Vegan Butternut Squash & Red Lentil Curried Soup

vegan, soup, butternut squash, lentils, curry, ginger, fall, recipe, comfort soup, meatless monday, pita, chips

The minute I saw Liren's Spiced Butternut Squash Lentil Soup on her instagram, I knew I'd have to make it. It only took me a few weeks. 

Luckily, I had most of the ingredients on hand, and the ones I did not have (coriander and almond milk), did not make much of a difference.

I followed the recipe pretty closely but made a few changes:

1) I chopped the ginger and left it in the soup instead of using a ginger chunk and removing it before pureeing the soup

2) I did not add balsamic vinegar

3) I used red lentils instead of the brown ones

This soup comes together souper (I could not resist) quickly and is incredibly warming, comforting, and flavorful. Curry powder and turmeric are definitely fall flavors and are helped by fresh ginger and ginger powder. 

I used spinach in my soup and topped it with chili oil and cilantro. Not only is this a great first course or a full meal, but it also heats up well the next day, and the next.

You can use any type of winter squash in this recipe or even sweet potatoes and carrots. Or combine all 3. 

What's your favorite soup? 


Delicata Squash, Beets & Feta Salad

salad, squash, delicata squash, feta, beets, oranges, olives, healthy, meatless monday, vegetarian

In a blink of an eye, fall is here! How is the time flying so fast, and at the same time dragging?

Let's talk about Delicata Squash, Beets & Feta Salad instead!

Yesterday I saw Domenica post an insta story of her salad from La Fromagerie that had delicata squash, beets, turnips, and feta. I took that idea and ran with it...to the kitchen using produce I had from my Washington's Green Grocer order. 

Delicata Squash, Beets & Feta Salad


olive oil

delicata squash, sliced into 1/4" rounds, seeds removed with a biscuit cutter or a spoon


roasted beets, sliced into wedges

orange, segmented

green olives

feta, sliced into planks


red pepper flakes


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté delicata squash slices seasoned with salt until they are tender, about 5-7 minutes on each side.

2. Plate a salad on a plate. Drizzle with more oil and a few dashes of salt. Sprinkle with dill and red pepper flakes. 


Weekend Inspiration: Shana Tova with Dahlias

Shana tova, l'shana tovan, jewish, kosher, challah, apples, honey, new year, labneh

Shana Tova to all those celebrating! Wishing all of us a year of peace, health, beautiful surprises, content, and beauty. I defrosted a turmeric challah roll with pistachios and nigella seeds for my celebration and to go along with labneh drizzled with olive oil and topped with honey and smoked honey. 

May we all be and do better in the new year.

dahlias, flowers, hgtv, home decor, vases, flower power, pink, yellow, blooms, flower arrangment


Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts With Tahini Dressing And Pickled Red Onions

sweet potato, brussels sprouts, vegetarian, vegan, pickled onions, side, salad, healthy, cilantro

This past weekend I created a vibrant and healthy vegan side dish: Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts With Tahini Dressing And Pickled Red Onions.

This recipe is incredibly easy to make because you can make all the components ahead of time, and you can serve this side hot, at room temperature, or cold. Because it's vegan, it's good for you and you can bring it on a picnic without any worries of things spoiling.

A note on tahini dressing: I make mine without any specific proportions, but to taste. I learned a trick of pouring lemon juice over minced garlic and letting it sit for about ten minutes to infuse the lemon juice with the garlic. Then, strain and discard the garlic. Add tahini to the lemon juice, a pinch of salt, a pinch of cumin and enough cold water to whisk into a smooth sauce.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts With Tahini Dressing And Pickled Red Onions


sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed into bite size pieces

Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved or quartered depending on the size



olive oil

pickled red onions

tahini dressing



1. Preheat the oven to 425F.

2. In a bowl combine the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts with za'atar and salt to taste and enough olive oil to coat.

3. In a large cookie sheet, in a single layer, roast the vegetables for about 25 minutes, occasionally shaking the sheet. 

4. Serve the roasted vegetables on a large platter topped with pickled red onions, drizzle of tahini dressing, and fresh cilantro. 


Ground Beef Bulgogi Platter

bulgogi, korean, ground beef, beef, kimchi, salad, eggplant, mushrooms

After getting a few Asian pears in my Washington's Green Grocer order last week, I asked my instagram followers what I should make with it. Several people said bulgogi: a flavorful Korean beef dish. In fact, I've made bulgogi before, but this time around I only had ground beef.

Not to worry, I found a bulgogi recipe using ground beef on Carmy's blog. It did, however, not have Asian pear in the list of ingredients, and I also did not have a few ingredients that Carmy called for: thus, and as always, I made a few alterations.

Ground Beef Bulgogi Platter


6 tablespoons soy sauce

1.5 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 small onion, cut into chunks

1/2 Asian pear, cut into chunks

4 garlic cloves, smashed

1" ginger, chopped

1 pound ground beef

1/2 onion, sliced

green onions, thinly sliced

sides: kimchi, cucumber salad, kimchi, red pepper slices


1. Put the first 7 ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the marinade over ground beef in a large bowl, mix to combine, and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

2. Add the marinated beef into a heated skillet with the sliced onions and saute until the beef is cooked through. 

NOTE: I used 80/20 beef. It was quite fatty and did not need extra oil for sauteing. In fact, at one point I had to drain the beef and onions to get rid of extra fat. You may have to do the same. Just be careful not to splash yourself.

