Denver holistic nutritionist Robin Hutchinson shares her favorite plant-based summer and fall DIY dishes spotlighting Colorado farmers and the best in-season crops.
Tomato Avocado Salsa with Homemade Chips
This salsa is bursting with freshness from farmers’ market tomatoes (the redder, the better) that are so sweet they taste like candy. They’re an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene, which reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. Avocados shine with loads of healthy fats, fiber for good gut health, magnesium and B6.
4-6 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
½ red onion, very finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, chopped
Small splash of white wine vinegar
½ lime, juiced
½ bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 jalapeno, minced
1 avocado, choppedCombine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Corn tortillas, cut into quarters
1-2 tsp avocado oil
Cut corn tortillas into quarters and toss with oil and spices. Bake on a sheet pan for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees until nice and crisp.
Kale, Spinach, Basil Salad with Garbanzo ‘Croutons’ & Toasted Pepitas
Eat your greens! Kale and spinach are both nutritional powerhouses, high in vitamin K, C, A and folate and boast stellar antioxidant status. These are the most basic building blocks that make us run smoothly.
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and washed
2 large handfuls of curly kale, washed, de-stemmed and chopped into bite-sized pieces 1 handful spinach
1 Tbsp chopped basil
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
1/4 cup pan-toasted pepitas/pumpkin seeds
1½ tsp fresh squeezed lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss the beans with spices and oil and roast for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Stir them every 10 minutes.
Place kale in a large bowl. Top with salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and massage with your hands. The kale will start to wilt after two or three minutes. Add spinach, basil and dressing ingredients to the kale and toss. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with garbanzos and toasted pepitas on top.
Thai Red Curry with Cauliflower & Potatoes
This dish is a party of goodness in your body. It really does cover all the bases — lots of healthful therapeutic fats, colorful fall vegetables full of fiber, crucial vitamins and minerals, and anti-inflammatory spice. Cruciferous cauliflower is one of the best sources of choline for liver support.
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
8 small Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cans (15-ounce) full-fat coconut milk
1 can (15-ounce) diced, fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
1 can (4-ounce) red curry paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp ginger, minced
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup carrots, julienned
1 large lime, juiced
1 tsp soy sauce
Thai basil leaves, chopped
3 cups cooked jasmine rice
Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large pan; add onion and cook four to five minutes. Next, add the red bell pepper and potatoes, and cook five to six minutes.
Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, tomatoes, red curry paste, garlic and ginger. Bring to a boil. Then, add the cauliflower florets and carrots, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer eight to 10 minutes. Add lime juice and soy sauce. Top with fresh Thai basil leaves, and serve with jasmine rice.
Maple Poached Pears
Pears are rich in folate, vitamin C, copper and potassium, as well as a good source of the anti-inflammatory antioxidant polyphenol.
4-6 ripe, but firm Bosc pears
1 cup water
1 cup maple syrup
Zest of 1 lemon or orange
4-5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 (1-inch) piece of ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
In a large pot over medium heat, combine all ingredients, except the pears, and bring to simmer. Cut pears in half, remove core and place in the simmering syrup. Cook 20 minutes then remove from heat; let cool slightly, and serve topped with pecans.
Originally published in Summer + Fall 2022 issue.
Photos courtesy of Robin Hutchinson.