Katrina Brink’s Cocktails & Castoffs AT HOME Sustainable Meal Plan

Enjoy a sustainable meal plan designed for DIG’s Cocktails & Castoffs AT HOME event by The Empowered Kitchen’s Katrina Brink

Escabeche - Make in Advance

Escabeche – Make in Advance

Yields: 2 (16 ounce) mason jars

Ingredients: (Amounts are approximate. This is flexible!)

  • 8 jalapenos
  • 4 large carrots
  • 4 scallions (use white and green parts)
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil (olive, canola, grapeseed, or other)
  • 1 teaspoon (or 2) Mexican oregano – fresh or dried.
  • 4 medium/large garlic cloves
For the Brine:
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar


Slice jalapenos and carrots at a diagonal into about ¼ inch slices. Trim root off the scallions and slice the green and white parts at a diagonal into about 1-2 inch pieces. Peel the garlic and smash with the side of a knife.

Add brine ingredients to a medium or large pot. Cover and bring to a low boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic cloves and let cook for about 2 minutes. Add oregano, carrots and jalapenos and cook for 5 minutes to allow to sweat. Add scallions and allow to cook for 2-3 more minutes. Carefully add all of these ingredients to the brine and allow to cook on medium low or low for about 4-5 minutes.

Carefully pour brine and all contents of the pot into the 2 clean, sterilized mason jars. Leave 1 inch of head space on the jars. Let cool and cover with lids. Refrigerate for 24 hours before using.

Cucumber Avocado Gazpacho

Yields: 4 cup sized servings


  • 2 large cucumbers
  • ¾ cup coconut milk (full fat)
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 small Serrano pepper (optional – reduce to ½ or leave out if you want a milder soup)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


Peel the cucumbers and cut them into 2×2 inch chunks, so they’re easier to blend.

Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Slice the top-off the Serrano pepper and slice down the middle lengthwise. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the seeds. Compost seeds and avocado pit.

Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of the avocado and place in a blender. Peel the garlic. Add half the cucumber and all remaining ingredients to the blender. Blend until smooth. Add the last half of the cucumber and blend again until smooth.

Taste the soup and adjust all the ingredients to your liking. Chill and enjoy.

*Freeze or keep fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Creative Adjustments

Parsley or cilantro (with stems) are great additions to this soup, so is a homemade vegetable stock in place of water. Feel free to add more or less pepper, salt or coconut milk and top with red pepper flakes or black pepper for a little added pop.

Sweet Potato Street Tacos

Yields: 6 street tacos. Serves: 3 (2 tacos each)

  • 2 tablespoons oil (olive, grapeseed, canola, avocado, etc)
  • 1 medium/large sweet potato (roasted)
  • 4 ounces mushrooms (any white mushroom or baby bella)
  • 1 small/medium red/white/yellow onion
  • 2-3 whole kale leaves (curly leaf or lacinato)
  • 1 bell/poblano/OR anaheim pepper (spice to your liking) (roasted)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1-2 teaspoons cumin


Preheat oven to 400° F. Slice the unpeeled sweet potato lengthwise and place flat onto a baking sheet. Coat lightly with oil. Place peppers of your choice on separate baking sheet. Peppers can roast without being coated in oil.

Roast sweet potato for 30-40 minutes, or until it is soft and a knife goes through it easily. The peppers are ready when they’re slightly blistered and softened. Remove from oven when roasted to your liking. Remove the skins once they have cooled. A trick to remove the skins of peppers is to place them in a bowl covered with a plate or lid immediately when they’re removed from the oven. Let them sit in the bowl for 10 minutes to steam then remove skins.

Prepare the Rest of the Vegetables: Thinly slice the onion. Chop the kale leaves (stems included) into 2 inch bite sized pieces.

Slice the pepper into long thin (julienne) strips. Dice mushrooms into a medium dice. Slice the sweet potato into 2 inch pieces.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and allow to heat up before adding the onions. Saute the onions for 5 minutes, or until they begin to become translucent. Add salt and spices of your choice. Add the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 more minutes. Add the sliced pepper, sweet potato and kale leaves. Stir well to combine. Cook for 2-3 more minutes to heat through, but keep the bright green color of the kale leaves. Cover for a minute to steam if you’d like.

Warm the tortillas in the already warm oven. Assemble tacos with toppings of your choice and enjoy!

Cilantro Sauce

Yields: 1 to 1 ½ cups

  • 2 tablespoons oil (olive, grapeseed, canola, avocado)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (stems and leaves)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (to your taste)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • ⅓ cup olive oil ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Optional: ¼ – ⅓ cup plain white yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon cumin or ground coriander seed


Zest and juice the lime. Peel the garlic cloves.

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, or your preferred texture.

Taste and adjust ingredients to your liking. Use on tacos, enchiladas, rice bowls, omelets, sandwiches, etc.

Keeps well in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.


Cilantro sauce freezes well in ice cube trays. Once frozen, remove the cubes and store in a sealed plastic bag or other sealed container. Label and date. Remove and use as needed.

*This tip also works with pesto, extra coconut milk, and tomato paste.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Yields: 6 cups mousse, Serves: 6 (1 cup servings)

  • 4 small ripe avocados
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk (scrape from top of can, and use some of the liquid too)
  • ¾ cup milk or almond/soy/oat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons agave or honey
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Optional Toppings:
    • Coconut Cream
    • Berries
    • Pistachios
    • Pecans
    • Walnuts


Prepare a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, fill a medium saucepan ⅓ full with water and place a heatproof bowl in the water (the water level should go up about ⅓ of the height of the bowl. Make sure water level is low enough so it won’t flow into the bowl when the water is simmering.

Cut chocolate into roughly 2 inch pieces, or break with your hands.

Add chocolate pieces and coconut milk to the bowl and lower heat to a maintain a low simmer. (if your heat is too high, your chocolate will “split” and become grainy).

Stir to combine ingredients until chocolate is melted and smooth. Turn off heat and carefully remove bowl from water to cool.

Place remaining ingredients in a blender. Add cooled chocolate mixture (it’s okay if the chocolate is still warm). Blend until smooth.

Taste and adjust ingredients as you like! Serve with optional toppings of your choice. This is a great snack, dessert, or even a breakfast. Serve chilled and lick the bowl clean!


You can make a chilled tart by filling a sweet pastry tart with this filling. Refrigerate before serving and top with chopped pistachios, pecans or walnuts.