My New Favorite Stir-Fry Sauce


Stir-fries are perfect for weeknight cooking. During the time it takes to cook rice, you can chop and quickly saute your vegetables and protein and make a sauce. In the past, I have fallen into the trap of thinking I can just mix together soy sauce with a few other ingredients and it will turn out well. It usually doesn’t. I end up with a thin and overly salty sauce. So I set out to create a go-to sauce that can work with anything.

I wanted to use store-bought hoisin sauce as a base as it thick and flavorful but then I looked at the ingredient list on the back of the bottle. Most contain artificial colors and flavors. Instead, I decided to use some of the ingredients and flavors of hoisin but make it completely from scratch.

You can use just about anything in a stir-fry but here is my general guidance: choose one protein – meat, shrimp, tofu, tempeh, mushrooms; choose one hardy vegetable that will retain some crunch – carrot, radish, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, asparagus; choose one or more tender vegetables – greens, pak choi, scallions, peas, summer squash, eggplant, bell peppers, onions.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Stir-Fry Sauce
makes about 1 cup / enough for roughly 4 servings

Recipe note: this sauce freezes well so make a double batch!


  • 1/4 cup white miso
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chicken / vegetable broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder


  • Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the sauce to the remaining 1 minute of cooking the final batch of your stir-fry. This will allow the cornstarch to thicken the mixture slightly. You can keep any cooked but unused sauce in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Super Greens & Sunflower Seed Pesto


You may find you are short on time to cook this weekend if you are enjoying the beautiful weather. No worries – you can throw together this pesto in no time with items you most likely have in your pantry. Don’t limit yourself to just tossing it with pasta, although that is a perfectly wonderful way to enjoy it. You could also use it on sandwiches, a base for pizza, tossed with broccoli or cauliflower just to name a few.

While you can use all sorts of greens, seeds/nuts and cheese in pesto, I especially like this mix for a few reasons. I used the arugula, spicy asian greens, Spigarello broccoli rabe leaves and basil mix from last week’s CSA share which really provides a great flavor base (you could also use kale or another hearty green). It is paired with sunflower seeds, which are economical and the flavor stands up well to the spicy and bitter greens. I then used a mix of Sequatchie Cove Creamery aged Coppinger and Parmesan, but you can also use just Parmesan or other aged cheese of choice.

Get out and enjoy the sunshine…and then make this when you come in to eat! Enjoy!

Super Greens & Sunflower Seed Pesto
makes about 1-1/2 cups

Recipe notes: I always find pesto needs salt and although not traditional, a little lemon juice, too. Be sure to taste after adding the cheese as you may find you don’t need it.


  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 medium garlic cloves
  • 5-1/4 ounces (about 3-1/2 packed cups) of hearty greens, tough stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan or other aged cheese of choice (grated on the large holes of a box grater)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, if desired
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, if desired


  • Place sunflower seeds in a single layer in a 12″ traditional skillet and place over medium heat. Stir occasionally until most of the seeds are toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large capacity food processor.
  • Place the garlic cloves (with skins still on) in the same skillet and place over medium heat. Flip occasionally until the skins are starting to blacken and the garlic gives slightly when squeezed, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and when cool enough to handle, remove skins and add to the food processor.
  • Add the greens to the food processor and process until mostly broken down, about 15-30 seconds. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the processor as needed. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the cheese. Taste, and add salt and lemon juice if needed. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Indian Mustard Green Sauce with Potatoes


Here is a tasty Indian inspired sauce that can be easily made ahead and frozen (prepare the potatoes before serving as they would not freeze well). Traditional sag aloo is based on spinach but I like the added complexity from mixing kale and mustard greens together. Experiment with a different mix of greens and let us know how it turns out.

This sauce is not a something that can be quickly thrown together – it will take a bit to make but well worth it in the end. Plus, it’s a great way to use a lot of greens at once! If you want to shorten the recipe a bit, you can use your favorite pre-ground Indian spice mix – I think equal amounts of curry powder and garam masala would work well. You could also use another vegetable in place of the potatoes – thaw out frozen cauliflower for an easy substitution.

