Category Archives: NOURISH

birthday // big brother

date nut bread | workhouseblog date nut bread | workhouseblogMy eldest brother is one of my most favorite people in my life. He has a boisterous laugh and a personality that fills any room. When I was little he used to pretend to send my letters to Santa and in return I would make him Rush and AC/DC stickers out of sticky labels my 2nd grade teacher would give me. He has given me advice, remained young at heart and has been by my side forever. We have weathered our shares of storms, losses and failures but we also have had numerous celebrations together; winning a ton of tickets at whack-a-mole, having children, watching each other graduated from college, learning to drive a manual (not so good on my end), road trips and birthdays. This Sunday is his.

His wish is to go float, so we are, I am more than thrilled to be able to give him that experience along with a homemade cake. Its the least I can do afterall he’s been there for almost all my break-ups, my teenage angst and my many other annoying little sister habits/situations. Happiest Birthdays to you, Brian! May this year find you new adventures, incredible happiness and more loaves of date nut bread! We love you.

In honor of his birthday I thought I would share one of his favorite quick bread recipes, something that he remembers fondly from his childhood. I was introduced to this Date Nut Bread recipe by (his) mom on a recent trip here to the PNW, she made it several times in her short stay and since being handed down the recipe we too have made it several more times in the span of a few weeks. Lucy is a gigantic fan of muffins so we gave it a go in tins, if doing the same I would highly recommend using liners as this a very sticky, gooey bread, I  however, prefer it as a loaf as the recipes states.

Date Nut Bread

3/4 C chopped nuts (we used walnuts)
1 C chopped dates (medjools)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C butter
3/4 C boiling water
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 C sugar
1 1/2 C sifted all purpose flour

For a gluten free bread
substitute all purpose flour for
1 C oat flour
1/2 C quinoa flakes or flour

Combine nuts, dates, soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Add butter and boiling water; let mixture stand for 15 minutes. Stir to blend. In a separate bowl beat the eggs slightly, add the vanilla. Stir in the sugar and add the sifted flour. Add this to the date mixture. Do not over mix. Place in a loaf pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Cool before removing.



treats // mango peach fruit leather

mango peach leather | workhouseblogmango peach leather | workhouseblogmango peach leather | workhouseblogmango peach leather | workhouseblog

Several times throughout the summer my mom sends the girls giant boxes of fruit from her backyard garden, this past week we received a package of donut peaches. Most of the fruit survives but the casualties (the bruised, smashed guys) get turned into fruit leather. This go around we opted for mango peach. Fruit leather is so very simple that I let Lucy make it all on her own with a bit of supervision- that mostly looks like me sitting at the dining table drinking tea and reminding her to put the lid on the vitamix. These were a hit and were gone within a day or two. 

2 ripe mangos cubed
2 cups ripe peaches, skins removes and sliced

Blend in a high speed blender or food processor until pureed. Line dehydrator trays with non stick mats or parchment paper (if baking, silpat or parchment will work on a cookie sheet). Spread fruit puree evenly, give the tray a gentle tap to smooth out the mixture. Place in dehydrator, set on 115 degrees for 4-6 hours. If using an oven, set at 175 for 4-6 hours. Your fruit leather is done it when it is dry and peels easily from the pan.

Transfer dried fruit sheets to waxed paper (if you used a baking mat) and cut into strips with a pizza cutter or kitchen shears. You can also cut them into shapes with cookie cutters. Store fruit leather in an air tight container or just devour.


nourish // customized brown rice bowls

rice bowls | workhouseblogrice bowls | workhouseblogrice bowls | workhouseblog

What goes over well here for dinner is the make your own (fill in the blank), be it burritos, fresh spring rolls or brown rice bowls. Giving our children the independence to pick and choose their own creation has created an adventurous eating in our eldest, I can see that the little one is not far behind. For our meals I am really big on keeping whatever I can raw when it comes to our vegetables, we are also a condiment family so anything with a sauce is always a hit, this recipe has both! There is not a lot of prep which helps with the witching hour and the leftovers become the components to an Asian style salad for my lunch the next day.   This peanut sauce is our usual go to for this meal and its good on any and everything including fresh spring rolls but we needed a change. This yummy ginger dressing was passed onto me by a friend and gave our dinner the revamp it needed. I made a simple slaw and dressed it with a bit of sesame oil, a dash of rice vinegar and a touch of maple syrup, seasoned with a little pepper- all to taste. Everything else is just whatever you have on hand.

