Category: Lunch

Butternut Squash, Leek and Apple Soup



Back in the summer, I was asked to be the guest chef at a restaurant here in Copenhagen for the upcoming fall season. But not just any restaurant: a hyper-local organic restaurant sourcing 95% of their ingredients from within 200 kilometers of their front door, and one that holds classes to educate and inspire city dwellers to eat sustainably all year round. Oh, just kind of up my alley. And it is run by a woman who I clicked with instantaneously, our first conversation touching on everything from mushroom foraging to manifesting one’s own reality through the power of positive thinking. I said yes because I was so moved by her ultimate mission, what the restaurant stood for, and not really taking into account that I hadn’t cooked in a professional kitchen in many years. But after giving me permission to call the event “The Grand Pumpkin Orgy”, how could I possibly say no?

Fast forward a few months to a couple weeks ago. I am standing at the cutting board preparing vegetables for soup. The soup to be served at the restaurant, which will be full of guests, all there to eat my food. I feel confident and excited, using all of my pumpkin comprehension to develop a menu of stellar proportions, and not letting the true weightiness of the event bog me down. Once cooked, everything goes into the blender. I puree it. I taste it. And it’s delicious. Without any major adjustments at all, it is exactly what I wanted it to be: clean and pure and tasting of the ingredients it is made with, only better.

Then the doubt creeps in. Wait a second. That was easy. Is this really good enough? How can I serve such a simple dish to all these people with undoubtedly high expectations of what this dinner is supposed to be? Why did I ever think I could do this in the first place?! BAH!

I brought my recipes in for the chef to review, sheepishly handing them over as if there was something wrong with them; not impressive enough, flashy or complex – just what I believed to be delicious. After a raised eyebrow, he said that he wasn’t sure apple and butternut squash would go together. I gulped, but told him as confidently as I could that I believe in the intelligence of the season, and trust that whatever grows together, goes together. Right?

The soup was a hit. Clean and pure and tasting of the ingredients it was made with, only better. Not only was the chef impressed (and later excused himself for judging my soup before making it himself), but the guests as well. As I went around to the tables asking everyone how it was, they all reaffirmed my belief that my instincts are not completely out of whack, and that, quite simply, good ingredients make great food. After several years eating locally-grown, seasonal produce I’ve learned that you can pretty much step back and let the ingredients do the work for you, since true deliciousness needs little intervention. Cooking like a pro, to me, means respecting the ingredients and doing as little as possible to bring out their tastiness.

So, this soup is that soup. The one I served at the restaurant to all of those people that scared me, but also reminded me that simple is best. It is a deep and delicious love song to autumn. The ingredients are inexpensive, widely available and the process is foolproof. It’s an oven soup! That’s right: everything cooked together right on a baking sheet so there isn’t even a pot to wash. Me likey.


Butternut Squsah: the Nutrient Storage Facility

Winter squash rocks because it is a virtual storehouse of nutrients. Unlike summer squash (re: zucchini, crooknecks, pattypans), winter squash has had a lot more time to develop and pump itself full of vitamins and minerals throughout its lengthy life on the stem. We’re talking oodles more vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and even some extra dietary fiber thrown in. This combination of nutrients spells good news for asthma sufferers, those with heart disease, elevated cholesterol, or inflammatory conditions such a rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

Nature designed summer squash to be rather delicate, with a high water content for those hot summer days when we need a cool down. Naturally, their shelf life is rather short during our abundant harvest season when produce is plentiful. On the flip side, winter squash has a tough outer skin and lower water content, which allows it to be stored for a very long time – some varieties up to six months. This means that we can keep these vitamin bombs around for a long time after the first frost to provide our bodies with the nutrition we need to see us through the long months of winter when there is nothing fresh in sight.

Put that in your oven and roast it!


The Garlicky Rye Bread Croutons, although an additional element to create, are the crowning glory of the dish, and really make it special. If you’re not into bread, try toasting some pumpkin seeds for the top, or something else crunchy to add contrast to the silky smooth soup.

It begs mentioning that the apple cider vinegar in this recipe is not optional. Why? Because it adds acidity. Acidity is the one thing missing in almost every home cook’s food because, well, we are never really taught about its importance. If you read the introduction in my cookbook, I have a section called “The Holy Trinity of Flavour” explaining that salt, sugar and acid are the three foundation flavours of any successful dish. Adding just a touch of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to almost anything you make (no kidding!) heightens and brightens the other flavours and creates a surprising balance of tastes. Try it and see for yourself.


You guys.
I’m making app! It’s almost ready! I can’t wait!

