Indian, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Indian Lentil Sauté with Kale and Asparagus

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I’d intended to prepare something different for dinner tonight but couldn’t find the recipe where I thought it was saved.  This dish from, Bev Cooks, was the last thing on my menu for the week and it looked simple enough so I tossed everything together in less than 30 minutes.  My daughter had a friend over for dinner and her family is Indian, so I was secretly pleased when she announced, “this looks exactly like what we eat at home.” – and then proceeded to gobble up every last bite.  Yay me!  I doubled what’s shown below and it made enough for three adults, three teens and a very cute, eight-year-old.


  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoons freshly minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoons(or more!) Indian curry powder
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lemon
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high. Add the onion and sauté until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and ginger and bloom 30 seconds. Add the curry powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to bloom the spices for another 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  3. Add the asparagus and sauté until bright green, 2 minutes. Add the kale and continue to sauté until wilted, another 2 minutes.
  4. Drain the lentils and add them to the kale mixture. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with lots of cilantro and a good squeeze of the lemon juice.

Serve with more cilantro and lemon juice!

Appetizers/Snacks, Greek, Quinoa, Salads, Vegetables

Quinoa Greek Salad

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Everyone keeps talking about easy weeknight meals because they’re too busy to pull something elaborate together.  My reality is that I only make easy stuff because I’m lazy.  The time it takes to prep some dishes bores me to the point of insanity!  Back to Her Roots published this recipe earlier this month and it’s exactly what I want.  Easy.  Quick.  Healthy.  It now resides happily in the archive of Maynard where it will be used over and over again.
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 loose cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, halved
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled or cubed


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1. In a medium saucepan stir together quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine cucumber, tomatoes, red pepper, parsley, onion, olives and feta.
  3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, dill, salt, pepper, honey and lemon juice. Pour over salad and stir to combine.
  4. Add cooked quinoa to salad and mix well.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to marry.

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Mexican, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

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Summer is officially here.  I mean, it’s been here for three weeks now and I’ve been trying to keep up with the kids.  Entertaining them, driving them places, feeding them, cleaning up after them.  It’s an excuse, really, for why I haven’t posted so long here at Maynard.  It’s a good excuse, but in the end, still just an excuse.  Maybe this recipe will make up for it?  It was Pinned at Pinterest several weeks back via Perry’s Palate; it’s very simple to pull together & full of varying flavors and textures.


  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, halved and slivered
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups salsa or pico de gallo
  • 2 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 2 big handfuls)
  • 9-10 corn tortillas, halved
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a cheddar-Monterey Jack blend)
  • sour cream and thinly sliced scallions (green onions) for garnish, if desired


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  1. Place red bell peppers, cauliflower, sweet potato, onion, and corn kernels onto cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle the cumin and minced garlic over top. Add a generous pinch or two of salt and black pepper, then use your hands to mix everything together. Spread the vegetables evenly in the pan.
  2. Roast for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are tender and begin to brown in spots. Stir or shake the pan every 10 minutes for even roasting. Remove pan from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  3. Prepare an 8x8x2 or 9x9x2-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray.
  4. In a small bowl, stir the cilantro into the salsa.
  5. Spread 1/4 cup of salsa into the bottom of the baking pan. Add a layer of tortilla pieces, to completely cover the salsa. Top with 1/3 of the vegetables, a handful of spinach, and 1/3 of the cheese.
  6. Make a second layer of tortilla, salsa, vegetables, spinach, and cheese. Top with with a layer of tortillas, salsa, vegetables, and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.  Let it sit for 5 minutes and cut into squares. Serve with sour cream and a sprinkle of sliced scallions.

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Chicken, Rice, Vegetables

Chicken & Edamame with Orange Ginger Dressing

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This recipe was chosen on impulse one morning while I was browsing for a new dinner to make.  Found at Confections of a Foodie Bride, I modified as I cooked (something I almost never do) and it turned out so much better than I thought.

As for the chicken, I’d forgotten that the recipe called for chicken in the first place and I didn’t have any prepared so I put it all in my tiny crock pot with the salsa, turned it up to high and let it go for about 2 1/2 hours.  It came out perfect and required almost no prep other than breaking it up before adding it to the main dish.If you have cooked chicken or prefer to cook it on the barbeque, omit the salsa.  I opted to go for long grain brown rice, and started it cooking when there was about an hour to go on the chicken so it’d all come together at the same time.

The edamame came straight out of the freezer, then was tossed into a colander and run under hot water several times while the rice cooked.  Then I salted them liberally with coarse sea salt and then set them aside until ready to combine with the main dish


  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1.25 lbs. chicken tenderloins, cooked and chopped
  • 2 cups brown rice (1 cup if you want fewer leftovers)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (2 cups if you only use 1 cup of rice)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 large lime, juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt
  • 16 oz. frozen shelled edamame, thawed and liberally salted
  • 1 large red bell pepper diced
  • 2 small avocados, sliced
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped, for garnish  


  1. Cook chicken and salsa in small crockpot on high for 2 hours or until done.
  2. Cook brown rice, according to package directions, in chicken broth.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together orange juice, lime juice, oil, and ginger.
  4. Add thawed and salted edamame, red bell pepper, and chicken, tossing to coat.
  5. Spoon mixture over brown rice and garnish with avocado slices and cilantro.