Make enough brown rice to allow at least 1/2-1 cup of rice per family member

1/4C honey
1/4C soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbs rice vinegar
A large chunk of ginger, peeled & grated (a 2″ piece or to taste)
1 large clove of garlic
1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil (I use olive oil)

Mix all ingredients, except olive oil, then whisk olive oil in at the end or shake in a sealed mason jar.

Shred 1/2 cabbage and 2 carrots, I simply do this with a knife. Dress lightly with sesame oil, rice vinegar and maple syrup; toss to coat.

ALL THE OTHER STUFF (everything in this category is optional or whatever you have on hand…or need to rid your fridge of)
seasoned nori
red bell pepper slices
sesame seeds
kim chi
a runny yolk egg
sesame oil

Place a 1/2-1 cup of rice in a bowl, topped generously with slaw, drizzle on dressing and top with assorted toppings. We usually ask that there is a  bit of every color in our daughter’s bowl but it doesn’t always happen that way.


nourish // kinda raw peanut butter fudge

kinda raw fudge | workhouseblog

Its always nice to have a little treat stashed in the freezer, while I would love to down an entire Theo bar with a glass of wine every night, I thought I should come up with a kinder, healthier alternative. I worked a few recipes into one a came up with this freezer fudge and depending on what kind of ingredients you have on hand you can easily substitute things or adjust it make it raw.

This is my usual raw fudge recipe but I wanted to make something a little creamier and with a bit of PB, the unsweetened coconut flakes gave it the little crunch that I was hoping for. It sets up nicely, is creamy melt in your mouth goodness and not too sweet like some raw fudge recipes. If you would like to make this totally raw then simply use raw ingredients and omit the chocolate chips, nibs would make a nice substitute.

Kinda Raw PB Fudge

1c organic coconut oil (room temp)
1c organic, unsweetened peanut butter (I like crunchy)
1/4c (or to taste) maple syrup
1/3c unsweetened coconut flakes
1tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
5-6 heaping TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)
chopped almonds (optional)

Mix coconut oil, peanut butter, coconut flakes, salt, vanilla, and maple syrup until well incorporated. Pour half the mixture into a loaf pan or similar small pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top if you’d like, stick in the freezer. With the remaining mixture add cocoa powder, you can also mix in some coconut flakes and nuts here if you’d like. Once the first mixture has set, pour the chocolate mix on top. Freeze for 20 mins or till set. Love.


nourish // brown butter granola

brown butter chocolate coconut granola | workhouseblogbrown butter chocolate coconut granola | workhouseblog

er chocolate coconut granola | workhouseblog

brown butter chocolate coconut granola | workhouseblog

I have one of the most loveliest friends in my life that parents her children with the most beauty I have ever seen. She is one of those kind of people that moves about the earth very thoughtfully and purposefully, there is an ease about her. Her children’s spirits reflect the love she gives them, they are sweet, imaginative, little humans.  Our paths crossed many times throughout my life here in Seattle but we never really seemed to connect at the farmers market, at her store or while our children played together at the park; even though we always found ourselves falling into conversation with each other. It wasn’t until our older children started kindergarten that our souls were ready to befriend each other. She is careful with her words, thoughtful and can comfort the saddest of tears.  She unknowingly, (surprise, Jenn!), inspired me to create a family rhythm,  a weekly  flow for our family so that our lives run a little bit smoother and are less chaotic. And knowingly, she showed me that its okay to say ‘no’ to things as to not over extend myself and my family.

So now our usual Monday rhythm is to bake a little something simple, like muffins and make a batch of granola for the week. Something that Lucy can help with or do on her own for the most part. This is one that we keep coming back to time and time again or like every week for the past 3 months. I try to keep it the same most of the time but I usually use whatever we have on hand when making granola and this recipe seems to be forgiving with substitutions. Its a great late night snack when you want something sweet and crunchy and goes really well with yogurt in the mornings.

The original recipe calls for cooked quinoa but I found quinoa puffs at our local market which omitted one extra step for us and I prefer the puffs better. I also took out the ground flax and added hemp and chia seeds, I find my family needs a bit more protein in the mornings. Lastly, I found that I liked mixing in the chocolate chips immediately after removing it from the oven, this allowed them to melt and coat the granola rather than having whole chocolate chips which just sunk to the bottom of our container.


3c old-fashioned rolled oats
1.5c unsweetened coconut flakes
1c quinoa puffs (I found ours in the bulk section)
1c sliced almonds or crushed whole almonds
1/4c hemp seeds
3 TBS chia seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 TBS unsalted butter
3/4c maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1c dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 325 degrees . Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Add butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisk constantly until brown bits appear on the bottom, about 5-6 minutes, it will start to smell nutty ; then immediately stir in maple syrup, let it come to a bubble, remove from heat and add vanilla. Set aside.

