Nov 132013

 A seasonal take on classic flavors - Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake made with bonus recipe ~ Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce.  This bake has a perfect balance of spice and a hint of seasonal pumpkin – without the heat!

Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

Before I get to this delicious recipe I’ll share a few snapshots from VegFest last weekend! What an amazing event to bring together like-minded people from the community who are concerned about animals, the earth and people.

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

I loved this photo when I walked by.  It was so captivating that I had to stop and snap a few photos of it.  I think that when it comes to birds we think of as food, we forget that they are living beings.  The interesting thing is that if someone sees and injured bird on the road or baby duckling there tends to be so much concern and care – but when it comes to chickens or turkeys that we consider food that same sentiment isn’t there. Many chickens and turkeys in the commercial farming industry are de-beaked without anesthetic to prevent them from pecking other birds, their own feathers or vents out of stress and boredom.  That would be like taking that baby duckling and cutting half her beak off. I can’t imagine!

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

There were fabulous crafts for kids.  Here they are using sticks and native oyster shells along with string to make beautiful and creative mobiles.

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

A few of the vendors present were Corner Taco

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

Sally Ann Designs – handmade local fashion

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

dig foods…

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

…very cute animals roaming about…

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

…and where I parked myself all afternoon…Native Sun!
Here you see one of the crew having a serious conversation with a seahorse.

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

I was there representing Native Sun  as both a customer and partner to help where needed, give out coupons and recipe cards, meet people and chat!

We had two kinds of vegan tacos for people to try – a mushroom based Carnitas style with BBQ sauce and a spice Sriracha style with an artichoke base. People voted on their favorite and the winner is going to be on the menu at Native Sun.

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

 Now before I move ahead with the recipe I’ll share my favorite experience of the day – getting to meet this cute little piglet! With her soft fuzzy head and velvety nose she brought a smile to everyone’s face and melted every heart around her!

Cutest Piglet Ever at VegFest 2013

Cutest Piglet Ever at VegFest 2013

Cutest Piglet Ever at VegFest 2013

Cutest Piglet Ever at VegFest 2013

Cutest Piglet Ever at VegFest 2013

Cutest Piglet Ever at VegFest 2013

And the winning taco was the Carnitas style taco!

VegFest 2013

VegFest 2013

On to the recipe… don’t let the ingredient list scare you. You most likely have the majority of these ingredients at home if you are someone that enjoys flavors like garlic, cumin and chili – and of course, my secret weapon is mustard! I love a nice course-ground, prepared mustard to add a bit of acid to finish my dish.

Tip: Keep in mind that when tasting a dish and wondering what it is missing – it is usually acid.  Some examples are a squeeze of fresh lemon, vinegar of all kinds, lime juice and mustard. Mustard is prepared with vinegar so not only does it add flavor, it adds that tiny bit of sour to balance out the flavor.

Seasonal Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

Seasonal Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

My suggestion is to make the enchilada sauce ahead of time and double the recipe if you want freeze some to have on hand for next time or to make another dish.

Seasonal Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

Seasonal Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

Seasonal Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

Serves 9
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Grocery List

Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchilada Bake Ingredients

1 recipe Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce or two cups prepared enchilada sauce**
1 Tbsp oil (or broth for fat free)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped sweet potato
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (to taste) & fresh ground pepper
1 cup corn kernels
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans or 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup water
3/4 cup canned pureed pumpkin
1 tsp prepared mustard
5 tortillas (I used Food for Life Gluten Free), cut into strips
1 cup non dairy cheese, I used Daiya Pepper Jack

Directions for Black Bean Pumpkin Enchilada Bake

1. Heat 1 Tbsp oil or broth in a large pot over medium high heat; add onion and saute until translucent, about five minutes; add garlic and saute an additional minute; add sweet potato, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are beginning to soften; stir in corn, black beans, water, pureed pumpkin and mustard; cover, reduce heat and simmer about 2o minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 375F. Layer 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on bottom of baking dish; top with 1 layer of tortilla and 1/2 black beans and pumpkin mixture; repeat; end with 1 layer of tortilla, remaining 1 cup sauce and 1 cup cheese; cover and bake 15 minutes or until heated through.

Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce

Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce

Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce

Makes 1 recipe
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

**Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce Ingredients

3 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp gluten free flour (I used chickpea flour)
1 Tbsp raw cacao powder or baking cocoa
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp prepared mustard
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth

Directions for Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce

1. Heat a straight sided skillet over medium – high heat; add all ingredients; cook for 20 minutes or until well combined.

 Enchilada Bake Nutrition Facts (Including Enchilada Sauce)
9 Servings

Amount Per Serving 

Calories 247.2 (including olive oil – without 233 cals)
Total Fat 6.9 g (including olive oil – without 5.4 grams fat)
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 585.9 mg
Potassium 503.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 39.9 g
Dietary Fiber 8.3 g
Sugars 3.5 g
Protein 7.2 g

Vitamin A 74.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 19.6 %
Vitamin C 18.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.1 %
Calcium 4.9 %
Copper 11.1 %
Folate 16.0 %
Iron 14.3 %
Magnesium 17.0 %
Manganese 18.2 %
Niacin 10.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.3 %
Phosphorus 15.4 %
Riboflavin 4.3 %
Selenium 2.1 %
Thiamin 15.4 %
Zinc 6.9 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Chunky Enchilada Mole Sauce (whole recipe)
Nutrition Facts  
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 284.9
Total Fat 5.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 2,447.4 mg
Potassium 1,290.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 53.3 g
Dietary Fiber 16.1 g
Sugars 16.9 g
Protein 9.5 g

Vitamin A 165.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 56.8 %
Vitamin C 88.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.4 %
Calcium 21.2 %
Copper 29.1 %
Folate 8.4 %
Iron 37.8 %
Magnesium 19.9 %
Manganese 41.2 %
Niacin 10.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.1 %
Phosphorus 16.4 %
Riboflavin 12.4 %
Selenium 7.8 %
Thiamin 9.3 %
Zinc 9.3 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


 Posted by at 3:24 pm
Dec 202012

If the weather outside is frightful – hopefully these six satisfying soups will make your day delightful. Before I take a brief break from blogging until after Christmas, I leave you with some of my personal and fan favorite soups I have featured over the years.

Happy Holidays and Let it snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Florida Fall Harvest Soup

Best Eggplant & Leek Soup Ever

Rustic Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup

Chinese Five Spice Miso Soup with Shitakes and Edamame

Calming Kale, Carrot, Sweet Potato and Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup with Forbidden Rice


KyV (Know Your Vegetables) Workshop Recap 12-15-2012 

KyV Farm is a local, organic farm in the North Florida area that offers a farm share/CSA.   This is when a farm offers a share of their crop for a fee up front. You then get vegetables every week or every other week through the growing season – sharing in both the bounty and the risk with the farmer.  There are SO many benefits to a CSA, aside from the obvious of getting a variety of veggies into your diet; it is less expensive, it is a great way to get kids involved with real food, it supports the local economy and a local business, it builds a sense of community in that area and provides a connection with the earth….just to name a few.  I am sort of their self-appointed volunteer coordinator and event planner.  I write recipes and help plan events because they are so busy between working the field and running the business, that they just don’t have a lot of time to do this sort of thing.

The concept of the Know Your Vegetables workshop came about from the many questions about some of the unique and interesting veggies such as kohlrabi, various greens, bok choy and watermelon radish.  We received so many, that we decided to create a workshop to share information on identifying the vegetables, how to clean, store, prep and cook them.

For those of you that would like the recipes for the dishes prepared during the workshop – please click this link: Know Your Veggies 2012 Booklet

Vivian reviewed the prep and storage for each of the vegetables currently being grown at the farm….

