Classic Tempeh Burger


Sooooo…I planned to share this recipe last week, as in Tuesday of last week, then life happened.  Oh well, better late than never!  And believe me, with this hot weather and grilling season in full swing you are going to want to whip up a batch of these burgers.

The idea for there burgers came from a pop up vegan event I went to with a friend in February.  I had the most amazing burger (and waited in line for almost an hour – totally worth it!).  The next day I got to work on recreating it and I got pretty lucky the first time.  What I love most about these burgers is the heartiness the tempeh adds to the patty.  While I adore veggie burgers made out of beans, vegetables, and grains, they are often very light and the consistency doesn’t provide the satisfying chew that I crave when eating a burger.  These bad boys deliver in both texture and flavor while also holding up well to grilling and many toppings! My favorite toppings are spicy cashew mayo and sweet relish + hot sauce, but feel free to try just about anything.  The burgers in these photos are on a homemade sprouted sourdough bun with tahini dressing and kale.  Still delicious.  There are no wrong answers when it comes to decking out your burger!

Did you notice the super cute cutting board I photographed these on?  It was an engagement gift from one of nick’s aunt’s and I’m obsessed!  I’m actually thinking it will be a great way to plate some of the appetizers at our wedding.  See, not only am I making my own wedding cake but I’m not leaning towards making most of the food as well.  I sure hope my mom isn’t reading this…:)

 

Classic Tempeh Burgers

1 8oz block tempeh, cubed

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans

1/2 cup oat flour*

1/3 cup hemp seeds (or sunflower seeds)

2 chia eggs (2 Tbsp chia seeds + 1/3 c warm water mixed and set aside to gel)

1 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp garlic

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

*You can make your own oat flour by adding oats to a food processor or blender (1/2 heaping cup of oats = 1/2c flour).  Simply blend until a flour consistency is achieved.

Directions:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2.  Put the tempeh in a food processor or blender and pulse until a crumbly consistency is achieved then empty into a large bowl.  Repeat with the garbanzo beans.
  3.  Put the hemp seeds in a food processor or blender and pulse until a flour consistency is achieved.  Add to the bowl.
  4.  Add the salt, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, and cayenne to the bowl.  Mix everything together.
  5.  Mix in the chia eggs.  As you mix, a dough should start to form.  You know it is ready when you can press it into a ball and it holds together.  If the dough is still crumbly, slowly add more water one Tbsp at a time.
  6.  Form 8 even balls and gently press them into a patty, about 1 inch thick.  Place on the parchment lined pan.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, flip over and bake another 15-20 minutes.

My Trip West

DSC_0126

Here I am, on top of the Grand Canyon.  It was extremely windy and my sunglasses blew off while trying to get this shot.   Luckily they landed in front of me!  I was slightly cursing Nick to hurry up and get the shot, therefore my feet got cut off.  Worth it!

DSC_0142

DSC_0151

Experience a sunset on the Grand Canyon.  Breathtaking. 

DSC_0445

Valley of Fire State Park.  aka alien park.  aka rock climbers playground.   

Hi friends! I’m back from one of the coolest and most inspiring vacations I’ve ever been on. It also happened to be decided and organized on a whim, and turned out better than I can have imagined. The past few months I have been extremely stressed. Work has been crazy busy with me putting in 7 day weeks, dealing with some interesting (aka insane) individuals, and having no time for myself. Not to mention I got engaged (yay!!!) in February, and instead of wedding planning being a fun, creative, and let’s be real…an all about the bride experience; it’s been adding more stress to my life and catering to what everyone else wants, leaving my voice unheard! Enter how getting to watch the sunrise on the grand canyon and climb above the clouds on the Angel’s landing trail at Zion have helped me overcome these problems + so much more. (I’ll be doing a separate post on wedding planning and why I’m going to make my own cake soon!)

DSC_0188

Although I was less than thrilled waking up at 4:30am to catch the sunrise over the grand canyon, boy oh boy am I glad I did!!  Truly remarkable.

DSC_0281

DSC_0223

We’ve all been there. Overworked. Exhausted. Stuck in the same routine. Feel as if you’re working so hard towards a goal you don’t even want. I needed a change.  I needed to turn my mindset around and figure out what’s important in my life.  I needed an escape from the daily grind to get some mental clarity.  With that in mind I hopped on a plane to Las Vegas with Nick, my parents, my sister and her fiance, plus my brother and his girlfriend.  Ok, I know what you’re thinking.  Not quite the relaxing and restorative vacation I was describing.  And believe me I thought the same thing at the beginning.  But I was so wrong.

