With Rosh Hashanah just around the corner, the traditional use of apples is always on the menu.  While I do not celebrate Rosh Hashanah I will be preparing a lovely meal for a large group this coming Monday. This recipe is an excellent way to use apples especially when feeding a crowd! I added grapes to this traditional recipe while also adding macadamia nuts to the crumble for additional flavor & healthy fats.



  • 3-3 1/2 cups pink crisp apples (about two large apples)

  • 1 1/2 cups grapes

  • 2 tbsp ghee or 2 tbsp coconut oil if vegan

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or paste of 1 vanilla bean

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/8 tsp allspice

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 cup water


  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups oats or 1 cup oats 1/ 1/2 cup macadamia nuts (pulsed)

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)

  • 1/4 cup rice flour

  • 1/8 tsp sal



  1. Set your oven to 350.

  2. Add ghee to your pan. Add the apples & grapes once the ghee has gotten hot & shimmy the pan until well combined. Cover for about 5 minutes while shaking every so often to prevent the apples & grapes from sticking.

  3. During this time make your crumble. If you decide to use macadamia nuts you will need to pulse them in a food processor. 

  4. After the timer has gone off add your vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, salt, water & optional maple syrup (taste test prior) and cover for another 5 minutes by setting a timer.

  5. Once the apples & grapes have cooked down with the spices, remove & turn off the stovetop. 

  6. Add your apple grape mixture to a baking dish and add your crumble to the top of it. Add to the oven and cook for 40 minutes or until the crumble has become golden brown.

**Tips: When shopping for the grapes, larger ones will typically be sweeter while smaller ones will provide a more tart taste. I prefer to have smaller grapes as they provide a nice balance with the sweetness of the apples!**

Serve with your favorite vanilla ice/nice cream! Enjoy!

Thank you to our friends at @hungryharvest for the delicious rescued apples & grapes that went into this dish for Rosh Hashanah!  Use my code "cookcollab" for $5.00 off your first delivery!


Serves 2


  • 1 Bunch Mint
  • 1/2 cup Frozen Avocado 
  • 2 cups OJ
  • 1/4 cup natural/fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup Grapefruit Juice
  • 1 cup Frozen Mango


  1. Combine all ingredients into a blender and pulse until entirely combined. Make sure that you have enough liquid to blend the mixture.
  2. Serve, garnish with fresh mint & enjoy! Remember, sugar is still sugar so drink in moderation as a special treat. Top with lemon or lime kombucha for a "boozy" probiotic addition!

**Keep in mind that sweetness can be adjusted with OJ or mango. Everyone will require a bit more of each ingredient versus another. I prefer my Mangorita-Mojito to be more tart while others may want it sweeter!**


Make sure you use an avocado that is not entirely ripe. This will give the smoothie a bitterness if it is too ripe. I used frozen avocado which is picked and instantly quick frozen at it's prime maturation. 

If you cannot find frozen avocado, simply use an avocado that is perfectly light to medium green inside!


Made with delicious mango from our friends at @hungryharvest! Use my code "cookcollab" for $5.00 off your first order!



We LOVE roasted veggies! However, I've never been one for roasted carrots. I'm more of a roasted sweet potato kind of girl due to the sweetness that the potato provides. Carrots at times, can become bitter with cooking which means it is necessary to balance these flavors when roasting. Typically, bitterness is balanced with sweetness.

For this recipe, I used carrots that were previously peeled & cut by the team over at Hungry Harvest which ended up being absolutely delicious, nutritious, & in the process, fought food waste! Don't forget to use the code "cookcollab" to receive $5.00 off your first order with Hungry Harvest & give yourself a pat on the back for helping to influence the way our industry progresses.




ROASTED CARROTS / or sweet potatoes



  • 1 lb cut carrots
  • 1/2 tsp za'atar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • dash of cardamom (optional)


  1. Set the oven to 415.
  2. On a sheet pan combine all of the ingredients & toss fully by using your hands to mix in the ingredients.
  3. Roast the carrots in the oven at 415 degrees for 25 minutes.
  4. While the carrots are cooking, prepare your garlic tahini chimmichurri vinaigrette or yogurt sauce.

**Sweet potatoes can be used as well.**




(or yogurt sauce)


  • 1 tbsp roasted garlic (see recipe below)
  • 1 large bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 bunch cur leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup sherry vin
  • 1 heaping tbsp tahini
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup olive oil OR 1 cup greek yogurt


  1. Using a food processor, combine all of your ingredients except your oil if choosing to make a vinaigrette. Pulse until well combined and reserve in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
  2. If making the yogurt sauce remove the sherry vin prior to combining and substitute with salt or lemon if desired.
  3. Top the roasted carrots with the sauce & enjoy. They both taste great on a salad.



Garlic is one of the most powerful ingredients for antifungal, anti-inflammatory, & a protector against common colds to list just a few. Most of us have a grandmother who boasts about the benefits of specific ingredients, but to be quite frank, garlic most certainly is, a beneficial food.

It's one of my favorite flavor enhancers to add to dishes, yet I find that most clients & friends don't seem to know the trick on bumping up the flavor with this beneficial ingredient that's SO easy to create, reserve, & continue to enjoy for weeks to come. 


