Charred Lemon, Brussel Sprout and Prosciutto Roll

If you love Brussel sprouts and you love sushi, you’re going to love this Brussel sprout sushi roll. The idea of using roasted Brussel sprouts in a sushi roll has been on my mind for some time now but I hadn’t quite been able to figure out what to put with them. I almost always add thinly sliced lemon to my roasting pan when I make Brussel sprouts. I love the charred, almost caramelized citrus mixed with savory roasted sprouts. I just needed something else to round that combination out. A quick search of my fridge netted a half package of prosciutto begging for a chance to get in the mix. Thus the Charred Lemon, Brussel Sprout and Prosciutto roll was born.

Sunday Meal Prep – Brussel Sprout Sushi Roll

Since returning to an office-base job, I’ve taken to spending Sundays doing a little work week lunch meal prep. About once a month I’ll make a few sushi rolls. While sushi is never quite as good the next day, it is certainly better than cafeteria food. This Brussel sprout sushi roll has me almost looking forward to Monday.

Brussel Sprout Sushi Roll at Home

Homemade Sushi – Click here for tutorial

Perfect Brussel Sprout Sushi Roll Rice

Step one to making homemade Brussel sprout rolls is to make the sushi rice. I follow Wil Yeung’s method. Rice the sushi rice well, put it over medium heat until it starts to bubble, cover, reduce heat to low and don’t touch for 15 minutes. Turn heat off and don’t lift lid or touch for another 10 minutes. Finish with a splash of rice vinegar and a sprinkle of sugar and let it cool to warm.

If you are wondering what the little black stuff is, it’s my current obsession – furikake. It a mix of sesame seeds, dry seaweed flakes and bonito flakes. Adds a little something interesting to pretty much anything plus it looks cool on the outside of a Brussel sprout sushi roll.

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Eden Shake Furikake

Brussel Sprout Sushi Roll – Roast the Sprouts and Lemon

First, you need to trim and quarter your Brussel sprouts and thinly slice about half of a lemon. I used about 6 large Brussel sprouts and ended up with enough for 3 Brussel sprout sushi rolls (which includes me eating a couple of the freshly roasted Brussels because that is irresistible).

Toss your Brussel sprouts and lemon slices in a roasting pan with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until the Brussel sprouts are nice and tender and the lemon slices are sticky and caramelized.

Roasted Brussel sprouts with charred lemon slices

Brussel Sprout Sushi Roll – Assembly

Once your rice is ready and your sprouts are done, it’s time to assemble your Brussel sprout sushi roll! After a little trial and error, I’ve landed on parchment paper as my preferred sushi assembly tool. You’ll need a piece of parchment paper about the size of a standard cooking tray. Lay that out on your counter and place a sushi seaweed sheet on top, rough side up.

The hardest part is setting the rice. Scoop about 3/4 of a cup of cooked rice onto your seaweed sheet (on the rougher side). Use wet hands and a fork to spread and flatten.

The goal here is to spread and flatten the rice out so that it covers all but about 2 inches of the sheet. Yes, it’s easier if you just keep heaping rice on vs. using a little patience to spread what you started with. But this will result in a Brussel sprout sushi roll with a very thick layer of rice which just adds calories per roll and makes it harder to eat. The key to perfect sushi is a nice, bite-sized roll.

The Flip

Carefully pick up your sushi sheet by the naked edge and flip it over so the rice is facing down (unless you prefer your rice on the inside of your roll).

Time to start adding the ingredients. The key to a good roll is not to over do it. I used about 6 roasted Brussel sprout quarters per roll plus 3-4 pieces of charred lemon. Spread everything out evenly along the naked edge of the sushi paper. I pulled apart half a sheet of prosciutto for each roll and layered that on top of the sprouts and lemon. Time to wrap this Brussel sprout sushi roll up!

Brussel Sprout Sushi Roll – Let’s Wrap It Up

Using your hands, flip the naked part of the sushi sheet over your ingredients and gently try to tuck the edge in underneath them. Holding that in place with one hand while you use the other to pick up the parchment paper and flip it over the roll.

Using both hands and the parchment paper as your guide, starting rolling up your Brussel sprout sushi roll. Go slowly, using your fingers to pinch the roll together as you go to make it tight.

The technique I use is to roll a little and then use my fingers to tuck the parchment under the roll, pulling back to make it snug. Then release the parchment from the tuck, pull it forward a little and continue rolling. It’s way easier to do than to describe 🙂

Once you’ve reached the end of the seaweed wrapper, unroll your parchment and admire your work. Carefully pick up your Brussel sprout sushi roll and transfer it to a cutting board. Make a few more rolls until you run out of rice.

Brussel Sprout Sushi Roll – The Right Slice

Time to slice! Transfer your perfectly rolled sushi to a cutting board and lay a piece of your parchment just over the top. Use your fingers to hold one side steady and use a serrated knife to carefully saw through the parchment and the roll until you feel that you’ve cut through the seaweed all the way.

Carefully pull off the parchment and look at your perfect creation!!

Brussel Sprout Sushi Roll – The Perfect Bite

I dipped my first piece into just a dab of soy sauce to try it.

Savory Brussel sprout, salty prosciutto and tangy charred lemon. Simple and totally satisfying.

Brussel sprout roll

Charred Lemon, Brussel Sprout and Prosciutto Roll

We love Brussel sprouts and we love sushi. Why not put them together?
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: brussel sprouts, prosciutto, sushi
Servings: 3 rolls
Calories: 192kcal


  • parchment paper


Sushi Rice

  • 3/4 cup sushi rice, rinsed several times
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds or furikake

Charred Lemon and Brussel Sprouts

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, very thinly sliced
  • 6 Brussel sprouts, quartered
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 slices prosciutto
  • 3 sheets nori
  • soy sauce for dipping
  • wasabi paste, optional


Prepare the Sushi Rice

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Place the rinsed sushi rice in a small saucepan. Add water and place over med heat. As soon as bubbles start to form on the edges, stir to release anything sticking and cover with a lid. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes and then turn off heat (don't open the lid). Allow to steam for another 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with fork. Add rice vinegar, sugar, and sesame seeds or furikake and fluff again. Set aside and allow to rest until just warm.

Preparing the Roll

  • While rice is cooking, prepare the Brussel sprouts and charred lemon. Toss quartered Brussel sprouts and sliced lemon with olive oil in a small roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until sprouts are tender and lemon is caramelized. Remove from oven and allow to cool until safe to handle.
  • Once rice is done, place one nori sheet (bumpy side up) on a piece of parchment paper. Using a fork and wet fingers, press cooked sushi rice onto the mat firmly leaving 1-2 inches of nori uncovered. Carefully flip the nori over so that the rice is facing down.
  • Arrange your Brussel sprouts and lemon slices on the edge of the nori that does not have rice under it. Top with some prosciutto. You are going to roll that uncovered nori around the filling to get it started. Don't over do the filling. 6 small Brussel quarters and half of a strip of prosciutto should be enough.
  • Pick up the edge of your rolling mat and start to flip the exposed piece of nori over the filling ingredients. You essentially want to tuck that piece around and under to get your roll sealed. Lift the parchment and flip it over the roll. Use it as a guide to begin rolling while also pulling it back towards you, and use your fingers to pinch the roll firmly as you go. You want to get things tight on that first turn and then continue rolling about a half turn at a time, pulling the mat free as you continue to roll forward and continuing to pinch along the length of the roll as you go. Unroll the parchment and you should have a beautiful sushi roll!
  • The hardest part IMO is cutting. Move the roll to a cutting board and lay a piece of parchment over the top. Use your fingers to hold the parchment and roll firmly while sliced with a serrated knife, gently sawing back and forth as you go. Carefully remove the parchment. Stand back to admire what you've created, then go ahead and make your second roll. Serve immediately or keep wrapped in plastic and refrigerated until ready to serve.
  • Serve 1 roll per person with soy sauce for dipping and wasabi paste on the side (optional).