….and I made a few recipes – including a bok choy saute, watermelon and carrot top salad, massaged kale and kohlrabi salad, roasted root vegetables and organic veggie broth.

Judging by all the munching and the scarce leftovers at the end, I should say we had great success with these recipes!

 Special thanks to everyone that participated,
 Heather Swoap for helping chop veggies, set-up and take-down,
Melanie Harris for providing our venue,
and Jaclyn Schweitzer for helping collect the money and check people in.

 Posted by at 6:34 pm  Tagged with:
Dec 092012

Know Your Vegetables Workshop 

What can you make with all your CSA vegetables?

Are you storing them properly to prolong their freshness?

How can you get your kids to eat them? 

To all existing, new, and future CSA members:
Come join us at Member Melanie’s house, 12752 Edenbridge Court, Jacksonville, FL on Saturday, December 15th, from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET for our second Know Your Vegetables workshop. During the workshop you’ll enjoy free samples as you hear firsthand from Vivian as well as Florida Coastal Cooking’s Dawn Hutchins on the best ways to clean, store, prep and cook your organic vegetables. This is the perfect opportunity to meet new members and swap your own favorite recipes and tips as well. 

Specifically, you will learn how to: 

•          Wash, prepare and store your greens, root vegetables, and citrus

•          Various cooking methods such as roasting, baking and sautéing as well as tips on how to sneak them into your kids’ meals! 

$15 for members (per family) and $20 for non-members. All proceeds go directly to supporting KYV Farm. 

Questions? Contact:

Vivian Arroyo 787-232-2234 

Dawn Hutchins 904-534-4252

 Posted by at 7:18 pm
Oct 292012

Yesterday kicked off the first event of the new CSA farm season at KYV Farm.  It was a crisp, clear and PERFECT day for a potluck, hayrides and bean picking.  We even got to pull a few sweet potatoes!

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Join a CSA!

(p.s. If anyone there would like copies of the photos – please contact me at chefdawn(at)hotmail(dot)com. I could not get all the photos uploaded to if I took one of you and it is not on here, shoot me a request!)

 Posted by at 11:19 am
Sep 172012

KyV Farm’s Second Annual Farm-to-Table dinner will be the talk of the town with their fresh, seasonal vegetables showcased by the expert chefs at the Floridian,
St Augustine.


People are getting more excited about fresh vegetables and especially organic, seasonal and local foods.  Farm shares are the perfect way to incorporate these foods into a diet. On Thursday, November 29th the Floridian and KYV farm will team up once again to celebrate the start of a new the season. 

 The Floridian ( is a casual restaurant in historic St Augustine that showcases fresh, seasonal and local meats, dairy and produce from these very farms in order to support the local community, environment and the economy.  Head chef Genie McNally has been working in the restaurant industry for fifteen years.  She learned many of her culinary skills through a catering company and later opened a stand at the local farmers market called dujour market. 

 Their stand was so popular that she moved on to the next step to open her first restaurant, the Floridian, that has recently celebrated its two year anniversary.

Genie is excited to participate in this farm to table event because fresh, local and seasonal foods are exactly what the Floridian focuses on.  It’s been really amazing to see, even over the past year, the community’s growing awareness of the need for Farm-to-table food and what it does for the region’s farmers and producers.”


The feature farm for this event is KYV farm (, a certified organic farm located in Switzerland Florida is owned and run by farmers Francisco Arroyo and Vivian Bayona.  They offer a seasonal farm share program, tours, workshops and an apprenticeship program. KYV farm opened their doors in 2006 after relocating to Jacksonville to be closer to Francisco’s sister who had been living in the area since 1988. 

  The biggest challenge they faced was promoting the CSA/farm share product when little was known about it at the time; however the hard work has paid off as the biggest reward has been the growth over the years through the entire community’s support and participation. In 2011 KYV farm gained their USDA Organic certification to meet the public’s demand for local organic produce to support their healthier lifestyles. They are so excited about participating in this farm to table event to showcase that their fresh produce can be used in both basic preparation and can be taken to the next level in a gourmet setting such as this event.  Vivian stated “Last year’s event at the Floridian was such a success, I know this year will be even better!”

