14Y Staff Recipes: May Edition


In the time of social distancing, we’re all spending time at home and cooking for ourselves more. Since our last recipe blog post, we’ve collected more recipes and decided to make a second 14Y staff recipe blog post! Enjoy!

Sunshine Quinoa Slaw

Recommended by Alan Scher, Associate Executive Director

I could eat a tire covered in Kate’s sunshine salad dressing. Luckily, she suggests something far healthier. She always does. I’ve encountered no food blogs (and I read them all) that so frequently hit the sweet spot between healthy, earth-conscious and decidedly delicious. Best of all, for a home chef like me, her recipes serve as more of an inspiration than dogma, which frequent opportunities to mix, match and utilize the most of the moment seasonal goodies from the Grow NYC Farmer’s Markets. Enjoy!

Number of Servings: 6

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh colander (or 1 1/2 leftover cooked quinoa)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cups raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds
  • 8 cups mixed shredded vegetables (green or red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and/or carrots, or use about 20 ounces store-bought slaw mix)
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 cup Sunshine Salad Dressing, or more to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  1. To cook the quinoa: Combine the rinsed quinoa and the water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 12 to 15 minutes, reducing heat as time goes on to maintain a gentle simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes, to give it time to fluff up.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the pepitas in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and making little popping noises, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. To make sure the onion flavor doesn’t overwhelm the salad, rinse the sliced onion under running water, then let it drain well.
  4. In a large serving bowl (seriously, use your biggest bowl!), combine the shredded vegetables, drained onion and cilantro. Add the cooled quinoa and pepitas. Drizzle the dressing on top and toss to mix.
  5. Let the slaw rest for 20 minutes before serving (this is key to great flavor), then season to taste with salt, and stir in more dressing if desired. This slaw is best the day it’s made, but it keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.


To make this recipe dairy-free, use dairy-free yogurt when making the dressing. For the original recipe, click here.


Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Recommended by Julie Gayer Kris, Director of Customer Experience

They are refreshing, great for breakfast or any time of day. It is a sneaky way to get your vegetables in! And we put chia seeds in them for extra nutrition and texture and call them ants!

Number of Servings: 12

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Optional: chia seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Mix egg, oil, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a bowl; stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in zucchini, chocolate chips, and walnuts. Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

For the original recipe, click here.


Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce

Michael Meehan, General Manager

From NY Times Recipes and Ruth Reichl’s Book Save Me the Plums: “Use your favorite canned tomatoes for this and don’t be scared off by the butter. It gives the sauce an unparalleled velvety richness.” Resist the urge to add olive oil or garlic, or a lot of extra spices. Just let these flavors stand out.

Number of Servings: 4

  • 2 cups tomatoes, in addition to their juices (for example a 28-oz can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes)
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
  • Salt
  1. Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the butter and the onion halves in a saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt.
  2. Place over medium heat and bring to simmer. cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with a spoon. Add salt as needed.
  3. If you don’t like onion then discard. Otherwise it tastes great! Toss the sauce with pasta, this recipe makes enough sauce for one pound pasta.

For the original recipe, click here.


North Woods Bean Soup

Jaci Fletcher, Director of Marketing

This is one of my favorite soups, and it’s so easy to make. The kielbasa has a nice smokey flavor, and the beans make this a hearty dish that fills you up. It’s also a quick soup to make! Enjoy!

  • Cooking spray or a splash of olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 7 ounces turkey kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (you can use regular kielbasa for a tastier soup, but turkey kielbasa is much healthier)
  • 4 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 (15.8-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (6-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach leaves (you can use any greens here, regular spinach or chopped kale work great too!)
  1. Heat a large saucepan coated with cooking spray (or olive oil) over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, garlic, and kielbasa; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes. Add the broth, Italian seasoning, pepper, and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Place 2 cups of the soup in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. It’s totally okay if the veggies and meat end up in the blender too. It tastes great no matter what. Then return the pureed mixture to pan. Simmer an additional 5 minutes. Remove soup from heat. Add the spinach (or green), stirring until it wilts.

I usually make a larger batch, doubling the beans and vegetables so that I can freeze some for later. For the original recipe, click here.


Crockpot White Bean and Chicken Chili

Jaci Fletcher, Director of Marketing

This is my go-to meal when I want something comforting, easy to make, but also relatively healthy. I make this in my crockpot, which makes my whole house smell so good. This goes well on its own or with rice, or even with some tortilla chips.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Crockpot Cook Time: 3 – 4 Hours on High | 6 – 8 Hours on Low

  • 1 pound of chicken (I usually use thighs and legs for a richer flavor, but for a leaner chili, use chicken breast)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium to large onion, chopped
  • 1 – 2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (give it a little taste to see how hot they are, also be careful when chopping!)
  • 1 can of green chilis
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 – 2 teaspoon ground cumin (I usually start with 1 teaspoon, and then add more after everything is cooked to enhance the flavor)
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained (you can honestly use any beans, but I like cannellini and pinto)
  • Optional toppings: sliced avocado, quartered cherry tomatoes and chopped red onion, sour cream, cheese, or anything else that tastes yummy!
  1. Add the chopped onion, chili, jalapeño, drained beans to the crockpot.
  2. Next add the spices and give it a nice mix, then add your chicken on top. This will make it easier for you to pull out when everything cooked.
  3. Cook on high for 3 – 4 hours, cook on low for 6 – 8 hours. Check every hour to see how things are coming along. Once the chicken pulls apart easily, your chili is nearly done!
  4. Pull the chicken out, cool it down a bit and then remove the meat, which you’ll add back into the chili. Give it a taste and see if your chili needs more salt, pepper, or cumin. If you like your chili spicy, you can always add a dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper.
  5. Serve and enjoy with your favorite toppings. I prefer chopped raw red onion, scallion and some cubed avocado!


We hope you like these recipes as much as we do. For more recipes to cook with your family, check out our previous recipe blog post! And if you’re cooking with kids, check out our After School Program’s favorite family-friendly recipes!