plant based


spring has sprung in LA! after a pretty cold and wet winter (i heard it was the chilliest one in over 100 years), we’re back in warmer temps, and sunnier days. nothing not to love. i found myself craving lighter meals that still offer a bit of warmth at the end of the day like this rice. while it’s super spring-y, it still provides you that pleasant cozy vibe for the beginnings of spring. if i remember back to living in nyc (i can’t believe it’s almost been 2 years since we moved to LA!), i can imagine the chives just starting to sprout up in our little garden in brooklyn, or the ever so tiny buds beginning to show themselves on the branches of our crab apple tree. here in southern california you can get pretty much any seasonal vegetable year round, which, while wonderful, is still confusing to me and my sense of what others are experiencing across the country.

i was at my favorite neighborhood market, cookbook, the other day. they had artichokes, cauliflower, snap peas, every kind of fresh herb, and a big bowl filled with pea shoot bouquets. it’s times like these that the excitement of picking out what’s calling to you, bring it home, and cooking up a meal on the fly. that’s what this dish was.

a meal on the fly that just happens to be something lovely enough to share here. i’m a sucker for a garlic & herb situation, and i’m always on the lookout to make cauliflower rice more palatable. so this dish combines great flavor, but also a super easy technique for making really tasty cauliflower rice. the result is a flavor you know and love mixed with a side of health - win, win!

so what’s the technique that takes a gritty, riced cauliflower to one that’s supple and actually rice-like? butter! every time i’ve made cauli rice in the past, i’ve sautéed in olive oil. and while i’m sure it might taste ok for most people, i always felt there was something missing. the (vegan) butter makes everything more luscious and full of flavor, something olive oil just can’t offer here. i also used about 2 tablespoons more of water to steam the cauliflower than i have in the past, which made a huge difference in its texture. the addition of both them here makes this cauliflower rice a bit more next-level 👌🏼


garlicky, herbed cauliflower rice w/ pea shoots | gf & v

  • i like serving this on the side of cooked fish or chicken (although it would be lovely with any animal protein), i also think adding cooked, marinated lentils or chickpeas would be a great addition for a plant-based version.

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| serves 4-6 as a side |

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into medium-sized florets

  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter (i use miyoko’s brand)

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/2 cup chopped herbs (i used an equal amount of chives and parsley)

  • salt & fresh pepper

  • 5-6 radishes, sliced thin on a mandolin or with a knife

  • 1-2 cup pea shoots, microgreens, chopped baby spinach, etc.

  • squeeze of lemon juice


  1. start by ricing your cauliflower. in a food processor fitted with a metal “s” blade, or in an upright blender, rice the cauliflower florets in batches, blitzing them just until they reach small rice-sized pieces (over-blitzing will result in cauliflower mush, so be on the lookout). set the cauli rice aside.

  2. heat a large rimmed saute pan over medium heat, once hot. add the vegan butter. once it’s melted and bubbly, add the garlic and stir, cooking the garlic until fragrant; about 1 minute. add the cauliflower rice and the water, stir, cover, and turn the heat down to medium-low. let the cauliflower rice cook 6-7 minutes, until the water has evaporated and the cauli rice is tender but not overly mushy. remove from heat and add salt and pepper, to taste.

  3. throw in the sliced radishes, pea shoots (or whatever tender green you’re using), and squeeze everything with a splash of lemon juice. toss it all together, taste and add more salt/pepper, or lemon juice if need be. serve immediately.

more spring recipes:

sweet pea oven risotto w/ garlicky pea shoots

sweet pea oven risotto w/ garlicky pea shoots

Plant-Powered Protein Pancakes by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

hey, hey! i just completed my 3-week cleanse/elimination diet this past sunday, and i couldn't be more thrilled about how i'm feeling, but also that it's now over!  it was somewhat of rollercoaster being that our little one went through/is still going through some sort of sleep regression (??) - again! (gosh, i hope it passes soon!) but overall i came out of these 21 days with a bit more clarity, which, whatever you're doing in life, i think is always a good thing. overall, it informed me that our bodies are capable.  period. that given the capacity, our bodies are ready and able to adapt - to let you know what's working, and what's not.  