In a large bowl add oats, almonds, quinoa, hemp seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon and salt. Stir well to combine. Pour butter mixture over the oat mixture, stirring with a large spoon until the entire thing is equally moistened. Spread evenly on the baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 10 minutes, toss and then bake for 10 minutes more. Toss again, then bake for about 10 more minutes or until golden brown, at this point I check the granola about every 5 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Remove and pour chocolate chips over your granola, gently fold them in letting them melt and coat the granola. Let cool for at least 30 minutes and then find your favorite granola vehicle, whether it be milk, yogurt or by the handfuls. Enjoy!

|side note| please excuse the iphone photos, I accidentally deleted my memory card- it was just one of those days |


nourish /protein bars

protein bars | workhouseblogI am always looking for a quick healthy snack to grab when we’re walking out the door, my brother in law makes some of the best peanut butter snack bars ever and we gladly except them when offered, but sadly he’s not in mass production. I came across these via Pinterest  and had to give them a try, I’ve been happy with the few GKS recipes I’ve tried. They are full of protein (I omitted the protein powder and only did half the batch with the cocoa) and fairly simple to make- most of the ingredients I had on hand and with a bit of kid help we were done in no time. They are perfect, they don’t crumble apart like some and are soft enough for the baby to gnaw on. Definitely a keeper, especially when camping season comes back around. This recipe has some leeway  to cater to your own tastes and preferences, next time I might add a bit of dried fruits and maybe some raw peanut

Let me know if you try them and what you think. Or I’d love to hear any snack bar recipes that are favorites in your home.protein bars | workhouseblogProtein Bars (slightly adapted from Green Kitchen Stories)

Dry ingredients
1c pumpkin seeds
1c dried shredded coconut
1/2c hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)
4 tbsp chia seeds

Wet ingredients
20 fresh medjool dates, pitted

6 tbsp coconut oil, room temperature
4 tbsp cacao powder (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Add after blending
6 tbsp rolled oats

2 tbsp poppy seeds

In a food processor or blender, pulse the dry ingredients quickly. Do not over-mix, you want it a little crunchy. Place the mixture in a bowl and set aside. Add all wet ingredients to the food processor or high speed blender and run until smooth, you might have to help out by stirring around a few times with a fork or add a dash of water. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, add oats and poppy seeds and stir until well combined. Spread the batter evenly into a 11 x 7-inch baking dish, make sure it becomes quite compact. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Cut into bars. Wrap them in paper and store in an air-tight container. Will keep around a week in the fridge.



nourish // creamed honey

creamed honey | workhouseblog

Delightful in coffee or tea or simply spread on warm bread with a dab of butter. 1:1 ratio of crystalized honey to liquid honey, place in a stand mixer for about 20 on med-high, might possibly take 2-3 intervals. Next I might try infusing the liquid honey with some cinnamon or vanilla bean to make it even more tempting. But you might even find yourself sneaking it by the spoonfuls just as it is.


eats /// huevos rancheros


There used to a restaurant that served up the best huevos rancheros that ever was, sadly its been gone for years but the memory of this dish, the comfort and tastiness, has stayed with me. It has been some thing that I have tried several time to recreate and I finally hit the mark with this recipe! I made a giant batch of the baja beans and it gave me enough left overs to make the huevos rancheros that have been haunting me. This would make an excellent brunch dish as most of it can be made ahead of time; to make my life easier I made the beans in a crock pot.

huevos rancheros with mango salsa + chipotle crema

The bean recipe serves 8-10 and can easily be halved. I make a full batch cause they are delicious and I can create several meals for the week, from burritos to beans and rice (I make cilantro lime brown rice). The beans would also be a great addition to any backyard bbq!

baja baked beans (adapted from rebar)

-4 cups of black beans soaked overnight
-1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
-1 tbs cumin seed
-1 tbs dried oregano
-1 tbs pure chile powder
-6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
-1 yellow onion, chopped
-1.5 tsp salt
-2 tbs chipotle puree
-1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
-1 can tomato paste
-1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cover with cold water by one inch. Set on high and cook for 4-5hrs (crock pot temperatures may vary). If desired you can then ladle beans into a baking dish and bake at 350 for an hour or until desired consistency is reached. Let beans rest 10 minutes before serving.

mango salsa
-1 ripe mango
-1/2 red bell
-1/4 red onion
-handful of cilantro
-half or whole jalepeno
-juice of half a lime

Dice all ingredients, squeeze lime over mix, season to taste, let sit 10 mins

chipotle crema
-3 heaping tbs sour cream
-1 heaping tbs mayo
-chipotle puree to liking.

