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.
I like to shop at Costco and I usually make a stop there every other Thursday. One of the items on my repeat list is the 2 pound package of what I call cherry tomatoes. I don’t think thats what the name is on the outside of the package, but they are the small ones the shape of a cherry…you get what I mean. I like to roast them in my oven, with a bit of garlic, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and a dash of pepper. I use a jelly roll pan, thats the one that looks like a cookie sheet with edges. I put a silicone mat in the bottom to prevent anything from sticking to the pan, since I don’t use any oil when cooking. The silicone mat makes it easy to just lift the sides and pour them out without any mess. Once they are finished roasting I like to put some in my food processor and puree them into a tasty, healthy, plant based salad dressing. I store my balsamic tomato dressing in the refrigerator. The rest of them I usually pop into a refrigerator container and use them whole on salads, in pastas, as a pizza topping, and in veggie bowls, the possibilities are probably endless. Let me know what your favorite uses are.
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.
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.
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
Heat oven to 400°
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.
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.
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.
Form into patties using a 1/3 cup measure as a guide. Place on prepared baking sheet (cover with parchment paper or silicone mat).
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.
This is a recipe I found early on in our venture into heart healthy living. After watching Forks Over Knives on Netflix I discovered the Forks Over Knives Recipe App which was not free but very low cost, like I think around $5. It updates all the time with new recipes and each recipe has a shopping list of ingredients and step by step instructions. The app is great for when I find myself at the grocery and I can’t remember what ingredients I needed for my evenings creations. I open it up and viola, a plethora of whole food plant based recipes at my fingertips. I’ve tweaked the recipe just a bit to fit our family, but the original can be found on the Forks Over Knives Recipe Ap as well as the website http://www.forksoverknives.com
The recipe calls for cooking in a large stock pot, I have also experimented a bit and used my slow cooker. I put everything together but instead of letting it simmer over low heat for an hour, I toss it all in my crock pot and set it on high. Then there’s time to run someone to soccer practice, pick someone up from band practice, zip over and watch someone play a game and come home to a hot homemade dinner.
I came across this recipe called Lentil Enchilada Pasta in the first Forks over Knives Bookazine from 2017. I have made it many times and have tweaked it just a bit to make it my own, and to suit my family. I have dropped the “enchilada” from the recipe name because at my house it was bringing up totally different ideals and somehow they wanted it wrapped in a corn tortilla and that just wasn’t happening. I use 100% whole grain penne pasta, my local grocery “Kroger” brand in the brown box. It comes in a 16 ounce box so I have adjusted the recipe to account for the change from the original 12 ounce box called for in the forks over knives bookazine. Four cups of lentils cooked is approximately 2 cups of dry lentils. This is one of those recipes that gives you that home cooking feeling, no frills, just fills everyone up. The bonus is I typically have left overs to pack for lunch the next day. Enjoy this healthy dinner and remember to ❤️ur❤️.
In a large pot cook pasta according to package instruction, drain. Return pasta to the pot, cover with a lid and keep warm.
To prepare the sauce, in a saucepan, cook onion, celery, sweet pepper, and garlic in the water and the 1/2 cup of veggie broth over medium heat, until the onion and celery are tender.
Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, additional veggie broth, nutritional yeast, flour, chili powder, cumin, sea salt, and paprika. Bring to boiling and reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes. Season with black pepper.
Add sauce and cilantro to the pasta, toss to coat. Serve topped with additional nutritional yeast if desired.
I must admit that before starting down this healthy path I think I maybe had purchased lentils once and used them in a soup recipe. I certainly would never have walked into a restaurant and been excited seeing lentil soup on the menu. But, my how times have changed. Did you know that there is more than one types of lentils and they each have a subtlety different flavor, I bet you thought they were all the same. Brown lentils are what is commonly sold in the store in a package that states simply, lentils. Red, brown and green lentils are what I use because they don’t end up mushy and are great for most of the dishes I make. Maybe my future holds some experimenting with black, red, yellow etc. but for now I’m happy with red, brown and green.
I discovered a quick and easy trick for making lentils that doesn’t require you to watch them to see if they are boiling or set a timer or anything, my rice cooker! As all rice cookers are slightly different I’ll tell you what works for mine and then you may need to play around with it a bit. I haven’t tried the yellow or black lentils in my rice cooker, actually I haven’t tried them at home at all. It is my understanding from reading about them that the yellow and black can become mushy so I would guess putting them in the rice cooker may not turn out so well. After rinsing brown, green or red lentils, I pop them in my rice cooker and add twice the amount of water, close the top and push the white rice button, and walk away. So for example if I use 1 cup of lentils dried I add 2 cups of water with them in the rice cooker. They will double at least, in size so if you have a small rice cooker be careful not to overload it.
A half cup of dried lentils yields a little more than one cup of cooked lentils. Better to have too much than too little is my motto, so you will tend to find some extra cooked lentils in my fridge at all times. I’m not sure how long they last once they are cooked because I use them within the week. I toss them on salads, on top of pizzas, in budda bowls, not to mention all the tasty recipes they go in, lentil pasta and lentil sloppy Joes, lentil loaf.
The best thing about lentils is how healthy they are for us. They are exceptionally nutrient dense, rich in protein, fiber, calcium, iron and B vitamins. One cup of lentils contains 18 grams of protein, which makes them a perfect chunk of my daily 48 grams of protein. Lentils are little lens shaped legumes and lenses were named after lentils…lens is lentil in latin. Lentils are one of the oldest legumes, dating back to Ancient Greece. Enjoy your healthy lentils! ❤️ur❤️
This recipe is a great way to use up any extra quinoa you may have on hand. If you are making fresh quinoa for this recipe please refer to my previous post and try your hand at making quinoa in your rice cooker. Remember quinoa is gluten-free and packed with protein! I usually have a big bag of regular quinoa from Costco in my pantry. I also have small bags of multi colored quinoa that have found at my local Kroger grocery store. Tabbouleh is traditionally a vegetarian salad made of mostly finely chopped, parsley with tomatoes, mint, onion, bulgur, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. This as you will see is an adaptation of the traditional, absolutely oil free. I am sure there are numerous ways you can play with this recipe and make it your own. For now this is what our family enjoys, however each time I think we tweak it just a little, so tweak away. I serve this cold as a side salad.
If you are using uncooked quinoa, combine the quinoa with the water in a pan and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 min., fluff with a fork and refrigerate until chilled, approximately 2 hours.
Combine chilled quinoa, parsley, cilantro, cucumber, mint, red onion, salt and ACV, mix together and serve immediately or chill.
I have been using a rice cookers for several years and I am currently on my second one. The one I have has two setting, one for white rice and one for brown rice. I have consistently cooked either brown or white rice and nothing else, it does have a steaming basket but I have yet to try it. A few weeks ago my son purchased a rice cooker for his apartment and read the instruction book, something I had neglected to do since mine only had two buttons and I think I can tell if its brown or white rice. He informed me that his rice cooker could also cook quinoa and had a button specifically for that purpose. I curiously went to my stash of instruction manuals and fished out the one for my rice cooker, but there was no mention of quinoa or any other grains that could be cooked in there. Having burned quinoa on my stove top before I was anxious to give my rice cooker a try. Using a 2/1 ratio, 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa, I clicked the white rice button and waited.
Quinoa is a seed related to the beet and chard families that looks and tastes like a grain but packs as much protein as meat. It is versatile and can go almost anywhere a grain can go. It can replace rice in a stir-fry or couscous in a salad. You can even eat it in the morning instead of oatmeal. Quinoa is gluten free and easy to digest. Quinoa is native to Andean cultures and the Incas referred to is as “mother of all grains”.
The light on my rice cooker clicked from red to green indicating that it was finished. Tentatively opening the lid I found to my delight that it was fluffy and steamy, and a success. No longer will I accidentally burn quinoa to the bottom of my pans, my rice cooker has a new purpose.
We recently discovered a gem in our little Fort called Taj Mahal Indian restaurant. One of our favorite restaurants when we lived in Shanghai was an Indian restaurant and Taj Mahal brought back memories of those times. While it doesn’t sit next to the ever exciting pearl market of Hangqiao there is a small grocery next door called Taj Food and Gifts. This small grocery has been a fabulous find. We have enjoyed the Indian whole food plant based items in the restaurant and decided to experiment and try some Indian recipes at home. This is where the Taj food and gifts came in very handy. Thankfully they have a wonderful staff, who were able to help me go down my ingredients list and find all the items I needed. Taj food and gifts is where I found asafetida, and dried fenugreek leaves, I found the garam masala at my local Kroger. The garam masala was there all the time I just never noticed it until I needed it, much like many of the plant based whole food items we use now. My photo includes cauliflower and peas masala, oil free falafel bites, 100% whole wheat naan, quinoa tabbouleh and Silk plain soy dairy-free yogurt alternative.