Spicy Kale Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons


  • 2 bunches kale, washed, ribs removed, and leaves chopped (dinosaur kale preferred, but you can also use curly kale or a mixture of both)

  • 2 slices stale bread, cubed (if your bread is not dried out, lightly toast it first)

  • 4 Tbs. olive oil, divided

  • 2-3 Tbs. sriracha sauce or chili garlic sauce, divided (reduce or omit if you don’t like spicy food)

  • ½ c. plain yogurt (regular or Greek-style)

  • juice of ½ lemon

  • 1 Tbs. red or white wine vinegar

  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard

  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (substitute 2 tsp. soy sauce for vegetarian version)

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • ½ c. freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional, but recommended)

  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Toss the bread cubes with 2 Tbs. olive oil, 1 Tbs. sriracha sauce (if using), and a sprinkle of salt.  Spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 5-7 minutes.  Use a spatula to flip bread cubes over, then bake for another 5 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Meanwhile, place the chopped kale in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil, the remaining 1-2 Tbs. sriracha sauce (if using), the yogurt, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic.  Pour over the kale and toss until kale is coated with dressing and begins to break down.  Add the parmesan cheese, if using, and toss again.  Stir in salt and pepper to taste, then top with croutons.

Roasted pumpkin with cinnamon


  • 1 medium pie pumpkin (or butternut squash)

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil

  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon

  • ½ tsp. salt


Preheat oven to 400°F.  Slice pumpkin in half and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds; discard, or save to toast as a snack (rinse seeds well first).  Slice the pumpkin halves crosswise into half-moon shapes about ½ inch in thickness.  In a medium bowl, toss the pumpkin slices with the olive oil, cinnamon, and salt.  Spread in a single layer onto a baking sheet and bake until tender and browned, about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.  Serve hot, or allow to cool to room temperature and use to top a kale salad.

Eggplant Lentil Stew


  • 1 ½ lbs. eggplant

  • salt (2 tsp. + extra for sprinkling eggplant)

  • ½ c. lentils

  • filtered water

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced

  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil or mint

  • 1-2 chile peppers (depending on your preference), seeded and minced

  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

  • ⅓ c. olive oil

  • ½ c. cranberry or pomegranate juice (or use broth or water + 1 Tbs. honey)


Cut eggplant(s) lengthwise into 3-4 slabs and use a small knife to score each slice on one side in a crosshatch pattern.  Cut each slice crosswise into 3 pieces and place on a rimmed baking sheet.  Sprinkle each slice with salt and let stand for 1 hour.


Meanwhile, add the lentils to a small saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until tender (about 15 minutes).  Drain.


In a mixing bowl, toss together the onion, garlic, tomatoes, basil, chiles, red pepper flakes (if using), and 2 tsp. of salt.  Use 1 Tbs. of the olive oil to coat the bottom and sides of a Dutch oven or stock pot.  Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry.  Spread half of the chopped vegetable mixture into the stock pot and top with half of the eggplant slices, then half of the lentils.  Repeat the layers, starting with the chopped vegetables and ending with the lentils.  Drizzle with the cranberry or pomegranate juice and the remaining olive oil.  Heat over medium-high heat until simmering, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until eggplant is very tender, about 1 ½ hours.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary before serving.

Oven-fried Tomatillos


  • 1 lb. tomatillos (about 12 medium), husks removed, rinsed, and cut into ½-inch slices

  • ¼ c. flour

  • ¼ tsp. salt

  • ¼ tsp. ground pepper

  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning (or ¼ tsp. each of paprika, onion powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper)

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 ¼ c. panko breadcrumbs (or substitute regular breadcrumbs)



Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 425°F.  Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray (or lightly brush with olive oil).  Combine flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Cajun seasoning in a shallow dish.  In another dish, lightly beat the eggs.  Place the breadcrumbs in a third dish.  Dredge each tomatillo slice in flour, then dip in the egg, and finally coat both sides with breadcrumbs; place on prepared baking sheet.  Spray each slice with cooking spray (or lightly brush with olive oil) and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown, flipping once halfway through.  Serve with ketchup for dipping, if desired.