Lentil Oat Burgers

Vegan, Veggie Burgers

Milanesas de soja

Adapted from Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon

Veggie burgers are amazing. Other than tasting good, there are thousands of possibilities. You can mix so many different beans and vegetables together. Here’s another recipe for veggie burgers. Lentils are a great source of protein as well as iron like the oats, a whole grain. These burgers are super easy and quick to cook up, perfect for a weekday meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ cup Quaker old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Milanesas de soja, porción

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (177C).
  2. Pulse lentils in a food processor so most become mush-like but some whole and half lentils still remain.
  3. Transfer the lentils to a mixing bowl and add the mustard, tomato purée and spices and stir to combine.
  4. Add the oats and stir to combine.
  5. Add the lemon juice and stir once more to combine.
  6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Divide the mixture into six equal portions and shape into patties. Place on the prepared cookie sheet.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, flip the patties over and bake for another 5 minutes or until the burgers are firm and crisp on the outside.

Comments: These burgers have a strong lemon flavor. My mom liked them but thought they should have a little less lemon juice; I was ok with it. When I ate some leftovers for lunch in a sandwich I found that the bread cuts the tanginess from the lemon a little and I thought they were even better with bread. They might also be good chopped up in a salad. If you really like the lemon, the book suggests adding lemon zest but I don’t think they need it.

Milanesa de soja, con batata

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Tartelettes with Fondue au Gruyère and Wine Flavoring

Quiches

(Tartelettes with Swiss Cheese Cream Filling  and Wine Flavoring)

Tartelette with Fondue au Gruyère and Wine Flavoring

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

I have previously posted the recipe for tartelettes with just the fondue au Gruyère. Here is a slight variation where some of the milk from the master recipe is replaced with wine. Though I had absolutely loved the original tartelettes, I think these were even better. The blend of Gruyère with wine is heaven on Earth. These will make great appetizers for a party or get-together or just a regular meal at home.

Yield: 8 tartelettes

Ingredients:

  • Prepared tartelettes shells (see Tartelettes with Gruyère Cream Filling)
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoon s minced green onions
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1¼ cups boiling milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3½ ounces coarsely grated Gruyère cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F (232C).
  2. Cook the green onions slowly with ½ tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan for a moment.
  3. Add the wine, raise the heat and boil down rapidly until the wine is reduced to ¼ cup.
  4. Cook 2½ tablespoons of butter and flour slowly together in a 2-quart saucepan for 2 minutes without coloring. Remove from heat and beat in the boiling milk and wine mixture with a wire whip. Then add the seasonings. Boil, stirring, for 1 minute and remove from heat. The sauce should be very thick.
  5. Place the egg yolk in the center of the sauce and immediately beat it vigorously in with the wire whip. Beat for a moment to cool slightly.
  6. Beat in the cheese and finally the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. If not used immediately, cover the sauce with a piece of plastic wrap so that it touches and covers the surface.
  7. Arrange the prepared tartelette shells on a baking sheet. Fill each shell with the prepared fondue.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes or until the filling has browned on top.

Comments: The French have done it again with another piece of edible art. The cheesy, creamy deliciousness of these tartelettes cannot be described in mere words. You have to taste them to understand. There’s nothing too complex about this recipe. I do have a little tip for all my vegetarian friends out there. Gruyère is a very traditional, old-fashioned European cheese, meaning that they generally use animal rennet to make it. However, if you are living in the U.S., I can tell you that Trader Joe´s and Boar’s Head both have Gruyère that are vegetarian-friendly. No, they are not from Europe but they are still good. Though you could also use Emmental and/or Parmesan, I highly recommend Gruyère for its rich taste.

Tartelette with Fondue au Gruyère and Wine Flavoring, porción

Ratatouille

Side Dishes, Vegan

Ratatouille

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

Ahh, yes. Ratatouille. A classic of the French cuisine. What a wonderful thing these Frenchmen have invented. In this recipe, each vegetable “retains its own shape and character” so that you can taste each one but they also blend beautifully to create a wonderful mélange of flavors. We had them with meatballs (vegetarian ones in my case), which I admit is a bit unorthodox and all the French would probably kill us for it. If you want something more traditional, try it with a roast, broiled beef or lamb, pot-au-feu or chicken.