Serving: 1roll | Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 52mg | Potassium: 210mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 428IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg
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Are You On A Roll Now?

Check out my On A Roll homemade sushi recipe collection for more ideas like these:

Tofu Garden Roll
Kimchi, Tofu and Sesame Noodle Roll
Pickled Quail Egg and Prosciutto Roll

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Sushi Rice Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash, Feta and Pepitas

Risotto is usually made with arborio rice, but you can make sushi rice risotto using the same cooking method. There’s nothing like a creamy bowl of properly cooked sushi rice risotto on a chilly night. Yes, it takes patience. And yes, you have to stay with it. No walking away to start laundry while it’s simmering. This Sushi Rice Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash, Feta and Pepitas turned out just as good – if not better – than risotto made with arborio.

Sushi rice risotto
Sushi Rice Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash, Feta and Pepitas

Arborio vs. Sushi Rice Risotto

You’ve probably heard of long-grain rice. That’s the rice we typically eat. It includes wild rice, white, brown, jasmine and basmati. Short grain rice is distinctively, well, short. The grains look more plump than typical rice. Both sushi and arborio rice are considered short grain.

Examples of short vs. long grain rice from The Kitchn

If you put sushi rice and arborio side by side, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference. That’s why when I started making a roasted butternut squash risotto last night and then realized I was out of arborio, I decided to make the substitution. Voila! Sushi rice risotto!

Freshening Up

The thing about risotto is that it is usually a savory one-dimensional dish. While savory is what you want when you eat risotto, I’m always looking for interesting variations that add a little more complexity of flavor or a splash of freshness. This Sushi Rice Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash, Feta and Pepitas was a happy experiment that delivered exactly that.

Making Sushi Rice Risotto At Home

I don’t make risotto at home that often. But after a run of getting poorly executed risotto in restaurants, I was craving the real thing. I was proud of myself for summoning the patience to make this sushi rice risotto dish two nights in a row and getting perfect results both times.

Prep Your Sushi Rice Risotto Ingredients

The two keys to great homemade sushi rice risotto are to have everything set up and staged before turning on the stove and to be patient during the cooking process. Regardless of what risotto recipe you’re using, you’ll need a few things: a medium sauté pan for making the risotto, a small saucepan for the broth or liquid you’ll be adding periodically to the risotto, a ladle and a spatula.

With any risotto, you’re going to be adding liquid to the pan a little at a time. Nine times out of ten you’ll probably use chicken broth for this, so put that in your saucepan and set it over medium heat. The idea is that you want this liquid to be fairly hot so that it doesn’t cool down the sushi rice risotto and stop the cooking process every time you add it.

Chicken broth over medium heat
My gorgeous Caraway pans – click image to shop

Breathe It In

For this recipe, and for most risotto recipes, you’ll start by heating up some olive oil in your sauté pan. One of the tips to cooking anything is to let that pan get fairly warm before adding the oil. I recommend using medium heat for sushi rice risotto otherwise the pan will be too hot. Once you add the oil, wait about thirty seconds and then add chopped onion and garlic. You should hear a little sizzle as soon as you add them or the oil isn’t hot enough.

Toss that around with your spatula to get it coated in the oil and until both are fragrant. Lean in to smell! Immediately add your sushi rice and continue moving everything around with the spatula. Tip: DO NOT RINSE THE SUSHI RICE. While you would normally rinse sushi rice, you should skip that step for sushi rice risotto or you won’t get the creamy finish.

My favorite part of making risotto is when it’s wine time. Once your sushi rice is nice a toasty (about a minute total), you’ll be ready to add white wine. I am always generous with my pour.

Lean in and get a good whiff. This is when things start to get exciting! This is also a good time to pour yourself a pre-dinner beverage.

Patience Is a Virtue with Sushi Rice Risotto

Allow the wine to reduce down until there is almost no liquid left. Don’t let it get to the point where the rice is sticking. This only takes about 45 seconds.

Now it’s time to grab your ladle and start adding the chicken broth, about 1/2 a cup at a time.

Shimmy your pan around a little to integrate the broth into the sushi rice risotto. Then leave it alone. It should about two to three minutes for this to absorb into your rice. Use your spatula to scrape the edges and to ensure nothing is sticking. Don’t add more liquid until it’s mostly absorbed, just like the wine.

Keep repeating this process for four to five additions of liquid. You should start noticing that your sushi rice risotto is starting to get creamier. Grab a spoon and do a little test taste to see if the sushi rice risotto is al dente or if it still needs more time. Don’t rush this part. There is nothing worse than sitting down to eat the fruits of your labor to find you have crunchy risotto!

Perfectly cream sushi rice risotto

Sushi Rice Risotto – Finishing Touches

Once the sushi rice risotto is al dente to your liking, turn the heat down to low. The final step is to add the rest of your ingredients quickly.

First, I added some diced Fresno chili for heat, lime zest for freshness and a little cream cheese. Use your spatula to break the cream cheese down and incorporate it as quickly as possible. Then add your pre-roasted butternut squash. Toss gently to combine and give it enough time to get hot. As soon as that happens, turn off the heat and finish with the arugula and lime juice. Once you plate it, add your pepitas and a small sprinkle of crumbled feta.

Bon Appetit!

