Apr 022014

  This Easy & Delicious Vegan Spanakopita Recipe has a healthy little secret – within that oh-so light and flakey crust it is stuffed with savory, seasoned greens and tangy sun dried tomatoes nestled inside. My whole family enjoyed each bite!

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Getting kids involved in cooking is fun.

Especially with plant based cooking. No worries of contamination or icky pathogens – just good clean fun.  The best part is that it is time well spent together (electronics-free), AND gives kids a skill that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

When I graduated college I do believe my best dish was spaghetti with jarred sauce that I typically managed to still mess up. I remember all the waaaaaay back to my dorm at FSU – there was a shared kitchen with one of those old stoves with the coil.

Visions of a Dorm Room

Visions of a Dorm Room

The “kitchen” was more of a closet with other students occasionally also cooking spaghetti or a processed cheese product that could last a nuclear ice age – you know the one I’m talking about.

Cooking in the Dorm

Cooking in the Dorm

Very funny photo source. If you want to be entertained – click the link. 

A well trained cook, my mother was not. Fish sticks, chicken pot pie and tuna noodle casserole all the way baby.
Love you mom! Please don’t be mad I’m telling everyone about the frozen fish sticks!

My Nana, on the other hand, was an excellent macrobiotic cook. But, unfortunately I didn’t think macrobiotics were cool when I was growing up, so I didn’t learn how brilliant my Nana was until later in life.

Now that I have learned so much about food, our food system in the US, and cooking, I have vowed to bless my daughter with knowledge and skill. She will know what kohlrabi is, how to make her own bean burgers (and be able to eat the raw mix if she wants), the importance of fiber, why staying away from dairy is key, and the state of the commercial farming industry. She is one of the people that will help shape our future – and the future looks better than today.

Part of our future is electronics. I’ve learned to embrace it, but respect it’s power. One of the ways I have planned to embrace it is by doing more videos on how to cook. My problem is timing. By the time I get home from a long day of business meetings, appointments etc. my daughter needs to start her homework  and I have to get dinner on the table before she tries to eat me out of house and home. The last thing I seem to be able to do is put makeup on and film a video.

But I have good news. I’ve discovered a great medium for the busy cook who wants to get into the video segment.

The Vine Video. In 7 seconds I can give a quick overview of how a dish was made. No one really wants to sit down to a 20 minute tutorial before they eat anyway, right? Right? (At least that’s what I’m telling myself.)

Well here it is. You can pause it at each frame but just don’t pause it on my oh-so-fresh and un-made up face. Lord knows I’m not in my college days any more.

Did you grow up cooking? If you have children, how do you get them involved?

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Vegan Spanakopita Recipe

Greens Spanakopita

Serves 4
Printable Recipe


8 sheets fillo dough
Olive oil spray
1 onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 bunches kale, bok choy, spinach or mixture of any greens (about 5 cups), chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup julienned sundried tomatoes
2/3 cup non-dairy cheese (such as cashew cheese, Daiya or tofu cheese)


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat; spray with olive oil; sauté onions, about 5 minutes; reduce heat to medium-low; add garlic and greens, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook an additional 5 minutes or until greens are wilted.

2. Place one sheet fillo on pan prepared with parchment; spray with olive oil; top with next sheet; repeat. Top with greens mixture, cheese and sundried tomato; fold edges over so top is completely covered; flip and spray top with additional olive oil; bake for 25-30 minutes or until fillo is browned. ** Cut into four triangles.

**Watch the fillo closely because it can go from undercooked to overcooked in minutes!

Nutrition Facts (with 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil)
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 204.8
Total Fat 9.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 508.0 mg
Potassium 599.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.3 g
Sugars 4.5 g
Protein 5.8 g

Vitamin A 296.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.6 %
Vitamin C 86.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 8.5 %
Calcium 9.5 %
Copper 14.1 %
Folate 9.3 %
Iron 12.7 %
Magnesium 10.1 %
Manganese 33.8 %
Niacin 6.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.4 %
Phosphorus 7.0 %
Riboflavin 7.3 %
Selenium 3.0 %
Thiamin 7.5 %
Zinc 3.4 %

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

Feb 122012
This is the casserole I was telling you guys about. Now I don’t have a specific recipe for this, and if you go to make all these ingredients at once it’d kind of be a pain in the @ss. What I did was throw a bunch of leftovers together with stellar results.


A few weeks ago I made the beans and froze them in two-cup sizes. To make them, I soaked them overnight and threw them in the pressure cooker with a bay leaf, veggie broth, veggies and Adobo seasoning for about 25 minutes or so. When I was ready to make this casserole, I just pulled a bag out the day before and had them handy in the fridge.

