Vegan Cannellini and Garbanzo Bean Meatballs with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

It is world vegan day today and it go me thinking about delicious vegan recipe ideas!  Even if your not a vegan, these are so yummy and even my kids surprisingly loved these wholesome bowls.  I really believe we all could benefit from eating at least 2-3 plant based meals during the week and dishes like this are a fun way to do it.  They are super versatile as you can add whatever sauté veggies or roasted veggies you love.  I made vegan rice bowls and piled it high with sautéed purple cabbage, mushrooms and kale along with some sliced avocado but there are endless options.  You could serve these meatballs over pasta or with sweet potatoes, squash, regular roasted potatoes or make falafel sandwiches or pita sandwiches and then pile high with these meatballs.  This fantastic red pepper sauce can also be used in a variety of ways.  It is lovely as a dressing for just about any veggie, salad or even over tofu.

Vegan Cannellini and Garbanzo Bean Meatballs with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


Measuring Spoons

Measuring Cups

Food Processor

Parchment Paper

Cookie Sheet

Large Sauté Pan


For Meatballs:

2 tbs olive oil

1 1/2 onions peeled and sliced

4 cloves garlic peeled and minced

Pinch of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper 

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp dried oregano 

2 tbs fresh cilantro washed and minced 

1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed

1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed 

Reserve 1/4 cup of the onion, garlic mixture once cooked for red pepper sauce 

For Red Pepper Sauce:

Juice of one lemon

Pinch of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper 

2 tbs Fresh cilantro washed 

1/4 cup of the remaining sautéed onions and garlic 

2/3 cup avocado mayonnaise 

2 large roasted red peppers 

2 tbs tahini 

1 small ripe avocado with pit removed and flesh scooped out 


Preheat oven to 375

Take a large sauté pan and add olive oil then place heat on your stove top to medium.  Then add onions, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and fresh cilantro.  Sauté approximately 10 minutes till onions are translucent and all of the flavors come together.  Set aside briefly.  Empty the cannellini beans and garbanzo beans into your food processor.  Now add the onion and garlic mixture into the food processor along with the beans.  Pulse continually till it forms a thick paste.  Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper then use an ice cream scoop or large spoon and form individual meatballs.  This recipe will make approximately one dozen.   Chef’s note:  the c0nsistency of the meatballs will be sticky.  Bake in the oven at 375 for 30-35 minutes till the meatballs are golden brown.  Turn the oven off and let meatballs rest the oven to stay warm while you make the red pepper sauce.

Using your food processor, add lemon juice, sea salt, black pepper, fresh cilantro, remaining sautéed onions and garlic, avocado mayo, roasted red peppers, tahini and avocado.  Pulse until the sauce runs smooth and all of the ingredients come together.  I like to leave it in the food processor and pulse it one last time before I serve it over my vegan bowls.

Assemble the bowls whatever way you like over cooked rice, roasted potatoes, etc. and along with whatever your favorite veggies are then drizzle with this fabulous red pepper sauce.  Super delicious and makes fabulous leftovers and meal preparation for the week!

For more easy, delicious recipes like this, my new cookbook Empowerful can be ordered at the below link:

If you enjoy my recipes, I would love to see your pictures and creations! Please tag me and your favorite recipes on social media on Facebook at Chef Emery or on Instagram @chef_emery !

Oxoxoxo Chef Emery

Hi there! The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!

Gluten Free Seasonal Apple Tart

Happy Fall!  I really love everything about this time of year.  The cool temps, crunchy leaves, the smell of the air, pumpkins and yes apples!!  Lately, I’ve been slicing apples and sprinkling them with cinnamon and a squeeze of lemon as an afternoon snack.  My kiddos absolutely love it too and it is so simple and yet absolutely delicious!  With all these beautiful seasonal apples in abundance right now, this morning it got me thinking about recipe ideas as the holiday season approaches that are easy, delicious and yet don’t require a lot of time and are also healthier!

I whipped up this easy tart this morning and it turned out really nicely and would be fabulous as dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream or on it’s own with a cup of tea in the afternoon.  This also can be easily adapted to be vegan simply by adjusting the butter to a vegan option like miyokos kitchen cultured vegan butter.  The fruit can also be adjusted throughout the seasons for example fresh peaches or plums in summer.  I think it is important for a good recipe to have versatility so enjoy!