At the start of the week or on Sundays I like to roast a pound (yes an entire pound) with a quality extra virgin olive oil to use for the remainder of the week. I use the roasted garlic in weekly recipes, dressings, dips, & sauces which really packs the flavor into these dishes.

To create roasted garlic simply follow the recipe below.


  • 1 pound of peeled garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Add the peeled garlic to a pan that allows you to cover it. I like to use a small metal baking dish that was given to me by my mom that has a metal lid as it's the perfect size to allow the garlic pieces to roast tightly packed with one another. You can also use a glass baking dish with a lid to roast the garlic.
  2. Once you have added the garlic, check to make sure there are no impurities such as any garlic that contains mold, or any that still has the husk on it. Remove any impurities and add 1/2 extra virgin olive oil to the mixture and stir until well combined.
  3. Cook the garlic at 350 for 45 minutes and remove from the oven to stir. Add back to the oven and cook (still covered) for another 35-45 minutes depending on the temperature integrity of your oven. 
  4. Let the garlic cool and reserve in the fridge. You can either leave the garlic whole or puree the garlic in a food processor. I prefer to leave the garlic whole and make sure it is tightly packed with enough olive oil to cover it to ensure a longer shelf life in the fridge.
  5. Keep the finished product in your fridge for up to 1 month or until you get through it! I assure you it will not stay for any longer! To ensure that your garlic is safe to eat, check for any mold growth before using. This is what will occur almost always if it becomes unsafe to eat. Olive oil will help to preserve it so make sure the garlic is tightly packed in the jar with olive oil covering the top.

Enjoy & head over to Hungry Harvest with my code "cookcollab" to order your first box!

If you want to try this recipe, use the share link below to share it with your friends and family!

To health and happiness,

Chef Dee



Hey All, Happy Cinco De Mayo! While the large majority of Americans probably don't know what this date truly means to Mexico, the number 1862 is the year to remember which was the day Mexico gained victory over the French in Puebla, Mexico. It's rare for celebrations to occur outside of Puebla, however it's likely I'll be handed Mezcal immediately upon waking by my cousin while visiting him in Mexico. In his defense, he's Mexican American so he's learned a thing or two about these binge-worthy celebrations in the US. As I sit here writing this post I have to hand it to him - I was given a peach from his garden instead of Mezcal this time around. I'd say we're making improvements, however Mezcal was our choice for the evening's dance festivities - cumbia & salsa.

To celebrate my cravings for Mexican culture & adventure, I'm visiting my cousin in #CDMX to roam the streets of Coyoacan and climb through the mountains of Mezquital.


While the majority of my Mexican celebrations have been centered around drinking, we aren't going to start off that way with this nutrient-dense blog post, however we'll get down and dirty with an optional smokey mezcal drink & some boochy mocktail recipes later in the post.

Some of my fondest memories when I was little was being able to spend time with my Aunt, eating (and observing) how she made delicious & authentic Mexican food which she also passed on to my mom. My cousins were born in Mexico with my aunt learning to cook a great deal of the cuisine. I've always had a soft spot for Mexican cuisine and that's why we're celebrating the most Americanized version of someone else's history, aka a reason for American's to get sh*tfaced on tequila and poorly made tacos. Now to the yum-yums:



Let's talk Agave & Mezcal |Cocoa & Cocaine

They're all from plants. They're all FROM a natural source. They're all pretty shitty for you, but that's life. I'm not saying go ham on any of them (which we may have done last night) but agave IS an ingredient that's likely in your day to day. The use of honey, maple syrup, dates, coconut sugar, or bananas are probably ingredients that grace your presence more often than mezcal or cocaine. It's likely you're not pouring mezcal or cocaine in your morning coffee or to your acai bowl. Let's be real, neither one of them are good for you, but it's likely we dont utilize them nearly as much as something like agave. 

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Yes. You're correct, I have a pure hatred for agave as it provides little nutritional benefits for your body as it is something that is SO concentrated, reduced, and minimally beneficial compared to other go-to sweeteners. However, the same equally-as-bad-for-you, Mezcal (it's often drunk, older brother) goes through a different process to achieve it's smokey, tequilla-esc flavor. I'm not saying it's good for you by any means, but if you're going to break your I'm eating healthy diet for Cinco De Mayo, it better be with Mezcal like a true Mexican. (Hence my mezcal infused dancing last night)


You see, both mezcal & agave nectar can come from the same plant, the Agave plant depending on the type of Mezcal you are having. The "Pina" portion of the plant is harvested for both of them. The benefits of this plant are pretty BA when utilized in it's raw from, however when heated and greatly fermented or concentrated, those nutritional benefits go out the door, just like when cocaine is made from the cocoa plant (the same source as the antioxidant-rich CHOCOLATE!) In a nutshell, my point of this Agave-bash is that I want you to understand the process your food goes through to get to the point of consumption. We don't see syrup dripping from the sky, but we do see dates fall from a palm, bananas grow tucked behind palm leaves, and maple syrup pour from maple trees during it's harvest. When something is in it's raw form, especially sugars they provide us with more benefits nutritionally, but when in Roam, Dalé because you know, YOLO.



  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup ice
  • 3 oz honey or maple syrup 
  • 1/2 bottle of Kevita Kombucha - Lime Flavor
  • Food-grade Lavender Droplets (optional)
  • Mezcal (Optional)

Method of Prep:

  1. Combine all ingredients except basil in a blender with ice cubes. Blend until well combined and pour into glasses. 
  2. Garnish with fresh basil and lime wedges.

