Hungry, bored or both? Try these recipes from Sophie's Kitchen!

Dear Duchesne Families,
We know this time is stressful for everyone. Being at home for all or most of the day can lead to boredom, especially in the kitchen. I wanted to pass along some fun, nutritious recipes we use in the Duchesne cafeteria, they are easy to make and we know the girls love them.
I’ve selected recipes that are relatively inexpensive to make, use ingredients that are easy to store, and produce enough food to feed a large family or freeze and save.
Jacqui Caniglia
Food Program Manager


Shopping List

This simple and wholesome food goes a long way and is almost always welcomed by the entire family. There are lots of option for GF as well. When your favorite red sauce becomes boring try something new. Simply toss your noodles with toasted breadcrumbs, olive oil, salt and pepper (add some canned or frozen peas or lima beans to boost the nutrition and comfort impact). Or try the simple turmeric pasta (recipe attached).

This is a cupboard staple that goes a long way. If you can, try to use brown rice. It retains more of its health benefits including fiber. When making rice consider doubling the amount that you cook. Leftover rice is great for a simple fried rice or I have a super-easy black bean burger that uses leftover rice (attached). Add some frozen veggies and beans to your rice and you have a satisfying and healthy meal that will keep you full.

Canned Beans
A simple way to make a salad, a dip or a soup. Beans offer lots of great health benefits and are a good source of protein. Consider making a simple chickpea curry (think canned chickpeas and canned tomatoes) recipe attached or a black bean soup. If you are tired of Campbell’s tomato soup add some cannellini beans and frozen greens. Boost the flavor and nutrition.
Dried beans are also wonderful to use. They take a little more time to cook so you will want to plan ahead. Lentils however are a quick-cooking bean and super yummy. There is a simple recipe attached. Those don’t need to be pre-cooked and are versatile (make a soup, tacos/burritos, vegetarian meat loaf and more). As with these other items consider doubling your recipes. That way you will have leftovers for lunch or can add a few extra spices and turn it into a new dinner. Of course, you could freeze the second batch for a simple dinner the following week.

Rice and pasta are included in this. But there are so many more options. You might find that some of these alternative grains are on the shelf at the store as people might not know how to use them. Consider millet, barley, quinoa and of course oats. Many of these grains cook quickly and can be as versatile as rice. You can make salads, soups or breakfast cereals with these. Check out this link to Bob’s Red Mill, they have recipes and basic cooking techniques for a variety of grains
And while we are mentioning breakfast…. Overnight oats are satisfying and so simple. You’ll find a recipe attached. I am also attaching a simple bread that uses whole wheat, oats and sunflower seeds. A pretty satisfying thing to have sitting on the counter.

It is important to continue to eat your leafy greens. If you are having trouble keeping fresh greens in your house, then consider frozen. You can easily incorporate frozen greens into lots of meals to boost the nutrition. Check out the simple recipe that uses lentils, simple veggies and frozen greens. Add them to scrambled eggs, rice, pasta, add to soup and stew. If you can… we highly recommend a salad a day. Keep it fresh and simple with just some sort of salad green and try with just lemon juice or vinegar… or add a little olive oil, salt and pepper and toss. You can add other favorites as you have them available.

Fruits are important as well. Again, it might be difficult to keep fresh fruit on hand. Frozen fruit is a great option. Often, they are harvested at peak and retain most nutritional benefits. Think smoothies. Or add some berries to your oats or other breakfast cereal. And really a mix of lightly frozen fruit is kind of tasty as dessert. There are lots of canned fruits as well as applesauce. You might try to find something that doesn’t have added sugar (look for items packed in water or juice).

Yes, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich has some great benefits and staying power (try sun butter if you can’t have nuts). Consider a whole grain bread, peanut butter (or sun butter) that doesn’t have sugar or fats added and a jam or jelly made without additional sugar. These are great to make ahead and freeze. Grab one to take for a hearty snack or simple lunch or breakfast on the go. Sooo satisfying!