Saag Aloo (Spinach Sauce with Potatoes)
serves 4

Recipe notes: 1) you can substitute waxy potatoes like Red Bliss but don’t use starchy potatoes such as Russets as they tend to fall apart and not hold their shape, 2) you can add more jalapeno depending on your desired spice level – although it is impossible to tell how much heat any one chile will give without tasting it (as it depends on the growing conditions), 1/2 jalapeno probably won’t give much noticeable heat.

  • Ingredients:
    • 4 medium (1-1/3 lb) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled if desired, and cut into 1″ cubes
    • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • Kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • Seeds from 3 cardamom pods, about 1/4 teaspoon
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and cut into a small dice
    • 1/2 large jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, minced (optional)
    • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
    • 3-4 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
    • 10 ounces kale (about 1 large bunch), washed and roughly chopped
    • 10 ounces mustard greens (about 1 large bunch), washed and roughly chopped
    • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained and chopped
    • Juice of one fresh lime
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
    • 1/2 cup roasted cashews, chopped
    • Rice and/or naan to serve
  • Directions:
    • Place potatoes in a microwave safe bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, remove plastic wrap away from your face to avoid the steam, and test for doneness. Cover and cook for a few minutes longer if they aren’t cooked all the way through. Alternatively, you can steam the potatoes in a steamer basket set over simmering water (should take about 5 minutes to cook through). Set aside.
    • Grind the cumin and cardamom seeds using a mortal and pestle or a spice grinder. Combine with the remaining spices and set aside.
    • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the spice mixture. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 4-5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the greens in 2 or 3 batches, if necessary, until they have wilted down and start to release moisture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the moisture has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
    • Remove from heat and transfer 1/2 of the spinach mixture to a blender or small food processor. Pulse until mostly smooth, about 5 1-second pulses. Return the puree to the skillet with the remaining greens and stir to combine. Add the tomato, lime juice and heavy cream, if using, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Stir in the potatoes. Serve over rice and top with chopped cashews.


Carrot & Turmeric Soup


Making this soup is a lesson in balancing fresh and cooked flavor and seasoning based on taste. The base of the soup – onion, turmeric, carrots, coconut milk – would make a nice soup by itself, but it is definitely kicked up a notch by adding fresh flavors at the end. I like to incorporate fresh versions of ingredients cooked in the soup, like the carrots and turmeric. It helps to intensify both of those flavors and brightens up the dish. I then added two additional ingredients that I think almost every dish needs at the end – a little acidity and a little sweetness (a lot of dishes need extra salt too but I added plenty in the beginning). I chose apple cider vinegar and honey as I think they pair nicely with the other flavors but you can play around and try what you like (lemon juice or white wine vinegar in place of the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup or sorghum in place of the honey might be nice). Whichever route you decide to take, just taste, make small adjustments, and taste again. Enjoy!

Carrot & Turmeric Soup
makes about 4 servings for a main dish, 6 for a side dish

Recipe notes: 1) I found fresh turmeric at the farmers market a couple of weeks ago so have been using that over dried. If you don’t have access to fresh, use 1 teaspoon dried turmeric instead and add it all in the beginning with the garlic; 2) I preferred this soup the day after making it as the flavors had time to really blend and smooth out, but it was still very good the day of.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 teaspoons grated fresh turmeric, divided
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (from about 2 medium cloves)
  • 1-1/8 pound (about 6 medium) trimmed carrots, chopped into 1/2″ pieces, divided
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3-4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • To serve: croutons and/or chives


  • Heat oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan until shimmering. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and just starting to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons turmeric and garlic and stir frequently for 1 minute. Add 1 pound of carrots, water and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and add the remaining turmeric and carrots, 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar and honey and puree until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Swiss Chard & Orange Oat Muffins


I am thinking ahead to Thanksgiving and how to make life easier for the meals just before and after the main event. One can’t be bothered to make breakfast the day of or the day after (I can’t even step foot in the kitchen for a few days after Thanksgiving…unless it’s to eat leftovers). While this is not a quick, throw together recipe, it will pay off in the end when you can pull a healthy and delicious breakfast out of the refrigerator or freezer. The muffins themselves aren’t overly sweet so I think they could also serve as a side dish if you leave off the oat and brown sugar topping.

I should also note that no, these don’t end up tasting like Swiss chard. The orange flavor is most evident with a little hint of the saffron in the background. I used closer to 8 ounces of greens in my first round of testing and I still didn’t pick up on much chard flavor. Enjoy!

