New to You? Plant-Based Proteins

Have you stopped by the Co-op this month? Thanks to our expansion progress, we were able to bring in lots of new products. We’ve added a refrigerated section dedicated to meat and cheese alternatives, full of familiar products and new additions for you to try.

With so many new things, figuring out which products will work for you can seem tough. We’re here to offer you a quick guide to plant-based proteins that will help you determine your best options, and the tastiest.



The building blocks of plant-based proteins sources are beans, nuts, and seeds. Some of the most popular vegan and vegetarian proteins are tofu and tempeh, which are made from soybeans. Tofu is made from soy milk curds, which are pressed into blocks of different firmness. Its flavor is very mild, which means it can absorb any spices and flavorings you’d like to use in a dish. You can even use silken and soft tofu in desserts or smoothies to add a creamy texture. Tempeh is made by pressing soybeans into a cake and fermenting them, which binds them together and gives them a firm texture. It has a nutty flavor and has lots of fiber and vitamins because it’s made using whole soybeans and is a fermented food. Another staple plant protein, seitan, is different from soy-based foods. Seitan is made from vital wheat gluten, a flour high in protein. Water is added to the flour, after which it is kneaded like bread dough and cooked, usually with spices and flavorings. Seitan can be chewy or firm in texture depending on how it’s prepared and it serves as a great meat substitute in all kinds of recipes. We offer tofu, tempeh, and seitan in our new plant-based refrigerator case. These products are minimally processed, are great sources of protein, and serve as a blank canvas for all kinds of flavors you’d like to create. You’ll find several products that have spices and seasonings to save you time when making your meals.



Many people are aiming to scale down their meat consumption or follow a plant-based diet, but don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. Meat alternatives are a great way to achieve the flavor and texture you crave without consuming animal products. Plant-based sausages, deli meat slices are just some of the products we offer alongside alternatives to bacon, chicken, and ground beef. These products all use tofu, seitan, or tempeh to form the base of their products. While these products have more ingredients, this is because they’re flavored using different spices, sauces, or seasonings to imitate the flavor of specific meats. Meat alternatives may also undergo more processing than plain tofu, tempeh, or seitan to create the right texture and imitate a specific meat. Some meat alternatives add other whole-food ingredients in addition to spices to add flavor and texture using onions, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms and even apples.

Almost every food, no matter how unprocessed or processed, will contain ingredients that make sure it’s fresh and safe for you to eat. In the early days of meat alternatives many products were made using soy protein isolate, a plant protein that is more highly processed, in addition to more stabilizers for texture or flavor. This caused concern among those who preferred their foods unprocessed and with fewer ingredients. Thanks to years of research and development in the meat alternative industry and consumer demand for products that are more minimally processed, today’s products use more whole ingredients and less processing.



For those looking to directly replace the flavor or texture of meat in their favorite dish, meat alternatives may be exactly what you’re looking for. They’re also a great way to add a vegan or vegetarian version of an ingredient that may be difficult or time consuming to make on your own. For those looking to start a more plant-based diet, these products can serve as a bridge to start you off. If you prefer to control the flavors and seasonings of your proteins, you may want to stick to products like plain tofu, tempeh, or seitan. Those who dislike the texture of meat may also enjoy these products more than meat alternatives. If you’re concerned about the level of processing in your food, we also offer different types of protein-rich plant foods outside of our refrigerated case. You can make your own seitan using vital wheat gluten, snack on nuts and seeds or use beans and lentils in your favorite dishes.

Any food can fit into a balanced diet. Just like other foods, picking the right plant-based protein for you depends on your dietary needs and what you want from your product. The Co-op carries a variety of plant-based foods and meat alternatives in the new refrigerated section and the freezer section – they are also available for curbside pickup using Co-Go. Your newest favorite find could be right around the corner!