***If you would like to add decoration on the rim, dip rim in honey and dip again in lime zests or shredded coconut.


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  • 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 2-4 sprigs organic mint
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup coconut water or filtered water
  • 1 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1-2 shots mezcal  (if you must)



  • 5 cups watermelon
  • 2 cups hibiscus tea (I prefer steeping the petals instead of buying packaged tea bags)
  • 1 bottle lime, lemon or roselle kombucha
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 3-4 drops LIQUID Stevia
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds (optional - however this is a common ingredient in drinks in Mexico City.)




  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 4 green tomatillos
  • 1 half white onion (cooked)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • pinch pepper
  • 1 tbsp blackened poblano pepper (optional / seeds & skin removed)
  1. Wash all of your ingredients.
  2. Dice your tomatillos & onions and cook onions and tomatillos until translucent.
  3. Add water if necessary and pulse immediately with other ingredients until well combined. Sugar may be necessary to offset kick. I like using maple syrup if needed.




  • 2 blackened/roasted Poblano Peppers (skin & seeds removed)
  • 2 bunches cilantro
  • 1-1 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 3 green onions 
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Wash all ingredients.
  2. Heat the oven to 400 and roast the Poblano pepper until blackened. Let cool and remove the skin & seeds. Reserve in the blender and blend until smooth. Adjust ingredients if you need more of one specific flavor.
  3. Combine sauce with ceviche ingredients and top with fresh cilantro or sprouts.




  • 2 large yellow or red onions
  • 4-6 bell peppers (any color)
  • 1/2 cup veggie or beef broth
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Start off by adding 2 large onions (red or white) to a bowl, along with 4-6 washed bell peppers of any color. Slice all of the ingredients while removing the seeds of the peppers and add to your crock pot. Season and combine with your liquid and let cook until softened. I like to put this on in the morning on low to be eaten by dinner time. This is a great topping to your tacos. Pairs well with Poblano Lime Crema.



• 1 can black beans
• 1 can kidney beans
• 1 medium/large onion
• 1 tbsp avocado oil
• 1 tsp worcestershire sauce • 1/4-1 tsp cumin
• 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
• Salt & Pepper as needed 

  1. Add the avocado oil to your pan and let heat.
  2. Dice your onion and add to the pan until onions are cooked thoroughly (approx 15-20 minutes.) Add in the FULL can of both beans and let cook with the cumin & smoked paprika as well as worcestershire sauce. Cook until beans become incorporated and not as (sauce- like.)
  3. Push down on the beans with a spatula and mash the beans to create somewhat of a paste.
  4. Remove and let cool.



  • 1/2 pineapple
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 english cucumber (seeds removed)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 Jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 2 tomatoes (seeds removed)
  • Juice of 1-3 limes
  1. Dice all of the ingredients except the limes into small dice-sized pieces after washing and add to a bowl to combine.

  2. Add the lime juice and mix. Reserve & use for tacos or for a dip!



Dear Young (or new) Chef,

Welcome to this AMAZING career. I remember during culinary school, instructors prepared us for what we would soon encounter in the torturous world of the culinary arts. They prepped us for how we would endure; to be cut down more times then we would cut ourselves. We’d feel the flames and wrath of our superiors more times then we would feel the burns on our skin, or quite possibly we’d be special enough to get both. We’d be torn down as we struggled to stand up or stand out, while being pushed and pulled before we became anything but mediocre in this industry. This is what young chef’s believe is what we will have to endure in this world, however most seem to be too content with it and are willing to take on this arduous mental and physical beating. Certainly, not one of our chefs truly wanted any of the previously mentioned things to actually occur, but it certainly set the tone for us to keep pushing out our very best work.

 Marco Pierre White stated “Lots of famous chefs today don’t look whacked, because they don’t work. They have a healthy glow and a clear complexion. There is blood in their cheeks. They haven’t got burns on their wrists and cuts on their hands.” 

Marco Pierre White, The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness and the Making of a Great Chef

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One thing I cant seem to fathom is the idea behind this life we’ve chosen to make our world. We’ve created a stereotype over the years that every kitchen is exactly like this statement. Regardless of our position, if your true passion in this world is to cook, you will work hard and you will endure the pain - but it will all be worth it if it's the right fit. The only falsity of White’s statement along with many of my instructors is that every talented kitchen prides themselves off of the pot-slinging values that chefs like Gordon Ramsey hold. I’m not saying it will all be tea and crumpets or that all of my past instructors hope we will one day experience this torture, but after-all I’m not a fan of tea or crumpets to be quite frank. The tea and crumpets will come, but what I’m trying to say is you have the power to make them however the heck you want.


You read books that talk about the absurdities that take place in a commercial kitchen or cooks doing lines of coke in the alley of the restaurant. That much may be true in this industry and maybe that’s what your in to, but not every restaurant is like this, nor will we all choose to be a part of this type of kitchen. I’m not saying you won't get something thrown at you in your career, but it might be a french fry, and not a pan. You create your path, and you write the rules. You might not write them initially, but you have the power to edit them along the way. 

