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Baby Kale Health

Leftover Love for Squashbrowns!

I LOVE the meals that leave me with a container full of leftovers! Since I don’t always make the time on Sundays to prep for the week, my prep still gets accomplished with leftovers from meals throughout the week!  

My love of leftovers continues to grow because…

1. They provide easy lunches for the week ahead.

2. No wasting food here!

3. Sometimes leftovers are even better because the flavors have had more time to blend.

4. Almost every time I have leftovers to use up, I discover a new meal or spice or texture or method!

5. It’s a fun challenge to see how I can transform them into a completely new meal!

Recently, I made spaghetti squash with marinara sauce and lentil meatballs, which was awesomely delicious! I purposely set a side just a small portion of the squash because the word on the street was that you can make them into hash browns – or squashbrowns! I love hash browns, but I’m always looking for a way to bump up the nutrients in every meal. This was my ticket for breakfast the next morning!

If you haven’t tried Spaghetti Squash yet, add it to your list! My friend, Tolz, who was in culinary school a few years back brought me a spaghetti squash and said, “Just try it.” We made it the same way – with marinara – and ended up really liking it. It’s a great gluten-free, nutrient rich alternative to pasta.

Here’s the lowdown:

· Spaghetti Squash is high in Vitamin C, which boosts your immune system and is an antioxidant working to clean house inside your body.

· Vitamin B-6 is “involved in over 100 enzymatic reactions that take place in your body, including energetic metabolism,” according to www.livestrong.com.

· Every single mineral is found in spaghetti squash, including the key player, Potassium, which builds muscles, acts as an electrolyte and regulates your body’s acidity.

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash
To cook the squash, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Then put it cut side down on a sheet pan or shallow baking dish. I like to put a little water in the pan to keep it moist. Cook at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. Then, use a fork to “pull” the spaghetti strands.



Step 1

Preheat the sauté pan. Add coconut oil.

Step 2

Form the squash into a patty. This is a delicate process. The more you mess with it and try to make it perfect, the more frustrated you’ll get! Try just grabbing the squash with your fingers and making a little pile in the pan, then flatten out a little.

Step 3

Let it sit until the bottom is brown and crisped. Then gingerly flip.

Step 4

Cook the second side until it’s brown and crispy. Move to a plate with a paper towel to drain any excess oil.

Try it with ketchup, pesto, sriracha sauce, salsa or even some leftover marinara!

Baby Kale Health

Shake It Up Shamrock Style

shamrock shake class

Who says it has to be St. Patrick’s Day to whip up a Shamrock Shake. My after school kids’ cooking class happened to fall on St. Patrick’s Day last week, so we made Shamrock Shakes. We ALL LOVED them, so I couldn’t help but share this recipe even though the magical day of shenanigans, Guinness, rainbows and Shepherd’s Pie has passed. Not only does it taste amazing, it also has a small fraction of the sugar that is in a McDonalds’ Shamrock Shake, no food dyes, and lots of vitamins and minerals! Check it out!

The star ingredients of the shake itself are spinach (for color AND power-packed nutrients), avocado (for color, Omega-3s and creaminess) and mint (the real star of the shake).

Mint is a powerful fresh herb that has many nutritional and health benefits. Here are just a few to remember:

    - Promotes digestions

    - Soothes indigestion

    - Freshens breathe

    - Soothes headaches and migraines

    - Helps with nausea and motion sickness

    - Clears up congestion of nose, throat, lungs

    - And there’s more…

If you’re looking for a way to shake up breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks or even dessert, here ya go!

shamrock shake


From www.myfussyeater.com 

A healthy take on the classic McDonald's Shamrock Shake, made with spinach, avocado and mint!

Serves: 2


Shamrock Shake:

2½ cups milk (dairy or non dairy)

1 cup spinach

1 banana

½ avocado

8 mint leaves / a drop of mint extract

Optional: honey or maple syrup to taste



Whipped cream or whipped coconut cream

25g dark chocolate and 1 tsp coconut oil

Cacao nibs

Mint leaves



1.    Place the milk, spinach, banana, avocado and mint leaves / mint extract in a blender and blitz until smooth. Taste your shake and add honey or maple syrup if you prefer it to be sweeter.