Vegetarian Tofu Tikka Masala

This saucy dish is inspired by the Indian dish, chicken tikka masala. It’s great as a hearty dinner any day of the week and works perfectly as leftovers for lunch! This tikka masala only has a hint of warm heat, making it enjoyable for everyone, as it isn’t very spicy. The tofu in this dish incorporates into the sauce very well and the texture reminds me of paneer, another ingredient common in Indian cuisine. You can serve this tofu tikka masala over a bed of rice or with naan bread for dipping to make a tasty and filling meal.

This dish is vegetarian, but you can easily make it suitable for vegans or those who are dairy-free. Substituting with vegan butter, coconut or soy yogurt, and full-fat coconut milk in place of heavy cream will make the dish taste just as delicious as the original recipe.


Ingredients for the marinade:

14 oz block of firm or extra-firm tofu
½ cup greek yogurt
1 T minced garlic
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala


Ingredients for the sauce:

1 T oil
1 T butter
1 small onion
1 T minced garlic
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
8 oz canned tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
½ cup heavy cream
½ tsp brown sugar



Cut your tofu into 1 inch cubes and set it aside.

In a large bowl, create the marinade by adding your spices, greek yogurt and salt. Stir until combined.

Add your tofu to the large bowl and stir it until it is fully covered in the marinade. Set it aside and allow it to marinade for 10 minutes.

To begin making the sauce, finely dice your onion.

In a large pan on medium heat, add your onion and butter, cooking until the onion has softened and become clear.

Add your spices and stir them to incorporate them, allowing them to toast for 1 minute.

Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and stir, allowing the spices to incorporate.

Slowly pour your heavy cream and stir, creating the sauce as you mix the ingredients in the pan.

Add your marinated tofu, along with the marinade into the pan. Stir to incorporate the marinade and the sauce.

Cover the tofu tikka masala with a lid and allow it to simmer on medium to low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool before serving. Serve over rice or with naan bread and enjoy!


Sharon’s Apple Pie 

There’s something nostalgic and heartwarming about an apple pie. To commemorate Black History Month this February, we’d like to share this recipe, sent to us by Sharon Barber and Robin Lyttle from the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project. You can learn more about the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project by visiting their website.

Sharon Barber is a founding member of the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project and has been their Secretary since 2016. She was born in Rockingham County and graduated from Lucy F. Simms School in Harrisonburg, before it became the Simms Center. Sharon’s family has been living in the Shenandoah Valley for generations. Her grandmother, Clara Wallace, was born in Mt. Solon in 1890 and lived in Harrisonburg. Her home was located across from the Friendly City Food Co-op, where the 7-Eleven stands now. Sharon’s mother, St. Clair Roxetta Tams, was born in Harrisonburg and lived here until her passing in 1987. Her family can trace their lineage back to a man named Benjamin Curtis, born in 1756, in addition to the Curtis and Wallace families. These families were born free and worked as blacksmiths, farmers and peddlers in the area. In the 1860’s, several members of these families migrated to Ohio, but many families remained in the Shenandoah Valley and have descendants in the area to this day. In the 1900’s, there were many members of these families cooking professionally in and around Harrisonburg.

This recipe for apple pie was passed down in Sharon’s family from her grandmother, Clara Wallace Tams. Her mother wrote it down for her after many years of enjoying it with her family. Sharon warmly remembers her mother’s and grandmother’s cooking. After speaking with her friend and President of the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project, Robin Lyttle, Sharon recalled their baking fondly.

“We loved everything our mother cooked. She made pies, cakes, rolls, eclairs. We loved it all. I know my mother learned from her mother. When I got married, my mother wrote down the recipes for me and I learned from following her recipes. My grandmother lived where the 7-Eleven is now (across from the Friendly City Food Co-op). I remember going there and watching her cook on her stove that was a coal cook stove. They would get the coal and that is what they used. My family didn’t go to the store much. My father hunted and fished, and they would go to the gardens in the neighborhood. My mother canned everything; peaches, pickles, apples. Grandma taught my mom and they would work for days, canning. We just loved it all. I miss those days.”