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I was asked in my very first kitchen position why I cook. I was told I don't look like a cook, I’m skinny and healthy and just don't seem to fit the mold. As I stood there grilling on the hotline staring back at my co-worker I didn't take this as an insult one-so-ever. I took it as a compliment. I’m flattered that I was pegged as a 19 year old more-so than a 25 year old. This question on why do I cook really struck me. Surprisingly, this isn't a question you get all that often. I cook because I absolutely love it, but even more-so than that, I cook because I want to help people while helping myself along the way. I’m still discovering what I need nutritionally, while learning how to create food that suits my health needs as well as my palate. I say I cook because I love it, but I cook because this is the first thing that has truly changed my world in the 25 years that I’ve been trying to figure it out. I’ve struggled more times than I’ve succeeded and I’m sure this isn't the end of my struggles but for the time-being, I’m happy and I’m content in what I’ve created. With five years of digestive & health issues still un-resolved I fully believe food is how to fix it. As I step closer and closer to healing I know that I am destined to cater to others who are facing similar battles.

I’ll probably never have my name plastered on a Michellin star restaurant or even have the title of“Executive Chef” because I choose that. My goal was never to have this title or recognition, but my choice to go back to school to study culinary arts, wasn't to become anything more than skilled at what I am doing, to better educate myself and others on how to live a healthier & happier life. I may have stitches and scars on my hands and burns on my wrists but I’ll keep my healthy glow and clear complexion if it means I’m feeding my body right. This life doesn't have to be what it is made out to be. YOU choose your path, and YOU create where it leads you. Choose your career stepping stones wisely, it will only build you into exactly who you want to be.


This article was written 4 years ago as a NEW chef with a vision for her health & career.


Check out this wonderful video interview from Goadilo, a unique career site that uses video and social media to expose and educate young people and mid-career workers to high growth trades, professions and unique careers.

Love & Wholesomeness,
Chef Dee


We know you're thankful for us this holiday for providing you with these DELICIOUS recipes to help keep you on track at the holiday table.

You're welcome Ya'll.

Feel good about filling up on these nutrient-dense dishes.


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  • ¾ lb. Brussel Sprouts

  • 1 Pink Crisp or Honeycrisp Apple, diced

  • 1 Shallot, minced

  • 1 Tbsp. Rosemary, fresh

  • ½ tsp. Mustard Powder

  • ½ tsp. Garlic Powder

  • 3 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar

  • 2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

  • 1 Tbsp.Olive Oil

  • Himalayan Pink Salt

  • Crack Black Pepper


  1. Start by washing your hands and produce and preheat the oven to 350F

  2. Gather your mise en place and begin trimming the brussel sprouts ends and slicing them in half. Dice the apple, mince the shallot, chop the fresh rosemary and set aside.

  3. Place the brussels sprouts, apple, and shallot in a mixing bowl and coat with balsamic, maple and olive oil. mix together and let the brussels soak up the flavor.

  4. Place brussels and apples on a sheet tray. Season with the chopped rosemary, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss to coat fully.

  5. Bake for 20 minutes and flip halfway through to get an even golden-brown crust. Bake for another 20 minutes.

  6. Remove from the oven and place directly onto a serving bowl. Garnish with pepitas and serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!


  • Forget the parchment paper or aluminum foil. Throw these babies right on the sheet pan to get a delicious golden-brown char.

  • Toasted pepitas add a delicious crunch to the mix!






  • 2 containers Brussels Sprouts (approx. 50 small brussels sprouts)

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds (or ½ cup dried cranberries)

  • 1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds or pepitas

  • 1 sliced apple (any variety)

  • ½ cup pecorino romano (remove to make vegan)

  • Lemon Juice (removed before adding to salad)

  • 1 medium golden beet


  • ½ cup sherry vinegar

  • 1 small shallot

  • 3-4 tbsp whole grain mustard

  • 4 medjool dates (soaked for 20 minutes - skin & seeds removed)

  • ½ tsp himalayan salt

  • ½ tsp pepper

  • 1 cup olive oil


  1. Wash all ingredients.

  2. Set up your mandolin over a cutting board while securing your cut glove onto your dominant hand. If you want to keep your cut glove clean, be sure to wear a plastic glove.

  3. Set your mandolin to the smallest setting so that your brussels sprouts are sliced extremely thin. Once this step has been completed, add the large tooth setting to your mandolin and set it to a larger width to slice your apples into “matchsticks.” Place them in lemon juice until read to serve removing the juice when placed in the bowl.

  4. Next, using your mandolin remove the teeth one more time and slice a peeled beet along the mandolin. Next, using your chef’s knife - align the sliced beets and cut them into matchsticks to mimic the same appearance to the apples. Using a chef’s knife will be easier to control the cuts vs the mandolin due to how hard the beets are.

  5. You want to cut your brussels sprouts until the small leaves of the sprout is cut. Once you penetrate the base of the brussels sprout it will not be as enjoyable to eat. Dispose or compost these scraps!

  6. Place brussels sprouts into a large bowl and reserve.

  7. Slice the pomegranate in half and begin pulling the pomegranate apart to expose the seeds. Lightly peel them apart and save the seeds for your salad, while removing the white exterior around the seeds. Rinse the pomegranates under cool to room temperature to remove any white pieces.

  8. Add sliced almonds and pecorino Romano to your brussels sprouts. Combine.

  9. Soak your medjool dates in water for at least 20 minutes and peel away the skin and interior seed once they are finished soaking. Add them to your blender.

