Category Archives: Vegan

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Savory / Vegan / Vegetarian

Homemade Veggie Burgers with Creamy Bleu Cheese and Sweet & Spicy Slaw + Oven Fries

March 5, 2014

homemade veggie burgers with creamy bleu cheese and chili garlic slaw + oven friesLongest.  Title.  Ever.

Anyhoo, given that it’s still the beginning(-ish) of the year, and because my 30th birthday is rapidly approaching, I’m still on the “hey, let’s eat healthy!” bandwagon (even on weekends, which is sometimes mildly depressing).  This does not mean that I’m some kind of alien being who looooves cooking every night and never craves a pizza/cheeseburger/allthecandyintheland.

However, given that I’m doing my best to be a mindful eater, I’ve decided to take my cravings and make them work for me.  This means that when I’m craving pizza, I have it.  I’m not ringing up Round Table though, nay nay — I’m making pizza myself.  (Hello — homemade dough + you-pick-the-toppings = less calories and less guilt than the local pizzeria.  Right?  Right.)

With that in mind, I recently had a craving for a burger, which is weird, because I don’t usually crave burgers; but I was reading a blog I like, and the author had posted a recipe similar to this one and I decided that I had to make it.  I opted to make my version with a veggie patty (mostly because I have butternut squash coming out my ears these days, thanks to the CSA box), and decided to pair it with some oven fries to make the whole deal very “diner authentic.”

What, you don’t order the butternut and black bean veggie burger at your local burger joint?  Weird.

Either way — this recipe comes together in a pinch, and it’s perfect as a meal for 4 people.

And hey, if you want to make it vegan, cut out the bleu cheese and replace it with something vegan-y.  Yep, totally a word.

If you’re g-free, use a gluten free bun or wrap this up in lettuce, protein-style.  Get crazy.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Veggie Burgers with creamy bleu cheese and chili garlic slaw2Butternut and Black Bean Veggie Burger Patties

makes 4 patties

  • 3 scallions, white and green parts cut in thirds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup cooked butternut squash (I cubed mine and boiled it for about 20 minutes, then wrapped it in a paper towel and set it in the fridge til I was ready to make these)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup rice, cooked and cooled (I used brown jasmine rice)
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (you could sub other beans in as well)
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cups ground oats or flour of your choice (use gluten-free oats or flour if you’re making these g-free)
  • additional olive oil for sauteing
  1. In a food processor, combine scallions, garlic, squash and olive oil, then pulse to puree and mix.
  2. Add spices, salt, rice, and half the black beans.  Pulse until just combined.
  3. Add flaxseed and flour and pulse until just combined.
  4. Add remaining black beans and pulse once or twice until just incorporated (you want these to be not fully pureed).
  5. Store in fridge until ready to cook.
  6. Divide mixture and form into 4 patties, and cook in a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat until crispy and warmed through (about 3 minutes per side).*

*You could probably cook these in the oven as well, like falafel.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Veggie Burgers with creamy bleu cheese and chili garlic slawSweet & Spicy Slaw

  • 1/2 large head green cabbage, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 lime
  1. In a large skillet over low heat, add olive oil, cabbage, garlic, salt and pepper and sauté 1 minute.
  2. Add chili powder, Sriracha, and sugar, and toss to combine over the heat, another minute.
  3. Remove from heat, transfer into a bowl and squeeze lime juice over slaw and toss to combine.
  4. Keep in fridge until ready to use.

Creamy Bleu Cheese

  • Bleu cheese, crumbled
  • Greek yogurt (I use Fage 2%)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Combine bleu cheese with some yogurt, salt and pepper, mixing and mashing with a fork.  Add a little olive oil as needed to thin out the mix.*

*Obviously, this isn’t an exact recipe by any means, so just use your judgment here — the mixture should be pretty thick, so estimate using about equal amounts of bleu cheese and yogurt + a minimal amount of olive oil.

Oven FriesOven Fries

  • 2 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into sticks (you choose the size — the thinner they are, the quicker they’ll cook and crispier they’ll be)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into sticks
  • olive oil
  • sea salt*
  • paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Place cut potatoes into a big bowl of water until you’re ready to cook.  (Soaking them ahead of time is necessary, but it doesn’t need to be a very long soak — even just 5-10 minutes should be sufficient.)
  3. Remove potatoes from water and pat them dry them with a clean towel.
  4. Place fries in a single layer on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil, salt and paprika, toss to combine.
  5. Bake until crispy, tossing every 10 minutes.  (Cooking time will depend on the size of your fries — start with 20 minutes and go from there.)
  6. When crispy and cooked through, remove from baking sheet and season with more salt as needed.

