Quick Roasted Pepper Pasta Sauce

This dinner came together with minimal effort and minimal time.

Mini bell peppers were left from the student snack (go figure, Kindergarteners don’t devour sweet peppers) so I took the remainder home and promptly forgot about them.

Fortunately, they mostly kept their freshness, and I decided to turn them into a pasta sauce.

I roasted as many as were still good, probably about 3 cups before roasting, at 400F until soft and browned; perhaps 45 minutes.

Then I whirred them in a chopper until creamy. Next, I added some nut milk, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast, salt, and onion powder until the consistency seemed good and the flavor had some depth to it.

Then I cooked the pasta, drained it, and while it was still warm, added the sauce and mixed it all in.

See? Super lazy and fast.

I did add a couple of fried eggs and harissa on top once served. This is easily vegan if you leave off eggs.

Low waste meal preparation needn’t be complicated. ๐Ÿ™‚

Peace and love,


Curry Lentil Cabbage & Potato Stew

A soup born out of the desire to never leave my house to face the horrors of a grocery store. What could I make with the contents in my kitchen?

A delightful stew that fits perfectly with a St. Patrick’s Day themed meal!


  • 2 Tbs olive oil or butter
  • 1 sweet or yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups green lentils or split peas, rinsed
  • 3 cups potatoes, cubed
  • A few cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs curry powder
  • 4 cups or more vegetable stock, or water and bouillon
  • A head of green cabbage, sliced
  • Salt & Pepper

Heat fat in a soup pot and stir in onion slices. Sprinkle with some salt, and let them brown and get soft. Add in garlic. Sprinkle in curry powder. Add potatoes and coat, then add lentils. Cook for a minute, then pour in stock.

Simmer until potatoes are quite soft and lentils are falling apart, approximately 40-50 minutes. Then turn off heat and add cabbage to the pot and stir. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy with some soda bread or my favorite, sourdough bread.

I’m beginning to fall in love with cabbage, of all things. It’s been under appreciated and under utilized in my kitchen for sure.

Perhaps I’m finally accepting my Irish heritage and nourishing my body the way it desires to be nourished: with potatoes and cabbage! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Peace and love,


Rosemary Lemon Parmesan Sourdough Crackers

These crackers started with the basic recipe for my regular sourdough crackers, but I was digging deep into the refrigerator trying to find items that needed to be eaten.

What I found was some rosemary butter I had made quite a while ago and decided that would be a good cracker flavor.

Rosemary and lemon would make a good combination, so I added a bit of lemon infused olive oil and zested a lemon to add a bit of that to the dough as I rolled each section out.

Parmesan would be a good addition as well, so I sprinkled a bit on top. It is the shelf stable kind bought in bulk.

A pinch of pink salt was sprinkled on top as well before using my rolling pin to really make the toppings stick.

The original recipe has the dough sit for at least 6 hours, but I didn’t really want any sourdough flavor in these crackers, so I baked them right away and it’s exactly what I wanted for a cracker flavor: savory, buttery, a tiny bit cheesy, and crispy.

So tasty! I enjoyed them today topped with my fermented honey cranberries.

Peace and love,


Green Shakshuka




Thoroughly enjoyed with homemade sourdough and backyard eggs.

Recipe here.

All ingredients easily found in bulk and or produce aisles.

P.S. I’ve stopped feeling guilty about those damn twist ties that accompany all bunches of spinach, cilantro, and parsley; I feel fortunate to find them not wrapped in plastic, and am thankful to eat healthy food.

Peace and love,



Greek Salad

The first places I visited outside of the US were Greece and Italy. I sold my beloved 1971 Volkswagen Bus (green and white ๐Ÿ˜) and bought my plane tickets with the money.

This Athens vignette is still dreamy to me.

I had the time of my life traveling and staying in hostels. My original plan was to work at a hostel on an island and chill for five weeks. We ended up staying for a couple weeks at Corfu, but then traveled on to southern Italy and eventually made our way back to Corfu.

While working at the hostel, I learned how to wash an outrageous amount of dishes very quickly, pluck a rooster, make Greek pancakes, serve wine, and make a killer Greek salad.

Some 35mm photos I took with my beloved Canon AE-1 Program.

There were olives aplenty in Greece, and we used black olives for the salads, whole, not chopped, and it’s still the way I prefer my salads.

The hostel matriarch, Madalena, made her own feta cheese, and this time, I did as well. I cannot find feta unpackaged anywhere!

  • 1 head of Romaine lettuce (I like the red)
  • 1 can of olives (nope, not in bulk, but still recyclable)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1/3 – 1/2 red onion
  • feta


I own a mandoline slicer, and this is one of the few recipes I feel require a type of tool like this, unless you have mad chopping skills.

Tear or chop the lettuce and place into a large bowl.

Slice the red onion very thinly, then cut into half moons.