  10. With your high-speed blender, add your sherry vinegar, peeled shallot (halved or more), whole grain mustard, medjool dates, salt and pepper into your blender. Blend.

  11. Slowly add in your olive oil to emulsify the ingredients.

  12. Pour a small amount of the dressing over your brussels sprouts and reserve the rest of the dressing for later during the week. (I always make more to enjoy throughout the week!)



  • 4 large sweet potatotes

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 5 oz. goat cheese (sub with kitehill if vegan)

  • 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup

  • 1/8 tsp ceyenne pepper

  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika

  • himalayan pink salt to taste

  • black pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (optional - garnished)

  • 2 tbsp. pistachios, crushed (optional - garnished)


  1. Begin cutting the sweet potatoes into large chunks.

  2. Fill a large pot with water and big pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

  3. Once boiling, carefully add sweet potatoes and garlic cloves and cook for 10-15 minutes until they are tender enough to pierce with a fork.

  4. Remove from heat and strain potatoes. While the potatoes are still hot, add to a food processor or blender with the goat cheese/kitehill and blend until a smooth and cream consistency appears.

  5. Add maple syrup and spices and blend once more.

  6. Transfer mash to serving bowl and garnish with pomegranate seeds and crushed pistachios, Enjoy!




  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, sub coconut oil if vegan

  • 2/3 cup yellow organic cornmeal, stone ground

  • 2/3 cup organic white whole wheat flour

  • 2 tbsp thyme, fresh

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 tps baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk (or sub any nut milk with 2 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vin) *see tips*

  • 1 Egg, or sub 1 flax egg (1 tbsp. ground flax meal + 2.5 tbsp. warm water) *see tips*

  • 1 cup boiling water



  1. Start by washing your hands. Preheat the oven to 350F.

  2. Heat a cup of water until boiling and pour over cranberries. Soak for 15 minutes and strain.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, white whole wheat flour, thyme, baking soda and salt until mixed throughly.

  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter/coconut oil, buttermilk/mylk, and egg. Add the orange zest and maple syrup. 

  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Add the soaked, dried cranberries to the batter and stir.

  6. Lightly grease a 9 inch skillet or baking dish and pour cornbread batter evenly.

  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes. To test readiness, insert a toothpick or knife into the center to see if it comes out clean. The edges will be slightly darker than the rest of the cornbread.

  8. Allow to cool completely and cut into 10-12 inch squares. Serve 6-8+ people.


  • Soaking your dried cranberries is not a crucial step but we highly recommend it. Be sure to purchase NO SUGAR ADDED cranberries and use sparingly due to sugar content. 

  • When making the vegan version of buttermilk, allow for your nut milk and lemon juice/apple cider vinegar mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes before adding to the recipe.

  • When making the flax egg, mix well and use warm water. Allow for your flax egg to sit for a few minutes so that it can gelatinize to replicate an egg-like texture.





  • 1 cup pure fresh-squeezed orange juice

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

  • 1.5 frozen organic peaches (aprox 8-10 pieces)

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1/8 tsp camu camu powder (optional) (increases Vitamin C)

  • 1 tsp maca powder


  1. Add all of your ingredients to your high-speed blender and puree until blended throughly.

  2. Add to a glass & enjoy!


  • Studies show that black pepper (piperine) helps to increase the bioavailability of turmeric's (curcumin) anti-inflammatory & many other beneficial effects.




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  • 1 Pomelo Grapefruit

  • 4 Large Carrots

  • 1/2-2 oz ginger (depending on how spicy you're feeling for the day)

  • 2 lemons

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp turmeric


  1. Add all of your ingredients to your high-speed blender and puree until blended throughly.

  2. Add to a glass & enjoy!

*Make it a bit boozey (if you must) by topping it off with some ginger turmeric kombucha. Get workin' gut bacteria!








  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs

  • 3 large medjool dates

  • 1/4 cup pecans

  • vanilla extract

  • 1/8 tsp himilaian sea salt

  • Dash nutmeg

  • Dash cinnamon


  • 1 cup cashews

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin pie

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • fresh ginger

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 3 dates

  • Fresh grated ginger (as desired)


  1. Start off by soaking the cashews for 1 hour.

  2. If you have a vitamix there is no need to complete step 1.

  3. Remove the pits of the dates and let them soak for 10-20 minutes. To speed up the process add boiling hot water to the dates.

  4. Once softened, add to a food processor (not your vitamix/blender) and then pulse until well combined. Add the pecans and pulse until chopped slightly. Remove and add to a bowl.

  5. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.

  6. Add the combined mixture to a small spring-form pan and pat down until even and packed.


  1. For the filling combine the soaked nuts (water removed) to your vitamix/high-speed blender with the rest of the ingredients.

  2. Replenish the water with 1 cup and add to the blender and blend until completely pureed.

  3. Pour the mixture over the packed crust and freeze until ready to serve.

  4. Remove and let the cake sit for 15 minutes until it is softened to cut. Reserve in the freezer to keep for later enjoyment.






  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1/2 cup carrots

  • 3 stalks celery

  • 2 cups mushrooms

  • 1/4-1/2 cup tamari sauce

  • 3 cups low sodium veggie broth


  1. Dice all of your ingredients and reserve in a bowl while adding 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil to a frying pan.

