Sweet Potato Chickpea Veggie Burgers

This is a real-time recipe people. I made these for lunch a few hours ago, gobbled two up sans bun and now would like to share. These burgers are hearty and filling, packed with protein and fiber. For those of you that dislike garbanzo beans, they are neatly hidden here so you get all the nutritional power without the taste, texture or whatever else you may detest about them.

Makes 4 Large Patties or 8 Small Appetizer Portions

Chop 1 carrot, 1/2 small onion, 1/2 green pepper and cook in 1 Tbsl olive oil over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl.

Pierce and microwave 1 sweet potato wrapped in a paper towel for 4-5 minutes. Split in half to let it cool. Add to bowl.

Drain and rinse 1 can of garbanzo beans. Add to bowl.

Add: 1 Tsp garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, 2 Tsp pepper, 1 Tsp Cumin, 1 Tsp Coriander, 1 Tsp Chilli Powder.

With a potato masher, pulverize ingredients together until they are smooth with a slight chunkiness.

Add 1/2 Cup whole wheat bread crumbs and 2 heaping Tbsl of whole wheat pastry flour.

Roll up your sleeves. Wash your hands and get in there. Mix until the mixture is even. If too wet, add a little more flour.

Form into patties.

Heat 2 Tbsl veggie oil in pan and fry the patties, each side for about 4 minutes checking to make sure they do not burn. Drain finished burgers on paper towels and enjoy stand alone or on a bun with veggies and a delicious sauce of your choice.


Peanut Butter Cookies

What better way to kick-off the week then some cookies? These vegans cookies are ridiculous and could not be easier to make, I mean have you seen a simpler ingredient list? I borrowed the recipe from the blog 101 Cookbooks which is a wonderful resource for healthfully incredible dishes. Whole grains, no white sugar or flour, protein from the peanut butter. I won’t try to sell them as “healthy” but they are definitely a great alternative.

Makes 2 dozen

2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1 Tsp Salt

1 Cup Peanut Butter

1 Cup Maple Syrup

2 Tsp Vanilla

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place racks int he upper third. Mix dry ingredients together, mix wet ingredients together and then stir dry into wet until just combined, just. Let batter sit for 5 minutes and then spoon onto cookie sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes. Let them cool well before eating because they will crumble warm. Eat 3 immediately.


Smoothie Time

I was advised against this post this morning on the grounds that many of you may think I am weird. Well that is ok, because I am. For those of you that are into smoothies, and adventurous with adding greens to them, I want to share my favorite breakfast smoothie recipe. Smoothies are a great way to start your day as they allow the body to continue the cleansing work it has done overnight because you do not need to digest solid food. Additionally, they are creamy and cool and delicious, especially in the upcoming summer months. A last plus is they are portable for those of you that need to eat on the run. This smoothie is packed with vegetable protein, fiber, calcium, antioxidants, potassium, and about 4 servings of fruits and veggies. Right out of the gate you have gotten many of your greens for the day. I swear it doesn’t taste like you would imagine as the combo of the frozen banana, peanut butter, almond milk and vanilla protein powder are a creamy cover up for the veggies.Using frozen veggies or  fruits is a great time saver. I make mine in my VitaMix blender, which I worship in a serious way. In a normal blender you might have to use a spoon halfway through to press the ingredients back down halfway through.

1 Large Frozen Banana

1-2 Handfuls Baby Spinach

1/2 Cup Frozen Peas

1/2 Cup Frozen Broccoli

1 Tbsp Peanut Butter

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

1 Cup Almond Milk

1/2 Scoop Jay Robb Vanilla Protein Powder

1/2 Cup Ice


Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry

I have recently discovered a love of indian food. Very recently- last week in fact when my honey brought me to a great organic indian restaurant in the South End of Boston. Yesterday for lunch I decided to try to duplicate a recipe I devoured there. I quickly found a recipe that not only met my two most important criteria, delicious and nutritious; but also was cheap, easy, and quick. Win win win. Instead of including directions below my ingredient list per usual, I’ll keep it simple for ya. Put all ingredients in a big pot, bring to boil, lower to simmer and let it simmer gently for 35 minutes. Voila. I ate this over some brown rice but it is hearty enough to eat alone or with some crusty whole wheat bread. For those of you that care, behind it’s great taste, this stew is vegan, filled with protein and fiber, and loaded with beta-carotene. Remember when your mom told you to eat your carrots so you would be able to see well? This recipe has got you covered.

