about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

    For partnerships, contact: dailygarnishads@mediakix.com.

    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Twenty Minute Meals.

There was a time a few years ago – when I was living in Charlotte – when I used to write more of a daily journal.  That’s was mostly due to the fact that I was in culinary school and I was writing about my daily classroom experiences.  But during that time, I used to share a lot of the meals I cooked at home too. 

As my cooking and writing developed, my food posts became more recipe centered.  I don’t miss sharing every detail of my days (which you would likely find very boring), but sometimes I find myself plating out our dinners and thinking – this isn’t a recipe, but it would be a fun meal to share

I am by no means an expert, but over the years I’ve developed a few tricks and trips to help my family eat a balanced, vegetarian diet even when time is short and days are long.  Here are a few things we’ve been eating lately – not recipes – just easy, throw together types of meals.

Once a week, I usually make a big mixture of grains/beans/lentils in the rice cooker – something I can keep in the fridge all week long.  Casey packs small containers for his work lunches, and it’s an easy healthy option for me to grab in between Cullen’s naps.

When we got home from Ohio on Wednesday night, I made a big batch of brown rice and lentils – 2 cups brown rice, 2 cups French lentils, 7 cups water, 1 vegetable bouillon cube – all on the quick-cook setting of the rice cooker.  Friday afternoon, I pulled it out of the fridge and served up an easy, healthy lunch for me and C.

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Our lunch dates are one of my favorite parts of the day.  It is clearly a highlight for Indy too.

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A small plate of brown rice, lentils, and green peas for Cullen.  Fifty percent in his belly, 25% in his seat, 25% flung from the high chair with wild arm swoops – his newest trick.

Even though this dish was already pretty high in protein, I topped mine with three drippy eggs because it just sounded good.  A little egg-y goop in each bite – delicious.  Kept me full for many hours, which isn’t an easy task these days.

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Here’s another yummy meal we had recently – this time for dinner.  Again, so easy, but delicious nonetheless.  And in case you are looking for easy weeknight dinner ideas, here you go.

Marinated & roasted mushrooms, cheesy baked kale chips, and seasoned black beans.  Twenty minutes from start to finish.  My only regret was not making double the amount of mushrooms – so good.

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This is one of those throw together and forget about it types of meals.  The kind that cooks itself while you are doing dishes, answering emails, or soaping up little baby bodies before bed.  As easy as…

Mushrooms:  Trim ends off four large portabellas.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Whisk together a mixture of olive oil (~2 tbsp) and ume plum vinegar (~1 tbsp).  Brush mixture generously on gills and tops of mushrooms (both sides).  Bake face up for 15 minutes, then flip face down and bake for 5 more.

If you don’t have ume plum vinegar, go buy some immediately.  It’s a game changer.

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Cheesy Kale Chips:  I have recently been buying pre-torn bags of organic kale from Trader Joe’s.  I rarely buy prepared vegetables, but this is a HUGE time saver and it’s organic – a double YES.  Casey and I have big appetites, so for the two of us I cook TWO big bags of kale.  Don’t judge.

I shake one bag of kale into a bowl, top with a big glug of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a very generous layer of nutritional yeast.  Then I add the second bag on top, and repeat with all toppings.  I pull up my sleeves and rub the salt/oil/yeast into the kale with my hands for a few minutes, making it wilt and shrink. 

I dump the whole bowl out onto a baking sheet and spread it evenly.  One more coating of nutritional yeast on top, and I pop it in the oven (right above the mushrooms) for about 15 minutes (usually stirring once halfway through). 

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Black Beans:  Rinse and drain a can of black beans.  In a small sauté pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add beans.  Add a few pinches of garlic powder and chili powder, a dash of cumin, and just a hint of cayenne pepper.  Finish with sea salt.  The spices will get toasty over the heat, and they really jazz up a boring can of beans. 

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Like I said, nothing groundbreaking here, but simply a good example of how I might throw together one of our weeknight meals.  (I should note that we typically have a more carb-heavy dinner, but we’d both had big breakfasts and lunches, so this dinner was a little lighter than normal.)  Heavy on the veg, and enjoyed in front of our favorite Canadian TV show – Dragon’s Den – along with some home-brewed kombucha.  But that is a post for another day. 

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I’ll try to start popping in and sharing more meals like this here and there.  Obviously I’ll keep plugging away at recipes too.  I don’t have time to make an elaborate meal every night of the week, and I know you don’t either.  In between feasts and homemade breads, there’s nothing wrong with sprucing up a simple can of beans. 

My Favorite Homemade Salad Dressing.

Even though I eat plenty of them, I never really post salads on here because they don’t necessarily feel like “recipes” to me – more of a “throw things in a bowl” type of meal.  But perhaps in the future I will consider posting some of the more interesting or unusual flavor combinations.

While I do have a few emergency bottles of salad dressing in my fridge, most of the time I end up making my own.  Condiments – salad dressings included – are one of those sneaky food groups (yes I just called them a food group) where if you aren’t a careful label-checker, you can end up with a lot of fake and undesirable ingredients.  To help you avoid that, I give you this…

My Favorite Homemade Salad Dressing

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Ingredients:  (makes 3/4 cup)

  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1.5 tbsp coarse grain mustard
  • 4 tbsp water
  • salt (if needed)

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To Prepare:  First, a word on nutritional yeast, and the most common questions I get about this flaky nutritional powerhouse… 

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Where can I buy it?

Let me save you a trip right now – Trader Joe’s does NOT carry it (don’t know why).  Most Whole Foods sell it in their bulk section.  Before you write off Whole Foods as being too expensive, nutritional yeast is pretty much the consistency of fish food, and weighs next to nothing, so when you pay by the pound – it’s pretty affordable.  If you can’t find it at your local health food store, you can also buy it online.

What can I use as a non-vegan substitute?

I have to start by saying that you don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to try some fun new ingredients!  Nutritional yeast is kind of its own unique thing, and therefore hard to come up with an equivalent.  If I had to pick one though, I’d say ground parmesan.

I hope that helps for the nutritional yeast newbies!  Moving right along, combine the yeast, mustard, liquid aminos, grapeseed oil, and water in a small bowl or jar.  Make sure you use the potent whole grain mustard – that stuff packs a punch!

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Once you have it in a jar or small container, make sure your lid is very secure…

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And then SHAKE!  Put some muscle into it.

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Salt to taste if needed (but not likely), and then drizzle over your favorite salad fixings!

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Today’s bowl was a mix of arugula, butter lettuce, radicchio, snap peas, avocado, and leftover cinnamon-spiced quinoa.  Deeeelicious!

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If you tend to always gravitate towards the store-bought dressings, consider making your own!  It will likely save you money, and you can feel good knowing you saved on packaging and helped our planet.

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