yay for earth challenge III links + schedule

winter minestrone parsley pesto vegan

All the links for the Yay for Earth Challenge III in one place.


Link to the GROCERY LIST for this time around.

Links to the recipes, in the order they’re in (recipes serve approx 4):

MONDAY 1/14:  caesar salad with parm

TUESDAY 1/15:  walnut bolognese

WEDNESDAY 1/16:  quinoa, kale, roasted cauliflower bowl

THURSDAY 1/17:  winter minestrone with parsley pesto

FRIDAY 1/18:  roasted broccoli pasta with white beans and lemon

MUESLI anytime (optional)

VEGAN PARM recipe used for 3 of the dinners



roasted broccoli + parm pasta

pasta broccoli kale Chile

An easy, quick and comforting winter pasta with plenty of green to balance it out.  You can use any green or cauliflower or squash etc instead of the broccoli.  If you don’t want to use the oven, you can throw in the broccoli with the pasta during the last 3-5 minutes of cooking.  In the picture I used kale instead of broccoli- but you get the point, you can really adapt it to any veggie.  Just don’t leave out the parm.

2 large heads broccoli/2 bunches broccoli rabe or broccolini
dried pasta, I used 12 ounces for 4 servings
olive oil- enough to coat the broccoli + 4 tablespoons extra virgin for the rest
4+ cloves garlic
1.5 cups/1 can cannellini or great northern beans
1 lemon, skin zested finely + set aside, lemon cut into quarters
crumbly parm (or 1/2 cup well-toasted walnuts, chopped)
red chili flakes

Preheat oven to 425F.  Meanwhile, start a pot of generously salted water boiling for the pasta, and cut up the broccoli (peel the stem if tough, but use the stem + florets) into bite size pieces (if using broccolini or broccoli rabe, use it whole, trimming any tough ends).  Toss with oil and generous sprinkling of salt and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet, roasting until tender and crispy at the edges, from 15-25 minutes depending on how large the pieces are.  Keep an eye on the to prevent burning- turn pieces over if needed.

When the water boils, add the pasta and set a timer for the corresponding cooking time.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, add the garlic with 3 tablespoons olive oil and set over a medium heat, watching closely as the garlic starts to cook and removing immediately with tongs or a fork when it turns a pale gold (careful not to go over or it will taste bitter/acrid).  Set garlic chips aside on a small plate and in the same pan with residual oil, add the beans and a pinch of salt and stir to heat through.  Your pasta should be done by now- if not, just set the beans aside off-heat until the pasta is ready.  Scoop a bit of the starchy pasta cooking water out of the pot and then drain the pasta.

Into the pan with the beans, add the drained pasta and 1 tbsp more olive oil, toss well to combine, adding a splash or two cooking water if needed to moisten.  Remove from heat and add the lemon zest and a big pinch of salt.  Divide between bowls, adding the garlic chips on top and liberally sprinkling over the vegan parm or walnuts and serving each bowl with a wedge of lemon and plenty of chili flakes.



quinoa, kale + roasted cauliflower salad

This is a delicious and pretty easy dinner bowl that comes together relatively quickly and has lots of textures and greens.  Feel free to use a large crushed garlic clove instead of the shallot for the dressing, and any other toasted nut/seed instead of the almonds.

1 head cauliflower
1 cup quinoa
1.5 cups water
1 large bunch tuscan kale, sliced thinly into strips
1 large lemon, finely zested, then juiced- if yours is small or not juicy you may need to add some vinegar to the dressing to make up for that
3 tbsp olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
2 tsp maple syrup or honey
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped

Preheat oven to 425F.  Cut up the cauliflower- I like to break into florets and then just cut in half, the flat sides make for better caramelization I find.  Toss with oil to coat and a generous sprinkle of salt, then transfer to a baking sheet and arrange in an even layer, any flat cut sides face down against the pan.  Roast for 15-25 minutes (will depend on how small/large you cut them and how tightly packed your cauliflower was- just keep an eye on it) until tender and browned.

While cauliflower is cooking, start the quinoa- in a pan with a lid, combine rinsed quinoa
+ water and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce to low and let cook for 10-15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender.  Once it is done, add the kale on top and replace the lid another 1-2 minutes off heat to let the kale wilt.  Remove lid, stir through gently, and set aside.

