by March 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm 1 Comment

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT]


Know what you are eating. (Chelsea Rinnig)

Ever check the labels on your store-bought goods? Any idea what sucralose is? What about maltodextrin or xantham gum? These corn-based food additives, in addition to well-known sugars like high fructose corn syrups, appear frequently on grocery store shelves.

While preservatives and additives have revolutionized the food industry, subsidizing the cost of mass food production and ease of access to a variety of foods, they lead us consumers farther astray from nature.

Next time you peruse the aisles of your grocery store, compare your options and see how many ingredients you recognize on the back of the package. See how close you can stick to what you know and avoid those unidentified ingredients.

I understand though — baking your own bread can seem a little daunting. But these two DIY recipes for granola and rotis are very simple and well worth the extra effort — no added sugar, corn or unidentified ingredients in these recipes.

Whole Wheat Roti

Makes 8 rounds and can be used like tortillas if rolled thinner


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup warm filtered water


  1. Mix salt and whole wheat flour. Then, mix in olive oil until the flour is lump-free. Next, gradually add warm water a little at a time until the mixture incorporates all of the flour.
  2. Use your hands to mix it in until you can form one dough ball (the dough will be sticky, at first).
  3. Let the dough rest with a damp cloth over it for 15 minutes (hint, start prepping the rest of your meal while you wait!).
  4. Heat a heavy skillet to medium and divide the dough into golf-sized balls. Roll out using some extra flour into flat, circular thins.
  5. Cook each round on the heated skillet, flipping from one side to the other once bubbles begin to form on the uncooked side. Cook until browned and cooked through.
  6. If using an open flame, you can put the nearly finished roti on the burner using tongs, and let the bread puff up before serving.

Note: This process may cause some smoking, so make sure to open and window or use an overhead fan if this occurs.

Homemade, Too-Good Granola


  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/6 cup oil
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts of your choice: I like hazelnuts, brazil nuts, and almonds
  • ½ cup dried fruit of your choice: I like white raisins or dried figs
  • ¼ cup flax seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately.
  3. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and spread around a parchment or foil lined baking sheet until the dry mixture is entirely coated.
  4. Bake for 15-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until granola is golden brown.
  5. Let the granola cool before adding in some dark chocolate, if you’re like me and can’t resist…

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by February 13, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0


Cooking for Valentine’s Day. (Kent Barnes)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]

Sure, making a reservation and enjoying a nice meal in a restaurant on Valentine’s Day is one way to go. However, for those who prefer not to sit two feet too close to a complete stranger at a 5 pm setting or be charged a bit too much for a prix fixe menu, making a delicious and romantic meal at home is the way to go.

Deciding on the menu can be a bit tricky, but lucky for you, some local food bloggers have done the dirty work. All you need to do is click, shop and get to work. Oh, and don’t forget to grab a nice bottle of wine.

Appetizer Options

Have these cooked and ready to go for your Valentine to munch on while you finish up the rest of the evening’s prep.

Entrée Options




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by January 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT]


It is very easy. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Five days, eight hours (or more) of work plus five workouts (if you’re good) and perhaps a relationship, friendship, pet or all of the above to nurture makes eating healthy and cooking seem really hard – I know!

But that is what makes eating well so important. We worry so much about our performance or pushing ourselves that the first sacrifice is often the care and nourishment of our bodies, which, for the record, should be most important overall. Striving for success without putting health first means fighting a losing battle. It leads to getting sick, losing energy and worst of all, affects our attitudes towards ourselves and others.

But cooking takes so much time and energy and is just so hard, some may say. Here are two recipes that require no more than four ingredients and no more than four tools but still taste like a complex meal.

Knowing what is in your food and knowing that there are pure ingredients going into it is the first step to taking control of your nutrition. And clean-up with fewer pots and pans makes the task less daunting.

And here’s a tip to those who avoid using blenders because they are too difficult to clean – it’s actually much easier than you think!  Squeeze a dollop of dish-soap into the blender after rinsing and add water. Blend on high. Rinse. Done!

