Cooking With April Recipes (5/4/19)

Below are the recipes that April prepared during her workshop on May 4th.  All were delicious and were prepared with items that can be found in the garden.

There will be another workshop with April on September 7th, so if you were unable to join us this time, please mark your calendar and join us in September.


Spiralized Zucchini Noodles with Pesto and Roasted Veggies

2 medium zucchini
¾ cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
¾ cup asparagus, cut in 1 ½ inch pieces
1 bunch spinach
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch basil leaves
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded or shaved
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread grape tomatoes and asparagus on top of parchment and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on top to preferred taste. Spiralize zucchini into spaghetti-style noodles.  Heat frying pan with 2 tablespoons water and cook/steam noodles for 5-7 minutes (al dente – should not be soggy).  Make pesto by combining remaining ingredients in small food processor or blender (such as a Ninja). Process for 20 seconds and begin to drizzle in olive oil while blades are still running until mixture is combined and wet in appearance.  Mix pesto with zucchini noodles. Place zucchini noodles on serving platter and top with roasted veggies and shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese.


Buddha Bowl

1 large sweet potato, cubed in ½ inch pieces
1 large onion, sliced thin lengthwise
2 cloves garlic
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt and pepper
1 cup drained and rinsed canned chickpeas
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. chili powder (or sweet curry powder)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup cooked quinoa (regular, tri-color, or mixed blend with rice)
1 carrot, shredded
Mixed greens (spinach, arugula, baby spring mix, etc.), chopped
1 lemon
1 avocado

Cook quinoa as directed (some need to be rinsed first).  Cook’s tip – replace water with vegetable or chicken broth and/or add 1 tsp. sweet curry powder.  Set aside quinoa. Roast sweet potatoes and onion on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and top with pressed garlic, salt and pepper as preferred to taste. Mix chickpeas with olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Fry on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes and set aside.  In large serving bowl, add quinoa to one half of the bottom and greens on the other half of the bottom. Top with chickpeas, shredded carrots, onion, sweet potatoes, and sliced or cubed avocado. Squeeze lemon juice over the bowl and serve.


Gluten-Free Strawberry-Mango Crisp

2 Ataulfo mangoes (yellow skin when ripe), diced
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
½ cup almond meal (or substitute ½ cup oats ground with food processor)
½ cup roughly chopped pecans
¼ cup packed light brown sugar (or substitute granular/brown coconut sugar)
Pinch sea salt
4 Tbsp. cold butter (or substitute coconut oil or other preferred oil)

Preheat oven to 350 F oven.  Grease 8×8 glass baking dish.  Add fruit to dish and spread flat.  In a mixing bowl stir remaining ingredients together, except butter.  Cut butter into mixture with pastry blender or hands until pebble-sized crumbles appear.  Sprinkle crumble mixture over top of fruit in an even layer. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until fruit is bubbling and top is crisp and golden.

Serve warm with ice cream, Greek yogurt, or non-dairy whipped topping.

Note:  This recipe can easily be substituted with a variety of fruit mixtures, such as strawberry-blueberry, strawberry and stone fruits, etc. equating to 4 cups total chopped or sliced.

About April:

April began her career in cooking at a young age, serving creations to her family from her Holly Hobbie oven.  Over the years, she has been a farmer’s market vendor and ran her own private catering and event planning business in Southern Maryland for over ten years while attending college and raising a family. April began teaching cooking classes at various venues in 2006, with her most recent venture teaching at the Ojai Culinary School for the past 3 years. 

Chef April offers private cooking classes, perfect for small events and parties.  For additional information, visit her website at:


Link to printable recipes:

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