Dinner with Danny

In his latest book, Naturally, Delicious Dinners, Danny curates a collection of his all-star recipes. They answer the question: “What’s for Dinner?”


The definition of what “dinner” is has evolved over the past few decades. Gone is the romantic notion of sitting down to a candlelit table with others, passing a variety of side dishes, and presenting an impressive main course that took hours to prepare. Those mealtime scenarios seem best for movies and just a few special occasions throughout the year. Also gone is the idea that fast food is sufficient for sustenance. Sure, throwing a frozen meal into the microwave oven is convenient, but the results are usually subpar and—in almost every case—unhealthy. And takeout food is wasteful for both the wallet and the environment, given all of the single-use plastics involved in its packaging. What’s the happy middle ground? I think you’ll find it in my latest book. After seven years and over 1,000 recipes published in this magazine we have found a sweet spot, where the cooking is easy, healthy, delicious, and foolproof. I promise you these recipes have been perfected and tested to within an inch of their casserole-baked life! To create Naturally, Delicious Dinners, I pored over the magazine’s archives and selected my all-stars from the pages. The winners are delicious—and some are quite unusual. Many can be doubled or tripled in size to feed a crowd. A few use ingredients you may have never tried, like the nutritional yeast that you’ll use to make our Carrot Risotto. On the other hand, several use an item—like coffee—as a surprising hero ingredient in dishes like the Coffee-Rubbed Portobello Fajitas. And, yes, there are lots of options here for vegans, those avoiding gluten, and a few for folks dedicated to a keto-friendly lifestyle. Enjoy!

Creamy Cauliflower Chowder with Olive Thyme Gremolata

Makes 4 servings

Talk about the perfect large pot of soup to make on a snowy day! This is a creamy dairy-free chowder.  It’s the oat flour that gives it that thick, creamy consistency.


1 medium onion

3 garlic cloves

1 medium cauliflower

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons sea salt

¼ cup oat flour

¼ cup nutritional yeast

4 cups vegetable broth

To Make

Dice onion, mince garlic, and trim cauliflower into small florets (approximately 6 cups).

Warm olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat.

Add onion and sea salt and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add cauliflower florets and continue to cook for additional 5 minutes.

Add garlic, oat flour, and nutritional yeast and cook for additional minute.

Add broth and bring mixture to a simmer. Cook covered for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender.

Serve chowder hot, garnished with roasted Baby Golden Potatoes and Olive Thyme Gremolata.



1 pound baby golden potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt (we use Eden Foods brand)

To Make

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cut potatoes in half and toss with olive oil and salt.

Spread into a single layer on a parchment-lined baking tray.

Roast for 25 minutes, or until cooked through and golden.



¼ cup pitted black olives

1 tablespoon olive oil

5 sprigs thyme

1 small garlic clove

1 lemon

To Make

Rinse and chop olives coarsely and add to a small bowl with olive oil.

Destem thyme (about 1 teaspoon), mince garlic, and juice and zest lemon. Stir into olive mixture.

Allow Gremolata to marinate for 5 minutes; serve.

Good to Know: When making the gremolata, avoid bitter undernotes by making sure to not use the pith of the lemon.

Toasted Sesame & Maple Caramelized Tofu

Serves 2


1 block firm tofu, pressed

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped finely

3 tablespoons maple syrup

½ cup apple juice

2 tablespoons tamari

1 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced

2 scallions, sliced

To Make

Preheat oven to 375°F. 

Cut the pressed tofu into three even slabs, widthwise. Quarter each third to form 12 triangles in total.

Arrange tofu in a single layer in a baking dish. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the toasted sesame oil, garlic, maple syrup, apple juice, tamari, and ginger. 

Pour mixture over tofu and allow to marinade for 15 to 30 minutes.

Bake uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, turning once. The tofu should absorb most of the liquid and turn golden.

Garnish with sliced scallions.

Jalapeño Cheddar Grits with Poached Egg

Serves 2

Don’t care for eggs? These spicy cheddar grits are delicious all on their own. And if poaching eggs isn’t your thing, you can also pan fry them in a little butter or olive oil and rest them on top of the grits. The magic is in the runny yolk, so be sure to ladle this into big bowls.


