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 ❤️

BBQ Lentil and Sweet Potato Burger

BBQ Lentil and Sweet Potato Burger with spinach, red onion, avocado, and “cheesy” sauce

It’s been awhile since I tried a new burger recipe. My guys already have their favorites and don’t like the idea of a possible flop aka the beet and black bean burgers. The beet and black beans never made it to blog worthy status, more like a horror show, complete with blood (beet juice) everywhere.

So for this burger it’s important to know what has to occur before the assembly starts. I have made this mistake more than once. The flax egg needs to be mixed and set aside, the lentils need to be cooked, the sweet potatoes need to be mashed. I cook my lentils in my rice cooker and my sweet potatoes in my microwave. After cooking the sweet potato, cool, peel and smash with a fork. I found that one sweet potato is plenty for the 1/3 cup called for here.

I processed the onion, carrots, walnuts and sunflower seeds each separately in my Vita Mix, and added them to a large bowl. Then I did the same with the lentils. I really only pulsed them quickly because I just wanted them to be finely chopped and not liquid or mush.

BBQ Lentil and Sweet Potato Burgers

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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A meaty textured, BBQ flavored burger, packed with nutrients.


Ingredients


• 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils (1 cup uncooked)
• 1/3 cup mashed sweet potato (1 medium sweet potato)
• 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flax meal plus 3 tablespoons water)
• 1 cup finely chopped onion
• 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
• 2 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
• 1/3 cup walnuts
• 1 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
• 1/4 cup flax meal
• 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried parsley
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
• 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour if needed

Directions

  1. Start by cooking the sweet potato and the lentils. Set aside and let them both cool. Mix together the flax egg and set aside.
  2. Using a food processor, finely chop the onion, carrots, garlic, sunflower seeds and walnuts, process each individually and place in a large bowl.
  3. Process the lentils, just a light pulse, don’t turn them into mush. Add them to the large bowl.
  4. Add sweet potato, bread crumbs, flax meal, smoked paprika, chili powder, dried oregano, dried parsley, salt and pepper then stir until combined.
  5. Pour in BBQ sauce and flax egg and stir well. If the mix is too wet to form into patties add flour a little at a time as you continue to stir as needed.
  6. Using 1/2 cup measure form mix into patties and place on a prepared baking sheet (covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat)
  7. Bake in a 350° oven for 15 minutes, flip and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  8. Serve on buns with greens, avocado, red onion, “cheese” sauce etc.


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Plant Based Lentil Stuffed Peppers

Lentil Stuffed Peppers

These beautiful lentil stuffed peppers were so easy to make, and the stuffing is so tasty that you can almost forget how healthy they are.

Cooked peppers drying on a paper-towel

First cut the tops from the peppers. I used yellow and red but any color will do. Discard the seeds and the membranes. Throw out the stems and cut up the tops to be added to the filling later. Cook the whole peppers, uncovered, in boiling water for 5 minutes, then invert to drain them well. I place them on a paper towel and just let them sit while I work on the stuffing.

Lentil filling for the peppers

The filling is cooked in a large skillet. The recipe called for 4 cups of cooked lentils, which is approximately 2 cups of dry lentils. I use green lentils and cook them in my rice cooker. In the rice cooker I combine 2 cups of dry lentils with 5 cups of water. Make sure your rice cooker is large enough to accommodate that quantity. I have used a small rice cooker in the past and needed to do the lentils in batches. They can always be prepared on the stove according to the package instructions. If you cook up more lentils than you need, they can be refrigerated for up to a week. I typically have cooked lentils in my fridge for use in buddha bowls.

Vegan cheese is optional, I typically use nutritional yeast. Mushrooms are also optional, if I have some on hand I toss them in, if not I just leave them out. Stuffed peppers pair nicely with a green salad, for a filling family dinner. Enjoy!

Plant-Based Lentil Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A delicious stuffed pepper recipe that is packed with nutrients and filling for the whole family


Ingredients


• 6 large peppers
• 1 large onion, diced
• 2 cans chili ready diced tomatoes
• 4 cups cooked lentils
• 8 ounces chopped mushrooms (optional)
• 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
• 1 can tomato sauce 15 ounces
• 1/3 cup nutritional yeast + extra to sprinkle on top
• no salt seasoning
• vegan shredded cheese (optional to sprinkle on top)

Directions

  1. Cut tops from peppers; discard seeds and membranes. Chop up the tops. Set aside.
  2. Cook the whole peppers; uncovered in boiling water for 5 minutes. Invert to drain well. Sprinkle insides lightly with no salt seasoning.
  3. In a skillet cook onion, chopped up pepper tops, garlic and mushrooms (if desired) until tender. Use water as needed to prevent sticking.
  4. Add cooked lentils, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce and nutritional yeast . Bring to boiling and simmer for 15 minutes
  5. Stuff peppers with lentil mixture.
  6. Place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with additional nutritional yeast, or vegan cheese if desired. Bake, covered in a 350° oven for 30 minutes.


