Hemp Burgers

Hemp Burger on a 100% whole wheat bun, fresh baby spinach, tomato and red onion.

These burgers have gotten easier and easier to make with each preparation. The first thing you need to do is cook the rice. You need a total of 3 cups of cooked rice. For some reason this small detail gives me the most problems. I’ve already sauteed my onion and peppers and have them in my food processor and low and behold I have no cooked rice….40 min. later after I pull out my rice cooker and make rice I can continue. These kinds of mistakes do not make me happy. I have also neglected to separate the rice and ended up tossing all 3 cups into the food processor instead of just two. In my infinite wisdom I am trying this novel idea of getting my ingredients prepared ahead of time, with the rice already in two bowls, one containing one cup of rice and one containing two cups of rice. So far it seems to be working well, it seems so elementary, why have I not been doing this all along??

The hemp seeds really make this burger so don’t try and substitute them with something else. Get out there and get a bag, yes they are a bit pricey but you are only using a cup. Keep them in your refrigerator, and you can toss them in salads, smoothies, or even plant based yogurts for a nutrition power punch. They are rich in protein, omega 3 and 6, fiber and iron. No, hemp seeds are not marijuana, and no, these burgers will not cause you to flunk a drug test.

The first time I made these it took forever, that was probably the rice issue time. When I finally got all the ingredients mixed up in the food processor, the consistency and something about the aroma reminded me of the ham salad my grandmother used to make. I have no idea why, because obviously there isn’t any ham in there, but if you used to be a grandma’s ham salad freak then you are in for a treat.

I always use a 1/2 cup measure to make my patties and I cook them in the oven using a silicone baking mat on a cookie sheet. I can usually fit 6 burgers on each tray and for some reason with this recipe sometimes I get 7 and then other times I get 8. Perhaps the difference in sizes of onions or red peppers? They always taste great! However, if you must have 8 patties, I would double the recipe. You will have to make two batches though, because it won’t all fit into a regular sized food processor if you double the ingredients. They freeze and thaw well so you can freeze the ones you don’t need and have a ready made meal for another day.

Hemp Burgers

  • Servings: 7-8 patties
  • Difficulty: easy
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A protein packed burger that's a nice switch from the typical bean burger


Ingredients


• water to sauté
• 1 medium onion, diced
• fresh ground black pepper to taste
• 1 red bell pepper, diced
• 2 cups cooked brown rice
• 1 cup shelled hemp seeds
• 2 tsp minced garlic
• 2 tsp. natural ketchup
• 1 Tbsp. tamari
• 1 tsp. dijon mustard
• 1 tsp. dried oregano
• 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
• 1/4 tsp. ground sage
• 1/4 tsp. sea salt
• 1 cup cooked brown rice

Directions

    *Cook Rice First*
  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Sauté onion with black pepper until the onion is softened 3-4 minutes, adding water if necessary to prevent sticking.
  3. Add diced red pepper and sauté for another 5-6 minutes until the onions are translucent, adding water if necessary to prevent sticking.
  4. Add sautéed onion and red pepper to a food processor along with the 2 cups of rice, hemp seeds, garlic, ketchup, tamari, mustard, oregano, thyme, sage, and salt. Puree until fairly smooth, you may need to stop and scrape the container occasionally.
  5. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the remaining 1 cup of rice.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to firm up the mix. Form 1/2 cup patties with your hands and place on a silicone baking mat.
  7. Cook in a 400° oven for 10 minutes, flip burgers and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Freeze left over burgers in a freezer ready container for a quick fix meal another day.


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Veggie Barley Soup

Veggie Barley Soup

This is a soup I have come to love. Before heading down this heart healthy path, I could count on one hand the number of times I had used barley. I think both of those times it was for a soup and I only purchased what I needed for that particular day. Today, barley has become a staple in my pantry. I buy it in bulk and then store it in my own Rubbermaid container.

Last Friday I spent the day making food to take to my college aged son. It makes me feel good to make up healthy little packages for him. I make things for him that are easily frozen and taste good after having been frozen. We discovered vegan macaroni and cheese doesn’t unfreeze well. Veggie Barley soup is perfect for freezing in small containers. I was able to get 4 small containers from this batch of soup. Each container has about 2 1/2 servings of soup.

Freezer ready Veggie Barley soup

I use a homemade vegetable broth when I make this soup. I keep it written in the front of one of my cookbooks because I make it all the time. I usually make up a double batch and keep it in a large spice container in my spice cabinet. This is not my recipe and I cannot remember where it came from but this is a photo. You can always use a store bought vegetable broth if you prefer.

Veggie Broth recipe

Veggie Barley Soup

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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A hearty barley soup packed with veggies.


