Tag Archives: vegetarian

Lentil Burgers

10 Aug

There are a lot of veggie burgers out there. Most of the recipes, however, require a large amount of something starchy, like rice, flour, breadcrumbs, etc. I have weird O.C.D. about starch on starch action. I don’t want to put a ton of something starchy on top of something else starchy like a bun and then try and get good flavor out of it.  Starches are flavor diluters.  They take away from all the good yummy punches you throw into the mix, so I feel the need to be cautious with them. So I decided I would make my own veggie patties and see how they turned out. I have to say, they were delicious.

I had a big bag of lentils, since I am on a budget this month and organic lentils in bulk are only $1.69 per pound, and increase in volume when cooked, unlike ground beef at $3.99 per pound and decreases in volume. I also resorted to dried mushrooms, priced by weight and lucky for me they weigh next to nothing. And a zucchini, for funsies. I did end up throwing a tiny bit of flour in, out of nervousness for them to fall apart, but I think I could have left it out, and will next time to see if it works.  Here’s my result:

Green Lentil Burgers

2 cups water

1 cup dried mushrooms (shitake is usually the most cost affective)

1 cup green lentils

1 zucchini, shredded

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp tomato paste

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp garlic powder (or minced garlic if you have)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 whole wheat flour


Bring the water to a boil and steep the mushrooms for 5 minutes, until soft. Remove with a slotted spoon and add the lentils. Reduce heat to medium low and cook the lentils for 20-30 minutes, depending on how mushy you like them. Meanwhile, chop the mushrooms finely and mix with the remaining ingredients until well blended.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

When the lentils are cooked, blend with the vegetable mixture and scoop large spoonfuls onto a non-stick baking pan. Pat each one down gently into a patty.  You should yield 6 hearty portions. Bake for 20 minutes, then serve on a warm whole wheat bun with lettuce.

Zucchini Fritters with Tomato Pistachio Crudo

26 Jul

Light, delicious, vegetarian summer meal that you can do in 25 minutes or so. The flour may be off, depending on how much vegetable you yield. Add it a tablespoon at a time until the batter comes together in a workable way.


1 large zucchini

1 small onion

2 tbsp buttermilk (regular milk is fine)

1 egg

1 tsp dried basil

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

2-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Heat pan to medium heat. Shred the zucchini and onion with a normal cheese grater over a paper towel. Gently squeeze as much moisture out of the vegetables as you can and set aside. Mix together buttermilk, egg, basil and garlic, then stir in the vegetables. Add the flour slowly until it becomes a sticky, thick batter, the consistency of biscuit or cookie dough. Add oil to the pan and shape spoonfuls of batter into patties and fry for about 5 minutes on each side. Top with yogurt and tomato-pistachio crudo.


1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped roughly

2 tbsp chopped pistacchios

Salt and pepper

Chop up tomatoes and nuts and mix together, season and serve. Add fresh basil if you have it.

It ain’t a pretty picture, but it is super yummy.

Meal Plan For 3/26

26 Mar

I usually do one shopping trip a week and plan 5 meals for dinner. There are many reasons for this practice, but the main one is that I get really stressed out on days that I am off of work close to 7 p.m. and have no idea what to eat.  It’s just my husband and me at home, so some nights we can get away with eating chips and salsa, but I do believe dinner is sacred, and I love to be able to enjoy a good meal after being on my feet all day.  Another reason is that it keeps costs down, it saves me time spent shopping. I assign days for organizational purposes, but frequently switch meals around according to what I feel like cooking. The two extra days in the week are either leftover nights or night we are out, or I do another shop a day early.

I’ve noticed a few companies are now charging ungodly sums of money for planning your meals and making your shopping list. Well, you can have this one for free. If any of these dishes sounds intriguing, please leave a comment and I will prioritize which of the recipes I will post.

Monday- Split Pea soup with country bread (leftovers)

Tuesday- Hunger Games Day, going out for sushi.

Wednesday- Off day, Beef pho with homemade broth, also want to make these delectable sirens.

Thursday- Late day, whole wheat rigatoni with artichoke hearts, lemon and parsley.