Potato and Leek Soup

Serves four. You will need a knife, a large sauce pan, a stirring spoon and a blender.


  • 5 large vivaldi potatoes
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar


  1. Wash potatoes in warm water.
  2. Once potatoes have been scrubbed clean and leeks soaked in water to remove dirt, chop potatoes into cubes and cut the leeks from the stem until the tough green sections (which should be discarded).
  3. In the large saucepan, heat oil of your choice (I use EVOO) on medium high heat.
  4. Add fennel seeds to toast for one minute before adding leeks and potatoes for an additional two minutes, stirring periodically. Otherwise, the oil will burn.
  5. Add white wine vinegar and stir again. Then, add filtered water until potatoes are covered and reduce heat to low.
  6. Allow to simmer until potatoes are cooked through and can be pierced with a fork (approximately 25 minutes).
  7. Once potatoes are done, puree mixture in batches with blender.
  8. Add back to heat and season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Garlic-Thyme Mushrooms

Can be served as an appetizer on crostini, as breakfast with a poached egg, or as a main dish with cooked pasta or other grains. You will need a knife, a wooden spoon, a caste iron skillet and a garlic press.


  • Mushrooms
  • Two heads Garlic
  • Dry White Wine
  • Thyme


  1. Slice mushrooms, chop garlic and heat a cast-iron skillet on medium high.
  2. If you have a garlic press, go ahead and use that instead of chopping the garlic.
  3. Fully coat the pan with EVOO (or melt a Tbsp. of butter if you have the good stuff). Add garlic and mushrooms, as well as some salt and pepper.
  4. Allow mushrooms to cook, stirring occasionally, until they have dehydrated and there is no liquid in the pan.
  5. Add a quarter cup of white wine and scrape any burnt bits from the bottom of the pan.  Reduce to medium heat.
  6. When the wine has burned off, sprinkle in some fresh thyme and serve as suggested or to your liking.
  7. Then finish the rest of that wine.

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by December 28, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,424 0

From Stephanie Willis. Follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl.

We all get it in our heads to host a festive New Year’s Eve party at least once in our adult life.  It usually starts with, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have the gang ’round to ring in the new year?”  Before you know it, a gathering of a few people has morphed into a bash that could rival Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve.

The inevitable panic of what to serve everyone can drive some to hit up the supermarket deli counter.  I cannot stress this enough: stay.away.from.the.deli.counter.

You can whip up some tasty eats that are party approved and easy to make. To get you started, here is a round-up of recipes from some of my favorite local foodies.

Deviled Eggs, Bacon Options

  • I love deviled eggs. Actually love may not be a strong enough word to describe my passion for this party staple. Zach and Clay over at The Bitten Word give it a sophisticated twist with this smoked salmon deviled egg recipe. You can make these ahead of time and pull them out to oohs and aahhs from your guests.
  • What better way to ring in the new year than with bacon? These bacon and leek mini quiches from Pete Bakes! use a crust that even the most kitchen-phobic host(ess) can master.
  • In case you are going for a bacon-themed party (which sounds like my kind of party), these asiago stuffed dates with bacon and smoked paprika are an instant party classic.
  • Speaking of bacon and cheese, these gruyere cheese and bacon cheesy puffs are a decadent way to ring in 2012.  Flaky, cheesy and with touches of pork? Who wouldn’t love ’em??
Circle Cheesy Puffs, Stephanie Willis

Circle Cheesy Puffs with gruyere cheese and bacon. (Stephanie Willis)

Wings, Brie, Pepper Crackers

  • The lovely Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s party wings were the talk of a DC Food Blogger event last January. And rightly so.  These Asian inspired wings are a delicate balance of sweet and salty on your tongue.  Bonus? They’re super easy to throw together.  The recipe calls for fermented black beans but if you can’t find them, don’t panic.  I have made this recipe without the aforementioned beans and they were amazing.
  • I love the look of these black raspberry brie-bites from Not Derby Pie. People will think you spent ages delicately putting them together but they are a breeze to assemble.
  • These savory parmesan black pepper crackers from Jenna over at Modern Domestic pack quite a tasty punch.  Pile them high in your favorite serving bowl for people to graze on as they toast their way into 2012.