Ingredients


• splash of water (to sauté)
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 carrots, thinly sliced
• 1 large stalk celery, thinly sliced
• 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp. minced garlic)
• 8 cups vegetable broth
• 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1 can diced tomatoes (I use chili ready diced tomatoes)
• 2 cups frozen cut green beans
• 1 cup pearled barley
• 1 cup frozen corn
• 1 tsp. dried basil
• 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 cup frozen peas
• salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a non-stick large pot over medium heat, add water, onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté until veggies are softened, about 5 minutes. Add additional water to prevent sticking if necessary.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high and add mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring constantly.
  4. Add broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, green beans, barley, corn, basil, oregano, and bay leaf.
  5. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.
  6. Cook soup until barley is tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  7. Mix in peas and cook until tender and hot, 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Remove soup from heat and discard bay leaf. Season with pepper to taste.


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Buddha Bowl

I love Buddha Bowls and let me just say this is my own personal mash up. Sorry if this is so far from a Buddha bowl in your book that you are having to zoom in to see “what the heck did she put in there”. This is basically a Heartie kitchen left over Bowl, but humor me and let’s say it’s a Buddha bowl.

Quinoa a perfect base and I like it right in the center so I can easily mix it up. The quinoa was not left over. It’s the only thing I made fresh for this one.

Baked green beans (farmers market beans) with onion and mushrooms, they were a previous side.

Roasted potatoes with leftover Steff’s Mac and Cheese, cheese sauce poured over the top.

Grilled corn that I cut from the cobs from a previous meal.

Sautéed collared greens a previous side and a previous post.

Sautéed mini eggplants, also a previous side and a previous post.

When it looks like you only have a little of this and a little of that and really not enough of anything to make a meal for anyone…think Buddha bowl. Steam up some quinoa or if that’s not your thing some rice or lentils. Put all those veggies together under a fabulous sauce and presto…left over Buddha bowl!

My personal preference is for Hak’s BBQ sauce on the top, but you be you and figure out what you enjoy best. Plant Strong and Heart Healthy ❤️ur ❤️

Farmers Markets – Thai eggplant, or little purple Aubergines

Along with all the traditional American fruits and veggies found at the farmers market I recently found these little gems. The two women running the booth were Burmese. Burma as they referred to it, was renamed Myanmar in 1989. These women grow traditional fruits and vegetables from their home country. There are currently approximately 6,000 residents of Fort Wayne that were born in Burma.

I must admit I only recognized a few items on their table and decided to experiment with these “mini eggplants” as she called them. Through a translator I was told to sauté them.

I decided to start out by sautéing a handful of sliced button mushrooms and a small sliced onion in a bit of water along with 2 Tbsp of minced garlic. While these were cooking I cut off both small ends of these small round eggplants. I halved each one, left their skins on and tossed them in with my other veggies. I added a couple tsps (just a couple of shakes of the bottle) of balsamic vinegar. It seemed to need some greens for my tastes so I roughly chopped some baby kale and tossed it in toward the end of the sautéing process.

Once the mini eggplants were tender I decided the dish was done.

Success! The flavor of the eggplant was similar to the tender inner bites of large sized eggplant.

There are so many different varieties of fruits and vegetables! It is estimated that there are over 20,000 species of edible plants yet only 20 species represent 90% of our food. Get out there and look, don’t settle for just what your local grocery chooses to offer you. Stop in that Asian grocery store or that Indian market. Experiment and have fun!

Buddha Bowl

Savory Buddha Bowl

Another fun mix up!

I started off this buddha bowl by putting pearled barley in my rice cooker. I hadn’t tried barley in the cooker before but seeing that it’s similar to other grains I toss in there that aren’t rice….lentils…quinoa….I was willing to give it a shot. I put 2 cups of uncooked barley and 2 1/2 cups of water in the rice cooker, closed the lid and set it for white rice. Whenever I try something that isn’t rice in the rice cooker I keep an eye on it just to be safe. I tried red lentils in there once, left the kitchen for a bit and came back to a mess of water, lentils and mush all over the cabinet, countertop and floor. Don’t do red lentils in the rice cooker.

I washed and slit the sides of two sweet potatoes and put them in my microwave to bake. My microwave has a setting for baked potatoes so when I bake sweet potatoes I aways set it for 1 more than I actually have in there. So I set it for 3 potatoes and it baked 2 sweet potatoes perfectly. Taking them from the microwave, I peeled their skins off (I know its the healthiest part) and diced them, then tossed them in a skillet with a bit of water and cumin just to keep them warm while everything else finished up.

While the sweet potatoes and barley were cooking, I chopped up an onion and sautéed it in a little water in my large copper skillet (yes, the as seen on tv one). I chopped up some greens, it was the bag that says super greens, a mix of things…and put them in to sauté with the onions. I also tossed in a few chickpeas and some black beans that were hanging out in my fridge from something else. Cook on low heat and add water as necessary, feel free to add some spices here if you want.