Serves 4

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Cup coconut milk or veggie broth ( I used coconut as I had it in-house but the other two would work fine)
  • 1 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • One 14 1/2-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato Cut Into 1 Inch Chunks (Can use any type of potato you have or prefer)
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

The Ultimate Pancake

Who doesn’t love the decadence of a pancake breakfast on the weekend and all wonderful things that can be associated with it: no work, syrup, family, indulgence, fresh juice, sleeping in, FREE time. Let’s face it, if you’re eating pancakes, life is good. Alas, as with all the great things in life, too much of it can have less than desirable side effects. In this case, feeling totally stuffed and while crawling back into bed to sleep some more is not a bad thing, doing so due to a food coma might be. Today my friends, I present to you a recipe that is gold in your kitchen arsenal. These cakes are filled with whole grain, protein, and are delicious to boot. I tweaked this recipe from one of my favorite blogs OmGal.com. Give these cakes a try next time you want a most delicious breakfast (or lunch or dinner) that just so happens to be nutritious as well.

Makes 12 Medium Pancakes

Toss the following ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Cook as you would any other pancake. Extra points for smiley faces or bunny ears.

1 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (not instant)

1/2 Cup Of Cottage Cheese

4 Egg Whites

2 Whole Eggs

2 Tsp Vanilla

2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1 Small Banana


Sunday Morning Muffins

It is a rainy Sunday up here in Boston and what is better on a day like that then filling your home with the smell of homemade muffins??? I made these muffins today, a recipe that I tweaked from the blog honey & jam. I healthified the recipe by using only whole wheat pastry flour, removed white sugar, adding nuts for fiber and protein, and upped the banana used to keep them super moist. These whole grain muffins are big time winners: quick, delicious, homey, comforting, moist, and just sweet enough. All the indulgence of Sunday morning treats without the necessary nap afterwards.

Makes 12

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup chopped pecans (what I had in the house, walnuts would be delicious too)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3/4 cup milk ( I used unsweetened almond but any dairy or non-dairy will work)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup mashed bananas (3 small or 2 1/2 large)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin pan with 12 liners. Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl until ingredients are evenly distributed. Beat egg in large bowl. Add oil, milk, vanilla and whisk. Add bananas and mix well. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients until just combined. Try not to eat all the batter right out of the bowl. Spoon batter into muffin pan and bake for 18-20 minutes.


Who doesn’t love a ceaser?

Well maybe a few people, but I am not one of them. There  is risk involved in ordering this dish because a caesar can go oh so wrong resulting in a calorie-laden fiasco with too much bottled dressing, heaps of cheese, and generic croutons.  A good caesar is rich and satisfying with that iconic dressing covering the coldest, crispest tears of romaine. When you find a good one, its culinary gold. Well folks, I have found one and in the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you it is vegan. Imagine that. I made this recipe, from the wonderful cookbook The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone, for dinner last night. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I am not vegan myself and havent taken immediately to all vegan recipes in the past. Let me assure you folks, this is one of the good ones. This salad is a healthier alternative that does not compromise lux taste one iota. It is rich and creamy and tangy-  just enough. Give it a shot next time you want an amazing, decadent yet healthful salad. Sky is the limit with veggies or meat that you might want to add but here are the basics:

Serves 6-8

Dressing

2 Tbsl blanched almonds (soak almonds in water for 20 minutes and remove skins)

3 Garlic cloves minced

2 Tbsl soy

3 Tbsl dijon mustard

1 Tbsl tahini (this is a paste made from sesame seeds and can be purchased at any whole foods)

3 Tbsl fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsl extra-virgin olive oil

Fresh pepper to taste

Croutons

3-4 slices of french bread, cubed to equal 1 1/2 Cups (or whatever god bread you can get your hands one, whole wheat preferably)

Drizzle of Olive oil

1/2 Tbsl dried rosemary

1/2 Tbsl Garlic powder

1/2 Tsp Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 325. Place bread in large bowl, drizzle with olive oil & toss to coat. Mix spices together and sprinkle over bread, tossing again to coat. Spread in single layer on cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool.

Place all dressing ingredients in blender and process until smooth.

Rip 1 huge head or 2 smaller heads of romaine, toss with dressing and croutons, sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and serve.

 

 

 


Oh God, it’s 8:15, and I need to eat something NOW!

I swear, 10 minutes total and the end result is glorious. This winner has that unbeatable italian trifecta of lemon juice, parmesan, and olive oil. It is great for a few reasons: super fast and easy to make, healthy whole foods that are often already in the house, about 400 calories per serving and totally satisfying with protein, heart healthy olive oil etc.