This made enough for the five of us with at least enough leftover for two full lunches…and then some.

Italian, Pork, Vegetables

Sausage and Zucchini Lasagna

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I didn’t change a thing about this recipe that I found on All Recipes and I’m in love with everything about it!  Lasagna is one of my favorite foods but I do not like the idea of taking all that time to prepare the dish.  For some reason, this recipe seemed extremely simplistic an I was skeptical that it would turn out alright.  I added yellow squash that we’d harvested, with our own hands, from a local farm which may or may not have added to this seriously, ridiculously tasty dish!  No Stouffers required!


  • 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage
  • 2 zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 1 medium yellow squash
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg white
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 no-boil lasagna noodles, or more if needed
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Pour about 1/4 cup of spaghetti sauce into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the sausage and zucchini until the meat is no longer pink and the zucchini pieces are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain excess fat from the skillet, and set the sausage mixture aside. While the sausage and zucchinis are cooking, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg white, mozzarella cheese, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese in a bowl until well combined.
  3. Place 3 lasagna noodles into the bottom of the baking dish on top of the spaghetti sauce, overlapping noodles slightly if necessary. Spread half the sausage-zucchini mixture on top of the noodles. Spread half the cheese mixture over the meat and zucchini, and pour 1 cup of spaghetti sauce evenly over the cheese mixture. Spread the sauce over the cheese mixture with a spoon or spatula. Repeat layers, starting with 3 more noodles, the rest of the sausage mixture, the rest of the cheese mixture, and 1 more cup of spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle the top with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the lasagna is bubbling and the Parmesan cheese has browned, about 45 minutes.
Appetizers/Snacks, Beverages, Desserts, Fruit, Smoothies, Vegetables

Berry Spinach Smoothie

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I’d heard before that putting spinach in a smoothie is a great way to incorporate more of it into the diet.  I was skeptical because although I like spinach for a lot of things, the idea of putting it in my fruit-sweet smoothie didn’t appeal to me.  After being sick all week, any little bit of extra help getting better is worth the try!

Originally I left out the strawberries and I could taste enough of the spinach to know I wouldn’t finish the smoothie that way.  So I tossed a few in the blender and voila!  No more spinach flavor.  Yay, me!

I say a small handful of spinach because that’s just what I did.  Then I got worried that there may be some of you out there panicking right now at the idea of having to guess at the measurement.  It’s ok, I do it too.  So I went back to the bag of spinach, pulled out the same amount and counted the leaves.  Just for you.  Because I’m cool like that.  I counted 18 leaves.  So give or take, it’s a small handful.


  • 1 medium orange, peeled
  • 8-10 red seedless grapes
  • 5 strawberries, hulled
  • 4 heaping spoons full plain unsweetened yogurt
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • small handful baby spinach
  • ice, as much or as little to get the texture you like

Directions (in case you’re uncertain how to make a smoothie)

1.  Pour everything into the blender and blend.

Pasta, Vegetables

Oven-Roasted Veggies & Pasta

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The first time I made this, from Real Mom Kitchen, we had just finished doing circuits with the kids and a friend and I needed something that made bunches of food and would cook up fast – but it needed to be healthy and have protein to fuel our muscles.  Because we’re cool like that.  I was starving by the time it was ready so I didn’t take the time to take a picture, knowing I’d make it a second time the following week.  And that’s what I did.

This easily hit the yum-factor, spot-on and was full of flavors from the roasted vegetables and I felt good eating it and serving it knowing all the ingredients that went in were wholesome. Except for the sausage which came from Oscar Meyer but you can be even more awesome than me, and buy fresh turkey sausage or organic sausage & whole wheat pasta or whatever healthful stuff you want!  Me?  I went with white pasta because that’s what I had.  The veggies?  Probably sprayed with pesticides – but I closed my eyes and pretended it was all organic and it was good stuff, Maynard!


  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red or yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 (12 oz.) package turkey sausage of your choice
  • 12 oz. linguine, uncooked


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  1. Place zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, and bell pepper in a shallow baking pan.  Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper; toss to coat.
  2. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly brown; stir occasionally.
  3. In the meantime, cook linguine according to package directions and drain.
  4. After vegetables are soft, sprinkle sausage on top of vegetables and bake 5 more minutes or until sausage is heated.
  5. Toss cooked pasta with the vegetable/sausage mixture,  sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
Appetizers/Snacks, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Grilled Artichokes


DSC_7185 copyI made the Paleo Girls frittata a few nights ago (forgive my laziness at not posting that recipe – I’ll get to it, but my picture was BAD so I’ll snap it and post next time I prepare it) and served these grilled beauties with it.  Kids love them, The Man love them, I loved them.

