Grilled Portobello Onion Burgers with Creamy Dijon and Feta Sauce

My husband always rolls his eyes at me whenever I pull out the Portobello. I have a little bit of an obsession with this gigantic fungi, and once I start, it can be on the menu for days!!
All eye rolling aside though, mushrooms are a great source of niacin (B3), folic acid, and B12. They also provide a good amount of selenium which helps rid the body of free radicals.

Serves 4

4 large porobello mushroom caps, wiped clean with a damp cloth
4 slices red onion, about 1/4 inch thick each
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
4 whole wheat or Ezekiel burger buns
2 oz crumbled feta cheese
4 leaves of romaine lettuce

Creamy Dijon sauce
2 tbsp plain Greek-style yogurt
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/8 tsp sea salt

1. Heat a grill pan on medium-high. Lightly brush mushrooms and onion with oil. Grill mushrooms and onion for 4-5 minutes per side or until mushrooms are tender (up to 10 minutes per side – you’ll know the mushrooms are done when they start releasing their juices). Set aside the mushrooms and onions. Grill buns, cut side down on the grill pan for 1 to 2 minutes until toasted.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Spread sauce on bottom half of each bun, dividing evenly. Top with onion, mushroom caps, and lettuce. Enjoy.

This recipe comes from the Clean Eating magazine.

Wild Rice Salad with Pecans and Dried Cranberries

Wild Rice Salad with Pecans and Dried Cranberries

This delicous recipe comes from my mother-in-law Vivian who is an excellent cook.  She excels at finding and executing tasty recipes like this one.  This was passed to her via a friend.

Balsamic-Raspberry Dressing;
3tbsp balsamic vinegar
3tbsp raspberry vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

The Salad:
1 cup wild rice
4 cups water
1 cup pecan halves
1 yellow pepper
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup minced parsley
4 scallions (or onions, or leeks)

1. Blend all ingredients for the dressing with a hand mixer, food processor or blender, until smooth.
2. Place wild rice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover the rice, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes or until the rice is tender.  Drain the rice and chill it completely for at least one hour.  Place the cooked rice in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and salad dressing and mix well.
4. This is a very carb-rich salad due to the rice.  It works great as a main dish in the summer with veggies on the side, or as a substantial side dish next to a protein and veggies.

A crowd pleaser at parties and potlucks.

Quinoa Salad with Indian Lime Pickles, Olives, and Almonds

Quinoa Salad with Indian Lime Pickles, Olives, and Almonds

This is another recipe from my mother-in-law Vivian, and it is tasty.  I`m always excited when I know it`s on the menu.

Serves 4-6

¼ cup vegetable oil
4 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp paste and 2 tbsp slivered lime rind from jar of store-bought Indian lime pickles
1tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp granulated sugar
¼ tsp each ground cumin and salt

1 cup quinoa
1tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp salt
1 large tomato diced
1/3 cup currants
1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives
4 cups shredded leaf lettuce
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and toast almonds for 5-7 minutes until golden brown.
1. Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Thoroughly rinse quinoa in sieve. Drain well. Place quinoa in a dry skillet and heat over medium-high heat, stirring often for about 8 minutes or until quinoa has dried, turned light golden brown, and is popping in the pan.
3. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, curry powder, salt, and toasted quinoa.  Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.  Add 2 cups water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.  Turn off heat; let stand for 5 minutes.  Transfer to bowl.  Let cool completely.
4. Toss quinoa with tomato, currants, olives, and dressing (this can be done 1 day ahead, covered and chilled). Just before serving, gently mix in lettuce.  Sprinkle with almonds.

From House and Home, July, 2007

Sunny Sunflower Seed Burgers

Makes 6-8 burgers

1 cup uncooked short grain brown rice
2 cups water
pinch sea salt

2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp Herbamare
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
small handful of fresh parsley
extra virgin olive oil for cooking

  1. Place rice into a small pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add water and sea salt, cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 20 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, place the sunflower seeds, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, cumin, and Herbamare and process until finely ground. Add the chopped carrots and parsley and pulse a few times. Then add the rice and pulse a few times to combine all of the other ingredients. Be sure not to over process the mixture or it will get very gooey.
  3. Form mixture into patties. Uncooked patties can be sotred in a glass container in between pieces of waxed paper in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  4. When ready to cook, heat a skillet over medium heat and add about one tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add burger and cook on both sides for 3-5 minutes.
  5. I recommend enjoying these burgers on Ezekiel hamburger buns (available frozen at most health food stores) with your favourite toppings.

