December Recipe Challenge: Vegetarian Lentil Burgers

As you may have gathered, I’m a huge fan of veggie patties.  I eat them all the time.  Unfortunately, they’re expensive and I’m broke.  So I was looking around for a recipe for some sort of patty that’s cheap to make that would fit the need of my December Recipe Challenge (aka healthy).

While perusing 101 Cookbooks, I came across this recipe for Vegetarian Lentil Burgers and decided to try it.  The recipe is really basic so I added a few things to it to spice it up.

Vegetarian Lentil Burger:

adapted from 101 Cookbooks

1 and 1/2 cup cooked lentils
2 eggs (or 1/2 cup egg beater type product)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 shake of cayenne pepper
1/2 onion finely chopped
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tsp olive oil

Ingredient, minus the onion because I forgot to include it in the picture 😦

I cooked some lentils (slightly undercooked since the recipe said to use black lentils which apparently are less mushy than the lentils I have), then put 1 and 1/2 cup of lentils in the food processor with the egg, salt, garlic and cayenne.

Then I processed it for a few seconds, til it looked like chunky hummus.  I wanted to have who lentils still in it, but you can probably process it more if you prefer.

Then I combined the lentil mixture with the onions and breadcrumbs in a bowl .

I formed the mixture into patties (I think I got 8 out of this, medium sized).

Heated the oil and cooked them (covered) for about 8-10 minutes.  On medium heat.  If you have a lid that’s great if not, use foil like I did.


These turned out pretty well!  I like them!  Next time I would add a little more salt or other spices to make them a little more fun. I still have a ton of lentils that I cooked so I think next time I’ll try making them with a Moroccan twist by adding cumin, corriander, cinnamon and lemon!

Also, don’t forget to suggest a cake!

December Recipe Challenge: Quinoa Mediterraneana

Ordinarily, when invited to a gathering, I bring a baked good.  I like to bake and I’m not too bad at it, so I figure why not.  However, I’m trying to break out of my comfort zone and get a little healthier.  So in the spirit of the December Recipe Challenge, I’m bringing Quinoa Mediterraneana to my department’s Dish-to-Pass Holiday Party today!

I found this recipe on Food Network.  I made a few changes and omitted pine nuts (because they’re just too expensive and they didn’t have any in the bulk food section so I couldn’t just just a handful) and parsley (because I’m not a fan so why would I waste 99 cents! Every penny counts!)

Here’s my version:

Quinoa Mediterraneana

adapted from Food Network Quinoa Mediterraneana

2 cups dry quinoa
3 and 1/2 cups water (The recipe calls for 4.5 and I used that but my quinoa turned out WAYYY too mushy, so try less water)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 canned artichoke hearts
1/4 cup or 1 small 2.25 oz can of black olives
1/2 bunch about 3 cups of chopped spinach (you can chiffonade–cut into strips– as the recipe says, fancy right??)
2 Roma tomatoes diced
Greek Dressing (recipe follows)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

First gather your ingredients…

Rinse your quinoa and put in a big big pot with water, salt and oil.  First I thought I was going to use my littler bit pot but turns out I needed the jumbo pot!

Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-2o minutes.  Let the quinoa chill for a bit while you do the rest.

Chop up your ingredients and set them aside

Then start making your dressing

Greek Dressing:

zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 orange
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

To make the dressing:

Zest your lemon and juice squeeeze your orange juice.  You can use a zester or a microplane (I want one of these so bad but haven’t been willing to pony up the dough for it).  You can also use store bought orange juice(recipe actually calls for this).  I didn’t because I don’t like orange juice and it was cheaper for me just to buy an orange.

Combine all the ingredients and set aside.

Add the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives spinach and dressing to the cooked quinoa.

Mix it up and top with crumbled feta!

It was pretty quick and easy to make, not mention colorful!

Enjoy!  I tried a little bit and I really like it!  Great flavor combination.  I just wish my quinoa hadn’t turned out mushy but that can be fixed next time with less water 🙂

I hope everyone at my party likes it 🙂

Have a great day!!

Raw vs Roasted

Almond Butter

It’s pretty delicious.  Last week, I was talking to a friend about almond butter, our favorite brands, cost, deliciousness, etc. He said he prefers raw almond butter.  So when I stopped by Trader Joe’s on my way home from Thanksgiving, I got a jar of raw almond butter to see which one I liked better.


I think I like the regular roasted Almond Butter better.  I mean they both obviously taste like almonds but the roasted one is smoother and has a more distinct taste. 

