Category Archives: Vegetarian

Umami Sundried Tomato + Almond Burgers

My favorite thing about cooking is experimenting with new combinations of ingredients. When I saw this recipe, I was so intrigued by using unsoaked almonds and sun-dried tomatoes together, let alone in a veggie burger recipe. To date, these are some of my favorite veggie burgers. I’ve tried plenty of recipes that end up tasting OK, but these are so different. The sun-dried tomatoes totally make these and the almonds give it a great texture. The other thing that surprised me was how versatile they are – they tasted great with hummus in a wrap, and great with our favorite Hampton Creek Truffle Mayo. They’d probably also be great with caramelized onions. Let me know if you find another topping for them!

Umami Sundried Tomato + Almond Burgers

Adapted from Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes

Makes about 20 slider size burgers 


2 cups raw almonds

1-1/2 tbsp tomato paste

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 small garlic cloves, cut into quarters

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari)

3/4 cup sliced green onion

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced (not packed in oil, if hard – soak in warm water for a few minutes before using)

1-1/2 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice


  1. In a food processor, add the almonds, tomato paste, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, garlic, balsamic vinegar and coconut aminos. Purée until nuts are very fine ground. Do so enough so that the almonds release some oils so patty mixture can be somewhat sticky.
  2. Add the green onions and sundried tomatoes and pulse until mixture becomes dense and starts to hold together.
  3. Add the quinoa (or brown rice) and pulse until well incorporated.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (We made burgers as we needed them, over the course of 3 days, refrigerating the mixture we didn’t need).
  5. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Using an ice cream scooper, make slider size patties and carefully place in pan. Cook for a few minutes in each side. (NOTE- These have great texture but can become dry and crumbly is overcooked).
  6. Enjoy in a wrap, with a burger bun, or plain.

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



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


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


  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. 

Lentil Tacos w/Carrot-Jicama Slaw

These lentil tacos are so simple.  What takes the most time is prepping all the vegetables, and after that, it’s a cinch. It took about 45 minutes to make, start to finish, which is a bit long for a weeknight meal, but it was definitely worth the wait. I got the recipe from vegan cookbook, Thug Kitchen – which I’m putting out there, is not for the faint of heart.  If it were a CD, it would definitely have the label for “Parent Advisory Lyrics.”  That said, if you can look past the word choices in the recipe descriptions and look at the recipes, they are pretty great. I actually can’t believe how little of what I made is left – that’s how much everyone liked it!  I suggest prepping the vegetables ahead of time, to make cooking this recipe even easier.  We enjoyed without the salsa the author suggested, and I’m sure that makes these tacos even better.  Even your meat-loving friends will love these!


Lentil Tacos with Carrot-Jicama Slaw

adapted from Thug Kitchen

makes 6-8 tacos, or more if using mini tortillas


3 cups water

1 cup black beluga lentils

1/2 tsp olive oil

1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped

8 oz. mushrooms, cut into bite sized pieces

1 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

3 garlic cloves minced

2 tbsp apple juice (the unfiltered kind)

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 lb jicama, cut into small matchstick pieces

1 carrot, cut into small matchstick pieces

1 cucumber, peeled and cut into small matchstick pieces

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp lime juice

pinch of sea salt

Your favorite corn tortillas


  1. Cook the lentils with the water until boiling.  Once boiling, simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender, but not mushy.  Drain extra water.
  2. In a large pan, heat olive oil and add onions.  Cook until translucent.  Add mushrooms and cook another 3-5 minutes.  Add coconut aminos and lentils and stir.  Add garlic and apple juice, stir and cook for a few more minutes.  Turn off heat and add sesame oil. Stir in to combine.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the jicama, carrots, and cucumber.  Mix in apple cider vinegar and lime juice. Salt to taste.
  4. Assemble tacos and enjoy!




Make-Ahead Moroccan Quinoa

I’ve been working my way through The Love & Lemons Cookbook and was inspired to try a Moroccan Couscous recipe with quinoa instead of couscous.  I had to make some tweaks, because quinoa cooks differently than couscous, but the result was really good.  I also think it tastes better the next day, making this a great make-ahead dish for weeknight dinners or even lunchboxes.


Moroccan Quinoa (serves 8-10)

adapted from Eating in the Middle



2 cups no-chicken (or chicken) broth

1 cup water

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed & drained

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. turmeric

2 tsp. grated lemon zest

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 cup golden raisins

3-4 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley



1.  In a medium sized pot, bring broth and water to a boil.

2.  Remove pot from heat and add quinoa, cumin, coriander, turmeric, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Stir in and cover pot. Let stand for 10 minutes.

3.  Move covered pot back to burner, over medium-high heat.  Set timer for 5 minutes.  Check after 5 minutes to see if liquid has been absorbed.  Repeat for 5 minutes at a time until liquid is absorbed.

4.  Once liquid is absorbed, fluff with a fork and stir in raisins and parsley.  Can be served immediately, at room temperature, or can be refrigerated and served cold.


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




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?


Veggie Burger Salad Stack

Avocado Caesar Dressing

Until this weekend, I hadn’t considered using avocado in a Caesar dressing.  In anticipation of her new cookbook, I found a recipe from What Gaby’s Cooking‘s book Absolutely Avocado.  I adapted it a tinge, and the result was really great.  The recipe was straightforward and I made the entire recipe in my mini food-processor (smaller machine, smaller clean up!).   Scott said it was a great salad dressing for lunch.  He prefers the Vegan one for dinner.  I tried to ask what specific qualities brought him to this decision, but I couldn’t get a straight answer, so I guess we’ll just go with it as is.  Try this one at home and let us know how you like it.  Would you say it’s more of a “lunch dressing” too?