Sushi Rice Risotto

Sushi Rice Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash, Feta and Pepitas

Did you know you can make risotto with sushi rice instead of arborio? This recipe gives you all the creaminess you want from risotto plus a fresh pop of salt and citrus from lime juice, arugula, pepitas and feta.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: arugula, feta, pepitas, risotto
Servings: 2
Calories: 547kcal


  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup sushi rice UNRINSED
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp lime zest plus half a lime, divided
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp Fresno chili, diced
  • 1 cup roasted butternut squash (do ahead or use leftovers)
  • 1.5 cups arugula
  • 1/4 cup sprouted pepitas
  • 1/4 cup feta
  • salt and pepper
  • crusty French or sourdough bread, optional


  • Heat the chicken broth or stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Prep all ingredients (if you haven't already roasted your butternut squash, do that before starting this recipe). Heat a medium skillet over medium until hot. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and allow to heat for about 30 seconds.
  • Add chopped onion and minced garlic to the oil. Using a spatula, toss it around lightly until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add unrinsed sushi rice and continue to toss lightly to coat in the oil for about 1 minute.
  • Carefully add the wine..breathe in that delicious aroma as it reduces down to just a few tablespoons of liquid in the pan.
  • Using a ladle, carefully add two scoops of chicken broth to the skillet. Make sure your broth is steaming before adding it. Shimmy the skillet lightly and allow the broth to simmer and absorb.
  • Once the liquid is almost completely absorbed, add 2 more ladles of broth. Repeat the above instructions. Continue this process for about 15 minutes. Once your sushi rice starts to look creamy, begin tasting for doneness. You're going for al dente with no toughness to the bite.
  • As soon as you reach a nice al dente, reduce the skillet heat to low and turn off the heat under the broth. Immediately add the cream cheese, lime zest, Fresno chilis and butternut squash. Gently stir to combine and unsure the squash reheats enough. Once the squash is combined and hot, turn off the skillet heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss the risotto with the arugula and the juice from the remaining lime. Divide between two plates and top each with half of the pepitas and feta. Serve with crusty bread if desired.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 547kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 1146mg | Potassium: 558mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 8157IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 194mg | Iron: 3mg
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Tahini-Kale Vegetarian Sushi Roll
Wasabi Beet, Cucumber and Avocado Sushi Roll
Marinated Chickpea Sushi Roll

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Cucumber and Avocado Salad with Hemp Hearts and Pepitas

Using avocado as a main ingredient in my salads is nothing new, and this Cucumber and Avocado Salad with Hemp Heart and Pepitas is the latest version on my table. The addition of pepitas (pumpkin seeds), crumbled goat cheese and a hearty squeeze of lime juice gives a simple dinner staple a fresh lift.

Cucumber and avocado salad with hemp hearts and pepitas

Avocado Salads

My fetish with avocado-based salads started because there was a time when I just didn’t like salad greens. Blame it on the dinner salads in my 1980s home made with tasteless iceberg lettuce and bottled Italian dressing. It was an obligatory part of many meals that I hated. When I was old enough to say no, I did. For years after that I never even glanced at the salad offerings on menus.

This was LONG before avocados were even on my radar, and certainly before they were readily available in grocery stores.

A perfect California avocado

Love Affair

Once I discovered the avocado, my love affair blossomed slowly over time until one day I realized that I was building salads and sandwiches around the avocado and everything else was secondary.

BAT (Bacon, Avocado and Tomato) Sandwich
Bacon and Avocado Sandwich on Pumpernickel

Saladless Salads

Avocado and Arugula Salad with Hemp Hearts

I wanted to find ways to add texture to my salads, which is how hemp hearts came into play. You can pretty much use any chopped nut to top an avocado but there are also options like chia seeds and furikake (more on furikake coming soon).

My go-to crunchy topping of choice besides hemp hearts are Go Raw sprouted pepitas with sea salt.

Cucumber and Avocado Salad with Hemp Hearts and Pepitas

Cucumber and avocado salad with hemp hearts and pepitas

Cucumber and Avocado Salad with Hemp Hearts and Pepitas

Double the crunch of a perfect avocado salad with the addition of both hemp hearts and pepitas, and make it sing with crumbled goat cheese and a squeeze of lime juice.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Salad
Keyword: avocado, goat cheese, hemp hearts, olive oil, pepitas
Servings: 2
Calories: 616kcal


  • 1 avocado, cut in half and pitted
  • 1/2 cucumber, halved lenthwise and sliced
  • 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 4 tbsp sprouted pumpkin seeds or pepitas


  • Scoop out each half of the avocado and place each half in a small salad bowl. Top each with half of the cucumber, crumbled goat cheese, hemp hearts and pepitas. Drizzle with 1-2 tbsp of good olive oil and a healthy squeeze of lime juice.


Serving: 0.5avocado | Calories: 616kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 755mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 504IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 7mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Frittata Test Kitchen Spotlight: Chuao Chocolate Bars

I’m sharing some sweet surprises today with a Frittata Test Kitchen spotlight on Chuao chocolate bars. WARNING: Reading this post could result in addiction. I’m on a mission to do a thorough assessment of what I like to call “fancy chocolate bars”. It’s hard work, but someone’s got to do it. Fancy chocolate bars are not the chocolate bars you find in the checkout line. These are not the chocolate bars that you give out for Halloween. The fancy chocolate bars I’m referring to are works of art, and usually cost as much.

Fancy Chocolate Bar Fetish

chuao chocolate bars
Display of Chuao chocolate bars at their Carlsbad joy factory

Chuao. Pronounced “Chew-Wow.”

Chuao is a village in Venezuela known for cacao (chocolate) plantations. The magician behind this brand is from Venezuela, so that’s where Chuao chocolate bars sources chocolate from. It’s totally luck that the pronunciation makes sense for a food product.

Click the photo to learn more about Chuao Chocolatier

Free Chocolate Bar Advertising

Second, let me assure everyone that I am not being paid for my endorsement of Chuao chocolate bars (yet). If I spotlight a product, it’s because I’m genuinely obsessed with it.

Chuao Oh My S'mores chocolate bar
Oh My S’mores Chuao chocolate bar

The Inaugural Chocolate Bar

Chuao’s “Oh My S’mores” chocolate bar was the first one to catch my eye. I love s’mores. Without a doubt, anyone who knows me knows that. I get tagged on Facebook pretty much anytime s’mores are mentioned.

Indoor S’mores

The picture below was taken from my kitchen when I finally bought myself a proper “indoor s’mores” torch about 2 years ago. Unfortunately, it never actually worked. The torch did not make the trip to California. But as you can see, that night I was making s’mores with the traditional Hershey’s chocolate bar.

Not only did I make normal s’mores, I had also been turned on to s’mores made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. My head exploded on that idea because I could not believe I was in my 40’s and just seeing THAT for the first time. I’ve had a life-long obsession with Reese’s cups and it seemed so obvious to use them in s’mores.

Indoor S’mores

Banana S’mores

Chuao Chocolate Bar Sweet Surprise

I was sitting on my couch after dinner getting ready to watch a true crime documentary, and what goes better with true crime than fancy chocolate bars?

I purchased this Chuao chocolate bar and was just waiting for the right moment. It was not the first fancy chocolate bar to cross the threshold. Like I said, I’m doing a full survey. But many of the chocolate bars I’ve sampled were just ok and didn’t earn a second purchase.

As soon as I opened the package I thought there had been some mistake. For a millisecond I thought I had gotten a defect. I was NOT expecting actual mini-marshmallows to tumble out (a couple got pulled off as I was disrobing the chocolate bar). For some unexplained reason, this little unexpected surprise made giggle.

Chuao Oh My S'mores chocolate bar
Chuao Oh My S’mores chocolate bar

I took a little nibble. Just a small piece of the top corner. I felt like Charlie before he found his Golden Ticket. He’d always try to take just a small nibble of his Wonka Bar so he could save some to share with Grandpa Joe.

Back to the Chocolate Bar

Back to the chocolate bar. It’s like a micro layer of graham cracker inside an equally thin layer of perfect dark chocolate. A touch of sea salt, I think. I took a second bite.