Gluten Free Seasonal Apple Tart



Measuring Cups

Measuring Spoons

Tart Pan or 9 inch Cake Pan

Food Processor

Parchement Paper


For Tart Dough:

2 cups gluten free oatmeal (I like Qia Oatmeal)

1 tsp ceylon cinnamon 

1 tsp sea salt

1 stick cultured grass fed butter cut into pieces

1 cup gluten free flour (I prefer Pamela’s Gluten Free flour)

1/4 cup real maple syrup 

For Apple Topping:

4 large honey crisp apples peeled, cored and sliced thinly  

1 tsp ceylon cinnamon 

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp fresh nutmeg grated or ground nutmeg 

1 lemon juiced 

1/2 cup real maple syrup 


Take a piece of parchment and cut into a round circle that is the same size as your tart or cake pan.  Then lay into the bottom of your pan.  Ideally use a food processor like a cuisinart (chef tip: fork and bowl can also be used if you do not have a food processor to combine all the above ingredients) and add oatmeal, cinnamon, sea salt, butter, gluten free flour and maple syrup.  Pulse in your food processor till it forms into a dough.  Once it forms into a dough, remove from food processor and use your fingers and press into your cake pan or tart pan approx. into a 1 inch layer.  Set aside briefly while you make the apple topping.

Now take apples and peel them, cut the cores out and slice them thinly.  Add sliced apples to a large bowl, then add cinnamon, sea salt, nutmeg, lemon juice and maple syrup.  Roll the apples and combine all the ingredients well.  If your short on time just pour the apples over the tart dough or if you have more time arrange in a fan like circular manner like the picture below.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 45 minutes till golden brown.  Once baked cool on a wire rack.


For more delicious every day recipes, my new cookbook EmPowerful can be ordered here:

If you enjoy my recipes, I would love to see your pictures and creations! Please tag me on social media on Facebook at Chef Emery or on Instagram @chef_emery !

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season! Oxoxoxo Chef Emery

Oaty Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Bars


I woke up this morning craving blueberries and whenever my body does this, it is generally because there is some vitamin or nutrient that my body is seeking.  In Maine, our delicious local blueberry season runs through the month of August but for us it doesn’t end there.  For those of us who know what’s good for us, we freeze these babies in copious amounts so we can enjoy them all season long for a myriad of uses.  You can use regular blueberries for this recipe as well but if you can get your hands on some wild blueberries, I would go for it!  I know Trader Joe’s carries them in their frozen section.

I sweetened these naturally and made them gluten free but regular flour can also be used.  They are super versatile too as you really can add whatever fruit you are in the mood for.  Apples would be fabulous this time of year and peaches in summer so feel free to adapt this recipe and use it all season long.  I really enjoy this kind of treat in the afternoon with a cup of tea right before I have to get the kiddos of the bus.  It’s a little slice of heaven and me time just before the craziness of homework, after school activities and the rush of getting dinner on the table.

Oaty Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Bars


Mixing Bowls

Measuring Cups and Spoons

8 by 8 Baking Pan

Food Processor (optional)

Medium Sauce Pan

Parchment Paper


3 cups frozen organic wild maine blueberries frozen or thawed.  Regular blueberries can also be used 

Juice of one lemon

Pinch of sea salt 

3 tbs nongmo corn starch 

1/2 cup real maple syrup 

1 tsp ceylon cinnamon 

For Crumble Top and Base:

1 1/2 sticks of cultured butter cut into 1 inch pieces  (I love organic valley cultured pastured butter)

1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Pamela’s Baking Flour (please add 1 tsp baking soda if NOT using Pamela’s flour)

2 cups gluten free oats (I love Qia oatmeal by Nature’s Path)  

2 tbs flax seed (optional)

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp ceylon cinnamon 

1/2 cup real maple syrup 


Preheat oven to 350

Place blueberries, lemon juice, sea salt, corn starch, maple syrup and cinnamon in a medium size sauce pan and bring to a boil then reduce to low heat.  Cook approx. for 15 minutes till blueberries are tender and mixture thickens.  Once nice and thick, let cool while you make your crumble.

