Avocado Black Bean & Chipotle Burger

Everyone has a favorite food. We just do. Think about it for a moment and imagine just now what that favorite food is….is it Pizza? Sushi? Mexican? Well, mine, believe it or not has always…since I was little….been a burger. Oh man. Seriously, thinking back to Popeye’s friend, Wimpy, who loved burgers, maybe that is when the burger fascination began, or Jughead and his love for burgers, yet his skinny frame screamed anything but that…if I ate burgers as much as those cartoons did, I would be in a heap of trouble. I haven’t had red meat for nearly five years, I have had to revamp a few recipes in order to find my go to. This would be one of them. Since our family had not had much meat in the house for nearly 9 months now, this is a reliable burger that even our kids enjoy…We don’t even have to bribe with this one! Seriously! Hope you like!

Avocado Black Bean & Chipotle Burger

Inspired By: Thrive

– tbsp coconut oil
– 1 black bean veggie burger
– 1 sprouted grain burger bun…we use Silverhills
– 2 Tbsp chipotle lime aioli
– sliced tomatoes
– pea or sunflower sprouts
– 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced and peeled
– 1 large romaine or red leaf lettuce leaf

How To Make the Veggie Burger

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked or canned black beans
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cups cooked whole grain rice
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large handful cilantro leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp ground corriander
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp grainy mustard
2 Tbsp tamari sauce
1-2 cups fresh bread crumbs made from Silver Hills bread
Coconut oil
A couple of pinches of salt

How To Play:

In a medium bowl, combine the black beans, oats, rice, and nutritional yeast.
Mix thoroughly with hands. In a blender, combine the onion, cilantro, coriander, paprika,
mustard, and tamari. Blend until just mixed.

Add the onion mixture to the bean mixture and mix well, adding salt. Add bread crumbs and mix with your
hands until the mixture is firm to the touch and no longer sticky.

Form the mixture into 2cm thick patties.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a little coconut. Fry patties until lightly brown, about 1 minute or so per side.

Chipotle Lime Aioli:
Roast 1 bulb of garlic. Add the roasted garlic with 1/4 cup veganaise. Add 1 small handful of fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
and 1 1/2 finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobe sauce with 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice. Add 1tsp maple syrup, 1 tsp of sea salt
and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Whisk all until smooth.
Enjoy.

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Meal Plan. Take 1

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Meal Plan: Take 1.

I have not written a meal plan, besides the one on our kitchen chalk board, for a long time, but it was brought to my attention I have not
blogged about food FOREVER. So here we go…I will share the recipes after each day in case anyone is interested.
Sean and I kind of work together with these meal plans, for we have had a few months of trial and error. These would be considered “crowd” pleasers in our home. Any questions, please do not hesitate to send me a message and I would love to help you
out in any way possible.

Monday: Avocado Black Bean Burgers, on GF buns, with homemade fries and vegan Caesar salad.
Tuesday: Sage polenta and homemade marinara sauce, and steamed brocolli
Wednesday: Quinoa pilaf with Swiss chard and lemon
Thursday: Chipotle corn chowder and homemade olive loaf with thyme
Friday: Rustic pasta and salad
Saturday and Sunday: Mosh Posh of whatever is leftover….eeeks.

Roasted Tomato, Spinach & Basil Pasta

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This dish is found from a great vegan cook book called ‘from Plant to Plate.’ We have made a few things from here, but this seems to be a family favorite or at least my favorite go to when I am clueless as to what to make for dinner. I like to serve it with Thug Kitchen‘s Almond Caesar Salad.

Roasted Tomato, Spinach & Basil Pasta

Ingredients:

4-5 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

2 Tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1 Tablespoon avocado oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped

8 ounces quinoa pasta

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)

How To Play:

Preheat oven to 400. Toss the tomatoes with oil, garlic, and salt. Spread the coated tomatoes on a foil lined roasting sheet and roast until the tomatoes are shriveled and lightly browned, about 20-30 minutes. Once they have finished roasting, scraped the tomatoes and juices into a large bowl. Add the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes to the bowl.

While the tomatoes are roasting, prepare pasta according to package directions. When the pasta is ready, drain it and toss with the spinach, roasted tomatoes, and basil. To finish serve with toasted pine nuts and serve.

Thug Kitchen’s Almond Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

Ingredients:

SALAD
1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds
1/3 cup hot water
1-2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tbs. capers
1 head of your lettuce of choice, chopped
Handful of Homemade Croutons

CROUTONS
1/2 loaf day-old bread (enough to make 5 cups of cubes)
3 tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 tbs. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt

How To Play:

For the croutons:
1. Turn your oven on to 400.

2. Cut the bread into bite-sized cubes, about 5 cups worth.  In a big bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix.  Add the bread pieces and mix to make all the pieces get covered.

3. Pour evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through to make sure it doesn’t burn.  Serve right away or keep in an airtight container in the fridge.

For the salad:
1. Put the almonds in a glass with the hot water and let soak for about 15 minutes.  In the meantime, chop the garlic.

2. When the almonds start to feel soft, put them in a food processor or blender with the water they soaked in as well as the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and vinegar.  Blend until there are no large chunks of almond and it begins to look creamy.  Add the capers and run again for 5 seconds.

Enjoy!

 

 

Walnut Lentil Burgers, Cabbage Hemp Salad and Potato Wedges

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Tonight’s dinner was a great success. I like it when after making a meal that seems to take almost two days to make, which I am sure no one wants to hear, but nonetheless, in my reality…sometimes it does, turns out good. Tonight’s response from Sean was, “Wow, that was really good!” Hearing those fine words, makes it all worth it…all the time in the kitchen hunched over the cutting board or over the recipe books, plural, truly pleases my heart to know that we are choosing to eat to nourish. And honestly, this food will please your body in more ways than one.

Walnut Lentil Burger:

Inspired By: Oh She Glows

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 piece bread, toasted OR 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 chia/flax egg (1 tbsp ground chia or flax + 1/4 cup water)

HOW TO PLAY:

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl make the chia or flax egg and set aside. Place lentils in a small pot and add a couple cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 25 minutes. Remove and rinse in colander. While the lentils are cooking, toast the walnuts by placing the walnuts on a baking sheet and cooking at 350F for about 12 minutes until golden brown and delicious. Let cool. In a food processor, process the garlic, walnuts, toasted bread OR breadcrumbs, garlic, spices & seasonings until combined. Now add oil and lentils and pulse until coarsely chopped (some lentils should be visible and left chunky). Add the flax or chia egg and pulse a bit more until combined. Now shape 4 patties with hands and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. (I made 7 patties) Bake at 350F for 20-22 minutes on each side for a total of 40-45 mins.

I use garlic aioli on all our burgers, thanks to Brendan Brazier. The burgers taste great with the aioli, and a spicy mustard….MMMMMM! And of course PICKLES!

 

Cabbage Hemp Salad:

Inspired by: Crazy Sexy Kitchen

Ingredients:

3 cups finely shredded cabbage (green and red mixed)

¼ cup red or yellow pepper

1 ½ avocado, pit removed and diced

3 Tbsp Hemp oil

1 ½ Tbsp lime juice

2 Tbsp diced green onions

¼ cup hemp seeds

3 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

How To Play:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Massage and mix with your hands to tenderize the cabbage and cream the avocado, and serve.

 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Potatoes and Rosemary:

Inspired by: Oh She Glows

Ingredients:

1 ¾ fingerling potatoes…or whatever kind you have, sliced….

4-5 sweet potatoes, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary

4 Teaspoons Avocado oil

1 ½ tsp Maple Sugar

¾ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp fresh ground pepper

How To Play:

Preheat oven to 400. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash potatoes and halve them lengthwise in a very large bowl.

Add the garlic, rosemary, oil, sugar, salt, pepper, and stir until the potatoes are covered. Roast for 35-38 minutes, stirring once halfway through the baking time, until the potatoes are golden.

 

Enjoy.

 

Halibut and Street Vendor Salad with Yogurt Tahini Dressing

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NY Street Vendor Salad

with Yogurt Tahini Dressing

(Inspired by Gwenyth Paltrow’s It’s All Good)

Ingredients:

1 large green leave lettuce, chopped

2 Handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved

½ English cucumber, peeled and diced

1/3 red onion, very thinly sliced

How To Play:

Place lettuce in a large bowl and stir to combine with ¼ cup of the dressing so it’s just lightly coated. Place lettuce on a large platter. Over the lettuce, evenly scatter the tomatoes, cucumber, and onion. Drizzle each portion with another tablespoon or 2 of the dressing and serve immediately, with the remaining dressing on the side.

Yogurt-Tahini Dressing:

Ingredients:

2 tbsp tahini

¼ cup boiling water

1 garlic clove, finely minced

½ plain yogurt or vegenaise

3 tbsp squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground pepper

How To Play:

Whisk the tahini and water together until completely smooth. Whisk in the remaining ingredients. Will keep well in a jar in the fridge for up to a week.

This salad goes very nice with a crusted Halibut.

Halibut with Parmesan Panko Crust

Ingredients:

Halibut

Lemon

Avocado Oil

Panko 

Parmesan Cheese

Italian Parsley

Salt and Pepper

How To Play:

My favorite way to eat halibut is by making a messy crust over it.

I put 1/2 cup -1 cup of panko crumbs in a bowl, mixed with few dashes of avocado oil. I stir the oil until the panko resembles wet sand. I mince 1/4 cup Italian Parsley and add 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese with salt and fresh ground pepper to the bowl.

I place the Halibut in a baking dish with a few dashes of oil, juice of 1/2 lemon, and a good bit of salt. I place the panko mixture over the Halibut and bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes at 350. I check almost obsessively throughout the last few minutes of the cook time, for I love Halibut to be tender, not dried out.

Enjoy!

 

 

Moroccan Couscous with Saffron.

I was so excited when my sister bought me Alicia’s Silverstone’s The Kind Diet recipe book. It was for my birthday and I was just beginning to end nursing my second child, completing my degree at University, and desiring to shed the last few pounds I had gained with my son. I remember during that summer, five years ago, I was cooking up a mighty storm. If we had new comers move into our complex, guaranteed they were going to have me knocking on their door with a vegan dessert of some sort. It was incredibly fun having a resource I could go to and know whether it be a meal, a snack, or a dessert, The Kind Diet would provide a smooth sailing for a great dish.  I love cook books and being able to fold, highlight, and scribble my own thoughts on the pages. I am not a technical person, far from it. I like to be able to take my books with me and sift through countless recipes and take notes on loose pieces of paper of the next meal I will embark upon. This particular recipe is a cozy go to. It makes quite a bit, so I tend to eat it for dinner and for lunch a couple of times in a row, as well as take it to work in hopes someone will enjoy it too.

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Moroccan Couscous with Saffron

Inspired by: The Kind Diet

Ingredients:

2 cups peeled butternut squash cut into ¼ or ½ inch cubes

2 cups yellow onion, large dice

1 ½ cups carrots, cut into ¼ or ½ inch cubes

1 ½ cups zucchini, cut into ¾ inch cubes

2 TBSP avocado oil

Fine Sea Salt

1 ½ tsp ground black pepper

1 ½ cups vegetable broth

2 TBSP Earth Balance butter

¼ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp saffron threads

1 ½ cups whole wheat couscous

2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

How To Play:

Preheat the oven to 375. Place the squash, onion, carrots, and zucchini on a baking sheet and toss with the avocado oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning once with a spatula about midway through.

While vegetables roast, bring the vegetable broth to a boil in saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the butter, remaining ½ tsp pepper, cumin, saffron, and salt to taste. Cover the pan and steep for 15 minutes.

Scrape the roasted vegetables and their juices into a large bowl (I used a large saucepan), and add the couscous. Bring the broth back to a boil, and pour over the couscous mixture all at once. Cover tightly and let sit for 15 minutes. Add the scallions, toss the couscous and vegetables with a fork and serve.

 

Enjoy.

 

Turkey Pot Pie

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I easily run out of ideas when it comes to feeding my kids and Sean leftovers. Randomly, perhaps due to the frigid damp weather, I craved turkey pot pie today. What better way to use a leftover turkey dinner? I made this tonight and there were no complaints, whoo-hoo!

Turkey Pot Pie:

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons of butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup of frozen peas and carrots
2 celery stalks, chopped finely
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp celery salt
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp basil
1/8 tsp oregano
1/2- 1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup and three tablespoons of almond milk
1 1/2 -2 cups cubed cooked turkey meat
2 9 inch unbaked pie crust (see recipe below)

How To Play:
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. In a saucepan, melt butter and sauté garlic, onions, and celery until tender. Add frozen peas and carrots, flour and spices. Add chicken broth and almond milk and stir well, until sauce thickens. Add turkey and mix well. Fill a pie plate with pastry and spoon mixture into the dish. Place second pie crust over top of mixture. Pinch and roll the top and bottom crusts together at the edge of the pie. Cut several small splits into the top s with a sharp knife to release steam.
Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, about 30-35 minutes.

Pie Pastry Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups lard, chilled (I use Tenderflake)
4 cups all purpose flour, chilled
1/4 tsp sea salt
2/3 cups water, chilled

How To Play:

Measure the flour and place in the refrigerator until cool to the touch.
Add the salt before adding the lard
Cut lard into pieces. Work well lint the flour and salt mixture until it achieves a mealy consistency.
Add water until dough is workable.
Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough on a piece of floured wax paper.
Place the dough in a pie plate by turning the wax paper over and positioning the crust in the pie plate.
This recipe makes sufficient dough for two or three pies.

Pie Pastry Recipe Inspired by Grandma Kettle’s Pies and Cookies.

Enjoy.

Greek Dressing.

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I love Greek food. It is my favorite. I have never been to Greece, but it is up there in my choices of places to visit. I love lemons, garlic, peppers, chicken, olive oil, sheesh, can I say anything more? OLIVES! I love Olives, too! I am so happy I came across this recipe the other day, for I have been at such a loss for a great Greek dressing for years. It was a successful homemade Greek night, plus the kids loved it too.
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My New Favorite Greek Salad & Dressing:

Ingredients:
English cucumber, seeds discarded
7 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 red and yellow pepper, chopped finely
red onion, sliced as thinly as you can
kalamata olives (optional)
feta cheese, cut into chunks

dressing (for a large salad)

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1.5 tsp salt
1 tbsp dried oregano

How To Play:
Place peppers, cucumbers, cheese, onions, tomatoes, olives in a bowl. Mix dressing ingredients in a small jar with a lid, shake well, pour over top of salad.
Enjoy.
Image Credit: Painting by Pantelis Zografos

Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash with Black Bean Guacamole

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Tomorrow I am having a play-date with one of my oldest friends. We grew up on the same street and went to the same school until my family moved away when I was 11. We didn’t reconnect until we both began having children, many years later. Our kids happen to be all the same ages, just give or take a couple months apart, and it has been like we have just picked up from where we left off 2o years ago. Mind you, we are not doing cartwheels in clown costumes on our front yards, having lemonade-popcorn stands, or climbing trees, but we are watching our kids begin to be adventurous and curious, seeing glimpses of our creative natures resonating inside of them.  We have both highly intelligent, little adult first borns, quiet, secretly smart second borns, and then our thirds. No words, perhaps not enough words to describe their little fear-less personalities. It has been a great joy doing life with Jen and being able to tackle all the obstacles life brings in our way together as sounding boards for one another. For sure there is always something to laugh about, it is just a given. I know I am going to miss her greatly when she moves next month, but I also know that this is just part of the story of the greater picture. What that picture is, I am not exactly sure, but I do know there is a preparation taking place for the perfect plan designed for her life. I am excited to see how it all unfolds for her and her family. They will be impacting, inspiring and influencing all those they meet in Fort St. John, and they themselves will be impacted, inspired and influenced, too. God is good.
Tomorrow we will be breaking bread with this meal from Oh She Glows.

Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash with Black Bean Guacamole

Inspired by: Oh She Glows

Ingredients:

For the spaghetti squash:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • ground cumin
  • ground chili powder (I didn’t use)
  • dried oregano
  • salt & pepper

For the black bean guacamole:

  • 2 avocados, pitted and flesh scooped out
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1.5 cups cooked beans)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • red pepper flakes, to taste

How To Play:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice off the stem of the squash and place the squash cut side down on a cutting board. With a chef’s knife, carefully slice through the squash lengthwise to create two long halves. Scoop out the seeds and guts with an ice cream scoop. Brush some olive oil onto the squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet and roast for 30-50 minutes, depending on how large your squash is. When the squash is tender and you can easily scrape the strands with a fork, it’s ready. Be sure not to cook for too long or it will turn mushy.
  2. While the squash is roasting, prepare the black bean guacamole. Mash the avocado flesh in a large bowl. Fold in the onion, tomato, drained and rinsed black beans, and cilantro. Season to taste with lime juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Remove squash from the oven, flip over, and scrape the flesh with a fork in vertical motions. Do this until you’ve scraped all the strands off the skin. Now sprinkle on some chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper (as much or as little as you want). Top the squash with guacamole and serve warm. You can also plate the spaghetti squash, if preferred.

Enjoy.