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

Lemony Fennel, Radish, and Kale Salad by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

it's seems as though i left one spring behind in new york, and am experiencing a completely different one here in LA.  when we left brooklyn the buds of trees were just beginning to bloom, and my raspberry and elderflower bushes were getting all bushy too.  los angeles couldn't be more different.  as many times as i've visited here, i think i haven't paid as much attention to the utterly diverse worlds that exist on each coast.  when amesy and i take quint on his walks during the day i'm blown away by plants that i've never seen before, flowers that grow a foot high in NY but are gigantic bushes here, and the passion fruit that grows effortlessly on a neighbors fence.  it's fascinating, while being entirely overwhelming - i want to get properly acquainted with each and every leafy thing here!  in due time, i suppose.

we spent the weekend getting situated in our new apartment.  our space is a 2-bedroom, which is huge for us - both literally and figuratively. we have a washer and dryer (!!!!), something that is inconceivable in nyc, a ton of natural light, and the babe has all the room to spread out and explore :)  everything here feels airy and light, there's a feeling of ease in each day.  it's kinda crazy how a new space can do that for you.  but the clutter of our last place was something that was bothering both frank and i in a lot of ways.  half of the year was great because we had our backyard to use, but the other half of the year felt cramped and tight.  we only had 2 exposures and for people who vibe off natural light it felt like a big deal.  in some ways i think that crept into our daily outlook on things which sometimes felt very limited.  so for many reasons we are super grateful to be in sunny LA.

and another reason i'm thrilled to live in this new city is that i'm practically neighbors with the author of the recipe here today.  if you're not already acquainted with lily diamond, she's the beautiful soul behind the blog, Kale & Caramel.  her blog is an easy-breezy space filled with beautiful photography, and recipes that are textured, and playful, and filled with joy.  her affinity for food and her wanting to share it with us beams through every recipe that occupies the pages on her site.  her writing is a thing of beauty, they have a way of evoking feelings perhaps you didn't know were there, or thoughts you had never thought yourself.  she is, if anything, an immensely inspiring woman.  

her book, Kale & Caramel: Recipes For Body, Heart, and Table is a deeper look into her glorious mind and i'm so happy she's let us in - if only a little bit.  the book is organized around herbs and flowers, think: basil, fennel, oregano, lavender, and rose petals.  there are recipes for face masks, and salads, and beach-y spray for your hair.  there are tarts, and chocolate mousse, and things that will care for your soul and make you smile in the process. it seems as though lily is there on each page encouraging you to nourish and care for yourself.

lemony fennel, radish, and kale salad 

recipe from Kale & Caramel: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table by Lily Diamond

to make this recipe dairy-free i subbed the feta cheese with little dabs of this kite hill almond milk ricotta cheese, which was delicious. 

| serves 4-6 |

  • 8 large leaves dinosaur (lacinato) kale
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, washed and eds trimmed
  • 3 cups very thinly sliced or shaved fennel bulb (about 1 medium-large), fronds reserved
  • 5 to 6 radishes, very thinly sliced or shaved, about 1 cup
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 1 3/4 ounces)
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. remove the stems from the kale and chop the leaves into thin strips. place the strips of kale in a large bowl and massage with the oil, about 30 seconds, until the leaves grow deep green, reduce in volume, and take on a mellow sheen.
  2. slice each sugar snap pea in half diagonally across its midsection to reveal some of the peas (or do the same for green beans). add the sliced peas, fennel, and radishes to the bowl with the massaged kale.

  3. on a cutting board, give the parsley, mint leaves, and the reserved fennel fronds a coarse chop. add to the bowl of kale and veggies. add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and the salt, and toss vigorously to combine. Add the feta and toss gently to integrate. taste and adjust the salt and lemon juice as desired.