The My New Roots iOS app will include your favourites from the blog, plus 5 exclusive app-only holiday recipes, perfect for the upcoming season. Click the link below to go to the App site where you can sign up to be notified when the app is out (soon, I promise!) and receive my brand-new recipe for Crispy Sweet Potato Shoe String Fries with Miso Tahini Gravy, like right now.

Thank you for all for encouraging me to do this, and your ongoing support. I like you very much.

xo, Sarah B



White Lentil Risotto with Mushrooms



Eating out is a grand seduction. From the moment I step into a restaurant, I am totally open and utterly surrendered to the experience. The first thing I notice when I enter is the smell – I actually like it to hit me with an assertive thwack – like someone proudly shouting a rainbow of aromas to my face that something amazing is happening in the kitchen. I love sitting down at the table, gently touching the cutlery, unfolding the napkin and placing it in my lap, the first exchange with the server, opening the menu. It’s all very weighty, very important, very ritualistic for me.

While I was on my cookbook tour, you can imagine that I ate out a lot. Mostly out of the necessity of not having a kitchen, but also because going to restaurants is a rare privilege for me and I’ll take any excuse. During my few harried days in New York City I went to dine at a new, hip joint in the west village that came highly recommended (although I’ll refrain from naming names). The place was packed with an intimidating blend of gorgeous locals and well-dressed, in-the-know tourists. The menu looked incredibly promising with Sarah B. favourites and buzz ingredients like chia seeds, cashew cheese, baby kale, and turmeric oil. I was explosive with anticipation. I immediately committed myself to the ivory lentil risotto with peas. I’d seen ivory lentils at the market before but never bought them, and had never had the revelation to try making “risotto” with them. I could feel my expectations soar and the desire pulsing between us. Hold me back!

The dish arrived, its scent wafting up from the pristine white bowl and pools of amber oil intermingling with green globes of seasonal spring perfection. I looked at my friends with great eagerness, dipped my spoon in and took the first bite.

The lentils were raw.

No, not al dente. Raw. Crunchy. Hard. Uncooked.

I rarely, rarely send something back to the kitchen, but because I was so seduced by the idea of this dish and it completely fell flat, I just had to. The lentils had obviously been cooked, but so far from properly cooked that it baffled me – what kind of chef would send a dish out like this unless by mistake? It must have been a mistake. I could feel myself losing trust in this impeccably designed, obviously happening restaurant, but how could all of these hipsters be wrong?

The waiter returned and said that there was nothing wrong with the dish. The chef meant it to be that way. He placed the plate of cold food back on the table in front of me, smiled, turned, and left. I was crushed. After all we’d been through.

Although it has been months since this experience, I can’t shake it – the lunch bag letdown of a genius concept failing to meet its true potential, the fact that I was served undercooked legumes, and that I paid $30 for them. In order to right all of these wrongs, I headed to my local Indian grocer, bought some white lentils and made a date with my stove. What manifested was not just a better meal, but a new favourite one.


It’s pretty clear that I’m into making “risotto” out of anything besides rice, such as the Miraculous Riceless Risotto and the Inspirational Sunflower Seed Risotto, but I’m digging this new recipe for a lot of reasons. First, it’s grain-free and in my rice-loving life it’s nice to have an alternative. It’s very high in protein, something that I’m always mindful of as it is so important to balanced health. It cooks quickly so it’s perfect for a weeknight, and it’s endlessly customizable to the season simply by changing up the veggies on top. It’s divinely creamy, rich and velvety and so much like risotto (by far the closest I’ve come so far!). If you are looking for me this fall, you can find me tucked into a big bowl of this stuff. It’s like eating hugs.


Yum, Yum, Molybdenum
Chances are you haven’t heard of molybdenum, but I will wager that you had to sound it out a couple times (let me help you: “muh-LIB-duh-num”). Moylbdenum is an essential trace mineral and happens to be wildly abundant in our pal, the lentil. It is found first in the soil where we grow our food and water, so healthy soil and groundwater is essential for healthy plants that contain good amounts of this stuff. In our bodies it is stored in the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands bones, and skin, but it is present in some amount in all of our tissues.

Molybdenum is important because it is part of several enzyme systems, the most notable being that of xanthine oxidase. Xanthine oxidase (XO) helps the liver mobilize iron for use in the body and aid uric acid metabolism. Molybdenum also helps us digest and assimilate carbohydrates and detoxify the body from exposure to sulfites.

Besides lentils, other sources of molybdenum include dried peas and beans, oats, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, cucumber, celery and eggs.


A few notes on the recipe.
First, white lentils are available at Indian grocery stores, but I’ve also seen them at Middle Eastern markets and online. If you can’t find white lentils, it’s good to know that they are also called urad daal or urid daal. To confuse you a little, the unhulled lentils themselves are called black lentils or black gram since their skins are completely black. It should be obvious, but I’ll advise against buying the unhulled kind or you will have a very different result – a black one to be precise. Because someone will inevitably ask if they can make this with any other colour of lentil, I will say a half-hearted yes, but I wouldn’t recommend anything other than red lentils due to their properties.