  2. Once the olive oil has heated add your veggies and cook on high until thoroughly browned. If they begin to burn, turn down the heat and add 1/8-1/4 cup of water or veg broth to remove the areas with residue.

  3. Once the veggies have softened add your tamari sauce.

  4. Cook until liquid has almost entirely dissolved.

  5. Add your veggie broth and continue cooking until it has reduced by 1/4.

  6. Pour the mixture through a strainer and reserve the veggies.

  7. Add 1/4 cup -1/2 cup broth to 1/2 cup veggies into your blender. This will help to thicken your gravy without adding flour/making a roux.

  8. Pour the remaining thickened liquid into your strained gravy, reserve, & enjoy!



  • 1 large head of cauliflower

  • 1 container kitehill cream "cheese"

  • 4 cloves roasted garlic

  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  1. ASStart off by washing your cauliflower and dicing into large chunks. These pieces do not need to be even as you will be pureeing them after they have cooked.

  2. Set your oven to 400 and wrap your peeled garlic cloves in a foil pouch, or ramekin baking dish and cook with a tsp of olive oil for 20-30 minutes.

  3. Add your cauliflower to a pot and cook with a shallow amount of water (covered) or steam if possible (recommended) until cauliflower is softened.

  4. Remove the garlic and add to your food processor.

  5. Once cooked, strain the cauliflower and add to your food processor with half of the kitehill mixture, salt, and pepper. Taste test the mixture and see if it requires more kitehill or salt.


  • You do not want to over-cook the cauliflower as it will make it more water-rich and will not result in a fluffy puree!

  • We prefer kitehill vegan cream cheese due to it's quality ingredients. It does not have added oils and is one of the cleanest vegan cheeses currently on the market. We DO NOT recommend using any vegan cheeses if they contain excess amounts of oil. (Keep in mind the first ingredient on the ingredient list is the item that is the most prevalent in the product!)



Tag us @thecookingcollaborative on instagram or facebook if you choose to make any of these delicious recipes! 



We're sharing our delicious #epicmatcha spirulina minty chip nice cream! Click the link below to get the 'scoop' & hookup on @epicmatcha! #Ad

When I was little I grew up eating mint chocolate chip ice cream as my favorite dessert. I was never one to over-indulge in cake or cookies. My go-to dessert was mint chocolate chip, however I wouldn't consume it if it was white. It had to be green.

That is obviously still the case as an adult, however with much of my eating habits changing (and some staying quite the same) I've adapted my diet to my needs. I rarely consume dairy anymore, and I often eat a vegan meal, one that is rich in vitamins and minerals and void of artificial or heavily processed ingredients such as white refined sugar.

Although most people trick their mind into thinking because i'm making better choices for my system by eating a date or a banana as the source of sugar in the dish, it's still sugar and I advise you to eat this in moderation because trust me, it's that good that you'll want to over-indulge. 

I posted a recipe very similar to this last year without the addition of spirulina or mint extract and people went crazy (for good reasons.) Now, I'm sharing it with all of you. Enjoy, eat, and drink #epicmatcha.

  • 1 tsp #epicmatcha
  • 1/4 tsp mint extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp spirulina
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 1/2 water
  • 1 bunch fresh organic mint (stems only)
  • 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
  1. Soak your dates in filtered water for 20-30 minutes. Remove the seeds prior to soaking.
  2. Remove the liquid after soaking and combine all of your ingredients except the chocolate chips in your high-speed blender. If you do not have a high-speed blender this may be a bit more challenging. In order for the cashews and dates to truly become a puree you will need to soak them overnight.
  3. Taste test the mixture and combine into an ice cream maker for approx. 30 minutes or until the mixture forms into an ice cream consistency. Slowly add in chocolate chips or wait until the mixture consistency is made to blend in the chips.
  4. If you do not have an ice cream maker combine the mixture without chocolate chips in your freezer until almost fully hardened. Once it starts to form, add chocolate chips to it. If you add the chips to the mixture all of them will sink to the base, therefore wait a few minutes until an ice cream consistency has formed.

    Because this is not the classical way to make ice cream (sugar to fat ratio nor the incorporation of air is exact) it will need a few minutes to soften before scooping. Take the mixture out for a few minutes prior to enjoying.

    Eat, Enjoy, & Tag us if you enjoyed it!




Yesterday on Instagram we talked about the saying "Fail to prepare & prepare to fail" which was to prompt everyone to cook up a few of our favorite snacks to take to the beach today. Well, that was somewhat of a fail due to the weather being pretty nasty here in Miami, however we're still sharing these recipes for your NEXT beach day! Cheers to great snacks, sunshine, and saving money by making it yourself!

beach colors-1.jpg


  • 1 can red kidney beans (liquid removed)
  • 3 tbsptahini paste
  • 1 tbsp red chili flakes
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder or fresh
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  1. Add all of your ingredients to your high-speed blender (preferably a vitamix) and blend.
  2. Using the rod that comes with the blender, push the mixture down until it is entirely blended.
  3. Using the boiling water, add in small amounts until the mixture becomes "whipped." This will help it to become creamy without having to use any oil or added calories. 
beach colors-2.jpg


  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup ice
  • 3 oz honey or maple syrup (NO AGAVE)
  • Lime or Lemon Kombucha
  1. Combine all ingredients except kombucha into a blender with ice cubes. Blend until well combined and pour into glasses. 
  2. Top the mixture with kombucha and gently stir to combine.
  3. Have left-overs - GREAT! Freeze them into pops or in a bottle to take to your next beach day. It will keep everything cool as it defrosts.


