Mediterranean Lentil Burgers

I spent the first 10 years of my vegetarian life living off of frozen, store-bought vegetarian burgers. As I started making more of my own food, that included making my own vegetarian, plant-based burgers. Most of the tastiest vegetable burgers are complicated to make. The easiest burger I had found so far is the 5-ingredient black bean burger from Happy Herbivore. This weekend, I tried and loved this Mediterranean Lentil Burger from Peas and Thank You. Easy and delicious.

I served it with hummus, relish, arugula, red onion and tomatoes.
Get the full recipe here. I made the lentils from scratch; about 1 cup dried equals 8 oz cooked. Also, double the recipe! It is easy to make but only makes 4 patties.
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Tofu Dippers

This is one of my favorite tofu recipes. It requires a little planning and the use of “liquid smoke,” which most non-vegans probably do not have in their pantry, but they are well worth it.

The recipe is from one of my favorite blogs, Peas and Thank You. You can get the full recipe here. She encourages you to marinade the tofu for several hours, but I only did it for one hour this time and it was still delicious.

Here, I served it with sauteed kale.

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Baked Potatoes with Shallot Chutney

I got this recipe in the September 2012 issue of Vegetarian Times. They did a feature on shallots and I have already made this recipe twice. It’s easy and a fun way to eat potatoes.

Baked (Sweet) Potatoes

I’ve done this with both white potatoes and sweet potatoes. I almost always prefer sweet potatoes, and this was no exception!

  • 4-5 small to medium potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 450. Wash and scrub the potatoes. Slice in them in half length-wise. Toss them in a bowl with oil, salt and pepper to taste. Lay them on a baking sheet with open side up. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Shallot Chutney

This is the best part of the dish!

  • 1/2 pound shallots, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • large pinch red pepper flakes

Saute the shallots in oil or water for 10 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Heat on low for about one minute.

Serve with the chutney topped on the potatoes. You can even use your fingers to eat it like a finger food!

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White Bean and Artichoke Penne Pasta

Here’s another quick, easy recipe I through together while we were at the beach last weekend. As my dad was eating it, I overhead him telling my mom: “We need to eat more food like this.”

Yield: 4 heaping servings

Time: Less than 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 package of whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, sliced then cut in half
  • 1 large jar of marinara pasta sauce
  • 1 can or jar of artichoke hearts
  • 2 cans great white northern beans or cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 handfulls spinach
  • Dried Italian herbs such as oregano and basil, salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Cook the pasta according to directions
  • Saute the onion on medium heat in water or oil for about 7 minutes until soft. Add sprinkles of Italian herbs, to taste
  • Add the pasta sauce, artichoke hearts and beans and heat through
  • Add the spinach and heat until slightly wilted. Add salt and pepper, to taste
  • Serve the pasta with the sauce on top

Here it is served next to heirloom tomato and nectarine summer salad:

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Tempeh Taco Salad

We took a last minute trip to the beach with my parents this weekend. None of us had planned ahead about dinners. I thought up this one in a hurry. Delicious, filling and super easy.

Tempeh Taco Salad

Ingredients

  • 2-3 packs tempeh
  • 1 bottle mexican-themed marinade. We used a chipotle lime marinade
  • 5-8 oz baby spinach, pre-washed
  • 1.5 large avocados (or 2 medium sized avocados)
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons mild vinegar such as white wine or apple cider
  • 1.5 cups black beans (or 1 can, rinsed and rained)
  • 3/4-1 cup salsa (freshly chopped salsa that isn’t liquid-like is best for this. I got it from the produce section in Harris Teeter)
  • 1-2 cups baby corn, frozen then heated in the microwave until no longer frozen
  • Tortilla chips
  • 1/2 jar olives, chopped

Directions

  • Marinade the tempeh ahead of time, for at least 30 minutes and ideally longer
  • Grill the marinade on a grill for about 5 minute, flipping on both sides. Or, bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until browned.
  • Combine the baby spinach, 1 avocado, olive oil and vinegar in a large salad bowl. Using your (clean) hands or strong salad spoons, mix them together, squishing the avocado until only a few chunks of it are left and it has fully coated the spinach. The spinach should look wet and slightly wilt.
  • Mix in the beans, salsa, corn and olives
  • Take a couple handfuls of tortilla chips and break them into the salad
  • Slice the remaining avocado and add to the bowl
  • When the tempeh is finished grilling, slice it in half length-wise. Then slice it into strips horizontally so that you have 1-2 inch strips. Add to the bowl
  • Serve topped with extra tortilla chips, salsa, corn, olives, and/or non-dairy sour cream, to taste

Yield: 4+

Sorry, I don’t have a picture!

