Steak Salad

really wanted to post this recipe last week – for Father’s Day – but I didn’t get around to it *sigh* Being sick off and on for three weeks has not been good for my blogging schedule!

Regardless of the timing, this simple salad is delicious and hearty enough to stand against any meat filled concoction you might run into at an omni cookout – and filling and tasty enough to made anybody (dad included) feel full and satisfied after digging in.

Steak Salad

1 lb lacinato/dinosaur kale, stemmed

1/2 – 1 avocado

1 pt cherry tomatoes

2 lg portobello caps, stemmed, ribbed, and sliced

1/2 – 1 lemon, juiced

Seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.)

First, stem and clean your kale. Then massage it with the avocado. Really get in there and mash it all around. Rub it with your fingers under the kale is a bit wilted and the avocado is well incorporated. Arrange massaged kale on a serving platter or large plate. Then, slice tomatoes in half and place them artfully over the kale. Finally, slice the portobello caps into thick slices and arrange on top of the tomatoes. Finally, dress the salad with freshly squeezed lemon and whatever seasonings you like. (I like salt, pepper and a little dried oregano.)

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Join our Raw Fusion Rest group on Facebook for this month’s challenge – lowering the fat in your high-raw, vegan diet.

 

Miso & Tahini: Best Flavor Combo Ever!

Somehow I keep forgetting how much I love the flavor of miso. Maybe it’s because I can’t find around here and have to bring it home from an infrequent trip to Whole Foods. Or maybe it’s because I hide the containers way in the back of the fridge so Mr M doesn’t question my buying yet another tub on one of my infrequent trips to Whole Foods ;-) Whatever the reason, I’m always happily surprised when something makes me remember the tubs of tangy goodness chilling in the fridge, begging to be used in thick and creamy dips, dressings and sauces.

I’ve shared before how much I love the Cesar Chavez dressing from Appetite for Reduction, and a couple of weeks ago, I made another awesome miso creation, thanks to a post from Emily at the Daily Garnish. Emily’s  sauce used a combo of miso and tahini to bring together a plate of pasta and veggie goodness. I chose to use wild rice instead of pasta in my dish, doubled the amount of ingredients, and added some lemon juice to brighten the flavors. I stuck to the some veggie combo of mushrooms and spinach, but I also added some organic broccoli I had in the freezer. Totally yummy goodness!

I don’t fee comfortable enough calling my changes a ‘new recipe,’ so please check out Daily Garnish for Emily’s recipe, but don’t be afraid to make it your own! I did, and it was delicious!

 

 

Warm Rice Salad

I don’t eat many grains, but when I do, I try to balance them out with a lot of veggies. Last weekend, I was in the mood for wild rice (which, incidentally, is a grass, not a grain) and the rainbow chard looked good at the store, so some kind of rice salad was on the menu. Add in some mushrooms and a few seasonings, and this is what  I came up with.

Warm Rice Salad

Warm Rice Salad

2 cups cooked rice (I used wild rice)

2 bunches greens (I used rainbow chard) – about 4 c chopped

1 med onion, diced

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

16 oz sliced mushrooms (I used crimini)

Cook rice according to package directions while prepping veggies.

Saute onions, garlic and mushrooms in a splash of broth or water, OR begin saute by salting onions, garlic and mushrooms and covering pan with a tight fitting lid until veggies begin to sweat. Saute until mushrooms are tender. Add greens in batches, stirring to incorporate. To help wilt, cover pan for a few minutes between batches. Add rice to mix after all greens have been incorporated. Season as desired. (I used tamari, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.)

I got three pretty good-sized servings from this combo – enough to eat for lunch all week. Paired with a veggie burger and a piece of fruit, and I was stuffed until dinner.

If you wanted to make this more of a main dish, add some beans, tofu cubes, seitan, tempeh, or your favorite meat substitute for a protein punch.

Beans & Greens Mushroom Burger

I spend most Sundays in the kitchen. I prep food for the week, plan meals, create recipes, and clean out the fridge. The last part is usually what yields the most interesting creations!

Last week, during my clean-out-the-fridge sweep, I found some mushrooms that didn’t get turned into soup and a half bag of kale pieces that didn’t join their other half in kale chip heaven.  I tossed around the idea of adding the kale to my traditional mushroom soup, but I wasn’t sure how that would turn out, so I came up with something else. Having recently run out of 4 Ingredient Bean Burgers, I decided to turn my fridge finds into burgers for the week. After rummaging through the pantry and the vegetable draw, this is what I came up with.

