Tag Archives: vegetarian

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers

I’m not naming names, ’cause I’m not like that.  But there’s this certain restaurant in town (one of the only ones to get a real handmade veggie patty) that has a big ole’ quinoa-based veggie burger.

The fries and sweet tea rock, but let me tell ya, the burger?  Eh.

Great flavor, but it’s missing one BIG thing.  Something to hold it all together.

Get yourself together veggie patty.

Take a bite and it comes squeezing out of the sides, and you’re left eating a big bite of tomato, onion, and gluten free bun.

Now, I’m not saying mine are perfect. But I have figured out the key to mine.  And that’s to keep the burgers on the smaller side, so all sides can get crispy.

The great thing about these burgers is that they really are easy to make.  You can actually taste the burger before you cook it (to adjust flavors) because there’s nothing harmful in them.

I don’t usually eat these with a bun, but you can!  Suggested toppings?  Avocado, caramelized or grilled onions, tomato, lettuce, sprouts, hickory BBQ sauce, honey mustard (vegenaise, Dijon mustard, raw honey).  Pick your fav and roll with it!

I also love to make the burger the topping of a salad.  It brings a little substance, especially if you’re extra hungry.

Before making this recipe, keep in mind you’ll need time to cook a sweet potato and millet (I LOVE millet!!), AND you’ll need 20 minutes to let them harden in the fridge.

My secret?  Cook the sweet potato and millet the night before as you’re cleaning up the kitchen and let it cool in the fridge all night.  Perfect solution.  You can also pre-make the patties and bake them when you’re ready.

Ok, on to the recipe.  I hope you enjoy!

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers
To cook millet (or quinoa)
  • ¾ cup millet
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth
To assemble the burgers:
  • 1 large sweet potato, baked
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 1 T ground flaxseed
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • ½ t sea salt
  • ¼ t ground black pepper
  • ½ cup organic cornmeal
  1. It would be best to cook the sweet potato and millet the night before and let sit in the fridge all night....
  2. To cook millet, put ingredients in a medium pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to low.
  4. Simmer for 15 or so minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Put the black beans in a large bowl.
  7. Smash with a potato smasher or fork, leaving some whole beans.
  8. Peel the baked sweet potato, and place in the large bowl.
  9. Mix together.
  10. Add one cup of cooked millet. Depending on the size of your sweet potato, you may need more at the end if the mixture is too sticky. If not, store the rest in the refrigerator for another use.
  11. Add onion and spices. Mix well.
  12. Sprinkle cornmeal on top of mixture and mix well with hands.
  13. The mixture will be sticky, but not too sticky. If you need more millet or cornmeal, now is the time to add it.
  14. Using your hands, make 10 medium sized patties or 5 large patties and place on baking sheet.
  15. Place in the refrigerator to harden for 20 minutes.
  16. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip burgers. Bake for another 15 until hardened.
  17. Enjoy!


Perfectly Baked Potatoes

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I remember a time when eating anything “white” was forbidden.  Oh the bondage of rules.

I actually really enjoy potatoes, maybe the fried ones a little too much.

But let me introduce another philosophy, one you may not agree with.  And that’s ok.

Instead of staying away from avocados because they are high in fat or from white potatoes because they are full of carbs, why not eat those foods (which are whole, real foods) in moderation and stay away from things like High Fructose Corn Syrup, Aspartame, Genetically Modified foods, etc?

It really does take the pressure off. 🙂

A perfectly baked potato can make a simple, filling meal.  We have them often and pair with a large, vegetable filled salad.  They also make a nice companion to soup!

For this recipe, you won’t need anything but some Russet baking potatoes, oil, and sea salt (and your oven).

Next time you need a quick dinner idea, try this one out.  We like to top with chili beans, dairy-free butter, sour cream or cream cheese made from cashews, and green onions.


Perfectly Baked Potatoes
  • 4 organic Russet baking potatoes
  • 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. With a fork, poke 12 holes (3 going down each side of the potato) in the potato.
  3. Put the olive oil in a bowl, and using your fingers, spread the oil all over the potatoes.
  4. Sprinkle sea salt generously on the potatoes.
  5. Place directly on the oven rack and bake for 60-70 minutes, flipping with tongs half way through.
  6. They will be ready when you can insert a sharp knife into the potato without any resistance.
  7. Split or cut in half and fill with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!



Berry Dijon Kale Salad


Do you want to know my first encounter with kale?

I was in Nashville about 5 years ago, and a foodie friend mentioned it.  I literally had NO IDEA what he was talking about.  I even went so far to think, “I will never, ever eat that.”  Yeah, I’ll never drive a mini-van either.

I have no idea what I was so afraid of.  It is kind of curly. And maybe a little intimidating. And a fad going on right now.