 seriously though, the only hard thing about being on somewhat of a strict diet for the past few weeks was not making and eating everything in laura's new, amazing cookbook!  i'm sure i'm preaching to the choir,  but her book is nothing short of totally lovely.  i've been such a fan of the first mess blog for quite a while.  it was one of the first blogs i reached for when i had changed my diet and was hunting for answers/inspiration/help.  much like the best things in life, her blog has a way of luring you in, sweeping you up, gently encouraging you to try something new.

her book is only an extention of that - deeply nourishing both visually and substantively. laura's flavor combinations, kitchen techniques, her wildly ingenious recipes, and her stunning photography all ooze with inspiration.  even when it's something as simple as a tea latte, laura has this way of making it special, and making it something you want to share in with others.  there's also something to be said about a good recipe title, and laura's are enticing, yet cheeky, like: thai-ish cabbage salad, go-to kale salad with "master cleanse" dressing, lazy steel cut oatmeal, a casually specific green smoothie, and homemade popcorn with magic dust.  maybe it's just me, but recipes with "casually specific" titles speak to me ;)  

i made these plant-powered pancakes a few times, and (not surprisingly) they're aces.  i'm not going to lie, i'm always on the lookout for an easy, lady-with-a-baby-recipe (i.e. anything involving little cleanup and a short cook time).  and these pancakes are a one-bowl (blender container) situation, and are quick to make, which checks all the boxes.  plus, the recipe calls to make 2 huge pancakes, instead of a few little ones, and i'm not sure why i never thought to do that! the pancakes are squidgy and earthy, and hearty, but light.  i topped them with almond milk yogurt, some tart passion fruit, and drizzled it all with coconut nectar.  you can really do no wrong with one of laura's recipes, so i would nudge you to go out and buy this book!

congrats, laura.  this book is a gem. 

here's to longer days, and the eventual pops of spring! xo 

plant-powered protein pancakes | v & gf

Reprinted from The First Mess Cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright 2017, Laura Wright

| serves 2 |

  • 1/4 cup certified gluten-free rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)
  • 1/4 cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, or to taste
  • virgin coconut oil, for cooking

for serving

  • chopped fresh fruit
  • nut or seed butter
  • pure maple syrup


  1. place the rolled oats, buckwheat groats, chia seeds, and hemp seeds in a high-speed blender.  cover with the boiling water.  place the lid on the blender and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
  2. set a medium pan over medium-low heat.
  3. after 5 minutes, add the applesauce, baking powder, vanilla, sea salt, and maple syrup to the blender.  whiz the blender on high until you have a relatively smooth, pancake-like batter.  you'll still see little flecks of chia and this is okay.
  4. lightly oil the saute pan and pour in half of the pancake batter.  spread the batter with a spatula.  let the pancake cook for a good 2 minutes on one side, or until the edges of the pancakes dry and the underside is quite browned.  carefully flip the pancake over and cook for another full minute.  repeat this process with the remaining half of the batter.
  5. serve the pancakes with fresh fruit, nut or seed butter, and maple syrup if you like.

similar recipes:

super seed power pancakes

super seed power pancakes

passion fruit & lemon-ginger fresca

passion fruit & lemon-ginger fresca

oat pancakes w/ pomegranate yogurt

oat pancakes w/ pomegranate yogurt

Crusty Baked Vegan Alfredo w/ Caramelized Shallots & Kale by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

when i was little my mom attended college full time.  she went back to school after having my brother and i to change careers and fulfill her desire of becoming a psychologist. i know it couldn't have been easy with two little ones at home, especially during the week when my dad was at work.  dinners were generally comprised of a prepared meal my mom had picked up, or some concoction of food my dad was going to make.  but the few nights my mom had time to cook, she would occasionally make us her grandmother's macaroni and cheese recipe.  like all good mac n cheeses, it started with a roux.  from there, plenty of good-quality cheddar cheese was melted into the pot to make the creamiest, dreamiest mac n cheese which she finished with a dash of nutmeg.  if there's a flavor i specifically remember from childhood meals, it's this one.  it reminds me of warmth, love, and most importantly - ultimate coziness.    