Not for nothing, but it was COLD at night and in the early morning.  I think I had three layers on when we watched the sun rise but it didn’t stop me from doing some casual yoga on the rim of the grand canyon.  You bet I did sun salutations!!

I even got my mom to join me!  

I ate like a veggie goddess!  Seriously enjoyed having a kitchen everywhere I went with our RV.  Everyone thought I was crazy, until they asked for seconds of my cheesy lentils…

Ok, Antelope canyon was mind blowing!  Confusing when you pull up and it looks like a seriously mediocre desert.  And then you have to wait in the hot sun for over an hour in order to descend into the actual canyon.  But this was one of the coolest things I have even seen; put it on your bucket list people!!

After landing in Vegas, we stayed the night in the hotel Paris before really getting the adventure started.  (Let me just say I am totally baffled by how popular Vegas is.  Call me crazy but being surrounded by a haze of smoke and alcohol, plus more people than comfortable for a desert, not to mention an almost one to one ratio of slot machines to humans is not my idea of a good time.  It did serve it’s purpose as an airport so I can’t be all that mad.  End rant.)  The next day we picked up our RV’s that we would call home for the next week.  I was highly skeptical of this RV lifestyle, but now I can honestly say it’s the way to go!  If any of you followed my instagram and instastories during the trip, you know just how accommodating to my foodie lifestyle RVing is! I was able to cook up a storm and enjoy my usual “cheesy” lentils, warm salads, roasted chickpeas, figgy teff porridge, and so much more.  And yes, I did pack a container of sautéed broccoli, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, and chickpeas with a fork for my on-the-go trail lunch as we hiked through the national parks.  I don’t mess around when I say I’m a plant based foodie!

On the left: Me, on top Angel’s landing trail in Zion National Park, eating my casual trail lunch.  Top right: my lunch before hiking 3 miles down the grand canyon then 3 miles back up (a change of over 2,000ft elevation both ways!).  Same lunch (although in a super unsophisticated plastic bag) + the addition of green juice.  Last two photos are the results of the insane trek!  We were both covered in dust and amazed at what we had just accomplished!!

Yea, we hiked down and up that…

Always cool when faced with adversity.  We just had to get back to the top of the rocks behind me, no big deal!  I’d also like to point out that although it was cold in the dessert at night, it was hot during the day!  I’m simply terrified of the sun and stick to long sleeves, pants, and hats whenever outside for more than 30min.  Call me crazy, but in 30 years when I look 20 we’ll see who gets the last laugh!

Throughout the trip I saw some truly remarkable natural wonders.  There is something therapeutic about looking out over the vastness grand canyon and calming climbing to the top of a mountain in Zion park and eating a simple lunch feeling on top of the world.  It sounds cliche, but I needed the wake up call.  Over the course of the trip I was able to shut down my stress and open my mind.  And while it’s never a bad idea to take a trip to national park and view some breath-taking natural wonders, remember nature is all around us and there are ways to relieve our daily stresses no matter where you live.  My biggest take-away from the trip is inner peace is not a destination but a journey.  We drove over 4 hours at times, across three states and a time zone to fit everything we wanted to see.  At first I thought the drives would simply be a means to an end, but the open and constantly changing mountainous landscape and vegetation was breathtaking! We all have the ability to figure out what we want and change our current path to live a happier and more fulfilling life.

I took about 1000 pictures of the ever changing landscape on my phone.  I have never had so much fun driving!!

Extension of Angel’s landing at Zion National Park; Nick and I got about 1/4 way out and decided not for us!  It is treacherous terrain with only a metal chain to hold on to!  And if that wasn’t bad enough, there were a ton of people on it causing traffic jams in places that clearly lead to death if you so much as move an inch to either side.   I was happy with our decision.  Shout out to my bold a** sister and her fiance for actually getting to the top!  Nick and I had the most delicious cold-brewed iced coffee at the bottom while we waited 😛 

Although we did climb up this mountain before turing around (and this was only the halfway point!)

We stopped at a truck stop for lunch on our way to Valley of Fire state park (gotta love the RV life!), and this guy joined us!  

Valley of Fire was our last stop, and we were all exhausted by the time we got there.  The temperature was also reading 102F so that didn’t help.  Good thing we had quite a view! 