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Food for the Road: Bean Salad and Sun-dried Tomato Quinoa/CousCous

If you’ve ever been on a road trip with me, you know that I travel with food. Here are two dishes you can prepare in a hurry to take with you on a road trip. Bring reusable forks, spoons and bowls, then pull over at a rest stop to eat this healthy food instead of getting fast food. It makes plenty so that you can eat it for lunches or snacks throughout your weekend getaway. These dishes are also perfect for a cook-out, tailgate, or potluck because they yield plenty to share.

(Please forgive the low quality, iphone photo!)

Image

Bean Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cooked beans, or 4 cans of beans rinsed and drained. Use a mix of beans such as chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, or white cannelloni beans
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 jar roasted red peppers, diced …
  • and/or 1/2-1 jar artichoke hearts (either marinated or non-marinated is fine), chopped in halves or quarters
  • 1 jar pitted olives, chopped (either kalamata, black or green are fine, it depends on your preference)
  • olive oil (start with 1 teaspoon and add more to suit your preference)
  • vinegar (try white wine, red wine, apple cider, and/or balsamic, starting with 2 teaspoons and adding more to suit your preference)
  • lemon juice (start with 1 teaspoon and add more to suit your preference)
  • dried herbs such as oregano and basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Mix everything together. Shake/stir until well coated. Eat immediately or let marinate for added flavor. This will stay good for at least 5 days, but you probably won’t let it last that long!

Sun-dried Tomato Quinoa Cous Cous

Ingredients

  • 2-4 carrots, shopped into rounds or half moons
  • 1 cup cous cous (preferably whole wheat)
  • 1 cup mix of red and white quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (I prefer the jar from Trader Joe’s) Note: the oil is important here because it flavors the rest of the dish. If you don’t have oil-packed jar, then you’ll need to add in oil (such as olive oil).
  • 1-2 TBS pine nuts (or more!)

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, add about 1-2 teaspoons of oil or 1-2 tablespoons water and heat over medium heat. Add carrots and shake them around while they cook a couple times a minute, for about 3 minutes or until carrots are soft and beginning to brown
  • Add 3 3/4 cups water to the saucepan with the carrots and bring to a boil
  • Add the quinoa and cous cous, return to the boil, stir, then reduce the heat to a low medium (just at a simmer) and cover. Cook for about 10-15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, drain about 1/3 of the oil out of the jar of sun-dried tomatoes. If you want this to be especially tasty and are not as concerned about the fat content, leave in more oil. If you are more concerned about fat content, use less oil.
  • Once the quinoa and cous cous are done cooking, pour them into a large travel dish container (I use a glass 8 inch by 8 inch pyrex). Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and remaining oil from the jar. Add the pine nuts and mix.

For both of these dishes, be flexible and creative when you making them. Taste as you go. Serve together, or eat separately.

Categories: Dinner, Easy, Lunches, Potlucks Tailgates and Road Trips, Sides | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Kale and Tofu Quinoa with Walnut Pesto

This recipe is from the cookbook, Color Me Vegan. It makes a huge amount of food. Enough for three people to eat dinner and three lunches after that. So, six full servings.

First you make the walnut pesto in the food processor, using fresh basil, chopped walnuts, garlic, oil and lemon juice.

Meanwhile, cook two cups of quinoa, saute the tofu, then saute 1 bunch of kale separately. Mix together, add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, then stir in the pesto.

Categories: Dinner, Potlucks Tailgates and Road Trips | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Heirloom Tomato and Nectarine Summer Salad

Merging the flavors of heirloom tomatoes with nectarine is something I did not think of on my own. My latest edition of Vegetarian Times featured this recipe. It is delicious. As an added bonus, there’s no cooking required, which makes it an ideal summer dish.

The dressing is a mix of olive oil, orange juice, sherry vinegar, maple syrup, vegetarian Worcestershire sauce and fresh mint and basil leaves.

Categories: Dinner, Sides | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Coconut Curry Rice with Tofu

This is a great way to spice up your rice with a creamy, dairy-free sauce.

The creaminess comes from one can of coconut milk, non-dairy soy or almond milk, cumin, coriander, cardamom, tumeric, mustard, and salt. Get the full recipe at this link.

Add cashews for a crunch. The shredded coconut is totally optional.

Serve with a side of Chinese Green Beans and Cauliflower.

Categories: Dinner | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Chinese Green Beans with Cauliflower

In our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shipment we got these looooong green beans. Like, 1 foot long. I had never seen those before. Matt chopped them up and made this delicious green bean saute dish:

You can get the full recipe online at this link. The sauce is made of the following:

  • chili paste
  • garlic, crushed
  • fresh ginger, chopped
  • red chili
  • soy sauce
  • PLUS sweet chili sauce — Matt’s addition because otherwise it was very spicy!

We served it with Curried Coconut Rice with Tofu .

Categories: Sides | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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