Tickets for this event will go on sale beginning October 1st.  Ticket prices are $65 for a meat option and $55 for vegetarian. The dinner consists of a four course menu with the option to buy wine or beer separately. The first seating will be at 6pm and second seating may be offered at 8pm if the earlier seating sells out.

Parking the night of the event will be subject to availability around the St Augustine area.  There is a parking lot located across the street with meters spaces.

Contact the Floridian St Augustine to purchase tickets (904) 829-0655 or contact Dawn Hutchins directly for more information at (904) 534-4252.
 Posted by at 9:38 am
Aug 192012

Easy Mexican Mila Tortilla Bake

Easy Mexican Mila Tortilla Bake


Friday night was my second wine and Mila soirée.
We laughed, we talked nutrition, we drank and we ate dishes made with Mila.

All is quiet after work – waiting for my friends to arrive!
What is Mila?
(Those of you that follow me regularly already know but for those of you that are new, here is the info.)
Mila is an organically grown, non-genetically modified blend of chia seed that is cold pressed and sliced to make it more bio-available. 
It is RAW, GLUTEN FREE, AND VEGAN, perfect for cooking and baking.
It is super high in OMEGA 3s – equal to 6 to 10 fish oil pills per serving.  
A single serving also has FIVE GRAMS OF FIBER, more antioxidants than blueberries, more iron than spinach and many more benefits.
This little seed has anti-inflammatory properties, is excellent for brain function, energy, elimination, sleep and the best part?  It’s a FOOD!
My friend Jodi and my mom Diane.
We discussed the fact that Mila is a FOOD, not a pill, supplement, shake, powder or bar. It does more than just anti-aging or help you lose weight – it offers so much more! The nutrition of this food is amazing; it has 3000mg Omega 3s, antioxidants, 5 grams of fiber and only 70 calories. It will absorb many times its weight in liquid to help you feel full as well as offer tons of plant based vitamins and phytonutrients. Many shakes and pill supplements state that they have more nutrients than ten oranges, three pounds of kale, a whole salmon – blah, blah, blah.  When it comes down to it, your body is going to recognize the nutrients in an actual food much faster than a man made pill, shake or smoothie.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. — Hippocrates, father of medicine, 431 B.C.
Da Food

I also love the fact that Mila can be used as an egg replacer for baked goods – which is awesome because my daughter is allergic to eggs.  Instead of using a powdered egg substitute, this is a great way to both bind and add all the benefits I listed above.

Lots o’ Glorious Wine

I made my world famous seven layer dip – with Mila mixed into the black beans.

Vegan 7 Layer Dip with Mila and Cashew Sour Cream

These cookies were baked with Mila – super soft and chewy.

Oatmeal, Raisin and Almond Cookies made with Mila

My mom brought a strawberry spinach salad with a red wine and Mila vinaigrette.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Red Wine and  Mila Vinaigrette

Jodi contributed a cheesy rice with Mila.

Cheesy Rice with Mila

A great time was had by all! A special thanks to my mentor Rachel, Megan who shared the first bag of Mila with me, my fabulous team members, Diane, Jodi, Suzanne, Chris and a long distance hug to Cara, thanks to those who stopped by and congratulations to my friend Jen who is the newest member of the team!!

Some of the fabulous ladies.
Mom enjoying her glass of wine.
Finally, the grand finale, my Mexican style tortilla bake – a super easy version of a lasagna. This versatile dish can be made vegan and gluten free or made with any regular tortillas you like, and any shredded cheese you have on hand.  This was an AWESOME way to slip Mila into my family’s diet.  Both my hubby and daughter polished off their serving and asked for more – little did they know they got half their day’s supply of Mila!

