lunch today: lemon tea & spinach wrap with hummus, white beans, cucumber, crunchy sprouts, greens, and quick-pickled red onions.

a few tips for a great wrap:

  • always include something green and something hearty - it gives any sandwich a good contrast. (here the veg and thick hummus are both wonderful.)
  • don’t overfill your wrap if you’re new to making them, as it makes it harder to keep it all together and has more potential to break.
  • chop your greens!! unless you like trying to bite through a giant piece of lettuce or spinach. it really makes a difference.
  • if you have the access, always toast the outside of your wrap - it makes it taste so much better and takes no time to do. put it in a medium-hot pan and just heat it up on both sides until golden brown. bonus - brown the overlapping part and it’ll stay closed easier.

i’ve noticed that our last couple of weeks of posts have been all green! i’m in the mood to make a dessert, something really amazing…let me know in the comments section what kind you’d like to see :)

This month we had the opportunity to try out a bunch of recipes from the upcoming cookbook, Brassicas, by Laura B. Russel. Even though it’s not a vegan cookbook, it’s a great showing of vegetable-heavy recipes that are really easy to veganize. As the title suggests, all of the recipes are centered around the brassica family, including some cabbages, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and much more. Those are some of my favorite foods, so I had to try this book out.

The two I tried this week were the roasted broccolini & the mizuna salad - both require roasting but are perfect for this time of year, when we’re on the cusp of spring. They’re hearty but fresh, and both very flavorful despite the minimal ingredients. I whipped them both up together in less than 30 minutes and they turned out really well. Try these out, and if you dig them as much as I did, grab the book for yourself by pre-ordering it (for release April 8th) through Ten Speed Press right here.

Note: these are the veganized versions of the full recipes in the book.

Mizuna Salad with Cumin-Roasted Cauliflower

Serves 4

  • 1 small head cauliflower, cored and cut into bite-size florets (about 4 cups)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (divided)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey - we instead used maple syrup, or you could use Honee, which we love & mentioned in our holiday gift-guide
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch mizuna, large stems removed, or 1 (5-ounce) package baby arugula (about 12 cups loosely packed)
  • 4 fresh or dried dates, pitted and finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Put the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1-1/2 teaspoons of the cumin, and toss to coat evenly, then spread in a single layer. Roast the cauliflower, stirring once or twice, for about 15 minutes, until golden brown and tender but not mushy. Taste a floret for doneness; larger florets may take slightly longer to cook. 
  2. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon cumin, and the pepper. Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. 
  3. In a serving bowl, combine the roasted cauliflower, mizuna, and dates, drizzle with the dressing, and toss to coat evenly. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

I loved this salad and ate two huge plates of it - the dressing is bright, the dates are perfect sweet bites, and the cumin-roasted cauliflower has just the right amount of seasoning.

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Roasted Broccolini with Winey Mushrooms

Serves 4

  • 11/2 pounds broccolini (2 large bunches), ends trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (divided)
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely diced
  • 8 ounces cremini or other mushrooms, thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving - we used this amazing Treeline hard cheese, you can also get our almond parmesan recipe here
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the broccolini on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and toss to coat evenly, then spread in a single layer. Roast the broccolini, turning once with tongs, for 10 to 15 minutes, until crisp-tender. If the broccolini stems are not uniform in size, remove thinner ones as they are done. Transfer the broccolini to a platter. (The broccolini can be cooked several hours ahead of time and kept at room temperature.)
  2. In a large (12 inches or wider), deep frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until starting to soften. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the mushrooms and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are golden brown. (The mushrooms will release a lot of liquid before reabsorbing it and browning. Be patient, as the flavor is in the browning.) Add the wine and cook for about 2 minutes more, until the pan is dry. Stir in the pepper. 
  3. Spoon the mushrooms over the broccolini, then scatter some Parmesan over the top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The broccolini was a nice crispy contrast to the perfectly cooked mushrooms - I think I’ll be making mushrooms like this all the time now. Overall this would make a great side-dish at a big meal, maybe with some rice or a stew, but it’s definitely good enough to eat on its own as well.

Reprinted with permission from Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables by Laura B. Russell (Ten Speed Press, © 2014). Photo credit: Sang An.