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 Coffee-Chile Braised Beef Brisket Tacos
(crock pot recipe)

  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 lb beef brisket
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 can/jar tomato sauce
  • 1 cup red wine
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • Combine spices (chipotle powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper) with the ground coffee.
  • Rub spice/coffee mixture on beef brisket, set aside.
  • Add onion, lime juice, wine, vinegar and tomato sauce to crock pot.
  • Set spice rubbed brisket on top of  onion and liquids.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours

Recipe loosely adapted from the book: Tacos, by Scott Wilson 

Cauliflower Sloppy Joe's-
with Salt & Vinegar Kale Mashed Potatoes

  • 1/2 cup chopped butternut squash
  • 1 scant tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 head cauliflower (grated)
  • (Optional- shredded cheddar for topping) 

  • In a large pan over medium heat, sautee butternut squash in oil until tender- about 6 minutes.
  • Pulse squash and red bell pepper in a food processor or blender until it is nearly pureed.  Add a tablespoon or so of water if necessary.
  • Return to pan over medium heat and add tomato paste, garlic powder, broth, maple syrup, molasses and sea salt.  Stir well to combine.
  • Let it simmer a bit while you grate the cauliflower. Then add the grated cauliflower and simmer it all for about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is slightly tender and most of the excess liquid has evaporated.
  • Serve in hot dog style buns and top with shredded cheddar.

Serve with:  
Salt & Vinegar Kale Mashed Potatoes

I used this recipe from Edible Perspective, via Pinterest.-although I adapted it a bit.  I like things extra vinegar-y, so instead of the 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to top each muffin tin dollop of goodness, I bumped it up closer to a full teaspoon and I added a splash of vinegar to the kale as it was steaming.  Also, I sprinkled the top of each with sea salt and a pinch of Parmesan cheese before popping the tray under the broiler.  I broiled my tray for the full 15 minutes and it was perfection. Mmmm...

Shepard's Pie-
Protein Packed & Meatless
(psst, it's vegan)

When I promote a plant-based lifestyle, one of the first responses I tend to hear is, "But, where do you get your protein?" and I have to stifle a chuckle.  Most are truly amazed to learn just how much protein is found in a simple serving of vegetable- for instance, peas are very high in protein (nearly 5g per 0.5 cup serving).

Aside from the peas in this recipe, the quinoa and nutritional yeast are serious sources of protein. One serving of this Shepard's Pie has 11g plant protein, or about 22% of the RDA.  Also, since all of the ingredients are plant-based there is no cholesterol, but lot's of fiber- 7g fiber, about 25% RDA.

We call meals like this nutrient dense, which means that it is rich in the good stuff (nutrients), and poor in calories (only 249 kcal per serving), which is a good thing. 

  •  4 large Russet potatoes
    • plus almond milk and sea salt as desired for mashed potaoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 3 large carrots
  • 3 celerystalks
  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth  
  • 1 cup peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • generous pinch of sea salt    
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Peel and chop potatoes.  Add to a large pot, cover with water and boil until tender (about 10 minutes).
  3. While potatoes boil, chop onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Add all to a large pan over medium heat.  Cook until slightly tender (about 8-10 minutes).
  4. Add quinoa and vegetable broth to vegetables, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Drain potatoes and mash, adding a pinch of sea salt and almond milk a little at a time until desired creaminess is achieved. Set aside for a moment.
  6. Stir peas into vegetables.  Then stir in a generous pinch of sea salt, nutritional yeast and maple syrup.
  7. Transfer vegetable mixture to a casserole dish for baking and top with mashed potatoes.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.


    Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese


    • 12 ounces dried rigatoni
    • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks (3 1/2 cups)
    • 2 3/4 cups milk
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 8 ounces smoked Gruyere cheese, shredded (2 cups)
    • 8 slices bacon
    • 2 small sweet onions, cut into chunks
    • 3 ounces sourdough bread
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
    • fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly butter a 3-quart au gratin or baking dish; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; transfer to a large bowl.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine the squash and 2 1/2 cups of the milk over medium-high heat. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to medium, and simmer until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork, 18 to 20 minutes. Stir together remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour; stir into squash mixture. Bring to boiling; cook until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the Gruyere until melted; keep warm.
    3. Meanwhile, in a very large skillet cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels. Crumble; set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons bacon drippings. Return skillet to the heat.
    4. Add onions to skillet; cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and increase heat to high. Cook 4 to 6 minutes more, stirring, until onions are golden.
    5. Add squash-cheese mixture, onions, and bacon to the bowl with the pasta. Toss well to combine, then transfer to prepared baking dish.
    6. Place bread in a food processor and pulse with two or three on/off turns to form large coarse crumbs (you should have about 2 cups). Transfer to a small bowl; mix with melted butter. Sprinkle remaining Gruyere and the bread crumbs over pasta mixture. over Bake until top is browned, about 14 to 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

     Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens,

    Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes recipe from The Post Punk Kitchen