Remember I said how tired and drained I was?  Kidding.  As soon as we started down a trail I was ALL over the rocks!  They were super fun to climb!!

The whole trip I rocked comfy clothes, no make-up, and 0% cares on how I looked.  Oh wait, that’s how I usually am!  

Shut down stress and open up your mind.  Be open to new possibilities.  Do things that make you happy.  Find joy everyday.  Live a little!!

Spicy Cashew Mayo (vegan!)

 

DSC_0041

Get excited, because today I’m sharing my dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free recipe for mayo!  It took me long enough to try using cashews to make a savory sauce and ever since it’s been making many appearances at meals.  The idea to make this sauce came from a vegan pop-up event in Morristown that my friend invited me to.  I was blown away by a burger I had, dripping in a drool-worthy (vegan) sauce!  I immediately thought ‘I can make that!’ and got to work in the kitchen.  With some seriously luck, I hit the nail on the head the first try and everything else is history.

The real beauty of this creamy spread is it has so many uses!  I’ve used it as a mayo, sour cream, pasta sauce, and dip. Feel free to leave the hot sauce out and add some dill, onion, and parsley to make this a ranch mayo.  Or add a cumin, turmeric, and curry to make a curried mayo. The possibilities are endless!  Over the past few weeks, my instagram has been filled with this mayo.  Whip up a batch, then tell me how you’re enjoying it!

IMG_20170327_202256

DSC_0039

Spicy Cashew Mayo

1 cup raw cashews*

2 large medjol dates, pitted

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1 Tbsp hot sauce**

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

*I use raw cashew pieces from Trader Joe’s because they are cheaper than raw whole cashews.

**Feel free to use your favorite sauce here (japaleno, siracha, etc.)

Directions:

Soak the cashews and dates overnight or for 6-8 hours.

Add everything to the base of a high speed blender and blend, starting on the lowest speed and gradually increasing, until you have a smooth, uniform, thick texture.  Store in the fridge for up to a week.

 

 

Lemon Chia Seed Cookies

IMG_20170308_142907_397

I LOVEEE chia seed baked goods. Seriously, I find myself sneaking them into most of my sweet treats. They add a wonderful crunch not to mention a healthy dose of omega3’s, protein, and a bunch of other vitamins and minerals. Currently I’ve been craving anything and everything citrus so I whipped up these lemon cookies using protein-rich teff flour and topped them off with an orange coconut glaze. Take a moment to take all that goodness in!

Teff is a grain that is not used often, however I’m trying to change that (one cookie at a time) because it has so much to offer! First, it is naturally gluten-free and adds a rich, nutty flavor to anything you are baking/cooking. Where I really think this grain shines is it’s high protein content, as well as containing a significant amount of calcium and iron. I’m all about plants packing a power punch 😉

IMG_20170302_132153_190

 

I kept these cookies breakfast-approved by sweetening them with pureed dates, but couldn’t resist topping them with a sublime coconut citrus frosting. These are a crowd pleasure for your next weekend brunch, or on-the-go snack to answer your mid-afternoon hunger. I do have to disclose that you will want to eat all of the dough before baking these bad boys – you have been warned! Now get baking…

 

Lemon Chia Seed Cookies

2 cups teff flour*
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

15 medjol dates, pitted
1/2 cup almond milk**
3 meyer lemons, juiced
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp coconut butter 

coconut citrus frosting (recipe follows)

*I add two cups of teff grain to my vitamix and blend it into a flour.  You can also buy teff flour at most stores.

** Any plant-based milk will work here

Directions:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the teff flour, chia seeds, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a high-speed blender, add the dates, almond milk, lemon juice, and coconut butter.  Blend until a thick, smooth paste forms.  Add more milk as needed to blend smooth.
  4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones.  Add the lemon zest.  Mix until a dough forms.
  5. Using a melon scooper (or about 2 Tbsp of batter per ball), gently press each ball flat on the prepared baking sheet.  You can keep them close together because they won’t spread out as they cook.
  6. Bake for 15-17 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before frosting.
  7. To frost, add a small dollop of the coconut citrus frosting on the top of each cookie and gently spread out.  Once frosted, place in the fridge to solidify.  Store in the fridge in an air-tight container.

 

Coconut Citrus Frosting

1/3 cup coconut butter, warmed

juice of 1 blood orange

juice of 1 meyer lemon

2-3 Tbsp raw honey or agave

*any type of lemon or orange will work, I just prefer these varieties

Directions:

Whisk everything together.

