Vegan Double Drive-Thru Lentil Burgers

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OMG these burgers were to DIE FOR. At first, I was a bit doubtful that the patties would turn out right but I was not disappointed! Unlike many other vegan patty recipe, this one did not fall apart, dry out, or taste weird. Definitely a recipe to remember forever.IMG_3799 IMG_3809

 

Make sure to check out this video to visually see how to make this yummy vegan burger!

 

Vegan Double Drive-Thru Lentil Burgers

  • Servings: Makes 4 double burgers or 8 regular burgers
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Ingredients:

For the burgers:

  • 15 oz lentils (canned or cooked)
  • 1 cup brown or white rice
  • 3/4 cup nuts (i used peanuts but you can use walnuts, pecans, etc)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • oil for the pan
  • 16 hamburger buns for double or 8 hamburger buns for regular
  • red onion
  • lettuce
  • tomato

For the sauce:

  • 2/3 cup soft tofu, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil

Directions:

To make the Burger Patties: Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté onions until soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and cook a few more minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Reserve skillet for later use.

Add cooked rice, lentils, nuts, flour, basil, salt, and pepper to the onions in the food processor. Pulse until the nuts are very fine and the mixture comes together. If necessary, transfer the mixture to a large bowl and mix with your hands. Adjust seasoning to taste. Form the mixture into eight burger patties with the palms of your hands. The patties should be very thin if you are assembling your burger double-double style. For a restaurant-style burger, form a thicker patty.

Heat canola oil in reserved nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and pan-fry patties in batches, adding more oil as needed. Flip the patties, and let cook until they are nicely browned on both sides. Remove patties from pan and drain on paper towels.

To make the Special Sauce: Combine tofu, garlic, mustard, ketchup, maple syrup, sriracha, basil, and salt in a blender and process until smooth.

To serve: Layer the Burger Patties, Special Sauce, and other desired toppings on the buns. Make it double double style by adding an extra bottom bun and patty in the middle, as pictured.

Twice Baked Sweet Potato w/ Kale and Caramelized Onion

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Yeah I know what your’re thinking . . . Twice baked? Man. That is too much work. But hey, it is all so worth it! The crispy skin of the sweet potato with a warm, creamy, and savory filling that leaves you with a satisfied taste bud. Yum! This is perfect to secretly add a few more vegetables and nutrients to your kids daily diet. This time, there will be no more complaining at your dinner table. Haha. Happy Eating~ 🙂

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Twice Baked Sweet Potato w/ Kale and Caramelized Onion

  • Servings: 4 servings
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Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, skin-on
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped kale (dinosaur or Tuscan), about 2-3 kale leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pierce scrubbed sweet potatoes several times with a fork. Place on a baking sheet.
  3. Roast sweet potatoes for 30-35 minutes, until cooked all the way through.
  4. While sweet potatoes roast, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they begin to soften.
  5. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes, until kale is very wilted. Remove from pan and transfer to a mixing bowl.
  6. Let sweet potatoes cool for 5 minutes once you take them out of the oven (leave the oven on).
  7. Slice sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the cooked flesh (you may need to leave a thin layer of flesh close to the skin to keep the skin from tearing).
  8. Place scooped-out sweet potato flesh into the mixing bowl with the onion-kale mixture and set the skins aside (you’ll use them later). Mash with a fork and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Divide the mixture between the empty sweet potato skins and top each with a pinch of nutritional yeast and place the stuffed sweet potatoes on the baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Vegan Portobello Burgers w/ Tomato Kale Pesto

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If I were to choose between a beef patties or a Portobello . . . I would pick the Portobello. Shocker right? The reason is because I never trusted on what beef is made of. Especially because all beef are made up of different cows that are from all over the world and imported into one factory to be made. Think about it. If all of the cow meat were to travel all the way into one (or more) big factory, wouldn’t at least one of that cow meat be past its expiration date? Who knows. Anyways, this special burger is for all you vegan food lovers. A nice a savory tasting mushroom that is paired with a tangy pesto. Who would ever resist? Happy Eating~ 🙂

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Vegan Portobello Burgers w/ Tomato Kale Pesto

Ingredients  

For the Portobello caps

  • 2 medium Portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


For the tomato kale pesto

  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 cup lightly packed destemmed kale leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1⁄4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

Optional toppings

  • Caramelized onions
  • Kale or lettuce leaves
  • Sliced tomatoes

Directions
1 Remove the stems from the mushrooms by twisting the stem until it pops off. Discard the stem or save it for another use, such as a stir-fry. With a small spoon, scrape out and discard the black gills. Rub the cap with a damp dishcloth to remove any debris. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Add the Portobello caps and toss to coat them in the marinade. Marinate the mushrooms for 30 to 60 minutes, tossing them every 15 minutes. (You can also marinate them overnight, if desired.)