Serves 2
2 whole wheat English muffins
1/2 – 1 cup pre-washed baby spinach (depending on how much you like your greens)
1 Tsp chopped garlic (using pre chopped garlic from the fridge section at the grocery is a time saver_
2 Tbsl olive oil
4 eggs (use only whites if you are watching the cholesterol)
2 Tbsl shredded Parmesan
1/2 lemon
Divide olive oil between 4 pieces of English muffin and spread with spoon, top with chopped garlic to taste. Salt and pepper each side.
Pop muffins in toaster oven on tray covered with tin foil for easy clean up. Toast until they reach desired toastiness (technical term).
While your muffins are toasting, fry eggs with cooking spray, salt and pepper if desired. Remove EM’s from toaster. Top  muffins with spinach leaves and place one egg per muffin on top. Sprinkle Parmesan on top of eggs, squeeze lemon over eggs, sprinkle with a bit more pepper. Serve with a lemon wedge if you dare. xx


Empty Yo’ Fridge Stir Fry

While this goal is not always met, I do try to eat fruits and veggies with every meal. I am sure my mother will be shocked reading this as eating veggies outside of lettuce and onions at ALL was something I flatly refused to do until well into my 20’s. I know. Anyway, as a result of this, my recipes incorporate often veggies in ways that sometimes are akin to sneaking carrots in mashed potatoes to a 2-year old. Whatever works right?

This recipe lends itself well to another food goal of mine: to try to eat the rainbow. Sounds cheesy yes but by incorporating a wide variety of colors via produce into your diet you are ensuring a wealth of vitamins and nutrients. And it also means you can empty your fridge into a pan-full of healthy scrumptuousness. Whatever veggies you have or you love, chop ’em up, the more the merrier. You can also choose between brown rice or whole wheat udon noodles for this recipe depending on if you want a Lo Mein style dish or a fried rice. If you want to add protein, go for it but know that the veggie version has plenty of plant and whole grain protein to satisfy nutritional needs. Whatever you choose, don’t be scared, just do it. This one is pretty much foolproof and will satisfy the pickiest eaters in your house.

Serves 4

Step 1 – Cut your veggies. For Lo Mein julienne (long thin strips) them, for fried rice roughly dice them. For example: 1 package small portobellos, 1/2 red pepper, 1 small onion, 1 cup peas and 1 carrot.

Step 2 – Cook your grains. 1 box Udon Noodles or 1 Cup Brown Rice (will make 2 cups cooked)  prepared according to package instructions. Brown rice takes 40 minutes so if you can cook up a batch over the weekend, this will come together even faster.

Step 3 – Make your sauce. In a bowl mix: 4 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter, 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp minced garlic, 1 Tsp minced ginger, 2 Tsp Hot Chilli Sauce, 1/2 Cup water.

Step 4 – Put it in a pan. Get your biggest pan and add 1 Tbsp peanut oil (or vegetable oil) and let it warm over medium high. Add veggies and cook stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until they are soft. Add sauce, stir and let it thicken up a bit for about 1-2 minutes. Add grain and mix until everything is evenly coated with sauce and heated through.

If you want to get fancy about it, sprinkle some chopped peanuts, bean sprouts, or sesame seeds on top.


Portobello and Shallot Farro Risotto

This recipe is so tasty and takes the nutritional value of a traditional risotto through the roof as it is made with Farro instead of Arborio rice. As opposed to refined carbohydrates like white rice, whole grains are loaded with fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Whole grains are nutritional powerhouses that are superb fuel for those trying to watch their waistlines as opposed to their highly refined cousins. Both Farro and Arborio Rice contain a similar starch that is released during the slow cooking process  making this dish the creamy risotto we know and love but with a bit more chewy texture in each bite. This recipe, served with a salad or some roasted veggies is a totally filling, satisfying meal on its own. If you want to make it a side with some simply grilled protein, that works as well.

Serves 4

1 1/2 Cups Farro

6 Cups Mushroom Stock

6 Large Shallots

6 Large Portobello Caps

2 Tbsp Olive oil

3/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan

1/2 Cup Chopped Parsley

3/4 Cups Dry White Wine

3 Garlic Cloves chopped

1 Tbsp Fresh Ground Pepper

1 Tsp Salt

Heat oil in large, heavy pot over medium high heat. Warm stock to a low simmer in a separate pot. Add shallots and Farro to the oil, stirring  regularly for 5 minutes. Add garlic, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add mushrooms, 1/2 salt & pepper, and cook for 5 minutes until mushrooms are soft. Add wine and let the liquid cook all the way out, scraping up any bits stuck on the bottom of the pot. Add  1/2 cup stock and let liquid absorb over about 5 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup stock and repeat until all stock is gone – about 40 minutes. You may need to lower the heat a bit so that the stock absorbs slowly. Add parsley, parmesan, and the rest of salt and pepper. Mix well & serve. Top with a bit more parmesan and fresh ground pepper.