For the rice-earlier in the week I had simmered it with some home made veggie broth, a few veggies-such as carrots, onions and garlic-as well as some Adobo seasoning. I cooked about four servings up to use for the week and had about half left over.

Finally, I sautéed up some greens for a cookout and I used this recipe minus the beans. All the leftovers went right into this dish.
The casserole below is completely estimated so if you throw in more or less of each ingredient it should still come out awesome. And get crazy. Change up the grains or the type of beans…whatever goes.

The onion sauce is the key. You gotta try making the onion sauce.

Saucy Rice, Greens n’ Beans Casserole
with Caramelized Onion-Cabbage Sauce
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
2 cups cooked basmati rice, (cooked with veggie broth, adobo seasoning, quartered onion, garlic, carrot)
2 cups sautéed greens, I used this recipe minus the beans 
1 cup white beans, (cooked with veggie broth, adobo seasoning, quartered onion, garlic, carrot)
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Layer rice, greens, beans and onion sauce; bake for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Estimated Nutrition Facts

4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 221.2
Total Fat 1.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 10.4 mg
Potassium 547.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 43.1 g
Dietary Fiber 7.2 g
Sugars 0.1 g
Protein 10.0 g

Vitamin A 24.0 %
Vitamin B-12 33.3 %
Vitamin B-6 126.3 %
Vitamin C 14.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.3 %
Calcium 8.4 %
Copper 10.6 %
Folate 35.0 %
Iron 13.6 %
Magnesium 11.0 %
Manganese 23.3 %
Niacin 71.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.6 %
Phosphorus 11.7 %
Riboflavin 144.5 %
Selenium 10.2 %
Thiamin 166.0 %
Zinc 10.8 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dec 202011
First we brought to you the tale of Old McFrancisco had a Farm.

And now my three year old and I bring to you….the Twelve Veggies of Christmas.

Happy Holidays from FCC!

On the first day of Christmas, right from KYV,

A Wonderful Kohlrabi. 

The second day of Christmas, right from KYV,
Two Yum Yums and a Wonderful Kohlrabi.

The third day of Christmas, right from KYV,
Three Red Beets, Two Yum Yums and a Wonderful Kohlrabi.
On the fourth day of Christmas, right from KYV,
Four Collard Greens, Three Red Beets, Two Yum Yums and a Wonderful Kohlrabi.
On the fifth day of Christmas, right from KYV,
Five Broccoliiiiiii,
Four Collard Greens, Three Red Beets, Two Yum Yums and a Wonderful Kohlrabi. 

On the sixth day of Christmas, right from KYV,
Six Long Green Onions,
Five Broccoliiiiiii,
Four Collard Greens, Three Red Beets, Two Yum Yums and a Wonderful Kohlrabi.

On the seventh day of Christmas, right from KYV,
Seven Chinese Broccoli, Six Long Green Onions,
Five Broccoliiiiiii,
Four Collard Greens, Three Red Beets, Two Yum Yums and a Wonderful Kohlrabi. 

On the eighth day of Christmas, right from KYV,
Eight Kale-a-Cooking, Seven Chinese Broccoli, Six Long Green Onions,
Five Broccoliiiiiii,
Four Collard Greens, Three Red Beets, Two Yum Yums and a Wonderful Kohlrabi. 

On the ninth day of Christmas, right from KYV,
Nine (water)Melon Radish, Eight Kale-a-Cooking, Seven Chinese Broccoli, Six Long Green Onions,
Five Broccoliiiiiii,
Four Collard Greens, Three Red Beets, Two Yum Yums and a Wonderful Kohlrabi.

On the tenth day of Christmas, right from KYV,
Ten Beans-a-Pickling, Nine (water)Melon Radish, Eight Kale-a-Cooking, Seven Chinese Broccoli, Six Long Green Onions,
Five Broccoliiiiiii,
Four Collard Greens, Three Red Beets, Two Yum Yums and a Wonderful Kohlrabi.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, right from KYV,
Eleven Tender Lettuce, Ten Beans-a-Pickling, Nine (water)Melon Radish, Eight Kale-a-Cooking, Seven Chinese Broccoli, Six Long Green Onions,
Five Broccoliiiiiii,
Four Collard Greens, Three Red Beets, Two Yum Yums and a Wonderful Kohlrabi.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, right from KYV,
twelve Fresh Root Veggies, Eleven Tender Lettuce, Ten Beans-a-Pickling, Nine (water)Melon Radish, Eight Kale-a-Cooking, Seven Chinese Broccoli, Six Long Green Onions,
Five Broccoliiiiiii,
Four Collard Greens, Three Red Beets, Two Yum Yums
and a Wonderful Kohlrabiiiiiiii.
Sep 272011
Before I launch into my adventures in Wine Country…if you are here for the sushi click here.
I have returned from my 10th anniversary trip with the new knowledge that I am not, in fact, a city girl like I thought I was.  I’m much more of a relaxing and drinking wine all day and eating good food kind of girl.  We arrived in San Francisco last Saturday in the afternoon after a layover in Dallas where we began the celebration with Bloody Marys.

