Monday, February 28, 2011

Exquisite Bean Burgers


Oh man.. these may be the best burgers I've ever made!

Normally we like to make a batch and freeze them. Why buy those processed, frozen veggie burgers?.. when yours are so much better! And easy, to boot.

And I'll say this again - these are so much richer and just tastier if you cook your own beans. (it's easy, trust me!) But you can always substitute canned beans when you're starting out.

INGREDIENTS (double or triple recipe as needed)

2 carrots, minced in food processor
1 zucchini, minced in food processor
3 cups (approx) cooked black beans
1.5 cups (approx) cooked brown rice
Options: 1-3 T garlic, 1/2-1 t sea salt, 1/2 t paprika, hot sauce, 1 T ground flax

In a bowl, squish the black beans. You don't want them to be the texture of refried beans.. but you do want them squished to hold the burger together. Then add the rice and veggies.

Want to make it fun? Pour a glass of wine.. and get your hands dirty! That's right. Dig in and play with your food already!

Add the desired amount of spices. Is the mixture too wet? Add a little flax or rice or even wheat flour or bread crumbs. Now, form the patties. We dipped half the patties in bread crumbs before cooking. It's good either way.

Using your trusty cast iron skillet, cook until they're as brown as you like! Remember, this isn't like cooking with animal flesh. The ingredients won't harm you. So, once you think they're cooked enough.. THEY ARE!


Layer your patties around plastic wrap or wax paper. However you like. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer.. that way you always have healthy meals ready!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Taco Salad


We found some amazing, easy-to-bake taco shells recently! Simply bake at 350 for 15 minutes or so. Fill with brown rice, black beans (homemade, I hope!), tomato - and avocado or guacamole. Your choice.

Be sure to squeeze lime on top!


Boil 2:1 water and brown rice. Reduce to high simmer and cover. Once finished, squeeze lime and stir in fresh cilantro. Makes a great rice.

To make your black beans, measure about 4:1 water to black beans. Boil and reduce to high simmer and cover - for several hours. Periodically you'll try a bean to see when they're done. It really is that easy!

I prefer fresh avocado. Tyler prefers guacamole. It's easy to dress your taco salad however you prefer most.

For the best cilantro-lime dressing, simply blend: juice of 1-2 limes, handful of cilantro, some olive oil, dash of salt, dash of raw sugar and small dash of vinegar. Why are my measurements so vague? Because it's all based on what YOU like best. You won't know until you try!

Too vinegary? Just add a sprinkle of raw sugar.

Too strong? Add a little water.

Not limey enough? Squeeze another lime! (Personally, I can't get enough lime.)


Easy Pita Wraps



1 toasted pita bread, cut diagonally
Sliced cucumber, tomato, onion if desired
Baked tofu
Hummus (recipe below)
Sliced carrots
Sliced pita bread for dipping


You can use a can of chick peas. But it's always better to make your own. Plus, you won't have to eat all of that extra sodium that every can of cooked beans seems to have. Yuck.

Basically, rinse and boil about 1 cup of chickpeas. Turn down to a high simmer for as long as it takes.. maybe about 3 hours. Just keep checking and trying one bean until they're pretty dang soft.

Blend chickpeas, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic (or more if you like it garlicky), about 1/8-1/4 cup of oil and a little water to make it blend. Just add a little at a time.

Store in fridge. It's even better the second day!

Presentation -

When you serve, sprinkle with sea salt and paprika. (My husband even likes to make a little indention on top and pour some olive oil into it.)

I sliced the tofu diagonally, like the pita bread, and it fit right in. Yum! Layer with hummus, veggies.. and serve alongside the fresh cut carrots and hummus. It's quite a combo.

