Greek-Style Black Bean Burgers with Homemade Tzatziki

Why hello there! It feels good to be back and blogging again. Between moving to a new apartment in a new city and adjusting to a new job, I guess you can say things have been kind of busy – in a good way, though! Some random updates since my last post:

  • Apparently vegetable peels can be dangerous. I almost cut off the tip of my thumb one night while trying to peel a butternut squash. All is fine and well now, but I did end up needing a stitch! I couldn’t peel a vegetable for weeks afterwards.
  • Apparently shower doors can spontaneously explode. I wish I was making this up. Less than a month in the new place and… POOF… the glass in our shower door literally exploded into a million pieces, completely out of nowhere. Again, all is fine and well, but I’m starting to think maybe I just have bad luck!

Despite these unfortunate events, I appeared to have a stroke of luck with creating this recipe. I’ve been obsessed with Greek food the past few weeks. Imagine my delight when I came up with this tasty recipe – high in fibre, packed with protein, and made with whole grains. Yum yum! Of course, the homemade tzatziki is the icing on the cake.. or.. burger? Anyways.. enjoy!

Greek-Style Black Bean Burgers with Homemade Tzatziki

Makes 4 patties

Ingredients
Black Bean Burgers:
1/3 medium red onion, cut into wedges
1 can (15-oz.) no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
2 cloves garlic
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole grain oats (whole wheat breadcrumbs are also fine)

Homemade Tzatziki:
250 g plain Greek yogurt
1 hothouse cucumber, grated and squeezed to remove excess liquid
1-2 cloves of garlic, grated
Lemon juice, to taste
Olive oil, to taste
Pinch of salt

Directions:
1. For the burgers: Add the onion wedges to a food processor and chop. Add the black beans and pulse 3-4 times, until the beans are just partially smashed. Pour the beans and onion mixture into a bowl and mix in the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, parsley, garlic, salt and egg. Feel free to add more olive oil if the mixture seems too dry.

2. Add the oats to the food processor and chop until they look like breadcrumbs. Add to the bean mixture and stir until well-combined. Using your hands, form the mixture into 4 equally-sized patties. Stack the patties, with a piece of wax paper in between each, and place into a freezer bag or container. Freeze for at least 2 hours before cooking. Once ready, I pan fried my burger in a little bit of olive oil until the outside was brown and slightly crisp.

3. While your burger is cooking, you can prepare the tzatziki. Simply combine the yogurt, grated cucumber, grated garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl.

4. Top your burger with a dollop of tzatziki, along with your other preferred toppings. I had sliced avocado, baby tomatoes, and feta cheese – without the bun. DELISH!

Black Bean Burger with Tzatziki

Be Well xo

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Meatless Monday: Roasted Eggplant Parmesan

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. This recipe is nothing but a whole lot of ooey, gooey, warm, cheesy goodness.

I’ve made eggplant parmesan before, but it was the traditional way where you slice the eggplant into discs and bread each piece.

This is a much simpler, quicker version and oh-so yummy. I enjoyed my eggplant with a whole wheat roll, which I used to dip into the ooey, gooey, warm, cheesy goodness. Fantastic. Hope you all enjoy! Oh, and don’t forget to enter my SlimKicker giveaway contest to win a FREE slow cooker!

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 eggplant, sliced in half vertically
Olive oil
Salt
1/3 cup light ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp each dried basil and parsley (or fresh, if you have some handy)
1/3 cup low-sodium marinara sauce
1 small tomato, sliced
Whole wheat bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Sprinkle the eggplant halves with a little bit of salt and place on a baking sheet, flesh side down. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and broil on high for 20 minutes. While the eggplant is in the oven, combine the ricotta cheese, basil, and parsley in a small bowl.

2. When the eggplant is done, remove it from the oven and carefully turn over each half. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on each piece of eggplant. Do the same with the marinara sauce. Top each half with a few slices of tomato; sprinkle with some bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.

3. Bake at 400 degrees until the bread crumbs are toasted (about 5-10 minutes). You can also use mozzarella instead of ricotta if you like, or even sprinkle some feta cheese on top. Yum!

Happy Meatless Monday!

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan

Be Well xo

Meatless Monday: Curried Cashew Lentil Burgers

Two posts in a row, I’m on a roll!

I’ve got yet another tasty meat-free burger recipe for you all. Some of you may remember a couple of recipes I posted last year for asian-inspired quinoa veggie burgers and southwest veggie burgers. This recipe might be my favourite of the 3!