We’d like to thank Sharon for sharing this recipe with us and honor the memory of her mother and grandmother. Recipes passed down through a family are very special and Sharon’s recipe makes a simply wonderful pie that everyone will love. It has all the warm spice and sweetness you could desire in an apple pie, thinly sliced apples for the perfect apple filling and an incredibly tasty golden crust. We hope you’ll enjoy Sharon’s pie as much as we did and will want to thank her, too!

For this pie recipe, it’s recommended that you use Stayman apples or Winesap apples. The Co-op regularly carries Stayman apples on the 99 cent table outside, and they are delicious in this pie. If these varieties are unavailable or out of season, any sweet and red apple with a softer texture will work wonderfully in this pie. The pie’s crust calls for Crisco®. Any vegetable shortening you have on hand should work in this recipe, including the Spectrum™ vegetable shortening you can find at the Co-op.



For the Crust:

2 ⅔ cup sifted all-purpose flour

½ cup Crisco® or vegetable shortening

½ tsp salt

⅛ tsp baking powder

8 – 10 T whole milk


For the Filling:

5-6 apples (Stayman apples work the best)

1 ½ cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp nutmeg

½ cup water

1 T white vinegar

1 T butter



Preheat your oven to 350°.

Prepare two large sheets of wax paper and set aside.

For your pie crust, add your vegetable shortening, four, salt and baking powder to a large bowl. Mix the ingredients together by hand or with a fork. The mixture will feel similar to corn meal and slightly stick to itself when it is ready. This may take 5 to 10 minutes.

Add 8 tablespoons of whole milk and mix the dough together with a fork. The dough is ready when it is crumbling but is sticking to itself. If your dough has not come together at all after adding the milk, add another 1 to 2 tablespoons until it comes together.

When your dough is ready, cut it in half. Set one half aside.

Transfer one half of your pie dough to your prepared sheet of wax paper. Place the second sheet on top.

With a rolling pin, roll your pie crust out to about 1/8th of an inch thick. This is about the height of 2 quarters stacked on top of each other.

Lay your pie crust into your pie pan and lightly press it into the pan to shape it. Trim any excess crust around the sides and set them aside.

Roll out your second pie crust using the same method as the first crust. Once it is rolled out, leave the crust between the sheets of wax paper to prevent sticking. Set both crusts in the refrigerator, placing the second crust on top of the pie pan.

In a large bowl, add your sugar and spices. Mix them together until combined. Set aside.

Wash and dry your apples. Do not peel them. Cut the apples in half and remove the core and seeds carefully.

Place the apples face-down on a cutting board and slice them thinly, between 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch thick. Place your chopped apples in your large bowl as you slice them.

When you have sliced all your apples, pour your water and vinegar overtop of them. Stir the mixture until combined. There will be liquid left at the bottom of your large bowl due to the water. This is a reminder to discard this liquid and not to pour it into your pie.

Remove your pie crusts from the freezer. Add your apple filling to the pie crust in your pie pan. Do not add the liquid at the bottom of the bowl to your pie. Spread the apple filling evenly across the pie.

Chop up your tablespoon of butter and place it across your apple filling, spreading it evenly.

Remove your second pie crust from the wax paper and drape it on top of the pie. Crimp the edges with a fork or with your fingers to seal the pie. Trim off any extra dough on the sides of the pie.

Cut several thin vents around the pie’s surface, about 6 to 8 vents. This is where you can get creative with the design of your pie. You may also use the trimmings from your earlier pie crusts to create designs or cut out shape to put on top of your pie crust.

When your pie is sealed, vented and decorated, place it in the oven. Bake it for 1 hour and 15 minutes. It should be golden brown on top and around the edges.

Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool, about 2 hours. If you enjoy your pie warm, cool for about 1 hour before serving. Serve by itself or with a side of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!