New Stir-Fry


We love stir-fry at our house.. We like to throw whatever veggies we have on hand into a cast iron skillet, stir-fry, fry some tofu, make a sauce .. toss them together and BAM! You've got a great meal.


brown rice, cooked
1 package brussel sprouts
3 large carrots
1/2 head of broccoli
1/2 - 1 block firm tofu, diced
Optional: zucchini, baby corn


dash soy sauce
dash vinegar
1/2 tsp raw sugar
vegetable bouillon
dash cornstarch
optional: red peppers

To start, we made about 1 cup sauce by boiling about 1 cup of water and adding sauce ingredients. Add cornstarch last and stir as it thickens. Remove from heat once it's as thick as you like.

In the meantime, do a few things:

1. fry your cubed tofu. Easy, right? Put on towel to soak up excess oil.
2. cut brussel sprouts in half and remove outer leaves. Slice carrots pretty thick. Steam together.
3. wash and cut your broccoli. But it takes less time to steam, so only add it a few minutes before you're ready to eat.

Now, just layer brown rice, brussel sprouts, carrots, broccoli and tofu - and smother in your yummy sauce! We even sprinkle with crushed red pepper. It adds a kick.


You can make a different dish every night just by varying how spicy your sauce is, or what veggies you use. Even substitute seitan for tofu sometimes!

The combinations are endless. Need help? Check out PETA for more ideas.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Creamy-Italian Veggie Dip


Do you love chips and veggies with dip? Do you want to serve them at parties - but the only thing pre-made veggie trays come with is standard, fatty, gross ranch dip? Well, you're in luck! Vegan, healthy veggie dips are super easy to make. This one is only two steps!!

Step 1: Open packages.


Step 2: Blend.

You're done! I like to put it in the fridge overnight to let it marinate before serving. Yummy yum yum. Serve with chips and sliced veggies.


Try it with your favorite prepackaged dip!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Super Cheesy Mac n Cheese Bake


I love PETA. Their website has the yummiest recipes! If you've never gotten their free vegetarian starter kit, you're missing out! Do it! It's free. What have you got to lose?


I also used their Mac n Cheese recipe from the website, with one change: I substituted 1.5 cups of broccoli for 1.5 c of pasta. Look at this beautiful thing!


I love my double broiler! Steam your veggies while you cook your pasta. Then just pour your pasta directly over the broccoli. Now it's ready to become dinner!



2 cups macaroni
1.5-2 cups finely chopped broccoli
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup flour
3 1/2 cups boiling water
1-2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Pinch of turmeric
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
Paprika, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt the margarine over low heat. Whisk in the flour. Continue whisking over medium heat until smooth and bubbly. Whisk in the boiling water, salt, soy sauce, garlic powder, and turmeric. Continue whisking until dissolved. Once thick and bubbling, whisk in the oil and the nutritional yeast flakes.

Mix 3/4 of the sauce with the noodles and place in a casserole dish. Cover with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the paprika.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Broil for a few minutes until crisp.


Use a different vegetable!

Cover with bread crumbs before broiling.

Use all veggies, no pasta.

Add hot peppers!

Chocolate-chip Cherry Pancakes

It's been a long few months! We've moved (again) and spent 3 weeks in India. We've been so busy that I've neglected my blog... but no longer.

I'm Baaaaaaaack!

To start, I'd like to share the yummiest, unhealthiest creation we've made in a while: chocolate-chip pancakes with cherries and maple syrup on top. And don't forget your dollop of vegan cream cheese!


I'm going to tell you how Tyler made this.. but I don't think you're going to like it. His recipe is just downright funny!


1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 squished banana
baking powder - dip your fork into it, whatever stays on the tines is what you use
sugar - whatever seems reasonable to you
pinch of salt
almond milk - add to make a runny batter
handful of chocolate chips

Really, that's how he does it. If you've made pancakes before, you know how runny the batter actually is. And trust me, you really can't make pancakes the wrong way! Is there a wrong way? Whether sweet or not-so-sweet, pancakes are fantastic.

And we heated frozen cherries and put those onto the pancakes. Then, we mixed some real maple syrup with the cherry juice and poured that onto both our pancakes.

This time we even found some vegan cream cheese that we bought and had in the fridge... it came in handy! Wow. That was the sweetest, richest thing I think I've ever eaten.