Bangin’ black bean burgers

We found the base for this recipe a while back, but I can’t remember just where. Like most things, we change it a little bit each time based on what we’re feeling like. But it’s a solid base that the whole family loves. We typically go “bun-less.”

We usually pair it with homemade sweet potato fries.

-2 cups cooked black beans
-1/2 cup onion
-1/2 cup almond flour
-1/2 cup ground sunflower seed
-1 celery stalk
-2 shredded carrots
-2 tbsp coconut oil
-5 tbsp balsamic vinegar/worcestershire 
-1 cup unsweetened coconut
– 1 avocado
– 5 garlic cloves
– tsp of turmeric
-sea salt

process until smooth. bake at 400 for 30 minutes, broil for 3 at the end.

Zucchini boats

I’ve seen this idea on several sites and on Pinterest, and finally had time to make these Zucchini Boats last week.  I don’t really like following a recipe – I’m a rebel like that – so I just took the idea I had seen and ran with it.

Ingredients (this is what I had at home already – it was a fridge clean-out).
Zucchini (about 15 small to medium sized)
Basil (that was beginning to bruise slightly and needed to be used)
Cherry tomatoes
Slightest bit of shredded cheese
Onion Powder
Olive oil (or coconut oil)

I washed and cut the tops off the zucchini and then split them in half.  I used a spoon to scoop out the “meat” to make room for the filling.  I couldn’t bear to waste the “meat” of the zucchini so decided to make that part of the filling…I mean really what could be better to fill zucchini than zucchini!  After I had them all scooped out I then rolled and sliced my basil, cut my tomatoes into 6ths, minced several garlic cloves, threw in some salt and onion powder and then shredded a little bit of cheese into the mixture.  I let it sit and marry while I roasted the zucchini in the oven with a little drizzle of olive oil – just long enough to soften slightly…5-7 min at 400).

I pulled the boats out of the oven so that I could stuff them with the mixture.  NOTE – I drained the water (from the zucchini) so that I wouldn’t have soggy boats.  I stuffed the boats and sprinkled with a bit more cheese and then put them back in the oven long enough to heat through…maybe 10-15 minutes.

I think SB ate 12.  I won’t mention the number I ate….it’s my blog and I don’t have to call myself out if I don’t want to!  HA HA!

This was like a caprese salad with the basil and tomatoes.

No sugar no grain certified!


Chick-un nuggets

So as I was trolling online the other day I found a lady who made “chicken” nuggets out of chickpeas and breadcrumbs.  That was it.  Nothing else.  So I was intrigued to try my own variation because I can’t ever follow a recipe and besides I felt like that was just too simple.  I mean don’t get me wrong, I like simple…I LOVE simple, but let’s add a little flavor to these guys before we serve em up!  So I made my own and it went a little something like this:

Can of chickpeas (drained)
Liquid Aminos (Braggs brand – Coconut Aminos would would well too).
Salt and Pepper
Parsley flakes (dried)
1/4 C coconut flour
Dash of Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning
2-3 TBS Coconut Oil
Garlic powder (dash)
Onion powder (dash)

I popped this all in my food processor until the chickpeas were nice and smooth and everything was mixed well.  I then made little nuggets and dropped some in the pan to fry up – I was thinking crispy, and some for the oven.

So I’m gonna be honest….The ones in the pan were a HOT MESS!  Literally and figuratively.  Tasted great but didn’t turn out the way I was hoping…So I am going to work on this a bit for the pan fry method and add in some almond meal and some flax and give the pan a whirl again.  Lucky for me I planned ahead and had 2 cook methods in mind!

The ones on the baking sheet turned out great.  I put them under the broiler for 7 or so minutes on one side and then took them out and flipped and about the same amount of time on the other side (basically when they started to brown *Note they will crack some..that’s ok!).

My boys loved them and we were pretty thrilled with them too!  Hello School Lunches!  Great way to add something new in this year and keep things interesting for my boys  Love having vegan options for my boys in their lunch box.   No sugar, no grains, no animal.  YES!  WIN WIN WIN!

Avocado/cabbage salad

My niece Madison visited a while back and told me about this salad that she had while visiting her cousin.  She told me her cousin mixed cabbage, avocado, and lime and that it was delicious! So, I took this info and ran with it with a little bit of my own interpretation.

