a sheet pan quiche + october thoughts (and a giveaway!)

sheet pan quiche recipe with kale and goat cheese and a cookbook giveaway!

sheet pan quiche recipe with kale and goat cheese and a cookbook giveaway!

*The giveaway in this post is in partnership with Workman Publishing.

Let’s talk October, shall we?

I’m currently writing this from my favorite corner of Minneapolis – Spyhouse Coffee – and feeling so energized after a crisp fall walk around Lake of the Isles with some of my favorite people in the world. As much that has changed over these last few months, it’s amazing how some things can never change and being in a certain city and a specific place can make it seem like everything is the same as it has always been. I couldn’t even begin to count the number of Sunday’s I spent in this corner of Spyhouse while living in Minneapolis, typing away on this computer, calling my mom and having her tell me couldn’t hear me with the background noise, sipping on lattes, planning blog recipes, and seeing each season in the city from this window. It’s almost comforting to know that as much as some things change, there are certain experiences and places that give you the experience of feeling that everything is right. There is so much that feels wrong in the world right now, and to find my little corner of my coffee shop still giving me the feeling and sense of completeness has me with a giant smile plastered on my face.This is the kind of energy I needed to go into the last quarter of the year (yup, that’s corporate America coming through in me!) and finish out strong. After one more trip up here to Minneapolis in two weeks and then a chance to return to my beloved H-town, these last few months are going to fly by, and I can’t help but feel reminiscent on all that has happened over the last year while sitting in this spot that I spent so much time in. Oh, nostalgia. 

Other life-happenings? I’ve discovered the joys of dry-brushing (blog post to come about my full experience – still experimenting with this habit), I’m spending more time trying to commit to a solid workout routine which is hard for someone who hates workouts other than yoga and spin class, and have started a morning meditation routine. Meditation has always been something that I’m interested in, as I always figured most of my yoga-time is pretty close I was kind of wrong and have discovered how intentional you need to be with meditation. Like, it’s really hard, y’all. I’m about to try the calm app so will update with my thoughts.Other than wellness-focused things, people in my new Northern California home are all coming together to help those who have been affected by the wildfires. If you’re looking for a way to help, there’s a great list here :: How to Help Those Affected by the Northern California Wildfires.

sheet pan quiche recipe with kale and goat cheese and a cookbook giveaway!

sheet pan quiche recipe with kale and goat cheese and a cookbook giveaway!

Alright, now on to the food. It’s a sheet pan quiche and it is pretty freakin’ genius. I got a copy of Raquel Pelzel’s new book – Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless – in the mail a couple weeks ago and was super excited to try out one the recipes. If you didn’t know, my least favorite chore in the whole world is doing dishes. Ironic, because obviously when I shoot food there is a whole sink of dishes waiting for me after, but here I am. I just think it’s the worst task to do at home and would rather do anything else than have my hands in the sink rinsing and scrubbing dishes. UGH. So I get this book and the title alone has me sold. You’re telling me these recipes require the absolute minimum in dishes? Sign me up. There are some amazing recipes in the book like one that shows how to cook pasta in a sheet pan—like No-Boil Mac and Cheese, how to cook soups in a sheet pan, and of course desserts like a Pear Galette and a Sticky Toffee Pudding. Literally so stoked to try out some of these recipes.

So I took a little poll on Instagram about which recipe to share here with y’all first and this quiche won. I’m actually super glad it did because that meant that I had breakfast to eat for the whole week after making it hahaha. I made a few healthier substitutions in the making of this recipe and it tasted amazing, so I’m sure if you kept all as is – it would be even more so. I swapped kale out for the spinach, left out the gruyere and heavy cream, and only used one extra egg yolk. Y’all this dish was still so good and I can’t wait to make it again because it’s so easy. The most genius part of this recipe was the caramelized onions that you make IN THE OVEN. Like you don’t need to keep checking up on a stove top pan and stirring them every so often to get those beautiful sweet onions. Literally obsessed with this new method. 

And lucky for you I’m giving away a copy of the book – Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless – and a Zwilling Pro Vegetable Knife!!! **This giveaway is now CLOSED. Thanks for participating!**

sheet pan quiche recipe with kale and goat cheese and a cookbook giveaway!

