Butternut Squash and Kale Salad with Creamy White Bean Dressing
Kale salad

A good salad is hard to find. I’m the WORST at restaurants because I’m so picky with my salads! For me a good salad has to have just the right balance. Crunchy, sweet, salty, chopped small enough you can get a good bite in one forkful and the most important…..

A dressing that compliments the salad without drowning it!!! And ooooooo baby, the dressing for this salad is decadent!

Crunchy pumpkin seeds, crisp baby kale, sweet butternut squash and a creamy, mustard-y, maple-y white bean dressing is what this delicious salad offers!

I love this dressing so much I just made up two new words to describe it ;)!!

Brian says it’s one of his all time favorite kale salads…SCORE!!!!!

kale salad

Kale salads often get a bad wrap, but using baby kale in this recipe takes it from chewy, to crisp tender. If you’ve ever struggled to enjoy a kale salad, then give baby kale a try!

This is an excellent meal prep salad, but remember to keep the dressing on the side so the salad doesn’t get soggy!!


kale salad

Butternut Squash and Kale Salad with Creamy White Bean Dressing

Makes 6 servings

Salad Ingredients:

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

12 heaping cups baby kale

6 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds

1 small head red cabbage, finely chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

1 can (14.5oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, stems discarded and finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:

1 can (14.5oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon coconut aminos or soy sauce

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Squeeze of lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste


For the salad: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Evenly layer butternut squash cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove and allow to cool slightly.

Toss all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Evenly divide between plates or meal prep containers.

For the dressing: In a small food processor or a blender (a ninja blender or bullet works with this recipe) blend all dressing ingredients together until smooth. You may need to add a little room temperature water to the dressing to thin.

Drizzle dressing over the salads or store dressing on the side if meal prepping this recipe.

Kathryn MarrisComment
Six Plant Based Protein Sources That Aren't Tofu!

If you currently eat a plant based diet or are thinking of trying it, have you ever been asked or asked yourself the question….


It’s a hard thing to get your mind around, and truly was the hardest part of moving to a plant based diet for me. I struggled to put recipes together as I wasn’t making the animal protein the star!

As a chef, my mind was boggled! In culinary school, you start with the animal protein, and cook everything else to support the star of the plate.

So switching over to creating dishes where veggies were the focus and the protein source was from plants was a big shift for me!

At first Brian and I ate sooooo much tofu! It was an easy substitute for most of my recipes. But then I began to branch out and try other protein sources.

Since this was something I struggled with, I put together this handy little guide so you can explore some different plant based protein options!!

Lentils & PEas

My FAVORITE sources of plant protein! Lentils are a great source of carbohydrates and fiber as well as protein. Did you know that they offer nearly 20 grams of muscle-building protein in a single serving? Annnnnd did you know that split green peas can also be grouped with lentils?

I also loooove cooking with lentils and peas because they are cheap, easy to cook, and will fill you up!!!

The Protein Facts:

1 cup cooked lentils = 18 grams of protein

1 cup of green peas = 8 grams of protein

How To Cook With Them:

Top any salad with them

Eat them plain hot or cold with your favorite seasoning blend

Use them as a ground meat in sloppy joes, casseroles, or meat sauce for pasta!

Combine with rice or quinoa for a suuuuper filling meal

Use lentils to make meatballs, loaves, or burgers

Use as a taco filling

Hemp Seeds

Don’t be afraid to use these super helpful little seeds!! Hemp seeds are a two for one and contain protein as well as plenty of heart-healthy fats, mainly omega-3 fatty acids.

Hemp seeds have a delicious, subtly sweet and nutty flavor. I love to top my oatmeal with them and throw them in a smoothie. They are also sooo small that they can be hidden in smoothies, sauces and so much more!

The Protein Facts:

3 tablespoons hemp = about 10 grams of protein

How To Cook With Them:

Sprinkle on top of salads

Add to smoothies

Sprinkle on top of porridge, oatmeals, or other cereals

Stir into soups or stews

Bake them into desserts or muffins for added protein

Chia Seeds

Another one of my favorites! These amazing seeds soak up so much water and have been used since the beginning of time (well I don’t know about that, but definitely for centuries!) I love to use chia seeds as a thickener while also boosting the content of fiber, protein, and healthy fats (mainly omega-3’s) in the dish. They are also gluten-free!

The Protein Facts:

2 tablespoons = 4 grams of protein

How To Cook With Them:

Sprinkle on top of literally ANYTHING for a crunch! I like to use it on oatmeal and smoothies.

Add to your favorite nut milk to make a delicious pudding

Add chia seeds to any baked good


Quinoa is my hero! It’s technically a seed but is classified as a gluten-free grain. Think of quinoa like a rice and use it in place of rice for some added protein and to shake up your starch game!