The balance was perfection. So much so that I lost track of what was happening on my show and had to rewind twice because with every bite I became more and more enamored with my Oh My S’mores chocolate bar.

One Is The Loneliest Number..When It Comes to Chocolate Bars

I woke up thinking about my Chuao Oh My S’mores chocolate bar the next morning. I went to work and coveted the moment when I’d be back in the fancy chocolate bar aisle adding them by the handful to my basket.

Chuao chocolate bars
Chuao chocolate bars

I decided to try a second flavor of Chuao chocolate bar. They make some pretty interesting “luxe” bars, including some that I’m skeptical about. Stay with me because you’re going to find out what those are. But one bite at a time.

Sweet Chocolate Bar Anticipation

I decided to open this chocolate bar a little more carefully. Now I’m really like Charlie as he’s peeling back the corner of that Wonka bar just praying for that glint of gold.

If you haven’t seen this in a while, take the 2 minutes. It’s SO worth it.

I have easily seen that movie 10,000 times. No lie. I sang a spontaneous live version of Veruka Salt’s “I Want the World” to spice up a work meeting a few years ago. I have video proof.

Side thought: As I watch this video today it occurs to me that young Charlie looks a lot like a young Jon Bon Jovi. Does anyone else see that? I digress…

After overcoming the surprise of actual marshmallows on my other chocolate bar, I was NOT surprised to find actual pretzels on the Pretzel Toffee Twirl Chuao chocolate bar.

Chuao Pretzel Toffee Twirl

Indeed, all key elements were in perfect balance with just the right amount of salt.

Getting Chocolate Bar Exotic

Next day after work I’m back in the fancy chocolate bar aisle. I’m feeling bolder about my selection this time. Let’s get a little wild.

Chuao Totally Tangy Mango chocolate bar
Chuao Totally Tangy Mango

After I finished it, I realized that I kept reaching over to the coffee table for another bite and only found an empty wrapper. I’m also feeling a little like an addict that didn’t get their fix today because the Chuao Totally Tangy Mango chocolate bar was sold out when I went to buy more.

Going Straight to the Chuao Chocolate Bar Source

Time out. I just noticed on the website that Chuao Chocolatier’s factory and store is in Carlsbad, California. That’s like ten minutes from my house.

And I totally bet they have my Totally Tangy Mango chocolate bars there. 💖

Chuao chocolatier
The Joy Factory

Yes. Yes they do.

The display at Chuao chocolate shop

And a few other fancy chocolate bars too.

The Chocolate Bar Joy Factory

It was a pretty simple shop but they have a plate glass window that looks into the actual chocolate factory. That’s bold. I’ve always been a fan of the restaurants where you can see into the kitchen, not only so I can watch the food preparation as I anticipate my meal but also because it means they are pretty confident about their cleanliness.

I can hear “I’ve got a Golden Ticket” in my head as I walk around. It was at that time that I spotted the Joy Dance Floor. They have a dance floor because when you try Chuao chocolate bars for the first time, you just might need one.

joy factory at Chuao chocolatier
The Joy Factory at Chuao Chocolatier

Just when I thought my chocolate bar research was nearly done. 🤩

Here’s the final ranking of Chuao chocolate bars from most to least addictive:

  • Oh My S’moreswinner winner marshmallows for dinner
  • Totally Tangy Mango a VERY close second
  • Pretzel Toffee Twirl
  • Potato Chip – Yes, they put potato chips inside a chocolate bar. It worked for me.
  • Ravishing Rocky RoadReally good but not as good as Oh My S’mores
  • Honeycomb – crunchy honeycomb yumminess
  • Firecracker – a must do for pop rocks fans
  • Baconluxious with plant-based bacon – Bacon should be it’s own food group. It makes most things better, except maybe chocolate. I had to eat this one in small doses and pair it with a Manhattan.
  • Carrot Cake – I strenuously object to white chocolate. I tried this because they gave me a free sample. It wasn’t horrible, and it did taste just like carrot cake (which I don’t really like either).

A Bag S’more of Surprises

I was also introduced to this bag of happiness at the Joy Factory. I now have the bag in my fridge but it’s going fast.

Bag o s’mores chocolate bar pieces rom Chuao chocolates

I did not try this one because I’m not on the PS (Pumpkin Spice) flavor train. If you are you might want to try this:

pumpkin spice s'mores chocolate bar
Chuao Pumpkin Spice S’more chocolate bar

I hope you enjoyed this round up and that you can appreciate how difficult it was for me to do the work 😜

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Sweet Italian Sausage Pasta with Peppers and Brussels Sprouts

I’m excited to share this simply sweet Italian sausage pasta recipe. In the Frittata kitchen, it is not uncommon for a new Frittata recipe to be the result of some ad-libbing. I hate to waste food, so I try very hard to buy groceries for specific meals vs. just buying an ingredient and hoping it will go with something I already have on hand. But it happens. Just like it does in your fridge.

Frequently, I find items in my crisper drawer that I bought with good intentions, but have forgotten about. Sweet Italian Sausage Pasta with Peppers and Shaved Brussel Sprouts was born last night when I found some farmer’s market Brussels sprouts staring at me from the bottom of the crisper drawer.

Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage

When I make Italian sausage and pepper pasta, I use Johnsonville Italian Sausages. I’ve tried dozens of other options including the Italian sausages that get made fresh in the meat department at the store. But I’ve yet to find an Italian sausage that I like as much as Johnsonville.

Depending on my mood, I use either their Sweet Italian sausage or Hot Italian Sausage, usually sweet. You can’t buy these at Whole Foods, but most other grocery stores carry them. To see where you can buy Johnsonville’s Italian sausages, click on either image below to jump to their site. I don’t get paid to promote Johnsonville.

sweet Italian sausage pasta
Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage
hot Italian sausage pasta
Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage

Seal Your Sweet Italian Sausage Deal

Get a pot of water on to boil for the pasta while you are prepping the rest of the ingredients. Once your veggies are prepped, heat a cast-iron grill over med-high heat. Wait for it to get hot, then put the sweet Italian sausages in and sear for about 3 minutes until they are charred on the outside. Turn the heat to med-low and cover with either a lid or tinfoil to let them cook through. Give them a poke with your finger. Italian sausages feel mostly firm and bounce back from the touch when they are fully cooked.

Remove the Italian sausages from the pan and set them aside, but cover them with foil to keep warm. Turn the heat up to medium. Add a little olive oil, let it get hot, and add sliced onions and bell pepper of your choice. I like to use a mixture of red and orange bell peppers, but today I only had orange. Season well with salt and pepper.

sweet Italian sausages with onions and peppers
Sweet Italian Sausage and Peppers

Don’t mess with it for a few minutes. If you let the hot pan do its job, those onions will caramelize. Keep them covered with the foil so they stay warm.

Shred the Heads

I used my sharpened chef’s knife to shave some Brussels sprouts. You don’t need a food processor. Trim off their nubs and then slice them as thin as possible. Voila! You now have shredded Brussels sprouts. Alternatively, you can find pre-shaved packaged Brussels sprouts at the grocery, but they fly off the shelves. Make your own if you can’t find pre-packaged.