Slice the cucumber slightly thicker than the onion, cut into half moons if you wish. I do sometimes.

Slice the tomatoes into thin slices. I use a vintage tomato slicer that makes the perfect size slices, and cut into half moons.

Place all the vegetables into the bowl.

Top with olives, feta, and then I always pour some olive brine over the top of the salad, and then it doesn’t need any sort of dressing.


Peace and love,


Homemade Feta Cheese sans Rennet


I’ve made feta before and talked about it and how salty it was. It was basically a still-edible soft extra salty cheese. Not aย completeย disaster, but close. The reason I wanted to make feta is because I absolutely love making Greek salads, and topping risotto with its deliciousness, but I haven’t been successful finding it without packaging anywhere.

The recipe I used can be found here. However, there are some quite unusual things in the recipe that I can see why my previous attempt did not work.

Here is what I did:

I used cow’s milk. I don’t know why feta is seen as a cheese that must be made from other animal’s milk, but I like it best with cow’s milk. I use Clover Leaf, which is available in returnable glass bottles.

I used less than a gallon because that is what I had. I used approximately 3/4 of a gallon.

  • Heat up the milk + 3 Tablespoons of yogurt slowly, constantly stirring to prevent scalding.
  • The temperature should reach past 180F, not 86F. That’s one strange thing I noticed.
  • I continuously heated the milk + yogurt, brought it to boiling, then would promptly turn off the heat (I have a gas range) to prevent spilling over the top of the pot for about 10 – 12 minutes. I was using my largest pot and the milk didn’t even come to halfway up the sides before heating.
  • Turn the heat off for the final time, leaving the pot in place on the hot burner. Slowly add 3 Tablespoons each of fresh lemon juice and white vinegar.
  • Let the mixture set for a few minutes without touching it.
  • Drag the spoon through the mixture and you should start to see curds and whey separate. I did, but if you do not, bring the mixture to a boil for a few more minutes.
  • Once curds and whey are separated, add in some salt. I used 1 & 1/2 teaspoons.
  • When my pot cooled down to a temperature that would not burn me or my wool blanket, I wrapped said pot in said wool blanket and set to the side of my kitchen for about 8 hours. It wasn’t overnight, as I had started this in the morning.


  • After the time has passed, stir the contents, noticing the curds and whey.
  • Line a strainer with cheesecloth, and have a bowl to catch the whey.
  • Pour contents into cheesecloth, then tie up cheesecloth, squeeze a bit, then hang up over a pot to strain some more for 2 – 4 hours, or until no more whey drips out.
  • Use a strainer again to get the final shaping and firmness. I just took down the dripping bag of feta, placed it into a smaller colander, and placed my heavy, filled klean kanteen on top of it. Remember to keep a bowl under the strainer for any extra whey.
  • Prepare the brine: I used the leftover whey and added 1/8 cup (2 Tablespoons) of salt. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of salt added to the brine, but this is what ruined my cheese last time. It might not taste too salty with 2 Tablespoons, but the next day, I could tell it was pretty much the perfect amount. Place brine into a clean glass jar and place into the refrigerator.
  • After cheese has been strained for another 8 hours, remove cheesecloth and place into brine. Store this for 3 days before use for proper taste and texture.


I am so glad I tried this recipe again. Next time, I will try to strain it the second time around for even longer, or using heavier items to get that nice firm texture. Mine is still quite soft, but it is very close to the homemade feta I had while working at a hostel in Greece.

Peace and love,


Peruano Bean & Orzo Soup


In case you couldn’t tell, I love orzo. It’s so fun, I can easily find it in bulk, and it can be made into a variety of dishes.

Here, I’ve cooked up yet another variation of pasta and beans. True love!

I started this soup off with the typical mirepoix which is onion, celery, and carrot. I know those vegetables aren’t deemed exotic or glamorous, but dang they are delicious and staples for a reason.

In an effort to reduce waste, I typically use an entire onion anytime I cook with onion. I also chopped up a few carrots and a few stalks of celery, including the leaves.

From there, I just built up the soup adding homemade bouillon, water, cooked Peruano beans, and nearing the end, orzo. It’s honestly that easy to have a simple, delicious dinner. This is easily vegan, just start with oil, which is what I did, or you can start with butter if you prefer that taste.

All this soup needed was some salt and pepper and a big, hearty slice of homemade sourdough bread to accompany it.


I hope to soon share yet another pasta + bean “recipe” for you!

Peace and love,


Leftover Nut Milk Pulp Breakfast Bars


Combat food waste! I need to improve in this area most definitely, but feel I am getting better and experimenting even more in the kitchen.

Leftover nut milk pulp can add up quickly. I’ve made brownies before, which are amazing, but I like change as well.

My goal here was also to use only one pan. Yes, for mixing and for baking. Success!