The last time I made artichokes, I steamed them and they were good but then I saw this recipe for grilled ‘chokes at Paleo Girls and I couldn’t wait to try them out!  Despite the many steps to getting these ready, the steps are simple and quick to follow.

To eat an artichoke, you just pull off a petal, grasp it between your teeth and scrape the ‘meat’ off to enjoy – the deeper you get into the artichoke, the more tender the meat will be and the easier it will come off.

1. cut the stem off, leaving about 1/2 an inch

2. cut off the top inch or so, revealing all the layers.

3.  using kitchen shears cut the thorns off each leaf tip

4. turn upside down on cutting board and slice in half, lengthwise

5.  with a spoon, scoop out all the hairy, purpley stuff

6.  as you work, and before you move onto the next artichoke, drop each half of prepared ‘choke into a large bowl of water that’s been doused with the juice of one lemon.  This’ll keep them fresh looking and they won’t brown.


  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 6 large artichokes
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


1.  In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup lemon juice, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Whisk in the oil till mixed.

2.  Brush the artichokes with the marinade.

3.  Grill immediately for about 5 minutes on each side, or they can be refrigerated for a few hours until you’re ready to grill.  Any leftover marinade can be used for dipping, but I didn’t think it needed any extra zing, they were perfect!

Cakes, Vegetables

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes


DSC_5782 copyThese cupcakes are another winner from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.  The kids each helped to taste test this for texture, flavor, sweetness and whether or not they could taste the vegetables.  I only told my oldest that the cupcakes have beets and squash in them because telling my nine and six year old would have been the end of the line for these cupcakes.  The vegetables are undetectable to me and the kids.

To make the beet puree the book suggests leaving the fresh beet whole and unpeeled, trimming the stem to one inch.  Wrap each beet in tin foil and roast at 400 degrees for about an hour or until the tip of a sharp knife can easily pierce the beet.  Once cooled, peel the beet (I forgot this step and tossed the whole beet in, peel and all) and puree for about 2 minutes in a blender or food processor.  Then in 1/2 cup portions, freeze the puree in freezer bags.  I bought 4 beets and had about 3/4 cup to show for it.  I’ll be making the ‘Pink Pancakes’* in the morning with the rest of the beets that didn’t go into these cupcakes.


  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 2 Tablespoons beet puree
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/2 cup yellow squash puree
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (1 large lemon will do)
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 (8 oz.) package reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • food coloring (optional)


Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups.

  1. In a small bowl, mash the raspberries, beet puree and butter.  Set aside
  2. In a large bowl beat the sugar, milk, yellow squash puree, oil, egg whites, lemon juice and lemon extract until smooth.  Add the flour, baking powder, and salt then mix until well incorporated.
  3. Using about half the batter, fill each muffin cup about half full.  Dot each with the raspberry filling, then cover each cup with the rest of the batter.
  4. Bake for 20-25.  Turn the cupcakes out onto a cooling rack.
  5. For the frosting, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon extract and food coloring (if desired), then spread over each cupcake.

*update – I made the Pink Pancakes this morning and we each took a bite.  Then threw the rest of the uncooked batter and on-the-skillet pancakes out.  They were bad.  The taste of the beets was very obvious and no one wants that in a morning flap-jack.  Yuck

Chicken, Vegetables

Spiced Chipotle Honey Chicken


DSC_5263 copyI’m not sure how I found Pink Parsley, but after last night’s dinner, I’m sure glad I did!  Seems like I’m always saying how dinner turned out better than expected but it’s true because this was fantastic!  The original recipe called for four chilies in adobo, but I halved that knowing how spicy it’d turn out and even with two, it was just a little too much for the kids.  Next time I’ll just use one to avoid their burned lips and tongue.  I happened to think it was just the right amount of spicy, not needing milk to extinguish the heat, but plenty to get the point across.

I added water to the bottom of the pan while the sweet potatoes cooked to help keep them from drying out, then poured the excess water out before adding the chicken.  Served this with some open bags of mixed veggies and a spare head of broccoli that needed to be eaten.  Gobbled up by everyone, despite its spiciness!


  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons honey, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 11 chicken tenders cut in half
  • chopped Italian parsley or cilantro, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

1.  Place the sweet potatoes in a medium bowl.  Pour two tablespoons of the olive oil and stir.

2.  In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, chipotles, garlic, honey, vinegar, salt, cumin, and cinnamon.  Pour two teaspoons of the chipotle mixture over oiled sweet potatoes.  Toss to coat.

4.  Scatter the potatoes on the bottom of a roasting pan, adding about 1/4 cup of water to avoid drying out and bake 40-45 minutes.

5.  Put chicken pieces in the bowl that had the potatoes, and pour in remaining paste. Toss to coat.

6.  When potatoes are nearly done, drain any remaining water, stir, then carefully place the chicken on top of the sweet potatoes, and continue to roast until the chicken is just cooked through (registers 165 on an instant-read thermometer), about 15-20 minutes longer.

7.  Drizzle with remaining honey and garnish with parsley or cilantro.