It was my first run at this addition to my sweet Italian sausage pasta, so I only shaved 3 large sprouts. I added them to the pan and seasoned them lightly with salt and pepper. They wilt and start to char after about 2 minutes. If you want to, put the Italian sausages back in the grill pan for a minute to reheat.

Italian Sausage Pasta Finishing Touches

sweet Italian sausages with onions, peppers and Brussels sprouts
Sweet Italian Sausage and Peppers with Shaved Brussel Sprouts

Do not use cheap olive oil. Do not skip the basil.

For me, it’s all about the olive oil. When you use quality olive oil to finish an entrée, you don’t need anything else.

Assess Your Oil

Here’s the finished Sweet Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta with Shredded Brussels Sprouts on the first attempt. I had crumbled some goat cheese on top at the last minute but it isn’t necessary.

sweet Italian sausage pasta with peppers and Brussels sprouts
Sweet Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta with Shredded Brussel Sprouts

I liked the addition of the shredded Brussesl sprouts but decided I hadn’t used enough.

I made the sweet Italian sausage pasta recipe again the next night and used more Brussels sprouts. A lot more. It was still good, but I think I overdid it and I lost some of the essence of the onions and pepper.

On a third try, I settled on 8 shredded sprouts (about 1 cup).

sweet Italian sausage pasta with peppers and Brussels sprouts
Sweet Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta with Shaved Brussel Sprous

I chose to use rotini for this dish because it is what I had in the pantry. If you don’t have rotini, I’d suggest using farfalle, or bow-tie pasta, for Sweet Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta with Shaved Brussel Sprouts.

sausage pasta

Sweet Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta with Shaved Brussel Sprouts

Elevate a basic sausage and pepper pasta recipe to a new level with the addition of shaved Brussel sprouts. Fresh basil and good olive oil are key to finishing this dish.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: basil, Italian sausage, pasta
Servings: 2
Calories: 1296kcal


  • Cast-iron grill pan


  • 8 oz rotini or farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
  • 2 links sweet Italian sausage
  • 6 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium bell peppers, ideally one red and one orange, sliced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
  • 8 Brussel sprouts, shaved (about 1 cup)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 handful fresh Basil, sliced


  • Put a pot of water on the stove to boil for the pasta. Prep your veggies.
  • Heat a cast-iron grill pan over med-high heat. Once hot, add the sausages. Sear for about 3 minutes until charred on all sides. Reduce heat to med-low and cover pan with either a lid or foil. Cook for about 6 minutes. Poke the sausages with your finger. If they feel mostly firm and bounce back easily, they are cooked through. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside but keep covered with foil so they stay warm.
  • Increase the grill pan heat to medium. Wait 1 minute then add 2 tbsp olive oil. Let it heat for 1 minute, then add onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Don't move the onions and peppers around too often. Let the pan do its job and let the onions caramelize. Add the Brussel sprouts for the last 2 minutes. Season lightly again with salt and pepper. Remove grill pan from heat.
  • Once pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the pot. Slice your sausages into bite sized pieces and add to the pasta. Add onion/pepper mix. Toss well. Drizzle in 3-4 tbsps good quality finishing olive oil and a handful of freshly sliced basil. Toss again. Dividie between 2 bowls and serve.


Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 1296kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 80g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 47g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 863mg | Potassium: 1283mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 4353IU | Vitamin C: 227mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Accept The Journey

Hello friends! I’ve been eager for the day to come when I’d be writing a post about the great new job that I’ve accepted. Something that is the true manifestation of what my spirit has been chasing. Food writer? Professional travel blogger? International Bird Guide? This is not that post. This post is about the journey to get there. I’m writing this partly to remind myself that the journey is as important as the destination. Probably more important. I’m confident that my door will open when it’s time. But I decided to share my experience because I’m betting that someone else who reads this is also in need of a reminder to accept the journey.

The Resume

When you decide to make a 180-degree turn in your professional path, you have to get creative with building a resume. I started by sitting down and making a list of all the different skills that I had based on my experience. It’s a big list, thank goodness! I did some reading online about how to write a resume for a career change. “The Experts”pretty much universally recommended that you start with a list of transferrable skills you have instead of the actual jobs.

The Mission

The next question was what to write in my mission statement. What is my mission? It seemed somewhat vague to put, “Pretty much open to doing anything different that I’ve done in the past but ideally something that involves food, travel, or birds”. It seemed a bit pretentious to use, “To become the next Food Network star”. And it seemed downright desperate to put, “Anything that will pay the rent bill in California.”

The reality is that I ended up writing several different resumes which took a ton of time. I bet I’ve got 20 different versions and I update at least one almost every day. I have resumes that are focused on my passion for the food industry, the travel industry, and a couple of different versions that I use to apply for jobs that involve writing or product marketing. I have some healthcare resumes that focus on transitioning from the sickness industry to the wellness industry. There is no truer statement than, “it’s a full-time job to find a job”.

Accept the journey. This is part of it. As I edit, I’m reminding myself that I am a talented and experienced professional and that something will pan out.

Not only are there resumes to revamp constantly, but I also believe that every job application should have a customized introduction letter. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I tend to spend a lot of time on these. An article on a job search site the other day told me that not only are cover letters a waste of time because they are not being read, they might actually hurt your chances. The article also suggested that Mission Statements are a sign of being old-fashioned and are a no-no.

The Digital Age

The truth is, we are in the digital age. Incoming job applications are scanned by software to identify pre-set criteria of either keywords, years of experience or who knows what. It’s a bit discouraging, but it’s reality. Accept the journey. I haven’t decided yet whether that means I should be spending even more time perfecting my resume or whether I should just have one generic one and hope for the best.

I did decide to bag the Mission Statement and replace it with more of a summary. Call me old-fashioned, but I haven’t given up on intro letters yet. You can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Accept the journey but trust what feels right.

It’s All In Who You Know

As a former sales professional, no one understands this concept better. The best way to get a new job is to network into it. I’ve got a pretty robust network of connections on LinkedIn, but apparently, the worlds of healthcare sales have zero intersection with the professional world of food or travel. Probably doesn’t help that I moved across the country from the majority of my network (smile).

If fact, one of the only successes I’ve had in terms of pursuing a job I thought I wanted DID happen because I was able to use my network. It wasn’t as straightforward as getting a colleague to introduce me, but I’m going to tell you the story because it shows that even the smallest point of commonality can matter.

I decided I was interested in a job as a Customer Service Team Leader for a certain electric car manufacturer. It’s not food, but that IS technically related to travel. I went to their page on LinkedIn and started combing through employees to see if I had any 2nd level connections. Found one, but when I reached out to my person they said, “sorry, I accept LinkedIn invites from pretty much anyone and I don’t know that person.”

I resisted the urge to point out that the entire point of LinkedIn is to build an actual network of people you know, not people you don’t know. What good is having a connection that you can’t actually use? But that’s not uncommon so if you are one of those people, I’m not judging.

Persistence and Determination

I didn’t give up. I decided to specifically look at the recruiters for this company and I dug into their profiles looking for any kind of commonality in their backgrounds.