Friday- Scallopine (pork, veal or chicken) with pepper cheese mashed potatoes and asparagus

Saturday- Black Bean and Spinach quesadillas

Sunday- Vegetable Bi Bim Bap

A really good resource to plan these yourself is Food.com or Allrecipes.com, because they will allow you to add recipes to your grocery list. Pro tip: Categorize your list by store department so that you won’t forget things and have to back track. Also, try and group items in your cart by where they will get put away at home (fridge things go together, pantry items go together, etc.).

Grocery list:

Produce: onions, carrots, lemons, parsley, cilantro, thai basil (or regular), potatoes, asparagus, spinach, shitake mushrooms, zucchini, garlic

Meat: beef bones, pork or veal cutlets

Dairy: Parmigiano Reggiano (aka the good stuff), black pepper cheese (I have some Beecher’s Marco Polo I want to use up), other mexican melting cheese (I have something actually called called quesadilla cheese), eggs, tortillas (they keep em cold where I shop),  For sticky buns: whole milk, heavy cream, butter

Pantry:  Brown rice noodles, all purpose flour, whole wheat pasta, artichoke hearts, black beans, brown rice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, brown sugar, star anise, whole cloves, yeast

Other: White wine (I will probably get an Italian Pinot Grigio), dry sherry (for scallopine) If you don’t do the alcohol thing you can use broth instead. But I will judge you.


Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

13 Mar

I love shepherd’s pie.  The soft potatoes, the rich savory gravy-like filling, the slight tartness of the condiments and seasoning. It’s a great winter staple, and there are 1,000 ways to make it.  I was feeling meatless this week since the rest of my meals were meat centric, and mushrooms are a thing to be celebrated without meat once in a while.

Why is it called a pie without a crust? I’m operating that if you bake it in a pie pan you are allowed to call it a pie. Or maybe the potato topping counts. I’m not sure.

The only way to make this dish look attractive is to cook it in individual ramekins, but who really has the desire to clean those extra dishes?  Those little flecks are the potato skins, because I generally will not peel a potato. Partly because I like potato skin, partly because I’m lazy, and partly because I feel like it’s a waste of perfectly edible food. So, free yourselves of pure white mashed potatoes! You don’t need them! I also used half celery root, which gives it a slightly earthier flavor. In a good way.









The mise, if you will.  I got the truffle butter free as a sample from work and it did add quite a lovely strength of flavor, but it is of course entirely unnecessary. The mushrooms I wanted to show you because I chopped them like 5 year old would, but it doesn’t matter.

Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie


2 tbsp black truffle butter (or truffle oil, or butter, or whatever fat you like to cook with)

1 leek, chopped fine

1 onion, fine diced

2 carrots, diced small

2 celery stalks, diced small

2 cups of mushrooms, chopped rustically

1/2 cup beer, or stock, or sherry, whatever you have

2 tbsp ketchup*

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (such a cruel name)

1 tsp dried rosemary

2 tsp granulated garlic or your favorite all purpose seasoning (preferably no salt)

For topping

2 small russet potatoes, diced

1 small celery root, diced (you should probably peel this, unfortunately. It gets kinda tough on the outside and it is quite knobby which might make it hard to clean. Cut off a slice on the bottom, then hold it steady while you run your knife down the side into strips. Or use a peeler if you aren’t good with a knife.)

1/4 cup Heavy Cream

2 tbsp butter

Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400

First the veg- (onion, carrot, celery, leek) saute on medium heat until soft, about 20 minutes. Remove and set aside. Next, add the mushrooms and cook until they are about half the size, the goal is to remove as much moisture as possible, walk away if you have to so they get nice and brown.  Add the veg back in  and deglaze with your liquid.  then add ketchup, Worcestershire, rosemary and seasoning. Allow it to simmer down now while you cook the starches.

Place the celery root and potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let them cook about 8-10 minutes, right when you can stab them through with a fork. It may take longer depending on the size of your cuts. Drain them, then mash them with cream and butter.

To assemble, line the bottom of a pie dish or casserole with the filling, then top with the mashed potatoes and spread it evenly with a spatula. Bake the pie for 30 minutes at 400 in order to create a nice crust. Also be sure to let it rest as with any good pie.


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