Place butter, gluten free flour, oats, flax seed, sea salt, cinnamon and maple syrup into your food processor (this can also be done by hand with a fork if you do not have a food processor) pulse till dough comes together.  Then take an 8 by 8 square brownie pan and line with parchment paper.  Take part of the dough and lay in the bottom of the pan evenly distributing for a 1 inch layer. Now use a spatula and pour blueberry mixture over the dough.  Once you’ve layered the blueberries over the bottom, take the rest of the dough and crumble over the top of the blueberries to make a crumble topping.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes till golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely (this is an important step otherwise it will be difficult for them to set up and slice).  Once cooled slice into individual bars.  These can be stored in an airtight Pyrex glass container in your fridge for up to 5-7 days.  

What more delicious recipes like this?  My new cookbook “Empowerful” can be purchased on amazon.  Link below:

Here are also links to the products I used above that I love:

Gluten Free Flour:

Cultured Pasture Butter:

Gluten Free Oatmeal:


Enjoy and if you loved this recipe, please tag me on your favorite social media channels like facebook and instagram!

Chef Emery

Instagram: Chef_Emery

Please note: The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!❤️

Changing Seasons

Changing Seasons

You may have noticed a slight shift as the summer season comes to a close .  Nature has shown its abundance and now it is harvest time.  We get to take in all of the beautiful bounty and you may notice feelings of reflections or a desire to be a bit more inward as this shift takes place.  What have you grown, nourished and harvested for yourself recently?  This was a question I was asked recently as the seasons shift.  We are deeply connected to nature and I’m always amazed at how we physically and emotionally align with the changing seasons if you just pause to notice.  You may also noticed a desire to gravitate towards more warming foods or grains like warm oatmeal. The idea of a cold smoothie which seems more desirable in summer may begin to fade. Our bodies are highly intelligent and they speak to us if we slow down to listen.  I suggest listening and watch how your body comes into balance.

I was feeling just this way so I made this vegan gluten free Qia oatmeal (I absolutely love their oatmeal as it’s full of seeds like chia, pumpkin seeds) with fresh organic bananas, seasonal nectarine, a dollop of unsweetened @so_delicious coconut yogurt for gut health . Then a sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon for blood sugar regulation which also has a myriad of other health benefits which I’ll include a valuable article below on this.


Easy Oatmeal Recipe 

This is so quick, easy to do and makes a fabulous nutritious breakfast on the go!  The versatile and options are endless and with school approaching most kiddos love this!  I can’t think of a better, brain nourishing breakfast for young minds.  This can also be made ahead by simply placing all the ingredients in a mason jar with a lid and soaking overnight in the refrigerator.


Small saucepan or mason jar with lid

Measuring spoons


1 or 2 packages of Qia oatmeal

1 cup filtered water or unsweetened hemp or almond milk (I used water)

Pinch of sea salt

1/2 banana sliced

1/2 nectarine sliced

1 tbs Ceylon cinnamon

1 tbs unsweetened so delicious coconut yogurt


Take a small saucepan and add oatmeal , water and a pinch of sea salt.  Bring to a quick boil then immediately recduce to low and cook another 3 minutes.  Remove from heat then add to bowl with your favorite fruit, nut butters (optional).

Here is the great article on the difference between Ceylon cinnamon and cassia.

Have a beautiful Day and please tag your favorite recipes of mine on Facebook and Instagram @chef_emery # and share this blog!

oxoxox – Chef Emery

Our Grocery Should Be a Safe Place

Our Grocery Store Should Be a Safe Place

Monsanto’s weed killing round up pesticide glyphosate which has been linked to cancer has been found in many of our children’s breakfast cereals and granola bars.  These harmful chemicals not only harm our bodies but the earth’s soil as well.  They have also been linked to the deprivation of our bees as over 915 million pounds of pesticides are sprayed on US Farmland each year!  You read that correctly, each year.  These harmful pesticides go up into the atmosphere which effects our climate and damages the health of our bees which play a crucial role in all of our survival.

The article released yesterday can be found here

Brands currently tested and effected or found to have glyphosate:

Corporate greed once again is rearing it’s ugly head and now it’s facing directly at our children’s health and well being and it’s not ok.  These are every day affordable cereals that most families purchase to feed their families and trust.  As a mother, we spend our whole life protecting and trying to keep our children safe and our food source should be a trusted place of nourishment.  It is a tragedy that companies such as Monsanto know that are responsible for damaging human health and yet corporate profits and greed are center stage.  Our food source should be safe and it is a fundamental human right that we all deserve.  You might be asking yourself so what do I do?

