Friday, October 31, 2014

the best veggie burger...

This is a nutrition-packed veggie burger that even omnivores love! As someone who doesn't like the flavor or texture of vegan "meats," I was constantly on the lookout for the perfect vegan burger, one that we could eat and enjoy together. I found various sweet potato and black bean burger recipes and decided to invent my own version based on our favored ingredients. This past week, I introduced them at the dining hall where I work as a chef, and I think they may be a new favorite!

Black Bean-Sweet Potato-Quinoa Burgers serves 8-10

1 small organic sweet potato
½ cup fairly-traded quinoa
1 (15 ounce) can or 1 lb of cooked organic black beans, drained
1 cup organic old fashioned oats
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 ½ teaspoons mild chili powder
½ teaspoon of The Spice Hunter's Mexican Seasoning
dash of cinnamon
Juice of ½ lemon
1 ½ teaspoons Real Salt
2 organic green onions
½ cup organic cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon grape seed oil


1. Rinse and cut the sweet potato into three or four round pieces. Boil in a medium saucepan for 10 minutes, until soft. Rinse with cold water, drain, and then slice into small pieces. An inch by an inch is a good size, but if precision isn't your specialty, then just mashing them also works well!
2. Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve with cold water. Combine with 1 cup of filtered water and ½ teaspoon of Real Salt and boil on medium heat until tender and the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid a charred flavor!
3. Grind the oats in a blender or food processor until fine. Combine in a bowl with seasonings and mix until well combined. 
4. Finely chop peeled garlic, green onion, and cilantro. Add to oat and spice mixture. Mix in mashed sweet potatoes and quinoa and then add black beans. Stir well.

5. Refrigerate until ready to use. Shape mixture into 4” patties, about ½ cup each, and fry in a cast iron skillet or frying pan with grape seed oil for 3-4 minutes on each side. Enjoy! J 

Special note for gluten-free friends: these burgers are gluten-free! The only thing to check are the oats--if you or a loved one have a serious intolerance, check to make sure they haven't been processed in the same facility as wheat. The burger pictured here is topped with a special sauce (Vegenaise, Red Hot, and smoked paprika), parsley, and shredded carrot-daikon salad. Yum! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

carrot, ginger & fennel soup

Hello friends,

It's been awhile since I (Beth) have blogged... summer happened and already it is mid-October! 'Tis the season of root veggies... yum! Now that it is truly fall here in Ohio and the leaves are displaying lovely shades of reds, oranges, yellows, and browns, homemade soup has become one of my favorite meals. A bowlful of flavorful, filling soup can be the perfect thing on a chilly, windy day!

We bought some organic fennel, baby ginger root, scallions, and carrots at the Worthington Farmer's Market last Saturday, and today I turned them into a yummy soup!

This gluten-free, vegan soup in particular packs in a nutritional punch with potassium and Vitamin C-filled fennel, Vitamin A and beta-carotene packed carrot, and anti-inflammatory ginger! The coconut oil used to create the base also provides a variety of benefits, including boosting your immunity and strengthening your heart.

*always buy local and organic if you can!

3-4 carrots
1 fennel
1 small bunch of scallions or green onions
1 inch x 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
1/3 cup of coconut oil
2-4 cups of filtered water
sea salt and garlic powder, to taste


1. Wash scallions and then slice thinly. Heat up coconut oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat, adding scallions and salt to taste. Stir constantly until they are tender and not crunchy.

2. Wash carrots and fennel, and then slice carrots into small round coins. Dice fennel.

3. After scallions are tender, add filtered water, carrots, fennel, ginger, garlic powder, and sea salt to taste (as a general guide, I use 1 tsp sea salt per quart of veggies or water).

4. Bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until carrots are tender.

5. You may add Earth Balance for a buttery flavor... but coconut oil is great and healthier!

6. ¡Buen provecho! :) I think it would go well with sourdough bread, a salad, quinoa, or as a main dish!