These are a few things to start with.

On a personal note consider making sitting with your loved ones at the dinner table (or breakfast or lunch) a priority and leave the electronics out of the picture. Take time to enjoy a meal and the company of those you love. It will do your stomach, heart and mind a lot of good.
Encourage someone in your family who doesn’t usually cook to help with dinner preparation. It could be setting the table, warming something up or making a salad. Of course, take turns with dishes to help lighten the load.

Potato Gnocchi

Serves 4
(adapted from Paul Bertolli, Cooking by Hand)

3 russet potatoes (1 ½ pounds) or Idaho potatoes or Yukon gold (as sizes vary, weigh for accuracy)
1 egg, lightly whisked
¼ cup half and half (or milk or alternative milk.. such as unsweetened soy milk)
1 tsp salt
Pinch nutmeg
2 cups all-purpose flour
Red tomato sauce, olive oil, grated parmesan, romano or asiago or Italian cheese of choice.
Place the whole potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water by a couple inches. Turn up the heat and simmer until they are tender when you poke with a knife or fork (30-40 minutes). Once done drain off the water and let the potatoes sit in the pot to cool down (at least 15 minutes).
Once they are cool enough to handle peel the potatoes by hand or with a small paring knife.
If you have a potato ricer, run them through this into a large bowl. If not, mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher to remove lumps.  Add the egg, milk, salt and nutmeg to the potatoes. Turn with a spatula to combine.
Measure your flour into a large bowl. Create a well in the center of the bowl. Add the potato mixture to the flour. Use a spatula to pull the flour around and cut into the potato mixture. Spin the bowl and continue to fold the mixture together until you have a large, soft ball of dough.
Place a large pot of water on the stove to bring to a boil while you finish your dough.
On a clean surface (countertop or table) lightly dust the surface with flour. Place your gnocchi dough on the surface. Cut it into 4 pieces. Take each piece and gently roll into a log (add a little flour if it is sticking a lot). Once rolled to about 12-18 inches and ¾ inches thick, set aside. Roll all 4 pieces of dough into logs. Cut the logs into ½ inch pieces with a pastry scraper or knife. These are your little potato dumplings.
Heat your oven to 375.
Once your water has come to a rolling boil, gently place one cut up log at a time into the water. Be careful as you are sure to have the water splash back a bit. Once all the pieces are in the water, stir gently with a spoon to be sure they aren’t sticking to the bottom. Once the gnocchi float to the surface, use a slotted spoon to scoop them out into a bowl (so you leave the boiling water on the stove). Toss with a little tomato sauce or olive oil. Continue to cook the gnocchi in batches and adding to the finished bowl. The gnocchi can be eaten like this with your sauce of choice. But if you want to make it super yummy then follow along.
In a shallow, glass or ceramic bowl add some olive oil and a little tomato sauce. Add half the gnocchi. Grind a little black pepper over the gnocchi, then grate some cheese over. Add a bit more tomato sauce, the rest of the gnocchi, some more sauce, black pepper and grated cheese on top. You don’t want the gnocchi to be completely covered by tomato sauce. That way when you bake it you will have some pillowy, soft pockets of pasta dumplings and you will have some lightly browned with a little crustiness.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until you have lightly, golden crust in spots.
Serve warm with a salad or steamed veggies.
Potato Gnocci


Let's end the week with a treat! This hummus recipe is a favorite in the Duchesne cafeteria. It's a great, healthier dip for veggies and chips and also tastes great as a sandwich spread. 
2    cans garbanzo beans (drained but reserve 1 cup liquid)
1    cup tahini
4T  lemon juice
2    cloves garlic
1½ tsp salt
Blend all in a food processor. If too thick add some of the reserved bean liquid.
Taste and add salt, lemon juice or liquid as needed.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a food processor you could use a potato masher and smash the beans to your best ability. Add the garlic, salt and lemon juice. Add ½ cup of liquid (or water). Lastly add in the tahini and turn with a spatula to combine. Add a little more liquid if needed. Chunky version!
Makes approximately 3 cups
Hummus from Sophie's Kitchen

