Category: Vegetarian


I originally intended to serve the veggie “meat”balls I made the day Jeannine was over with coconut curry sauce.  Unfortunately (or as it turns out fortunately) I mistook a pouch of lemongrass basil sauce by Saffron Road for a coconut curry sauce by Imagine.  It was delicious!  I had some orzo on hand and a kale and brussel spouts chop salad, and so I cooked a veggie and orzo risotto type thing inspired by a recipe I saw Chef Jean-Pierre prepare with barley the night Lein, Molly, and I went to his cooking school dinner show.  This one’s a keeper.   Proof that good ingredients and an open mind can lead to phenomenal results!

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I baked the veggie “meat”ball mixture I made for 400 F for 20 minutes.  I used an ice cream scoop to make them all the same size.  When I rolled them, I put olive oil in my hands, so they were coated in a thin coating of olive oil.

Veggie Burgers

They came out nice and golden.

I put a thin layer of the lemongrass basil sauce in a 13 x 9 baking dish and placed the “meat”balls in it.  I spooned the rest of the sauce over them, and baked them at 350F.

Meanwhile, I cooked a Taylor Farms kale chop salad mix that had brussel sprouts in it over low heat, and boiled the orzo with ginger, garlic, and salt in the water.   I seasoned the veggies with 2 tsp. garam masala.  and when the orzo was done and the veggies were softened, I added 2 Tbsp. butter, a splash of red wine, and tossed in the orzo and a can of cannelini beans and heated it through and let it thicken a little.  I didn’t measure anything, but tasted as I went along.

This was far and away everyone’s favorite vegetarian meal to date!

 

 

 

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What’s even more fun that cooking?  Cooking with friends!!  Jeannine came over today for a to make veggie burgers.  We shared ingredients.  We shared thoughts on future variations.  We chopped.  We seasoned.  We ground.  It was fun!

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I cooked up some brown rice with wild rice mixture.  I seasoned it with garlic and salt while it cooked in the rice cooker.

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I gathered the ingredients, condiments, and seasonings, so it was all laid out.

Jeannine did the same.

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It all gets combined in a big container.

 

It then gets run through a meat grinder to make it the right consistency to make into burgers and meatballs.  I taste some of the rice to make sure it’s seasoned well enough.  If it tastes good raw, it will taste amazing cooked!

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Amazing how much it looks like meat, right?

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I put this in the fridge until tomorrow, when I make the burgers and meatballs.  I use an ice cream scoop for uniformity of size.  It keeps up to a week with no problem.

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As usual, I did a double batch.  This makes 8 burgers and approximately 16-18 meatballs.

6 c. oatmeal

3-4 c. cooked rice

1 large can black beans, drained and rinsed.

1 c. matchstick carrots

1 c. cubed cooked beets

1/2 c. riced cauliflower

2 Tbsp. balsamic glaze

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette dressing

1 Tbsp. spicy mustard

1 Tbsp. coriander lime seasoning

1 Tbsp. sriracha

Combine all ingredients.  Taste the mixture to see if the seasoning is sufficient (I tend to underseason).

Run through the meat grinder, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Form into burgers or meatballs at least 8 hours before use.

I store them in the fridge on a baking sheet sprayed with coconut oil, covered with plastic wrap until use.

Bake at 400F for 15-25 minutes.  I brush the tops with oil to make them get a little more golden.

I bake the meatballs ahead too, at the same time I’m cooking the burgers, and then the night we are having them, re-bake them in a sauce.

 

 

 

 

I again made a batch of veggie burgers and veggie meatballs in anticipation of Molly and Lein coming for a visit.  We had the meatballs in General Tso sauce over vegetable fried rice/quinoa.  Adding kimchi and/or banh mi veggies on top gave it a nice crunchy fresh texture.

Gen Tso Meatballs

The veggie burgers and meatballs are quite a bit of work, I’ll admit, but well worth the effort!  This is a double recipe to make two night’s meals of either burgers or meatballs.  I more or less doubled the original recipe I found.  The variations are endless, but basically, I use a grain (rice or rice mixture), oatmeal, beans, beets, celery, carrots, mushrooms, onion, and then a liquid, like the balsamic glaze and vinaigrette last time.  This time, I had some beet chutney on hand, and that served as the liquid.  This is the variation I tried this time.  Remember – this is a big batch – enough for 2 meals.