Found one. A recruiter that went to Tulane for his undergraduate degree. It was a long shot, but worth a try. I’m not a Tulane alum, but I worked for the medical center. I sent him a message via LinkedIn introducing myself, used the Tulane connection, and guess what? The next morning I got a reply from him. He helped me to get my application in front of the right hiring manager and I got the interview.

I was looking for an image of a “high-five” in my Google photos and found this. LOL.

The Power of Choice

I applied for about 30 positions of varying scopes during my first month of the job search. So far, I’ve received 2 rejection letters. I never heard anything from the other 28.

While it seems like every industry is struggling to find adequate staff based on what you read in the news and experience day to day, it certainly doesn’t feel that way from a job seeker’s perspective. I can’t help but be a little nervous. I have to pay the bills like anyone else.

But I made a commitment to myself that I was not going to take a job that required so much of my time and energy that there wouldn’t be anything left for the pursuit of joy. I went through 2 interviews for the car company and then pulled myself out of the running because that is exactly what they expected. I know it was the right decision. It was a tough part of accepting the journey. But if it feels wrong, it is.

Trusting Your Gut

I’m keeping busy at Whole Foods. They’ve been great about giving me nearly full-time hours and in turn, they get the best online shopper the world has ever seen. I still love it. I walk an average of 6 miles per shift. If you have extra time on your hands and want to get paid to exercise while also getting a discount at Whole Foods, you should apply.

I’m enjoying 2 hard-earned days off this week. And I’m not touching my resumes. I”m not looking at LinkedIn job postings. I’m spending time on what I love. I’m writing this blog post. Working on my book. And I’m in the kitchen. I actually ordered groceries online from my own Whole Foods store last night and had them delivered just to see how it worked on the customer side. The internet is truly miraculous. And this downtime is also an important part of the journey.

When You Least Expect It

Guess what I got in my email this morning.

A company contacted me about my application to be their freelance food blogger. They said they were impressed by my background, shared the compensation number, and asked if I was still interested.

My interview is Tuesday.

They may hire me, they may not. I’m doing my homework and it feels like a potentially good match. It isn’t a full-time job, but it’s a step in the direction of my dreams.

No matter what happens, I will continue to accept the journey.


Carne Asada and Grilled Corn Panzanella

It’s a very rare day on Frittata because I’m sharing a recipe that includes beef. Let me be clear – I am not a vegetarian or vegan. I cook and eat a mostly plant-based diet by choice, but I do eat fish and meat. Meat is not frequently found in my fridge or on my stove, and beef is on the bottom of that list even when it is. That should tell you there must be something special about this recipe. The secret to Carne Asada and Corn Panzanella was the pre-made carne asada that I got after a shift at Whole Foods. Otherwise, this recipe would never have happened. But, if you can’t find pre-prepared carne asada, it’s easy to make at home.

What the H— is Panzanella?

Glad you asked! If you are new to Frittata, you may have missed my previous post introducing Panzanella as catch-all term for salads that include big chunks of crusty bread. My Simple Summer Panzanella recipe is an easy 15-minute weeknight dinner featuring store-bought rotisserie chicken, red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, bread, and basil.

Simple Summer Panzanella

The actual definition of Panzanella takes into consideration that the crusty bread chunks must also soak up a vinegar-based dressing. Like salads but hate creamy dressings? Panzanella is perfect for you.

Carne Asada – Spanish for Delicious

By now pretty much everyone has heard of carne asada which is Spanish for “grilled meat”. That’s kind of cheapening the concept though.

The meat is usually prepared with flank steak but could be made with skirt steak. It’s marinated in a mixture that includes either orange or lime juice (or both), soy sauce, garlic, and herbs. If you want to try making your own, here’s a link to a marinade recipe by Rick Bayless. The guy is a master when it comes to Mexican cuisine. I feel confident this will be a winner and will get you the perfect carne asada for your Panzanella.

Or, you can see if this is available in your local Whole Foods and your life just got easier. Frontera is Rick’s product line so it should be a great option.

Frontera Carne Asada marinade

As I mentioned above, my Whole Foods makes their own carne asada so all I had to do was buy it and reheat it for the Panzanella salad.

Corn on the Grill

For this recipe, I used 2 ears of fresh corn on the cob. I was planning to heat up the grill pan to get the carne asada hot, so I decided to grill the corn as well.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Get the pan nice and hot, give it a quick spray of cooking oil, and lay your cobs down. Roll them 1/4 turn every minute or so until you have seared spots throughout. Use tongs to remove them from the pan.

The next part requires a little skill but this is the best way to get the corn kernels off the cob and into your dish without them going all over the floor.

Holding the hot corn upright with tongs in one hand, use a sharp knife to slice down from the top of the cob to cut the kernels off. It doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, if you get too close to the cob it gets much harder so just do your best to cut the kernels only. They slide right off.

Reheat the Meat

At this point, turn off the heat on your grill pan. Then lay your pre-prepared carne asada in the hot pan. You don’t want to lose that gorgeous pink color on the inside or your meat will be dry and tough. The goal is just to get it warm and juicy again. The pan is still hot enough to cook the meat for about 2 minutes per side to accomplish that. Once hot, remove the meat from the pan, cut it into strips, and then into bite-sized pieces.

Finishing Touches

The finishing touches for this Panzanella are crumbled Cotija cheese and pepitas. Cotija is a Mexican cow’s milk cheese that is similar to feta so you can substitute crumbled feta if you can’t find Cotija. Pepitas are a lesser-known snacking nut more commonly known as raw pumpkin seeds. They are not quite the same as the seeds you scooped from your Halloween pumpkin and roasted. They are green in color and nuttier. These days they are very easy to find, they are healthy and they are awesome on pretty much any salad. Here’s my favorite brand:

Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds

Simple Steps

To build your Carne Asada and Grilled Corn Panzanella, you will also need to toast your bread, make the dressing and chop your other veggies. It might seem like a lot of steps, but a little organized prep is all you need and the entire meal comes together in about 15 minutes.

Carne Asada and Grilled Corn Panzanella

A panzanella featuring carne asada and grilled corn in a lime vinaigrette finished with Cotija cheese and sprouted pepitas. If you can find pre-prepared carne asada, this meal comes together in 15 minutes.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes
Course: Main Course, Salad
Keyword: corn, panzanella, pepitas
Calories: 2014kcal


  • 2 slices thick sourdough bread, ideally a little stale, cut into big chunks
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 1/2 med cucumber, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 handful baby arugula, lightly chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 5 leaves basil, sliced
  • 2 ears corn on the cob, husked
  • 2 servings carne asada *see notes
  • 1 tbsp Cotija cheese
  • 2 tbsp sprouted pepitas or roasted pumpkin seeds