Angel Food Cake

This fluffy and delightfully sweet cake is a classic favorite. Angel food cake is wonderful all on its own or served with fruit and whipped cream, and this recipe makes plenty to go around for everyone. This cake has a reputation of being an intimidating bake, but we’ve made it easy to whip up at home with some tips and tricks. I hope you enjoy this scrumptious cake!

Make sure your egg whites are room temperature to get the best rise in your cake. Room temperature egg whites will whip up better than cold ones, which is important. There are no other leaveners, or ingredients to make this cake rise, besides the egg whites.

It is very important not to grease the pan you’re using for this cake. The batter must stick to the walls of the pan to help it rise and keep it from falling out of the pan in it’s cooling phase. You are also asked to turn the cake upside down while cooling. This will keep the cake from collapsing on itself and help it keep it’s rise while cooling.

This recipe will fill a tube pan, which is traditional for making angel food cake. It will also fill 2 loaf pans. Any pan you use must have tall walls to ensure that the cake can cool upside down. You can halve this recipe to fill one 1 loaf pan.


1 Cup cake flour (see instructions below if you do not have cake flour)
1 ¼ Cup of sugar
¼ tsp salt
12 large egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cream of tarter


Preheat your oven to 350°

Separate your egg yolks from your egg whites, placing the egg whites and a large bowl. Set the egg whites aside to reach room temperature.

If you do not have cake flour, read these instructions to make your own. Take 1 Cup of all purpose flour and remove 2 T from the flour. Add 2 T cornstarch. Sift the flour and cornstarch together three times. This will serve as your cake flour for this recipe.

Sift your cake flour together with your sugar and salt into a medium sized bowl. Sift the dry mixture one more time to ensure it is fluffy and fine.

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat your egg whites until they are foamy, about 1 minute.

Add your cream of tarter and beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. If your egg whites are not forming soft peaks after 2 minutes, add another 1/8 tsp cream of tarter to help the peaks form.

Add your vanilla extract and beat until combined.

In 3 separate batches, slowly sift in your dry ingredients. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites carefully to avoid losing volume. Fold the mixture until you no longer see large streaks or patches of the dry ingredients in the egg whites.

Pour your batter into an ungreased pan and immediately place it in the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Flip your cake upside down on a cooling rack and allow it to cool at room temperature for 1 hour.

To remove your cake from it’s pan, run along the sides of the pan with a butterknife. For pans without a removable bottom, lay the pan on its side and insert the butterknife into the side of the pan. Gently pull it towards you using the cake on the bottom of the pan with the knife. Alternate sides until the cake pulls away from the bottom and out of the pan.
Serve plain or with a side of fruit and whipped cream. Enjoy!

Easy Miso Soup (Vegan)

This soup is a takeout staple for anyone who loves Japanese cuisine. This simple version of miso soup uses just a few ingredients, comes together in a flash, and is customizable to your favorite flavors. It’s perfect for a chilly night and can be served on it’s own, or as a side to a nutritious dinner.

This recipe is a simplified version of miso soup, meaning it’s easier to make at home and requires fewer ingredients. This recipe is vegan if it’s made with vegan miso and tofu. However, you can add whatever you’d like to this soup to make your own. I recommend adding some shrimp if you enjoy seafood, edamame, or even slices of ham served on top. I hope you enjoy this warm and cozy miso soup!



2 T white miso paste

¼ cup kombu or wakame seaweed

8 ounces soft tofu (about one package)

2 tsp chopped spring onion (or to taste)



Prepare your kombu or wakame according to the instructions on the package.

Drain your tofu and chop it into medium cubes.

Finely chop your spring onion.

If you would like your soup to have a stronger flavor, you can reserve the cooking liquid used to prepare your kombu or wakame and use it in place of boiling water in the next step.

In your pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.