  • 1 cup NON-GMO corn kernels
  • 1 cup pineapple (diced)
  • ¾  cup red pepper (grilled)
  • ¼ cup red onion
  • 1 tbsp jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ⅛ cup lime juice
  • ⅛ cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp mint
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes (seeds removed)
  1. Wash all of your ingredients.
  2. Using a chef's knife, cut your pineapple, red onion, and jalapeno into small dice (jalapeno minced.)
  3. To avoid grilling the corn or red pepper, purchase the fire-roasted corn in the frozen section at Whole Foods, as well as the frozen red pepper. Reserve the remaining amount in the freezer. Corn will almost always have to be purchased canned, or frozen to guarantee that it is NON-GMO. (FYI)
  4. Once the red onion is cut, squeeze the lime juice over this mixture. This helps to somewhat "cook" the onion so that it is easier on your stomach.
  5. Adding your remaining ingredients to your bowl mix to combine. 
  6. If you would like to add tomato be sure to remove the seeds and liquid before combining. 
  7. If you are watching your sugars, simply remove the maple syrup as well as the orange juice.
  8. Play around with these flavors and adjust ingredients by 1 tbsp - 1/4 cup as necessary.

The only true way to learn to cook is to make a mistake and understand how to fix it!

With yummy love,

-Chef Dee-



🌱juice of 4 lemons
🌱juice of 3 limes
🌱2 cups water
🌱1 cup frozen pitaya 🌱1 teabag hibiscus
🌱1/8 tsp LIQUID stevia or fresh (pictured)

Also,  if you happen to have some random camu camu on hand / because don't we all?!?....Add that in too!

🌱1/2 tsp camu camu (Queen B of that vitamin C) (optional)


Steep the tea. Remove the bag. Blend. Add ice. Serve in a champagne flute (obviously) & enjoy!



macademia hotcake-1.jpg

These hotcakes are my absolute FAVORITE thing to eat when I'm craving a sweet breakfast! Give these crumble-cakes a try and let us know what you think in the comments below. happy


  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

1. Heat your oven to 350.
2.Combine all of your dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
3. In a separate bowl, combine all of your wet ingredients and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
4. Mix your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients. The mixture should appear to be quite cakey. You do not want it to appear too thin.
5. Let sit for 10 minutes.
6. Add the mixture to small brûlée dishes and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

When the hotcake is baked it will crumble quite easily. This will happen due to the mixture of almond meal and macadamia nuts as well as the oil in this mixture. I prefer this texture and it's fabulous topped with the following:


  • Our Triple Berry Marmalade (below)
  • Toasted Hazelnuts
  • Toasted Coconut
  • Lavender Petals (limit to only a few petals - bitter if overused)
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Organic Blueberries or Strawberries
  • Pure Maple Syrup
  • Edible Flowers (for a pop of color & elegance)




  • 3 cups frozen mixed berries (ORGANIC)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 dates
  • 1/4-1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp agar agar


  1. Combine the mixed berries and water into a pan on your stovetop set to medium heat.
  2. Once t he berries have become soft, and the majority of the liquid has cooked off, pour your orange juice into the mixture as well as your dates, cinnamon, and agar agar.
  3. Stirring constantly to ensure that the mixture does not burn, briefly allow the mixture to boil to ensure that the agar-agar has fully been incorporated into the mixture. This will give the mixture a jelly/marmalade-like texture.
  4. If you do not have agar-agar on hand or cannot find it, you can omit the ingredient and your mixture will be less jelly-like (A much smoother, sauce-like consistency)
  5. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and let cool.
  6. Use on your macadamia nut hotcakes, toast or in your morning organic greek yogurt or non-dairy based yogurt (We recommend Kitehill!)
  7. Reserve in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  8. Enjoy!


 Workers unloading a massive amount of greens

Workers unloading a massive amount of greens

This past January, I was lucky enough to be a part of a wonderful food festival in Tulum, Mexico | Tulum Vegan Fest.

So much of my time in Mexico was an eye-opening experience, filled with moments where I contemplated & questioned my purpose, values, goals, & myself. I was surrounded by like-minded people the entire time that I was in Tulum, as well as Mexico City. It woke me up, letting me realize there's people who carry all of the same values and interests that I do, however you simply cannot understand this if you're not in search of it.

DAY 1:
On the first day, I arrived in Mexico City to visit my cousin David where we would then travel to Tulum, Mexico for the food festival ( where I would be leading a plating and presentation class.

In a matter of minutes of arriving to DF I was handed a shot of mezcal & a spiked zapote prieto pudding (chocolate sapote) while quickly forcing myself to listen to the exchange of conversation between my cousin & his friends. In only a few hours we'd be catching a flight to Cancun where we would travel to Tulum for the festival. Knowing that we would barely sleep that night due to my late arrival and celebrations with new friends, we went to search for places to eat. My cousin lives in an area of Mexico City that seems a bit desolate at night; Coyocan - where we came across only a few places open with meal (dietary) options for all of us. After visiting multiple restaurants, each kitchen seemed to be closing. Finally, we found a small taco stand were I learned my low sodium tolerance would soon face an all-time high. Holy salt.