  4. serve immediately. the salad will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

similar recipes:

grilled panzanella salad w/ peaches & fennel

grilled panzanella salad w/ peaches & fennel

zucchini-basil chickpea waffles w/ tomato & shaved fennel salad

zucchini-basil chickpea waffles w/ tomato & shaved fennel salad

spring fattoush salad

spring fattoush salad

pea shoot, radish + fermented jalapeño tostadas by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

the beginning of spring gets me every time.  the simple pleasures of warmth, growth, and outside vibes are enough to make me super giddy. i'm looking forward to a less agitated beginning of spring since last year there was a stressful move to our new apartment while i was in the midst of finishing up my cookbook. so i can't wait to get out into our little outside space and bring our backyard back to life a bit earlier this year.  i'm hoping to plant some of my favorite plants, veggies, and bushes, including sweet honeysuckle, perhaps a raspberry and edlerflower vine, and i'm super hopeful about growing a rhubarb bushel. i guess we shall see if these grow in brooklyn too!

spring also means a slew of new cookbooks hitting the shelves!  i couldn't be more excited for so much of the creativity and beauty that dress the pages of so many bloggers and cooks that i admire.  so in the spirit of cookbook season, i'm sharing a recipe from autumn giles (of autumn makes and does), new cookbook, beyond canning!  i was so excited for this book, because i am totally overwhelmed by all things preserving, fermenting, pickling, etc.!  when i opened autumn's book it was like a breath of fresh air - a steady voice guiding me through the steps until boom!, i had fermented my first piece of food without incident!  for this and many other recipes you will need a kitchen scale (which i've been using for a while now, and have really become reliant on especially when baking), mason jars/weck jars/ ball jars, salt, and water.  the fermented jalapeños were so welcome in this breakfast tostada situation, adding heat and tons of flavor that i'm eager to add them to a salad or blend them up in a dressing.  autumn also provides a recipe for fermented jalapeño salsa, which i think i'll definitely be making with the leftovers as well!

and i'm thrilled to give away a copy of beyond canning: new techniques, ingredients, and flavors to preserve, pickle, and ferment like never before, to one reader (giveaway open worldwide!).  if you'd like to enter, please leave a comment below about your favorite spring or summer-time produce to preserve throughout the season - as a beginer who needs all the help i can get, i'd love to hear your thoughts!  thank you for entering :) *giveaway closes friday, april 1 at 5pm EST

pea shoot, radish + fermented  jalapeño tostadas | gf

these can easily be made vegan by substituting the sunny egg for a chickpea or tofu scramble, or even leaving that off altogether and adding a grain like quinoa or brown basmati rice.   

fermented  jalapeños

| makes 1 scant quart |

  • 340 grams jalapeño slices; you can decide how thick you’d like them
  • 5 percent brine to cover by at least 1 inch


| makes 4 tostadas |

  • 8 toasted tortillas (i like these)
  • 1 batch 5-spice black beans, (omit cayenne pepper)
  • roughly 1/4 cup fermented jalapeños
  • 2 radishes sliced paper thin on a mandolin
  • handful of pea shoots or microgreens
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 organic farm eggs
  • 1-2 avocados, pitted and sliced thin
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • salt and fresh pepper


fermented jalapeños

  1. make the brine. place a quart mason jar on a kitchen scale.  zero the scale. fill it with water.  calculate 5% of the weight of the water, add that amount in salt which creates the 5% brine. cover and shake the jar until salt is dissolved.  
  2. drop the jalapeño slices into a clean quart mason jar, shaking the jar side to side to help them settle, but not packing them down. if you slice them especially thick, you may not fit the full amount in the jar.  fill the jar only to its shoulder.
  3. pour the brine into the jar so that it completely covers the jalapeños.  jiggle a wooden chopstick around in the jar to help remove air bubbles.
  4. weight the contents, secure with an airlock, and allow the jalapeños to ferment for up to 2 weeks. you may begin tasting for doneness after 3 days. jalapeños and other hot peppers have a tendency to produce more surface yeasts than other vegetables, so if that happens, don't be alarmed, just skim it off and proceed with fermentation.
  5. cover, label, and refrigerate.


  1. toast the tortillas using tongs over a gas stovetop flame, or heat them in the oven until warm.  plate one tortilla and top with the beans, a couple of jalapeños and radishes, and some pea shoots (or microgreens).  top with another tortilla and set aside. (repeat with remaining tortillas before you cook the eggs.)
  2. heat a skillet over medium heat and add enough olive oil to thinly coat the pan.  once the pan is hot, carefully crack the eggs into the pan and cook until whites are set, but yolk is still a bit runny, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. top each tostada with 1 egg, a few slices of avocado, more jalapeños, radishes, and pea shoots. drizzle with hot sauce (optional), a sprinkle of salt, and a few grinds of pepper.   


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baked eggs w/ cuban sofrito

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balsamic roasted asparagus w/ fried capers + a 7-minute egg

balsamic roasted asparagus w/ fried capers + a 7-minute egg

green shakshuka w/ smoky socca

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