What do we do?  

Our purchasing power is a very powerful thing and we vote with our dollars .  Try stay away from processed foods and within your budget chose whole real foods that are ideally local and organic whenever possible.  Local foods that are minimally sprayed or not at all ideally, grow a garden and/or purchase organic foods when or as much as you can afford within your budget.  Also, look and purchase non gmo verified foods and products.  They will have a non gmo verified label on them.

These are fantastic ways you can support farmers and companies who care for the health and well being of our land, nature and planet .  Every time we do this we are essentially voting and saying no to companies that are not supporting our wellbeing.  Also, when we chose local foods, they have traveled less and are more nutrient dense which is better for our own personal health and environment.  We have the power to say no to Monsanto by reading labels and looking for key ingredients such as “high fructose corn syrup” and products that have corn derivatives like maltodextrin which is also a form of corn.  If a product is not organic and not non gmo verifited , you can be guaranteed that it is made with Monsanto corn so just say no.  Every time we purchase a product with Monsanto corn we are supporting a company that knows it is intentionally damaging our human health as well as our planet’s health.

This is wrong and it makes me furious.  Monsanto is compromising our food source which is one of the most important parts of our general survival. This is very serious and we all need to be paying attention so lets get started.  We have the power to make a difference and it starts with our own action.  I believe we can.

Valuable Resources

For more information on corn additives or derivatives of corn go here:

I personally eat local organic corn and purchase products with organic corn but the above link will help guide you when reading labels in pre packaged foods that are not organic.

Find a local coop in your region in the below link as they generally carry more local, seasonal foods:

The links below is a valuable resource for products that meet the standards of Non GMO Verified Products:

The below website is helpful for those concerned about exposure to pesticides and includes a shoppers guide:

As an organic chef and mother, this is a topic that is dear to my heart.  I hope to always advocate and be an activist in the well being of our planet’s health and the quality of our food source.  We all deserve this.

”The more we pour the big machines, the fuel, the pesticides, the herbicides, the fertilizer and the chemicals into farming, the more we knock out the mechanism that made it all work in the first place.” – David R Brower

-Chef Emery

Instagram: chef_emery



Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Zuchini Muffins

It is that time of year where summer is beginning to come to an end and kiddos are going back to school. It is bittersweet indeed and I don’t know about you but I’m not quite sure where the summer actually went!  Ours literally flew by and I’ve already been in the mode of school supply shopping, new sneakers, etc. and all the good stuff that comes along with back to school.  I have to say I actually always love this time of year because it is like a reset that almost feels like a new year.  Fresh start, new teachers and time to get back into routines of earlier bed times, meal planning and the daily rituals that make us feel balanced.  I find this time of year it is important to have some solid recipes that help with this transition and in my opinion, this is one of them.

This recipe is so easy, quick and makes wonderful meal prep for the week.  I especially love one in the afternoon with a good cup of tea but more importantly it is an amazing opportunity to use up all that glorious produce!  Nature is in full bloom right now and there is more than ample zucchini to go around and to be honest its hard to know what to do with all of it.  All you garden growers know what I’m taking about!  We can only make so many zucchini boats, soups, zucchini noodles and by now I’m sure you’ve already persuaded as many friends as possible to take some please!  I love zuchini don’t get me wrong and it has a myriad of uses but one of my favorites is this delcious dark Chocolate zucchini muffin recipe.  It is a great excuse to to eat chocolate and hey get your veggies too!  The recipe is very easy to follow and is really delcious and moist.  I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!


One large bowl

One medium bowl

Measuring spoons and cups

A one dozen muffin tin


3 eggs

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs unrefined coconut oil, melted

1 tsp real vanilla extract

1/2 cup real maple syrup

1 cup buttermilk or unsweetened non dairy milk such as almond or hemp

2 cups zucchini, washed then shredded (press excess water out with a towel)

2 cups gluten free baking flour, I used Pamelas

Chef’s Note * If using alternative flour, please add 1 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp sea salt

2 tbs Dark Chocolate Chips


Preheat your oven to 375

Take a large bowl and crack all three eggs into the bowl, then add olive oil, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, maple syrup and buttermilk.  Use a fork or spatula to fully combine then add shredded zucchini.  Fold the zucchini in till fully combined, then set mixture aside briefly.  

