Food is such an amazing source of comfort and nourishment––and cooking or baking together and sharing meals as a family can be a treasured part of time spent together at home. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up delicious recipes from some our favorite local chefs and founders of San Diego based food brands. Read on for easy recipes for dinner and lunch as well as yummy snacks, breakfast, and a Disneyland dessert!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie Bowl/Katie's Healing Kitchen

Amy Angelo Photography

Katie Farina of Katie's Healing Kitchen has a recipe that provides a bright start to every day or can be a filling snack or even a healthy dessert! Whip up her Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie Bowl topped with raw chocolate sauce to bring a smile to the face of everyone in your family. Katie offers an array of amazing cooking classes at San Diego's Wine Vault & Bistro, so when life goes back to normal, be sure to treat yourself to a class. In the meantime, you can order her cookbook, Katie's Healing Kitchen, Healthy, Plant-Based Recipes for Every Kitchen, to bring Katie's delightful recipes to your home kitchen.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie Bowl:
Katie offers, "This delicious breakfast bowl is the perfect way to start your day when you want to enjoy the decadent flavor combination of chocolate and strawberries in a healthy way!"

YIELD: 2 Servings


-2 cups unsweetened plain or vanilla non-dairy vegan yogurt (like coconut or cashew)

-1 peeled and frozen banana, cut into chunks, thawed 15 minutes

-2 1/2 cups frozen strawberries, thawed 15 minutes

-1 tablespoon maple syrup, or more to taste

-Raw Chocolate Sauce (see page 246)

Optional Garnishes: fresh berries, frozen berries, cacao nibs, hemp seeds, banana slices, etc.

Advanced Prep:

-Thaw frozen banana and strawberries for 15 minutes at room temperature.

-Make Raw Chocolate Sauce (see recipe below)

-Blend yogurt, banana, and strawberries in a blender or food processor until smooth, adding a splash of water or non-dairy milk if a thinner consistency is desired.

-Sweeten to taste with maple syrup

-Divide mixture between two bowls. Top with desired garnishes and drizzle over raw chocolate sauce.

Chef's Tips: Leftover chocolate sauce can be stored in a plastic squeeze bottle in the refrigerator. It will harden when refrigerated, but to re-liquify it, simply place the bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.

Raw Chocolate Sauce:
Katie says, "This is the quickest, easiest, and healthiest way to get a quick chocolate fix. It's perfect drizzled over desserts. Leftovers can be made into a raw chocolate bark. Simply pour onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for about 20 minutes. Break apart and enjoy, or store in the freezer for a chocolate emergency."

YIELD: 1 Cup


-1/2 cup raw cacao powder

-1/2 cup maple syrup, at room temperature

-1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

-pinch of salt

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.

Chef's Tips: The coconut oil has to be completely melted and the maple syrup at room temperature for this to be the best consistency sauce.


Veggie Salad & Grains with Buddha Sauce/Jai Wurfbain

Buddha Sauce

Jai Wurfbain created his 100% plant-based and absolutely divine Buddha Sauce to pair with the wildly popular salad & grain bowls he sells at SoCal farmers markets.

His signature raw vegetable salad has a tasty bed of grains that really makes the salad a nice filling nutritious meal that is brimming with protein, fiber, anti-oxidants and minerals. It's a healthy base for the raw vegetables and life that the Buddha Sauce bring to the party in a bowl.

The gluten-free ancient grains he uses consist of quinoa, millet, pinto beans and red rice. He cooks the Pintos separately and mixes them into the other ingredients at the end. This mix can be cooked in bulk and can be added to any meal. They can be frozen and reheated easily without loss of taste or texture. Beautifully versatile and delicious, warmed up or cold.

Veggie Salad & Grains with Buddha Sauce

1 cup of Millet
1/2 cup of Quinoa
1/2 cup of red rice
4 cups of water
1 tbsp of coconut oil
1 tsp of salt

Use a rice cooker to cook these for 15 minutes. If you don't have a rice cooker, you may need to add a little water to a regular pot which you bring to a boil (covered), and then reduce to a low simmer for a further 10 minutes after which you can turn the heat off and then let the pot rest for another 15 minutes.