All-Purpose Spice Muffins

(makes about 12 small muffins)
Let’s start the day with breakfast! These muffins are ready for the girls each morning in Sophie’s Kitchen. They’re easy to make, cook quickly, and are a warm way to start classes from home.
Dry Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg, ginger (optional)
  • ¼ tsp cloves (optional)

    Wet Ingredients

  • ¾ cup milk (or alternative milk of choice)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen berries, nuts, chocolate chips, apple or pear chunks (all optional)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

Prep your muffin pan. Spray or line to keep from sticking.
Combine your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk lightly to remove lumps and combine.

Combine your wet ingredients. Use a whisk or a fork to combine (it is best to start with the egg and whisk and add the other liquids to make a homogeneous mixture)
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to that. Use a spatula to gently combine the two.
Folding over and scraping the bottom of the bowl. It is important to NOT overmix. A few, little lumps in the batter is much better than an overworked, smooth batter.
Gently fold in your add-in ingredients.
Use a measuring cup to put the batter in the muffin tin. You want the tin to be about ¾ full.

Lightly sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top if you’d like.
Bake for 13-18 minutes. You’ll need to check as all ovens bake differently. The top will get golden, there will be a light bounce back if touched. Or the best way to know is sticking a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean it is done.
Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
Sophie's Kitchen Muffin Recipe

Easter Side Dishes

Here are some simple recipes to help bring your Easter meal together.
There is a simple scone made with olive oil and a fork to scalloped potatoes. As always, you can email Sophie’s Kitchen with any questions.
Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped (or Au Gratin) Potatoes

Serves 6
  • 3 pounds russet or Idaho or Yukon gold potatoes. Scrubbed clean and thinly sliced.
  • 1 small yellow onion, petite diced
  • 1 cup shredded, sharp cheddar cheese (this is optional)
  • 1 ½ tsp dried thyme (or another herb of choice)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
Heat your oven to 400°
Grease well an 8” round casserole or pyrex dish or an 8” square pan.
Shred your cheese if using and set aside.
Lightly warm your milk and set aside.
Have your thyme, salt and pepper out and ready to go.
Have a bowl of cold water ready. Slice the potatoes very thinly. Set in the bowl of water as you go to keep them from browning.
Dice your onion or shallot and set aside.
You are ready to assemble! Clean your surface and hands. Drain your potatoes and lightly blot with a towel.
In your greased pan, line the potatoes around the entire surface of the dish.
They should partially overlap with each other. Sprinkle the surface with a large pinch of salt and pepper.
Then sprinkle on some of the thyme, 1/3 of the onions and 1/3 of the cheese.
Continue to layer this way until you’ve used all of the potatoes.
Slowly pour the milk over the potatoes. The milk should just barely come up to the top of the potatoes.
Lightly sprinkle with the last of the cheese.
Cover with a lid or foil. Bake for approximately 1hour, 15 minutes.
They should absorb the milk, lightly brown around the edges and when you pierce the potatoes with a fork it
should go through. When you’ve achieved this the potatoes are done. Let them sit for 15 minutes to solidify and serve.

Super Simple Scones

Makes 8
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup milk (I used unsweetened soy but you could use what you have… almond, oat, 2%).
  • Zest&Juice of 1 lemon (or lime or orange)
  • 1 cup berries of choice (blackberry, raspberry, blueberries, strawberries (these need to be sliced up)
  • Fresh or frozen will work.
Heat your oven to 400°
Get a pan ready. Either use parchment or lightly grease a half sheet pan.
In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and zest. (Dry ingredients)
In a cup combine the milk of choice and lemon juice. (Wet ingredients)
Have your berries set aside in a bowl.
Using a fork, pour the olive oil into the bowl of dry ingredients. Use a fork to work the olive oil into the flour. This will not be smooth looking. It will have lumps of oil mixed into the flour. Work for about a minute to get the olive oil worked into a crumbly mix.
Add the wet ingredients all at once to this mixture. Use the fork to fold these together. It will continue to be a clumpy mixture. You don’t want to overmix this.
Add the berries and lightly fold in. Giving just a turn or two.
Use a spatula to dump this out onto your counter. (Or if you are using parchment paper, directly onto your pan)
Gently shape into a large, round shape.
It should be about the diameter of your hand with fingers spread apart.
Using a knife or scraper, score into 8 pieces. Then cut. Separate the scones a bit on the pan.
Use a brush to lightly coat the top of the scone with a little extra olive oil (If you don’t have a brush, use your hands)
Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar.
Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. (Mine took 16 minutes). They should puff up and have a light golden color.
Remove from the oven and let cool before eating.