When the water has begun boiling, add your miso and tofu. Allow it to simmer on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

To serve, pour the soup into bowls and garnish with green onion.


Connecting with Holiday Traditions in 2020


There has been nothing normal about this year, and the holidays are no exception. We all find ourselves missing gatherings with extended family and friends and are trying to fill the void. Remembering holiday traditions is a great way to celebrate the season, and remind ourselves of what the holidays mean to us.

We all have memories from holidays gone by, and many of us have continued these meaningful family traditions as we’ve grown. This year, we decided to ask our team what kind of memories and traditions they hold dear, love to remember, or just bring a smile to their face during the holidays. We hope you enjoy them, and we hope you enjoy celebrating or creating some memories of your own – it is still possible – even in a year as strange as this one!


Steve Cooke – General Manager
When I was little, we would go to my Great Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Paul’s home for New Year’s Day, and they lived in southern Delaware. There I was introduced to the southern New Year’s tradition of eating Black-eyed peas, collard greens and rice for good luck and fortune in the coming year. The rice and peas signify coins, and the collard greens represent dollar bills. When I moved to Atlanta, GA, it was much more common of a tradition than here in the Mid-Atlantic, and over the 18 years that I lived there, it became a ritual every year. We’re actually growing our own collard greens and black-eyed peas, so we’re sure to have them at the end of each year, but it’s harder to find a local source for rice.

Rachel Spitler – Wellness Team Member
My tradition was playing holiday pranks on my Mom, with my little sister . My favorite memory is when we found some sparkly yarn in my Mom’s craft box and used it to tie a small pickle to the ceiling of her bedroom. My Mom didn’t notice it for more than a month.  When she finally found it, she said “I wondered why my room smelled like a pickle!”.

Denise Allen – Grocery Team Leader
I think most people traditionally pull out their Christmas decorations the weekend of Thanksgiving. I’m not sure if that was always the case for us, but I loved when mom would take out the ornaments and tell me about each one; ‘Aunt Lyn sewed these, Grandma Barbara gave me this one, you made this when you were 4, and so forth. I will always enjoy hearing the story behind each one and I hope I can remember them all when it comes time for me to tell my daughter!

Lindsay Denny – Marketing Brand Manager
We always have Monkey Brains for Christmas morning breakfast. Monkey Bread (as it is otherwise known) is cut-up biscuit dough, rolled in cinnamon and sugar, drizzled with caramel sauce and baked in a bundt pan. When my nephew was young, he had some at our house and loved it. He asked for some more of those Monkey “Brains”, and the name stuck. Even though he’s now grown with four kids of his own, we think of him every Christmas morning!

Sean Corbell – Produce Team Member
My mom always decorated, put on music, wrapped presents, and generally made Christmas special for my childhood.  As an adult, I learned how much work that is, and now our holiday tradition is to try and give her a worry-free Christmas by doing as much of that work for her as possible.  Then we get to enjoy it all together, without taking advantage of her!  This usually involves a lot of wine as well.

Kari Souder – Marketing Education / Owner Services
We have sausage gravy and waffles for breakfast on Christmas morning. Every year, for over 40 years, the waffles have been made in the same waffle iron. It originally belonged to my Dad’s grandmother.

Ian Suter – Grocery Team Member
A Christmas tradition my family has is hiding a pickle in the Christmas tree. Whoever finds the pickle gets a prize.

Mackenzie Jenkins – Produce Assistant Team Leader
Every year my Dad writes christmas cards to all our friends and family who live in the area near their house. On the envelope of each card he draws intricate christmas and holiday pictures and colors them in with colored pencils. When I was young, I would always help him color his drawings and then we would go together to drop them off in everyone’s mailboxes. This year I wrote my own Christmas cards and on some of the envelopes I drew little christmas drawings just like my dad does!