Swiss Chard and Orange Oat Muffins (adapted from here)
makes 12 muffins


  • 1 teaspoon + 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 6 ounces (about 10 medium to large leaves) Swiss chard, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 cup + 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats, divided
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1-1/2 cups milk of choice (I have used both whole and soy milk with good results)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup raisins, roughly chopped


  • Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 400 degrees. Liberally spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a 12″ non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the Swiss chard and cook, stirring constantly, until the leaves are wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a colander set over the sink and cool slightly. Press on the greens with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer to a cutting board and chop fine. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-low heat in a small saucepan until just warmed, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the saffron, and allow to cool. Transfer to the bowl with the Swiss chard and set aside.
  • Take 1 cup (4 ounces) of oats and grind into a fine flour. This works best in a spice or coffee grinder but a small food processor also works. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and set aside. Take the remaining 1/3 cup of oats and mix with the brown sugar in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  • To the bowl with the oat flour, add the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk to combine.
  • In the bowl with the Swiss chard and olive oil, add the eggs, honey, milk, orange zest and raisins. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold to just combine without overmixing. Note: the batter will look a bit looser or wet than you might be used to – this is expected. Equally divide the batter between muffin tins until it almost reaches the top. Top each muffin with the oat & brown sugar mixture and transfer to the oven. Cook for 14-16 minutes (I needed 16 minutes), rotating once half way through, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or with just a crumb or two attached. Allow to cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes and then remove and transfer to a cooling rack.
  • To store: after they have cooled completely, the muffins can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for 3-5 days, although they will dry out a bit. They can also be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil for 3-6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

Chickpea, Cashew & Collard Green Patties


It was so, so lovely to meet / see again those who attended the first CSA shareholders meeting! I loved spending time and sharing a meal with such an enthusiastic, dedicated group. I look forward to more meetings in the future!

This is the recipe for the patties I served at the meeting. You can use any type of greens or even other vegetables, you just want to squeeze out as much excess moisture from whatever you use. The patties won’t firm up if there is too much moisture. Also, I would suggest playing around with the size of the patties and adjust them to your liking. I thought mine were a bit thin and could have come out of the oven 5 minutes earlier. It’s all up to your personal preferences and how you plan to serve them.

The recipe is adapted from here. You will notice she adds hot peppers, which I would totally be on board with if I wasn’t sharing these with a 2 year old 🙂

Chickpea, Cashew & Collard Green Patties
makes about 14 patties

Recipe notes: I didn’t try this, but I assume these patties could be made ahead and frozen.


  • 1-1/3 cup raw chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 10 ounces (about 10 large leaves) collard greens, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup raw whole cashews
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Buns, avocado, sauerkraut and hot sauce to serve


  • Place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water by at least 2 inches. Set aside and allow to soak for at least 8 hours or preferably, overnight.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and liberally coat with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 375 degrees.
  • Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Add the greens and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5-10 minutes (depending on the type of greens you use). Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  • While the greens are cooling, drain the chickpeas and add them to a large capacity food processor. Add the cashews, garlic, salt and pepper. Drain the greens and squeeze out any excess moisture (I find this easiest to do while the greens are in the colander – press them with the back of a large mixing spoon until most of the moisture is gone). Add them to the food processor and process with the other items for about 1-2 minutes, scraping down the bowl a few times, until the mixture is mostly broken down but you don’t want it to be completely mushy and without some texture.
  • Using a #16 scoop (or 1/4 cup measure) form mixture into patties, about 2-1/2 inches wide and 1/2″ thick. Place in the oven and cook about 30 minutes, flipping once half way through.
  • To serve, I like eating the patties topped with avocado, sauerkraut and Sriracha or hot sauce. You could also serve these on buns or in pita bread with your toppings of choice.


Barley and Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard


I found the soup below here, and although I made a few small tweaks, it’s pretty close to the original. I considered swapping out or adding to the only spice used, cumin, but I am so glad I didn’t. Cumin and Swiss chard is now one of my favorite flavor combinations! It might not sound like they go together well but you really should try it.

I love the combination here of barley and lentils as it provides substance and protein. It’s really a one pot meal. If you don’t have any of the vegetables listed below, try it with whatever you have on hand. This is a soup that can be altered in so many ways. Check out our Essential Steps to Vegetable Based Soups for inspiration!