DAY 2-4:
It was my second day in Meh-he-co and I couldn't have been more thrilled to get away from the rush of Miami. We jetted off to Cancun from Mexico City where I read magazines in Spanish and reminisced over my sister's addiction to Diego Luna when we were kids (pictured in a magazine talking about his favorite restaurants.)

While in Tulum, We stayed at a lovely eco-resort with architectural details that brought me back to my studies of Gaudi's work at Park Guell in Barcelona. The similarities to his work were spot-on with sloping details, the use of tiles, and incorporating texture and color in an a way that complimented nature. It almost felt as it it was an extension of the jungle that we were so lucky to be staying in. 

The entire time that I was in Mexico, I slept in a loft as if I was in a (dope) treehouse, both at the resort as well as my cousins 'super chido'/super cool, new place in Coyocan - Mexico City. 

The resort had so many details that screamed sustainability, eco-friendly & provided an immediate calmness that was so easily absorbed. There were signs that lined the path that quoted things like "this is a stress-free zone" which seemed appropriate with the recent political chaos that plagued both of our countries. There were even adorable puppies that roamed the resort from the employees who lived on-site, and little cats that followed throughout these woven paths. 

 Welcome ceremony for Tulum Vegan Fest - Tulum, Mexico

Welcome ceremony for Tulum Vegan Fest - Tulum, Mexico

Upon arriving, I tried my best to speak Spanish and listen to the conversations around me. I knew I'd be one of the very few invitees that would struggle with communication. 

Verbal communication was a threat at first, but as the week went on, I became more comfortable with the care-free nature of the event, and it's goers. I write verbal communication, for the reason that it may be a necessity if you lost your customs papers (which I did) or to catch a cab. 

However, the simplicity of a smile, the showcased excitement of surprise, or the warmth of touch will never need a language to understand. We may analyze all of these things, but no words are needed to provoke the feelings that these actions provide.

This idea held true while cooking in an open-air kitchen filled with so many different backgrounds. This led me to wanting to communicate through food. After creating a vegan meal and letting it sit for a few minutes to cool, I realized it had been sampled by a few of the workers. Giving me immediate thumbs up and warm smiles, I knew I did something right. After serving a crowd of 35+, every person had an empty plate. Following the class, I was prompted to share recipes for my vegan Poblano Lime Crema and the rest of the meal.

After the festival came to an end, we all scurried to the bars - not to drink, but to dance the night away (until 5AM to be exact.)

While reggaeton may not be Mexico's token genre of music, it was certainly the music we vibed to that night (and my secret addiction.) No words were necessary, communication comes in the form of hip swings, movement, & the exchange of smiles.


After 1 hour of sleep, and kicking/nudging my cousin to wake him in his slumber, we jetted to Cancun via taxi to catch our flight back to Mexico City.

Running on fumes, we wanted to savor the day and make it to the largest outdoor market in all of Mexico. My cousin was insistent that we (I) cook a vegan meal for 10 of his closest friends.

 David's dog, Mezli came along for the ride where he ran around making friends with all of the vendors who had food scraps to feed him. People pointed, smiled, and stopped to watch the little lion puppy sniff around or patiently wait for the two of us to finish shopping.

  La Merced Market - Mexico City, Mexico

La Merced Market - Mexico City, Mexico

(Note his little lion outfit that he wears 24/7 along with a rockin' mohawk.)

  La Merced Market - Mexico City, Mexico

La Merced Market - Mexico City, Mexico

Immediately upon arrival to Mexico, you notice that the abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits is a norm in Mexican culture & cuisine. A weekly meeting of friends always seems to occur at my cousin’s house, filled with homemade meals that they practice and experiment with.  It's likely they're consuming too much mezcal during these gatherings, but the meals are heavily concentrated with fresh produce which in my opinion levels things out just a bit.


This was something that I noticed was lacking in my life here in Miami. David (mi Primo) & I grew up with a family centered around food due to our backgrounds  (Mexican, German & Italian)  & our family’s love for the outdoors.  My mother & grandmother were famous for bringing a huge (and hungry) crowd around the table. There are still jokes to this day about my mom being able to feed 20 people with just a jalepeno (@cookingmark) meaning that she could make a meal with just about anything. “She’s brought the community together” stated our elderly neighbor, for my mom’s beautiful ability to center our time around each other & a good meal.

My point is; these moments of intimacy with your friends are integral to your own happiness, and truthfully, your health. We are in a constant state of rush for the majority of our day, or so it feels - taking the time to kick-back and enjoy a quality meal with great company brings a sense of calmness to a day that seems painfully chaotic. Make it a point to bring your friends & family around your table. Make it a point to use fresh ingredients - & lastly, make it a point to take the time to relax, nourish & enjoy the blessings which are your family & friends <3


If I learned anything while being in Mexico, it is that there is an abundance of people that are just like you. Ones that share the same interest, the same vision, and the same power that you do when it comes to making change, creating happiness, and stamping an imprint on your heart, however no one will have the same expression as you. When you find these people that share the above characteristics, they compliment what you already express and represent. They build off of this energy and make it better, and make you better. Be in search of similarities, and let others compliment these interests with their own perspectives. This creates growth.