2 Meanwhile, make the tomato kale pesto: In a food processor, pulse the garlic until minced. Add the kale leaves, tomato paste, pine nuts, lemon juice, olive oil, yogurt, salt, and 2 tablespoons water and process until smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

3
Preheat a grill pan or an outdoor grill over medium-high heat. Grill the Portobello caps for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until lightly charred and tender.

4 Serve the Portobello caps on a toasted bun or sliced up in a lettuce wrap topped with a generous amount of the pesto, and additional toppings of your choice. Any leftover pesto will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 1 week. It’s great on sandwiches, wraps, pasta, and more!

Slightly modified from Oh She Glows

Vegan Eggplant “Meat”balls

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I am totally fine with consuming vegan dishes . . . as long as they taste like the real thing! Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with vegan food. However, most of them are made raw and uncooked, so it sometimes tends to be a little tasteless and bitter to me. In my opinion. Anyways, these eggplant “meat”balls taste (and looks) so legit, almost anybody can be fooled! Want a solution to sneak some vegetables into your kids diet? This recipe is just for you. Happy Eating~ 🙂

Vegan Eggplant Meatballs

  • Servings: 15 meatballs
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  • 2 large eggplants, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 slices day-old bread, stale
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Lay the eggplant out on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes, or until they have turned golden brown.  Remove from the oven and turn heat down to 350 degrees F.
  3. Grind the bread slices in the food processor until they’re broken into bread crumbs. Remove about ¼ of the crumbs and set aside. To the processor add in the roasted eggplant and flax meal mixture and grind together until the mixture becomes a fairly smooth paste. Now add the garlic, nutritional yeast and parsley. Pulse to combine. If the mixture is too runny add in more of the additional bread crumbs until it becomes something you can mold.
  4. Form the mixture into small balls and place on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through (I split one open just to test).
  5. Serve as you would normal meatballs: over pasta, in a sub or on a toothpick.

Pan Seared Lemon Tilapia w/ Parmesan Pasta

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I absolutely love the combination of acid/citrus to my seafood dishes. The bitter flavor of acids such as lemon, lime, or even wine, really enhances not only the taste, but the aromatic smell as well.

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When you are pan searing, it is important to start your pan off when it is hot. Why? Because you want to start you caramelization action  right when you place your meat into your pan. This caramelization action will not only give your meat a nice golden color, but also a nice crispy taste and texture to it as well.

Also, it is important to allow the meat to rest on to the pan when it cooks . . . do not be tempted to lift up the meat and take a peak to see if it will done. No. Just leave it alone and let it cook to properly sear. How do you know when it is ready? Well, when your first put your meat onto your hot oiled pan, the meat will stick. However, you must leave it alone and allow the meat to naturally release and come loose from the pan by itself. If you start to smell burning or it looks a bit too dry, add in more oil or butter to the pan. Once the meat is able to move around when shaking the pan back and forth, you are not ready to flip the meat to the other to side.

As you will notice, there are bits of brown glaze stuck to the pan after searing. Do not fuss. This is flavor!! Simply do the deglazing method by adding in a cup of red or white wine, or broth, or water into the pan and cook over medium heat until the liquid begins to boil and dissolve the glaze. Add this deglazed liquid to your favorite soup, braise, or any cooking recipe that uses liquids for that extra flavor. If not, you can just cook the deglazed liquid down a bit more and brush or drizzle it on to your meat before serving. Happy Eating~ 🙂

Pan Seared Lemon Tilapia with Parmesan Pasta

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 pinches dried basil
  • 2 pinches dried cilantro
  • 2 pinches salt and ground black pepper

For the pasta:

  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 pinches garlic powder
  • 2 pinches dried basil
  • 2 pinches dried oregano
  • 2 pinches dried cilantro (optional)
  • 2 pinches salt and ground black pepper

1. Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over medium heat, stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook the macaroni uncovered, stirring occasionally, until it is cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain well.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle both sides of the tilapia fillets with lemon juice, oregano, basil, cilantro, salt, and pepper, and lay the fillets in the heated skillet, making sure they don’t touch. Sear the fillets for 2 to 4 minutes on each side, until the fish is golden brown on the outside, and opaque and flaky inside.