The tofu was a little package of prepared tofu called tofu steak. It was the first time I have seen it so I wanted to try it out. It came from Fresh Thyme and thats the only place I have seen it, I can’t remember the brand and unfortunately the packaging is long gone. I chopped up the tofu and put it in a small skillet with a little orange soy sauce just to heat it through.

Once everything is heated and finished, just assemble your buddha bowl. I sprinkled the top with Braggs Nutritional Yeast and then drizzled Hak’s BBQ sauce over the top.

Eating plant based doesn’t have to be difficult. Buddha bowls make a tasty meal. You can change up the ingredients and never have the exact same one twice. I have lots of barley left over in my fridge for something else..maybe some soup.

Enjoy! ❤️ur❤️. Remember the same diet that is good for your heart, is good for your arteries, is good for your whole body.

Vegan Minced Mushroom Burger

This is our latest burger. We are always trying new recipes, tweaking, and then trying again. My freezer is sometimes full of things I’ve tried and then I can’t wait to make it again and change one thing. So into the freezer all the tests go. Thankfully I have lots of people who enjoy eating all the attempts. I have one son who says he basically eats experiments every time he’s home.

The first thing you want to do when making these burgers is to cook your rice in the rice cooker. I usually prepare 3 cups of uncooked rice which gives me more than enough. The mushrooms need to be pulsed in small batches through a food processor, you don’t want them to be paste, just minced. The onions need to be finely diced. This was my third attempt with this particular burger and I couldn’t bring myself to make another batch just to dice the onions finer. So in my photo you can see the onion…the burger will hold together better if they are finer.

Summer Savory seems to be a difficult spice to find, so be aware. The light sweet miso is sometimes found on the shelf and I have also found it in the refrigerator section, so just poke around or ask. I use a 1/2 cup measure to form my burgers so they all have the same amount of “meat”. Using the 1/2 cup measure this recipe makes 18-20 burgers. Freeze those leftovers to make for an easy dinner another day.

We eat burgers with 100% whole grain buns, usually some lettuce, tomato, onion, mustard, some homemade hummus is always nice as well.

Vegan Minced Mushroom Burger

  • Servings: makes 18 burgers
  • Difficulty: medium.
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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds mushrooms, pulsed
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 16 ounce can tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 Tbsp. light sweet miso
  • 3 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 2 tsp. summer savory
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 3 cups vital wheat gluten
  • no salt seasoning (for sprinkling on burgers before baking, if desired)

Directions

  1. Pulse mushrooms in batches and put in a large bowl.
  2. Finely chop onions and add to the mushrooms
  3. Add rice to the mushroom mixture
  4. Mix in tomato paste
  5. Blend in parsley, soy sauce, miso, basil, thyme, summer savory, allspice and garlic. Mix well so that the spices are evenly distributed.
  6. Add in the vital wheat gluten.
  7. Form burgers and place on prepared baking sheet. (line the sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper) Sprinkle with no salt seasoning.
  8. Bake at 350° for 30 min.
  9. Enjoy!

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Homemade Veggie Chili

Homemade Veggie Chili is one of my favorites. It is my go to soup probably once every two weeks, because most of the ingredients I have readily on hand. It also makes a bunch so we have left overs to last us a couple of days and it is perfect to send along for lunch. Don’t let the long ingredient list overwhelm you, just go ahead and pull everything out before you start.

Typically I use minced garlic, just to make life easier than mincing my own. I purchased an electric can opener after about a year of our new way of eating. My wrist was so sore after preparing Christmas the first year that an electric one was the only way to go. I go through and open all the canned items while my fresh veggies are cooking. Get started draining and rinsing the beans. This is important, not only will it have an effect on the color of your soup but I have heard it can elevate some of the gas that sometimes comes with beans. Once rinsed and drained, put all the beans in a large bowl while they wait their turn to go into the soup. I use a small bowl and get all my seasonings ready ahead of time as well. I’m all about making things easy. Enjoy!

Homemade Veggie Chili

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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A Heartie soup, packed with fresh colorful veggies

Ingredients

  • 4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 14 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Directions

  1. In a large pot add garlic, onion, all three of the peppers, carrots, and celery, cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften and give up their juices.
  2. Add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Cook and stir for a few more minutes.
  3. Pour in the broth, tomato sauce, and the tomatoes with chiles. Stir and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the beans and the zucchini to the pot. Cover and simmer for 30 more minutes.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together the cornmeal and the warm water, add to the pot and cook for 15 more minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

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Steff’s Mac and Cheese

 

