I like to talk about food in the context of the dinner table. Because that’s where we eat it night after night. It’s so routine, it’s expected. It’s commonplace. So common that Hallie, my two year old, couldn’t fathom eating dinner in another context. In fact, she couldn’t even fathom real hunger outside of the occasional stomach bug. Honestly, neither can I. I think Katie, founder of Katie’s Krops, would say the same thing too. Yet somehow, after growing a 40 lb. cabbage in 3rd grade for a school project, it propelled her to become a major player in the fight against hunger.
This post was created in partnership with Sub-Zero and the #FreshFoodMatters initiative. Sub-Zero will donate $5 for every Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter post using the #FreshFoodMatters hashtag, up to $25,000. That equals 25 gardens for Katie’s Krops. Let’s make our hashtags count.
The other week I jumped on the phone with Katie to learn more about Katie’s Krops. I stumbled over my words after realizing that Katie was in fact only 17. The website was up-to-date after all. She was poised, well-spoken, driven, empathetic, and 17. I was disheveled, teary-eyed, inarticulate, and 31.
I talk about doing things. Katie does things.
In passing, Katie said her dad always told them not to waste growing up. It’s funny the things that stick with you. After growing a cabbage the size of a 4 year old, Katie decided to donate it to a soup kitchen. That cabbage made its way into a soup with rice and ham and fed 275 people. After hearing the number and seeing the line of people waiting to be fed, Katie wondered—how much could an entire garden feed?
Today, Katie’s Krops is the umbrella to over 100 gardens around the country. Kids 9+ can apply to begin a garden. The non-profit provides the funding, tools, and resources to start a garden. Just like the original transaction, all produce is donated to local soup kitchens so that nutrient-dense, real food can be served around hungry tables. Sub-Zero is backing Katie’s Krops during the #FreshFoodMatters initiative. They will donate $5 for every Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter post using the hashtag #FreshFoodMatters, up to $25,000. That equals 25 new gardens! Let’s get to hashtagging already. To hear more from Katie herself, check out this video. To hear more about the Fresh Food Matters initiative—buying real food, preserving it, and serving it around the table, head this way.
In honor of summer’s soon-to-be abundance, I made Lentil Tahini Bowls—something we’ve been making a lot of lately. This recipe is a deconstruction of Pinch of Yum’s Falafel Bowls. We skip the falafel making part on weeknights for the sake of time. (But you have to try the baked falafels sometime. I’m going to start making a batch for the freezer. Moms love freezers.)
While the lentils simmer, the carrots and cauliflower roast under a hit of cumin and plenty of salt and olive oil. We add bright purple cabbage for crunch and jalapeños for heat. I like the contrast of the roasted to the raw veggies. The tahini dressing carries enough zing to pull the whole bowl together while the carrots lend a touch of sweetness. And then there’s Hallie’s favorite part—the store bought naan. (Minneapolis friends, you have to try the fresh naan from Seward Co-op, but save us some.) With all the chopping involved, this comes together in just under an hour. Vegetables can be chopped in advance to cut down on the final prep time.
To cabbage, full bellies, big hearts, and eating around the dinner table. Fresh food matters.
Partially roasted, partially raw—this bowl is a celebration of vegetables. I recommend starting with high-quality vegetables as this will dictate the flavors. The carrots should be sweet to taste and the cabbage brilliantly purple and crunchy. Serve with warmed naan or flatbread.
1 head of cauliflower
10 –12 skinny carrots
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. lentils, dried
3 c. water
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
healthy handful of fresh cilantro
small handful of parsley
1/4 c. tahini
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
squirt of honey (optional)
Prepare roasted veggies. Preheat oven to 425°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Rinse and dry cauliflower. Chop or break apart into small florets and place on baking sheet. Peel carrots and cut into thin strips. Add to baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and cumin. Toss to combine. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes, tossing half way. Veggies are done when slightly charred.
Prepare lentils. While the veggies bake, cook the lentils. Add lentils, water, bayleaf, and salt to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a very low simmer. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes. Wash, destem, and chop fresh herbs. Set aside. Lentils are ready when just tender. Drain excess water if needed. Stir in herbs (except a pinch saved for garnishing) and a generous squeeze of lemon. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Make sauce. While the veggies and lentils cook, assemble the sauce. Stir all ingredients together into a bowl. Sauce will be a bit zingy and bitter. It’s just right. Thin with additional water to reach desired consistency. Set aside.
Prepare toppings. Thinly shred the cabbage. Thinly slice the jalapeños.
Assemble the bowls by adding lentils, roasted veggies, cabbage, and jalapeños. Drizzle generously with the sauce, garnish with remaining herbs, and serve.