Saturday, February 16, 2013

Black bean burgers.

These gems are rich in fiber, protein and iron. Honestly, I don't miss meat at all. Not even a little. (I'm on day 19.) 


  • 2 cans black beans (15 ounces each), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed plus 6 tablespoons water
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup grated zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Place ground flaxseed and water in a bowl. Mix well, and set aside for at least 10 minutes or until it forms into a thick, gel-like subtsance. If mixture does not gel, add 1 more teaspoon ground flaxseed at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
  2. Place garlic cloves into food processor, and mince finely.
  3. Add one can of beans to garlic. Pulse to combine. Add cumin and salt, and pulse until mixture resembles chunky black bean dip.
  4. Transfer mixture from food processor to a large bowl.
  5. Stir in bread crumbs, flaxseed-water mixture, and zucchini. Stir well until everything is combined. Add remaining can of black beans.
  6. Prepare 8 patties from mixture.
  7. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium.
  8. Heat black bean burger about 4 minutes per side, until golden brown
We served it on a whole wheat bagel thin and top with vegan cheese, avocado, tomato and veganaise. You can freeze these and eat them another time (since this mixture makes 8 patties).

Spinach artichoke hummus.

I have good news, and bad news. Good news first: I have another delicious vegan recipe to share. Bad news: my photos are still craptastic. I feel like by taking horrific cell phone pictures the internet people of the world won't take their time to really look at the recipe and try making it. Anyway. You can trust me when I say this is a keeper. The original idea came from here, but as always, I made my own tweaks (and I think they're pretty special ones).

  • 1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (use reduced sodium)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seen paste. can be found on natural aisle.)
  • The juice of one full lemon
  • Olive oil to taste
  • Salt and cayenne to taste
  •  1/2 package of frozen spinach (6 ounces) thawed, squeezed, drained and choppped
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  1. Puree chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini and enough olive oil to get your preferred consistency. We used about 4 tablespoons. 
  2. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper.
  3. Remove from food processor and put the mix into a large bowl. 
  4. Add the chopped spinach and artichoke hearts.
  5. Stir well. 
Eat it with chips or veggies and use it as a spread for sandwiches. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Portabella mushroom fajitas.

(photo via)

So far, on this no-meat journey, there have been few things that have knocked my socks off, taste-wise. These mushroom fajitas are one of those few things.

You should know this about any recipes I share: if I'm creating something on my own, I don't really measure. I taste test and add as is the case with this meal.

  • Black beans
  • Canned corn
  • 1 portabella mushroom, cut into strips
  • Peppers of your choice
  • Onion (optional)
  • Cilantro 
  • Onion powder
  • Pepper
  • Minced garlic
  • Whole wheat tortillas 
  • Salsa 
  • Cheese
  • Avocado

On medium heat, cook mushroom strips, onion and peppers in a skillet with a little olive oil for about five minutes. Season with garlic, onion powder and pepper. Heat up the black beans and corn in a separate saucepan. Pile it all sky high on a tortilla and top with a little cheese, cut-up avocado and salsa.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Green dream smoothie.

Here's what I've already discovered about juicing/smoothie-making: I like to give my creations dumb names, the method is foolproof, you can make something magnificent from anything you find lurking in your fridge, they are easier to eat than salads, spinach (in juice form) doesn't taste like anything, you don't need a fancy/expensive blender.

  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 5 strawberries
  • Water
  • Ice
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed (if you need the extra fiber, like I do)
Blend it all together. Drink from a straw. Freeze the leftovers in an ice tray then make more the next day. 

Blender tip: In case you are like me, and you're deciding suddenly to cut out all meat, all processed foods, most dairy, and live mostly on smoothies and salads, and you're worried you'll have to buy a fancy new blender, don't. I have an old Back-To-Basics Elite Smoothie Maker and it works fine. It even blends the tiny flax seeds and liquifies spinach. Long term, I may end up needing something nicer. I'll keep you posted on how long this one lasts. I have a feeling I might wear it out fast by making three smoothies a day.

Parmesan green bean fries.

This is her recipe and her photo! I didn't change a thing; these are perfect. Can you tell we like vegetable "fries?" Disguising it as junk food makes it easier for us to eat, apparently. 

The world's best zucchini fries.

The picture makes them look a tiny bit burnt, and gross, but I assure you, they are delicious. I explored the web looking for the best way to make zucchini sticks, but I was let down time and time again. Then I found this recipe. (She has nicer photos. A lot nicer. It's almost as if she used a real camera and not the broken one on her cell phone.) 

Anyway, I did make a few tweaks (and I didn't make the sauce she did) so here's my version:

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
  •  2 large zucchini, cut into 4-inch sticks

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil or nonstick spray. 

2. Coat zucchini in egg then dredge through the flour, parmesan, bread crumb mix. Turn them over and make sure the whole thing is coated.

3. Arrange in one layer on the cookie sheet. (If you're anything like me, you will want to add a little pile of extra parmesan to each stick. Do it now.)

4. Bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes. Serve immediately with sauce of your choice. 

We used marinara that we made from scratch. I'd share that recipe, but there really isn't one. We experimented by throwing tomatoes, onion, carrot and garlic in the blender with some fresh basil and dried Italian seasonings. Lots of simmering, reducing, adding stuff. It was good, but sort of a mess.