Something interesting I learned at Chef Jean-Pierre’s cooking school.  He asked “how do you know what size to dice something if the recipe doesn’t specify?”  The answer – it depends on how long your cooking time is.  The longer it will cook, the larger the pieces so they don’t disintegrate.  Which makes perfect sense.  The veggies in this recipe are going through a meat grinder.  I used a medium dice on the onion and celery.

6 cups cooked brown rice/wild rice mixture (I can’t wait to try other grains!)
1 cup packed oatmeal
1 can black beans (I will soon be trying this with Cannilini)
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cups diced onions
1 small can cubed beets
1 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup button mushrooms cut in 1/4 -inch slices
1 tablespoon garlic
1 small jar beet chutney  (The original recipe called for sweet soy sauce)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Drain and wash beans. Drain beets. Place all ingredients in large plastic mixing bowl and mix well.
2. Run ingredients through a meat grinder. Refrigerate mixture for 1 hour.
3. Portion into patties or balls, shaping them how you will be baking them on a baking sheet lined with foil and brushed with olive oil in the fridge and refrigerate at least overnight. I used my standard ice cream scoop.  (I’ve kept them up to 5 days and they were still delicious).  This keeps the burgers from falling apart. (Patties must never get above 40 F or they will fall apart.)  If you don’t have an extra fridge like I do, you might want to put them in a tupperware with waxed paper between layers.

Bake in 400F oven 40 minutes for the burgers, 25 for the meatballs, if you are going to bake them a second time with a sauce, like I do.

I used a bottled sauce (Fusia brand), which was surprisingly low in sodium and  delicious.

After the meatballs are baked, I placed a little of the sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil, and then topped them with the rest of the sauce.  I then baked them for another 15 minutes

The fried rice was actually rice cooked in a rice cooker that I tossed with some stir fried broccoli slaw.  No egg this time.

 

These are another variation of the JAlexander’s veggie burger copycat we love.  The veggie burgers are definitely a lot of work and contain a lot of ingredients, but they are so worth it.  I decided to experiment and double the recipe and make veggie meatballs.  To keep them vegetarian, I made a veggie broth based onion “gravy”.  I have a sheet pan of veggie burgers in the fridge we’re going to eat later this week.  It cracks me up that I bought a meat grinder and only have used it to make veggie burgers!

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Remember – this is a double recipe!  It made 8 burgers that are 2 standard ice cream scoop size each and 16 veggie meatballs that are 1 standard ice cream scoop size.

6 C. cooked brown rice

1  C. oatmeal

1 can black beans, rinsed and well drained

3/4 C. diced cooked beets

4 Tbsp. chopped parsley

1 medium sweet onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 c. carrot matchsticks

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp. balsamic glaze

3 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Combine all ingredients and stir until well blended.

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Feed through meat grinder and refrigerate 1 hour.

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Shape into burgers or meatballs and place on baking sheets lined with foil and sprayed with coconut oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least overnight.  Important! Do not bring to room temperature before cooking.  Take them straight from the fridge to the oven.

Bake at 400F for 40 minutes.

For the meatballs, I put them in the gravy and baked them 15 more minutes at 425 F.

The meatballs were amazing.  I will be making them much more often, and will cook and then freeze them for future use.

 

 

 

 

Experimenting with our meatless options!  A friend told me to try tempeh.  I searched the internet and found a recipe to bake it Buffalo style.  I adapted this from forkandbeans.com’s recipe.   I served it with veggie tots, celery and ranch, and a chop salad.  Healthy and yummy.  I missed the part about steaming the tempeh first.  I’ll definitely try to remember next time, as I am sure it would improve the texture and taste.

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2 packs tempeh, sliced

1 pouch buffalo wing sauce

Rice chex, crushed

Marinade tempeh in the wing sauce at least 30 minutes.  Coat with crushed rice checks and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes, or until crispy.

 

It’s been a while since I made these.  They were just as good as I remembered!  The hardest part is planning ahead, since they have to be refrigerated overnight prior to cooking.  Definitely a week-end type project in my life.  I used some dressing I had on hand instead of soy sauce and some seasonings the original recipe called for.  We topped them with the leftover pickled onions and cucumbers. Yummy!

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3 cups cooked brown rice

1/2 cup packed oatmeal

1/2 cup black beans

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/4 cups diced onions

3 ounces canned beets

1/2 cup julienned carrots

1/4 cup diced celery

1/4 cup diced red bell peppers

1/4 cup button mushrooms cut in 1/4 -inch slices

1 tablespoon garlic

2 tablespoons Old Cape Cod Toasted Sesame Soy Ginger dressing

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Drain and wash beans. Drain beets. Place all ingredients in large plastic mixing bowl and mix well.