Taken from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook 2nd edition by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre

Navy Beans in a Homemade Barbecue sauce

Serves 4 -6

11/2 cups dry navy beans, soaked overnight
6 cups water
4 cloves garlic

Barbecue Sauce
1tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
4 cloves crushed garlic
¼ cup tomato paste
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1 tsp Herbamare or sea salt
¼-1/2  tsp chipotle powder or to taste
½ cup water or bean cooking liquid

  1. Soak beans overnight or for about 8 hours.  Drain off soaking water and rinse well. Place beans into a 3 quart pot and add the water and garlic cloves, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook beans for about 1 hour or until beans are soft and cooked through. Remove garlic cloves.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 6 quart pot.  Add the chopped onion and crushed garlic, sauté until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the tomato paste, cider vinegar, maple syrup, molasses, sea salt, chipotle chilli powder, and water.
  4. Add the drained beans, tomato mixture, and chipotle pepper to onions; mix thoroughly. Simmer covered for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, and adding more water or bean cooking liquid if necessary.  Taste and add more sea salt and chipotle pepper if necessary.

Serve over brown rice, wheat-free noodles, or spelt toast.

Moroccan Yam Burgers

Ryan’s Moroccan Yam Burgers

My husband Ryan is a talented guy in many ways. Cooking, however, is not one of them; this is not his recipe :) I’ll likely be posting many many vegetarian burger type recipes as I love a good burger. And though I will occassionally go all out and indulge in a grass-fed, organic, free-range beef or buffalo burger, I usually prefer to go for a lighter option. Really, it’s just an excuse to layer all of my favorite toppings between two buns! Who can resist sauteed mushrooms, crisp red onions, garlic aoili, all the varieties of lettuce, cheese (sometimes), unpasterized saurkraut,  etc etc etc. It’s got to be lunchtime somewhere…….

Makes 12 patties

6 cups grated yams
2 tbsp garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tbsp ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1-19oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cup unsalted mixed nuts
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp egg replacer mixed with 3 tbsp water (or 2 eggs)
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs (use wheat-free or gluten free breadcrumbs to suit your diet)
vegetable oil for sauteing

1. Peel the yams and grate them in a food processor or by hand. Put grate yams in a large mixing bowl.
2. Put the garlic and ginger in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
3. Add hald of the chickpeas to the garlic and ginger and process until fairly smooth. Add this mixture to the shredded yams. Put the remaining chickpeas in a bowl and mash them slightly with a potato masher or a large metal spoon. Add them to the yam mixture.
4. Add nuts to the food processor and grind until coarsely chopped. Add them to the yam mixture.
5. Add cilantro, cumin, chili powder, coriander, cinnamon, and black pepper to the yam mixture and mix well.
6. Mix the egg powder mixture, or eggs, in a small bowl and set aside.
7. Add soy sauce or tamari and sesame oil to the yam mixture and mix well.
8. Add eggs or egg replacer and breadcrumbs. You may need a bit more breadcrumbs to make the patties stick together. Measure into 1/2 cup portions and form into patties.
9. Saute on medium low, approximately 5 minutes on each side.
10. Serve on Ezekiel buns or your favorite whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, sliced red onions, and tzatziki.

This is another recipe from the ‘Whitewater Cooks at home’ cookbook by Shelley Adams. 

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

Tofu is unfortunetly not without it’s faults as a potential health food. It is however a very good source of protein and relatively fast to prepare. I keep it on hand for the occasional quick dinner. Like anything else that isn’t completely healthy, use this food in moderation.

Serves 4

1 package (440g) firm or extra firm tofu
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp thai sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tbsp water
1/3 cup sesame seeds (untoasted)
or 1/3 cup panko or other dry breadcrumbs
2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying

1. Slice tofu into 15 rectangular pieces. Put the pieces on the bottom of a glass baking dish.
2. Mix soy sauce or tamari with sesame oil, rice vinegar and sweet chili sauce; pour this over the tofu turning the pieces over to coat. Marinade for about an hour (or longer) turning the tofu over a couple of times.
3. Mix the arrowroot powder and water together in a small bowl. Put the sesame seeds or panko bread crumbs in another bowl.
4. Remove the tofu from the marinade, (most likely, it will be all absorbed to the tofu) and dip each piece first into the arrowroot mixture and then the seeds or crumbs, pressing quite firmly to get them to stick.
5. Heat a saute pan to medium and add the vegetable oil.
6. Add the tofu nuggets to the hot pan and saute for a minute or 2 on each side until they are golden brown. Don’t try to fitr too many in the pan at one time or you’ll have trouble flipping them around.
7. Remove from the pan and set onto paper towel to soak up any extra oil, then serve right away with your favorite dipping sauces.

This recipe was taken from ‘Whitewater Cooks at home’ by Shelley Adams.