Citrus Cherry Chia Jam

DSC_0004

This jam contains three ingredients, a pot and wooden spoon, and a few stirs.  It’s subtly sweet with notes of citrus and deep cherry flavor.  Totally awesome.  And when slathered on anything with nut butter it’s down right heavenly!

I posted this recipe awhile ago for blueberry fig jam which is super delicious, however I can’t always find dried figs (or afford them let’s be honest!).  I’m also extremely lazy and the thought of having to blend everything together then wash my vitamix is enough to tempt me to reach for the jarred jam at the grocery store. But in all honestly most store-bought jam is too sweet for me and if you know me, you know I basically have to make everything myself.  First I don’t like to eat any form of processed sugar and I also avoid most thickener agents used to give jams and jellies their signature texture.

For this jam, I simply simmered whole frozen pitted cherries with fresh squeezed orange juice then added chia seeds towards the end to gel everything together. The concentrated cherry and citrus flavor together is super tasty while the chia seeds add nutritional benefits as well as a texture element.  I like making a big batch of this and jarring some so I have plenty in the pantry for those times when the craving strikes!  I have found that I’ve been eating this just about every day for the past few weeks, therefore making the jarring process unnecessary.  Apparently I’m still in the honeymoon phase with this jam.  Seriously, am I the only one who latches onto a delicious food for weeks (eating it almost every day) before getting sick of it?!

DSC_0013

I’ve been toasting up my homemade sourdough bread and slathering it with cacao almond butter before topping it off with a healthy scoop of this jam.  Every. Damn. Day.  I’ll be posting the recipe for my cacao almond butter soon and I’m working on a large post about sourdough.  So stay calm and spread this tangy jam!!

ps. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a super annoying ‘engagement ring on hand’ post.  Yes I am engaged (EKKKK<3<3<3), yes I have an emerald engagement ring (bad-ass), and yes you can be assured I am making my own wedding cake.  But let’s focus on the immediate future…sharing the recipe for the grown-up cacao almond butter and citrus cherry jam sprouted sourdough sandwich that I gave you a teaser for.  Baby steps 🙂

 

Citrus Cherry Chia Jam

4 cups frozen pitted cherries (fresh work as well)

4 oranges, juiced

1/4 cup chia seeds

Directions:

Bring the cherries and orange juice to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally until the fruit has thickened.  Add the chia seeds and stir until jam consistency is achieved*.  Store in the fridge for up to two weeks, or can to keep the jam for up to a year.

 

*remember the jam will thicken as it cools

Teaser: Cacao Almond Butter and Citrus Cherry Chia Jelly Sprouted Sourdough Sandwiches

IMG_20170214_072232_765
Peanut butter and jelly has always been my thing. Didn’t really matter the format or vehicle; if there was peanut butter and jelly involved I was a happy camper. I’ve had everything from PB&J crackers (ritz were always the best) to goober’s (if you don’t know what I’m talking about you’re better off) to uncrustables (because eating crust as a kid was sac-religious). My love of PB&J took a weird turn in my early teens as I decided I was much more a PB girl than J, so my sandwiches became extremely lopsided with globs of PB and only a small slathering of J. In my later teens, the J got lost completely when I decided it was too sweet for me. Eventually I lost the bread and went straight for PB because everyone knows that’s the heart of the combination. But now in my later 20’s, I understand what’s important when it comes to this staple combination. Everything in balance plus using only the best nut butters, breads, and jelly make a killer sandwitch. So I’ve gourmet-ified my childhood favorite with a whole bunch of flare. Basically, I’ve thrown everything in your standard PB&J out the window and replaced it with clearly better options and flavor combinations. Let’s explore my grown-up sandwich:

1. It’s open faced. Open-faced sandwiches are always better. Why? Because you can hold more toppings per bread ratio. While you need top of the line bread and toppings, if you have more bread than toppings you are loosing the integrity of the sandwich. Think about it.

2. The bread is toasted. Don’t argue with logic; toasted bread is better than mushy bread. If you think otherwise I guess you are free to express your opinion, just know you are wrong.

