Make this easy two ingredient everything bagel salmon burger and top with with a creamy mustard-dill sauce! It’s like an everything bagel with lox in burger form! It takes less than 30 minutes to make, so just pair with an easy side salad and you’ve got the perfect little weeknight meal, packed with omega 3s and probiotics from the yogurt sauce.Read More
This heirloom tomato TBLTA is the most perfect of summer sandwiches! Creamy avocado, peppery microgreens, crunchy salt and pepper kettle chips and the start of the show - smoky tempeh bacon - take this sandwich to a new level! It’s super simple so you’ll be making this all summer long!Read More
This smoked salmon, avocado and pesto breakfast sandwich is worth waking up early....or getting to work late for! With fresh vegetables, pesto, a runny egg and a thick layer of smoked salmon, it's the breakfast sandwich of your dreams!Read More
This herbed egg salad avocado toast is the perfect light lunch or protein packed breakfast! Made with just a smidge of mayo and mostly yogurt, the egg salad is nice and light. Served over lightly buttered pumpernickle toast with radishes and watercress for a peppery bite!Read More
This sweet potato falafel naan wrap has got it going on. First, there's the star of the show - the sweet and savory, crispy-edged sweet potato falafels. Then there's the spicy green chutney, which you will want to put on all the things (eggs, cheese and crackers, grain bowls, chocolate chip cookies...oh wait no, that's weird). Then there's the creamy Greek yogurt - always full fat for full flavor...Read More
This whole grain pita with yogurt chickpeas and muhammara is packed with fresh Middle Eastern flavors!
Don't get me wrong. I love hummus. But sometimes it's necessary to switch things up. A few months ago, I stumbled on muhammara at Trader Joe's. I'd seen recipes for the Middle Eastern red pepper and walnut dip, but never tried it. It's deep red color and pretty package were calling me, so in my cart it went!
Holy smokes guys. Go out and grab some muhammara immediately! It's got a rich, deep and slightly smoky flavor that's enhanced with a bit of tart sweetness from pomegranate molasses. Spread on a piece of warm whole grain pita, it's pretty much perfect.
Actually, I take that back. Spooned into a warm whole grain pita along with creamy chickpeas with yogurt and crunchy vegetables, now that's perfect!
If you're packing this for lunch, you might want to pack the chickpeas and yogurt separately because the yogurt might make the pita soggy. The pita and muhammara would also make a great base for my green falafel or bulgur and lamb kofte.
If you don't have a Trader Joe's or other store that sells muhammara, this recipe from The New York Times looks pretty simple.
Chickpea and Yogurt Salad Pita with Muhammara
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon dijon
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus zest from 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 4 100% whole grain pitas
- 8 ounces prepared muhammara, or 1 cup homemade
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1/2 cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into thin half moons
- 4 cups salad greens
- 2-3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- In a large bowl, mix together chickpeas and red onion, Add yogurt, dijon, parsley, lemon juice, zest, and smoked paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Warm pitas in a toaster until lightly toasted, or microwave 20 seconds. Cut pitas in half and open each half to make a pocket. Spoon 2 tablespoons muhammara into each pita half and spread evenly. Stuff with salad greens, carrot, cucumber and spoon in 1/8th of the chickpea mixture. Sprinkle in goat cheese and serve.
More pita friendly recipes:
This month's theme for Recipe Redux is reworking leftovers. My spicy lentil and mushroom veggie burgers taste like sausage in a sweet potato hash made from the leftover burgers.
Although I’ve seen and heard it all in my years as a dietitian without judgement, there are a few eating quirks I don’t understand. For example, people who don’t like chocolate. HOW IS THAT PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE?? I just don’t get it. Or with the recent popularity of intermittent fasting, people who skip breakfast and say they feel great. Are you sure you’re not homicidal by 10:30 am?
But what confuses me the most are people who don’t like leftovers. I understand it when you make a dish that turns out a little disappointing, but when you create something delicious, don’t you want to eat it for every meal for the rest of your life? Or at least for the next week?
That’s why this month’s Recipe Redux was such a challenge for me. The theme is reworking leftovers to get two dishes out of one. But what if I like the first one? Why fix something that’s not broken?
But the more I started to think about it, it made sense. Why not make extra portions of something more time intensive, then work the extras into an easy, weeknight meal?
So, I started to think about what I spend the most time on in the kitchen. Veggie burgers immediately came to mind. The frozen ones will do in a pinch, but once you’ve had a homemade veggie burger, its hard to go back. Only problem? Most recipes (or the tasty ones at least) involve cooking beans and/or grains, sauteeing vegetables, blending patties, forming patties, then pan-frying or baking said patties. It's not exactly weeknight friendly.
