I recently asked my friend Becky Reams if I could help out as her sous chef for her awesome pop up brunch, Bang Bang Brunch. It was so refreshing and fun to work alongside another chef and see their work flow, their vision and execution. I say this mainly because even though I work with people, I am the only chef at my company and sometimes it can get lonely when no one else is nerding out about the organic produce box that came in or my new kitchen tools. You should really check out Becky’s pop up brunch if you are in the L.A./Pasadena area. The location changes each month and is always in a cool space!
In other exciting news, I taught a cooking class this past Sunday to some of Daniel’s awesome co-workers! We made a 4-course brunch + hibiscus and grapefruit mimosas+ sparkling herbal tea and it was so fun. I love sharing my excitement for food and helping people feel more comfortable and confident in the kitchen. This class made me realize how much I miss teaching, in particular, teaching cooking classes. I used to teach high school students when I was working for HealthCorps and I think it’s the best way I know how to connect to people. So my friends, I will be teaching more classes in the near future! If you are in the L.A. area and want to know more, e-mail me or send a message via my contact form.
This quinoa recipe is an example of the way I like to eat: healthy grains+lots of veggies+fresh herbs+interesting sauce. I will make something like this for dinner and then it makes excellent leftovers for lunch either as a cold dish or reheated.
Coconut Quinoa + Roasted Vegetables: makes 4 servings
1 cup red quinoa (or any quinoa you can find/have) + 1 Tbs of coconut oil, 1/2 tsp ground cumin and 2 garlic cloves (peeled) in the water. Cook according to package directions
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into big chunks, discard most of the stem
1 red bell pepper, cut into 4 big pieces
8 oz tofu drained
2 Tbs olive oil
Coconut oil spray or olive oil spray
1 large bunch of curly kale, cut into big pieces about 2″ in size
1 can of butternut squash soup (I used Amy’s organic brand)
1/4 cup of half and half
3 large handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1Tbs coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh herbs to garnish + avocado (I used basil and parsley)
1. Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay cauliflower, bell pepper (cut side up) and tofu on the sheet. Drizzle 2 Tbs of olive oil over the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes, flipping the vegetables halfway through.
2. Cook quinoa according to package directions + the coconut oil, cumin and garlic. Set aside with lid on top to keep hot. Discard the two garlic cloves.
3. Once the vegetables are done cut the tofu into cubes and the bell pepper into strips. Then lower the oven temp to 350 and place kale on the parchment paper. Spray with coconut oil spray and bake for 10-15 minutes until the kale gets a little crispy.
4. In a small saucepan, heat the butternut squash soup, 1/2 tsp cumin, salt and pepper, half and half and spinach on low heat until the spinach wilts a little and the sauce is hot.
5. To assemble in a bowl, put a base layer of quinoa. Layer the cauliflower, bell pepper, tofu and kale on top. Spoon about 1/2 cup of sauce over the vegetables. Garnish with fresh herbs and avocado.