I decided I wanted to mix purple and green cabbage for color contrast, and after I got the salad assembled and dressed I felt like it needed a little something else…and that’s where the black sesame seeds came in.

Purple Cabbage
Green Cabbage
3 Avocados
2 limes
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Garlic seasoning blend (that includes sesame seeds)
Black sesame seeds

The purple cabbage was a normal size so I split it in half and did a rough chop.  The green cabbage was HUGE so I used only about 1/4 of it, and did the same rough chop.

I took the 3 avocados and mashed them in a bowl with a potato masher and added in the seasonings to taste – roughly 2 TBLS of garlic and onion powders and a sprinkle of Kosher Salt and dash of pepper.  The garlic seasoning blend was about 1 TBLS.  After the seasoning had been combined I squeezed in the juice of 2 limes – that were really juicy- I stirred gently until the juice combined well with the avocado and then poured it over the cabbage.  I gently folded the avocado into the cabbage mixture.  After the cabbage was fully dressed I threw in the sesame seeds (few tablespoons), folded those in and then gave one final squeeze of the lime over the top.  That’s it!  So easy!

I served it with Veggie fajitas (yellow squash, zucchini, red bell, and onion) and black beans.

Next time I think I will add in some sliced cherub tomatoes too, just for more color and a different spin.

So easy and so good!



Roasted Portobello Caps with Creamed Kale and Spinach

This was one of those meals where my time with limited and I needed to produce a meal with a quick turnaround.  I must say we were pleased with the results and will make this again soon!

Portobello Mushrooms (I cooked 4 large caps).
Small box of organic spinach
1/4-1/2 box of chopped organic kale
1/2 c cashews
2T onion powder (or to taste)
2T garlic powder (or to taste)
Dash of salt
1/2-3/4 c almond milk
1/4 c coconut oil

I removed the stems from the mushrooms and wiped them with a dry dishtowel (don’t ever clean a mushroom under running water).  I then put them on a baking sheet with the coconut oil.  I rubbed each side of the mushroom through the oil.  I put them in the oven on 400 for about 10-12 min (when the mushrooms turned a darker brown and had obviously softened) and then turned the oven off.  After I put the mushrooms in the oven I made my “cream” sauce for my kale and spinach.

I put the cashews, seasonings, and almond milk in the Vitamix until creamy.  I heated up a bit more coconut oil in a large pan and then added the kale and spinach just long enough to wilt the leaves some.  After the leaves started to wilt I added the cream sauce and stirred gently until combined.  I placed a spoonful of the creamed greens mixture onto the top of each mushroom cap and then placed back in the oven (it was off) for just a few minutes to allow the creamed mixture to “set-up” on the caps.

This was about the easiest thing I have done in quite some time and the taste was very rewarding.  100% vegan friendly.

Plant-based lunches

Orange cashew

Instead of Orange Chicken give this a try.  Super easy less than 30 minutes to prepare and clean-up is just as fast!

2 bags of stir fry veggies
black sesame seeds (to liking – I probably used 1/4 of a cup).
1-2 Oranges

1/2 cup water
4 -6 Tablespoons Coconut Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons (plus a little) of Spicy Mustard (I had a Jack Daniels Mustard – it has no sugar so  I used it).
Dash of Tumeric
Red Pepper Flakes a sprinkle (again to desired spiciness).
Dash of Salt
1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoons Mrs. Dash Garlic Blend
Pinky size piece of fresh ginger
Juice of 4 Oranges (to sweeten since we have cut all sugar for this month including honey & agave sugars).
1/4 cup of cashews

I threw everything for the sauce in my **NEW** Vita-Mix and that was it.  Done!

In the pan I put a couple tablespoons of coconut oil in the bottom of my pan and then added in my 2 bags of veggies.  I let the veggies cook for a bit and then added about a 1/2 of a cup of cashews.  I let that cook for a bit longer and then added the sesame seeds, a dash of garlic powder, a dash of salt, and the juice from 1 orange.  I had already cut the orange so I didn’t add any zest…but I will next time.  I stirred that all around and then added the sauce (not all of it I have a lot left over to be used at another time).  You can add as much or as little as you like. When added to the heat it thickened just slightly and “stuck” to the veggies.

That was it!  Dinner in 1 pan and one blender!  Quick and easy cooking and clean-up.  I didn’t get home until 7 from the gym.  I cooked, ate, and cleaned up all by 8.  This was a great fast cook Friday night meal!