Are there any health benefits to eating it raw vs roasted?  Which do you prefer?

December Recipe Challenge Update:

Anna at Newly Wed, Newly Veg joined the December Recipe Challenge!  Check out her recipe for Barley with Mushrooms!

If you have a fun/exciting/healthy recipe, don’t forget to e-mail me so I can link you here!

P.S. This is my life for the next week…

Have a fantastic day!

December Recipe Challenge: Vegetarian Borscht

Today is day 1 of the December Recipe Challenge.

Since it was snowing when I went to class this morning, I decided upon something hot, delicious and FULL OF VEGETABLES!

I came across this recipe a few days ago and was instantly inspired!

Vegetarian Borscht

Inspired by Mostly Soup
1 Small Onion
1 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 Pound Beets (peeled and shredded)
1/2 lb carrots (shredded)
1 medium potato
1/2 cabbage (thinly sliced)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
4 cups of vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Sour Cream (optional)

Gather all your ingredients:

Wash your veggies, peel your beets…

Use a handy dandy food processor to easily shred everything

Then heat the oil, add the onions and garlic with some salt and pepper.  Sautee them for about 2 minutes.

Add the beets, carrots, and potato.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  In the mean time, heat up your vegetable broth.  When you slice your cabbage, don’t use a crappy knife… it sucks.

Add the vegetable broth and cabbage.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Then add the juice of 1 lemon.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!  I had it with a slice of pumpernickel toast!  Mmm!

That was super fun to make!  It also helped that the lovely fella was there to take pictures and do the dishes!  I can’t wait to make another fun/healthy recipe!

What do you like to have on a cold day?

Anyone else make an exciting new recipe?

Happy December!

Can you believe it’s already December 1st!?!  Where did time go?!?

It’s already the last week of classes, which means I have a 6368299490063357100 million things due in the next two weeks.

I woke up this morning, wrote a bit more of my paper and flat out didn’t feel like making anything.  So for breakfast I had a DELICIOUS Green Monster.

I finally decided I should probably pack a lunch, being that it’s a long day (but the second to last long day!!!)

I took the lazy route…  Kind of boring so dinner needs to be AMAZING! and  cooked by the lovely fella.

Today the December Recipe Challenge starts!  In case you missed it, you can read about it here!  I hope you’ll all join me!

Have a great day!!

Back In Action + December Recipe Challenge

The lovely fella and my camera have arrived safely!  Which means I can take pictures again!

This afternoon as part of my daily procrastination, I was perusing some blogs… I came across a recipe for Pumpkin Scones over at Eggs on Sunday.  So I was inspired.  I decided tweek the recipe to fit what ingredients I had at home.  The most notable changes were, greek yogurt instead of cream and pumpkin pie mix instead of plain pumpkin puree.

I’m not gonna lie.  They look better than they taste.

I don’t think my tweeks worked out very well because scones need some sort of fat in them.  Also because I used pumpkin pie mix, I cut down on the sugar (I used 1tbsp of agave nectar instead of 3 tbsp maple syrup).  They turned out plenty moist but sadly not too flavorful…

Nothing that couldn’t be fixed with some pumpkin butter 🙂  But today was the last of my baking for a while…

On to the December Recipe Challenge!

In an effort to try new recipes with fun, exciting vegetables and avoid some unnecessary sweets this holiday season, I’ve decided to do a recipe challenge for the month of December.

The basics of the December Recipe Challenge are:

  • Make at least 1 new recipe per week (although I’ll shoot for more)
  • The recipe must include at least 1 vegetable
  • I will try to include more whole grains
  • Make vegetarian recipes
  • Take a hiatus from baking sweets
  • For gatherings/parties/potlucks, bring a new delicious veggie dish instead of a baked good
  • Start Tuesday, December 1st and End Thursday December 31st

Essentially, I’m going to try to cook healthier things to avoid a repeat of last week.  I will share the recipes I use (even if they’re my own) with plenty of pictures.  The goal is to eat more vegetables, expand my cooking repertoire and over all have fun with food.

If you join me in this challenge, e-mail me ( a link to your blog post with the recipe you tried out and I will post it on here to share with the world!  If you don’t have a blog, that’s okay too!  E-mail me if you’re interested in doing a December Recipe Challenge guest post!

Are you up for the December Recipe Challenge???

I’m excited to start!  Stay Tuned for December Recipe #1 this week!