3. Homemade toasted almond butter infused with a touch of cocoa butter replaces peanut butter for a grown-up subtly sweet and chocolaty note. Oh. My. God. This almond butter is the champion of almond butters! The cocoa butter really adds a depth of flavor that is truly unique. I’ve made almond butter with coconut oil, coconut butter, and other nut butters, however nothing comes close to the rich, velvety texture cacao butter adds. Not to mention the perfect pairing of sweet toasted almonds with a touch of chocolate. Dreams do come true…

4. That jelly though. Citrus Cherry Chia Jelly for the win! Most jellies and jams are too sweet for me. I love fruit, but I don’t love the added sugar. It’s unnecessary and it ruins the natural fruit flavor. I’ve made a jelly that uses only three ingredients; cherries, fresh orange juice, and chia seeds. Basically, I’ve made a jelly that is sweet while slightly tart, tangy, has a great depth of flavor, extremely fresh and free of preservatives, and packed with vitamins, minerals, omega 3’s, and protein. For the win!!

5. All the gooey deliciousness is spread on sourdough bread. I want everyone to walk into their kitchen cabinets, fridge, freezer, or wherever you keep your bread and toss it if it’s not sourdough. Why sourdough (besides it tastes better)? Sourdough is a fermentation of the flour that transforms your standard grain bread into a much more digestible and nutritious loaf. I’ll go into the “why sourdough” early next week when I share my first post about sourdough, so for now trust me. It’s better.

Are you drooling yet? Good. This bad-ass sandwich has been in my breakfast rotation for the past few weeks and I just can’t get enough! It makes a great snack as well, mid-afternoon or late night 😉 Stay tuned for the individual recipes for each of the components of this sandwich later this week!!!

New Year Resolution Lentils

SONY DSC

Ah, the end of the year.  This past year has flown by and while I’ve made amazing memories and hit some pretty awesome achievements, there are still things I want to work on.

I love the last few days of the year.  It’s a cosmic limbo between the old and the new, a bridge from where you currently are and where you are going.  I believe the start of the year brings an energy that’s important to tap into.  Take some time to reflect on everything you’ve done in 2016 and where you want to be in 2017.  The most important part is to bridge that gap.  Don’t just set goals for yourself and expect them to happen because you want them to.  Take the time to figure out exactly what it will take to achieve them.

SONY DSC

There is no better way to channel all the good energy at the start of the new year than with lentils.  Or any beans for that matter, however lentils are one of my favorites and a delicious way to ring in 2017!  Legumes and lentils are said to bring luck in the new year, and who am I to question that delicious logic 😉  This dish is a warm salad, with the base of caramelized onions and french lentils.  I love the al-dente texture of french lentils and their deep green/black color.  Not to mention they offer 9 grams of protein per serving, as well as fiber and a slew of vitamins and minerals.  Maybe that’s what makes them so lucky!

SONY DSC

My absolute favorite thing to do these days is caramelize onions, low and slow, until they achieve a deep golden brown color and are so sweet and utterly delicious. I use them for the base of squash soups, collard greens, and just about every other vegetable you can think of.  Seriously nothing tastes bad with caramelized onions.

For this dish, I used the sweet onions as a sauce for the lentils and tossed them with cheesy roasted cauliflower and sage squash.  The result is this amazing melt-in-your-mouth warm salad that is hearty, filling, and will last you days.  I like to pair this warm salad with nutty millet, however you can use any grain you want or a crusty loaf of bread.  Trying to cut back on the carbs?  Simply serve the lentils over a bed of chopped kale or leafy greens.

Get ready for a big year on Margaret’s Dish in 2017 🙂  I have a ton of recipes and a new direction that I’m excited to share.  I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!

 

New Year Resolutions Lentils

 

2 cups dry french lentils, soaked overnight or for at least 3 hrs

 

1/4 cup olive oil

3 cups sliced onions

 

1 medium cauliflower, cut into small florets

1 tsp each garlic powder and onion powder

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp pecorino romano cheese*

 

3 cups diced butternut squash (about 1/2″ pieces)

1/2 tsp each garlic powder and onion powder

1/2 tsp dried sage

1 Tbsp olive oil

 

4 large carrots, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp olive oil

 

pecorino romano cheese, for topping*

salt and pepper

*to make this recipe vegan, sub nutritional yeast 1:1 for pecorino romano cheese

Directions:

