Easy Basil Vinaigrette

Whipping up a salad dressing is so easy and can be as simple as oil and vinegar plus some salt and pepper.  This takes it up a notch using two shortcut ingredients, frozen basil and garlic cubes (picture below).  I find these at most stores these days including Trader Joes and Harris Teeter.  I don’t always measure exactly when making a dressing.  You can wing it and go by your taste but I typically go with a 2:1 ratio oil to vinegar.  This recipe can be doubled to make a larger batch.

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Makes 3/4 cup

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Ingredients

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (could also use fresh lemon juice)
2 frozen basil cubes
2 frozen garlic cubes
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

I make this directly in the measuring cup.  Just add oil to 1/2 cup then add vinegar to reach 3/4 of cup.  Add in the basil and garlic cubes.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes until they thaw, then whisk together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

BBQ Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burger

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Summer is here at last!  I’m craving all the summer foods including veggie burgers.  I do buy some store-bought ones but I’m super picky about ingredients so sometimes I just prefer to make my own.  I love BBQ flavor so I created this burger to use BBQ sauce.  It’s smokey and a tad sweet.  Yummm! My favorite toppings for these are tomato, onion (would be great sautéed), avocado, bread and butter pickle chips and yellow mustard.  They would also be great with coleslaw on them or on the side.

Makes 6 patties

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Ingredients

1 small sweet potato, baked whole and cooled

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed; or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 heaping cup of brown rice

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp worcestershire sauces

1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

2 Tbsp BBQ sauce (plus a little extra for glazing)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)

1/2 tsp chipotle powered (optional)

Method

Scoop the sweet potato flesh out of the skin into a large bowl.  Discard the skin.  Add black beans to bowl and use a potato masher to mash everything together.  Some whole beans are ok.

Add remaining ingredients and stir until everything is well combined.  Chill mixture  in the refrigerator for 2 hours.  Don’t skip this!  It will help the patties stay together better.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Form mixture into 6 patties and place on a large parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush tops with olive oil.  Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven.  Brush tops with BBQ sauce.  Flip over and brush other side with BBQ sauce.  Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand 5-10 minutes without touching them.  This will help them to set.

Enjoy on a bun with toppings.

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Breaded White Bean Cutlets

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Let’s face it, just about anything breaded and fried is pretty tasty.  So this is my meat-free version of a the traditional chicken cutlet.  I do a quick pan-sear to get that golden crust and then I finish in the oven which helps get the chewy texture inside.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pecans

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I showed these brussels sprouts a little extra love by adding in the dried cranberries and pecans.  If you want to dress it up even more, a balsamic glaze would be delish!  A simple, perfect fall veggie side dish.  It makes a perfect vegetarian and vegan side dish for Thanksgiving!

Continue reading “Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pecans”

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Softies

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In honor of National Pumpkin Day, I bring you soft, cake-like, chocolately pumpkin goodness!  I make these vegan by using egg replacer and for the flour I use a combination of whole wheat and all purpose.  Recommended: eat them warm!

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White Bean Barley Soup with Kale

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I just love soup season!  I’ve made this simple, hearty soup with few ingredients that make for a very satisfying, healthy meal.  I especially love the barley in this because of the great texture it adds, not too mention it’s a whole grain with abundant health benefits.  Lower cholesterol, anyone?  It’s packed with fiber and phytonutrients like Continue reading “White Bean Barley Soup with Kale”

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Bread

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So it’s pretty much been like Summer all Fall so far, but then yesterday there was finally this chill in the air.  I remembered that I had bought a can of pumpkin last month when Trader Joe’s put up the big end cap display.  Alas, pumpkin is here!  I was so excited but it just sat in the cupboard until I was finally ready to bust it out. Continue reading “Vegan Pumpkin Spice Bread”

Chipotle Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos

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Tacos are one of my favorite foods that I could eat everyday!  Though I do like to have some different variations and healthier options are always good too.  Using sweet potatoes in these are not only healthy but in season for Fall, plus they balance so well with the smokiness of the chipotle peppers. Continue reading “Chipotle Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos”

Southwest Black Bean Burger

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I really love a good veggie burger.   When I’m at a restaurant and see a veggie burger on the menu, I always want to know if it’s house-made.  Not to say there aren’t some decent frozen burgers out there, but it’s just not the same.  So I’ve created my own easy, vegan black bean burger recipe that’s healthy too!

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