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients of the gluten free flour, cinnamon, unsweetened cocoa and sea salt.  Use a fork to combine the dry ingredients then add them to the wet zucchini mixture. Use a fork or spatula to fully combine the dry ingredients in.  Now add the chocolate chips and fold them through the batter.  Take a one dozen muffin tin and line with parchment paper muffin liners or grease the tin.  Use a large spoon to add the batter to the muffin tin.  Bake at 375 for approx 30-35 minutes.  Yields approx 1 dozen.

Enjoy and if you loved this recipe please share it and tag me @chef_emery #empowerful on facebook and instagram!


-Chef Emery

Please note: The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!❤️

Deconstructed Spring Roll Salad

Deconstructed Spring Roll Salad 

It has been so hot out there that the idea of even heating an oven seemed not only like a bad idea but not possible.  Up here in Maine we aren’t used to these warms temps but hey thank god for recipes like this!  Today was a typical crazy busy day between work, managing my children’s busy summer schedules, add the idea of cooking in this heat and I needed something quick, easy and delicious.  This magical deconstructed spring roll salad was born and viola, life was manageable again lol!

This was super easy to assemble, required zero effort from my oven (so all those who store their sweaters in their oven can put them back in know who you are) and was so refreshing and delicious.  My kids really loved it to and I loved that there were leftovers that I could store in my favorite mason jar for my next days lunch.  Yes!  This would also make fabulous meal prep for your week as you could make multiple mason jars that you could grab on the go for lunches.  I also thought it looked so beautiful that it would be a fantastic show stopper for entertaining or for taking to your next BBQ or potluck.  Either way it is sure to please and I hope you enjoy it!

Serves 2-4


Tea kettle for boiling water

One large bowl

One medium bowl

One small bowl

Fork or Whisk


For Dressing:

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup sesame oil

3 tbs fish sauce

Juice of one lime

2 tbs real maple syrup

Pinch of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

For Salad:

2 packages of bean thread noodles soaked in hot water for 5-6 minutes till tender

1/2 large napa cabbage washed and chopped

1 red pepper washed, cored and diced

1 1/2 cucumbers washed, peeled and sliced

1 avocado washed, pit and skin removed then sliced

1 bunch fresh cilantro washed, stems removed

3 carrots washed, peeled and sliced into matchsticks

1/2 cup cashews or peanuts crushed ( I personally love @grandyoats nuts)


The Method

Take a small bowl and add rice vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce, lime juice, maple syrup, sea salt and black pepper.  Whisk well and set aside briefly so flavors can come together.

Take your kettle and place your stove top to high heat till the water is hot but not boiling.  Take a medium size bowl and add bean thread noodles then pour the hot water over the noodles till just covered.  Let rest in the hot water for 5-8 minutes till the noodles become tender then strain immediately and set aside briefly.

Take your large bowl and add chopped Napa cabbage, then add red pepper, cucumbers, sliced avocado, fresh cilantro and carrots.  I like to lay the vegetables in bunches around the edge of the salad.  Then place the tender bean thread noodles in the center.  Now add crushed peanuts or cashews on top of the noodles.  Whisk the dressing one more time then pour over the whole salad.  Toss well.  Ideally let the salad marinate for 30 minutes so all the flavors can come together.  Serve immediately or store in individual mason jars which can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.


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Looking for more great easy, quick, delicious recipes like this?  Purchase my latest cookbook “EmPowerful”

Link Below:

Please note: The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!❤️

Gluten Free Blueberry Cornmeal Oatmeal Crunch Muffins

Gluten Free Blueberry Cornmeal Oatmeal Crunch Muffins 

Up here in Maine, we wait all year for the bounty of local maine blueberry season.  We literally freeze them by the boat loads to stock up for winter so we can enjoy these delicious berries all season long.  If your not familiar with these special berries, they are incredibly small and delicate yet so sweet and flavorful.  My daughter especially likes to eat them in the morning on their own.  I personally love them in smoothies, tarts, breads, salads and you guessed it muffins!

