January 27, 2014

Black bean Quinoa Burgers

1 15 oz.can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced yellow bell pepper
2 Tbsp minced onion
1 large clove minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
1 egg
3 Tbsp olive oil

In a medium pot, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover pot and simmer until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender (about 15 to 20 minutes).

Roughly mash the black beans with a fork until you have a sticky mixture (similar to the texture of ground beef/turkey). Add the quinoa, bread crumbs, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, hot pepper sauce, and egg into the black beans. Mix using using your hands.

Form the black bean mixture into 6 patties. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the patties in the hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until heated through.

January 27, 2014

Vegan Lentil Soup

1 chopped onion
1/4 cup olive oil
2 diced carrots
2 stalks chopped celery
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried basil
1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 cup dry brown lentils
1 cup French green lentils
8 cups water
1/2 cup rinsed and thinly sliced spinach
2 Tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook and stir until onion is translucent and tender. Add garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil then cook for 2-3 minutes.

Stir in lentils and add water and tomatoes. Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1.5 hours. Add spinach just before serving and cook until it wilts (about 3 minutes or so). Stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.

September 1, 2012

Healthy “Macaroni” and Cheese

Fat-free cooking spray
1 lb. whole wheat pasta (I prefer using rotini – my daughter’s favorite)
2 (12-oz.) packages frozen pureed butternut squash
2 cups 1% lowfat milk
6 oz. shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3 cups steamed broccoli florets (pureed until finely chopped)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp powdered mustard
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
½ cup whole wheat Cheez-Its, crushed

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Next, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rotini and cook until al dente (tender but firm; roughly 9-10 minutes). Drain the pasta and set aside.

Next, place the frozen squash and milk into a large pot and cook over a low heat. Stir to break up the squash until defrosted. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese, ricotta cheese, broccoli, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper. Add pasta to the cheese mixture and mix until all the pasta is coated. Transfer the pasta and cheese mixture to your prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle crushed whole wheat Cheez-Its over the top of the pasta and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Then broil for 3 minutes, until top is crisp and lightly browned.

July 27, 2012

Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini

6 medium zucchini
2 eggs, beaten
4 slices whole wheat bread, toasted and food processed into bread crumbs (reserve 1/2 cup of bread crumbs for topping)
dash of salt and pepper to taste
½ onion
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

Wash zucchini and cut off the ends. Scoop out the seeds and insides of each zucchini boat and place into a large bowl. Place zucchini boats onto a greased cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 350 and cook empty zucchini boats for 10 minutes until the zucchinis start to sweat.

Place zucchini insides into the food processor along with the garlic and onion. Pulse until the mixture is thoroughly mixed and the onion and garlic is finely chopped. Saute zucchini mixture with olive oil in a pan on medium/high heat for about 5-8 minutes. Let mixture cool. Then mix the zucchini mixture with the eggs, quinoa, bread crumbs (minus the ½ cup for the topping), salt and pepper.

Spoon mixture into zucchini boats and top with remaining bread crumbs. Cook at 350 for 25-30 minutes until the zucchini boats are tender. Lastly, top the boats with shredded cheese and place under the broiler until cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve warm.

July 25, 2012

Vegetarian Lentil Burgers

3 cups cooked lentils
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cups Japanese Panko bread crumbs
black pepper to taste

Saute chopped onion and garlic in olive oil until slightly caramelized. Add sauteed onions, garlic, cooked lentils into the food processor and pulse until the consistency of hummus. Pour the lentil mixture into a large bowl and then add the eggs and bread crumbs. Let mixture sit 5 minutes to thicken. You want your mixture to be firm enough to be able to form 12-14 patties (adding more or less bread crumbs depending on your mixture’s moisture level). Next form your patties and cook in a prepared skillet (greased with olive oil) on medium heat. Cook on each side about 5 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm on fresh rolls with your favorite condiments (I love avocado, lettuce, tomato and spicy mustard).

July 18, 2012

Vegan Vegetable Barley Soup

4 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 large carrots, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
1 medium leek, sliced
2 yellow potatoes, diced
2 red potatoes, diced
1 cup ditalini pasta
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup barley
8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot add  the olive oil, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, leek, potatoes and dried thyme. Saute on medium heat until the vegetables are soft, about 8-10 minutes. Next add the tomatoes, barley and broth. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer on low-medium heat. Cook 45-60 minutes, until the barley is thoroughly cooked. In a separate small soup pot, cook the ditalini pasta al dente (about 5-6 minutes). Once the barley soup in thoroughly cooked add the pasta and peas and salt and pepper to taste. Cover soup and remove from heat. Let the soup cool/rest covered off heat for an hour. Then serve and/or refrigerate for later meals. Makes about 6-8 servings.

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July 16, 2012

Spicy Black Bean Hummus

5 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
pinch of crushed red pepper

Place garlic in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt, black beans, jalapeño pepper, and crushed red pepper; pulse in food processor until smooth. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated. Lasts up to a week (but will surely be eaten up by then – it’s that good).

July 16, 2012

Vegan Blueberry-Orange Whole Wheat Bran Muffins


¼ cup wheat germ
¼ cup rolled oats
1 cup wheat bran
½ cup Tofutti vegan cream cheese, softened  to room temperature
½ cup almond milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 Ener-g Egg Replacer egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup brown sugar

Mix wheat germ, oats, wheat bran, cream cheese and almond milk in a bowl and let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in another bowl – set aside. Next mix oil, orange juice, orange zest, egg, vanilla and brown sugar in another bowl. Slowly add the flour mixture and wet mixture into the wheat germ mixture until smooth. Fold in the blueberries. Pour mixture into a lined muffin tin and baked at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Makes roughly 12-16 super, moist and delicious muffins.

July 13, 2012

Vegan Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp flax meal
1 tbsp brewers yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 Ener-g Egg Replacer “eggs”
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 cups grated zucchini (about 3 large zucchinis)

Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.Beat “eggs”, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini until mixed. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool before serving.

June 30, 2012

Vegan Waffles

2 Ener-g Egg Replacers “eggs”
2 cups flour
1 ¾ cup almond milk
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla extract

Preheat waffle iron. Whip up “eggs” until the mixture thickens. Add flour, milk, oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour mixture onto a greased waffle iron and cook until golden brown. Serve hot with berries and/or syrup.

Freeze any leftover waffles and just pop in the toaster to reheat them. Great for a quick breakfast during the week. (I usually make waffles on Saturday morning)

I like to make the waffle batter the night before and keep in in the refrigerator. Makes my morning a little bit easier (always a plus with two little ones)!

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