Yields 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound eggplant
  • 1 pound zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons oil, divided
  • ½ pound yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 (about 1 cup) green bell peppers, sliced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound firm, ripe red tomatoes, peeled, seeded and juiced (directions below)
  • 3 tablespoons parsley

Directions:

  1. Peel the eggplant and cut it into lengthwise slices 3/8 inches thick, 3 inches long and 1 inch wide.
  2. Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends and cut it into slices about the same size as the eggplant slices.
  3. Place the eggplant and zucchini in a bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain. Dry each slice in a towel or with paper towels.
  4. In a 10- to 12-inch skillet, sauté the eggplant and then the zucchini in 4 tablespoons of hot oil one layer at a time. Sauté for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly. Set aside on a separate dish.
  5. In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers slowly in the oil for about 10 minutes or until tender but not browned. Season to taste.
  6. After peeling seeding and juicing the tomatoes (instructions below), slice the tomato pulp into 3/8-inch strips. Lay them over the onions and peppers. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes have begun to render their juice. Uncover, baste the tomatoes with the juices, raise the heat and boil for several minutes until the juice has almost entirely evaporated.
  7. Place a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of a 2½-quart saucepan or casserole and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of parsley over it. Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top followed by half the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini. Finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.
  8. Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, tip the casserole and baste with the rendered juices. Raise the heat slightly and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more, basting several times until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored oil.

Peeling, Seeding and Juicing Tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Use firm, ripe, red tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes one or two at a time in boiling water to cover.
  2. Boil for exactly 10 seconds. Remove.
  3. Cut out the stem. Peel off the skin starting from the stem hole.
  4. Cut the peeled tomatoes in half crosswise, not through the stem. Squeeze each half gently to extract the seeds and juices from the center of the tomato.

Comments: Ratatouille can be served hot or cold though I prefer it hot. Keep in mind it’s not the quickest dish to prepare because you have to cook each vegetable separately before combining them. However, you can prepare it the day before; reheating it makes it even more flavorful. When cooking all the vegetables together, be very careful not to scorch the vegetables. I highly recommend using a fireproof casserole if you have one since they are less deep than a saucepan. I don’t have a fireproof casserole and had to make do with a saucepan. I reduced the cooking time considerably out of fear that too little juice would be left. It still turned out wonderful!

Ratatouile, porción

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Pasta, Vegetarian

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Adapted from chocolatecoveredkatie.com

Autumn is fast approaching and we all know what that means: PUMPKIN PRODUCTS!!! I can’t express how excited I am to see Trader Joe’s fully stocked with all kinds of pumpkin goodies. As this is very much on my mind, I was sitting one day and thought, “There must be a recipe for pumpkin mac and cheese.” And I was right. This is a very easy and fast recipe; you can literally have dinner ready in about half an hour or less. Enjoy the pumpkin goodness!

Yields 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces dry pasta (such as elbow macaroni, farfalle, rotini or penne)
  • 1 can pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
  • 1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese (see below for vegan option)

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the dry pasta and cook according to the instructions on the package.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a complete boil. Lower the heat and stir until the shredded cheese is completely melted.
  3. Drain the pasta and place in a serving dish. Mix in the sauce until well combined. Serve immediately.

Comments: This recipe yields a very rich, creamy sauce. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever had but it’s really good. Unfortunately, I found that the shredded Cheddar in my fridge had fungus but luckily I had Italian blend. The Italian blend has sharp cheeses (Provolone, Parmesan, Romano…) so it was good for the mac and cheese but I’ll probably use the classic Cheddar next time. If you are vegan, you can substitute the cheese for ¾ cup of nutritional yeast. I’m curious about how it will turn out but I knew my parents wouldn’t like it if I made it vegan. If you use nutritional yeast, let me know how it turns out. Instead of pasta, you can use quinoa, spaghetti squash rice or other vegetable “spaghetti.” Next time, I will use fresh pumpkin instead of the canned one; it’ll probably be even better.

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese, porción

Lasagna with Roasted Eggplant, Mushrooms and Carrots

Lasagna, Vegetarian

Lasagna with Roasted Eggplant, Mushrooms and Carrots

Adapted from nytimes.com/cooking

For some reason over the past few years I have developed an obsession with lasagnas. Of course I always liked them but now I absolutely love them and I hate when restaurants only serve Bolognese lasagnas because I never really liked them that much and because now I’m vegetarian. I found this recipe and since it had eggplant as one of the vegetables I wanted to try it out. One of if not the best lasagna I’ve ever had.