  • Preheat the oven to 325°. If you plan to use convection, skip this step . Place your bread chunks on a baking sheet, spray lightly with cooking spray but enough to coat and season with salt and pepper. Once the oven is preheated, place the baking sheet with the bread in the oven and toast for 7-9 minutes until turning golden but a tiny bit soft in the centers. It's better to overdo this step than to not toast long enough. If using convection, don't preheat the oven. Just turn it on to 325° when you put the baking sheet in.
  • While the oven is preheating, place a cast-iron grill pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Leave it to preheat while you prepare the vinaigrette. In a large serving bowl whisk together the vinegar, juice of 1 lime and 2 tbsp of olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Chop the tomato and cucumber and add to the serving bowl. Chop the arugula and herbs and set aside.
  • Your grill pan is now nice and hot. Spray your corn cobs with cooking spray and place in the hot pan. Turn each cob 1/4 turn every minute or so until you have nice searing around the entire cob. Using tongs in one hand, remove from pan and hold upright in your serving dish. Use a sharp knife in your other hand to cut the kernels off the cob and let them fall into the serving dish.
  • Turn off the heat for the grill pan. Place your pre-prepared carne asada in the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side while the pan is still nice and hot. This will reheat the meat just enough to make it juice but without losing that beautiful medium-rare color. Remove from the pan, cut into strips and then into bite-sized chunks. Add to the serving bowl.
  • Remove bread from the oven and add to the serving bowl. Using a large fork and spoon, toss well to ensure everything gets coated with the dressing. Add the arugula and fresh herbs and toss lightly again to combine. Split between 2 serving bowls. Sprinkle each serving with half of the Cotija cheese and half of the pepitas. Serve immediately.


Carne asada is Spanish for grilled meat. It is usually made with either flank steak or skirt steak that has been marinated in garlic, lime or orange juice, soy sauce, and other herbs. It is commonly available in the pre-pared sections of grocery stores, but if you want to try making your own I’d recommend this recipe from Rick Bayless, an expert in Mexican cooking.


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 2014kcal | Carbohydrates: 118g | Protein: 178g | Fat: 98g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 48g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 444mg | Sodium: 1461mg | Potassium: 3404mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 2473IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 294mg | Iron: 21mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Are you a fan of Panzanella recipes but don’t like beef? Here’s a link to my recipe for vegetarian Halloumi Panzanella as an alternative.

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Frittata Test Kitchen – Majestic Sprouted Hummus

Now that Frittata is back in the kitchen AND working at Whole Foods, I’ve decided to start a post series where I showcase the insane variety of interesting food products that I discover during my day job and test out at night. Welcome to Frittata Test Kitchen! First featured product – Majestic Sprouted Hummus.

On average, I’d say that most of the grocery orders I “pick” on a daily basis at Whole Foods are around 50-60 items. That means over the course of an 8-hour shift, I get to search out hundreds of different products. I’m having a blast discovering new things to try.

Whole Foods Del Mar

Three Times Is A Charm

My new rule is this: If I’ve picked it 3 or more times, buy it and try it. Let’s get started!

Majestic Sprouted Hummus

Whole Foods has a wide selection of hummus products. I have traditionally been a fan of a common brand of hummus available in most grocery stores, but there has been more than one time this brand got pulled off the shelves for quality issues.

majestic sprouted hummus
Majestic Hummus – click to visit their site

As I shared previously, Whole Foods does not sell products with certain ingredients or lack of quality standards. That’s the great thing about shopping there, you don’t have to think much about what you’re buying. If it’s on the shelf, it’s high quality.

Whole Foods does not sell my go-to brand, so I’m assuming there is good reason for it. Had to make a switch.

Follow the Leader

Majestic Sprouted Hummus was the first item that fit the “3 times is a charm” rule, so I bought it.

OMG. This is hands-down the best hummus I’ve ever had. There is something about the texture – it’s creamy but not pureed like other popular brands I’ve tried. It feels almost whipped. And the flavor was perfect. Not too garlicky, just enough. (I ended up reading further about this product on their website to see how it’s described and was thrilled to see that it IS whipped and that the secret ingredient is a touch of cumin).

Click the image above to visit their site and see if it’s available near you.

majestic sprouted hummus

Ideas For Using Majestic Sprouted Hummus

Other than the obvious which is to use hummus as a dip for veggies or crackers, my go-to use is on pesto, hummus, and cheese sandwiches. I’ve traditionally used roasted red pepper hummus for this sandwich.

Pesto, Hummus, and cheese Sandwich (this is an old photo using a different brand of roasted red pepper hummus)

I was so in love with Majestic Sprouted Hummus that I made this sandwich for lunch, and then decided to find a way to have it for dinner too. I surveyed what was in the fridge and came up with this Roasted Veggies and Fennel Slaw with Hummus recipe which just became my new addiction. The recipe is at the bottom of this post or you can click the image below to jump to it now.

roasted veggies and hummus
Roasted Veggies with Fennel Slaw and Hummus

It may sound fancy, but this was a super-easy vegetarian weeknight meal. I roasted cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and lemon slices and put those on top of a big dollop of hummus. Topped it with lemony fennel slaw and some hemp seeds for crunch, and a huge handful of fresh herbs for freshness.

Don’t be put off by the addition of roasted lemon slices. I started putting seared lemons on pretty much everything once I discovered the concept. It gives a savory meal such a burst of unexpected flavor. Just make sure you try to cut the lemon as thin as possible.


Do you have an herb garden at home? Do you love it but find that you never seem to use anywhere near all of the herbs you are growing? This recipe is your answer.

I’ve made this recipe several times now with various combinations of parsley, dill, cilantro, tarragon, and mint. It doesn’t really matter which you choose, just be bold and put a healthy handful on top. Trust me. Plus your herb plants will flourish if you snip from them regularly.

Salmon Loves Hummus

I seared a piece of salmon and put that on the side when I made this again last night, and it was much better than using leftover rotisserie chicken (which I did on a previous trial). Salmon loves hummus.

Hummus – The New Mayonnaise

I was dreaming up other ways to get more Majestic Hummus in my life and decided to try making chicken salad with it. I know there are a lot of people out there who loath mayonnaise so you never get to enjoy the comfort of a chicken or tuna salad sandwich.

In the past, I’ve tried subbing in plain yogurt for mayonnaise in my sandwich salads, but it isn’t quite the same. I usually end up going half-half mayo and yogurt to get a creamy enough result. Until now…

Hummus Chicken Salad

I decided to try using my Majestic Hummus instead of mayonnaise. It worked better than I expected. Read on for the recipe.

Taking Shortcuts

I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time resisting fresh rotisserie chicken when I see it (more like when I smell it) in the store. Problem is, that’s a lot of chicken for one person. My strategy is to bring it home and completely break it down while it’s still warm. I usually eat the legs/thighs right away and then save the breast for making chicken salad.

Here’s the other problem – rotisserie breast is ALWAYS overcooked by the time the dark meat is safe to serve. So the chicken salad requires a lot of mayonnaise to be edible. Today I tried using this:

Whole Foods Organic Grilled Chicken Breast Strips

I worked a shift yesterday and for some reason, this was a popular item (it was probably on sale and I wasn’t paying attention). I bought some after work. It comes in bite-sized pieces, most likely so it can easily be used as a salad topper. I found it to be very moist.

It took about 2 minutes to shred the whole package with a fork which netted me 2 cups of chicken. I mixed up 1/2 cup of Majestic Hummus and 1/2 a single-serving container of plain yogurt (that’s about a 1/4 cup of yogurt -I’m still testing yogurt brands and haven’t landed on a winner yet but stay tuned). Add chicken and mix. Season with salt and pepper and put it in the fridge to set.