We pulled our bags off the baggage claim and dragged two bags, two sets of golf clubs and four carry-ons to the BART station where we proceeded to enter the world of public transportation.  When we arrived at our stop we then dragged all our bags to the hotels and got settled in.
The view from our hotel room at the Westin, Union Square.
Trolleys (Part of the Muni day-pass we bought.)
  Sunday we walked from Union Square to Chinatown.
We knew this place must be good.  There was a cat running through the restauraunt and a dead lobster floating in the tank.  But it was PACKED with locals.
We really got crazy and went with some kind of sesame ball.
From there we walked to the Ferry building and then headed to Fisherman’s Wharf.  On the way we got this view of Coit Tower.  We saw it from every angle that day.
 In the wharf area we hit a bar and proceeded to drink too much during the Jaguars game…
…THEN got bikes (this was a bad idea) because we were on our way to bike the Golden Gate…
…to Sausalito…
…we then took the ferry back and returned the bikes and started back to Union Square on foot, passing by Lombard…
…we made it back to the hotel to get ready for dinner…
…at Betelnut, a Pan Asian restaurant.
…where we had a noodle dish with sea bass that I added lots of hot chilies too and it needed cilantro. 
And then had a drink at the Clift hotel which was very cool but each drink was $15.  I had a blackberry margarita that I can say was almost worth it though; fresh berries and all. They have very cool paintings where the eyes move subtly so you aren’t sure if you actually saw the change or not.  I suggest going there even to see the “paintings”.  Wish I got a photo of those!
The next day we got up to walk Golden Gate Park… 
…walked to the Haight/Ashbury area where we did some shopping.  I got two super cute dresses, a belt and the flowy top I wore wine tasting for around $100…
Lunch back at the Ferry building at Delica…if you are there you MUST try this restaurant.  Japanese influence with California ingredients.
…Spicy Burdock Root Salad, Carrot Ginger Soup, Hijiki and Soybean salad.  I also tried the Wasabi Garlic Potato Salad and the Spinach and Sesame Salad at another time and had a lot of trouble deciding which was my favorite.
…after lunch we made our way back to take the trip to Alcatraz which was awesome.  You can take a audio self guided tour…
We walked back to the Ferry Building where I got dinner from the market there; that I proceeded to dump all over the street from the trolley we were riding.  No photo of my broken frosty wine bottle and salad splayed across the street.  After all the walking I was exhasuted; this was not my finest moment if you can imagine.
Tuesday day in San Fran the boys played golf and my friend Justine and I got a pedicure, ate at Delica again and then Chris and I had dinner at Perbacco.  I had a lovely lemon ricotta ravioli and Chris had sort of a short rib and egg noodle dish.  They were good but I would try elsewhere if I dined again in San Fran.
After dinner we hit the Starlight Room in the Drake for dancing.  It was SOO much fun.  Awesome music and a few of the city.  I would DEFINITELY go there again.
Wednesday the relaxing started when we got our very comfy minivan and drove over to visit the redwoods. Relishing in the fact that we could get in and out as we pleased without waiting and stopping at each block.  I have a renewed appreciation for what you city folk go through.  You expend so much energy getting around it’s a wonder anyone actually needs to work out.
As soon as I stepped out in Muir Woods I felt like I was at home (you know me, the camper that I am).
We walked through the woods, smelled the pine in the cool misty air and walked through the muffled quiet.  We headed back to the car after a short walk and took the winding (and tad bit foggy) ocean drive to wine country.
    The hotel there in Petaluma was much quieter, there was a lovely pool and we could park right out front and walk in. 
We found a fabulous little café called Luma that was so amazing we ate there two nights in a row. 
The first night I enjoyed a tomato ginger soup with the most wonderful texture; not too smooth, just perfectly rustic, and then a colorful Asian inspired salad that was topped with sesame seeds, a light sesame vinaigrette and blackened shrimp.  The result was shockingly perfect.  SO mad I didn’t get a photo.
 The next day we rented a driver to drive us around to the wineries outside Sonoma Valley.  We chose to go to all wineries with wines that we could not buy at home. 
We hit Ledson…
…Chateu St Jean, our favorite was Chateau St Jean where Bob, the sommelier, took us through the most informative wine tasting as well as gave me a priceless tip on taking daytime photos of sim ply forcing the flash.
And finally Deerfield.  Yes, only three, but it took us five hours and by the end it was probably good we didn’t hit two more because we started taking silly photos of ourselves stopping to smell the flowers.
Ok drunks…on to “the caves” at Deerfield.