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Run ingredients through a meat grinder. Refrigerate mixture for 1 hour.

Portion into 8-ounce patties.  Place burgers on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with coconut, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. These keeps the burgers from falling apart. (Patties must never get above 40 F or they will fall apart.)

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Bake at 375-400 F for about 25 minutes.  Top with cheese before serving.

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I’m so glad my kids have decided to like quiche again.  So simple to make.  I can make it the night before and everyone helps themselves in the morning at their own pace.  Fresh broccoli for one.  Onions and peppers for the other.  I’m still loving the Immaculate brand pie crusts!  So much better than mine.

1 package broccoli florets

2 Tbsp. oil (I used sunflower grapeseed blend from Lucky’s)

1 Tbsp. mixed seasoning of choice (I used barbecue seasoning)

1 large sweet onion, diced

1/2 each yellow, red, and orange bell peppers, diced

1 Tbsp oil

Salt and pepper

1 box Immaculate pie crusts (2 crusts)

12 eggs

1/2 C. milk (I used unsweetened almond coconut)

2 C. shredded cheese

Goat cheese, crumbled

Bake the pie crust at 400 F until golden (about 10 minutes).  Set aside to cool.  Reduce oven heat to 325 F.

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Toss broccoli, oil, and seasoning.

Spread on large baking sheet lined with oil.

Toss onions and peppers with oil and salt in same bowl broccoli was in.  No sense wasting dishes.

Spread next to broccoli.

Bake at 400F until slightly charred (about 10-15 minutes)

Place broccoli in one crust and onions and peppers in the other.

Whisk eggs and milk together.

Sprinkle the broccoli with one cup of the shredded cheese and half of the goat cheese.  Do likewise with the onions and peppers.

Pour equal amounts of the egg mixture into each.

Bake at 325 for 50 minutes until knife in the center comes out clean.

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20170930_2111261 package salad mix

1 container mixed mini heirloom tomatoes

2 blocks tofu, pressed to remove liquid

1 sweet onion, sliced thinly

3 mini cucumbers, sliced thinly

1/3 c. sweet Thai chili sauce

1/3 c. balsamic vinegar

1/6 c. oil (I used sunflower, grapeseed blend)

1/2 c. Old Cape Cod Toasted Sesame, Soy, and Ginger dressing

Old Cape Cod Sesame Soy

1 box Minute multigrain medley, cooked with Thai ginger chicken broth

1/4 c. crushed cashews

Press tofu to remove liquid.  Slice thickly and pour dressing over tofu.  Refrigerate.

Meanwhile, mix cucumbers, onion, chili sauce, vinegar, and oil.  Toss and refrigerate.

Bake tofu at 400 for about 10 minutes, turn and bake an additional 10 minutes until golden brown.

To serve, line plate with lettuce, and place cut up tomatoes around edge of plate.  Top with multigrain medley.  Top that with cucumber, onion salad and crunchy tofu.  Sprinkle with crushed cashews.

I even had enough to make a lunch for tomorrow.  Yum!

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Fresh Market had a sale on some interesting looking artisan salad mixes from Canterbury Naturals.  I bought the orzo cucumber one and it was yummy.  It’s a little higher in sodium than I like (370 mg  per 1/2 cup serving) so I will make my own from scratch next time!

1 Package Canterbury Naturals Orzo Cucumber Salad Mix (it contains whole wheat orzo, garlic, carrots, onion, bell pepper, and celery and a yummy dressing mix)

2 cucumbers, cubed

8 campari tomatoes, cut into quarters

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

2 Tbsp. Panera Tangerine Honey Dressing (too sweet by itself, but nice mixed with the dressing in the salad mix)

Cook orzo veggie mixture for 10 minutes, drain and rinse well.

Prepare dressing pursuant to directions on the package (you add olive oil and water).  Add in tangerine dressing.

Gently fold in tomatoes, cucumber, and garbanzo beans.

Everyone had seconds and some even thirds!  I can’t wait to try this from scratch!

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I had leftover corn, black bean salad, but not quite enough for a side.  I cooked brown rice in the crock pot over night and mixed it in to make a yummy salad.

Corn and Black Bean Salad:

1 1/2 c. roasted corn

1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 c finely chopped sweet onion

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 1-2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tsp. chopped jalapeno pepper

 

Combine corn, beans and onion.  Toss with dressing.  Refrigerate at least overnight.

In the morning, stir in the cooked brown rice.  Refrigerate for the day.

I served this with some chicken and a salad bar.

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