  • Leftover pulp: 1 – 1.5 cups
  • Oats: 1/2 cup
  • 1 egg
  • Chocolate chips: 1/2 cup
  • Hemp hearts: 1/4 cup
  • Peanut butter: 1/3 cup (that’s all I had, but it would have been nicer with more)
  • Cacao nibs: whatever was on hand which was about 2 TBS
  • Maple syrup: 1/4 cup

Stir all together and press into the pan.


Bake at 350F for about 20 – 30 minutes.


These were pretty good. I ate them for breakfast and for snacks. They were still quite moist, which was interesting. I’d make them again, but I would make sure to add more oats or flour, or squeeze the nut pulp more, or add in a bit of coconut oil. But I am happy to have avoided at least a little bit of food waste!

Peace and love,


Caramelized Vegetables and Orzo


This dish should have served 4. But with my husband and I each taking a bite each time we walked through the kitchen, then serving ourselves bowls of it later that same night, it really only served about 2.5. I think we like this dish!

This does not require only one pan, sadly, because I had to first cook the orzo, but this dish uses nearly all my favorite flavors, so it was well worth the 2 pans. So, yes, first cook approximately 1 cup of orzo to al dente then drain and drizzle with some olive oil.

Chop up purple sweet potatoes (they are available locally for me and are HEAVEN), and let those babies sit in some high smoke-point oil in your biggest and heaviest cast iron pan, then add chopped up yellow onions. Yellow are the best! I used what remained from 2 different onions.

Then chop up a few cloves of garlic and let all of that stay in the pan with very little stirring to get BROWN!

Add some grated ginger, stir that up, then chop up brown mushrooms and let those sit on the hot part of the pan.

Once all these delectable vegetables look brown and caramelized, add in a mixture of 1 TBS oil, 2 TBS soy sauce (or Bragg Liquid Aminos), and 1 TBS balsamic vinegar. Stir now and make sure everything gets coated.

Next, start adding in the orzo and continue to stir until even the orzo looks browned and yummy. Then add in your choice of hearty green (kale, chard, spinach) for just a couple minutes. I chose kale. Enjoy!


Recipe tweaked from this one.

Peace and love,


Sourdough Waffles + Zero Waste Classroom Valentine’s Day


Yet another thing to do with leftover sourdough starter! Make waffles to your heart’s content! These are left overnight to get extra tangy, unlike the pancakes I have made, which are mixed together and used immediately. Of course, I use the recipe from The Perfect Loaf, because he is a trusted source on all things sourdough.

This batter made a large amount of waffles; way more than two people can eat, so I froze the remainder, and just plan on popping them into the toaster when I get a desire. I planned on freezing them in my round life without plastic metal container, but they were a teensy bit too big, so I grabbed a washed out, reused plastic bag that I have just for such emergencies.

These are excellent slathered with freshly ground peanut butter and warmed up maple syrup. How convenient that both of those items are readily available in bulk! Even at the local WinCo, I see both of these items. It’s actually funny because I brought a glass jar to WinCo and filled up with peanut butter knowing they don’t accept reusables and just accepted my fate of paying for the weight of the jar, but it still ended up less expensive than a jar of Adam’s peanut butter! It was $3 and some change for a pint.

Maple syrup is not cheap, and I use it sparingly and enjoy every last drop.


I made these on the weekend, because even though they are adorable heart shapes, I did not have any time to make these for my sweetie during the week. Instead I was busy making these for my students.

Want to know what I did for my Kindergartners this Valentine’s Day?

I got the idea to make them breakfast for Valentine’s Day, so I brought in eggs from my hens and a batch of easy waffle dough, not the one pictured, but one that was more simple to mix together in the morning before school. I also brought my waffle iron, huckleberry syrup that I’ve had forever (it’s an Idaho specialty), homemade honey-strawberry jam, and peanut butter. A parent brought cut up strawberries, and another brought clementines.

Every morning, my students go to another teacher for half an hour, so I set about making the waffles and scrambling eggs in a plug-in skillet that I keep at school. It took me almost exactly 30 minutes to make the whole batch, which was about 10 or 11 waffles. I gave the students 2 heart pieces, some scrambled eggs, their topping of choice, and fruit, all in reusable dishes I keep and wash at school. I am fortunate to have 2 sinks in my classroom as well as convenient plug-ins and some counter space.

I had half the class eating from bowls and plates, while the others put together some fun puzzles that kept them engaged. As soon as the first half of the kids were done eating, and I had washed and dried the dishes, I had them switch. It really only took about a half hour for them all to be done. It was fun, easy, and I kept it zero waste.

There were also some heart shaped pretzels for them that were bought in bulk. I tried to ask them to just do a card exchange, but many parents ignored that request and sent in whole class Valentine cards. The kids had fun and didn’t have too much sugar, which was a feat in itself.

Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of that day because I was honestly rushing around the whole time trying to coordinate everything. Not unusual on a daily basis as my kids are 5 and 6. ๐Ÿ™‚

Peace and love,