  1.  Add the onions and 1/4 cup olive oil to a pan on medium heat.  Get the onions sizzling, then turn the heat down and let them caramelize on low for 1-2 hours, stirring every 20 min or so to prevent burning.  This step seems long and unnecessary, but trust me it makes the dish!  While the onions are doing their thing, you can prepare the rest of the salad, have a glass of wine, and go for a nice walk with your dog (hint: new years resolutions!).
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Line a two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Toss the cauliflower florets with 1 Tbsp olive oil,  1 tsp each garlic and onion powder and 3 Tbsp pecorino romano cheese.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Lay the seasoned florets on the one of the prepared baking pans in an even layer.  Toss the squash with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, and dried sage.  Season with salt and pepper then place in the other baking pan, in one even layer.  Bake both for 35-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.  When the edges are crispy on the squash they are done.  The cauliflower will start to turn golden brown when ready.
  3. Drain and rinse the lentils, then place them in a pot with 3-4 inches of water over the top of the beans.  Add a pinch of salt to the water, then bring to a boil.  Immediately turn down to a simmer and place a lid over the lentils.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked to your preference. Drain the lentils when cooked.
  4. Saute the garlic in a pan with 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat until golden brown, add the carrots and celery and saute for 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  5.  To assemble add the lentils in a large bowl and toss with the caramelized onions. Add the sautéed carrots and celery and toss to combined.  Gently mix in the roasted cauliflower, squash, and a generous handful of cheese.

SONY DSC

Tempeh Sausage Crumbles

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

First, I’d like to say that I don’t think I’ve had lunch in the past two weeks that hasn’t involved sweet potatoes.  Check my instagram.  I’m a junkie.

In all seriousness, I can’t get enough!! Something happens to me in the fall and I go into sweet potato overdrive.  Purple sweets, jersey sweets, orange sweets, and new variety (to me anyway) called Murasaki sweet potatoes.  They were on display at Trader Joe’s, so naturally they turned into a impulse buy.  Super delicious btw, just read their description:

“An exotic alternative to traditional sweet potato varieties, Murasaki sweet potatoes are an eye-catching addition to any plate.  Striking purple skin enrobes lightly colored flesh, with a chestnut-y flavor and slightly fluffy texture that’s at home in savory or sweet preparations.”

Bad-ass.  And tasty to boot!!  But enough sweet potato rant.  Today I want the star to be my tempeh sausage (which happens to go swimmingly with roasted sweet potatoes 😉  I’ve always loved sausage; there’s something super comforting, hearty, and home-y about it.  My mom would always make it in a big pan with chicken thighs and potatoes as well as sliced thin with broccoli-rabe.  I always preferred the latter option as sweet and flavorful fatty sausage pairs so well with bitter and intense broccoli-rabe.  So I set out to make the perfect veggie-version of a childhood favorite.

SONY DSC

I turned to tempeh, which is my go-to hearty veggie ingredient for just about any meat dish.  I’ve used it to make avocado salad, sandwich bread, pizza crust, and bacon to name a few.  Not to mention the health benefits of tempeh!  I’m all about taste first, but health not far behind.  And when something that just happens to be amazingly healthy also can be turned into a super yummy dish, than I’m practically glowing.

The key to this sausage is all the seasonings.  Caramelizing the onions first is extremely important because that’s where the sweetness comes from in the finished sausage.  All the other seasonings blend perfectly to create my childhood memory of juicy, flavorful sausage that I greedily eat atop greens of all varieties, not just broccoli-rabe.  Hey, when something is this good there’s no limitations to it’s veggie parings!

 

*This sausage came out so good I will be making a thanksgiving stuffing with it, so stay tuned!!  Meat eaters and veggie-lovers alike will want a spoonful of stuffing made out of these veggie crumbles come the holidays 🙂

 

Tempeh Sausage Crumbles

1 package tempeh, diced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari

1 tsp spicy brown mustard

2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1/4 tsp sage

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

salt and pepper ( to taste)

Directions:

  1. Saute the diced onions and olive oil on medium-low heat for 30 minutes, or until translucent.
  2. While the onions are sautéing, crumble the diced tempeh into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients (besides the minced garlic and salt/pepper).  Toss to combine.SONY DSC
  3. Turn the heat of the onions up to medium, and add the garlic.  Saute for 1 minute, or until the garlic is fragrant.  Add the seasoned tempeh.
  4. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the tempeh is fully heated.  Allow to cool completely before storing in a air-tight container in the fridge.  The sausage crumbles will last up to 5 days in the fridge.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Mini Pumpkin Spice Banana Buckwheat Muffins

