Tuesday, 17 January 2017 00:00

Ingredients

1 cup lentils
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. cumin
1/2 tbsp. ginger
1 tsp. olive oil
1/8 cup soy milk
1/4 chopped bell pepper
Lettuce, sliced onion, and avocado for toppings
Serve on split grain burger rolls

Cook lentils in a 3:1 ratio with vegetable stock of your choice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove excess liquid from lentils.
Add peppers, oil, and other dry ingredients to the lentils in a large mixing bowl. Mix.
Slowly add soy milk, and continue to mix.
The mixture should come to a consistency similar to ground beef (the way it holds together). Remove palm-sized amounts, and shape into patties.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place patties on a baking sheet coated with oil (to prevent sticking).
Keep patties in the oven for about 30 minutes, removing them at 15 minutes to flip, then placing them back in.
Finally, remove from the oven, place on a bun, and dress however you like!
*The burgers go really well with Marie's Habanero Avocado Ranch dressing.

Saturday, 08 October 2016 00:00

Ingredients
1 (11-ounce) canned black beans in juice
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (sometimes I use lentils)
1 (16-ounce) can vegetarian baked beans
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chopped tomato purée (I use large 29-oz. can-crushed tomatoes)
1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (4-ounce) can diced chilies
1–2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (depending on how much heat you want)
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon cilantro (optional)


Directions
In a saucepan, sauté the onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and celery for about 5 minutes. In a slow cooker, combine the black bean soup, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, baked beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, bell pepper, zucchini, jalapeno, chiles, and celery. Season with garlic, chili powder, cumin, parsley, oregano, basil (and cilantro, if using).
Cook for about 6 hours on low.
Serve with tortillas, cornbread, rice, or French bread.


For The Sour Cream
1 1/2 cups (225 g) raw cashews, soaked
3/4 cup (190 mL) water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Scant 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions

Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight or for 8 hours if you have the time. For a quick-soak method, pour boiling water over the cashews and soak for one hour. Rinse and drain. Place the drained cashews in a high-speed blender. Add the water, lemon, vinegar, and salt. Blend on high until super smooth. You might have to stop to scrape down the blender now and then or add a touch more water to get it going.

Transfer into a small, air-tight container, and chill in the fridge. The cream will thicken up as it chills. The cream will keep in the fridge for about one week. You can also freeze it for up to one month.

Let me know how you like it!! It’s a family fave at my house!

 

 

Thursday, 26 May 2016 00:00

A can of organic chickpeas and a little oil pair well to make a healthy, protein-packed snack for you and your family. Trust me, my partner, who does not like a lot of innovation in her food, scarfed it up in no time.

Here is the quick and easy recipe, just the way I like it.

Fried Chickpeas

Ingredients

  1. Avocado oil
  2. 1 can organic chickpeas
  3. Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Pour just enough avocado oil to cover the frying pan (Tip: I have recently discovered that ceramic pans don't burn, and I am enamored!).
  2. Once the oil is hot, pour in the can of organic chickpeas. You can drain the chickpeas or include the water if you'd like.
  3. As the legumes fry, season with plenty of ground black pepper, and sprinkle sea salt, rock salt, or kosher salt.
  4. Once the chickpeas are nicely browned, remove from pan, and place on paper towel to absorb any remaining oil.
  5. Let cool, and serve.

Enjoy as a snack or as part of a meal. So good, so crispy, so peppery, and a little salty. Yum!

Friday, 08 April 2016 00:00

We all love hummus, lentil soups, etc. They are a very healthy source of protein, especially for people who follow a vegetarian diet. But such hard legumes take a lot of time to cook, along with a lot of heat/energy.

For example, two cups of pre-soaked chickpeas can take up to two hours of cooking in six to eight cups of water, on low flame (this is supposedly the best proportion for the perfect cooking). But in case the chickpeas weren't pre-soaked, then the cooking time increases by at least two hours, and the job gets messier. 

The workaround is to stock up the pantry with cans of garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentil soups, etc., and eat these often and when convenient. However, nothing can beat the health benefits of fresh, home-cooked food that is free from preservatives, added sodium, etc.

I use a pressure cooker almost every day for all such tough cooking jobs, and it reduces my time, energy, and effort by almost 75%! Using the same example of my two cups of pre-soaked chickpeas, it takes me 30 minutes to cook perfect gelatinous chickpeas in a pressure cooker, with just four cups of water. All I need to do is pre-soak the chickpeas for eight hours, and then refresh it with four cups of fresh water and salt, and put it in a pressure cooker. The pressure cooker takes around 30 minutes on medium to low flame to cook my perfect homemade chickpeas. And the best part is, I don't even have to add any baking soda for faster cooking, and no preservatives, either.


Benefits

- Reduced energy utilization
- Reduced water utilization
- Big time saver
- No compromise on taste
- No baking soda or any other artificial agents

I cook all sorts of lentils and legumes. Steam rice or basmati rice in my pressure cooker almost every day in just 20–30 minutes. Sweet potatoes and corn take just 10–15 minutes to cook! Not all vegetables can be pressure-cooked, as they might get mashed too much or even taste bad.

Many people argue that pressure cooking reduces the nutritional value of the food. The fact is that numerous researchers suggest the following:

- The reduction in the heat-sensitive nutrients of the food by pressure cooking is almost equal to their reduction by slow cooking.

- In fact, pressure cooking is healthier due to the much lesser time it takes, thereby reducing the loss of vitamins and minerals of the food.

- Pressure cooking is much healthier than oven-roasting or baking, and also involves very little or no oil to cook.

Quick, efficient, and easy cooking by a pressure cooker will not only save you money by lowering energy bill;, it will also save money by reducing restaurant bills, and buying fewer cans of legumes, corns, lentils etc.

Modern pressure cookers are absolutely safe to use, easy to clean, and cost-effective. It is a perfect, energy-efficient, healthier and convenient alternative to the slow cooking style.