so when i was testing recipes for my book, my goal was to make a plant-based version of my mom's mac n cheese for an alfredo dish i wanted to include.  after a bunch of recipe bummers i made finally nailed the right ratio of chickpea flour to water to soaked cashews for the velvety and silky texture, and cheesy flavor i had always cherished.  frank and i love the recipe so much that it's become a dinner staple, especially as the weather has gotten colder. we usually dig in to one big bowl of it, with a fork for each of us, all cozied up on the couch with blanket.  (that's how we get down winter-style.)  but for the past few weeks i had been seeing a bunch of baked mac n cheeses on pinterest that were literally making me drool every time i saw them.  initially i was scared to try a plant-based version, as i thought the sauce would get too dry, but i bit the bullet and gave it a shot.  

i ended up doubled my original alfredo recipe, caramelizing some onions, sautéed some kale, threw some breadcrumbs on top, and baked it until it was slightly crisp and browned.  and, guys, it was crazy good!  hence, the recipe you see here today :)  there are a few steps in making it, but ultimately it's a super easy recipe.  and i've saved you a step by sautéing the shallots and kale in the same pot that the pasta bakes in.  i used KitchenAid®'s oven-safe saucepan to sauté and bake, and it was a dream!  it has an inductive bottom that makes for even cooking, which, for somebody who's lived in apartments with funky stoves/ovens for a while now, these are the only pots and pans that have provided even cooking and i couldn't recommend them more!  all in all, this is a really snuggly dish, a hug in the form of food, essentially :)

wishing you cozy times! xo

this post was created in partnership with KitchenAid® Cookware.  all thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.  thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that keep dolly and oatmeal going! 

crusty baked vegan alfredo w/ caramelized shallots & kale | gf

| makes 6 servings |

  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 12 ounces brown rice pasta (i like tinkyada fussili)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 medium sized shallots
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs (i like aleia's)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

alfredo sauce

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked for at least 4 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 cups filtered water


  1. preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente (see notes).  drain and rinse under cold water to stop the pasta from cooking. set aside.
  3. while the pasta is cooking, make the shallots, kale, and breadcrumb topping.  in an large oven-safe saucepan with 2-inch sides (alternatively, you can use a casserole pan or any large oven-friendly dish with sides), heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium.  once the oil is hot, add the shallots and cook, stirring every now and then until the shallots are soft and caramelized, about 8 minutes.  add the kale and saute until soft and wilted, about 4 minutes.  remove from the heat and set aside. combine the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, a few pinches of salt, a couple grinds of pepper, and 1 tablespoon olive oil.  set aside. 
  4. make the alfredo sauce.  place the cashews, oil, nutrtional yeast, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste in the container of a high-speed blender and set aside.
  5. in a small pot, whisk together the water and chickpea flour until completely combined.  place the pot over medium-low heat and continue to whisk every now and then until the mixture is thick and shiny , about 6-8 minutes. remove the mixture from the heat and carefully pour it into your blender.  blend on high for 1 minute, until completely smooth and creamy.  taste and adjust any seasonings, if needed. 
  6. run the pasta under water to loosen it.  add the pasta and hot alfredo sauce to the saucepan with the shallots and kale, gently toss until everything is mixed and covered in sauce.  evenly sprinkle the surface with the breadcrumb mixture and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the browned and crusty on top.  serve hot and garnish with parsley (optional). 

notes: because the pasta is cooking in the oven for an additional 18-20 minutes, you want to undercook it.  i would say to cook it about 2-3 minutes under what you normally do to prevent the pasta from being mushy.

similar recipes:

cauliflower pasta w/ olives & za'atar

cauliflower pasta w/ olives & za'atar

creamy garlicky pasta w/ charred broccoli & figs

creamy garlicky pasta w/ charred broccoli & figs