THE HEALTHY HAG

I COOK … I EAT … I SHARE.

Easy Vegan Lentil “Burgers” March 30, 2010

And so the love affair with lentils continues.  I wanted something to compliment my other half’s MEAT night BBQ, seeing as it was an even 50/50 split for the veggies and the carnivores.  I’ve made a bunch of meatless burgers (or patties if you’re offended by that term), and it’s always a challenge to get them to stay in one piece and not crumble apart.  Well my dears, this worked beautifully!  I just modified a few of the usual methods/ingredients, and what resulted was a hearty, tasty and totally vegan lentil burg that I’ve been enjoying for 2 days now (yes, made a HUGE batch).  Anyhoodle, give these ones a go, and serve ’em with your FAVE sauces … and say HELLO to BBQ season!!!

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

 

1 cup dry red lentils
1 cup water
1 cup stock
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 medium carrot or zucchini, diced
3 tbsp tomato sauce
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp curry OR chili powder (or any other spice you’d like)

Meal: ¾ cup bread crumbs OR rolled oats OR ground almonds mixed with nutritional yeast – finely ground

extra meal (about 2-3 tbsp)

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

 

1) Sauté the onion, garlic and zucchini (or carrots) in oil until soft, about 5 minutes.

2) Place the lentils, stock, water, tomato sauce, spices and salt in with onion/garlic, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer for about 30-45 minutes, until water is nearly gone and lentils are very soft.

3) Stir in additional salt and pepper (per taste) and allow lentil mixture to cool (about 30 min) then mix in the ground “meal” of your choice.

4) Place additional “meal” in a small dish; form lentil mixture into “burgers” and coat with crumbs on all sides.

5) Cook and serve with zesty sauce (I used a delish vegan hemp mayonnaise by BFF made for me) Cooking options:
(A) In a frying pan, heat a bit of oil (do not use olive oil), place burgers on top and fry until brown (about 2 minutes per side).
(B) In a 400ºF oven, bake the burgers on a greased baking sheet until light brown (about 15 minutes total), flipping once mid-way through.

 

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Note – these store really well for up to a week!

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The Weekly Soup: All alone-ey Minestrone December 16, 2009

I found myself with a night of me me me, so what do I do?  Cook.  It was cold, wet, damp and miserable enough out that I was desperate for comfort food that would not infringe on my upcoming Christmas binging.  The result was another soup – one that was sooooo good it only lasted a day (no freezing possibilities were even a glimmer in anyone’s eye).  The best thing about this soup is its versatility.  Add or remove whatever you want or have or feel like – maybe double the batch so at least there’s a chance it may last for more than a day.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 TBSP olive or canola oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 tsp coarse salt

2 cups mushrooms, chopped

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1 pepper, chopped (red, yellow, orange will do)

1/2 can of sweet corn

1 celery stalk, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced)

4 cups good quality broth

1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz )

1 can mixed beans (19 oz)

2 TBSP tomato paste

2 tsps each of dried basil and dried parsley

1 tsp dried thyme

fresh pepper to taste

3-4 cups water

1 cup dried macaroni or shells

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat oil in a large stove-top pot at med-high, add chopped onion and sauté until translucent.

2. Add all remaining vegetables to the pot and sauté until well cooked and softened (about 10 min).

3. Gradually add stock, tomatoes, mixed beans, tomato paste, spices, and water (add as much as you like until you get your desired consistency – I used 3 cups).

4. Cover with lid and simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes – stirring occasionally.

5. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil for macaroni or shells then add pasta to boiling water, and cook until al dente (just under the recommended time)

6. Add al dente pasta to soup and simmer for another 5 minutes.

7. Remove soup from heat, and serve sprinkled with fresh Parmesan and crusty bread.

 

The Weekly Soup: Cream of Mushroom November 23, 2009

After an annual trip to Costco, my fridge looked like it was going to explode at any second.  You had to precariously open the door, for fear of anything from oversized sauce jars to heads of broccoli falling on your unsuspecting foot.  Without even realizing what I’d done, a ginormous tray of sliced mushrooms kept pleading with me everytime I snuck in for a quick snack.  I do love a mushroom and I happened to be in the ball and realized I was overdue in my soup of the week, so I thought: let’s kill two birds with one stone (figuratively of course!!).  This resulted in a creamy, earthy soup that tasted even better as my warming lunch the next day.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 TBSP butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 TBSP olive oil

2 dozen crmini mushrooms, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 cups stock (your choice – as long as it’s rich and good!)

1 cup boiling water (you may use more or less, depending on the thickness you desire)

1 tsp sea or kosher salt (if your stock is super salty, use less)

1/3 cup 10% table cream

Pepper to taste

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DIRECTIONS:

1)      Bring a large pot to medium heat and sauté the onion in the butter and olive oil until just browned.