This protein-packed patty is chock full of heart-healthy fats and fibre, and not to mention super delicious. I got the recipe from my Canadian Living cookbook, “The Vegetarian Collection”. The full recipe is provided below, but I only made half of it since I was cooking for one :) I made one patty and saved what was left of the burger “meat” in the fridge for the following day. Hope you enjoy!

Curried Cashew Lentil Burgers

Makes 4 servings
Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cups sliced white mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1 can no-salt-added lentils, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp curry paste
1/4 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. In a medium skillet, toast the cashews over medium-low heat until fragrant (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a food processor.

2. In the same skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat; saute the mushrooms, onion, garlic, salt and pepper until no liquid remains (about 5 minutes). I added a couple pinches of cumin and curry powder as well. Add to the food processor.

3. Add the lentils and curry paste to the food processor; pulse to combine. Mix in the bread crumbs and cilantro. Shape into four 1-inch thick patties.

4. In a large skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat; fry the patties until crusty, turning once (about 16 minutes). Carefully transfer the patties to whole wheat buns and top with your favourite condiments. I topped mine with slices of red onion, alfalfa sprouts and fresh cilantro. Delicious!

Curried Cashew Lentil Burgers

Happy Meatless Monday!

Be Well xo

Meatless Monday: Stuffed Butternut Squash

I’ve had a mild obsession with butternut squash lately. It’s just SO GOOD, and can be used in so many different ways! I had pinned a recipe on Pinterest a while back for stuffed acorn squash and figured why not try it with a butternut squash? I didn’t really follow a specific recipe for this. I sort of made it up as I went along, throwing a bit of this and that in whenever I saw fit. Here’s the jist of the recipe:

Stuffed Butternut Squash

Ingredients:

1 bottom half of a butternut squash, seeds removed – the squash should be hollowed out like a bowl so it can be easily stuffed

1/4 cup cooked quinoa (you can also substitute any other leftover grains you may have lying around, such as brown rice or bulgur)

1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup mixed vegetables, chopped (I used peppers, onions, tomatoes and mushrooms)

1 green onion, thinly sliced

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

2-3 tbsp feta cheese*, crumbled

1/2 tbsp Parmesan cheese*

*Feel free to omit the cheese to make this recipe vegan-friendly, or substitute with non-dairy cheese.

Directions:

1. Place the butternut squash, cut side down, on a baking tray lined with tinfoil. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until tender.

2. While the squash is roasting, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped vegetables and saute until softened, about 4-5 minutes. You can also add a pinch of chili flakes if you want a bit of heat.

3. Remove the frying pan from the heat. Add the quinoa, black beans, green onion, cilantro, and feta cheese to the vegetables; mix to combine.

4. Carefully turn the squash over so it looks like a bowl. Stuff the squash with the vegetable/quinoa/bean mixture; sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Place the squash back in the oven and broil for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.

5. Eat and enjoy!

This recipe was so tasty and very filling. I plan on making it again very soon!

Happy Meatless Monday :)

Be Well xo

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Pad Thai

Pad thai is quite possibly one of my favourite dishes. I had tried making it in the past with store-bought sauces, but it never tasted as good as I hoped it would.

After browsing through some of my cookbooks that I’ve failed to look at in months, I came across a recipe for pad thai that looked fairly simple. It’s probably not the healthiest of dishes, but it’s definitely better for you than traditional take-out versions, and certainly a nice treat to enjoy every once in a while :)

Next, I’d like to try this healthy version of pad thai, courtesy of Cravings Gone Clean!

Vegetarian Pad Thai

Serves 4

Ingredients:

200g dried rice noodles

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 cups vegetables, chopped (I used yellow bell pepper and broccoli)

4 ounces (125g) firm tofu, cubed

2 large eggs, beaten

2 tbsp brown sugar

1.5 tbsp tamarind paste

1.5 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

1.5 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce

1.5 cups mung bean sprouts

2-3 scallions, sliced

1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Peanuts & lime wedges, to garnish

Directions:

1. Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. Combine the brown sugar, tamarind, soy sauce and chili sauce in a small bowl.

2. Heat the oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.

3. Add the chopped vegetables and tofu and stir fry for a few minutes, until the vegetables have softened and the tofu is golden brown. Push to the side, add the eggs, and scramble them for about 1 minute.

4. Decrease the heat to medium. Add the noodles and pad thai sauce; stir fry for about 1 minute. Add the bean sprouts and scallions; stir fry for another minute, tossing to combine.

5. Divide the pad thai into bowls and serve garnished with cilantro, peanuts and a lime wedge.

Happy Meatless Monday :)