Second, you can definitely make this a vegan recipe by leaving out the cheese rind, but good golly, it really makes for some delicious eating. I also like a grate a bunch of pecorino over the top right before serving, but I’m pretty wild like that. Oh baby.

Third, I got pretty fancy and bought (not foraged – the shame!) wild mushrooms for this because I just love them so, but when I originally tested the recipe I used good ol’ brown button mushrooms and portobellos. Whatever mushrooms you choose the biggest secret to cooking them is not moving them too much. Like pancakes, grilled cheese, and I would imagine, a steak, don’t stir them for crying out loud. Get the pan pretty screeching hot, melt some ghee (or coconut oil), throw in the mushrooms, toss to coat, then just back away. Sure, you can watch them sizzle, talk to them, Instagram them, but do not touch them. The secret to really great mushrooms is a caramelized crust and that only happens with high heat and no mucking about. You are allowed to check the bottom of one (one!) after 3-4 minutes, but if there is no colour yet, flip it back until you have some serious golden going on. Also, don’t crowd the pan too much – this causes the mushrooms to steam instead of fry – an important distinction.



Show me your risotto on Instagram! #MNRwhitelentilrisotto

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Hey Danes!
I’m doing three events this month and I would love to see you there.

First, I will be the guest chef at the organic and hyper-local food restaurant Mad Mad Mad Bodega cooking and serving a total pumpkin orgy, giving a talk and signing books as well. Click the flyer for a link to learn more.

Secondly, I am giving two lectures on Nutrition Fundamentals (way more rad than it sounds!) with a Q&A at Books & Company. You can come to one of the talks or both. Click the flyer for a link to learn more.



Cauliflower Buns & Bagels


You guys.
Cauliflower. Buns.
I am crazy stoked about this.

The idea for these simply brilliant, delicious, and totally surprising rolls came from my good friend Sophie, a vibrant, health-conscious lady that I actually met through my mother’s group. We quickly bonded over a shared love of cooking and raising healthy kids, so it didn’t take long before we were meeting up outside of the group for smoothie dates and trading kitchen secrets. A couple months ago she mentioned making bread out of blended cauliflower and I thought it was just about the neatest idea I’d heard in a while, especially since my son and I love starchy baked anything, and I’m always keen to have a wide range of options. I set out to make my own version and this was the happy result.


Despite being totally flour-free, these buns are surprisingly light and fluffy. They taste of cauliflower (or should I say, cauliflour? HA!), but the garlic powder takes them in a different direction so that you don’t feel like you’re just eating a ball of blended cruciferous. I added nutritional yeast as well, which lends a wonderful cheesiness along with its B-vitamins, and almond meal for protein, fat and flavour. A sprinkling of dried onions or sesame seeds on top also add a great taste and texture. The psyllium husk is not totally necessary, but the buns are a little drier with this addition, plus without it, they are nearly impossible to slice without breaking. I prefer them baked with just eggs – but I also like just scarfing these, no slicing please.


To answer the question many of you will inevitably ask me, yes, I made a vegan version of these, but sadly, they did not work. I replaced the eggs with psyllium husk exclusively and the buns practically melted into weird cauli-puddles (bizarro!). And as psyllium contributes a rather rubbery texture, I also found that using it as a binder instead of eggs yielded an unappetizing consistency – most certainly un-bread like. If any of you are up for the challenge, please experiment and let me know in the comments. I’d love to post a vegan alternative!


One thing I should bring up is that these buns, despite tasting really good even a few days after baking, begin to smell rather sulfuric (a.k.a. fart-y). I can’t even tell you the looks I got after opening my lunchbox stocked with cauliflower buns on an airplane a couple weeks ago. It wasn’t me! It was the buns! This is due to the naturally-occurring and health promoting sulfur in the cauliflower. Nothing to worry about, but I thought it begged mentioning so that you know what to expect, and don’t jump to the conclusion that the buns have spoiled. Or that you keep the buns in a tightly sealed container and open it in a confined public space.

If you can time your baking of these to serve with a meal, I suggest you do so, as they are so delicious fresh from the oven, cooled just slightly, with a slather of good-quality butter. Yes, butter. I’d go so far as to say that it’s important to the recipe because the buns have very little fat in them, so butter really takes the taste experience to the next level of yum.



Give this recipe a shot you guys – especially if you are skeptical!

Love and buns,
Sarah B

Show me your buns! #MNRcauliflowerbuns

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Hey guys! I have a couple new interviews up online if you’d like to check them out…
Remarkable Magazine
Psycle London