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7-Day Sustainable-Food Cooking CHALLENGE-Join me in my kitchen & let's change the world!

I am super jazzed to be launching my first Sustainable Food 7-Day Cooking CHALLENGE!

While I am not perfect in my sustainable food habits and consumption, I am a REAL GEEK in this space and consume a lot of articles and information about the energy of our food system and our unique opportunity to transform our kitchens into climate disturbance mitigation power-houses!!

I will be launching 7 videos on YouTube and TikTok leading up to Earth Day, 2022 which thread some of this information into 7 amazing, delicious, simple, rockin' recipes - please cook along with me!! The first video will be uploaded on 4/16/2022 and the last on Earth Day - 4/22/2022. Eventually all of the video links will be posted here so keep an eye out! Also - subscribe to my YouTube and TikTok Channels to be notified when these become available.

Below is a summary of the 7 recipes and a list of ingredients so you can be prepared and cook with me!!

I BELIEVE in the power of the food system to heal ourselves and our planet and I believe that we can make changes to our current food system in ways that is gentler to our earth's fragile system and more nutritious for us.

So - head to the grocery and grab these ingredients, strap on your apron and join me in the kitchen this journey! #foodphysics

Share your adventure on social media! #SustianbleCookingChallenge

Day #1: Lentil Tacos.

Equipment -

Range top

Cooking Pot to hold ~ 6 cups

Colander or strainer to drain water from lentils


Some type of spoon or spatula to stir the lentils

Cutting Board and knife for toppings

Garlic Press

Ingredients -

1 pound dry brown lentils


Tortilla shells of your liking

Taco toppers of your liking (Tomato, avocado, lettuce, onion, pepper, cheese, salsa, olives, ...)

Butter and/or cooking oil

Taco seasoning packet -or- make your own taco seasoning with these ingredients:

1 teaspoon Onion Powder

½ teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Chili Powder

½ teaspoon Cornstarch

1 to 2 cloves Garlic (use garlic press or finely dice)

½ teaspoon Cumin

¼ teaspoon Dry Oregano (or ½ teaspoon fresh – easy to grow in a container)

1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional but yummy!)


Day #2: Overnight Oats (a spoonable smoothie!)

Equipment -

Wide-mouth pint jar (or similar)

A re-purposed wide-mouth salsa or olive jar also works well too

Ingredients -

½ Cup Oats (Old Fashion is best but quick also work)

NOTE: this does not work with Steel-cut oats - I'll do a video about that later :)

3/4 Cup Liquid (water, milk, soy milk, almond milk, flax milk, oat milk, yogurt whey, applesauce, ...)

1 teaspoon (or to your taste) brown sugar or honey

1+ Tablespoon nuts or seeds

1/4 Cup or more fresh or dried fruit

½ teaspoon cinnamon (or other spices - clove, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, ...)


Day #3: Steamed Chocolate Cake


Before combining ingredients, locate a cake pan (9-inch is best, but 8-inch also works) that will fit inside a cooking pot or dutch oven.  You will also need a trivet to hold the cake pan above the boiling water (if you don't have a trivet, an empty tuna can filled with water also works) .  You will also need a "sling" to lower the cake pan onto the trivet in the cooking pot and lift it back out once it's fully cooked.  They make silicone slings for this purpose for InstanPots, but a ~17-inch piece of aluminum foil, folded lengthwise twice makes a good sling .... and it's reusable which is great, because you're going to want to make this cake more than once! :).  You also need to cut a circle of parchment paper that fits in the bottom of the cake pan to help get the cake out when it's cooked.  I know ... this is a lot of equipment prep, but IT'S WORTH IT!!

