.10
1/4 cup honey – $0.56
8 cups water – free
Bagel toppings (1 tbsp each sesame seeds and poppy seeds) – $1.40
1 egg, beaten – $0.29

Directions

1. In a small plastic (non-metal) bowl, mix the yeast and brown sugar, then add the hottest tap water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to form a foam over the surface. In a separate, larger bowl, mix the flours and salt.

Add the yeast mixture to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together. Use your hands to knead it for about 7-10 minutes. Rub the olive oil around the larger bowl, then add the dough ball to it. Cover and let rise in the fridge overnight. It will about double in size.

2. In the morning, take the dough out from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for 45 minutes before working with it.

Punch the dough down and cut it into 16 equal parts, then roll out each part into a thin rope about 6″ long. Pinch two ropes together at one end and then twist them around each other. After twisting the whole length of the ropes, pinch to join the two ends together in a circle to make a twisted bagel shape. See the pictures below to help you out.

Repeat for all the pieces of dough until you get 8 twisted bagels. Let the bagels rest while you prepare the water bath.

3. Heat the 8 cups water and honey in a large pot until it boils. Turn the heat down to simmering (medium or medium-high) and gently place a few bagels in at a time. They will float to the top. If they don’t, gently loosen them from the bottom of the pot with a spatula. Cook for 1 minute, then flip them over and cook for 1 minute more. 

Brush the boiled twister bagels with the beaten egg, then dip them in a bowl of mixed sesame and poppy seeds if desired. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 425F for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for 10 more minutes. They will be a nice deep golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy fresh with a salad or with your favorite sandwich fillings, or store in the freezer for eating later!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Balsamic Maple Glazed Tempeh: #201 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Tempeh is a wonderful, meat-like patty that takes on whatever flavor marinade you give it. Popular in Indonesia, it’s made of fermented soybeans and is high in both protein and probiotics. This recipe is a slow marinating, slow cooking feast, with balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, soy sauce, and olive oil blending to delight the senses. Try something new this week! Many thanks to Oh She Glows for inspiration.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 total for 3 tempeh patties + sauce)

1 8 oz package of tempeh – $3.49

Marinade:
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar – $1.62
1 tsp garlic powder – $0.28
2 tbsp soy sauce – $0.20
1 tbsp maple syrup – $0.24
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10

Sandwich sauce (optional):
1 tbsp mayonnaise – $0.10
2 tbsp ketchup – $0.13
1/2 tsp chili powder – $0.14
3 leaves basil, chopped up – $0.41

Directions

1. Rinse and pat the tempeh dry, then break it up into 3 chunks and put it in a coverable Pyrex dish. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients to make the marinade, then pour it over the tempeh. Turn the tempeh over a couple of times to coat it, then cover and put in the fridge overnight.

2. In the morning, turn the tempeh over again. When you’re about an hour away from lunch/dinner, take the tempeh dish out of the fridge and put it on the stove on medium low. The marinade will start to bubble and reduce. Turn it over every 10 minutes or so until the liquid is mostly dry and the tempeh smells amazing.

In a small dish, mix the sandwich sauce ingredients together to serve with the tempeh, if desired.

3. Serve the tempeh patties hot on dutch crunch rolls with tomato, kale, avocado, and the sandwich sauce. Or any burger toppings you like. So good!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 1 = <4 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Garbanzo Broccoli Fritters: #200 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

You could make these veggie burgers with any kind of beans and greens, like lentils and zucchini, kidney beans and collard greens, etc. We made them with garbanzo beans and baby broccoli because that’s what we had on hand. The dill and basil give it a nice zing. Plus it’s recipe #200 today, so that’s a reason to celebrate! Hope you enjoy this savory lunchtime delicacy.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 total for 10 fritters)

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans/chickpeas – $1.00
1 bunch baby broccoli – $2.79
1/2 onion, diced – $0.25
1 tbsp basil, chopped – $0.55
1 tbsp dill – $0.70
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced – $0.10
1 tsp dijon mustard – $0.08
1/2 cup flour – $0.08
2 eggs – $0.58
1 tsp baking powder – $0.02
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil for frying – $0.40

Directions

1. Make the fritter dough: mash up the cooked garbanzo beans in a bowl with a fork, then add the broccoli, onion, basil, dill, lemon juice/zest, mustard, flour, eggs, baking powder, salt and pepper. Mix well to make it into a thick batter – add a bit more flour if it’s too wet to hold together into patties.