  • And to add a sweet cap to the evening, might I recommend hazelnut-chocolate chip blondies. Blondies are one of the easiest desserts to make and these have Nutella in them. NUTELLA!
  • If you’d like to be a bit more ambitious with your New Year’s Eve dessert, this chocolate bourbon pound cake is just the ticket. Not only is it delicious, it will look beautiful on your new milk glass cake stand.  I’m not the only one who asked Santa for one of those this year, am I?

So fear not, party host(ess) with the mostest! You can bang out phenomenal looking trays of appetizers in no time flat. Take a deep breath, plan out your menu and, most of all, enjoy yourself.

Have a safe and happy start to 2013, everyone!

This article was originally posted on December 23, 2011. But, it’s that time of year again, and we find that these recipes remain true throughout the years (and especially around the holidays). So get ready to eat and celebrate 2013!

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by November 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm 2,057 0

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT] 

With two days off work this week, there’s ample time and way too much kale in the fridge waiting for your crockpot. 

Winds got you down and cooped up inside? Use up those free afternoon hours by letting a soup simmer on the stovetop. This week I had tons of farmers market greens leftover–I guess nobody wanted to buy produce with the likelihood that Pepco would poop out.

Soups are a great way of utilizing extra veggies before they turn. If you’re like me and often buy way too much but hate wastefulness, it’s perfectly easy and equally healthy to blanche and freeze vegetables for later. Or, if you have time during a wintery day stuck inside, make a soup and freeze it for later. Soups keep and later thaw very well–even your dinner guests won’t know that you made it a month or two earlier and just reheated it before their arrival….

The other great thing about homemade soup is that you control the amount of sodium. Commonly well-known by most now, prepackaged and canned soups contain enough sodium to salt an icy street. Hyperbole aside, the broths and canned goods tend to upset my stomach, so when I make my soups, I actually use water and salt to my own liking for the liquid base and rinse any canned beans before incorporating. For a healthful, immune system boosting, green soup, give one of these a try.

Kale, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fall Soup

Serves you and a few friends depending on how much you eat


Great for these hurricane days. (Luis Gomez Photos)


  • Two minced cloves garlic
  • One onion, diced
  • Minced hot peppers, to your liking (no more than one tbsp.)
  • 2 cups room temperature water (or vegetable broth if you prefer)
  • Salt to taste
  • One can black beans, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. EVOO
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • One bunch kale
  • A few pinches of dried thyme and parsley


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the EVOO on medium high.
  2. Sauté garlic, sweet potato, herbs and hot peppers five minutes.
  3. Add onions and cook until translucent — about two minutes. Add black beans and water and reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Allow the soup to simmer as long as you can be patient, or about 20 minutes, until sweet potato can be pierced with a fork.
  5. While waiting, chop kale into three-inch strips. Add in the kale and season as needed.
  6. Once the kale appears blanched, serve and enjoy!

Vegan Roasted Broccoli soup

Serves Four

Ingredients and Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Chop two medium sized heads of Broccoli into large florets and stems into smaller pieces — because the stems are tougher, they cook at a slower rate than the florets and therefore should be cut to about half the size of the florets. Arrange on a baking sheet or in an oven safe pan. Add chopped onion if you like.
  3. Coat with two tablespoons EVOO, salt, pepper and two sliced cloves of garlic. Larger slices of garlic are okay since this soup will eventually be pureed.
  4. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, or until tops are browned and stems can be pierced with a fork.
  5. Remove and let cool slightly before pureeing in batches in a blender with plus or minus one cup of warm water or blend in a Vitamix (if you have one, which I don’t, you do not need to add water and your soup will likely be a smoother consistency. I like mine fairly chunky).
  6. This recipe can be adjusted with so many flavors — roast broccoli with 2 tsp. cumin or curry and puree with coconut milk in place of water for Asian flavors.
  7. Serve after reheating in a saucepan with some crusty bread (I like Atwater’s rosemary white or sunflower flax).

