Almost “Meat” Veggie Burgers

Meatless Monday! Even if you aren’t a vegetarian, it is good to go meatless at least once a week. Plus it’s fun to experiment and once you start cooking vegetarian meals, you’ll realize how easy and delicious they can be! I love veggie burgers but have gotten used to the fact that they just don’t have that meat texture or flavor. And that is fine but I wanted to make a veggie burger that was at least close to the real thing. This one has black beans, mushrooms, and oats as the main ingredients. I don’t know if it’s the mushrooms or what but the texture is awesome as well as the flavor. They held up nicely while cooking them in a pan and would be good on the bbq too.


I looked up various veggie burger recipes and took away tips and amounts of ingredients from all of them. These are easy to make and I was eating the leftover patties for lunches during the week. So try this recipe for your meatless Monday! I know you will enjoy it!

1 medium onion (minced)

2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce

2 tbsp dijon mustard (I used Sierra Nevada honey spice mustard)

1 1/2 cups oats (pulse in food processor to break them down so they stick and combine better with other ingredients)

1 cup black beans (I rinse canned beans to get the gooey water off and reduce the sodium)

1 tsp cumin (I added more cumin for extra flavor)

1-2 tsp chili powder

4 cloves garlic (chopped)

salt and pepper


Cook onion in a pan with a little oil for a few minutes. Add spices and garlic and cook another couple minutes. Pulse oats in food processor to break them down a bit. Mash the beans in a large bowl and add mustard, tamari, and oats. Add onion mixture and mix well. Shape mixture into patties of desired size. Cook the patties on med-high heat in a non stick pan with a little bit of oil, about 4 minutes each side or until golden brown.


I drizzled tahini dressing on top with some kale. I also ate them with mustard and avocado. These would do well in a bun with all the fixin’s too.


Nutrition Tidbit: Read all about the health benefits of oats. They can help with absorption of vitamins and minerals in people who follow a gluten-free diet. Just make sure to get oats that are processed in a place without other gluten products.


Audie :)

Tropical Vegan Pancakes (V)

It’s super easy to make dishes vegan! Especially with recipes like this one because most of the ingredients you probably already have in your pantry (well maybe not the tropical fruit). It’s essential to have staples in your pantry in order to stay healthy. Then you don’t have to think about buying them every time you go to the store. Maybe I’ll do a post on that later to give you an idea of what is good to keep on hand. I didn’t even need to go to the store to make these pancakes because I cook and bake a lot so ingredients like flour are always at my house. I love coming up with meals with just the ingredients I can find at home. On weekend mornings it’s nice to just relax with my coffee and make a lovely breakfast without worrying about braving the craziness of the grocery store.

So here are some super easy vegan pancakes! Of course if you are not vegan you can substitute regular milk and add butter. (I looooove butter by the way but try not to use too much).

Vegan Pancake 2

Adapted from Cookie + Kate (Check out this blog if you are or want to be vegetarian. Lots of good recipes)

1 cup flour (I had regular flour but healthier to use whole wheat)

2 tsp. baking powder (original recipe uses 1 tbsp. but I didn’t want to overdo it)

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup almond milk or dairy-free milk (or regular milk if not vegan)

2 tbsp. melted coconut oil

2 tbsp. honey (or maple syrup or sugar)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Any topping you’d like such as maple syrup, fresh fruit, jam, nuts etc. I used frozen mango and pineapple and cooked it in a saucepan with jam. I poured the fruit mixture over my pancakes and topped them with toasted coconut.

To bump up the flavor of the actual pancakes you can add mini chocolate chips or bananas or blueberries to the batter.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl mix almond milk and coconut oil. If coconut oil starts to harden, just microwave mixture until it liquifies again. Then add honey and vanilla extract. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined. (This is where you would add your mini chocolate chips or fruit as well). Heat a non-stick pan with a little oil and pour batter into pan with 1/4 measuring cup. The measuring cup makes it easy to pour into the pan and the pancakes come out in similar sizes. Make sure they are brown on each side. Serve with your favorite pancake toppings!

toasty coconut

Nutrition Tidbit: Shredded Coconut or flaked coconut contains fiber, protein, and iron. Who knew! But make sure to get the unsweetened kind at the store to cut down on sugar.


