Chocolate Beet Cake

When life gives you beets… turn them into chocolate cake. Specifically, a deeply flavored, mouth-wateringly chocolately cake with a delicious sweetness from sugary roasted beets. Not saying this cake is “healthy” – there is plenty of sugar, flour, sour cream, etc. in there, too. But, I am saying this is an excellent thing to do with a bunch of roasted beets, and it’s so, so good! Somehow, even though it doesn’t have the cream filling, this cake tastes just like Hostess HoHo’s to me. It puts me right back in the elementary school cafeteria, circa 1990, in the best way.

Chocolate beet cake on a cake stand with a slice cut out of it
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Roasted Veggie Bowl With Tahini Dressing

Let’s roast all the things! Let’s coat them all in a creamy tahini dressing! And add some pop and zip with a pomegranate walnut salsa! And, let’s prep it all in advance so this does-a-body-good roasted veggie bowl is ready when you are. Heads up: you will *always* be ready for this. The combo of flavors and textures is everything. Cauliflower, chickpeas, squash, onions, apples, maybe some diced chicken if you want? Yes! Plus a sweet and nutty dressing and a tart, crunchy topping. Ev-ery-thing 🙌

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Broccoli Stem Slaw

Broccoli stems: the bonus ingredient of broccoli! Completely usable and tasty- and versatile! We eat a lot of roasted broccoli in my house and I usually just slice up the stems for roasting, too. But, occasionally, I’ll save them and turn them into Broccoli Stem Slaw. Fun fact: I will eat coleslaw on literally anything. Sandwiches, burgers, tacos, roasted veggies (gettin’ weird), rice (weirder), or mixed into any available leftovers (cringe). Broccoli Stem Slaw is no exception. I just finished off a bowl of it with piri-piri meatballs on top and it was perfect 🤷‍♀️

Broccoli stem slaw in a glass bowl
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Hazelnut Root Vegetable Gratin

The other day, on a #stayinghome whim, I placed an order with Misfits Market – that newish online organic produce delivery service. The box we got was filled with a random selection, including carrots and rutabagas. I also had some potatoes I needed to use, a bunch of hazelnuts, and a craving for comfort food. Are you seeing where we’re headed here? Hazelnut Root Vegetable Gratin 🙌

Gratiiiiinnnnn!

Root vegetable gratins are full of silky layers of starchy veggies (any kind!), all surrounded by thick, aromatic cream (this one is heavily scented with lots of garlic, rosemary, and thyme) and finished off with a savory, crunchy topping (hazelnuts, breadcrumbs, and parmesan, ya’ll!)

Hazelnut Root Vegetable Gratin served on a plate with green beans on the side
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What to do with cauliflower stems and leaves!

We’re diving into the root-to-stem thing again today with cauliflower leaves and stems! This is a super simple and completely delicious way to use up those parts you might normally toss in the compost. Next time you chop up a head of cauliflower, save the leaves, the core, and the stem and chop it all into 1” pieces. Toss them in oil, salt, and pepper and pop them in the oven!

Chopped leaves and stems from one cauliflower spread out on a baking sheet
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Roasted Veggie Fried Rice with Sriracha Mayo

OK, if I had a million dollars today, I would bet it all that this recipe is going to blow you away with its simplicity and deliciousness. The leftover vegetables sitting in your fridge are just crying out for this pan of sizzly rice topped with a creamy spoonful of garlicky sriracha mayo. Maybe you’re not sitting on a container of leftover roasted vegetables, but it’s worth making some real quick to help this fried rice situation happen.

A plate of roasted veggie fried rice with a. Dollop of sriracha mayo on top, next to a skillet of roasted veggie fried rice
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Fried Sweet Potato Fries

Oh, man… sweet potato fries…. Taking one of nature’s most delicious creations, plunging it into hot oil, and coating it with a spicy, sugary blend of seasonings. What a privilege! It’s times like this that I’m really grateful for the ability to cook and eat and taste and enjoy food. I know – deep thoughts on deep fried sweet potatoes. I can’t help it. They bring out all the feelz in me.

Fried sweet potato fries on a black plate, sprinkled with cilantro and green onion.
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Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

Chowder day! I’m a big chowder fan, mostly because of the cream and… well, yeah – it’s the heavy cream. And the texture. Sometimes a thin, brothy soup is just not what I’m after – gimme thickness. Gimme richness. Gimme chowder! In case creaminess is somehow not enough of a selling point for you, let me also mention that in this Sweet Potato Corn Chowder recipe, I am sharing my Top 2 Tried and True Tricks for Making Soup Delicious. They are easy, workable for almost any soup recipe, and they deliver on flavor and texture every single time.

Two bowls of Sweet Potato Corn Chowder on a wooden table
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Swoodles and Zoodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Can we get a hybrid name for vegetable noodles? Just, an all-encompassing vegetable noodle term? This recipe title is too long, for goodness sake. You guys are familiar with these things though, right? Swoodles and zoodles are spiralized sweet potatoes and zucchini. In this recipe, they’re teaming up with some thinly sliced bell pepper, jalapeño, and onion, lightly sautéd until they’re tender but still have some bite. I like to retain a tiny bit of crunch in the veggies so they stand up well to the creamy sauce. Ooo- that Spicy Peanut Sauce; we’ll discuss that in a second. Look how stinkin’ pretty the spiralized veggies are:

Spiralized sweet potato and zucchini in a stainless steel bowl
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What to do with radishes and their greens

I don’t want to bury the lead here – this recipe for Roasted Radish Pesto Crostini is the best thing I’ve made all year. I wish we were further along in 2020 so that statement could have more impact but seriously – it’s so good. Two things that make me very happy about this recipe: 1. A humble, inexpensive ingredient being a total superstar. 2. No waste. After making this, I wanted to greet people by saying, “Hi, I’m Megan. I made a thing with radishes and didn’t have to throw the greens away.”

So, if you’ve found yourself stuck with a bunch of radishes and a mass of leafy green radish stems, like these, I can help you.

A bunch of radishes on a cutting board
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