This muffin recipe is so quick, easy and will not disappoint!  The sunflower seeds add this extra fabulous crunch and they are bursting with blueberry flavor.  I particularly love them as a snack on the go or for breakfast and they are next level toasted in your toaster oven with a touch of cultured grass fed butter

or smear of almond or cashew butter

Serves 4-6 ( Makes 1 dozen muffins)


A One Dozen Muffin Tin

Two Large Mixing Bowl

One Small Mixing Bowl

Measuring Cups

Measuring Spoons

A Wooden Spoon or Fork for Mixing

The Method:

3 eggs

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract @simpleorganicfoods

3 tbs unsweetened coconut yogurt @so_delicious

1/2 cup real maple syrup

2 cups gluten free oats (I love qia by @naturespathorganic )

1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup cornmeal #nongmo

2 cups wild Maine blueberries

1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds (optional)

1 tbs coconut oil for greasing muffin tin

Take a large bowl and add eggs, olive oil, sea salt, vanilla extract, coconut yogurt, and maple syrup. Whisk well then set aside briefly. Take a small bowl and add oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, cornmeal and toss well with a fork then add to wet mixture combining well.  Now add blueberries and sunflower seeds (if using). Grease a one dozen muffin tin and add batter. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes till golden brown. Remove and cool. Serve with cultured butter, nut butter or simply on its own.  I love to cut one in half and reheat in my toaster oven for a grilled effect!

Tag your recipes #chefemery and for more great recipes like this, order my new cookbook “Empowerful” available now at Amazon and Amazon books.

Order here:

Enjoy from my kitchen to yours!!  Please follow me on instagram at chef_emery and if you loved this recipe please share it on facebook and instagram.


Chef Emery

Organic Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

There is a reason why the saying “April showers brings May flowers” exists and we have definitely been experiencing that except I don’t think Mother Nature meant snow ha!  It has been cold and dreary so I’ve been taking to heart Mick Jagger’s “you can’t always get what you want” as I hold tightly to the promise of spring in our not too distant future.

This leads me to my turkey meatball recipe as I’m still in comfort mood mode as a result of all this cooler weather.  Trust me know one is complaining in our house either as this is one of my husband’s and daughter’s absolute favorite meals of all time.  I love it too as it is incredibly versatile as the meat can be adjusted to pork or beef and this can be served over spaghetti squash to make it grain free or paleo as well as served over pasta or even used to make meatball subs!  My family especially loves it over spaghetti!  Regardless, I’ve been making this recipe for years and it is about time I share with you all.  This can be a made a day ahead too and it will just get better and better with time.  You can make your marinara from scratch if you have the time but to be honest on busy days with the kiddos, I use a jar of Rao’s marinara.  It honestly is so delicious and no body will ever know!


Ground Turkey Meatballs

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion peeled and minced

3 cloves fresh garlic peeled and minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 lb ground organic turkey

1 egg

1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs (optional)

pinch of sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

3 tbs grated parmesan reggiano

1 additional tsp dried oregano

2 additional tbs extra virgin olive oil

2  jar Rao’s marinara

Take a large skillet with a lid and add olive oil, then place the heat of your stove top to medium.  Once hot, add minced onion and cook approx. 7-8 minutes till translucent then add garlic and dried oregano and cook 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat and let rest to cool.

Take a medium size bowl and add ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, sea salt, black pepper, parmesan reggiano, dried oregano.  Now add the cooled cooked onion, garlic and oregano mixture to the ground turkey.  Using your clean hands, combine all the ingredients fully.  Then, proceed to roll the ground turkey mixture into individual meatballs.  Once you have rolled all of your meatballs, take your skillet and add the last 2 tbs of olive oil.  Bring your heat to medium and once hot, add the meatballs.  Cook approx. 5 minutes then using a spatula or tongs, flip the meatballs to the other side and cook an additional 5 minutes (meatballs should be golden brown on each side).  Now add both jars of marinara sauce (make sure to add a little water (approx. 1/2 cup) to the jars to get all the sauce out and add to the pot as well.  Bring the heat of your stove top up to high heat very briefly till the sauce comes to a quick boil, then immediately reduce to low and place the top on your pot.  Cook approx. 20-25 minutes on low to finish cooking the meatballs and allow all the flavors to come together.  Serve the meatballs over pasta, over spaghetti squash or I have made meatball subs with this recipe as well.  The options are endless and don’t forget to add copious amounts of sprinkled parmesan reggiano.  Any way you serve this, it’s absolutely delicious and your family will thank you.

