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Ultimate Veggie Burger 

I really liked this recipe, and the chickpeas make a nice base. It’s also a nice change from black beans.

It makes a lot… halve the recipe for 4 good sized servings.

Recipe from 101 Cookbooks, adapted by Love and Olive Oil

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups sprouted garbanzo beans (chickpeas) OR canned garbanzos, drained and rinsed
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 onion, chopped
Grated zest of one large lemon (or omit, if you’re not a fan)
1 cup micro sprouts, chopped (try broccoli)
1 cup toasted (whole-grain) bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

If you are using sprouted garbanzos, steam them until just tender, about 10 minutes.

Most of you will be using canned beans, so jump right in and combine the garbanzos, eggs, and salt in a food processor. Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts.

Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. The mixture should be moist enough to easily form and hold a patty shape. Add more bread crumbs a bit at a time to firm up the dough if need be. Conversely, a bit of water or more egg can be used to moisten the batter. Form mixture into 12 patties.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium low, add 4 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Serve on buns topped with avocado, tomato, onion, and more sprouts, if desired. Alternatively, you can make extra-thick patties (1 1/2 inches), and slice them in half after cooking. Put the filling inside the patty, and you have a self-bunning-burger.

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Lean, clean & green

There are endless possibilities for a lean, clean and green meal, here are some ideas to get you started with what you already have in your kitchen:

Lean protein with greens. Lean chicken breast or fish pan-seared or baked. The meat will be 1/3 of your plate. To prepare the chicken or fish, use any marinade that is light and just a few ingredients. I like lime juice, olive oil, salt and crushed red pepper. Prepare any green to represent 2/3 of your plate. My favorite is roasted brussel sprouts. Slice and toss them in a bowl with olive oil, paprika, red pepper, salt and rosemary. Towards the end of roasting, I add sliced almonds.

Quinoa bowl. Cook 1 cup of quinoa as directed (serves 2) and portion between bowls. I love this because it’s quick, easy, and can be eaten cold or warmed up. The ingredients you add are endless. The best part is the presentation of the bowl (you can have a theme!) Here are some that I like:

  • roasted chick peas (seasoned with red pepper & paprika — do you spot a theme yet?)
  • fresh or roasted fennel
  • cucumbers
  • fresh peppers
  • carrots
  • roasted corn
  • avocado
  • tofu
  • chicken breast
  • fresh spinach / kale
  • tomatoes
Cauliflower mac & cheese

Cauliflower mac & cheese

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

  1. Boil the whole cauliflower in stock for 5-7 minutes, remove it from water and break down into little florets.
  2. Boil 1 cup of pasta in the same water. (or could use quinoa). When you finish the pasta you can toss all but 1 cup of water.
  3. Place florets & pasta in a lightly oiled baking dish.
  4. Next saute onions, garlic in a bit of butter/oil. Add to it 2 cups of milk of your choice and about 3 tbsp of flour (some people use nutritional yeast). I added about 2-3 tbsp of dijon mustard, some salt & pepper. Add about 1 cup of grated cheese, whatever kind your heart desires.
  5. Pour this into the baking dish, add the remaining cup of water, and sprinkle bread crumbs all over the top and bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes, or until you get that nice brown crust.

Recipe: Banana date almond milk smoothie

During Ramadan, I consume a lot of dates. I enjoy them whole, but one day it occurred to me to try and blend them in a smoothie. What followed was probably the best tasting smoothie I had made to date (no pun intended).

Ingredients:

4 dates

1 banana (fresh or frozen)

4 oz almond milk

1 tbsp chia seeds.

Add ice if you like.

And a scoop of protein powder! I use a brown rice based powder by Perfect Fit Protein. 

Banana date almond milk smoothie

Banana date almond milk smoothie

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Overnight Oats

The recipes for overnight oats are a dime a dozen, make them your own way! Really, don’t get hung up on how to make them “perfect”. I love to make them the night before I know I will have a busy morning, race day, or during Ramadan, for my pre-dawn meal (Suhoor).

The oats truly need at least 3 hours in the fridge, but many just keep them overnight. They are very easy to make, and all you need to remember is a 1:1 ratio of oats to liquid. Most will add milk of your choice, I’ve seen some people add juice. I would not… Play with the thickness of oats you desire, more or less liquid, more or less yogurt.

To the milk and oat mixture, some people will add (greek) yogurt for added smoothness and protein. I go back and forth on how I feel about the yogurt. It’s great to get that extra bit of protein for sure. To this you can add several nuts, seeds, spices, and dried fruit. Be sure to give it a good stir before you set it for the night, and in the morning you can add fresh fruit. I like to top off with fresh bananas.

Overnight oats

Overnight oats

Some additions to add before refrigeration:
Chia seeds
Cacao nibs
Nuts
Hemp seeds
Agave
Cinnamon
Honey
PB2
Cocoa powder
Protein powder

Good morning! Now, stir it up and you can add:
Peanut butter
Fresh fruit
Espresso shots
Jam
Anything else you want!

 

Recipe: Homemade Lara Bars

I was recently inspired to make my own version of Larabars, given my recent conundrum with soy lecithin being found in lots of things I like, particularly Luna bars, but also because of my quest to eat clean. I already make my own granola, so I thought, why not take my turn at the classic fruit & nut bar. Well, I’m hooked! It was significantly easier than I expected and something even my boys would enjoy making.

Making homemade fruit & nut bars
To make 2-3 bars:

1) Pulse 1/2 cup dried fruit of your choice. I used dried cranberries and dates. I added an extra 1/4 cup of dates when I saw I needed more ‘fruit paste’. Remove from food processor.

2) Pulse 1/2 chopped nuts of your choice. I used chopped walnuts and pulsed them to make them really small, but not too fine because some texture is good.

3) To the nuts add any extracts or spices you wish. I added almond extract and carob chips.

4) The fun part! Place everything into a bowl and mix well with your hands, then shape them onto a plate and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before you cut them. After I cut them I individually wrapped them and put them back into the fridge until they were ready to be devoured!