A.J. Litwin – Wine and Beer Team Member
My family holiday tradition is watching the 1982 animated film The Snowman, an adaptation of the eponymous picture book by Raymond Briggs. When I was a small child, I found a stuffed animal of the Snowman in a toy store & begged my mom to buy it for me. She hesitantly agreed (I had plenty of toys as it was) & it became my favorite stuffed animal I ever owned. I brought it everywhere with me- like Linus & his security blanket from Peanuts. I still have the stuffed animal; now threadbare, its beaded eyes chipped away & the emerald green dye of its hat & scarf well faded. Watching the short film always reminds me of the magic of the holiday season & makes me thankful to spend meaningful time with family.

Stephen Miller – Grocery Team Member
My folks would mix oats and glitter and tell me it was special food for Santa’s reindeer. On Christmas Eve, we would throw this mixture onto the roof to give Rudolph and company a little snack!

Ty Greenough – Grocery Team Member
My family bakes a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas and sings “Happy Birthday”!!

Eggnog Pancakes

This eggnog pancake recipe dresses up a well-loved dish for the holiday season. The spices and sweetness from the eggnog infuse the pancakes and make them absolutely delicious and wonderfully fluffy. Serve them at breakfast or even as a festive breakfast-for-dinner along with your favorite breakfast sides. Top them with your favorite pancake dressings like maple syrup and honey or enjoy them plain. These pancakes are sure to please and I hope you enjoy!

For this recipe, we used local dairy eggnog. If you’d like to make these pancakes dairy free, you can use whatever eggnog you prefer for an exact substitute. If you’re vegan, you can substitute the eggs in this recipe with your favorite egg replacement. 



1 Cup all purpose flour
2 Tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp salt
1 Cup eggnog
2 T water
1 Egg
¼ Tsp vanilla extract



In a large mixing bowl, add your flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix to combine.

Add your eggnog, water, egg, and vanilla extract to the bowl and mix to combine. Be careful not to over mix, but make sure that few lumps are visible in the batter. 

If the batter is still very thick and not pourable, add another tablespoon of water.

In a large pan on medium heat, pour the batter to make your pancakes. You can make them whatever size you would like. We recommend using about ¼ cup for each pancake to make about 8 servings of 4×4 inch pancakes. 

Wait until air bubbles have formed at the top of each pancake and the edges appear set before flipping for the first time. Cook the pancakes to your desired crispiness on each side. Repeat until no batter is left.

Serve with your favorite toppings such as honey, maple syrup, butter and whipped cream or alongside your favorite breakfast sides. Enjoy!


Honey Caramel Pie

Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without a delicious pie for dessert. This honey caramel pie is rich, a little gooey, and perfect for sweet tooths and caramel lovers alike. Using only honey as the base of this pie’s caramel filling creates a delicate depth of flavor that differs from sugar-based caramels. A perfect dessert for fall, this pie is sure to be a hit!

This caramel recipe cannot be made truly vegan without removing the honey, which is what gives it its unique flavor. To make the pie dairy free, you can substitute with full-fat coconut cream and vegan butter.

This recipe also requires you to heat the honey to a certain temperature range. If you do not have a thermometer, you can use the ice bath method to check the temperature. In a small cup, add lots of ice and a small amount of water. When you think your caramel is starting to reach the right temperature, drip a small amount of it into the ice bath. Remove it from the bath and run it through your fingers to see if it has hardened. If it forms a firm ball when dry, it is ready to be taken off the heat. Watching the caramel’s color is also important if you’re using this method. As it reaches the correct temperature, it will become darker and golden in color, thickening slightly. As the honey boils, it will naturally foam, so don’t be alarmed. Happy caramel making, I hope you enjoy this wonderful pie!



For the crust:
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
6 T unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup honey


For the Caramel:
¾ cup heavy cream
1 cup honey
2 T unsalted butter, room temperature



Grease a 9.5-inch pie pan and set it aside.

Smash your graham crackers into fine crumbs.

Melt your butter in a medium bowl.