Barley and Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard
makes about 6 servings

Recipes notes: the amount of time it takes to cook both the barley and lentils is close to the same but it really depends on the age of the lentils. Older beans take longer to cook. Start with fresh lentils for best results.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 5 small carrots, cut into quarters lengthwise and sliced 1/2″ thick
  • 12 large Swiss chard leaves, leaves and stems separated with the leaves cut into rough 1″ pieces and the stems sliced 1/2″ thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup pearled barley
  • 2/3 cup French lentils or other lentils that hold their shape
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/2 to 1 cup roughly chopped drained whole canned tomatoes (substitute canned diced tomatoes)


  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrots, and Swiss chard stems. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cumin and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute. Add broth, barley, lentils, bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the barley and lentils are tender, about 40 minutes (start checking after 30 minutes). Add the Swiss chard leaves and tomatoes and cook until the greens have wilted, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve immediately or cool and store in an air-tight container for up to 7 days.

Black Bean & Carmen Pepper Burgers


It’s summer and that means it’s time for burgers. I love traditional beef patties on occasion but I don’t eat meat often so I have been searching for an alternative. I have made plenty of veggie burgers in my day but not one version has been great. They usually have a long list of ingredients and/or the end result is nothing more than mush. I didn’t have high hopes but I was pleasantly surprised that the recipe below was fairly easy to put together, flavorful and had a great texture (it is adopted from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook).

Don’t worry if you don’t have Carmen peppers – try roasted red peppers, cooked and chopped greens or shredded and sauteed summer squash or eggplant. Serve these with or without a bun, avocado and fresh tomatoes and enjoy!

Black Bean & Carmen Pepper Burgers
makes 6 burgers


  • 8 Carmen peppers, stem removed, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon groun cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon minced papalo
  • 1 shallot minced


  • Adjust oven rack to highest position and heat broiler to high. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place sliced peppers cut side down. Broil until skins have blackened, 6-8 minutes, rotating sheet half-way through. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove most of the skin, leaving some behind for a little extra flavor. Transfer peeled peppers to a cutting board and finely chop (you should have 1/2 cup).
  • Place 2 1/2 cups beans in a large bowl and mash with potato masher until mostly smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, 1 tablespoon oil, cumin, salt and cayenne, if using. Stir egg mixture, remaining beans, panko, peppers, papalo and shallot into mashed beans until just combined. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and lightly pack into 1-inch-thick patties.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully lay 3 patties in skillet and cook until well browned on both sides, 4-5 minutes per side.
  • Transfer burgers to plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining patties. Serve.

Green Tahini Sauce

Our friends over at Choose To Eat have a recipe for falafel that comes together really fast with the use of canned chickpeas. Falafel is great served with a tahini sauce but we thought it would be even better with a healthy dose of greens included. You can use any greens you have on hand – kale, spinach, tender collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, even radish tops. Serve the falafel and sauce with pita and my personal favorite, our Curtido recipe, and you have a filling, healthful dinner in no time!

Green Tahini Sauce
makes about 1 cup


  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/2 to 3/4 packed cup of chopped greens
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt


  • Place all ingredients into a blender and process until very smooth, 30-60 seconds depending on your blender. Taste and add extra greens, salt or lemon juice to taste.

Quinoa & Kale Bites


This is just a quick post to share a recipe I made this week. It is inspired by this recipe from the 101 Cookbooks blog. I changed a few things but the base is the same – quinoa, kale and edamame baked in muffin tins. It is nutritious, fast to prepare and will provide a number of quick meals you can eat on the run. We hope you enjoy it!

Quinoa & Kale Bites
makes 12 muffin bites


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (from about 1 cup raw quinoa)
  • 1/2 packed cup of cooked finely chopped kale or other tender greens
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup shredded Manchego or cheese of choice
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (from about 3 medium cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (from about 1/4 of a large lemon)
  • Salt to taste (will depend on saltiness of cheese; I used 3/4 teaspoon table salt)


  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a standard 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Fill each muffin tin almost to the top with the mixture and pat down lightly to even out the top. Bake for 25 minutes or until the muffins are set and they are golden brown around the sides. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.