2)      Add into pot the garlic and mushrooms, and sauté until browned and softened (about 5-10 min).

3)      Pour stock, water and salt into pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 min (or until veg are very tender).

4)      Turn off heat and allow soup to cool slightly, then add in cream.

5)      Pour 3/4 of the contents into a blender, and blend until smooth (you can add in extra liquid if it’s too thick).

6)      Place puréed soup back in pot, add in pepper to taste and re-heat slightly (you do not want to burn the soup, so keep a close eye).

7)      Serve hot with crackers or bread!

 

The Weekly Soup – Leek and Cauliflower November 2, 2009

It dawned on me this weekend that I make home-made soup at least twice a month, so I thought seeing as the weather is turning why not make this into a heart-warming weekly affair!  I do love a theme.  So, I officially welcome you to the very first edition of the Weekly Soup.  Nice and timely right at the beginning of November.  It’s brisk but lovely here in Canadaland where I live, and soup seems to make it all the better.

 

Seeing as leeks just happened to land in my lap (a wee gifty from the mom-in-law), I set out yesterday to make something soothing and oniony.  I intended on making potato leek soup, but with nary a spud in sight, I swapped in that other tasty white veg: cauliflower.  The result?  A gorgeous smooth and savory soup that is actually one of the best I’ve had in ages.  It holds up pretty well to a quick zap to re-heat and would even do well served cold in the summer as a vichyssoise. Versatile, easy and spectacularly tasty?  SOLD!

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 TBSP butter

½ small onion, finely chopped

1 TBSP olive oil

2 leeks, chopped and washed of all grit (TIP: soak the chopped leek in cold water, drain a repeat a few times to ensure all the dirt is gone)

½ large head of cauliflower, chopped

3 cups stock (your choice – as long as it’s rich and good!)

1 cup boiling water (you may use more or less, depending on the thickness you desire)

1 ½ tsp sea or kosher salt (if your stock is super salty, use less)

½ cup 10% table cream

1/3 cup extra old white cheddar, grated (you could use any old hard cheese, but this is my FAVE!)

Pepper to taste

 

DIRECTIONS:

1)      Bring a large pot to medium heat and sauté the onion in the butter and olive oil until just browned.

2)      Add into pot the leek and cauliflower, and sauté until browned and softened (about 5-10 min).

3)      Pour stock, water and salt into pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 min (or until veg are very tender).

4)      Turn off heat and allow soup to cool slightly, then add in cream.

5)      Pour all contents into a blender, and blend until smooth (you can add in extra liquid if it’s too thick).

6)      Place puréed soup back in pot, add in grated cheese and re-heat slightly (you do not want to burn this soup, so be careful!).

7)      Serve warm with zesty crackers or crusty bread – even top with plain yogurt or sour cream and a sprinkling of freshly chopped chives!!  Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

leekcaul

 

SOUPS UP YO! Potato-Leek & Brocolli-Cheddar April 21, 2009

Some people enjoy a TV marathon, some enjoy a movie marathon.  I seem to gravitate towards cooking marathons, and last night was no different.  I was in a soup frenzy, and happily spent a few wee hours abusing my brand spanking new Le Cruset stock pot.  The result was not one, but 2 separate batches of delicious, soup, much to the delight of my hungry cousin and fiance.  Lucky duckys.

POTATO LEEK SOUP

INGREDIENTS:

1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

2 leeks, white & light green parts washed and sliced into 1/4-inch slices

2 cups yellow onion, chopped

1/2 TSP sea salt

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled & cut into 1/2-inch cubes

4 cups veggie stock

1/2 cup white wine

2-3 tsp fresh rosemary leaves

pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Heat a LARGE soup pot over medium heat and add the oil.

2. Add the leeks, onion, and salt and sauté for about 5 min, stirring often, until  onion begins to turn translucent.

3. Add garlic and stir well – and cook for 1 min more.

4. Add potatoes, veggie stock and wine, cover, and bring to a boil – then reduce heat to simmer for about 20 min.

5. Remove soup from heat and using either an immersion stick to blend the soup in the pot OR ladle soup into a blender and blend soup with the fresh rosemary leaves until smooth and free of chunks.

6. Pour smooth soup back into pot (if in blender) and warm over low heat until heated through – serve hot with a sprinkling of fresh pepper and a grating of cheddar cheese on top for garnish.

soups_potatoleek3

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP

INGREDIENTS:

1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

1 head of broccoli, washed and sliced into 1/4-inch slices (florets and stems included)

2 cups yellow onion, chopped

1/2 TSP sea salt

1 clove garlic, minced

4 cups veggie stock

1/2 cup white wine

2/3 cup milk

1/2 cup old cheddar, shredded

salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Heat a LARGE soup pot over medium heat and add the oil.