Enjoy and don’t forget to tag me @chef_emery on Instagram! Oxoxox

All my love from my kitchen to yours!

Chef Emery


School Lunch Box Doldrums


We are more than halfway through the school year yikes and many of you have asked me for lunch box ideas.  I’m officially announcing that by no means am I an expert at this and I struggle just as much as everyone else.  It seems to be an even more daunting task considering that we may very well be in school through July at this rate with the cold weather (at least anyone living on the East Coast) lol.  I’m joking but realistically, I think my children will get out late June as long as the weather starts to cooperate.  Spring where are you?!

Regardless, even though most of my days are always centered around food as on organic chef, lunch boxes have always given me a bit of anxiety!  Seriously, after a long busy work day trying to figure out what the heck to put in them can be a nightmare.  Luckily, my eleven year old is finally at an age where he can basically pack it for himself with a little assistant.  Key word assistance because if I wasn’t “assisting”, there would most likely be nothing remotely healthy in there.  Double ha!!

Anyway, I bought these yumbox lunch boxes because I thought maybe if the food was separated into adorable little sections, my children would be much more excited about eating their lunches!  I suspected correctly!  They have religiously been coming home with completely empty lunch boxes and I have even been more excited to pack lunches lately too.  Yes you heard that correctly.  Hey, I might even be having a bit of fun myself.  I’ve always likened lunch box packing to folding laundry or vacuuming which rank high on my pet peeve list and this has put a new spring in my lunch box step.

Well let’s move on and get to the facts of why I chose this particular box.  Yumboxes are BPA free and this is a completely reusable lunch box which eliminates waste or use of single use plastic which I’m a huge advocate for.  I always am trying to discover and use products that are earth friendly and are lowering our personal contribution to plastic use.  I also like that these boxes are completely leak proof!  Yes, you heard that correctly which means you can put yogurt, applesauce, cottage cheese and it will not leak or mix or combine with the other compartments.  Brilliant if you ask me!  I got the Yumbox Tapas which is the largest Yumbox they make as my children are ages 8 and 11 and I wanted it to be a box they could have for a long time.  I also bought a bag for them to carry it in along with some Yumbox ice packs to keep everything cool.

Now to the super exciting part, filling it!  If I’m totally honest, my daughter’s is much easier to pack then my son’s as she will honestly eat any cut up fruit or veggie so bento boxes are awesome for that.  Things we love are Apple Gate’s salami or rolled up ham or sliced smoked turkey, organic horizon string cheese or sometimes we cube raw sharp cheddar and add some crackers.  We love Annie’s bunny crackers, snack mix as well as their gummies and fruit roll ups.  The Yumbox is super fun because it has a little center spot which generally is assigned for a treat.  My kids absolutely freak over this facet and I honestly think it is what inspired their love affair.  My daughter really loves the mini kind bars in chocolate peanut butter and I found those at target.  There adorable and just the right size.  This along with Buddha Bowl organic popcorn.  All the flavors are amazing but they especially love the chedder.  I personally love the coconut oil one as well as the ghee.  Both my kids are huge fans of the Made Good rice crispy bars.  My children are not gluten free so they really like Dave’s Killer Bread which is organic and comes in a variety of flavors.  The message behind their bread company is pretty incredible too.  My kids also freak out over YumEarth products too and that is one of their favorite choices as the treat in the center of the box.  I try to put as many fresh fruit and vegetables as they will allow along with a few good solid proteins and then a few snacks/treats.  We vote with our dollars so choosing brands that are organic, hormone, antibiotic free as well as mindful of their care and treatment of animals and the planet is important to me.

Who knows how long this love affair will last but for now we are very happy.  I will provide links down below to all the websites that I have recommended.  Also, if your really feeling adventurous you can even decorate your lunch boxes daily with a variety of bento food picks and cut your sandwiches into funny little shapes.  Can you see my eyes rolling?!  I personally don’t have time for that but knock yourself out and big props to all the mommas out there that can do this.  I’m officially impressed and in awe.  Have fun with your lunch box adventures and tag me at Chef_Emery on Instagram as I would love to see your creations!  Lunch box packing can be much more fun than folding laundry and vacuuming!  I’m living proof of it, trust me!

Much love as always,

Chef Emery oxoxox

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