2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Shape the patties with your hands and place them into the hot pan. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side until they’re nice and crispy and golden brown. You’ll probably need to cook it in two batches.

3. Remove the cooked fritters from the pan with a spatula and let rest on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up some of the oil. Keep the first batch warm in a low temperature oven while you’re cooking the second batch, then serve hot for a yummy and nourishing lunch. They keep well in a sealed container in the fridge if you have leftovers for the next day.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact (eggs)
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish (fried)
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches: #197 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

If you love a good chicken salad sandwich but want to eat a more plant-based diet, here’s an idea: make it out of chickpeas instead of chicken! Celery, mayo, pickles, dill, fresh crusty bread, all the good stuff. And friendly for the planet too. 🙂

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5 total)

3 cups chickpeas/garbanzo beans, cooked from dry – $1.98
3 celery stalks, chopped up – $0.18
1/2 cup pickles, chopped up – $1.20
3 tbsp mayonnaise (vegan if you have it) – $0.30
1/2 tsp each garlic powder and onion powder – $0.28
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard – $0.12
2 tsp dill – $0.56
Juice of 1 lemon – $0.20
Salt and pepper to taste
Lettuce, tomato, fresh crusty bread if you have it

Directions

1. If you can, cook the chickpeas from dry according to package directions. If not, you can use two cans of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, making sure to drain and rinse the beans. Gather all your ingredients for this recipe so you’re ready to go.

2. Slightly mash up the garbanzo beans with a potato masher or fork, then add in the celery, pickles, mayo, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard, dill, lemon, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine and taste for seasoning. Adjust salt and dill as needed for your taste.

3. Assemble your sandwiches with bread, tomato, chickpea salad, lettuce, and any other sandwich fixings you like. Enjoy immediately, and store any extra chickpea salad in the fridge right away.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely (mayo)
  • TOTAL: 13/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Italian Tomato Salad: #195 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Growing up, we often had fresh tomatoes in the summer from our own backyard garden or someone else’s nearby. My mom would make this refreshing salad to go with a loaf of fresh Italian bread for a quick lunch. Buon appetito!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($3.50 total)

3-4 heirloom tomatoes, chopped up – $2.97
1/4 onion, chopped up – $0.15
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1 tsp oregano – $0.28
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Toss all the ingredients in a bowl, and ideally let it sit for 10 minutes to get all the flavors mixing together. Serve with fresh bread or, as we did, olive mushroom lentil burgers on homemade burger buns. Enjoy a taste of Italy!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Asparagus Leek Potato Soup: #181 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

In the spring and early summer, we can get fresh asparagus delivered in our farm box. One of the treats I like to make when this happens is a creamy asparagus and potato soup with leeks and sage. It’s a comforting, nourishing bowl of healing goodness.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($9 total for a good pot of soup)

12 small Yukon Gold yellow potatoes – $1.80
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
2 leeks – $2.99
1 bunch/20 stalks of asparagus – $3.29
3 cups vegetable broth – free from boiling leftover kale stalks with some herbs
1/2 tsp sage – $0.14
1 lemon, squeezed – $0.20
2/3 cup plain soy milk – $0.25
Salt and pepper to taste
Roasted chickpea garnish – free leftovers

Directions

1. Prepare the ingredients: wash and chop all the vegetables, and boil the potatoes in a large pot of water for about 15 minutes until you can easily poke a fork through them. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped leeks and cook for about 5 minutes until they soften, then add the asparagus, potatoes, broth, and sage. Mix well and warm everything up to a boil. When the asparagus is bright green and hasn’t past that to dull green, take it off the heat.