2. Add the onion and salt, and sauté for about 5 min, stirring often, until  onion begins to turn translucent.

3.  Add broccoli and stir well – and cook for 5 min more (until the broccoli is vibrantly green(.

4.  Add veggie stock and wine, cover, and bring to a boil – then reduce heat to simmer for about 10 min.

5. Remove soup from heat and using either an immersion stick to blend the soup in the pot OR ladle soup into a blender and blend soup  until smooth and free of large chunks.

6. Pour smooth soup back into pot (if in blender), add in milk and grated cheese and warm over low heat until cheese is melted and soup is heated through.

7.  Serve hot with an additional grating of cheddar cheese on top for garnish!

broccoli-cheddar-soup

 

Painless-Meatless-Delicious Shepherd’s Pie March 12, 2009

Comfort – comfort – comfort … all in one big casserole dish!  Try this unique twist on a classic – not only is it meatless, but this version also uses sweet potatoes instead of regular Yukons.  You can sub in a variety of veggies here, just make sure the quantities are equivalent.

Ingredients:

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

1 tbsp PLUS 1/2 tsp salt

6 tbsp unsalted butter

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 stalks celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 medium fennel bulbs, cut into a 1/2-inch dice

2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 tsp black pepper

1¾ cups veggie broth

3 cups fresh spinach (you can use torn Swiss chard leaves instead!)

pinch ground nutmeg

Directions:

 1) Place sweet potatoes and 1 tbsp of salt in a large pot, adding enough cold water to cover. 
 2) Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. 
 3)  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt 2 tbsp of the butter.
 4)  Add onion and cook for 10 min, then add parsnips, celery, fennel, Brussels sprouts, parsley, pepper, remaining salt and toss. 
 5)  Add broth, increase heat, and simmer until all veggies are tender, 15-20 minutes. 
 6)  Add the spinach and stir just until wilted - remove immediately from heat. 
 7)  Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a casserole or 9-inch pie plate.
 8]  Drain potatoes and return to pot, then add remaining butter and mash until smooth. 
 9)  Spread mashed potatoes over the vegetables, set broiler on high and broil until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. 
10)   Dust with the nutmeg and serve!

Notes – if you’re really pressed for time and don’t have any fresh produce on hand, grab some quality frozen veggies, they’ll work too (again, make sure the ratios are the same)1106_thanksgiving_veg_6!  I added some peas too – loves em!

 

Fettuccine in Mushroom Broth with Truffle Oil

Sounds luxurious … and tastes just like it sounds (but believe me, it won’t break the bank).  Last night consisted on giving in to my pregnant-lady-like-hankering for pasta and mushrooms (no, I am not even remotely with child … I just obsess over food like someone who is!) … by satisfying my craving with one amazing savoury dish!  I happened to have Truffle oil  – it’s a long story – and one incredible bag of organic whole-wheat pasta.  Lucky me!  If you don’t have Truffle oil, you can substitute another oil like walnut or almond or a high-quality olive oil.  Don’t be afraid of the ‘brothy-ness’ of this dish.  The pasta soaks up most of the liquid and what you’re left with is something spectacular!  Good for a date night or one of those dinners where you just have to make all your friends jealous of your mastery in the kitchen.

Ingredients:

* 2 Tbsp olive oil

* 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms

* 2 cups shiitake or cremini mushrooms, stemmed and diced

* ½ cup finely chopped shallots

* 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbps)

* 1 cup stock (I used mushroom stock!) or water

* 1 cup dry white wine (and 2 cups for you!)

* ½ cup frozen peas

* 1 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley

* 3 tsp truffle oil, divided

* 8 oz fettuccine or any other noodle you desire

Directions:

1) Boil the stock (or some water) and place dried mushrooms in 1 cup of the boiled liquid – and allowthe mushrooms to hydrate for about 30 min.

2) Heat olive oil in very large skillet over medium-high heat, add porcini mushrooms, shallots, and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sauté 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.

2) Remove the now hydrated mushrooms, squeeze dry, and ad to skillet and sauté for another 2-3 min.  NOTE – do not throw out the liquid, keep it for later!!!

3) Add wine and the remaining stock, and simmer 10 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender.

4) Add peas, simmer 2 minutes more, then stir in parsley and 1 tsp. truffle oil (season with salt and pepper again if necessary).

5) Meanwhile, cook fettuccine in large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions until al dente (usually 7-12 min, depending on the noodle).

6) Drain pasta, and toss with mushroom sauce, then drizzle 1/2 tsp. truffle oil over each serving, and sprinkle with grated parmessean. pasta