This first recipe for mushroom and lentil veggie burgers was heavily adapted from My New Roots. Rather than being made with the ingredients left whole then bound together with egg, all the ingredients are blended up in the food processor. The result is somewhat of a wet dough, which I was initially dubious of. But when you bake them in the oven with a quick spray of olive oil, they come out with a crispy crust and tender interior. Oh, and TONS of meaty flavor from the mushrooms and spices. In fact, of all things, the flavor reminded me of sausage, which inspired me to create recipe number 2.
A few years ago, Scott and I had this amazing Southern hash with sweet potatoes, collards and sausage when we were on vacation in Asheville. I decided to recreate it using crumbled veggie burger, added towards the end of cooking. You could top it with a fried egg, but since we were running out the door the play kickball, we enjoyed it plain. Which was anything but plain with all the flavor from the bitter greens, sweet sautéed potatoes and spicy “sausage.”
Spicy Lentil & Mushroom Veggie Burger
Makes 8 patties
- 1 cup lentils (I used black lentils)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces mushrooms, halved
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Pinch or two of cayenne
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
- 1/2-3/4 cup oats
- Burger buns
- Toppings (lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, mayo, mustard, etc)
- Place lentils in a medium pot an cover with water by a few inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large pan on medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and pepper. Saute 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook until mushrooms are golden and have released their liquid. Add cumin, thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne. Stir and cook 1 minute until fragrant. Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
- Place pepitas and oats in the food processor. Pulse until they form a breadcrumb-like consistency. Add sauteed vegetables and lentils with salt and plenty of pepper in the food processor and blend until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Spray a baking sheet with olive oil. Form 8 balls and flatten slightly on the baking sheet. Spray again with oil and bake in the oven 40 minutes until golden.
- Serve on toasted buns with desired toppings.
Sweet Potato, Greens and Vegan Sausage Hash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 small-medium sweet potatoes, diced
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bag of Trader Joe's Southern greens, or a bunch of greens of choice, stemmed and chopped
- 2 leftover spicy mushroom and lentil burgers
- Heat olive oil in a large sided skillet. Add potatoes and cook until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. If using sturdy greens, add the greens along with a couple tablespoons of water to help it wilt. If using tender greens, add them at the end. Continue to cook, stirring, until sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Crumble in veggie burger, stir to combine and cook until heated through, 2 minutes.
Beet hummus stands in for butter in this recipe for smorrebrod, an open faced Scandinavian sandwich on hearty rye bread.
It's no secret that travel is my great passion in life. Exploring new cities, soaking up the culture and sights makes me happy beyond words.Every time we travel somewhere new, I come home feeling intensely inspired. Of course, being the dietitian and food lover that I am, much of that inspiration is in the kitchen.
Traditional diets are endlessly fascinating to me. You can learn so much about a culture from what and how they eat. And from a nutritional standpoint, I realize more and more that embracing traditional diets is the key to health. Around the world, there are areas called blue zones, known for low rates of a specific chronic disease. We can learn a lot about what type of eating pattern and foods protect against chronic disease by looking at what people eat in those areas. Think of the Mediterranean diet, rich in healthy fats that reduce the risk of heart disease. Or the plant-based Japanese diet, linked to low rates of cancer. And then there's the traditional Mexican diet, rich in healthy carbs like corn, squash and beans, which offers protection against diabetes.
Since happiness and wellbeing are the name of my game, I'm particularly interested in cold spots for depression. What does a happy diet look like?
Scandinavia has some of the lowest rates of depression, thanks to a diet rich in fatty fish, whole grains and berries. With the popularity of The New Nordic Diet, some are saying it's poised to be the next Mediterranean diet. I'm all on board with that! Not only is there tons of research showing the Nordic diet promotes weight loss, heart and brain health, but the food is incredible. There's a reason the best restaurant in the world is in Denmark!
Here's a look at the basic tenants of the Nordic diet:
1. Buy local and seasonal produce. The Nordic diet is all about embracing what's fresh and local. Not only is it better for the environment, but fresher produce contains more nutrients.
2. Eat plenty of fatty fish. With plenty of access to fatty, cold water fish, the kind that's richest in omega 3 fats, Scandinavians eat fish almost daily. Salmon is a great choice, but mackerel, herring and sardines are also on the menu. The omega 3s in fatty fish are known to combat depression, anxiety and boost mood.
3. Focus on whole grains. Dense, hearty wholegrain rye bread is a Scandinavian staple. Oats, usually in muesli, and barley, also play a major role in the Nordic diet. High fiber whole grains boost levels of serotonin, a mood boosting hormone.