Whisk together the lemon juice/zest, olive oil, shallot, maple/honey, and parsley in a large bowl.  Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.  When the cauliflower is finished, toss everything together in the bowl with the dressing and then scatter the toasted almonds on top and serve.

winter minestrone

winter minestrone parsley pesto vegan

This recipe is part of the third iteration of the Yay for Earth challenge, 5 days of plant based, gluten free meals, and is in collaboration with Stevie of @stevieyaaaay.  Find her blog HERE.  Find the first challenge HERE and the second challenge HERE.

I find there’s nothing better than a big, cozy, warming pot of soup bubbling away on the stove- especially in winter.  I make endless variations of this soup depending on what’s in season, and what’s in my fridge that needs to be used.  Feel free to adapt as you wish- squash works great instead of the potatoes, or a small pasta (cook separately).  The pesto is optional, but honestly it is so worth it.  You can chop it all finely with a knife and mix by hand if you don’t have a food processor.

for the soup:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 small leek, sliced into half moons (white + light green only)
2 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
1 can of tomatoes
4 cups broth
1 can/1.5 cups cannellini beans
1 bunch greens, washed and chopped

for the pesto:

1 bunch parsley
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
2 cloves garlic
olive oil
small lemon, zested + juiced

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot.  Add the onion and sauté 5-7 minutes, or until onion is softened and starting to brown.  Add the celery, carrot, and leek and a big pinch kosher salt and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the potatoes, tomatoes and broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the pesto.  In a food processor, place all ingredients + a big pinch kosher salt and pulse until a paste forms.  Taste and add more lemon, salt, or olive oil as needed.  Set aside.

Add the beans and greens and cook until greens are softened and beans are heated through, 5 minutes or less.

To serve, ladle into bowls and pass pesto alongside for everyone to dollop and swirl through their bowls.


yay for earth challenge III grocery list

Hello friends!  Stevie and I are putting on the third Yay For Earth challenge, which is a 5 day, plant based/gluten free dinner plan that is a relaxed and fun way to all eat nutrient dense, home cooked foods together.  Our goal is to just get you excited about incorporating more plants into your diet, eating healthier and cooking more.  And to share how delicious this way of eating can be!  We sincerely hope you enjoy it and feel a sense of community cooking with us and the other participants.  Recipes enjoyed will be: Caesar salad, walnut bolognese, winter minestrone with parsley pesto, roasted cauliflower + quinoa salad with kale, and roasted broccoli pasta.  Links to recipes can be found in THIS post.


crimini mushrooms x 8-10
onions x 2 yellow
leek x 1 small
zucchini x 1
carrot x 2 large
celery x 1 bunch
red bell pepper x 1
garlic x 1 head
shallot x 1 small
lacinato/tuscan kale x 2 bunches
greens of choice for soup (chard, kale, spinach, etc) x 1 bunch
romaine lettuce x 1 head
broccoli x 2 heads OR 2 bunches broccolini
cauliflower x 1 head
parsley x 2 bunches
lemons x 4
yukon gold or red potatoes x 2 medium


1 jar of Raos marinara ( or any type of your fav marinara)
canned tomatoes x 1
1 box of spaghetti pasta ( I used Jovial Gf pasta)
1 box shaped pasta (fusilli, farfalle, conchiglie, whatever shape you like)
quinoa, any type, x 1 cup (can sub another grain if you prefer)
4 TBSP gluten free flour (any type of flour is okay)
spices : salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chile flakes
olive oil /  coconut oil
almonds x 1 cup
walnuts x 2 cups
cashews x 1/2 cups
hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, OR pine nuts x 1/4 cup
vegan mayo (I have Sir Kensington) x 1 jar
capers x 1 jar
chickpeas x 1 can
cannellini/white beans x 2 cans (or about 1.5 cups dried beans if cooking your own)
dijon mustard
nutritional yeast
vegetable broth x 4 cups/1 liter
v/gf Worcestershire sauce

Overnight Muesli ingredients: 

2 cup gluten free oats (or regular if you want!)
pumpkin seeds
slivered almonds
dried fruit (blueberries, mango, etc…)
vanilla extract
nut milk
maple syrup or honey

Toppings and mix in ideas for muesli (all optional):

peanut butter
fresh fruit (banana, apple, pear etc…)
pumpkin puree or apple butter