3. Return the hot, cooked macaroni to the saucepan, and stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil to coat the pasta. Sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese, stir to mix, and stir in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, the garlic powder, basil, oregano, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Divide the pasta between four plates, and top each with a tilapia fillet.

Vegan Falafel Burger

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Did I just say vegan burgers?? Yes. Indeed. This healthy “burger” is absolutely delicious and the taste is so similar to eating an actual beef burger, I think anyone can be fooled! Wait . . . does that mean that vegans souldn’t be eating vegan burgers since it tastes like the actual thing or…? Haha. Who cares! Its tasty, fulfilling, and healthy, so no one should get upset. For this recipe, since I like to make things crispier, I took the optional step to pan frying them on my skillet before I went off to bake it. Be warned. Do not over bake it or else your falafel will be crumbly and dry! Happy Eating~ 🙂IMG_0517

Being a vegetarian for two years (not anymore), I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to be a vegan! It’s a lifechanging decisions that people make weather it is for religion, health benefits, or personal reasons, it is a great way to becoming healthier. Yes, there is no meats involved in a vegetarian diet, however, there are many substitutes for meats out there that is just as satisfying. Such as eggplant, tofu, chickpeas, mushrooms, tempeh, you name it! If cooked right, you won’t be disappointed. IMG_0518

Vegan Falafel Burger

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1 large lemon (2 1/2 Tbsp juice)
  • scant 1/2 tsp sea salt + black pepper
  • 1 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, well rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup ground raw walnuts, pecans, almonds or GF oat flour (I used a mixture of pine nuts and pecans)

Directions:

1. Add parsley, garlic, lemon juice, cumin and a healthy pinch each salt and pepper to a food processor and mix to combine.
2. Add chickpeas and pulse until incorporated but still slightly chunky. You want to maintain a bit of texture.
3. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add nut meal (or oat flour) and mix again until a loose dough is formed that’s firm enough to be handled. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a touch more salt.
4. Draw an “x” in the dough to form 4 sections, then use your hands to form into 4 large patties roughly 1/2-inch thick.
5. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and refrigerate or freeze for 15 minutes to firm up. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F in the meantime.

6. OPTIONAL STEP: For a little extra crust on the outside, before baking heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add 2 Tbsp olive or canola oil. Swirl to coat pan, then add falafel. Carefully flip once golden brown – about 3-4 minutes – and then cook on the other side until golden brown as well – 3-4 more minutes. Return to baking sheet to continue baking. Otherwise, just add them straight to the oven for baking.
7. Bake for a total of 30-40 minutes, flipping once at the halfway point for even cooking. The longer you bake them, the firmer they’ll get!
8. Serve warm wrapped in a pita or chard bun and desired sauces / toppings. Alternatively, serve atop a salad and use the garlic sauce as a dressing.
9. Burgers will store in the fridge, layered with parchment paper in an airtight container, for several days. Freeze to keep longer.

NUTRITION INFORMATION
Serving size: 1 burger Calories: 180 Fat: 10g Saturated fat: 0.7g Carbohydrates: 17.2g Sugar: 0.8g Sodium: 620mg Fiber: 4.6g Protein

Adapted from the Minimalist Baker

Baked Salmon w/ Balsamic Strawberry Salsa

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Whoa. The combination of bittersweet balasmic and fresh strawberry is top notch! Who knew that these two would pait well?? Anyways, in my opinion, I prefer to bake my salmon instead of pan frying them because I dislike the excess oil that ends up on my dinner plate. Plus, it’s a bit more healthier to bake it in the oven anyways since it requires less, or no oil at all when baking it. Make sure to season the salmon evenly! No one wants a boring tasteless fish for dinner! Drizzle a lemon wedge ontop of your baked salmon before serving to enhance flavor. Happy Eating~ 🙂

Baked salmon w/ balsamic strawberry salsa

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 35 minutes
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For the salsa:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 scallions, white and green portions, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Drizzle of honey
For the Baked Salmon:
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 6 oz. each)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

To make the salsa, combine the strawberries, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl.  Mix well to blend, then cover and refrigerate while you prepare the salmon.

Preheat the broiler.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Place the salmon fillets on the foil.  Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over each fillet, and season with salt and pepper.  Broil about 6-8 inches away from heat source (in my oven, this is upper middle rack).  Cook about 10-12 minutes, depending on your oven and the size of the fillets, checking for doneness.  Transfer the salmon to serving plates and top with strawberry salsa.  Serve warm.