Audie :)


Spicy Chipotle Ranch, V

I’ve tried many multiple ways of eating over the last few months. I wasn’t eating as healthy as I should or normally do so I tried the Paleo diet then I cut back on meat and now I am trying a mostly vegan plant based diet. So far what works for me is being vegetarian and not eating a lot of dairy. This may not work for you. Everyone is different. I just know that meat makes me feel icky and the production isn’t good for the environment. I do still love fish but I’m going to limit that as well and see how I feel. Do what works for you or try something new and see if you feel better! Here is info on each diet. I know many people who have lost weight on all 3! The important thing is that all of them advocate a whole food diet full of plenty of veggies, some fruit, good fats, and limit processed and packaged foods.




hemp seeds

On to the recipe! I love ranch dressing on salads, on pizza, dipping raw veggies in it etc. And thought it would be a lot better and healthier to make my own ranch. This recipe is vegan which makes it even better! It’s so simple and yummy that I’ll probably just make it all the time so that it’s always on hand in my fridge.

Spicy Chipotle Ranch

Adapted from Jenny Brewer’s Natural Foods Cooking Program

1/2 cup Hempseeds (raw shelled)

1/2 cup water

2 cloves garlic

Juice of 1-2 limes

1/2 chipotle pepper (canned in adobo sauce) (add a whole pepper if you like it really spicy)

3 tbsp dried cilantro (or 1/4 cup fresh)

1 tbsp olive oil

dash salt & pepper

First place hempseeds, water, and garlic in blender or food processor until creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again until well mixed.

chipotle ranch

You can use this on tacos, salads, grilled veggies and more. I put it on my kale salad and it added just the right punch and flavor.

ranch salad

Nutrition Tidbit: Hempseeds are amazing! They are so versatile. I use them in smoothies, this dressing, granola, and more. They are full of Omegas, amino acids, and fiber.


Audie :)

Red Lentil Quinoa Patties (V, GF)

I hate to admit it but occasionally I indulge in silly reality TV. My dear friend (who will remain unnamed due to this potentially embarrassing confession) got me to watch The Bachelor. Yes I know it is probably embarrassing for you as my beloved reader to know that I have indeed turned to the dark side. It’s just so ridiculous that it makes you want to watch more! Anyways, back to food. I made these patties for dinner before watching The Bachelor with my friend last night. It was the perfect opportunity to try this recipe because she eats mostly vegetarian and gluten free. These are just that! I used half water and half chicken broth to cook the lentils but if you are true vegetarian or vegan, you can cook the lentils in all water.


Red lentils are great for quick and easy meals. They cook up fast and don’t have to soak like other lentils or dried beans. If you put the red lentils in the fridge after being cooked, they become firm and can used like a pate or spread or dip. These patties can be like veggie burgers or added to salads.

Makes about 10 small/medium sized patties:

1/2 cup quinoa (Cook with 1 cup water)

1 cup red lentils (Cooked in 2 cups water or 2 cups chicken broth or 1 cup water/1cup broth)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp thyme or italian seasoning

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

salt & pepper to taste

Cook quinoa and red lentils in separate pots and set aside. Saute onions, garlic, and thyme in coconut oil for a few minutes. Mix lentils, quinoa, and onion mixture until combined. Put this whole mixture in fridge for 20 minutes until firmed up. Heat another tsp coconut oil in large pan and start forming patties with the lentil mixture. They should be easy to handle. Fry each side of each patty until golden. They might fall apart a little in the pan but just be gentle and they should hold up.


Serve with a scoop of sour cream or guacamole or tahini dressing on top. Whatever you’d like! Enjoy!

And yes they are great to have as leftovers. I did this the next morning because a fried egg is good on anything!


Nutrition Tidbit: Lentils are a great way to get protein if you are a vegetarian or vegan!