Sheet Pan Suppers Cookbook Giveaway | This Brown Kitchen

You can also purchase a copy of Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless on Amazon!


slab quiche with spinach, goat cheese, and caramelized onions

serves 4 to 6

ingredients ::

1 medium-size red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
All-purpose flour, for rolling
1 sheet thawed frozen puff pastry
2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Guyére cheese
2 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled

directions ::

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 300 degrees G.
  2. Place the red onion on a rimmed 10 x 16 inch pan and drizzle with olive oil. Toss with the thyme and spread into an even layer. Cover the sheet pan with aluminum foil (you may need 2 sheets), crimping it tightly around the edges to seal, and roast the onions until they are soft, about 20 minutes. Uncover the pan, stir, and continue to cook until the onions are very soft, sticky, and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove the sheet pan from the oven, sprinkle the onions with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and transfer them to a plate to cool completely (reserve the sheet pan and any grease or seasonings left in it for step 4.)
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and put the puff pastry on top. Lightly roll out the pastry to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the pastry to the reserved sheet pan – it should just cover the bottom. With a fork, prick the dough all over, then place the sheet pan in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
  5. Whisk the whole eggs and egg yolks to combine in a large bowl. Whisk in the milk and cream, and add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and sprinkle half the Gruyére over it. Add the onions in an even layer and then the spinach followed by the remaining Gruyére. Pour the egg filling over and crumble the goat cheese over the top.
  6. Bake the quiche for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue to bake until the filling is set around the edges and bounces back to light pressure in the center, 20 – 25 minutes.
  7. Turn the broiler on to high and adjust the oven rack to the top position. Move the quiche to the top rack and broil until browned, about 1 minute (watch the quiche closely as broiler intensities vary). Remove from the oven, slice, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Excerpted from Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless by Raquel Pelzel (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2017.

homemade sunflower butter bars

sunflower butter granola bars - 3 ways with chocolate, dried fruit, and seeds & nuts

sunflower butter granola bars - 3 ways with chocolate, dried fruit, and seeds & nuts

Y’all. Nothing takes it out of me more than traveling does. As much as I love adventuring and exploring new cities, I always need a day to recover – I definitely not alone on that one, right?? I was out in Cali this week because drum roll please…………I’m moving to Sacramento! I don’t think I ever once thought that I would end up in California, let alone Sacramento, but here I am! I guess that’s why you should never rely fully on your quote unquote “ten year plan” because that plan can change before you even realize and then bam you end up on the west coast.

While traveling is always an exciting experience – it’s easy to find yourself without any really good snacking options – especially if you are trying to stick to an overall healthy diet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for treating yourself on vacations and travel excursions because trying new foods at local restaurants and shops is all the jazz, but it’s those in between times like hanging out at the airport or between day trips where you don’t have your fully stocked kitchen and usual go-to snackies that can totally derail you. I was quickly reminded of that challenge while browsing the newsstand shops at the airport where the so-called healthiest options included cheese, pretzels, and a yogurt parfait. Not bad options per se – I mean hey, they are better than a bag of candy that you promise you’ll just have a few bites of and then halfway through the flight you realize you’ve scarfed the whole thing down. What I really want from snacks is the ability to fill me up between meals without eating an extreme amount of food while also being something that is easy to transport – enter the granola bar.

sunflower butter granola bars - 3 ways with chocolate, dried fruit, and seeds & nuts

sunflower butter granola bars - 3 ways with chocolate, dried fruit, and seeds & nuts

sunflower butter granola bars - 3 ways with chocolate, dried fruit, and seeds & nuts

I’ve been on what seems like a never ending hunt for the perfect granola/protein bar – something that is full of protein and yummy ingredients but also doesn’t have the texture of chalk or a stale chewy bar and is full of sugar. It’s been real hard yo. I’ve found some good options, like RX Bars or Perfect Bars, but even there I’m not a complete fan of the texture of RX Bars (though my friends will preach to the high heavens about them!) nor the super long list of ingredients in Perfect Bars (I do always have one or two of the chocolate PB flavor in my fridge for emergency lack of food situations!). Due to these issues, I started thinking about the idea of making my own granola bars. I know, it seems like a simple solution but I never put any extra thought into creating my own bar until a few weeks ago. I knew what I wanted in a bar :: something nutty in flavor without being overwhelmingly peanut flavored, some texture and sweetness without the addition of extra sugar, and a bar that will actually keep me full between meals. And now here is the final result!

These Sun Butter Bars are my JAM and I’m excited to share the recipe with y’all after doing two different tests on them.

So why did I choose sunflower seed butter over a normal nut butter like peanut? Well if you’ve kept up with m Ayurvedic learning – peanuts are among the nuts that are to be avoided/limited for Pitta types – you could certainly substitute with peanut or almond butter if you prefer those, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my newfound love of sunflower seed butter. It’s got a milder nuttier flavor that peanut butter and is almost slightly sweeter – I make my own by just blending up roasted and salted sunflower seeds in a food processor. I made three different versions of this bar ::

Chocolate and Coconut

Dried Fruit and Coconut

Ultimate Loaded Nut and Seed Bar

You can totally customize to include your favorite mix-ins or whatever you have on hand (I like to think of these guys as those garbage can cookies where you literally toss in everything you can find in the pantry and call it a day). I personally love anything with chocolate, and these bars feel more like a treat when I add (80 – 90% cacao) chocolate. My favorite blend so far has been one with chocolate chunks, dried apricots, and cranberries. Just make sure that there is enough sun butter coating to hold the bars together and that you let them rest up in the fridge to hold their shape. Happy bar making!