Stick a fork in us.  We’re done.  Time for dinner!
We closed out the day back at Luma again with apps, pizzas and salad.
The next morning the boys played their second round of golf at Bodega Bay which was GORGEOUS.  Every hole was on the ocean.
  Justine and I wound our way through the hills close by.  We discovered Wild Flour Café with the MOST amazing scones we have ever experienced. 
Pumpkin, pecan, chocolate chip and an asiago, green onion, which we enjoyed in the actual wildflower garden complete with frolicking children. 
We made our way over to the town of Occidental where we found a small gift shop and coffee bar.  We both had a chai tea coconut latte and decided it was the best we ever had.  From there, at the suggestion of a long time yogi that was partaking in a most fabulous concoction called “Desire”, we went to my most favorite meal on the trip at….Lowell’s.  All organic, local, vegetarian. 
I got a macro bowl with brown rice, greens, roasted root vegetables, tempeh, lentils and a miso ginger sauce.  My body had been screaming for that exact sort of dish that I had so been missing since I left home. 
It doesn’t look that great here but in the dish’s defense we bought it in Occidental and didn’t eat it till we got to the beach on Bodega Bay to wait for the boys to finish up. 
Roasted root veggies, greens, tempeh, brown rice, lentils and a miso ginger sauce.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
Now for the “sushi”.
What did I do with all that delicious mango salad from my last long ago post?

I made another take on a Forks Over Knives recipe.  Simply cutting the stems off some gorgeous green collard leaves, blanching them in boiling water for about 30 seconds and then wrapping my delicious fillings.  Not only did the leaves hold up well for three days but they were almost easier than the standard wraps to use!

Alas, I can not provide nutrition information for this one as I did not measure the amounts I put in, however, it was so wonderful that I simply had to share.  I know there are those that need to follow exact recipes, however, I hope that this one allows you some freedom to experiment and at the same time, enough information to allow you to do so.
Collard Sushi with Hummus and Moroccan Mango Chickpea Salad
Vegan and Gluten Free
Inspired from Forks over Knives pp. 172
Collard Greens (1 leaf per serving)
Fillings such as:
Moroccan Mango Chickpea Salad, or any mango salsa would work as well
1. Prepare a large bowl filled with ice water.  Bring a large, straight sided skillet or Dutch Oven filled with water to boiling; remove stems from collards and blanch for 30 seconds.  
2. Cut the thick woody part of the stem out, spread the hummus, fill with toppings and top with sprouts, just under and around the main rib line.
3. Fold in the sides and roll from the bottom up until closed.  Cut into sections and enjoy!
Mar 092011
I have had a few requests on how I prep fresh CSA/farm share veggies so I’ll start with collard greens. You don’t necessarily have to rinse them as many times as I do but I can’t guarantee there won’t be a little sand left.  This is so worth the effort as you won’t get fresher or better tasting greens than from your CSA.

What you will need:

Lots of water
Big pot
Salad spinner (I got mine for under $10 at Wal-Mart)
Sharp knife

1. Wash the greens in a big pot of water and then pull them out by hand.
2. I set them to drain in the salad spinner basket  and dump out the water and rinse out the sand.
3. Next place them back in the cleaned pot and fill with water again.  Pinch the leaf together and pull off the stem.  Once that is done swish them around in the water and discard the stems.
4. Pull them out to drain in the spinner basket again.
5. Rinse one more time to ensure all the sand is gone.
6. Spin them in the salad spinner to dry, remove from spinner and, if needed, pat them dry a bit more with a clean kitchen towel.

7. Layer them up like this.

8. Roll them like a cigar.

8. Chop them into strips.
9. Chop a few times perpendicular to the cuts you just made.

10. There you go!  All clean and prepped.
Feb 202010

Butternut Squash, Collard and Quinoa Soup


1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 cups chopped baby carrots
2 yellow onion, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
6 cups vegetable stock or broth
2 bunches of collards, de-stemmed and chopped
1/3 cup quinoa
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp dried thyme


1. Sauté the onion until softened five to seven minutes and then lower the heat a bit and add the carrots and butternut squash and garlic.  Sauté about two more minutes and add the broth or stock and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. 

2. Add in the collard greens and fold in until they have wilted down a bit. 

3. Add the quinoa and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the quinoa is fully cooked. 

The Story
After reading a post from one of my favorite blogs called The Foy Update on Kitchen Sink Soup I told myself I was going to use the butternut squash, fresh collards and some quiona to make a soup. It came out so well I ate every drop and it made a LOT. I even ate it cold a few servings and the sweet butternut squash was so cool, creamy and refreshing.