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by October 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm 2,476 0

Cooking with cauliflower can be creepy. (Chelsea Rinnig )

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT] 

Just in time for Halloween, the Cruciferous vegetables are coming to haunt the farmers markets. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts and, my favorite, romanesco, can be found throughout the markets and many will last through the colder temperatures. However, the fractal looking romanesco is perfectly creepy and weird and its sibling cauliflower quite resembles brain.

Traditional notions of the extreme health benefits of these vegetables are indeed correct–much research has been conducted that shows cruciferous vegetables are anti-inflammatory and detoxifying, as well as promote cardiovascular and digestive health. Counter that candy intake on the 31st with a healthy romanesco recipe and creep out your dinner guests with its weird shape, or substitute with cauliflower if you’re a bit tamer.

BONUS: With all the fresh, crisp eating apples at the market, make candy apples for dessert for Halloween.

Roasted Romanesco with Lemon-yogurt sauce

Serves 4


  • One medium sized romanesco bunch, cut into smaller florets*
  • One tbsp olive oil
  • One tbsp minced garlic
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • One cup chopped walnuts
  • Half cup gold raisins


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees – I save time by turning on the oven immediately and then chopping and prepping other vegetables while it heats up.
  2. Evenly arrange a layer of romanesco, garlic and walnuts in a large Pyrex baking dish.
  3. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and give it a stir or a gentle toss with your hands to coat evenly.
  4. Place on the top rack of the oven and roast for 15 minutes or until florets are lightly browned.
  5. Serve immediately with lemon-yogurt sauce over whole wheat cous cous or pasta. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.

For the lemon-yogurt sauce

Whisk together the juice of half a lemon, one tbsp. cumin, a dash of cayenne pepper, and half a cup to a cup of probiotic plain yogurt or Greek yogurt (non-fat if you can!).

*Note: the stems are extremely healthy to eat, but can come out crunchy if not cooked long enough. Save and steam later or shave into thin, long pieces and pair with grated carrots for a healthy slaw.

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by October 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,453 0


Make a quick Chicken Kabob. (Aparna Krishnamoorthy)

From Aparna Krishnamoorthy. Email her at aparna[AT] Follow her on Twitter @aparnakris.

Designed strategically each week, my weekly menu is my sanity to organizing weeknight meals. Of course, I am terrible at sticking to it. Okay, sometimes I get out of work or school late, but most other times life (or a happy hour) gets in the way.

I was going to call this a Chicken Satay, but it really has nothing to do with the traditional Indonesian or Malaysian Satays, and hence decided to go with the more generic term “kabob” –meat that has been skewered and grilled.  Feel free to call it what you want, but this is a super easy recipe that is great for a quick weeknight dinner.

I used spices that are always available in my pantry (aka shelf), but you can pretty much use what you have in hand. The addition of the peanut butter imparts a slight sweetness to the dish, which I really enjoy but it also tenderizes the meat.

The Recipe


  • 1 lb Chicken meat boneless, skinless (Thigh/Leg is better for this, but I use white meat and it is totally fine)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (I used creamy, but no reason crunchy would not work.) Just make sure it’s not one of these.
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp dry coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (paprika or cayenne would be fine too – adjust according to your tolerance for heat)
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • Salt to taste

Vegetarians can easily switch the chicken for tofu or Indian paneer, and it works just as well.


  • Cut the chicken into cubes.
  • Place the peanut butter in a mixing bowl and whisk it well to loosen it up. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well to combine.
  • Pour this marinade over the chicken and mix well to coat pieces evenly.  Thread these onto pre-soaked wooden skewers and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

I grilled these on the stove top using a flat griddle, but a regular grill would be great as well.

  • For the stove top method, place a grill pan or griddle on medium-high heat and brush it with a teaspoon of oil. Grill the skewers on all sides for a nice sear and to ensure the meat is cooked through.