SONY DSC

Guys, I’ve slipped up.  It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted and I have about 3778493 recipes to share with you.  Ok maybe not quite that many, but I need to stop letting life get in the way of  my food-sharing.  Nothing is more important to me than bringing you delicious recipes to make your days a little bit tastier. I’m going to try harder, starting with these adorable mini muffins.  They’re naturally gluten free thanks to buckwheat flour, naturally sweetened with ripe bananas and a touch of maple syrup, and bursting with pumpkin spice flavor.  I didn’t have any mini-muffin wrappers on hand when I went to bake these, so I made my own out of parchment paper.  It’s super easy and actually is a great wrapper because it’s non-stick so you don’t loose one bit of these tasty goodies!

SONY DSC

Let’s see…they make your house smell amazing while heating up the kitchen on those cold fall days, they are all sorts of healthy, and who doesn’t like a fresh baked muffin?!  I don’t think I need to sell these little guys any more – brighten up your morning with a few of these bite-sized muffins.  Oh – that’s the best part.  Because they are mini, you can totally have more than one and not even feel bad about it 😉

SONY DSC

Mini Pumpkin Spiced Banana Buckwheat Muffins

yields 30 mini muffins

 

1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour

1/2 cup rolled oats (use gluten-free if necessary)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

3 Tbsp maple syrup

3 Tbsp almond butter

4 ripe bananas (the spottier the better!)

2 flax-eggs*

2 Tbsp ground flax seeds

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice mix

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Line a two mini-muffin pans with parchment paper** (or you can use regular mini muffin tins).

Whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, dry flax-seeds, and pumpkin spice.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the bananas, flax-eggs, almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and gently mix until just combined.  Top with extra oats and coconut sugar, if desired.

Spoon a heaping tablespoon into each muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack before storing.

*1 flax egg = 1 Tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tbsp water and allowed to sit for 5 minutes to ‘gel’.

**to make muffin tins out of parchment paper, cut the parchment paper into strips about 3×4″ and gently press them into each muffin hole.

Smoky Black Bean Zucchini Burgers

These burgers tho.  O.M.G.  If you are looking for a wimpy, dry, puck-like veggie burger than you can stop reading now.

img_20160919_110726-1

Ha.  Like anyone is looking for that.  These burgers are juicy and flavorful; basically everything you want out of a good burger.

 

20160919_105518

It was my birthday earlier this month and I was craving a big ol’ burger with all the fixings.  I’m talking mile high and stuffed with my favorite condiments: caramelized onions, avocado, (tempeh) bacon, and sweet potatoes (in any form).  Now in the past, I’ve had some disappointing veggie burgers and sadly I’ve made some disappointing veggie burgers.  It’s hard to make a “meaty” texture that doesn’t taste grainy and remains tender on the inside.  Too much flour and the burger not only dries out, but it starts to taste more like a whole grain patty than a burger.  Not enough flour and the burger won’t hold it’s shape and you’re left with a pile of mush.  Both have happened to me.

This time I went for a minimalist approach, using only black beans, zucchini, and flax seeds as a base.  Perfection!  They came out crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside.  The zucchini adds an extra level of moisture that helps keep these burgers from drying out and with a few Tablespoons of ground flax seed keeps everything together without the use of extraneous flours.  After the addition of chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin, these burgers truly are one of the few perfect veggie burgers I’ve made/tasted.  I’m super happy with how they turned out and ate these babies for a week straight.  Whip up a batch, lay out your favorite burger toppings, and dinner (or lunch!) is served veggie style 🙂

20160919_105153-1

Black Bean Zucchini Burgers

3 cups cooked black beans (about 2 cans)

1 cup grated zucchini*

1/4 cup finley diced red onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp ground flax seed

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cumin

dash cayenne pepper (optional)

salt and pepper, to taste

*if the zucchini is organic leave the skin on, otherwise peel

Directions:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Mash 2 cups of the black beans.
  2.  Place the zucchini in a dishtowel and squeeze as much liquid out of it as possible.  Place in a bowl.
  3.  Add the mashed beans, onion, garlic, flaxseed, and spices the the bowl with the zucchini and mix until well combined. Add the cup of whole black beans and gently fold in.
  4.  Form into 6 patties and place on the lined baking sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, flip the burgers, then bake another 10-15.
  5.  To freeze: cool patties completely on a cooling rack, then place in a air-tight container.