This post is in response to so many of my Instagram followers asking for these recipes of food that I’ve recently prepared. Although I love to cook – I find it meditative and relaxing – and I love to feed my family, I really don’t like spending a lot of time on a complicated recipe. In addition, I often do not plan ahead; rather, I see something that looks good and want to make it that night ~ ergo, I often substitute various ingredients with what I have on hand. These three recipes are no exception: all are modifications of other recipes. What I particularly liked about these three (and full disclosure: I’ve been making some variation of this muffin recipe for 10 years now, alternating pumpkin with 2-3 ripe bananas) recipes is how fast I can throw them together – the magic happens as they cook themselves…and of course, the house smells wonderful! Enjoy and let me know how they turn out! RECIPE ONE: Golden Red Lentil with Basmati Rice – my modifications (I got the recipe from Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows, and she in turn modified it from a cookbook by Jennifer Houston and Ruth Tal of Toronto’s Fresh Restaurant) 2 TBS oil (I used olive oil) 1 medium organic onion, diced 3-4 organic garlic cloves, minced 2 TBS fresh ginger, grated (I used 1 TBS ground ginger) 3 organic carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into discs 2 tsp curry powder 1 tsp ground cumin ½ tsp ground turmeric 1½ cups dried red lentils 1 can organic coconut milk 2 cups organic low-sodium vegetable broth ½ tsp fine sea salt, to taste ground pepper, to taste ½ bag of organic greens (I used Supergreens from Trader Joe’s) Sauté onion and garlic and a pinch of salt in oil in a large pot (I used a Dutch oven) over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes. Stir in ginger and carrots. Sauté for a few more minutes. Add in curry, cumin and turmeric. Stir well; cook until fragrant (about a minute) Pick over and rinse lentils in a sieve, then add along with can of coconut milk and broth to the pot. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered but with lid ajar, for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. When all cooked, add the greens until wilted; taste and add salt & pepper as desired. Serve over basmati rice (which I made with vegetable broth as recommended in original recipe), with a lime wedge on top. RECIPE TWO: Kale-Cauliflower Soup – my modifications ½ bag of organic Lacinato kale, de-stemmed (Trader Joe’s is my go-to in a pinch) ½ bag of riced cauliflower (again, Trader Joe’s) 4 TBS olive oil, salt and pepper 2 leeks, washed and sliced, white and light green parts only 2 garlic cloves, minced 4 cups organic low-sodium vegetable broth Heat oven to 375°. Toss kale and cauliflower in 2 TBS olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a cookie sheet and roast for approximately 20 minutes. Meanwhile, slice leeks and then sauté with garlic over medium heat in a large pot (I used a Dutch oven) with approximately 2 TBS olive oil. Add the cauliflower and kale, along with the vegetable broth. Transfer to a blender and puree in batches. RECIPE THREE: Pumpkin-chocolate muffins – my modifications ½ cups oil (I used non-GMO canola) ½ cup organic cane sugar (I have used maple syrup or honey before as well) 2 organic pasture-raised eggs 1 can organic pumpkin 3 TBS organic milk (I often use almond milk or coconut milk) 2 cups organic flour (I often swap out 1 cup for 1 cup almond meal) 1 tsp baking soda ½ tsp salt ½ tsp baking powder 1 bar of fair-trade dark chocolate (I like Theo chocolate bars, especially the coconut chocolate and the orange chocolate) broken into little bits Preheat oven to 350° and grease a bread or muffin pan (I alternate between making loaves of this recipe and muffins, both regular size and mini-muffins). Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. I always add the chocolate last. Pour into desired baking pan and bake bread pan for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean; bake muffin pan(s) for approximately 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Depending on size of muffins, I usually make about 16 regular-sized muffins or about 30 mini-muffins.