Cook 2 cups of pinto beans separately which, after draining, add to the cooked grains. 

Top the grains with any assortment of raw veggies and even some nuts you have on hand and that your family enjoys. Next, drizzle Buddha Sauce on top, which elevates the entire meal to a truly enlightened next level!

You can buy Buddha Sauce at several local farmers markets or online. It's addictive and your whole fam will love it!


Berry Yogurt Parfait/Megan Jolic, Love, Granola

Love, Granola

Support local business Love, Granola, founded by mom Megan Jolic, by ordering one of her scrumptious bags of handcrafted granola in delicious flavors like You Are My Sunshine and Peanut Butter Crunch. All of her products are vegan and gluten-free, non-GMO and organic whenever possible––and some varieties are also nut free.

Next you can make Jolic's delightful, healthy and filling Berry Yogurt Parfait using your Love, Granola. Kids will think this nutritional snack is a dessert, and they will love helping you make it (or can even make it themselves), so it's a winner all around!

Berry Yogurt Parfait

Serves 4


- 2 cups of yogurt

- 2 cups of Love, Granola

- 2 cups of fresh or frozen berries

- 1 banana


In a bowl or glass, scoop 1/4 c. of granola. Layer 1/4 c. of fruit, and then 1/4 c. of yogurt. Repeat. Enjoy!

Notes: Have fun creating new flavors with different fruits, flavors of yogurt, nuts/seeds, and of course, Love, Granola!

Love, Granola is offering a 15% off promo code to Red Tricycle readers: (RedTricycle15) that's good until May 1.

Follow, shop or contact Love, Granola via the links below:


Churro Toffee Disneyland Copycat Recipe/Jenny Flake

Picky Palate/Disney Hungry

Think you have to wait until Disneyland reopens to sink your teeth into their delicious Churro Toffee? Think again! Disney blogger Jenny Flake of Disney Hungry has graced us all with her copycat recipe of this swoon-worthy treat! Her Churro Toffee Disneyland Copycat recipe instructions are detailed on her website Picky Palate. There's also a video at the end of the post detailing the process further.

Be sure to follow Jenny on her wildly popular Instagram account, Disney Hungry, for all the latest and most tantalizing news on all of the epic food that's offered at Disneyland Parks. Her Instagram feed is a feast for the eyes and good for the soul!

Eggplant Meatballs with Marinara Sauce/Melissa d'Arabian

Melissa d'Arabian

Did you catch our interview with local celeb chef Melissa d'Arabian? Be sure to check it out to learn about all her fave culinary delights in San Diego. Then make this yummy dinner with your family. Kids love shaping meatballs––and their hands are the perfect size to do so!

Melissa says, "Who says meatballs have to have meat? After being roasted in the oven, the eggplant takes on a meaty, hearty flavor that is an excellent foundation for “meatballs.” In addition, I flavor them with the traditional basil, garlic, and bread crumbs (whole wheat, in this case). I do have one other unusual twist up my sleeve, though: I add some smashed white beans for texture and an extra boost of protein. Pair these meatballs with your favorite marinara sauce and I bet no one will even know the difference!"

Eggplant Meatballs with Marinara Sauce

Serves 4 (16 meatballs)
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour, 10 minutes (plus 20 minutes to cool)

1 large eggplant (about 12 ounces)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup cooked white beans, such as cannellini or navy (homemade, page 00; or rinsed, if canned), smashed with a fork
1 large garlic clove, very finely chopped or pressed through a garlic press
½ cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves or flat-leaf parsley
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling (optional)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup whole wheat panko-style bread crumbs
Olive oil mister or nonstick pan spray
2 cups marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought)

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the eggplant on top. Use a fork to prick the eggplant 4 times, then place the eggplant in the oven and roast it until it has completely collapsed and a paring knife easily slips into the center, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool the eggplant for 20 minutes. Leave the oven on.

2. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh (discard the skin). Place the roasted eggplant in a medium bowl and stir in the egg and beans. Add the garlic, basil, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, the salt, and pepper and stir to combine, then mix in the bread crumbs.