*I used Maldon flake salt for mine because I like a coarser salt on fries, but any type of sea salt would be good with these.

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Savory / Soup / Vegan / Vegetarian

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Black Beans and Butternut Squash

February 24, 2014

This soup doesn’t need much of an intro from me — it’s crazy easy to make (and quick), and sooo delicious.  It’s smoky, a little spicy, and it will use up an entire butternut squash (which, if you get a CSA box like I do, you probably have like 1,000 of those laying around right now).

Seriously, just take my word on this one and make this soup.

But maybe plan a little bit better than I did and have some ripe avocados on hand…

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Black Beans and Butternut Squash

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Black Beans and Butternut Squash

serves 3-4

  • 1 small to medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp (a pinch, really) cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • corn tortillas (about 10)

Toppings (all are optional, but they all make this soup especially delicious):

  • crispy tortilla strips
  • minced cilantro
  • crumbled goat cheese (cotija cheese would also work well)
  • greek yogurt or sour cream
  • diced avocado
  • hot sauce (if you’re a spice fiend)
  1. Place a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add some olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until just softened and very fragrant.  Add squash, cabbage and vegetable stock (salt and pepper as you go).  Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are cooked through and tender.
  2. Add black beans and spices, then pass a hand blender through the mix to thicken the broth (the soup should still be very chunky, you’re just looking to break it up a bit to thicken things — a couple passes should do it).  Return to heat and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the bottom does not burn.
  3. Check for seasoning (add lots of black pepper to this!), then serve with any or all toppings.

Crispy Tortilla Strips

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Stack tortillas (I used half a pack — about 10 tortillas) and slice into quarters, then into strips.  Toss strips with olive oil, plenty of salt, and a bit of pepper.  Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake about 15 minutes (check these every couple minutes after 10 minutes — cooking time will vary based on your oven), until just browned and very crispy.

Cocktails / Dairy-Free / Date Night at Home / Drinks / Favorite Things / Gluten-Free / Happy Hour / Vegan / Vegetarian

Monk's Garden Copycat Cocktail

January 29, 2014

I have a ridiculously delicious, pink (!) cocktail for you today.  And don’t worry, this isn’t one of those grossly sweet, girly pink cocktails — it’s a well-balanced, citrusy-bitter type of cocktail.

I mean, KC was even singing the praises of this cocktail, so don’t rule it out just because you’re manly.

This cocktail came A. from my quest to use a pomelo which had shown up in our most recent CSA box, and B. from my desire to recreate the cocktail I’m obsessed with at one of my favorite eateries — Boot and Shoe Service.  The cocktail is called the Monk’s Garden (I have no idea why), and it’s bright, refreshing, a tad bitter, and, of course, pink (hello).  The traditional cocktail uses grapefruit and yellow chartreuse, but I didn’t have either of those (and yellow chartreuse is sort of absurdly expensive), so this copycat was born.

And y’know what?  It tasted spot-on to me.  Dead ringer for one of my favorite $10 beverages.

So next time you’re having a date night at home, or a fancy girls-night-in, whip up a couple of these (maybe even top it off with champagne..? OMG WHAT.)

Monks Garden Copycat Cocktail

Monk’s Garden Copycat Cocktail

makes 2 cocktails (feel free to cut in half to make just one — but why would you want to?)



  • 3 oz gin*
  • 1.5 oz St. Germaine
  • 3 oz fresh-squeezed pomelo** or grapefruit juice
  • 1.5 – 2 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice (depending on how tart/bitter you want your cocktail)
  • scant 1/2 oz simple syrup*** (optional — you won’t need this if your grapefruit is really ripe)
  • 7 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • ice
  1. Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 60 seconds.
  2. Strain into two chilled cocktail glasses and enjoy!


*Gin: I used Hendricks Gin in these.  I wouldn’t recommend Tanqueray for this cocktail (too piney for these, I think).

**If you use pomelo rather than grapefruit, you may need to add a little more simple syrup to balance out the bitterness.

***For the simple syrup, I prefer to start without it and then add a little if I feel like it needs it (remember: you can always add, but you can’t subtract!)

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Savory / Soup / Stay Healthy / Vegan / Vegetarian

Split Pea Soup

January 28, 2014

Ever since my beloved Bean Cuisine went out of business, I have been searching for a replacement for my favorite soup — the Thick As Fog Split Pea.  I’m happy to report that I think I have found my replacement.  A bit of tweaking on an old Ina Garten recipe, and this soup came to be.