Mix sour cream and mayo together till combined; add chipotle puree a little at a time till desired heat is achieved.


I assembled ours over cornbread, just like i had it before, but to make life easier you can heat up 2 corn tortillas per serving. Whichever base you choose; slather with beans, top with a sunny side up egg (or two), spoon on the mango salsa + top with chipotle crema and have your idea of huevos rancheros forever changed!


holiday // coquito

coquito / workhouseblogThis is the time of year when the Christmas music is on all the time, we start our mornings sitting by the fire doing our early day reading. At night we turn on the outside lights whose warm twinkle makes everything a bit more beautiful and festive. Its a wonderful time of year, a time to reflect on the abundance that we already have: our family who keeps us humble and in check, our friends who fill our hearts and spirits with joy, the comforts of life that we take for granted on a daily basis- a warm home, choices on what and when we eat, acknowledging the love in our lives, the blessing in knowing that our children will not be without. Let this be a time to look at the stuff we have acquired and a chance to assess what our needs really are. With the gift giving season upon us, take a moment to listen to what would be special and meaningful for those you love, let there be a shift in what you buy and give. Honor the blessings that are already before you and use this time to fill hearts and souls wisely.

With that off my heart, I wanted to share one of my most favorite holiday drinks with you, coquitio. Its the Puerto Rican cousin to egg nog and its by far our seasonal go to! I have tried many recipes over the years, some are too over spiced, some too too sweet and some plain, blah. This year I set out early to search for the perfect recipe and came upon the one below, its a little bit more time consuming but well worth the effort. I made the recipe a bit simpler by omitting the whole coconuts for dried flakes and replace the fennel seeds for a few spice berries for a bit of a different flavor.

 Coquito (recipe adapted from Saveur)

4c dried unsweetened coconut flakes
2c premium coconut water
1 cinnamon stick
1 whole star anise
6 whole allspice berries
4 egg yolks
1 13.5-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
⅛ tsp. Kosher salt
1½ cups dark rum


Place coconut water in a small pot; add cinnamon stick, star anise, and allspice berries. Bring to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and steep 10 minutes. Strain and discard spices; set aside.Combine liquid and half of coconut meat in a blender; mix on high speed until finely pureed and thickened, about 30 seconds. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined  fine mesh sieve or a milk nut bag into a measuring cup; , twisting tightly to extract liquid. Discard coconut solids and return strained liquid to blender with remaining coconut meat. Repeat blending and straining process (you should have 2-3 cups coconut milk, add water so that it equals to at least 2c); rinse blender .Combine coconut milk, yolks, condensed milk, evaporated milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in blender; mix on high speed until frothy, 30-60 seconds. Whisk in rum and refrigerate until ready to use.

We usually make ours without the rum unless we are having guests or a party, this way its kid friendly and the adults can spike their drink as needed.  Enjoy!


miso curry delicata

miso curry delicata / workhouseblog miso curry delicata / workhouseblog

There are recipes that hold their place in the year, recipes that you look forward coming into season. They conjure up warm feeling of nostalgia, like reconnecting with an old friend. It feels like we wait all year long for the winter squash to come to harvest, especially delicata, its by far our favorite, and this is one of our favorite ways to cook it. The colors of fall on a plate and a simple week day dinner that’s yummy enough to impress company.


Miso Curry Delicata Squash (from Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson)

12 ounces delicata squash
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white miso
1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste
8 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into small cubes (I bought mine pre-cubed
4 medium new potatoes, scrubbed, unpeeled, cut into chunks
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups chopped kale tough stems removed
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with a rack into middle of the oven.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to clear out all of the seeds. Cut into 1/2 inch thick half moons. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, miso, and curry paste. Combine tofu, potatoes, and squash in a large bowl with 1/3 cup of the miso-curry paste. Use your hands to toss well and then turn the vegetables onto a rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.Roast 25-30 minutes, until everything is tender and browned. Toss once or twice along the way to prevent burning. Keep a close watch, though; the vegetables can go from browned to burned in a flash. In the meantime, whisk the lemon juice into the remaining curry paste, then stir in the kale until coated. Toss the vegetables gently with the kale, pumpkin seeds, and cilantro. Serve family style in a large bowl or on a plate.


I toss the kale along with all the other veggies, Lucy is a giant fan of kale chips and these crisp up nicely along side everything else. I also add a small sweet onion and several cloves of garlic out of the skins, I had a sweet potato that was waiting to be used so I tossed that in as well. We eat ours atop brown rice or any other grain. Its even good the next day as a cold salad.