2.    Add any topping you like. You can make a chocolate sauce by melting the coconut oil and dark chocolate together in a saucepan / microwave.



Baby Kale Health

Baby Kale Spices It Up With Chipotle Peppers

Chipotle peppers with butternut squash

I didn’t really like the smoky taste of chipotle peppers over a year ago, but something has switched in the past year. I now appreciate that smoky flavor and actually, CRAVE it every once in a while. More specifically I love that flavor in soups and side dishes, not particularly in salsas, but I keep trying it. So maybe I like it as a background or base flavor instead of the star of the show.

Chipotle peppers are actually smoke dried jalapenos. They are jalapenos left on the plant until they turn bright red. Then they are smoke dried for a number of days, giving the peppers that smoky flavor. You can find them in their dry state or canned in adobo sauce. I use the canned in adobo peppers.

Chipotle peppers provide and support a number of health benefits, including:

· Cancer Prevention – Certain chemicals in the chipotle pepper, most specifically capsaicin (what gives the pepper heat) causes cancerous cells to die off.

· Decreases Risk of Cardiovascular disease – Chipotle peppers reduce cholesterol and capsaicin widens and relaxes blood vessels creating a wide passage and lower blood pressure.

· Supports Immune System with high amounts of vitamin C.

· Supports Digestion – Chipotle peppers have a high amount of fiber.


I made a side dish last week that I am absolutely obsessed with now! I wanted to share it with you right away, but I had already planned out my blog post for that week. Let me tell you, it was soooo hard to wait until this week to share it. This is another Robyn Original, so work those cooking skills and tasting habits!


Chipotle Butternut Squash & Kale
By Robyn Johnson

1 Butternut Squash

½-1 red onion

2 cloves garlic

1-3 chipotle peppers in adobo, to taste

1 Bunch Lacinato Kale

1 Bottle of craft beer

Step 1

Preheat pan. Dice Butternut Squash & Red onion. Chop kale after removing hard stem.

Step 2

Add a little oil to pan and add squash and onion. Add a little sea salt. Sautee until squash softens.

Step 3

When squash and onions are soft, add smashed and diced garlic, and chipotle peppers. Cut the chipotle peppers in half and scrape out the seeds. Then chop them up a bit. I started with one pepper and then waited to taste after a little while and added one more. Remember, you can always add, but you can’t take out! Let the garlic and peppers heat up for about 30-60 seconds, stirring to get all there love mixed in to the veggies.

Step 4

Add the kale. Stir everything. Let the kale cook for a few minutes.

Step 5

Deglaze with ½-1 whole bottle of beer. You could use stock or water, too. Let the simmer for a little while. Test the squash to see if it’s done to your liking. The dish will be done when the squash is done. If it dries out add a little more beer or water and cover the pot.

You could eat this plain, as a topping for rice or any other whole grain, you could use it for a filling in a wrap, or quesadilla. I used it as a topping on a quesadilla with a little dollop of Greek yogurt. SOOOOO GOOOOOD!!

Side Note: Chipotle flavors go REALLY great with mango, too – match made in heaven for that sweet and spicy flavor!



Baby Kale Health

Ms. Millet Has Officially Stolen the Show!

Last weekend I provided the food for Taspens Organics’ 1st Saturday Wellness Fair. This time the menu included:

- Cauliflower and Rutabaga Soup with garlic & Rosemary

- Lemon-Basil Marinated Veggies

- Tuna-less Tuna Salad (Vegan Tuna Salad)

And, last but certainly not least, A Tropical Millet Salad. The Millet salad stole the show. Everyone loved it, and I even saw many people put the millet salad with their soup!

Side note: If you’re ever free on the 1st Saturday of the month, head to Taspens for an awesome day of self-care, connection and joy.