BUT, it’s not bad at all!  It has a different texture than lettuce; it’s coarser.  The good news about that?  You can make a salad (dressing and all) and it will not wilt in the refrigerator and get soggy.  In fact, I think kale salads are better the second day!

I eat many varieties of kale: in my smoothies, sauteed as a side dish, as “chips,” and as salads.

I love salads, but sometimes I do get bored with them.  Changing up dressings and lettuces and kinds of kale works well for me, though, even in the winter!

Here’s the one I’m diggin’ right now.  This recipe makes two salads for me (if eaten as a meal).  If I need extra protein (beyond the hemp seeds and almonds), I add an avocado or chickpeas.  You could also add shredded chicken!


*You can find Nutritional Yeast & hemp seeds in a health food store or organic section of a regular grocery store.  Don’t be afraid to google a product, ask for help at the store, or order from Amazon!

*I prefer my kale salads not drenched in sauce and dressings.  If you like a little more liquid, add more of the dressing ingredients to your liking!

Berry Dijon Kale Salad
  • 8 cups kale (I used curly green kale) washed, stemmed, and chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • ½ T maple syrup
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 T hulled hemp seeds
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  1. After you have washed and chopped your kale, let it dry on a kitchen towel, using another towel to get as much water out as possible.
  2. Put the kale in a large mixing bowl and pour olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt on top.
  3. Massage the kale WITH YOUR HANDS 🙂 Make sure to work the oil in to all the leaves!
  4. Add the Dijon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and nutritional yeast. Keep massaging until all of the ingredients are mixed well with the kale.
  5. Mix in dried and fresh fruit, almonds, carrots, and hemp seeds.
  6. You can eat immediately or let marinate for 20-30 minutes (up to overnight) before serving.
  7. This will be good in the fridge for 2-3 days after!


Easy Crockpot Beans with Brown Rice

When the new year rolls around, most of us are looking for that reset button.  And sometimes, we put ourselves in the doghouse, realizing how much Christmas actually cost us!

We didn’t go crazy on Christmas this year, but we love a good rice and beans meal during the week.  The benefits?  It’s cheap. It makes a lot.  It’s filling.  And did I say cheap?

These beans are full of flavor and make a nice meal–what we like to call a Rice Bowl.  We are SO original, huh? The great thing is that you can add any toppings you’d like: avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, corn, etc.


This meal takes less than 5 minutes to put together…a HUGE plus for this busy mom! I usually throw the beans in the crockpot at night and the rice in my rice cooker and deal with it in the morning.

If you get tired of plain ole rice and beans, have a taco night and use the leftovers on top.  Options galore!

Enjoy 🙂

A couple of notes: 

1. I buy my dried beans in the bulk section of a health food store to save money, but you can also buy them at any regular grocery store.

2. Wear gloves when cutting your jalapeno to avoid hot hands!

3. You can also use whatever type of beans you want in this recipe.  This is the combination I like, but feel free to choose your favorite.  Just make sure it adds up to 1.5 cups!

4. You can discard the big chunks of onion if you choose (after it’s done), but I love onions & prefer to eat them 🙂

Easy Crockpot Beans with Brown Rice
  • ¾ cup dried black beans
  • ¾ cup dried pinto beans
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into fourths
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1.5 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Put all ingredients in a crockpot.
  2. Cook on HIGH for 6-8 hours.
  3. Serve with brown rice, quinoa, and/or toppings!



Sweet & Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Have I told you lately that Brussels sprouts rock? I know like most things green, they get a bad rap.

But Roasted Brussels sprouts?? They are amazing.  They remind me of roasted cabbage…the little burned parts, my favorite!

With this sweet and spicy glaze, made from local raw honey, maple syrup, soy sauce, and sriracha sauce, they become almost irresistible!

I use gluten free soy sauce (called Tamari), but you can use coconut aminos if you are soy free–or leave it out completely.  If you are a vegan, you can omit the honey and double the maple syrup!

These roasted Brussels sprouts will make a wonderful accompanying side dish, wow friends at a get together, and make a perfect addition to the holiday table!

Enjoy 🙂

Allergen Info: Contains soy

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Brussels sprouts
  • 16 oz (1 lb) fresh Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, cut in half, then rinsed
  • 1-1.5 T olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1.5 T raw honey (preferably local)
  • 1.5 T maple syrup
  • 1 T gluten free soy sauce (Tamari)
  • 1 t sriracha sauce (or less if you don't tolerate heat)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Toss the washed and cut Brussels sprouts with the oil, salt, & pepper.
  3. Put them in a baking pan and roast for 15 minutes.
  4. Take out of oven and stir well.
  5. Bake for 5-10 more minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Meanwhile, mix all glaze ingredients in a small bowl.
  7. Pour desired amount of glaze on top and gently stir! (This sauce has a kick to it, so be careful with how much you put on there)