I make a meal out of it with a salad and yogurt-cilantro dipping sauce. Use leftovers to make a wrap with veggies and hummus for a quick lunch.

It doesn’t get easier than this! What are some of your go-to recipes for a quick meal?

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by September 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm 2,038 3 Comments

“White Bean Chicken Chili”

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]

(… Because it’s that good.)

While enjoying this past weekend’s (somewhat) cooler air, my husband managed to ruin my morning stroll when he uttered my three least favorite words: It’s football season.

Really? Already?

Yes, my friends. It’s football season… already. A sure sign that summer is over and fall is quickly moving in. And while there are some things I love about football season (making warm dishes in the crockpot and drinking beer in the afternoon — need I say more?), I also know that my Sundays are on lockdown for the next six months.

But I must be positive; and so, I look forward to the traditional “football food” (not the cocktail wiener kind). I’m talking about chili. Lots and lots of warm, hearty chili with homemade cornbread, served alongside a cool, refreshing IPA.

This white bean and chicken chili recipe is one of my favorites. Yes, it has meat in it. And yes, I am a vegetarian (except for the occasional hotdog, buffalo wing, or Beef Jerky), but I also make an exception for this dish. The chili is super thick and flavorful, and can be as spicy as you like (I like it hot). So next time you are holed up in your living room, cheering on the Patriots (ehhem — yes, the Patriots!), try this chili and spice up your fall.

(Note: I’ve also made this chili for a DC United tailgate… and it was beautiful! So pack it up for your tailgating experiences, too!)

White Bean Chicken Chili


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 lbs of lean, ground chicken (or turkey – I’ve used both before)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 cans of drained and rinsed Cannellini Beans
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1 bag frozen, chopped spinach (use a big bag for that extra boost!)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2-3 fresh jalapeño peppers, sliced


  1. In a dutch oven or deep sauce pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium high heat.
  2. Once the butter is melted, add the onion and cook until translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the ground chicken or turkey to the pot, and season with the sea salt, cumin, chili powder and oregano. Stir frequently until the meat is cooked through.
  5. Pour in the drained and rinsed cannellini beans, the frozen corn, the spinach and the chicken stock.
  6. Let the mixture cook and simmer for about 10 minutes; then slice and add fresh jalapeño peppers. (Adjust this to your taste preference… maybe start out with 2-3 medium-sized peppers, let the chili cook and then add more).
  7. Let the chili cook on low for at least one hour (longer if you prefer).
  8. Serve with your choice of fixings!

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by September 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,771 0

"Summer Recipes"

Summer recipes. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]

The kids are back in school, Halloween paraphernalia is making its way to the store shelves and cold-weather fashions are hitting the runways. All signs are pointing to fall… except the local thermometer.

Yes, it is hard to envision candied apples, carved pumpkins and crisp air when peaches, basil and 90-plus degrees of soul-sucking humidity linger over the city.

But just as some area pools plan to remain open to relieve us from the late summer heat, we want to hold onto summer and provide you with a recap of some of our favorite summer recipes to help you utilize September’s fresh produce throughout these transitional weeks.

Summer Avocado Salad

"Summer Recipes Borderstan"

Summer Avocado Salad. (Namita Koppa)


  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
  • ¼ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp black pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 medium Haas avocados, ripe and cut into bite-size pieces
  1. Combine first six ingredients and mix until cumin and black pepper are thoroughly incorporated.
  2. Gently add avocado.
  3. Serve immediately.

Grilled Corn – Frijolita’s Way

"Corn Borderstan"

Grilled corn. (Alejandra Owens)


  • Fresh corn
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cholula dry seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Tabasco sauce (if you are daring)


  1. Place one cleaned ear of corn in the middle of a piece of aluminum foil large enough to completely wrap around it.
  2. Splarge (a very technical term) 1-2 tablespoons of mayo (yes, I said mayo) onto the corn and evenly spread it over the whole ear of corn.
  3. Sprinkle Cholula dry seasoning evenly all over the ear of corn. Sprinkle finely grated parmesan all over the ear of corn, completely coating it in cheese. Feelin’ like something spicy? Add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce!
  4. You’ll probably want to wash your hands at this point…then wrap it all up in the foil and place on a hot grill (300-350 degrees) for 15 minutes or so.
  5. Unwrap corn and devour.