3. Again, line the rimmed baking sheet with a clean sheet of aluminum foil and lightly mist it with spray. Shape the eggplant mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball (you should get about 16). Place them on the prepared baking sheet and lightly mist the top of the balls with spray. Bake the eggplant balls until they are golden-brown and firm, about 20 minutes.

4. While the meatballs cook, warm the marinara sauce in a small saucepan. Remove the meatballs from the oven, sprinkle with a little extra Parmesan, and serve with the marinara sauce.

Per Serving: Calories 304 / Protein 14g / Dietary Fiber 10g / Sugars 14g / Total Fat 11g

USS Midway Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pam Menegakis via Unsplash

Miss your visits to the USS Midway Museum? Now you can savor a piece of the Museum's history at home by baking up a batch of USS Midway Chocolate Chip Cookies to eat chocolate chip cookies like the USS Midway sailors used to eat! Use this recipe that dates back to 1945. 

1 lb. butter, cream well

2 cups granulated sugar & 2 cups brown sugar: add both to butter and cream together

2 eggs, 2 tsp. vanilla: add both to mixture

2 tsp. baking soda, 1.5 tsp. salt, 4 cups and 8 tbs. flour: combine these and then add to the mixture

1 bag chocolate chips (large): stir into batter

Spoon onto sheet and bake in preheated over at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Pho Ca Dao Owner Duke Huynh's Tofu Soup

Pho Ca Dao

Pho Ca Dao Owner Duke Huynh shared a recipe for a tofu soup, and included a twist of adding eggs to the broth for more nutrients. 

Canh Cải Bẹ Xanh or Mustard Green Firm Tofu Soup/Recipe from Duke Huynh of Pho Ca Dao

Serves 2 as a main or 6 as part of a meal of many dishes  

100g/1 cup cubed fresh tofu

2-cm/1-inch piece of fresh ginger, julienned 

1 spring onion/scallion thinly sliced 

1 vegetable stock cube 

Dash of cooking oil 

A pinch of sea salt 

A pinch of black pepper 

A pinch of sugar 

300g/10.5 oz. Chinese mustard greens, chopped 

Bring 1 litre/4 cups of water to the boil in a saucepan. Add tofu, ginger, spring onion/scallion, stock cube, oil, salt, pepper and sugar. When ready to serve the soup, add the Chinese mustard greens to the pan and bring to a boil again. Serve hot by itself as a main meal or with an array of other dishes and rice. 

*A little twist I do at home before serving, while it’s still on the stove, break 2-3 eggs and stir into the soup (this will make the soup look more like egg drop soup, but much more healthy).

Rustic Apple Tart Recipe from Roanna Canete of The Gluten Free Baking Co. 

The Gluten Free Baking Co.

Enjoy this Rustic Apple Tart recipe from Roanna Canete of The Gluten Free Baking Co

Apple Top:

2 apples (peaches and plums will also work!)

2 Tablespoons sugar (Coconut or date sugar are great alternatives)

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400F.  Take 2 apples, and decide if you like them peeled or not (if so, peel them now.)  Thinly slice them (or use a mandolin) about ¼ inch thick. Combine slices plus lemon juice and sugar.  Stir to coat all apples, and set aside.


215 grams oats or oat flour (if you are celiac these MUST say gluten free on the packaging)

2 Tablespoons sugar (Coconut or date sugar are great alternatives)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup coconut oil

If using whole oats, place in food processor and grind into flour.  Combine all crust ingredients, using either your hands or a spatula.  If the dough seems too crumbly, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it feels right.  It needs to reach a doughy consistency, but not too sticky.

To assemble the tart:

Using a piece of parchment paper, press out the dough into a 9.5 inch square with your hands.  Move the crust with its parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Take your apples, and starting at one end, arrange them in an attractive pattern over the top of the tart.  If there is liquid left in the apple bowl, drizzle it over the tart. Bake 25 minutes at 400F. Using a fork, pierce the apples to see if they are soft. If so, remove from oven.  If not, add a few extra minutes.

Options for serving:

Find your favorite jam, and combine 2 tablespoons jam to 2 teaspoons water.  Drizzle over tart.

Combine 1 tablespoon sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon.  Sprinkle lightly over tart.

––Beth Shea


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