4. Choose wild game or grassfed options for meat, and eat less of it. While Nordic options like elk and reindeer may be a bit hard to come by, go with what's local to you. Venison, rabbit, and other game meats have higher amounts of omega 3 fats.
5. Include plenty of Nordic staple produce. Berries, dark green leafies, mushrooms, and root vegetables are great choices and local options are available most places.
Smorrebrod, a type of open faced sandwich, is one of the most popular Scandinavian dishes. Traditionally, it's made with buttered rye bread as a base, but when Eat Well, Embrace Life sent me a lifetime two week supply of hummus, including a life changing beet hummus, I decided to swap that for the butter. I'm gonna go ahead and call that a stroke of genius.
Instead of assembling the smorrebrod before serving, I put out the toppings along with a big bowl of toasted sprouted rye bread. It was a lot of fun to get creative with the toppings, although I had a hard time not going overboard with the toppings. Let's just say a few of mine needed a fork and knife!
I think this would be such a fun dish for entertaining. Feel free to go over more all out with the toppings. You could also add sliced cucumber, gravlax, watercress, cheeses, pickles, and sauteed mushrooms to round out the spread even more. Have fun with it!
- Whole grain rye bread, toasted
- Beet hummus
- 1 tin of wild smoked sardines
- 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
- Sauerkraut, preferably fermented
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Thinly sliced radish
- Fresh dill
- Spread a little beet hummus on each slice of bread and top as desired!
Have I found the perfect veggie burger in this smoky chipotle beet and quinoa burger? Quinoa lends a meaty texture, shredded beets give it a beef-like appearance and chipotle chilies add smoke and heat. This hearty burger will have you asking 'where's the beet?' (<--pretty proud of that one)
Indiana Jones had the Holy Grail. Moulder had "the truth." Nemo's dad had Nemo. Me, I'm searching for the perfect veggie burger. And I think I may have found it in this smoky chipotle beet and quinoa burger.
Thanks to Recipe Redux to thank for the inspiration. This month's theme is all about using smoke and spice to flavor dishes. From actual smoking techniques to bold, smoky spices and condiments, it's definitely a trend this year.
This past weekend when I was in Nashville, I had a pretty incredible falafel veggie burger at Pharmacy Burger. It had a great smoky flavor from the spices, something that's often missing from other veggie burgers. That's when I decided to do a burger for this month's challenge. I also wanted to challenge myself to create a veggie burger that was as close to a beef burger as possible.
One of my tricks for getting a ground meat texture in vegetarian dishes is using quinoa, which adds protein as well. Shredded vegetables also add to the texture and keep the burger from drying out. To make it look more like a traditional beef burger, I used beets. Maybe a little too beef like - doesn't it look like beef tartar when you slice into it?
To make it smoky, I used canned chipotles in adobo sauce, an ingredient I always keep on hand to flavor chilies, roast vegetables or sauces. Chipotles are dried jalapenos. You can purchase them canned in the Mexican aisle, packed in adobo, a smoky, spicy sauce made with tomatoes, garlic and vinegar. Since most recipes only need one or two, I store extra in the freezer until ready to use. I used two in this recipe, but if you really like it spicy,try three.
If like me, you prefer foods extra-spicy, get excited because hot foods actually have health benefits. Bring on the sweat napkin!
Spicy foods increase metabolism. I wouldn't, oh I don't know, drown a hot dog and fries in hot sauce in an attempt to undo calories, but heat does have a modest effect. One study found a 10% increase in metabolism for a few hours after eating. Another study found spicy foods increase the amount of brown fat cells, the type of fat that actually burns calories.
Capsaicin, the substance in chilies that lends heat, is also a powerful phytochemical. Although it may burn your mouth, capsaicin is frequently used for pain relief, especially for arthritis pain. In fact, capsaicin cream is frequently used to treat arthritis. The same substance has been found to help lower bad LDL cholesterol and improve blood flow, thereby reducing the risk or heart disease and lowering blood pressure.
For more spicy, smoky creations, check out the link up below. Enjoy!
Smoky Chipotle Beet and Quinoa Burgers
Makes: 8 burgers
For a gluten free version, use a whole grain gluten free bun. If you don't love the flavor of beets, try substituting shredded zucchini or squash, or even using half and half. Instead of quinoa, you could also use brown rice, millet or bulgur.
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 lb raw beets, peeled
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- 1 large onion
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 chopped chipotles in adobo, plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and black pepper
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour, oat flour or other whole grain flour
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 100% whole grain burger buns, toasted
- Avocado or guacamole
- Sliced red onion
- Olive oil or vegan mayo
- Dijon mustard
- Pickles (fermented if possible)
- Bring water and quinoa to a boil on medium heat. Cover and reduce heat to simmer 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed. Keep covered and let sit 5 minutes. Remove cover, fluff with a fork and set aside.
