Greek Garbanzo Bean Salad

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A Greek inspired vegetarian alternative to chicken salad made with a simple tahini dressing.  Bonus: no oil!  Love lemon?  Substitute the vinegar with fresh lemon juice.

Makes 2 servings

 Ingredients
1 Tbsp sesame tahini
1-2 Tbsp water
1 tsp red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 garlic clove, minced or grated on a microplane
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp finely diced red onion
1/4 cup diced cucumber (seeds removed) 
For serving:
Tortilla or lettuce leaves
Toppings: diced tomato, olives, roasted red pepper, avocado, chopped parsley or cilantro
Method
In a small bowl, whisk tahini, water, and vinegar until blended.  Stir in garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Add garbanzo beans to a bowl and coarsely mash. Add in onion, cucumber, dressing and stir to thoroughly combine everything.  Serve in tortillas, lettuce leaves, on salad, or as dip with pita chips.
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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.

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Makes 8 tacos

Ingredients

Sweet Potatoes
2 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 in cubes (should yield 3.5-4 cups)
Olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper

Black Beans
Olive oil
1/2 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp soy sauce
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp adobo from can of chipotle peppers
Salt and pepper to taste

Chipotle Cashew Cream
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 4+ hours*, drained
1-2 chipotle peppers from can (depending on how spicy you like)
2 Tbsp adobo sauce from the canned chipotle pepper
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup water
Salt & pepper

Tortillas, avocado, cilantro and any other toppings you like!

Method

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Make the sweet potatoes. In bowl, toss sweet potatoes with oil, chili powder, salt and pepper to thoroughly coat.  Spread out on a bake sheet and bake 20-25 minutes.

Make the cashew cream by adding all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.  Set aside.

Make the black beans.  Over medium-low heat, lightly coat a saute pan with olive oil.  Add onion and a pinch of salt and cook 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook 2 minutes.  Stir in chili powder and cumin.  Stir in soy sauce, water, black beans, adobo (can also add finely chopped chipotle pepper for more heat).  Cook 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: to warm your tortillas, wrap in foil and place in the oven once sweet potatoes are removed and heat is turn off.

 

Southwest Black Bean Burger

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Makes 4 large burgers or 6 small

Ingredients

1/2 small onion, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp chipotle powder or cayenne (optional)

1/3 cup pepitas

2 tsp vegetable oil

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

Salt and pepper to taste

Flour for dusting

Oil or cooking spray

Method

Add onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, chipotle powder, and pepitas to a food processor.  Pulse several times until it all comes together.  Add remaining ingredients and pulse again until it comes together.  Do not over blend or the mixture can become too wet.  Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate 20-30 minutes to chill.  Once chilled it will be easier to handle.

Shape into 4 patties.  Lightly dust both sides of each patty in flour.

Heat lightly oiled skillet over medium heat.  Once hot, add burgers and cook a few minutes on each side until browned and heat through.

Grilled Avocado Sandwich

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Tomato soup has a new BFF and doesn’t have cheese.  Glorious avocado steals the show in the tasty grilled sandwich.  Yea, yea grilled cheese sandwiches are awesome but this isn’t trying to replace it.  It is its own kind of awesome and it also pairs exceptionally well with tomato soup.  Of course you could add other things to the sandwich but I like to keep it simple, just a little S+P, maybe a dash of garlic powder, and all that rich, buttery avocado. Pair with some of this yummy tomato soup and enjoy!

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Makes one sandwich

Ingredients

2 slices of bread

3-4 Tbsp mashed avocado (about 1/4 of an avocado)

Salt and pepper to taste

Dash of garlic powder (optional)

Earth Balance vegan butter spread, room temp

Method

Heat skillet over medium heat (I use a cast iron skillet). Mix your mashed avocado with salt, pepper and garlic powder if using.  Spread butter on a slice of bread, on the other side spread on your avocado.  Place the other slice on top and spread with butter.  Cook in skillet for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

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Baked Falafel

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Falafel, pita and hummus… three of my favorite things on a plate.  Of course traditional deep fried falafel is great but definitely not healthy.  Luckily I’ve finally created my own recipe for baked falafel which also happens to be vegan as well.  These will freeze well too so you can always have some ready to go!  Also see below for my favorite healthy store-bought falafel.

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Makes 10 patties

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/4 cup of diced onion

1/3 cup flat leaf parsley

1 Tbsp tahini

2 Tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp white pepper

1-2 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp whole wheat flour

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mash chickpeas in a bowl with fork until it’s a crumbly mixture. Set aside.

Add garlic, onion and parsley to food processor and process until finely chopped and combined.

Next add the mashed chickpeas to food processor along with tahini, bread crumbs, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper. Process until combined, adding the water 1-2 Tbsp of water as needed. You may need to scrape down the sides with a spatula in between processing.

Once combined, empty into large bowl. Add the flour and mix, you should be able to form into large ball. If the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add a Tbsp of water. If it’s too wet, add an additional Tbsp of flour.

Form into 10 small patties (approximately 2 inches). Place on baking sheet lightly greased with olive oil or cooking spray. Bake for 5-6 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.

PS – This a was the photo from my original post in 2011.  Gasp!  This is awful!

White Bean & Herb Burgers

I love, love, love sandwiches.  There’s just something awesome about stuffing a bunch of stuff between bread.  I like making vegan burgers with beans because it’s great vegetarian protien component.  You can also freeze these so you have them on hand.  For toppings I used arugula tossed with lemon vinaigrette, tomato and of course avocado, just because I add it to everything and it’s fantastic.  Next time I would try topping it with sauteed garlic mushrooms…mmmmm!  As for bread, it would be great on artisan bread but I just happened to have an everything bagle slim and although not that fancy, it was still great!

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Makes 6 burgers

Ingredients

1/4 cup diced onion

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

1 15oz. can cannellini beans

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp tahini

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (or gluten-free flour)

1/2 cup frozen shredded hashbrowns or cooked brown rice

Canola oil

Method

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Optional step: lightly saute onion and garlic before adding to food processor.

Add onion, garlic and herbs to food processor and pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the sides as needed.

Add beans, lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper.  Pulse several times until mixture comes together but is not pureed.  A few pieces of beans and texture is good in these.  Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and stir in breadcrumbs and shredded hashbrown pototoes or rice.

Divide mixutre in to 6 portions and roll into balls.  They should be equal size so make any adjustments then form into patties.  Lightly dust each one with flour on each side.

Heat lightly oiled skillet and cook each patty 2-3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  Transfer to baking sheet and finish in the oven for 15 minutes.