Back to the salad…My food obsession for last week was roasted pineapple. I used it in the breakfast bake recipe that I shared last week, I used it in the tropical salad for Taspens, and I used it in a veggie packed wrap. It adds such a powerful punch of sweetness and an unexpected meaty texture. Plus, it goes really great with sriracha!!

Pineapple benefits include:

- Contain BROMELAIN! which suppresses coughs and loosens mucus, but is also great for inflammation.

- Tons of Vitamin C

- Contain Manganese which build healthy bones and connective tissue

- Anti-inflammatory properties alleviates the pain of arthritis, and improves carpal tunnel and gout

- Prevents Macular Degeneration with awesome amounts of beta carotene

I promised the Taspens family that I would share the recipe from the wellness fair in this week’s newsletter. This one is a Robyn Original and you know what that means – no exact measurements here. You’re just going to have to put your big girl/boy boots on and use your heart, soul and palate to guide you, but I promise it’ll be well worth it!

Tropical Millet Salad 2

Tropical Millet Salad with Roasted Pineapple, Macadamia Nuts, Coconut flakes, and a Lime Agave Sauce & Mint


Pineapple, diced or chopped

1 cup millet

¼ cup macadamia nuts (or more)

1 lime, juiced

¼ cup agave nectar

Mint, to taste

Coconut chips, to taste


Step 1

Dice pineapple and roast.

400 degrees for about 30ish minutes

Step 2

Make millet. 1 cup millet to 2 cups water

Step 3

Chop macadamia nuts.

Step 4

Make Lime Agave sauce. Taste often! Squeeze the juice of 1 lime. (you might want to start with just ½ a lime juiced) Add ¼ cup Agave Nectar (you could add it gradually – keep tasting). Whisk.

Step 5

Put it all together! Add coconut chips and chopped mint. Enjoy!

Baby Kale Health

Move Over Mr. Quinoa 'Cuz Ms. Millet Needs the Spotlight!

Did you know that millet is a Gluten Free grain, too? Yep, that’s right quinoa isn’t the only one, and after using millet in several different ways, I think Mr. Quinoa might need to start sharing the stage with Ms. Millet!

Nutritionally, millet stands almost side by side with quinoa. It’s a great source of vegan protein, containing all the essential amino acids. There’s many other health benefits, too, including:

· Great for the gut because it’s a prebiotic (helps maintain a healthy gut)

· Good source of fiber

· Alkaline (not acid)

· High in antioxidants which protect the heart

· Contains magnesium, which protects the body from heart disease, diabetes, asthma and migraines

· High in B vitamins, which help with the skin, digestive tract and the nervous system

· Good source of folate

I’ve tried this a few different ways, including a Mediterranean millet pilaf, a raspberry breakfast bake, and millet griddle cakes. The pilaf was ok, BUT the breakfast bake was AMAZING! It’s an absolute great alternative to a French toast bake or bread pudding, feeds an army, and can be made ahead! You can also add whatever fruit you want to it! What else could you want? Here’s the recipe…I hope you enjoy it!


Fruity Millet Breakfast Bake

By Robyn Johnson

Step 1

1 c. millet

2 c. water

Boil the water. Add the millet. Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Move off the heat. Let rest for 10-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Step 2

3 bananas, mashed

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¼ c. water, coconut milk, milk or even juice!

Mix bananas, vanilla and liquid together. Add the millet.

Step 3

1-2 cups fruit, such as berries (chopped if they’re big), roasted diced pineapple (super good), diced apples, diced mangoes

Mix fruit into millet.

Step 4

Spray a baking dish. Add the millet and smooth it out even.

Step 5

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until it forms a light crust.

Tips & Extras:

You could add shredded coconut, chopped nuts, seeds, even a few tabs of coconut oil on top. Come on…get creative! Make it how YOU want it!

I like to serve this with a little vanilla yogurt on top…maybe a sprinkle of cinnamon or even fresh ginger. If you didn’t want to put nuts into the bake, you could serve them separately.

Also, you could make the millet ahead of time. You could even make the whole dish the night before. I’m telling you, this is your new go-to!