sunflower butter granola bars - 3 ways with chocolate, dried fruit, and seeds & nuts


sunflower butter granola bars
yields 6 large bars
time :: 10 minutes prep, rest overnight

ingredients ::

1/2 cup of sunflower butter (I make mine homemade)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup of toppings/mix-ins (dried fruit, coconut shreds, nuts, seeds, chocolate, etc.)

directions ::

  1. in a large bowl add the sun butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. combine into a smooth mixture.
  2. add the oats and toppings of choice and combine until everything is coated in the sun butter mix and evenly combined.
  3. line a square 8×8″ pan with parchment paper and pour in the oat mix. press down into one even layer and add and press in additional toppings.
  4. place pan in the fridge overnight to set up. 
  5. remove un-cut bars from the pan and cut into even bar shapes. store in an airtight container (I keep mine in the fridge) – enjoy!

chai spice GF banana pancakes + on yoga practice

chai spice banana teff flour pancakes

banana teff flour pancakes with chai spice

As I’ve previously mentioned, what I really want to use This Brown Kitchen as is a place to serve all things wellness in my life. One of my focuses and intentions this year was to focus on being mindful of what is going on my life and to prioritize wellness. For the most part, I think I’ve done a pretty good job and have found so many ways to incorporate better decisions in regards to life and food into my everyday. An idea I’ve recently come across is Ayurveda. Now to be clear, I have known about Ayurveda and its principles for a long time as I did happen to grow up in an Indian household. What I’ve never done however is place emphasis on applying those principles into my day to day life. Last week, I started to. Of what I’ve learned about Ayurveda is that in a concise way of putting it, the idea is centered on addressing all aspects of well-being and healing for both the body and mind. 

As my birthday was this past weekend and spring is finally in bloom here in MPLS, I decided this would be the perfect time to revisit my intentions and refresh my goals for this next year of life. My first area of focus almost accidentally ended up being on my yoga practice – which just so happens to coincide with many of my wellness goals. While I’ve practiced yoga for a few years now, this is the firs time I’ve been so consistent about my practice and making efforts in class to really hone in on the movements and breathing that coincides with each pose. As much as I love a high intensity spin class, yoga has opened up an entirely different realm of wellness focused exercise that stretches me both mentally and physically. Whereas in a spin class the music is SO SO loud and the instructor is basically yelling the different adjustments at you so you’re not really focused on each movement and its effect for what it really is, yoga almost forces you to pay attention and listen to your body. Each day is different, and as one of my instructors mentioned, some days you have a good day in class, and some days you don’t. There are some evenings where you can go through your flow with minimal effort and others you’re pouring sweat after just one downward dog. Some nights my mind is running through all the to-do lists I have going on, and then the next day I am so present in my practice it’s weird. But – those days where you finally get into a pose that you’ve been struggling to reach for week and can hold another pose for just one breath longer are what all those other ups and downs are for. There are wins and losses each time you practice, but in the long run you notice the difference – it’s kind of like a metaphor for life as my instructor told us. 

chai spice banana teff flour pancakes

chai spice banana teff flour pancakes

So in the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my full on wellness plan. I finally got around to reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and in her search for leading a happier life she was very meticulous and structured about following what she preached with lists and graphs and tables. Not that I’m a total Type A, but I think some structure will at least provide some much needed guidelines to practicing what I preach, so to say. I’ll be sure to keep y’all updated.

Another way I’m trying to be structured about my wellness? Meal planning.

I’m one of those people who needs a meal plan, because if I don’t know what I’ll be eating through the week I will just grab whatever food is right in front of me, good, bad, or ugly as it may be. And one of the meals I have written out in my meal plan section of my #bulletjournal is this pancake recipe. While I’m pretty loyal to my faithful smoothies in the morning, I need to switch it up so as to not get bored and to give my system a break too. These guys are pretty simple and easy to whip up, plus I make a batch that’s enough for two breakfasts so I can eat one hot of the pan, and wrap the other one up in my tupperware to take to work to eat the next morning. You could easily add in some of your favorites like blueberries or chocolate or seeds right into the batter, I like mine with some homemade fruit syrup (literally just frozen fruit, lemon juice, and water in a pot – boiled until thick), and you should definitely make a batch over the weekend to eat in bed, brunch style. (:

chai spice banana teff flour pancakes chai spice banana teff flour pancakes


banana teff chai spice pancakes

prep time :: 10 minutes
cook time :: 10 minutes
yields :: 4 medium sized pancakes

ingredients ::
1 ripe banana
1 egg
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon water
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1/4 cup teff flour
1/8 cup coconut flour
1 tablespoon chai spice

directions ::

  1. in a mixing bowl, mash the banana, removing large lumps, then combine in the other wet ingredients until well mixed.
  2. add in the dry ingredients and combine. batter should be thick.
  3. heat a non-stick pan up to a medium heat and add about a 1/4 – 1/2 cup of batter to the pan, cooking for about 2 – 3 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  4. serve warm with your favorite toppings.