Audie :)

Mango Green Smoothie

Blending and juicing has become very popular these days and it makes sense! You get a lot of nutrients in one shot. With smoothies you can even use it as a replacement for a meal if you’re trying to lose weight. I like to have a green smoothie in the morning for breakfast if I’m not having eggs or oatmeal. Today I made kind if a tropical smoothie with mangos. There are so many good things in mangos and they sweeten smoothies without added sugar.


Mango Green Smoothie Ingredients:
1 cup kale (stems removed)
1 banana
1/2-1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 piece of fresh ginger (about the size of the top of your thumb)
1 tbsp maca powder
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1 cup almond milk
1 cup water

Blend everything in blender or magic bullet or whatever you use and enjoy!

I made a pretty big smoothie so you could cut the ingredients in half if you’d like.


Nutrition Tidbit: learn about the benefits of mango here mango!


Audie :)

Not Your Traditional Pizza Dough (Gluten Free!)

Gluten is a hot topic these days. Should you eat gluten free if you don’t have to? Will you lose weight if you don’t eat gluten? What does gluten do to your gut? For some people, not eating gluten is pertinent to their gut health. For others it has become a fad diet to try and lose weight. It’s up to you what to eat but have fun and experiment with ingredients that make your body feel good. I’ve always wanted to try a gluten free pizza crust because well pizza is my absolute favorite! Anyway to make it healthier and still taste good is fine by me! I got a large head of cauliflower in my CSA (community supported agriculture) box last week and knew that this was my chance to try making gluten free pizza dough.

Seriously give this a try even if you don’t eat gluten free. It tastes just as good as regular pizza dough although it is more crumbly so harder to just eat with your hands.


Recipe Adapted from detoxinista

1 Large Head of Cauliflower

1/3 Cup Soft Goat Cheese

1 egg

Seasoning of choice (I used a tsp or so of dried oregano)

Pinch salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Start boiling about 2 inches of water in a pot.

Chop cauliflower into florets and put in food processor. Process until cauliflower has rice-like texture.


Once water is boiling, add cauliflower and cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain cauliflower. Once it’s strained and cool enough to handle, put the cauliflower in a clean kitchen towel. (Use a thinner one so that the moisture runs through it.) Squeeze the cauliflower in the towel until most of the water is out. This will make the crust drier and not as crumbly.

Transfer cauliflower to a large mixing bowl. Add goat cheese, egg, seasoning, and salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. It’s not going to stick together like regular dough. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and plop the ‘dough’ onto the pan. Press ‘dough’ out into desired shape.


Bake ‘dough’ for 30-40 mins until golden. Prepare toppings while ‘dough’ is baking. Once ‘dough’ is baked, add toppings and put back in oven another 10 mins until toppings are cooked and cheese is golden. And that’s it! Easy and healthy and still tastes like pizza!





Nutrition Tidbit: Cauliflower contains B vitamins, vitamin K, and omega-3s which help with inflammation.

Crave Your Kale (Salad)



Oh Kale Yeah! Kale is all the craze these days. From kale chips, to kale salad, to kale in smoothies, it has become the cool veggie to eat. And it is! Because it is so good for you and very versatile. Despite all the wonderful aspects of kale, people still shy away from its dark green, leafy goodness. Why? Super healthy foods can seem intimidating to those who don’t normally eat them or those just beginning to explore new healthy foods. Super healthy foods can and do taste good! If you know how to prepare kale, you will fall in love with it and never look back.












For this recipe, use one bunch of kale. You’ll need to de-stem the kale. Hold the end of one leaf in one hand and grab the leaf above that hand with your other hand. Grip the kale leaf and slide your hand up. This will get the leafy part off of the stem base. If the top of the stem comes off with the leaf that is fine. The top part of the stem isn’t as fibrous. Then pile the leaves on top of each other (you might have to do a few different piles). role the leaves up like a burrito. Chop the rolled up leaves into thin strips.