Hummus Chicken Salad

I’m not sure the yogurt was even necessary. I found myself wishing the hummus flavor was more pronounced so next time I’m sticking to 100% hummus.

I fell in love with pita bread sandwiches sometime in the 80s when they got popular. It seems like they’ve been replaced with wraps and flatbread, but to me there’s nothing like a pita pocket for a salad sandwich. I threw in sliced cucumber and a huge handful of alfalfa sprouts plus a slice of heirloom tomato.

I used vegan pita bread only because that was the only pita I could find. It was really good and I would definitely buy it again. I bought the “mini” size but they were as big as a typical sandwich pita (bigger than I needed).

Turlock Vegan Pita Bread minis

Secret Sauce

Another idea for ways to use your favorite hummus is as a pasta sauce. When I first came across this idea, I was like, “now why didn’t I think of that!”. I played around with this recipe a few nights in a row and decided the best version was the simplest. Roasted Lemon and Broccolini Hummus Pasta was delicious both hot and cold so make a big portion and save the leftovers for lunch the next day! Full recipe below.

I recommend using your favorite flavored hummus vs. original which might be too bland as a pasta sauce.

hummus pasta

Roasted Lemon and Broccolini Hummus Pasta

After falling in love with Majestic Hummus, I created this pasta recipe using their cilantro jalapeno hummus as the sauce. It's just as delicious cold as it is hot so make a double batch and take it for lunch the next day!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Keyword: broccolini, hummus, pasta
Servings: 2
Calories: 933kcal


  • Food processor, small


  • 2 bunches broccolini, cut into bite-sized pieces, stalk discarded
  • 8 slices lemon, super-thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 oz rotini pasta
  • 1/2 container flavored hummus such as cilantro jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 375°. In a small baking dish, toss the broccolini and lemon slices iwth some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Once oven comes to temp, roast for about 18 minutes until tender but not soggy. Remove from oven.
  • While broccolini and lemons roast,, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and seaon well with salt. Boil pasta to desired doneness based on package directions. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
    roasted lemon and broccolini
  • While water is boiling, combine 1/2 a package of your favorite flavored hummus in a small food processor with 1/4 cup heavy cream or plant-based milk and 1 tbsp of goat cheese. Process briefly to combine. Toss with hot pasta in the serving bowl, then add broccolini, lemon and red pepper. Toss again. Divide between 2 dinner bowls and sprinkle each with 1 tbsp of hemp hearts if using.
    hummus sauce


I served this with a slice of toasted sourdough.


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 933kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 405mg | Potassium: 530mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 4777IU | Vitamin C: 219mg | Calcium: 226mg | Iron: 7mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Bonus: Beans Two Ways

Here’s a bonus idea for you – use your hummus as the condiment of choice for a plant-based burger!

This came about because I had been thinking about another popular product – Alexia Yukon Gold french fries. I decided since I was getting off late that a “burger and fries” was what my spirit wanted for dinner.

Alexia organic Yukon Gold potato fries – click to buy or find where they are sold near you

I grabbed a package of fries, a pack of brioche hamburger buns and Majestic’s Cilantro Jalapeno hummus. I had a package of bean-based plant burgers in the freezer at home. You’ll have to take my word for it that it was the perfect combo because I couldn’t wait to get it in my mouth and totally forgot to take a picture.

Majestic Hummus Cilantro Jalapeno

Not a fan of the plant burger? Fine. Why not try hummus instead of ketchup and mustard on your next REAL burger?

Stay tuned for more Frittata Test Kitchen coming soon. Check out the full recipe for Roasted Veggies with Fennel Slaw and Hummus below. You can now share Frittata on Pinterest as well as Facebook and Twitter, share buttons below! Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any posts and remember that comments and requests are always welcome!

Here’s the recipe for Roasted Veggies with Fennel Slaw and Hummus:

roasted veggies and hummus

Roasted Veggies and Fennel Slaw with Hummus

Sounds fancy but it was super easy. Keep it vegetarian or add some shredded rotisserie chicken on the side for extra protein. I can't wait to make this with salmon!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: vegetarian
Keyword: brussel sprouts, cauliflower, fennel, hummus
Servings: 2
Calories: 589kcal


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pkg brussel sprouts, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 large lemon, halved
  • 1 cup hummus
  • 1 handful fresh herbs, chopped (parsely, dill, thyme, rosemary, cilantro – whatever you have)
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts or other nuts


  • Preheat oven to 375°. Add 1 tbsp of the olive oil to a large mixing bowl. Toss the cauliflower around to coat, season with salt and pepper. Dump the cauliflower onto one side of a large non-stick baking sheet or roasting pan. Add the 2nd tbsp of olive oil to the mixing bowl. Toss the brussel sprouts to coat, season with salt and pepper and add the red pepper flakes. Toss again and dump onto the other side of the baking sheet/roasting pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tender and starting to brown. Don't put that oily bowl in the sink yet…
  • Meanwhile, squeeze the juice of half of the large lemon into a small dish. Add the thinly sliced fennel bulb and toss. Season lightly with salt and pepper. If you have the fennel fronds, chop a few pieces of that and add for color. Set aside while veggies are roasting. Cut about 8 super super thin slices from the other half of the lemon being sure to discard seeds, the cut the slices in half so you have about 16 moons. Toss those into the bowl with the oi and stir around to coat. Set aside.
  • When the veggies are just a few minutes from being done, add the lemon slices to the roasting pan.
  • Once veggies are done, it's time to plate. Spread 1/2 cup of hummus on each plate. Add the roasted veggies and lemon slices, top with the marinated fennel slaw including the lemon juice. Top with a large handful of freshly chopped herbs – I've used various combinations of parsley, dill, cilantro, tarragon and mint and all were delicious. Add hemp hearts or nuts if using. Serve! Note: Need more protein? Add a piece of seared salmon or some rotisserie chicken.
    majestic sprouted hummus


Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 589kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Sodium: 578mg | Potassium: 1459mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1942IU | Vitamin C: 214mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 10mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Avocado and Arugula Salad with Hemp Hearts

One of my go-to weeknight salads is a simple Avocado and Goat Cheese Salad. Here’s a slight twist on that using two of my other favorite salad ingredients: arugula and hemp hearts. Avocado and Arugula Salad with Hemp Hearts brings a little crunch and a little extra protein to your meal.

Hemp Demystified

Remember when hemp was just for rope or clothes or for smoking (LOL)! When did it get into your food?

Hemp plants are cannabis plants. Cannabis sativa. Same species as the plant that grows marijuana. Cultivation of hemp plants has been around a long time. They are used for both their fiber and their seeds. Hemp hearts are the nutty little treasures found inside hemp seeds.

Click image to learn more about hemp from Britannica

Hemp History

There is actually a fascinating history behind this plant. It goes back to 8000 B.C. You can read about it on Manitoba Harvest’s website. They are a producer of hemp products including packaged organic or conventional hemp hearts.

Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts