Category Archives: Quick Meals

Lentil Cream Cheese Tartines

Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen a lot of my favorite food bloggers mention a cookbook, Pulse Revolution.  Curious, I looked it up on Amazon, and the Kindle version is so affordable (99 cents), I had to check it out.  All of the recipes are vegetarian, with many that include options to adapt for adding meat, if you desire.  I also found that while many of the recipes feature dairy, they are easy enough to adapt with non-dairy versions – like this Lentil Cream Cheese Tartines one.  I used Kite Hill Plain Almond Milk Cream Cheese and the rest was same as suggested.  The cookbook calls this a breakfast recipe, but we enjoyed for dinner.  Honestly, it’s so good, it’d be good any time of day.  I also halved the recipe, because we tend to use less cream cheese than the serving size.  And, for ease of a weeknight dinner, I used canned lentils – and prepared the cream cheese mixture in the morning.FullSizeRender-3

Lentil Cream Cheese Tartines

makes 4-6 toasts

adapted from Pulse Revolution

INGREDIENTS

4 oz. non-dairy cream cheese (I like Kite Hill plain)

1 tbsp chives, chopped

Lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp cooked lentils (I used pre-cooked canned lentils)

Your favorite gluten-free bread (we like Canyon Bakehouse Rye and Heritage Whole Grain)

Eggs (1 egg per toast)

DIRECTIONS

In a small food processor, blend cream cheese, lentils, chives, and lemon zest.  Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.  Set aside.  You can make in advance and refrigerate.

In a small nonstick fry pan, heat over medium heat.  Add a little bit of oil (about 1/2 tsp per egg).  Crack the egg in the pan and cook until the whites are cooked and the yolk is just starting to get firm.  Cook longer if you want a more well done egg.

While the egg is cooking, toast your bread.  Spread cream cheese mixture on bread and top with fried egg.  Enjoy immediately.

 

Grown-up Beans on Toast

Another great cookbook I’ve been using lately is The Dude Diet.  Along with the great frittata recipe I made awhile ago, we recently made ‘Grown-up Beans on Toast.’  The recipe calls for chicken sausage, but we made without, and it still tastes great – even kid approved!  It’s pretty quick to make – took about 30 minutes start to finish – and, it tastes great as leftovers too.  The author says the recipe makes 2 servings, but I think it can make about 6-10 toasts, depending how much you use to top the bread.  If you eat meat, go ahead and use your favorite chicken sausage.  I’ll list those steps as optional below.  We made ours wheat and dairy-free using gluten-free bread, and Vegan Parmesan shreds.IMG_4052.JPG

Grown-up Beans on Toast

adpated from The Dude Diet

makes about 6-10 toasts

INGREDIENTS

2 tsp. olive oil

2 chicken sausages (sweet or spicy), diced – OPTIONAL

1/2 sweet onion, chopped finely

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. tomato paste

3/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 15 oz. can cannelini beans (or great white northern beans), rinsed & drained

1 15 oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup water

Your favorite gluten-free (or traditional) bread, toasted

Chopped parsley, to sprinkle on top

Vegan Parmesan, to sprinkle on top (I like Follow Your Heart, found at Whole Foods)

DIRECTIONS

  1.  In a medium saute pan, heat pan and add olive oil.
  2. [OPTIONAL] Saute diced chicken sausage for about 4-5 minutes, until browned.
  3. Add onion and saute until translucent, just starting to brown.
  4. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.  About 30 seconds.
  5. Add dried oregano, tomato paste, salt, and paprika.  Cook for a few minutes more.
  6. Add drained beans, tomatoes and water.  Heat until boiling.  Then, reduce the heat and cook for another 10 minutes so flavors can combine.  I waited until most of the liquid had evaporated.
  7. Serve warm on toast.  Top with chopped parsley and vegan parmesan.

 

Walnut + Chickpea Tacos w/Lime Aioli

This recipe is about as easy as it gets.  It’s practically no-cook, but you wouldn’t know it when eating the final product.  Scott was impressed with how similar the walnut and chickpea taco “meat” tasted in flavor and texture.  And, for it to be a win in the texture category, is my favorite kind of vegan win.  I don’t eat soy, so other meatless taco “meat” alternatives aren’t an option for us. However, I think once you make this recipe, you’ll hardly miss the other vegan options, or meat ones for that matter.  TBD how this tastes the next day, but I’m guessing it’s just as great as it did tonight.  Taco Tuesday, anyone?

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Chickpea + Walnut Tacos with Lime Aioli

adapted from Pure & Beautiful Vegan Cooking

serves 4-6, makes about 10-12 tacos

INGREDIENTS

1 cup walnuts

1 cup garbanzo beans, drained

2 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

1 tbsp cumin (or a little less for a milder flavor)

2 heaping tsp garlic powder

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp vegan low fat mayo

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

small corn tortillas

grape tomatoes

micro greens or green cabbage

avocado (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1.  In a small food processor, combine walnuts, garbanzo beans, coconut aminos, cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder.  Pulse until spices are well combined and texture is chunky (though parts may be smooth – that’s OK).  Pour contents into a microwave safe bowl.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together vegan mayo and lime juice.  Set aside.
  3. Prepare the tortillas and toppings.
  4. Heat the taco “meat” in the microwave for 1 minute
  5. Spoon about 1 -1 1/2 tbsp of taco “meat” onto each tortilla.  Top with toppings you like, and finish each taco with a drizzle of the lime aioli.

“Magical” Applesauce Vinaigrette + Other Good Salad Dressings

My grandma used to say for a good meal, she just needed a good salad and good bread.  When I think about dinner with my grandparents, it always included a salad, and it always included a Mrs. Bernstein’s salad dressing.  But aside from that salad dressing, my favorite dressings were always ones my mom made.  That’s probably why I also love making my own salad dressings. Though, I still have a few favorite store-bought dressings I love, because let’s honest, who has time to always make their own dressings?!

This salad dressing really is “magical.”  I would never think to add cumin to a salad dressing, let alone applesauce or maple syrup, but this is really good.  I omitted the miso because I don’t eat soy.  I don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like with the miso, but the final product how I made it below is great! The only downside to the recipe is it makes just 4 servings, so you’ll need to double the recipe, if you want enough to enjoy throughout the week.  Bon apetit!

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“Magical” Applesauce Vinaigrette

adapted from Plant Powered Families

serves 4 (1 serving = 2 tbsp)

INGREDIENTS 

1/4 cup organic unsweetened applesauce

1/4 rounded tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp stoneground mustard (or dijon)

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 -1.5 tbsp maple syrup

freshly ground pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in a small food processor and blend together until smooth. Adjust for seasonings.  Add a little more maple syrup for a sweeter dressing OR add a couple teaspoons of water for a thinner dressing.

NOTE – you may need to double batch to make it easier to blend in the blender or food processor.

 

OTHER GOOD SALAD DRESSINGS

(store-bought + vegan/gluten-free/soy-free)

Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinaigrette (I’ve found it at Whole Foods + Ralphs)

Maplegrove Fat-free Balsamic Dressing (I’ve found it at Gelsons, Ralphs, + Walmart)

Follow Your Heart Low Fat Balsamic Dressing (I’ve found it a some Gelsons + some Whole Foods)

 

Two [Vegan] Ranch Dressing Recipes

I generally prefer vinegar-based salad dressing but there are definitely days when I crave something a little more savory.  I’ve found two great Ranch dressing recipes, that just happen to also be vegan. What I love about these recipes, is that even if you’re not vegan, you can just swap out the Vegan mayo with an egg-based one and it still tastes great.

Creamy Ranch Dressing

serves about 12 (1 tsbp = 1 serving)

adapted from here

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Vegan Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Non-dairy Milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)

2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

2 tsp Dried Parsley

1-1/4 tsp Onion Powder

1/2 tsp Dried Dill

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  2. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (might be OK longer, but haven’t tried yet)

Wall Street Restaurant’s Pareve Ranch Dressing

makes about 16 servings

adapted from here

INGREDIENTS

2 cups mayonnaise (can use vegan or traditional)

1/2 cup white vinegar

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp sugar (regular or coconut sugar tastes fine)

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp dried dill

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  2. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks

Broccoli Waldorf Salad

This is probably the easiest recipe I’ve made in awhile. Prep requires some chopping and assembling and that’s it! The recipe says this serves 2, but we felt it’s better with about 6 servings because the dressing makes it pretty indulgent. I think it might also taste great with a vinegar-based dressing but not quite sure which one yet. Let me know if you have any ideas! Enjoy!


Broccoli Waldorf Salad

Adapted from Easy Vegan Breakfasts & Lunches

Serves about 6

INGREDIENTS

Salad

2 cups broccoli florets, raw* 

1 stalk celery, chopped

2/3 apple, cored and chopped

1/4 scant cup red onion, chopped fine

1/3 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Dressing

1/2 cup veganaise (we use soy-free or Hampton Creek, could also use any mayo or plain yogurt (vegan or dairy))

1 tbsp lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

1-1/2 tsp agave

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all salad ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and gently stir together. Set aside. 
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. 
  3. Pour dressing over salad and stir until coated. 
  4. Serve as a side salad, in a pita, or in a wrap (we like Bfree brand quinoa and chia wraps-they sell them at Ralphs)
  5. Salad can keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. 

*I used florets that come in bags you can steam in the microwave. Frozen won’t work here. You could certainly also use fresh broccoli sold in bunches. Surprisingly, the broccoli becomes softer when mixed in with everything. I also tried to pick broccoli pieces that had short stalks, so it would be easier to eat. 

Shrimp Burgers turned Salmon Burgers

My new favorite cookbook is Katie Lee’s Endless Summer.  The pictures alone make me want to go on vacation, and the recipes are even better.  I created a Salmon Burger recipe based on her Shrimp Burger recipe, and they are SO good.  We’ve been making them almost every week!  I make them slider size and I haven’t met one person yet who doesn’t like them.  To make things easier, I also have the fishmonger take the skin off and cube the salmon for me, to make putting it in the food processor that much easier.  At first, I was hesitant to try the sauce from the recipe, but this one actually compliments the burger really well. These are sure to be a hit at your house too (and for the little ones, are also great cut up in lunch boxes, with a little ketchup for dipping).

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Salmon Burgers 

makes about 19 slider-sized burgers

recipe adapted from Endless Summer

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. salmon, skin removed + cubed

1 egg, lightly beaten

2/3 cup gluten-free panko (or regular)

2 scallions, chopped, white and green parts

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

2 tbsp. lemon juice

salt + pepper to taste

2-3 tbsp. canola oil (use 1 tbsp. per batch of burgers in the pan)

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise or vegannaise

1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

Hamburger buns or dinner rolls (for sliders) – We like Udi’s Gluten-free Classic Dinner Rolls

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large food processor, combine salmon, egg, gluten-free panko, scallions, garlic powder, lemon juice, about 1/2 tsp. sea salt and 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper.  Pulse until well combined.  Some chunks of salmon are OK, but most should be chopped up fine.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add 1 tbsp of oil.  For each batch of burgers in the pan, add 1 tbsp of oil or less if you don’t think it needs it.  You don’t want them to stick.
  3. Using an ice cream scoop, make slider size patties.  For bigger burgers, 2 scoops work well.  Carefully place each burger in the pan as you are forming them.  After a few minutes, turn them over.  They should be a light brown color.  They’re done when they feel slightly firm with a spatula. If you like more well-done, cook a little longer.  Don’t worry if the outside looks brown when you remove from the pan, those still taste great, and are not burned.  (I find the first batch usually has a lighter brown color when cooked on the outside than later batches)
  4. As burgers are done cooking, place them to cool on a plate lined with a few paper towels to drain the oil.  Repeat process until all burgers are cooked.
  5. While burgers are cooling, mix mayo and Old Bay seasoning.
  6. To assemble burgers, use your favorite buns (or dinner rolls – we like those for sliders), and put about 1/2-1 tsp. of sauce for each burger.  Eat open-faced or as a burger.  Enjoy! (They keep about 2 days in the fridge)

 

Cooking with Garbanzo Bean Flour

In several of the new cookbooks I’ve read recently, a recipe for “Socca” has appeared three times, prepared in three different ways. It’s made from a batter of garbanzo bean flour, water and oil, and sometimes other seasonings.  It seemed so simple, and the pictures looked really good, I’ve been so curious to try and see what it tastes like – I can’t recall ever eating something made with garbanzo flour before.  I’ve now made 2 of the 3 recipes, and I honestly can’t believe how incredibly easy it is to make AND how good it tastes.  I will say cooking it in the oven yields a more savory final product, but the stove-top recipe couldn’t be easier to make.  Both recipes are below and you can decide for yourself which you prefer.

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HERBED SOCCA with BROCCOLI + HUMMUS

serves 6

adapted from Pure & Beautiful Vegan Cooking

BATTER 

1 cup chickpea flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp dried thyme

dash of freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cups water

4 tbsp olive oil, divided

TOPPINGS

1 small head broccoli, sliced florets only

1/3 cup of your favorite hummus

1/4 cup microgreens or broccoli sprouts

 

DIRECTIONS

Place a 12-inch cast iron skillet inside the oven and preheat to 450.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the batter ingredients excluding the water and the oil. Now, slowly whisk in the water and 2 tbsp of the oil.  Allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes to 2 hours.

While the batter rests, slice the broccoli florets. Arrange the florets in a single layer on a lined baking sheet or coated with nonstick spray and drizzle with 1 tbsp of oil.  Set aside.

Once the batter is done resting, coat the hot skillet with 1 tbsp of oil and pour in the batter. Place the skillet on the top middle rack in the oven and place the broccoli pan on the lower middle rack in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the broccoli from the oven after the time is up. Now, move the top rack to its highest level and broil the socca for about 5 minutes, until slightly crispy on top.  Be sure to keep an eye on it, ensuring that it doesn’t burn.

Remove the socca from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Top with a layer of hummus, followed by the broccoli and finally the sprouts or microgreens. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

 

SOCCA “PIZZA”

recipe says makes 6 pizzas, but this made about 18 for me

from It’s All Easy

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INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups garbanzo flour

2 cups water

2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for frying

salt

toppings of your choice

 

DIRECTIONS

To make the batter, whisk together the chickpea flour, olive oil, and 2 cups of water and season with 2 big pinches of salt.  When ready to cook the pizzas, heat an 8-inch nonstick pan over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tbsp of olive oil, pour in about 1/4 cup of the batter, and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the bottom is crispy and the top is almost set.  Carefully clip the socca and cook for 1 minute more.  Transfer to a plate a dress with your desired toppings.  Repeat with the remaining batter.

 

NOTES ABOUT THIS RECIPE

  • This recipe yielded way more than the recipe listed.  I’m still not sure why that happened.
  • I also noticed that after the first batch, the socca only got crispy if I added more oil in before the new batch of batter.
  • I topped the “pizzas” with some tomato sauce, a few sprinkles of dried oregano, and some halved cherry tomatoes.
  • This recipe was way more kid-friendly than the first for us.

Best and Easy Salmon Burgers

For several years, I have been wanting to make my own salmon burgers.  One of my family members makes the most delicious salmon patties every year for one of our family dinners – and intimidated by all the recipes to first cook and then flake the salmon, I just never tried.  That is, until I found this recipe from Food & Wine magazine.  All you need is a food processor (or I imagine a blender will do too) to chop up the salmon, mix in the ingredients by hand, and voila!  This recipe is not only delicious, but it also is easy to freeze and thaw next day and/or prepare the night before cooking.  We first made these for dinner with our friends, and this past weekend we made a whole batch for ourselves, because they’re just so good and easy.  Do you have a great salmon burger recipe?

Some notes

  • Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup – I got 11 patties from the mix
  • I used 1/4 cup fat free mayo and 1/4 cup reduced fat/light mayo
  • I used sambal oelek that I found at the supermarket
  • I prepared the night before and had in the fridge to cook up the next day.  When I cooked the next day, I coated with panko/sesame seed mixture then.  (Feel free to use traditional and black sesame seeds)
  • I used 1 tbsp vegetable oil in nonstick pan for 8 patties – I’d say if cooking up a few, maybe use 1-2 tsp for every two – just eyeball what looks good – since it’s in a nonstick pan, it doesn’t need a ton of oil, but enough to brown the patties.
  • To freeze, I wrapped each patty in saran wrap and put in a freezer ziploc bag.
  • We ate with out the slaw or avocado aioli
  • They taste great in salad, so a bun is optional.  If using a bun, you might want to add avocado, tzatziki, or the toppings suggested in the recipe

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Veggie Burger Salad Stack

Sprouts market recently opened near us, and in our exploring, we are trying some new-to-us veggieburgers varieties.  We really enjoy the Gardenburger Black Bean Chipotle burgers chopped up and put into a salad.  It’s one of the quickest weeknight meals to make  – about 10 minutes in a non-stick pan to cook the patties, and the salad can be assembled in that time.  Just as delicious and quick to prepare is the next brand we tried – Boca Burger Original Vegan (with non-GMO soy).  Because we knew this one tastes more like meat, we decided to make a hamburger like meal out of it – resulting in quite the delicious Veggie Burger Salad Stack (pictured below).  The patty is placed on top of shredded iceberg lettuce.  For the toppings, we put mustard, chopped brown onion, ketchup, pickle relish and some pickle slices.  It’s a fork-and-knife kind of meal and delicious through each bite.  In fact, Scott still has a hard time believing the Boca Burger patty isn’t meat!  What are your favorite ways to enjoy a veggie burger at home?

VeggieBurgerStack

Veggie Burger Salad Stack