This soup is super delicious (if you’re a split pea fan), and basically couldn’t be easier to make.  In case you need more convincing, here are some other pluses: it’s gluten free, dairy free, and it can be made to be vegan/vegetarian.  Plus, it makes a lot of soup, but not like the “OMG I’m eating the same soup for lunch and dinner for 4 days in a row because it makes 14 gallons” amount.  Because you best believe that KC and I do that on a semi-regular basis…

Winter Minestrone for dayyyysssss.

This recipe makes about 6 bowls; so, if you’re like KC and I, it will last you for 2 dinners and 1 lunch.

Only downside?  Trader Joe’s doesn’t carry split peas.



Split Pea Soup

serves 4-6

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 medium to large carrots, diced
  • 3 small red potatoes, diced
  • 1 pound dried green split peas, rinsed (these can usually be found with other dried beans in the supermarket)
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, add some olive oil to the bottom of the pan, then add in onions, garlic, spices, salt (start with 1/2 tsp) and pepper.  Saute until softened and very fragrant (5-10 minutes).
  2. Add in the carrots, potatoes, chicken stock, and half of the split peas.  Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for 40 minutes.  Stir occasionally (especially at the end, to keep the bottom from burning).
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Optional: I like my split pea less chunky, so I generally take a whisk to it at the end to help break up some of the bigger chunks of veggies and potatoes.  You could also take a hand blender to it if you like yours really smooth.  Totally not necessary, just personal preference!

Dairy-Free / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Savory / Soup / Stay Healthy / Vegan / Vegetarian

Not Your Mama's Chicken Soup

January 6, 2014

IMG_0885Ok, the holidays are officially over (sad face) and it’s time to get back to being healthy and not acting like gingerbread is a health food.  (I mean, it does have ginger in it…)

If you or a loved one is suffering from a cold or the flu, this is a nice twist on regular ol’ chicken soup.  Plus, everything is made from scratch (including the broth), so you really know what you’re putting in your belly.  Word of caution though — this soup is kind of time consuming (at least, for me it is) and I haven’t figured out how to make it without dirtying like, 1000 dishes, so… be warned.  It does make a whole mess of soup though, so at least there’s that.

Not Your Mama’s Chicken Soup

serves 6-8 (at least)

adapted from a Real Simple recipe

  • 1 3 1/2 – 4lb whole roasting chicken, rinsed with giblets removed**
  • 1 large bunch carrots (I used the whole bag of Trader Joe’s organic carrots)
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt (I used coarse sea salt)
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 14.5 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups dry whole wheat cous cous*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bunch fresh, flat-leaf Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jar kalamata olives (6.5 oz drained) drained, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  1. In a large stock pot, add whole chicken, 3 carrots + 2 celery ribs (rinsed and cut into large pieces), quartered onion, salt and peppercorns.  Cover fully with water (about 8 cups), then bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, and simmer mixture until chicken is fully cooked (about 30 minutes).  Skim off any foam that collects on the surface.  While the chicken is cooking, rinse, trim and chop the remaining celery and carrots (large dice), and set aside.
  2. Once chicken is cooked, remove it from the broth and set it aside to cool.  Strain out vegetables and peppercorns, then return the broth to the stock pot.
  3. Cook cous cous by adding 2 1/2 cups of water + 1 tsp salt to a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat, add the cous cous, give it a good stir, then cover and let sit for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes, remove lid, fluff with a fork and stir in chopped olives and parsley.
  4. Add chopped carrots and celery to the strained broth and bring it to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables have reached desired tenderness  (10-15 minutes).  While the vegetables are cooking, remove chicken from the bone, and shred with forks.  Add shredded chicken and garbanzo beans to the pot during the last 5 minutes of cooking time to heat through.

For serving, you can either just stir the cous cous into the soup pot, or spoon some of the cous cous mixture into bowls, then top with the soup.  Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top and try not to burn the heck out of your mouth like I did.

*To make this gluten free, you can use quinoa instead of cous cous — just cook according to the package directions.

**To make this veg/vegan, omit the chicken entirely and in its place add: 1 bunch green onions (roughly chopped), 8 cloves garlic (roughly chopped), 1 bunch parsley, 1 bunch thyme, and 2 bay leaves to the water to make vegetable stock.  For more flavor, saute the vegetables in some olive oil until just softened and fragrant before adding in the herbs and water.