Enough for 2 large garden salads
Basic Vinaigrette
(3 to 1 Ratio)
  • 3T Olive Oil
  • 1T Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ tsp mustard (Dijon or regular)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • Herbs of your choice
The basis of a vinaigrette is 3 parts oil to one-part acid. With that simple bit of knowledge, you can start with something very basic and build it in many ways. Combine all of these ingredients in a small bowl or glass jar and whisk together well with a whisk or simply a fork. Taste and season as you like (more vinegar, more tart.. saltier, more salt… add a little honey for sweetness, add the herbs of your choice.
Think basil and oregano, thyme or rosemary. See what you have in your cupboard.

Traditional French Vinaigrette

This is a little different than the 3 to 1 ratio but a variation of it).1 shallot (finely minced) or yellow onion (but only a Tablespoon or so
  • 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
  • 2T Dijon mustard
  • 1T white wine vinegar
  • 4T Olive Oil
  • Pinch salt and pepper
Combine all of these in a small bowl or glass jar. Whisk vigorously to combine.
Taste and adjust flavors. Adding a little fresh lemon juice to this is really nice.
A couple of notes:
If you use store-bought salad dressing, you are in for a treat. This will take your salad to a new level of freshness and flavor.
If you don’t have something, don’t worry. Out of garlic? Use a ¼ tsp garlic powder.
NO Dijon mustard? Use traditional mustard. Substitute apple cider vinegar for the white wine.
Use some balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar.
Don’t be afraid to change things up, add some different spices or a little sweetness. Just add a little at a time and taste to make sure the flavor is where you want it.
If using the same day leave out. If saving put in the fridge. The olive oil will solidify and need to a little time to come to room temperature before you serve. Or just whisk up again.
Remember to add the dressing JUST before serving and toss with a large spoon or tongs.

Roasted carrots

Roasted Carrots

serves 4
  • 2 pounds Carrots (cleaned and cut) (orange, purple, yellow or even baby carrots)
  • 3T Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ¼ cup Hazelnuts (or almonds or pistachios or walnuts or NONE)
Heat your oven to 425°
Line a pan with parchment paper or lightly coat it with olive oil.
Carrots – the most important thing about these is to cut them all in a similar size. If you have some cute, slender carrots they might not need to be sliced. If they are chunky, then cut them in half lengthwise and then cut each piece into half again. If you have baby carrots, these don’t need to be cut. Use them as is.
Again, it is important that they are all cut in the same way so that they cook at the same time.
Put your carrots in a bowl and pour the olive oil over them. Season with salt and pepper. Turn with your hands or a spatula to coat. Pour them onto your prepared pan. Place in the oven and plan to roast for 30-45 minutes.
You’ll want to check them and give them a turn every 15 minutes. You can test the doneness by piercing them with a fork. You want them to be just barely soft and browning around the edges.
While your carrots are roasting, chop your nuts and place on a small pan or even a piece of foil. Toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Until they are lightly browned. This brings out the flavor! Set aside on the counter.
When the carrots are done remove from the oven. Let cool for 5-8 minutes. Give them another sprinkle of salt and pepper, add some fresh herbs if you’d like. Throw in your toasted, chopped nuts and give one last little bit of olive oil. Toss and place on a plate or serving bowl.