Sugar, Spice and All That’s Sorbet

"Sorbet Borderstan"

Sorbet. (Namita Koppa)


  • 2 pints of washed, pitted and de-stemmed fruit (of your choice)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup of water
  1. Make sure your fruit is refrigerated prior to making this! Wash, pit, and de-stem your fruits. You probably want to use about 2 pints of fruit per quart of sorbet.
  2. To your cut fruit, add sugar (1/4 to 1/2 cup), depending on how sweet you’d like it), a little water (1/4 to to 1/3 cup) and let it macerate (rest!) in a bowl for about 10 minutes. If you’d like a little kick, you can also add one minibottle of your favorite liquor or ¼ cup wine at this point.
  3. Put everything in your blender and puree! If you’re seed-averse, you can run the blended fruit through a sieve. Otherwise, churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions if you are using one. If you’re not, go to step 4.
  4. Freeze. Scoop out, enjoy.

Salty Chocolate Zucchini Cake

"Salty Zucchini Cake Borderstan"

Salty zucchini cake. (Rachel Nania)


  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa, sifted
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt (plus a little more for sprinkling on top)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups of shredded zucchini (about 2 large zucchini)
  • 1 tbsp of quality vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, melted
  • 12 oz package of semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease two round cake pans.
  2. In a food processor, shred fresh zucchini until you have enough for 2 cups (about two large zucchini).
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Mix together with a spoon and set aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl, mix together the following ingredients with a large spoon: the melted butter, the sugar, the brown sugar, the eggs and the vanilla.
  5. Combine the bowl of wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon. Spoon in the shredded zucchini and continue to mix the ingredients. Once the wet and dry ingredients are fully incorporated, add the bag of chocolate chips and continue to incorporate.
  6. Divide the batter and pour into two round cake pans.
  7. Sprinkle the tops of the cakes with a pinch of sea salt.
  8. Bake the pans in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
  9. Eat plain or serve warm with a scoop of ice cream!

Pesto With Garlic Scapes 

"Garlic Scapes Borderstan"

Garlic Scapes. (Chelsea Rinnig)


  • 1/2 lb. garlic scapes (about 15 scapes)
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice from half a lemon
  1. Roughly chop the garlic scapes before combining all ingredients into a food processor or blender.
  2. I also like to add a little zest for the lemon before I juice it as well.
  3. Serve immediately over cooked pasta or store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Fresh Pesto and Roasted Veggie Sandwiches

"Sandwiches Borderstan"

Roasted vegetable and pesto sandwiches. (Rachel Nania)

Fresh Pesto Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups of tightly packed basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup of shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pesto Directions

  1. In a food processor, blend the basil, the garlic and the cheese for a few seconds (10 to 15).
  2. Scrape down the sides and start the machine back up. While the mixture is blending, slowly drizzle in about ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil until it all starts to come together. Stop the blade again and scrape down the sides – add salt and pepper to taste. (Be careful with the salt! Parmigiano-Reggiano is a salty cheese and already provides a lot of salt to the pesto.)
  3. Continue to mix until the pesto has reached its desired taste and consistency.

Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches Ingredients 

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 2 small zucchinis
  • ½ of a white onion
  • 1 jar of roasted red peppers
  • Olive oil and salt

Sandwich Directions

  1. On a baking sheet, layout thinly sliced pieces of eggplant, zucchini and onion.
  2. Brush each piece with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  3. Roast in a 375 degree oven for about one hour or until the veggies have reached the desired “roasted” color.
  4. Halve a fresh ciabatta loaf length-wise and spread the two sides with the pesto. Layer on the oven roasted veggies, as well as the jarred roasted red peppers.
  5. Cut and enjoy!

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