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ pounds eggplant (1 medium), cut in lengthwise slices about 1/3 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ pound mushrooms, cut in thick slices
  • 1 large carrot, cut in ½-inch dice
  • ½ teaspoon dry ground thyme
  • 2½ cups tomato purée
  • 7 to 8 ounces no-boil whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 3 ounces mozzarella di bufala or burrata
  • 3 ounces freshly grated Parmesan

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F (232C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat the eggplant slices dry with paper towels and toss them in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place them on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, close the oven door and flip the eggplant slices over. Return to the oven for 5 to 10 more minutes or until the eggplant is tender when pierced and browned in spots. Remove the slices from the baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Toss the mushrooms, carrots and thyme with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the vegetable mixture on the parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring hallway through, until the carrots are slightly caramelized and the mushrooms are tender. Remove from the oven.
  4. Reduce the heat of the oven to 350F (177C).
  5. Grease a 13×7-inch baking pan. Stir the mushrooms and carrots into the tomato purée. Spread a small spoonful of the sauce over the bottom of the baking pan. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Top the noodles with a spoonful of sauce then a layer of eggplant slices. Top the eggplant with half of the mozzarella and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of lasagna noodles topped with a layer of tomato sauce and a layer of Parmesan.
  6. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the noodles are tender and the mixture is bubbling. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes until the top begins to brown.

Comments: Like I said before, this is one of my absolute favorites. Before my favorite was a spinach lasagna, which I will eventually post, and I never expected to have a competitor. Like all lasagnas, this one is pretty straightforward. What probably takes the longest is roasting the vegetables. The original recipe uses the common mozzarella you use for pizza and such and it says to shred it or thinly slice it. However, because it said FRESH mozzarella, I bought burrata, which is like mozzarella di bufala but with some cream inside. Since I used this instead, I dropped small pieces when needed and used a knife to spread it out a bit. If you prefer regular mozzarella go ahead and use it but I think the original, fresh kind is better. Enjoy!

Lasagna with Roasted Eggplant, Mushrooms and Carrots, pedazo II

Star-Studded Blueberry Pie

Sweet Pies and Tarts

Star-Studded Blueberry Pie

Adapted from familyfun.com

Who doesn’t love a slice of delicious, homemade pie? The coming of summer and the great variety of fruit mean pies. The first time I made this pie, I was making several desserts for a get-together of family friends. It was very easy to make. I was sure it was going to be good but it really surprised me how good it was. Every time there’s a get-together, everyone always asks me when I’m going to make this pie again.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plus 6 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter
  • 4-5 tablespoons cold milk
  • 6 cups blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).
  2. Place 2 cups of flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Cut the butter into slices and scatter the pieces on top of the flour.
  3. Pulse the flour and butter until they are combined and the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the milk a tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the dough sticks to itself when gently squeezed.
  4. Place the dough on top of a piece of wax paper on your countertop. Shape it into two balls, one twice as large as the other. Wrap the smaller piece of dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Place another piece of wax paper over the larger piece of dough and roll it out to fit a 9- or 10-inch pie pan. Line a 9- or 10-inch pie pan with the rolled piecrust dough and crimp the edges. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Place the blueberries in a large bowl and sprinkle with the lemon zest, the lemon juice, the remaining 6 tablespoons of flour and sugar. Toss gently until the berries are evenly coated.
  6. Remove the pie pan with the crust from the refrigerator. Pour the filling into the crust.
  7. Roll out the extra dough and cut it into stars using a cookie cutter. Lay the stars, touching one another, on top of the filling. Press any pieces that meet the sides of the crust into the edges.
  8. Place the pie pan on a foil-lined baking sheet (to catch any spills). Bake in the lower third of the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the filling is bubbly around the edges and the crust is lightly browned.

Comments: This pie is great hot, warm or even room temperature. It so easy and quick to make you can make it at any time. With the star-studded top you are sure to impress everyone; no one need know how easy the recipe is. Another thing I love about this pie is how much fruit it has; the fruit, after all, is the whole point of a pie. Happy summer eating!