The Protein Facts:

1/2 cup cooked quinoa = 7-9 grams of protein

How To Cook with It:

Use in any recipe you have that calls for rice

Use as a hot cereal by adding your favorite nut milk and fruit

Add to salads to make them more filling

Use as a taco filling

Use quinoa flakes in your baked goods

Nutritional Yeast

Ahhhhhh the cheese of the plant based diet. Nutritional yeast provides B-12 and a cheesy, nutty flavor to anything you sprinkle it on. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast. It is sold in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores. It is also a complete protein! Hooray! Nutritional yeast contains all nine essential amino acids

The Protein Facts:

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast = about 12 grams of protein

How To Cook With It:

Add nutritional yeast to your favorite nut milk and make a cheese sauce

Use for dips and sauces

Sprinkle it on popcorn

Use as a substitute for grated Parmesan cheese

Sprinkle on literally EVERYTHING!!


Beans and legumes are the BOMB!!! For example, chickpeas are an amazing source of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Besides being cheap and filling you up, beans and legumes are packed with magnesium which is an important mineral!!

The Protein Facts:

1 cup cooked beans = around 15 grams of protein

How To Cook With Them:

Add to salads for a filling meal

Use for meatballs and meatloaf

Use as a substitute for ground meat in sauces, tacos, casseroles etc…

Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on your cooked beans and eat plain

Jalapeno Cornbread

The snowflakes are falling as I write this and I can’t believe how well timed the snow is!!

I LOVE to make a warm pan of jalapeno cornbread when the weather gets nasty!!! It’s crumbly yet dense and has a spicy kick of jalapeno! Warms my tummy and my heart!

It’s the best of both worlds, sweet and spicy! Crumbly and dense! Brown crust on top and soft cornbread below!

To get the most POP from the pepper, chop them into small pieces, that way you get a spicy bite every bite. I used pickled jalapenos in my recipe as I feel it added a depth of flavor I didn’t get using regular jalapeno pepper.


I HIGHLY suggest you line your baking pan with parchment paper! This keeps your pan from being a pain to wash and keeps all that precious moisture in the cornbread.

You can oil your pan instead if you desire, but I was happy with the parchment paper!

This cornbread lasted well in the fridge for five days in an airtight container. I also had a container I tested on the counter, it was fine for two days, but to make this cornbread last all week it needs to be stored in the fridge!!

Pair this cornbread with any of your favorite soups, stews or chilis! I suggest pairing it with my chickpea and noodle soup or the meatless pozole :)



Jalapeno Cornbread

Makes one 9x9 inch pan


2 cups finely ground cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 1/2 cups soy or coconut milk (can used sweetened or unsweetened, but not vanilla ;) )

1/4 cup applesauce

1 tablespoon JUST Egg Egg Replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons warm water

1/2 cup canned corn kernels, drained

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/3 cup finely chopped pickled jalapenos


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line your baking pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, baking powder and chili powder. Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl. Mix well until no longer lumpy. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool then slice. Store in the refrigerator and reheat for 1 minute in the microwave before eating.

Baked Potato Soup
Baked Potato Soup F&B

Is there anything more comforting in the fall and winter than a baked potato soup??

I’m thinking………nope!!! Can’t think of one! Weeellllll maybe my chickpea and noodle soup! ;)

Baked potato soup is one I loved as a child and it’s a soup I still love today even as a child pretending to be an adult! It’s also my neighbors favorite soup as every time I throw this delicious recipe in the slow cooker, they always ask what we’re eating for dinner!

I was so scared to try to make a plant based version of my old baked potato soup recipe as I thought not using bacon or heavy cream would ruin the soup. I WAS SOOOO WRONG!!! Not using those ingredients only enhanced the soups potato packed flavor!

This soup is creamy, filling and hits ALL the baked potato soup buttons.

Have fun with the toppings on this one, the combos are endless! One of my favorites is hot sauce!

Here are some of my other favorite toppings:

-Fresh cracked pepper

-Green onion

-Dairy-free cheddar cheese

-Dairy-free sour cream

-Smoked paprika

Baked Potato Soup F&B

This baked potato soup recipe is one that will become a staple in your kitchen as it’s an all around crowd-pleaser! I added a can of white beans to boost protein and add a creamy texture to the soup. Don’t be shy with the dill as it adds a depth of flavor that’s hard to beat.

You can make this soup as chunky or as smooth as you want! Personally I like big chunks of potato, but you could blend this soup to a velvety smooth texture if you’d like!

Serve with a big green salad and you have a delightful dinner that can easily be turned into lunches or frozen for future meal preps.

So pull out your slow cookers, it’s time to get this soup rolling! Enjoy!

Baked Potato Soup F&B

Baked Potato Soup

Makes 6 servings


4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 can (14.5 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained

5 cups vegetable broth

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons dried dill

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup unsweetened soy or coconut milk

Salt and pepper to taste


1 cup shredded dairy-free cheddar cheese

6 tablespoons chopped green onion


In your slow cooker, add the potatoes, onion, carrot, beans, broth, garlic, dill and thyme. Don't forget to generously season with salt and pepper! Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Mash the potatoes using a potato masher until it's as chunky or as smooth as you'd like. Add the nut milk and stir. Serve and add cheese and green onions on top.

This soup freezes well and is excellent for meal prep. Safely lasts 5 days in the fridge.