3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 jalapeños, sliced into thin rings

1 cup corn grits

2 teaspoons sea salt

10 cups filtered water

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

4 organic eggs

To Make

Heat up butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 

Add the jalapeño slices and cook until golden. Carefully remove a few slices from butter to reserve as garnish.

Stir the corn grits and salt into the jalapeño butter mixture. Toast for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour 6 cups water; stir until combined.

Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender.

In the meantime, bring remaining 4 cups of water to a light simmer in a separate pot. Gently lower in cracked eggs, and poach for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the whites have set.

Stir in shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Place grits in a bowl and top with poached egg and reserved jalapeño slices.

Chili Honey Roasted Radishes with Feta & Mint

Makes 2 to 4 servings

Did you know that radishes are powerful liver detoxifiers?
They contain a special compound called RsPHGPx which can sweep out chemicals from pathways.


2 bunches (approximately 12) radishes, cut in half crosswise

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon raw honey

pinch red chili flakes

½ cup feta (approximately 2 ounces), crumbled

4 mint sprigs, destemmed

To Make

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Toss cut radishes with olive oil and salt, and spread into a single layer, placing cut side down on a parchment-lined baking tray.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the radishes have wilted lightly and have developed some color.

Add honey into a small dish and fold in chili flakes. If the mixture is too thick to drizzle, thin it out with a teaspoon of water.

Plate radishes and drizzle with chili honey. Garnish dish with crumbled feta and mint.

Penne with Parsnip Yogurt ‘Alfredo’

Serves 4

The addition of nutmeg adds a spicy warmth to this dish that brings out the tangy notes of the protein-rich yogurt.



1 acorn squash

1 small bunch sage

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons olive oil, more for garnish

¼ teaspoon black pepper, for garnish

To Make

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Remove stems and seeds and cut acorn squash into ½ inch slices.

Destem sage. Mince sage leaves (approximately 2 tablespoons) and toss with squash rings, salt and olive oil.

Arrange rings in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until golden and tender.

Serve warm with Parsnip Yogurt ‘Alfredo’.



3 medium parsnips (approximately 1 pound)

1 pound organic penne

1 ½ cups Stonyfield yogurt

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, more for garnish

3 cloves garlic

¼ cup nutritional yeast (we use Bob’s Red Mill)

2 ½ teaspoons sea salt

To Make

Peel and roughly chop parsnips. Add parsnips to medium pot, fill halfway with water, and bring to a boil. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. 

Using a slotted spoon, remove parsnips and place in a blender. Use remaining water to cook penne at a rolling boil for 8 to 10 minutes, or as specified on the package, until slightly al dente.

Add Stonyfield yogurt, nutmeg, garlic, nutritional yeast, and salt to parsnips in blender. Blend until smooth.

Toss hot pasta with ‘Alfredo’ sauce and garnish with acorn squash rings, additional nutmeg, ground pepper, and olive oil.

Coffee Rubbed Portobello Fajitas

Makes 6 fajitas

This is a great recipe to use up some vegetables in your refrigerator. Any type of mushroom will work in addition to carrots, potatoes, hearty greens, and green beans. You can save your leftover coffee from the morning to use in this recipe too.


2 Portobello mushrooms, cut into thick slices

8 miniature colorful peppers, deseeded and halved

1 bunch scallions, bottoms cut into 1-inch pieces (reserve greens for future use)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 espresso shots, or 3 ounces strong brewed coffee

2 tablespoons fajita seasoning mix

½ teaspoon sea salt

6 medium whole wheat or corn tortillas

For the Avocado ‘Crema’:

½ cup cashews, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes

½ cup filtered water

2 limes, zested and juiced

1 ripe avocado

1 teaspoon sea salt

To Make

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Arrange mushrooms in a single layer in a cast iron pan. Top with peppers and scallions.

In a small bowl, mix olive oil, coffee, fajita mix, and salt (omit if seasoning already contains salt) and pour evenly over vegetables.

Heat a pan over high heat until mixture bubbles. Transfer pan to top rack in oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through and marinade is reduced.

Drain and rinse soaked cashews. Add to blender with filtered water and process until cream forms. Add lime zest, lime juice, and avocado flesh and blend until smooth. 

Warm tortillas briefly in oven.

Spread a generous layer of Avocado ‘Crema’ on each tortilla; top with mushrooms, peppers and scallions.