EPISODE 5: HOME SWEET HOMEGROWN, Grow Indie gardens, The Joyful Elephant, Stir-fry Shepherds Pie and Vegan Breakfast Bowl

We travel to the Grow Indie test gardens to meet DIy gardener and book author Robyn Jasko.

In the kitchen, we make a Stir-fry Shepherds Pie with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes, followed by a breakfast or dessert of a Rice Bowl with Stone Fruits, Ginger and Cinnamon topped with an pretty pistachio garnish.

Finally, we meet Lehigh Valley nutrition coach Michelle of The Joyful Elephant, who helps people transition to a plant-based diet.


  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled
  • 3 portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 block tempeh, crumbled by hand
  • head of broccoli, florets cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 green cabbage, chopped

Boil a pot of water on the stove, enough to cover the potatoes, and add salt. Boil until potatoes are soft, about 20-25 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large pan, then add the onions and mushrooms. Let the onions get translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir to avoid the veggies sticking to the bottom. Add the crumbled tempeh to the pan, letting it brown and stirring so it doesn’t burn.

If the veggies are sticking to the bottom, add a little soy sauce or Bragg’s to loosen them up.

Add the broccoli and cabbage to the pan. Make the dressing (if you haven’t done so) and add that, stirring it through the veggies. Let veggies cook until broccoli is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.


  • 2 Tbsp tamari/soy sauce/Bragg’s
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp agave
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, grated

Whisk everything together in a small bowl.

Vegan Stir-fry Shephards Pie with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes


  • 4 peeled, boiled potatoes, cooled off
  • 2 Tbsp water, with 1 tsp veggie broth base (or just veggie broth)
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste (more or less to taste)
  • pinch of salt

Use a potato masher to mash potatoes — or if you have a fancy mixer, use that! When potatoes are mashed, add remaining ingredients. You don’t need to add vegan butter or oil, but you can for a richer flavor.

Note: DO NOT EVER “mash” potatoes in a food processor. They get very gummy and are… awful.


Turn oven to Broil. In a casserole dish, dump the veggie mixture and make an even layer. Add mashed potatoes on top. Add fresh cracked black pepper. Put the dish in the oven til the potatoes start to brown, about 10 minutes (but keep and eye on it, your oven may be different!)


Vegan Breakfast Rice Bowl with Stone Fruits, Ginger and Cinnamon


  • 1 and 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (or grain of choice)
  • 2 peaches, chopped
  • 2 purple plums, chopped
  • 1/2 cup blueberries


  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 inches ginger, grated
  • 1 Tbsp agave
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (use the good stuff!)
  • chopped pistachios to garnish

Add rice and fruits to a large bowl and mix. Add dressing and mix with rice and fruit. Get a handful of shelled pistachios,  wrap in saran wrap, and use a hammer (or heavy object) to gently crush them into pieces, and use them to garnish the bowls.

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The People We Meet

Robyn Jasko of Grow Indie, and Home Sweet Homegrown with Jaime K of Save the Kales!

Meet Robyn Jasko, author of Home Sweet Homegrown  book and gardener extraordinaire! Robyn runs the Grow Indie test gardens in Kutztown PA,  and GrowIndie.com, an AMAZING website and resource for all things DIY/organic gardening.

Meet Michelle of The Joyful Elephant – Plant Based Nutrition Support. Michelle is a food coach and works with her clients to meet their health and dietary needs through education, hands-on work, and support to help people make a smooth transition into plant-based nutrition. Michelle is certified through courses from two of the top plant-based doctors, T. Colin Campbell (as seen in the film Forks over Knives), and Dr. Fuhrman of the Eat to Live program.

Michelle of The Joyful Elephant, and Jaime K of Save the Kales!


The Joyful Elephant facebook page

The Joyful Elephant website

Grow Indie facebook page

Grow Indie website

“Home Sweet Homegrown” by Robyn Jasko, book order site


This is one of the best articles I’ve read about food in quite some time (link at bottom).

Breakfast or dinner or neither?

At it’s heart, it points out that so much of what we think about food is because of ingrained marketing. This is something I talk about often when given the chance with relation to veganism and nutrition – WHY is the first question EVERYONE asks veg*ns “How do you get your protein?” Why is everyone so concerned with protein? Why does everyone think meat is the only/best source of it?

How come no one ever says “Wow, you must get a whole lot of phytonutrients”?

Why do we immediately associate milk with calcium?

What about THIS for breakfast?

 Why do we immediately think of fish when seeking sources of Omega 3’s? (And more specifically, if I asked, “What kind of fish?”, you’d probably answer “Salmon!” Hmmm, those salmon farmers sure are happy you said that.)

Why is salad not considered a breakfast food, but pancakes are? Have you ever ordered grapefruit juice at dinner, not spiked with something? Regardless of whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or neither, consider your notions of food and think about where all of that “nutrition information” (quotes intentional) comes from:

ARTICLE: Why The Breakfast Most Americans Will Eat Today is a Corporate Scam

BREAKFAST IMPROV: Banana Pancakes with Apple-Walnut Chutney and Peanut Butter Drizzle

I will never be able to enough about the bright, shiny, glorious weekly happening that are: Sundays. 

Perfect for sleeping in, farmer’s markets, books and movies, magically chores become somehow pleasant and enjoyable – no, domestic in the best way- and of course the much-anticipated BRUNCH!

When Ryan and I first started dating, I used to make banana pancakes for him all the time. For some reason I haven’t in a while, so this past weekend I brought ’em back into the rotation.


Pancakes with Grilled Bananas, Apple-Walnut Chutney and Peanut Butter Drizzle

PANCAKES – I used the Banana Pecan recipe from Vegan With a Vengeance, minus the pecans, for the basic batter

Slice some bananas (in addition to the ones used in the batter), and once the batter is poured into the pan and starts to bubble, add the banana slices just before flipping. Flip the pancakes and allow second side to cook. When you take them out of the pan, the banana slices should be “grilled”. (It’s not a girll, I know, but you get it.)

PEANUT BUTTER DRIZZLE – Put a little water into a microwave safe bowl, and heat until water is really hot. Put a generous spoonful (or two) of peanut butter into the hot water, and mix until saucy consistency. The water should melt the peanut butter and water it down enough to be a thick drizzle. Add more water or peanut butter as needed for texture.

APPLE WALNUT *CHUTNEY– Super Easy! Peel an apple, and dice into small cubes and put in a bowl. Add in dried fruit and/or nuts of choice. I used walnuts, obviously. Add some agave and cinnamon. Pile on top of the pancakes.

*”Chutneys” are usually made with vinegar, so I am sort of lying by calling it that, but you get the idea.