I made these delicious veggie burgers for the first time earlier this evening, and they were a hit!

I’d never made them before because they seem so messy to make, and like a lot of work…. But these were seriously a cinch! So I had to share.

They’d probably look better with black beans, but all I had were red kidney beans (no wonder, because I never eat them)….

Anyway, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 15-oz can beans/1.5 cups cooked beans (black beans, pinto, red kidney)
1/2 cup salsa
1 oz sliced onion (or more, to taste)
1.5 cups bread crumbs (I use spelt or wholest grain possible)
1 tsp cumin
pepper (to taste)

Note: You can probably sneak some spinach, carrot or beets in there too to amp up the nutritional value.

Instructions:

1. Pour the beans and the salsa into your food processor, and blend until smooth.
2. Add in the onions, cumin, 1 cup of the bread crumbs, pepper, and blend.
3. Pour the mixture into a bowl.
4. Get (just a little) messy, and use your hands to make 8 nice-sized patties. As you form them, gently press both sides of the burgers in the remaining bread crumbs, and place them on a pan or baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Let them set in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes while you prepare other parts of your meal (or clean up or make the kids’ lunches!).
6. Bake in preheated oven at around 350ºF for around 20-25 minutes (I’m not really sure about the timing — I just waited ’til they browned a little bit), turning once.

Stick them in a fresh, lightly-toasted, whole-grain bun or bagel, and top ‘em up (Daiya, Vegenaise, veggies, Dijon, the works!).

Oh! And they freeze really well, too…! Just stick one in the toaster, flipping once, and it’s ready to munch.

Bon appetit!

Love!

xo Haley-O


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As many Torontonians in my area know, one of the best pea soups in the city can be found at United Bakers — a Kosher-style restaurant in Lawrence Plaza. It’s not my favourite place to go because it’s not exactly chic…, not at all chic, and because I usually see half the people I knew in high school when I go there — and I like to relax when I dine. I used to take out their pea soup and their Greek salad ALL the time. But, now that I’m vegetarian, I can’t eat these dishes. The pea soup has butter in it, and, of course, the Greek salad has cheese in it. Until now, I haven’t met a pea soup as great as theirs, though. Until now….

Meet the best low-to-no-fat pea soup on the planet — right here in Cheaty’s kitchen, and soon in yours if you take my word for it. This soup tastes EXACTLY like United Bakers, without the BUTTER, and without any added fat. The secret, I think, is in the carrots and sweet potatoes….

CHECKIT!

Ingredients:

2 cups dried split peas (rinsed)
6 cups water (or vegetable broth)
1 onion (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic
2 carrots (sliced)
2 stalks of celery (sliced)
2 handfuls kale or spinach (chopped)
1 potato (peeled and chopped)
1 sweet potato (peeled and chopped)
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground curmin
Sprinkle of pepper
Sprinkle of salt (optional, to taste)

Instructions:

1. In a large pot, combine peas, water/broth, onion, garlic, carrot, celery, potato, sweet potato, and marjoram, basil, turmeric, and cumin. Cover loosely.

2. Let it simmer, medium heat, until the peas are tender — approx. 1 hour.

3. Scoop as much of the soup as you like into a blender and puree until smooth. I like my pureed soups a LITTLE crunchy and colourful, so I puree about 3/4 of it. If you want a perfectly smooth soup, you can use a hand blender, of course, or transfer the whole thing to a blender or food processor.

4. Return the soup to the pot, stir in the pepper (and teeny bit of salt to taste — only if you feel it’s necessary).

Storing: I’ve kept this soup in my fridge for up to a week. I ladle up only what I need each time because it’s not good to keep reheating it.

This soup is so hearty it’s a meal in itself. Enjoy! And let me know how you like it!

Love!
xo Haley-O


Lentil Pasta Sauce

My Rascal has been a terror for the past week. Dinner times have been fraught with screaming, since he won’t eat unless he’s sitting on my lap. Eventually, I give in and hold him. He eats a few bites and he’s done. Until I bring out the organic blueberries.

I didn’t know what to make for dinner tonight. I was so distraught by all Rascal’s screaming that I could hardly eat. I’m also so run down from doing so much myself. The last thing I wanted to do was cook up a non-vegetarian meal for my non-vegetarian family. That’s hard enough for me (vegan) to do on a GOOD day. So, I took out the lentils.

I had an organic bag of dried lentils in the pantry. I poured a cup of them in a pot, along with 3 cups of water, and I brought them to a boil. I let them simmer for 45 minutes — of which I kept track by watching three episodes of The Backyardigans with The Monkey, while Rascal napped.

Now, how to get the family to eat the hugely healthy — one of the healthiest foods in the world — lentils? Hide them in pasta sauce, of course!

And, it worked. Monkey loved the concoction…. Here she is posing with her already half-eaten dish:

One of the reasons it worked was THE PINE NUTS. They really complimented the nutty texture and taste of the lentils. It was brillers…. Check it!

INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4. But, it’s all to taste, really — it’s the ingredients, not the measurements that count here.)

3/4 cup Cooked Lentils (cooking instructions described above)
Bag of Pasta (I love kamut pasta)
Jar of Tomato Sauce of your choice
1 cup Pureed Broccoli (optional; for extra veggies the children will NEVER know about)
Pine Nuts (a couple handfuls)
Parmesan cheese (preferably vegan)

1. Cook the pasta. Drain. Return to pot (at low heat).
2. Dump in the tomato sauce, lentils, pine nuts, pureed broccoli.
3. Stir it up.
4. Dish it out.
5. Sprinkle on the parmy.

Enjoy! It’s SO easy. Let us know how you like it!

Love!
xo Haley-O