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Jackfruit Fajitas

Jackfruit Fajitas with Plant Based Avocado Crema

If you haven’t tried jackfruit yet, it is definitely worth a look. I have tried both the canned jackfruit and I bought fresh jackfruit at my local Whole Foods. The canned is what I prefer because its “young green”, its tender and its texture resembles shredded chicken or pork when you tear it up. I had difficulty with the fresh and it was expensive, so in the future I am sticking with canned. I have found jackfruit at Whole-foods, Fresh Market, Earth Fare and Trader Joes, I’m sure its found in many other stores as well. I use two cans of Jackfruit for this recipe and they need to be drained and lightly rinsed. Once rinsed I toss the pieces into my big skillet.

Young jackfruit fresh from the can

Once in the skillet, I use my fingers to gently tear the chunks and the soft seeds apart until it resembles shredded pork. Turn the skillet to medium heat and add water as needed to prevent sticking. I then add half of the packet of fajita seasoning, (typically I use Old El Paso brand), and 2 Tbsp. of Pickapeppa Sauce. Stir continuously and add water as needed for the next 10 min. Then add the rest of the fajita seasoning packet and the remaining 2 Tbsp. of Pickapeppa Sauce. Continuing stirring and adding water as needed for the next 10 minutes until the jackfruit is tender.

Tender sautéed jackfruit with fajitas seasoning and Pickapeppa Sauce

Once the jackfruit is tender, add in the pepper and onion slices, continue to stir until the onions are translucent.

Onions and peppers added to the jackfruit

At this point remove from the heat and set aside. I serve jackfruit fajitas with a plant based avocado crema on heated tortillas. Enjoy and ❤️ur❤️

Jackfruit Fajitas

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A delicious, meaty textured vegan fajita.

Ingredients

  • 2 (16 oz) cans young green jackfruit (in water), drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red onion, cut into this strips
  • 4 Tbsp. Pickapeppa sauce
  • 1 Packet fajita seasoning
  • water as needed

Directions

  1. Drain and rinse the canned jackfruit and place in your skillet.
  2. Shred the jackfruit until it resembles pulled pork
  3. Heat the skillet to medium, add water as needed to prevent sticking. Add half of the fajita seasoning and 2 Tbsp. of the sauce.
  4. Continue to brown the jackfruit stirring continuously, after 10 min. add the remaining fajita seasoning and the remaining 2 Tbsp. of the sauce. Cook for 10 more minutes.
  5. Once tender, add in the pepper and onion slices. Continue to stir and add water as needed until the onions are translucent.
  6. Remove from heat and set aside
  7. Heat tortillas and serve with your favorite fajitas sauce.

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Savory Plant Based Quiche

Savory Plant Based Quiche – No cheese, no egg, only the good stuff

This is a plant based quiche that is easily adaptable to your favorite veggies or those left over veggies you have in your fridge. It tastes surprisingly like the totally unhealthy quiches I used to make for my family. I divided the ingredients between two 8″ pie plates. This made it seem more like a quiche but, you could easily put the ingredients in a 9 x 13 casserole dish and call it a breakfast casserole.

For the vegetables I used 3 cups of broccoli florets from a large bag of pre-cut ready to use florets. I used a red sweet bell pepper, these are the ones that have a long shape versus the bell shaped ones. Pre-minced garlic, and tofu both from Costco. This recipe made 2 pies of quiche making it a hearty filling dinner or a warm and tasty breakfast.

This quiche heats up nicely in the microwave for left overs and holds its shape so its also makes a nice option for a packed lunch. I added an option for vegan cheese, however the excess oils typically found in vegan cheeses make them unsuitable for a plant based diet.

You may need to add more plant based milk to achieve a creamy consistency with the tofu mixture. The better you are able to drain the tofu, the more milk you may need to add.

Enjoy!

Savory Plant-Based Quiche

Savory Plant Based Quiche

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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A light and fluffy quiche, perfect for a main entree or a family breakfast.

Ingredients

sautéed veggies

  • 3 cups broccoli florets, chopped
  • 6 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

tofu mixture

  • 2-1 lb. packages tofu, pressed and drained
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 4 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • Kala Namak – a few pinches
  • 2/3 cup plant based milk
  • 1 cup vegan cheese (if desired)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Heat a large skillet, and sauté onions, garlic, sweet pepper and carrots in a bit of water to prevent sticking. Sauté until the onions are translucent and then add the broccoli, cover and cook for approximately 5 min. until the broccoli is tender. Add water as needed to prevent sticking.
  3. Combine tofu, plant milk, turmeric, paprika, garlic powder, dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, corn starch and kala namak in a food processor. If desired also add in the vegan cheese at this point. Process until smooth and creamy. (If necessary add additional plant milk 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve a creamy consistancy.)
  4. Combine the tofu mixture and the sautéed mixture in a big bowl.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between two 8-inch pie plates.
  6. Bake in 350°oven for 1 hour.

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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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Steff’s Mac and Cheese

 

IMG_6907

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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