- While quinoa is cooking, shred the beets, carrots and onion with the large grates of a cheese grater or in a food processor. Toss the vegetables together in a large bowl. Add cilantro, soy sauce, chipotles, cumin and season with salt and pepper.Taste for seasoning and add more if needed.
- Add 4 eggs and combine. Stir in flour and combine until flour is incorporated.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Create 4 balls out of half the vegetable mixture. Drop into the skillet and press to flatten slightly. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes, then flip and cook about 5 minutes more. Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining mixture to make a total of 8 patties.
- Because it's difficult to cook veggie burgers all the way through without burning, I microwave mine 2-3 minutes to finish cooking and retain the crisp, browned exterior.
- Serve on a toasted bun with toppings and condiments as desired.
You’ll love the tangy taste of the sauce for this honey bourbon barbecue tempeh sandwich! It’s perfect for those of you who think traditional ketchup based barbecue sauce is too sweet (me!). To make this sandwich, bake tempeh slices with sauce, pile high on a bun, and serve with pickles and coleslaw! It’s a really fun way to enjoy a meatless meal!Read More
This grilled zucchini and gruyere panini with smoky pesto makes an ultra satisfying vegetarian sandwich!
When I was in high school, my friends and I used to sneak out at lunch and go to Bagel Bakery, a bagel and sandwich shop just down the road. My friends would usually order a plain bagel, since at the time, they were following 'the bagel diet.' Yes really. Even in the height of the low carb craze. In hindsight, that was probably the worst diet ever. Me, I always ordered a panini. At the time, it made me feel fancy and sophisticated next to my friends with their boring, plain bagel.
I still have a soft spot for paninis. It's probably the melty cheese. Actually, it's definitely the melty cheese. But I can't forget the crunchy, toasty, buttery bread, which I love almost as much. I love this cheesy vegetarian panini, filled with grilled zucchini, melty gruyere and smoky pesto spiked with hot smoked paprika.
Grilled Zucchini and Gruyere Panini with Smoky Pesto
Adapted from Food & WIne Magazine
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick lengthwise slices
- 1/3 cup pesto
- 1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
- 4 slices gruyere cheese
- 8 slices sprouted whole grain bread
- Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Spray zucchini with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until charred on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
- Mix pesto and smoked paprika.
- Divide pesto between four bread slices. Top with grilled zucchini and gruyere then other slice of bread.
- Place paninis back on the grill or in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Press down with a spatula to flatten. Grill about 2 minutes per side until crispy and cheese is melted.
Citrusy preserved lemon cuts the richness of creamy avocado and ricotta cheese in this avocado and ricotta tartine. Perfect for breakfast and a light lunch paired with a salad.
For me, an avocado sandwich is a comfort food that reminds me of childhood. Weird, I know, but don't be too concerned for my sanity. Macaroni and cheese, oreos and creamed spinach all fall in the same category.
My love affair with the avocado sandwich began in middle school, when I decided to become a "vegetarian" for a couple years.I wasn't a very healthy vegetarian, and actually, I wasn't even a real vegetarian since I snuck bites leftover chicken at night. But while I was in this phase, I developed a bit of an obsession with the avocado sandwich at Atlanta Bread Company. I remember thick slices of avocado on multigrain bread with lots of crunchy sprouts, cucumber, roasted red pepper and cheese. I ate one almost every time I went to the mall, which was pretty regularly in the decade of Clueless and Claires.
This tartine is a grown up version of my childhood favorite. The rich, fatty avocado and creamy sweetness of the ricotta meld together perfectly. The toasted whole grain bread adds crunch while the preserved lemon gives a bust of citrus and salt with each bite.
Avocado & Ricotta Tartines
Adapted from House Beautiful Magazine.
- 1 cup organic, whole milk ricotta cheese
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 8 slices of 100% whole grain bread
- 2 ripe avocados, sliced
- 2 medium shallots, peeled and thin sliced into rings.
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- skin (rind) of 1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
- flaky sea salt
- Toast the bread.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, lemon zest, olive oil and season with a few pinches of salt and black pepper.
- Once the bread is toasted, spread each serving with a quarter of the ricotta mixture, 2-4 tablespoons per slice depending on how many slices you're using.
- Divide the slices of avocado evenly among the tartines. Top each serving with a quarter of the sliced shallots and garnish with toasted sesame seeds, preserved lemon peel and flaky sea salt.
Avocado toast is my go-to savory breakfast, packed with fiber, filling fats and creamy avocado goodness. Here are three of my favorite recipes - with a fried egg and hot sauce, radish and sea salt, and with caramelized onions and blistered tomatoes. Super simple and satisfying!Read More