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This past 4th of July my family traveled as we have for many years to my sister’s house on the east side of Cleveland.  Her home is nestled in Ohio wine country and we celebrate yearly at Chalet Debonne Vineyards.  It’s a joy to visit because she prepares scrumptious plant-based dishes too.  This year she prepared a Mac and Cheese, (along with lots of other dishes) that was extra yummy.  My hubby even went back for seconds and he was never a Mac and cheese kind of guy before this plant-based adventure.  I was initially a little concerned because following Dr. Esselstyn’s prevent and reverse heart disease lifestyle one is supposed to stay away from nuts.  I have been avoiding them like the plague.  However, at a recent conference, Dr. Esselstyn was asked about nuts and he stated he doesn’t like nuts because no one can stop with just one handful and people end up with nuts in their car, nuts in their desk, nuts in their purse, essentially you can’t stop with just one.  So I made the executive decision that I can use them occasionally within a recipe and just keep them out of sight and hidden in my house so they don’t become a go to snack.  Over Labor Day weekend I prepared Steff’s Mac and Cheese for the first time.   My sister assured me it was super easy.  Just toss everything in the Vita-mix.  I’m told if you have a Vita-mix you don’t need to soak your raw cashews, however the ones I had were lightly salted so I soaked and rinsed them just to get rid of the added salt.  I had to text her photos of my progress several times during the process because I was expecting the sauce in my Vita-mix to be much thicker than it was.  She assured me it was perfect.  Sticking with Esselstyn I used 100% whole grain elbow macaroni.

Steff's Mac and Cheese

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Difficulty: easy
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A yummy substitute for the traditional blue box, approved by one their most avid fans.

Ingredients

  • 2 red peppers
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 -1lb box elbow macaroni

Directions

  1. Place the nuts in a small bowl and cover with water, let sit for approximately  6 hours, then drain and pat dry, this step is not necessary if you are using a Vita-mix.
  2. Prepare pasta and while the pasta is cooking, chunk up red peppers.
  3. Toss red pepper chunks, nutritional yeast, onion powder, water, cashews, salt, nutmeg and turmeric in food processor. Blend until smooth.
  4. Drain pasta and pour back into pan.
  5. Pour sauce over the cooked pasta, stir and place over low heat just until heated through.

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Falafel Burgers

It’s mid June now, and my herb garden is literally overflowing with cilantro and parsley, it seems the more I cut the more it grows.  I don’t want it to go to waste and I can only give away so much, so I was trying to think of something I could whip up.  Way back almost 2 years ago I made this falafel burger recipe for the first time and I remembered that it took  both of herbs, so I searched and found that recipe.  At that time, in the midst of fear and the unknown, starting down this plant-based journey for heart health this recipe seemed very difficult.  I believe at the time I only had a small food processor and not a very good one at that, so perhaps that was my angst.   Regardless I remembered it being a challenge and difficult, so much so apparently that I don’t remember preparing it more than twice.

Yesterday they came together so easily, I am shocked I don’t make them all the time.  Everything popped into my VitaMix and that’s basically it!  I had my 19-year-old son form them into burgers for me, leaving him with green fingers, not I.  He used a 1/3 cup measure to determine the amount of mix needed for each burger, formed it into a ball and then pressed it into a burger shape and placed them on a prepared baking sheet.  I use silicone mats on my baking sheets that I found at Costco (they came in a set of 3 around Christmas time), and they have been wonderful.   Prior to the silicone mats, I lined my baking sheets with parchment paper.  I had to leave before they finished cooking so this is the photo my son sent me when he pulled them out of the oven,  he says they were surprisingly good, even though they are green.

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In some parts of the world cilantro is referred to as coriander, here in the US the leaves are cilantro and the seeds are coriander. Both cilantro and parsley have heart healthy benefits and are part of a Whole Foods plants based lifestyle.

Falafal Burgers

  • Servings: 8 burgers
  • Difficulty: easy
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A full of flavor,healthy, green burger

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup parsley packed, stems off
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, packed, stems on
  • 1/2 cup scallions, roughly chopped
  • 2 15 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed, liquid reserved
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp sea salt (optional if you are avoiding salt)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400°
  2. Place garlic, parsley, cilantro and scallions in food processor and process until finely ground, you may need to scrape down the sides several times to get it to mix.
  3. Add all the other ingredients (work in batches if your processor isn’t big enough) and process into a paste.  It should stick together, making it easy to form into patties.  If its too dry add the reserved liquid from the chickpeas 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
  4. If I have time I like to refrigerate the mixture for approximately 30 minutes, if you are short on time I have gone straight to forming into burgers and baking.
  5. Form into patties using a 1/3 cup measure as a guide. Place on prepared baking sheet (cover with parchment paper or silicone mat).
  6. Place baking sheet in the oven and let cook for 10 minutes.  Flip patties and let them cook for another 10 minutes. They should be slightly browned.
  7. Enjoy with your favorite burger sides.

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