Add graham cracker crumbs and honey to the melted butter. Stir until combined.

Transfer into the pie pan. Smash the graham cracker crumbs into the sides of the pan and base to create a crust.

Allow the crust to set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In a medium sized pot, add your honey and heavy cream.
Turn your burner on to medium-high heat and stir occasionally. The honey will foam as it boils, this is normal.
Heat the honey until it has reached 250℉

When the honey has reached temperature, it will turn a deeper golden color and become thicker to stir. Do not allow it to become too dark, otherwise it will become too hard to eat once it’s set.

After the honey reaches 250℉, remove it from heat and immediately stir in the butter. Stir until combined.

Pour the caramel into the piecrust and top it with flaky salt if desired.

Allow the caramel to cool and set at room temperature for 1-2 hours. When it has cooled and set, cover it to preserve freshness until serving. Enjoy!


Fall Quinoa Salad

This warm quinoa salad is perfect for fall. Roasted butternut squash gives this dish a great texture and flavor, along with savory spices and cinnamon. It’s great as a side for dinner, or as a cozy vegan dinner when served by itself.

This recipe calls for cinnamon, which may seem odd for a savory dish. It lends the quinoa mixture a subtle warm spice that pairs wonderfully with the butternut squash. You may omit the cinnamon if you’re skeptical, but it makes this dish really shine!


1 butternut squash
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups spinach
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon
2 T oil
2 Tsp cumin
2 Tsp paprika
2 Tsp salt (or to taste)
1 Tsp cinnamon (optional)

Preheat your oven to 425 and prepare a baking sheet line with parchment paper.

Mince your garlic cloves and set them aside.

Peel and cut your butternut squash into cubes. Toss them in your oil and place them onto the lined baking sheet, leaving some space between each piece. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and add your minced garlic to the baking sheet with the butternut squash. Roast the squash and garlic for 10 more minutes.

While your squash is roasting, bring 2 cups of water to boil in a medium sized pot. Add your quinoa and simmer it on medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the water is completely absorbed. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat when done.

Chop your spinach into medium-sized pieces and add them to a small saucepan to wilt the spinach, about 2 to 3 minutes.

When your butternut squash has finished roasting, add the butternut squash and spinach to the pot with the quinoa. Stir to combine.

Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the pot. Add your spices, salt and garlic to the pot. Stir the quinoa salad to combine all the ingredients. Enjoy!

Lentil Bolognese

This lentil bolognese is perfect for pasta night. With just a can of tomatoes and a few pantry staples, this protein-packed meal comes together in just 30 minutes. This dish plays on the classic flavors of your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce, with added protein and texture from hearty lentils. It pairs perfectly with your favorite pasta, or over a bed of rice. Try it topped with cheese, like mozzarella or parmesan.

This recipe makes about three servings. If you’re cooking for a large group or would like to make more to have leftovers, this recipe is incredibly easy to double using an extra can of tomatoes or a 28 ounce can. This recipe keeps well in your refrigerator for about a week and freezes well.



14 oz can tomatoes (diced or crushed)
1 cup lentils
½  white onion
2 garlic cloves
1 T oregano (dried or fresh)
½ T basil (dried or fresh)
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt (or to taste)



Add 3 cups of water to a medium-sized pot and bring it to a rolling boil. Add your lentils and reduce to medium heat.

Set a timer for 15 minutes to allow your lentils to cook. When they are fully cooked and tender, drain them and set them aside.

While your lentils are cooking, dice your onions and garlic.

In a medium-sized saucepan, add your olive oil, diced onions and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until they are fully tender and fragrant, stirring occasionally.

Add your tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and black pepper to the saucepan. Stir to incorporate the ingredients. Allow the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

Add your cooked lentils to the saucepan, stirring to incorporate.

Remove from heat, allowing the bolognese to cool for 1-2 minutes before serving.

Serve the bolognese over your pasta of choice, or over rice. Enjoy!