Beans & Greens Mushroom Burger

Beans & Greens Mushroom Burger

14 oz mushroom caps, diced (about 2 cups)

1 med onion, diced (about 1 cup)

3-4 clove garlic, minced (about 2 TBSP, heaping)

2-3 c chopped kale

2 cans beans, rinsed (about 3 cups)

1/2 c nutritional yeast

Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.

Saute onions and garlic in a splash of water or veggie broth until begin to soften (about 5 minutes). Add mushroom pieces. Continue to saute until mushrooms have cooked down and become soft. Add kale pieces and cover pan to steam/wilt greens. After greens are sufficiently wilted, remove mixture from pan. Set aside. Note: You may have to use a strainer because the veggies tend to give off quite a bit of water.

In a large bowl, add rinsed and drained beans. Puree with a stick blender (or in a food processor or high-powered blender) until mostly smooth. (I like to leave a few pieces for texture and presentation.) Alternately, you can hand mash the beans the with a potato masher. Once beans are mashed, add nutritional yeast, seasonings and cooked veggie mixture. Stir to combine. (If mix is too wet, add additional nutritional yeast or a binder such as quinoa flakes or oats.)

Form 6 large balls from mixture and place on foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. (Spray foil with cooking spray.) Slightly flatten each ball to desired patty thickness. Bake burgers at 375F for about 45 minutes, or until hold shape when moved and are no longer wet or gooey in the middle.

I used one can each red and white kidney beans.

I used one can each red and white kidney beans.

Mashed beans. Pretty pink!

Mushrooms, Onions, and Garlic in Pan

The mushrooms may seem like a lot before they cook down, but don’t worry; in a few minutes, they’ll shrink to half (or less!) their size.

Mushroom Burgers

I love veggie burgers. They were my first foray into the world of vegetarianism. I was about five years old when I had my first one. My dad’s parents were vegetarians, and they gave me a Worthington veggie burger…from a can. Yup, from a can. My mom used to laugh and laugh remember some of the food they tried to serve us. She said the veggie burgers were like sponges – covered in gravy, of course (Why does meat – real or fake – from a can always come with jelly like gravy?!). But guess who ate them. Yup, five-year old me.

In honor of my trip down memory lane, and my love of veggie burgers, I created two new burger recipes this week. I’ve been in the mood for mushrooms, and I’ve been in the mood for veggie burgers; thus, the mushroom burgers were born.

These burgers are both kind of dense, and they’re a little high on calories. But, they’re also very filling! The Mushroom Oat Bran Burger is nice and heavy, with a milder flavor, and would be great on a bun. The Mushroom Sunflower Seed Burger is more flavorful and little softer. It might benefit from being baked in the oven. Although, the skillet gave it a nice, crusty outer layer. 

Mushroom Oat Bran Burger

8 – 10 oz mushrooms, coarsley chopped

1 sm, med onion, chopped

1-2 clove garlic, chopped

1-2 TBSP veggie broth

1/4 c nutritional yeast

1/2 c quinoa flakes (can sub quick or rolled oats)

1/4 c oat bran

1 TBSP tahini

1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce

Seasonings: salt, pepper, parsley flakes, basil, oregano, etc

Saute the onions and garlic in 1 – 2 TBSP veggie broth until translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and seasonings and cook until very tender – about 10 minutes. (You want as much water as possible to cook out of the ‘shrooms.) Remove mixture from heat and cool – about 5 minutes.

Add mushroom mixture to food processor. Add nutritional yeast, quinoa flakes (or oats, if using), oat bran, tahini, soy sauce. Process until thick, paste like mixture forms.

Let mixture sit for 5 – 10 minutes to firm up. Refrigeration isn’t necessary, but it might speed the firming process.

From mix into three balls. Flatten into patties and either cook in a skillet about 5 minutes on each side, or bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes, flipping after the first 20.

Baking gives the burgers a firmer texture, but it doesn’t give them the nice crunchy crust of the skillet.

Each burger has about 200 calories with about 5g of fat, 8g of fiber, and 12g of fiber. Not too bad…

Mushroom Oat Bran Burger

Mushroom Sunflower Seed Burger

8 – 10 oz mushrooms, coarsley chopped

1 sm, med onion, chopped

1-2 clove garlic, chopped

1-2 TBSP veggie broth

1/4 c nutritional yeast

1/2 c quinoa flakes (can sub quick or rolled oats)

1/4 c sunflower seeds

1 TBSP tahini

2 TBSP low sodium soy sauce

Seasonings: salt, pepper, parsley flakes, basil, oregano, etc

Saute the onions and garlic in 1 – 2 TBSP veggie broth until translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and seasonings and cook until very tender – about 10 minutes. (You want as much water as possible to cook out of the ‘shrooms.) Remove mixture from heat and cool – about 5 minutes.