Once you have found this equipment, place the trivet in the pot and fill the pot with 1-2 inches of water (you don't want water to touch the bottom of the cake pan when it's placed on top of the trivet) and place it on a burner on high to bring the water to a boil.  Combine the ingredients while you are waiting for the water to boil:

Ingredients - 8-inch cake pan:

1/2 cup butter, softened. (try plant-based butter)

1/4 cup whole milk yogurt (can also use more butter)

3/4 cup sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (2oz/57g) cocoa or cacao (less processed) powder

1.5 teaspoons baking powder

Ingredients - 9-inch cake pan:

3/4 cup butter, softened. (try plant-based butter)

1/4 cup whole milk yogurt (can also use more butter)

1 cup sugar

4 eggs, room temperature

1 cup (5oz/142g) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (2oz/57g) cocoa or cacao (less processed) powder

2 teaspoons baking powder


  • Cream together the butter, yogurt and sugar

  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time

  • Stir in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder

  • Pour the batter in the pan on top of the parchment paper

  • Using the sling described above, carefully lower the cake pan onto a trivet in the large cooking pot with 1-2 inches of boiling water

  • Put the top on the pot and steam the cake for approximately 30 minutes (The burner should be held at a level to retain a low boil - medium low usually works) (** note: if the water runs low below the cake pan, add more boiling water, being careful to not get it into the cake pan **)

  • Test the cake with a toothpick.  This cake is very forgiving if you cook it longer than needed but will flop if not fully set in the middle, so if you are in doubt, err on the side of over-cooking.

  • Using hot mitts, carefully remove the lid of the pot and grab the sling to lift the cake pan out of the pot.

  • Let it cool for 5 minutes on a cooling rack.

  • Run a knife around the outside of the cake to free it from the edge of the cake pan.

  • Carefully invert the cake pan onto a plate (the cake will be upside-down)

  • Peel off the parchment paper

  • Invert the cake again onto the final cake plate.

  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with (*LOCAL*) fresh berries

  • Enjoy

  • Repeat!

Adapted from:


Day #4: Pesto Pasta with Roasted Red Peppers & Garlic Green Beans


Pasta / Peppers:

Cooktop burner

Cooking pot with lid

Strainer or colander

Oven with broil option

Cooking sheet

Sealable glass container to hold peppers after broiling


Purchase store-bought or have an immersion blender or food processor

Green Beans (optional but recommended):

Replace cooking pot above with a tall cooking pot

Steamer basket

"Double decker" rack (3-inch height works well)


Pasta (look for high-fiber and protein options)

My favorite is Barilla Protein+

Store-bought Pesto or make your own with these ingredients:

4 cups fresh basil (basil tastes best, but feel free to experiment with greens ... arugula, spinach, kale, or a mixture)

½ Cup Olive Oil

5 oz black olives

1 cup feta cheese

8 cloves garlic

½ teaspoon salt

ground black pepper

Red bell pepper(s)

You only need one for this recipe but will thank yourself if you buy a few (no more work and lots more yumminess!)

Fresh Green Beans (optional but recommended)


Day #5: Cornbread (with Buckwheat) Muffins


Mixing bowl and spoon

Muffin pan

Ingredients (Double batch):

2 cup flour

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup buckwheat flour (or you can use another 1 cup cornmeal)

½ cup sugar

2 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cup milk

4 eggs

½ cup canola oil


Day #6: Ginger-Lime Spritzer


Cutting Board and knife

Cooktop burner

Cooking pot with lid


Jars to hold "ginger magic"

Carbonator (Such as Soda Stream) - optional

OK - this is a big equipment recommendation - you can also make this with un-carbonated tap water (I will explain this further in the video)


Fresh Ginger


Honey or Agave Syrup or sugar (optional)


Day #7: Curry Roasted Vegetables with a Tahini Sauce


Cutting board and knife


Cookie sheet

Spatula for stirring veggies as they roast

Large bowl and spoon

Lemon juicer or rheamer

Garlic press (optional - can also be finely diced)


1 head cauliflower

1 large sweet potato

2 Tablespoons cooking oil (olive is best)

1 teaspoon curry powder (these vary greatly depending on brand, especially in spiciness)

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

2 garlic cloves

Salt and Pepper


3 Tablespoons Tahini

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice (or 1 small fresh lemon)

½ teaspoon curry powder

1 garlic clove

½ Tablespoon grated ginger (or 1 teaspoon ginger powder)

¼ teaspoon salt

Fresh ground pepper

Chickpeas (1 can or home-cooked)

Peas (frozen is typical)

2 to 3 Green onions

Fresh (or dry) cilantro


PS I am so excited that Yale Climate Connection featured this work in their Earth Day newsletter! This is an amazing climate education resource - I would HIGHLY encourage you to subscribe to their weekly newsletter here to keep learning about great climate mitigation work being done across the globe!


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