3. Stir in the lemon and soy milk. Blend the whole mixture in batches in a blender until relatively smooth, then return to the pot. Stir and warm over medium heat, then serve warm with a garnish of roasted chickpeas or any other decorative snacks you have on hand.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18 (maximum score!)

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Soft Pretzels: #180 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Soft pretzels are boiled in baking soda water like bagels before they’re covered in salt and baked. This gives them their chewy yet fluffy texture. We made a batch of soft pretzels one recent weekend and they were gone before Monday. They’re lovely to have for lunch alongside a kale salad.

It’s part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5 total for 8 large soft pretzels)

1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tbsp brown sugar – $0.08
1 ½ cups hottest tap water – free
4 ½ cups white whole wheat flour – $0.68
1 tbsp salt – $0.13
3 tbsp canola oil – $0.14
1/3 cup baking soda – $0.18
1 egg, beaten – $0.29
2 tbsp “Everything but the bagel” spice with salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion flakes – $1.40

Dipping sauce:
2 tbsp honey – $0.28
1 tbsp dijon mustard – $0.24
2 tbsp mayo -$0.50

Directions

1. Prepare the dough: in a small plastic bowl, mix the yeast and brown sugar, then add in 1/2 cup of the hottest tap water. Mix gently and briefly, then let it sit for 5 minutes to bloom the yeast so a thick foam forms on top.

In a large metal bowl, mix the flour and salt.

Add the remaining 1 cup of water and 2 tbsp of the canola oil to the yeast mixture, then pour the whole thing into the middle of the flour mixture. Stir it all together until a dough forms, then knead it with your hands for about 5 minutes.

Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour until it has doubled.

2. When the dough has risen, cut it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a thin rope and twist each end towards the middle to make a pretzel shape, pinching the ends into the dough to hold it together. Or get creative and make any shape you like.

Make a dipping sauce by mixing together the honey, mustard, and mayo.

3. Boil a large pot of water and stir in the baking soda. Once it’s boiling nicely, drop the pretzels in a couple at a time. After 30 seconds, flip them over for another 30 seconds boiling on the other side.

Put the boiled pretzels on a baking sheet, brush with the beaten egg, and sprinkle with the “Everything but the bagel” spice or any toppings you like. Bake at 450F for 10-15 minutes, until they’re nice and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and enjoy warm with the dipping sauce and perhaps a side salad.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Easy Deviled Eggs: #175 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Deviled eggs originated in Italy, with the word “deviled” being used to mean spicy or with zest. This version of the recipe isn’t too spicy, so it’s a friendly finger food for kids of all ages. Thanks to Tim for making them for us. 🙂

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($3 total for 16 deviled eggs)

8 eggs – $2.24
1 tsp dijon mustard – $0.08
2 tbsp mayonnaise – $0.20
1/2 tsp garlic powder – $0.14
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp paprika for sprinkling on top – $0.14

Directions

1. Hard boil the eggs: in a medium pot, cover the eggs with cold water and put them on the stove set to high. When the top of the water starts to get disturbed from boiling, set a timer for 8 minutes. Turn the temperature down slightly so it’s going at a gently rolling boil, not too crazy. When the timer goes off, drain the hot water and fill the pot with cold water to cool the eggs. Peel the shells off when the eggs are cool enough to handle.

2. Prepare the white bowls and yolk filling: cut each egg in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to gently scoop out the yolk from each egg half. Try not to break the egg whites as you’re doing this. Arrange the whites on a plate, and mash up the yolks with the mustard, mayo, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

3. Decorate the eggs: scoop the yolk mixture into a piping bag with a ridged metal tip if you like patterns, and squeeze some yolk mixture into each egg white bowl. The yolk should stand up tall, well above the egg white. Sprinkle with paprika if you like. Serve room temperature or cold from the fridge. Store any leftovers in an airtight container to eat the next day.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!