Add mushroom mixture to food processor. Add nutritional yeast, quinoa flakes (or oats, if using), sunflower seeds, tahini, soy sauce. Process until thick, paste like mixture forms.

Let mixture sit for 5 – 10 minutes to firm up. Refrigeration isn’t necessary, but it might speed the firming process.

From mix into three balls. Flatten into patties and either cook in a skillet about 5 minutes on each side, or bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes, flipping after the first 20.

Baking gives the burgers a firmer texture, but it doesn’t give them the nice crunchy crust of the skillet.

Each burger has about 250 calories with about 11g of fat, 8g of fiber, and 14g of protein. Again, not too bad, especially if you forgo the bun and eat it naked, or wrap with lettuce leaves. Crunchy!

Mushroom Sunflower Seed Burger

 If you don’t want to turn on the oven or the stove, try these burgers on the grill, and enjoy one of the last weekends of summer :-)

This recipe is being shared at:

 Diet, Dessert, and Dogs for #WellnessWeekends. Thanks once again to Ricki for the awesome chance to share with so many health-conscious people, and a great big thanks to her for highlighting my Beans to the Rescue Cheeze Sauce! 

Simply Sugar & Gluten Free for Slightly Indlugent Tuesdays. Thanks to Amy for hosting!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursdays. This is a first time post there  for me, but I don’t see a lot (or any?!) vegan recipes being shared, so I think this is the perfect place to share a couple easy and delicious veggie burger recipes :-)

All the Small Stuff for Tuesdays at the Table (Ya ya, I know it’s Friday, but I’m a little slow this week.) And It’s a Blog Party for Delicious Dishes

It’s Boating Season

We’re in the midst of boating season here in the Midwest (and everywhere else in the US) – water boats AND zucchini boats! I’m not much of a water boat kinda gal, but I’m all about the zucchini.

Why don’t I like boats? Well, since you asked, I’ll tell you. I’ve had bad experience after bad experience on boats. I’ve been stuck in the middle of Lake Erie on a broken-down boat during a round of severe storms that produced tornadoes and water spouts; I’ve gotten sea sick on a new boyfriend’s parent’s sail boat (while it was docked!); and, I’ve almost barfed on so many rocking, boat-like rides at fairs, carnivals, and theme parks that I’ve lost count. Hum…now that I think about it, most of my experiences have a common thread – throwing-up! Again, I hate boats.

Weird side-note: Mr. M and I are planning a cruise for our one-year wedding anniversary. I don’t know what I was thinking when I suggested it. He wanted to stay at a resort, but no, I insisted on a cruise. It’s a better deal; we can visit more places without the hassle of traveling to them; the food is (supposedly) good; we can go rock climbing in the middle of the ocean and be greater daily by a towel animal. I don’t see Sandles commercials promising towel animals!

Anyway, onto a tastier topic – zucchini boats. Zucchini is abundant in this part of the country at this time of year. We can still get the sweeter, more tender small squash (traditional green zucchini and yellow summer squash), and the bigger, more pulpy squash are starting to show up on break-room tables with signs begging people to take them home. Before I start stocking-up on hand-me-down gourds, I’ve been delighting in the smaller varieties, purchasing in bulk and receiving a discount from our local farm stand. The other night, I created this delicious dish….

I forgot to take the picture until I'd eaten half of my dinner. Oops!

Zucchini Boats with Quinoa & Mushroom Stuffing

2 – 4 small zucchini, halved lengthwise with seeds and pulped scooped out

1 c dry quinoa

2 TBSP + 1.5 c vegetable broth

16 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 med/lg onion, diced

2-4 cloves garlic, minced

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350F. Roast the zucchini on a foil-lined cookie sheet while the stuffing cooks (about 30 minutes), flipping half-way through the cooking time. (I flipped when I put the lid on the quinoa.) The boats should be fork tender, but still holding their shape.

Saute the onions and garlic with the 2 TBSP’s of vegetable broth until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they shrink (about 10 – 15 minutes). Add the quinoa (rinse if necessary) and toast for about 3 minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t burn. Add the remaining vegetable broth. Bring the mixture up to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa gives off its little round threads (FYI – red or black quinoa will take longer to cook and the threads are harder to see). Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the zucchini shells from the oven and fill with stuffing mixture. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture forms a nice, crunchy crust. Optional add: Top with veggie cheeze or cheeze sauce.

I had a lot of stuffing left over, so I added chickpeas to it and ate it for lunch and dinner the next day. Sooooo good!