Instead of beef, I added a can of Amy’s Chili; it added tons of flavor and heartiness without the meat.  The tomatoes created a rich sauce and the black beans and fajita seasoning tie the whole dish together with a Mexican flair.  This one is definitely going under the favorites.  It is one of those casseroles that get even better the next day.

Want to try Mila for yourself?  Click HERE!

Easy Mexican Tortilla Bake with Mila

Easy Mexican Tortilla Bake with Mila

Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves 4


1 can (14.5oz) chili, I used Amy’s Medium Vegan Chili
1 can (14.5oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
2-4 scoops Mila
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes of choice (I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted, diced tomatoes with chilies), drained
2 Tbsp adobo or fajita seasoning (be sure to use a from scratch version or check the label for gluten free)
1 pkg (10oz) rice tortillas (or for non-gluten free use any you like)
1 cup shredded Daiya cheese (or any shredded cheese of choice)


1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix chili, beans, Mila, diced tomatoes and fajita seasoning in a medium bowl.

2. Spray a 9×13 with cooking spray.  Cut the tortillas in strips and layer on layer on the bottom of the baking pan.  Top with 1/2 the bean/Mila mixture, spreading with spatula, repeat.  Top with cheese, cover and bake 25 minutes or until heated through.

**This also freezes well!  Simply use two 8×8 pans and do not add the cheese to the half you are freezing.  Wrap tightly after layering and freeze for up to 1 month.  When ready to heat, bring to room temp, top with cheese and bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition Facts (with Mila)
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 296.5
Total Fat 8.7 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 664.1 mg
Potassium 197.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 42.1 g
Dietary Fiber 10.3 g
Sugars 4.5 g
Protein 11.3 g

Vitamin A 11.4 %
Vitamin B-6 6.5 %
Vitamin C 32.9 %
Calcium 8.2 %
Copper 6.5 %
Folate 16.0 %
Iron 18.1 %
Magnesium 12.5 %
Manganese 15.0 %
Niacin 6.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 16.5 %
Riboflavin 1.5 %
Selenium 0.7 %
Thiamin 12.0 %
Zinc 5.2 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jul 132012
I promise to get back to some recipes soon but first I want to thank all that attended the Wine and Mila tasting last night.  Candles, music, wine and amazing food – I think we all had a great time! My only regret is that I didn’t get more photos.
I made some cookies with Mila instead of eggs and my seven layer dip was a big hit.  No one could believe that the sour cream was actually made with cashews and Mila was mixed in with the black bean layer.
Lots of wine (and notice my Vegan 7 layer dip in the background)
Great mix of friends!

Michele, Larissa, Dan and my mom

Strawberry Salad with Mila See Dressing
I can not wait until my next wine and Mila tasting!  What a perfect excuse to have a get-together.  :)

What is Mila?
Mila is an organically grown, non-genetically modified blend of chia seed that is cold pressed and sliced to make it more bio-available. 
It is RAW, GLUTEN FREE, AND VEGAN, perfect for cooking and baking
It is super high in OMEGA 3s – equal to 6 to 10 fish oil pills per serving.  
A single serving also has FIVE GRAMS OF FIBER, more antioxidants than blueberries, more iron than spinach and many more benefits.
This little seed has anti-inflammatory properties, is excellent for brain function, energy, elimination, sleep and the best part?  It’s a FOOD!
Try some for yourself!  (Click here)
 Posted by at 2:40 pm  Tagged with:
Mar 112012
Yesterday was the KVY Canning and Preservation Workshop.

We learned about some great resources – books and websites.
This is the one I want to buy.  I’ll add this to my Shop as well as some of these others.

Member Melanie Harris graciously allowed us to use her canning kitchen to host our workshop.  Many thanks to Melanie!

Member Karin demonstrates one method of placing the jars into the hot water bath.

Melanie shows us some of the gadgets for making jellies, jams, sauces and sauerkraut.
And my favorite part…the tasting!  We got to sample all of these delicious canned, pickled and fermented foods.

 Posted by at 10:50 am