Once all of the kale is chopped, put it in a large bowl. Sprinkle some sea salt over the kale. Now for the fun part. Massage your kale! This helps break it down and soften it so it has a much more appealing texture for eating. Massage the kale for a few minutes until it decreases in size and feels soft enough to want to each raw.

IMG_1087At this point you can use all of it for the salad or you can take out what you need. Save the rest for the week and saute it with garlic for a side dish or use it in a stir fry or use it in a veggie soup.








The salad recipe is as follows:

1 bunch kale, chopped and massaged with sea salt

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1-2 large avocados, sliced into chunks

small seed or nut of your choice (I used sunflower seeds) (shelled pumpkin seeds are great too)

Juice of 1 lemon

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

dash salt & pepper

Toss the kale, onion, bell pepper, avocado, and nuts/seeds. Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over salad and add salt and pepper. Toss until everything is coated. Eat right away! It will last one day but is best eaten on the same day.















Nutrition Tidbit: Kale provides so many amazing benefits. Check them out here KALE!


Better Baked Sweet Potato Fries

If you love sweet potato fries, then you’ll love this healthier homemade version. These are baked instead of fried and you can use whatever seasoning you fancy! This makes a yummy snack for football games and you can serve them right on the pan. Super easy! I’ve made these the last couple Sundays for the 49ers games and they get gobbled up in a hurry!


4-5 sweet potatoes, sliced like fries
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt, pepper, and seasoning to taste
(This is your own preference)

Set oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper so fries don’t stick. Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise and put in large bowl. Drizzle olive oil and seasoning over fries and toss to coat fries.

Bake for 40 minutes. They might be kind of soft. If you want them more crispy, set oven to broil at the end and broil the fries for a few minutes. Make sure to watch them so they don’t burn!


Once they are done baking, remove from oven and season again of needed. Let cool for a few minutes. Push fries to side and put condiments of your choice directly on pan or in serving dish on side. Serve and enjoy!


Nutrition Tidbit: Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A which functions as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Read more about sweet potatoes benefits here: sweet potatoes




Super Poached Salmon w/Garlic Yogurt Dill Sauce

Here it is! I’m going to try and post more since I now have the ability to blog from my phone. I hardly go on my laptop anymore with this thing! I wanted to start with a healthy recipe this holiday season but don’t worry I will definitely be sharing treats as well.

Poached salmon is so easy to make and healthy that it should be one of the main dishes you know how to cook.

1 large Wild Alaskan Salmon fillet
1/2 large white onion
1 teaspoon dill
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Yogurt sauce:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp dill
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
Juice from 1/2 lemon


Heat oil on medium and add onions. Then put salmon fillet on top of onions and sprinkle with dill, salt, and pepper. Cover salmon and cook on medium/low for 20 minutes depending on how think the fillet is. I slice into the salmon partway through to see how done it is because it’s really easy to over cook fish. It will keep cooking a little after you turn off the heat so if it looks almost done, turn off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes still covered.

While the salmon is cooking, mix the yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.


I put the salmon in top of a bed of arugula which I sprinkled with oil and fig vinegar. You can use any yummy oil or vinegar you want. The arugula adds a healthy green veggie to the dish and a delicious bitter flavor. Prepare the arugula and too with a piece of salmon. Put some of the cooked onions on top or around the salmon. The onions could be pretty brown but are delicious because they kind of caramelized. Top with a dollop of the garlic yogurt sauce and a slice of lemon on the side.


Yum! This dish is so simple yet so tasty and healthy. Hope you enjoy!



Nutrition Tidbit: Salmon Benefits!

Salmon is one of my favorite foods. It makes me feel healthy when I eat it. Some of the best salmon to buy is wild-caught Alaska salmon. These salmon have less contaminants and the populations are more sustainable than Atlantic salmon or farm raised salmon. Although there are many health benefits to eating salmon, the most commonly known benefit comes from their omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s can reduce cardiovascular risks, improve cell function, and improve mood and brain function. You can read all about salmon’s benefits here: Salmon Health Benefits

Recipe On The Way!