Some notes

  • I used three garlic cloves instead of 1 or 2. One more would be fabulous too.
  • Our serving size was 2 tbsp., while the recipe would allow for about 4tbsp – 1/2 cup per person.  I would suggest adjusting serving size for how large your salad is, and taste preference 🙂
  • We used the Parmesan cheese, but I think it could easily be omitted.  Perhaps add a bit more salt and pepper if doing so.


Avocado Caesar Dressing
adapted from Gaby Dalkin, Absolutely Avocado

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 Hass avocado
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Cut avocado in half lengthwise and remove pit. Remove flesh of avocado with a spoon into the bowl of a food processor.

Add the remaining ingredients and pulse about 2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Grandpa’s Breakfast Potatoes

As I’ve mentioned before, my Grandpa loved to cook, as did both of my Grandmothers.  Of all their specialties, Grandpa’s breakfast potatoes are one of my all-time favorites.  Growing up, breakfast was always an occasion.  Aside from the great food, and something cracking someone up into a fit of laughter, it was where we discussed what was for dinner.  What’s more important than that?!  Not to mention, the potatoes themselves were special because they were pretty much the only time I remember eating them, other than on a holiday.  With Passover during the past week, we had Shabbat Sha-Breakfast last Friday night, and I decided it would be fun to make Grandpa’s potatoes.  My only challenge was figuring out a spice combination similar to his secret seasonings mixture (which made everything taste better).  My Grandpa set a high standard for this recipe, but I think I came pretty close.  Next, I’ll try to make my Grandma’s coffee cake, that she always wanted “just a sliver” of.  Yum!

Grandpa's Breakfast Potatoes

Grandpa’s Breakfast Potatoes

Grandpa’s Potatoes
serves 2-4

1 cup – 1 1/2 cups diced potatoes (frozen or pre-packaged)
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
Kosher salt
Garlic powder
Fresh ground black pepper

1. Heat a large nonstick pan over low-medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions. After a few minutes add a small pinch of salt and some pepper. Saute until starting to brown.
2. Add potatoes and cook until start to soften. Add a few shakes of garlic powder and paprika. Add more pepper, if desired.
3. Cook until potatoes are desired consistency.
4. Serve hot and enjoy!

Cilantro Lime Egg Whites + Black Beans

Last week, it was pretty cold for Southern California standards, and so it ended up being a “breakfast for dinner” kind of week.  We love egg whites in our house, and I might add, I make them pretty well.  Of the different combinations we made, this one, with refried black beans, avocado, lime juice, and chopped cilantro was my favorite.  I tried to make a crispy corn tortilla, but because ours on hand were of the “fiber & flax” variety, that didn’t really work out to more than a chewy consistency (cutting it was like Cliff cutting into the cake Elvin made Claire on The Cosby Show).  Nonetheless, our Friday night dinner was delicious and one we’ll be sure to make again!

Some notes

  • Using fresh eggs for the egg whites, make them turn out a million times more fluffy.  I cook them in a non-stick pan with 1/2 tsp. of Earth Balance butter melted.  The egg whites cook for about 4-5 minutes, turning off the heat right when they start to firm up, so they cook in the heat of the pan and don’t become tough.
  • We use 3 egg whites per person.
  • Amy’s Organic Refried Black Beans are delicious! We tried the Whole Foods brand as well – but as Scott says, “it’s like they were just mashed” with the Amy’s brand.
  • Each egg white “tostada” had a squeeze of half a lime on top.
  • To make the corn tortilla crispy, brush each side of the tortilla with a little olive oil and put in a preheated 400 degree oven for 6-8 minutes.
Cilantro Lime Egg Whites + Black Beans "Tostada"

Cilantro Lime Egg Whites + Black Beans “Tostada”

Vegan 7 Layer Dip

The pico de gallo earlier this week, that was just the beginning!  I am particularly partial to the 7 layer dip at Trader Joe’s.  However, for a homemade vegan version – this recipe is pretty darn good.  I *may* have even tricked some family members that it’s a normal, 7 layer dip.  The vegan cheese sauce, is cashew-based and fairly easy to make, just takes some time.  I tried it before adding the carrot, potato, and onions, and those veggies really make this an awesome texture that tastes like cheddar.  For the layered dip, I followed the ordering listed in the recipe, and the result was delicious!  The only downfall, was our tortilla chips broke mid-dip swoop.  I will definitely make this again, and have no qualms serving to friends (as long as there are no nut allergies 🙂 )

Some notes

  • Use a slotted spoon when scooping on the Pico de Gallo.  I made this layer the night before, and the pico created its own liquid, so it made the dip soupy when I didn’t use a slotted spoon.
  • I prepared all the ingredients the night before, and layered about 30 minutes before serving – storing covered with saran in the fridge, until ready to serve.
  • We opted to not mix the taco seasoning into the sour cream.  Scott didn’t care for the way it tasted.  Depending on your guests, you use vegan or traditional sour cream.
  • The Vegan Cheese Sauce recipe makes A LOT of sauce.  I probably used about 1/2 cup of it total.  Not quite sure what we’re going to use the rest for yet.
  • The Vegan Cheese Sauces seems to use the same base as the Vegan Caesar dressing.  After debating, I used yellow mustard for this, rather than dijon.  Not sure how dijon would change overall taste.
  • In my opinion, there were not enough black beans in this recipe.  Next time, I would use 2 cans, instead of 1, blending with 1/2 tsp. of cumin, rather than 1/4 – and 2 tbsp. of olive oil, rather than 1 tbsp.
Vegan 7 Layer Dip

Vegan 7 Layer Dip

Vegan Cheese Sauce (A LOT of it!)

Vegan Cheese Sauce (a LOT of it!)