3. Serve topped with green onions and all the sides.

I'm currently not eating rice, but that of course would be a perfect accompaniment for the dish.

So much flavor! Such great comfort food. Perfect leftovers. 


Best Baked Plantains I've Ever Made

plantains, puerto rican food, zhoug, appetizer, gluten free, vegetarian, snack

I LOVE plantains and associate them with my friend Laura, who is Puerto Rican and always makes plantains when we see each other.

Last year I texted Laura to tell her I baked my plantains instead of pan frying them, and she said she did exactly the same a few days prior.

Since then, I've made several versions of baked plantains, but last week I perfected my technique!

Best Baked Plantains I've Ever Made


a very ripe plantain peeled and sliced into 1/2" rounds

olive oil


zhoug sauce from Trader Joe's or any other dipping sauce


1. Preheat the oven to 425F.

2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Trust me: do NOT use aluminum foil because plantains will stick to it.

3. Lightly brush the parchment paper with oil. Layer plantain rounds in a single layer with space in between and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt.

4. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip the plantain rounds and season with a bit more salt. Bake for 10 more minutes.

5. Serve with zhoug sauce.

I was so pleased with how these turned out! I think Laura would approve too.


Weekend Inspirations

flowers, flower arrangement, urban stems, roses, eucalyptus, bouquet


Shrimp Red Thai Curry With Chickpeas And Spinach

shrimp, curry, chickpeas, gluten free, dinner

Shrimp Red Thai Curry With Chickpeas And Spinach is a super quick recipe that uses a few pantry items and can be easily modified to your taste. I was inspired to make this dish after my friend Jenn described it to me.

If you love coconut milk and a bit of spice, you'll love this dish: I wanted to dive into the slightly spicy broth. You can serve this curry over rice, or eat it as is. 

Use frozen defrosted shrimp or fresh shrimp. To make this dish vegetarian, use tofu.

Shrimp Red Thai Curry With Chickpeas And Spinach

Serves 2 to 4 depending on your hunger level


1 can coconut milk, do not shake it: you want the solids to be separate from the liquid

1 medium onion, halved, and thinly sliced

1 heaping spoon of red curry paste

2 cups raw shrimp

2 cups cooked chickpeas

2 cups baby spinach

salt to taste

fresh lime juice to taste

Thai seasoned cashews (I get mine from Trader Joes), chopped

cilantro, chopped


1. Heat a few spoons of the solid part of coconut milk in a large skillet. Add onions and saute until they've softened.

2. Add the curry paste and saute until fragrant.

3. Add the rest of the coconut milk and mix to combine. Bring to a simmer.

4. Add the shrimp, chickpeas, and spinach and simmer until shrimp are cooked through. Season with salt.

5. Serve in a bowl with a bit of lime juice, chopped cashews, and cilantro.

This dish reheats great as leftovers!


CRAVINGS: Homemade Buns for a Burger

Burger, bun, homemade bun, pickle, lunch, green beans
If you are craving a burger, may I highly recommend you bake your own burger buns? Trust me, it's really not that hard. 

After my friend Jazmin brought burger buns for our social distance picnic last month, I thought I should try baking them too.

The recipe from Love & Lemons is ridiculously easy. I used all white flour and was so happy I did not freak out when the dough did not come together immediately. Have faith!

Jazmin told me to only glaze a few buns at a time with the egg wash so that the egg wash doesn't dry out on the piping hot buns, which will stop the toppings from sticking.

Speaking of toppings, why use 1 when you can use 4? From top to bottom: black and white sesame seeds, everything but the bagel, togarashi, and za'atar.

I had two of these and froze the rest sliced in half. Next time I'll do a better job at making the buns more uniform. 

And what about that burger above? I used ground beef, raw red onion, salt, pepper, and a bit of cumin. Mayo on both sides of the bun, plus thinly sliced red onions, and Dubliner cheese. A side of green beans and pickles.
buns, bread, baking, zaatar, rolls


Garlic Lemon Green Beans From Hemsley Hemsley

green beans, garlic, lemon, side dish, vegetables

Last week I received a surprise cookbook in my latest produce order from Washington's Green Grocer! After being a trusted customer for over 6 years, this was such a sweet gesture.

Looking through Hemsley Hemsley cookbook, I immediately flagged a recipe for Garlic Lemon Green Beans and made it over the weekend.

You basically steam the green beans while heating ghee (I used olive oil) with chopped garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice, and fresh parsley. Once the beans are tender, drain and add them to the "bath" and seasons with salt and pepper. Top with parsley. 

I highly recommend doubling the recipe because it's great reheated in a skillet the next day.

cabbage, peaches, cookbook, hemsley hemsley, produce, corn, green beans